Page 1

THURSDAY, FEB. 11, 2021 VOLUME 95 ■ ISSUE 18



Lubbock offers warm weekend activities.

Neuse, Conley named to BBSA watchlist.

Romance novels offer stories for all readers.


ONLINE Listen to the Matador Beat on our Spotify account at The Daily Toreador.

PG 3

PG 5

PG 4



3 5 4 5 5 2


Gerri Botte, professor and Whitacre department chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas Tech, reads the results from her Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor. The Sensor reads a saCHASE SEABOLT/The Daily Toreador liva test and provides a result in seconds.

Tech professor prepares to unleash Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor By HANNAH ISOM News Editor

When the pandemic started last March, Gerardine “Gerri” Botte, professor and Whitacre department chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas Tech, was working on a project regarding E. Coli in water and began to wonder if there was a way to apply this research to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, she established a connection with a professor within the Tech Health Sciences Center and told her of an idea. Now, as the one-year mark of stay-at-home orders approaches, Botte prepares to test her innovative, Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor on the population. “I felt like at the beginning, the majority of people took the traditional approach using PCR technologies,” Botte said. “This is so completely different that it’s taken people time to realize the impact, so we’re very excited about it.” According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is a technique used to amplify small segments of DNA. Botte and her team, which includes her research assistant, Ashwin Ramanujam, and Dr. Sharilyn Almodovar, an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at the HSC, bought saliva from banks and tested the proteins of the virus and the detection limit of the Sensor, Botte said. “We have, so far, 100 percent

sensitivity and specificity, which is really good,” Botte said. However, it is important to note the testing was done in a controlled environment, buying saliva from a bank, Botte said. Her team will compare results once they are able to test the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor in the field. Now, Botte said her team is working with the university to start testing at Tech with the technology and are hopeful to start in mid-February. Her team will be at the testing site at Tech asking for samples and donations to test with her Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor. The Sensor, Botte said, is very small and looks like the piece of paper used to measure PH. When an individual gets tested using the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor, they supply a small sample of saliva, about .2 milliliters, which Botte said will probably be collected in a biohazard cubit, which is a container designed for the safe disposal of biohazardous material. The sample is then taken to a machine that contains the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor, and then adds a solution to bring the sample to the right conditions for measurement, Botte said. Then, a button on the bottom is pressed, and the machine gives a positive or negative COVID-19 test result within seconds, Botte said. “The solution that we add to enable the measurement also deactivates the virus for the future,” Botte said. “So, basically it shouldn’t be a biohazard anymore, which is also a

tremendous advantage when you talk about other techniques.” Today, when a sample of saliva is taken, it sometimes must be kept at a certain temperature, usually freezing, Botte said. After the measurement is taken it becomes a biohazard, so the solution eliminates that issue. The solution is readily available and produced at the bulk/commodity level by the petrochemical industry. Testing on the population and preparations to make the technology available for everyone are happening at the same time, Botte said. Part of the team is looking at FDA approval and manufacturing, while the other part is continuing research and tests at the university. As a professor, Botte said she cannot pursue FDA approval for the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor, so a company was established to commercialize the product. This company is currently pursuing FDA approval. “The idea is, we need to have the resources to manufacture and to bring this to practice and that’s moving in parallel,” Botte said. Though Dr. Sharilyn Almodovar was unable to comment, Botte’s Research Assistant, Ashwin Ramanujam, spoke on his involvement in the project. Ramanujam has been working with Botte for over a year, he said. He was working with her on her development of the sensor that could detect E. Coli, and when they brainstormed ways the technology could somehow be used to test COVID-19. Since the beginning of their re-

CHASE SEABOLT/The Daily Toreador

All three prototypes of the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensors sit on the desk in the laboratory used by Gerri Botte and her team. search, Ramanujam said they have learned a lot about COVID-19. “Getting to explore more is one of the most exciting things of this project,” Ramanujam said, “because nobody in the world knows, and we are all learning together.” Balancing school and research was difficult at first, Ramanujam said, but it got easier over the summer, and he is now readjusting to balancing both. However, Ramanujam said it has been surreal to be a part of a team that could help quell this pandemic, and that makes it worth it. “If you had asked me last March if I thought I’d be working on something of this caliber I would’ve said no,” Ramanujam said. Botte’s team is investigating

the Ultrafast COVID-19 Diagnostic Sensor’s effectiveness on new strains of the virus now and will be able to evaluate more as they move into the field, Botte said. Though it is exciting to finally be moving forward to the next step of the research process, Botte said she wished she could have done it earlier, but it required support and resources she did not have at the time. Next, Botte said she is about to begin a program where they capture the virus in the air, making it possible to sense the COVID-19 virus in buildings. “It’s very exciting,” Botte said, “because we’re going to help stop this pandemic.” @HannahIsomDT


Students, faculty explore journaling as a coping mechanism By TEA MCGILVRAY Staff Writer

Many students deal with stress because of changes in their personal lives, work lives and schoolwork. One way people cope with stress, which is an important skill to learn, is by keeping a journal. Katie Cortese, an associate professor of English, said journaling can help with self-discovery, venting and processing emotions. While other forms of creative writing are tailored to the reader as a form of connection, journaling is for the writer. “Some people have dream jour-

nals, some people have idea journals, some people have experience journals,” Cortese said. “For me, the idea of a journal is sort of voluntary, and it needs to be personalized to whoever the writer of that journal is.” Journals can be a way of documenting one’s private life and freezes moments in time, Cortese said. Journaling is a way to have a conversation with oneself, Cortese said. Sometimes they will be assigned to students or a therapist might suggest using the technique, but journaling is a very private experience that many people do not want to share. “This period of life in college is

really intense,” Cortese said. “One of the reasons people find it useful, especially for anxiety, is that it can be a sort of repository for all of the concerns of the day and kind of write them out of your system.” William Wenthe, a professor in the English department, said journaling is a process of creative writing. Today, the term journaling has a more structured process associated with it, but Wenthe has a more open interpretation of it. He has kept journals for the past 40 years and began in college when he said life was more interesting.


