Could there have been any more Madness this March?

How has the college basketball scene been changed by a frenetic March?

UNI's Jesperson
Photo from CBSSports.com.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

What. A. Month.

As March ends, we can finally catch our breath and gather our thoughts after the month brought us some of the most exhilarating moments of the basketball year. The round of 64 saw 10 double-seeded teams win a game, the most ever in the NCAA Tournament. Eight teams seeded 11th or worse won a game, and 13 games saw the lower-seeded team win. So much for that perfect bracket, right?

How We Got Here:

Let’s start with selection Sunday. Syracuse, who was coming off a 19-13 regular season in arguably the country’s toughest conference, was considered to be on the outside looking in. Though they ended the season losing five out of six, they were a considerably different team with Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim on the side line. (15-8 with Boeheim, 4-5 while he served nine game suspension.) That was enough to gain a 10 seed in the Midwest Region. Tulsa inexplicably was given an at-large bid with a pedestrian 20-11 record with its best win being against a Wichita State team that finished the regular season unranked.

As the first day of the tournament began, #2 seeded Michigan State faced #15 seeded Middle Tennessee State out of Conference USA. Michigan State featured Wooden National Player of the Year finalist Denzel Valentine, and 40 percent of ESPN brackets had the Spartans going to the Final Four. None of that meant much to the Blue Raiders, as they shocked America with a 90-81 win, becoming only the eighth 15th seed to move past the first round.

Northern Iowa beat top-ranked North Carolina early this year as well as Wichita State, and faced a Texas squad in the 6-11 matchup in the West region that had a surprisingly good year under first-year coach Shaka Smart. After Longhorn guard Isaiah Taylor tied the game at 72 with a drive to the basket with 1.7 seconds left, UNI’s Paul Jesperson took the inbounds pass and heaved a shot from half-court, banking it in and sending the Panthers onto the next round and put an abrupt end to Texas’ season.

You would think that Northern Iowa would be out of magic after the Texas game, but they faced three-seeded Texas A&M in the next round. Coach Billy Kennedy and the Aggies were back in the tournament for the first time in five years, but it appeared that they would be going back to College Station when they were down 69-57 with 35 seconds left. A&M applied vicious full-court pressure and it caused UNI to turn the ball over four times, none of which passed half-court, and the (other) Aggies scored 14 points in those 35 seconds to send the game into overtime. A&M would finally complete one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA history with a 92-88 double overtime win.

Looking Ahead:

As the Final Four approaches this weekend, who could have possibly had North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Villanova as the teams playing for the title in Houston? 1,140 ESPN bracket entries had these four teams in the Final Four, out of 13 million submitted brackets (.009 percent).

Syracuse has to be the most surprising team, the 10-seed that was on the bubble on Selection Sunday, and their 13 losses this season are tied for the most ever by a Final Four team. They went on a 21-2 run in the second half against top-seeded Virginia to turn a 56-43 deficit into a 64-58 lead en route to the win in the Regional Final.

Oklahoma flies into Houston on a high after beating the West Region’s top-seeded Oregon Ducks 80-68 in the Elite Eight. They have the tournament’s leading scorer in senior guard Buddy Hield, who is averaging 29.2 points in the four tournament games. Coach Lon Kruger is experienced in this situation, having led Florida to their first Final Four in 1994.

Villanova boasts a stingy defense that was key in beating Kansas 64-59 in the Elite Eight. The wildcats are ranked 15th in the nation in scoring defense and have five seniors in their rotation who contribute, including talented point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, and they’re only allowing 63.6 points per game, so it will be a classic offense vs. defense clash against the Sooners on Saturday.

North Carolina was the only one-seeded team able to survive the madness of the tournament to make it to Houston. As the pre-season number one team, they have had ups and downs, but appear to be peaking at the right time after averaging 89.2 points a game, up six points from their regular season average. Senior Marcus Paige is shooting the ball well, with a 48 percent average thus far in the tournament. They are imposing their up-tempo style on each team they face and are the Las Vegas favorite to come away with the title.

