March 6th, 2014
Twin Shadow and Against Me! will be headlining this year’s third annual Galax Z Fair in McAllen March 10 and 13.
Twenty-three bands, seven artists and two writers will be participating over the course of two non-consecutive days during spring break at what the event’s Founder and General Director Patrick Garcia calls South Texas’ premiere music and arts experience.
On the fair’s first day, March 10, bands such as Power Trip and Miniature Tigers will perform at one of the festival’s four participating venues in downtown McAllen. Cine el Rey, Suerte, The Flying Walrus and Thirsty Monkey will serve as stages during the first day of the fair.
For the second day, Cine el Rey will be the sole venue, hosting punk rock band Against Me!, singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson and rock group Cheap Girls.
There are three ticket types for the concert: single-day passes for March 10, single-day passes for March 13 and two-day passes available for $30, $15 and $40, respectively.
The first day will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Cine el Rey and end at 2 a.m. in the Flying Walrus and Suerte.
Galax Z I,II,III
Twenty-eight-year-old Garcia said that because spring break is a time when festivals and concerts pop up across the country, like South by Southwest in Austin and the Ultimate Music Experience (UME) in South Padre Island, he decided to take advantage of artists who were in Texas during the week.
An English instructor at South Texas College, Garcia created the first Galax Z Fair two years ago with 12 bands playing at Cine el Rey, including Georgian rock band Of Montreal.
“I’ve always wanted to have a day or a couple of days of music involving bands that I would normally never have the opportunity to work with,” said the McAllen resident. “So, I finally decided in 2012 that that would be the year that I was going to try something and sure enough, I reached out to a handful of people and Of Montreal was one of them, and it kind of came together like that.”
For the fair’s second year, Cine el Rey hosted another 12 bands, including indie-rock band Cloud Nothings. Although Garcia said that was the year with the lowest ticket sales, he was not completely disappointed. Several critics from music-related publications, such as online music review and news site Pitchfork, attended the fair.
“It didn’t reach the turnout that I hoped, but nationally it got a lot of attention and it probably solidified some interest in the long term with an annual presence,” said the Brownsville native. “Some of their writers were actually there saying ‘This is the best lineup in Texas during South by Southwest and it has nothing to do with (it).’”
Now in its third year, the fair has been split into two days for the first time due to Against Me! and their two tour guests’ recent entries into the mix. Because of the trio’s timing and an already lengthy lineup, Garcia set up a second day when the tour could make a stop in the Rio Grande Valley.
When trying to describe Galax Z Fair, Garcia compared it to Labyrinth, a 1981 film starring David Bowie as the Goblin King Jareth who gives a teenage girl 13 hours to complete his labyrinth in order to save her infant brother.
“It’s very magical and it’s very absurd. It has this weird, dark element to it, but it’s also very fun,” he said. “(Labyrinth is) nonsensical when you’re watching it as an adult, but it’s just something that you kind of are and know.”
Garcia also said that as soon as he finishes one year’s lineup, he begins next year’s, so Galax Z Fair IV might already be in the works.
Tickets, schedules and information for Galax Z Fair III are available on its website. Single-day passes may also be purchased at Melhart Music Center in McAllen.
Categories: Arts & Life
March 6th, 2014
For 16 years, Rosalinda Montero called Venezuela home. So when the junior dietetics major spoke to a college friend still living there, she was distraught to hear what her friend had to say- “this is hell.” This prompted her to raise awareness of the protests occurring in the country with the help of the Latino Theatre Initiative (LTI).
“She told me ‘you know what…everything is sad. This is hell,’” said Montero, who is currently a McAllen resident. “‘Everything is wrong. We cannot handle this. The house in front of my house is ashes.’”
According to a presentation given by the UTPA Political Science Association (PSA) Feb. 28 in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, Venezuela is no stranger to conflict. The country has had an increased amount of protests occurring throughout 2014, but this is not the first time its has happened.
After the election of Hugo Chavez to the presidency in 1998, clashes between Chavez supporters, or “Chavistas,” and those who opposed his rule would persist beyond his death.