Graphic by: KATE SKAGGS



FEB. 11, 2021



Maintaining relationships amid pandemic By BAO PHAM Staff Writer

With the COVID-19 outbreak still causing inconveniences to everyday life, it may feel impossible to meet someone without facing the risk of catching the virus. In the case of couples, they may face significant obstacles in their relationship due to social distance and quarantine. It is, however, not impossible for them to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Molly Ireland, a psychological sciences professor at Texas Tech, said that it is possible to keep a relationship going even when people are separated. However, she said there is a certain extent to how this works. “People who live alone, especially when they are not touching anybody, not even a shoulder bump or hug and lacking physical contact, will have their feelings of loneliness and isolation magnified,” Ireland said. “There is really no substitute for that.” Video call applications are great alternatives for face-toface conversation, Ireland said. However, other than lacking the ability to share physical contact, they have one significant flaw.

“On Zoom or FaceTime, you see yourself a little bit. Subconsciousness tends to make people unhappy. It is not pleasant for everybody to look at themselves, especially when you already have mental health vulnerabilities or symptoms of depression. Seeing yourself too much can magnify these negative feelings,” Ireland said. There is no replacement for the benefits of physical contact, and Ireland said other than meeting with their significant other via digital networks, people should try to interact with individuals within their own household to make sure they have the moderate amount to keep themselves well and healthy. Unlike couples who have trouble meeting each other during the pandemic, couples who share the same roof face an entirely different problem, the lockdown causes them to stay at home more than usual, and this creates a lot of unnecessary tension. Matthew Rivas-Koehl, a Tech graduate and a researcher for the Love in the Time of COVID project, said that individuals should have their own personal time when living under the same

roof with others, no matter how close they are. “There’s a lot of research to suggest that having individual interests and social lives is a positive factor for relationships. It isn’t likely that partners like to do everything together all of the time, so carving out time to individually go for a walk or run, play a video game, or do something else that you typically enjoy doing alone is important too,” Rivas-Koehl said. It is nice to live together, however living together under pressure is a different story. There are a lot of things that can cause stress, and it may become difficult to hold back from nitpicking things that a partner does. In this case, open communication is vital, Rivas-Koehl said. “If you feel like the pandemic is putting a strain on your relationship, call that out. Talk with your partner about the external stressors of the pandemic, and do everything that you can to take the blame away from each other as people,” Rivas-Koehl said. Trust is important in a relationship, with or without the pandemic interfering. RivasKoehl said it is normal for both partners to feel on edge, so say-

ing reassuring words every now and then to a significant other will put them more at ease. As generalized as these categories are, there will be people who do not find themselves belonging to either of these categories. This, however, is a perfectly normal situation. Jacki Fitzpatrick, a professor of human development and family sciences at Tech, said there may be some exceptions. An example would be how frequently couples utilized technology to communicate with each other before the lockdown. “If that was a common way to communicate with each other, then it should be a smooth transition for them to continue doing it when they are socially distanced,” Fitzpatrick said. “The experience is familiar, and they can just continue doing it like how they did before.” In addition, there are ways that couples who lost needed intimacy due to lockdown compensate for it, which is to increase intimacy through words, reaching a higher level of verbal intimacy that they could not reach before the pandemic, Fitzpatrick said. “For some couples, that might be enough to sustain their relationship. For others,

Graphic by: KATE SKAGGS

separation may simply be too difficult. It can either be a loss of physicality that they cannot replace with meaningful ways, or that their life gets so difficult that it does not matter how they communicate,” Fitzpatrick said. “It does not matter whether they are comfortable with the communication method or not, there is just too much of a strain on their lives that imposes on their relationship, and sometimes people would feel like they cannot handle more things,” Even if it is to maintain a relationship, people should never

use kindness and patience to endure pressure and abuse of any type caused by the tensions of the pandemic. Fitzpatrick said that when this happens, it is better for people to become more selforiented and consider their own safety and wellness. Those who need help with problems regarding their relationship in these situations are encouraged to contact resources on campus (RISE: 806-742-2110) and nationwide (National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673) for assistance. @BaoPhamDT


Professors adjust course schedules due to Wellness Days, no Spring Break By JAVIER BACA Staff Writer