As it is sad to see March come to a close, it will be one to remember as this year’s Big Dance brought us more heart-wrenching moments than we have ever seen. Enjoy these last two games that the Final Four brings us this weekend, because as this month proved, absolutely anything can happen, and that’s what March Madness is all about.

Return of southern NM suicide hotline an issue in ASNMSU presidential race

The C.A.L.L. may return to NMSU and southern New Mexico if one ASNMSU presidential candidate has his way.

By Nani Lawrence

Staff Writer

Last semester, The Round Up/Oncore Magazine ran a story detailing the demise of the Crisis Assistance Listening Line (C.A.L.L.), a publicly and privately funded, NMSU-housed hot-and-warm-line meant to prevent callers from attempting or thinking about suicide.

Suicide has always been a prominent subject in New Mexico, particularly in the Borderland region, and the shutting down of the C.A.L.L., which was the only program of its kind in southern New Mexico, at first concerned community members, and then things quieted down.

That was, until the start of the new year and the new semester.

Miguel Silva, a former Las Cruces City Councilor and NMSU alumnus, died January 17, 2016, by suicide, police said.

Though Silva’s motives are not known, the news prompted New Mexico State University’s Counseling Center to reach out and let the NMSU community know about their free and confidential services.

“There is some stigma associated with seeking (mental) help, especially counseling help,” says Karen Schaefer, director of the Counseling Center. “Society is somewhat supportive and somewhat not, especially for men.”

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. among all age groups, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year,” reads the fact sheet on the official website for the National Institute of Mental Health.

The defunding of the C.A.L.L. is such a concern that Lawrence Hittle, who is currently running for president of the Associated Students of NMSU, has made it one of his main focuses.

“One of the good things about (the C.A.L.L.) is that we want to prevent people from getting suicidal. If you talk to them when they’re depressed or in these earlier stages, you can prevent them from ever getting suicidal,” Hittle says.

He said approximately three percent of the calls placed to the C.A.L.L. were suicide related.  The rest were “warm-line” calls or calls from people who just needed someone to talk to.

If elected ASNMSU president, Hittle says, he will work with NMSU’s student Senate to reallocate $12,000 to reinstate the C.A.L.L.

Over the summer, the Counseling Center will be working on developing workshops via Canvas to help with resiliency, in this case the ability to bounce back from stressful events, and mindfulness.

“I think the climate is changing,” Schaefer said. “We’re getting students coming in who have already had counseling in the past, who are on medications, (and) some who have been hospitalized. More and more people are receptive to getting help (as opposed to older generations),” she says.

Appointments with the Counseling Center can be scheduled at (575) 646-2731 or in person at Garcia Annex, room 100. All staff are trained in mental health services, and bilingual counselors are available.

Common signs of a mental struggle, according to MentalHealth.gov, include for mood disorders:

  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Losing interest in important parts of life
  • Fluctuating between extreme happiness and extreme sadness.

For mental health and substance abuse disorders, they involve:

  • Certain illegal drugs can cause people with an addiction to experience one or more symptoms of a mental health problem
  • Mental health problems can sometimes lead to alcohol or drug use, as some people with a mental health problem may misuse these substances as a form of self-medication
  • Mental and substance use disorders share some underlying causes, including changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma

Warning signs for suicide are:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

 

 

NM State Equestrian Wins Conference Championship

The NMSU Equestrian team won big over the weekend.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

The New Mexico State Equestrian team hosted Delaware State University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Tennessee-Martin in the United Equestrian Conference tournament this past weekend in Las Cruces, and the won the conference championship over UT-Martin on Saturday.

NM State defeated UT-Martin in the Hunter’s Seat event, 5-3, which is the event that judges a rider’s ability to sit correctly, holding correct riding posture, while controlling the horse.

NM State’s Rianna Storey, who is one of the three team captains, was named the United Equestrian Conference’s Sportsmanship Award winner Saturday afternoon to add a bow to the Aggies’ solid weekend.

Remington Willkie notched a score of 141 for the Aggies while teammates Karianna Knezevich and Madison Brayman both received scores of 155. Haley Padilla, who is from Las Cruces, scored a 140 on Friday against Delaware State and a 145.5 on Saturday to earn the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award in the sportsmanship category.

