SU Hosts Art Conference

By Rebecca Wilson

Earlier this week, the American Society for Shufa Calligraphy Education hosted their annual conference here at Southwestern. Students, artists, and master calligraphers from around the world attended the event, and was the society’s eighth conference. Professor Carl Robertson, an associate professor of Chinese, organized the conference with the help of students from his First Year Seminar “Body and Brush: Writing Chinese Glyphs” as well as students from his Chinese independent study class.

This year’s conference focused on the transformation of Shufa, East Asian calligraphy, as it has been incorporated within different cultures. The main feature of the conference was the “Crisscross 24” exhibit, which was put together by students with the help of exhibition coordinator Kristen Van Patten.

The exhibit was on display for 24 hours, October 9th to 10th, and displayed a collection of work produced by the calligraphy masters who attended the conference.
On October 9, these masters gave students a demonstration of Shufa calligraphy at a reception in the Fine Arts Building gallery, assisted by Professor Robertson’s students. These demonstrations were designed to give attendees a greater sense of what writing Shufa entails.

“We got to teach other students how to write in calligraphy in close proximity of the calligraphy masters nearby,” first year and a member of Robertson’s FYS Taylor Hutchison said. “It’s kind of unnerving, because they’re the masters, and I’m sure we were teaching them wrong.”

The conference was designed to give students an opportunity to connect with the masters and learn about calligraphy and Chinese culture through experience. In addition to hosting workshops and the Crisscross 24 reception, the masters took a tour around the campus, and learned about the university.

Throughout the year professional calligraphers will continue to visit Southwestern to speak to students and teach workshops as a follow up to the conference and calligraphy exhibits.

Pirate Treasures Revealed on Campus: Community Veterans Unveil Mysteries Around the University

The Mood-Bridwell print lab offers and alternative to the library print lab. Photo by Kerry Quinn

By Nikko Gianno

Print Labs

Every so often, the machines in the library print lab glitch and decide to make it rain paper on students trying to print assignments before class. Most run into the library to print through the circulation desk. However, another print lab does exist on campus.

The Mood-Bridwell print lab shares a hallway with the Environmental Lab. Located on the first floor on west side of the building, it can be entered through a stairwell behind the building or through a door connecting to the Mood-Bridwell atrium. The lab consists of two alcoves filled with brand new Dell computers branching off of a hallway in which the printers are housed.

“I’ve never had problems with the printers [in Mood-Bridwell],” sophomore Keegan Andersen said.

The Mood lab is smaller than the library’s print lab, but offers benefits the more well-known destination does not.

The Telescopes

Although everyone looks up at the same set of stars, the astronomers at the Fountainwood observatory see them in a way no one else can. Located in the northeast corner of campus between the soccer fields and the physical plant, the observatory started off as one telescope donated by alumnus with a habit of gazing into the Georgetown night sky. It has since expanded to several stations where students can use smaller mounted smaller telescopes. It also features a new research telescope that students and volunteers like Jon Upton use to study the night sky.

“This telescope can see things a billion light years away, and right now professors are studying a group of quasars, galaxies with large black holes in the middle, in conjunction with six other universities” Upton said.

The observatory is used for more than just research, though. Upton, along with professors from the Physics Department, host a public star-gazing night one Friday a month. Students and members of the Georgetown community are invited to use the telescopes to see objects in space.

“I think the observation nights are a great way to teach the community and let everyone know what an amazing piece of technology is here at Southwestern,” Upton said.

Bird Calls

Before the installation of birdcall machines around Southwestern’s campus, Randy Damron’s job had a bit more of what he called “excitement” in it. Instead of depending on the automated machines to scare flocks of pigeons, grackles, and now doves away, Damron, Assistant Head of Grounds Keeping and Pest Control, and his crew would use firecrackers and starter guns to disperse the pesky birds.

“The bird droppings were so bad that you couldn’t walk across the mall because of the smell,” Damron said. “The university was also concerned about the risk to students’ health.”

