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Volume 86

T ech T alk
February 2, 2012 www.thetechtalk.org




The student voice of Louisiana Tech University

Number 14

Tech professor selected ‘Louisianian of the Year’
LISA PLAISANCE Staff Reporter of white-tailed deer, squirrel, and especially turkey. “My early research was very Believe it or not, a Tech helpful in defining habitat reprofessor, an alligator hunter, a lationships in forest wildlife,” chef and a musician have more Dickson said. in common than one might susDickson has worked with pect. other experts to compile dozLouisiana Life magazine se- ens of award-winning books, lected James Dickson, a profes- and also contributed to more sor of environmental sciences than 100 technical publications. and forestry, as one of eight “Research is analogous to a 2012 Louisianians of the Year. brick,” Dickson said. “Doing a Other state residents chosen book is trying to make a strucare: Troy Landry, a “Swamp ture out of the bricks into a usPeople” celebrity, able form.” John Folse, a chef One of his books, and Troy Andrews, “The Wild Turkey: New Orleans musiBiology and Managecian. ment,” is now consid“I was surprised ered the “bible of wild they picked me,” he turkey management,” said. “They wanted according to the ardiversity. They didn’t ticle in Louisiana just pick politicians Life magazine. That and sports stars.” book, along with one According to an of his more recent article in Louisiana publications, “Wildlife DICKSON Life, there are other of Southern Forests: higher profile cateHabitat and Managegories, the magazine ment,” won the Outfelt those eight represented an standing Book Award from the impressive variety of Louisiana Southeast section of the Wildcreativity. life Society. When Dickson earned his Dickson said he tried to bachelor’ s in forestry at the wind up his career with putting University of the South in Se- his research into a useful form. wanee, Tenn., he wanted to visit After many years of full-time Louisiana. Dickson said he did research, Dickson returned to not come for the typical col- Tech. lege kid lure of Bourbon Street, “I still have a zest for what but instead he came to see a I’m doing,” he said. “Now I’m swamp for the first time. able to teach what I did my After earning his doctorate research on. I’ve had a very rein forestry from Louisiana State warding career and this was an University and briefly teaching opportunity to share my experiat Tech, he worked in research ences with students.” for the U.S. Forest Service. From Some of Dickson’s students his research, Dickson said he said he is very encouraging and drew conclusions about wildlife > see DICKSON page 8 communities, including those

Photo by Sumeet Shrestha

The Port Belly Project from Shreveport perform a belly dance act during the International Scholarship Night. The group returned to this year’s event after performing at the last scholarship dinner.

International cultures unite at 13th annual scholarship dinner
to raise money for student scholarships and entertain the guests with varieties of performances. Dan Erickson, director of International Student Office, said more than 600 guests attended the event and more than 200 International students were involved in the program. “I am excited to see the active participation of our international students either as a server or cook or performer,” he said. “Our faculty is also excited to see the creativity of the international students and appreciate them.” The program featured Latin melodies, a traditional Kumari dance, Waka-Waka, Que Huong Toi, a Vietnamese song, a Nigerian fashion show, a Salsa dance and a tribal fusion dance

AMRIT AWAL Staff Reporter Students, faculty members and community residents gathered at Student Center, Main Floor on Jan. 28 for the 13th annual International Student Scholarship Night hosted by International Students Association. The event is held every year

performed by the Port Belly Project and other fusion dances from the Caribbean Islands, India and Nepal. Students such as Joshua Brown, a senior in nanosystems engineering, said this is his fourth time attending the events. He said the Latin song was

> see DINNER page 8

Students help local school with public art project
You might be 35 with an established career, 21 and trying to decide where to go upon graduation or 18 and halfway through your first year of college, but regardless of your current state in life, there is always room for change, inspiration and dreaming. A group of 18 Tech art students are currently working in collaboration with students from the gifted and talented art class at A.E. Phillips Laboratory School in the construction of a public art project that focuses on growth and community. Jes Schrom, an assistant art professor, is the instructor of the art in public places class which is responsible for producing this project. She said she split her class into groups and asked them to design a proposal for a project that would be feasible to produce with younger students. The project chosen involves a lifelike tree, vines and leaves that will symbolize the connection between Tech, A.E. Phillips, community and growth. “The piece itself is trying to visualize that a lot of students at A.E. Phillips will be Tech students one day,” she said. Schrom said one tree will stand on the college side of campus while the vines and branches on the elementary side will wind through the fences. “Our side is the tree because it symbolizes the idea of growth, getting older and education,” she said. Diana Synatzske, a 3D studio art graduate student, is the brains behind this project. She said her idea was probably the most feasible for the project since it allowed everyone a chance to participate. “We had to pick materials that would be suitable for outdoors and something that would be easily collaborated with sixth through eighth graders,” she said. “It had to be something they could do as well.” Synatzske said the children’s role in this project is to cut out the leaves from tarp and cut strips to weave through fences. “They’re going to create a

Photo by Dacia Idom

> see PROJECT page 8

Students in the Art in Public Places class create vines and leaves out of jute, plastic bags and tarp for a community art project.

Tech ranked 10th on magazines’ ‘most prude colleges’ list
JUSTIN FORT News Editor Although Tech has made many positive headlines this year for becoming a Tier One university, making Kiplinger’s list of 100 schools with the best values and a preseason ranking that ranks the Bulldogs as the no. 25 football team in the country, it has recently been categorized as one of the most prude colleges. The publication mentioning Tech in its newest issue is College Magazine, ranked Tech 10th on its “most prude colleges” list. “When I read that I was kind of shocked to see we were so high on the list,” said Scott Pumphrey, a junior aviation major. “It’s embarrassing.” Shock is what most students felt. Even the author of the article expressed disbelief as he mentioned all the things Tech has which should decrease this type of behavior, such as strict dorm policies. Tech received this ranking for its lack of awareness and willingness to approach the subject, which is to be expected in a conservative, Southern town like Ruston. “Maybe it’s the cool thing to do, I don’t know,” Reed said. “It’s hard to believe that.” Regardless of wanting to believe it, Tech is regularly mentioned as a school with a more than average number of STD cases and a low amount of awareness. In the United States, one in four college students has a sexually transmitted disease and 19 million new STDs are contracted each year, according to the Center for Disease Control’s website. Although emails are often sent to all students offering advice and help, it is not enough, at least not for freshman pre-speech language pathology major Shelbie Reed. “If the administration has any pride at all, they will try to

do something about this,” Reed said. “It’s not good for potential students.” The primary reason Tech lands on list such as these is the students’ ignorance due to a lack of information. Pumphrey said he has only talked about sex with one teacher during his school career almost 10 years.

> see PRUDE page 8

2 • The T T ech alk • February 2, 2012

The Warehouse to host MASQUERAVE
The Company, a local music firm in Ruston, will host its fifth rave from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Feb. 10 at The Warehouse in Ruston. The Warehouse is located on the Service Road past Rabb’s Steakhouse and Spirits. Attendees must be 18 or older to enter. Admission is $5 at the door. Guests are encouraged to wear Mardi Gras attire. Music will include performances from Kyle Jackson, Core G, DJ Ronnie Lopez with MC Charlie Murphy and The Company’s Elephant King. For more information contact Armando Allen, co-owner of The Company and manager of The Warehouse, at 318-5646451.

Jim Sherraden will talk about the hisotry of handset graphic designing and the first poster printed at Hatch Show Print, a show poster and design shop in Nashville. It is oneof the oldest such poster and design shops in the country. T Admission is free to the public. For more information contact Jessica Schrom, an assistant professor of art, at 318257-3909 or at jschrom@latech. edu.

