The Weevil
On-Line
 February 20, 2003
Volume 3                                                        No. 4
Staff:  Eric Gaston, Meghan Gladden, DaQuita Hardeman, 
Heidi Rowland, Paul Smith, Will Whiting
Advisor: Dr. Linda Webster
News

Tech Center = Social Center

UAM Debate Team Takes Top Awards Once Again

Harris Hall Renovations Continue

Alltel Converts Services

SAB PlansSpring Events

Ag Students to Mobile 

Art Show on Campus

 

Sports

Blossoms Softball Coach is member of 600-Win Club

Blossoms Softball Coach is member of 600-Win Club

Weevils, Blossoms In Position To Shake Up Gulf South Conference Races

 

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Tech Center = Social Center
by DaQuita Hardeman
     The furniture was removed from the University Center and into the Patio Café and Residence Halls, and now the floors of the UC’s Green Room are left green and bare.
     “Much of the furniture in the Green Room was broken and torn due to its being moved in and out of the Green Room when performances and dinners were held in the room," explained Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Peggy Doss.  "Also, some of the furniture had been torn and even holes punched in it.”
  “The Green room is used almost every week for a university function and also for community functions so the furniture was constantly being moved. We have never really had a crew just to move furniture and still don't. The best of the furniture that could be saved is in Bankston and in the Patio Café,” Doss continued. 
     Nicole Barrett, a senior Health and Wellness major from Morton, Mississippi noted, “Before the furniture was removed from the UC, students would go there to lounge, study, eat, watch television, socialize, and dodge the weather between classes. Now students walk through the UC doors and go either to the cafeteria/Patio Café or straight through taking a short cut to the downstairs parking lot.” 
     Before the University Center's Green Room was designated as the place where students hang out there was the Student Union located in the current post office building on the north side of campus.
     Dr. Matthews, Professor of English, and a UAM alumnae, remembered how things were when she was a student.
     “I was an undergraduate here, from 1955-1958. At that time the Student Union was called exactly that, the 'Student Union'.  It was located in the P.O building that now houses the UAM Bookstore, which previously took up much less
space, as did the Post Office, although in the same building. Things were very  different in those days.  The Union was a gathering place for all students and faculty on campus, and any day you could go there and find students and faculty
sitting together at the many round tables, drinking coffee and getting to know each other.  Everybody went there during the hours when they didn't have classes, and sometimes when they did, and there was a much more collegial atmosphere in those days than exist today.” 
      “There were no social or racial boundaries--distinguished faculty, members of all the fraternities and sororities on campus, coaches, athletes, all mingled together and felt a common bond. The SU was much more accessible than the current small space that now calls itself a gathering place but isn't. When I came back here to teach in January of 1967, it was still there, and once again I spent lots of time there as a faculty member rather than a student, but things hadn't changed all that much."
    She concluded by noting, "The building of the Gibson Center brought an end to what had once been a long and proud tradition of Arkansas A&M/UAM, and I miss the old SUB."
    By contrast to the quiet filling the University Center, a low-toned roar arises from the students conversing both up and down stairs of the new technology center. Students sit on the benches in the lobby, at the tables in Java City, and stand around while keeping out of  the cold wintry weather.
     Shamon Coger, a senior CIS major from Dumas and a Bankston Hall resident said, “If the furniture was still in the UC I would only go to the library to study, not to socialize. I would go to breakfast and then to the UC for a quick nap before class.”
     The Library and Technology Center offers Java City for an early morning pick me up, the library for a quiet place to study, an upstairs computer lab for online work, and now a lobby full of lounging students awaiting their next class.
     Andreka Walker, a sophomore Nursing Major from Hamburg and Horsfall Resident Assistant said, “I would hang out in the UC between classes. The UC would be a place to go to between classes when it’s cold and raining and instead of the students gathering in the residence halls, they’ll have somewhere to hang out also.” 
     Matisha Bobo, a junior CIS major from Helena who works in the computer lab, has  noticed that the number of students using the lab increases during the cold morning hours, but later on in the day the numbers decrease. 
     Shandolyn Watson, a commuter from Dumas said, “If the furniture was still in the UC, I would go there between classes, but because of the discomfort I, a lot of times, go home.”
     So does Corbie Vassol, also from Dumas.  She leaves campus and goes home rather than spending any time on campus between classes. 
      While Robin Garcia, one of the assistants in the Patio Café said, “When it’s cold outside or when it rains, I lose business because there doesn’t seem to be anyone on campus", the service in Java City on the other hand tells a different story.
      “When it’s cold outside my business improves. The colder it is the more coffee I sell and the more hot chocolate I sell. When it’s cold a lot of people just come in to sit,” said Diana Brinkley, Java City’s main assistant.
 “We are working with Aramark Food Services on a design and plan to add soft seating to the Café, so students, faculty and staff have more new seating for a more casual atmosphere and a place to "hang out". I have asked Dr. Brown to price a pin ball machine and some other kind of game for the Patio Café also,” said Doss. 
UAM Debate Team Takes Top Awards Once Again
by Will Whiting
     The University of Arkansas - Monticello Debate and Forensics team brought home 27 awards, including 1st place overall sweepstakes, 1st place in Debate sweepstakes, and 3rd place in individual events sweepstakes at the Bicker Debates and Individual Events tournament held February 7 through February 9 on the campus of the University of Louisiana - Monroe. 
     UAM competitors competed with students from Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