Additionally, four NM State horses were also honored for their performance this weekend, with Bea being the tournament’s Most Outstanding Horse while competing in the equitation in the flat category.

NBA Week 23

By Albert Luna

Sports Editor

It looks like the Warriors just might be making history after all after the latest predictions have them at just under 70 percent odds to break the 72 wins in a landmark season. Other than another undefeated week from the Warriors, the West’s bottom four teams in the playoff picture all seem not to want any part in post season play. Also, the Spurs looked to have already mailed it in this early with the second seed locked up. We have a lot to talk about, let’s get right to it with three things I like and don’t like, plus power rankings.

Like: OKC Thunder play of late
The Thunder have been winners of seven straight after beating the Spurs on Saturday night, although San Antonio did rest all of their starters. Nonetheless, the Thunder seem to have everything clicking at the right time, especially with their two superstars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder have quietly emerged as a legitimate contender in the Western Conference, with both of their games against the Warriors and Spurs being highly competitive losses. It will be interesting to see just how the matchups shake down in what could be a Thunder-Spurs second round matchup.

Don’t Like: Rockets
Houston is simply getting out of hand now. From being the number two seed last year and advancing all the way to the Conference Finals to being on the brink of not making the playoffs altogether, this has been one of the worst year-to-year drop-offs in recent NBA history. With James Harden seemingly putting up MVP numbers, it is a question as to whether or not the Beard actually carries that much value as a player, given they play better with him off the floor more often times than not. It doesn’t help either when you have Dwight Howard with essentially one foot out of the door for most of this season as most signs point towards the center leaving in free agency this season.

Don’t Like: LeBron’s week of comments
LeBron had quite the interesting week for most of the wrong reasons. The Cavs star unfollowed the team’s social media accounts which caused a big ruckus from many NBA followers. Several days later, an article ran that had LeBron quoted as saying he would like to team up with buddies Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony sometime in the future, which also created a media frenzy. Maybe not so coincidentally the Cavs forward also had two triple doubles in the week after having just one the entire first four months of the season.

Top 10

1) Golden State Warriors – 73-9 is in reach, the only question now is if they could even go 74-8 in that span also. If they were to win out they would have 75 wins. Unbelievable, I know.

2) San Antonio Spurs – With seemingly nothing left to play for this season the Spurs have rested their core the past three games and might use the next three weeks of the season to give their bench some run.

3) Oklahoma City Thunder – For as much talk of the Eastern Conference’s improvement this year, the real power up top still lies in the West with the Thunder being the transition team.

4) Toronto Raptors – An ugly home loss to Houston makes it seem more and more like the Raptors might not be able to catch the Cavs for the first seed in the East.

5) Cleveland Cavaliers – A bit of an easier schedule looms for the Cavs but might have bigger problems if they are going to drop duds like they did Friday in Brooklyn.

6) Los Angeles Clippers – Having won the once Laker-dominated Pacific Division for a franchise record five years in a row and the impending return of Blake Griffin has the Clippers looking like a dark horse.

7) Atlanta Hawks – With the third seed still up for grabs, it might be better to avoid the scorching hot Hornets in the first round for Atlanta.

8) Boston Celtics – Isaiah Thomas has made his case for an all-NBA team this year by guiding Boston to what looks like could be 50 wins, a first in five seasons.

9) Miami Heat – Chris Bosh has basically missed two seasons and the Heat will probably still combine for almost 90 wins in that span, simply an excellent coaching job by the once very much scrutinized Erick Spoelstra.

10) Charlotte Hornets – The Hornets have now transitioned into a team that takes care of the teams it needs to, not an easy thing for some teams to do when they move up a level.

Be sure to check next week, same time, and same place, for the next installment of the NBA Column.

Albert Luna may be reached at Aluna32@NMSU.edu 

Make sure to follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Aggies Defeat Chicago State in Series Opener

The Aggies baseball team improves their record to 13-10.