Supporters of Chavez, who served as president for 14 years before his death in March 2013, cite the significant reduction in inequality, poverty and malnutrition that occurred during and after his term, according to a recent article by BBC News.
Critics accused him of running a dictatorship while in office, due to an extremely centralized government. In addition, the economy of the country suffered after his death. The country has one of the world’s largest fiscal deficits, highest inflation rates and fastest-growing debt, according to a March 2013 article by Bloomberg Businessweek.
“It’s complicated. This thing has been going on for a while,” Montero said of the increasing conflicts in the country. “At the beginning, they just had the normal problems that any country has, so not a lot of people were concerned about it.”
These economic concerns have contributed to the recent protests. In addition, current president, Nicolas Maduro, has struggled to fix the country’s economy. Montero, who has about 90 percent of her family still living in the Latin American country, has been hearing about their living conditions.
“They’re not letting food come into the country,” Montero said. “They also aren’t distributing (products) to the supermarkets. They don’t have the simple goods that people need- toilet paper, toothpaste, rice, chicken, something that is simple. People started getting tired, which contributed to the protests.”
Montero said the lack of safety has also prompted protests. According to an article published this year by The Guardian, 24,000 murders occurred last year, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Only 19 percent of people in Venezuela said they felt safe walking alone at night, as stated in a Gallup poll.
“Students are suffering because of this,” Montero said. “Insecurity, violence, you can’t go to school after 6 or 7 p.m. It’s not safe. People who go to school at night are afraid.”
Perhaps nothing brought more attention to the increased violence than the death of former Venezuelan beauty queen Monica Spear, according to the PSA presentation. The nation highly values beauty queens, as Americans idolize movie stars or athletes, according to NPR, making the death of Spear significant and shocking to its citizens. Spear and her ex-husband, Thomas Henry Berry, were driving in Venezuela in January of this year when their car broke down and the pair was targeted by armed robbers. The 29-year-old soap opera star and Berry were killed and their 5-year-old daughter was wounded in the process.
According to Montero, the government isn’t helping, but only perpetuating the violence that already exists. At student protests, the government has used force when it wasn’t essential, she said. Students attempted a peaceful protest in Caracas, Venezuela less than two weeks ago, only to have tear gas and force used against them by police and the National Guard, according to BBC News. Venezuela’s Attorney General, Luisa Ortega, placed the initial number of deaths as a result of this clash at 13, but that number has increased to more than 50 since then.
“(The students) aren’t even armed,” she said. “They just have notebooks, or papers, saying they just want to go to school. And the government responded (violently). It’s really hard. The government is trying to pretend nothing is going on. They don’t want the world to know.”
Montero may be one person, but she hopes to raise awareness of what is going on through the help of the LTI, which promotes the arts and Spanish-language productions. She said the club is planning on having a production about the Venezuelan conflict during this year’s Festival of International Books and Arts, being held March 20-23. No location or date for the production has been set as of yet, but Montero wants to make sure student voices are heard.
“People think that because something is far away from you, it can never happen to you. But the sad thing is, that’s the worse thing to think,” the LTI treasurer said. “A country that has been known for a really good democracy…suddenly doesn’t have one. To have this situation in Venezuela is really unbelievable. My parents remember that free country, they never thought something like that could happen.”
As of now, there has been no U.S. intervention in the conflicts occurring in Venezuela, but Montero isn’t discouraged.
“Use your voice if you think something is wrong,” she said. “You don’t think it can happen here…but you never know. People used to think that about Venezuela. One day it can happen.”
March 6th, 2014
Come March 7 a group of 48 students and two chaperones will board a charter bus to embark on an annual road trip sponsored by the University. This one is unique, as the students are headed on a 29-hour road trip to Hollywood.
According to Angie Buitron, University Program Board’s chair of the Road Trip Roadies committee, the excursion will last nine days and will include stops at Disneyland, Hollywood Boulevard, a tour of TMZ studios, California Adventures, Universal Studios, Pacific Park, Knott’s Berry Farm and Downtown Disney.
Tickets were to be sold Jan. 27-31 but sold out by the second day. The getaway is being coordinated by the UPB, which has eight committees in total.
