Month: February 2016

Texas clinch tournament spot with conference streak

by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor

The South Plains College men’s basketball team moved into first place in the Western Junior Athletic Association with a winning streak

The Texans put together a five-game winning streak against conference opponents, locking in a spot in the NJCAA Region V Tournament, which will be held on March 2-5 in Brownwood, Texas.

The Texans got a crucial conference victory against Howard College in their last home game of the season on Feb. 15 at Texan Dome.

The Texans defeated the Hawks 62-55 after trailing 10-3 in the first quarter.

Sophomore guard Deontae North had a breakout offensive performance, carrying the Texans with 20 points and nine rebounds. He made 4-of-7 shots form behind the three-point arc.

Che Bob chipped in 11 points, shooting 5-for-10 from the field, and pulled down eight rebounds against the Hawks.

Freshman Jarron Love matched Bob with 11 points to go along with three assists.

The Texans imposed their will on New Mexico Military Institute while defeating the Broncos 81-64 on Feb. 11 in Roswell, N.M.

Bob posted a double-double in the game with a season-high 37 points and 11 rebounds in the game.

North did his part against NMMI, chipping in 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from the three-point line.

Roberto Gallinat and Love each pitched in eight points against the Hawks.

The Texans grabbed a vital 84-80 victory against conference rival New Mexico Junior College on Feb. 8 in Hobbs, N.M.

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Che Bob slams over three New Mexico Military Institute players in the Texans’ home finale at the Texan Dome. DEVIN REYNA/PLAINSMAN PRESS

With a victory against NMJC, the Texans improved to 18-7 overall and 9-3 in conference play, creating a tie for first place in the WJCAC with Odessa College.

NMJC’s Tyler Blount and Randy Haynes scored 54 of the 80 points for the Thunderbirds, but it wasn’t enough against the offensive attack by the Texans.

The Texans had four players score 12 or more points, allowing SPC to overpower the T-Birds offensively.

North came out strong, scoring15 points in the first half against NMJC. North slowed down in the second half, though, finishing the game with 16 points and eight rebounds.

The Texans’ offense was powered by the play of Bob in the second half against the T-Birds. After failing to score in nine minutes of the first half, Bob came out of the locker room to score 19 points in just 17 minutes of play in the second half.

Love and sophomore Marlon Jones were equally important factors in the Texans’ victory. Both players flirted with double-doubles against the T-Birds, with Love scoring 18 points and dishing out eight assists, while Jones chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Texans dominated Odessa College on Feb. 4, defeating the conference foe 71-63 at Texan Dome in Levelland.

The Texans were clicking on offense, with four Texans scoring double-digit points.

Love led the Texans on offense with 13 points, and added three steals and a block against the Wranglers.

Gallinat came off the bench to score 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.

Jones pitched in 12 points of his own and pulled down six rebounds in the contest.

North chipped in 11 points and four rebounds in the game.

The Texans were back in action on Feb. 18 against Clarendon College. Results were not available at press time.


Globetrotters celebrate 90 years with stop in Lubbock on world tour


The Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating 90 years in 2016, a landmark Buckets Blake will have the opportunity to celebrate with the iconic franchise.

The Harlem Globetrotters were founded in 1926 by 24-year-old Abe Saperstein, who initially named the team “Savoy Big Five.” It wasn’t until a year later that the team officially became the Harlem Globetrotters.

As an organization, the Globetrotters have spent their 90 years selflessly giving back to the communities around them, taking the responsibility of making people happy and putting it proudly on their shoulders.

The Globetrotters brought some of that trademark happiness to Lubbock on Feb. 9 at the United Supermarkets Arena during a stop on their 2016 world tour.

Buckets Blakes recently told the Plainsman Press what it’s like to be part of such an iconic franchise that has done so much since its inception.

“It’s awesome to be a part of such an iconic organization that’s touched so many lives over the years,” Blakes said in an interview. “Breaking the color barrier in the game of basketball, breaking the gender barrier, introducing basketball to places around the world, and just the overall making people laugh and smile everywhere we go.”

The faces have changed through the years as players have come and gone, but the spirit of the Globetrotters has stood the test of time and continues to thrive almost a century later, something Blakes makes sure the younger players understand and respect one of the most storied franchises in sports history.

“There are some other players on the team that you let know they’re part of something great,” Blakes said. “If they don’t realize it, they need to do a lot of research on the team and what our trailblazers did before we came.”

In celebration of their 90th year, the Globetrotters have pledged to create more 100 million more grinning faces with their Great Assist Initiative, implementing multiple programs including the ABC’s of bullying prevention, SMILE patrol, and C.H.E.E.R programs to help communities around the country. Acts of kindness, Blakes says, is what make the Globetrotters who they are.

“We all wear this uniform with pride,” explained Blakes. “Being ambassadors of goodwill is part of our DNA as an organization. All of us make sure to continue to carry that torch that was lit so long ago.”

As a way to help individuals in their communities, the Globetrotters have encouraged fans to go to, where they can bring attention to someone who is trying to better their community to receive help from the Globetrotter organization.

“We don’t know exactly what it’s going to be,” said Blakes “But we try to get involved the best way we can.”

While the Globetrotters have truly built an empire on smiles, there was a somber moment on Dec. 25, 2015, when legendary Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, also known as the “Clown Prince of Basketball,” passed away at the age of 83.

Lemon entertained Globetrotter fans for 24 years and truly embodied what it meant to be a Harlem Globetrotter.

In his time with the team, Lemon was the perfect example of what it truly meant to be a Globetrotter in body and spirit, something the Globetrotters of the present and future will strive to be.

“We say a little something about Meadowlark before each game,” explained Blakes. “We want to make sure that everyone knows he was a huge part of this brand. He was the epitome of what a Globetrotter should be.”

The team put on a high-flying performance in Lubbock, spending the night interacting with fans while cruising to another victory, just as Blakes expected.

“The fans are going to see some phenomenal basketball with a comedic aspect to it,” Blakes told the Plainsman Press in an interview before the game. “We have a lot of fun with our crowd. You never know who we’re going to bring out on the court to take a shot, or maybe even dance with a little.”

The Globetrotters will be back on the road for their world tour, which will undoubtedly take them too many more places and allow them to spread many smiles.

“We’re going to be pushing 300 games in 250 cities, 48 states, and nine Canadian providences,” said Blakes. “I’m always looking forward to our games, because I know it’s a new experience each and every night”

Batman, Superman given second chances in new DC comic

by: RILEY GOLDEN/Editorial Assistant 

Batman and Superman are in the Batcave discussing the first time they met.

Kaiyo, the Chaos Bringer, a demon, teleported  Batman and Superman to another world where they would fight and beat older versions of themselves. The heroes left the world to be destroyed by Darkseid, and Superman is telling Batman that they need to go back. Before they can finish their conversation, Kaiyo appears and teleports them to Earth-2, an alternate DC comics universe.

“Batman/Superman: Second Chance” sends our heroes to Earth-2 Smallville, Superman’s hometown. Kaiyo is giving Batman and Superman a second chance, but it takes them some time to figure out why.

Batman points out that they’re intangible, but they soon realize that they have a split second to become tangible at certain points to change the outcome that this world will have. This could alter everything about space and time, which affects how they make choices throughout the comic.

After Batman and Superman are given some exceptionally difficult choices to make about intervening in Earth-2, and the awesome appearance of Batman’s daughter, Kaiyo brings them back to their world, Gotham City, but with a twist. Batman and Superman have no idea who they are.