     UAM captured first place honors in two individual events.  Michael Perkins, a freshman Speech major from Denton, Texas took first place in poetry.  Perkins, along with Jessica Smith, a senior Criminal Justice major from Monticello, took the first place trophy in duo interpretation.  Perkins also added the first place Pentathlon award to his list.
     Individual event winners included Betty Dintelman, a junior pre-law major, and April Jacks, a freshman general studies major, who took top novice duo interpretation and fifth place duo, overall.  In addition, Jacks took sixth place in after dinner speaking.  Will Whiting, a freshman communication/journalism major from Monticello, was awarded sixth place in extemporaneous speaking and fifth place in informative speaking.  Roy Vaughn, a senior criminal justice/communications major, took fourth place in both programmed oral interpretation and prose. 
    Dorothy Thompson, a senior business/marketing major from Wichita, Kansas was awarded two third place awards; one in programmed oral interpretation and the other in dramatic interpretation.  Jessica Smith was awarded fifth place in this same event, and Michael Perkins picked up fourth place in dramatic interpretation.  In addition, Vaughn and Thompson teamed up to take sixth place in duo interpretation.
    In IPDA debate action, UAM was represented well into the final rounds.  Three novice debaters were awarded quarter finalist trophies including Betty Dintelman, April Jacks and Will Whiting.  Brett Eckert and Dorothy Thompson, two varsity debaters, were awarded quarter finalist trophies as well.  Jacks and Dintelman also picked up individual speaker awards. 
     UAM also took a parliamentary debate team to this tournament.  The members, Leslie Nelms, a senior speech/education major from Snyder, Arkansas and Jessica Smith broke into the final rounds in this style of debate winning second place overall.  In addition, Nelms was honored with a speaker award.
     The team is currently preparing for the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in Baltimore, MD in late March.  UAM will also host the Last Call Classic, an IPDA debate-only tournament, March 8 through 9.
Harris Hall Renovations Continue
by Will Whiting
     The sounds of nails dropping, shafts turning and voices shouting are all common sounds on the south side of the campus as the Harris Hall renovations continue.  But when this renovation project is complete, students may feel relieved knowing that it will serve as a one-stop for many of their college needs. 
      The blueprints have been released and many offices will be relocating to better serve the needs of the students,  according to Dr. Peggy Doss, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and University Relations.  Offices scheduled to move include Admissions, Scholarship, and Recruitment, Financial Aid, Residence Life, Registrar, Counseling, Testing and Tutoring Services, Disabled Student Services and a portion of the Cashier’s Office.
      In addition, the newly renovated building will include additional classroom space.  The Adams Room will be used for a conference and meeting room. 
     “Campus organizations such as the UAM Student Ambassadors could use the Adams room as a location to hold regular meetings,”   suggested Doss.
     If everything goes as planned, renovations should be complete by the end of this semester, allowing students to begin benefiting from the new one-stop at the start of the 2003-2004 school year. 
     According to Doss, “The target date to begin moving into Harris Hall is expected to be as soon as May commencement is completed.  However, some offices may require more time than others.” 
     Students will be able to complete scholarship and financial aid applications, receive registration information and pay their tuition all in one location. 
     As an example of how the onestop process will work, students will be able to pay for and receive a copy of their transcript in the same facility.  In the past, they had to pay for the transcript in the BBC but couldn't receive it without walking across campus to the Student Services Building.  Also, students looking for on-campus employment will be able to search the student worker job posting database in this building. 
     The building is being renovated by a grant UAM received from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council which is paying the school $1.2 million over two years to cover the costs of the renovation process.  Harris Hall is considered a historical building, as is its sister building, Horsfall Hall.  The two were constructed at nearly the same time with very similar features.  The grant is also paying for an elevator to be installed, making Harris Hall  accessible for students with disabilities.
     The current Student Services Building will undergo several repairs before it is converted into an area primarily targeting student life.  Some offices will be located in the building, but plans include using the majority of the facility for student activities.
     “The large space in the center of the building is a prime location for student organizations to hold functions such as dances,” says Doss.
     Academic Advising will remain in the Administration Building, but, according to Doss, long term plans include building a covered walk-way to link the Administration Building, Harris Hall and the Student Services Center. 
Alltel Converts Services
by Meghan Gladden
     The training is underway.  February 10-13, sixteen people from various areas in Arkansas, including Monticello,   attended meetings at Alltel’s corporate office in Little Rock on Allied Drive.
     On August 1, Alltel bought CenturyTel wireless. The local market began to offer Alltel’s equipment, along with its rate plans, the following month.  Though the new rate plans were available, the computer programs, used to activate, evaluate account information, process credit checks and receive customer payments, remained unchanged. This left the representatives in the new Alltel markets unable to post payments or service in any way, the customers from its original markets. Until the upcoming conversion, these locations can only service the accounts from the former CenturyTel markets.
     Until the conversion, if a customer with a Little Rock phone number (pre-existing Alltel market) moves to Monticello and wants to get a local prefix, they could not simply receive a phone number change.  They would have to undergo a credit check (to determine the amount of deposit) and activate a new account, and then disconnect the existing number.   Even if the customer didn’t require a deposit when they activated in Little Rock, they often will in the old Century Tel markets. 
    There have been instances where a person required a $200 deposit per line in Little Rock upon activation but would have to pay $1000 per line in Monticello to activate with a local number. 