Spanish dance comes to Tech

BCM auctions beards for funds
Photos by Sumeet Shoestha

ABOVE: Lincoln Beard, a senior industrial engineering major, and Chad Miller a senior civil engineering major, make a grand entrance at BCM’s beard auction. They raised $637, which was the highest for the enitire auction. RIGHT: Chad Miller, a senior civil engineering major, gets his head shaved after the auction. The money raised in this event was total of $2,618. DEREK AMAYA Staff Reporter For the past three months, select members of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry have avoided barbershops in preparation for unique fundraising efforts. Thirteen male members of the BCM participated in its seventh annual beard auction Jan. 24, which raised more than $2,500 for mission trips throughout the year. Audience members bided on a participant and once they bought them, they were able to create any design they pleased in the person’s beard and hair. The guys had to go 24 hours displaying their new haircuts. Kevin Inman, director of BCM, said the students coming together, worshiping and caring about taking the gospel around the world is a big part of the beard auction. “It’s just amazing how much money we raised,” he said. “I admire the guys for doing this. I know they were committed to this and it is pretty noble. I love to see them dedicated to a purpose, which serves all needs all around the world.” Heather Poe, a sophomore speech communication major, is one of the missionaries benefiting from the auction. With the money raised, she plans to go on a mission trip this summer to Livingston, Texas. “I feel like we raised a lot of money for the trips,” she said. “A lot of people were willing to give and it is such a blessing. It went beyond my expectations.” Poe is one of the many missionaries from the BCM going around the world who are benefiting from the auction. “I am extremely thankful for the guys doing this,” Poe said. “The guys say it is really gross and they have to keep it clean. Them willing to basically humiliate themselves for 24 hours is awesome. I am also thankful to God mostly for just placing people’s hearts to be willing to give and spread the gospel.” Chad Miller, a senior civil engineering major, and Lincoln Beard, another participant, together received the highest bid, raising a total of $637. “I chose to do this for God,” Miller said. “It is good to raise money for missions so people can go anywhere in the world that He leads them to tell them about Him. He gave me my hair so I gave it back to Him.” Beard shared the same passion, and added that it is admirable for someone to give up something that God has blessed them with. “For people to serve in other countries, they need money to get there,” Beard said. “This is a great opportunity to do that. Luke 9:23 says, ‘If any man goes after Christ, he must deny thyself,’ and that is what I did tonight.” Miller said he was a little embarrassed by his new haircut, but he said he knows it contributes to a good cause and is happy to give back to the Lord. “The more money for God,

Greek organizations to host a semi-formal
Alpha Phi Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta will host Love So Cold That It Burns Like Fire semi-formal from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Feb. 11 in the Student Center, Main Floor. The dress code is semi-formal and it will be strictly enforced. There will be a live jazz band performing for the audience and door prizes will be awarded. The cost is $10 for singles and $15 for couples. Drinks and food will be served. For more information contact Pierre Brown at 318-8407667.

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, a Spanish dance company, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in Howard Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts. Contact Howard Center Box Office, located in the lobby of Howard Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts, for tickets at 318-257-3942. Tickets for students are $5, non-students are $10 and children are $6. For more information contact Paul Crook, an associate professor of performing arts, at 318-257-2062 or at pcrook@ latech.edu.

Crescent City holds open art viewing

Sherraden to talk to the School of Art
Tech’s School of Art will hold an artist talk title “Hatch Show Print-American Letterpress Since 1879” from 5-6 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the F. Jay Taylor Visual Arts Center, Room 103. the better it is,” Miller said. “It is a little crazy, but I am fine with it because it is my sixth time doing this. The one thing that is cool about this is it creates conversation. I can tell people that it was to help raise money for missions to tell the world about God.” The money raised in the auctions helps benefit mission trips around the world such as Christmas in China, Latin America trips, and Christian summer camps, Inman said. “Every year I am amazed by how much money we raise,” he said. “We have a lot of students who really care about taking the gospel around the world. It is a big part of who we are at BCM.”

An open art gallery viewing with free treats and coffee will be held from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 5 at Crescent City Coffee at 1007 N. Trenton Street. The exhibit, Assembling Intimacy: Photographic Images of Settling In, will be on display Feb.1 through April 1. The viewing will feature the work of artist, Bess Bieluczyk, who bases her art on the rebellion of unhappy housewives. For more information contact James Waller, manager of Crescent City Coffee, at 318232-5282 or jpandbetsy@gmail. com.

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February 2, 2012 • The T T ech alk • 3

Phone apps serve educational purpose
JUSTIN FORT News Editor lizing technology. Not all students see the usefulness of the app. In a world dominated by Although the idea is sound, computers and smart phones, junior kinesiology major Brian people are accustomed to ac- Moran said the app is outdated quiring the most efficient infor- and needs to be improved. Momation in a matter of seconds ran said he rarely uses the LaTthrough the use of applications ech app because of its useless(apps). ness. Some of the “It’s almost most useful apps pointless. I only for Tech students use it to check are LaTech, Everthe news,” Monote, inClass, ran said. “Most of AroundMe and the time the news To view multimedia Wikipanion. doesn’t have to do footage go to “LaTech has with the students www.thetechtalk.org Tech’s directory,” either.” said Rodney Seay, Moran still bea senior computer lives the app has information systems major. “By a far way to go in terms of achaving that, I can find anyone I countability. need to.” “It needs improvement.” The LaTech app was develAnother beneficial app for oped by EZ Axess, Inc. for Tech class-related work is Evernote. students at no cost to them or This app enables people to acthe university and provides the cess notes and store them on a latest information for on-cam- phone or tablet in a timely manpus athletics, calendar events, a ner. map of the campus and photos Kelsey Olson, a sophomore of Tech. education major, said she uses “They put up articles after Evernote frequently. She said the sporting events,” Seay said. when she brings her computer “It has a lot of Tech events and to class, it automatically syncs information.” to her phone because Evernote According to EZ Axess’ links with Apple’s new iCloud website, the company started set up. with the purpose of providing “It is just convenient for me students with campus services to have my notes on my phone at their fingertips. The develop- in case I need to send them to ers were recent college gradu- a friend or look back at them on ates who wanted to make life the way to a test,” Olson said. easier for students through utiOne of the more convenient apps for classroom work is inClass, which Apple calls “the last school app you will ever need It is here to help you survive school. No matter how complex your school schedule is, inClass will help you keep track of all your courses.” The main difference between Evernote and inClass is Evernote focuses on note- taking while inClass focuses on simplifying schedules. Olson, an avid traveler, said she goes to visit friends in Baton Rouge and Houston often, and AroundMe is beneficial when she is en route to one of her destinations. “Whenever we get hungry on the road, I pull up AroundMe to see what kinds of places are nearby,” Olson said. “It makes it easier to pick out a good place to eat instead of just going to the first restaurant we see.” Seay said these apps together are more convenient because iPhone users are typically left waiting on Siri , the iPhone users’ personal assistant, due to network problems or miscommunication. “Sometimes Siri can take 15 seconds to speak back,” Seay said. “The apps are just better.” In order for students to get the absolute most out of these apps, Seay will be making a video explaining the uses, tips and tricks.

Submitted photo

Email comments to jwf014@latech.edu.

The Louisiana Tech University application allows users to see recent news, information about athletics and browse the campus directory.

Radio station hosts February dance month
NATALIE MCELWEE Staff Reporter Louisiana Tech students, put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a month of footloose and fancy-free fun. KLPI, Tech’s campus radio station, is hosting three unique dances throughout the month of February. KLPI is a commercialfree educational radio station owned by Louisiana Tech University and run by a staff comprised of students. Lod Hayes, KLPI music director, said he is excited for the dance month because it is something new the station is presenting to the student population. “Winter quarter can be rough, and we at KLPI want to do our part as a student organization to give the students a break from work using what we love most – music,” he said. The first dance of the month, was the Indie-Pop Sock Hop, it was from 7-11 p.m. on Feb. 1 in the Student Center, Main Floor. Hayes said he had a lot of fun planning the sock hop. “I really like this idea - combining an old theme with the hottest indie pop tracks,” he said. “I urge whoever is coming to wear your craziest socks and rediscover your love of dance.” The dances will be a good way to get more people involved with KLPI, Hayes said. “The dances are our attempt of giving our listeners and the community a chance to join all of the DJ’s at the station and to basically listen, dance, eat and celebrate the music of our generation,” he said. “We selected the three genres of music that we feel are most perfect for dancing.” The next dance, the Third Annual Swing Dance, will be from 7-11 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the Student Center, Main Floor. Kaitlyn Carroll, disk jockey at KLPI, said she is looking forward to the swing dance and has had a great time planning the events of dance month. “Usually we have a full meal and then swing dancing, but this year, we decided to cut back on the full meal,” she said. “That will help cut down on admission costs. We’re providing snacks instead.” The dance will be United Service Organizations/World War II themed. Carroll also said she believes hosting these dances is a good way for KLPI to reach out to the student population. “We’re really hoping to get more of an audience and get people to have audience participation.” she said. Carroll hopes the station can get the type of feedback they hope for. “We are college radio for a college campus. We want to get more of the college campus involved.” The last dance of the month, aRAVEian Nights, will be from 8-11 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Student Center, Main Floor. This Arabian-themed event will feature DJ Chris Ryo, local Ruston disk jockey. Liz Ryland, public relations director for KLPI, said she hopes to draw attention to the station with the dances and give students a safe and entertaining environment. “Raves are really fun and popular,” she said. “It should be pretty fun and interesting, a rave without alcohol provided.” A minimum $1 donation, which will be given to the Invisible Children charity, will be required for admission. Invisible Children uses film, creative media and social action in order to aid in the fight against the use of child soldiers and restore central Africa to

peace and prosperity. Ryland hopes the dances are a success for the station and the invisible children organization. “Everyone at KLPI loves music and dancing,” she said. “We hope this will draw more attention to KLPI. We’re always trying to draw people in.”

