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Vol. 96 Issue 11

The Rattler St. Mary’s University Student Newspaper



Securing Campus

Recent disturbances have students asking for cameras Page 6

Cramming for Finals

Students offer tips on how to survive finals week Page 16

Chevelle Backstage Pass An exclusive interview with drummer Sam Loeffler Page 22

Behind Closed Doors SGA presidential candidates cause controversy with election violations Page 3


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Police Blotter 4/16/09 Sick/injured person at the AT&T Center. EMS was refused and person released on own. 4/17/09 Minor in possession and disorderly conduct in Adele Hall. County citations issued and referred to Judicial Affairs. 4/19/09 Burglary of motor vehicle in Lot B. 4/22/09 Sick/injured person at the AACC. Lacerations to the face from a fall, Student Health Center provided treatment and student released 4/24/09 Disturbance in Financial Aid Office. Disruptive student escorted from facility. Referred to HR and Judicial Affairs Damaged property in the Pecan Grove. Truck backed over a light pole. 4/25/09 Damaged property in Lot R. Tires slashed. Disturbance in Lot H, uncooperative student. 4/27/09 Sick/injured person in Dougherty Hall. Student cut and bleeding. EMS was refused, transported to Student Health Center for further medical treatment.

Index News Commentary Features Entertainment Sports

2-6 7-11 12-18 19-23 24-28

Contact Us: 210-436-3401 (office) 210-431-3407 (fax) Cover design by Jaime Perez

Michelle Myers, a member of the San Antonio Gender Association and part of the Human Rights Campaign, speaks on her experience as a part of Breaking the Silence on Tuesday, April 14. The event focuses on maintaining rights for members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community. Photo by Analicia Perez

News in Brief New staff appointed for the coming school year The university has hired new staff for a variety of positions.

Pecan Grove Review’s release pushed back

Final blessing ceremony for seniors next Friday

The 2009 issue of the university literary magazine, The Pecan Grove Review, has been delayed and will not be published until fall. Technical problems with the printer have forced a delay of the publication.

Friday, May 8, 7:00 p.m. AACC Bill Greehey Arena The final blessings will be given to the graduating seniors in the Bill Greehey Arena. Baccalaureate Mass is a part of the long-standing traditions of the Catholic church, but all faiths are welcome for the prayers and blessings.

Tanuja Singh, Ph.D., has been appointed as dean of the Business School; Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., was chosen to be dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science and Rev. Rudy Vela, S.M., is now vice president for Mission and Identity.

Graduating seniors who were to be published are asked to e-mail Professor Diane Bertrand with a permanent mailing address so the issues can be mailed after publication.

Students planting trees in honor of soldiers

New strain of the flu virus found in San Antonio

Early voting began for Mayor and City Council

University of Incarnate Word students that are members of the Student Veterans Association will be participating in tree planting ceremonies with the Peace Tree Project of South Texas.

Two teenagers in the San Antonio area were found to have swine flu, a new virus that is a combination of the bird, human and pig strains of flu. The infection they had matches to the infection found in Mexico that has led to several deaths. The number of confirmed cases in the United States have risen to 20. The United States declared a public health emergency on Sunday, April 26.

Early voting by personal appearance for San Antonio Mayor and City Council members started on April 27 and will continue until May 5.

Source: Associated Press


The tree plantings will be in honor of fallen soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait. Source:

Submissions of poetry, short fiction and nonfiction for the 2010 issue can be submitted to Professor Bertrand at her office CT 412. For submission policies, please e-mail her at

Ring blessings for seniors will also be available that day at 6 p.m. in Treadaway’s Guadalupe Chapel.

The last day for a mail ballot application is May 1. Election day is May 9 and results will be shared May 14.



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SGA election results causes student dissension By Melody Mejia Senior Staff Writer

New student body officers may have been inaugurated earlier this week, but the widely-contested campaigns that produced them have ended with students challenging the results. Recalling the failed Bush v. Gore presidential election of 2000 the student elections officials–so far without public comment–disqualified the leading vice presidential candidate after she won more than 60 percent of the vote. In the meantime, opponents to presidential winner Tania Ramirez claimed she had overspent election code finance limits by producing campaign t-shirts at lower costs across the border in Mexico, bypassing Student Government Association (SGA) spending ceilings. Ramirez denied the claim, saying she was hardly the first to do so, and her position was effectively upheld by the elections committee, which declared her the winner late Thursday, April 23. But that declaration came only a week after candidates Gabriel

Hernandez and James Eades filed that charge and others in a 21page affidavit against Ramirez, the top vice presidential vote winner Amanda Osuna, candidate Vincent Astudillo and the SGA.

“I feel Tanya and I didn’t do anything wrong.” - Amanda Osuna, junior Criminal justice major and VP candidate Hernandez and Eades cited an array of violations of the elections code which they said harmed their campaign. The irony is that elections officials Thursday then effectively eliminated both Hernandez and Osuna from their election bids, then declared Eades vice president-elect, after he polled only 38 percent of the vote. They did so without public comment. Osuna said Sunday night that Interim Dean of Students and SGA advisor James Villareal told her she had been disqualified for three violations of the election code that

had nothing to do with the affidavit. Election authorities eliminated Osuna as vice president because she twice appeared in the University Center atrium, the site of voting, in violation of the campaign code. Osuna maintains that she had permission from student election officials both times to enter the atrium, but the student elections panel held otherwise. Election officials who made that determination could not be reached for comment, but Osuna said the decision confused her. “Out of the [three years] I’ve been here, I have never seen anyone be disqualified for these reasons,” she said. “That’s what kills me about this whole thing, I feel Tanya and I didn’t do anything wrong.” By Friday morning, April 24, a challenge sprang up literally overnight from Osuna supporters on Facebook. They lashed out at SGA authorities for failing to discuss the matter publicly, and urged Facebook users to express their disappointment to interim dean of student James Villareal and to join a protest they staged in the quad

Friday morning to add to a petition supporting the election of Osuna. Claudia Charbel, a junior majoring in English-communications arts, said Osuna supporters intend to force a re-vote “so that those who voted for Amanda can then again vote for Amanda and show their support and not just have six people [the student elections court] decide what 60 percent of the student body already decided.” Charbel derided the student elections committee for effectively declaring Eades to be vice president, with no public discussion until the 5 p.m. Thursday e-mailed declaration. That declaration, and the failure to articulate its reasons, forced challengers onto Facebook, she said. The declaration of Eades’s win without mention of Osuna’s election victory amounted to “a slap in the face,” said Charbel. “This is our first step,” she said. “Getting a petition and going about from that. That’s all we can do for right now. I have everyone I know trying.” Hernandez and Eades had allegedly reported an array of improprieties on the part of their

opponents and SGA, from overspending on campaign materials, to violating other sections of the election code. Though the complaint has been dismissed, whether the affidavit has any merit remains unclear, partly because student elections officials and the student body president James Escamia, refused to discuss them. Escamia said it’s up to the student elections committee to decide whether to discuss their findings publicly, and “as of now, there hasn’t been a consensus for that.” On the other hand, Escamia acknowledged that the elections code and the SGA constitution need revision, apparently because of issues arising from the election. “I certainly do feel that the information in our constitution has left loopholes that determined the election code needs to be revisited for next semester,” said Escamia. At the same time, Villareal said that the elimination of Osuna was decided by student election judges for reasons other than those cited in the affidavit, reasons which Villareal, too, would not disclose.

Student lands job on Wall Street despite recession

By Allison Hernandez Staff Writer As the economy sags and many stay in school to avoid job-hunting in a recession, one student survived the demise of former investment house Lehman Brothers to land a job in financial services, thanks partly to a group that supports students of color. Senior Ricky Diaz, who majors in corporate finance and risk management/financial services, scored a prime internship this past summer. From early June to late July of 2008, Diaz worked at Lehman Brothers, the now defunct major Wall Street company. The internship led to a job offer that he received before even walking the stage for commencement. The organization that played a large role in Diaz’s internship is Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains minority college students for summer internships that can result in full-time jobs in large firms specializing in banking and corporate law. Diaz served his internship at Lehman Brothers with fellow interns from Ivy League schools such as Princeton, Harvard and Yale- competition which Diaz said made

him want to work harder. “SEO finds talent where the banks don’t look for talent,” said Diaz. “So if I would’ve lost my chance with SEO, then I would have lost my chance because these firms don’t look for people in smaller schools.” Diaz said because his prior work experience had been only doing physical labor and working in retail, SEO provided him with intensive training before he began his internship. Diaz was given 72 hours of training online and then Lehman Brothers flew him to New York. He worked in Manhattan at Lehman Brothers’ headquarters in Times Square, where he received another week of more extensive training. That week of training ranged from the basics to more complicated finance, Diaz said. When training ended, because he was not licensed to trade, he gained experience by listening in on trade executions and learned about everyday transactions between sellers and buyers. Despite the training he received, Diaz still experienced a sense of excitement when he officially began. “When I first witnessed the high-pressure environment with Lehman Brothers and my own co-workers losing millions of dollars,

I started having doubts myself,” said Diaz. “But all that changed when I felt that I could really work hard and succeed in this field.” A week after his eight-week internship was up, Diaz was offered a position with Lehman Brothers. But when the company went bankrupt on Sept. 15, the job went, too. “I felt like I was on top of my game when I got the offer, but when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, I was scared for a couple of weeks–I was on cloud nine for a while, then I was back to reality.” Then, Barclays Capital reviewed Lehman Brothers’ original 33 interns, narrowed them down more and then offered jobs to a select few. Diaz starts work by the end of June as a capital markets first-year trading analyst and will then rotate around different trading desks until he finds a fit. He said he will begin with a yearly salary of $70,000 with a $15,000 relocation bonus and the potential for a year-end bonus. Even as Diaz saw his own hard work pay off, he recalls seeing the hard work of other interns go unnoticed or overlooked, and he realizes how fortunate he is to have had an internship opportunity that led to a job. Out of 92 interns at Lehman Brothers, three were SEO-sponsored. From that group

of 92 interns, 33 were subsequently offered a job, including two of the three SEOsponsored interns. Diaz could have waited to go into the field as an inexperienced college graduate, but he said that applying for the internship and having that extra experience made him more confident in this unstable economy. Diaz said the SEO internship program opened doors and afforded him opportunities to advance in banking. “People from Texas don’t always think they can make it on Wall Street, but I try and recruit and let people know that there is an opportunity out there,” said Diaz. “Since SEO opened the door for me, I want to continue to open doors for others.” Diaz is enjoying his last month of college life before he flies to London on June 28 to train at Barclays Capital headquarters for a month. He will then go back to Wall Street to begin work in the trading world. Pleased about his future, Diaz feels he has found the secrets to his success. “All it really takes to succeed is to have great personal skills and to be willing to learn and help yourself,” he said. “I never thought I’d be living in the Big Apple, but I love the city.”

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Make-A-Wish helps student meet Holy Father

By Lauren Sanchez Staff Writer

The end of the semester signals the coming of summer fun for most students, but for one student, it will be a chance to meet the pope. Alyssa Trevino, a freshman biology major from Harlingen, will visit the pope next month to fulfill a four-year-old wish she made at age 15 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On June 7, Trevino will leave for Rome with her family to meet Pope Benedict XVI and to see first-hand some of the sites of Rome, such as the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. Her audience with the pope, with a group of six other Make-A-Wishers, will come June 10. Trevino’s trip to see the pope is a milestone in a longer journey that at one point threatened her life. At birth, she was diagnosed with heart disease. Her introduction to the Make-A-Wish Foundation came through Sarah Clunie, a nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, whom she has known for the past nine years, as a result of her treatment. Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions who have reached the age of two and a half but are under the age of 18, according to its Web site. The organization says it has funded some 177,756 wishes, from traveling to exotic parts of the world, meeting a favorite celebrity, experiencing exciting career fields or receiving the gift of a shopping spree. “At first, I was really scared [to make a wish],” said Trevino. That may have been a holdover from a moment two years earlier when, at 13, her illness took a serious turn. “It got to a point when it was open heart surgery or transplant list,” she said. With the support of her parents and younger brother, she underwent open heart surgery, which proved to be successful. When Make-a-Wish later raised the possibility of granting a wish of her own, Trevino realized this was her chance to do something she might not otherwise achieve. That’s when Trevino wished to go to Rome to meet the pope, at the time John Paul II, whom she admired. “He was so special and everything he did

was for everyone else,” she said. “He didn’t care about himself. He would do everything for the children and the poor. He would do a lot for the youth because he always said the youth was the future.” Because John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, Trevino will now meet Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected April 19, 2005 by the papal conclave. Trevino is both excited and nervous about her meeting. “I think I’ll probably be really scared and I might cry, because it’s like meeting a celebrity,” she said. Trevino said her experience with her illness also moved her to major in biology. While she lived with heart disease as a child, she noticed that people treated her differently because they didn’t understand the illness or what she was going through. “Usually, I wouldn’t tell people,” she said, “because I want people to know me for who I am.” She said she hopes to use her biology major toward becoming a pediatric cardiologist, so that she may help similarlysituated kids through the things she went through herself. “I think it’ll be easier for a child to go through, once they’ve learned [their doctor has gone through the same thing],” she said. “Also I feel like that’s my purpose, because I really want to do it so bad…ever since I was little.” Trevino will meet the pope at the Vatican June 10 along with her family, who continue to stand with her through thick and thin. “It’s cool because I can be able to say they’ve gone through the same stuff I’ve gone through because they’ve always been there,” she said. Someone else who has always been there, she said, is her best friend since the age of seven, Esther Leal, a freshman music major. Leal recounts when she first met Trevino. “She started taking classes at my mom’s studio and I’d steal her from the back. We’d always play and run around the whole place–so she doesn’t really know how to play piano,” Leal added jokingly. When Leal learned that Trevino was going to see the pope she replied, “I was, like, that’s awesome. I know that’s been her dream since forever.”

