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Chancellor Joel E. Anderson will receive this year’s Leadership Award during the Institute for Interfaith Dialog’s eighth annual Friendship and Dialog Dinner. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Clinton Presidential Library. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information or to RSVP, call 501-223-3443 or email email@example.com. Crista Gray, a Ph.D. candidate from Syracuse University, was recently hired as the director of the TRiO Student Support Services and Ronald McNair Scholars programs at UALR’s Academic Success Center. The position Gray will fill has been vacant since June due to the retirement of Valerie Brown. The League of United Latin American Citizens honored five students at its annual Scholarship Banquet Oct. 26. Gov. Mike Beebe was the keynote speaker at the event in the Grand Hall of the Governor’s Mansion Friday.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Student Newspaper
Safety, security of campus community still a top priority, administrators say Crime statistics show similarities across the state Cameron Moix News Editor
A recent report of crime statistics shows a decline in violent crime as the campus community commemorates the one-year anniversary of a student’s death. Members of the campus community recently joined the family of Patricia Guardado during a candlelight vigil to remember the slain student on the one-year anniversary of her death. On Oct. 16, 2011, Guardado’s body was found in Sweet Home, just four days after her disappearance from a parking lot near campus on Oct. 12. “I think it made us aware that we’re not immune to anything,” said University Police Chief Regina Wade-Carter. “It showed us that evil things can happen outside of our control, and that made people be more aware of their surroundings.” Since Guardado’s murder, university administration has been active in ensuring the safety of its population, but statistics show
Friends and supporters of the Guardado family came together for a candlelight vigil outside the Donaghey Student Center Oct. 16, one year after the body of slain student Patricia Guardado was found. Photo by Cameron Moix that the rate of violent or forcible crimes was already on a downturn when the incident occurred. After the incident, UALR bolstered its security measures by developing new awareness programs and initiating the use of a contracted trolley service to transport students on and around campus. But statistics show that
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the rate of violent crimes was already experiencing a downturn. According to crime statistics released by the Department of Public Safety in early October, UALR’s violent or forcible crime rates have decreased 56 percent from October 2009 to October 2011. Among these data are four violent crimes reported to have
occurred in 2011, compared to nine listed in 2009. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville reported 15 crimes of a similar nature to have occurred in 2011, which is up 20 percent since 2009. Arkansas State University reported two such crimes
SAFETY, continued on page 3
Institutional research data shows decreased freshman enrollment
UALR will celebrate National Non-Traditional Student Week from Nov. 5- 9, with events such as an open house, Toys for Tots drive kickoff and a screening and panel discussion of the documentary “First Generation.” There are currently more than 3,000 students who are the first in their families to attend college. The Trojan men’s and women’s basketball programs will both be opening their seasons in early November. The first game for the men’s team is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9 at the Jack Stephens Center, and the women will open the season in Tulsa on Monday, Nov. 12.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Attendees of “Food for Thought: A Symposium Devoted to Food, Policy, and Community in Arkansas” ordered food from Southern Gourmasian Oct. 26 outside the UALR Bowen School of Law. Foodtruck owner Justin Patterson was one of more than 20 speakers at the inaugural event. Photo by Cameron Moix
Law school hosts symposium on food-related issues in state Jacob Ellerbee
Asst. Entertainment Editor
The UALR William H. Bowen School of Law hosted the Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Publication Service’s first public symposium, Food For Thought: A Symposium Devoted to Food, Policy, and Community in Arkansas on Oct. 26. The symposium consisted of six different topics that were discussed among a revolving group of panelists that are experts in their respective fields. The topics, which ranged from the history of street vending to food insecurities on the local level, lasted approximately 45
minutes per topic. The first topic of the day, “The History of Street Vending in America,” informed the crowd of how street vending was used in the earliest days of entrepreneurship in the United States to the current state of street vending. This segued into the second topic of the day, “Food Trucks in the Little Rock Landscape.” Panelists for this topic included mobile food vendors and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. The two sides discussed and debated the difficulties of competing with one
FOOD, continued on page 3
After two months of compiling data, the UALR Office of Institutional Research released statistics on Oct. 12 indicating an unexpected decline in freshman enrollment and a slight increase in overall retention. Data for the entering freshman class of 2016, which was expected to be the second-largest in the school’s history, indicated a decline of 76 students (923 to 847) from fall 2011 to the current semester. The sophomore, junior and senior classes remained in the same range as the previous year and did not reflect any substantial changes. Interim Provost Sandra Robertson did not respond to questions concerning the size of the freshman class. The university’s retention rate, which indicates the number of students who decide to continue at the same institution throughout their college careers, jumped from 62 to 67 percent from 2011 to 2012. This is comparatively lower than other Arkansas colleges, as U.S. News and World Report disclosed rates of 83 percent and 70 percent for University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Arkansas State University, respectively.
But Sonia Hazelwood, interim director of the Office of Institutional Research, notes that some students are not incorporated into the retention rate when data is calculated. “Transfer, international and non-traditional students who did not start here as entering freshmen are excluded from the retention rate calculation,” she said. “This retention rate is calculated for first-time, entering and degree-seeking students only as this is a cohort that state and federal agencies use to calculate traditional rates.” Of the 12,872 students that were enrolled this fall, over 80 percent are pursuing degrees in undergraduate programs. Fiftyfive percent of undergraduates are full-time students, outnumbering part-time scholars by 1187 students and reflecting a slight decrease from the fall 2011 semester. Other available data included the number of students living in and out of state. Ninety-two percent of UALR students reside in Arkansas while the remaining number have permanent addresses elsewhere. Hazelwood said these numbers do not fluctuate much, and both numbers only experienced changes by 1 percent.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Opinions Staff Editorial
That’s what he said Ricky Harris
Political theater detrimental to U.S.
