All Campus Day Promises Fun for All

Written by Giulia Giuffre
Megaphone Staff Writer

Operation Achievement (OA) is an after-school mentorship and enrichment program that assists selected sixth through eight grade students in the Georgetown Independent School District (GISD). Southwestern University and GISD jointly run the program.

Operation Achievement is a mentor partnership between the GISD and Southwestern University. Southwestern students volunteer time to mentor middle-school children.

Children from Tippit, Benold and Forbes Middle School come to the Cullen Building of Southwestern once a week to take part in OA. During a session of OA, the children are paired with a committed Southwestern student. OA pairs middle-school students with college students in order to facilitate both academic and personal success through goal formation and accomplishment.
Continue reading

Sarofim Visits

Written by Audrey Olena
Megaphone Staff Writer

On December 10, 1999, the Southwestern University Board of Trustees voted to change the name of Southwestern’s School of Fine Arts to “The Fayez S. Sarofim School of Fine Arts” due to the generous donations of Mr. Fayez Sarofim, a native of Egypt who founded Fayez Sarofim & Company, a Houston-based investment firm in 1958.

In 1968, Mr. Sarofim began to donate generously to the fine-arts facilities at Southwestern, reflecting his intense passion for artistic endeavors. The contributions to the SSFA totaled about $10 million, clearly demonstrating Mr. Sarofim’s dedication to the fine-arts cause.

This Friday, the Sarofim School of Fine Arts held a ceremony to dedicate the new Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center, honoring Sarofim as well as numerous other benefactors who helped contribute to the school’s success. Unfortunately, Fayez Sarofim himself was unable to be at the ceremony, but his son, Christopher Sarofim, represented him.
Continue reading

$800,000 a Year For Video Gaming

Written by Claire Booher
Megaphone Staff Writer

Many students go through college wishing that they had no work to do. They would love to be able to just sit in their rooms all day and play their favorite video games. Wouldn’t it just be easy to major in Halo and never have to step inside of a classroom? Believe it or not, these cyber athletes exist, and they make their living playing video games.

Jonathan Wendel, known to the gaming world as fatal1ty, earned over $800,000 this past year playing in the Cyberathlete Professional League.

Fatal1ty spends 14 hours a day playing online games. He will take a break to run a few miles to get some blood running to his brain and then will continue to play. He is able to travel all over the world for free to play games. Companies donate equipment for him to play, and people pay him for gaming lessons.
Continue reading

The Higher the Education, The Higher the Pay

Written by David Squires
Megaphone Staff Writer

The importance of higher education is perhaps clear to many of us that attend this outstanding university. A college degree can still be just one more stepping stone in the endless pursuit of a job.

For many, work after college seems great. For the rest of us, however, we still have years and years of toil ahead. With increased competition in the job market (and because it’s almost mandatory to go to college nowadays if you want to live comfortably), many of us need to consider…yeah…that’s right…more school.

With more and more people attending college, Ph.D. and Doctoral programs are almost a must. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Statistics, of the 2.5 million who graduated from high school between October 2005 and October 2006, 1.6 million (65.8 percent) attended college in October 2006. Among recent high-school graduates enrolled in college, 92.3 percent were full-time students. Of these full-time students, 40.8 percent were in the labor force, either working or looking for work.
Continue reading

What to Do, What to Do? A Few Suggestions on How to Spend Our Tution Money

Written by Caitlyn Buckley
Megaphone Staff Writer

As we all know by now, much to the dismay of whoever is paying for our education, tuition is increasing again by 7.7 percent. We are reminded by the administration that our tuition dollars have not gone and will not go towards the renovation of buildings like the Fine Arts Center or construction of the Center for Lifelong Learning.

This is a relief to me, since I don’t like to think of my money going towards buildings I probably won’t spend much time in over the next two years before I graduate. I’ve talked to many fellow students about how confused we are by the information that our tuition money isn’t going towards the construction or renovation of campus buildings. Since our money isn’t going to these buildings, a popular conversation topic among SU students turns towards what we think the money generated by tuition increases should do on campus. Many of us have collaborated and discussed different improvements we want to see around campus, improvements that we would like our money going towards. Hopefully, if some of these ideas aren’t already being considered, they will be now.