CroppedSuperman and Batman

It’s quite interesting and amusing to see Clark Kent wake up with no memories. He makes note of not knowing who he is, and has the feeling of being invulnerable to anything on this world. Superman, still gaining consciousness, crosses paths with Catwoman as she is being chased by a large, creepy looking robot– known as Mangubat– and naturally reacts to help the damsel in distress. There are some steamy conversations between the two, to put it mildly.

At the same time, Bruce Wayne is waking up with the same problems. Very curious as to why he is dressed like a bat, he gets attacked by Scarecrow and almost dies. But his body reacts naturally to save him.

Still playing cat and mouse with Scarecrow, Batman gets gassed by Scarecrow’s fear gas, but quickly realizes that someone with no memories has no fears, and is able to overtake Scarecrow.

Later on in the story, Alfred, Wayne’s lifelong butler and guardian, gets Bruce ready for an event, and he just cannot get enough of being the richest guy around. He has a blast with his expensive toys, and even takes a bat-toy out as Bruce Wayne, unable to consider consequences that he has no way of predicting, which is quite comical. He even manages to get romantically entangled with Lois Lane, Reporter for the Daily Planet and Superman’s longtime love interest.

In the midst of all of the chaos on earth, Kaiyo is at The Edge of the Realm of Darkness, where he encounters Lord Satanus, Ruler of Earth’s Dark Realm. This takes it too far. It was just weird. Lord Satanus is an obvious reference to Christian theology’s Satan, and he looks very creepy. Not to mention Kaiyo catches the reader very much off guard because he is pink-skinned and also has quite a menacing appearance.

My first reaction when I opened the comic was that the art was very cartoon-esque. That being said, the art style grows on you. But by the time that happens, the art style changes to a darker tone.

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My favorite part of the comic, both visually and story wise, is when Batman and Superman remember who they are. The way their memories coming back is portrayed is very aesthetically pleasing, and Batman’s almost left me in awe. The way the artist drew all of the key moments of Bruce Wayne’s life coming back to him is magnificent, to say the least.

Aside from the almost too farfetched appearances of Lord Satanus and the demon, Kaiyo, the dynamic of Superman and Batman living their lives with a few different spins and romances makes for a fun read. Although I did not love the art, it was decent, and the story was fun. I just think it would have benefitted from Lord Satanus not being there.

I give “Batman/Superman: Second Chance” 3 out of 5 stars.



‘The Boy’ exceeds cliché horror plot with surprising ending

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

A porcelain doll sits in a chair while an elderly couple introduces it as their son.

Who wouldn’t find that strange?

“The Boy” is a horror film that centers on a woman named Greta (Lauren Cohan) who has escaped an abusive relationship and flees to the United Kingdom to be a nanny for the Heelshire family.

Upon her arrival, she meets the Heelshire’s grocery boy, Malcolm (Rupert Evans), and he automatically takes a liking to her. Mr. Heelshire (Jim Norton) and Mrs. Heelshire (Diana Hardcastle) meet Greta for the first time and want to introduce her to their son, Brahms.

Mrs. Heelshire takes Greta to the living room, and Mr. Heelshire is whispering to Brahms. The Heelshires present their son to Greta. Greta bursts into laughter before suddenly trying to stop herself. Greta is confused, because Brahms is a porcelain doll. Malcolm comes and saves the day as he starts talking to Brahms, which eases the tension off Greta.

Mrs. Heelshire tells Greta that Brahms has rejected many nannies, but Brahms has told her that he really likes Greta.

Greta soon finds out that the Heelshires aren’t pulling a prank, as they treat the porcelain doll like their son. Later in the film, Malcolm tells Greta what really happened to their son, Brahms. Malcolm tells Greta that when Brahms was 8-years-old, he perished in a fire and later the doll showed up out of nowhere.

As the days go on, Mrs. Heelshire explains to Greta the rules of how to take care of Brahms. The set of rules go from reading to him, feeding him, waking him up in the morning, and putting him to sleep. Greta finds this weird, but she tries to obey the rules for the Heelshires.

When the Heelshires leave for a couple of weeks, it’s up to Greta to take care of Brahms on her own. Mrs. Heelshire whispers to Greta, “I’m so sorry,” and leaves without Greta asking her about her comment.

Greta decides she has her own set of rules, which consist of not treating Brahms like a child. She abandons him because she is freaked out by the sight of him. Soon, strange things begin to happen. The phone lines are cut off. Greta hears a child sobbing, and she notices that Brahms moves on his own.


After getting trapped in the attic overnight, she tells Malcolm that she believes that Brahms’ spirit is alive in the doll. She proves to Malcolm that Brahms does move on his own, which makes Greta treat Brahms like a real child because she knows what it’s like to lose a child (she had a miscarriage).

Later in the film, something happens to the Heelshires and somehow Greta’s ex-boyfriend, Cole (Ben Robson), finds Greta. After being angered, blaming Greta for a message that was written in blood and fighting with Malcolm, Brahms eventually kills Cole. But it’s not what it seems.

I’m not going to go further into detail, because the ending was the best part of this movie. Throughout the movie, I was set on “The Boy” being this cliché spirit, haunting, doll horror movie. But it was so much more than that. I was wrong. This movie surprised me. The ending surprised me.

“The Boy” was released on Jan 22. This film was more of a thriller and suspenseful. The storyline was great, but the film could have been more terrifying. I was still missing that horror part that pushes me over the edge. But that’s OK, because the director of the movie, William Bell, delivered a good film, and the writer, Stacey Menear, came up with a good storyline and an amazing ending.

I was disappointed, but only because it wasn’t a horror movie. I was surprised and more than satisfied because the ending was great.

For a surprising and great ending, I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Deadpool accurately portrayed in new film

by: SARA MARSHALL/Photo Editor

Blood, gore, and explicit humor are necessary qualities of a great action movie.

Marvel is known for dishing out superhero movies yearly. But no one expected the introduction of the super-not-so-hero Deadpool to make $135 million the first three days in theaters, breaking many box-office records.

“Deadpool” is an action-comedy about the infamous red-clad “Merc with a Mouth” and his backstory as Wade Wilson, a mercenary-for-hire. This movie definitely lived up to all the hype created during and after production, and also every expectation I held walking into that dimly lit theater.

As the film begins, Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, is sitting in the back of a cab, out of his mind with boredom. After rolling down the window a couple dozen times, he slides into the front passenger seat through the divider to chat with the cab driver until he is dropped off on the bridge to gain the ultimate revenge against Ajax, played by Ed Skrein.

Much to my delight, Deadpool classically breaks the fourth-wall throughout this scene and many after to address various events preluding this movie, such as the “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” movie screw-up and the Merc’s unfortunately sewn mouth. These momentary breaks throughout the movie by Deadpool’s inner commentary caused many laughs and gasps through the theater’s audience. The commentary easily created a connection with the audience that is usually lacking in movies.

“Deadpool” was definitely action-packed throughout the entirety of the movie, with wonderfully gory and gruesome scenes to showcase the mercenary’s talents. Flawlessly switching from guns to katanas, Deadpool effortlessly dispatched a number of enemies in creative and almost humorous ways. With each new fight scene, I was absolutely delighted with the constant fourth-wall break of his inner commentary towards the audience, making the violence less intense, but still serious.


“Deadpool” even had an element of romance to highlight the movie’s Valentine’s Day weekend release. As he flashes from the present to his backstory as Wade, it’s realized that he is madly in love with Vanessa, played by Morena Baccarin, who’s the crazy to Wade’s crazier. I honestly think that the intense love between Vanessa and Wade added so much depth to the story, allowing it to not just be another flat, action-packed movie.