The Physical Plant has been avoiding the use of explosives in its bird control tactics for four years now. “It was fun, but it just didn’t work,” Damron said. “They would either come back or move to a different spot around campus.”

So far, the five anti-squawk boxes have forced the flocks to forests off campus. There are boxes at the library, the boiler plant, and the McCombs, Olin, and Fondren-Jones buildings.

“They’ve been working really well, although I need to make a few adjustments, and we’re looking to get a few more installed,” Damron said.

S.U. Pirate

The way students at Southwestern connected with the World Wide Web changed October 1st: the Wi-Fi network for visitors to campus changed from SU Guest to SU Visitor. Unlike SU Guest, SU Visitor does not allow access to the My Southwestern portal.

“I was in the cove connected to S.U. guest (now S.U. visitor) and couldn’t access my email, so I clicked on SU Pirate and entered my email username and password, and it worked,” sophomore Melina Cantu said.

S.U. Pirate is available in the Cove, McCombs and Prothro centers, and most of the academic buildings on campus. No changes have been made to the Apogee Wi-Fi system in the residential communities on campus.

Campus Organizations Support Charities

Kappa Sigma brothers promote their philanthropy fundraiser "Bieber Fever." They plan to continue palying Justin Bieber songs until they collect enough money to meet their goal. Proceeds of the event will benefit The Caring Place.

By Kylie Chesser

Efforts of various campus organizations throughout the past few weeks have raised money for organizations like Austin Bat Cave (ABC), The Caring Place, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association.

The Office of Civic Engagement is currently recruiting volunteers for Austin Bat Cave, a nonprofit that offers free writing programs to kids, for their Carnival Madness event on Nov. 10.

“Austin Bat Cave is vital to our community’s well being,” Alyson Banda, Coordinator of Civic Engagement, said. “They offer creative writing workshops and after-school tutoring for students who need supplemental support. By supporting the work of teachers, Austin Bat Cave is strengthening the education system at the ground level.”

The Kappa Sigma fraternity did their part on Wednesday by raising money for The Caring Place with an event called ‘Bieber Fever.’

“We played Justin Bieber music on the mall until our donation jar was full,” sophomore Logan Raye said. “It was a fantastic idea, annoying people until the money was raised. We didn’t have decorations or anything, but the event was really fun and fit the fraternity well.”

Alpha Delta Pi also hosted their third annual ‘Mocktails’ non-alcoholic drink making competition, with an All-American theme, in the Bishops Lounge on Wednesday. Teams paid $20 each to compete, and attendees paid $3 per ticket to try the drinks. The money raised went to the Ronald McDonald House Charity, which serves families with critically ill or injured children.

“With the Olympic victories and the presidential election this year, we know you’re just bursting at the seams with pride for the good ole U.S.A,” sophomore Morgan Drake said. “Because we want to support RMH in every way possible, we also [accepted] donations of the non-perishable items on the RMH Wishlist.”

Earlier in the week, Phi Delta Theta held their own charity event: a car wash in their house parking lot on Oct. 5, with $5 as the minimum fee. Proceeds from the event benefited the ALS Association to fund their research to cure Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The ladies of the Delta Delta Delta sorority recently hosted their annual Kickin’ It For the Kids. The event included a kickball tournament, water balloons, and other activities. Proceeds were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Chandler Lentz bowls in the Zata Tau Alpha's Strikhe-A-Thon , which raised funds for the fight against breast cancer . The event included bowling, late night breakfast and karaoke. Photo by Kerry Quinn

The SU chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sponsored a Strike-A-Thon last week, where students were invited to enter a bowling team and help fight breast cancer. The sisters offered prizes, karaoke, and a late night breakfast in addition to a night of bowling.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of campus organizations, the philanthropic events have been a success and will continue to be in the future.

Career Services Educates Students in Etiquette

Career Services will host its annual etiquette dinner on Oct.18. This tradition provides students the opportunity to learn more about proper business dining protocol.