IMG_5305
Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

The New Mexico State baseball team is coming off a nine-game road trip in what head coach Brian Green called the “gauntlet” part of this team’s schedule, as they faced quality programs in Arizona, Baylor, San Diego, and UC Riverside. They were able to come back to Las Cruces with a 12-10 overall record, in which the 12 wins are more than they had all of last year.

While they do lead the WAC in wins thus far, they faced a stiff test in their WAC conference series opener in the Chicago State Cougars. They opened up the series on Thursday evening with a convincing 17-5 win in seven innings at Presley Askew Field.

Junior right-hander Matthew McHugh took the mound for the Aggies and did a solid job settling down into the game after allowing a couple runs in the first inning and another run in the second. After the second inning, he didn’t allow Chicago State (5-14) to score another run, and was able to reach the five-inning plateau that Coach Green sets for his starting pitchers in mid-week games.

“Matt (McHugh) didn’t have his best stuff, but he grinded for the team, so I was extremely proud of him for going out there and performing without much of a rhythm,” says Green.

Offense was the key for NM State in this game, and they blew the game open early with five runs in each of the first two innings. The first six Aggie batters of the day reached base before Cougar starter Jake Perkins could record an out. NM State, who is second in the conference in batting average at .273, hit a remarkable 19-35 from the plate, which is a .543 percentage.

“Our guys were aggressive early in the count, but I was proud of us just having a plan and competing. You talk about the same things all the time and you just hope to see it, and tonight was a good night for us offensively,” says Green.

Eight of the nine Aggie starters had multiple hits, with third baseman Trey Stine leading the team with five RBIs on the evening. Other gaudy numbers offensively included the team going 12-19 with runners in scoring position, and 8-10 with runners on third base with less than two outs.

“These last few days of practice have really been a grind, and we knew we were going to see a left-handed pitcher today, and since we’ve faced so many already, we just applied the experiences we’ve had so far and our offense really came alive tonight,” says Stine. “Starting off WAC play at home is awesome. Tonight gave us confidence, and after being on the road so much, it begins to wear your body and mind down. Being able to practice and play at home really helps reset the mind because nothing beats playing here at home.”

NM State (13-10) will look for take the second game of the three games series on Friday six p.m. at Presley Askew Field, while the series finale will be Saturday at 11 a.m.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Opinion: Trump flourishing by voters’ anger, Clinton by nostalgia

Trump is appealing because of his ability to “harness the rage of older, less-educated Americans who feel they’re falling hopelessly behind,” while Hillary Clinton arouses memories of her husband’s presidency, when taxes were raised on the wealthy and there was a budget surplus.

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

New Mexico has the angriest voters in the country, according to research done by an author and analyst for Yahoo Finance.

Rick Newman calculated New Mexico’s ‘anger’ by using the state’s statistics for: current unemployment rate (6.6 percent), change in employment between 2005 and 2015 (1.4 percent), change in manufacturing employment between 2005 and 2015 (-25.2 percent), and change in weekly income between 2007 and 2015 (6.4 percent).

To compare, the national rate of unemployment is 4.9 percent, the national change in employment between 2005 and 2015 5.9 percent, the national change in manufacturing employment at -13.2 percent, and the national change in weekly income between 2007 and 2015 at 19.6 percent.

The implications of these numbers and the labeling of the ‘angriest’ states in the country—which, after New Mexico, the next nine are Alabama, Rhode Island, Nevada, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, Florida, and Illinois—are that voters in these states are less likely to vote for traditional politicians and instead vote for those whose ideas and policies seem the most antiestablishment, says Newman.

The candidates most likely to appeal to ‘angry’ voters, Newman says, are Donald Trump on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side. Trump is appealing because of his ability to “harness the rage of older, less-educated Americans who feel they’re falling hopelessly behind,” while Sanders “rouses multitudes with his rants against crony capitalism.” Both candidates, Newman says, appeal to voters who “find prosperity further and further out of reach.”

Newman’s hypothesis—that unorthodox candidates are favored by ‘angry’ states—has interesting correlations: of the 10 states listed above, Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, Florida, and Illinois have held both Republican and Democrat primaries.