Email comments to nkm003@latech.edu.

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On campus organizations have impact on students
MOLLY BOWMAN Staff Reporter Many things from entertainment to student organizations can influence a person’s spiritual walk of life. Kendrick and Me’Lonnie Walker founded the Inspirational Movement Pulling All Christians Together last October. They formed this organization to give students the chance to form new outlooks about God in different aspects of their personal and spiritual lives. Ja’Carlos Davis, secretary for I.M.P .A.C.T., said he enjoys this club because it is a great way to bring different ethnicities together for one common purpose: to serve God. “I.M.P .A.C.T. has allowed me to stand on faith and begin to reconstruct my spiritual walk,” he said. On the last Wednesday of every month, I.M.P .A.C.T. holds a panel discussion to deliberate a specific issues that arise on campus and examine how those effect their spirituality. The panel is comprised of students who were asked to speak about the topic. On Jan. 25 I.M.P .A.C.T.’s panel discussed the influence of organizations on a student’s spirituality, particularly Greek organizations. Any student can submit questions to the panel, who will answer them based on their personal experience from being in an organization. The questions were open to the audience to give everyone an


“I feel like if your foundation before was strong enough as it should be, it doesn’t matter what the organization is putting off on you. It can in no way negatively impact you if you know what you stand for.””
Rashada Abraham
English education major

opportunity to speak. One of the questions brought into the discussion was whether or not the church or Greek organizations have more influence over college students. Rashada Abraham, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, was on the panel for the meeting. She said students can be influenced by the time and setting of certain situations. “Each of these groups are made of different people, and depending on the people in the groups that’s where the influence comes from,” she said. One of the bigger questions that was discussed whether or not Greek life can have a negative impact on a person’s life.

Me’Lonnie Walker, cofounder of I.M.P .A.C.T., said that being involved in a Greek organization has never negatively affected her life. She said she made the decision of whether or not that organization would compromise her values, morals and faith before joining. “The perception of myself as an individual, especially standing on Christian principles, has helped me in a more positive manner,” she said. “It just depends on if that organization is going to benefit or corrupt you.” If you believe strongly enough in something then you are not going to let it impact your life in a harmful way, Abraham said. “I feel like if your foundation before was strong enough as it should be, it doesn’t matter what the organization is putting off on you,” she said. “It can in no way negatively impact you if you know what you stand for.” Kendrick Walker, co-founder of I.M.P .A.C.T., said that when a student is interested in joining an organization they need to explore all aspects of it. They need to find out the principles and beliefs of the members. “When you become a part of something, what is it about you that is strengthened and makes you a better person?” Walker said. “Don’t let an organization change who you are.”

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MARY TIMMONS Editor-in-Chief

4 • The T T ech alk • February 2, 2012

Cyber bullying to Bible bullying
Combine religion with cyber bullying and you have an entire new style of bullying that goes beyond the power of God I call it Bible bullying. Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-yearold from Cranston, R.I., was the plaintiff in a Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union case. Ahlquist, who is an atheist, fought the school in order to have them remove a banner in the auditorium. The phrase on the banner reads “Our Heavenly Father,” and comes to a conclusion with the word “Amen.” Ahlquist feels that this was a violation of the First Amendment and for the past year ,she has urged the school to take it down, according to the Huffington Post website. While I fully support Ahlquist’s right to want the banner taken down, this week’s rant won’t be about how Americans are fighting to keep their civil liberties alive. I want to look beyond First Amendment rights and take a look at the harassment that this girl has experienced. According to the article, Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU, wrote a letter to the Cranston School District after receiving a complaint from a parent about the religious content of the banner. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux ruled in favor of the ACLU and Ahlquist, and ordered the banner to be removed immediately. Though the case was won in Ahlquist’s favor, Christians from around the school and community have been harassing the teen on the internet. The things said about Ahlquist go beyond harassment. There is absolutely nothing Christ-like about the things that those in the community have wished upon her. According to the article, students and members of the Cranston community began tweeting and posting Facebook statuses directed towards her. One post read, “When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all atheists,” while another stated ,“We can make so many jokes about this dumb *****, but who cares #thatbitchisgointohell and Satan is gonna rape her.” I try not to bash specific denominations of religions, but I can’t help but be disgusted by the way these so-called Christians are treating this poor girl. If there is a God and he wants us to love one another, I would think that excluded the rape and genocide people simply because they chose not to practice a religion. While I’m not surprised that Ahlquist is being harassed by classmates, I’m in shock that adults would take part in the action as well. According to the article, Rhode Island state Rep. Peter Palumbo called the teenager “an evil little thing” on a local talk show. Then he added, “She [Ahlquist] is being coerced by evil people.” Maybe Palumbo should take into consideration that as a representative he represents not only Christians in his state, he represents a variety of people who practice different religions. If you’re not going to represent them fairly, then maybe you should resign. Though bullying on social media sites is a problem, I find it repulsive when others use the Bible, as a way to post a threat and not as a way to defend beliefs. Using the Bible because you’re supporting the way you feel toward God is one thing but using it as a way to threaten others is just ridiculous. Would your God really want you to tell an enemy Satan will one day rape them? I’m not going to critique the way anyone practices a religion However, I will analyze the way they portray themselves as Christians. If you really believe in a god then maybe you should reconsider using it to threaten others and if you’re going to threaten atheists then you should realize they don’t practice religion and they have no fear of the god of whom you speak. Mary Timmons is a senior journalism major from Logansport who serves as Editor-in-Chief for The Tech Talk. Email comments to mnt005@latech. edu.


Madonna’s ‘hung up,’ can’t learn to ‘take a bow’
With her upcoming Super Bowl performance, “M.D.N.A” album release and film she wrote and directed, Madonna is striving to keep relevant. With her constant need to be in the media, a side of Madonna has emerged as nothing but downright egotistical. Her ticket prices are insanely high for an artist whose prime time has passed. In an interview with Newsweek, Madonna said, “People spend $300 on crazy things all the time, things like handbags. So work all year, scrape the money together, and come to my show. I’m worth it.” Madonna does not seem to care if people like her as a person, but she wants people to love her for her talents as an artist. Even with children in the picture, at 53, Madonna has not tried to censor her everlasting love for sex, drugs and, most of all fame, by any means. According to Newsweek, Madonna said. “I’m not going to let [being a parent] completely censor me. I say to my kids all the time, I’m an artist, this is what I do, this is what I’ve always done. And they need to learn to separate it.” On top of her racy attitude, Madonna seems quite bitter about Lady Gaga’s song she released last year, “Born This Way,” because she feels it mimicks her song “Express Yourself.” According to Newsweek, Madonna heard Gaga’s song on the radio a few times and recognized the chord changes. In an interview with ABC News, Madonna called Gaga’s song “reductive,”or simplified. The Tech Talk believes that Madonna has had her run as the Queen of Pop. It is time for her to let others pursue their dreams, as she has pursued hers in the past. In Gaga’s defense, we believe that it can be difficult to create completely original music these days. Gaga has referenced Madonna as one of her idols which means Gaga has obviously listened to Madonna and has heard a sound she likes, which makes it easy to imitate. Imitation is essentially the highest form of flattery. Madonna’s ego is the thing that bothers us the most here at The Tech Talk. She was in the place that Gaga is in now and did what she had to do to become a star and it obviously worked for her, she is preforming at the Super Bowl. Gaga said in an interview with Newsweek, “I’ve made it my goal to revolutionize pop music. The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago.” We believe that she is doing just that. Madonna, still not completely satisfied with Gaga’s actions, has given Oscars after-party planners the ultimate choice, Madonna or Lady Gaga. Let’s hope Madonna finds a way to forgive or at the very least tolerate, because a choice between a living legend and a rising international superstar attending a party is not an easy one to make. The Tech Talk thinks Madonna may not be too pleased with their choice.

