GOT A LIGHT?
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
SEE TRENDS PAGE 5
SEE SPORTS PAGE 10
Bobcat track and ﬁeld takes off to a strong start
Director Jason Reitman talks about his ﬁlm Thank You For Smoking
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
MARCH 21, 2006
VOLUME 95, ISSUE 63
Students set sights high with help of Upward Bound By David Rauf The University Star
pward “U Bound was there and helped
First-generation students and low-income Hispanic high school students from the University of Texas-Pan American Upward Bound Program recently gained ﬁrsthand college experience during a tour of Texas State. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound provides fundamental support to high school students preparing for college. Upward Bound conducts campus tours to expose students to an authentic college environment where they can learn about the student body, the admissions process and the cost of tuition from their own perspective. “I, myself, am a ﬁrst-generation college student,” said Nick Theodosis, temporary coordinator for the Texas State Upward Bound program. “It’s difﬁcult David Racino/Star photo knowing what’s available as far WELCOME TO COLLEGE: Jose Laird, associate director of admissions, speaks to visiting students as ﬁnancial aid and what your from Upward Bound, a program for ﬁrst-generation and low-income Hispanic high school students, options are as far as schools go. about the Texas State admissions requirements on March 10. A lot of it is very motivated kids don’t necessarily have the information available to them readily
me get through the process … and that’s the only reason that I’m here right now.”
— Samantha Gonzales undecided freshman
to be able get through this process.” Theodosis, school psychology graduate student, said that the purpose of this event is to expose high school students to Texas State. “Other kids get the opportunity to say ‘Hey Mom and Dad, let’s check out this campus, let’s go check out this other campus,’” he said. “This is a wonderful way for these kids, who maybe have never been to San Marcos or the area, to come up here and see what the school’s about, see that it is an institution that is going
to be friendly to them.” The event commenced at noon as the group of 30 high school students from six Rio Grande Valley high schools converged in the LBJ Student Center. Beula Flores, counseling specialist for the Upward Bound Program at UTPA, and three UTPA Upward Bound instructors accompanied the students on their trip from Edinburg. Flores said that the goal of the trip was to give students a “broad-band” to compare and contrast different universities, allowing them to see what is actually available to them by means of an education. “I think it will broaden their vision, broaden their horizon,” Flores said. After eating lunch, the high school students were ushered down the hall of the LBJSC and into the bookstore, where students had a few minutes to peruse the selection of stickers, hats, backpacks, key chains and various other forms of memorabilia. Bea Rodriguez, a junior at See BOUND, page 3
UPD officers, staff members give input on AALC afterparty incident By Jason Buch The University Star University Police Department ofﬁcers and staff members said the events on the morning of Sept. 11, 2005 could have been less detrimental if student leaders had worked with police to disperse the crowd and calmed attendees of the African American Leadership Conference gathered in the parking lot in front of the LBJ Student Center.
“The group could have taken better leadership of the event,” said UPD Ofﬁcer Brandon Hale about the student organizations hosting the AALC afterparty. “Friends of theirs that visited from outside campuses, they could have addressed them and said, ‘Listen, this is our school,’ take ownership in it and help us disperse the crowd.” UPD staff and ofﬁcers met with members of the Houston consulting ﬁrm Brown Group
International on March 9 to further the company’s investigation into the events at the AALC afterparty that ended in the use of a Taser on one student and several students’ arrests and detainment. The university hired BGI in January to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. BGI invited UPD employees to appear in an open forum to talk with representatives from the ﬁrm without Chief Ralph Meyer present.
BGI Senior Associate C.O. “Brad” Bradford said he met with Meyer earlier in the day and that the afternoon forum held in LBJSC, Room 3-8.1 was an entirely voluntary affair open to the press and any UPD employee who wished to attend. “We wanted to talk to ofﬁcers from a training standpoint,” Bradford said. “We wanted to lay out our concerns and let ofﬁcers respond to those concerns and let the ofﬁcers know that, at
the end, it’s paramount to prevent an incident like Sept. 11 from happening again.” BGI representatives questioned UPD employees about training, interaction between police and students, interaction between UPD and other police departments and what actually went wrong on the morning of Sept. 11. Several ofﬁcers at the meeting said a number of the problems during the AALC incident
stemmed from students interfering with police. “Basically, if we needed to detain somebody while making an arrest, don’t interfere with that process,” said UPD Sgt. Adam Rodriguez. “I don’t need one, two, three, four students walking towards me asking, ‘Why is this person being arrested,’ when I’m looking out for my safety and the safety of fellow ofﬁcers. See UPD, page 4
Registered sex offender The year in crime: SMPD reviews 2005 stats found murdered in home By Jason Buch The University Star
By Jacqueline Davis The University Star
Hays County this year.” Hood was a registered sex offender with the San Marcos PoJack LaRue Hood Jr.’s death lice Department, which may or from a single gunshot wound on may not be related to the murMarch 12 marked the ﬁrst mur- der. He was charged with posder of the year in San Marcos and session and promotion of child the third murder in San Marcos pornography in 2001. in the last four Opiela said months. this evidence Until Nowas “enough to vember 2005, make us look the city had not into it further.” seen a murder “We’re not since 2003. ruling that out, A Hays but that’s not County deputy the primary fowas dispatched cus of the invesat about 11:45 tigation,” Opiela a.m. on March said. “We’re go12 in response ing to retrace to a welfare this man’s steps concern. Upon to ﬁnd who was arriving at with him and Hood’s home, what he was the deputy doing. We’re — Sgt. Leroy Opiela looking for a discovered the San Marcos Hays County Sheriff’s Ofﬁce killer — who resident dead killed him and from a single why they killed gunshot wound. him.” Hood lived in the 4800 block Hood was an active member of Trails End, a typically quiet of the San Marcos Chamber of residential area, said Sgt. Leroy Commerce’s Ambassadors Club Opiela, a public relations ofﬁcial before his criminal charges. at the Hays County Sheriff ’s Of- Hood was responsible for the ﬁce. chamber’s hosting of events, ribOfﬁcials at the Sheriff ’s Of- bon-cuttings for local businesses ﬁce would not say if there were and other public relations work. any suspects or evidence of a Chamber of Commerce Presistruggle, as the case is still under dent Phil Neighbors described investigation. Opiela said that so him as a positive asset to the far, all that investigators knew chamber. for sure about Hood was his “He was a friendly, outgoname, date of birth and where ing person when he was in our he lived. ambassador’s group. My recol“We know very little about the lection is that he was an active murder,” Opiela said. “I can tell member and faithful in his reyou that it was the ﬁrst one in sponsibilities,” Neighbors said.
In 2005, the San Marcos Police Department seized 31.5 pounds of marijuana, 182 marijuana plants, one pound and two ounces of cocaine, one ounce and 2.5 grams of methamphetamines and $40,374 in forfeitable cash. SMPD released this information at their annual year in re-
view brieﬁng, hosted by Chief Howard Williams on Wednesday night. “The ﬁrst year we did this, we had maybe 80 people show up at the activity center,” Williams said. “Last year we had like, ﬁve.” About 10 people showed up to this year’s brieﬁng, about half of whom said they were in attendance to receive extra credit for one of Williams’ criminal
e’re going to retrace this man’s steps to ﬁnd who was with him and what he was doing. We’re looking for a killer — who killed him and why they killed him.”
