NMSU Theatre: Onstage Audience Watches Family Disintegrate

By Sante Guajardo

Staff Writer

NMSU’s Theatre Arts Program’s season has begun in earnest with the first three of 10 planned performances of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds, written by Paul Zindel and first performed in 1964, illustrates the lives of girls living under the tyranny of their drug-addicted mother.

The play premiered Off Broadway in 1970, which won Zindel, a science teacher before being able to move into writing full-time, the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award.

After Off Broadway, the play was turned into a film directed by Paul Newman and starring Eli Wallach and Joanne Woodward.  Woodward won the Best Actress Award for her role as the mother at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.

The director of NMSU’s production, Josh Chenard, has done an excellent job portraying the beauty of this piece.  By putting the audience on the stage, he has made the theatre-going experience even more intimate, making you feel as though perhaps you are a member of this crumbling family.  It’s an unorthodox but highly effective move.

The play features Tiffany Tyson, Parigrynne Cox, Miranda Kay Elizabeth, and Stephanie Vasquez Fonseca, who portray this family with passion and poise.

I highly recommend seeing this play.  The remaining performances will be on October 2-4 and 8-11.

For more information about upcoming shows, visit: http://www.nmsutheatre.com/

Hump Day Movies Are a Welcome Midweek Treat

By Nani Lawrence

Staff Writer

The air stagnates within the mostly white walls of Corbett Center Student Union on the New Mexico State University campus. The school has just finished most of the construction of the second-floor lounge, but between the second stairwell and the last, it is still blocked off.

Corbett Auditorium is still located in the same spot, but the inconvenient construction makes it simpler to enter from the east side, near Pete’s Place.

American Sniper has about 20 minutes left. As a whole, Corbett is mostly empty, but outside the auditorium, a group of friends listen to music, seemingly trying to choreograph a dance.

When the movie lets out, a crush of students rush to spend the rest of their evening in Corbett’s downstairs seating area or one of the three dorms on campus. All except for one.

Olivia Tedder is a freshman from Utah.

“I’ve been to all the movies so far (at that time, The Avengers 2, Furious 7, and Jurassic World),” she says.

These movies make being basically stuck on campus all semester, sans holidays, a bit easier, she added.

Hump Day Movies, shown at 7 p.m. every Wednesday, were started by Aggies Activities Council as a way to get students more fully involved on campus. If there’s more to do on campus, maybe students will be less inclined to go home for the weekend or stay cooped up in their apartment or dorm, says AAC’s reasoning.

NMSU student Brianna Hernandez enjoys the weekly event because it’s a relaxing way to start the school week.

Fellow NMSU student Lupita Ochoa likes the social aspect.

“(A movie such as this) gets a lot of students out of their rooms because it’s something that’s free and you can just come and hang out with friends,” she says.

The AAC is funded through Campus Activities, budgeted from student fees. The 2014-2015 Tuition & Fees Guidelines reports Campus Activities’ budget at about $35,000. Morgan Busch, AAC adviser, says, since students already ‘paid’ the AAC with their fees, they should not have to pay again. Every AAC-sponsored event is “always free, always fun.”

The AAC selects movies via a seven-student-member executive board.

Andrew Monedero, AAC executive board member and self-proclaimed movie buff, works at a movie theater. If a movie does well, he will suggest the council acquire it for a showing on campus. They try to get movies that are ‘in-between,’ that is, they’re no longer in theaters, but they’re also not yet available for rental.

To acquire these movies, NMSU usually works with Swank Motion Pictures, based out of St. Louis, Missouri, according to Busch. Swank acts as a middleman between motion picture studios and institutions such as hotels/resorts and college campuses.

Swank employee Chris Vierling, who directly deals with NMSU, says the licensing fees to show these films is based on three things: size of campus, expected turnout, and how new the chosen movie is. Typically, though, the licensing fee, actual DVD, and shipping and handling fee amounts anywhere between $600 and $1,000 per movie showing.