New feared acronym takes stage
KELLY BELTON Contributing Editor Just this week, I received an email from Sen. Mary Landrieu confirming I was heard in the recent call to action against the Stop Online Piracy and Protect Intellectual Property acts. For now, it appears Congress has heard the will of the people, who stepped out from behind their iPhones to inform others and their representatives on the damaging effects those bills would have on free speech. But suddenly, a new concern has taken center stage. The AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement is much bigger than SOPA or PIPA in that it is an international agreement, primarily negotiated behind closed doors, that aims to combat piracy and counterfeiting on a global scale. According to the United States Trade Representative website, the agreement “includes innovative provisions to deepen international cooperation and to promote strong intellectual property rights enforcement practices.” While this may sound good in theory, much like SOPA and PIPA, in practice, its implications could be far-reaching. According to StopACTA.info, the agreement could affect free speech, the Internet and even health care. On the Internet front, it aims to hold Internet service providers responsible for what users do online. This could make Suddenlink a police force that would watch its users to make sure no piracy occurs. It could even enable ISPs to block certain websites, essentially censoring paying customers. As if we thought bandwidth limits were not enough, we may now have to grapple with them as a digital police force. ACTA also fails to make provisions for exceptions such as fair use, which allows copyrighted material to be used without permission for commentary, criticism and education. StopACTA’s claims about ACTA are slightly exaggerated, as Arstechnica.com’s Timothy B. Lee points out. It’s highly unlikely that generic drugs will be banned, and the free speech concerns that circulated around SOPA and PIPA are much more watered down in ACTA. Perhaps most disconcerting about this treaty is the way in which it was handled by our government. The U.S. has called ACTA an “executive agreement” rather than a treaty, which means the Senate doesn’t have to ratify it. And fortunately for us, the U.S. signed the treaty in October of last year. As Lee explains, if ACTA becomes international law, “it will create a precedent for future treaties that avoid basic principles of transparency and democratic accountability.” I can at least rest assured knowing I had an opportunity to make a difference with SOPA and PIPA, but with ACTA, even if the media had covered it, citizens had no say. What’s more, because it would be international law, it could inadvertently change existing U.S. copyright, piracy and counterfeiting laws. Though primarily intended to battle copyright infringement on a material goods level, it has the potential to go much further. For these reasons, California Representative Darrell Issa said last week that “…it’s more dangerous than SOPA. It’s not coming to me for a vote. It purports that it does not change existing laws. But once implemented, it creates a whole new enforcement system and will virtually tie the hands of Congress to undo it.” ACTA may not be the immediate threat SOPA and PIPA were, but it undermines the democratic system we hold dear. We may only embrace the system when we feel threatened, but by God, we won’t let anyone take it away. And yet since 2007, most of us have been left in the dark about an international treaty. According to Noinvite.com, 22 of the 27 European Union member states have signed the treaty, as well as the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and South Korea. But several EU states have postponed signing the treaty. After states sign ACTA, it must be ratified (but not here). It is expected to head to the European Parliament by June. Though it has a way to go before becoming law, ACTA is something to watch. If it is ratified, I, for one, can’t wait to see hacking group Anonymous’ reaction. Kelly Belton is a senior political science and journalism major from Houston who serves as contributing editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to belton.kelly@gmail.com.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ASSOCIATE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR NEWS EDITORS Mary Timmons Rebecca Spence Sherelle Black Naomi Allison Patrick Boyd Justin Fort Amie Rolland Anna Claire Thomas Reina Kempt Dacia Idom Dacia Idom Jessica Van Alstyne Sumeet Shrestha Raven Thissel Dr. Elizabeth Christian Judith Roberts Dr. Reginald Owens Michael LeBlanc Michael LeBlanc Dr. Reginald Owens

It’s fare, not fair
JUSTIN FORT News Editor Last December, while speedreading articles from various news websites, I came across an article on Yahoo that brought forth a variety of emotions. The article, written by Eric Pfeiffer, referred to a Seattle woman who lived in a home valued at more than $1 million dollars, who was receiving food stamps and housing vouchers and has been receiving other assistance for almost 10 years. Like many, I immediately became angry and started having thoughts about the many frivolous and unscrupulous welfare programs. Programs we waste money on such as social security, food stamps, Section 8 and the like. I thought about the money wasted on these programs by people who not only have no need for the assistance, but also are hurting others by accepting it. I could not stop thinking about this article. Last week, I finally understood why my mind could not dismiss the story. Cases like these are mere exceptions. They are not the majority. They are not the rule, and therefore, rules should not be based off of actions by people who abuse these programs. Not everyone is like this woman, who is getting government assistance to live in a 2,500 squarefoot home, receiving more than $1,200 in government housing vouchers, receiving $500 government disability checks and $300 in food stamps per month. Not everyone should be criticized. As someone who receives benefits, I see myself as a fair example of one who should not be criticized. I am a senior at Louisiana Tech. Since beginning my studies, I have had at least two jobs at all times. I have done so with minimal/no affects on my grades. I am able to participate in school functions and write for The Tech Talk. I receive food stamps. Should this program be cut? Should I suffer because of program abusers? Should others suffer? Beyond that, should others in a far different situation suffer? Seeking an unbiased answer I can understand, I used the knowledge I have learned in political science classes. While I was trying to think of a few real opinions as to why I should not suffer, one example repeatedly came to my mind. English jurist William Blackstone said, “it is better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer.” I feel the same about these programs, which at their core, are completely politically based. It is a shame that people exploit the system. It is an embarrassment that people search for loopholes in tax returns and have children for money. However, it isn’t now, nor will it ever be, bad enough to take it away from those who need it. Programs like these are what make our country great. Social security helps provide reward for a life time of work. Section 8 allows people to have somewhere to live in one of the hardest times our country has ever faced. At their core, these programs and the like make our country distinct. If we stop caring about our fellow man, our fellow man should stop thinking about us. That’s not what a democracy is. There is reason for reform. There is not reason for removal. Justin Fort is a senior pre-law and journalism major from Choudrant who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to jwf014@ latech.edu.


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February 2, 2012 • The T T ech alk • 5

Film is an emotional joke
PATRICK BOYD News Editor How does a movie make you weep, yet leave you in a state where you do not even know why you are crying for? This was the case with “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a new 9/11 film, which I saw on a whim one night this past week with a few friends. We went to the 9:45 p.m. showing, and as was expected, the theater was empty except for a young, middle-aged couple and two college girls. The empty tomb-like experience of the theater was clearly appropriate for the movie whose main function, despite its overabundance of emotion, is in fact emptiness and dread. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” soaks up the audiences’ feelings like a Sham Wow without leaving so much as a drop of any redeeming value. Based on the 2005 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer and a script by Eric Roth (“Forest Gump”), the film follows Oscar Schell (Thomas Horn) a boy reeling after the death of his father (Tom Hanks) after the attacks on 9/11. Oscar, who we assume suffers from a heavy mixture of Asperger’s Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, finds a key in his father’s closet a year later, which sends him on a sprawling search to find what the key fits with hopes of reconnecting with his deceased father. The movie begins with a jolt, whipping us into a frenzy by bringing us back to that fateful day with a slow-motion shot of a man falling out of the towers. Subtleness, obviously, is not something “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was aiming to acrealized figure of a person suffering from the effects of 9/11 and we truly like him. We feel Oscar’s yearning to reconnect with his father in the book as if we are searching through the boroughs of New York with him. Somehow the book’s imaginative powers were greatly lost in the translation to screen. Even Stephen Daldry, (“The Reader,” “The Hours”) a director who makes every shot glisten like gold, could not keep this movie from spiraling down into shod, and it appears his skill as a filmmaker is headed in this direction is as well. This tale of closure did not know how to handle its own subject matter, and as a result reduced 9/11 and everything associated with it down to sensationalism. I’m really surprised it wasn’t in 3D, so we could feel more and incredibly closer to it. In the final scene of the movie, we see Oscar swinging in Central Park, a place he would go with his father before he died. There is joy plastered upon his face as he has reached his moment of closure and the realization that he can finally move forward. This scene is presented as a moment of transcendence, but as a viewer, I did not feel closure with Oscar as he glided through the air. I felt blackmailed. It seemed as if Oscar was laughing at us as we sat there in our pools of grief and remembrances of past grievances. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is a joke on the audience whose punch line makes you think you are going to feel something, when in the end, you feel nothing. That may be the saddest thing of all.

Warner Bros.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close HHIII complish. Instead, we see Oscar, too anxious to take public transportation and too scared to go into tall buildings running around New York trying to find the lock to fit his key. The camera spins as if on a carousel and pulls you in against your will (the two girls mentioned before left the theater pretty soon after this; they had the right idea.) Meanwhile, Oscar’s mother, played by a withered-looking Sandra Bullock (she looks like she just rolled out of bed before the shoot), cannot connect with her son and is trying to win him back before all is lost. The movie pushes Oscar’s anxieties to the point where you cannot help but feel sorry for him, even though Oscar is not a likable character. He is rude, cruel even, especially to his mother, who he tells in one scene, “I wish it had been you instead of dad who died.” In the book, which presents Oscar as someone numbed by the events, rather than a boy wrought with showy feelings, we get a fully

Email comments to gpb009@latech.edu.