By Brooke Chatterton
“The etiquette dinner is a free four-course meal we offer annually to bring to campus a really dynamic and entertaining speaker who talks about business dining and networking etiquette,” Alexandra Anderson, Associate Director of Career Services, said.

Career Services has partnered with etiquette expert Diane Gottsman for over ten years now to put on the dinner. Gottsman founded and now runs the Protocol School in San Antonio, and also travels, speaking to the media to share her advice.

“Most people will be evaluated over the course of their life many times while eating, and the presentation gives you a lot of tips for how to do so in the most professional manner,” Anderson said. “[This way] you can concentrate on what you have to say, and not on how you are trying to eat, or where to put your purse or your napkin, or whether you should button your jacket or what you should do if you take a bite into something you do not want to swallow.”

Students learn the dining basics as well as the intricacies of how to act. Students are also allotted time to ask any questions they have to Gottsman.

“I think a lot of the stuff you learn is unexpected,” Anderson said. “One year we talked about hugging–how to hug professionally. It was a question students had: ‘We know about handshakes in a professional context, but you know what happens when you kind of know this person and you maybe know them socially as well, what do you do? Is hugging ok? If so, how?’ And that was pretty unexpected and interesting.”

Career Services is also offering a multitude of other programs this semester. On Oct.10, Career Services hosted the Careers in Nonprofit Panel, with alumni and other professionals working in different roles in nonprofit. Following the etiquette dinner, Career Services will have more speakers on the topic of Careers in Art.

“We have a landscape architect coming up on Oct. 19, the Friday just following the etiquette dinner,” Anderson said.

On Oct. 23 Career Services will also host a professional potter and alumnus Brian Burkhardt who owns Hill Country Pottery, LLC, in Comfort, TX . Other speakers will be featured later in November.

“We will have a few more graduate and professional school events as the semester winds down, including an in-depth presentation on the medical school application process on Nov. 5, a Monday,” Anderson said. “An alumnus who works at the health science center in San Antonio will present with her colleague.”

Students may also seek advice from Career Services on a variety of different career development, internship, and academic advising topics.

“In addition to exposing students to lots of different careers by bringing in speakers at our Careers in Nonprofit Panel, for example, we teach a lot of the nuts-and-bolts skills such as business dining etiquette, resume writing, etc., that we work with students on all the time,” Anderson said.

Sophomore Joana Moreno, has worked with Career Services on such things.

“If it hadn’t been for the great advice and guidance at Career Services, I wouldn’t have such a great internship and awesome looking resume,” Moreno said.

Their staff of four includes: Director Roger Young, Internship Coordinator Maria Kruger, Associate Director Alexandra Anderson, and Office Coordinator Dana Luna.

“Our big message every time we have the opportunity to work with students is that we just want to help you come up with a plan for what you are going to do next,” Anderson said. “Not necessarily answer the forever question–that is a big one to try to tackle while you are in college-but to help you be confident and successful in that transition back out of Southwestern. We think the way to do that is to work with us a little bit of time each semester along the way so that it’s not this big overwhelming task at the end.”

Chant Contest to Promote Spirit: Student Foundation Sponsors Ongoing Competition

Submissions are ongoing for the SU Spirit Chant Contest sponsored by Student Foundation. As part of the “BeSouthwestern” campaign, students are encouraged to prepare a 30 – 60 second video showcasing their proposal for a new Spirit Chant.

“This is a way for students to express what it means to be a student at Southwestern and explore what school spirit is and what that means to them,” senior Kadidiatou Magassa said. “The pirate bikes, the story tree, and other things unique to our school can tie us together. We need someone to create a unified chant to sing at football games, something that defines and represents us as pirates, no matter where we are.”

Magassa chairs the BeSouthwestern committee that began last year to encourage alumni, community members and current students to be “Southwestern” wherever they go and promote the school throughout their lives.

“A lot of our pride here lies in our academics,” Magassa said. “Our faculty does a wonderful job and our peers challenge us, but we lack the creative spirit that gets students excited to go to games. That’s why we need a chant.”