This semester, the AAC plans to show 15 movies, including Pixels, Magic Mike XXL, and Ted 2. Most of them are newer, as Busch mentioned, but a few are older, such as Elf.

For seven years, NMSU didn’t really have an activities council, says Busch. The university hired her about a year ago to bring it back.

“NMSU is in a decline for things happening on campus,” says Busch.

Events like Hump Day Movies encourage students to take full advantage of the college experience, she says.

Like Busch, AAC Director of Programming Priscilla Artalejo says it’s important for students to be involved on campus because that involvement adds to college life.

“We’re adults, and we should get involved in our community,” she says. “For right now, that community is NMSU.”

Past events the council has planned include an AJR concert as part of Aggie Family Weekend earlier this month, the volunteer opportunity Keep State Great in Fall 2014, and the Western Athletic Conference in Spring 2015.

The council is always looking for fresh ideas. Busch can be contacted via Campus Activities at (575) 646-3200, and the general assembly meets every Wednesday prior to the Hump Day Movies, at 6 p.m.

Complete movie listings can be found in Corbett, right across from Einstein’s Bagels and outside Corbett Auditorium. Posters are also available at the Campus Activities office.

Sweet Volleyball: Aggies Get First Win Against Lobos Since 2012

By Albert Luna

Staff Writer

Game start. Photo by Albert Luna.

The New Mexico State Aggies used some big plays to open up sets and were able to overcome a 1-0 deficit to come back and defeat rival UNM Tuesday night in the Pan American Center.

The Aggies were playing their second leg in a four-game home stand that started Saturday night with a 3-0 sweep of University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. NMSU was looking to beat their rivals from up north for the first time in three years, after disappointingly getting swept in Albuquerque last year. The Aggies also welcomed back Brianna Ainsworth and Andrea Tauai from injury.

In the first set, the Aggies started off slow, despite a great opening kill by freshman Tatyana Battle. The Aggies quickly found themselves in a 5-1 hole, with UNM scoring primarily on some misfired serves from NMSU.

Despite the Aggies trying their best to pull ahead, they consistently allowed the Lobos to stay in the set with missed dig opportunities. NMSU took a timeout 15-14 down, but was unable to respond to Head Coach Mike Jordan’s liking, forcing another timeout 19-18 down.

Questionable calls by the referees had Jordan livid as what would have been a 21-21 tie was turned into a 23-21 difference in favor of UNM. The Lobos would use that momentum to ultimately take the set, 25-20.

The Aggies, predictably, came out firing on all cylinders to start the second set, with Tatyana Battle having two of the first six points and Murphy garnering another two to put NMSU up 6-1. The Lobos would take a timeout of their own and would respond fairly well, cutting the lead to three at one point.

However, NMSU was able to garner a few points themselves, not letting UNM come within three points the rest of the set. The strong start by the Aggies proved to be the difference, as the remainder of the set was fairly even, particularly down the stretch.

This culminated in a deciding 25th point for NMSU, allowing UNM to score four straight before a Bradley Nash kill was able to close out the set, 25-20, and allow the Aggies to head into halftime with a tied match at one all.

“We get a little uptight sometimes as a team, and for us, the hardest points to get are the last ones,” Jordan says of his team’s late-game struggles.

Coming out of the break, Nash picked up right where she left off, getting two early kills to put the Aggies up three early.

“I thought Bradley was the star of the game,” Jordan says of the senior. “She played the ball really well today.” Jordan said of his senior.

A Natalie Castellanos-kill gave the Aggies a four-point cushion at 8-4.

Gwen Murphy also had two early pairs of kills and NMSU found itself with a 10-4 advantage, another strong start. NMSU slapped off some attempts at runs from the Lobos early in the set, which was topped off with a great sequence in which a Kaylee Neal-dig led to a powerful Tatyana Battle kill to make it 15-9, forcing UNM to call a timeout.

NMSU showed the talent fans have become accustomed to seeing all season, demonstrated by a 6-4 run that also saw NMSU make two straight diving plays in one sequence to force, in essence, two Lobo timeouts. Murphy then took it from there, as the star connected on two straight kills to allow the Aggies to take the set, 25-14.