In the fall of 2020, Texas Tech officials made the decision to modify the spring semester. These changes included a late start to the semester, wellness days and reducing Spring Break to one day. This caused schedule changes for both instructors and students. Rashid Al-Hmoud, associate professor in the Department of Economics and director of Graduate Studies at Tech, discussed what he had to change in order to compen-

sate for the spring schedule. “We had to do some rescheduling around Spring Break vacation,” Al-Hmoud said. “Changing the date of the midterm exams to work around the one day of Spring Break.” Al-Hmoud said usually exams were done on Thursday or Friday, but with only one day of Spring Break, those exams were bumped up earlier in the week and now have to be taken on Tuesday or Wednesday. Students may be disappointed they cannot enjoy Spring Break this year, AlHmoud said. Faculty is working

diligently to ensure the Tech campus will be as safe as possible, which is the reason why Spring Break was cancelled. “The decision was made to cut Spring Break down from the typical one week to one day,” AL-Hmoud said. “We don’t want students to travel and be close together for a long period of time and then bring back COVID-19 to campus.” Al-Hmoud said even though it was a challenging decision, the university does not want to go back to square one in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. “It is not ideal, but it was the necessary decision to make,” Al-Hmoud said. It is going to be up to the students who made Spring Break plans in advance to make the most responsible decision when it comes to proceeding with those plans or not, AlHmoud said. “The only thing I can say is that I hope that our students, who we trust will make the best decision for themselves, their classmates, colleagues, room-

mates and the city in general,” Al-Hmoud said. Al-Hmoud said he would encourage all students to do their best to receive a refund if they have already put in money for Spring Break plans. “Personally, I had to go through one of those reservations that were non-refundable,” Al-Hmoud said. “ I think you would be surprised how flexible people on the other side can be.” John Howe, professor of medieval history in the Department of History at Tech, explained what he had to do to adjust his class schedule to work around the single day Spring Break. “We academics don’t usually take our vacations,” Howe said. “They are often research ones, so the change in Spring Break doesn’t make all that difference to us except, in theory, students had a chance to work on semester projects during that time. I expect most don’t, but now they lose that opportunity.”


@DailyToreador www.dailytoreador.com



Page 3 Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Lubbock offers warm weekend activities By MADELEINE HALL Staff Writer

With spring fast approaching, there are many outdoor activities in Lubbock to spend weekends doing. Texas Tech departments such as the Outdoor Pursuits Center offer free weekly classes and activities for students to get outside and moving. “We have a lot of different activities usually in the late afternoon when people don’t have class, and we provide all of the equipment [for these activities] for free except for bike rentals which cost $5,” Payson Guillote, who works at the OPC, said. The OPC hosts volunteer events such as picking up trash around Lubbock. There are also weekly yoga classes at Urbanovsky Park on Mondays, social bike rides on Tuesdays and kayaking pool sessions on Thursday, according to the OPC website. The OPC, located within the Tech Recreational Center, also hosts trips outside of Lubbock that students


CONTINUED FROM PG. 1 “I go back to those writings, it’s quite interesting to get a sense of who I was and what I was thinking 40 years ago, and it’s not all embarrassing,” Wenthe said. “First time I read it was about 10 years after I wrote it, and I remember thinking, ‘I kinda like that guy.’” Journaling is helpful in difficult times because when under emotional strain it helps to write it down, Wenthe said. When people write, it helps to organize their thoughts and reflect on them. Wenthe said he recommends students try journaling. Not every student is inclined to journaling, how-

are able to attend. “Because of COVID-19, we’re not allowed to travel so we don’t have any trips for this semester planned, but some of my favorites in the past have been the Albuquerque Balloon Festival where we camp and watch the festival, Guillote said. “We’ve also done a Big Bend trip where we drive to Big Bend National Park and do a lot of camping and hiking, that’s usually a fan favorite.” “Caving, climbing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, anything outdoors related we usually plan a trip for it,” Guillote, a senior human development and family sciences major from Houston, said. The OPC rents out equipment to students such as ski and snowboard gear, paddleboards and kayaks, according to its website. Students interested in outdoor activities can find equipment and training at the OPC. A popular spot for students to visit during the

spring is Lake Alan Henry. Visitors at the lake are able to boat, swim and paddleboard. Admission into the lake costs $6 Monday through Friday and $8 on the weekends, according to its highlight on the Texas Wildlife website. Another activity for warmer weather is hiking at Palo Duro Canyon located about 100 miles outside of Lubbock. “We hiked a lot of the trails until we got to the top of the canyon,” Isabel Hilton, a senior agriculture and applied economics major from Plano, said. “I had never been and the view from the top was so pretty, we had a lot of fun.” The Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers hiking and bike riding, horseback riding, geocaching, bird watching and much more for its visitors, according to the State Park’s website. “Palo Duro is really popular, a lot of my friends have gone,” Hilton said. “It’s one of those things I think every Tech stu-

ever, college is a great time to explore it since students have many responsibilities. “Ancient wisdom says meditate, pray and journaling is just a way to do that,” Wenthe said. Alissa Rubio, a sophomore psychology major from El Paso, said she journals regularly throughout the week and typically does it without a prompt. She writes down her free thoughts or doodles in no specific format. Once a month, Rubio said she writes a letter to herself to look back at how things have changed. “I would say I just wanted to look for a creative outlet because I’m just more of a private person,” Rubio said. “I feel like journaling was the best option

I could have gone with because it’s a judgment-free zone. It was just me there, you know, just me and the journal.” Rubio said she likes to document her thoughts during the day if something good happened or if something happened with her family or friends and writing it out helps her keep track of everything. Journaling helps Rubio feel less overwhelmed because it works as an outlet for her stress, she said. “I’ve noticed if I don’t journal, it’s like one of those things, I’m walking around with like 1,000 things in [my] head,” Rubio said. “When I do journal, it helps me not think about all those things at one time.” @DTMcgilvray