Magassa met with Grace Pyka, Associate Director for University Relations, to brainstorm for the BeSouthwestern campaign.

“We came up with this idea for a Spirit Chant Contest as a way to get in spirit and express what it means to be an SU pirate,” Magassa said.

All entries must be original and appropriate, but any student, staff, alumni, or faculty member may submit a chant.

“You don’t have to be in an organization or anything,” Magassa said. “It can be any individual that wants to write a chant. Anyone who wants to submit should make a video, upload it to a personal youtube account, and send the video link and finished script to me [].”

A panel of students, faculty, staff, and alumni will select the top three chants based on their content, creativity, and relevance to the purpose of a Spirit Chant. The SU community through online voting will select the final winning chant.

“The chant’s purpose is to exhibit school pride and serve as a backdrop for athletic events,” Magassa said. “Lyrics should be enthusiastic, catchy (easy to learn and remember) and have an emphasis on crowd involvement. For the winners, there is a surprise, but certainly everyone will get to hear it. Alumni and faculty members will have a chance to learn the chant, and the student body will have a chance to practice it.”

Table Helps Students Register to Vote

By Kelsey Baker
From Oct.1-9, the Office of Student Activities ran a concourse table dedicated to informing Southwestern students about voter registration and upcoming elections. Students were also given the opportunity to register to vote or provided with absentee ballots to vote in their home county.

“The purpose for the table itself is twofold,” Jason Chapman, Assistant Director of Student Activities, said. “We want to get people registered to vote and also educate them, not only about what’s on the ballot, but how they do things they might have to do in the future that they can be made aware of now.”

With help from the Young Democrats, the College Republicans, SEAK, APO and the Student Peace Alliance, they were able to register over 55 voters and hand out over 40 absentee ballots in the first four days alone.

“We kind of take for granted that we live in a democratic society where we get to choose the people who represent us and the people who serve in our county,” Chapman said.

Throughout the remainder of the semester, the Office of Student Activities will be sponsoring tables with information about other elections going on in the area.

“There are a lot of really close and interesting battles within the county that I think are going to really impact what happens in Georgetown in the next couple of years,” Chapman said.

The purpose of this information is to get students involved in the community in which they live. By providing information to students, Chapman encourages them to take a more active role in participating in events that will affect them specifically.
“I encourage people to vote in Williamson County,” Chapman said. “If you think about it, you spend eight months out of the year in this county, and some of the decisions that are going to be made will affect people here more than they will at home.”

Stepping with Pride

By Areli Gutierrez

Boots and heels will stomp the floor at 8 pm on October 19 in the Bishops Lounge, where Friday Night Live will present the second-ever Southwestern Step and Stroll exhibition. The event is meant to showcase the choreography and performance of various organizations.

“This is a way of building bridges across campuses and cultures,” senior Kadidiatou Magassa said. “We will cross racial barriers and lines of different groups to show people that the event is about more than just race.”

Co-sponsoring the event are Kappa Delta Chi, the Diversity Enrichment Committee (DEC), and the University Programming Council. Magassa is organizing the event as a DEC representative from Ebony, along with Lizette Villarreal. These groups also sponsored the very first SU Step and Stroll exhibition last year.

“Last year’s competition only had two groups,” Magassa said. “This year, there are two main parts to the event: first, outside sororities and fraternities that have competed in Stepping contests before will be invited to show SU groups how it’s done. Then, we will hold a competition solely for SU Greek groups that have been working with step and stroll advisors to create something unique to those groups.”

Stepping originated with largely African-American fraternities and sororities but has expanded beyond racial groups and is now a hallmark among organizations as a way to bond and show off their pride.

“The Stepping and Strolling exhibition is a way to show that anyone can take something that is usually associated with one group and make it their own to show their organization’s values and what it means to be a part of that group,” Magassa said.

The exhibition, titled “Steppin’ to the Beat” will follow the “Deconstructing the Inner You” conference held earlier in the day, which will examine issues like race, ethnicity and inclusion with a community forum and workshops.