With the Aggies looking to end the comeback in quick fashion in the fourth set, they started off slow in comparison to the previous set starts. In contrast to the runs that put them up early in sets two and three, the Aggies played from behind for most of the final set, ultimately forcing Jordan’s hand in calling a timeout with his team down 10-7.

The team responded well by going on a run of their own to tie it up again at 12-all, which forced UNM to take time to chat things through. The Aggies came out with the same amount of fight with a 17-13 score to show for it on the scoreboard at one point. A pair of kills by Castellanos and Murphy kills gave Aggies a comfortable 22-16 lead, and that’s as close as the Lobos would get.

The Aggies survived a bit of a scare down the stretch, needing yet another Murphy kill to finally seal the match and game.

Aggie and Lobo right at the net. Photo by Albert Luna.

“I surprised myself, I have been struggling recently and today was a big game and I’m glad we were able to get a win,” Nash says, adding the team needs “to close out better.”

The final set score was three-one, in favor of the Aggies.

“Rivalries games are huge,” says Murphy. “This game was redemption (for last year).”

Looking ahead, the Aggies will next be in action on Thursday, October 1, against Chicago State, the first in six straight WAC-opponents before they will take a break to play another rival—UTEP.

“Our expectations don’t change,” says Coach Jordan. “We are still competing for conference championships.”

Fantasy Football: Week 3

By Julian Martinez

Staff Writer

Fantasy Football wk3
Photo by NFL Memes.

Quarterback: Big Ben down, Tyrod rising

A decent amount of fantasy owners assumed the worst on Sunday afternoon when they saw Ben Roethlisberger’s leg bend in a way legs should never bend. Luckily, they got the news on Monday Roethlisberger should return in four to six weeks. It definitely is going to be a blow to most owners, as Big Ben was looking to be in the elite tier of the position but this injury could have been a lot worse.

Tyrod Taylor is still owned in less than half of fantasy leagues and that is crazy. It is crazy because after three weeks it is apparent that everyone needs to be taking this emerging QB1 more seriously.  Buffalo drummed the Dolphins on Sunday 41-14 and leading the assault the whole way was Taylor.

Many saw Taylor as a pure running quarterback, but he now has seven passing touchdowns against three interceptions on the young year. Taylor is a must-add in all formats and if any of the major quarterback injuries over the last couple weeks have hurt your team, he is a legitimate answer.

The Raiders’ Derek Carr is also available in many leagues and should be on your radar. After exiting early in week one with a hand injury, Carr has led the Raider offense quite impressively. Carr has utilized his weapons and has had back-to-back 300-yard passing days.

Amari Cooper has looked the part of a first-round wide receiver and Michael Crabtree has been given new life with Carr. This coming weekend should be a cake match-up for Carr, as he will face the lowly Bears.

Running back: Freeman exciting, Anderson not so much

Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman made many owners very happy this weekend, unless you were playing against him, that is. In a thrilling game against the now Romo-less Dallas Cowboys, Freeman carried the ball and his team to victory to the tune of three touchdowns and 141 yards on the ground.

Early on Freeman was mired in question marks, particular when it came to his timeshare with rookie Tevin Coleman, but it would be hard for the Falcons to bench him after his outing in Dallas. It is at least worth monitoring the situation going forward, as Coleman was performing admirably before his injury.

It’s time to say it: C.J. Anderson isn’t who we thought he was. It’s hard to bail on, for many, your first-round pick, but at this point Anderson is in a serious limbo. Sure, he missed time to deal with a concussion in this past game, but what was even more troubling is that, when he was on the field, he only compiled 18 yards, far from what his projections were coming into the year.

You can’t cut Anderson, but you can’t have him in your starting lineup either until he produces, and it is understandable if this is tough narrative to swallow, given how much stock you probably placed in the Denver running back.

