PAGE 6

Find out how local fighters balance life inside out outside the cage.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Does the American version of this film overshadow the Swedish portrayal? - PAGE 6 A&E

MOVIE REVIEW

THE ROAD TO THE POINSETTIA BOWL
Get a firsthand look at the festivities leading up to Tech’s bowl game.

PAGE 9

Volume 86

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January 12, 2012 www.thetechtalk.org

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The student voice of Louisiana Tech University

Number 11

Unoccupied dorms spark campus concern
NATALIE MCELWEE Staff Reporter

New cameras increase safety on campus
BY MOLLY BOWMAN Staff Reporter Tech’s University Police Department and the Student Government Association will place 34 new security cameras in various locations on campus in the near future. Clint Carlisle, president of SGA, said the new cameras will be placed to increase the safety of students on campus and to make Tech a safer environment. “Our current system is adequate but does not provide enough coverage,” Carlisle said. “The growth of our university and student population has increased the need for more protection. They will provide a dramatic improvement in the level of security for our campus.” Some locations for the new cameras are Tolliver Hall, the Quadrangle, Joe Aillet Stadium, J.C. Love Field, Maxie Lambright Intramural Sports Center and on-campus apartment complexes. Currently, there are no cameras north of the railroad tracks. Ethan Sizemore, a freshman civil engineering major, said this will make students feel more comfortable when walking around campus. “I think it will promote a safer environment because people will think before they act if security cameras are in use,” Sizemore said. “These cameras were much-needed. Tech’s campus will be safer and be a more friendly environment.” The university police department proposed the Security Camera Expansion Project in the fall of 2009, but the original budget only allowed the department to procure 13 of the proposed 34 cameras. The police department resubmitted a proposal this past fall and received a budget of about $174,000 to fund the whole project. Tech Police Chief Randal Hermes said the police department only had nine cameras to monitor campus activities. “There have been several situations in past years where if we could have had a camera in a certain place we could have caught who did it,” Hermes said. Hermes said the new cameras will be positioned to monitor and record different views of a location that will allow the police to document traffic accidents, monitor parking lots and track suspicious persons more efficiently. “The quicker we can make an apprehension on a crime, the quicker we are going to stop future victims from being victimized.” Some Tech students like David Wilkes, a freshman business administration major, do not have big concerns about safety on campus. “I don’t feel unsafe on camPhoto by Dacia Idom pus, but I can see how a lot of Brandon Henry, a senior aviation management major, and other people might be,” Wilkes said. students are under the watch of security cameras. Additional > see CAMERAS page 7 cameras will be added to increase safety on campus.

Tech President Dan Reneau said the unoccupied dorms are a top priority on the list of camIn 1995, Tech began to shut pus renovations. He also said down dormitories in hopes of the buildings have not been degiving the campus a modern molished yet due to finances. look. But, more than 15 years “The two high-rises and Mclater Jenkins and Farland haven’t been McFarland dormitotorn down for a very ries still stand uninsimple reason–monhabited along with ey,” he said. “To tear three other residence those down, I would halls. Following suit, estimate it would be Caruthers became from $500,000 to $1 vacant in 2005, and million a piece.” continuing closures Reneau said the resulted in the vauniversity has big cancy of Neilson in plans in store for the 2009 and Hutcheson vacant buildings as in 2011. soon as the money is PEEL Sam Speed, assisavailable. tant dean of student “The two highlife, said the conrises could be turned sistent state budget cuts have into a nice green space, or playprevented the demolition of ing field,” he said. “I think stuthe five unoccupied dorms on dents would enjoy that.” campus. He said the university Within the next 12-18 wanted to tear down the struc- months, Reneau said the buildtures to create more landscape ings should hopefully be torn on campus. down. “Tech was going to tear “McFarland and Jenkins are down the buildings, but the in the capital outlay to be renomoney had to be reallocated to > see DORMS page 7 survive budget cuts,” he said.

Kaczvinsky contributes to Lawrence Durrell Book
PATRICK BOYD News Editor

reer achievement for him. “I’m very pleased with the book,” Kaczvinsky said. “I Over the past 25 years Don- wrote my dissertation and first ald Kaczvinsky, Dean book on Durrell.” of Liberal Arts, has Kaczvinsky startdevoted himself to ed working on the researching the Britbook during July ish writer Lawrence 2010, after coordiDurrell, famous for nating an English penning the “Alexanconference in New dria Quartet.” Orleans. Recently, after the At the conferpublication of a new ence, 40 papers were book titled “Durrell presented on Durand the City: Collectrell, and Kaczvinsky ed Essays on Place,” chose 14 of those KACZVINSKY published by Fairleigh to be included in the Dickinson University book. Press, which Kaczvin“I’m very pleased with the sky edited and also contributed book,” Kaczvinsky said. “It is to, his endeavors in academia have culminated in what is a ca- > see DEAN page 7

Professors express opinion on new bill
ALWAYNE GREEN Staff Reporter The National Defense Authoritative Acts of 2012 greets American citizens with many questions surrounding the visible breach of The United States Constitution. Particularly in sections 1031 and 1032 of the Act, which allow the US military the power to indefinitely detain anyone, including Americans suspected of terrorist involvement. Jason Pigg, an associate professor of political science, specializes in The Constitution and said he views the act of U.S. citizens being held indefinitely without trial as borderline unconstitutional. “This is something that is extremely problematic, and the the founders didn’t do in writidea that congress would pass ing The Constitution,” he said. legislation that allows the presi- “I think that’s something they dent to do this,” Pigg would have been said. “These are imconcerned about.” portant values you Pigg also excan’t override them plained briefly why because of fear.” he disapproved of President Barack these sections of the Obama said he Act. would never deny “First of all it any American due seems to give up process, howevquite a bit of legiser, Pigg said that lative authority to promise is not solid the president,” Pigg enough to guaransaid. “Secondly, this PIGG tee Americans that is a basic fundamenthe next president tal constitutional will not deny citizens right of citizens to that right. have their day in court, to be “It’s a dangerous precedent charged with something, to be to put that much trust in the able to know what they are beexecutive, and it’s something ing charged with and to contest that charge before a judge.” so that makes it even cloudier Jo Richardson, associate that we are fighting a war.” professor of political science, Richardson also said that said she agrees with the act and Obama is interested in this act is more sympathetic because he wants toward the president to prevent another because she said he occurrence similar was doing this in reto 9/11. She said sponse to the war in he does not want the Middle East. to go down like his Richardson said predecessors as not that whenever there trying hard enough is a debate between to prevent terrorist the individual right attacks. versus the state in a However, Pigg time of war the state said that he wished usually wins. RICHARDSON people would stop “It’s a terrible being so afraid of denial of rights, but terrorism because they get away with it because Americans have allowed this of the war situation,” she said. danger in some cases to eclipse “What clouds it up even more is their normal concern for civil that a war hasn’t been declared liberties.

“I think the judicial system has shown it can handle terrorism cases and if you have something that is that serious where a person is suspected to be a terrorist, our judicial system can handle it,” he said. Pigg said he believes that it is not necessary at this time to deprive Americans of their right to a trial while being detained indefinitely as a terrorist suspect. “To remove that is something which is extremely serious,” he said. “And it’s disappointing that the debate about the legislation hasn’t been taken more seriously by most members of congress.”

Email comments to ahg007@latech.edu.

2 • The T T ech alk • January 12, 2012

Campus
Tech to host spring career day 2012
Tech’s Career Center will host Career Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Student Center, Main Floor. Job opportunities and internships will be available for underclassman, graduate students and alumni in various fields. Students can register at the Career Center in Keeny Hall Room 337 from Jan. 12 until Feb. 7. A student ID is required at the door of the Student Center. Alumni will be verified upon entering. The full list of participating companies for Career Day can be found on the Career Center’s website. For more information contact Ron Cathey, director of the Career Center, at 318-257-2488 or rcathey@latech.edu. dent Office, at 318-257-4321 or bijoyac@latech.edu.

Gallery to display students’ artwork
Tech’s School of Art will have an opening reception for the exhibition of the Master of Fine Arts students’ artwork at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Enterprise Center Gallery. Students participating in the show are Mary Davis, Jake Dugard, Joni Dollar, Joli Grisham, Peter Hay, Jamie Johnson, Matthew Knopps, Casey Parkinson, Brittany Spencer, Diana Synatzske and Renata Vallada. The artwork will remain on display until Feb. 2. The exhibit is free to the public, and gallery hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information contact Marie Bukowski, an associate professor in the School of Art, at 318-257-3264 or bukowski@latech.edu.

Photo by Dacia Idom

Jeffrey Yule, an assistant professor of biological sciences, takes roll during honors Biology 101 in the programs’ new classroom. The room is located on the second floor of GTM, and its addition creates more flexible times for honors courses.