“The event will be a part of the diversity conference throughout the day,” Magassa said. “The theme lies in how campuses handle diversity, and how to embrace it. Lizette and I did a lot of this because it’s a way for us to address these issues and take traditional Stepping and Strolling to make it diverse in a safe way. We are opening it up to [all] fraternities and sororities, and to groups of all races and religions and both genders, to handle issues and deconstruct them by analyzing our backgrounds and encouraging dialogue between one another in a positive way.”

Various different Greek organizations from both on campus and from outside universities will present at the step show, including Omega Delta Phi, Delta Epsilon Psi, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

“Dancing and throwing up my letters is one of my favorite things to do when showing off my KDChi pride,” senior Jessica Enyioha said.

There is also a competitive portion of the show, limited to only SU Greek life. This will include Alpha Delta Pi, Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Delta Chi, Delta Delta Delta, and the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha.
There will be five judges: one from each of the outside fraternities and sororities, and one student judge. These organizations will compete for cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place to win $200, $150, and $100 respectively.

Declining Military Health: Americans Unfit to Serve

By Carly Banner
A recent study from Mission: Readiness found that 25% of Americans are too overweight to join the military. The United States is one of the few countries that face this problem.

When a quarter of a nation’s otherwise eligible citizens cannot reach a healthy enough weight to serve their country, it becomes clear that obesity is systemic threat in the United States.
If Americans are not healthy enough to join the army, they are not healthy enough to be Olympic stars or bankers or middle school teachers. Every job in America is important, and needs to be filled with energetic, capable people. For that to happen, the general conversation about food and healthy choices needs to change.

The military suggests putting healthier choices in school vending machines and cafeterias. While this would certainly help by influencing children early on, it is far from a perfect solution. Children do not eat all of their meals at school, and they grow into adults that must make their own nutrition decisions.
In order for children to grow into fit adults capable of serving their country, unhealthy food must be treated as a dangerous substance. Just as the increased coverage of the harmful health effects of cigarettes has gradually made them less socially acceptable, fatty foods need to enter the American psyche as “bad for you” at a young age in order to prevent obesity in children.

Implementing other changes, such as banning fast food companies from advertising geared specifically towards children and emphasizing proper nutrition and frequent exercise, would go a long way to prevent the 25% of Americans too fat to serve from becoming overweight in the first place.

By first recognizing this alarming trend in military fitness, Americans can work towards fixing the issue. A solution would necessitate a society-wide shift in the attitude toward food and exercise.

Obesity exists, on television, in the military, and at the store down the street. There is no sense in trying to hide it away or shame individuals who suffer from it. But before America can defend itself from outside threats, it has to make a greater effort to defend itself from the widespread acceptance of unhealthy food.

Guest Column: Embracing the Classics.Exploring the Future.

There is a discouraging trend afoot – that of declining interest in classical music. Many professional orchestras are facing musicians’ union disputes, financial troubles, declining audiences, and some have even folded entirely. It is not within the scope of my ability to proffer a comprehensive theory as to why this is happening (as Frank Zappa observed: “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”), but I would like to provide some discussion about what the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) is trying to do to help alter this troubling course.

One of the most important responsibilities conductors shoulder is to support, commission and publicly present new music. Music of our time. Much of the music that we consider to be “classic” was once new; it spoke directly to the people of the time and reflected the issues of that time. To this end, we’re moving in a different direction this season to try and draw some new and younger fans to our concerts. “Embracing the Classics. Exploring the Future” is the orchestra’s new motto.

On September 29th, we presented the Texas premiere of David Amram’s “Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie.” Guthrie, of course, wrote the folk song, “This Land is Your Land,” and we celebrate his 100th birthday anniversary in 2012. Amram, a composer, conductor, and author, is known in classical, jazz, and folk circles and for his collaborations with Jack Kerouac (together they helped form the Beat movement), Leonard Bernstein (Bernstein chose him to serve as the first composer-in-residence with the NY Philharmonic), Charlie Mingus, Oscar Peterson, Willie Nelson… the list could go on for gigabytes.