Rex Ryan came into the year with the intention of having a strong running game shoulder on the back of the recently acquired LeSean McCoy. But it looks as though that plan might be changing a bit, as a new back has emerged in Buffalo. Karlos Williams appears to be commanding more playing time, as he has been a solid producer with the touches he’s been given.

He has had a touchdown in each of his first three games and McCoy is battling a hamstring injury, which will force the Bills to give Williams more opportunity. Williams can be considered a low-end RB2 if McCoy misses time and even a solid flex play with a healthy McCoy.

Matt Jones may have not lived up to his previous week statistics Thursday night against the Giants, but there is still some value to be had with him. If he can prove to the coaching staff that he can hold onto the ball, and if Alfred Morris continues to fall from favor, then Jones can be a solid RB2 by mid-season.

Wide Receiver: Two veterans who may have fallen from grace

James Jones may not be the most exciting name on the field, but there is no denying his rapport with Aaron Rogers. Rogers found Jones in the end zone for the fourth time this season against Kansas City, and with Devante Adams appearing to be dealing with an injury, Jones’ targets are only going to go up. He is now a firm WR2.

The two veterans who are trending downward are Roddy White and Andre Johnson.

White caught over 80 receptions last year, but when stories of him getting his knee drained this off-season arose many fantasy owners had to grimace. Yet in the draft, it was hard not to take White, who has been a staple in the Atlanta offense for many years and has been Matt Ryan’s favorite target not named Julio Jones.

But it now looks like White needs to be on everyone’s bench for the foreseeable future, as he has not caught a pass in two straight games and Leonard Hankerson, who has seen more targets than White in the last two games, is the better receiver at this point.

Meanwhile Andre Johnson, who was an exciting free agent pickup by what was envisioned to be a prolific offense in Indianapolis, has not lived up to the hype. Johnson is now the third or maybe fourth option for quarterback Andrew Luck. He is miles behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief is turning into a rising star. Phillip Dorsett even was targeted in the end zone this week and could see increased playing time, which makes Johnson a WR4 or WR5 for many fantasy owners.

A name that needs to be owned is Rishard Matthews. Matthews has been consistent in the Miami passing game and he is criminally under-owned at this point. Against the Bills, Matthews scored two touchdowns on top of 113 yards. He may be behind Jarvis Landry when it comes to who Ryan Tannehill prefers to target, but so far Miami is proving there is more than enough to go around as Matthews is a solid flex play week-in and week-out.

Tight End: Good news if you’re streaming tight ends

Tyler Eifert lit up the Raiders in week one, in week two it was the Ravens’ Gillmore, and in week three it was Gary Barnidge. Barnidge is not a fantasy must-own by any means, and this is likely the last time he will be mentioned by me or any fantasy columnist this season, but he found the end zone and achieved the century mark in yards against what is turning into the most favorable match-up for tight ends in football.

One name that hasn’t been mentioned that much this year has been star tight end Jimmy Graham. Among all the breakout sensations at the position, Graham’s name has been lost in the shuffle, partly due to the variety of good tight ends developing, but also because Graham, much like everyone expected, saw his targets go down as he moved from New Orleans to the Pacific Northwest in Seattle.

This week Graham saw eight targets, which he turned into seven receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. It can be conceivable that Graham’s uptick in usage can be attributed to Marshawn Lynch’s absence for the majority of this game, but at least he’s trending in the right way.

Charles Clay is a name to consider looking at. This may be the third Bill mentioned but for good reason. With Sammy Watkins a possible scratch in week four, Taylor will look for other options in the passing game and Clay can be that guy. The Bills invested in Clay this off-season and despite the slow start he had in preseason, his production continues to rise as the season has gone on. In week three against his former teammates, Clay scored a touchdown and this week he could be a low-end TE1

Kicker and DST: A few notes

After a few terrible weeks, I recant my endorsement of the new-looking San Francisco defense. They were toyed with by Carson Palmer and company merely a week after getting dominated in Pittsburgh. They are safe to drop at this point.