Photo Courtesy of the Outdoor Pursuits Center

The Outdoor Pursuits Center on their staff backpacking trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado in Aug. 2019. Due to COVID-19, the OPC is not taking group trips. dent should experience, the views are incredible.” Lubbock is also home to a number of golf courses that are popular during spring afternoons. Meadowbrook Canyon Creek Golf Club offers student rates of $18 for a round of golf all day Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday after 2 p.m. “[Meadowbrook] has two courses that you can choose

from and both are fun to play. It’s pretty challenging to play but it’s a good way to spend an afternoon with your friends.” Conner Adcox, a sophomore finance major from Dripping Springs, said. Prairie Dog Town, located at Mackenzie Park in Lubbock, is a fun family activity also available. Visitors can visit Prairie Dog Town and watch the

animals in their natural habitat for free year-round. Burrowing owls also frequent Prairie Dog Town for those interested in birdwatching. Students interested in renting equipment and learning more about the OPC’s upcoming classes, events and opportunities can visit the OPC or visit their website.

about Spring Break being cut to one day and how it will affect college students. “I think those people who already had plans in place are still going to go,” Sanchez said. Furthermore, Sanchez said she believes professors are

prepared for the influx of student absences during the traditional week of Spring Break because students had made plans before the announcement of the change was made.



CONTINUED FROM PG. 2 Howe said that teaching and learning have only been affected in a negative way by the pandemic. A student has plenty of things to worry about under normal conditions, Howe said. By adding the pandemic, it is another thing to worry about along with traditional day-to-day life. For the students who still go somewhere for spring break, now they have another aspect to stress over. “Whatever you do, it is a little less satisfying if you didn’t have to worry about the pandemic,” Howe said. Naudya Sanchez, a freshman nursing major from Menard discussed her thoughts




Page 4 Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021


@DailyToreador www.dailytoreador.com

Romance novels offers stories for all readers

The romance genre tends to have a bad reputation about books with fainting women and shirtless men on the covers. But, the romance genre has books for everyone based on what they want to read, shirtless men and all. That being said, if you’re in the market for a good Valentine’s Day read, I have come up with a list of romances and books with some romance elements in them. I would like to preface this list with the fact that I do not read a lot of romance, but a lot of these books helped me get into the genre. To start, the book that got me into reading romance in the first place: “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren. The story follows Olive and Ethan, the sister to the bride and the brother to the groom, as they have to pretend to be a married couple at a resort after the actual bride and groom are

Emma Sipple is a senior journalism major from Bulverde.

unable to. The one problem is, Olive and Ethan hate each other. “The Unhoneymooners” was such a good time, and I read through the whole book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Olive and Ethan have great chemistry, and both of them were strong characters outside of their relationship. The story is also hilarious. I highly recommend “The Unhoneymooners” for anyone looking for a fun, humorous romance to read. My second recommendation is “The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Set in an alternate timeline with a different British royal family, the book follows the American Bex studying

at Oxford when she meets Prince Nicholas, and they form a romance. I adored this book. Bex is one of my favorite heroines, and she is such a fun character to follow. Nick is also great, and all of the side characters from Bex and Nick’s family and friends were a blast to read about. I am excited to read the sequel when the book is available for me to borrow from my library. For all the Bridgerton fans out there, “The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn is the first book of the series and follows the events of the first season. Each of the books after follow a different Bridgerton sibling. The world of historical romance is a fun one, and “The Duke and I” is a good place to start if you liked Bridgerton. Next up is a book with less of a focus on romance, but rather includes it subtly. Even my boyfriend, who dislikes romance in any of

his books, enjoyed the “romantic subplot” that this book had. “Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody is book one in “The Shadow Game” trilogy and follows Enne, who is in search of her mother in New Reyes, the fantasy equivalent of Atlantic City, a city of magic and gangs and mystery. Enne then meets Levi, the young gang leader trying to become king of New Reyes.

It will mess you up in a way and make you think, which is what I enjoy in my thrillers. Enne and Levi have excellent chemistry together, but also are strong characters by themselves. The mystery and magic of the world is interesting and engaging, and the entire

city is a character in itself. I am on the second book of the trilogy myself, and I can’t wait to see where Enne and Levi end up next. Now, for my favorite book on this list: “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson himself pitches the book as “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “Miss Congeniality” in a fantasy world where the evil dark lord won. The story follows Vin, a thief who discovers she has the ability to use magic and is recruited by another magic user in his plan to defeat the evil dark lord and bankrupt him in the process. Vin is then disguised and sent to spy on the nobles where she meets Elend, and she feels conflicted about wanting revenge and her attraction to him. This book is a wild ride, and despite it being the first book in the trilogy, it has a satisfying conclusion for those who just want to read the first one. I would

recommend continuing the series because “Mistborn: The Final Empire” is just that good. The characters are great, and the romance between Vin and Elend is sweet. For people who are not big fantasy fans, I still think “Mistborn: The Final Empire” is a great book to give a read thanks to it feeling like a heist movie. Finally, for those who don’t want to read anything involving romance, I suggest “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. The book follows Nick and Amy Dunne in their sleepy Missouri town after Amy goes missing. Everyone blames Nick for her disappearance, but he claims he is innocent. This book is a wild ride start to finish, and I really enjoyed it. It will mess you up in a way and make you think, which is what I enjoy in my thrillers. I cannot recommend this book enough. @EmmaSippleDT


American individualism worsened COVID-19

I think the COVID-19 pandemic came at the exact right time. And, no, while there is nothing opportune or celebratory about the death of millions of people and the trauma of many more, there is a kind of cruel coincidence in the fact that a global pandemic, requiring the utmost togetherness and coordination of society, has hit during the most divisive time in history. The United States currently ranks number one