First of all, many of my friends and neighbors in the Moody-Shearn and Herman Brown dorms would like to have more lighting around the area, since the lack of working street and sidewalk lights makes us nervous walking around when it’s dark. This improvement would particularly be appreciated in light of all the violence taking place on campuses nationwide, not to mention the few campus security scares this year. Lighting could potentially serve to discourage crime and loitering around our dorms, which would be welcomed by those of us living here.
Continue reading

Men's Basketball Finishes 6-9 at SCAC

Written by Jim Surface
Megaphone Staff Writer

The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament did not treat either the men’s or women’s basketball teams well this year.

After the men split conference games at home against Hendrix and Millsaps, they needed two consecutive victories to insure a berth in the conference tournament.

On Friday, Feb. 22 the Bucs traveled to Colorado Springs to face the winless Colorado College Tigers. Pirates’ sophomore Zach Bergstrom led the team with 12 points, shooting 3-6 from the three-point arc, while seniors Mike Powell and Ben Schleif each reached double digits with 11 and 10 points respectively, as Southwestern eked out a 72-71 victory to keep Colorado College winless.
Continue reading

Gather 'Round, Kristen Key Has a Story for You

Written by Alma Aguilar
Megaphone Staff Writer

The preacher’s daughter gone wild, Kristin Key, performed on Friday, March 7 in The Cove. After being a finalist from season four of Last Comic Standing, she has been performing across the nation. Thanks to the University Programming Council (UPC), she was able to perform on campus.

Before she took on comedy, Kristin Key was a nineteen year old who was studying to become a paramedic who worked at a movie theater for some extra money. She said that her life changed after a comedy club opened in her home town.

“A comedy club opened in Amarillo, [Texas,] I decided to perform in their open mike night. I liked it so much that I quit school and eight years later I am still doing comedy,” Key said.
Continue reading

Students Take the Stage and Shine in Body Dialogues Performance

Written by Audry Olena
Megaphone Staff Writer

College campuses nationwide are always eager to put on a showing of Eve Ensler’s trailblazing theatrical work, “The Vagina Monologues.” Chronicling the lives and experiences of real women whom Ensler interviewed to create her piece, “Monologues” has made a huge impact on the lives of everyone who has experienced it.

At Southwestern University, a group of students had an idea about how to spread the love of bodies in a way that could encompass not only female reproductive parts (as well as male), but all other body parts and experiences of real Southwestern students.

The Mood-Bridwell Atrium housed “The Body Dialogues” in an intimate setting, imitating a theater-in-the-round experience. Rows of chairs lined both sides of a 3 ft. high stage, complete with two staircases and a wheelchair ramp. At ten minutes to curtain, there were only about 20 people present, but once the show began, the number had doubled and a fair-sized audience waited to receive the performance.
Continue reading

Women Build with Habitat

Written by Giulia Giuffre
Megaphone Staff Writer

This weekend, Williamson County’s Habitat for Humanity will begin construction on its first Women Build home. The home will be built on Lasso Drive in Round Rock.

The Women Build home is an international project of Habitat for Humanity. The Women Build encourages women and women groups in the area to participate in the building of a house with Habitat for Humanity.

“The Women Build is a great opportunity for the women in the area to have fun and help a family that needs a hand up,” Brent Jenkins, Resource Development Director of Williamson County’s Habitat for Humanity, said.
Continue reading

New Center Approved

Written by Ellen Davis
Megaphone Guest Writer

Southwestern University has received $268,000 in
government funds that will be used to launch a new Center for Hispanic
Studies.

The center will be run in partnership with the National Hispanic
Institute, which is based in Maxwell, Texas (www.nhi.org). Southwestern graduate Ernest Nieto is the director of that institute, which has conducted leadership programs for Hispanic youth nationwide since 1979.