Kicker Cody Parkey of the Philadelphia Eagles was recently placed on the IR. Caleb Sturgis will be taking over the kicking duties in Philadelphia. Sturgis has some value if the Eagle offense can find some of that Chip Kelly-magic again and start putting points on the board, but beyond that he isn’t above average at the position.

Don’t forget that bye weeks start this week, so take extra care in monitoring your lineup.

NMSU Art Exhibition Details Immigrants’ Struggles

By Kimberly T. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

The NMSU University Art Gallery is hosting the exhibition “Between Here and There,” featuring artists Terri Warpinski and Paul Turounet. The exhibition contains many original photographs of the Borderlands, as well as visualizing Mexican emigrants traveling through the desert.

The artists created a border simulation and site-specific installation, followed by photographs of immigrants’ journey to the United States from Mexico.

“Originally my motivation was to expand the dialogue to a greater audience,” says Turounet, referring to dialogue regarding immigration.

The photographs in the exhibition are from personal encounters with immigrants and illustrate the conditions they face while trying to get to the U.S. Turounet’s focus was to give the viewer a sense of intimacy with the immigrants.

“I wanted to have a sense of humanity to come through,” he says.  “I wanted there to be an emotional connection for the viewer to experience people that are marginalized, stereotyped.  I wanted the viewer to experience them in a different way as if they were sitting across the table from these people.”

“The idea itself is extremely intriguing,” says Henry Hartig, an NMSU art student who attended the exhibition’s opening on September 3.  “Hearing about the issues of border security and border politics is an emotionally charged issue already, and to create a gallery about it seems like an obvious observation. Then when you can consider the view of the uniqueness of the photographs by Warpinski, it really conveys the aesthetically striking aspects of this very charged experience that real people have that most people don’t experience on a daily basis, including myself. As far as an art gallery, I consider this successful,”

The exhibition will continue until October 3.  There will be two up coming events at the gallery:

  • Thursday, October 1, Warpinski will be lecturing from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 3, there will be a panel discussion, “Borderlands as Negotiated through the Arts” at 2 p.m.

NMSU Students Rally In Support of Planned Parenthood

By Kimberly T. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

An unchartered NMSU student organization known as the Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice will be hosting a rally in support of Planned Parenthood on September 29 at one p.m. in front of Corbett Center.

Planned Parenthood is a non-profit healthcare provider offering such services as pregnancy tests, education to help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and provide screenings for cervical and other cancers.

The organization has been under fire recently after videos surfaced over the summer, videos in which representatives of the organization talk about selling aborted fetal tissue for profit. An investigation by House Democrats took place and recently found “no evidence” of wrongdoing on the organization’s part.

“We maintained the entire time, first of all, the accusations that were made against the organization were false,” says Marshall Martinez, field organizer for Planned Parenthood in Albuquerque.  “The videos that were produced were highly edited, the videos were taken without the consent of the people that were in the videos. It was a deceitful attack on not just on Planned Parenthood as an organization, but really on the access to reproductive healthcare.”

House Republicans, however, remain convinced of wrongdoing, and are threatening to shut down the federal government in November if the federal budget includes any funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives approximately $500 million a year under Title X, funding for family planning services.

The rally on the 29th is a nationwide event to demonstrate the general public supports Planned Parenthood.

The organizers encourage participants to wear pink on the day of the rally.

Local leader of SARJ and NMSU student Sydney Frederickson also encourages students from the NMSU community to join their organization to discuss and support reproductive health rights.

“We are sponsored and we support Planned Parenthood, but I also want (SARJ) to be a place for students to get educated about sex and to be a place to be open to talk about it,” she says.  “A place to educate about having options and supporting them.  I don’t think a lot of students know about the inequality and the injustices toward women.  This isn’t about just women, it’s about men and women getting the resources they need.”

The next Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice meeting will be held this Thursday, October 1, at seven p.m. on the second floor of Corbett Center.

For more information on Planned Parenthood, visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org

Check in later for The Round Up’s post-rally coverage!