CONTACT US Newsroom: 806-742-3393 Advertising: 806-742-3384 Business: 806-742-3388 Circulation: 806-742-3388 Fax: 806-742-2434 Email: dailytoreador@ttu.edu

EDITORIAL BOARD Editor-in-Chief Chase Seabolt (806) 742-3395 editor@dailytoreador.com Managing Editor Mallory Rosetta managing@dailytoreador.com News Editor Hannah Isom news@dailytoreador.com La Vida Editor Amanda Hampton features@dailytoreador.com Sports Editor Zach Richards sports@dailytoreador.com Opinions Editor Mateo Rosiles opinions@dailytoreador.com Multimedia Editor Chase Seabolt photo@dailytoreador.com Digital Content Manager Ana Arthur online@dailytoreador.com Copy Editor Emma Sipple online@dailytoreador.com

BREAKING NEWS Email dailytoreador@ttu.edu, call (806) 742-3393 or tweet information to @DailyToreador.

CORRECTIONS The DailyToreador strives for accuracy and fairness in the reporting of news. If a report is wrong or misleading, a request for a correction or clarification may be made by calling (806) 742-3393 or emailing dailytoreador@ttu.edu.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION © Copyright 2021Texas Tech University Student Media/The Daily Toreador. All DT articles, photographs and artwork are the property of The DT and Student Media and may not be reproduced or published without permission. The DailyToreador is a designated public forum. Student editors have the authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval.

Toluwani Osibamowo is a junior journalism major from Plano.

in COVID-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization, with more than 26 million cases since the beginning of last year. This embarrassing feat is the result of America’s toxic individualistic culture that makes people believe they are above the life-saving measures required to beat this virus. America’s quick rise to becoming a formidable military power has come with a long history of fighting - the American Revolution, the Civil War, various drawnout conflicts with Russia, China and the Middle East. This combative nature is woven into American's identity. It all goes back to the idea of rugged individualism, this idyllic concept of

the powerful West and the creation of a culture that is unabashedly American, where all a man has to rely on is himself and the land, not government supervision. ‘Murica! Our country’s chauvinistic reputation has continued to manifest itself in the most insidious ways. But then you have someone like Donald Trump come along, running for president wearing this persona proudly. Trump was, in the eyes of many, the solution. He was the ointment to the gaping, sensitive wound that had been gouged into America by the weakling left. He enabled millions and made them feel like it was OK to engage in bigotry (again). His supporters felt comforted by his isolationist mentality and catchy battle cries: Make America great again! Build that wall! A lot of that anger towards Democrats and the Obama administration carried over into the Trump

administration, and Trump fed the dormant flame of pure selfishness that America will be trying to put out for eternity. On one hand, Trump makes an easy scapegoat. How can we be so sure any other president would have been better prepared to handle a pandemic? To that, I say: how could you have handled it any worse than this?

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic - and our reaction to it - are irreparable. Xenophobia, denial, constant misinformation and blatant disregard for the educated opinions of his staff. None of this is out of character, to say the least. And Trump’s constituents ate this attitude up. Americans, even those who disapprove of Trump,

feel justified now more than ever in indulging their greed. They see policies like mask-wearing and social distancing as encroachments on their civil liberties, as evidenced by several protests against government mandates that have sprung up during this pandemic. This fighting mentality has reared its ugly head. “I can’t breathe,” the infamous phrase uttered by victims of police brutality with their last breaths, has been bastardized by anti-maskers who think an N-95 mask is as much of an irremovable burden as the color of your skin. This pandemic had to happen because there was no way that people were going to care about anybody other than themselves unless people started dying. COVID-19 doesn't care if you screech out of a Walmart parking lot with your “Come and Take It” flag billowing in the wind

because a teenage sales associate told you to put your mask over your nose. It doesn’t care if you’re turning 21 soon, and you absolutely need to book a weekend trip in Vegas with your besties. Sickness is humbling, it can and will take anyone out. Many of us are guilty of speaking about the pandemic offhandedly, reassuring ourselves that by the end of the year, everything will be OK. The vaccine is being distributed. How long can this thing last, anyway? The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic - and our reaction to it - are irreparable. If the vaccine is distributed with enough efficiency, it will still be too late for those who have lost their lives and loved ones. It will not teach Americans a good enough lesson about putting aside pride and gluttony for the greater good, something we might never learn how to do. @TOsibamowoDT


TikTok evolves into teaching platform Chyna Vargas is a freshman journalism major from San Antonio.

I thought I would be one of those people to never download the app. One of my friends kept urging me to download TikTok because I was missing out. I would roll my eyes, but all it took was one summer. I fell a victim to TikTok. I have no shame now as I know the app has one billion monthly users. The app has become a worldwide phenomenon and is used for anything you can imagine. From businesses to tutorials and comedy skits, this app has it all and is customized to your liking. I believe this app has been educating us all. When the very first months of isolation began for everyone last year, the major question that was asked was, “What are we going to do at home?” Being on our phones and computers seemed to be the obvious answer, how-

