Opinions

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Because of the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown involving police officer Darren Wilson, police officers have been under a great deal of fire.

Body cameras have been one of the biggest investments police departments are making to protect their officers following the public pressure.    

But when two New York police officers were killed last December, it was obvious to the nation that police officers everywhere were in danger. Still, you didn’t see any of them rioting like the civilians were in Ferguson.

Are police officers really that bad? Or are people just singling out a handful of incidents that made national news?

As a daughter of a 39-year police veteran, I have heard it all.  From friends not attending my family functions to people calling and asking me to get them out of a ticket.

Flash-forward to 2015, I am still the go-to girl to call for tickets.  My boyfriend has been a police officer for seven years.

For three of those years I have been by his side, from him coming home coping with the constant criticism from the public to sarcasm from people who he has pulled over  (“I pay your salary”).

The stress I have is nothing like his, but there are a few similar aspects.

I can’t fall asleep without hearing his voice in between calls he is going and coming from.  It’s hard to start my day without knowing he is safe, in bed, resting for his next shift.   I want to protect him from everyone he comes in contact with but the reality is that I can’t.

The thing is, I never knew if my dad would come home every night and I don’t know if my boyfriend will come home every night because they both risk their lives to protect the people in their community including those who doubt them.

The fact of the matter is cops are just like you and I.  They pray, they hurt, they bleed and they cry, some more than others.

We don’t deal with the fear of getting shot at—they do.

We don’t see battered women and children on a daily basis.  We don’t have to see dismembered bodies from crashes.  They do.

I have heard people say “all cops are bad.”  But that’s like asking “are all students bad?”

There are more mass school shootings since the Columbine incident.   Would it be fair for all officers to say this about students just because of those few who have committed those crimes?  What if they all approached students at gunpoint just because of that?

A police officer doesn’t wake up thinking, “Who am I going to shoot today?” Their thoughts are, “I hope I come home to my family tonight.”

Without these brave men and women, our communities would be full of chaos.  If you’ve seen the movie “The Purge” you know what happens when there is madness.  A job of an officer is to restore order after civilians like you and I have created the disorder.  At the end of the day, they hang up their uniform, put away their gun and badge and are just like you and I.

They watch football, have barbecues and go out with their friends and family.  It’s just a job.  Don’t take their traffic stops or interrogations personally.

I am the proud daughter, the proud friend and the proud girlfriend of a police officer.

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Texas has always had a reputation as a gun-loving, gun-toting state, but recent legislation that is up for debate might bring it to a school near you.

The Texas Senate recently approved Senate Bill 11, which allows students to openly carry their firearms on campus, in class and in their dormitories too.

The bill, which will need approval in the House before it is sent to the governor’s desk, will only apply to public universities, however. Private universities can still opt to ban firearms, and the ruling doesn’t apply to high schools, middle schools or elementary schools.

There is also a bill in the House that passed the committee vote on March 31 and has been sent to the Senate.

The bills differ slightly, but the gist of the legislation is the same.

Proponents of the bill say the law is intended to lower crime while extending the Second Amendment at the same time.

“The only people not carrying guns on college campuses now are the people that abide by the law,” said State Representative Joe Driver, a Republican from Garland who introduced a similar bill to the House. “Criminals know campuses are a gun-free zone.”

Those in favor of the bill cite cases like the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007 that left 32 victims dead, or Northern Illinois University, where a similar incident ended with five casualties.

What the proponents for this bill do not understand, however, is active shooters like the ones mentioned above are not rational to begin with. Guns would not deter them from committing tragic acts.

If anything, if a campus is on lockdown or a similarly stressful situation, a student with a handgun could easily confuse another student with a handgun to be a threat, causing chaos that would result in only more tragedy.

Aside from that, several universities have already spoken out against the proposed legislation. Several professors have stated they would not be comfortable in an environment where students have their weapons in class with them.