The movie also introduced new X-Men franchise heroes such as Colossus, voiced by Stefan Kapicic, and Colossus’s trainee, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand. Colossus was in the last X-Men movie briefly, but this movie definitely helped shape his character. He even tries to convince Deadpool to become an X-Men hero, even though Deadpool refuses countless times to “join the boyband.”

I believe Reynolds fully embraced the character of Deadpool and portrayed an accurate representation of the gray-area hero in this movie, with plenty of amusing one-liners, creative violence and explicit humor.

“Deadpool” definitely did not disappoint. With a record-shattering release to theaters, it seems others feel the same. I would definitely give “Deadpool” five stars out of five.

Lubbock Symphony impressed with dramatic performance

by: DARIELLA HERNANDEZ/Editorial Assistant

The lights dimmed, the crowd was silent, anticipating the grand finale. As the orchestra played a tango, the dancers performed intensely, symbolizing the devil’s triumph over the humble, gullible soldier.

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by a narrator and dancers, performed along to a classic French story which delivered a powerful message to the audience.

The LSO held their Winter Chamber show on Feb. 9 at the Legacy Event center in Lubbock.

The event began at 7:30 p.m., filled with an interesting storyline, powerful music, and talented dancers.

Mary Saathoff, president and CEO of the Lubbock symphony, introduced the show.  As Saathoff took the stage, the crowd gave a round of applause in honor of commencing the night’s event.

Once Saathoff introduced those featured in the night’s show, David Cho, music director, along with his symphony and the narrator, took the stage.

The Winter Chamber began with the orchestra playing suspenseful, yet playful, music. As the orchestra played on, the narrator made his way toward his stand. The narrator was going to be reading the story “L’Historie Du Soldat.” The first part began with the introduction of the main character, a soldier. The soldier was returning home after serving in the Army.

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Mark Morton performs at a Lubbock Symphony Concert on Feb. 9. BRANDI ORTIZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

As the soldier is walking along, he meets a strange man. The man approaches the soldier and asks him for a trade of the soldier’s violin for the man’s book. In the background, the orchestra begins playing soft, yet suspenseful, music.

The man later reveals that he is the devil, and everything he will ever need is in the book. The soldier ponders and denies the offer at first. At this time, the orchestra comes in playing sinister music to accompany the devil’s deceit.

The soldier then falls into the devils’ trap and trades his violin for the book, which he later notices brings him no good.

After the soldier complained about the book, the devil appeared once again. The devil was trying to convince the soldier that the book would give him fortune.

In between the plays, the orchestra would enter the story with emphasis on the violinist, as well as the tango-like rhythm.

The music played by the orchestra also emphasized the high points of the story, such as the appearance of the devil, his trade offer, and the soldier’s acceptance of the offer.

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra performs at the Legacy Event Center in Lubbock on Feb. 9. BRANDI ORTIZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

The dancers made an appearance after the first act and danced along to the tango played by the orchestra.

In the second act, the soldier becomes possessed by the devil through his violin. The devil tricks the soldier into giving him all he has. The violin plays a sinister tune, and the devil dances to it.

The show was wrapped up with the devil doing his triumphant march. After the show, the audience gave a round of applause to the symphony, the director, the narrator, and the dancers.

Overall, the atmosphere brought on by the symphony was that of suspense. The symphony played along perfectly with the story, making it seem as if it was telling the story with music.

‘How to be Single’ plot better than expected

by: JENNY GARZA/Entertainment Editor

She was only trying to find herself.

“How to be Single” has some familiar faces because of the previous movies they had been in, such as Rebel Wilson, who had been in the “Pitch Perfect” series, as well as Dakota Johnson from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Leslie Mann from “The Other Woman,” and “Knocked Up,” and Alison Brie, who is known for her work on the TV show, “Community.”

These four ladies each have their own story. The main story is built around Alice, who is followed throughout the film. Alice first meets Josh, who she then dates for four years but then decides to break up with him because she wants to “find herself.”

She finds a job and meets Robin (Rebel Wilson), who happens to be a party girl who is not afraid to bust a move and show off her curves. Soon Robin shows the ropes to Alice on how to be single, along with the dos and don’ts of single life.

Meg (Leslie Mann), Alice’s sister, is a doctor who wants to have a family without having to work at a relationship. She seems like a woman who does not want to want anyone or anything that will make her choose between her own wants and needs and someone else’s.

Lucy, on the other hand, wants the one perfect person for herself. In a way, they make her really pathetic, because she is looking for love in all the wrong places. Tom (Anders Holm) is the player the girls only want to have fun with but not commit to.

Alice and Robin go to Tom’s bar, and Robin is trying to get Alice to get them drinks from guys. She fails miserably, but Robin then introduces her to Tom, and she then opens up and starts to have fun. The next day, they wake up at Meg’s house hungover and have to make it to work in 30 minutes.

Robin takes her on a race to do their hair, change clothes, and try to get rid of the hangover. They make it into work three hours late, and Robin shows just how much she only cares for herself.

After this, Alice wants to get back with her boyfriend but finds out that he is with someone else. She feels horrible, because other than him, she had been with no one else. She feels that she made a mistake in leaving him, and because of that she will be alone forever.

Some people can relate to that feeling that because of wanting to experience something and doing it, you lucked out on a lot of things.

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When first hearing of the movie, I immediately thought that it was going to be one of those sappy, sad, and romantic movies. Also, after seeing “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I thought that Johnson was probably just a horrible actor. She happened to be a great one in this movie. She was funny, strong, and just all-out quirky.

This movie proved me wrong as well. Yes, most of the couples did get a happily-ever-after. It also showed that maybe not all of your choices are great, but they will eventually lead you back to the path you strayed from.

Also, this wasn’t just about a couple getting together. It was about friends fighting, finding those great guys along the way that maybe were just the “right now” guy. It also showed that when you are least expecting happiness to find you, it eventually does.

It had some awful and dumb humor at times, but even that made me laugh a little.

It has a little something for everyone, sisters, best friends, and especially those sappy love moments at times. What I liked most about it, though, was that every time this poor girl found someone, it never ended well for her. This has happened to many ladies before.

The directors and writers did not allow for it to just be a happily-ever-after tale. It showed that if we want to find happiness, we must find it ourselves.

I loved this movie, and would gladly take a few of my single friends to see this.

I will give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Mankin credits time at SPC for personal success

by:MARCELLA IVINS/Staff Writer

[Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing project in conjuction with the South Plains College Alumni Association. The project highlights former SPC students and their achievements.]

Kaitlyn Mankin says earning her degree from South Plains College has helped put her ahead when applying for job positions

Mankin is currently working full time at Vision Therapy in Lubbock. She explained that her job is very rewarding.

“I work with kids who have learning-related issues,” she adds. “We work out the muscles in their eyes so they can read and see better.”

This happens to be the perfect job for Mankin, as she explained. She says that she has a passion for helping others.

“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with children in a one-on-one setting,” said Mankin.”It has helped me to realize that when I am (finally) a nurse, I want to go in to pediatrics.”

Mankin graduated from Frenship High School in Wolforth, then came to SPC as a Nursing major in the fall of 2010. She later switched to advertising, completeing her degree in December of 2012. She says that receiving her Associate of Arts degree has really provided many opportunities.