DJs bring hype to local bar
MARY TIMMONS Editor-in-Chief The sounds of electronic music could be heard a mile away as disk jockeys Chris Ryo Kepner, Joshua J. Jones and L.A. based band, Hyper Crush, performed last Saturday at 3 Docs Brewhouse. According to their website, Hyper Crush specializes in the electronic, pop and hip hop genres. Although the group brought a fresh, funky new sound to Ruston, I thought their performance lacked, especially when being compared to their opening performers. Joshua J, a DJ for Vertigo Entertainment, said his threeand-a-half hour set with Chris Ryo gave the crowd high energy before Hyper Crush hit the stage. “The Hyper Crush performance was a lot of fun,” Joshua J said. “This was my first time seeing them live; I was impressed with their high energy set and ability to keep the crowd involved with their set.” Don’t get me wrong, Hyper Crush put on an amazing show, but Joshua J and Chris Ryo definitely kept the atmosphere alive. Joshua J said due to their budget, Vertigo took a huge gamble by bringing Hyper Crush in, but they were able to pull it off. “Vertigo teamed up with Vibe Entertainment out of Shreveport to help capture a market outside of Ruston,” Joshua J said. “We also printed more promotional material for this show than past shows.” Joshua J said there were two different performances going on at the same time, one inside and one on the patio. “Vertigo and Vibe are the first to bring this type of act to Ruston,” Joshua J said. “I feel like the visual aspect of the show was like nothing Ruston has ever seen. Fairyland Pro from Lafayette provided a stunning light and laser show that will be remembered for years to come.” He said the audience responded well during all of the performances last Friday night. “The openers progressed the energy level and by the time hyper crush went on the crowd was feeling the energy,” Joshua J said. “Hyper Crush delivered an amazing set and gave the crowd just what was needed to close out the night.” Chris Ryo, a DJ for Vertigo Entertainment, said the show was a complete success and the crowd was amazing.” “I love the crowd here in Ruston,” Ryo said. “Many of them are my friends, so it’s nice being able to entertain them with what I love to do. I think it’s crazy when some people drive all the way from Dallas for our show.” He said he fell in love with Hyper Crush and believes their performance was phenomenal. “This show turned out the best so far,” Ryo said. “We had four or five groups of people working together to make this happen. We’re all driven by our passion for this music scene, and it feels good to be able to throw an event like this.” I’m sure in the future Ruston will experience more of the electronic music scene and hopefully that means more Joshua J and Chris Ryo.


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Tech students prepare for Super Bowl
BY NAOMI ALLISON News Editor Whether it’s the epic battle between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the crazy commercials, snacks, or pop-star Madonna as entertainment, everyone will have a reason to tune in for NBC’s Super Bowl this Sunday. Yet for many Tech students and faculty, preparing for the Super Bowl is more than that. It is an opportunity to gather with loved ones, eat hearty food and celebrate one of the biggest social events of the year. Josh McDaniel, a multimedia service manager with Tech athletics, said his favorite part about the Super Bowl is the quality of the teams. “This is the pinnacle of pro-football,” he said. “This is the best of the best, so I enjoy watching the game, no matter who the teams are.” Jacarlos Davis, a sophomore pre-nursing major, said he enjoys the Super Bowl because it family,” he said. Wills also said his favorite part is the action. “I like to watch the Super Bowl, because you get to watch the best teams fighting for the championship, the commercials are extra funny and you don’t know who’s going to win until the fourth quarter.” Wills said others should watch the Super Bowl. “Millions of people watch the Super Bowl, because it’s one of America’s favorite past times,” he said. “They watch it for that big dream play that changes the game or makes a win. They want to have something to talk about the next day.” Davis also said everyone should watch the Super Bowl. “At least one person in everyone’s immediate family has an excitement level towards football, so it will draw everyone together in one room,” he said.

allows him to relax and spend time with friends. “In preparation for the Super Bowl, I always gather with all of my friends at a mutual place and we watch it as a whole,” he said. However, despite anticipating the game, Davis said he is not looking forward to the entertainment. “I feel that it is very one-sided, when it comes to performers during the Super bowl,” he said. “I feel as though they should have picked an artist who is more relatable to the crowd, like Rihanna. Madonna

is washed up.” According to an article published by ABC News, the most popular Super Bowl foods include: Buffalo wings, seven layer dip, mac and cheese, fried chicken, baby-back ribs, chili, deviled eggs and ice-cold beers. For students such as Fabian Wills, a senior business major, getting ready for the Super Bowl is an extensive process and includes purchasing drinks, cigars, T-shirts and having a Southern-style barbecue at his dad’s house. “I love to get into the spirit by trash-talking my friends and

Email comments to nsa008@latech.edu.

6 • The T T ech alk • February 2, 1012

Flag burning held at Occupy Oakland
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Many in the crowd outside Oakland City Hall shouted “Burn it! Burn it!” as masked protesters readied to set fire to an American flag. That’s when a woman emerged from the scrum, screaming for them to stop, that it would hurt the cause. Moments later, the flames began, and suddenly a movement that seemingly vanished weeks ago was back in the spotlight, this time for an act of protest that has long divided the nation and now the movement itself. The images of the flag-burning went viral in the hours after Saturday’s demonstrations on Oakland’s streets, with Occupy supporters denouncing the act as unpatriotic and a black mark on the movement. Others called it justified. The flag-burning, however, raised questions about whether the act will tarnish a movement of largely peaceful protests and alienate people who agree with its message against corporate excess and economic inequality. “I’m quite confident that the general view is that violence of this sort — whether it’s symbolic or otherwise — is contrary to the spirit of the movement and should be renounced,” Columbia University sociologist Todd Gitlin said. Gitlin, who is writing a book about the movement, noted that flags have had a prominent place at the Occupy Wall Street encampments that sprang up last fall. They are typically pinned to tents or waving from wooden flagpoles. “I was thinking how they have come to embrace the American flag as a hallmark of this movement; it’s very common to see American flags honored and elevated at these encampments,” he said. Flag-burning has been a powerful symbol since the days of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Congress at the time passed a law to protect the flag in 1968, and most states followed suit.

AP Photo

Occupy Oakland members burn flag in protest. Some protesters were hit with tear gas and arrested.
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court decided such laws were unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. The court’s decision set off a move in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to prohibit desecration of the flag. An attempt in 2006 failed by only one vote in the Senate. In Oakland, social activism and civic unrest have long marked the rough-edged city across the bay from San Francisco. Beset by poverty, crime and a decades-long tense relationship between the police and residents, its streets have seen many clashes, including anti-draft protests in the 1960s that spilled into town from neighboring Berkeley. At Occupy Oakland, flag-burning is nothing new. A well-known Bay Area activist burned three during protests that temporarily shut down the Port of Oakland in November. Troy Johnson, an Occupy Oakland member, said he arrived just in time Saturday to watch his friend, whom he would not name in order to protect his identity, emerge from City Hall with an American flag in tow. “He asked the crowd, ‘What do you want us to do with the flag?’” Johnson recalled. “They said, ‘Burn it! Burn it! Burn it!’” As many egged on the bandannamasked men, lighters were passed around. A photographer on assignment for The Associated Press said a woman rose from among the crowd to urge against the flag-burning. She then threw the flag to the ground and tried to put out the fire, shouting at them that it would only hurt their cause. The fire-starter is not an anarchist, but a typical member of Occupy Oakland who feels the system has failed them, said Johnson, who pulled out his cellphone to show his recording of the flag-burning. “I would describe him as someone who loves his country, but also disappointed in the system that’s running this country,” said Johnson, who goes by the nickname “Uncle Boom” and was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Johnson said he wouldn’t stop the flag-burning because the country is based on freedom of speech and expression. “To the veterans who fought for this country, I wholeheartedly apologize,” he said. “Because when they took the oath to join the military, they fought for the flag. But they also fought for the

right to express ourselves.” Another Occupy member, Sean Palmer, who served in the Marines, said he opposed flag-burning. “I think they should’ve hung it upside down, because that’s the international call for distress and that’s what we are, in distress,” Palmer said. Saturday’s protest culminated in rock- and bottle-throwing and volleys of tear gas from the police, as well as the City Hall break-in that left glass cases smashed, graffiti spray-painted on the walls and, finally, the flag-burning. Police said more than 400 people were arrested; at least three officers and one protester were injured. Police said Monday that they were still trying to determine how many of those arrested were from Oakland. In the past, the majority of those arrested in Occupy sweeps were not Oakland residents and this has rankled city officials. Mayor Jean Quan has called on the loosely organized movement to “stop using Oakland as its playground.” Officials said vandalism and activities related to Occupy Oakland have cost the financially strapped city $5 million since October. Oakland Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said she was disgusted not to see the American and California flags atop the grand staircase inside City Hall on Monday. The destruction to her workplace couldn’t have come at a worse time as the city is grappling with closing a $28 million budget deficit. “To do this to us in a week were we have to lay off so many city workers is so unconscionable,” Schaaf said. Protester Julion Lewis-Tatman said he led the crowd in the plaza outside City Hall, but did not take part in the flag-burning. “I love this country to death, but burning the flag means nothing to me,” he said. “We’re burning down the old system and we’re starting a new country