Illustration by Sarah Melero
Turning back not the answer to nation’s problems The Forum The presidential election is just a few days away. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since Barack Obama became the first African-American to win the presidency. No matter who won the 2008 election, it was no secret that the battle would be uphill and tough. Unfortunately for President Obama, most Americans don’t care how hard it is. They want results and they want the results yesterday. If you were to listen to the arguments against the president, you’d think he has sat around for four years twiddling his thumbs. But any educated person knows that the president has made strides during his time in office, whether you agree with the decisions or not. As Vice President Joe Biden recently said in reference to the last
four years, General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead. The president made a very risky call to send special forces into Pakistan to capture America’s most wanted criminal. That brought closure to not only the families of 9/11 victims, but also to the average American who finally felt that justice was served. As for the auto industry, Mitt Romney wanted to let them go bankrupt, causing countless jobs to be lost. President Obama stood up to help them out and now the money has been repaid. Regardless of whether you agree with that decision, it worked out and jobs were saved. The taxpayers got their money back and a million people are still producing quality American-made vehicles. Obama also ended the war in Iraq. You remember, that pointless war that the American people were lied to about by the administration of George W. Bush.
He then refocused on the efforts in Afghanistan and now has planned for those troops to return home as well. President Obama realizes that before we go playing world police, we need to take care of our own people. We admit, it would be nice if unemployment wasn’t so high. We’d also prefer gas prices to be lower. But to the extent of the president’s power over these issues, we think Barack Obama has done more than we could have asked for. It probably hurt him that he promised so much hope and change in 2008. While he told voters that it wouldn’t be easy and he wasn’t a miracle worker, that’s not what they heard. They heard a message of change and they thought that he would change the world overnight. Obama also took on the challenge of passing health care re-
Marijuana has legal place in Arkansas Frankly, my dear GEOFFREY BARA In the upcoming election, Arkansas may join California and 17 other states in legalizing marijuana for medical use. I think that’s terrific. The panic some Arkansans feel about legalization might be evidence of an anxiety disorder and could be alleviated with marijuana. Doctors in other states have found marijuana to be extremely useful in treating several disorders including, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, insomnia and anorexia nervosa. Marijuana is also helpful in the restoration of appetite in cancer patients where chemotherapy has depleted it. Even if all of these things weren’t true, though, I still don’t see any reason whatsoever why marijuana shouldn’t be legal. To begin with, you don’t have to do anything to it but pick it out of the ground. In a state so fond of its natural
beauty, I find it interesting that so many artificial painkillers would be preferred to something one can cultivate in one’s own backyard. Or, you know, properly lit closet. In addition, it’s good for business. In some previously struggling communities in California, my home state, local economies began to flourish again based on the taxable revenue legal marijuana provided. Also, it’s my belief that if marijuana were readily and legally available, marijuanarelated crime would, logically, go down. Crime will always exist, but I can’t envision a future wherein marijuana is legal and people are still selling it on the streets with guns in their trunks. If in fact they do that now. I think that most detractors feel that marijuana shouldn’t be legalized because they have unfounded negative opinions of it. Marijuana and its users have a stigma surrounding it and them; crime, laziness, poor grooming habits and excessive consumption of salty, crunchy things. Some of this is true for some people and not for others. Stereotyping is never a healthy behavior. Alcohol is readily avail-
form. Love it or not, this was a task that he knew would not be politically popular. But because of his persistence, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to someone because of a pre-existing condition and young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance up to the age of 26. In this space we can only begin to name things that President Obama has accomplished in his first four years in office. If the Republican party were to have their way, which might just happen, we’re going to be right back where we started. America cannot return to the failed policies of the past. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are living in the mid-20th century. We need to continue our fight toward a promising future. With President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in office for another four years, that’s what we will get.
No matter who wins this year’s presidential election, nothing is going to change. It’s sad to think that way, but sometimes the truth isn’t what you want to hear. Here in these great United States, we have a love for this thing called political theater. It sells. People say they hate the negative tones of campaigns, but it’s proven to work. This is a perfect example of how the average American voter is hypocritical. In either scenario of the presidential election results, no party will have total control. I would usually support split government because it should lead to compromise. But our current political climate is that of sharp disagreements to the extent that hatred exists on Capitol Hill. In the old days, politicians could have an educated, civil debate and then go out for drinks as friends. But that’s a rare situation today. Anyone who shows signs of compromise gets voted out of office. The hatred from the Tea Party toward other candidates and leaders is pathetic. When your platform revolves around false ideas that the president is a Muslim and was born in Kenya, you should know that your legitimacy is in serious jeopardy. Or it should be. Sadly, these messages have proven successful with a lot of voters, especially those voters who are stuck in their ways and think Democrats are going to steal their guns and kill their babies. This country would be much better off if that ignorance would just go away. As for all of this political theater, the curtain is about to close on this act. But never fear, it will open right back up with the next scene in America’s political auditorium.
Letter to the Editor
able almost all over Arkansas. There are some dry counties and even here in Little Rock you can’t buy booze on Sundays. Even with those minor obstacles, though, it’s never too hard to get in the car and find a bar to get a beer. Alcohol abuse has been proven to be just as if not more harmful than marijuana abuse. Just like with alcohol and everything else, marijuana consumed sensibly and in moderation isn’t harmful. I realize that sounds as though I approve of the use of marijuana even in cases where it isn’t deemed medically necessary. That’s true as well. If brandy can be taken medicinally and for relaxation as well, why not marijuana? I just have a hard time looking at it the same way I do cocaine or heroin or crack. Those are drugs. Those have to be manufactured. And those will make a person do crazy, irrational, illegal things he or she will almost certainly regret. The biggest mistake I’ve heard of someone making while safely using marijuana at home was accidentally consuming an entire pizza. I can’t see too much harm in that. We don’t even have to sell it on Sundays.
President had chance, and failed This letter is in response to Geoffrey Bara’s column “Romney dismisses half of U.S.” published on Oct. 3 While you are on the subject of truth, let’s be fair and see if you recall this quote: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” This is from then-Senator Barack Obama in March 2006. How times change, although he is correct. Only now we have his failed leadership to blame for the bad choices he has made over the last four years. Many have questioned Gov. Mitt Romney as the details for his
economic plan which in all fairness have been vague; however, we have 4 years of Obama’s failed economic plan to review. Next up, Obama claims to support the military and its veteran. Really? I retired from the Armed Forces after 24 years of service in January of this year and can tell you this is as far from the truth as one can get. Under Obama’s administration they threatened pay cuts while we are at war. Imagine what that is like to hear while you are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and now face the potential that your loved ones will not be taken care of properly. The cuts he has made have been detrimental to the services. The release of classified information after the Bin Laden raid regarding SEAL operations violates Operational Security for the Navy and all branches of service that work with them. The reason he did it was for votes. So when Romney slips up saying something, try to keep in mind that Obama has four years of experience with a failed economy that he has only worsened, higher rates of unemployment, raising, not lowering, the deficit, and endangering and damaging our military strength.