LETTERS The Daily Toreador welcomes letters from readers. Letters must be no longer than 300 words and must include the author’s name,

ever, we went beyond that statement and learned more about how to learn from our devices. We are coming into an era now where we are not resenting technology but embracing it and incorporating it into our lives. We are using what is on our phones as tools to entertain and educate ourselves. Taking what was supposed to be a simple communication device and reinventing it as a mass communication device. This is how trends are created and reached large audiences. Influencers then take the platform and do what they will. Whether that is informing, advocating, or simply being hysterical. W h i l e Ti k To k a l g o rithms vary depending on the person, the influential power still reaches out to any consumer. I am a food person, and so when the whipped coffee (dalgona) trend emerged, it was all over my “For You Page.” The famous “Gigi Hadid” (penne alla vodka) pasta became a staple dish to make over the summer. While I was watching

signature, phone number, student ID number and a description of university affiliation. Students should include year in school, major and hometown. We reserve the right to edit letters. Anonymous letters will not be accepted for publication. All letters will be verified before they are published. Letters can be emailed to dailytoreador@ ttu.edu or brought to 180 Media and Communication. Letters should be sent in before 3 p.m. to ensure the editors have enough time to verify and edit the submission.

food videos be made by content creators, it was other creators telling me what the dishes are actually called and where they originated. I was learning two topics in one video. The food side of TikTok is endless, and the more I interact with that side, the more content I receive.

Ta k i n g t h e t o o l s given, people have made the platform an all-around classroom. I have learned as well how to eat a little healthier whilst in a dorm. At the time, I would not think I was gaining relative information from the popular app, but subconsciously I am learning something every day and applying it to my life. I have learned from Hyram Yarbro, the best facial cleanser for my type of skin and which products I need to switch out. I switched, and my skin is majorly improving. The time I would have

needed to spend at the dermatologist is saved now. Haircare products, to cheap cosmetics and clothing brands, I have saved not only time researching for the best products but money. My father has even learned a way to clip my dog’s nails by applying peanut butter to plastic wrap and placing it on his head. It has been the most ridiculous method I have seen, yet it worked. Some people have not realized it yet, but social media i s a l a r g e c o m m u n i t y, therefore we all have common interests, goals and lessons to be taught. Our normal routines or lifestyle have changed due to 15-60 second videos. There may be stigmatism that learning in formation from a social media platform is bad. I fact-check and discuss subjects with other people, but what is the difference between learning from TikTok than other social platforms? We use Twitter as an immediate news source or Facebook for articles. Tik-

GUEST COLUMNS The Daily Toreador accepts submissions of unsolicited guest columns. While we cannot acknowledge receipt of all columns, the authors of those selected for publication will be notified. Guest columns should be no longer than 650 words in length and on a topic of relevance to the university community. Guest columns are also edited and follow the same guidelines for letters as far as identification and submittal.

Tok is another one of those platforms that becomes a source. What we learn and are influenced by in this era is in the media. No matter what shape or form it comes in. As the consumers then, we should interact and shape the platforms to the best of their ability. Ti k To k ’s i n t e n t i o n s may have been just to entertain and make people laugh. I used to see it purely as an app for comedy and did not find the purpose to download it. However, the app has exceeded expectations over the last couple of years. The app has expanded and adapted from its original purpose. That is not due to the creators of the app, but due to the content creators within the app. Taking the tools given, people have made the platform an allaround classroom. We are bouncing ideas and life skills off each other that would not originally be thought of. The app has become an outlet and source for people to educate and teach. @ChynaVargasDT

EDITORIALS Unsigned editorials appearing on this page represent the opinion of The DailyToreador. All other columns, letters and artwork represent the opinions of their authors and are not necessarily representative of the editorial board, Texas Tech University, its employees, its student body or the Board of Regents. The DailyToreador is independent of the College of Media and Communication. Responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies with the student editors.


@TheDT_Sports www.dailytoreador.com


Page 5 Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Neuse and Conley named to BBCSA watchlist By NICO SANCHEZ Staff Writer

Red Raider outfielder Dylan Neuse and infielder Cal Conley have been named to the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award (BBCSA) Watch List for the 2021 college baseball season. Neuse is one of 14 players being named to the watch list in back-to-back years. The BBCSA, presented by SR bats, in the past has gone to the player who has had the best performance at the plate and has upheld academic and personal integrity throughout all Division 1 programs located in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, according to the BBCSA website. In its inaugural season, it was given to the best bat solely in the state of Texas. As of 2020, however, the award has gone national, meaning any student playing in Division 1 baseball can be eligible to win the award, regardless of state. The award was not given out last season, after it was

announced in March that the 2020 NCAA tournament would not be held due to COVID-19 concerns. Neuse and Conley are on the watch list after slashing one home run and 12 runs batted in on a .355 batting average, and 3 home runs and 24 runs batted in on a .371 batting average respectively during the shortened 2020 season. Both players were also two of the four Red Raiders added to the preseason all-conference team in January, with Neuse even being projected as the Big 12 player of the year. In the same preseason poll, Tech was picked as the preseason favorite by the conference’s coaches while being ranked third nationally by Baseball America. Since the awards arrival in 2017, two players donning the scarlet and black have taken home the award. Infielder Hunter Hargrove took it home with his impressive .343 batting average, 5 home runs, and 51 runs batted in during the

award’s inaugural season in 2017. Infielder Josh Jung was its most recent winner in 2019 following his .343 batting average, 15 home runs, and 58 runs batted in. Both players were drafted later in the years they won the award, with Hargrove being selected in the 25th round by the Oakland Athletics and Jung being selected with the eighth pick of the first round by the Texas Rangers. Fourty-seven total players were announced to the watch list, with 11 of them coming from Texas schools and nine coming from the Big 12. Tech baseball has raked in a flurry of awards and top-tier rankings ahead of the 2021 season. The Red Raiders are ranked at either No. 3 or No. 4 across five preseason polls, according to Tech Athletics. D1Baseball, Baseball America and Perfect Game held the Red Raiders at the third-place position, while Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and NCBWA have given Tech fourth-place rankings. 2021 will serve as the

