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Stephanie Perez

René West: ‘City Walls’ a ‘Quixote quest’

in News by
René West’s exhibition titled “City Walls” opened Friday at the Process Art House at 700 S. Van Buren St. The show will run through May 7. West said she took photographs displaying graffiti walls throughout the country and has been from New York City all the way to Los Angeles, traveling mostly by car. She said she has been working on the project on and off since 2007 and began working steadily in 2010. According to her artist statement, West has made more than “2,500 photographs in 13 states and 17 cities” and photographed by using “macro lens that focuses as close as two inches from the subject,” which allows the images to “represent small fragments of the world greatly magnified when printed.” “The complication lies in walking endlessly on city streets looking for it,” she said. “I find an area that opens up, and I shoot a lot of images. And then I walk for a long time again, searching. “I just like the search – some weird Quixote quest.” West said she likes textures and that layers of them show up in her work all the time. “It is very important to me the way I craft an image and that it does have that sort of tactile quality about it like it has on the street when I find it,” she said. “I work to craft my prints to make it that way, and I’m glad that they are received that way.” Stephanie Perez, a graphic design major specializing in print, said she likes that the photographs are so full of energy. She said they motivated her to do more hands-on work because her work is mostly on the computer. “I like their texture,” Perez said about the photographs “Cats” and “Fees.” “I know it’s flat, but it has so much texture, I want to feel it,” she said as she kept crinkling her hands. Carlos Najera, an animation and graphic design major, said West was his photography teacher. He said he likes the professionalism and how much detail West has put in her photographs. “If you step Read more [...]

Staff editorial: Rising gas prices may affect students

in Opinion by
G AS PRICES are on the rise, conveniently just in time for spring and summer. While travelers are preparing for vacation, they also should prepare to spend more money filling up their vehicles. Experts say there are a few contributing factors in the rise of prices. The U.S. economy still is recovering from a recession, and new troubles with Iran have sparked recently. But the main reason for the increase is simply because the cost of oil has gone up. The average price of gas in the United States at this writing was $3.72, and it is expected to continue to rise throughout the spring and summer months. Just a little more than a month ago, the average price for gas was $3.52. In California, New York, Hawaii and Alaska, the average price already has hit the $4 mark. It’s only the third month of the new year, and gas already is up 13.3 percent from what it was in 2011. The Texas Panhandle consistently has had a fairly stable economy, but that’s not to say that residents, including college students, won’t be affected by the new gas prices. In a recent edition of The Ranger, the student poverty line was addressed. College students always are trying to find deals and cheap ways of living as it is. With students already struggling to make their way through school, will the new gas prices force some students to stop attending in order to save money? It is a possibility. Luckily, Amarillo College will do whatever it takes to help students get through school, including, in some cases, help with public transportation. One upside for students to the increase in gas prices is that it provides more ways to be active in getting to school. Riding a bike, skateboarding or walking during the warmer months can be nice and healthy changeups. For years, the United States has struggled with keeping gas prices at a decent rate. The situation in Iran and other factors make it difficult to keep oil prices down. And the cost of living Read more [...]

AC president not in position just as face of college

in Feature by
AC President Paul Matney Illustration by Stephanie Perez |
February 8, 2012 BY JOSH OLDHAM | Ranger Reporter The position of Amarillo College president is one of the most prestigious positions in the Amarillo community. The responsibilities of the office often are heavy, and only certain types of people would find themselves suited to hold the office. “The president is responsible for all aspects of what goes on at AC,” said Jerry Moller, dean of the academic transfer program. “He’s the one the community looks to.” One of the primary responsibilities of the president’s office is to maintain good relations with the community at large and serve as the college’s public face. The president’s office also maintains academic integrity. “Students pay to become educated individuals,” said Dr. Mary Dodson, an English professor. “It should be the first priority to ensure academic integrity and academic freedom in the classroom.” Even though the goals of good community relations and academic integrity are enough to fill anyone’s plate, the presidency also is faced with several other projects and responsibilities. “The president oversees the senior leadership of the institution,” said Dr. Paul Matney, president since 2009. “We have a cabinet of six officers who are part of the senior leadership.” “We are in charge of making sure that the policies that the board of regents set forth are implemented.” Yet even implementing policies is not the end of the president’s job. “Another big responsibility at this position is the budget,” Matney said, “I am charged to bring to the board every year a balanced budget.” The burden of creating a budget is not a light one, as the cuts in the budget in the past few years have required cutting programs and employment positions. The president also must communicate well with the Texas Legislature. “One of the qualities of a good president, I say, would be integrity,” Moller said. “Integrity must be above reproach.” Others Read more [...]

STAFF EDITORIAL: AC guides student success

in Opinion by
Illustration by Stephanie Perez
Feburary 8, 2012 THE U.S. ECONOMY has suffered for almost four years now and still is in a state of inadequacy. As of December 2011, the unemployment rate in America was standing at 8.5 percent. It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook on the future when a majority of people can hardly afford to go to school. Families who’ve been forced out of a job are finding it difficult to send their kids to school. Then there are those who are right on the margin and don’t qualify for financial aid. That leaves a number of students stuck in the middle: those who can’t afford school without help but don’t qualify for assistance because their family makes just over the specified amount. The poverty line in our area is a thin line. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are homeless or without a job but that you make under a specified amount and qualify for assistance. Not many people are even aware of how close they may be to that line. Many factors play into what is considered poverty, but Amarillo College has a number ways of helping the many students who are faced with the issue. As a community college, AC is one that goes above and beyond to help students succeed in getting through school. With financial aid, job placement programs, campus counseling and more, students have everything needed in order to succeed, and with methods are available to do so. On the AC website, under “AC & Community Resources,” there are lists and links to advise and help anyone looking for a place to start and how to get there. There even is a section of “Top Ten Student Needs” which consists of transportation information, shelter/affordable housing information, child care information and counseling information, just to name a few. Students in need of work also may find that here at the college. There are plenty of student workers on all campuses,  and most of the positions can be fit into students’ school schedules. In a challenging economy such Read more [...]

Staff Editorial: Suck it SOPA

in Opinion by
Illustration by Stephanie Perez | The Ranger
Our internet freedom took a turn for the worst last month as the U.S. government tried to enforce the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep Lamar S. SmithR-San Antonio,  in hopes that it would protect copyrighted material from being used and/or shared through the streams of the Internet. A number of other U.S. representatives supported this bill as it went to Congress. On Jan. 18, a few dozen websites conducted a service blackout to raise awareness of the bill that was in limbo of being passed. And that is when the protests began. Millions of Internet users signed petitions, garnered statements and put the freedom of speech Amendment to good use. After heavy protesting from people across the nation, the government removed the bill from Congress and decided it needed some serious tweaking before instituting something so detrimental to our rights as Americans. Any college student would understand it is almost vital to to have access to the Internet to further education these days. Not only are we able to receive copious amounts of necessary (OK, and maybe some unnecessary) information, but so many people use the Internet to express themselves and network. Artists and musicians gain a following and thrive by putting their work on certain websites. It is almost impossible to find anyone without a Facebook page or Twitter account in today’s society. People connect and share ideas and, in a way, work from their social networking accounts. SOPA was designed to protect, but as it stood, it was going to inhibit one of the few true freedoms we still have as U.S. citizens: our freedom of speech. It is a privilege to have use of the internet, unrestricted, and it is a privilege to use the Internet for our own personal expression and gain. We do always need to be aware of what is legal and morally right, SOPA or no SOPA. The government should not have to over-censor the Internet and deprive us of our rights. It is no different Read more [...]
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