Since summer 2009, according to UPB Chairman of the Board Priscilla Gonzalez, UPB has offered similar road trips but this will be the first time members travel to Hollywood as opposed to the usual trip to Florida.
There are two trips taken during each academic year, according to Gonzalez, one instate and the other out-of-state. Previously, the long voyages have been to the east.
“In the past, UPB’s main road trips have always been to Disneyland in Florida,” said Gonzalez, a mass communication major. “That’s why we decided to change it up this year.”
Soon to make her first venture outside Texas, nursing student Laura Godinez describes how she first heard about the upcoming UPB chance.
“My cousin had a flyer and she just came up to me and said ‘Dude, let’s go, let’s go,’” the junior said.
She is looking forward to taking a break from school, and Godinez sees the trip as an opportunity to unwind.
“It lifts a lot of the weight from school because I don’t have to keep studying. I can take that entire week off from school work and just enjoy seeing some sights,” said the Edinburg native.
According to Buitron, the toll for past out-of-state road trips has been $625 per person. The price, however, increased this spring by $25. This made Godinez think twice about going.
“I was reluctant at first because with college, you’re spending a lot of money…I didn’t know if they were ripping us off or if this was a good deal,” the 19-year-old said.
However, having researched prices, Godinez found that $650 was not a bad number.
“I Googled prices and a lot of airfare websites said around $1,000 and around $300 in spending money. So I guess this is a good deal,” Godinez said.
Buitron and UPB coordinators suggested to travelers that they bring their own means of entertainment including movies and games. In preparation for the two-day voyage, Godinez has planned ahead.
“I recently bought a portable phone charger because I don’t want to have to do without my phone,” she said.
But phone charger or no phone charger, Buitron says this road trip will be a great way for everyone to forget about the pressures of school for a little while, and be an extremely memorable and enjoyable time for everybody.
Categories: Arts & Life
March 6th, 2014
Twenty-five soccer hopefuls met on the improvised soccer field behind the UTPA Recreational and Wellness Center March 1 in the first open tryouts for the new women’s soccer team that begins Division I play in the fall.
(The guidelines for the tryout were that the participants had to be current students.) The group played a scrimmage game after performing basic technical drills in front of Coach Glad Bugariu and Assistant Coach Lindsey Vera, a former college star who was hired Feb. 6 to assist the successful Bugariu-who joined the program last April after five seasons at South Carolina State University. They will lead the Broncs into the Western Athletic Conference August 2014.
Though the day was windy with overcast skies, Vera was happy to finally get on the field and see the Rio Grande Valley’s talent, since only UTPA students were allowed to try out.
“I feel great. I’m happy that we are finally on the field with a full squad of girls to work with,” Vera said. “The number of players that showed up could have been anywhere from five to 50, so the right amount showed up for us to play some small-sided stuff…so I’m happy with the turnout.”
The 25 women were split up into four teams, blue against green and red against yellow. According to Bugariu, UTPA recruiting is almost over, but the tryouts were held to find those one or two special players to complete his roster.
Currently, the coaches have gathered soccer players from around the globe to compete in the 2014 WAC season.
“The team is predominantly from Texas,” Bugariu said. “But there are some players from overseas: Swedish players, players from Washington state, players from North Carolina. It’s a tremendous recruiting class for our financial level.”
Though the roster is mostly filled, both coaches were on the lookout for purely technical players. The Valley, according to the coaches, is a region in which soccer has been more competitive in recent years.
“We just got to see a good base on these players, their ability to get their head up and play good ball,” Vera said. “Lots of times you can tell when the player passes the ball well just from the sound of it, so we look for that first, then the size and the way they battle on the field together, that comes second.”
Finding Valley talent for the team has always been important to Bugariu, who stressed that the local talent pool for women’s soccer is growing.
“The Valley’s talent on the men’s side, it’s tremendous,” Bugariu said. “On the women’s side, it’s developing…I think there is quite a bit of talent at the younger ages, the eighth to 10th grade that we have seen come through. I think in the last ten years there has been a big boom here in women’s soccer in the Valley and I feel a few years from now, we are going to have some tremendous players come out of here.”