John P. McAlister
Sophomore business major Master Sergeant (Ret.) U.S. Air Force
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The Forum is the official student newspaper at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The Forum is funded in part by the student activity fee; members of the UALR community are allowed one copy per edition. When available, additional copies may be purchased for $1.25 by contacting The Forum’s business manager. Newspaper theft is a crime. Anyone who violates the single copy rule may be subject to civil and/or criminal prosecution and/or university discipline. The opinions expressed in The Forum are those of the staff and contributing writers and do not represent the official views of UALR. Students enrolled in MCOM 3320 and other reporting classes sometimes serve as contributing writers for The Forum. Advertising inquiries should be referred to The Forum’s advertising office at 501-569-3319. The Forum is published 7 times in each of the fall and spring semesters, and once in the summer. The Forum’s executive editor can be reached at 501-569-3265. All material published in this newspaper is copyrighted.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
UALR’s Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was recently awarded a $1.23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for an additional five years of operation. The organization, which is also known as the McNair Scholars Program, is one of 17 in the nation to receive a second round of federal funding this fall. The grant will be used for seminars and workshops, which serve as a crucial part of the program’s mission of preparing low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students for opportunities in higher education. According to assistant director Gwendolyn Middleton, much of the funding for McNair Scholars, which is part of a group known as TRIO, has been cut in favor of programs in the science, engineering and technology fields. “The leadership of this country feels that it is important to invest in an education that will produce graduates to fill positions quickly so our country can be competitive in a worldwide arena,” she said. “... It is that same outlook from
Social activist and author Angela Davis lectured Oct. 25, at UALR’s University Theatre, which was packed with an audience of about 700. The UALR Institute for Race and Ethnicity was the main sponsor for the lecture, which was titled “Race and Justice: The Consequences of Mass Incarceration.” Photo by Cameron Moix
FOOD, continued from page 1 spoken out against the Partnership and Committee. The next group of panelists discussed, “Trends in food and commerce in Arkansas.” Jack Sundell, co-owner of The Root in Little Rock, said there is a “ground swell of interest in local food,” but would like to see that it becomes even more local. He said, “If we were in Fayetteville it wouldn’t make sense to call Arkansas ‘local foods,’ because we might be getting something from Monticello that’s five hours away when there’s something in Missouri that’s an hour [away].” In a discussion about food insecurity on the local level, panelists described problems and offered solutions on how to amend the rising number of people who do not have everyday access to food. Amanda Philyaw Perez, a UAMS Research Coordinator, raised awareness regarding people who live in rural areas that do not have access to a nearby market or grocery store. The panel used the town of Gould, Ark. as one such example. The town uses an Exxon gas station as a grocery store because there is no nearby market or grocery store.
Police Beat Bus patron brandishes knife at passersby Officers at the Department of Public Safety responded to a call from a motorist about 7 a.m. Oct. 16, who reported that an individual sitting at a bus-stop on University Avenue was holding a knife and asking people for money. The suspect was identified as 48-year-old Selvin Rodgers, who denied claims that he asked others for money. The suspect did, however, admit to having a knife, which he surrendered to DPS officers. No charges were filed against Martin, but he was told not to ask for money or have his knife out again.
Resident calls cellphone theft a prank A resident of West Hall reported her phone was stolen the night of Oct. 12, according to the Department of Public Safety. The student said the theft occurred on the fourth floor of the residence hall while she and some friends were spending time in the living area. According to the DPS report, officers used the camera monitoring computer to look at recordings of the theft and identified the suspect as Cavon Handley. After Handley denied guilt, DPS officers examined security recordings further and gathered enough evidence to levy against him. Handley then said he took the phone with the help of friends. He also said the incident was intended to be a “prank” because he didn’t like the
McNair Scholars Program receives $1.23 mil grant
Activist Draws a Crowd
another throughout Central Arkansas. The discussion provided heated debates between the two sides on how they are stealing business from one another. One panelist discussing this topic, Jennifer Harrison of University Market@Four Corners, said some mobile food truck vendors are on a mission to sell food in underprivileged areas of Central Arkansas. Additionally, she said it gets people outside and spurs social interaction. Some brick-and-mortar restaurant owners, like Eric Tinner of Sufficient Grounds Café, pointed out that people who own brick-and-mortar restaurants have been losing business because of “Food Truck Friday”-- a coordinated event that was organized by The Downtown Little Rock Partnership and the Main Street Revitalization Committee. Last April, Tinner provided the Arkansas Times with data he collected from nearby brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. He noted that Lulav sales were down 31 percent on “Food Truck Fridays.” One of his Sufficient Grounds Café locations saw sales decrease by 23 percent and several Subway restaurants in the area saw sales dip between 20 and 30 percent. Tinner has openly
people he took it from. Handley retrieved the phone from a friend’s vehicle and turned it over to the police, after which officers told him to return to his room.
Early-morning drinking results in DWI A report to the Department of Public Safety by a local Region’s Bank security guard around 9 a.m. Oct. 16 resulted in a DWI arrest. After the security guard reported a disturbance by two suspects acting suspiciously, DPS officers stopped their vehicle at the corner of 28th and Reynolds, after which the driver was identified as Stephen Watson and the passenger as Calvin Davis. Watson told officers that he was not intoxicated and that he had entered the bank for a cup of coffee. The DPS officer said that Watson’s eyes were bloodshot, his pupils were small and there was a strong odor of urine. After a long back-and-forth with the officers, Watson claimed that he had been drinking yesterday, but had stopped at “dark thirty.” When asked if Watson had any medical issues, he replied that he was only crazy and didn’t have anything else wrong with him. Watson was subsequently issued two types of extensive sobriety tests, both of which he failed. After being transported to Pulaski County Southside, Watson’s blood alcohol level was determined to be .13, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08. He was then booked into jail and charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated), suspicious person/activity, disturbance and traffic offense.
the U.S. Department of Education that speared their decision to cut $10 million from the McNair Scholars program and reallocate them to the Upward Bound Math and Science Program.” Despite national cutbacks, the program at UALR is expected to experience an increase in activity. After a university proposal to expand resources and capacity was submitted and approved by the Department of Education, the McNair Scholars Program was allowed to increase the number of participating students. “We agreed to increase the number of students served each year from 25 to 28,” Middleton said. “This may seem like a small increase, but in lieu of the cuts TRIO has suffered, the message was essentially relayed to the Department of Education that we could do more with less because we have the experience.” Since 1991, the McNair Scholars Program at UALR has served over 500 students. Eighty past participants are currently pursuing their graduate degrees while 22 are aiming for doctoral degrees. While this is viewed as a great achievement, Middleton said the real reward is in the students themselves.