Schools begin adapting to healthier lunch menu

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The first major nutritional overhaul of school meals in more than 15 years means most offerings, including popular pizza, will come with less sodium and more whole grains, with a wider selection of fruits and vegetables on the side, first lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced during a visit Wednesday with elementary students. Mrs. Obama, also joined by celebrity chef Rachael Ray, said youngsters will learn better if they don’t have growling stomachs at school. “We have a right to expect the food (our kids) get at school is the same kind of food we want to serve at our own kitchen tables,” she said. After the announcement, the three went through the line with students and ate turkey

tacos with brown rice, black bean and corn salad and fruit with children in the Parklawn Elementary lunchroom. The new rules aren’t as aggressive as the Obama administration had hoped. A bill passed in November would require the department to allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The initial draft of the department’s guidelines, released a year ago, would have prevented that. Congress also blocked the department from limiting servings of potatoes to two servings a week. The final rules have incorporated those directions from Congress. Among those who had sought the changes were potato growers and food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools. Conservatives in Congress called the guidelines an overreach and said the government shouldn’t tell children

what to eat. School districts also objected to some of the requirements, saying they go too far and would cost too much. A child nutrition bill signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 will help school districts pay for some of the increased costs. Some of the changes will take place as soon as this September; others will be phased in over time. The guidelines will limit the total number of calories in an individual meal and require that milk be low in fat. While many schools are improving meals already, others still serve children meals high in fat, salt and calories. The guidelines are designed to combat childhood obesity and are based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

Vilsack said food companies are reformulating many of the foods they sell to schools in anticipation of the changes. “The food industry is already responding,” he said. “This is a movement that has started, it’s gaining momentum.” The subsidized meals that would fall under the guidelines are served as free and low-cost meals to low-income children and long have been subject to government nutrition standards. The 2010 law will extend, for the first time, nutrition standards to other foods sold in schools that aren’t subsidized by the federal government.

AP Photo

Michelle Obama eats lunch with students from Parklawn Elementary


Administrator resigns for altering SAT scores
ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES (AP) — A senior administrator at Claremont McKenna College resigned after acknowledging that he falsified college entrance exam scores to publications responsible for ranking the small school among universities, an official said. An investigation was launched after inaccuracies were detected in the SAT scores reported for the class entering in fall 2011, college president Pamela B. Gann told staff members and students in an email message on Monday. “As an institution of higher education with a deep and consistent commitment to the integrity of all our academic activities, and particularly our reporting of institutional data, we take this situation very seriously,” Gann said. College admissions experts said the incident came amid growing competition among students to win acceptance to a top school and among colleges to lure top students. Claremont McKenna, located in a small town 30 miles east of Los Angeles, is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the ninth-best liberal arts college in the country. The school said reading and math SAT scores were each inflated by an average of 10 or 20 points. The college has hired a law firm to conduct an independent review of its admissions-related data processes and has been reaching out to agencies that use the data ranging from education publications to Moody’s to set the record straight, said Max Benavidez, a spokesman for the school. “We’re not hiding anything,” he said. “We’re the ones volunteering to tell people what took place and what we’re doing to fix it.” U.S. News & World Report will not change its current rankings but will evaluate the impact of the falsification on the school’s profile, said Robert J. Morse, director of data research for the publication. These scores have a weight of 7.5 percent in determining a school’s ranking. “It could affect it in a small amount — not a large amount,” Morse said. On Tuesday, dozens of comments flooded the website of Claremont McKenna’s student newspaper. Aditya Pai, vice president of the school’s student government association, said the incident has disheartened students. “We are disappointed that an administrator exaggerated credentials that need no exaggeration,” Pai said in a statement. “However, his actions do not reflect the strength of our community, the excellence of our education, or the caliber of our people.” The school announced Tuesday that Georgette DeVeres, associate vice president for admission and financial aid, would become the interim head of the college’s admission and financial aid office. Joyce Smith, chief executive of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said the admissions process has grown even more intense in recent years because more students are college bound and they are filing a much higher number of applications due to the ease of submitting paperwork online. “We do have some concerns about how this process is going so far out of kilter for parents and students, as well as counselors who feel under siege and colleges who in every little marketing thing, every little new widget (are) trying to communicate with students and get their attention,” she said. “The whole landscape has changed.”

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8 • The T T ech alk • February 2, 2012

Aries March 21 – April 19 Surprising news about your own finances and the world economy in general could cause you to feel confident and secure about your financial future, Aries. An unexpected raise in salary could come your way soon, possibly because of sudden changes at your workplace. Some of the information that you receive could seem vague and uncertain at first, but whatever news follows should clear it up. It seems a celebration is in order! Taurus Apr 20 - May 20 Some fascinating new information, possibly about spiritual or metaphysical matters, could come your way today via books, magazines, TV, or the Internet, Taurus. This could set you off on a new course of study. Your own insights and revelations could prove invaluable in increasing your understanding of what you read. In the evening, expect a surprising letter or phone call from someone you haven’t heard from in a long time. Enjoy your day. Gemini May 21 - Jun 20 Dreams and meditation could lead to insights regarding how best to handle your finances and make your money grow, Gemini. You could receive some surprising ideas from newspapers, TV, or the Internet. Your level of intuition is very high. No matter how outrageous an idea may seem, consider it carefully before making a decision. A written plan of action for anything you do would be helpful. Too many ideas are popping into your head and you’ll want to keep track of them. Cancer Jun 21 - Jul 22 A social event or group rally could put you in touch with some new and exciting people in interesting fields, Cancer. You might even run into an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time. If you aren’t currently romantically involved, an attractive new person could come on the scene. This promises to be an exciting and stimulating day for you. Don’t be surprised if new doors to a great future open for you. Enjoy! Leo Jul 23 - Aug 22 Today you could be hit with some exciting news, Leo. It could involve new people and new equipment coming onto the scene. It could involve an entirely new project or course of action that you never would have imagined. This is likely to shape up to be a lucky break for you, as the new situation probably suits your skills and talents nearly perfectly. Make the most of this opportunity. It could make a big difference to you. Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22 Information that you receive from others and from within your own heart could compel you to participate in some ambitious projects, Virgo. They may be work related, connected with a group, or your own. Whatever they are, you’re likely to find them interesting, challenging, and personally gratifying. New opportunities for advancement and selfexpression could be opening up for you. It’s best to move ahead now; otherwise, they might pass you by. Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22 Some exciting visitors could come to your door today, Libra, perhaps bringing earthshaking information that could impact your life in a great way. You might start considering new lifestyle options. A group or organization, possibly associated with spirituality or metaphysics, could suddenly seem attractive and you might consider joining it. Expect some fascinating discussions with that significant other in your life. Books, magazines, and other publications could also prove enlightening. Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Group activities or social events in your neighborhood could put you in touch with new and exciting people who eventually become friends, Scorpio. Shared goals and interests could give rise to plans for ambitious projects. Whatever enterprises you start today are likely to prove successful if everyone involved pitches in. In the evening, arrange for a quiet tête-à-tête with your romantic partner. Enjoy your day!

Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 Have you been looking to branch out in a new direction, Sagittarius? If so, this could be the day you get the lead of a lifetime. Or you might receive some unexpected information indicating possible new sources of income that you could pursue on your own. Whatever they are, new doors of opportunity are going to open for you that could make a big difference in your lifestyle and catapult you into a higher socioeconomic bracket. Make the most of it! Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19 Unusual circumstances could arise that change the course of your creative orientation, Capricorn. This could involve modern technology in some way, and it’s highly likely that it concerns the gathering, sharing, and use of information. You could find yourself considering some unusual options, which could involve changing jobs, your residence, or other factors important to your lifestyle. Think carefully before plunging in. Tonight, spend some quality time with the special someone in your life. Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18 Today you could decide to attend a class, workshop, or social event involving people in a spiritual, metaphysical, or intellectual field. Fascinating discussions could lead to insights and revelations of your own, Aquarius. You could explore ways to harness your natural healing ability, perhaps through Reiki, massage, or other hands-on disciplines. Expect to spend the next few days being preoccupied with ideas you learn today. They should have a profound impact. Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20 New information could be coming at you from all sides today, Pisces. Books, magazines, TV, the Internet, and conversations with friends are likely to bring exciting knowledge your way that reinforces some of your own convictions. Your intuitive abilities aren’t lying fallow either. Insights and revelations could come to you that blend well with what you’re learning from outside sources. Write down your thoughts. You’ll want to put them to work for you later.

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HIGH 75 LOW 55



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HIGH 73 LOW 58






from pg. 1

the favorite part of the program. “They really did good job on singing and guitar,” he said. “The voice is amazing and melody of it really touched my heart.” Sujal Acharya, president of the International Student Association, said the new part of this year’s event was the completely different new menu.