Freshman biology major Alyssa Trevino will get the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict XVI this summer. Courtsey Wikimedia Commons



European study abroad program locations N

London, England

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Innsbruck, Austria

Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), Spain

Students have been able to study anywhere in the world, but these locations are the ones offered by St. Mary’s, and now fewer students signing up to study abroad since the economic down turn. Graphic illustration by Amanda Rodriguez

Economic crisis affects study abroad programs

By erica Leal Staff Writer

Study abroad programs at the university seem to be feeling the effects of the recession this year, with the number of applicants for one program dropping almost by half. According to Minita Santizo, director of international programs, the campus’ London study abroad program has taken a particularly hard hit. “We usually have 30 to 40 applicants every year and end up taking 20 students for the London program,” she said. “This year, we had 20 applicants and have 12 students going so far.” The Spain program usually draws 30 to 40 applicants as well, she said. This year, there were only 20. The good news, she said, is that 14 students have already signed up to go to Spain next spring (including one from the University of Dayton), which is about the same number as there are this year. “Luckily the Spain program can pick up [more] applicants in the fall,” said Santizo. “So we have more time to promote that program.” Numbers are also down for the Innsbruck, Austria, program. According to Associate professor Monica Parzinger, the program “had 40 people show interest, but

only seven are going so far.” “It might be because financial aid does not apply to this program as it does in the fall and spring programs,” said Parzinger. While only 20 students showed interest last summer, the program signed up 10–again, almost half as many as are going this year. The study abroad programs range over a variety of choices. The main programs are London in the fall, Spain in the spring and Innsbruck in the summer. Students can also choose to study independently nearly anywhere in the world. The London program costs $24,735; the Spain program, $22,000; and the Innsbruck program $8,840. The prices include most expenses: lodging, transportation, insurance and other benefits. Though such study programs can be expensive, the benefits almost always outweigh the costs, advisers say. “[What students] need to realize is that studying abroad is an investment and will benefit them in the long run,” said Santizo. Professor Richard Pressman, a former Spain program director, is even more emphatic about such programs’ importance. “Personally, I think studying abroad should be a requirement for everyone,” Pressman said. “It is a life-changing experience, and I have watched students grow and

gain a great amount of confidence. If students have the opportunity, they should take the chance now. It might not be available for them the next time.” According to Associate professor Camille Langston, director of the London program, the main reason students are not applying may be the state of the economy. “Many students are waiting to apply till 2010,” she said, while orientations are already underway for the fall program. Valeria Escobedo, a junior English major and past London study abroad student, agrees that the economic crisis plays a big role in fewer applicants as well, but she, too, is emphatic about the programs’ importance. “I would assume that many students would get very discouraged in trying to pursue looking for money when everyone is struggling to make ends meet,” she said. “Despite the struggle, this will be one of the greatest highlights of their college career, and definitely worth every drop of sweat.” To encourage students to sign up, past London program students are helping in recruiting efforts. Others have shown their work at London program information meetings and at the recent University Research exhibition, Langston said. Christine Duchouquette, a

junior English major, said her time in the program was exceptional. “The semester I chose to study abroad in London was the single most worthwhile decision I have made since I came to St. Mary’s,” Duchouquette said. “I had the opportunity to travel the world, meet new people, strengthen friendships and intern at a fostering and adoption charity. I have no regrets about the sticker price of the trip, nor the amount of money I spent while in London and traveling throughout Europe.” According to Santizo, the cost of the program depends on the number of students that are willing to participate. “The cost is figured on the amount of students,” Santizo said. “If the ideal number of students isn’t met, it is up to the university administration to decide whether to keep the program still going. We have had only one incident when a study abroad program was not able to go and that was the year 9/11 happened.” Linda Gonzalez, a sophomore international relations major, applied to the London program for the fall semester, but could not because money was short. “It was a tough decision for me to turn it down, but neither my parents nor I had the funds to participate,” Gonzalez said. “Maybe I can apply again, but it was really

just too expensive for my family and me right now. It’s just a shame that not all students have the opportunity due to financial issues.” Duchouquette urges students who may be hesitating to apply. “The best advice I can offer to students thinking about, or planning on, studying abroad is that it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Duchouquette said. “London and most of Europe is student-friendly, meaning many European cities offer discounts on food, entertainment and accommodation to students. Although the cost of the program makes many shy away from it, there is no better time to go than now.” At this point, all three programs–London, Spain, and Innsbruck–are going despite the variable numbers, Santizo said. “The more students that attend, the cheaper we can get the rates for the cost of the whole trip,” she said. “St. Mary’s students are complimented every year abroad. We never have problems, and it is important we give this rewarding opportunity to our students.” Students interested in the programs may contact the Office of International Education Programs for more information.


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Security cameras possibility for next school year

By Denice Hernandez Copy Editor

A series of car break-ins on campus left some students upset, the Student Government Association (SGA) asking for security cameras and administrators making efforts to address the issue. Some 17 car break-ins occurred on campus last semester, with seven of them all occurring on Nov. 19, according to the annual University Police incident report. Most of the break-ins, including two cases of property damage to vehicles, were located in the Outback parking lot O, with others along the northwest and northeast side of campus in lots F, D, G and T. Although only seven break-ins were reported this spring– five of them occurring in the month of February alone– it is double the number of break-ins from last year’s spring semester. Updates in the incident report show that there have been no attempts of vehicle break-ins since the middle of April. Among the semester’s victims of vehicle crime was SGA member Alexandra McCoy, who said her

car had been keyed from the front to back panel. Friends of hers had belongings stolen from their vehicles and tires slashed, she said. McCoy, chair of the SGA student development committee, was among those who have asked administrators to consider installing security cameras for residence parking lots as a way to improve campus safety. The proposal came after SGA research showed that about 60 percent of students surveyed thought there was adequate lighting on campus which made them feel safe walking at night. But half of all students also have vehicles on campus and when it comes to the break-ins, some are concerned. “We decided to come together because we recognized there was a problem that students were unhappy with,” said McCoy. “[We] would like to see better lighting in the Outback, more security on the Culebra side of the Outback and hopefully some cameras for the Outback and freshman halls.” Student Development Vice President Kathy Sisoian brought SGA’s concerns to a Board of Trustees

meeting in April and says she’ll get administrators to conduct a safety walk early in June instead of waiting until the fall. She also told SGA that once Founder’s Hall is complete there will be new efforts to assure the safety of students and their vehicles. Sisoian said the completion of the new residence hall should bring better lighting and, if needed, more will be considered. Rebeckah Day, vice president for administration and finance, said she is making sure that the campus safety committee determines what needs improvement after evaluating police incident reports and the amounts and types of claims made to insurance companies. It’s often difficult, Day added, to have an open campus that’s entirely safe. The safety committee is suggesting that students make sure to lock their vehicles and refrain from keeping personal belongings inside to prevent any temptation for burglary. At the safety committee meeting to be held April 30, Day said she’ll suggest a parking lot lighting evaluation.

Students hope there will be more signs and cameras, such as the one located by the bookstore, on campus next year. Photo by Robin Johnson Installation of security cameras would serve more as a means to track down suspects more easily and conclude at what times breakins and vehicle damage are more likely to happen, according to Day, but might not ultimately prevent these things from happening. Nevertheless, “Safety is one of our prominent concerns,” said Day. “And we are in the process of evaluating if additional

cameras would improve parking lots safety.” SGA President James Escamia said he is satisfied with the administration’s response. “I do feel that progress is being made,” said Escamia. “Students need to feel safe at all times on campus, especially when we are focusing on the progress of our education.”

End of year awards given By Ari Rivera News Editor The final awards for this school year have been given to a group of hardworking individuals. On Wednesday, April 15, the campus hosted Distinguished Leaders Night to celebrate students and staff that have worked hard and have been model leaders in their roles in the community. Awards given included Greek Man and Woman of the Year, RA of the Year and STARS of the Year. Other awards were given to the leaders in campus recreation, New Student Orientation, University Ministry and volunteers in the phonathon. The most prestigious and competitive honor was the Presidential Award. Every year graduating seniors apply to receive this honor and in the end only 14 are selected from the applicants.

Presidential Awards Congratulations to the winners of the Presidential Award for the 2008-2009 school year. Anna Alejos

Peter Houhoulis

Jon Erik “AJ“ Arjanen

Daniel McCarthy

Amanda Benavides

Laura Salas

Megan Freasier

Veronica Sosa

Frank Gonzalez

Ariel Vinas

Lance Gossen

Braxton Watson

Berta Gubi

Sarah Weynand

Source: Ari Rivera / The Rattler



Take steps, remember footprints Staff Editorial The Rattler

With graduation around the corner, many undergraduates will soon be “set free” into reality, whatever that may be for them. Hopefully these students will take a few memories with them to hold not only as memories of their years at St. Mary’s, but also as valuable reminders of lessons learned that can be applied for years to come. Hopefully, when they think of all of the people they have met, they will remember how beautiful diversity is and say hello to the stranger walking by them. They will remember pulling all-nighters in their room with a couple of Red Bulls and a blank screen on their computer and will be able to persevere through a

first year as an entry level professional. They will remember every single complaint they made about the university and will hopefully realize that there will always be little annoyances in life. They will remember the small classes they had and will think of all the stupid and wise things they heard their classmates say and will remember to appreciate other’s ideas, no matter how wacky they may be. They will remember each event, fundraiser or game they helped create and will remember to put their two cents in while working as a team. They will remember the journey of friendship with those who they thought they would never be friends with and will remember to make time and sacrifices for a buddy or two. They will remember each tree they planted, every piece of graffiti they

painted over and each hour they spent doing community service and will remember to never forget those who are waiting to be helped. They will remember every month they scrambled money together to buy lunch or to pay rent and will remember to be frugal even if they become insanely rich. They will think about the years they spent getting their degree and will hopefully feel well rounded and ambitious, rather than just prepared to jump into a career. Most importantly, they will picture some of their best professors, and some of their worst, and hopefully be inspired to use their knowledge to help others, rather than just focusing on their own lives forever. Good luck in your future, graduates. Continue to grow and hold your memories dear.

what they said

We have gone through a difficult period... it is now time to put it all behind us. Jacob Zuma

leader of the ANC party in South Africa after winning the general election. April 15.

The US seeks a new beginning with Cuba. President Barack Obama

speaking at the summit of the Americas about the US-Cuban relations.

We are very, very concerned. Thomas Abraham

World Health Organization spokesperson, explaining the seriousness of a mutation of swine flue that has killed 68 people in Mexico. Eleven cases have been reported in the United States, two of them in San Antonio.

Illustration/ Jaymee Baxley

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Mappa Mundi Invisible

BY ALFONSO DE LA TORRE Many of us have seen the poverty and violence in Africa, a continent ravaged also by AIDS, political corruption and authoritarianism. Yet, few are aware of the children in Northern Uganda, a nation that was successful in controlling the AIDS epidemic but has nevertheless been taken hostage by the brutality of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a Christian terrorist organization. Indeed, while pictures of starving children in Mali are circulating around the Internet and videos of the genocide in Rwanda can be easily found on YouTube, few know about the tragedy involving the children abducted by the LRA- children who are younger than any of our undergraduate students and are forced to kill dozens of people. The conflict in Uganda has been taking place since the beginning of 1987, with the LRA displacing more than a million people from their homes. Concretely, the LRA seeks to establish a government “based on the ten commandments” and claims inspiration from the Holy Spirit as the justification for its existence. Just last December, after attempts to reach peace talks with the Ugandan government failed, the LRA attacked a Catholic Church in Northern Congo and killed 45 people, chopping them into pieces and spreading them throughout the church. This attack, which took place on Dec. 28 of last year, was part of the denominated ‘Christmas massacres,’ which included the killing of almost 500 people, most of them Catholic, on Christmas day. The conflict in Uganda has gotten media attention since 2004 when it was revealed that the children in Northern Uganda were being abducted and used as soldiers, trained and forced to kill in order to avoid being killed themselves. The brutality with which some of these children can act is truly astonishing and, at the same time, heart-breaking. Yet, these children are invisible for many reasons. They are invisible because their own army denies its existence. They are invisible because there are no statistics or records of their existence. But more importantly, they are invisible because most of us have chosen not to see, closing our eyes to their tragedy. For a Western world greatly concerned with radical Islam, we seem to forget that fundamentalism can be as strong and vicious in practically any faith tradition. We will find ourselves twisting the message and virtues founded from faith into something that impoverishes any sense a moral responsibility. The story of the LRA and its coward use of children, a story largely neglected by those whose eyes are only fixated on the Middle East, is a tragic example of this principle.