Honors increases enrollment
NATALIE MCELWEE Staff Reporter Tech’s honor program was started in 1988 in order to meet the needs of students with exceptional comprehension and the motivation to learn. It is dedicated to preparing students for future careers through an enlightened and critical understanding of the world by in-depth analysis through oral presentations, research papers and group discussions. To be accepted, students must apply and have scored a 27 or higher on their ACT or have graduated in the top 10 percentile of their graduating high school class. Current students who wish to enroll in the honors program can apply if they maintain a 3.5 grade point average or higher after two quarters at Tech. In the past four years, enrollment of honors classes has almost doubled on campus. From 569 seats in 2009 to 1,080 seats in 2012, Tech’s honors program continues to see expansion. As a result of this growth, more classroom space was needed to accompany the number of new classes the program offers. Rick Simmons, director of honors program, said he wants all honors classes in George T. Madison Hall. “The student population has grown so much, we have to offer more classes, and we didn’t have anywhere to put them,” he said. Simmons said Room 213 of GTM was empty and collecting dust so he approached the university about using it for a new computer lab. He said he asked the Technology Student Fee Board about funding money for new SmartBoard technology, and money for new furniture came from the honors and liberal arts budgets. “I felt like we had enough students in the program now that they [honors students] should have a computer lab, too,” he said. “If nothing else it would take a strain off some of the other labs.” The computer lab is currently being renovated, and Simmons said it will hopefully be open by the beginning of the spring quarter. In addition to the new classroom and computer lab, architecture classes have been added to the honors’ curriculum. “We have a lot of students in architecture,” Simmons said. “By offering more classes in honors, we’ve given students the chance to really invest in the program more.” Scott Hunter, a sophomore architecture major, has been in the Honors Program since entering Tech in 2010. He said he enjoys the small classes and unique learning environment provided. Hunter said having architecture classes in the honors curriculum gives him more of an incentive to learn and strive to succeed beyond school. “I don’t see how those [honors classes] could be different except they add more work,” he said. “The only thing I think it would be doing is just giving you an honors credit.” Hunter plans to graduate with honors and said he would encourage others to do so as well. “I think it’s an excellent opportunity,” Hunter said. “I know for me, I’ve gotten a lot more out of my honors classes than I have out of a regular class.” Steele Moegle, honors music appreciation professor, said she enjoys teaching such ambitious students. She also said the program presents privileges to professors and students like her class’s field trip to see the Dallas Symphony. “We’ll see a matinee performance of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with a guest violinist,” she said. She said the class will spend time discussing the performers they will hear in Dallas. “It helps us look at things a little bit differently,” she said. “Students are always encouraged to come to performances around campus, but being able to go off campus is really exciting.”

ISO to host annual scholarship dinner
The International Student Association will host its 12th annual International Student Scholarship Night Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Main Floor. The event will feature entertainment and food from countries around the world, such as China, India and Nepal. Admission is $10 for students and $15 for the public. All proceeds will go toward scholarships for international students. Tickets can be purchased at the International Student Office, located in Tolliver Hall Room 229. Seating is limited, buying tickets in advance is recommended. For more information contact Bijoya Chakraborty, coordinator of the International Stu-

Career Center to present seminars
Tech’s Career Center will host a seminar on effective resume writing and job interviewing at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, Tuesday, Jan. 17 in the Student Center, Main Floor. In the second session at 4 p.m. the host Ashley Allen will go through the process of successful job interviewing. Students who participate in the resume seminar can bring a new resume to the career center at a later date to be reviewed and critiqued. All students are encouraged to attend both seminars, especially juniors and seniors. For more information contact Lisa Elam, administrative coordinator for counseling and career services, at 318-2572488 or lisa@latech.edu.

Email comments to nkm003@latech.edu.

Eco-car team turns focus toward new category
LISA PLAISANCE Staff Reporter After setting an American record in the UrbanConcept category last year, Tech’s ecocar team will focus more attention on the Prototype category this year. Heath Tims, faculty adviser for the eco-car team, said the team is trying to challenge itself more by focusing on both vehicle categories instead of putting the majority of effort into one. “A lot of our focus the last few years has been on the urban vehicle, mainly because it’s the one that gets attention,” Tims said. “We’ve done very well in it and we’re not ignoring it, but at the same time we haven’t put as much effort into the Prototype category. We’re really trying to push the limits a little more.” The Shell Eco-Marathon has two main divisions: the UrbanConcept category and the Prototype category. The UrbanConcept category focuses on building fuel-efficient vehicles that are similar to a typical automobile. The Prototype category’s main focus is to build the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible. Tech’s eco-car team is trying to get to a higher gas mileage this competition. “We’re really shooting to break that 1,000 mpg mark and we feel pretty confident we’ll get there,” Tims said. Cody Parsley, a senior mechanical engineering major, shares Tims’ goal. He said they are aiming for a 1,400 to 1,600 mpg range. The design for this year’s Prototype is something new to the team and the competition. “This year we’re going with an entirely new concept,” Parsley said. “It’s something we’ve never seen before, and it’s something I don’t think the Shell Eco-Marathon has ever seen before. As far as we know, we’ll be the first to ever run a car with the set up we’re using.” The innovative Prototype design, which the team has been working on since the end of last year’s competition, is still in progress. “We’ve been spending a lot of time on design so we can build a lighter and more aerodynamic car with less friction than we’ve seen in the past,” Parsley said. “As far as steering, engine placement and overall design of the car, we’ve never seen anything like it.” Tims said they are trying to reduce the weight, size and frontal area of the vehicle as much as they can to improve the fuel efficiency. “We’re trying to make everything as optimal as we can and build a car that is barely big enough to hold a person,” he said. The team did not want to reveal too much about the new design before the competition, creativity with design and aesthetics. Parsley said because of the differences in regulations, the types of competitors engaging in the competitions vary as well. The rules essentially influence different competitor’s reasons for entering and working on the eco-cars. “Urban gets all the eyes and a lot of attention, but prototype is where you find people who have a passion,” he said. Parsley said this is partially because they put up such high numbers in mileage and do anything to make their cars more efficient. “The Prototype group is really about pushing the limits,” Tims said. “That is the goal. It’s not a looks competition. Aesthetics do not matter. It is all about seeing how far you can go on the least amount of fuel.” Allie De Leo, a member of the executive board for the eco-car, said the team hopes to build a car that will last. De Leo said, “When you see the cars that are winning and placing first in the Prototype category, it’s the cars that they have taken for the past four years.” She said this is generally because each year those teams can focus on the different aspects of the car, such as the engine, rather than on building a whole new body, which is what Tech’s team has done in the prototype category in previous years. Tech’s eco-car team is taking the UrbanCocnept car that set the record last year, but making adjustments to increase fuel efficiency. They are also building a new UrbanConcept car that will run on a different type of fuel. However, they are devoting more effort to Prototype because they want it to be good enough to use in later years and make a presence in that category. “We’re expected to go back with another Urban car this year that’s going to beat last year’s record,” Wade said. “We expect to do that, but we also want to be a competitor in the Prototype category.”

Submitted photo

“The Protoype group is really about pushing the limits. That is the goal. It’s not a looks competition. Aesthetics do not matter.”
Heath Tims
assistant professor of mechanical engineering

After setting a record last year in the UrbanConcept category, the eco-car team began working on designs for the Prototype category.

but Tims said it will be something very unique. Sam Wade, a junior mechanical engineering major, is also on the executive board and he values the uniqueness of their prototype design. “It’ll be different than any car you see there,” Wade said. The Prototype category does not have as many regulations as the urban category. Cars in the Prototype category typically have three wheels, hand controls and the driver is usually in a laid down position. Cars in the UrbanConcept category must have four tires, a steering wheel, lights, blinkers, a horn, a brake pedal, a windshield wiper and the driver must be seated in an upright position. Since the UrbanConcept category is focused on cars on today’s road as well as high gas mileage, there is room for more

Submitted photo

Email comments to lrp014@latech.edu.

Without revealing too much on the new design, the team assures that their new work is innovative and unique.

January 12, 2012 • The T T ech alk • 3

Successful year brings hope for 2012
MOLLY BOWMAN Staff Reporter

Over the last year, Tech has accomplished many things that have elevated it to a new level. Tech achieved a First Tier ranking among “National Universities” by U.S. News & World Report, won the Western Athletic Conference in football, engineered an awardwinning fuel-efficient car and became the first school to receive accreditation for a nanosystems engineering program. Achieving a First Tier ranking on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list is a big accomplishment for Tech. There is only one other public university in the state to reach this status, LSU-Baton Rouge. Some Tech students, like Ryne Allen, a senior biology major, said potential students will take more of a positive interest in our school by being in the First Tier. “On a recruiting basis, I feel like we will be looked at differ-

ently,” Allen said. “We will definitely be looked at differently by the state.” Tech moved on to greener pastures when a team of engineering students finished first place in the UrbanConcept category at the 2011 Shell Eco-marathon Americas. The UrbanConcept category is focused on designing and building fuel-economy vehicles that are close in appearance to today’s passenger cars. Tech defeated teams from across the country such as Purdue, Penn State, UCLA and University of California at Berkley. Valerie Wheat, a freshman biology major, said Tech’s engineering students have a bright future in innovating ‘green’ technology. “We have a lot of really smart students here, and I think that we will help a lot in eco-friendly development in the future,” Wheat said. Not only has Tech excelled largely in academics, the university has reached new heights with the football team

this past year. that other teams are going to It’s been 10 years since the try to beat to get to the top,” Bulldogs won a conference ti- Walsh said. “It will be different tle. Beating New Mexico State in the sense that more people in the WAC championship will be focusing in on us as opgame 44-0 led them to play posed to it being just another in the Poinsettia Bowl game in the seaagainst Texas Chrisson. That’s what tian University in San we want, that’s Diego. what this program “I was ecstatic to wants.” hear Tech was playWalsh said the ing in a bowl game media exposure against another confrom the conferference champion,” ence championAllen said. “The fact ship and the Pointhat it was in San Disettia Bowl not ego and the possibilonly helped the ity I could go made football team in RENEAU it that much better. terms of recruits, I’m very proud of but it helped the the Bulldogs because university as a our team was projected to get whole. fourth or fifth in the conference “The media reach that this and we came out on top.” school had was phenomenal,” Patrick Walsh, associate di- Walsh said. “Big bowl games rector of media relations, said and conference championTech was the underdog in the ships have a direct relationship conference and after this win to the number of applications would be the likely favorite in for the next freshman class.” the conference next year. Walsh also said the local “We’re going to be the ones area has come together be-

cause of the success of the football team. “Ruston’s a small town and the university is a major part it,” Walsh said. “You’re seeing a great sense of community rallying around the Bulldog football team as they continue to excel on the field.” Leah Beasley, an assistant athletics director of marketing and game management, said this win would give athletics the boost it needs to match the university’s high academic standards. “We all know that the university has a lot of accolades academically, but now we are pushing our athletics to meet those and to be the top tier not only academically but athletically too,” Beasley said. After the excitement of this past year, there are new things to come for Tech this June in the College of Business. James Lumpkin, dean of the College of Business, said the new business building will be built by June and is scheduled to be ready for use this

coming fall. It will be equipped with team meeting rooms, study areas and new computer labs that are specialized for students in the undergraduate program as well as up to the doctoral level. “The teaching rooms are geared and built specifically for teaching and organized such that there is a much better experience for the students,” said Lumpkin. Lumpkin also said the new building will bring more students to the College of Business. “We’ve been growing for the last two years at well over 10 percent each year in undergraduate and graduate programs,” Lumpkin said. “I think this will spur that growth even more. Students get excited about new space across campus and we hope to be able to recruit more students into our programs from across Louisiana and other states as well.”