Precipitation: 0% Humidity: 29% UV: 9 Very High Wind: NNE 13 mph
justice classes. Williams and other members of the SMPD command staff provided their audience with crime statistics for 2005 and information about department accomplishments during the year. Residents were free to make statements or ask questions during the brieﬁng. The brieﬁng was broadcast on the city’s cable channel. Assistant Chief Johnny James
began the brieﬁng with a review of crime trends and activities. James compared the 2005 data to data from the previous two years. San Marcos saw one murder in 2005. No murders took place in the city during 2004. Twenty-ﬁve sexual assaults took place in San Marcos in 2005, up from 18 in 2004. “While that seems like a See SMPD, page 4
ASG adopts new emergency resolution for separate athletics department fee
Bridgette Cyr/Star photo
By Clayton Medford The University Star
COLLEGE CAMPAIGN: 428th District Court judicial candidate Bill Henry speaks to the Associated Student Government during Monday night’s meeting. Henry, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, is running against Anna Martinez Boling.
Two-day Forecast Wednesday Partly Cloudy Temp: 70°/ 39° Precipitation: 10%
Thursday Partly Cloudy Temp: 70°/ 39° Precipitation: 10%
The Associated Student Government adopted an emergency resolution on Monday, urging the university administration to remove athletic department funding from the student service fee and implement a separate intercollegiate athletic service fee. Additionally, the resolution puts pressure on the football program to move to Division 1-A by suggesting a 50 percent cut in the intercollegiate athletic service fee after ﬁve years if the entire athletic department is not at that level. The only program in the department not currently competing at the Division 1-A level is the football program. While most of the text of the legislation authored by ASG President Jordan Anderson focuses on the Division 1-A aspect of the referendum, much of the debate
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
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among senators centered on the ﬁscal burden the athletic department places on the student service fee. Since the athletic department budget increases with every tuition increase because of scholarship funding, the student service fee increases as well. Communication studies senior and Sen. Cat Reed pushed for speciﬁcs of what splitting these fees would mean in terms of student costs. Sponsor and Senate Clerk Kyle Morris urged senators “to look at the big picture.” “In the long run, it pays for itself and it makes athletics selfsustaining,” Morris said. “If we can get our program similar to other big institution athletic programs and really self-sustaining … it saves us money in the long run.” Anderson clariﬁed the intenSee ASG, page 3
To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 www.UniversityStar.com © 2006 The University Star
PAGE TWO The University Star
The City of San Marcos Public Works Department began minor reconstruction of Hillyer Street from Hamilton Street to the dead end on March 8. The project is expected to take three to four weeks. Street crews are continuing the resurfacing project on Mead Street that started in late February. Minor reconstruction involves grinding the old asphalt, recycling it with base materials, reshaping the base and adding a new asphalt surface. Motorists News Contact — Kirsten Crow, email@example.com
Tuesday in Brief
March 21, 2006
are asked to drive carefully in the construction zone. Public Works will pave 7.3 miles of streets in the minor reconstruction program funded through the Street Department annual budget and Community Development Block Grant program. For more information, contact Public Works at (512) 393-8036. — Courtesy of the City of San Marcos
STARS OF TEXAS STATE POLICY Do you know someone at Texas State who has recently celebrated a great achievement? Nominate your choice to appear in The Star as a “Star of Texas State.” Write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Stars of Texas State,” and include your nominee’s name, his/her relationship to the university, contact information for yourself and your nominee, and a brief description of the achievement. Also include a photo of your nominee if available. Accepted nominees will be featured at the top of Page Two.
EVENTS Clubs & Meetings
Arts & Entertainment
The Catholic Student Center will have night prayer at 9 p.m. in the CSC chapel.
Texas songwriter Mo Pair will play at 9 p.m. at Alice’s Restaurant, 14100 Camino Real.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed at 6 p.m. in the CSC chapel. Wednesday The Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship meeting will be at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320.
There will be Bobcat Build information meetings today and Thursday in the LBJ Student Center, Room 3-7.1. Individuals and group members must all stop by between 5 and 8 p.m.
The Hispanic Business Student Association will present J.R. Gonzales, President and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer of JRG Communications, Inc. at 6 p.m. in the LBJ Teaching Theater. E-mail email@example.com for more information.
Activists for Sexual Minorities will host the ﬁrst annual Awareness Conference at the Slumber Falls Retreat Center in New Braunfels.
Receive free help ﬁlling out your income tax return and receive help submitting your 2006-07 FAFSA. Bring your W-2 forms to the TAX/FAFSA Session from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Alkek Library.
CALENDAR SUBMISSION POLICY
CSC will have a Lenten Penance Service at 7 p.m. in the chapel.
1965 - More than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by Martin Luther King Jr. began a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
CSC will have The Rock Praise & Worship at 7:30 p.m. in the CSC chapel.
1788 - Almost the entire city of New Orleans was destroyed by ﬁre. The blaze consumed 856 buildings.
On This Day...
Calendar submissions are free. Send submissions to Calendar of Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 245-3487 for more information. E-mailed press releases will not be accepted. If using e-mail, please submit as a simple bulleted list of essential information. Submissions are on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis and notices for weekly meetings need to be submitted every week they will take place. The University Star reserves the right to refuse entries or edit for libel, style and space purposes. Deadline: Three working days prior to publication.
David Racino/Star photo Undecided freshmen Dean Kelly (left) and Chris Mullins play at Gil’s Broiler on March 9 as the band Wolfman Douglas.
CRIME BL TTER San Marcos Police Department Blotter
1301 Wonder World Drive Report of sexual assault.
March 17, 11:02 a.m. Burglary of a Habitation/ Bugg Lane and Conway Drive Attempted burglary of a haitation
March 18, 8:01 p.m. Sexual Assault/500 block Uhland Road Sexual assault.
March 17, 5:25 p.m. Warrant Service/ 2800 Highway 21 Arrested subject with outstanding arson warrant from Marshall, Texas. March 18, 2:05 a.m. Disorderly Conduct-Noise/ 1805 N. Interstate 35 Ofﬁcer made a warrant arrest following a loud party call. March 18, 12:56 p.m. Investigation/
March 19, 3:21 a.m. Assault/1201 Thorpe Lane Female assaulted by her husband. March 19, 5:48 a.m. Driving While Intoxicated/ 205 N. I-35 Offender arrested for second driving while intoxicated citation. March 18, 6:59 p.m. Burglary of a Vehicle/ 641 E. Hopkins St. Vehicle was broken into.
Crime stoppers: UPD: 245-7867, SMPD: 353-TIPS
City to begin work remodeling Rio Vista Dam Weather permitting, the City of San Marcos will begin the Rio Vista Dam Maintenance and Whitewater Improvements Project next week, with the goal of ﬁnishing by Memorial Day. The city will repair the crumbling bank and transform the damaged low water dam into a series of whitewater rapids for swimming, tubing and kayaking. Fencing will be installed on both sides of the river beginning today, blocking off access to the dam from both banks of the river. The west bank reconstruction will take four to ﬁve weeks to complete. In-stream work to repair the foundation of the dam and create whitewater rapids is expected to begin by the end of March and take about eight weeks to ﬁnish. Several consultants have been hired in the past month to work on different aspects of the project. Halff Associates, Inc. of Austin and Recreational Engineering and Planning of Boulder, Colo., are two engineering ﬁrms hired to design the bank reconstruction, dam stabilization and whitewater features. Fugro Consultants of Austin has provided geotechnical services. Greenway Inc. of Austin has been hired as the contractor for the bank work. Greenway will re-
1980 - On the TV show Dallas, J.R. Ewing was shot. 2001 - Nintendo released Game Boy Advance.