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The Rattler Letters to the Editor Editor-in-Chief Sarah Mills Managing Editor Christine Le Layout/Design Manager Amanda Rodriguez Copy Editor Denice Hernandez News Editor Ari Rivera Commentary Editor Lorna Cruz Features Editor Jaime Perez Entertainment Editor Stephanie Sanders Sports Editor Chris Filoteo Photo Editor Robin Johnson Assistant Photo Editor Analicia Perez Advertising Manager Kimberly Vela Assistant Ad Manager Katie O’Donnell Writing Coach Kimberly Vela Faculty Adviser Brother Dennis Bautista, S.M., Ph.D. Standards The Rattler upholds the Mission Statements of St. Mary’s University. The publication follows the Canons of Responsible Journalism, the Associated Press Stylebook and the Student Publication Policy. The Rattler is a member of the Associate Collegiate Press, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Contact Us The Rattler St. Mary’s University One Camino Santa Maria Box 83 San Antonio, TX 78228 210-436-3401 / 210-431-4307 (fax)

Letters to the Editor Policy The Rattler welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should not exceed 500 words and must include writer’s name, classification, major and telephone number. Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length, grammar, spelling and content. Letters may be delivered to Room 258 in the University Center, faxed to (210) 431-4307, mailed to The Rattler, St. Mary’s University, One Camino Santa Maria, Box 83, San Antonio, TX 78228, or e-mailed to rattlernews@ For more information, call the newsroom at (210) 436-3401.

Student presents new facts to Benita Veliz article, suggests different approach I read Alfonso de la Torre’s commentary printed on April 8 regarding the potential deportation of Benita Veliz. As a student of world political and legal affairs, I would like to present additional facts regarding this matter. Mr. de la Torre made a very passionate argument on behalf of Ms. Veliz, who came to the United States with her family when she was eight years old. According to the commentary, Ms. Veliz has never been classified as a legal resident and now faces deportation. However, there were many factual inaccuracies in Mr. de la Torre’s argument that are worth bringing to light. Mr. de la Torre suggested that Ms. Veliz “inherited status as an undocumented citizen,” and that her choice to believe in the spirit of the U.S. Constitution classifies her as an “undocumented citizen” rather than an illegal alien. Though Ms. Veliz was moved to America by her family as a child, she has no inherent rights to citizenship or legal residency, nor is “undocumented citizen” a real status. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allows only three categories of residential status: U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, and illegal alien. Ms. Veliz falls under the final category, despite her longstanding history in the community and her contributions to society. According to the U.S. Code, Title 8, Subsection 1302 (8 USC 1302), immigrants aged 14 or older who have not been registered under the Alien Registration Act and who will remain in the U.S. for 30 days or longer must apply for registration (e.g. become documented). Since the age of 14, Ms. Veliz has actually been in violation of American immigration laws and is therefore seen as a person breaking federal law. Though she may not have

harmed others, as Mr. de la Torre asserted, ICE does consider illegal immigration to be a major crime, especially in our post-9/11 world. The fact is, Ms. Veliz is in violation of immigration law and therefore liable for the associated penalties, including deportation. I am not a monster. I understand that Ms. Veliz is in a tough position. No person wants to be forcibly removed from the community he/ she calls home, and I certainly do not wish that on anyone. However, Mr. de la Torre’s emotionbased plea will not change things. What our law says today is that Ms. Veliz has committed a crime and must leave the U.S. We cannot ethically pick and choose when to enforce our laws and when to look the other way. But we can try to change these laws if we disagree with them. The laws of today do not have to be the laws of tomorrow. Ms. Veliz can investigate her options to secure legal American residency in the future. The rest of us can take action, too. I urge everyone to become informed, vote, write to your elected officials, get involved in associations and political movements and empower yourselves to create change.

oppose President Obama’s tolerance of abortion. However, in the process he equates “respect for the dignity of human life” with the abortion question alone—something that the Catholic Church itself does not do. If one supports the prosecution of adventurous wars, continues to use the death penalty (more than any other industrial society), and refuses to provide universal health care (thereby allowing thousands to die), but opposes abortion alone, does that make one a respecter of human life? The PPC is guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church and is required to have at least one representative from University Ministry on its staff. In fact, it presently has two. Like the Catholic Church, the PPC is concerned about all facets of the dignity of human life, not just one.

Christopher Stevenson International relations graduate student

Congratulations to Sean Stilson for the courageous and well-written article in the April 8 issue of The Rattler concerning the lack of life issues in the President’s Peace Commission presentations this semester. I, too, am very disappointed that such important issues basic to Catholic Christian identity were not presented in a university that claims to have a Catholic/ Marianist identity. Surely, they should have a place in any peace and justice discussion. I hope that more of these types of articles will be published in future Rattler editions.

President’s Peace Commission looks into all aspects of human dignity, not just abortion I am happy to see that The Rattler, in the person of Sean Stilson (4/08/09), is paying such close attention to what the President’s Peace Commission does. We need more people like him to take seriously the sessions of the most-attended non-sports programs of St. Mary’s University. Mr. Stilson expresses a concern that the PPC is not Catholic enough because it does not

Richard S. Pressman, Ph.D. President’s Peace Commission Not enough ‘life’ issues present at the President’s Peace Commission, Chaplain agrees

Bro. Paul Metzger, Ph.D. Chaplain, Greehey School of Business

Skin color and nationality, two different aspects

“Race: White, Latino/Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Black, Asian or Other.” We have all had to fill out forms like these, Lorna maybe even Cruz with more options available, such as “Caucasian” or “European.” This has always bothered me profoundly. Instead of making these different classifications clearer, they only confuse people even further and merge two forms of classification that should, in my

opinion, be kept separate: skin color and nationality. When filling out these sorts of forms, I would like to bubble in both “white” and “Latino/Hispanic” because I am, in fact, of white skin color and was born in Honduras. One’s nationality and one’s skin color usually do not have much of a significant correlation, especially in such a globalizing world, where there are so many cross-cultural marriages. Have you ever met a tall, fairskinned, green-eyed individual and later found out that they were from a place in South America? Or a short, dark-haired, darker-

skinned person and found out that they were from Italy? If not, let me tell you it happens quite often. This is because, again, the fact that you were born somewhere does not mean that you are of certain physical characteristics. Take Latin America as an example–we have both the Spanish influence and the earlier indigenous tribes that merged together, which is why you can find short, darker-skinned Bolivians or tall, green-eyed Cubans. The same goes with dark-skinned French or light-skinned South Africans. This is why mixing classifications of skin color (white or black)

where people are from Latino, Pacific Islander or Asian backgrounds defeats the purpose of having these classification systems. Many of the options overlap. By having them all together, there is not a true picture reflected by the statistics. Call me rebellious, but I have always been tempted to mark “Other” and write “Human” as my race. Maybe next time I will. After all, they are not classifying me appropriately anyway.



The Rattler 9

Procrastination lowers grades, not Facebook

I’m going to take you on a journey. This is a journey to a world of fantastic reports, sensational studies and astoundKenneth Howell ing conclusions. This is a world that exists in the headlines of news stories you see every day. This is a world that produced one particular headline attached to one particular study that has broad implications for a very important part of your day– visiting Facebook. Yes, Facebook–did you check yours today? Get a friend request? Maybe you were assaulted by dozens of quiz results you really have no interest in? Good times, good times. You might not be aware of a recent study of 219 Ohio State University students that found Facebook users have lower GPAs by 0.5 points and spend 10 less hours studying than their astute and productive non-Facebook using friends. I bet you had no idea the amount of pain you were inflicting

on your future by using Facebook. It looks so innocent and fun. What a terrible trap we’ve wandered into, woe is me, and so on and so forth. What strikes me most about this study is the media reaction. Ignoring the old adage that correlation does not imply causation, this study exploded onto every internet news site I wandered onto, badgering me with headlines about how my use of Facebook is connected to statistically lower grades. I would click away in shame and horror only to find myself looking at another headline wagging its long finger at me and clicking its tongue in a “tut, tut, tut” noise. If we can escape our mutual shame for a moment, let’s look at this correlation closely. First and most obviously I must repeat that correlation does not imply causation. The statistical attachment of Facebook use to a general impact on grades is not indicative of a particular fault on the part of Facebook. For example, I think something you and I might share is a finely honed capability to procrastinate.

The fact that Facebook is an outlet for procrastination does not change the fact it is my procrastination that is causing the real problem. I certainly do not need Facebook to practice my procrastination skills, as there is any number of things I can do to avoid work. I firmly believe that Facebook is an excellent tool to develop networking skills. Though you might use your Facebook now to send your friend some “flair” or comment on a picture, these are social skills that are best taught by personally going through the process of, obviously, socialization. Sites like Facebook and MySpace are termed “social networking” sites for a reason. They are informal tools for individuals to connect and interact with one another. The study, though interesting, should not have been used by media outlets so concretely to broadly implicate Facebook users. The actions of a person are largely driven by personality traits that are not necessarily attached to the existence of Facebook. Additionally, positive traits exist in the day-to-day use of

A recent study showed that Facebook users have lower GPAs.

Facebook that might not be so obvious, even to someone who is using Facebook. Now, with that in mind, go Facebook in peace my

brothers and sisters. Well, do some work too if you have to.

Senior Commentary It’s over. My last press weekend of my undergraduate career is coming to an end. Over 30 of my valuable weekends have been devoted to this campus’ student newspaper. I know, I have no life. The truth is, Kimberly Vela though, I don’t know what else I would have done on those days. Looking around, I realize I am the last one standing. I am the last member of the editorial board who fondly remembers the Francisco Era; the last member to remember when the newspaper looked antiquated instead of hip. The Rattler and I have been through some tough times. In my short career, I’ve seen over 20 people occupying the Macintosh computers around me; three of them quit unexpectedly, three of them I politely let go, and one of them disappeared suspiciously. The Rattler frames every story I tell from my undergraduate years. Once, I was locked

out of my room in Treadaway Hall in a towel, no RA in sight. Where did I have to be? The Rattler. The only time I’ve ever been called a nasty five-letter word to my face? When I worked at The Rattler. With all the stress I’ve endured for this rag, I’m surprised I don’t have any ulcers. Why, then, have I stayed on staff so long? I am a journalism junkie, and I am not ashamed. While most people will tell you they joined the newspaper either because of its social or résumé benefits, my reasons expand well beyond these realms. Friends have come and gone from the staff, yet I remain. And as far as a résumé, I’m not even pursuing a career in communication. Awesome. The philosophy, the battle cry, of journalists around the world is what has me hooked. What other field acts as a watchdog and a platform for the people? Journalists are able to inform the masses, congratulate leaders, spotlight individuals and critique institutions. On a personal level, the thrill of pursuing

a story or igniting a story idea can be experienced only through journalism. The entire process is fulfilling: crafting the idea, following leads, interviewing community members and piecing together a developed story. Each step allows a new way to zeroin on the emotions, intentions, plans and thoughts of people. Our student newspaper also allows for the growth of individuals and of the community. We publish stories and photos from new and seasoned writers and photographers; we enable previously unheard students to have a voice on campus. The Rattler will always need students, but the reality is, students need The Rattler. I’ve seen students transform before my eyes as they developed voices for themselves through writing. Words cannot describe the pride that emanates from students who experience seeing their own words in print. Through the newspaper, students learn how to break out of their shells, how to communicate through words and photos and how to interact with our administrators and faculty

without intimidation. Staff are not the only people who benefit from the paper. Readers often clip out stories about their organization and express gratitude to see their quotes and photos in blackand-white. For the past four years, I have contemplated what I would write in my senior column. At the moment, I can’t think of any eloquent words of wisdom to share. All I can say is this: whatever your passion may be, pursue it because even at its worst, it will be what gets you through the day. Thank you, The Rattler newspaper; you have done more for me than even I understand. To all the staffers and editors past and present, thank you for enriching my life; to everyone I ever interviewed, thank you for taking the time to let me learn about you. For every past deadline, misattributed byline, scrutinized pica, crashed server, disgruntled letter and exhausted late night, I have learned something. What more could I have asked for?


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Auto companies abide by government impositions Our central government in Washington is no longer just spouting populist rhetoric. Rather, they have taken their intimidation tacMax tics to the next levSokoloff el in a despicable show of power. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, after 31 years of service with the company, has been forced to relinquish control of the firm by President Barack Obama’s administration. In addition to demanding his removal, the central planners have also mandated that GM has 60 days to magically become solvent, or declare bankruptcy. However, I am a little confused on this. The administration said that in order to receive more bailout money, Wagoner had to go. But if GM files for bankruptcy, should it not need any more bailout money? So where does all of this leave the common stockholders of GM? Last time I checked, it is the shareholders who decide who will be on the board of directors. What is going to happen to the bondholders

and preferred stockholders when GM goes into bankruptcy? Will the government bend the rule of law and go to the front of the line? Chrysler, another recipient of government control money, has also been informed by our central planners that it must merge with Italian auto maker Fiat. I am sure that the career bureaucrats in Washington have plenty of experience with mergers and acquisitions. It is unprecedented for our government to mandate a merger between two United States firms, much less one with a foreign firm. Washington is now setting industrial policy and is relying on the U.S. taxpayer to prop up this dangerous experiment. This type of government behavior is something we should all be apprehensive of. In addition to interference by the central government in the free markets, the state bureaucracies are getting involved as well. The Peoples State of New York just recently announced a new “millionaires” tax. Brilliantly named, this tax is aimed at individuals making $300,000 or more. And I thought that raising taxes in a recession was mortal error.