Martinez Stresses Energy Independence, Education Reform at Domenici Conference

By Cailee Nelson

Staff Writer

The Las Cruces Convention Center buzzed with excitement the early morning of September 17. Filled with breakfast croissants and coffee, business members, politicians, and everyday citizens were charged, ready for another full day of public policy at the 2015 Domenici Public Policy Conference.

The conference kicked off Wednesday, September 16, with speeches on education’s role in economic development and aging U.S. infrastructure. Keynote speakers included: James B. Hunt, Jr. (the former Governor of South Carolina), and Mary E. Peters (the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation).

NM Governor Susana Martinez, on Thursday, addressed regional economic development, detailing her “sweeping” energy plan.

“This new plan maps out an energy policy for the 21st Century,” she says. “It supports an all-of-the-above energy approach. Promoting all sources of energy as a means to create jobs, diversify a key sector of our economy, and to help our nation secure energy independence.”

Speaking to New Mexico’s natural resources, Martinez says the state needs to harvest all it can.

“We must bolster our energy infrastructure,” she says.

She addressed the possibility of creating a new rail line from the Four Corners to I-40, in order to cut down on transportation costs for all energy costs in the state, thereby also making better sources of energy more affordable for the general population.

“By creating new rail lines and improving electric transmission, we can expand our market opportunities,” she says.

Martinez also spoke to New Mexico’s water conservation concerns.

“By using non-potable water in energy production, exploring opportunities to recycle our water, and more fully taking advantage of our brackish water resources, we can revolutionize energy production,” she says.

Martinez went on to speak about education reform, not only in lower education levels but in the higher institutions, such as NMSU.

“When we fail to graduate our students or when we allow our students to take such a long time to graduate, the cost to the state, the cost to the institution, the cost to the parents and the students, the cost to our employment pipeline, it is enormous,” Martinez says.

Continuing on, she proposed several ideas to improve graduation rates and times. Included was unifying degree programs to require solely 120 credits in total.

Aitiana Zamora, a sophomore at NMSU, attended the conference.

“Her (Martinez) education reform is interesting,” Zamora says. “It will be nice to see how she will implement it in the future.”

Zamora’s parents are teachers.  She says education reform should be stressed on those teachers who are not performing well, as opposed to laying it on those who are performing at “exemplary” levels.

Martinez’s speech was followed by some student volunteer questions and closing remarks from NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers.

Other conference keynote speakers included Pete V. Domenici (the retired U.S. Senator for New Mexico and the conference’s namesake), Francisco J. Monaldi, Ph. D. (Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy), and Robert S. Ford (former U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Algeria, former Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq).

How Pan Am Performers Are Chosen

By Aaron Stiles

Staff Writer

The Pan American Center at NMSU is the City of Las Cruces’ biggest event center, and has been the site of hugely popular nationwide concert tours, such as George Strait, Jeff Dunham, and Jason Aldean, who will be performing there tonight at 7:30.

Many members of the community most likely are not familiar with what factors go into booking performers at the Pan Am.  So The Round Up/Oncore Magazine spoke with Scott Breckner, director of the Office of Special Events and Facilities Management, to find out.

Breckner has been director for the past eight years.  He says the office manages all athletic game-day activities, as well as organizes special events, such as major nationwide concert tours.  In the past, these have included Gabriel Iglesias and Rascal Flatts.

“First, we poll students to find out what people are interested in,” says Breckner regarding how Pan Am performers are chosen.

Based on the results, Breckner and his office then consider what sort of tours are interested in markets such as NMSU has.

“Our market is Las Cruces, Juárez, and El Paso,” Breckner says.  “For a concert ticket-buyer, our market is somewhere between 1 and 2 million people.”

Which is very small, Breckner says, too small for most major tours.

“We are known as a country market,” Breckner says.

Previous country tours at the Pan Am include Alabama and Brad Paisley.

The Office of Special Events prices tickets based on the market population and the economy.  So Pan Am’s ticket prices will be lower than in New York City.