Mankin is married to her best friend, and they have four dogs. Her husband owns Crossfit Wild West. He is more involved with the program, but she has participated as well. She says it has changed her life and helped her make better choices when it comes to being healthy.

Kaitlyn Mankin, alum, enjoyed her time as a student at SPC. RILEY GOLDEN/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Although Mankin majored in Advertising while at SPC, she has switched back to nursing. She is currently applying to nursing school. Both of her parents work in the medical field as well, which is part of the reason she is pursuing nursing.

Mankin will be able to continue to help others if she does go to nursing school, which is her current plan.

“My mom is an RN, and my step-father is a nurse practioner,” Mankin said. “So growing up in a ‘medical’ household helped me feel comfortable in the medical realm. I really have a passion for helping people when they are going through hard times, whether it be health or other issues.”

The Lubbock resident says that her favorite thing about attending SPC was being on the staff of the Plainsman Press, the campus newspaper.

“Aside from being on the staff (newspaper), the one thing that stood out to me as a student was the environment on campus,” recalls Mankin. “I loved that I was able to have a relationship with my professors! They knew who I was when I walked in to class and helped me with my questions that I had right then and there.”

Although she did not end up with a nursing degree at SPC, she is thankful for the experiences and job she currently has.

“The associate’s degree that I attained at SPC has put me ahead in several job positions, and my relationship with my professors has certainly opened doors for me as well,” Mankin explains. “The smaller class sizes made it so much easier to learn and get engaged in the courses I was taking.”

Mankin encourages current SPC students to take advantage of the opportunites.

“The decisions that you make today are forming your future,” she said. “Take school seriously, because it is SUCH a privilege!”

Sifrit finds passion in Broadcast Journalism


Every student finds his or her passion in different ways.

For Peyton Sifrit, she chose Broadcast Journalism.

“I decided to choose broadcasting as my major because when I was a little girl I would sit on my parents’ bed before school and watch the local news,” said Sifrit. “I loved how they shined a light on important issues and gave a voice to people who didn’t have one.”

The Lubbock native also chose her major because she likes being able to bring awareness to issues and people who the public wouldn’t know about otherwise. However, she is thinking about changing her major to Public Relations because she does not want to be on call 24/7 with news. She wants to be able to have a more organized work schedule, as well as be able to interact with people and companies on a day-to-day basis.

The one thing Sifrit wants everyone to know about her major is that even though people behind the camera have practiced, have a degree, get paid, and are considered professionals, they are still people, and people make mistakes.

Her first steps on her broadcasting path were at LISD-TV in Lubbock. She was an anchor, sideline reporter, news producer and helped worked behind the scenes.

“My favorite part about LISD-TV was the hands-on experience I had,” said Sifrit.

Once she graduated from Coronado High School, she was offered an internship with KAMC-TV.

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Peyton Sifrit is attending SPC to begin her career in Broadcast Journalism. MICHAELA CHAMBLEE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

As her path continued, it was time to decide where it was going to take her next. She said she chose SPC because it had a really good Broadcast Journalism program. After graduating, she plans to attend Texas Tech University and hopefully get another internship at a local TV station.

“My favorite categories to cover are typically the inspirational stories,” said Sifrit, “stories that make you feel good about society and highlight all of the good things that happen in our community on a day-to-day basis.”

At SPC, Sifrit is an anchor for SPC-TV, and she also likes conducting interviews, helping behind the scenes, and creating packages.

Sifrit said there isn’t a huge difference from high school broadcasting to college broadcasting. To Sifrit, the only difference was going from being at the TV station five days a week in high school to only being there two days a week in college.

“Since the two stations I’ve done stories for are both school stations, we haven’t covered a crime scene story,” said Sifrit. “But I think when I eventually do a cover a story like that, it would be my least favorite.”

Broadcasting is not the only thing that occupies Sifrit’s time. Outside of school, you can normally find her hanging out with her friends and family, as well as working out with her younger brother.

Philosophy professor ponders problems of evil

by: RILEY GOLDEN/Editorial Assistant 

Benjamin Kyle Keltz took an odd road to the classroom that started in West Texas with military service and a degree in finance.

“I claim Lubbock, but it’s kind of a long story—I was born in Lockney,” Keltz said. “I’ve lived in Lockney, Plainview, Floydada, Ransom Canyon, and Lubbock. But I went to high school at Roosevelt High School, so I claim Lubbock.”

Keltz, who teaches two Introduction to Philosophy courses at South Plains College, graduated from Roosevelt High School and then enlisted in the United States Army for four and a half years. When he came back, Keltz went to Texas Tech University, where he earned a degree in finance. While attending Texas Tech, Keltz was deployed a couple times, serving as a “mortar man” in the Infantry of the U.S. Army.

“I went to Afghanistan right after September 11 for, like, three and a half months,” Keltz recalls. “I was in the invasion in 2009, for like three months when it kicked off, then three months after that.”

Keltz got deployed to Iraq twice while he was going to Tech because he was in the National Guard.

After Keltz earned a degree in finance, he worked as a petroleum landman for a short time.

“The company I worked for was a consulting kind of thing,” Keltz said. “They hired us, and they would tell us, ‘We’re thinking about drilling somewhere,’ and I would go to the county and go to the courthouse and research all the mineral rights from when it was handed over from the state of Texas to the current mineral owner. And then I had to call them and ask them if they were interested in an oil and gas lease, and then negotiate the terms, and have them sign it.”

Keltz says that he always wanted a degree in philosophy, but his dad was a banker and talked him into getting his degree in finance.

“Since I got the degree in finance, I got a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, in Matthews, North Carolina,” said Keltz, “and that’s where I’m getting my PhD from right now. I’m getting a PhD in Philosophy of Religion.”

Benjamin Kyle Keltz influences his students through his philosophy classes at SPC. DOM PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Keltz went into detail about a theory of philosophy that he studies for his doctoral degree.

“Now, Christian Apologetics is using history, science, and philosophy to defend the truth of Christianity,” Keltz explained. “Philosophy of Religion just looks at all the claims of different philosophies and it tries to make sense out of it all.”

Keltz says he is very curious about God, so much so that he specializes in proving His logic.

“What I specialize in is called the Problem of Evil,” Keltz said. “That’s what I usually study and write about, which is the question: If God is, like the theistic god, is all good and all powerful and all knowing, then how can there be evil in the world? Because usually you’d think with the combination of those three, there wouldn’t be any such thing as evil.”

Keltz is going to write his dissertation on the Problem of Evil, but he says his answer has only lead to another question called the Problem of Animal Suffering.

“You know, science says that for millions of years, you know with evolution and all that stuff, there’s been animals dying and suffering,” Keltz says, “and that adds to the Problem of Evil, because Theism says that human beings are the reason why everything exists. But what the problem asks is: why would God allow so much suffering to happen over so many millions of years, just to make people? And that’s what I’m studying, so I’m kind of applying old ideas to a new problem.”

Keltz got married and his wife’s job moved them to Arizona. Because of the lack of oil there, Keltz took a job as a financial analyst for the state of Arizona. Keltz said that his wife was making more, so when they had their first child, it was better for him to quit his job instead of her.

His wife’s job brought them back to Lubbock, and Keltz says he was lucky enough to get the teaching job at SPC because teaching experience is required for his PhD.

“It’s great to learn other people’s perspectives,” says Keltz, “because you not only learn about them, and you can understand where people are coming from. But it also forces you to learn a lot about yourself, because you start to question why do I believe what I believe and all that stuff.”