River City Update A look at mayoral candidates BY CHRIS CHILDREE No one in San Antonio can say that they will be proud to move on to a new mayor when the glorious four years of the Phil Hardberger administration comes to an end. Hardberger may, in fact, go down as the greatest mayor this city has ever had. With elections every two years, limiting this mayor’s effective policies makes no sense. We should be able to keep him, or any other effective leader, in office until they begin to lose their effectiveness. Following this election, it will be permissible. It’s just too bad that arguably our best mayor will be the last to face the two-term limit. The main four begging for your vote on Election Day will try to make you believe they can do an even better job than our current mayor. I don’t believe it. All of these candidates are the opposite of Hardberger: polarizing figures whose ability to get the job done will be hindered by their detractors.

Moody’s, a financial ratings firm, recently downgraded the credit ratings for all U.S. municipalities. This means that the ability of cities to service their debt payments is in question. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in an effort to prop up reckless spending at the municipal level, recently called for legislation to encourage this bad behavior. Chairman Frank proposed the creation of an Federal Deposit Insurance Corporationtype institution to insure the debt of these mismanaged cities. I was recently reading through the historical New York Times and was struck by the similarities between the early 1930s and today. The articles I came across one after another were of the government trying different solutions to “fix” the economy or legislation being rushed through Congress in an effort to “stop the bleeding.” The articles covered issues about taxes being raised, companies being propped up, massive government spending and different people objecting. Even then, those who were objecting were given only one line or so in the column. So, where does all of this leave

General Motor’s CEO was forced to step back from his position. Source: WikiMedia Commons us? Given the events of the past few weeks, I fear that we are heading toward a very precarious ledge. Perhaps the initial problem was in the financial sector,

Diane Cibrian, one of the two current councilwomen in the race, is hated by many in the city, including anti-toll road activists who state that she has flipped and flopped her position on the issue of toll roads. They dislike her so much that they have begun a campaign to recall her from her city council seat and highlighted a free trip to Cancun she accepted from a developer. Of course, she dismisses all these charges and states that she will run the mayor’s office like Hardberger. Upon visiting her campaign Web site, an annoying advertisement floated across the screen. Once I eliminated this aggravation, I saw two articles upfront that blatantly attacked her opponent Trish DeBerry-Mejia rather than state her own plans for the city, which can be found after another link is clicked. Once I clicked this link, that annoying advertisement floater returned. It did not stop me. I read the issues and ideas laid out and they were as simplistic as possible. It seemed as though little time and effort was put into this main source for information about the campaign. If she is elected, I hope that is not the way she will run the city. Sheila McNeal, the other councilwoman, appears to be a joke candidate. She literally entered the race in the last hour and her campaign “priorities” are listed on her Web site as three measly sentences devoid of substance. Like Cibrian, she is also involved in misdeeds. At the taxpayer’s expense she had graffiti removed from her fence in her

but government meddling has exacerbated the problem to the point where, sooner or later, it will affect everyone.

“Sunrise” residence by city workers, while neighbors were left to paint over the graffiti on their fences at their own expense. I do not consider her to be a serious candidate. The two remaining candidates, former councilman Julian Castro and businesswoman Trish DeBerry-Mejia seem to be the only two in the race without ethics issues. Both have very informative Web sites that clearly explain their positions on the issues and include blogs that reflect information about the campaign. However, the race between the two seems to be a partisan battle in a non-partisan election. While both candidates want to increase jobs, revitalize infrastructure and bolster the police and fire departments, a big difference between the two is the question of unions: DeBerry-Mejia tends to oppose organized workers while Castro generally supports it. It’s a difference that has been a point of disagreement between liberals and conservatives for over a hundred years. These labels affixed to either may insert partisanship into the mayoralty and judging by federal and state government, this is not a good thing. I’ll leave it up to the voters to decide, I won’t make an endorsement. If you vote, please make an informed choice. While our next mayor will probably be a downgrade from Hardberger, we deserve the best of the available especially since this individual will face a tough road in regard to the financial crisis.



President shamefully “looks forward”

From the very beginning, I supported President Barack Obama as a foreign observer of the electoral process. Among other aspects of change, I wanted him to Alvaro take another route with Zapatel the government’s policies towards Guantanamo and its prisoners. The president-elect, at that time, confidently said he would close the prison. A feeling of vindication invaded me. After all, we all are humans and deserve a humane treatment despite our actions, right? Yet, I was not right. Last week, the CIA declassified important documents regarding the tortures that several agents committed to “soften” the prisoners’ endurance. Stressful situations like impeding the prisoners to sleep for 11 days and exposing them to insects or other phobias were some of the “scientific methods” the agents used. President Obama addressed the issue with a nice euphemism, saying that this was a time “of reflection, not retribution.” In other words, he wanted to “look forward, and forget past problems.” Where is Obama’s coherence? The advocates of these actions argue that there is a judicial justification–which is a clever use of words and terminologies–and dismiss

the agents’ responsibility in the problem. Truth be told, the defense these advocates make is very “third-world-like.” These excuses are the same excuses from some people in South American countries, like Peru or Chile, who disregard human rights abuses, arguing that “there always were orders from above.” I am neither a lawyer nor a soldier, but there is always a limit to actions. It is true that there is a chain of command in the military and that a soldier must follow the orders from their superiors. Yet, a soldier is not a zombie. A soldier has critical thinking and knows the limits between what is legitimate and what is not. Indeed, torture is not a legitimate method for a legal war–if there is such a term. Obama said that “at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.” Certainly, that is a shameful comment. How can a democrat–in the pure sense of the word, not the partisan affiliation– say that? If he wants to know what we can gain, I can tell him that we can gain a lot: the reinforcement of our human rights, the ratification of the idea that “not everything goes on the war against terror,” the respect towards the rule of law and the recognition of U.S. legitimacy worldwide. In actuality, there is a lot to win and it is not a waste of time.

What kind of moral authority or legitimacy can exist if the government covers up these crimes? Two weeks ago the Peruvian judiciary–a third-world, stillweak system–showed a great deal of independence, institutional operation and respect for the rule of law condemning former president Alberto Kenya Fujimori for crimes against human rights. As the head of the chain of command, Fujimori ordered the creation of a death squad that was allowed to torture, kidnap and kill any “suspect” in the war against terror in that country. Hence, there will always be people accountable for these abuses. If Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States, says that it would be unfair to judge the CIA agents, what about those who were the intellectual authors of these tortures? There must be a respect for human rights, above all. If this basic premise is not followed, we will be exposed to a system that is capable of doing whatever it takes to preserve “freedom” and “democracy.” Mr. Obama, I don’t think that anything would be gained if someone from your family suffered from those treatments and demanded compensation. At least dignity would be gained and that is enough for anyone here in the United States, Iraq or any other part of the world. Democracy and freedom start there and, as a democrat, you should know that.

Baha’i faith experiences persecution

By Peggah Hemmat Staff writer

Baha’u’llah in Persia founded the Baha’i faith in the midnineteenth century. The faith grew out of Iran with the exile of Baha’u’llah to various places in the Ottoman Empire including Baghdad, Constantinople, and finally Akka in modern day Israel. Baha’is have since spread all across the world and the faith is now the second-most widespread religion on Earth. Baha’is view Baha’u’llah as the most recent in a line of Prophets, or manifestations of God stretching through time, that include Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, and Moses. Baha’u’llah taught the unity of God, of religion and of mankind and is the religious teacher for the modern age. Within Islam, Muhammad is viewed as the Seal of the Prophets. For many Muslims this means that any person claiming to be a prophet is heresy. In many Islamic countries Baha’is are persecuted for their beliefs, especially in Iran, the country of the faith’s birth. The Egyptian Court ruled that Baha’is are not allowed to have a national identity card. These cards require one to sign their religion as one of the three officially recognized by the

“Because they cannot receive national identity cards, Bahai’is are unable to receive regular citizenship rights such as education or healthcare.” - Peggah Hemmat state: Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Because they cannot receive national identity cards, Baha’is are unable to receive regular citizenship rights such as education or healthcare. Recently a reporter claimed that a Baha’i is an apostate and should be killed. This has raised a heightened hate towards the Baha’is and has forced them to flee their homes, which they were ordered not to return to by the police. People are acting in such behavior because they don’t truly understand what the Baha’i faith really is. It is frustrating that countries would do this to a peaceful religion, but in the Baha’i writings we are told that this is part of God’s plan. As world citizens we need to fight for the rights of the Baha’i members that are not as lucky as we are to have such religious freedom.

The Rattler 11

letters from the


of reason

Comfort Zones BY CRISTINA GONZALEZ I am a girl in a wheelchair, not so much fashion-conscious as fashion-sensible. As a general rule, short skirts and I do not get along at all. There’s just too much public embarrassment at risk for me! Recently, however, I began to wonder if maybe my reluctance towards wearing skirts that sit a bit above the knee was really as bad as I thought. Summing up the courage, I pulled on the shortest denim skirts I owned and paired it with a set of tights and a favorite shirt. The results of this little experiment were mixed. I looked and felt ridiculous, but the experience didn’t kill me. I was even able to ignore my self-consciousness for a few moments at a time. It has been a long and tired cliché that life is short, but the truth is exactly that. Life is short and fast-paced; making the most of it requires a little effort. Opportunity might knock, but you also have to be willing to go outside and look for it. You have to put yourself in the world if you want to make a difference in it. Oftentimes, that means stepping well outside of your personal comfort zone. I will be the one of the first to admit that this is far easier said than done. We create and keep comfort zones to feel safe and secure in the world. They help us keep equilibrium when things around us seem terribly out of place. They are good things, comfort zones, but if you prevent yourself from ever leaving it, who knows how many rewarding experiences you might miss? How many of us would have a fulfilling relationship or career if we constantly refused to take that chance of stepping out and presenting ourselves as we completely are to the world? My friends, in this final piece before we part for summer, I offer up a challenge: take a huge step outside of your comfort zone. Keep no reservations, save those for restaurants and hotel rooms. Try something new. Go out for that job you’ve always wanted or finally ask your crush out on a date if they’re single. Even if the experience doesn’t go the way you like, your crush says no, if you don’t get the job, or even if you find you look ridiculous in a new outfit; don’t give up or run straight back to the comfort zone. I promise you will learn something from the experience and about yourself–and that, above all else, is a reward in itself.


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04.29.09 Accessories that will make your room too cool for school

Retro-inspired multi-headed bedroom lamp For only $25, this chic lamp from Linens n’ Things will not only bring light to your room, it will add mood and a relaxing ambiance to your work space. It is great for evenings focused on reading and homework, or just chilling out to some groovy music.

Handcrafted artwork For a bit of individuality, invest in a piece of abstract art. Though this piece was bought in Tokyo for $60, you can purchase your own funky art at local dealer shops in your neighborhood.

Cooling off in comfort, style By Jaime Perez Features Editor As the summer heat slowly approaches, students are looking for new ways to stay cool. What better way to do so then starting with your own room? Freshman biochemistry major Vince Ancona, a Dougherty Hall resident has transformed his own sanctuary with a few simple accessories and said that no matter what time of the year it is, a comfortable and organized room is always important. “It looks exactly like my room back home. I just need a place where I can spread my books on the floor or invite people over without having them step over my clothes,” Ancona said.

To make his room a relaxing space to beat the heat, Ancona has tried to infuse his room with neutral colors. From the art piece he purchased from Tokyo, Japan, to the posters of his favorite bands and televisions shows, he has tried to make his space both calm and inviting. “I needed a place to hang out, and how fun is it to see white walls every day?” Ancona said. “I like the different colors coming together that don’t really overpower a person with how flashy it is.” However, according to Ancona, the greatest advice he can give other students who want to have a room to “chill in” is to stay organized and clean. “It’s really an easy way to have your room looking nice. I use bins to keep organized, but I also try to pick up after myself every day.”

Flat screen television What’s a dorm room without a TV? Many flat screens can run up to $1000, but this Visio Plasma Television was purchased for only $400. The purchase price is worth it for a couple of hours out of the sun. Photos by Robin Johnson

CULTURE CALENDAR Identifying Genes

April 30 - May 13 Witte Museum

Discover what it takes to be a world changing geneticist as you locate and identify genes from human bodies for a night of fascinating scientific knowledge with John Blangero, Ph.D.

San Antonio Calligraphy Guild Exhibit

April 5 - May 26 Los Patios

The San Antonio Calligraphy Guild invites the community to display and sell their own calligraphic art to the surrounding public.

Conception/ Realization: James Hetherington Recent Works

April 17 - May 16 Bihl Haus Arts

Explore James Hetherington’s use of steel and aluminum in his twodimensional works.

The Dinosaur Musical

A German Evening

April 28 - May 30 The Magik Theatre

May 1 - May 2 Majestic Theatre

Travel back in time to the Cretaceous period, the time of the dinosaurs as the herbivores and carnivores work together to fight extinction in this pre-historic musical comedy fit for audiences of all ages.