One professor has even told legislators that they would change the way they grade in fear of violent retaliation, according to Democratic State Representative Lon Burnam from Fort Worth.

The bill is meant only for those who are 21 and older with a proper license to handle firearms, but how will campus law enforcement know who has a license and who doesn’t?

Would they have to stop students every time they see he/she is carrying a gun just to insure they are properly licensed to do so?

In the front page story this week, University Police Chief Felipe Garza said the bill is unnecessary, because violent crime rarely happens on campus.

The majority of the crimes committed on campus deal with underage drinking, drug possession or theft.

Students possessing guns won’t do anything to help that.

If anything, it may open the door for the theft of firearms the same way students have their iPads and laptops stolen from their dorm rooms.

The sentiment of the legislation is clear: the Republican lawmakers who support these bills only want students to feel protected. The irony is however, this could lead to more devastation and more tragedy.

At the request of the leading universities of the states and their student bodies, this legislation shouldn’t go into effect. If it does, the consequences could be irreparable.

It is safe to say the Javelina baseball team is starting to get into form and play like the Lone Star Conference champions that they are.

With solid hitting and consistent defense, the pitching has been the key for head coach Jason Gonzales and company. Matt Terrones , Hayden James and Ryan Benitez have been nothing less than solid in their past three outings.  With their recent matchup against Cameron University, Terrones followed up last week’s win over nationally ranked West Texas A&M University with a shutout. The lefty struck out four Aggies and allowed just three hits in TAMUK’s first shutout since April 26, 2014 versus Angelo State.

Shortly after, James had another pitching performance to remember as the right-hander finished with an 11-strikeout performance against seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings.

The Aggies were only able to get one hit off the senior as James earned his first shutout as a Javelina.

So with the pitching in form and the offense clicking, Gonzales has to be pleased with the young players that are stepping up. Although the season is still young, these guys are on the right track to mirror what they did a season ago.

The Hogs will be looking to prepare for Eastern New Mexico this weekend in a four game set at Nolan Ryan Field. This will be their first matchup of the season with the Greyhounds.

  Looking at the numbers, the Greyhounds find themselves at the bottom of the LSC in fifth place above Cameron, but you won’t find any of the Javelinas taking them lightly. Look for TAMUK to take advantage of their LSC worst 7.20 ERA with 106 runs allowed.

The Javelinas find themselves at 11-7 and in second place in the LSC with their 5-2 conference record. TAMUK will look to use their .281 team batting average against Greyhound pitching. As for offense, the Greyhounds are hitting an impressive .296 against their opponents but you can bet TAMUK’S big 3 will be up for the challenge.

I look for the Javelinas to win the series 4-0 with the pitching picking up where it left off and the bats doing the same. I look for senior third baseman Cline Andrews to continue to swing the bat with this team leading with a .354 batting average to set the tone for his offense, while Javelina pitching finishes the job.

Stiller and Wilson take the runway at the Valentino show.

Blue steel is back!

For Paris Fashion Week, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson strutted the runway at the Maison Valentino show, where Ben Stiller announced the sequel of Zoolander.

Zoolander, the 2001 comedy is about Derek Zoolander, played by Ben Stiller who is VH1’s three time male model of the year. Hansel, another famous model wins the award instead. This turns Zoolander’s world around.

He retires to find himself and gets hired by an evil fashion guru, Mugatu, played by Will Ferrell. Zoolander thinks things are great working with Mugatu but finds out that he was brainwashed by the designer to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Zoolander takes on this ridiculous but very entertaining journey to stop from killing the Prime Minister.

Stiller and writers have been discussing the sequel for some time now. Due to the 14 years passing, it was hard for them to just pick up where they left off with the storyline.

However this isn’t stopping Stiller and Wilson from bringing back their infamous roles as supermodels. The movie will start as if it’s 10 years later and the models have been completely forgotten.