Email comments to mmb041@latech.edu.

EWB reaches out to Philippine community
AMRIT AWAL Staff Reporter Tech’s Engineers Without Borders, a new organization that started last fall, has chosen to raise money for the Philippines Water Project as its first project. According to the World Health Organization’s website, 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. This is approximately one in every six people. Nicole Roberts, a junior mechanical engineering major, said Tech’s EWB project is the first where students will be able to help the Susugaen community in Philippines getting clean water for drinking and irrigating their crops. “Agriculture is a main source of income for the locality,” she said. “This project will allow us to go over there and fix their stream and distribution system for them to get clean water to drink. Roberts also said the organization would be performing soil testing, water testing, water supply and other environmental components. In addition, she said they would collaborate with various professionals including engineers, public health specialists, anthropologists and biologists, to make future plans. “Though it is an engineering-based project, we are not limited just to engineers,” she said. Jade Dolse, a junior industrial engineering major, said EWB-USA is helping people around the world on their water supply, sanitation, structure, civil works, energy, agriculture and information systems. “We are a global organization and we try to reach almost everybody,” she said. “More than 45 developing countries have benefited through our projects.” Jacob Eppehimer, a junior mechanical engineering major, said the local community has been directly involved in the project from the beginning. “All of these are sustainable engineering projects with collaboration from the local community,” he said. “We got all of the informations straight from the community. Everybody has strong contribution and dedication regardless of various professions.” Eppehimer also said the EWB-USA supports community-driven development projects worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects. “EWB-USA members are local community members and NGOs that are trained successfully to monitor and maintain the projects,” he said. “It will remain sustainable long after the direct chapter involvement ends.” Dolse said that EWBUSA is taking donations to support the communities in need around the world and has already raised more than $400,000 from mutual efforts with other organizations. “Raise money for a good cause,” she said. “Donating to us will encourage other companies and people to do the same.” Dolse also said anybody wanting to donate can go to www.ewb-usa. org/2011giving and allocate the donation to the Louisiana Chapter, which will allow the donation money to be used for the Philippines Water Project. “We are getting a positive start, and I feel that the project we have chosen works best with the engineering skills we have acquired,” she said. “Let’s be the part of their life-changing projects.”

Email comments to aaw024@latech.edu

MLK tradition integrates with annual educational walk
ALWAYNE GREEN Staff Reporter

Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr., who relentlessly fought segregation, different races and religions will walk together for his cause. Tech’s Multicultural Affairs Office and the National Society of Black Engineers will host its 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Noonday Observance Monday at the Ruston Civic Center. This year’s primary focus is to increase educational awareness in low-income communities. Volunteers will walk doorto-door in Ruston, informing residents about college admissions, local vocational schools, financial aid and the importance of the SAT and ACT. Adam Collins, coordinator for the office of multicultural affairs, said the event started in churches in Ruston and was adopted by Tech approximately 13 years ago. He also said the event was made more general to cater to a wider range of participants. “They decided they wanted people from different walks of life to participate,” Collins said. “It’s not only open to Christians, but to Muslims and Jews. It is open to the young and the old.” Collins said MLK made the ultimate sacrifice by giving up

his life for the belief that no one should lack opportunities based on race or religion. Therefore, Collins said his office will actively contribute

“Our theme is the pursuit of the dream through service. Dr. King wanted everybody to work together and on one accord.
Lateisha Edwards
senior electrical egineering technology major

instead of giving a speech. “We believe we need to give back as Dr. King did,” Collins said. “Dr. King lived for service.” Lateisha Edwards, a senior electrical engineering technology major, said this year’s celebration is about community service and interacting with people. “Our theme is the pursuit of the dream through service,” she said. “Dr. King wanted everybody to work together and on one accord. We are doing that through community service so

we can all get where we need to be.” Edwards said going door-todoor presents the opportunity for volunteers to get feedback from residents and understand struggles within the community. Trevan Jenkins, a junior aviation major and, said NSBE annually hosts a walk for education. However, this year they will incorporate the walk for education with the MLK celebrations. “Our organization called and emailed different schools around Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi,” Jenkins, president of NSBE said. “We will put the educational information in a bag, walk doorto-door and pass that information on.” Jenkins also said having the walk for education on MLK’s birthday brings more significance to NSBE, as opposed to doing it on any other day. Collins said he would like students and the public to come out in support of this cause on the holiday honoring MLK. “I hope to catalyze people to a call of action,” Collins said. “You don’t have to do something monumental, but you have to take some steps. You have to do something.”

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Insight
MARY TIMMONS Editor-in-Chief

4 • The T T ech alk • January 12, 2012

FROM THE EDITOR
ECU challenges First Amendment
A sure way to prepare future journalists for the real world is to test their First Amendment rights and eventually bring about a lawsuit. There have been several cases where students have sued educational institutions for repressing their rights as American citizens. Recently the news staff and adviser from East Carolina University experienced the repercussions that come with being a student. According to its website, The East Carolinian has been scrutinized for publishing nude photos of a streaker. The photos printed were not censored in any way. The incident, which happened more than two months ago, is believed to have led to the dismissal of Paul Isom, the media director and adviser for the publication. The website states Isom, who has not been given a definite reason as to why he was fired, has worked for the university since 2008 and served as an adviser for seven other media-related organizations. It’s ludicrous to think that ECU has fired a staff member because of the actions of students, especially considering the newspaper is not funded through the university and is entirely run by a student staff. Though the picture may have been displayed in a tasteless manner, as a journalist, I respect the fact that The East Carolinian staff has the civil liberty to publish the photos without prior restraints from university officials. According to an article on the Boston Herald website, Isom said that not allowing the students to print the photos would put the university at risk and would be considered a restraint on the students’ First Amendment rights. “The only thing that I could have done differently to prevent this from happening would have been to tell the students, ‘Don’t do anything controversial, don’t run anything that’s going to make an administrator mad,’ “ Isom said in the article. “And then I wouldn’t be doing my job to teach them to be journalists.” Many, including myself, believe that Isom is a victim of the situation. The University cannot legally punish the newspaper’s editor, so in turn it seems that they have taken their aggravation out on an adviser who was only trying to protect the university from a possible lawsuit. The actions ECU has taken are a slap in the face to professional journalism. This is not the first time the university administration has come to legal blows about students’ free speech rights. According to the university’s website, in 1971, Robert Thonen, a former editor-in-chief, sued the university for expelling him for publishing a letter to the editor that contained an explitive. The letter was addressing former Chancellor Leo Jenkins and concluded with the sentence “F**k you, Leo.” Thonen’s expulsion lead to the infamous Thonen v. Jenkins case, which was one of the first instances where the court agreed that college newspapers have nearly the same free-speech rights as the commercial press. You would think that after one incident the university would be familiar with First Amendment rights and the administration would realize that Isom may have kept a lawsuit against the university. A college paper is published to represent the voice of its students. These publications train the journalist of tomorrow for the real world work force. There is no reason that any newspaper should be punished for publishing facts for the student body to read. It is an insult to higher education and journalism education when a university tries to suppress the voice of its students. As a true journalist, I fully support The East Carolinian news staff and Paul Isom. 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.

GUEST COLUMN

Alumnus shares views on state education
I always imagined my first days of being a teacher as being like one of those movies where I would walk into a room with a cup of coffee, tweed blazer, chalkboard with something about existentialism on it, and a room full of eager, prepared students. Instead, I met Louis. Louis had lived his whole life in New Orleans, facing the many challenges of poverty. Inconsistent housing, lack of food, no water, no electricity, at times no parentsthese were the challenges he faced in the morning before I tried to explain to him the value of understanding idioms and alliteration. Growing up in poverty was not a choice for his family, it was a reality. As a result, Louis had made it to my 9th-grade classroom reading on 5th grade level, barely writing complete sentences and having little faith in his own abilities. When kids growing up in poverty enter kindergarten, they are already academically behind their wealthier peers. This gap in educational opportunity only widens over time. By the fourth grade, they are three grade levels behind and half won’t graduate from high school. Only one in 10 will attend college, and for those lacking a college degree, many doors are firmly shut. As a senior at Louisiana Tech University, this injustice gnawed at me. Here, I had access to a first-class college education, while just a few miles away kids in Shreveport, Monroe and even Ruston were falling further and further behind. I knew I wanted to find a way to help expand educational opportunity for our 16 million children growing up in poverty. My time at Tech has proved invaluable in shaping who I am as a scholar and a person. It has provided me a launching pad to a fulfilling and meaningful work. And now, I’m getting the chance to partner with others across classrooms and my community to help a new generation of students have the same opportunities I had. My students in New Orleans faced many additional challenges of poverty, but they’ve shown me that with dedication and hard work from both me and them, they can overcome almost anything. For too long, one’s zip code has defined destiny. But we know that with an all hands-on-deck approach educational inequity is a solvable problem. With the commitment of educators and leaders across sectors, we can give all of our children an excellent education. While Teach For America corps members start by making a two-year commitment, the experience has a lasting impact. As members of our school community, my fellow corps members and I worked with our fellow teachers, parents, administrators and community members in the pursuit of excellence for our students. Teach For America gave me an opportunity to begin my career, while creating lasting change in my community. Shortly after graduation, I found myself with a full salary and benefits, and partial loan repayment at the end of my commitment. I hope that as many soon to be Tech alumni near graduation, they will consider becoming a part of Teach For America. Austin Howe graduated from Tech in 2008 with a degree in sociologoy. Email comments to austinhowe@gmail.com