SAFETY, continued from page 1 last year. “[Dean of Students Logan Hampton] is leading this effort to help us be more proactive in issues that students, faculty and staff may have,” said Charles Donaldson, vice chancellor of educational, student services and student life. “I think we’re doing a good job. Part of the problem is perception, and I know that perception becomes reality. But you can never do too much to be safe, and that’s at the top of our list.” Hampton said DPS is not the only entity students contact when they have concerns. Although the Office of the Dean of Students handles many behavioral issues, he emphasized the importance of contacting the police directly in an emergency situation. “If behavior is presented that is unacceptable in an educational environment, it will be addressed from a number of different perspectives,” Hampton said, “and we will respond to those things.” Despite recent administrative steps toward improved safety precautions, Wade-
Carter said DPS is not doing anything differently. “We’re doing what we’ve been doing in the past,” Wade-Carter said. “We believe in extremely patrolling the perimeters of the campus, that way you catch people on the front end before they even get on campus.” The Office of the Dean of Students is now piloting a program that is modeled after a national movement of behavioral intervention teams. The program will be called the University Behavioral Intervention Team, according to Hampton, who said he hopes for it to be in working order by fall 2013. “We’re still in the pilot phase,” Hampton said. “We’ve been testing out our procedures, practices and protocols to see if we can manage these things.” The vigil was organized by members of the Spanish honor society Sigma Delta Pi, along with several of Guardado’s former classmates from Erin Finzer’s seminar on violence in Latin American literature.
Nanotech spin-off company lands research contract
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Students Beat the Heck out of Drugs
The Small Business Innovation Research Program has awarded Poly Adaptive LLC a $150,000 research contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The SIBR is a program that enhances profitable and technological potential to small businesses. This program begins with establishing the technological potential as well as determining the quality. Poly Adaptive LLC is UALR’s nanotechnology research spin-off company that was founded in 2010. The company works with the Center for Integrative nanotechnology Sciences to profit potential technologies. There are three main people associated with Poly Adaptive LLC: Alexandru S. Biris, Charles Buhler and Steve Trigwell. Biris is the director and chief scientist of Poly Adaptive LLC with a Ph.D. from UALR. He is also an Associate professor at UALR in the Systems Engineering Department. There are nine PhD researchers and 20 undergraduate and graduate student researchers working under him. Buhler is the company’s investigator with a Ph.D. Trigwell has a Ph.D. in Applied Science from UALR. Nanotechnology is a study of all sciences such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering. This study enhances scientific utilization to all scientists. “The measure of success is how we will be able to commercialize intellectual property,” said Michael B. Miller, one of the founders and CEO of Poly Adaptive LLC. Miller has been involved in enterprising services involving technology, the economy, professional services, and entertainment for more than 30 years. He was an adjunct professor for the MBA program at Webster University. CINS was founded in 2006. The purpose of this research center is to apply research, educate and develop the economy. There is no degree programs involved in this research center. For more information go to polyadaptive.com or sbir.com.
Sanjay Johnson, sophomore early childhood education major, takes his turn beating a junk car as part of Health Promotion, Programs and Education’s Red Ribbon Week events. To wield the hammer, students pledged to quit smoking. Photo by Chelsey McNiel
Faculty Senate meeting veers from monotony Alexis Williams
Assistant News Editor
The Faculty Senate’s monthly meeting on Friday, Oct. 19 in the Legends room at the Jack Stephens Center yielded animation and considerable progress in regards to the controversial undergraduate curriculum requirements debate. This progression could perhaps be attributed to its change of venue. The Senate moved its meeting from Dickinson Auditorium to the Jack Stephens Center to accommodate the Discover UALR event that Friday. Dickinson Auditorum is a typical college lecture hall, complete with tiered semi-circular seating and decidedly dim lighting (to better accommodate PowerPoint discussions). Legends, in contrast, is bright and open, with ceiling-to-floor windows and elongated tables arranged in a mammoth rectangle, around which the senators seated themselves. This change-up may have served as a catalyst for the senatorial steam at this particular meeting. Though not quite as productive as the most recent undergraduate curriculum meeting, it still consisted of nimble debate and subsequent
voting on topics related to the Faculty Senate. Like the latest curriculum review meeting, the senators voted fervently on measures to be taken in regards to the document. The senators also discussed UALR’s involvement in the nationwide “Complete College America” campaign. According to its website, the mission of the campaign is to “work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.” Interim Provost Sandra Robertson reported 2012 statistics for the university, which showed 847 of the total student population (12,090) are first-time, entering freshmen. “As a result, we have to accept all transfer credit,” said Amy Barnes, associate professor of mass communication. As a consequence, non-transfer UALR students must adhere more rigorously to meeting general education requirements than transfer students. Nickolas Jovanovic, associate professor of construction management and
civil and construction engineering, reintroduced his curriculum proposal and invited the Senate to debate its amendments. They voted to keep many courses he listed, namely physics and philosophy. The question of certain courses’ relevance prodded the Senate to wrestle with the quandary of correct procedure. Senators voiced their opinions over which system would be most effective: to vote on courses to be included first, and then devise a plan for general education criteria that the courses must meet those standards, or initially devise a set of criteria for potential core courses, and subsequently include courses that meet the criteria. “Whatever process we do come up with, [it should allow the graduate to show employers] that ‘I am an educated person’ not just a specialist in a major, which is also important,” said JoAnne Matson, professor of rhetoric and writing. As the meeting neared the two-hour time limit, the senators agreed to postpone until the next undergraduate curriculum meeting, which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2 in Dickinson Auditorium.