     After the April conversion, these discrepancies will be no more.  In almost all cases, the deposit amounts should be considerably lower than what is currently required using the CenturyTel credit system. 
     Another improvement that is coming soon to this market is CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) digital towers.  They will increase the reception and battery life of the phones, as well as allow the use of more advanced functions, such as text messaging that cannot be supported by the analog towers currently in place.
     The first two days of the meetings were dedicated to learning through simulation exercises with a program called Unity, and the second day, to training on the Virtuoso II software.  These are the two programs that are used for virtually all aspects of business for retail locations.  The purpose of the training meeting was to prepare a section of employees recently obtained through Alltel’s purchase of another wireless company, for a rapidly approaching conversion.
     In April, Alltel will equip the new locations with its systems.  The programs will give these representatives access to accounts in all Alltel owned and operated markets.  But before the conversion can take place, Alltel has to train these employees on to navigate within the programs.  Once the training is completed,  both the Alltel retail store and Wal-Mart kiosk will be able to process payments from any Alltel Market in the country, wireless or wire-line.  Also deposit decisions will be the same in all markets. 
SAB Plans Spring Events 
by Eric Gaston
     Members of the Student Activities Board (SAB) met on Wednesday, February 19, at 2 p.m. in Conference Room B of the UAM Library and Technology Center to discuss UAM activities planned for the rest of the semester.
     The SAB, consisting of  both faculty and students, plans and implements activities to encourage student participation, to offer varied cultural and entertainment experiences, and to promote the maturation of students. 
     A recruitment drive was held last Wednesday, February 12, to push the student body involvement and to gain membership. 