THE REEL RUNNER
Missing Hugo
PATRICK BOYD News Editor This holiday movie season has filled me with both excitement and dread, with everything from the thrilling “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” to the bland “My Week with Marilyn.” What has been the typical year where blockbusters like “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1,” keep dulling the moviegoer’s senses, it seems as if any glimmer of intelligent filmmaking has flat-lined. I have seen the first Twilight movie, and read all the books, so I am educated in Twilightdom. The most challenging thing about watching “Twilight” is the act of watching it itself. How can anyone enjoy this never-ending saga of lackluster characters with pretty faces who seem to only speak monosyllabic words? To date, “Breaking Dawn” has brought in $223.4 million domestically setting it behind “New Moon” as the top earner in the “Twilight” saga, according to hollywoodreporter.com. What pains me more about this holiday movie season than the seemingly endless money thrown into the “Twilight” pool is that I missed the new Martin Scorsese movie “Hugo.” I always try to see the new Scorsese movie no matter what, but due to circumstances, I missed out on this one. I remember the thrill of seeing “The Departed” and “Shutter Island” in theaters, and have tried to make it an event to see all of his new movies and go through his oeuvre of older films. Now “Hugo” is out of theaters, and unless there is a lot of Oscar buzz, I may have missed my chance. The box office to date has not been kind to “Hugo,” (it has only grossed $52.6 million so far) and we can see audiences would much rather put money into the pockets of shimmering vampires, than actually pay for a movie they can enjoy as well as make them think. Audiences would rather see toy robots in “Transformers” pulverize buildings in scenes that look a lot like what we witnessed on television during 9/11. Why has Hollywood trivialized horrific events in American history and turned them into entertainment? After our country lost all innocence after that day, we have become endorsers of paranoia cinema, too scared to move forward from those images that still linger in the mind. The fantasy-like world we see on the screen is very similar to the images we now see in the news. We do not want to face what is actually happening in our world and would rather confront our fears from the comfort of our padded seats and with jumbo tubs of popcorn. Not even a big-time director like Scorsese can make us put away our inhibitions, and allow for an experience that can prove less cathartic than nostalgic. I beat myself up for missing “Hugo” and not at least contributing a few bucks to a movie, which can take us away from this selfconscious and dim-witted age of cinema. I guess I should stop myself from talking about movies I have neither seen nor witnessed. “Hugo” may end up being lame and “Breaking Dawn” wonderful, but I do know movies reflect our cultural soul, and the last thing I want reflecting me is a vampire baby.

Patrick Boyd is a junior journalism and English major from Choudrant who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to gpb009@ latech.edu.

T T ech alk
The student voice of Louisiana Tech University

The

I DON’T GIVE A “CENSORED”
Statistics raise education concern
AMIE ROLLAND News Editor Of the 300 million people in America, 6.2 million of them are high school dropouts. Every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school - 6,000 students every school day. In total, 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year. High school dropouts made up 54 percent of the unemployed population in 2008, according to the most recent information available. The Brief Foundation found that dropouts cost the nation more than $300 billion in lost wages, lost productivity and lost taxes each year. The World Economic Forum ranked the quality of America’s overall education at 26 compared with 65 other industrialized countries. In order to thrive as a nation, we need educated citizens, but educated citizens aren’t bred in a “leading” nation that is ranked 26th in education. With the current dropout rate, the nation is putting more money into education than results are being produced. Horatio Alger’s ideal of the “American dream” hardly exists in America’s current state. It is not dead, but it definitely needs reviving. The revitalization of America as a thriving, leading nation depends upon the people, not the government. Many citizens sit around criticizing the president and the government for the lack of productivity when it is just as much the citizen’s responsibility as it is the government’s. I have a few simple ideas on how Americans can help their fellow, failing countrymen. First, stop being so lazy! If you want to whine about your government and declining economy, then be sure you are doing your part to help. Again, it is clear the government is not a divine force, so stop waiting around for it to save you. On the topic of being lazy, stop feeling entitled to the perfect job because no one is handing them out on silver platters. Kudos to you if you graduate college and get your degree, but don’t think that $200K-a-year job is going to find you-- you should be working whatever job possible to earn it. In this economy the ideal job is not going to fall in your lap. If you have to shovel some manure to get there, then so be it. Growing up we are taught to finish school and continue on to college to be successful, but no one mentions that even with a degree, people are still sometimes unemployed and job hunting. However, there is no excuse to be completely without a job. You are never too good to flip burgers when bills need paying or mouths need feeding. Secondly, elementary through high school public education is free. There is no reason to dropout ,but students do– 6,000 every school day, remember? Why? Simple. Education is obviously not at the top of America’s list of priorities. Instead of focusing on the number of students who drop out of school daily, try focusing on the ones who are still there sticking it out. We need to create programs that engage students in education, not programs that leave their minds wandering off in space. Teachers need to show students, not tell them or have them doing busy work. The only way to learn is to do. That brings me to my third point. Many educators today are as unmotivated to teach as some students are to learn. I can recall 10 teachers off the top of my head who couldn’t care less whether or not Tom, Dick and Sally could read in the fifth grade. Teachers, don’t be lazy! Not every student wants to fail. Many want to be successfu,l and it is your job to motivate and guide them in the right direction. Teachers make the biggest impacts on students’ success. Every kid had that one teacher who made them want to learn. Don’t you want to be that teacher? The basic point is this–stop blaming others when society as a whole should take responsibility for the faltering success of our country. Quit crying about it and do something. Amie Rolland is a senior journalism major from Shreveport who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to asr017@latech.edu

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January 12, 2012 • The T T ech alk • 5

World&Nation
Student involved in high school shooting
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BROWNSVILLE,Texas (AP) — On a doorstep outside a family home, a father wondered why police had to shoot his son in the hall of the boy's middle school. In an office across town, a police chief insisted that his officers had no choice. A day after police fatally shot an eighth-grader who was brandishing a realistic-looking pellet gun, his anguished parents pleaded for answers, demanding to know why police didn't try a Taser or beanbag gun before resorting to deadly force. In front of the family home, the father lamented his loss and called on authorities to explain their actions. Some standoffs with police last three or four hours, Jaime Gonzalez Sr. said. This one "took not even half an hour." Brownsville interim Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said the preliminary autopsy report showed the boy was shot twice in the torso. Family members initially thought he was shot in the back of the head, but that wound turned out to be a cut from a fall. "It really doesn't change anything at all," Gonzalez Sr. said after being told of the preliminary autopsy results at the vigil for his son. "If it is a wound from his fall, why shoot him at all? Wound him. Do something else. Use another method." But there was broad agreement among law enforcement experts: If a suspect raises a weapon and refuses to put it down, officers are justified in taking his life. The shooting also raised questions about whether pellet guns should be marked in a way that would easily distinguish them from real hand-

AP Photo

Brownsville city manager Charlie Cabler, left, holds up a photo of the carbon dioxide powered pellet handgun 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was holding at the time he wa shot by police at Cummings Middle School.

guns. Rodriguez defended his officers, saying the younger Gonzalez pointed the pellet gun at police and repeatedly defied their commands to put it on the floor. Authorities also released a 911 recording from Cummings Middle School. The assistant principal on the phone first says a student in the hall has a gun, then reports that he is draw-

ing the weapon and finally that he is running down the hall. On the recording, police can be heard yelling: "Put the gun down! Put it on the floor!" In the background, someone else yells, "He's saying that he is willing to die." Moments before he was killed, Jaime began to run down a hallway, but again faced officers. Police fired down the hallway — a distance that made a

stun gun or other methods impractical, Rodriguez said. If the situation had involved hostages or a gunman barricaded in a room, police might have tried negotiations. But instead, Rodriguez stressed, this was an armed student roaming the halls of a school. The two officers who fired have been placed on administrative leave — standard procedure in police shoot-

ings. Gonzalez's gun had no markings to indicate it was a pellet gun, according to Rodriguez. Law enforcement experts say users often remove orange bands that may be on such guns, and the coloring can sometimes be hard to see. The Brownsville shooting unfolded quickly Jan. 4 just as students were beginning their first-period classes. The boy walked into one room and randomly punched a classmate in the nose. School staff saw the gun in his crotch and called police. The building was swiftly locked down, and the shots were heard a short time later. Gonzalez said his son was not a bad kid, an assessment supported by the district superintendent. The teen was a drum major whose band instructors had recently praised his achievements to his parents, his stepmother, Noralva Gonzalez, said. Jaime's father said he didn't know where Jaime got the gun. Police believed it was a gift, and a friend of the boy's, Star Rodriguez, said Jaime told her that. But she didn't know who gave it to him. The next night, about 400 mourners filed past an open casket containing Jaime's body at Holy Family Catholic Church, a block from the boy's home. His stepmother sobbed as she embraced each visitor. Dozens of young teens wearing white shirts sat in the pews and lined the back wall of the church. "I want to apologize to the young people for what happened to Jaime. It is our fault as adults that the world is the way it is now," the Rev. Jorge Gomez told mourners.