Although the Valley is, as Bugariu said, a “developing market,” UTPA business major Kayla Thomas came out in full force to display her talents. The Bangor, Maine native heard about the tryouts from her boyfriend, and decided to give it a try.
“I felt good. I was nervous. I wanted to show that I could play on his team,” Thomas said after the workout. “I think…it is exciting to have a soccer team because a lot of schools don’t have it, so getting one is a good step up in the program.”
As the three-hour tryout ended and Vera led the athletes in a cool down, Bugariu explained that he and Vera would be inviting only a couple of the girls to train with the new team at camp. They would let the players know within the week, he added.
The coaches are looking forward to training and having a chance to guide players in the sport they both love.
“The average amount of wins for first-year teams in the state of Texas is five for Division 1,” Bugariu said. “So we are hoping to beat that and make the playoffs in the WAC, setting the base for the future. We have some goals, we want to win more games than your average Division 1 first-year program, and at the same time we want to make the WAC playoffs. The sky’s the limit from there.”
March 6th, 2014
The Broncs had the 10 top-five finishes and its first Western Athletic Conference Champion in graduate student Martin Casse on the final day of the WAC Indoor Championship Feb. 28 at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho.
Casse won the one-mile run with a time of 4:17.80, which earned him All-WAC First tTam honors. He would then finish second in the 800-meter run, posting a time of 1:57.27.
“I think I concluded my indoor season in a great way,” the graduate student said. “Coach Richardson brought it to my attention that I am and will always be the first WAC champion for UTPA, which is exciting. After winning the mile, I wish I had won the 800 meter as well, but I am satisfied with the second place finish.”
Head Coach Xavier Richardson feels that his team is going in the right direction after the team’s performance.The men’s team finished in fifth place overall and the women’s team finished sixth overall.
“We are proud of how the team performed in its first WAC Track Championship,” Richardson said.
Feb. 27 was day of the Indoor Championship, where the men’s throwers led the Broncs , with three landing in the top 10. Junior Trey Taylor had the best finish as he placed second in the men’s weight throw, with the distance of 18.10 meters. Freshman Javier Carretero, a native of Spain, had a fifth place finish with a throw of 16.53 and Mission native Jesus Alvarez finished in seventh.
In women’s shot put, junior Jasmine Davison had a seventh place finish as she threw 13.52 meters and sophomore Megan Shaw finished right behind her in eighth place with a distance of 13.09.
A notable day one performance included junior Leocajuan Williams as she finished in fifth place in the triple jump with a jump of 11.62 meters.
Most of the meter runs on day one were preliminaries in order to qualify for the finals the following day Feb. 28. Casse qualified for the one-mile with a sixth place finish and a third place finish in the 800-meter run. Female relay runner’s Seniors Dijan Johnson and Edgar Moreno also qualified, Johnson finished first and Moreno finished sixth in the 400-meter dash. Johnson also qualified for the 200-meter dash as she finished fifth.
“I believe the obvious standouts were Martin Casse and Dijan Johnson,” Richardson noted. “Martins two performances and Dijan’s school records, but what stands out most are the other efforts along the way that bolstered the team.”
Day two of the Indoor Championship was a strong showing for the Broncs.
Johnson set another school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.71 seconds, which earned him a fourth place finish and ALL-WAC Second Team honors.
Davison also earned All-WAC First Team when she finished in third place in the women’s weight throw, at 17.59 meters. Senior Erika Anderson concluded behind Davison in the weight throw, at 16.78 meters, good enough for fourth and earned her All-WAC Second Team honors.
Deandra Barroso, a Mercedes High School alumna, finished third in the women’s long jump with a distance of 5.55 meters and earned All-WAC First Team honors.
Fellow Valley native, Alvarez, alum of Mission HS, won third place as he threw 15.15 meters in the men’s shot up and Barclay Scott Bann finished in fifth with a throw of 14.61 meters. Alvarez earned All-WAC First Team honors and Bann earned All-WAC Second Team honors.