Super Bowl halftime performance by Beyonce receives unjustified criticism

by: MATT MOLINAR/Editorial Assistant

After Beyonce’s beautiful performance at the 2016 Super Bowl, what I thought was an amazing message didn’t quite sit well with other fans watching the event.

Beyonce’s performance of her newest song, “Formation,” contained a message relating to the empowerment of black people. It was also a tribute to the Black Panther Party, an organization founded by followers of Malcolm X. Many people have been taking this as some sort of political move by the singer to stir up violence against police officers.

I think this is absolutely ridiculous. The message that she is trying to send, as seen in the music video for “Formation,” is “stop killing us,” “us” being people of color. This relates to the many recent deaths of black people involving police brutality. This has caused handfuls of angry protesters, who, more than likely, pay absolutely no attention to national news, to hold rallies against the performer.

On Feb. 16, there was a rally in New York as a protest against Beyonce. These people claim that the message “stop killing us” is anti-law enforcement. If that’s anti-law enforcement, then is “keep killing us” supposed to be pro-law enforcement? The matter is just too opaque to deny. Police brutality is a serious issue, and it occurs more often within the black community than any other community.


Another thing people have been bringing up after the Super Bowl performance is that Beyonce is becoming a bad role model. I don’t understand this whole decision that was made that she even had to be any sort of role model. I had somebody in my psychology class say that Beyonce was “a slut” for wearing a bodysuit during the performance. But what is she supposed to wear? I don’t understand why these people get so angry. The outfit she wore during the performance was an homage to what the late Michael Jackson wore during his Super Bowl halftime performance in 1993. Would you like to see Beyonce doing kicks and splits in jeans and a sweater? Or maybe even a pajama onesie.

If you know anything about dance, you know that it is almost traditional for women to wear a legless bodysuit during a dance number. Would you ever go up to a 10-year-old girl from the Abby Lee Dance Company and call her a slut? I hope you wouldn’t, but it’s really the same thing as calling Beyonce a slut for wearing the same thing.

I could understand how the context of her music could make her a “bad influence.” But her music is not marketed toward toddlers and children in middle school. The front of her albums say “Parental Advisory.”

While Beyonce is performing at the Super Bowl, making more money than you could ever imagine, these brainless people are just finding things about her to complain about. I love Beyonce and support everything she stands for, and I think anyone who is opposed to her message should calm down and worry about something else like their jobs, or the California drought.

Palo Duro Canyon offers scenery, adventurous hiking for spare time

by: SERGIO MADRID/Staff Writer

It’s not easy to get the day off when you’re working and going to school full-time.

But once in a while, that glorious day does arrive. Then the real question comes into play. What am I going to do?

I made an abrupt decision to take a hike at the best spot inside the panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon State Park located near Canyon, Texas. With more than 30 miles of trails, a good day could be spent venturing through all the crater has to offer.

Taking the right companions can make all the difference. You don’t want someone holding you back. On the other hand, you don’t want a show-off nagging you about how out of shape you are. My go-to-guy for everything is Audio, my Catahoula. A dog plays many roles in an owner’s life. Audio has several, from wingman to copilot. He never lets me down. But, he can be a bit of an attention hog.

Weather in West Texas has a habit of being pretty unpredictable and rarely in your favor, but on Feb. 6, the skies in Canyon had just the right amount of clouds, with enough of a breeze to make the heat bearable. But, even with a nice day, you will need to remember to bring enough resources, especially if you have a canine partner. They will gurgle through water like a sponge.

Now that you’ve addressed all contingencies, it’s time to map your way through the maze of trails Palo Duro has. If you’re anything like me, you don’t care too much for the trails, as they can be too easy and boring. Keep in mind that they do make great guidelines if you happen to get lost, as they usually lead to a road.

On my day-long adventure, Audio and I took to the ‘Rock Garden Trail.’ This trail can be found on the backside of the canyon and will take you to the very top. As I said before, a lot more can be seen off trail, and if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon small cave-like craters underneath canyon walls.


When climbing over some of the rocks, you may reach out to grab a branch or root, but look out for thorns. Be sure to keep one eye looking out for cacti and rattlesnakes. I have yet to see a snake, but it only takes one bite.

After a few hours, I reached a peak that was about 15 minutes from the top. Looking over the canyon, I was able to see the travelers entering and leaving the park, walking trails, and feeling the cool water from the river. When you listen in on the clutter of sounds passing through the canyon walls, everything will begin to zero out. That’s when your thoughts are in their purest form. And nothing beats the feeling of having no concerns in life.

Sometimes things can become hectic. So, next time your life becomes almost unbearable take the day off. I promise you won’t regret it.

Social media disconnects people from daily lives

by:ALEX PEREZ/Staff Writer

I’m sure I speak for most social media users when I say that scrolling through an endless stream of food pics, selfies and random posts takes up most of my day.

Whether it be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest or whatever social outlet you love to get on, they are slowly taking over people’s daily lives. We have all seen the power of social media and how it is affecting people, whether it be for better or worse.

Social media can be a great tool for communicating and connecting with friends, family and other “followers.” But it can also trap you into your Twitter or Facebook timeline until your eyes start to water from looking at a tiny screen for hours on end. Social media is taking over our lives.

I can vaguely remember the time before the iPhone, when I couldn’t send filtered snaps to my best friend or look through my timeline about 100 times a day. Being a patron of today’s society, I fear the day that I accidentally leave my laptop or beloved iPhone at home. I speak for the majority of cell phone users when I say nothing is quite like the fear that strikes when you drop your unprotected phone face down on cement. Most people cringe at the sight, even though the crack that may or may not be there won’t really stop your entire life.

The dependency on cell phones in today’s society is outrageous. Yeah, sure it allows us to connect to multiple sites which do provide informative and important information. But most of what we scroll through on our timelines is just for entertainment purposes. We are constantly sucked into the black hole that we call the Internet. These outlets are taking up so much of our time that instead of it being a convenience for us, it has turned into a daily necessity.

We are turning into Internet zombies, especially when it comes to the daily ritual of walking around with our eyes glued to either a laptop or phone screen. We put so much importance on the usage of our smart phones that we neglect to pay attention to reality at times. I believe that there is a hierarchy of importance, and we put the usage of our phones and social media on a pedestal.


It is now a common thing to wake up and the first thing you do is reach over to grab your cell phone and look through the various social media that you may have. Throughout the day, we have our heads down and inside of our tiny screens that take us away from the world around us. The dependency on phones has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. We are engaged in our phones and laptops more than ever now, and I think it’s partly because of all the credit and worship the Internet gets, as well as the “cool aspect” of any kind of social media.

People are unattached to their reality due to social media and their constant interest in it. The importance that we give to social media poses a threat to so many things, such as driving, and getting an education. All over the news, there are so many stories of people who are too busy taking “stoplight selfies” or updating their status to even pay attention to the road. Deadly car crashes have been caused by someone being on his or her phone and not following basic driving laws, such as looking at the road.

In today’s school systems, at any level, students can be seen pretending to do work when really they are just looking up answers online or not even acknowledging the lesson at all. This is a threat to the intellectual achievement of our future generations. They really aren’t learning. They are just looking up answers that somebody else has worked for, and they didn’t even put thought into anything except a Google search.

Social media and the Internet do have some value to them, such as making it easier to know what is going on around the world with the latest updates. But that also comes with multiple advertisements and stories about nonsense that gets the reader sucked into “news” that doesn’t really matter, along with candy crush notifications or a bogus story about a random person doing something that is obviously fake, but somehow it is “breaking news.”