 

    On the agenda was the preparation of the upcoming Jabali Afrika concert on Tuesday, February 25, at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.  The ticket prices will be $5 for non UAM students and free admission for all  with valid UAM identification.  An evening teaser is also in the works with the group prior to the concert in the UC building. 
    Spring Fling Week, planned for March 31 through April 4 may include activities such as a luau, outdoor activities, bands, mocha madness, barbecues, and a pool party. 
     The last item on agenda was a discussion about possibly installing a bench in front of the Horsefall housing complex. 
     The next Student Activities Board (SAB) meeting is scheduled for March 5, at 2 p.m., in the UAM Library and Technology Center’s Conference Room B.  The tentative plans for this meeting are to further ideas for Spring Fling Week and Student Appreciation Week. 
Ag Students to Mobile 

     Students from the University of Arkansas at Monticello Division of Agriculture recently competed against other agriculture majors from throughout the Southern Region in the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Quiz Bowl.  Mandy Hillis of Scott, Mississippi; Bobby Golden of Hamburg; and Paul McKnight of Vilonia represented UAM.       The competition took place in Mobile, Alabama as part of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meetings.  A 3-member, mixed team format was used where each team member came from a different university.  This format promotes interaction among the undergraduate students and allows both large and small universities equal status. 
     All three UAM students reached the quarterfinal level of the double-elimination competition with their respective teams.  A total of 46 students from 11 universities participated.  2003 represents the fifth year that UAM agriculture majors have participated in the Quiz Bowl.  Dr. Bob Stark, UAM Quiz Bowl Advisor, accompanied the students.


Left to Right: Bobby Golden, Mandy Hillis, and Paul McKnight
Art Show on Campus

     On exhibition in the Spencer Gallery, February 17 through March 2, is the Regional Youth Art Show. The exhibition consists of work completed by  kindergarten through the twelfth grade students in the southeast region of 
Arkansas. 
     Art teachers from the counties in the southeast region, Jefferson, Cleveland, Lincoln, Desha, Drew, Bradley, Calhoun, Union, Ashley, and Chicot, submitted work completed in the art classroom under their supervision 
during the current school year.
 


A reception for the young artists, and their guests will be held Sunday, March 2 from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. in Spencer Gallery on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Certificates of awards will be given at 
approximately 2:30 p.m..  Entries chosen for the STATE YOUTH AAE SHOW will be announced at this time.