“In the fashion world, if you go away for a year, it’s changed it just happens so quickly. I think the idea in the beginning of the movie is that it’s 10 years later, and Derek and Hansel are literally forgotten. Nobody remembers who they are, so they have to reinvent themselves,” Stiller says in a MTV interview.

As the sequel has progressed, the writers are finding the actors to fit the roles, just last fall Penelope Cruz had joined the cast. As well as Will Ferrell who will be back with his fierce and hysterical role as designer, Mugatu.

This sequel is so exciting especially for those early 2000 movie lovers.

The late 90’s and early 2000’s were the best comedies so it’s great to see them coming back. According to a tweet from Paramount Pictures, the film will release on February 12, 2016.

Taking math courses in college is not an option but a requirement.

Even if we are not math majors, we are required to take the courses in order to graduate, and if we don’t pass the course, then we fail, can’t graduate, and have to retake the course again.

I am in that situation right now.

I’m struggling to succeed in a math course which I hardly understand and I am pretty sure there are more individuals at TAMUK who are in the same situation as I am.

When I transferred to this university I was told that I didn’t have to take any more math courses. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.

But as luck would have it, my adviser told me last semester that I had to take one more math class.

That didn’t make sense to me. Why didn’t she tell me that when I first enrolled?

Well, I had no other option than to enroll in contemporary mathematics,  which is supposed to be pretty easy, according to my adviser.

It turned out to be more complicated than other math classes I’ve taken in the past.

I have had an ugly experience trying to figure out math problems and failing.

The professor has office hours for us to go and ask for help, but unfortunately I have to work and it’s hard for me to find the time to stop by her office.

The other option was the tutoring center located at the library, which the professor encouraged us to visit.

I did visit them, but unfortunately the tutors were not able to help me with my homework.

This caused panic and concern for me. If I don’t pass this course then I will not graduate and like I mentioned before, I am not the only one with this problem, because the majority of the students in my class are struggling as well.

I really want to emphasize this:  TAMUK needs to make sure there is legitimate help being offered to students before offering a class.

I was about to give up when the light in the dark tunnel finally turned on.

After all my struggles, one of my friends offered to help me.

It took my friend a good amount of time for himself to figure out everything. But after he explained everything to me everything was easier for me.

Now thanks to my friend, there is still hope for me. I just hope that my classmates find help as well.

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March is the month we remember women’s history.

I think to myself, what I could ever do with my life that could compare to the women we remember on this month?

Ann Frank wrote a diary once.  I know I’ve attempted to write a diary, but who knows where that notebook ended up?

Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. I never liked walking all the way to the back either.

Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity through the Roman Catholic Church.  With my Christian, background I actually have been able to participate in a few missionaries myself.

Amelia Earhart was the first female to fly solo.  Well, I’ve been flying solo for a few years now and finally got somewhere, too.  No more single ladies song for me.

Gertrude Ederle, also known as the “Queen of Waves,” was the first lady to swim across the English Channel.  I once raced my younger brother across the other end of the pool. I didn’t win of course, but I got halfway through it.

Truth is at this point of my life, 23-years-old broke college student living at my parents, I still haven’t even gotten close to what can compare to the accomplishments of these women.

But what I can say as far as accomplishments for such a woman as myself?  Yes I am just like any ordinary person.

Yet, I endured the many years of bullying all through elementary and high school and even the bullies of today.

I was able to get through the struggles of being a victim of sexual abuse.

I was able to beat the odds of even being able to step foot into a college because of my learning disability.  Now, I’m going to finish my last semester in college.

I am a woman of valor.  Now I’m not someone who stands out or anything,  but I am someone who has fought the many battles of life – just like you.

Some don’t make it in life.  Fortunately, I chose to use my struggles as my strength.

I chose to use it to love others, not hate.  I chose to help others with it and not fight back.

Today I am someone who cares and loves my family deeply.

I am someone who has traveled.  I have experienced the good and the bad in life and more to come.