Trump ran away with all five nominations, seeming to strengthen at least part of Newman’s argument, but the fact that Hillary Clinton won the Democrat nominations in these states from Sanders simultaneously seems to weaken Newman’s assertion.

To be fair, Sanders lost by small margins to Clinton in each of these five states, the closest being Clinton’s 68 to Sanders’ 67 delegates in Illinois.

So what does this mean for Sanders? Is Newman wrong?

Sanders, having won the Democrat primaries in New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, and Michigan, is certainly no lightweight and not a small-timer.

But with the exception of Michigan, which ranks at 11 in ‘angry’ voters, all of Sanders’ victories have been in states that are significantly less ‘angry.’

So in fact contrary to Newman’s assertion, it seems Clinton appeals to angry Democrats.

The five states mentioned above, which Clinton won, have unemployment rates that are higher than the national average and have seen a huge portion of their jobs be turned overseas.

Of course they’re angry but they’re also desperate. If Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, Florida, and Illinois are anything like New Mexico, they’re still struggling through statewide recessions. And when you’re desperate, you don’t take any chances, you play it safe.

Democrat voters in angry states are voting for Clinton because she’s familiar, at least to some degree. As Newman says Trump appeals to “older” voters, Clinton does too, people saw her face back in the ‘90s when her husband was president and taxes were raised on the wealthiest 1.2 percent and America’s budget deficit was, for a time, erased and there was a surplus of more than $86.4 billion in 2000.

Angry Democrats remember how well the country faired under the first Clinton and hope it will happen again under the second Clinton.

Sanders, while he is certainly charismatic and appealing, particularly to younger voters, is too much of a risk for the older majority of voters. He will continue to win some primaries and will give Hillary Clinton a run for her money.

But come June 7, New Mexico’s Democratic primary will be Clinton’s, while the Republican will go to Trump. And it will be their names on the ballot in November. When that happens, anger must give way to what is safe and familiar, or else this country will descend into anarchy.

NBA Week 22

After the Warriors’ recent loss to the Spurs, are the Warriors in trouble? Find out with Sports Editor Albert Luna’s latest NBA column!

By Albert Luna

Sports Editor

After a week off for spring break, we have a bit more clarity as we head down the stretch of the NBA season. The Spurs-Warriors II was exactly the kind of game that could return some intrigue to the season. With the Spurs winning the long-awaited rematch with the still-on-record to be the best team of all time Warriors, the West is still very much not a certain for the Warriors. Let’s get right to it, with three things I like and don’t like, plus power rankings.

Like: LaMarcus Aldridge showing up

The first game in which the Spurs lost by 30 points to the Warriors and were blown out of Oracle Arena, the Spurs’ new big man had arguably one of his worst games in his career, being limited to single digit points and rebounds. The backlash was so bad, the power forward immediately deleted all of his social media accounts afterwards, but mentioned it was unrelated. He might want to get those accounts back after Saturday to absorb some of the praise after carrying the Spurs to a win and making sure the Warriors stay winless in San Antonio since 1997. Aldridge finished the game with game-highs in points (26) and rebounds (14) to go along with the win.

Don’t Like: The Mavericks’ free fall

When Memphis lost Marc Gasol for the season to add onto their plethora of other injuries, with the (at the time) sixth-seeded Mavs looked prime to make a jump in the standings and set up a post season date with the manageable Clippers. However, in the last two weeks, Dallas has looked like anything but a team that even wants to make the playoffs. Setting a new record for consecutive home losses isn’t exactly the kind of headlines Dallas wants to be making at this point in the season. Even a nice comeback on Sunday versus the Blazers doesn’t make up for so many missed opportunities. The Mavs also seem to be wasting vintage performances from Dirk Nowitzki, who, at 37 years old, has been averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds a game during their skid.

Don’t Like: Anthony Davis’ situation

This is why people should not just jump at the money. As we see time and time again, a star player on a rookie contract immediately gets a max deal the first chance he can (such as AD23 did this past summer) without assurance he will be relevant in the league going forward. Anthony Davis and the Pelicans had a wasted year due to injury and now seem to be hitting the reset button. Unless something very drastic happens (such as trading for a complementary all-star caliber player), Davis could very well be on his way to wasting his prime years of his career on mediocre teams.