move the existing retaining walls on the west bank, including the wall containing a painted mural. Greenway will re-grade and slope the bank for a terraced sunbathing area, improving access from the swimming pool area and park. The contractor will install buried “soldier pilings” near the existing gazebo to stabilize a remaining retaining wall and protect the bank during ﬂoods. Numerous trees will be removed on the west bank near the dam, said Rodney Cobb, director of Parks and Recreation. “Most are hackberry and ligustrum,” he said. “One diseased oak tree will be removed and a small cypress tree will also be taken out. The trees will be replaced after the bank work is completed,” Cobb said. The century-old dam, located about a mile south of the springfed headwaters of the San Marcos River, was closed to the public in November after it was discovered that the foundations of the dam and embankment were in danger of collapse. In December, the City Council decided to redesign the dam into rapids to enhance the recreational value of the popular swimming hole as well as the safety of the dam. Since then, staff has worked with state and federal agencies to obtain needed permits for the reconstruction work. — Courtesy of the City of San Marcos
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
The University Star - Page 3
UPWARD: Tour includes visit to library, Sewell Park ASG: Strategy plans to create unity through new university materials CONTINUED from page 1
tion of his legislation. “We’re not raising the amount that athletics is receiving by $1 with this piece of legislation,” Anderson said. “You’re not going to see anything, except we’re taking it out of the student service fee. We are attempting to reduce the student service by the amount we are taking out of it. We are not going to see ofﬁcial dollars change by this piece of legislation. This gives the ability for athletics to have more control over their budget.” Applied sociology senior and Sen. Ed Sinclair voiced his concern about the 50 percent cut if football does not make the move the Division 1-A. “If we’re looking at the big picture like Sen. Morris said, and after ﬁve years if we don’t achieve this, it seems like it would be a lot tougher to achieve this if they’re getting half as much money,” Sinclair said. Senators passed the resolution and students will vote on a referendum during the April 4 and ﬁve elections. If passed, the Texas Legislature will review the referendum in its 2007 session. Kyle Morris and Sen. Amanda Oskey announced their intention to run for ASG president and vice president, respectively. Morris, economics junior, ran unsuccessfully for vice president in the spring of 2005 alongside current ASG president Anderson. Anderson appointed Morris ASG senate clerk and chief of staff following his loss to Vice President Cassie Holman. During his ﬁve semesters as senator and two as senate clerk, Morris has authored or sponsored dozens of pieces of legis-
lation, the most recent of which supported the reinstatement of ﬁve suspended fraternities. Oskey, pre-mass communication junior, has maintained a lower proﬁle than her running mate during her ﬁrst semester as a senator, but has recently sponsored several pieces of legislation. Oskey also works for the Texas State radio station, KTSW 89.9. Michael Heintze, associate vice president of enrollment management, spoke to senators about the ﬁndings of two independent marketing surveys and internal research efforts conducted at Texas State in the last four years. The research found that Texas State does not have a strong academic reputation and is still perceived as a “party school” or “suitcase college.” The overarching goal of the new marketing strategy is to create consistency and unity among the university’s logo, campus signage and all other marketing materials. Heintze believes enhancing Texas State’s image among students, faculty and staff should be the ﬁrst priority of the marketing strategy. Republican judicial candidate for the 428th District Court Bill Henry spoke to senators about his court. “One of the ﬁrst things we are trying to do is keep folks safe. The fact of the matter is we live in a nice town, a nice community, but in very rare instances, sometimes it’s violent,” Henry said. Henry said his court recently sentenced a man in his twenties to 34 years in prison for assaulting three Texas State students. Henry is running against Democrat and Texas State alumna Anna Martinez Boling, who recently defeated Mike Marcin in the primary elections.
SNEAK PEEK: About 30 Upward Bound students from several Rio Grande Valley high schools are given a tour by Nick Theodisis, coordinator for Texas State’s Upward Bound program and Damon Laird, a graduate intern for Texas State’s Upward Bound program, on March 10.
David Racino/ Star photo CONTINUED from page 1
Edinburg North High School, purchased a T-shirt and a Texas State banner ﬂag. She said was impressed by the bookstore’s size, vast selection and “cheap” prices. “They took me out too fast. I had money to spend,” Rodriguez said. During a presentation at the Alkek Library, students were given a Texas State guide that elaborated on the ﬁnancial aid process, admission requirements, the athletics program and academic majors offered. Throughout the presentation, Upward Bound employees discussed the campus and the resources that are available at the college level, including Student Support Services and Multicultural Student Affairs. “We are here for you,” said Damon Laird, social work graduate intern for the Texas State Upward Bound program. “You can do anything in life, especially with good support, and we’d like to provide that for you.” Laird spoke brieﬂy and handed the ﬂoor over to Samantha Gonzales, a former Upward Bound student and current undecided freshman. Gonzales has been part of the local Upward Bound program since 2001
and graduated from San Marcos High School last year. She still keeps in touch with former students and maintains constant contact with the Upward Bound ofﬁce. “It’s become a second family,” she said. “It’s not just academic. They’re also there for personal reasons. If you have any trouble, you can come talk to them.” The Upward Bound program, Gonzales said, was the driving force that propelled her to achieve certain goals. She said they “held her hand” through the college admissions process. “I always said I was going to go to college, but I never really pushed myself,” Gonzales said. “Upward Bound was there and helped me get through the process … and that’s the only reason that I’m here right now. You feel conﬁdent enough that you can trust them; and if you have that trust, it’s even easier to accomplish something.” Gonzales plans on working for the Upward Bound program in the future, providing young students the support needed to attend college. “I really want to give back,” she said. “I really feel that a lot of kids don’t get the support that they need.” Ivette Vargas, a junior at Johnny G. Economedes High
School, enjoyed the library portion of the tour, which included a glimpse into the Southwestern Writers Collection and Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography and a brief lecture on the J. Frank Dobie exhibit on display. “It’s nice; it really showed me that I want to come here,” Vargas said. “I really loved all those pictures.” The tour, led by Theodosis and Laird, then proceeded across campus. After battling the sun and walking up hills, the group reached their destination: The campus radio station KTSW 89.9 FM. Program director Jayce Beasley, mass communication junior, provided the group with insight on the station’s history and the various departments — production, news, sports, promotions and programming — that constitute KTSW. As the station’s program director, Beasley is responsible for all the onair disc jockeys, specialty shows and approval of public service announcements. “We are the people who give you experience for when you actually get into the other world of life which is not college,” Beasley said. Cynthia Rodriguez, a junior at Johnny G. Economedes High
School, said her favorite part of the tour was going to the radio station. Rodriguez said that prior to the tour, she was still undecided as to which school to attend, but now she is leaning toward Texas State. “I heard about this university before, and now seeing it and seeing the atmosphere, I’m really interested in coming here,” Rodriguez said. The JC Kellam Building was the next stop on the tour. Students were taken inside the building for a brief tour of various administrative ofﬁces, including I.D. services, the Ofﬁce of Student Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Ofﬁce. With the temperature hovering in the mid ’80s, the group was led to their ﬁnal destination: Sewell Park. “The park was awesome,” said Guadalupe Sanchez, a junior at Mission High School. “It’s better than anything we have down south.” As the students ﬁled on the bus, Flores said the UTPA students and staff felt welcome and were shown a lot of hospitality throughout the tour. “I thought it was outstanding,” Flores said. “We’ve taken a lot of tours before, but nothing close to what we were shown today.”