Conductor Sebastian LangLessing and the San Antonio Symphony invites San Antonio for a night of European culture with an enchanting night of Germanic masterworks.



The St. Mary’s University Marian Guard simulates an urban operations mission to provide valuable experience in preparation for a future in the the army. Photo by Analica Perez

Simulation trains soldiers

By Christine Le Managing Editor

Armed with M-16 A2s and a mission to conduct a cordon and search of an industrial building in order to capture highvalue targets, the ROTC cadets carried out a simulation in an attempt to obtain valuable experience working in a contemporary operating environment. At 1900 hours on April 24, the St. Mary’s University Marian Guard conducted the simulated urban operation on the campus grounds. The Marian Guard, a special unit and extension of the ROTC’s basic curriculum, is a means for students participating in the ROTC program to learn ranger-type tactics in order to better develop themselves as combat officers. “We follow in the tradition of fostering the education and training of our cadets,” said Capt. Michael Martinez, assistant professor of military science and Marian Guard advisor. “Marian Guard is an outlet for these students to practice their infantry tactics and leadership abilities which, in turn, shapes them into more desirable candidates in their pursuit to obtain commission.” Marian Guard first sergeant and junior international relations major Kristopher

Levy, who helped in the development of the program and the simulation, which took place last Friday evening, emphasized the importance for him and his peers to receive the first-hand experience of dealing with urban operations. “It sets you apart from those who participate in the regular ROTC curriculum,” explained Levy, who is expected to take on the role of commanding officer of the Marian Guard next semester. “The goal is to get the cadets better prepared for their training for the Leadership Development Assessment Course as well as for when they actually enter the army.” For freshman physics and math major John Korban, an MS1 in the army ROTC and member of the Marian Guard, he recognizes how he is “getting an immense amount of preparation being a part of this program,” which is something he knows he can learn from and use to his advantage. Commenting on the efforts displayed by the Marian Guard, Martinez is “proud to be working with these men and women who will be serving this country” and believes his contribution to their training is wellworth the time spent as their advisor. “I hope that they get a lot of value from this experience,” said Martinez. “It’s an honor to be working with them.”

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14 The Rattler


Students embrace Earth Day Group educates about world issues, gives volunteers opportunity to spend night in cardboard box By Lorna Cruz Commentary Editor The International Relations Society held two big events in celebration of Earth Day on April 22: the Human Rights Bazaar and Box City. The idea behind both events was to raise awareness about various issues that the world is facing, from global issues to those in San Antonio. With help from the Congress of International Students and other advocacy organizations, the bazaar was held in the Quad with each organization focusing on an issue or human right that they wanted to create awareness about. The organizations, which included Black Student Union, Amnesty International and Phi Beta Delta, each had a table set up with information and flyers on their issue of choice for people to read. Some of the organizations had petitions available to sign, visual displays of statistics associated with their issue, crafty magnets, bookmarks and other items with messages of peace in order to raise funds for the organizations. The rights and issues addressed ranged from the world food crisis to state-less refugees and the rights of indigenous people. Freshman engineering management major Sofie Hepburn said that she enjoyed the Human Rights Bazaar. “The bigger and better-publicized it can get, the more students would attend and join the causes,” she said. As the day progressed, the displays received a lot of interested students and faculty who left with a little more awareness.

“This is what college is about, presenting students with information and making them aware so that they can then be active and do something about it,” said graduate student Jennifer Butler, president of the International Relations Society. In the evening, Box City, Earth Day’s second event was held in Chaminade Field. At 7 p.m., dozens of donated cardboard boxes were unloaded and students began building their own cardboard box houses. The one policy that the organizers asked attendees to respect was not to bring any cell phones, laptops or other items that were considered “luxuries” or “commodities.” Graduate student Philippe Nassif, a member of the International Relations Society and one of the organizers behind Box City, said that they had estimated an hour for building the houses, but that it actually took more than two hours to build them, partially because the wind kept blowing them away. After night classes and evening jobs, more and more people joined the event for story sharing and bonding. “It was quite the experience, finding out what it’s like to not have a ceiling over your head,” said Nassif. There were a total of about 15 to 20 people toward the end of the night and they slept, each in their own cardboard house, until about 6:30 a.m.

Top Left: Freshman marketing major Patricia Terrazas, sophomore political science and speech communications major Denise Barrera and sophomore sociology and undecided business major Fernando Armendariz get comfortable in their new home. Bottom Right: An exhibit at the Human Rights Bazaar discusses the importance of creating safe living environments in countries that have failed to remove dangers such as land mines remaining from wars past.


The Rattler 15 Top Left: Senior biochemistry major Gabriel Hernandez goes retro by adding a disco ball to his make-shift home for the night. Top Right: Students learn about the effects of the economic crises on food prices worldwide at the Human Rights Bazaar. Bottom: Gathering the final scraps of cardboard, the newest residents of Box City work together to create their new home.

Photos by Analicia Perez Graphic Illustration by Amanda Rodriguez


16 The Rattler

The lighter side of... Newspaper Memories BY JAIME PEREZ As the end of the year steadily approaches, it is time for the sappy rambles of a sad newspaper dude. Usually, for those who have experienced this strange journey of deadlines and press weekends, we reminisce at all the times we laughed, cried and fought in this small room. It was no different for me. For hours on end, I have pulled my hair and complained non-stop, much to the annoyance of my best newspaper pals and section editors, about articles turned in late. I have goofed off, much to the anger of the best newspaper editor in the world, and have been badly bruised by plastic Easter eggs pelted toward my direction. I have, occasionally, stayed on task and impressed myself with the ingenuity of my newspaper page designs– only to feel embarrassed later for thinking they were any good in the first place. I have stayed late, many times until two in the morning, finishing articles or having my face two inches from the screen, trying to figure out if the picture is exactly one pica away from a story or article. I have participated in a team of students, all deceptively different in appearance, yet remarkably alike in craziness, in order to accomplish a single goal. I have heard the criticism and the praises of a paper that has been the result of sweat and tears. Yet, despite all this, we still go and continue to watch ourselves do it all over again.


Group shares culture with food, music By Jaime Perez Features Editor

The Mexican Student Association (MSA) has extended its hands and welcomed its community through song, games and food. These customs were part of an event held in order to promote and celebrate the group’s heritage with the rest of the campus. According to Vice President of MSA and sophomore marketing major Erika Barro, the group was primarily interested in sharing their values and traditions. “We wanted to get back to the roots and values that shape every unique person here. We are in this room right now to learn and celebrate the variety of our culture,” said Barro. The event resembled a Quermes, or a carnival that features mariachi singers, Loteria (a game similar to Bingo) and a wide variety of food and beverages like enchiladas and Aqua Frescas (a fruit-based drink). According to freshman English-communication arts major Diana Garcia, the diverse culture was a welcomed change living in San Antonio. “It is really awesome to be heard and do something different on a Tuesday night,” said Garcia. “I love the food. It is so Mexican; it’s not the fake TexMex food.”

On April 14 the Mexican Student Association held a Quermes, featuring traditional Mariachi performers. Photo by Jaime Perez

SGA expands environment efforts By Michelle Tello Staff Writer In celebration of Earth Day, the Student Government Association (SGA) held the first tree and grass planting event in five years as part of their “Go Green Week,” on April 21 and 22. Twenty volunteers lent a hand to Physical Plant by helping plant trees and grass in the Outback parking lot. “We’ll have more grass on the parking lot and more student involvement,” junior political science major and vice president of SGA Tania Ramirez said. Sophomore international relations major, Karla Bayona thought the event would benefit the campus by beautifying it. “At the same time it sets an example to the community around us to help save our planet,” she said. Recently, SGA’s Recycling Task Force has made plans to expand their efforts to be environmentally friendly by approving to put additional recycling bins around

Going Green Easy advice to make your life greener Lower the thermostat– Not only will you see less dollars on your electric bill you will also lower your energy consumption.

On April 22, sophomore political science major Bernice Duke, junior criminal justice major Alyssa Austin and Amanda Osuna helped clear debris at the Outback parking lot. Photo by Robin Johnson campus next semester. The new bins differ greatly from the current recycling centers SGA put around campus in January. New bins are optioned to be 18 gallon Sterlite storage totes which SGA hopes will be placed in the offices and departments all over campus. The task force is still making decisions in regards to what can be recycled in the bins and how they

will be serviced, but SGA president James Escamia hopes the new efforts will satisfy student demand. Escamia also hopes their expansion plans will be funded through grants rather than being added on to student tuition. The next Recycling Task Force meeting is open to all students and falculty and will be held April 30 in the Physical Plant conference room.

Reuse your water bottle– Many times the water in your water bottle comes from the same source as tap water. Reusing bottles will help cut the use of petroleum production. Ride a bike– If you use a car for any travel need then you can save hundreds of dollars by just investing in a environmentally friendly bike. Buy green– Purchase products that use recyclable materials. Less pastic bottles or allumnim being made will reduce your carbon footprint. Source:



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Student sees success in more than just numbers

Student gives update on his weight loss battle By Joshua Dunn Staff Writer

The semester has passed and I would like to inform you all that my current weight is 290 pounds and that I have a body mass index of 39. While I have not reached my specific weight goal, I have nonetheless recognized weight loss throughout this experience. With that said, I am still not ready to give up; I will continue to try and get healthy. Up to this point, it has been a constant struggle. I realize it would not have been worth doing if it was easy. I am currently fighting 18 years of bad eating habits and low self-esteem. Thanks to my counseling and assistance at the Student

Health Center, I have been able to gain more in confidence and grow as a person. Some methods that helped me in my diet are trying not to think of it as a “diet.” Instead, I have seen it as just eating a healthy amount of food for my age and height. These days, we easily binge on food without even thinking about it because of its availability. When I catch myself overeating, I stop and remind myself that I am eating an excessive amount of food and should stop. Another important fact is exercise. Do what you find fun and exciting. For me, that’s going for a brisk walk. I put on my headphones and escape into my own little world. Make sure you also actually set aside a certain time to exercise. I know I was more likely to go walking if I told myself that I will go at 8 p.m., after my favorite television

Outside the classroom A spotlight on faculty

Evelyn Mitchell, Ph.D.

Photo by Denice Hernandez

show. I changed during the commercials and right when it ended, I was out the door. Find a good time for you and stick with it. I found mine and I will continue to try and get healthy knowing that it is going to be hard. Being aware of support of friends and family will help you reach your goal weight. The thing that should matter above all else is your happiness. I know I can finally say that I am happy, which is something I have not been able to say for quite some time. I feel that St. Mary’s is my home and the students, faculty and the services they provide here are my support on my life’s journey. I hope you all can or do feel the same knowing that you have all types of resources at your fingertips. You only need to reach out for the help.


You have been involved in the past with geophysical surveys that assess the amount of water in underground caves, what are you trying to determine and who does this research affect? “My specific area of interest is hydrogeology and cave science. I think that part of the reason I like these areas is because a lot of people have the out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude as far as what goes on underground; if they can’t see it then they don’t have to think about it. What I study is the activities we do above ground like the way we dump and construct things, and how that affects the hydrology, cave systems and the wildlife in those areas. It ultimately affects us in the end too because the hydrology reaches the surface in the city as we pump water from the ground.” How would your research and collaborations with your students and peers benefit the various communities? “This last spring I went to Jalisco, Mexico and did geophysics surveys where I was looking in the ground with different equipment trying to find how much water was in the soil in a rural area in Mexico where they have very little water supply. We were working to try and determine how much groundwater they had, the quality of the water, and if it was possible to supply water to the village that way. I am also starting a study and working this summer with Lisa Duran, who is a student here, in trying to quantify how much carbon dioxide comes into the atmosphere from caves because caves actually put out carbon dioxide and its part of the process of how the rocks degrade. What we are going to do is try and measure the San Antonio area and see how much is coming out of those caves into the air.