American receives death penalty from Iranian court
ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration Monday rejected Iran’s charge that a young Iranian-American man used a family trip to Iran as cover for espionage, after the Tehran government issued the first death penalty against a U.S. citizen since the Islamic Revolution 33 years ago. The U.S. suggested the decision was a political ploy. In a case that surely will heighten tensions with Tehran, Iran charged Amir Nema Hekmati with receiving special training and serving at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before traveling to Iran on an intelligence mission. A court convicted him of belonging to the CIA and trying to incriminate Iran for involvement in terrorism, according to a state radio report Monday. The United States denied the accusations. The State Department called them a “complete fabrication” and White House spokesman Tommy Vietor added that “allegations that Hekmati either worked for or was sent to Iran by the CIA are false.” “The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons,” Vietor said in a statement. The case sheds light on the legal but risky travel of U.S. citizens to Iran, common among many first-generation and second-generation Iranian-Americans but a practice largely hidden to the larger American populace. Thousands are believed to make the trip each year, though the State Department doesn’t have firm figures because people must travel through third countries and most dual nationals enter the Islamic republic using Iranian passports. But the State Department has warned that U.S.-Iranian citizens aren’t necessarily any safer than others from the threat of arbitrary arrest. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. has issued a series of travel warnings for Americans, his key responsibility was to identify Iraqi politiwith specific references to those holding both U.S. cians sympathetic to Americans. and Iranian citizenship. He said he had also worked for the military’s “We urge Iranian-Americans to take particu- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency lar care,” Nuland told reporters. Because Iranian and for Kuma Games, which he described to authorities don’t recognize dual citizenship, they state TV as “a computer games company which treat any such people arrested as they would received money from CIA to design and make other Iranians. The latest U.S. travel warning says special films and computer games to change the Iranian-Americans face “the risk of bepublic opinion’s mindset in the Middle ing targeted” by Tehran and notes that East and distribute them among Mid“Iranian authorities have detained and dle East residents free of charge. The harassed U.S. citizens of Iranian origoal of Kuma Games was to convince gin.” the people of the world and Iraq that Hekmati, 28, is a former military what the U.S. does in Iraq and other translator who was born in Arizona and countries is good and acceptable.” graduated from high school in MichiThe company’s website describes gan. His family is of Iranian origin, and it as a specialist in episodic games, in Hekmati claims dual citizenship. His which the story line of ongoing games father, Ali, a professor at a community develops like television episodes. Sevcollege in Flint, Mich., has said his son eral of its products are war-themed. was visiting his grandmothers in Iran. He also said he worked for BAE The Marine Corps said Amir Nema Systems, where he learned how to HEKMATI Hekmati served between 2001 and “use secret systems and methods for 2005, including a deployment to Iraq gathering information from different in 2004 and a stint at the military lanplaces and individuals. During this peguage institute in Monterey, Calif. The Marine riod, CIA was trying to find a suitable cover-up for records do not indicate any deployment to Af- my important mission,” according to the Englishghanistan. language website of Iran’s state TV. Behnaz Hekmati, Amir’s mother, said in an From March to August 2010, Hekmati worked email to The Associated Press that she and her for BAE Systems, said company spokesman Brian husband are “shocked and terrified” that their son Roehrkasse. He said Hekmati left the company to has been sentenced to death. The verdict is “the take a civilian position with the U.S. government, result of a process that was neither transparent but he had no details. nor fair,” she said. The espionage charges against Hekmati are Her son did not engage in spying, she said. similar to previous prosecutions against Ameri“Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being ex- cans who were sentenced to jail time and later ploited for political gain.” freed, including an Iranian-American journalist in In an alleged confession broadcast on Iranian 2009. Iranian prosecutors, however, had stressed state TV last month, Hekmati said he entered the Hekmati’s links to the U.S. military in calling for Army after finishing high school in 2001 and re- capital punishment. ceived military and intelligence training including State Department officials said they were unserving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He said aware of any previous death penalty sentence on

an American in Iran. Iran and the United States currently are locked in a period of intense hostility — a situation that augurs poorly for a quick release for Hekmati. The Obama administration has approved new sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear enrichment program, specifically targeting the regime’s central bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad. Iran has responded with warnings to American vessels against entering the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway that carries to market much of the oil pumped in the Middle East. Having imposed the worst possible sentence immediately, Iran now could seek to drag out the case. In past cases Iran has held out the possibility of releasing American prisoners on humanitarian grounds, presumably in the hopes of gaining a counter-concession from Washington. September’s release of a pair of American hikers held captive by Iran for two years is the most recent example. President Barack Obama approved the new U.S. sanctions against Iran on Dec. 31, despite his administration’s fears they could spike global oil prices or cause economic hardship on American allies in Europe and Asia that import petroleum from Iran. The measures affect foreign financial institutions doing business with Iran’s central bank by barring them from doing business in the United States. The measures would apply to foreign central banks as well for transactions related to petroleum. But the sanctions won’t take effect for six months. The president also can waive them for national security reasons or if the country in question significantly reduces its purchases of Iranian oil. The State Department says it is trying to implement the law in a way that maximizes pressure on Tehran while causing minimal disruption to the U.S. and its allies.

Romney wins New Hampshire Gov. Jindal begins new term, with hopes of continuing ‘bold’ government reforms
ASSOCIATED PRESS

AP photo

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to supporters at a night rally at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Mitt Romney cruised to victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, improving on his first-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucuses and firmly establishing himself as the man to beat for the Republican presidential nomination. “Tonight we made his-

tory,” Romney told cheering supporters before pivoting to a stinging denunciation of President Barack Obama. “The middle class has been crushed,” he said, “our debt is too high and our opportunities too few” — remarks that made clear he intends to be viewed as the nominee in waiting after only two contests. His rivals said otherwise,

looking ahead to South Carolina on Jan. 21 as their best chance to stop the former Massachusetts governor. Even so, the order of finish — Ron Paul second, followed by Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — scrambled the field and prolonging the other contenders’ increasingly desperate competition to emerge as the true conservative rival to Romney.

many Parish President Kevin Davis last month instead of hiring interim director Pat Santos BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal permanently. Santos returned to his previous started his new term in office with little upheav- job as deputy director. al among his staff, keeping nearly all his cabinet Jindal also named a new leader for the Louisecretaries in place, rather than making sweep- siana National Guard — Brig. Gen. Glenn Curtis ing changes to the circle of people — after the previous adjutant general who lead his executive branch retired. agencies. The leaders of other departments, Jindal hadn’t indicated any interincluding the health, transportation, est in a wholesale shake-up after environmental quality, veterans affairs, winning re-election. As his second revenue, state police and economic determ began this week, the governor velopment agencies, have maintained was retaining nearly all of his more their jobs for the new term. than a dozen cabinet secretaries. That’s not to suggest there wasn’t “Our team understands they upheaval in Jindal’s first four years as must continue to push for bold regovernor. He lost or pushed out several forms that make government less top officials during his first term. expensive and more effective for His first commissioner of adminisJINDAL Louisianians. There have also been tration left for a private sector job after some deputy and undersecretary coping with several rounds of statewide changes made at agencies,” Jindal budget cuts and tough financial probspokesman Frank Collins said in an e-mail Tues- lems. day. The governor’s social services secretary and Among those staying in their posts is the several of her top deputies resigned under presstate’s top ranking appointee: Commissioner of sure early in Jindal’s first term amid complaints Administration Paul Rainwater, the governor’s about how evacuee sheltering was handled durtop budget architect who oversees the day-to- ing Hurricane Gustav. day operations of state government. Other secretaries to leave throughout the The governor hired a new leader for the Gov- first term were in charge of transportation, enernor’s Office on Homeland Security and Emer- vironmental quality, health care and emergency gency Preparedness, choosing former St. Tam- preparedness.

Arts&Entertainment
Sleuthing with cyberpunk edge
NAOMI ALLISON News Editor In “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” director David Fincher reveals a Sweden that is corrupt not only in its ruling institutions but also within the depths of its heart and soul. The film revolves around the intricate life of Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), an investigative journalist whose career is decimated after a corrupt Swedish politician wins against him in a libel case. From there, it delves into the world of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a brilliant, bisexual computer hacker with a troubled past. At the beginning of the film, Blomkvist is sentenced to three months in prison for libel when he suddenly received a mysterious request. A wealthy industrialist named Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) wants him to investigate a 40-year-old crime surrounding the disappearance of his niece. Though Blomkvist is wary, he decides to take on the investigation. From there, his life takes a drastic turn. He ends up traveling to the Vanger’s wintry, secluded island. Once he arrives, Blomkvist does what any journalist would do. He becomes nosy. He interviews Vanger and starts digging through files, old expense records and photographs. It is during this time when he meets Salander, a defiant loner covered in extensive piercings and a dragon tattoo. Despite meeting in a situation where they are completely opposites and vulnerable, both Salander and Blomkvist face obstacles with lightning intelligence and end up making a fascinating team. The dynamic between their personalities creates a powerful emotional connection throughout the film. Though Salander is a druggie, she is clever and the epitome of street-smart. Her mind and dark brown bangs are as sharp as a steel trap. There is no encryption she can’t solve or computer she can’t hack into. As the plot continues, the pair develops an unlikely relationship and begins to unravel the Vanger family’s dark and appalling history, which includes Nazis, rapists, alcoholics and murderers. The family is monstrous, with very few exceptions, and it seems everywhere Salander and Blomkvist turn, the Vangers are watching. The clan’s determination to keep everything secret is so powerful and deeply entrenched, that the odds of lian manage to trim the story down into a sleek, focused, technique thriller. From the action sequences on the bridge to Salander’s confrontation with her sexually abusive guardian, no suspense is left out. Fincher also skips past a majority of the family intrigue and fixates on the mysterious disappearance of the Vanger’s relative. He poses two questions to the audience. Was the girl murdered or did she run away? Salander and Blomkvist are left to solve many mysteries, but each new discovery reveals a new twist. The performances given throughout the film are bold as well. Daniel Craig takes stereotypical male traits: strong, assertive and masculine, and acts the complete opposite. Rooney Mara portrays Salander’s demeanor to a tee and carries her metalstudded punk attire and Mohawk off well. She depicts Lisbeth’s vulnerability more effectively than the Swedish actor, Noomi Rapace. She is able to reflect the hurt and pain, while maintaining her defiance. In addition, Joely Richardson also delivers a realistic performance as the daughter who turned her back on her family, while Christopher Plummer, gives a performance in which authority and weakness fuse into a complex being. Even though he is not in the film for more than 10 minutes, his presence resounds. Another interesting aspect is the slight differences between the movie and Stieg Larsson’s, “The Millennium Trilogy,” the 600-page book it was

6 • The T T ech alk • January 12, 2012

Columbia Pictures

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo HHHHI defeating them seem overwhelming. Overall, the cinematography throughout the film is pure and oldfashioned. It is shot in heavy contrast which contrasts well with dark colors of the Scandinavian forest. Also, David Fincher, who has directed bizarre thrillers such as “Fight Club,” “The Panic,” “Se7en” and “Zodiac,” manages to maintain his dark, menacing style. Instead of presenting the same amount of detail, rawness and explicit sexuality as the Swedish version, he and executive producer Steve Zail-

based off. In the novel, Blomkvist is more promiscuous. He sleeps with his coworker, Salander, and one of the many relatives of murder victim, Harriet. However, the graphic style of the book and movie is quite similar. The scenes of Lisbeth’s sexual abuse and rape are very exact. Musically, Trent Reznor’s film score collaboration with Atticus Ross is well done. Both Reznor and Ross use darker, more sinister, aesthetics than typical horror movies to capture the nature of the film.