Its programs include the Young Leaders Conference for ninth graders, the Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session for tenth graders and the Collegiate World Series for 11th graders.

One of the goals of the new center will be to conduct research on the effectiveness of programs that are designed to prepare Hispanic youth for college, including those run by NHI.

"This grant will open doors to conducting much-needed research on the impact of community intervention strategies such as those offered by NHI," Nieto said.

Research on the effectiveness of such programs is important because of the growing Hispanic population in Texas and nationwide. Between 2000 and 2040, Texas' population is expected to grow from 20 million to 50 million, with 96 percent of the net increase coming from non-Anglo residents. Unless this segment of the population is encouraged to attend college, the proportion of educated
citizens will fall dramatically, which could have serious economic and social consequences.

Staff members from NHI will conduct the research, as well as faculty members from Southwestern and other institutions. The findings will be made available to educators and policymakers nationwide.

Southwestern and the National Hispanic Institute began working on plans for center in 2004, when the NHI was celebrating its 25th anniversary.

"We wanted a way to do research on the students who have come through our program in the past 25 years," Nieto said. More than 65,000 students have participated in NHI programs, and these students have a remarkable track record with respect to college enrollment. More than 98 percent
attend college, with 90 percent graduating in four to five years, and 65 percent continuing into graduate studies.

The funds for the center came in the form of an appropriation sponsored by Rep. John R. Carter, who represents Texas' 31st Congressional District, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Other members of the Texas congressional delegation also supported the project, which was included in the 2008 Omnibus spending bill approved at the end of 2007.

Ron Swain, senior advisor to the president for strategic planning and assessment, noted that creation of the new center fits in with one of the goals of Southwestern's Strategic Plan for 2010, which calls for the creation of new institutes and centers. The Center for Hispanic Studies is the first center the university has received funding for.

Southwestern is a good site for the new center because it has one of the highest percentages of Hispanic students of any liberal arts college in the country. The university has offered a major in Latin American Studies since 2005 and hosts a yearly student-led Latino Heritage Symposium.

Southwestern also is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE). TACHE has been working closely with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on its "Closing the Gaps" program, which is designed to increase the percentage of students – particularly minority students – who enroll in institutions of higher education.

Southwestern Provost Jim Hunt said the university is excited about the potential for doing research on college-bound Hispanic students, and in working to attract more Hispanic students to higher education.

"Given our location, Hispanic students will continue to be a large part of our population," Hunt said. "We need to understand the issues related to these students."

Hunt noted that even within the Hispanic community, there are many different populations that need to be studied.

"It is not a monolithic community," Hunt said.

Southwestern will submit a formal proposal for the center to the Department of Education later this spring.

How Much Do We Really Spend with Bucs?

Written by Caitlyn Buckley
Megaphone Staff Writer

According to a chart at the bottom of SU’s Pirate Card webpage (https://piratecard.southwestern.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp), the average amount spent with Pirate Bucs is $800. This figure seems higher than one might expect, so a survey was conducted polling students about the amount they spent.

The largest grouping of respondents in the survey, 44.1 percent, said that they spent only $100-$300 a year in Pirate Bucs, as opposed to the $800 that the University’s webpage claimed.

Only 8.8 percent of those polled spent more than $800 a year in Pirate Bucs, with another 8.8 percent spending between $500 and $800. Still, the averages suggest that most people are adding money to their Pirate Cards beyond what came with their meal plans, which spells success for the Pirate Card program.
Continue reading

Health Obsession is Really Fat Hate

Written by Courtney Stoker
Megaphone Staff Writer

An article in the last issue of “The Megaphone” suggested in the sub-headline that the Mississippi House Bill 282, which would not allow restaurants to serve people considered “obese” by the State Health Department, had merit despite its grievous disregard for bodily autonomy.

Bills like this are often introduced to raise awareness of an issue. But no bill, even one not expected to pass, that suggests we regard a category of people as second-class human beings deserves to be treated with anything other than indignation.

This bill represents a common attitude toward fat people in the wake of the “obesity crisis,” namely, that fat people don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else.
Continue reading