Amram’s tribute to Guthrie sets the famous melody in ten different styles, all of which reflect America’s rich and diverse musical heritage: blues, gospel, swing, Native American, Latino, Mexican, middle eastern, klezmer, a hoe-down, and even a nod to the Salvation Army Band. We were very honored to have Amram present for the premiere and also to have his input during the dress rehearsal. This man is a living part of American history and at 82 he shows no signs of slowing down!

The experience of working with a living composer is always very exciting because the collaborative effort is extremely rewarding for all parties involved. The excitement of “giving birth” to a new work of art, especially in the presence of the creative force behind it, is truly unique to this environment and I am always privileged to serve as the midwife.

The most important outcome for this concert and for all programs in which we’ve been able to feature new music, is that we were able to bring in some new and younger audience members and to blur the boundaries between musical genres. There was an almost giddy sense of excitement in the air after the performance, something promising and immediately passionate, something one cannot get from an iPod or YouTube.

Dr. Lois Ferrari
Professor of Music
Music Director, Austin Civic Orchestra

Voter ID: Reasonable Request vs. Discriminatory Law

By Jeffrey McKenzie
Pennsylvania and many other states have implemented or are attempting to implement voter ID laws. However, opponents are now complaining that such requests for identification are discriminatory, racist, or on par with a poll tax.
The overwhelming majority of potential voters have government-issued identification. Many of the simplest transactions involve an ID card, such as boarding an airplane. In addition, states that are passing these measures are creating ways for people without a driver’s license to obtain a free ID. Therefore, this legislation bears no resemblance to a poll tax, which is a flat fee charged to every voter.
Any interaction with government bureaucracy is a hassle, but getting an ID is no more demanding than registering to vote in the first place. Election officials have a right to ask that people prove their identity, place of residence, or citizenship in order to prevent those who are be ineligible from being able to vote. Further, the majority of people without identification are not registered to vote, and if they are, they are unlikely to turn out.
A main point of opposition is the claim there is virtually no cheating in elections. However, voter fraud would be impossible to measure because many unregistered voters could vote and not get caught. The controversy surrounding Florida’s counting of votes in the 2000 election suggests that even slight amounts of voter fraud are powerful enough to influence the outcome of an election.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett stated that a number of election precincts in Philadelphia that are reliably Democratic have produced results showing that more than 100 percent of registered voters cast ballots certain years in districts where turnout is low. It seems likely, even inevitable, that such examples of voter fraud are being repeated in cities across the country.
In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring voter ID, with the majority opinion given by Justice John Paul Stevens: “Not only is the risk of voter fraud real but . . . it could affect the outcome of a close election.”
The honesty of the electoral process should not be made a partisan issue. States can do a better job promoting voter registration or the process by which non-drivers get an ID, but equating this measure with a poll tax or Jim Crow laws in false and disrespectful to civil rights. All citizens deserve the right to vote, and it is therefore constitutional that they be able to prove their citizenship with a government-issued ID.

By Joana Moreno
As of September 24, Voter ID laws are now effective throughout twenty-three states in America. These laws vary from state to state but have one general requirement: photo identification in order to cast a vote.

For most Americans this new requirement can be fulfilled by simply using a driver’s license or state identification card, yet it can be problematic for the population of Americans without a photo ID.

According to the Voting Rights Institute, 11% of Americans lack proper identification. Many Americans in that group are minorities and working poor, two groups known to traditionally vote Democratic. By making it almost impossible for them to vote in the upcoming elections, these laws discriminate against various highly democratic minority populations within the United States.

Voter ID laws do offer the option of a free election identification certificate, yet this option only pays lip service toward making the laws fair to all Americans. Obtaining an election certificate requires travelling to a Department of Public Safety and a certified copy of your birth certificate.