Photo by Robin Johnson

You are currently completing your second semester at St. Mary’s University as a professor of environmental geology, what do you enjoy most about your job? “What I love most about teaching this subject is the fact that a lot of students are really interested in the environment. It is very topical in the news right now and many of the students come up to me outside of class to ask questions that I don’t always even expect but are very valid points of views to discuss these days. I enjoy teaching because a lot of the students are interested and want to learn and that makes it fun. We have a lot of issues that need to be resolved, so the more they know, the better decisions they can make.” As an environmental geology professor, you have unique vantage point into the “green” movement. What do you believe to be the best way to conserve and protect our the environment? “Recycle! I have a wonderful blue bin that the city of San Antonio provided, and not only do I recycle but I have also trained my husband to recycle, even though he was resistant. I always try to make informed decisions about everything I buy because one thing that is becoming more obvious as we have more consumers in the world is that when we are buying, we are voting for what products we want. And if you are voting for green products by buying green products then you are going to be encouraging that market to produce more of those green products. I want to burn as little fossil fuels as possible and encourage that form of technology development because the more we are buying energy efficient technologies, the more we will have that developed.” Compiled by Denice Hernadez


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Pass finals with “A-plus” tips

By Allison Hernandez Staff Writer

Coffee? Check. Flash cards? Check. Late nights spent stressing out? Double check. Finals are just around the corner and, like an old campus tradition, many students will find themselves spending many late nights during study week and finals week doing some last minute cramming for their exams. While some students do work best under pressure, others take the stress-free route and set aside extra time to study. Some students even have tips to help get them through finals. “Review your old tests. See how much content is from the book, the professor’s notes or from the lecture,” advised junior entrepreneurial studies major Rebecca Uribe. “From there, decide to dedicate at least two full nights– three to five hours of studying before the test.” Just as easy as it is to open a book, students often find it just as easy to take a break from studying to log onto Facebook, YouTube or other favorite Web sites. While surfing the Internet, a helpful hint is to visit some other sites that will actually help with studying material. “I Google things that the book doesn’t make clear and watch YouTube videos over certain concepts–you’d be surprised how much good information is on the Web,” said junior biology major Damiana Pena. Along with searching for useful information online, Pena has another method that has pulled her through many hard tests. “I make up acronyms to help remember lists and I always go over all the practice tests and answers,” she said. “After reading a section, close the book and try to recite what you read like you are teaching it to someone else who doesn’t understand and always use the CD-ROM that comes with your book.” Now the dilemma of where to study surfaces. Some students find it easier to study with a group of friends surrounding them, while others find that groups can be a little distracting and prefer a nice quiet place. “Depending on your personality, I would say

Peanut Gallery

As final exams approach, students are looking for new tips to study effectively, so The Rattler wants to know,

How do you study for final exams?

to pick a place where you can study – just you,” said Uribe. “It can be at Starbucks, a restaurant, your room, the library or somewhere where it is peaceful and quiet.” Sophomore marketing and entrepreneurial major Aaron Cantu has found that the quieter study surroundings have been what work best for him, but he doesn’t rule out having study partners either. “I think studying in a quiet atmosphere is always best,” said Cantu. “If people are running in and out of the room it’s kind of hard, but groups are always good, too.” There are students who find it helpful to have some music, as well as a little boost of energy, to get them through finals. “Personally, I like listening to light classical music, and if I have enough time, I re-write the notes I’m studying,” said sophomore marketing major Mike Segura. “Other than that, those five-hour energy shots work well for allnighters.” Of course, what is a finals week without a trip to the local coffee shop? It seems that during exam time, one is just as likely to run into their friends at the Starbucks in the Medical Center as they are to bump into them at the mall or the local weekend hangout. Senior English-communication arts major Carla Rodriguez likes to take advantage of the coffee shops around town during exam time. “I love coffee shops. I make sure not to spend way too much time studying and take lots of breaks,” said Rodriguez. Whatever your study rituals may be, make sure to try out some of these useful tips, get some rest, take a deep breath and go ace those end-of- thesemester exams.

Photo by Robin Johnson

Martin Peña

Diego Fernadez

Kyle Seymour

Political Science, Junior

Biology, Freshman

English, Sophomore

“I read everything 10 times and I lock myself in the room. I also drink a lot of coffee to stay awake. If I don’t stay in my room, I usually go to Starbucks because my girlfriend likes to study there.”

“If I have exams or finals, I try not to procrastinate. I usually try to study in my room or in the library where I could get help from a tutor if I don’t understand something. It’s also important that its really quiet.”

“I have to stay away from any of my friends, so I won’t get distracted from my work. I also take advantage of the library because I can be by myself in one of those study rooms.”

Entertainment Jazzin’ up the show, San Antonio Fiesta goes out in style 04.29.09

By Christine Le Managing Editor

Fiesta-goers returned to the university for something quite different than Oyster Bake after the Pecan Grove opened to the public Friday, April 24. The air was cool as children played Frisbee in the grass underneath the shade of the pecan trees. No one had to stand uncomfortably in the heat shoulder-to-shoulder. There wasn’t any spilled beer and bottles littering the ground. In fact, the only sounds to be heard weren’t from musicians performing country and rock music or vendors selling turkey legs. Rather, people came to relax and enjoy the performances made by young musicians from around San Antonio, not to mention Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer and arranger Gordon Goodwin. Among those participating in the concert was the St. Mary’s Jazz Combo, the University of the Incarnate Word Jazz Ensemble, the San Antonio College Jazz Ensemble and the U.S. Army Medical Command Band Mojo. The event, sponsored by the Music Department at St. Mary’s University and the San Antonio Fiesta Commission, is one of the oldest jazz festivals and is dedicated to presenting the finest jazz music to the public. “Jazz Festival is a way for St. Mary’s University to bring worldrenowned jazz artists to perform for San Antonio,” said Bobby Baiza, senior music education major and lead

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alto saxophonist of the St. Mary’s Jazz Combo. “It gives both the campus and the community a chance to witness the performances of great composers.” Goodwin, this year’s Fiesta Jazz Artist for the 47th Annual Fiesta World Class Jazz Concert, has worked within the television and film industry his cinematic scoring and orchestration craft can be heard on such films as The Incredibles, Gone in 60 Seconds, Enemy of the State, Remember the Titans and Armageddon. “It was amazing being directed under him,” said Baiza. “He gave the ensemble advice on rehearsing and performing–something that I would have never been able to experience if I were going to any other university.” Having built a larger-than-life reputation for his composing, arranging and music instrumentation skills, Goodwin made a considerable contribution to the success of the event as the concert enjoyed a great turnout. “To work with one of the greatest musicians in the world was a great opportunity,” said Adam Casiano, senior music education major and principle French horn. “It allowed students, professors and the community to witness the performance of a fine musician and be brought back to the roots of jazz.” After a week of busy Fiesta festivities that filled the streets of downtown San Antonio and the grounds of St. Mary’s University, the Jazz Band Festival brought the Alamo city’s celebrations to a calming, memorable close.

Gordon Goodwin rocked the house with his smooth style and saxophone skill, adding to the success of the 2009 Jazz Festival. Photo by Analicia Perez

entertain yourself MOVIE RELEASE

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch MAY 1 Flashback to Wolverine’s mysterious life journey, the steps that would unknowingly lead to his initiation into the league of mutants known as X-Men.


Outer South Conor Oberst MAY 5 His fifth solo album and second record released on Merge Records, Outer South provides the talented 29-year-old with more reason to hit the road this June. What makes this record even more special though is the major writing and vocals contributed from the solo artist’s bandmates.


Desserts for Study Break University Ministry APRIL 27 - MAY 1 Center for Life Directions As Finals Week quickly approaches, UMin eases the stress of students with a variety of treats during these last days of Study Week. Take a break and enjoy!


Discover Cibolo 2009 Discovery Challenge Ropes Course MAY 9, 9 a.m. Discovery Church, Cibolo, TX This flea market and chili-cook off is bound to keep you busy all day with car shows, live bands and crafty booths.


Jack’s Mannequin Matt Nathanson, Erin McCarley MAY 10, 6 p.m. Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, Austin, TX Before embarking on a major summer tour with the Fray, Jack’s Mannequin makes a quick return to the music capitol after playing here only six months ago.

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Drew’s lively performance highlights Grey Gardens Grey Gardens


Dir. by Michael Sucsy Starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange

By Jaime Perez Features Editor The HBO feature “Grey Gardens,” which is based on a 1975 documentary of the same name, serves as both an example of and exception to acting for cable network movies. The film is a dark portrayal of the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Eddie” Bouvier Beale, aunt and cousin, respectively, to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Set in 1974, when the Beales lived in their dilapidated 28-bedroom estate, they are approached to film a documentary about the lives of the Kennedy’s relatives. What the film crew discovers is a bitter mother and daughter’s fall from the social elite. For those who were fans of the documentary, the film adaptation follows closely to the original and

Little Eddie (Barrymore) and Older Eddie (Lange) look out the window of their 28-bedroom estate as the health inspector declares their home ‘inhabitable.’ Source gives viewers an opportunity to see the two ladies in their prime and their descent into squalor. The scenes are beautifully cut together and transition smoothly from their

excessive nightlife in their youth to their later years living in a dirty, cat-infested house. The stark differences are made even more painful with the artistic

direction of costumes and scenery in the 40s and 70s. Both decades are represented accurately and attractively. They provide a sense of realism

to the picture and, in the case of Little Eddie, a sad portrait of a middle-aged woman who has not come to terms with her age. Drew Barrymore gives the most surprisingly versatile and dramatic performance of her career so far. She successfully conveys the reckless youth of Little Eddie’s heyday while also effectively presenting a dejected woman with aspirations to be a star. Her performance is both sad and touching as we sympathize and even root for Little Eddie’s character, despite her eccentricities. Jessica Lange gives an equally shocking performance as Big Eddie, especially in old age. Her make-up and prosthetics combined with her enormous acting ability makes for a convincing elderly woman in her 70s that seems no different than the average grandma. Unlike the two main characters, the film had little flaws. It effortlessly presented the heartbreaking tale and made the actresses out to be exactly what both Eddies always wanted to be: stars.

Soloist catches wind of lighthearted audiences Soloist


Dir. by Joe Wright Starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx

By Denice Hernandez Copy Editor The Soloist is based on the true story of the Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who was inspired to write a column about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers when he encountered him playing a two string violin on the streets of Los Angeles. Lopez, played by Robert Downey, Jr., is working hard to keep his flow of writing alive for the biggest newspaper in California until he befriends the homeless musician, played by Jamie Foxx, and is immediately drawn into his lovable and sincere character. He then begins to learn more

about the intriguing past of Ayers who was a student at Julliard for two years until he developed schizophrenia and then ran away to live on the streets. His passion for music is unlike anything Lopez has ever seen or felt, and his talent is even more remarkable. A genuine bond develops between the two and Ayers is no longer just an idea for a story. Lopez is determined to get Ayers the medical attention he needs but in doing so, he compromises their friendship. As Lopez is trying to change the life of this troubled musician, he finds himself being the one who is transformed. Although there are very emotionally intense moments, there is a good share of light hearted humor throughout the entire film. Even at the verge of tears you will be able to muster a chuckle or two. The movie is very eye opening as it depicts what life is like for the

90,000 homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles. It is also filled with unique and quirky characters that you cannot help but want to reach out to. The Soloist warms the heart and captivates the soul. It is a story of the human spirit and the undying passion for the things we love in life. Everyone will enjoy this movie as it captures the extraordinary power of music and the even more endearing power of friendship. This film reminds us that our lives can be changed by the most unlikely of people in the most unexpected ways. Anyone can access Lopez’s column on the Los Angeles Times’ Web site. Lopez has also published a book about his experience with Ayers titled The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unexpected Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music.

Former child prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (Jamie Foxx) touches the soul of reporter Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.), causing him to take a glimpse at his own life. Source



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The Tour Guide

Band strikes like tidal wave BY STEPHANIE SANDERS

Juggling the lives of recording artists, traveling musicians and philanthropists, Death Cab for Cutie is true to its audiences and show no fear in career pursuits. Source Google images

Death Cab successful in risk-taking

By Denice Hernandez Copy Editor

Death Cab for Cutie has just released their new EP album Open Doors in stores this month with four unreleased tracks, each with the same recognizable instrumentals and mix of somber, yet delightful tones as their sixth album released in May of last year titled Narrow Stairs. Death Cab continues to show their fans that they aren’t afraid to take creative risks. Every song recorded to these albums are directly from their studio, making these tracks the most intimate

and daring collection among all their other albums. Their lyrics continue to grow deeper and more honest with songs like “You Can Do Better Than Me” and one of their EP tracks “My Mirror Speaks.” Death Cab began their 2009 tour in February with several shows in Japan, but their show in Philadelphia in April kicked off their spring U.S. tour. They will only be making one visit to Texas at the Austin Music Hall on May 1, and will be performing with opening acts Ra Ra Riot and Matt Costa. You can stay updated with them as they continue

their tour throughout July by logging on to their Twitter page. Their last two shows will be in Washington, their hometown state. While on tour, vocalist Ben Gibbard and tour mate Nathan Willett from Cold War Kids are teaming up to record how many miles they cover and are encouraging fans to donate $1 for each one. The profits made will go to Water Wells for Africa, a non-profit organization that collects funds to install working water wells and pay for drinking water in impoverished villages in Africa that are in serious drought conditions.

Amber Pacific, an emotionally-melodic band who at one time held a spot among the top 100 artists on the Billboard charts only to slip away out of the scene, makes their San Antonio comeback Sunday, May 10 for a $12 show at Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar. Being out of the picture for so long and undergoing serious band reformation, these Washington-state pop/rockers are fighting for their right to put the Amber Pacific name on the map. The seven-year-old troupe rides the long road accompanied by Houston Calls of DriveThru Records, the one-year-old Fight Fair of Triple Crown Records and Farewell of Epitaph Records. Amber Pacific, recently released from Hopeless Records due to a completion of their contract, are leading the way after catching a bit of bad luck after their fourth stint on the Vans Warped Tour in 2007. The quintet experienced some uneasiness in the winter of 2007 while traveling with Hawthorne Heights. A mere week before the band toured through Texas, Hawthorne Heights’ guitarist Casey Calvert passed away after an accidental combined drug intoxication. Without a doubt, Amber Pacific and the rest of the lineup agreed it was best to cancel the tour out of respect to Hawthorne Heights. Shortly after playing a show in May of the following year, lead singer Matt Young left the band when he had a change in heart regarding career goals. Young is currently in pursuit of a career as a school principal. As far as touring is concerned (a big concern of mine), it was not long before Amber Pacific was ready to return to the public eye. Their only form of contact was through their MySpace blog. “We have been strangers to the road for far too long, in fact, this has been the longest we’ve been home in four years and we are damn near crazy. One can only play so much Halo before realizing their lives consist of music and the road,“ said a post on the blog nearly a month after Young’s departure in 2008. A year later, Amber Pacific fights the good fight and are prepared for any challenges down the road. Their fresh attitudes, new vocals and long-awaited third full-length album should allow the band to reconnect with audiences, new and old.