“We included the foods representing different continents including Asia, Africa and Europe,” he said. “All foods are prepared by volunteer international students.” Celia Lewis, an English professor, said she enjoyed the dishes, especially chicken tandoori and hummus. In additon to the food, Lewis also said she is delighted to see the students’ performances and to get to know some of them a little better. classes.” John Jackson, a senior wildlife habitat management major, said Dickson makes his classes interesting and spends time getting to know his students personally as well as professionally. “He’ll go out of his way to help students and answer questions, whether it’s about getting an internship, finding a job, classes, or anything,” he said. Sara Sims, a senior wildlife habitat management major, said Dickson really cares about sharing his knowledge with students. do most of the major constructions. “They have to write the answer to the question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’” she said. “Both college and younger students are going to write on the leaves.” Jessica Van Alstyne, a junior photography major, was part of the creation of this project. She said while brainstorming, the first thing that popped into her head was the word “growth”

“There are really talented international students in Tech that we normally don’t see,” she said. “It is also a signal that Tech has rich cultural diversity.” Twelve students were awarded with scholarships based upon their educational records, involvements in international students activities and financial needs.

Skip Russell s

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“He wants to make sure we learn what we need to know before going out into the field,” she said. Dickson said he enjoys that the emphasis for educators at Tech is on interacting with the students. “What’s really [encouraging] to me is seeing my students out in the world managing wildlife and making decisions about management,” Dickson said.


DICKSON from pg. 1

cares about his students. David Templet, a senior wildlife habitat management major, said Dickson played a crucial role in his decision to come to Tech. “He talked to me on the phone about the department and classes before I ever came here and really encouraged me about coming back to school,” Templet said. “He’s very helpful and accommodating when it comes to job hunting and

Campus Washateria
Just East of Tech Campus
Next to University Apartments behind Wesley Foundation

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and how the elementary students are right across the street from the School of Art. “I want passerbys to ask themselves what role they play in their local schools and art programs,” she said. “I want to make the statement that the roots that are established in early education are the most important part of learning.”

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landscape type look, like mountains or hills,” she said. Ashley Feagin, a third year photography graduate student, said the project is an idea the children can understand. “At that age, thinking conceptually doesn’t work,” she said. “They’re very tactile and have to see things.” Feagin said the art class will

Wyly Tower

Keeny Hall

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that.” Regardless of reasons, it is important for Tech to improve in this area and become a stranger to these lists. Reed said she believes it will happen, but not anytime in the near future. “There’s a lot of potential for Tech,” Reed said. “But I don’t feel like we’re going to change. Not anytime soon.”



PRUDE from pg. 1

“It’s just one of those topics,” Pumphrey said. “People don’t really get it out there.” Reed shared the same sentiment, but expressed hope that some people or organizations on campus will become actively involved. “There’s not a lot of talk about it on campus,” Reed said. “Organizations on campus

could be doing something.” The facts become more surprising when Tech is compared to other, larger schools. Although generally typecast as party animals with low morals, Reed, who is a member of Kappa Delta, said she believes a lot of the stereotypes are exaggerated and have little impact on Tech making this list. “You have those few crazy people like any organization,” Reed said. “But it’s not just

Gain exposure to a campus of over 11,000 students, faculty and staff. What are you waiting for? Call 318.257.4949 to speak to an ad representative. Or email us at techtalkads@latech.edu.

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PROJECT from pg. 1

Louisiana Ave.

Homer St.

More Talk

February 2, 2012 • The T T ech alk • 9

Getting the Job done
Ticket Writers take the job one ticket at a time
Spencer Young, a senior English major, runs a license number through his ticket machine during his shift for the university police.
All photos by Dacia Idom

NAOMI ALLISON & AMRIT AWAL News Editor & Staff Reporter “Aaaagh! I just got a ticket!?” Explosive curse words, bright yellow neon jackets, dwindling bank accounts and endless hours of walking are all part of a day’s work for ticket writers at Tech. Tech ticket writers, often credited for their unique ability to issue a ticket within seconds and disappear, have been a hot topic around campus for years. Most ticket writers like Spencer Young, a senior English major, are not malicious with each ticket they are issuing; most are just trying to make a paycheck. Young said the only reason why he was motivated to become a ticket writer was because he desperately needed a job. “I recently moved into an apartment and was looking for a job, and I was like ‘hey, I could be one of the ticket fairies,’” he said. He also said ticket writers do not get harassed as much as people may expect. “We might get the occasional person that gives us the finger or tries to start something, but when most people see me, they smile and wave at me, like I’m a friend of theirs,”he said. Many students believe that students will not want to pay for their tickets if given the choice. They do not want to take responsibility for their actions. There are many students Axit Raj Paudel, an industrial engineering major, who say they are less than excited when they have the possibility of getting a traffic ticket, no matter how they you are parked in the wrong spot or zone. “Nobody likes to see a familiar flutter of a piece of paper clinging to the windshield of a car,” he said. “I don’t want to spend my money on parking tickets.” Paudel also said that many students place the parking problems at Tech on the messengers, who are the ticket writers. What these students do not understand is the ticket writers have no say in this matter; they are just doing their job. They struggle with the same parking scramble every time they drive to on-campus as well. “I saw many of the faculty parking empty,” he said. “Why does campus administration hesitate to make the same parking lots for students and teachers?” Young said his job is to monitor the student, faculty and staff parking and issue the tickets if parked in the wrong spot. “I have a job and this is what it requires,” he said. “The reality is if I don’t write tickets, then I get fired. It’s basically like if you’re a restaurant waitress. If you don’t do your job properly, they let you go.” Young said if he could give Tech students a way to prevent tickets, it would be to park in the correct area. He believes this is the No. 1 cause of tickets. “Be where you’re supposed to be so it can be fewer headaches on us and on you,” he said. When it comes to weather conditions such as rain, many people deliberately park in restricted places thinking that it is excusable. With Facebook groups like “Anti-ticket Writer Association” on the rise, students are not alone in their disdain. This group among many others gives students a place to express their concerns in hopes that one day, administrators may hear their concerns about the parking and ticket writing on campus.

When parking violations occur, tickets regarding payment are left on students’, faculty and visitors’ windshields.

In addition to giving tickets, Young voluntarily picks up trash Young leaves a ticket on a student’s windshield as Officer Jennifer Frith locks down the around campus during his shift. He said although it’s not a required vehicle with a boot. For car boots to be removed, individuals must go to the university part of his job, he believes keeping the campus clean is important. police station to identify their cars.

Email comments to nsa008@latech.edu.

Sports Talk

10 • The T T ech alk • February 2, 2012

FAIRwell Fresno: Part II
Techsters, Lady Bulldogs rivalry continues in rematch
fans can finally say a lasting goodbye to Fresno State, as that school will depart the conference for good at the conclusion of this season. One year removed from a regular season WAC title, the Techsters still have not forgotten the West Coast Bulldogs who sent them packing a season ago in the conference tournament. But, while the Lady Bulldogs of Fresno State won the contest in the WAC Tournament, the Techsters came out on top earlier in the season on their home court in a thrilling overtime victory witnessed by more than 7,000 faithful fans who also saw fireworks between the two teams at the conclusion of the game when there was a confrontation at midcourt. Fast forward to 2012 and a lot has changed. While the Lady Techsters are fighting to make their way back to the top of the WAC standings, this is arguably the most important WAC weekend series for the Techsters this season. Although, a chance to add to their two-game conference winning streak is on the line before Fresno State even hits the tarmac. Before turning their attention to the Lady Bulldogs, the Techsters will have business to take care of at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the TAC as the Nevada Wolf Pack ride into town in dire need of a win after losing two straight home conference matchups. Nevada comes into the contest with a 5-15 record, having only won one game in conference play. The Lady Techsters are coming off a spectacular road effort that saw them returning home with two conference wins under their belts and beaming with confidence. Tech put together one of its best team efforts in order to fend off New Mexico State by a score of 69-42 in its last showing before returning home. Saturday’s matchup will be no easy feat for head coach Teresa Weatherspoon and her Techsters, as the Lady Bulldogs will enter the game with a 17-4 overall record and having not lost a game in WAC play thus far and you can be sure Fresno State head coach Adrian Wiggins will have his team ready for a fight which means Tech will need a collective effort, on the court and in the stands in order to pull off the victory. Before tipping off Saturday, fans can attend Tech’s very own fair, complete with a ferris wheel and multiple rides in the parking lot of the Thomas Assembly Center starting at 4 p.m. Anyone under the age of 17 will receive free admission to the fair as well as the game that night while all other tickets are offered for just $5 for admission to the game and the fair rides and food. Free cotton candy and food will also be available on the concourse of the TAC beginning at 5:30 p.m. Other attractions include a petting zoo, tilt-a-whirl, one of the nation’s tallest ferris wheels and a mirror maze. The two teams will square off under the lights of the TAC for bragging rights Saturday night in what is sure to be a night filled with more fireworks than normal. Apart from the game, the Lady Techsters are also looking to add another accolade. In the Pack the House Challenge, Tech has been the only school in the nation that has won the contest for four straight years in its respective conference. The games can be heard on


ANNA CLAIRE THOMAS Sports Editor Tech fans, the fair is coming back to town and with it comes a pretty worthy matchup between the two teams in the Western Athletic Conference that always manage to put on a show for everyone involved. In what is being billed as the mustsee match up for Tech fans, the Lady Techsters will face off against their bitter conference rival Fresno State in the NCAA’s fifth annual Pack the House Challenge at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Thomas Assembly Center. FAIRwell Fresno: The Rematch will feature a 40-minute duel between the conference’s two marquee teams as Te c h

the LaTech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with Malcolm Butler calling the play-by-play. Also, for up to date coverage of the contests, follow The Tech Talk Sports Desk on Twitter at www.twitter.com/techtalksports. The Lady Techsters are sure to need all the help they can get as they continue to stay in the hunt for a conference title so, all fans are encouraged to attend the matchup between the two bitter rivals.