The Internet has been a blessing and a curse for the world around us. If we continue to heavily depend on social media and the Internet, we will soon become permanently unattached to reality and live a life through profiles.

Back Talk: Necessity of college attendance questioned

Attendance necessary to pass college courses

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief


For many people who have gone to school or are currently going, they have heard this word too many times.

If you have a job, you have most likely have heard this word as well. But, we’re not talking about having a decent amount of days on your work schedule. We’re talking about attendance.

In high school, it was mandatory to show up to class, because that’s how you would get your credits to graduate from high school. If you didn’t, most likely you would have to attend Saturday school, which wasn’t any fun. But, most kids did it anyway so they could graduate.

Well, college is slightly different. Many college kids will question if attending class is really worth it. I have been guilty of this myself, but I have never been dropped from a class for not attending.

Most college students don’t feel the need to go to class because it’s a waste of time. Since they paid for it, they figure that they have the right to not go. Well, that’s wrong. Why waste your money on a class that you’re going to get dropped from anyway because you’re too lazy to go to class? Some professors don’t expect much from you. Some of them just want a college student to sit in class, while others want you to pay attention. But that is beside the point.

Attendance is probably one of the main reasons college kids fail or get dropped from a class. Then, days later they wonder why they have been dropped, or why they’re failing. It’s because they don’t go to class!

College students wonder why they’re failing a class that they don’t attend. Well, if I could guess (I’m a good guesser), I would say the reason why someone is failing a class that he or she doesn’t attend is mainly because he or she just doesn’t attend class. It’s not that hard to figure out. How can you learn a subject if you’re not in class? How do you expect to pass a class if you’re not attending?

College students argue that if they paid for the class, then it’s their “right” and “decision” to not go. That’s also wrong. I don’t understand. Why pay for a class that you don’t plan on even attending? Also, if it’s your “right,” then how come professors don’t have that same “right” to either drop or fail you from the class? Because, once you sign up for a class, they give you a syllabus which explains their attendance rules. If you don’t like the attendance rules, then drop the class yourself. I think that someone would have a better chance to drop it themselves because some professors just fail you if you don’t attend class.

I know many college students think, “Class is a waste of time. I could be doing something better with my time.” If you haven’t figured that out yet, I’m pretty sure professors feel the same way sometimes. If you stop to think about it, for someone who’s not attending class, you’re wasting the professors’ time tracking down your attendance record, which is very irresponsible.

I have a solution for students who don’t like attending class; it’s called “online classes.” It’s simple. You sign up for an online class and you follow along online. It’s flexible with your schedule. If you have a job, or if you can’t drive back and forth from college, then online classes would be good for those types of situations.

I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of not going to class, because, believe me, I am. But there’s a difference between missing a couple of days and just not going all together and not caring. You’re wasting the professor’s time, your time for signing up for the class, and your money.

Attendance is a big part of passing a face-to-face class. If someone is passing a class without attending it, then he or she is wasting his or her time because he or she paid for a face-to-face class. Some online classes are cheaper, and you’re wasting your money if you don’t even attend class.

If you don’t attend class, no one can stop you. But, don’t ask why or argue when the professor decides to drop or fail you because you decided to be lazy.

Situation awareness reduces chances of abduction


(Editor’s note: This story is the second part of a multi-part series “Last Seen…,” examining the real life horrors of kidnapping that began with Issue #7 and concludes in Issue #12. Several staff members took it upon themselves to interview, take photographs and conduct research. The results of their combined efforts follow.)

by: NICOLE TRUGILLO/Editor-in-Chief

Kidnapping can happen at any given time and place.

According to Nickolis Castillo, campus police officer at South Plains College, it is most likely for someone to get kidnapped or abducted if he or she is alone, or if he or she is walking around at night.

“The first thing you would do is prevent something like that from happening,” says Castillo. “There are some easy steps to prevent kidnapping or abductions. First is very cliché, but use the buddy system. It sounds kind of cheesy. But, being in groups, you should at least have one friend with you. You have less chance of being attacked if they’re in a group of people.”

Attackers usually look for a path of least resistance, according to Castillo. He says that attackers don’t want to get caught, so they look for a person who shows any kind of weakness, or for someone who is isolated.

“Another tip is to stay in well lit areas,” says Castillo. “One thing I do see sadly is students walking around alone at night. It’s better to stay around the streetlights or even by well-lit buildings. Students shouldn’t be walking through a big dark field because it’s harder for anyone to see you. If there are witnesses, they won’t be able to know what’s going on.”

Photo Illustration by JENNY GARZA

Castillo also adds that students or anyone should check their surroundings at all times and be aware of what’s going on, especially in vehicles.

“There have actually been quite a few people that have been abducted out of their vehicle,” explains Castillo. “They get in their vehicle, then they start rummaging through stuff, going through a checkbook, or talking on the phone and somebody just hops in the car and drives off with them, or if they’re waiting for someone.”

According to Castillo, there have been incidents at gas stations where women will go in the store and pay for gas, and when they come back, somebody is waiting for them.

“Check your vehicles, dorm, or your housing of any kind,” says Castillo. “If you’ve been in a parking lot of any kind, leave immediately, and if you have something to do of any kind that will draw away attention from your surroundings, do it in a safe environment. Also, know your emergency numbers.”

Castillo explains that there have been times when people don’t call 911, because they think it’s not a big deal and they don’t want to get in trouble.

“We’ve had a lot of people say that,” says Castillo. “Always call 911, even if you’re not sure and nobody will get on to you for not knowing.”

Castillo says that the SPC campus police wants anyone to support any suspicious activity at all times.

“If you have a suspicious activity going on and it’s not necessarily a life-threatening matter, you can call us,” Castillo says. “We recommend calling 911. But we do have a campus police number. We also recommend anyone that is fearful. Don’t be afraid to call us and ask if we can walk with you from your classes or vehicles if you are walking alone at night. We will be happy to walk with you and have our presence around.”

Castillo says the campus police recommends whoever is in a kidnapping situation fight in every way possible.

“You could quite possibly be in a life or death situation,” explains Castillo. “The vast majority of kidnappers leave the scene if there is resistance of any kind. They usually flee the scene because they can get caught.”

If anyone on campus is abducted, the campus police will be contacting nearby law enforcement agencies and send out a APB (all purpose Bulletin), according to Castillo.

“We’re going to have everyone in the surrounding region looking for the last vehicle you were in, the person you were last with,” explains Castillo. “The Amber alerts has been a wonderful system that is efficient. It let’s everyone know ‘Hey, we’re looking for this vehicle and this person,’ and it has helped find quite a few people.”

If anyone on campus needs to report suspicious activity, or if you need reassurance about your safety, contact the campus police at (806) 716-2396, or (806) 891-8883.

Enrollment among topics discussed at recent Board of Regents meeting

by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

Enrollment for South Plains College was among the topics discussed during the February meeting of the Board of Regents.

Cathy Mitchell, vice president for student affairs, presented the official enrollment report for 2016.

“Basically, enrollment is holding steady,” said Mitchell. “We’re down a little bit, by 157 students overall, and we’re down 498 students off campus.”

Mitchell said the decline in the number of off-campus students meant that SPC was actually up in certain areas, such as the Levelland college district is up by 228 students, or 3.5 percent.

“So, the majority, as you see, is down on the off-campus, which would include our dual credit, and we knew that was coming,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell reported that the ATC campus is up by a significant 21 percent. While the Reese Center is down again by 2.8 percent.