Both of these seem simple, but they may not be to those adversely affected by the law. Those in rural areas would have to travel an extensive number of miles to a D.P.S, and the working-poor would be forced to pay up to twenty-two dollars for a certified copy of their birth certificate.

Proponents of the law claim that these measures are not meant to discriminate, but instead secure the election process in order to prevent electoral fraud. To reinforce their claim they also mention that requiring a photo ID is reasonable because it is required to fly or participate in other trivial activities.

Despite these statements, government officials are not blind to this form of discrimination. Attorney General Eric Holder referred to voter ID laws as modern Jim Crow-era poll taxes. In August, a federal court turned down Texas’ version of a voter ID law, Senate Bill 14, stating that it would cause “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.” This bill blatantly violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization, refers to these attempts as “voter suppression policies” and even predicts that the voter ID laws in place to date could prevent 10 million Latinos from voting. A current poll from CNN Politics reports that 68% of registered Latino voters would support Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the upcoming election. Preventing those 10 million Latino voters would be a significant boon for the Republican Party.

Every type of voter identification laws that has been presented in federal court this year has been in some way modified in order to prevent discriminatory effects. Yet, these weakened voter ID laws remain a threat. Penda D. Hair, co-director of Advancement Project, worries that Pennsylvania voters may become confused because election workers may still ask for photo identification even though it is now not required in ordered to vote.

The very people promoting these discriminatory laws are those in elected positions who we have entrusted to speak on our behalf. Elections are approaching; it’s time to elect worthy representatives who are against discrimination and against voter ID laws.


By Kylie Chesser

Following acts of vandalism in and around the Herman Brown Residence Hall, emails were sent out throughout the week concerning the crime alert and those affected by the acts. Chief Deborah Brown and the campus police are actively working to find those responsible.

Brown stated that over the past two weeks three to four crude drawings have appeared on the doors of residents and the laundry room in Herman Brown.

“The graffiti consisted of drawings of offensive nature, mostly swastikas in sharpie and things like that,” Brown said. “It seems to be the work of students rather than locals.”

Vice President of Student Life Jerry Brody also addressed the community on the matter.

“Like everyone else, I am very upset and saddened that this occurred,” Brody said. “We need your help. This community needs your help. If you know anything, please share this information.”

According to Brody, no actual threats were made to any group in the community.

“The graffiti is clearly frightening, incredibly intimidating and hurtful,” Brody said. “But I’m not anticipating anything beyond what we’ve seen, and there is no evidence that it could be reaching a [violent] level. We are committed to protecting your booty!”

Brown emphasized the importance of communicating information about these events to appropriate authorities.

“Somebody knows who this is,” Brown said. “SUPD would like that information. If students don’t want to come forward to us, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-253-7867. Their report will be totally anonymous, and if it leads to an arrest, they could receive up to $2,000. If they come to SUPD, we also try to keep anonymity.”

Director of Counseling Services Dr. Judy Sonnenberg organized a discussion on Monday in the Connie Ballroom for concerned students and faculty. Chief Brown made a statement, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the crimes.

A recurring subject at the forum was the handling of the matter and how information was communicated to students in particular.

“My students have no idea what’s going on,” Assistant Professor of Philosophy Omar Rivera said. “They don’t know the content of what’s happened. There has to be a way of raising awareness of what happened, but also not scaring students. I think the sensation of my students is that they’re afraid, but don’t know of what, because they have heard a hundred different rumors.”

Dr. Alicia Moore, Associate Professor of Education, expressed concern about the role of faculty in communicating with and consoling their students.

“Even though we are trying not to scare students, faculty and staff need to know the loop of what’s going on, because we can’t support our students or break up fears if we don’t,” Moore said.

Sonnenburg explained that university officials were still attempting to determine an appropriate approach for distributing information about the vandalism in a timely manner. While several email notices were sent out, students were unsure about the circumstances of the crime.

“I apologize for not including specific details about the graffiti in the first email that I sent out,” Sonnenberg said. “I’ll take some responsibility for the confusion that arose.”