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Chevelle’s Pete Loeffler (left) and Dean Bernardini (right) end with a roar of chants and screams after a lengthy setlist of fan-favorites. Photo by Robin Johnson

Chevelle steals stage at Fiesta Oyster Bake By Stephanie Sanders Entertainment Editor Chevelle drummer Sam Loeffler anticipated what turned out to be without a doubt a successful performance at the annual Oyster Bake. Overdosed on adrenaline, fans reached out for Chevelle’s raw energy and hard music. It was San Antonio’s way of saying, “You rock!” How did Chevelle obtain this opportunity? “It was a big coincidence that we were going out on tour. We missed a few opportunities in the past due to writing. I’m glad it worked out in time.” Was there ever a time that you felt you did not want to play music? “I started playing drums at age 14; Pete was 12. I don’t think there has ever been a time.”

Lead singer Pete Loeffler sang songs such as “Vitamin R,” “The Red” and “Panic Prone” as well as songs from their upcoming album. Photo by Robin Johnson

Who has influenced your musical aspirations? “Back when we were kids, we were into punk. Pete was specifically influenced by Depeche Mode, The Cure and Alice in Chains, all bands with really strong singers. We are a lot of little parts from a lot of hard rock songs. That’s what we find interesting; we wear our influences on our sleeve. If you’re fans of rock music, you’ll be able to relate.”

What are your thoughts about being the headlining band for an event that kicks off Fiesta for all of San Antonio? “It’s I remember going to Oyster Bake before! I’ve been twice. It’s really good to be a part of any party.” How does Chevelle want San Antonio to remember them as? “We are a straight up rock band. Texas is probably the biggest state for rock, and we just love being in Texas. I hope people are fans of the band, and hopefully we can introduce other people to our music.” Is there anything that fans might not know about you or the band that you want them to know or would like to share with them? “We’ve always tried to keep our private life private without giving away too much. Politics and religion are kept out. Our band is whatever they get out of the music, whatever they read into. The mystery is kind of a good thing.” Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? “It would be ideal if I enjoyed doing what I’m doing right now. I literally have done hundreds of thousands of miles of touring. I don’t even know the number of shows. I don’t know if I can imagine doing another 10 years, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”



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Low Oyster Bake attendance, Fiesta off to rainy start By Stephen Guzman Staff Writer Rain showers before Fiesta Oyster Bake 2009 may have reduced attendance, but the two-day event ended in success. The morning of April 17 began with scattered rain showers and heavy winds. As a 60 percent chance of precipitation grew to 100 percent, housekeeping, maintenance and alumni volunteers worked against the hindering weather conditions, struggling to keep stages and equipment dry. “The rain made it a lot tougher for us and [volunteers] trying to set up,” said Juan Ojeda, lead electrician for the event. “It really worried me.” Heavy rainfall concerned housekeeping crew leader Norma Valle as well, who thought the Alumni Association “would stop everything and cancel the event.” Steve Rosenauer, Executive Director of the Fiesta Oyster Bake and Associate Director of Alumni Relations, also worked through the rain. “When I was on the grounds standing in about two inches of water, I thought, ‘Oh no!’” Nevertheless with a “rain or shine policy,” Fiesta Oyster Bake workers and volunteers remained focused that the event would continue. “The real credit goes to our volunteers as well as our physical plant staff,” said Rosenauer. “Everybody kept working through the rain and stayed focused and, fortunately, the sun came out and the rain stopped.” According to Rosenauer, the Fiesta Oyster Bake attendance on Friday was down “a few thousand people” due to the rain. Rosenauer approximated that the attendance on Friday was about 7,500 to 10,000 as opposed to the usual 12,000 to 15,000. Senior Political Science major Erika Lopez, attendee of Fiesta Oyster Bake since her freshman year, chose to attend another event Friday due to the rain. “It was gross!” said Lopez. “I didn’t want to walk around in my heels.” Early morning showers and a mirrored forecast of 60 percent chance of rain promised for yet another disappointing attendance on Saturday. “We were thinking, ‘oh boy,’” said Rosenauer. “But the sun came out again by 10 in the morning.” Still, Lopez, who attended Saturday afternoon, said there were a lot less people. According to Lopez, “by 3 p.m., it’s usually shoulder to shoulder.” With a reduced attendance at Fiesta Oyster Bake 2009, students are concerned about scholarship funds raised from the event. “The turnout really worries me,” said Danielle Oviedo, sophomore undecided major. “The funding for Oyster Bake goes toward [student] scholarships, and I figured that we would lose out on a ton of money.” Rosenauer assured otherwise. According to Rosenauer, every year money is put into the Alumni Association Endowment Fund. Rosenauer stated that with this endowment fund, which began in the mid-seventies, the Alumni Association hoped to “build up a legacy so that it’s able to generate money every year.” Currently, Rosenauer said the fund totals more than $6 million, which means that even if attendance is down, there’s still money available that generates for scholarships. Rosenauer remains confident that Fiesta Oyster Bake 2009 was a great event and “very successful considering all the [bad] weather we had.” Attendance and profit statistics will be fully calculated by mid-summer and will be available to students in the fall semester.

Fiesta-goers attend Oyster Bake despite rain predictions for both Friday and Saturday. It is estimated that up to 5,000 less people attended the event. Photos by Analicia Perez


24 The Rattler

The Outdoor Corner Series By Chris Filoteo Sports Editor With summer upon us, Texas is one of the best states to cast a line. While temperatures increase, so does the opportunity to hook different types of fish. Home to numerous top-rated lakes, Texas has several ideal fishing locations within 50 miles of San Antonio. My favorite neighboring lake is Calaveras Lake, which is 20 miles south in Elmendorf. The cost to get into the park is inexpensive and you can fish all day long. With abundant fish in the area, you can spot largemouth black bass, red drum, hybrid striped bass (stripers), channel and blue catfish at Calaveras. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) introduced the red drum to the lake from saltwater and bred them to live in freshwater to increase the population of fish. This process has been extremely successful and fishermen/women around the area have noticed. I caught my personal best red drum, which was 42 inches long and weighed 22 pounds, several years ago. That moment was one of the best I have ever experienced because it took me more than 30 minutes to reel it in. Red drums are known for their strength and are inclined to break fishing lines often; therefore, it is necessary to use heavier lines and rods in order to land bigger fish. The peak fishing period for all of the fish ranges from March through August. Similar to all lakes, Calaveras has several hot spots to fish from a boat. The “crappie wall” is a structure in the middle of the lake that serves as a barrier for a funnel which flows toward the hot water discharge area of the power plant on site. This wall is no more than a couple feet wide and 80 yards long, but is the best place to find red drum. However, you can be just as successful fishing from the bank if you don’t have access to a boat. Using bait such as tilapia and perch is the best method to catching red drum from the shore, but you can still hook many different fish, particularly catfish. With summer right around the corner, I know how I will be spending my vacation. Remember, a bad day of fishing is much better than a good day at work.


Team’s future uncertain after defeat By Chris Childree Senior Staff Writer Coach Pop’s new playoff “strategies” have put his team in good standing while leaving his opponents sitting in a hole. The coach prominently displayed his keys to victory during the Mavericks versus Spurs first-round playoff series. These included playing Matt Bonner, the Mavericks’ sixth man (the trophy was obviously given to Jason Terry too early), for extended periods of game time and designating him as a clutch shooter at the end of game four. His play was previously lauded during game one when his insertion into the contest prevented a win by a Spurs team poised for victory; coming off an amazing overtime win on the last night of the regular season. Bonner is disastrous for his team on the court by missing easy shots, putting no effort into grabbing boards and constantly committing inexcusable fouls. This is why the Mavericks can’t help but laugh when he steps on the court and why they will ultimately hang Bonner’s jersey high into their rafters upon his retirement. Coach Pop also did a good job of limiting Spurs star rookie George Hill’s effectiveness at the most critical point of the season, by forcing him to remain on the bench during most of the first three games of the series. He was allowed to play during game four, but luckily for Pop his performance was limited to only two three pointers. The Mavericks’ leading defensive stopper Bruce Bowen was allowed to start in game four at the expense of Roger Mason, Drew Gooden and Ime Udoka, who all remained on the bench for long periods of time, causing low offensive output from the trio (a combined three points). It’s a shame for Pop that Tony Parker was allowed to score 43 points during game four, increasing his scoring average to 24 points per game for the series. Parker was supposed to remain on the court laying on his back since Eric Dampier threatened him before game four, but Parker and Duncan alone were just not enough to compete with the Mavericks. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Coach Popovich coach a series as effectively as he did during this season’s first round. The last time was probably back in 2007, when he was still coaching the Spurs and when he utilized his roster to the maximum, knowing the difference between a benchwarmer and a starter. Some may say it was easier for Pop this time because superstar guard Manu Ginobili missed the entire series. But Ginobili also missed 38 of the Spurs 82 regular season games, almost 50 percent,

Matt Bonner and Roger Mason, Jr. need to step up their performance off the bench if the Spurs want to advance far into the playoffs. Photo by Robin Johnson and the Spurs were still able to win the Southwest Division and grab the number three seed. Without a doubt, Pop’s performance made the biggest impact on the team’s play. They were simply outcoached and outnumbered and those are usually the ingredients for defeat; the same result the Spurs experienced in 2000, which was the last time they were eliminated in the first round. Sadly, Pop may have coached his final game and might be without a job after

the summer, but Spurs fans will always remember the good he brought to the team; even though he destroyed the season in 2009 with help from a squad owned by a blithering numbskull, Mark Cuban. It’s a shame that Popovich may not be able to coach in the next round, since he is not officially the coach of the Mavericks. It may be best if he resigns from his current job title. Spurs fans may be more optimistic with someone like Avery Johnson on the sidelines with a fresh roster rather than a coach and two players seemingly helping their supposed opponents.



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David Beckham will play his last season in U.S.

By chris Filoteo Sports Editor

After playing an eventful spring while on loan with AC Milan, David Beckham is moving back to Los Angeles to play for the LA Galaxy soccer team. While many fans were hesitant about his move to Italy because they weren’t sure whether he would return to the United States, Beckham was actually trying to stay in Italy and didn’t plan on returning to the U.S. The Galaxy, which signed Beckham in 2007 for a record fiveyear deal worth $32 million, had every intention of having him finish his contract in the states. However, that was two years ago; a time when Beckham thought he could make a difference in a country not known for its soccer. Beckham will remain on AC Milan’s roster until May 31, when his loan extension expires. The Galaxy and AC Milan spent most of the spring trying to sign Beckham, but he decided to honor his contract with the Galaxy. Beckham’s first game back in the United States will be July 16 against the New York Red Bulls due to the international transfer window opening July 14. Because of his lengthy loan to Italy, Beckham will only play in 13 of the team’s 31 total games in 2009.

According to, Beckham will meet his obligation with the Galaxy and play the 2009 season, but after that he’ll exercise the option to buy himself out and sign for AC Milan in January 2010. Beckham tried to revamp the soccer scene in the states, which was his goal when he first signed with the Galaxy. However, Beckham has proven to be just one of many famous players to travel to the states and not be successful. The time he spent with the Galaxy was mediocre due to many injuries and exhaustion from playing on different teams: England National Team, L.A. Galaxy and AC Milan. Wanting to concentrate for the 2010 World Cup, Beckham believes playing in Italy will better his chances than playing in the states. At 33, Beckham has one more chance to show soccer fans he is capable of playing at his highest level in a World Cup. Unlike his play for club teams, he has struggled in World Cups and it seemed the only thing Beckham was able to accomplish was bringing fans to watch the games. The Galaxy’s average home attendance in 2008 rose about 25 percent since 2006 according to, but that was the only success Beckham experienced in the

United States. Despite all the hype Beckham brought with him, he still didn’t accomplish what he set out to do. Other than making a lot of money, he failed miserably in his attempt to revitalize U.S. soccer. How will his teammates embrace him after trying to stay in AC Milan? Midfielder Landon Donovan gave Beckham the team captain’s position when first arrived in 2007, but now the captain role will be relinquished once he comes back to play for the Galaxy. Although Beckham was named to the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star game last season, I believe that was just for attendance purposes. Everywhere Beckham plays, he draws a massive crowd, but is that enough when signing someone to a record multimillion dollar contract? Beckham enjoys playing in front of large audiences, but seems to hardly deliver on his performance. He has scored almost as many goals while on loan for AC Milan the past few months than he has the entire time he played for the Galaxy. Apparently, the Galaxy only cares about the crowds he can draw and nothing more.