fourth-consecutive year the Red Raiders have been in the top five of NCBWA’s rankings, according to Tech Athletics, and on a Big 12 scale, Tech ranks ahead of the pack. Every season since 2016, Tech has been chosen as the conference favorite in the preseason pollings, and 2021 is no different. The poll is voted upon by coaches around the conference, who deem which team will finish atop the Big 12 to finish the season. According to Tech Athletics, seven out of nine first place votes were given to Tech, which included 63 total points. History continues as Texas is the only other school in league history to rank atop the poll for four seasons in a row, according to Tech Athletics. Tech baseball will officially begin on Feb. 19 when the No. 3 Red Raiders take on the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

FILE PHOTO/The Daily Toreador

Junior outfielder Dylan Neuse is walked in the fourth inning during game one of the NCAA Super Regionals on June 7, 2019 at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park. Neuse and Conley were named to the BBCSA watchlist.



Chris Beard fights for his players in late-game outburst By RYAN MAINVILLE Editorial Assistant

With 24 seconds remaining in Tuesday night’s game between Texas Tech and West Virginia, Mountaineers guard Miles McBride dove onto the floor for a loose ball. From there, it appeared he had called a timeout. Instead, the officials called a gamechanging foul on Tech. “From my point of view, the West Virginia player was calling for a timeout on the floor,” Beard said after the game. “I could see it and hear where I was standing. “If that call is made, then we’ve got a chance to set up our press and still have a chance to play the game. That call sent a 90 percent freethrow shooter to the line and is gonna separate the game to a three-possession game.” The call appeared to infu-

riate Beard, who broke out into an animated demonstration against the officials. Beard was yelling, shaking his fist and at one point got onto the floor to demonstrate the previous play.

In college basketball, sometimes you have to fight for your players, and that was my decision tonight to do that. CHRIS BEARD MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH The sequence led to him being ejected, the first time he had been thrown out of a game as head coach at Tech. “I’ve been in this league

five years, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a technical,” Beard said on the call in the post game media availability. “That’s not my deal.” The foul that led to Beard’s ejection was one of many calls in the game that caused the home crowd at the United Supermarkets Arena, to become audibly frustrated. It was a night of frequent whistles, especially against Tech. The Red Raiders committed 27 personal fouls in their game against West Virginia on Tuesday, the most Tech had been called for all season, according to Sports Reference. These fouls led to 39 freethrow attempts by the Mountaineers, the most an opponent has shot against Tech since Jan. 29, 2020, when West Virginia had 41 attempts, according to Sports Reference. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders only drew 20 fouls and

CLASSIFIEDS Line Ad Rates 15 words or less $5.00 per day

Bold Headline 50¢ extra (max. one line)

APPLY AT Mattress Sale, 5127 34th St. Hiring all positions. Must apply in person. No calls. VALUABLE JOB Flexible hours, Eye Doctor Office Across from Tech 3415 19th Street


Help Wanted Furnished Rentals Unfurnished Rentals Tickets for Sale Miscellaneous Lost & Found Clothing/Jewelry

Typing Tutors For Sale Services Roommates Travel Legal Notice

Terms & Conditions

shot 20 free-throws. Despite the large disparity in calls, Beard reaffirmed his confidence in the officials. “These guys are the best of the best,” Beard said after the game. “These three guys out there tonight, not only do I like, I respect and trust them.” Tech went on to fall to West Virginia 82-71, and the Red Raiders will now enter the final, five-game stretch of Big 12 conference play for the year. But in the loss, Beard found more than just a game in his team’s efforts. “In college basketball, sometimes you have to fight for your players, and that was my decision tonight to do that,” he said. Tech will now look forward to the 7 p.m., Feb. 15 matchup against TCU on the road at Schollmaier Arena. @RyanMainvilleDT

Placing Your Ad


There is a 15-word minimum on all classified ads. The first 2 words (max. one line) are bold and capitalized. All ads will appear on dailytoreador.com at no additional charge. Please check your ad carefully on the first day of publication and notify The Daily Toreador of any errors. We are only responsible for the first day’s incorrect insertion.

EXPERIENCE IN computer advertising for prop‑ erty rentals. Real estate background helpful. Running errands. Showing houses. Must have transportation. Gas paid. 3 hours per day also some week­ends with flexible schedule. Come by 4211 34th and see Ann or call 806‑795‑2011 for more information.


Classified Line Ads: Placed and paid for by 11 a.m. one business day in advance. Classified Display Ads: 4 p.m. three business days in advance. Please call for rates for display advertising.



LOFT APARTMENT in downtown Lub­bock. One bedroom industrial style in his­toric building. Inquires 806‑763‑5323

EZ DEFENSIVE Driving New Location RIVER SMITHS Free Food Included :) Cell 781‑2931. More Informa­tion www.LubbockClass.com


Mattress, Furniture. Student discounts. 5127 34th Street (34th & Slide). 785‑7253.

Payments All classifieds ads must be prepaid prior to publication by credit card, cash or personal check. Checks should be made payable to The Daily Toreador.