Page 4 - The University Star
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
SMPD: Crime, day and night shifts, support division reviewed at briefing CONTINUED from page 1
SMPD Noise Complaint Responses
Top 5 Collision Locations
229 Citations 1,372 Warnings
ar d i
600 Block E. Hopkins: 41 1000 Block Hwy. 80: 38 Loop 82/W. Access IH-35: 29 Sessom/University Dr.: 28 900 Block Hwy. 80: 27
large spike, and it actually is, that’s also not out of the norm because we’ve had years in the past where we’ve had as high as 32 to 35 sexual assaults over the course of the year,” James said. There were 25 robberies in San Marcos during 2005 as well. James said police wrote 111 tickets for driving while intoxicated and 54 for driving under the inﬂuence. “I want to add a caveat that DUIs are for minors under 21, and all they need to get a DUI is to have alcohol on their breath,” James said. Cmdr. Mark Minnick gave the support division review. Among other duties, the support division works with the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District to provide police support to the district’s campuses. Minnick said in 2005, SMPD detained 35 people, wrote 103 citations and made 10 arrests on the San Marcos High School campus. An attendee asked Minnick what sort of violations lead to those arrests and citations. In 2005 the department conducted two internal investigations in response to complaints of class I violations. “These are allegations of misconduct involving use of force, false arrest, unlawful search and violation of civil rights,” Minnick said. The department found one case of a class I violation through their own internal investigation, not in response to a complaint. The report on the day-shift command watch was presented by Cmdr. Warren Zerr. Zerr said that during the 2005 taxfree weekend, the Tanger Outlet Mall saw approximately 100,000 vehicles. On “Black Friday,” the Friday after Thanksgiving,
about 90,000 vehicles came through the mall. Cmdr. Terry Nichols briefed the audience about the night patrol. He said a large part of his job is dealing with noise complaints. Nichols said his patrol made 13 arrests, wrote 229 citations, made 1,372 warnings and wrote 37 reports about large parties in 2005. “The notable number in these is the reports,” Nichols said. “We want to go over there and try to stop what’s going on by giving
a citation or a warning. This 37 reports is about a 200 percent increase from last year. This is a trend we have been seeing, but (Assistant Chief Lisa) Dvorak has been good about working with property owners and apartment administrators to get back to some of these individuals and eventually have some of them evicted, so I am anticipating next year we’ll see this number go down.” Nichols then showed a video of a party on Sagewood Trail. It
37 Written Reports showed ofﬁcers trying to break up the gathering, and then subsequently being pelted with beer bottles. Nichols said the Oct. 30 incident caught on the camera of a police car was taking place at the same time a wreck on Aquarena Springs Drive took the lives of Amy Melnick, fashion merchandising sophomore, and her boyfriend Zachary Hoy. Sgt. Chase Stapp gave what Williams called the penultimate presentation: the narcotic task force review. After listing the
drug-seizures for 2005, Stapp talked about the lack of any methamphetamine labs seized during the year. “I would like to point out the number of meth labes we seized at this time last year was about four,” Stapp said. “We believe this is due to a restriction on ephedrine-based medications.” After each presentation, audience members were welcomed to ask questions. Williams’s students had to ask a question to receive extra credit.
Rebecca Sosa, psychology senior, brought her boyfriend, Jason Garza, to the brieﬁng. “One thing I should have asked a question about, but didn’t is it’s interesting to hear they needed to increase the number of 911 operators working for (the department),” Sosa said. “I wonder if that means there was an increase in crime.” Garza said he was impressed SMPD released all the data made available in the presentation.
UPD: University president’s office to receive letter from BGI regarding findings CONTINUED from page 1
To add to that, when an ofﬁcer has somebody detained, I understand that you’re concerned for your classmate or your fraternity brother or friend, but you don’t go up to them and start putting your hands on them and dragging them away. If we have someone detained, we have them detained for a lawful reason.” Police said although students have complained unofﬁcially and in print, no formal complaints were ﬁled against any ofﬁcers involved in the Sept. 11
incident. Bradford asked if there was anything the students could have done to help police. “Basically, they could have left the area,” Rodriguez said. “Not run away, but disperse as quickly as possible.” Those present said they thought the incident could have been avoided if more police had been present from the start of the event. Police responded to questions about the relationship with UPD and the student body. “At the University Police Department, we have excellent
interaction with the students,” Rodriguez said. “The ﬁrst day they come up to school here, they have the orientation program we’re involved in. The crime prevention team we have here does numerous programs such as a question and answer session on all kinds of topics in all the dorms.” Questions turned to interaction between UPD and San Marcos Police Department ofﬁcers, who responded to the Sept. 11 incident. Ofﬁcers said UPD and SMPD generally work well together, but combined crowd control training between the two departments would help. “Training is always a good thing,” said UPD Investigator Jeb Thomas. “Sometimes that’s hard to do with multiple agencies and overtime and multiple shifts. I think our size sometimes inhibits us in being more dynamic with our training ... to my knowledge, we haven’t done any training in regard to crowd control at all.” Ofﬁcer Garner Ames said UPD needs more personnel and more equipment, particularly riot gear. “I think that we all ought to have some type of patrol riﬂes or shotguns, maybe some lessthan-lethal options such as beanbag shotguns, shields, anything else a city or size — a city of about 30,000 — would think
don’t think that ofﬁcers treat any group of students based on race, sexual preference, gender, anything. We don’t treat them any differently than we treat anybody else.”
— Brandon Hale UPD ofﬁcer
about having,” Ames said. Discussion returned to the complaint process at UPD. Anyone who wants to ﬁle a complaint can do so on the UPD Web site or go to the department where an ofﬁcer will help them with the paperwork. Those attending the meeting refuted claims that no altercation took place after the party in the Student Center. “When we got involved outside was when a ﬁght started in the garage,” Rodriguez said. Bradford asked if ofﬁcers attempted to contact student leaders after things started to get out of hand. “I know the newspaper reported that there was no ﬁght,” Thomas said. “There was ﬁghts. We were concerned about people being beaten. We were concerned about vehicles in the garage, proximity to people sitting near the vehicles. Were vehicles going to be damaged? Were vehicles going to be
opened up and weapons taken out?” Ofﬁcers also said the only vehicle police cars were blocking from leaving the LBJ Parking Garage was a van owned by the disc jockey hired for the event. Police spoke generally about their procedures for handling large on-campus events. Event promoters hire UPD ofﬁcers to provide security for events in the student center, and police said it is their duty to call for backup any time an event gets out of hand. Bradford asked if police felt their relationship with minority communities on campus had suffered. Most in attendance said that was not the case. Bradford also asked if UPD ofﬁcers treat black students the same way they treat other students. “I don’t think that ofﬁcers treat any group of students based on race, sexual preference, gender, anything. We don’t treat them any differently than we
treat anybody else,” Hale said. “We go by what we have to: Penal code, what the university says we have to, but we need to look at the big picture. If I committed a crime and I don’t want to take responsibility for what I did, it’s easier for me to place blame on somebody else to get attention away from myself.” Bradford tried to impress upon those in attendance the necessity of police ofﬁcers being able to alter their behavior as the situation changes. Police agreed, saying ofﬁcer discretion is a very important tool. BGI plans to ﬁle a report with the university president’s ofﬁce. The report will contain suggestions on how to avoid a similar incident in the future. Near the end of the hearing, Brown asked if there was anything anyone would like to add. “I just want the people that were not there to know that the ofﬁcers that were out there called for backup because the situation was getting out of control,” Rodriguez said. “And I want them to know those ofﬁcers that showed up prevented the situation from getting much worse. What if those ofﬁcers had not showed up, and you had four or ﬁve ofﬁcers that were scared, that were losing control? Something much, much worse may have happened had those other ofﬁcers not showed up.”
TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
releasesof the week music 3121 — Prince Both Sides of the Gun — Ben Harper
dvd Capote — (R) Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener The Squid and the Whale — (R) Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney
Dying to Say This to You — The Sounds Born Again in the USA — Loose Fur
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - Page 5
Derailed — (R) Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston Everything is Illuminated — (PG-13) Elijah Woods, Eugene Hutz
Trends Contact — Kyle Bradshaw, email@example.com
Power of satire is on Smoking ’s side By Kyle Bradshaw The University Star It’s an interesting bit of irony that the writer and director of Thank You for Smoking, Jason Reitman, does not smoke. “I tried when I was 15, and really, it just hurt too much,” Reitman said. “I didn’t understand why people did it. I never saw the glamour.” The day after his ﬁrst feature ﬁlm made its Austin premiere at South by Southwest, Reitman sat comfortably, leaning back in a leather chair, in a boardroom on the second ﬂoor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was an environment that didn’t seem to ﬁt the 28year-old ﬁlmmaker, in his jeans and Adidas cap, as he sat at the head of a long meeting table that has probably seen far more important conversations. But he seemed more at ease than most would the week before his feature debut was about to hit theaters. He spoke with intelligence and ease about the political themes of his ﬁlm, growing up on his father’s (director Ivan Reitman) ﬁlm sets, the importance of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the necessity of having a sense of humor. “People who don’t have a sense of humor deserve to be mocked. I don’t trust people without a sense of humor,” Reitman said, with a slightly sarcastic tone. “If I meet some-
one who doesn’t have a sense of humor, I immediately presume they are less intelligent. The greatest minds of all time had a sense of humor.” The humor Reitman presents in Smoking, which is based on writer Christopher Buckley’s 1994 novel of the same name, isn’t overly broad or straightforward. The ﬁlm proudly basks in its own dark wittiness and showy satire. In other words, as Reitman intended, it’s a comedy where a sense of humor in its audience isn’t suggested, it’s required. The ﬁlm tells the story of Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a lobbyist for the tobacco companies. “You’re never wrong if you argue correctly,” Nick tells his son, who he tries desperately to stay connected with despite his notorious profession. Maria Bello and David Koechner, as lobbyists for the alcohol and ﬁrearms industries, round out Nick’s M.O.D squad of political smooth talkers — in this case, M.O.D stands for Merchants Of Death. William H. Macy, as a senator from Vermont trying to put a skull and crossbones sticker on every pack of cigarettes, plays Nick’s nemesis. Rob Lowe, as a Hollywood super agent; Robert Duvall, as Nick’s wise boss; and Katie Holmes, as an ethically questionable newspaper reporter, round out Reitman’s vastly talented cast that seems
almost impossible to handle for a ﬁrst-time director. “We had an embarrassment of riches, and I can’t even speak to how that happened because I don’t even know why some of the people said yes. Why did Robert Duvall say yes? I have no efﬁn’ clue,” Reitman said. Although the topic of his ﬁlm is smoking, Reitman said it’s really a ﬁlm about the art of talking. “This is a movie about lobbying. It’s about spinning, it’s about talking, it’s about the skill of speech. Cigarettes are really the location,” Reitman said. “Cigarettes just happen to be the sexiest (topic) because people have very devout opinions on the issues of tobacco.” “Every once and a while, someone will say ‘Is this (ﬁlm) pro-smoking or is this antismoking?’ and I say it’s neither. We’re not trying to be pro- or anti-smoking. If you want to smoke, smoke. This is a movie that satirizes the world of spin, and it’s fully honest with the dangers of smoking.” While making cameos in ﬁlms like Dave and Kindergarten Cop, Reitman learned how to be comfortable on a ﬁlm set by growing up on his father Ivan’s sets. He recalled one of Mark Decker/Star feature photo his earliest memories of the Ghostbusters set that stirred DESIRE FOR SATIRE: Director and writer Jason Reitman’s ﬁrst feature ﬁlm, Thank You For Smoking, See REITMAN, page 6
was shown during the South by Southwest ﬁlm festival. The movie features Aaron Eckhart as a Big Tobacco spokesman who is trying to raise his 12-year-old son.
200-plus original films impress at SXSW movie fest By Nixon Guerrero The University Star This year’s South by Southwest Film Festival was a veritable cornucopia of ﬁlm, ﬁlmmakers, celebrities and fans. On more than seven screens, more than nine days and nights, 200-plus ﬁlms played all around the Austin area. Obviously, I did not see every ﬁlm the fest had to offer, but here are some of the highlights for what you should keep a scoping eye out. Friends with Money ★★★★ This movie was a huge surprise. It is insanely funny, incredibly well-written and fantastically executed. Who knew that Jennifer Aniston had the talent to not only hold her ground as Olivia, the hapless, low-income, maid-for-hire, but to also ground the ﬁlm itself? Olivia is in that sort of limbo where she
doesn’t know what she wants to do with the rest of her life and even if she did know, she wouldn’t have the resources or the guts to do it. What she does know is that she will relentlessly call her ex-boyfriend at all times of the day and never say anything. She’ll hit every Los Angeles department store’s make-up counter for a free sample of her favorite face cream and she’ll even clean house in a French maid costume if it’ll somehow feel like she’s pleasing her man — who funnily won’t look her in the eye while they’re making love. Surrounding Olivia is an incredible cast of female actresses, including Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack. I can’t wait to see this one again.
to comment on our country’s leaders and political dramas than through humor and satire? We meet the re-elected U.S. president (Dennis Quaid) who decides he wants to read the newspaper and learn ﬁrst hand of what’s going on in the world. While doing so, he unwittingly isolates himself from the country during a war and causes all sorts of rumors to surface. In order to re-instill the country’s faith in the president, his chief of staff schedules him as a guest judge on the number one television show American Dreamz.
During all this, we’re introduced to the show’s arrogant host, Martin Tweed (Hugh Grant). Tweed is bored with his show and wants an Arab contestant. Fortuitously, or not, Omer (Sam Golzari) has recently moved to Southern California from Iraq and has a deep love for singing show tunes. Omer is, obviously, picked to appear on the show, and when his Iraqi relatives learn of this, they give him the mission to reach the competition’s ﬁnal round at which he is to martyr himself with a bomb, while at the same time killing the presi-
American Dreamz ★★★★ That’s right, that’s Dreamz with a “z.” What better way
Courtesy of Universal Studios MEET THE PREZ: Dennis Quaid, as President Staton, and Hugh Grant, as television show host Martin Tweed, star in Paul Weitz’s American Dreamz.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics TOP ACTRESSES: As Jane and Olivia, Frances McDormand and Jennifer Aniston star in writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s Friends with Money.
dent. This was one of the funniest and smartest movies I had the extreme pleasure viewing. Plus, having Quaid in the audience didn’t hurt either. This ﬁlm ingeniously ties world politics, youthful vanity, presidential naiveté and, um, American Idol tightly together. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon ★★★★ First off, if you consider yourself to be a true horror fan, and you’ve memorized the clichés that have made the slasher subgenre so predictable, then it’s
an undeniable moral imperative that you see this ﬁlm. This movie borders on the mockumentary and slasher-horror ﬁlm genres. It really is a genius ﬁlm. The ﬁlm is set in a world where Jason Voorhees, Michael Myer, and Fred Krueger are actual famous mass murderers. And in this world, we meet Leslie Vernon. Vernon wants nothing else than to be just like his murdering idols. Vernon allows a ﬁlm crew to tape and observe his training and methods: ducking in the shadows, the slamming of doors and See SXSW, page 6
Page 6 - The University Star
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Fox and Hound plays host to bizarre fusion of eclectic artists By Sam Ladach-Bark The University Star
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight SMOKIN’: Maria Bello, David Koechner and Aaron Eckhart make up the Merchants Of Death lobbyist squad in Thank You for Smoking.