Top 10

  • Golden State Warriors—Since Week One, the Warriors have not been a real threat to move anywhere else on these power rankings, but with the Spurs just three games behind, another slip up might make things at the top interesting.
  • San Antonio Spurs—The ever-selfless Tim Duncan is such an underrated teammate. He didn’t start and played just eight minutes on Saturday night but no one will talk about it because that is simply the culture of the Spurs.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder—As long as Russell Westbrook can keep up these extraordinary triple-doubles going, the Thunder should have no problem finishing off this season with at least 60 wins.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers—The Cavs were playing so well of late before that dropped dud on Saturday night in Miami in what was LeBron’s second time playing in South Beach since leaving the Heat. He has lost both times now.
  • Toronto Raptors—As much as we talk about the home advantage that comes with the Spurs and the Warriors, the Raptors are quietly tied for third in the league with 28 home wins.
  • Los Angeles Clippers—Any talk that the absence of Blake Griffin making the Clips better can be put to rest, especially after allowing opposing power forward Zach Randolph to get his first career triple double on Saturday night in an ugly loss.
  • Atlanta Hawks—Out of nowhere! The Hawks suddenly wake up and find themselves in third place in the Eastern Conference. Who said anything about trade rumors last month?
  • Miami Heat—The Heat’s win on Saturday versus the Cavs mean they will surely be a tough one come playoff time for any team. The question is now, who will that team be?
  • Memphis Grizzlies—Anything the Grizz do at this point should be commended. They literally are playing anyone nowadays with all the injuries they are dealing with. Yet they are still fifth-seeded in the loaded West.
  • Charlotte Hornets—How about the Hornets? Before an ugly loss on Saturday, they were the hottest team in the league and had won seven in a row. This while being without their highest-paid player MKG.

Be sure to check next week, same time, and same place, for the next installment of the NBA Column.

Albert Luna may be reached at Aluna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow Round up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Legal professionals aim to improve cops’ reputations in poorer communities

Legal professionals who came to speak at NMSU want to rid the notion that ‘all cops are bad’ and, further, want to make the legal system more trustworthy in poor communities.

By Aaron Stiles

Staff Writer

At a recent ASNMSU-sponsored series detailing the intricacies of working in the various legal fields, mistrust and even fear of authorities were central themes professionals in the legal fields addressed and tried to dispel.

Speakers at the event included New Mexico’s attorney general, Hector Balderas, who said he grew up in public housing, and his mother was often afraid of authorities and government institutions. Balderas said many people in poor communities feel this way.

“So when I engage and work with public defenders and prosecutors and law enforcement officers and judges, I never forget that many times our clients will be afraid of the very justice system that is trying to protect them,” Balderas told attendees of the series in Hardman Jacobs Learning Center on March 3. “So I try to teach a lot of my own staff to be even more sensitive than just being a good lawyer.”

He said that a sense of justice is one of the most important things in the legal profession.

“What (law school) didn’t tell me is that your sense of justice, your passion to serve others is equally important and will determine the efforts you make in your community,” he said. “That truly is what determines whether a jury will trust you, whether another colleague or a victim will trust not only your legal expertise, but your sense of justice.”

Another speaker was Chief Jaime Montoya of the Las Cruces Police Department, who specifically wants to end the stigma that all cops are bad. This is achievable through community outreach, he says.

“Nothing upsets police officers more than a bad cop,” he said. “And labeling all cops as bad is like labeling all people as bad.”

He said the truth is only a small fraction of police officers ever have any sort of misconduct complaint against them.

Montoya said that about a year ago, he looked into his own department and found that in LCPD, only about 77 out of 150,000 complaints were against police officers.

Montoya said the best advice he gives to rookies is to listen to superiors to learn how to be a good law enforcement officer. Montoya said when an LCPD officer is accused of any kind of misconduct, Montoya opens a formal investigation immediately and if the officer is found to have operated with misconduct, the officer is fired.

“(Police misconduct) is detrimental to who we are,” he said. “(Policing) is (about) public trust, and if (an officer) violates that public trust, then I don’t want them.”