The Broncs had a pair of program records broken, in the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay. The men’s team consisted of Moreno, Ramon Neily, Carlos Cano and Bryan MacDonald, running fifth with a Bronc all-time best of 3:12.33. Alysse crowther, Edinburg High grad Stephanie Vazquez, Carolina Hinojosa and Geneva Anderson were also in fifth with 3:51.44, setting a Bronc record.
The next thing for the Broncs is the start of the outdoor track and field season March 15, which starts in Corpus Christi for the Island Opener.
Casse knows that much work is still needed this semester, but he’s is up for the challenge of the outdoor competitions.
“I am running as good as my last outdoor season. I feel pretty confident about what is to come now,” Casse said. “I think I need to keep the same attitude at practice, take care of myself to avoid injuries and then everything should go well, with more personal records and school records to be broken. It is always exciting to compete when you are in your best shape.”
March 6th, 2014
Canon’s “Wedding March” plays throughout the church and UTPA students watch from a distance as the crowd stands to welcome the bride.
Fifteen students helped plan a dream wedding last fall for Cassandra and Nick Reyes. They got experience on the job and completed UTPA’s Certificate in Wedding and Event Planning Course offered by the Office of Continuing Education. The class is instructed by Leticia Guerra-Cantu, an event planner of 20 years.
The course is scheduled to have its second incoming class every Saturday from March 22 to May 31 at UTPA’s McAllen Teaching Site, with a registration fee of $1,300 per student. The program is taught through readings, online studies and hands-on activities provided by Guerra-Cantu.
The curriculum for the class is offered by Preston Bailey’s Signature Wedding and Event Design Course, which is supported by the Lovegevity Wedding Planning Institute in Roseville, Calif.
The class allows students to practice actual business objectives in seeing the average workday of an event planner, and students learn such things as how to interview clients, according to the UTPA Continuing Education website. The certificate not only allows students to plan weddings, but also other types of events such as private parties.
Bailey’s design curriculum is currently available in similar classes at 2,000 colleges across the country including UTPA, according to The Wedding Planning Institute website. Others include the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the City College of San Francisco.
Despite the fact that Bailey owns the curriculum, each university that offers the program is responsible for providing its own title for the class, hence UTPA’s Certificate in Wedding and Event Planning Course.
Guerra-Cantu believes the course is a great way to professionalize the industry in the local area.
“The event planning business is big in the Valley. (The Valley) does things big and does beautiful weddings,” Guerra-Cantu said. “With this course, I have students out there excited to know that they can do this and have the possibility of doing this because they love it.”
Guerra-Cantu, 54, has been around fashion her whole life, starting in the early ‘60s when she, her sisters and cousins would sit around her dining room table late into the night watching her mother and aunt sew everything from dresses to swimsuits. Guerra-Cantu picked up the needle at the age of 10 and started designing in high school.
“I took home economics every year in high school and perfected my sewing skills,” the California native said. “I just didn’t know any other field to get into but (fashion). I love it.”
She is also the owner and director of The Valley Wedding Pages, a McAllen company that does an annual planning guide, a social event quarterly magazine and an online website. She also owns Poise-N-Ivy Designs and her newest boutique, Vintage On Main, both located in McAllen.
Guerra-Cantu’s passion for the industry is shared by the first class of graduates as well.
UTPA alumna Mariella Gorena grew up watching her mother volunteer through community service and fundraising. As Gorena reached adulthood, she found herself involved with organizations such as McAllen’s International Museum of Art in Science and the Museum of South Texas History.
As a volunteer for McAllen’s Quinta Mazatlan, the 64-year-old discovered the planning class as she helped organize The Valley Wedding Pages’ 10-year anniversary Birds of Paradise gala.
Gorena explained that the course offered her a way to polish her skills and enhance her work as a volunteer. She said that the class finished in December, and she was certified as an event planner Feb. 17, 2014.
“Right now, I’d like to do an internship to learn more,” the McAllen native said. “But one of these days, I would like to drive into a little (event planning) business…I just love the people and believe that life is a party.”
Gorena’s classmate, Debbie Jimenez, explained that she was no stranger to event planning prior to taking the class. As a pastor’s wife, she has done weddings, quinceañeras and even planned her own wedding.