These women chose to make a difference in one way or another or maybe didn’t even know they would make a difference.  Regardless, it’s the choices in life that shape us to who we want to be and what we want to do with what we have, in spite of  the challenges that may come.

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Protestors gather at Evans Hall in the University of Oklahoma.

We all have the freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean we all use it appropriately. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter of the University of Oklahoma is just the most recent example.

A video posted on YouTube March 8 shows the fraternity singing a song filled with racial slurs. The video shows a bus full of students chanting “There will never be a n****r SAE, you can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me, there will never be a n****r SAE.”

The video led to mass outrage at the university, with students dressing in all black to protest the video. Hundreds of students attended, including members of the Sooners’ football team, a number of whom are African-American.

It only took a short time for University of Oklahoma President David Boren to conclude the investigation, confirming the suspicions brought about by the video. Boren issued a statement calling the members of that fraternity “disgraceful,” adding that “real Sooners treat all people with respect.”

The University of Oklahoma cut all ties with that chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and demanded they vacate their house in a matter of days.

What that fraternity chanted is indeed reprehensible, but there’s something more significant worth mentioning.

This video, posted Sunday, came on the heels of the same weekend US President Barack Obama traveled to Selma to pay tribute at the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when racial tensions came to a violent burst in Alabama.

President Obama spoke to that crowd, saying that while racism still exists, “it’s no longer endemic…it’s no longer sanctioned by law.”

To a certain extent, the President is right. America has come a long way from its racist and segregated past.

But if this video proves anything, it’s that racism doesn’t need to be sanctioned by law to exist. Even if college, where the spread of ideas should be more open and tolerant than ever, there are still those who hold on to the hateful memories of the past.

It’s on us to call out bigots and racists for their hateful words until there are none left to say, even 50 years after Bloody Sunday.

Head Coach Jason Gonzales argues a call in the third-inning. Photo by Fares Sabawi

With dominating pitching and the offense scoring a combined 18 runs in the first inning in each game of their three game series, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina baseball team crushed Texas College 15-4, 12-5 and 9-2 to complete the three game sweep.
In game one with the offense clicking early, TAMUK was in control from the start behind short stop Wesley Aguilar leading the way.

“I felt good since the beginning of the game,” said Aguilar. “I just wanted to keep the ball to the right center gap and connect on line drives. It’s a long season but we just need to keep playing our Javelina baseball with pitching and defense.” Aguilar finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

For starting pitcher Ryan Benitez, it was a bounce back performance from a week ago as he finished the night with 6 strikeouts giving up only 6 hits.

“I just wanted to come out and throw strikes,” said Benitez. “We have a lot of new players but we are starting to come together as a team. We just need to continue what we did tonight and continue to hit the ball.”

Every Javelina touched base against the Steers with a season-high 15 hits in the blowout.

“It’s huge to come out and get runs early,” said head coach Jason Gonzales. “It allows our pitcher to charge and get hitters and throw strikes. When you have a lead like we did, you have to keep putting the weight on the other team and we are learning to do that. Hopefully that momentum can carry us into tomorrow’s game.”

For the Steers, their top of the lineup seemed to be the only offense for them as first baseman and number two hitter Anthony Lehman finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI in the loss.

Second baseman Ryan Fickel for the Javelinas and Aguilar combined for 5 hits, while Hayden Vesely and Clint Wallace combined for 5 RBI.
“We just need to keep playing and keep hitting, so the bullpen can rest so we can be ready for conference,” said Aguilar.

“Our priority is to win the first game like we did and once we have done that our goal is to win the second game,” said Gonzales. “If we can do that, then we can go for the sweep having won the series. We will work hard to come out tomorrow to get the series win and hopefully have the opportunity to adjust our goals.”

The Javelinas would continue to soar in game 2 as they came out swinging early once again, this time led by Cline Andrews, who finished the night going 3-5 with 3 RBI.