Overall, it was interesting to see a successful American remake of an international film that won eight foreignlanguage awards two years after it was released. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a compelling film that will keep your heart racing and your eyes glued to the screen for more than two hours. Even if you have read the book and seen the Swedish film, you will not be disappointed, because it manages to catch and keep your interest.

Email comments to nsa008@latech.edu.

‘Caged’ unveils the lifestyles of MMA fighters in Minden
REBECCA SPENCE Associate Editor MTV’s latest obsession springs from Minden. a small town that serves as home to some of our very own Bulldogs. Mixed martial arts is the main focus of “Caged,” such as the training that goes into it, the lives of the fighters leading up to the fight and the caged fight itself. Within the rural atmosphere, MTV portrays how fighting helps each of the characters in some way deal with hardships in his natural environment. In the search to reach similar ratings as “Jersey Shore,” the show combines the issues of “Teen Mom” with the drama of “Laguna Beach” thrown into the Deep South. MTV announces that cage fighting is the thing to do in Minden and gives us an inside glance into the world of a small Louisiana town obsessed with their fighters and the cage on Saturday nights. Each show starts out five days before the various characters’ fights. Throughout the week MTV touches more on the lives of the fighters, including their family and friends who act as a support system throughout the show. Each cage fighter on the show is mixed in his own world of dramatic events, leading into how his personal life affects his performance in the cage. Wes has a full time job, a baby, weight to lose before the first fight; and he trains in his backyard with his friends instead of in a real gym. Danger deals with his mother’s alcoholism, his father’s absence and his lack of brains or talent for anything but MMA. Daniel deals with the stresses of losing his girlfriend in a car accident, his reputation as a descendant of the founders of Minden and his current on and off again girlfriend. Each character has his own depth and his own problems, which will draw in viewers who watch shows such as “Jersey Shore” or “Teen Mom.” People

Photo courtesy of MTV

The cast from left: Wes, Matt a.k.a. “Danger”, Daniel and Tony Kelly line up in the cage for the premiere of MTV’s newest show, “Caged.” The show is based in Minden. and follows the lives of amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighters, inside and outside of the cage. The show analyzes how life choices outside of the cage affect their time and quality of their fights inside the cage.

love to see real life drama, and “Caged” brings it to viewers in a fresh, natural form. The cinematography is raw and jumpy during fight scenes and throughout the show, as if the character’s friends are filming the show on a camcorder. The girls in the show are kind of a background noise; they add depth to the stories of the guys’ lives, but “Caged” offers no real focus on the girls in the show. Overall, if you love how MTV takes obscure hobbies and turns them into reality TV, this show is for you. “Caged” is another one of MTV’s attempts at capturing youth culture. This culture just happens to be close to Tech and involve places, which many of us have at least driven by in our lifetimes, which makes it interesting to see on a national TV channel. “Caged” comes on Mondays at 9 p.m. on MTV.

Email comments to res002@latech.edu

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January 12 , 2012 • The T T ech alk • 7

LAST EDITION’S SOLUTION

WEEKLYHOROSCOPE
Aries March 21 – April 19 Intellectual or spiritual concepts that you’re trying to grasp may seem a little elusive, Aries. Don’t try to push yourself too hard to understand them today; you’ll only confuse yourself that much more. You’re not losing it; your mental biorhythms are simply low. Instead, look at something else for a while, and let the information churn around in your subconscious. It may hit you tomorrow and you’ll want to cry, “Eureka!” Be patient with yourself. Taurus Apr 20 - May 20 If you’re involved in a creative project, Taurus, your imagination might seem to have deserted you. You might rack your brain trying to think up new ideas but draw a blank every time. Perhaps this isn’t the best day to work on your project. Sometimes we need a break from our work to maintain the quality of it. Do something else for today. Tomorrow you’ll be back to normal. Gemini May 21 - Jun 20 A friend may ask for your assistance with regard to finances in some way, Gemini. It’s nothing major, but it might involve a choice that your friend needs to make. Don’t try to make the decision for him or her, but do point out enough facts to enable them to realize exactly what’s best for them. This way your friend will be sure he or she thought up the idea. Your wisdom will definitely be appreciated! Cancer Jun 21 - Jul 22 A close friend or love partner may not be returning your calls, Cancer, and your insecurities could well get the best of you, causing you to think your friend doesn’t care anymore. Don’t fall into this trap. Your friend is probably surrounded by a lot of demanding people who need assistance, and therefore isn’t phoning anybody else. Be patient, distract yourself, and give your friend another call tomorrow. The response should be more immediate then! Leo Jul 23 - Aug 22 Do you have a date tonight with someone special, Leo? If so, expect some delays. You might get tied up with doing your daily errands. This could be frustrating both for you and your partner, but you’ll eventually touch base. Don’t get so upset over the delays that you’re in a bad mood when you meet. This won’t help at all! Just hang in there and you’ll still have a great evening. Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22 Overindulgence in food or drink could have you feeling a little under the weather today, Virgo. Therefore it will be difficult to focus on anything that needs your attention. Perhaps you just need to take it slowly so as to recoup your energy. Do just enough to keep your conscience clear, but don’t wear yourself out. Get a good book, a cup of tea, then sit on the couch and relax. Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22 A love partner may be away, Libra, causing you to have to put your passions and desires - not to mention the need for your friend’s company - on hold. Don’t let this catapult you into a lousy mood. If you’re artistic, throw all your energies and passions into creative work. If you’re athletic, go play a game of tennis or racquetball. Time will pass more quickly that way until your partner returns. Hang in there! Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Today you might be feeling a little out of sorts, Scorpio, and most likely will want to stay home. Crashing in front of the TV seems a lot more tempting than going out socializing. Friends, however, may try to talk you into partying with them. Don’t let yourself be talked into anything you don’t feel like doing. Make your friends understand that you’d best relax tonight, and that you can go out with them another time.

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Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 A close friend or love partner might be feeling a little blue, Sagittarius, and could therefore ring you up wanting a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. You’ll be of great help to this person this way, but don’t let your friend distract you from other things you need to do. You may have errands to run, people to see, tasks to take care of. Give your friend as much time as you feel is appropriate, then make your excuses. Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19 Are you going out shopping today, Capricorn? If so, expect at some point to be confronted with a wonderful luxury item you’d give your eyeteeth for but can’t really justify purchasing. Don’t be impulsive, but don’t hold back unnecessarily either. Will you really enjoy the item? Or is it something you’d look at for a while, then put away or ignore? Do what you want, but be sure you know what that is! Think about it! Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18 Are you expecting visitors, Aquarius? If so, you might go into a panic because your house isn’t as spotless and beautiful as you would like it to be. You might be tempted to take broom, mop, and pail and whip through the place like a cyclone! Don’t try to do too much. Your guests won’t care if the unused back bedroom is messy or not. You’ll want to have enough energy to enjoy their company. Take care! Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20 You’re probably looking pretty good, Pisces, but emotionally you might not feel very attractive. This could be one of those days when you look in the mirror and think you’re seeing Frankenstein’s monster. This is a great day to pamper yourself a little. Go for a haircut and a massage, and take a sauna or Jacuzzi while you’re at it. Treat yourself to a fruit smoothie at the local juice bar. You’ll feel better! Enjoy!