Mitchell also told the Regents that Shanna Donica administered a survey SPC participates in every year called the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. She said it is completed by participating students every two years. The results were based on a seven-point scale and was completed by 543 students, which is a significant increase, according to Mitchell.

“Some of the things our students feel like we’re doing well in are they feel like they are welcomed here,” said Mitchell. “I think that’s a huge thing. We want them to be welcomed here, and they are saying that they are.”

She also said that some of the other areas students felt the college was doing well in are: the campus is well maintained, the campus is safe and secure for all students, the campus provides access to online services; and the campus staff are caring and helpful.

“A lot of good, positive things that we want to continue building on and working on,” said Mitchell.

There were also some very low ratings that students gave. According to Mitchell, one of the lowest was the amount of student parking space on campus, the financial aid process being explained clearly and academic advisors helping to define students’ academic goals.

“That is something (academic advising) we are working with and improving,” Mitchell said.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, vice president for academic affairs, presented to the Board an update in instructional areas. The first thing Dr. Satterwhite presented was the District 3 SkillsUSA Contest that was held on the Levelland campus.

He said Rob Blair, dean of technical education, put the contest together. In the competition, there were 483 students who represented 16 high schools from all over Texas during the two days.

“The contest is designed to measure students’ skills in a long list of career and technical education areas,” according to Dr. Satterwhite.

Dr. Satterwhite said there is a Leadership category a lot like what is seen in 4-H. The students are judged on their skills with job interviews, presentations and professional skills.

There are 10 SPC programs that are involved in the SkillsUSA competitions. Those programs are: automotive technology, automotive collision repair, business/office technology/accounting/computer information systems, cosmetology, diesel technology, industrial manufacturing/emerging technologies, law enforcement technology, video production technology, radio, television and film, and welding technology.

“The Foundation (SPC) was extremely generous and awarded us 20 scholarships to give to the top senior performers,” said Dr. Satterwhite.

According to Dr. Satterwhite, the Student Government president and parliamentarian Association presented the 20 scholarships at $500 each to the top performing seniors. Also, the district winners will be eligible to compete in Corpus Christi at the state conference in summer 2016.

“It brings a huge number of students to South Plains College,” said Dr. Satterwhite. “It really helps grow our technical programs.”

Next, Dr. Satterwhite reported on the TTAP (Tech Transfer Acceleration Program). He said that this program is a partnership with Texas Tech University, and it is an alternate admissions program where students take two hours at Tech, live in the dorms at Tech, they have all the benefits of being a Tech student, but they take 12 hours from SPC. The classes for these students will also be at Texas Tech, taught by SPC professors or adjoint instructors.

“There are requirements to get in,” explained Dr. Satterwhite. “Students have to accumulate a GPA (grade point average) of 2.5 before they are admitted into Texas Tech. They also have to be TSI compliant, a letter of recommendation, applications to TTU and to South Plains College, and then they have specific attendance requirements.”

Dr. Satterwhite said this program is for those students who are on the border of being admitted to Texas Tech and still be willing to take those classes from SPC.

Danny Barrett, director of Texas Communities Group, also came and presented to the Regents. He is a part of a tax firm that collects property taxes for the college. He said he has created an extension for small towns that need help dealing with properties.

“I love the small town,” said Barrett. “That’s where my heart is, and they’ve had an issue with structures and buildings that are old and abandoned, and property tax work can only go so far.”

According to Barrett, this extension will allow cities to expand their role and ability to deal with these situations.

The Board of Regents will decide whether they would like to further discuss this program at next month’s meeting.

Julie Gerstenberger, director of development at SPC, reported on the upcoming 18th Annual Scholarship gala. She said since the annual Scholarship Gala started in 2003, more than $1.2 million has been raised.

“To have the opportunity to tell 3,000-plus people about South Plains College is always a good opportunity, and that’s what we’ve done in our most recent mailing,” said Gerstenberger.

The Scholarship Gala will be held on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at the P.E. Complex. The featured entertainer will be SPC alum Jerrod Niemann, and the special appeal for scholarship support will be presented by SPC alum Christy Hartin.

Dr. Kelvin Sharp, president of SPC, presented last to the Board. He gave an update on the construction at the Lubbock Center.

“When you go into a building like this and you design the spaces and put the spaces in, the architects automatically adjust your space by 30 to 35 percent for hallways,” according to Dr. Sharp. “It takes that percentage of the area of the building to connect all the spaces in the building.”

He presented a color-coded floor plan to the regents, with different colors representing what each space is designated for. The automotive area is set up to have 16 bays, so that the two instructors will be able to work on eight cars, with two students at each one. According to Dr. Sharp, the hallway space was minimized as much as possible, with classroom space being maximized as much as possible.

“I think those spaces that I mentioned so far are going to be great spaces for us,” said Dr. Sharp. “We kind of know where those spaces are, and we know just about the size of those spaces.”

Dr. Sharp also informed the regents of the NJCAA Region V Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament that will be held March 2-March 5 in Brownwood, Texas. He gave each regent a bracket for the men’s and women’s tournament.

Levelland campus to be site of Republican Congressional debate

by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

Very rarely does a small town like Levelland have the opportunity to be the site of a Republican Congressional Debate.

On Feb. 23, that is exactly what South Plains College will be hosting in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio in the Creative Arts Building.

Drew Landry, assistant professor of government, is the person who had the idea for this debate during the winter break. He said as soon as the professors all got back for in-service, he pitched the idea to Larry Norris, associate professor of government, who told him there was a lot to do if he was going to get it done. They then talked about dates and decided Feb. 23 would be the best day for it. Next, he pitched the idea to Dr. Laura Graves, chairperson of the Social Sciences Department and professor of history.

“I brought forth this idea, and she said, ‘Well, I don’t think you have a lot of time, but if you want to, go right ahead,’” said Landry.

According to Landry, after that, Dr. Graves sent the idea to Yancy Nunez, dean of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Robin Satterwhite, vice president of academic affairs. Then Dr. Satterwhite passed it on to Dr. Kelvin Sharp, president of SPC.

Landry said he was told that Dr. Sharp said he also thought he did not have a lot of time, but he could do it if he got all eight candidates who have filed to run.

“Within about two weeks, I got all eight Republicans to say that they were in,” said Landry. “I (also) got KJTV to say that they were going to broadcast it live.”

According to Landry, there will be three moderators. One will be an anchor from KJTV, another is Grant Dewbre, the treasurer of the Student Government Association at SPC, and Janna Holt-Day, professor of speech communication at SPC.

“They will ask a variety of questions dealing with what they have done in the past, their public record and what they have stated in the past,” Landry said. “Also, their views on the issues at the federal level, like the national security, health care, immigration, taxation and those types of things.”

Landry said that he would like for the moderators to really engage the congressional candidates, and press them for answers. He said he would like to get actual answers during the debate and not just the candidate’s sound bites and cliche sayings that they have.

According to Landry, he was informed by some of those in the commercial music program that the studio is able to hold 175 people at one time. They are prepared for a large group, however, and have two other rooms that will be available in case Tom T. Hall is full. One is the Sundown Room in the Student Center, and the other will be Room 137 in the Creative Arts Building. The debate will be streaming live in both rooms.

“My hope for that day is, by the end of the night, the voters in the area will have a better idea about these candidates,” according to Landry.

Artistic tattoos shed stereotypical labels

BY: JONATHAN BROOKSHIRE/Social Media Coordinator

Tattoos are more than just paintings on the skin.