Once the office has an idea of what students are interested and what the market can afford, Breckner and his team will consult magazines such as Pollstar and Billboard to find out what average prices are for major shows like Amy Schumer and Pentatonix.

Then they are able to compare prices in smaller markets similar to ours, in order to set the Pan Am prices. Price is also based on things performers need, from catering, advertising, lighting, and other equipment.

Another option is to travel to tour-origin cities, Breckner says.

“I travel twice a year to Nashville,” he says.  “We have the reputation in Nashville of accommodating large country tours, like Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean.”

In Nashville, Breckner will meet with performers’ agents from such talent agencies as Creative Artists Agency, William Morris, Paradigm, and Triad.

“Then we attend Pollstar International to see what other acts are doing or we will occasionally go to Billboard in New York,” Breckner says.

The office then sends NMSU’s prices to these organizations, to share with talent agencies and hopefully arouse interest in performing at Pan Am.

“Country tours are booked one to two years out,” Breckner says, regarding difficulties in arranging shows.  “Classic rock, alternative, and some of that stuff is about a year out, but most (shows) these days are booked at about four to six months, though we have gotten some calls about shows in the spring.  But it is a matter of what is touring and what’s routing through our market.”

Routing and tour travel are major variables that have to be considered.  Concert tours typically have a rule that they will play shows that are within 10-hour travel times from a previous stop.  As most concert tours do 40 to 80 cities, the hours on the road quickly add up and take tolls on performers.

Breckner says NMSU is lucky in this regard, as Las Cruces is located about 10 hours from San Diego, and six and a half from Phoenix, Dallas, and San Antonio, all major- tour hotspots.

“We sometimes have agents call and tell us that they have an artist who will just do a three-day weekend coming from another place such as Oklahoma,” Breckner says.

Once a performer is set to perform at Pan Am, the Office of Special Events will often partner with concert promoters, such as Livenation or AEG Live, which helped promote last year’s Brad Paisley concert.

As might be expected, Breckner and his office often face difficulties in arranging shows.

“We have tried to put on shows for students only to find that they had limited availability,” Breckner says.  “So the price jumped from $75,000 on a Monday to $150,000 on a Friday.”

Breckner says it’s extremely rare for an artist to cancel a show, which has happened only three times in his eight years as director.  These were cancelled because they weren’t making enough money.

But usually, instead of cancelling, the office and the performers’ management will negotiate.

“Instead of giving (the performer) the full guarantee, we can give them a smaller guarantee,” Breckner says.  “We went from a $40,000 guarantee (down to) a $15,000 or a $20,000 guarantee.”

Breckner says the office has requested Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Garth Brooks for future Pan Am performances.

The office is also interested in featuring local Hispanic/Latino artists in the future, and is currently corresponding with these.

Documentary Seeks to Revitalize Investigation of Missing Mexican Students, Government Corruption

By Kimberly T. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

The U.S. premiere of Ayotzinapa: Cronica de un Crimen de Estados took place at New Mexico State University on Friday, September 11, 2015.

The documentary details the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, a municipal in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, in September last year.  The students, from Escuela Normal Rural Raul Isidro Burgos, a rural college in Ayotzinapa, were attacked and kidnapped by municipal police officers and have not been heard from since. The attack occurred when the students were heading to Mexico City in buses to attend a protest when police assaulted them.

“The film is going to be shown in New York City in October and it’s going to be shown during this tribunal to trial the Mexican state for violating human rights and laws,” says Joshua Lew McDermott, NMSU graduate student.

His organization, Government Graduate Student Organization, along with local organizations, such as Weaving for Justice and the Caravana Committee, which visited NMSU this past March as part of a journey across the United States, helped organize the event once they received the film from producers.

The film and the Caravana Committee, the relatives of the victims, will be attending the International Tribunal of Conscience in Peoples Movement (ITCPM) in New York held this September 25 and 26, one year since the students disappeared. The trial will be hosted by Fuerza Mundial, with the help of the History Department and Hemispheric Center for Performance and Politics at New York University and the National Lawyers´ Guild. The first tribunal hearing in the United States will be mainly focused on the human rights crisis happening in Mexico and Central America.