Third-party candidate makes campaign stop on campus Jacob Ellerbee
Asst. Entertainment Editor
Judge Jim Gray, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate made a campaign stop at UALR on behalf of his presidential running mate, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico. According to the campaign’s website, the goal of the campaign is to capture 5 percent of the popular vote in the upcoming national election. This will, as Johnson says in an online ad, help bring an end to the current two-party system of Republicans and Democrats. “Five percent of the vote in 2012 is all it takes to end the two-party system in America for good,” Johnson said. The Libertarian Party was founded 41 years ago which is contrasted by the Democratic Party’s founding in 1792 and the Republican Party’s founding in 1854. Gray describes the Gray Libertarian Party as being more socially tolerant than Democrats and more financially responsible than Republicans. Johnson and Gray are on the ballot in every state except Michigan and Oklahoma. According to the campaign website, these two exceptions are due to the ballot’s access being in litigation. In an interview with NPR, political consultant Roger Stone alleges members of the Republican Party have been instigating these problems and challenging the Libertarians every step of the way, fearing that a vote cast for a third-party candidate will indirectly benefit President Obama and hurt Gov. Mitt Romney’s chances at winning the election. The Libertarian Party is being bullied by Republicans in that they are hiring attorneys and private investigators to keep them off election ballots in 2012, Gray said. “It’s despicable,” Gray said, “but it’s hardball and we know that.” On the topic of civil liberties, Gray said he and Johnson stand for freedom, liberty and the Bill of Rights. He went on to say, “when you lose your civil liberties to the government, you almost never get them back.” Gray continued the discussion of civil liberties and promised, “we will repeal that so called Patriot Act that he [Obama]
has embraced, we will repeal that National Defense Authorization Act, where any of us could be labeled as terrorists and actually deported and held without trial.” Gray said the biggest current threat to the United States is overextending a bad economy. He cited Ancient Rome, the Ottoman Empire and the Soviet Empire as examples saying they were “never conquered from without, they overextended and collapsed from within.” As Gray spoke to the crowd at UALR, he outlined what he and Johnson would do to cut federal spending. Gray said if he and Johnson were elected to the White House, they would not wait until 2014 to bring home the troops in Afghanistan; they would bring them home today. Gray said there are more than 900 U.S. military bases around the world. He and Johnson propose the government close nearly 80 percent Johnson of those that are nonessential to national security, and bring those troops home. Gray said he would like to stop sending our money, man power and resources to places that are “half a world away.” As he continued to outline his party’s plan to reduce federal spending, Gray proposed ending the Department of Education because it is not mandated by the Constitution and said it would save the country nearly $60 billion annually. He said the funds are dispersed through trickle-down economics going from the federal government, to the state, to the school district, to the next recipient. Gray proposes using a voucher system that would “power the parents to decide where that money will be spent.” Gray said it would create a more competitive environment for high schools around the country. He created a scenario where, if a school administrator is not doing a good job running a school, the parent can take the voucher and apply it to a different school. “If you’re content with the way that our country has supposedly been led for the last 10 years, vote for the Republican or the Democrat,” Gray said. “But if you’re not, vote for financial responsibility and social tolerance. Gov. Gary Johnson is the guy — I’m proud to be his running mate-he’s the guy! It’s really an amazing thing.”
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
“The Velvet Underground & Nico” six-disc reissue edition looks stunning, but contains little please material. Photo courtesy of Universal/Polydor Records
Expansive Velvet Underground reissue leaves much to be desired Liz Fox
“The Velvet Underground & Nico” was released in 1967, a year before the birth of my parents and when the Stooges were still the Iguanas. 45 years after its release, it’s been cited as a reference point for countless musicians of varying genres and still ranks high on lists of all-time greatest albums. The album dropped a nihilistic bomb on the “Summer of Love” and served as a heroin-fueled testament to unconventional behavior that culminated into a quintessential work of art. But profiteering executives and copyright battles have caused this album to undergo a tumultuous release history, and the latest notch in the board is a six-disc box set that, while a gem for must-have collectors, fails at providing valuable insight. Produced by Andy Warhol and primarily penned by Velvets ringleader Lou Reed, the album garnered a devoted following despite its initial commercial failure. In the mid-90s, the album was selected for inclusion into “Peel Slowly and See,” a retrospective set that also featured demos taken from Ludlow Street recordings. After undesirable extras appeared on a 2002 “deluxe edition” release, any additional tracks seemed to be little more than purchasing ploys. But it was this lull that made the idea of a true reissue all the more appealing. Sparing a handful of alternate and single-oriented mixes, the first two discs contain the original album in newly-remastered stereo and mono versions. Nico’s first full-length solo album, “Chelsea Girl,” makes up the entirety of disc three in its final form. For those owning “Peel Slowly and See” or later remasters of the two albums, there’s nothing new to be learned; only when the fourth disc is reached does it begin to get more enticing. Disc four contains recordings from sessions at New York’s Scepter Studios in 1966. These demos were originally found in 2002 by collector Warren Hill and purchased for a mere 75 cents at a New York flea market. Four years later, the tapes sold for over $25,000 after an intense eBay bidding war and though bootlegs of these recordings
exist online, it is the 45th anniversary box set that presents this set in its first official capacity. Aside from fans who already own the “Unripened” bootleg, listeners may find that many of these takes sound like different tracks altogether. “European Sun” is extended by one minute and proves even more disorienting while “Venus in Furs,” one of “The Velvet Underground & Nico’s” most sinister tracks, seems lighthearted without its sadistic polish. Even “Heroin” has a different vibe altogether, sacrificing its depth for the ramblings of a lesser Bob Dylan. Because the Velvets have been built up out of mystique and influence, these takes only offer a unfortunately lowered opinion of an otherwise classic album. Although it’s not worth shelling out the $82 the label insists on charging for it, the reissue redeems itself in some ways. In its infancy -- and perhaps at its best -- the Velvet Underground was part of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s traveling multimedia event that toured much of the U.S. in the mid-60s. One of these performances that took place in Columbus, Ohio is documented on the two final discs and contrasts with previous demos as early evidence of structure. The recordings are far from clean, but the state of the band outshines the mediocre quality of the medium on which it’s presented. Lou, Nico, multi-instrumentalist John Cale and their colleagues provide glimpses of what ended up on the final version of the album. As with most acts, a unique energy possesses the Velvets in a live setting, and this is what restores the reverence that’s lost with the reissue’s earlier portions. It brings the rough edges, drug-induced frenzies and masochistic poetry back into the limelight, and thus ends the six-disc compilation on a high note. No matter how many re-releases appear in future decades, the “Banana” album will always arouse interpretation. Generations will uncover more recordings or outtakes and continue to decipher the work as they see fit. But in my eyes, “The Velvet Underground & Nico” doesn’t need these useless additions; rather, it is best enjoyed in its most pure and final form.