Email comments to act013@latech.edu.

Should college athletes be paid?


’Dogs set for crucial stretch of season
REINA KEMPT Associate Sports Editor The Bulldogs ended the first half of their Western Athletic Conference schedule with a record of 3-4, putting them sixth in the WAC rankings, but a rematch against the No. 2 ranked New Mexico State Aggies (52) may be the test they need. The Aggies and the ’Dogs will face off at 8 p.m. Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M., at the Pan American Center. When these two teams met up in their first contest of conference play, the Aggies came in shooting hot and Tech did just the opposite. Head coach Michael White said that offense was one thing that his team will be working on since their WAC opener at home against New Mexico State. “We need to get more consistency from everyone, especially offensively,” White said. “We need to learn how to get to the foul line more. Our shooting percentage has got to go up to compete in this conference.” That was seven games ago and since then Tech has been showing improvement when shooting the baskets. The Bulldogs are now shooting 40 percent from the field, but will it be enough to upset the Aggies? Tech’s statistics outweigh their opponents this season with higher assists, fewer turnovers, more blocks and rebounds. However, its shooting percentage from the free-throw line, 3-point line and the field are still less than its opponents. “We have to take the next step,” White said. “We need to continue to work every day in practice.” This squad has shown a lot of promise with a threegame winning streak and a buzzer beater by senior guard Brandon Gibson. Unfortunately, the undefeated Nevada Wolf Pack broke that streak in a thrilling last second game. The ’Dogs lost 65-63 last Saturday as a 3-pointer from senior guard Trevor Gaskins would not drop in the final two seconds of the game. Tech had Nevada on their toes going into halftime tied 28-28 but couldn’t get over the hump in the second half. Gibson said the second half is where they are struggling. “We’re flat every time coming into the second half,” Gibson said. “We have to do a better job in the second half, we’re lagging around just thinking we’re going to take the game but it’s not that easy.” When it comes to playing such close games, Gibson said those are the hardest games and it is a great test for the team. They have played nine games this season decided by four points or less, winning seven of those games. “I think it shows that we have character,” Gibson said. “We will play until the end.” The New Mexico State Aggies are currently a higher ranked team in the WAC and they are shooting 47 percent from the field in conference play. Tech experienced the heat of its shooting last round but will try to match it on Saturday. The game will be available to listen to for Bulldog fans wanting to keep up with all the action on KXKZ 107.5 FM with Dave Nitz calling the play-by-play.

Photo by Dacia Idom

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The Bulldogs will tip off against New Mexico State at 8 p.m. Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.

Techster bowling looks to improve
View coverage of Signing Day for Bulldog Football online at www.thetechtalk.org

DEREK AMAYA Sports Reporter The Lady Techsters bowling team will travel to Arlington, Texas, to participate in the Prairie View A&M Invitational Thursday through Friday in hopes of improving their results in tournaments in the last half of the season. The Lady Techsters head to Texas to improve their overall record after placing a paltry eighth in their last contest, the Mid-Winter Classic they competed in in the month of January. Head coach Shawn Jackson was pleased with the ladies’ effort and hopes his team will execute better in their next tournament. “Playing in a tournament with teams like Valparaiso and Maryland Eastern Shore gives us an opportunity to see how far we’ve come since our last tournament,” Jackson said. “Maryland Eastern Shore has won two of the last three national championships and there are five teams that have won at least one championship. It’s a very competitive tournament where we have to


at New Mexico State - 2/4 • 8 p.m. at Utah State - 2/9 • 8:05 p.m.


vs. Nevada - 2/2 • 7 p.m. vs. Fresno State - 2/4 • 7 p.m.


Prairie View A&M - 2/3-5 • All Day - Arlington, Texas

go out and bring our A-game for every match.” Senior Houston Granger led all Tech bowlers with an average pinfall of 203.5 and placed tenth among all bowlers in the tournament. She finished with a season high average of 239. The Lady Techsters have been struggling with their bakers, a 10-frame game bowled by five rotating team members. “That was our best tournament that we’ve been to so far,” Granger said. “We were struggling with our bakers, but as a team we did we really well.” Behind sophomore Nicole Wilson’s career-high 243 pinfall, the Lady Techsters upset nationally ranked Central Missouri 995-976. “I enjoyed the tournament’s lanes a lot,” she said. “It was not as complicated as past tournaments we have attended.” The Lady Techsters have been trying to do nothing but improve since the MidWinter Classic in hopes to finish with a higher score in the Prairie View A&M Invitational, according Wilson and Granger, the teams top two performers. “We set up all the spares that we missed from the (Mid-Winter Classic)

and we shoot them over again,” Wilson said. “Then we lay the patterns down that will be in the invitational and work on those.” The Lady Techsters know they will be playing against solid teams in the invitational, and they are looking to improve in different areas of the game. “We need to at least place so we can move on to our rankings,” Granger said. “We need to make more spares on baker games.” Wilson also added the team needs to create more spares and string strikes together in order to win more games. Wilson’s health has been a factor throughout the late season. “I also want to work on getting my injured leg better,” Wilson said. “I have experienced tightness in my thigh.” Jackson added the ladies will be playing where the U.S. National team practices in preparation for world tournaments. After traveling to Arlington, the Lady Techsters will go to Smyrna, Tenn., to play in the Columbia 300 Music City Classic March 16- 18.

ull Disclosure: the topic I am about to tackle is one I have adamantly disagreed with for quite some time. But, there is a reason I am writing this. I have had a sudden change of heart and turned to the dark side, so to speak. So here is the question: Should college athletes be paid to play? The question of morality and amateurism arises every time the topic is brought up and the topic has been coming up more and more as of late. Maybe it’s because the number of NCAA sanctions and investigations are rising at an alarming rate. One thing is for sure though; the issue at hand is one fans, coaches and players are becoming more informed of every day. Talking heads on ESPN can discuss all day about the corruption paying players would lead to in the locker rooms, but can college sports get any more corrupted than they already are? Given the scandals that have rocked the college sports world in recent years, I think the NCAA should worry more about their image and reputation than how it would look on on the outside. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think each individual school should personally pay every athlete’s salary. I’m not foolish enough to think that every athletic department has the money or resources to pay “amateurs.” The burden should fall solely on the NCAA in my opinion, a brand that makes $6 billion annually from college football and basketball alone with the help of lucrative television deals and endorsements of different sorts. The NCAA inked a deal with CBS in 2011 for $10.8 billion and gave them the rights to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness.” That is three weeks out of the year for the next 14 years to air games filled with students who are not compensated nearly enough or at all. Insane, right? Not only is the NCAA getting the sweet end of the deal, but coaches are paid ridiculous amounts of money to stand on the sidelines and call the shots. I think coaches are just as important as the next person but, millions of dollars to coach amateurs? Get real. Of course, there are issues at hand that complicate things and hurdles that are far more difficult to get over than just writing a paycheck. Would you pay all college athletes or just the ones who’s sports bring in the top revenues? What about Title IX, the rule that states everything must be equal with men and women? Could the NCAA really justify paying some athletes more or even at all and not others just because they bring in more money? Obviously everyone has their own opinion about the subject and it is one that is frowned upon whenever it is brought up. I’m not saying one way or another is right or wrong. But, there does seem to be a sense that college athletes are being disrespected in they are expected to spend all their time as basically employees to the university and don’t get much in return other than room, board and some books for classes they don’t have nearly enough time to focus on because of their athletic duties. Anna Claire Thomas is a senior journalism major from Monroe who serves as sports editor. Email comments to act013@latech.edu.

Email comments to dja014@latech.edu.

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