BestCrosswords.com - Puzzle #1 for July 10, 2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Across Across 1. Autocratic Russian rulers  15 16 1- Autocratic Russian rulers; 6- 14 6. Attack  11. ___ relief  Attack; 11- ___-relief; 1417 18 19 14. Acclaim  Form of lyrical Acclaim; 1515. Form of lyrical poem  17poem; 16- Do something; 20 21 22 23 16. Do 18- Peruses; 19- Heston's Chilly; something  17. Chilly Dwelt; 22- Spud; 24org.; 2024 25 26 27 28 18. Peruses  Swordlike knife; 28- Reject; 2919. Heston’s30- Renaissance Apportions; org.  29 30 31 20. Dwelt  Not e'en once; 33fiddle; 3222. Spud  35- Annapolis sch.; 32 Fine fiddle; 33 34 35 36 37 38 24. Swordlike knife  40- ___ 39- Some nest eggs; 28. Reject  roll; 41- Swedish auto; 42- Bang- 39 40 41 29. Apportions  up; 43- Brass wind instrument; 30. Renaissance fiddle  4842 43 44 45 45- Air; 46- Donnybrook; 32. Not no distinct feet; 50Having e’en once  33. Fine with light; 53- Pledge; 46 47 48 49 Shining fiddle  35. Annapolis sch.  55- Slant; 54- Concert venue; 53 39. Some nest eggs  Men; 60- 50 51 52 57- Air rifle ammo; 5840. ___ roll  Bran source; 66Carried; 6554 55 56 41. Swedish auto  Creamy Inventor Howe; 6742. Bang-up  white; 68- Genetic material; 69- 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 43. Brass wind instrument  Pass into disuse; 70- Musical 45. Air  endings; 65 66 67 46. Donnybrook  48. Having no distinct feet  Down 68 69 70 50.1980's movie starring Bo 1- Shining with light  53. Pledge Dudley Moore; 2Derek and 54. Concert venue  Biol., e.g.; 3- High mountain, as foundGreen _____ is 12. in central Europe; 4- Blame; 5- Dagger; 6- Open a tennis 55. Slant  Blunted blade; 8- Tailless amphibian; 9- Append; 10- Exam taker; 11- African language banana peel, say  match; 7the place to be  57. Air rifle Green _____ is the place to be; 13- Blank look; 21- ___ boy!; 23- Habituate; 24ammo  56. Meadows  group; 1213. 58. Men  Olds model; 26- Unsoiled; Blank look  28- Baseball stat;59. According to  Craze; 2527- Cavalry; 30- Extent; 31- Bibliography 21. ___ boy!  60. Carried  61. Egg head?  abbr.; 34- Pouting grimace; 36- Riyadh resident; 37- Grannies; 38- White poplar tree; 43- Deli 23. Habituate  65. Bran source  62. Director Browning  order; 44- Tombstone lawman; 47- Tooth covering; 49- Beautifully imaginative; 50- Toil; 5166. Inventor Howe Jai alai basket;24. Craze  63. a banana peel, Living in a city; 5253- Deputised group; 55- Fall prey toBaseball stat  say; 5625. Olds model  67. Creamy59- According to; 61- Egg head?; 62- Director Browning; 64. Bad start?  Meadows; white  63- Baseball stat; 64- Bad 26. Unsoiled  68. Genetic material  start?; 27. Cavalry  69. Pass into disuse  28. Baseball stat  LAST EDITION’S SOLUTION 70. Musical endings  30. Extent  BestCrosswords.com - Puzzle #1 for July 9, 2011 M E S A A B A B A O L A F 31. Bibliography abbr.  Across Down 1- City 5- Addis ___; 10- Minnesota's ___ 34. Pouting grimace  near Phoenix; St.Tribunal; A C I D F O R U M V A N E College; 14- Biting; 151. 1980’s movie starring Bo 16blade; 1736. Riyadh resident Turbine 18- Coquet; 19- First S H A M F L I R T E V E L Counterfeit; Derek and Dudley Moore  H O M I C I D A L C R A W L name in stunts; 20- A type of 37. Grannies  dangerous maniac, e.g.; 22R A N H O D 2. Biol., e.g.  Move slowly; 23- Campaigned; 38. White poplar tree  scuttle; 25- Garments; A P P A R E L V A Q U E R O 24- Coal 3. High mountain, as found 29- Cowboy; 33- Ball girl; 34- Bit 43. Deli order  of gossip; 36- Nights before; 37- B E L L E I T E M E V E S in central Europe  Enzyme ending; 38- Fights; S P A R S E N O 44. Tombstone lawman Chooses; 43- 39- A S E Brian of Roxy Music; 40Attempt; 424. Blame  S T A B O P T S F E R A L state; 4547. Tooth covering Existing in an untamed49- Vane Tidal river; 47- Letter; 5. Dagger  dir.; 50- Capp and Capone; 5149. Beautifully imaginative boundary; E S T U A R Y E P I S T L E Dull finish; 54- Outer 6. Open a tennis match  N N E A L S 60- Yours, in Tours; 61- Drawing 50. Toil  room; 62- Asta's mistress; 63M A T T E P E R I M E T E R 7. Blunted blade  Small mountain lake; 64- ___ a 51. Living in a city  65- Jutting rock; 66- Glitch; A T O I S A L O N N O R A time; 8. Tailless amphibian  52. Jai alai basket 67- Sordid; 68- Kitchen addition; T A R N O N E A T C R A G 9. Append  Down 1- Potato preparation; 53. Deputised group 3- Former name 2- Bounce S N A G S E A M Y E T T E back; of 10. Exam taker  Thailand; chief of fleet; 5marriage; 6755. Fall prey to a 8- Knot in 4- Commander inabbr.; 10-aLate; 11-Relative by12- Again; 13-Not fearful; 21-Horne solo; wool; 9- Invoice Hot rock; Cut down; Attention; 11. African language group  22- ___ au vin; 24- Poor actors; 25- Demote; 26- Nuisances; 27- Fold; 28- Having prominent lips;
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29- Piece of poetry; 30- Tennis champ Chris; 31- Kidney-related; 32- ___ Mio; 35- Make lace; 38- Achy; 41- Infant sleeping garment; 43- Thin layer; 44- Spirit; 46- Hydrocarbon suffix; 48- Too much acrylic on the canvas?; 51- Floor coverings; 52- ___ impasse; 53- When said three times, a 1970 war movie; 54- Sheet of stamps; 55- Zeno's home; 56- Wander; 57- Civil wrong; 58- Part of Q.E.D.; 59- Anger; 61- Brillo rival;

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DORMS from pg. 1

vated and turned into academic buildings,” he said. “They will eventually be renovated to very modern and nice buildings.” Melanie Peel, director of residential life, said high-rise buildings are outdated and Caruthers and Neilson are too far-gone to be renovated. “Based on research of residential trends in facilities across the country and feedback from students, high rise buildings are a thing of the past,” she said. “We like the community atmosphere that is developed in the smaller residence halls.” Peel also said insurance is required as long as the buildings stand even though that is an additional cost that could be put toward the demolition of the structures. However, these expenses come out of the state-allotted budget, which does not affect student tuition. The Tech Talk asked for the insurance and maintenance costs, but administration was unable to calculate the exact figures. Larry Brister, a Tech

maintenance worker, said he frequently visits the dorms because despite the university’s inability to demolish these buildings, routine maintenance still has to be performed. Otherwise, by law, the dorms would not be insured. “If it’s insured, you have to keep it up,” he said. Brister said the maintenance department still gets work orders for the unoccupied dorms to change filters, check heaters, air conditioners and water leaks. “If you didn’t have the heat on in this building, you’d have busted pipes everywhere,” he said. Being that it is the middle of winter, Reneau said it is a concern that homeless people may find a way into these buildings, especially due to the running utilities. “Safety is a concern, but hopefully we won’t have a problem,” he said. “There are cameras on campus, and I would assume they cover some of those buildings. But I can’t say definitely if it covers all aspects of them.”

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CAMERAS from pg. 1

“It’s extremely dark in some areas of campus.” Hermes said views about safety on campus vary because people’s experiences with it are different. “From my experience working criminal activities in Ruston, the main campus is one of the safest places to be,” Hermes said. “But it’s the perspective of if you’ve been a victim or if you haven’t. If somebody stole your bike then as far as you’re concerned Tech has a 100 percent crime problem.”

Hermes said crime that happens off campus can also find its way onto campus. “This would be a good way to increase security and safety for the entire Ruston community,” Hermes said. Although Hermes said that Tech’s campus is safe, he still advises students to be careful when they are traveling on and around campus. He said students need to let people know where they are going and to pay attention to their surroundings. “We’ve got to be proactive and make preventative efforts,” Hermes said. “You never know. This is an open campus and it always pays to be careful and cautious.”

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“This also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of the ‘Alexandria Quartet,’” Kaczvinsky said. “The book came out at the right time.” Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, a publisher of scholarly books for the academic market, was established in 1967 and publishes topics falling under the categories of the humanities, arts and the social sciences, according to the website. FDUP is also in a co-pub, lishing partnership with The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, which has published books by other professors from Tech.

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DEAN

from pg. 1

the culmination of what I have studied for a quarter of a century.” Kaczvinsky wrote the introduction and contributed a chapter titled “Where the Blue Algonquin Flows: Durrell, New York, and the American ‘Spirit of Place,’” which interprets Durrell’s poem “Owed to America” in the context of American pop culture and the entertainment industry during the 1960s. The collection as a whole gives critical considerations of Durrell’s urban landscapes, which range from London to Alexandria, and provides a reassessment of Durrell’s career and achievements.

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Sports Talk
REINA KEMPT Associate Sports Editor The men’s basketball team is getting ready for the most important part of the season, Western Athletic Conference play. Tech (8-8) has been preparing for tussles with the Idaho Vandals (8-8) and the Utah State Aggies (9-7) in order to show the conference just what they’re about. They will meet up at 6 p.m. tonight and 8 p.m. Saturday in doubleheaders with the Lady Techsters at the Thomas Assembly Center. Following a loss in the conference opener against the hot-shooting New Mexico State Aggies, the ’Dogs are looking to put that game behind them and move forward. Tech fell to the Aggies 83-73. Senior guard Trevor Gaskins said that his team is more focused on their own goals than their opponent’s. He said they are solely focused on getting better as Bulldogs and the wins will come from there. This is Gaskins’ first year in a Tech uniform as he transferred from Ole Miss. He is the second leading scorer for the ’Dogs, averaging 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. He will be an essential key to Tech if the Bulldogs want to succeed in the WAC. “I feel we are coming together very well as a team so far,” Gaskins said.

8 • The T T ech alk • January 12, 2012

’Dogs eager for WAC win
Follow all the action for the upcoming games at www.twitter.com/techtalksports

FROM THE SPORTS DESK
with REINA KEMPT

Photo by Dacia Idom

Sophomore guard Kenyon McNeail leaps over a New Mexico State defender to make a shot for the Bulldogs. Tech starts a two-game homestand tonight as they take on Idaho at 6 p.m. in the TAC. “The freshmen are stepping up and the upperclassmen are playing their roles.” As far as conference goes, the Bulldogs prefer to think of every game as important as the next and not stress over the importance of rankings he said. The ’Dogs have made a habit of giving Tech fans quite a scare. The majority of their games have been comebacks within the last few minutes of regulation. Gaskins said it proves they can get over the hump and win games. “I think is shows that we have character,” Gaskins said. “We have a little bit of fight in us. We’re willing to fight back and never back down from a challenge.” The loss against New Mexico State was a cold shooting night for Tech as they only shot 34 percent from the field, the Aggies shot 57 percent. As for the Vandals, the Tech squad

does not believe they are preparing just for Idaho, but for every opponent they will face in the future, Gaskins said. Though the Vandals are facing a four game losing streak, including their conference opener against Fresno State, the Bulldogs chose not to judge a team by their record and go at them full force. Utah State may be a tougher test for the ’Dogs as the Aggies have three players that average double figures. Gaskins said their main goal is to win the WAC, and they will reach the goal by working hard in practice and striving to get better every day as individuals and as a team. “The wins will come, we just have to continue to focus on us,” Gaskins said. For fans unable to attend the games, Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play on the LaTech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM.