Deputy sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) continues to lead a band of survivors through a zombie-infested world in “The Walking Dead’s” third season. Photo courtesy of AMC
‘The Walking Dead’ satisfies viewers with season premiere
Zombie-ridden hit marks its return with more gore Greg Garcia Sports Editor
AMC’s zombie-apocalypse drama “The Walking Dead” has captured the intrigue of people across the country, forming a cult following in the process. A gripping storyline, eccentric acting, and flesh-eating mindless zombies have come together to produce the hottest show on cable television. A staggering 10.9 million viewers tuned in for the season-three premiere on Oct. 14, making it the highest-rated episode for a basic cable drama television show. This 50 percent increase from the second season aided “The Walking Dead” in dominating social media that night, notably on Twitter, where #TheWalkingDead and #Ricktatorship hashtags remained trending topics for several hours. Nestled in a Sunday night time slot on cable television, the show’s season three premiere had to compete against two major rating behemoths: NBC’s Sunday Night Football and the MLB postseason on FOX. As a sports enthusiast, I should have been drooling at the opportunity to see two elite football teams light up the scoreboard on one channel and flip over to see the defending World Series champions try to win its second consecutive pennant on the other. Instead, I was in the middle of a zombie apocalypse thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for 60 heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, mind-blowing minutes. Any preconceived notion you may have about zombie movies or tele-
vision shows should be thrown out the window. Films like “Dawn of the Dead,” “28 Days Later” and “Zombieland” have all attempted to capture a apocalyptic world, but none of them begin to compare to “The Walking Dead.” While the zombies may be the same, AMC does a fantastic job of creating continuously-evolving characters that are above and beyond many shows currently featured on cable. Viewers get attached to the survivors, and that makes the suspense far greater than one would expect. Lead actor Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes, a deputy sheriff who leads a diverse group of survivors in a world where zombies are around every corner. Neither help from others nor relief from the government is on the horizon, and as the group struggles to survive each day, moral and ethical dilemmas continue to test their humanity. Writer Frank Darabont, who is known for his work on “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” has done a brilliant job of adapting the series from Robert Kirkman’s original comic book. From the writing to the costumes, the production has been nearly flawless. In the last episode, a zombie’s head was decapitated and rolled on the ground, two of the zombies didn’t have any arms, and one of them didn’t have skin on his face. These special effects are unique for a drama airing on cable television. Season three of “The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on AMC.
New horror film entices with ‘sinister’ supernatural twists Alexis Williams
Assistant News Editor
Halloween app allows users to alter photos with spooky effects C.J. Waters
Assistant Sports Editor
The SpookyPic App is one of hundreds of apps for scary, Halloweenrelated entertainment. According to Appstorm.net, SpookyPic was one of the 30 spooky apps considered for the Android. Customers reviews this app as four stars out of 48 ratings. Like Instagram and other photomanipulation programs, SpookyPic contains many special effects and filters with dark twists that allow its user to utilize over 140 gruesome appearances. It also has an exporting function that allows users to upload photos to albums, contacts, emails and social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s also worth saying that while the “lite” version of the program is free, the user must purchase the full version for 99 cents in order to get more visual effects. Despite its four-star rating and some of its features, I didn’t like the app after trying it out. In fact, it’s not interesting or entertaining
when it comes to taking photos and even though the filters are supposed to be scary, they aren’t really scary at all and can easily be trumped by many of the better filters Instagram has for its users. I would not recommend this app to others if they are looking for high-quality effects in the spirit of the Halloween holiday. The SpookyPic app is compatible with iPhones and iPads, and it is available through Apple’s app store. It requires iOS 4.0 or later, and it was last updated on April 2011.
There’s definitely something dark about “Sinister,” Scott Derrickson’s supernatural horror film that was released to theaters on Oct. 12. Derrickson also directed “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, which scared me into sleeping with the lights on for a week straight. As far as the fear factor goes, “Sinister” does not fail to measure up. It blends in blood-curdling bumps-in-the-night with family and inner turmoil, making for a truly terrifying film. Ethan Hawke delivers a riveting performance as Ellison Oswalt, the troubled author of a bestselling truecrime novel that is reminiscent of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” As a husband to a bombshell blonde and proud father of two, Ellison is living a happily quaint life -- only if he ignores the fact that with each book he writes, the residents of Smalltown, USA must relive the horrors of previous murders and continually loathe his existence. Like any author who has sipped from the chalice of notoriety, Ellison itches for another bestseller, so he centers his latest endeavor on discovering the truth behind the hellish family massacre that occurred in his newly-purchased home. As Ellison unpacks, he finds a box of home videos in his attic. Hoping for inspiration, he watches each reel and instead winces in terror as he witnesses footage of other gruesome family murders that all feature a common creature. From the “family hangout” massacre in his new home’s backyard to the “lawn work” slaughter of 20 years earlier in another part of the country, the films reveal the glimpse
of the same spectre. Ellison becomes more reclusive with each day as he watches, writes and obsesses, failing to acknowledge the crumbling domestic foundation caused by his neglect. Ethan Hawke evokes genuine pity from us as we helplessly witness his descent into alcoholic madness over connecting the pieces to this mystery, which causes his long-suffering wife to abandon hopes of reconciliation and threatens to leave him. Ellison learns that the figure in each video is “Baghuul,” a pagan deity that consumes the souls of children. Paranoia seizes Ellison and he believes “Mr. Boogie” haunts his home, not just his reels of found film that serve as a gateway to reality; as a result, his children begin to behave in horrifying ways: Enlisting the aid of a local deputy (James Ransone) and Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio), Ellison stumbles onto a secret behind the lore that could either send him soaring to stardom or challenging an ancient evil. Film critics and horror flick enthusiastics will find themselves anticipating the promising screams that erupted during “Sinister.” As far as spooks go, there are plenty of them. In fact, viewers may have to remind themselves at times that they are safe in the theater and not shackled in Ellison’s office, where “Mr. Boogie” could torment their desolate souls. So you know that dark part of your conscious that you never want to visit? Time to make yourself at home.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Treat yourself to a healthier Halloween Chelsey McNiel Features Editor
The goal for most people on Halloween is to get a candy stash that will last for weeks, or attend a memorable party with family and friends. But belly aches and unbuttoned jeans can creep up on you quickly. So if you want to cut back on the sweets this year and get a little more creative, nibble on these easy edible treats instead.