After putting up 6 runs in the first, Matt Terones did the rest as he picked up his first victory of the season after striking out 5 Steers in 5.0 innings pitched. “Our starting pitcher is getting better,” said Gonzales. “Anytime those guys and go out there and give us a comfortable lead, I expect us to keep getting hits and the plate and go in with a mindset where we can finish a game.”

In the final game, starting pitcher Hayden James allowed just three hits in 5.0 innings and another big first and fourth-inning gave the Javelinas breathing room as they scored big early once again. Andrews finished off his weekend going  3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.

“I’m proud of these guys that were able to come and win three games this weekend,” Gonzales said. “We still have a lot of work to do and teams are only going to get better here on out.”

With the three game sweep, the Javelinas find themselves at 6-4 before they begin Lone Star Conference play against West Texas A&M University this Friday for a four game series with the Buffs at Nolan Ryan Field.

“We will need to continue to work hard and get ready for those guys,” said Gonzales. They are a good team and we will need to be ready because from here on out it only gets harder but I know our guys are ready for the challenge.”

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Photo courtesy of Privilege Promotions

Life is one of the most complicated things to figure out. The thing is, we all have to experience it, whether we like it or not.

I was once the “I don’t know how he does it” guy, and I single handedly burned myself to the ground in a matter of two years.

I went from being a triple-major honor student, to a guy who has had to repeat a class four times already.

I went from getting promoted at work, and demoted the following semester.

I went from being one of the best in my French horn studio, to giving a humiliating performance in front of my peers and professors on a night that was suppose to be one of the best nights of my college career.

And, I wish I could blame drugs for whatever went wrong in my life, but I am ashamed to admit I am drug-free.

There was no outside source that I could blame for my actions and results, just myself.

After everything that has happened in my life, I only have one request for the people in my life.

Do not feel sorry for me.

I am quite happy with how my life is going.

In fact, I welcome misfortune into my life because I believe those ugly moments are the things that make a person stronger.

Those moments are mine, and belong to no one else.

Of course, I am not saying you should do nothing after unwanted events happen.

The most important thing you should do is learn and reflect on them.

Learn what NOT to do. And, when you are having an average day, reflect and be thankful that you are not in an ugly place.

If your life looks the same as it looked two years ago, you are not living. Life is about growth, not comfort.

If you have failed in life, school or love, pick yourself back up and keep on trying.

As for me, I am doing okay. I may not be as close to perfection as I was two years ago, but I am sure stronger than I was before.

“A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

They say you should use your time wisely. Who are ‘they’ anyway? They advise this and that.

Were ‘they’ really college students like us? Doubtful. After this semester has progressed I think I may have underestimated how much time I really have.

Having more than forty hours of schoolwork, job duties, organization planning and just making time to have a social life, I’ve realized I don’t make time to sleep.

I’m on my last semester of TAMUK and ready to graduate and instead of planning for post graduation, I’m planning for tomorrow’s full schedule.

I’m constantly stressing over time. A friend of mine always says, “If only we could function without sleep.” Thinking of that would be great, you could get so much more done, but that’s probably just me being a nerd.

It gets you thinking, how do adults do it? Not that we aren’t adults but we pretty much are still children.

I see my mom stress out working 60-plus hours a week, which is physically impossible sometimes, and at the end of the day she talks about how much more she needs to do.

I don’t know if life will get easier or worse in the real world. Is it just as bad? I hate to be a negative Nancy but I’ve really come to realize how precious time is.

This is why ‘they’ advise you time manage…schedules, to do list, etc. College is supposed to be your stepping-stones to the real world. The more you take, the more you learn.

The moral of the story is, we are only college students, young professionals and time is precious.

You should be professional about school but also remember that it’s college. Have fun and take time for yourself because in the end this could be the best four years of your life, or the worst.

It really just depends on how you use your time. Just keep it light, get stuff done, and breathe in and out. That’s what ‘they’ said we should do.

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