Director discusses importance of humor in spurring smart discussion
CONTINUED from page 5
his interest in directing. “There was a scene where all the ground cracks up, literally. Nowadays, you’d do it with (computer generated effects). But, it’s this f**kin’ New York street, and they blew up the whole thing,” Reitman said. “And I remember walking on the set and seeing that my dad had basically destroyed this street in New York, and thinking ‘Wow, if you’re a director, you can do anything.’” After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1999, Reitman found much success with his short ﬁlms. H@ premiered at SXSW that same year, and In God We Trust won Best Short at the Austin Film Festival in 2000. His shorts have also made the rounds at Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival, as well as the New York Comedy Film Festival. After directing many commercials and rewriting scripts “to pay the mortgage,” it wasn’t until 2000 that he got the gig to adapt and direct Smoking because “no one else would touch it,” he said. It took four years for the ﬁlm’s producers to wrestle the rights to the book away from Mel Gibson’s Icon Entertainment, which, Reitman said, had produced a
few versions of the script that were too broad for the book. But Reitman said in his adaptation, he stuck to Buckley’s novel when he needed to. “When (the script) is smart, it’s the book. The trick for me was capturing that voice in the emotional scenes I had to write,” Reitman said. As Reitman spoke, he was nonchalant but frank about the dangers of smoking and the power of satire. He said college students owe it to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for helping stop the country’s young people from shying away from so-called “politically incorrect” subjects. “I feel this way, and I presume college students feel this way, that we’ve grown up in the era of political correctness, and we’ve been talked down to our entire lives, and there’s been a little too much liberal do-good-er-ness,” Reitman said. “And I think that’s why The Daily Show is so successful. It’s responding to that by saying, ‘Okay, chill, we get it.’ And hopefully, this ﬁlm is doing the same thing.” Reitman added that humor is what allows Smoking to comment on health issues and political topics. “We’ve become so polarized in our attitudes that we don’t even listen anymore, and I think the only way to get people to listen is to get
them to laugh a little, open up, and now let’s really talk,” Reitman said. “Let’s not just do political puppetry, let’s have a discussion.” He continued by discussing how satire has become the popular way to avoid being politically correct. “One of the huge problems with political correctness is that it means that no one really talks anymore. Political correctness is just a polite way of saying ‘lying.’ And no one says anything because they’re scared that one word is going to invalidate their entire argument,” Reitman said. “Satire allows you to say things you would normally never be able to say; because everyone knows you’re having a joke, everyone knows you’re being funny. You’re allowed to say these dangerous things because you’re making them laugh, but at its core, it still has a message. And that’s the power of satire.” With Smoking already in theatres in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. (It comes to Austin on March 31.), Reitman said he’s prepared to stand behind his ﬁlm, no matter what the reaction. “I feel like I’ve made the movie I want to make. And that’s most important,” Reitman said. “The fact that some people don’t like it means that I did it right.”
Fox and H o u n d played host ✯✯✯✯ to a decidedly differFox and Hound Showcase ent showcase Friday, March 17 on Friday for South by Southwest. It was a bizarre mixture of eclectic artists from recording labels FatCat, Paw Tracks and Bubble Core. A gigantic tent facilitated Fox and Hound’s conversion from restaurant/bar to concert venue, with the added bonus of creating a trippy shadow effect on the ceiling every time ﬂash photography was used. Seven artists showcased their music, including Mum DJ Set, First Nation, Storesveit Nix Noltes, Ariel Pink, The Mutts, Tom Brosseau and Animal Collective. Mum DJ Set was altogether forgetful. Without the wispy vocals of Gyda and Kristin Valtysdóttir, the ambient beats served as little more than background music. Next came Paw Tracks newbie and Animal Collective tour mates First Nation, bringing a scattered assortment of percussion and ethereal vocal accompaniment. Although they deserve a pat on the back for being unique and different, they probably should work on making their music more accessible to the listener. Ariel Pink played the ﬁrst
memorable set of the night. Favoring vocal distortion in combination with ’60s rock themes, Pink did his best to keep things uncanny. His delivery was deliciously off-center and quirky, tickling the ears of those who have a taste for weirdness. It became apparent that Pink has a great sense of pop/rock craftsmanship. And although his music is random and chaotic at times, he was in complete control throughout the set. Despite being the most energetic act of the night, The Mutts broke up the crowd that Ariel Pink worked so hard to bring in. This UK-based foursome was nothing but traditional, with a dance rock sound similar to that of Franz Ferdinand. Their show might have been better at Stubb’s alongside pop groups Metric and Snow Patrol. But, despite constant requests from the band’s vocalist to move in closer, everybody in the crowd stood their ground with arms folded. Next up was the individualistic style of Tom Brosseau, which was a bit more this crowd’s speed. His nostalgic and almost feminine cry was only accompanied by his straightforward folk-infused guitar strumming. He demonstrated his skill as a singer/songwriter, but his guitar work was less than perfect. This, however, can only get better as he continues to make music, and I look forward to his future efforts.
After a painstaking wait for equipment adjustments, excited fans were treated to musical bliss around 1 a.m. as Animal Collective stole the show. If you have ever heard their music, you might understand that their eclectic brand of pop takes a bit of getting used to. The music started slow, layering one instrument on top of another, constantly building and changing every minute. Nobody was in control of the direction and shape of the music; it became apparent, yet hard to believe that this music was an unrehearsed improvisation. It can only be described as an echoing electronic wilderness, combining two guitars, a drum set and undecipherable vocals coming from all directions. All of the vocals were distorted and recorded by Brian Weitz, wielding an assortment of electronic knobs and gadgets. After a while, I began wondering if they would be able to reproduce the music featured on their albums, but three songs from their most recent album, Feels, came through late in the show. Dishing out trance-inducing tribal beats, Animal Collective made for a truly one of a kind sonic experience. This showcase proved to be quirky, whimsical and altogether bizarre. It was refreshing to learn that musicians are still ﬁnding ways to break outside the box in an ever-growing and inﬁnitely diverse music scene.
FOX ROCKS: Animal Collective performed at Fox and Hound for South by Southwest on Friday, March 17.
Courtesy of The Windish Agency
SXSW: Suspense, comedy popular genres at fest CONTINUED from page 5
the rigging of “happenstance” run-ins — all of which hilariously parody the common and highly recognizable slasher cliché. And through all this, Vernon explains the most famous and deeply pertinent aspect of prep — the virgin, needed to survive the whole experience. It’s a must see. The Notorious Bettie Page ★★★★ I’ll be the ﬁrst to admit that I was never really a huge fan of Bettie Page, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t know of her “notorious” reputation as one of the ﬁrst bondage pin-up girls in American history. But that’s all I knew of her. Now, having
said that, for me, this movie was without a doubt a genuine eye-opening experience into the realm of Page’s early life that many will come to love. Page, as a young girl, always loved posing for the camera. She often dreamed of being a cover girl. This biopic is just as good (maybe better) than recent movies Ray and Walk the Line. Director Mary Harron really took the time to tell Page’s story. While the ﬁlm is not without its share of nudity, none of it feels gratuitous or lewd. It’s just the way Page saw it. Drawing on her devout Christian history, Page would often remark, “Adam and Eve were both naked until they committed sin.” Yes, they were.