Nanner Nanner Boo Boos While this recipe makes cute ghost-like popsicles, you have to wait for the bananas to freeze and the snack should be eaten within an hour of completion. What you’ll need: • bananas (one banana makes two to three Nanners) • shredded coconut • orange juice • chocolate chips • dried blueberries • popsicle sticks After freezing the bananas for four hours, cut them in half and peel them. Dunk the frozen banana
Captain Howdy visits my sister
To skip the belly ache from chowing down on a mountain of chocolates and candy, treat yourself to a few Halloween inspired delicacies. Orange Pumpkins, Yummy Mummies and Nanner Nanner Boo Boos are simple recipes that require little effort, but offer big taste. Photo by Chelsey McNiel
halves in orange juice, then roll in shredded coconut. Arrange the chocolate chips as eyes and place a dried blueberry vertical for a mouth. Any dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries would also work. Insert a popsicle stick in the bottom to finish your ghoulishly cold treat.
Yummy Mummies Yummy Mummy can be served hot or cold. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. What you’ll need: • Double fiber wheat English muffins • garlic pesto or pizza sauce
• mozzarella cheese • red pepper • Pimento filled green olives Start with the double fiber wheat English muffins. Break them apart and spread garlic pesto or pizza sauce over the muffins. For a crisper muffin, toast before applying pesto or sauce. Criss-cross strips of mozzarella cheese for the mummy’s wrappings, use slivers of red pepper for lips, and sliced green olives stuffed with pimento for eyes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Whether you’re making snacks for a party, or treats to hand out at the door, these healthy morsels can appease all types of trick-or-treaters.
Last minute costumes without breaking the bank Geoffrey Bara Staff writer
If you’ve waited until the last minute to buy your Halloween costume, never fear, plenty of people leave things to the last minute and there are a variety of solutions that will help make sure you don’t show up to your Halloween party in a black T-shirt with orange stripes. As a student, spending a pile of
That damned Ellis kid David Ellis
Orange Pumpkins This treat is the easiest to make and can also be used as an edible center piece for a veggie stray. What you’ll need: • large oranges • celery or • chocolate dipped pretzel sticks Peel large oranges and cut small, thin strips of celery. Insert the strips of celery in the top of the oranges to resemble a pumpkin. For something a little sweeter, replace the celery with chocolate dipped pretzel sticks.
money on an outfit for one night is fiscally unsound. Fortunately, if you’re like me and can’t even be bothered to leave the house to get the costume supplies, many of them can be found around your home. It’s important not to forget the classics. As kids it was embarrassing to be the fifteenth vampire or pirate at school, but as adults, with everyone spending freakish
amounts of money on more and more outlandish costumes, a return to the familiar can be nostalgic and a lot of fun. Ghost: Get a white sheet and cut some eyeholes. Cheap, easy and guaranteed to get a laugh. And you can always say you’re E.T. undercover. Mummy: If you don’t have a lot of gauze on hand, a quick trip to the dollar general will be necessary. Stitch the bandages around a set of long underwear, making a separate top and bottom. Now you’ve got a custom mummy suit that you don’t have to unwind to go to the bathroom. Skeleton: Wear black clothes and cut bones out of paper plates. Staple them to your clothes and you’re ready to party. I also found some oddball ideas that even though they might seem strange, sound like a lot of fun. Painting: Find a large picture frame; if you don’t have one you can use at home, try a thrift store. You can carry the frame in front of you, or attach it to your clothing. With creative makeup you can be the Mona Lisa or an Andy Warhol. You could go as a TV set with essentially the same supplies. Add knobs out of construction paper and attach them to the frame, so it becomes a screen. You could also create an antenna with tinfoil and a headband. Static cling: Wear a sweat suit and glue socks and other items of clothing to it, along with some fabric softener sheets. Highway: Get that black sweat suit out again. Add yellow and white lines with either paint or fabric or construction paper, and add some toy cars, fake road kill and road signs. Whatever you decide to wear this Halloween, remember there’s a difference between classic and cliché; and humor can go a long way.
My mother, rest her soul, was a devout Catholic, and she clung tightly to the traditions and teachings of the church in an almost fanatical way. We were all baptized as infants and submerged literally from birth into the world of Catholic tradition. It was all we knew. As children we had no shortage of verbal or visual imagery of hell and the devil. We had picture books in our home, clearly meant for children that told stories of kids falling victim to temptation by accepting candy in church from a bat winged, horned, green-skinned, pointy-tailed Satan. Mom believed in the devil so much that when “The Exorcist” became available on HBO, she insisted we watch it. She claimed a person could be possessed by the devil or a demon. My brothers and I were too old for these scare tactics to work, but my sister Julie was still young and impressionable. My poor sister was the butt of many of our jokes and pranks. It is a wonder she survived. We teased and harassed her constantly. She was almost always in a state of uproar because of something my brothers or I had done to her. After watching “The Exorcist” and seeing the look of utter horror on my little sister’s face, I hatched a plan to scare both her and my mom. There was a scene from the movie in which the main character, a young girl, was possessed by the devil. Her bed began to shake violently while she was on it, and the bed lifted up off the floor and moved around. There were also scary grunting noises coming from underneath it. I decided to recreate this scene to frighten Mom and Julie. I piled pillows under the covers of my bed, giving the impression that I had already gone to bed. Then, I crept into my sister’s room while she was occupied in the bathroom. I slid under her bed and waited for what seemed like an eternity for everyone to fall asleep. I was uncomfortable and claustrophobic, but I waited. When I was sure everyone was asleep, I placed my hands and knees om the bottom of Julie’s bed and began to thrust upward, violently jostling it and grunting like the demon in the movie. Julie woke up screaming for Mom. Mom came running in and started screaming for my dad. Dad came in disoriented, asking what the hell all the screaming was about. After a brief survey of the situation Dad knew that one of the boys was behind this disturbance. He reached under the bed, determined to thrash whichever one of us he pulled out. With a grip like a steel trap, Dad drug me out by my arm, stood me on my feet, and proceeded to shake me as if he intended to see my brain come out of my nose. The whole time this was happening, he kept asking questions he already knew the answers to like, do you think that crap is funny? My mom was egging Dad on. In her mind I had committed a stoning offense; she really thought my sister was being attacked by the devil. The fact that I scared Mom was what mattered here, not that I was picking on my little sister. I got a beating, but it was worth it just to see the look on Mom’s face and hear my sister scream in fear. Then I was forced to sleep in my sister’s bed to keep her from getting scared. I gained some valuable knowledge from that experience. If you’re going to play a prank, make damn sure you have an escape rout or at least a good alibi. Secondly, sleeping in your sister’s bed is bad on all kinds of levels, no matter how old you are.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Basketball takes the court for 2012-13 season Greg Garcia Sports Editor
Fans will have the opportunity to get their first looks at the men’s and women’s basketball teams at a Meet the Trojans event at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Jack Stephens Center, but The Forum offers its recap of last year and preview of players to look out for this year.