“It was always a dream of mine to go to school and get certified as an event planner,” the Mission native said. “When I heard about UTPA offering the course, I knew it was going to be my opportunity to have one of my dreams come true.”
The 46-year-old was first inspired to become an event planner at the age of 14 after staying up until 2 a.m. to watch Princess Diana’s wedding July 29, 1981.
“Since then, the desire for wedding planning began to be my heart’s desire,” she said. “By watching (Princess Diana’s) wedding, it made me realize that I could help many young girls make their wedding (day) one of a kind.”
According to Sound Vision, a non-profit organization, 2.3 million couples wed every year in the U.S., which breaks down to about 6,200 weddings a day. Their research suggests that nearly $72 billion is spent on weddings annually.
Now that the first class of 15 event planners have graduated from the course, they continue to do what they love and will help Guerra-Cantu organize their first event as certified event planners, to be held March 6.
Guerra-Cantu explained that The Valley Wedding Pages will host the Diamonds in the Sky wedding showcase in McAllen, with many first-year graduates to help her organize. She hopes the course will continue to grow and one day become a replacement for jobs for future students.
Guerra-Cantu believes that by teaching students the ropes of event planning, she has allowed them to gain confidence when it comes to organizing events.
“From starting my design business to (teaching), it’s because…I know that there’s a lot of young students out there who are truly interested,” she said. “I tell my children ‘Do what you love, because you have to. Love what you do and make it happen.’”
Categories: Arts & Life
March 6th, 2014
As more than 1,000 community members from Peñitas filled the hallways of Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School Saturday morning, UTPA nursing students provided flu shots and health screenings, among other services, to this community located nearly 20 miles west of UTPA.
Participation in the 12th annual health fair accounted for 20 percent of the students’ grades for the course, Community Health Nursing 4504, which is a five-week process that includes the students choosing a community and assessing its health care needs. According to Health Fair Coordinator and UTPA lecturer Nancy Nadeau, a lack of access to services and little knowledge of health risks such as heart disease and diabetes, have made Peñitas, just east of La Joya, an underserved community in need of aid.
“When I drive on (Highway) 107, I said, ‘You know what? It’s time that we are here,’” said Nadeau, who is one of the instructors for the course. “I read the newspaper and there are (always) needs here. We have so much social health problems here that I decided this is what we are going to do.”
Spread throughout the middle school campus were specific areas of aid for community members; the school’s cafeteria was home to flu shots, glucose screenings, pharmaceutical aid and height and weight checks, all at no cost to the people who attended the fair.
The gymnasium was host to more than half of the 113 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who fashioned tri-fold poster boards and a booth with helpful information, hoping to educate community members on healthy lifestyles.
Miguel Buhat, a native of the Philippines, was one of the UTPA students present in the gymnasium. He and his booth partner gave community members information on the importance of hand-washing. Buhat spoke about the importance of knowing proper hand-washing techniques, but also on the need to hold fairs like this in communities such as Peñitas.
“This health fair is for the underdeveloped community,” the senior BSN major said. “This is for them to come over here…so they can get educated about all the little things that they might not be aware of.”
Nadeau said the BSN program has served small communities in the Edinburg and Mission areas in the past and will continue to search for underserved local places to bring the services to.
According to Nadeau, no health fair is the same. She said the students’ involvement within the community in the subsequent weeks allows them to develop a health fair that is unique to the area it is serving. Each student goes to a home to collect data that helps establish the specific attributes and needs of this particular community, and the fair then meets those needs.
Some topical questions asked of the Peñitas community pertained to diet inquiries, household count and general knowledge of health risks.
“We have stats that we collect, so that’s how we build the community health fair, based on their needs, not based on what I think,” Nadeau said. “We observe, they tell us, we combine and we build this.”
According to health fair president and BSN student Araceli Aguayo, the students of the BSN program do not just get a class credit for putting the fair together. The experience of giving back to communities in need and learning about community engagement, she said, is more important than a letter grade.
“Community health is our goal as a class,” she said. “(Also) to find an underserved community and help them the best way we can.”