Senior Lizette Villarreal also had concerns about the communications.

“People come to us as leaders,” Villarreal said. “My [Panhellenic] sisters come to me and want answers about what’s going on and I don’t know what to tell them. Things were not entirely clear.”

Brown explained that the abusive language of the vandalism made it difficult to articulate correspondences that were both informative and inoffensive.

“We wanted the community to know that there are offensive things being written, but it’s a fine line we had to balance,” Brown said. “I’m still not sure if the community wants to hear [that type of language]. We were trying to get the information out, but not to sensationalize, which is unfortunately what happened anyway.”

Following Brody’s and Sonnenberg’s emails, President Schrum sent out a statement regarding the crime.

“I am both outraged and saddened by these acts. Not only are they painful for the targeted groups or individuals, but they also erode the fabric of our community,” Schrum said. “During times like this it is important that we reaffirm our commitment to be a welcoming and inclusive University.”

Senior Kadi Magassa expressed frustration at the community’s perceived lack of interest and action on this issue.

“What people are doing is actually offensive,” Magassa said. “We need to be here together discussing this event. We have to figure out a way to get everyone together.”

Sophomore DeAndre’ Woods-Walker also urged students, staff, and administrators to actively contend the negativity of the vandalism.

“We have to take action and take responsibility because this is our home. I’m miles and miles from home, but this school is also my home, and I should take responsibility as well.”

Aside from concerns about official communication, the current focus is on finding the perpetrator(s). Brown made it clear that SUPD’s goal is to protect community members’ interests and reassure them.

“Whoever [the criminal] is needs to be warned that this is not a community that allows this stuff, and we will do what it takes to make sure our members feel safe in their belief systems and practices, whatever they may be,” Brown said.

The graffiti could mean a criminal mischief or vandalism charge for those responsible. Depending on the cost of cleaning it up, the crime may be a misdemeanor or could ultimately lead to jail time.

“It is in direct contrast of Southwestern’s core values,” Brown said. “I and Dean Jaime Woody and Vice President Brody, all the way to President Schrum, are appalled at the blatant disrespect of Southwestern’s core values and the value of others’ rights, privileges and beliefs.”

Students with questions, concerns or any information that will help to apprehend the individual(s) responsible for these recent acts of vandalism can contact the SU Police at 512-863-1944.

SU Merits Awards

By Joana Moreno

The past summer has brought not just one, but three awards to Southwestern from various college critics. The university received recognition from Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges, followed by Forbes and, more recently, U.S News and World Report.

Though different, all three recognized and acclaimed the university community. Christine Bowman, Director of Admissions, experienced the effects of the recognition in her department.

“Each [acclaim], I think, has a different meaning,” Bowman said. “Each one is viewed in different ways [by potential students] and we in Admissions are excited about each one of them and worked with them in different ways.”

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL), originally published in 1996, was re-published this past summer. It recognizes Southwestern as a school with qualities that allow for student prosperity, such as: low student-to-faculty ratios, faculty dedication, and out-of-classroom learning opportunities, to name a few. Loren Pope from CTCL personally reviewed the school’s merit.

“Southwestern is one of the few jewels of the Southwest whose mission is to prepare a new generation to contribute to a changing society, and to prosper in their jobs, whatever and wherever in the world they may be,” Pope said.

Later in the semester came the recognition from Forbes which placed Southwestern as one of the top 100 undergraduate schools in the country as well as the #2 school in Texas. The criteria for this consisted of student engagement, alumni success and four-year graduation rate.

“Forbes looked at qualities we feel are important because its review was student-centered and student outcome orientated,” Bowman said.

Finally, US News & World Report featured a piece on Southwestern in ‘Texas College Road Trip,’ a subsection of the magazine which features colleges throughout the state.
“It is gratifying to see Southwestern receive such recognition. I know from my own usage of such surveys that they can really bring positive student interest to the university,” junior Brooke Chatterton said. “I’m proud to attend such a highly ranked school.”