Superstar David Beckham signs autographs at Wellington Airport before a game for the Los Angeles Galaxy . Photo from wikimediacommons

European soccer heads into final stages of tournament By ivonne Aguilar Senior Staff Writer Soccer fans worldwide will watch the best players in the world compete for the Champions League Championship for the best team in Europe on May 24 in Roma, Italy. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League is the epitome for European football clubs. Each year, football clubs from European countries such as England, Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland play in competitive qualifying rounds until the final match in June.

Currently, Real Madrid, from Spain, leads with nine total wins followed by AC Milan from Italy with seven, and Liverpool from England has five. This year the four clubs remaining in the semi-finals are FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Arsenal: Manchester United and Chelsea FC played in last years championship match. Each team will play two games, one home and one away. The highest aggregate score advances to the final; aggregate scoring is the total amount of goals scored in both games. FC Barcelona heads into the semi-finals as leaders in their own league, La Liga.

When they face off against Chelsea FC, Barcelona’s offensive style can be a threat to Chelsea with their forward trio of stars: Leonel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o. As for Chelsea, the runner up of 2008 Champions League also looks likely to make the final. The squad will not count on Ricardo Carvalho, Portuguese central defender for the first leg of the semis due to a hamstring injury. “I like Manchester, but I think Chelsea is going to win,” said Julian Nunez, freshman criminal justice major. Manchester United, the defending

champions, and Arsenal will play for a chance at the final match. Arsenal’s starting striker, Robin Van Persie will not be able to play due to an injury. With all the speculations by the media of who will be crowned the UEFA champions, Chris Echavarria, freshman, criminal justice major commented on his prediction, “Man U because they’re stacked. They have good communication and they are all around the best.” The Champions League final will be played on May 27 in Italy.

26 The Rattler



Boxing star retires after legendary career in ring By brissa Renteria Senior Staff Writer

Oscar De La Hoya answers questions before his historic loss against Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. Photo from wikimedia

Ten world titles, boxing’s most popular fighter and a Latin legend. All of this history came to an end in an announcement made by Oscar De La Hoya outside the Staples Center next to his Golden Boy statue. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s over,” the East Los Angeles native said before hundreds of fans on ABC news. “It’s over inside the ring for me.” His retirement came months after his defeat by Manny Pacquiao, his fourth loss in the last seven fights. The last formidable opponent he defeated was Fernando Vargas in 2002. As he ages and his skills slowly diminish, De La Hoya’s losses increased throughout the years from opponents such as Felix Trinidad and Sugar Shane Mosley, to Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. De La Hoya finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts when he won his last title in 2006. “This is the love of my life, boxing is my passion, boxing is what I was

born to do,” continued De La Hoya. “When I can’t do it anymore, when I can’t compete at the highest level, it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to the fans, and it’s not fair to nobody.” The crowd empathized with his remarks, which gave him a large amount of gratitude as they applauded him at the Staples Center. De La Hoya took his career and the life of boxing to a whole new level that had not been seen before. As he continued to win early in his career, boxing became not just another sport, but a way of life for the Latino community. His decision saddened many, but De La Hoya continued his speech with a smile for all and credited his wife Millie Corretjer and business partner Richard Schaefer for helping him realize what “life is all about.” This was not to say he was letting his fans down, but simply how he was going to resume his life with different priorities. He, however, has definitely felt the hardship he took on with his career. De La Hoya also says he understands why athletes have such

Sports in Brief The Valero Texas Open changes dates, men’s golf team wins Heartland Conference Championship After an incredibly successful run in the fall, the Valero Texas Open, one of the most historic tournaments on the PGA TOUR, is proud to announce a shift in schedule, placing the PGA tour’s top tournament in charity giving in a much-coveted spring date as part of the FedExCup competition. Beginning in 2009, the Valero Texas Open will be played May 14-17. The 2008 Valero Texas Open was held again this year at the award-winning Westin La Cantera Resort during the week of Oct. 6-12. The 2008 Valero Texas Open champion, Zach Johnson, won the tournament. With tremendous support from Valero’s business partners, the 2008 Valero Texas Open was the most successful in the tournament’s 87-year history. Together with the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic, the Valero Texas Open contributed a record total of $8.5 million to charity–this fundraising total keeps the Valero Texas Open among the most charitable tournaments on the PGA TOUR. Jeff Rein fired a two-under par 70 to take medalist honors and helped St. Mary’s University overcome a 12-stroke deficit after the first round and win the Heartland Conference men’s golf championship by six strokes at the Slick Rock Golf Club Tuesday. Rein became the sixth Rattler to win the Heartland Conference Tournament Championship with a threeround total of 204. He finished the tournament with a two-under par 70 in the final round after opening the tournament with rounds of 66 and 68. The tournament victory was his first as a Rattler in his first season on the team. The Rattlers will return to action on May 4-6 at the NCAA South Central Region, which will be played in Allendale, Mich. Source: and Derek Smolik Chris Filoteo / The Rattler

a difficult time giving up something they are passionate about, while not performing at their best in the end. He reminisces about this often and, like many athletes has said as well, “things are just not the same anymore and we cannot do anything about it.” Although many knew he was not doing well in the latter part of his career, numerous fans in the box offices were still buying tickets for his fights. He was mostly famous on HBO, which broadcasted 32 of his fights, more than any other boxer, and had generated millions in profits for the cable network. In my opinion, De La Hoya’s name will never cease to be heard from the mouths of fans and sports figures. Thousands will continue to talk about him because he could be one of boxing’s icons of the century. He may say this is the end, but it is just the beginning of a new edition for boxers. Someone else must now do all that he has accomplished, and that is something we will have to wait patiently for.



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Football draft make, break current college stars Draft day is crucial for teams looking to improve. By paul Saldana Staff Writer After the first-ever 0–16 season, the Detroit Lions hope the April NFL draft can help get the franchise headed into a winning direction. I think the picks from 1–3 are locks. Quarterback (QB) for the University of Southern California Mark Sanchez’s draft stock has been rising all spring, so Denver should trade up to get him. Denver needs this pick because of their recent trade of former first-round pick, QB Jay Cutler, to the Bears. Brian Orakpo, defensive end from the University of Texas and B.J. Raji defensive lineman from Boston College should make the most impact with picks in the latter part of the top ten. In order to give former No. 1 pick Alex Smith, QB, one more year to prove himself as a starter, I think San Francisco will draft an offensive tackle to help

him out. Smith has had four different offensive coordinators in the past four years, so maybe this year will be different. As for America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys do not have a first-round pick because of a trade last season to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver (WR) Roy Williams in return. With the recent release of star WR Terrell Owens, strong safety (SS) Roy Williams and the trade of corner back (CB) Antony Henry the Cowboys need help in the secondary and receiver spot-two, vital skill positions. The Cowboys have the No. 51 pick with this pick and I hope they trade up in order to make an impact next season. If they don’t then they can possibly land Ohio State’s Brian Robiskie at number fifty-one. Hopefully, the Cowboys will make a smart decision to replace veterans Owens, Williams and Henry with some young rookies in the secondary and receiver positions. The Cowboys have 10 picks on the second day, which should be plenty to fill necessary spots. The Cowboys aren’t looking for another draft bust, like

linebacker Bobby Carpenter a couple seasons ago. It’s hard to predict which of the first round picks this year will not work out, but as of now it seems to be running back Knowson Moreno (RB), from Georgia, and RB from Ohio State Chris “Beanie” Wells. It will be hard for these players to make the transition to the NFL because as of now they don’t appear to fully understand how defenses in the NFL work. As for Stafford, he should have a long career, but the only way I see him becoming a bad choice is if the Lions don’t handle the situation properly. The Lions are known for making poor choices on players and trades when it comes to draft day. Many other teams rush to try and draft the next superstar, but only few of the players ever pan out. The Lions are notorious for not handling their picks correctly, but perhaps they have learned from their mistakes and are ready to move towards a winning direction.

Top draft “busts” The Rattler’s top five all-time draft busts of the past 10 seasons:

Paul Saldana:

Chris Filoteo:

1. Tim Couch Browns 1999

1. Akili Smith Bengals 1999

2. Akili Smith Bengals 1999

2. Charles Rogers Lions 2003

3. Courtney Brown Browns 2000

3. Ron Dayne Giants 2000

4. David Carr Texans 2002

4. Mike Williams Lions 2005 5. Tim Couch Browns 1999

5. Joey Harrington Lions 2002

Chris Filoteo / The Rattler

“When I started working with Kim, I learned what it was like to work with someone who had a high standard of professionalism and integrity.” Robin Johnson “My freshman year would have been impossible without you, you have the kindest heart I have known.” Sarah Mills “It was upperclassmen like her that kept me passionate about journalism. A great friend and editor, she helped teach me the importance of leadership and commitment.” Christine Le “The Rattler won’t be the same without your smile, your laughter and your random outburst of boy bands song. I love you Kimbalina! You’ll be missed.” Katie O’Donnell “Kim, you were an exceptional boss, co-worker, confidant, and conspirator. Moreover, you will always be one of my most valued friends. Here’s to the futuremay it be full of beards, owls, pies and fun!” Nicci Vargas


28 The Rattler




Outfielder leads division in home runs, nears record


Arlynda Flores, senior exercise sports and science major, has 23 homeruns this season, one more than Sandy James of Angelo State University. Flores has at least seven more games to try to break the NCAA Division II national record of most homeruns in a single season set by Carmen Paez of Florida Gulf Coast in 2007 with 28 homeruns. She is also just one homerun away from tying the St. Mary’s school record. Flores a junior from Uvalde is quite the student-athlete. She’s scoring big off the field as well as an Honor Roll student with a 3.67 GPA.

Photo by Analicia Perez

Featuring: Kelly Baker Softball Catcher Classification: Sophomore Major: Exercise and sports science What kind of music do you enjoy listening to? “I like all kinds of music, but I enjoy hip-hop and country the most. My favorite artist is Stoney LaRue.” Describe your experience on becoming the first female to play tackle on your high school football team? “It was really fun and I will never forget that experience. I started playing football in the fourth grade all the way through my senior year in high school, so it wasn’t such a big deal for me.” What are your goals after you graduate? “I am going to graduate school to get my master’s in physical therapy. After that, I want to become a physical therapist for a university.” What is the most important idea you have learned from Coach Donna Fields? “To have a really good work ethic. She pushes us hard and wants us to be the best we can be.” Who is your favorite professional football player? “Jason Whiten because he plays for the Cowboys and he is a great tight end.”

Compiled by Chris Filoteo

The Rattlers practice in hopes of winning the Heartland Conference tournament on Thursday April 30. Photo by Patricia Terrazas

Source: Lucha Ramey,

Softball team is second in conference

By michelle Tello Staff Writer

Working hard from the beginning, the women’s team stepped out onto the softball field to reach the point where they currently stand. The team’s record in the Heartland Conference is 18-5 and their overall record is 28-28. They are currently in second place in the Heartland Conference behind St. Edwards University. “To make it to regionals we have to win all of our games from here on out,” said sophomore general business major Lauren Miller. With practices consisting of mostly hitting and defensive drills, the team has a good chance at winning the Heartland Conference tournament. The team, along with their coaches, have an open-door policy according to assistant coach, James Kling, which improves the team’s communication and allows the coaches to assist

the players in improving their game. By having this open-door approach, the players get to express their concerns and ideas to their coaches. The team has 14 returning players this season, which is an advantage to have when trying to win the first-place spot in the Heartland Conference. Kling and sophomore exercise and sports science major, Lea Province, right-fielder, believe the team’s biggest competitor is St. Edwards University, since they currently have the number one spot. The team had a rocky start at the beginning of the season after losing some of their seniors due to injury, but Head Coach Donna Fields and Kling still had a lot of talent to work with. Kling felt as though the hardest part at the time was putting all the talent together, making adjustments and rotating players around. The team, with the help of their coaches, has made a lot of improvements this season,

especially with their “pitch calling.” “In the beginning we had a tough time with losing, but we overcame it,” said senior exercise sports and science major Nikki Flores, who is an outfielder for the team. Province believes that the team “can go all the way” if they stay consistent. The team has been fortunate to not have any major injuries, but some players feel they have to work on their communication and correcting small errors on the field in order to reach their full potential. Game after game, the team learns more about themselves. Flores believes the teams strengths are their charisma and their strong bond. “Coach Fields believes in us and pushes us because she knows our potential,” said Miller. Coach Kling hopes the team continues to gain confidence when going into the Heartland Conference tournament on April 30.

Recent game results WOMEN’S TENNIS: Apr 20: at Heartland Conference Championships results: 2nd-7 Apr 6: at Grand Canyon Invitational results: t9th-18

Softball: Apr 25: * at Incarnate Word (Game 2) WIN score: 9-0 [30-30] Apr 25: * at Incarnate Word (Game 1) WIN score: 9-0 [29-30]

MEN’S GOLF: Apr 20: at Heartland Conference Championship WIN results: 1st-8 Apr 6: at UCO/Kickingbird Classic results: 3rd-18

BASEBALL: Apr 25: * Incarnate Word WIN score: 10-8 (10 Inn.) [32-15] Apr 24: * Incarnate Word (Game 2) LOSS score: 0-1 [31-15] Apr 24: * Incarnate Word (Game 1) WIN score: 3-2 (10 Inn.) [31-14]

Vol. 96, No. 11 - 04/29/2009  
Vol. 96, No. 11 - 04/29/2009  

The Rattler | St. Mary’s University