March 6th, 2014
The men’s basketball team began prepration for its first Western Athletic Conference season Nov. 2, 2013 with an exhibition game against Texas A&M-Kingsville at the UTPA Field House. The Broncs took home their first win of the season at 74-56 and hopes were high for success in Coach Dan Hipsher’s first season.
But as the season comes to a close, a 9-21 record is not what the early returns indicated.
“It’s been a learning experience for all of us,” said Hipsher, who replaced Ryan Marks, the former coach who spent four seasons in the Valley and won 16 games in 2012-13. “I think the kids have competed for the most part, but of course we would like to have more wins. Some things limited our team, but I’m proud of the kids, the competitiveness that they played with.”
The Broncs began WAC Conference action against Grand Canyon University in Phoenix Jan 2, losing 91-85. Prior to the start of the conference season, the Broncs had endured a six-game losing streak but gotten four wins in a row after that. They continued their fall until facing the University of Missouri-Kansas City, taking the road win Feb. 16.
The conference record is now 6 to 14 with one more home game at the Field House, Saturday night against Grand Canyon University.
The Broncs hope to take home one more win, close out the season and gain a little momentum before heading to the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, March 13.
There, despite a poor record, UTPA has a chance to make National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament if it can get on a roll and sweep to the WAC title.
The season was affected early on by the loss of promising Shaun Noriega, a transfer graduate student who was taken out by an injury before the season started. Now as the schedule comes to a close, the Broncs have also lost starting guard Javorn Farrell to an injury. The graduate student transfer from the University of Massachusetts will sit out the last home game, but the WAC event as well. He has averaged 16 ppg and about five rebounds as the team’s best all-around performer.
In addition to injuries to major players, Hipsher also cites the difficulty of playing teams from the WAC, who have an advantage in size against the relatively small Bronc group.
“We are limited height-wise,” Hipsher said. “So the bigger teams really bother us. But that’s what we had to deal with.”
Although there were some issues playing against teams of the conference the Broncs have still battled this season.
After the losing streak in April UTPA went 4-7 in March. Despite the losses and change in team dynamics, Shaquille Hines, a forward from Chicago who was part of last year’s winning team, commended his teammates for holding together, making a point to say that the schools in the WAC are not invincible.
“This was a big learning process the whole year,” Hines said. “(But) every team is beatable in this conference. There is no team that’s unbeatable or better than everybody else. That’s the good thing.”
Though the team faced a rollercoaster of a season, Hines knows the Broncs still have something to prove.
This is the first year that the Broncs will participate in the WAC Tourney, and also the final run for senior Josh Cleveland, who has been playing for the school for the past three seasons.
“We still deserve to be in this conference, we jelled as a team,” the frontcourt veteran said. “We’ve been through it all together. There is still more work to be done actually. As we reflect on it we wish we could change, play harder.”
Though the end of the season is on the horizon, there is still some work left to do and once it is all over Hipsher will look forward to the future.
“We are looking forward to getting kids in here,” he said. “Building a program that can be competitive in the WAC. The University is growing and we have jumped up into a league that is probably a little more committed than the one we’ve been in, in the past, so we are trying to develop together.”
March 5th, 2014
The results of the 2014 Student Government Association elections were released to the student population Monday morning through Bronc Notes. Winning the election for President and Vice President were Alberto Adame and Carla Fernanda Peña, respectively.
A debate was held Feb. 18 in the Student Union Theater between Adame and Peña and the opposing executive ticket, Bianca Blanco and Johnathan Weisfeld-Hinojosa. Both tickets stated their platforms and answered questions about what they hope to accomplish during their year as president and vice president.
Some of the key points of Adame and Peña’s platform were longer library hours and healthier food options in the Student Union. They also said they are willing to adopt the platform of Blanco and Weisfeld-Hinojosa, which included moving toward a “green campus”, stating that their ideas were noteworthy.
While students learned of the election results Monday, Adame and Peña were notified of the news Saturday afternoon. Both expressed how they felt when they found out the news.
“It feels very humbling, honestly, that so many people voted for you and that they trust you in being their representative to the administration and basically representing the whole student body,” Adame, a finance major said. “It’s also very exciting.”