Smart Styles Salon, inside Walmart at 82nd & Milwaukee. Full‑service salon for your hair‑care needs. Monday‑Wednes­day, 30 percent student discount. Thurs­day‑Sunday, 20 percent student discount. Ask for Gladys “GiGi” Miller. (806) 698‑8724 or www.smartstyle.com.

For the fastest and easiest service, place and pay for your ad online! Click on the “Classifieds” link on our website to get started! Have a question? Email:

andrea.watson@ttu.edu Phone: 806.742.3384 You can also view the Classifieds online at www.dailytoreador.com/ classifieds _ new/ Don’t forget to check out the website for the

latest news, features,

opinions and sports content.



FEB. 11, 2021



Tech Athletics examined on a national scale By ZACH RICHARDS

all in Lubbock, and they have taken advantage of the homestand. In the field, senior thrower Gabe Oladipo has broken the school record at every meet since the season opened. In the most recent meet, Oladipo surpassed individual accomplishments, and rose to the secondhighest throwing distance in the NCAA, according to Tech Athletics. But Oladipo’s achievements are just part of a much bigger picture for the Tech track and field program, that have broken numerous records on the school, state and global levels. The Red Raiders will return to action Feb. 12-13 at the Texas Tech Shootout.

Sports Editor

With the spring semester well underway, Tech Athletics has been competing at the highest level of late. Five major sporting programs cracked the top-10 to open the week of Feb. 8, headlined by successes in basketball, golf and track and field. But even prior to the season opening, Tech Athletics has been recognized as front-runners in baseball and men’s golf as well, both on a team and individual scale. Baseball: The best ranking across all programs comes from the preseason rankings of Red Raider baseball, where they sit at the third-place position in the country, according to BaseballAmerica, D1Baseball and PerfectGame. Tech also received No. 4 placement in USA Today coaches polling, according to Tech Athletics. On the Big 12 scale, Tech is also ahead of the curve. They have been ranked first in the Big 12 ahead of the season for the fourthconsecutive year in the preseason coaches poll, according to Tech Athletics. Individually, awards are raking in as well. Junior center fielder Dylan Neuse and redshirt freshman Cal Conley were both named to Bragan Award Watch List, according to Tech Athletics, an award the Red Raiders are not shy of. In fact, a Tech baseball player has won the award twice in the past three years, according to Tech Athletics. The Red Raiders’ history of success will look to blossom in its ninth year under head coach Tim Tadlock. But for now, high hopes are in store for Tech baseball. The Red Raiders will open their season at 7 p.m.,

FILE PHOTOS/The Daily Toreador

TOP: Senior distance runner Claudrice McKoy lines up with opponents during the Corky Classic track meet in the Sports Performance Center on Jan. 17, 2020. The women’s Track & Field team holds a top-10 ranking. BOTTOM: The Texas Tech team discusses the game plan for the 6th inning during the NCAA Regional Championship game against Dallas Baptist on June 1, 2019 at the Dan Law Feld. Texas Tech baseball was ranked third in the preseason rankings according to BaseballAmerica, D1Baseball andPerfectGame. Feb. 19 at Globe Life Field against No. 8 Arkansas. Track and Field: The 2019 National Champions have also be-

gan their spring slate off to a solid start. Tech track and field holds top-10 rankings on both the men’s and women’s sides. For the men, a No. 4

ranking, according to USTFCCCA, their highest of the season. The women sit at the No. 10 spot in the nation. Tech has competed in a flurry of events so far,

Men’s basketball: At the top of the week, Tech basketball was placed in the national top-10 but a host of outlets. By the Associated Press, they were ranked No. 7, by USA Today, they were ranked No. 8. The Red Raiders received placement after a threegame win streak, including victories over LSU, No. 12 Oklahoma and Kansas State. Tech’s success so far has been prided on its defense, having only 22 teams across the nation allow less points than them per game, according to NCAA Statistics. On the offensive end, Tech is led by junior transfer Mac McClung, whose scoring has spurred Tech in a big way. He currently sits as the second-highest scorer in the conference with just over 17 points per game. The Red Raiders are headed into their final stretch of conference play, with matches against TCU, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas remaining on their schedule. Men’s golf: Another top-10 ranking for Tech Athletics re-

sides on the greens, where the men’s golf program received a No. 9 ranking in the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll, according to Tech Athletics, last season, they finished No. 3. But Tech has been successful of late both as a team and individually. Sophomore Ludvig Aberg recently finished in first place at the Jones Cup Invitational, where he birdied his final hole to take the victory. The three-day event saw Aberg shoot 72-70-72 – 214, according to Tech Athletics. Aberg is not new to victories of late. Over the summer, he won two professional tournaments in Sweden. The latest victory in Georgia granted Aberg an exemption to a PGA Tour event. The second for the Red Raiders after senior Kyle Hogan earned the honors at the Houston Open. Aberg’s success has seen his individual ranking skyrocket as a result. At the time of the Jones Cup Invitational, Aberg ranked No. 17 in World Amateur Golf Rankings, now, he sits at the No. 10 spot. But he is not alone. His running mate, senior Sandy Scott, has also been ranked highly. Scott sits at the No. 6 spot in W.A.G.R. after a stellar stint away from collegiate play. The tandem of Scott and Aberg are the only duo in the nation that both sit in the top-10, and they reside at Tech. The men’s golf program will reload Feb. 15-17 at PGA West in La Quinta, California at The Prestige, where they will begin their spring schedule. Tech Athletics is continuing its success nearing the midway point of the spring semester, and they will look to maintain as the year wears on. @ZachRichardsDT

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.