Attendance needs to rise in 2012 for athletics

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Techsters open WAC play at home
ANNA CLAIRE THOMAS Sports Editor The Lady Techster basketball team is set for a two-game homestand as they open Western Athletic Conference play against the Idaho Vandals at 8 p.m. Thursday and Utah State at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Techsters, who are a game below .500 with a 7-8 record, are coming off an 11-day hiatus after falling short of LSU Dec. 29 by a score of 66-55 in the Thomas Assembly Center. Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said her team has relished the chance to rest up and get some players healthy before starting the most important part of the season--conference play. “A lot of times as a coach you don’t want a lot of time off,” she said on her weekly radio show, “but it’s been great for us to give us an opportunity to work on a lot of things we need to correct as a team and also put some things in that will make us a better basketball team going into conference play.” Tech is looking to follow up their regular season WAC title last season with an impressive showing in conference play, starting on their home court with two crucial games against Idaho and Utah State. “Our mentality must change,” Weatherspoon said. “We can’t go into conference play with the same mentality and the same mindset. We must go in differently. Our kids have truly practiced tremendously hard. They’ve been eager to learn more and do more and understand what they must bring to be successful in conference play.” Idaho rolls into town with a 5-11 record, while Utah State, a team stacked with seniors, is 9-5 on the year. Neither team have played any conference games. The Techsters are led by senior guard Jasmine Bendolph, who leads the team in points per game with 11.3 and 76 assists, and senior forward Shantale Bramble-Donaldson, who is averaging seven rebounds on the court. Tech has seen an encouraging trend as of late with production out of its underclassmen, specifically freshman forward Whitney Frazier and sophomore guard Jelena Vucinic. Frazier has made her way into the starting lineup for the Techsters, playing a part in all 15 games, and averages 7.5 points per game. Vucinic has seen increased playing time over the past few games, providing a spark for the team when needed. Weatherspoon spoke of the importance of starting conference play with a couple wins at home to send a message and contribute to her team’s confidence. “This is too good for us to have these two games at home,” she said. “ It could be a tremendous start for us, to get our feet wet in conference play. You’ve just got to take advantage of those games at home.” The Techsters will follow the Bulldogs in a doubleheader Thursday starting at approximately 8 p.m. and take to the court first Saturday at 6 p.m. to face the Aggies. All students are encouraged to attend both games and support the Techsters as they kick off WAC play on their home court. Students will get into the game free with a valid student ID. Fans unable to attend the games can catch all the action on the LaTech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM, as Malcolm Butler will call the play-by-play for both Techster contests.

Photo by Dacia Idom

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Senior forward Shantale Bramble-Donaldson attempts to pass the ball to a Techster teammate against LSU. Tech returns to the court tonight to face off against Idaho at 8 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center.

UPCOMING ATHLETICS

Women’s Bowling set for Mid-Winter Classic
DEREK AMAYA Sports Reporter After losing three straight competitions and finishing 10th in the Track Kat Classic in early December, the Lady Techsters bowling squad will turn their focus to the Mid-Winter Classic in Jonesboro, Ark., beginning Friday-Saturday. The Techsters have not competed in over a month and are looking to get back to their winning ways in fine fashion this weekend when they travel to Arkansas to take on some of the best teams in the country. Louisiana Tech is one of several teams invited to the Classic and will compete with teams such as Valparaiso, Nebraska, Arkansas State and Stephen F. Austin for their first title of the new year. Tech did not notch enough wins in Huntsville, Texas, and was not eligible for the playoffs in the Track Kat Classic after losing to Monmouth, Jackson State and Texas Southern late in the day. Senior Houston Granger continues to lead all the Techster bowlers and looks to improve her 185.6 average and guide the team to a win in the tournament over their toughest opponents on the schedule thus far. Freshman Kay Rawls has also picked up the slack for the Lady Techsters by averaging a team high of 185.9. Her season high is 221 against Nebraska in the Track Kat Klash. She looks to contribute along with Granger as they approach the middle of the season. Junior Elizabeth Eldredge has a 181.7 average as she looks to become a leading scorer for the Lady Techsters. After competing in the Mid-Winter Classic, the Techsters’ will get some much needed time off before entering the last two competitions of the 2011-12 season. Tech will look to finish the season on a high note in the Prairie View A&M Invitational Feb. 3-5 in Arlington, Texas, and the Columbia 300 Music City Classic Mar. 16-18 in Smyrna, Tenn. The Mid-Winter Classic will last all day Friday-Saturday in Jonesboro, Ark.

BULLDOG BASKETBALL vs. Idaho - 1/12 • 6 p.m. vs. Utah State - 1/14 • 8 p.m. at Hawaii - 1/19 • 11 p.m. at San Jose State - 1/21 • 8 p.m. LADY TECHSTER BASKETBALL vs. Idaho - 1/12 • 8 p.m. vs. Utah State - 1/14 • 6 p.m. at Hawaii - 1/19 • 9 p.m. at San Jose State - 1/21 • 10:30 p.m. LADY TECHSTER BOWLING Mid-Winter Classic - 1/131/15 • All Day Jonesboro, Ark.

or years now Tech has been trying to prove to the college sports world that we can compete with teams in the SEC and Big 12, but there is one thing missing: a large fan base. Believe it or not, fan attendance can play a significant role in how successful a program can be. Home field advantage isn’t just something talked about on ESPN. It means that a team is very familiar with the ground they practice on every day and they have the crowd on their side, from the alumni to the current students. The crowd chanting, “Defense,” as if they are ready to come out and play defense themselves, helps. The band playing the fight song and taunts the other team helps. All of these things play a role in not only the performance of a team, but how often they get televised games and how much money the program profits in order to obtain nice facilities. At the end of the day, fan attendance is one of the single most important things an athletic program can ask for. And to be quite frank, Tech does not do well in the attendance area. Of course, we’re not the biggest university in order to have over 100,000 fans attend our football games, but we can do a little better. Joe Aillet Stadium seats 30,600, and the largest crowd this year was 24,628 against the Houston Cougars, and we only had 19,642 in attendance for homecoming. Many students would rather go home on the weekend than cheer on the team. Not only football, but all Tech sports could use some more fan attendance. I have been to several of the volleyball games, and I have never seen more than 150 people attend the game though the Thomas Assembly Center seats 8,000 people. The track and field team has done exceptionally well the last couple years, but how many people know that? The amount of time and effort it takes to be a college athlete is extraordinary, and after all those hard 6 a.m. practices and wind sprints, there is hardly anyone at the games to see the result of all that hard work. It can be hard to stay motivated to work hard for a win when it seems like no one is supporting the program. I played basketball for two years here at Tech, and I can say firsthand that the crowd does make a difference. No matter how good the team may be, there is nothing like experiencing the packed house we had last season against Fresno State in a thrilling overtime victory. The top recruits want to go to a school they love, but would rather a school with three times the fans. So, in a way, we play a part in the recruiting process of our program. If we want to help Tech grow as a program, we have to take part in attendance. We need to get out our bullhorns, paint our faces red and blue and purchase Tech athletic T-shirts to show that we care about our program. We can’t just jump on the bandwagon when one of our teams has a winning season; we have to support them through their highs and lows. Overall, participating in sporting events can be exciting and give those who attend a feeling like they belong. After all, we are Bulldogs.

Archived Photo

The Bowling team will compete in the Mid-Winter Classic Friday-Saturday.

Email comments to dja014@latech.edu.

Reina Kempt is a junior journalism major from Baton Rouge. Email comments to rjk007@latech.edu.

More Talk

January 12 , 2012 • The T T ech alk • 9

THE ROAD TO THE POINSETTIA BOWL
A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT THE BULLDOGS IN SAN DIEGO
DEREK AMAYA Staff Reporter

San Diego Zoo
The Dawgs were unleashed at the San Diego Zoo to enjoy one of the largest zoos in the nation. Players looked with awe as they saw animals of all shapes and sizes. Some players were able to interact and handle the animals while others chose to tour the more exotic animals.

Battle Of The Bands
Fans clap to the songs as the Band of Pride strut their stuff in a battle against the Horned Frog’s band. As the cheerleaders cheer on and band members dance, the crowd is going wild with support. The battle served as a pep rally for both schools, warming up the fans to cheer on their teams for the big game.

Pictured Above: Hunter Lee Pictured Right: Myles White

Sea World
The Bulldogs attract more attention than Shamu. Fans came from all around to share the Sea World experience with the players. The groups then split up to seek out the penguins, sharks, and killer whales. Despite the fun, the Bulldogs were eager to battle the horned frogs.

U.S.S. Midway
In Poinsettia Bowl tradition, both teams and their fans came together on the U.S.S. Midway for an inspirational luncheon. Videos of each of the team’s seasons helped them to remember how they got to where they were sitting. This was the last time that each team would meet in its entirety before the game the next day.

The Game
With a seven-game winning streak, a Ray Guy award-winning punter and a WAC Championship, the Bulldogs knew that these stats no longer mattered that day. The players came together with one goal in mind. They were going to beat TCU and win the Poinsettia Bowl. With most experts voting against them, the team took everyone by surprise and was able to battle with the 16th ranked team in the nation. Although they lost 31-24, Tech’s future remains very bright. Losing only 14 seniors, the team is only looking to continue next season what they have started in the 2011 season.

Photos by: Tom Morris

10 • The T T ech alk • January 12, 2012

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