Peña expressed her feelings toward her and Adame being the last president and vice president under the University’s current name. UTPA will become University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in fall 2015.
“It is the last year as UTPA and we do want to leave our mark here. We don’t want people to forget about UTPA,” Peña, a junior rehabilitative services major said. “We want to lay the foundations for (students)…in the new university.”
Adame and Peña will be inaugurated into their positions April 14 in the Student Union at 1 p.m. They will be replacing incumbent SGA President Aaron Barreiro and Vice President Erik Sanchez. Their duties as president and vice president will officially begin April 15.
Results for SGA Senator positions by college
College of Arts & Humanities
- Andrea Perez
- Kathryn Brough
College of Business Administration
- Kassandra Alemán
- Marlene Sofia Ayala
- Christopher Villarreal
College of Health Sciences & Human Services
- Elizabeth Diaz
- April Martinez
- Joanna Alvarez
- Hilario Gonzalez
- Heather Nicole Gonzalez
College of Science & Mathematics
- Samantha Limón
- Rodolfo Singleterry
- Evan Schauer
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
- Edna Pulido
- Ernest Baca
- Christina Cantu
- Yesenia Velis
- Lucero Ramirez
- Nicolas Haro
- Mauricio Lomelí- Martínez
- Everardo Ibarra
- Jonathan Salinas
- Albert Limón
The College of Education and The College of Engineering and Computer Science have no senators.
March 3rd, 2014
Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave is a movie about Chicano music struggles, hardships and success. This film was presented by the UTPA Library Feb. 24 in the Student Union Theater as part of America’s Music series, which started Jan. 6.
John J. Valadez wrote, directed and produced the film, which tells the story of the struggles Chicano artists, such as Little Joe y La Familia and Carlos Santana, have gone through since the mid-1950s to today in order to have their music heard. When conceptualizing the idea for the film, Valadez a critically acclaimed director, producer from Seattle, Wash., said he realized nobody had told the story of Mexican-American music.
Latin Music starts off with the story of Ritchie Valens, a California native and first-generation Mexican-American. Valens blended traditional Mexican music with rock in the late 1950s and was later adapted by other artists, such as the late Tejano singers Selena and Freddy Fender in the 1990s. Valens had to change his name in order to reach a wider audience, according to the film. He was born Richard Valenzuela and died in a plane crash Feb. 2, 1959.
“He had to disguise who he was so that people wouldn’t judge him,” Valdez said. “The film really becomes about the different strategies that Mexican-American artists had to pursue in order to be able to participate in the cultural arena in America.”
In the early 1960s, there were artists such as The Premiers, Thee Midnighters and Sam the Sham who downplayed their Mexican-American descent so radio DJs would play their records. The Chicano movement in the mid-’60’s, led by civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, becomes a point of departure early in the film. Groups like The V.I.P.’s then started to do the opposite by embracing their background due to the new Chicano pride consciousness. Leading up to the late 1960s, Mexican-American artists started to market themselves by exaggerating their culture, according to Valadez.
“The V.I.P.’s changed their name to El Chicano and they released an album called La Revolucion (The Revolution),” Valadez said. “The thing that changed was that it was OK to be Chicano now and they started wearing serapes (a long, bright-colored blanket).”
FROM HIDING TO FLAUNTING
Fast forward to the 21st century and Norteño artists such as Los Tigres Del Norte, who are also featured in the film, started to take pride in their culture. According to Valadez, white people have become “irrelevant” to musical acts like Los Tigres due to the large population of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who buy their music.
“Los Tigres Del Norte aren’t hiding anything,” Valadez said. “They’re flaunting it in the most flamboyant manner.They sing about illegal immigrants, difficulties of coming to this country and they sing in Spanish.”
The Chicano Wave touches many topics, such as disenfranchisement, discrimination and how Mexican-American artists had to mislead others to perform and sell records. Valdez believes no one should apologize for who they are in order to function in society.
“No person should have to pretend to be someone else they’re not,” Valadez said. “That’s a tragedy, not just for Mexican people, but for the country.”
America’s Music series was organized by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. It was funded by a major grant of $1,500 from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.
Categories: Arts & Life