Having ink on your body is a form of art, and to many, a symbol of something significant in their life.

The second annual Lubbock Tattoo Expo was held Feb. 5 – Feb. 7 in the Lubbock Civic Center.

Mike Diaz, owner of Sunken City Ink in Lubock and organizer of the Lubbock Tattoo Expo, was proud to be able to hold such an event.

This is only the second time the Expo was held but already has attracted tattoo shops across the country.

“We did a whole tour of tattoo conventions last year,” Diaz said. “This will be our only stop this year in Lubbock – just because it’s our hometown.”

The year before, Diaz had traveled around Texas going to different conventions in Lubbock, Odessa, Killeen, and Corpus Christi.

“It was the same kind of venue, a bunch of artists from different cities,” Diaz said.

Expos are usually held in bigger cities where tattoos are more accepted. Last year’s expo was actually the first tattoo expo that Lubbock has ever had, according to Diaz.

Last year’s event had a good turnout according to Diaz. This year more people in Lubbock and the surrounding cities knew about the event and were more accepting.

The purpose of the expo, according to Diaz, is to educate the public on the art of tattoos. It’s not just about the branding or becoming the stereotype that tattoos usually give people.

“Tattoos aren’t so serious all the time,” Diaz said. “And it’s not just for a certain group, and they’re not tagged for a certain social class or race. It’s for everybody now, whether you’re a lawyer, or construction worker, or you’re an artist.”

More than 20 artists and vendors from across the country came to Lubbock to be a part of the Tattoo Expo. Out of the 20, three local shops also made an appearance, Ghostriders, Black Door Studio, and Sunken City Ink.

One of the many pieces done at the Tattoo Expo in Lubbock Civic Center on Feb. 6. BRANDI ORTIZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“There are people from California, New York, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio and all over Texas,” Diaz explained. “Just to tattoo people in Lubbock to build their clientele and to get exposure in these types of cities.”

The expo provides the artists with a good way to network with the clients and other artists.

“They get to meet different people and artists,” said Diaz. “You build a lot of friendships and connections.”

At the expo was award-winning “Inkmaster” season 5 contestant Cris Element.

“Cris Element, he is a really good friend of mine,” Diaz explained. “He was on the mic, tattooing, and guest spots at the shop (Sunken City Ink).”

Element will be back in Lubbock in March, appearing at Sunken City.

Other shops at the expo were: Por Vida Tattoo from Albuquerque, N.M.; Scorpion Tattoos from Ruidoso, N.M.; MaddMonkey Tattoo from Freeport, Texas; Lucky Ducks Tattoo from Midland, Texas; and Addiction Tattoos from Amarillo, Texas.

“We promoted and advertised it on certain sites and the Facebook page,” Diaz said. “They contacted me, or we contacted them, and then they buy the booth and get situated with the Health Department.”

Diaz has been tattooing for five years and does photorealism, graphic realism, color, and black and white. Diaz explains that he tries not to bind himself to just one thing. He would rather be well rounded and do a good tattoo for any of his clients that walk through the doors of his shops.

“I’m considered a rookie, but excelled pretty quickly,” Diaz said. “My talent has gotten my name out there. Tattooing is a real tight community, and we have artists all over the U.S., but everybody is real tight knit.”

Diaz encourages anybody who wants a tattoo, but may be hesitant to get one, to just go for it. He compares the experience to Vegas, explaining that everybody wants to go, and being able to say that you were in Vegas will give you a story. He explains that going to an expo is the same situation.

“If you definitely haven’t done one (get a tattoo) before, it’s something that you definitely do need to experience,” Diaz said. “You have to go and walk through and get a tattoo, to live it. You get to see artists, you get to see tattoos, you get to see people get tattoos. You can see art and things that artists are creating, and different vendors and what they’re making.”

In addition to attending an expo, Diaz also supports the idea of getting a tattoo.

“Just do it,” he says. “If you over-think it, it’s going to be hard.”

Diaz describes getting a tattoo as the same as getting a new pair of shoes.

“Whenever you buy new shoes and walk around, and the shoes make you feel good,” Diaz said. “Nobody can touch you. When you get a tattoo, you feel brand new and decorated. You feel like you deserve it. You sacrificed pain to get that.”

Diaz also gives insight into what it takes to be a tattoo artist and some advice as well, saying that the art takes commitment and dedication. Putting something on the skin is easy, but to actually create a work of art, respect the customer, and have love for the art is totally different.

“It takes a lot of devotion and a cool thing to do,” Diaz said. “It looks easy, but tattooing does take a talent of drawing. It takes a lot of time and mind to become a really good tattoo artist.”

In conjunction with being able to draw, the artist also has to be familiar with his tools.

“The hardest part is to master your tools,” Diaz explained. “With a machine, you have all these moving parts.”

As a tattoo artist, there are questions for every client. What needle are you going to use? What rubber band are you going to put on the needle? What’s the voltage that you run? What position is the client in? What’s the skin like?

Tattooing is hard work, but also a work of art. Through the pain of the needle and the passion that goes into every stroke, the pleasure of having a unique work of art on the body is the end product. Having many people accept the pain, passion and pleasure of the art has made Diaz happy and the expo successful.

Students, faculty members wear red to raise Heart Health awareness

by: MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor

With February being National Women’s Heart Health Month, students and staff at South Plains College wanted to show their support for the cause by wearing red for a day.

Members of the campus housing department, along with other faculty members at South Plains College, helped spread awareness of heart health by encouraging students and staff to wear red on Feb. 9. They gathered at at 12:30 p.m. in the quad area near the Student Life Center for a picture, taken by Wes Underwood, photographer and communications specialist in the Marketing and Recruitment Office.

“Usually, Texas Tech holds a ‘Wear Red Day’,” explained Kari-Ann Mitchell, residence hall director at Tubb Hall.“National Wear Red Day was on Feb. 5, but since we don’t have a lot of students or faculty on campus, we made our own Wear Red Day.”

Mitchell, along with Reba Underwood, residence hall director of Forest Hall, Stroud Hall, and Frazer Hall, were interested in bringing awareness of health issues to SPC. So they helped organize the day, along with letting others know about the photo gathering.

“We normally don’t do things like this, so we decided to do heart health as sort of a tester for future events,” Mitchell says. “We want to do more things like this to get students, as well as faculty, more involved at SPC.”


As far as Heart Health Awareness Month goes, this was the only event that was planned. However, Mitchell says that faculty have let her know that they would appreciate more events such as Wear Red Day.

“We have other events planned for the month, like ‘Sex in the Dark’, but other than that, we just wanted to test the waters as far as campus events go,” added Mitchell.

In April, Mitchell and Underwood are planning events to bring awareness to sexual assault.

“April is Sexual Assault Awareness month,” Mitchell explained. “So in this month, we want to do the ‘No More Campaign,’ which is like a worldwide campaign. There are some things that housing and Health and Wellness have been trying to put together.”

They also plan on doing the Red Flag Campaign to emphasize the fight against domestic violence in October.

“In the future, as far as February Heart Health month goes, we want to do more with the month,” Underwood says. “We want to do bigger things in support of Heart Health awareness. I think that through different advertising, like the Plainsman Press, we would be able to make those things happen, because more people will know about them.”

Underwood says that a lot more people were wearing red than the people who were in the picture, so they may not have known about that part of it.

“It’s just been a touch-and-go thing,” said Underwood. “I think, with the proper advertising of our different events, we would have more people attending, and we would bring more awareness to our cause.”