Tag Archives: Chris Major

New law takes toll on enrollment

Photo by: Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
By Chris Major Ranger Reporter Texas colleges faced a new hurdle in student enrollment this spring. A new state law requiring incoming students under 30 to receive a bacterial meningitis vaccination caused many students to put off their education, said Dr. Robert Austin, vice president of student affairs. “The big challenge is the cost of this vaccination,” Austin said. “A lot of students had money set aside thinking they needed about $1,000 and now they have to pay another $150, which isn’t covered by financial aid.” Over 11,000 academic students enrolled in the fall and Austin said a small drop off of 1 to 2 percent from last spring was expected this semester. Preliminary enrollment numbers show a decrease in enrollment of about 5 percent. “We had a difficult time getting the word out about the vaccine,” Austin said. “We sent letters, emails and put up fliers to let students know, but we think some students just decided to put off dealing with it. It also challenged us because we have a system set up so that if someone wanted to come in, register and do everything they needed to at once, they could. The vaccine messed with that since we don’t have a health center on campus.” According to Austin, about 58 percent of all applicants enroll for classes. This spring, only about 42 percent of applicants registered. John Brooks applied, but put off going to school this semester due to the required vaccine. “I just didn’t have the money for it,” Brooks said. “It’s like adding another book to the list of things you have to pay for.” Although enrollment is down, Austin said retention rates, or the number of students returning from last semester, is expected to be up. He  said they are looking at several options to make next semester’s transition smoother. “We have a few ideas we are looking over,” Austin said. “Nothing is in place yet.” Crystal Murphy, radiography major, said she wished the school Read more [...]

9/11 tribute to end theater season

By Chris Major A blind date, a crazy musician, a sock puppet and drinking games. No, this isn’t a Saturday night party. To keep with the theme of remembering 9/11, TheatreAC will end the semester with the play Recent Tragic Events, a story that takes place the day after Sept. 11, 2001. In Minneapolis, a young woman named Waverly prepares to go on a blind date as she learns that her sister Wendy, a student in New York, hasn’t been heard from since the attacks. As the evening progresses, Waverly and her date Andrew start to realize they are connected by a series of coincidences. The couple also is visited by Ron, a musician, his girlfriend Nancy and Joyce Carol Oats, Waverly’s great aunt. Not to be confused with the famous author, Mrs. Oats is played by a sock puppet. “Joyce’s character kind of brings a new vision about humanity and free will,” said Bianka Torres, who plays both Nancy and Oats. Monty Downs, a theater arts instructor, said the play makes the audience consider how much freedom they have over their lives. “It’s really a discussion about what role does choice play in our lives,” Downs said. “It raises the question of, as humans, do we really have free will or does fate play a part in what happens?” The play is presented as a sitcom with a serious backdrop. Downs said while it is humorous, it does not take the events of Sept. 11 lightly. Jennifer Runberg, who plays Waverly, said the play displays the emotions of the time. “I have an emotional connection with the story because I have a 9/11 birthday, and I remember the fear and all those emotions that marked the day of my birth,” Runberg said. “The play does a good job of recapturing all the heartache and fear that people felt and brings us all back to a place of uncertainty.” Downs said the cast is beginning to understand the subtleties of the play. “The students are doing a good job with the play,” he said. “They’re starting Read more [...]

Today’s music: Gnarly or nonsense, much of it short on skill, message

Photo by Esther Perkins
Opinion By Chris Major mavboy42@yahoo.com There are few things in life that I treasure as much as music. Everything from the precise beauty of classical to the power or rock and hip-hop brings me joy each and every day. Nothing evokes emotion and influences the masses quite like music. Whether it is as old as Gregorian chants or some of the songs we hear today, music always has been one the main forms expression for mankind. It seems, however, that along with all of the wonderfulness of music, a little trash tails along with it. Every few months, a one-hit wonder comes out with a song that, despite sounding like a worthless track not worthy of attention, becomes a nationwide sensation. At what point does it stop being artistic? I do enjoy some of the senselessness in music; it’s part of that beauty. Songs with less gravity are fun and stress-relieving, but a lot of them are ridiculous and over-glorified. Justin Bieber comes out of left field with his “music,” and adult women are falling at his feet. Then we have the Ke$ha and the Soulja Boy, people who honestly have no business making CDs for a living but somehow keep making money. Is that really what music is? Maybe I’m alone in this argument, but I have an idea of what music should be. Yes, by definition, anyone can be considered a musician despite a lack of talent, but to me, it takes so much more. It takes a certain amount of skill at your craft and at least a little bit of a message. It doesn’t have to be serious; just let me know why I’m listening. I find myself listening less and less to the radio because very few songs have any substance at all to them – just another three minutes worth of revenue. I want to hear Bach and Chopin, a little Hendrix and Marley. Give me Sinatra and the Roots, operas and musicals, too, if you have any. That’s what music sounds like, because whether it’s a violin or a guitar performing the solo, it will reach out and Read more [...]

Record-breaking first snow fall on Amarillo, AC

Snow blankets AC's Washington St campus

By Chris Major

A 100 year-old record was broken Oct. 27.
As morning came, snow had fallen across the Texas Panhandle, bringing residents the first snow of the year. According to a story in the Amarillo Globe-News, Amarillo received around 2 to 3 inches of snow. As much as 3.1 inches were recorded at the weather station on 1900 English Road, breakng the previous record of 2.4 inches set on Oct. 27, 1911. Because of road conditions, Amarillo police responded to 34 minor accidents from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The high for the day was 38 degrees, melting most of the snow by 5 p.m.


Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2011