For more information go to:
http://cotton.uamont.edu/%7Erichardt/aae03.html

Blossoms Softball Coach is member of 600-Win Club
by Paul Smith
     In the world of collegiate sports, it is rare to see a coach win over 600 games. When a coach dedicates himself to two sports, it is even more rare.  However, the University of Arkansas-Monticello has a coach who has achieved that milestone in Cotton Blossoms head softball coach, Alvy Early.
     Early, a three-time Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year (1987, 1990, 1993) and a two-time NAIA District 17 Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year (1987, 1990) won 425 games as the UAM Women’s Basketball coach before stepping down after the 1999-2000 season, and has added to that total as the leader of UAM’s highly successful softball program, winning 205 games coming into the 2003 softball season to give Early a career total of 630 wins as a collegiate head coach.  This is a feat most other head coaches only dream of accomplishing. 
     For Early, it seems to be just another step en route to his 700th coaching victory, a realistic goal if his Cotton Blossoms teams keep winning at the rate of the past three seasons. Having guided the Blossoms to three consecutive Gulf South Conference-West Division championships, this season Early’s Blossoms were picked to finish first once again by the coaches of the Gulf South Conference.
    The 700-win milestone could be reached sometime next season if the Blossoms average 35 wins a season over the next two years. In his six seasons as head softball coach, his teams are averaging nearly that, and this year’s group is off to a good start, posting an early 3-1 record en route to this weekend’s Gulf South Conference Crossover tournament in Tunica, MS.
      After leading the Cotton Blossoms basketball team to the final AIC Championship in 1994-1995, Early took the Blossoms to the Gulf South Conference-West Division Championship in their first season in NCAA Division II. Since becoming softball coach at UAM, Early has produced fifteen all-Gulf South Conference players, with nine being named to the all-NCAA South Region team. Last season, the team produced the first-ever All-American from the Gulf South Conference’s West Division in senior outfielder Heidi Martin. 
Profile: Coach Tommy Barnes
by Meghan Gladden
     Tommy Barnes is the UAM coach with the longest tenure, as well as the most victories.  He played football for the Weevils from 1969-1971 and became an assistant coach for the team in 1980.  He was then named head coach in 1985 and went on to coach the Weevils for 12 seasons before retiring in 1996.
      According to Robert Leonard, MBSF director and a   volunteer coach during Barnes’ last few seasons, "Coach Barnes had a connection with the players that went beyond the field.” 
     At times he would bring the whole football team to church, he would help his players through emotional and financial difficulties, and give them food and a place to stay when they had none. He adopted his team as part of his family. 
    Barnes retired in 1996 to concentrate on his health, shortly after discovering that he had a serious illness known as Parkinson’s disease.  He began taking medications to help control his disease.  They were not only ineffective, but caused insomnia. He and his wife, Kookie, began searching for alternatives.  Deep Brain Stimulation seemed to be a possibility. 
   Because the procedure cannot be done in Arkansas they traveled to Nashville only to find out that the doctors there discouraged this type of treatment.  In Dallas, they found a doctor who was very optimistic about the risky treatment.  Barnes under went the procedure in which electrodes are attached to the affected part of the brain, then run to generators installed in his chest.  The electrodes stimulate that part of the brain being attacked and allow Coach Barnes to function at 100%.  Although it is not a cure for the disease, it controls it and has given him his life back.
     As a coach he was no stranger to risk.  In life he took the chance.  This is another win for Tommy Barnes, a well-deserved UAM Hall-of-Famer.
Weevils, Blossoms In Position To Shake Up Gulf South Conference Races
by Paul Smith
     Despite a topsy-turvy season in which both the University of Arkansas-Monticello Cotton Blossoms and Boll Weevils have suffered close defeats, the both the Weevils and Blossoms are now cast in the spoiler’s role in the Gulf South Conference-West Division.
     Despite featuring only seven players, the Cotton Blossoms, under first-year head coach Jill Lewis have posted their best win total in the last three seasons, and the most wins for the club since current UAM Director of Athletics Alvy Early coached the team. With a potent, balanced attack that 
features junior guard Kayla Pilgrim (5-5 Jr, Hamburg), Casper Bobo (5-10 Jr, Saltillo, MS), and Shana Woodruff (5-5 Jr, Itawamba, MS) as the team’s leading scorers, the Blossoms have made the road to the Gulf South Conference 
tournament in Tupelo, MS a tough one.
     After starting out with a stellar non-conference record, the Blossoms stumbled through the opening of the conference season, losing their first six conference match-ups before downing Christian Brothers 57-50 in overtime. 
     Having played their opponents closely, losing five of the first six conference games by eight points or less, the Blossoms were primed to take over as spoilers, reeling off three straight wins starting with the Christian Brothers game, following up with a 62-57 defeat of Ouachita Baptist, and stunning the nation with a 49-41 overtime defeat of #8 Arkansas Tech, the all-time winningest team in NCAA Division II history.
    The Blossoms travel to Conway on Monday to meet up with the Sugar Bears of the University of Central Arkansas, in a 6 PM contest. A Blossom upset of UCA could end the playoff aspirations of the Sugar Bears, and give the nod to 
Harding, whose recent upset of UCA has them one game out of the final slot.

     The Boll Weevils find themselves in a similar role this season, as second-year coach Mike Newell’s squad struggled at the beginning of the season, opening with only one win in their first six games. However, the 
freshman-heavy squad impressed teams all over the conference with solid play, led by freshman forward Billy McDaniel, (6-7 Fr, Hearne, TX) who has averaged 
21.8 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game.
   Contributions from freshman Brandon Mayweather (6-4 Fr, Crossett) and Damon Harris (6-2 Fr, North Little Rock) have been crucial, as has the continued excellent play of senior Idrion Reed (6-2 Sr, Queens, NY), who has kept the 
Weevils in many games with his tremendous shooting ability.
     At times starting a full freshman lineup, the Boll Weevils have struggled with inexperience, but that is part of Newell’s plan, who said, “When we get some experience, we’ve got the talent to contend for a national championship.” 
     Newell will spend the off-season on the recruiting trail in hopes of adding another inside presence to the Weevil squad.
    For the remainder of the season, the schedule provides the Weevils with a chance to spoil the postseason hopes of Christian Brothers University. In an earlier meeting this season in Memphis, CBU torched the Weevils with 17 three-pointers, fourth all-time in the Gulf South Conference. If the Weevils knock off CBU, it will be nearly impossible for the Buccaneers to contend for a playoff position.
     While the season has not been kind to either squad in the victory column, both the Boll Weevils and Cotton Blossoms have their sights set on the future, as both squads realize with the talent they have and the experience they are gaining, they are on track to becoming elite squads in the Gulf South 
Conference.
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