Other points will include: discussion about U.S. aid and the North American Free Trade Agreement in relation to the high imprisonment and police violence in the U.S.

The trial is meant to bring justice and hold Mexican leaders accountable for violating human rights and to establish a safe environment for its people.

Cristina Coronado, a member of the committee, from the El Paso, Texas branch, encourages the NMSU and Las Cruces communities to support the film’s efforts.

“Somos una red Venezual-Ayonozinapa y esmos estado de tratando de annunciar y seguir justicia enter los dos paiz.  El documental lo hizo unos artistas en México, Javier Robles. Estoy presentando los en El Paso, Juárez, y Las Cruces para que las gente se de cuenta de lo que está pasando in Ayotzinapa.”

(“We are a group of Venezual-Ayotzinapa and we are trying to announce and find justice for both countries,” Coronado says.  “The documentary was made by an artist from Mexico, Javier Robles.  I am representing those from El Paso, Juárez, and Las Cruces, so the people can know what is happening in Ayotzinapa.”)

Reorganization Could Save NMSU $53 Million

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

New Mexico State University is poorly organized, with too many layers of management, finds a staffing study conducted by Deloitte Consulting, commissioned by NMSU.

President Garrey Carruthers on September 22 presented the findings of Deloitte Consulting, a UK-based financial advisory and auditing firm contracted by the university last May to research the question: is NMSU overstaffed?

Rather than being overstaffed, Carruthers was told, NMSU has too many people reporting to top-level managers, and too few people reporting to lower level managers, creating a kind of inverted pyramid, when the model should look like an upright pyramid.

From Deloitte’s findings, which are based on NMSU staff, not faculty, NMSU has selected the following areas upon which to improve:

  • Consider policy and procedures to standardize management span of control
  • Consider policy and procedures to standardize administrative assistant staff coverage ratios
  • Consider centralizing the IT service delivery model
  • Consider centralizing the finance delivery model
  • Consider policy and procedures to standardize procurement

Carruthers says, to better arrange the management span of control, some positions may get reassigned.

The second bullet point relates to additional Deloitte findings that many functions at NMSU operate without administrative assistants, resulting in people, who hold other jobs and responsibilities, performing the tasks that would otherwise be given to administrative assistants.

Facilities and Services, for example, operates with a worker/administrative assistant ratio of 65:1, when the ratio should be more like 13:1, says Deloitte.

The third bullet point also relates to non-IT people performing the duties of that position, as well as with the fourth bullet point and finance tasks.

The fifth and final bullet point relates to Deloitte’s findings that NMSU staff and faculty are purchasing supplies, ranging from pens, Post-Its, and paper reams to computers, from non-contracted suppliers. By doing so, Carruthers says, they are not taking advantage of the contracts NMSU and the State of New Mexico have established with certain suppliers, in order for NMSU and other schools to receive discounts on supplies, thus costing NMSU more money.

If NMSU can implement changes to the five areas listed above, which wil take about two to threw years, Deloitte has estimated that, over about seven years, NMSU can save an estimated $53 million in costs.

These funds will be used, Carruthers says, for teaching, research, better compensation for fewer staff, scholarship opportunities, and graduate assistant programs.

The hiring freeze, Carruthers says, started in March 2015, is still in effect for replacements and new hires. Carruthers says he, Provost Dan Howard, and Angela Throneberry, senior vice president for administration and finance, examine each applicant and consider, “Can this wait?” This goes, Carruthers says, for all positions, staff and faculty.

Carruthers says he had recently hired a physician for the Campus Health Center, which he called, “a no-brainer.”

Questions regarding the staffing study can be sent to president@nmsu.edu.

The next employee council forum will be on Wednesday, September 30, at 2:30 p.m. in Yates Auditorium of Domenici Hall. The topic will be an athletics update from Athletics Director Mario Moccia.