Hard Candy ★★★★ This ﬁlm should be required viewing for ﬁlm classes all across the country. Shot for less than million dollars, Hard Candy is a nearly ﬂawless, wildly creative and nail-biting thriller. Although not really scary, this movie has all the edge-of-yourseat, pick-your-brain Hitchcockian suspense that could possibly ﬁt in 99 minutes. This ﬁlm opens with a closeup on a computer screen of two Internet chatterers jokingly ﬂirting and casually conversing. One asks the other to meet at a coffee shop. They do. Now here’s what you would think is the disturbing part: The man is about 35, and the little girl is 14. It doesn’t stop there. They later relocate to the man’s highCourtesy of Picturehouse Films dollar studio apartment. OK, hold on, whatever you think PIN-UP PAGE: Gretchen Mol is going to happen, more than stars as the famous pin-up likely, you’re wrong. This movmodel in The Notorious Bet- ie keeps the audience guessing, and that’s the fun part. You just tie Page.
never really know what is going to happen next. Before the Music Dies ★★★★ This is a documentary that comments on how creativity and originality are some of the aspects missing in the music world today, and also remarks on how it’s easy to become a pop-star/pop-culture icon these days without having talent or creativity, just a pretty face and a ﬁrm ass. I happen to agree with the ﬁlm’s stance whole-heartedly. Filled to the brim with live performances and interviews from some of music’s greats like Elvis Costello, Branford Marsalis, Eric Clapton, Erykah Badu, Dave Mathews, Bonnie Raitt and Les Paul, Music makes a sincere, honest and intellectual declaration against the music industry as it is today. Metal: A Head-banger’s Journey ★★★ Anthropologist and staunchly loyal metal-head Sam Dunn traveled all around the world to put together this deﬁnitive documentary on heavy metal. He tackles and explores highly debated, but never settled, topics such as “Who was the ﬁrst metal band?” and “Is metal a form of satanism?” He also very impressively maps out the history of metal and its family tree. With a long list of who’s who of metal, the interviews take place worldwide, including Ronnie James Dio at the Mecca of metal happenings, the Wacken Festival in Germany, to the icy plains of Norway where black metal reigns supreme. Headbanger is a must see for any music fan.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Architects build foundation in vindication By Maira Garcia The University Star
FOR RELEASE MARCH 21, 2006
THE Daily Crossword ACROSS 1 Be in front 5 Melville's captain 9 Ferber and Best 14 Sax type 15 Cable 16 French pancake 17 Illinois stream? 19 Downgrade 20 Not connected 21 England's Seven Years' War acquisition 22 Royal residence 23 Bring brunch 24 Opens stoppages 27 Cipher code 30 On the wagon 34 Aesop's loser 35 Corset cord 36 Swabbie's wave 37 Gray wolves 38 Goes wrong 39 Like Nestor 40 Elvis __ Presley 41 Bunk 42 One off the wagon 43 Add water 45 Stackable snacks 47 Unbroken 52 Inhabitant of ancient Crete 54 Summit 56 John Jacob or Mary 57 Carolina smoked entree? 58 Takes by theft 59 __ mater 60 Stately display 61 Sound judgment 62 Dog tired 63 Fair DOWN 1 Drink like a cat 2 Actress Verdugo 3 Coral reef
4 Andrea, the dictator of Genoa 5 Come alive 6 Take on 7 Like Death Valley 8 Actress Arthur 9 Conspicuous successes 10 Unchanging intonation 11 New Jersey haven? 12 Copied 13 Blood parts 18 Sustain 21 Kennel units 23 Light circle 25 Multi-tone harmonies 26 Blair's party 28 Buff color 29 Old affirmative 30 Adages 31 Buckeye State 32 Massachusetts heavy weight? 33 Look and see 35 Actor Gorcey
The University Star - 7
Edited by Wayne Robert Williams
Solutions for March 9:
Architects demonstrated to a small audience at a South by Southwest concert how a rock show should be played: with raw emotion and tons of energy. Formerly known as the ska outﬁt The Gadjits, Architects have evolved into a rock ‘n’ roll band with punk attitude and aggression. Architects are out not only to redeﬁne themselves once and for all, but to laugh in the faces of everyone who said they couldn’t. The band played a showcase at The Parish on Friday afternoon to promote its sophomore album, Revenge, released two weeks ago on Anodyne Records. Their shows, like Revenge, are more about substance than style. Vocalist and guitarist Brandon Phillips is a self-proclaimed perfectionist when it comes to his music. “We will never be satisﬁed with our live performances until it looks and sounds like Queen live at Wembley or AC/ DC live,” Phillips said. Perhaps those dreams of perfection are coming soon. Although the album was recorded in just four days, Revenge has all the elements necessary for a great punk album. It’s gritty and fast. There is no ﬂashiness, and none is needed, which is why their live shows are so good. All the rawness from the stage is on the album. “I feel vindicated about (the record). We do it our way, and it’s good,” Phillips said. “We do it the way everyone else does it, and it’s mediocre.” Vindication must be sweet, because it doesn’t look like anyone is enjoying it more than Phillips. When he is on the stage with his bandmates — his two brothers, Zach on bass and Adam on drums, along with second guitarist Mike Alexander — he is at his best. The grin on his face, the way he shakes his hips and slides on his knees across the stage says it all. Phillips is not just a musician, but a performer. Phillips and the rest of his band have plenty of experience performing on stage. The Gadjits were signed to Hellcat Records when he was only 17. “Zach and Adam dropped out of school to go on our ﬁrst tour. We were very, very young,” Phillips said. However, for Phillips, becoming a full-time musician at a young age meant learning some things about the music industry the hard way. Problems
e were on some god-awful tour “W somewhere in North Carolina, and we decided we were never going
to make another ska record. We went home and made a record that got us dropped from Hellcat. We really pissed a lot of people off along the way.”
— Brandon Phillips vocalist and guitarist for Architects
Stephanie Gage/Star photo GET INTO IT: At The Parish Mike Alexander, guitarist for Architects, feels the music while he performs for South by Southwest.
with promotion, distribution and tours persisted throughout his stay with Hellcat. “We would go out for four months at a time with nobody or with the worst band in the world,” he said. “We wasted a lot of time and money that way.” In addition to management problems, the band had begun to move away from the thriving
’90s ska scene. Their disinterest in being labeled as a “scene band” fueled the change. “We were on some god-awful tour somewhere in North Carolina, and we decided we were never going to make another ska record,” Phillips said. “We went home and made a record that got us dropped from Hellcat. We really pissed a lot of people off along the way.” Despite those issues, Phillips said he wouldn’t trade his experience with Hellcat for the world. It’s why his relationship with Anodyne is smoother, and one reason why he became a partner of the independent label and label manager. “Having spent 10 years plus in a van touring, watching various independent and major labels mismanage my affairs, I felt I was uniquely qualiﬁed to become the manager of a label,” Phillips said. But the process of making a new album under a new name and label wasn’t without negative aspects. Phillips blamed overproduction as one of the major reasons their last album, Keys to the Building, did not ﬁt their standards. “The last album was a nightmare,” Phillips said. “Everything Stephanie Gage/Star photo about (Revenge) is a perfect reROCK STRUCTURE: Architects rock the crowd at The Parish duraction to everything that went ing the 20th annual South by Southwest on Friday. wrong with the last record.”
SU DO KU Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.
Solutions for March 9:
37 Strike repeatedly 41 Coloring agent 43 Mortician's vehicle 44 Helmet 46 Chambers 48 Packs down 49 Sneeze sound
Go to www.UniversityStar.com for today’s answers.
50 Quahogs 51 Relative speed 52 Time and Life, briefly 53 Guernsey or Anglesey 54 Whimper 55 "__ la Douce" 57 Pat lightly
OPINIONS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
quoteof the day “I admit to drinking it, but I did not swallow.”