Taylor Ford Junior Guard
Taylor Gault Sophomore Guard
Hannah Fohne Junior Center/Forward
Men’s Basketball The 2012-13 UALR mens basketball team will likely waste no time introducing its freshman class to Division I basketball. Eight freshmen and a total of 13 underclassmen are listed on the Trojan’s roster, providing intrigue to a primarily young team and inevitably forcing many of them to get their first taste of elite competition. Last year, the Trojans finished with an overall record of 15-16, but were proficient throughout conference play en route to a 12-4 record. That mark was good enough for UALR to reach the Sun Belt Conference tournament as the No. 2 seed; but, the Trojans were toppled by the upset-minded No. 7 seed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, in what was a disappointing end to a strong second half of the season. For this year’s Trojans, the road back to the conference tournament may not be as easy as it has been in recent years. In addition to the lack of upperclassmen, the Trojans will enter the regular season without three of its five starters from a year ago. Seniors D’Andre Williams and Courtney Jackson have graduated and Chuck Guy transferred to another university. Williams was the team’s leading scorer last year, averaging 13.2 points per game, while Jackson led the team in rebounds, grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game. With the loss of highly productive players, the Trojans will look to the preseason first team All-Sun Belt pick Will Neighbour to pick up some of the slack. Neighbour, an England native, was a second team All-Sun Belt selection last year as he put together a successful campaign in his first year at UALR. A transfer from Daytona State College, Neighbour ranked second on the team in both scoring and rebounding. A shoulder injury hampered the 6-foot-10inch junior forward for the majority of the season, forcing him to miss two games, but he should be at full strength for the start of the season. Also coming off an injury sustained last year is redshirt sophomore Gus Leeper. The Austin, Texas native injured his knee during a summer pickup game, forcing him to sit out the entire 2011-12 season. Leeper was a
Kiera Clark Sophomore Forward
Janette Merriex Senior Forward/Guard
Will Neighbour Junior Forward
Gus Leeper Sophomore Forward
Michael Javes SophomoreCenter/Forward
Ted Crass Senior Guard
Ben Dillard Sophomore Guard
pivotal part of the 2010-11 Sun Belt Championship team that reached the NCAA tournament. During the conference tournament Leeper started all four games as a freshman, while shooting 47 percent from the field. Leeper is the only player on the current roster that was apart of the 2010 champion-
off against Southern Methodist University at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and will play either South Carolina or Missouri State on Nov. 25. UALR will open its season against UT Martin at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at the Jack Stephens Center.
ship team. Working to the advantage of the Trojans will be the mastermind behind six championships and one NCAA tournament appearance, head coach Steve Shields. En route to becoming the winningest coach in school history, Shields has led the Trojans to a 147128 record over his nine-year tenure at the helm, including the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990. In the annual preseason coaches’ poll, Shields and the Trojans have been picked to finish third in Sun Belt Conference West Division, behind North Texas and Arkansas State. This year, Shields and his Trojans will participate in the Hoops for Hope Classic that will take them to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for two games. The Trojans will square
Women’s Basketball Winning has been the norm for head coach Joe Foley and the UALR women’s basketball team over the last several years. This year should be no different. UALR comes into the 2012-13 season as winners of back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships and have consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament to its credit. Last year, the Trojans entered the tournament as the No. 14 seed, but were defeated by the No. 3 seed Delaware Blue Hens. Despite the loss, it was the first time in school history that the UALR women’s basketball program hosted the NCAA Championship first and second rounds at the Jack Stephens Center.
The hype will surround UALR again this year as the Trojans are the heavy favorites to win the Sun Belt Conference West Division. In the annual coaches’ poll, the Trojans captured 10 first place votes in the west division. In comparison, the second-place team received only one first-place vote. The Trojans return three starters from last year, including a backcourt that is as deadly as any in the Sun Belt. Pacing the Trojans this year will be the dynamic duo of sophomore guard Taylor Gault and junior guard Taylor Ford. Gault, an Arkansas native, is coming off an impressive freshman campaign where she started in 32 of the 33 games she played. As a freshman, Gault led the Trojans in scoring with 16 points per game and recorded a team-high 56 steals. Her performance garnered the respect of teams throughout the conference as she was named the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player. This year, Gault has been named to the preseason All-Sun Belt first team, the only UALR player to receive that honor. Gault will accompany Ford in the backcourt who has had success of her own as a Trojan. Like Gault, Ford started in 32 of the 33 games she played. A workhorse on the court, Ford led the Trojans in minutes played, minutes per game, and assists. Ford was also named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team. Joining Ford and Gault as returning starters will be senior forward Janette Merriex. She was named to the preseason AllSun Belt third team as last year she led the Trojans last year in three-point field goals made. Lethal from behind the arc, Merriex has the ability to spread the floor and knock down open jumpers. While things appear to be in UALR’s favor, there are a few holes the Trojans will have to fill to capture its third consecutive Sun Belt championship. The Trojans will be without Marian Kursh and Britteni Williams; two seniors who have graduated made a significant impact in the frontcourt last season. Kursh was the team’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder last season. Foley, the two-time Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, will begin his tenth season at UALR with the hopes of improving on his 62.5 winning percentage as the Trojan’s head coach. The Trojans will embark on what hopes to be another successful season when they travel to Tulsa, Okla. to take on the University of Tulsa. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.