— Kinky Friedman, independent candidate for Texas governor, after being photographed in a St. Patrick’s Day parade drinking a Guinness. Drinking the stout is a violation of the state’s open container law. (Source: Dallas Morning News)
Tuesday, March 21, 2005 - Page 8
Opinions Contact — Joe Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MAIN POINT
Those who want their rights defended must make complaints formal In the wake of the incident following the African American Leadership Conference on Sept. 11, 2005, not a single complaint was ﬁled against a University Police Department ofﬁcer. Not one. Even though students all across campus complained privately and publicly about the conduct of police that morning, and even though students wore shirts defying the police claims that the AALC attendees were ﬁghting, no one was willing to step forward and ﬁle a complaint. The private investigation of the incident by Brown Group International has rekindled discussion of what happened after the conference; and still, those involved refuse to talk to the press, and very few were willing to speak at the BGI open forum on March 2. If students have a problem with the police, they need to step forward and air their concerns. At a more recent BGI hearing, employees of the UPD expressed their willingness to work with students and deal with complaints. Capt. Ricky Lattie of UPD said students can ﬁle a complaint online at the UPD Web site. He said students can also come to UPD ofﬁces where he or another ofﬁcer will be willing to sit down with them and help them ﬁll out the necessary paperwork. Lattie said many of the complaints he sees come from a simple misunderstanding about police procedures. It’s everyone’s favorite past time to complain about the police, but whining in The Quad solves nothing. The University Star receives e-mails from time to time involving complaints against UPD ofﬁcers. Usually when this happens, no formal complaints are ﬁled against the ofﬁcer involved and a precursory investigation by The Star shows no wrongdoing on the part of the police. If students feel they are being mistreated, they cannot ignore the problem, and they cannot expect the problem to ﬁx itself. There are channels to go through to deal with any issues involving the UPD or the university. Shannon Fiztpatrick and Milena Christopher are legal advisers at the Ofﬁce of the Attorney for Students. Both are available to provide legal advice to the Texas State community. If students are not comfortable going directly to UPD, they can go to the attorney for students to receive guidance. Most disturbing is the lack of any complaints about the AALC incident. Amid accusations of racism and improper use of force by UPD, no one felt obliged to ofﬁcially ﬁle a complaint. Those who attended the BGI forum took a step in the right direction, but if students want to defend their rights they feel were violated on Sept. 11 or may be violated at any time in the future, they need to be willing to stick their necks out. The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State UniversitySan Marcos.
All Christians need is love A few weeks the public lately. We ago, a friend apare seen as being proached me overbearing, sexbecause she was less thought-police surprised to thugs that are more see me describinterested in telling ing myself as a you what you can’t Christian in one do rather than helpof my columns. ing the human race SEAN WARDWELL I think this is out. And we really Star Columnist because I make do deserve that repit a point not to utation sometimes, discuss my faith. I don’t think I think. it’s anyone’s business; and I am a liberal Christian. We aside from a few passages on actually exist. We seem to be this page for dramatic effect, I in the minority, though. It’s a don’t really talk about it. given that the loudest voice, So if I feel that way, why no matter how stupid they write a lead like that? Mainly sound, will get the most atbecause I’m so very tired of tention. Pat Robertson, Jerry what happens when I do deFalwell and others of their ilk scribe myself as a Christian. I are very loud and remarkably might as well wear a swastika stupid. That means they get to on my arm in some crowds. be the public face of AmeriEither I get that or the reaccan Christianity. Oh, goody! tion I got from my friend, the What does it mean to be subtext being, “you are one of a Christian these days? Is it them?” about following a set of rules? Well yeah, I am. I’ll be reIs it about hating the sin and ally honest though and admit loving the sinner, which for to not being a very traditional the record is one of the most one. I don’t believe in waiting shameless and cowardly ways until marriage to have sex. I to weasel out of one’s own believe there is nothing wrong bigotry? Is it about being in with being homosexual. My a certain place at a certain concept of God is more femitime listening to the same old nine than masculine. I think stories being told in minor Jesus was anything but white. variations? God, I hope not, I hardly ever go to church. I because that seems pretty keep my prayers in my head dull. for the most part, and I try to If I have learned anything live a good life. at all in my time here, it’s But as much as I loathe that nobody in the history of those reactions, I understand humanity has ever won a dethem. Christianity has not bate on religion. It has never done a lot to endear itself to happened, not once. There is
no way to verify faith because So perhaps that’s a good everyone has their own way place to start. Christianity of living it. So here are a few should be universal revoluthoughts: tionary love in action. For There are two great commore, please refer to Isaiah mandments. Simply put, they 58: 6-8. state that you need to love We all have to walk our God and love your neighbor own road. One size never reas yourself. For me that sums ally ﬁts all. While I probably it up. It’s all don’t do or about love. say things that Love will identify hristianity is would save us from me as being a supposed to Christian, I am ourselves, be it romantic, actually quite be revolutionary. platonic or with my It is a radical faith, happy whatever. relationship just like Jesus was Love cleanses with Christ. and puriﬁes. It took me a a radical ﬁgure.” Love is God’s long time to greatest gift ﬁnd this place, to us. But but enough it has to be an honest love is enough. I wish my faith and not a self-serving love. It walked its talk; but, sadly, needs to be real (i.e. love your most of the time we don’t. enemies). This is not always We become more concerned easy. with politics than piety. UnChristianity is also supposed derstand this though, it’s my to be revolutionary. It is a faith too, and I’m tired of it radical faith, just like Jesus was being used for hatred. I really a radical ﬁgure. Our commisbelieve it’s long past time to sion, as I once heard it put, is take the word Christian back to afﬂict the comfortable and from those who have almost comfort the afﬂicted. It isn’t destroyed it and everything it enough to just pay your tithstands for. ing and whistle a happy tune. I don’t expect everyone Jesus wants us in the trenches to agree with this. A lot of with the ugly and broken. you may see me as the hypoWhy? Because that’s where crite rather than the people he was and probably still is in I’ve singled out. That’s cool many ways. Jesus didn’t care though. I really only have that he hung out with prostito answer to one authority tutes, lepers and tax collectors. at the end of it all, and I’m He saw people in need, and he pretty sure none of you are didn’t ask questions. He just it. And that’s pretty much helped. He loved. that, isn’t it?
Letters to the Editor Minimum wage increase will hurt economy RE: “Minimum wage increase to beneﬁt families, workers,” The University Star, Mar. 8 Minimum wage is a feelgood piece of legislation from big government advocates. Liberals can’t seem to leave their hands off the economy and insist on interfering with market forces through government intervention. Minimum wage is a joke. It is a starting point, not a wage to raise families on. Even Wal-Mart offers better than minimum wage for its employees. Adults earning minimum wage are doing so because they lack skills or are starting out in work force. An increase in minimum wage will only work to raise unemployment, make pay raises
more difﬁcult for other employees, and raise the cost of business which will be passed to the consumer. — Zachary Royal Accounting senior
Poor driving etiquette shames Texas State commuters I am a naturalized American citizen who loves this country and cherishes the great humanitarian qualities that characterize the nation. I was all the more impressed when I moved to San Marcos to attend Texas State — the kindness exhibited in social interactions is an example to other campuses. I remember how, when living in Austin,
that people would make compliments of the residents of San Marcos. I was looking for a parking spot outside the Supple Science Building on Mar. 1 at 3:55 p.m. Since the lot was full, I waited at a side with my blinkers on. Soon, there was a group of three women walking toward the parking lot. A red Mazda pick-up truck drove up all of a sudden and, apparently, asked the women a question. They pointed to a spot. The driver of the truck pulled up behind the womens’ van as they were boarding it. I drove up behind the truck and horned. He proceeded with pulling into the lot that the womens’ van left vacant. Soon, I saw a woman walking toward the lot. At this time, a black two-door Pontiac Firebird pulled up from behind me and took the spot soon left vacant by the other car. I executed the same action — drove up and horned.
I alighted from my car to question the two drivers who had taken the two spots. The young woman who drove the Pontiac told me that she had overtaken me, because I had stopped with my blinkers on. I replied that it was because I was waiting for a parking spot. She said that she had a class and left. The driver of the Mazda started talking about this society being democratic and how we have to fend for ourselves. He even used the term, “free capitalism” in his verbatim. I understand that there is no written rule on parking lot wait, but an upholding of ethical principles exercised spontaneously by residents of a community is necessary for its well-being. I hope that these two drivers would carefully reﬂect on and examine their actions. — Hui-Yiing Chang music graduate student
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