Another speaker in the series was Assistant Public Defender Ryan Byrd, who stressed the importance of the Public Defender’s Office in representing people who can’t afford to pay attorney fees when they go to court. These people are still Constitutionally entitled to legal representation, he said.

“I handle everything from drug cases to child abuse cases to murder cases,” he said.

New Mexico’s Bill of Rights, he said, gives many more rights to citizens than other states’, which is one reason he likes working in New Mexico.

One of his biggest challenges is working with families of someone involved in a criminal case. If there is a possibility of years of jail time, families can become worried especially if the person involved is the primary source of income in the home.

“You’re dealing with people’s worst days over and over and over again,” Byrd said.

Of particular concern to Byrd are drug charges, which, he says, the legal system does not handle well, that putting people in jail for drugs is not the answer.

“The main point of being a judge is to make decisions, and to make sure that people come away from that experience feeling like they were treated fairly,” he said.

The legal system in the United States is not perfect, Gonzales said, but it is one of the best systems of justice and fairness that can serve for other nations to model their own justice system after.

“(We) can take these problems and disputes and resolve them peacefully,” Gonzales said. “This is our system.”

Of all qualities a legal professional should have, Gonzales says, ethical behavior is the most important.

Aggies get swept by Missouri

Aggies softball drops three games to the Missouri Tigers.

 

IMG_5285.JPG
Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

New Mexico State softball head coach Kathy Rodolph said earlier this season that this year’s schedule was made to increase the level of competition, as it would prepare her young team for WAC play. It continued this past weekend when NM State welcomed the 15th-ranked Missouri Tigers into Las Cruces for a three-game series.

After dropping the Saturday doubleheader by 9-6 and 14-3, the Aggies were unable to salvage a win against the SEC powerhouse and lost again, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon at the New Mexico State Softball Complex.

Senior Karysta Donisthorpe started in the circle for the Aggies, and lost her third straight decision, with her stat line being 3.2 innings pitched, giving up four runs, all earned, with six hits in 73 pitches to drop her record to 6-8 on the year.

The NM State offense has struggled as of late, scoring only 11 runs during their six-game losing streak. The Aggies came into the weekend hitting .356 as a team, but struggled to bring in runners in scoring position, going 2-16 with runners in scoring position on Sunday.

In the bottom of the first inning, NM State’s Rachel Rodriguez led off with a triple to left-center field, but the next three Aggie hitters were unable to get the ball out of the infield, leaving Rodriguez stranded at third to end the first frame.

In the top of the second inning, Missouri (20-4) drew blood first with an RBI single from Regan Nash, but Donisthorpe was able to get out of the inning without allowing Missouri to add to their lead.

The bottom of the second saw Corrin Green reach base via walk, Amy Bergeson single, and Tatum Reedy get walked as well, to load the bases with no outs. NM State was again unable to capitalize on the situation as they did not bring in a single run in the inning.

“Missouri is very talented, and they are a bit stingy with runs (2.88 team ERA), so I feel like as much as this might have been mental fatigue (NM State’s 11th game in 10 days), I have to tip my hat to their pitchers for being so talented,” said NM State head coach Kathy Rodolph after the game.

Missouri was consistent offensively, as they scored in three straight innings from the second to the fourth to take a 4-0 as the game as the game went into the fifth inning. Missouri’s Chloe Rathburn, whose 1.45 RBI per game average ranks eighth in the nation, hit a two-run home-run in the third and Emily Crane followed suit in the next inning, hitting a solo shot to right field.

“It’s very hard to limit their (Missouri) run productive, but today we made adjustments and played clean defense and pitched well,” said Rodolph.

NM State had another chance to close the gap in the bottom of the fifth inning when Las Cruces native Lucy Mendoza scored on a single by Emma Adams that was worsened by a Missouri fielding error. With runners on second and third and no outs, the next three Aggie batters were once again unable to bring in runs, as the scoring threat ended with NM State still down three runs at 4-1.

Tiger starting pitcher Danielle Baumgartner only went 1.1 innings, but she did not give up a run. Paige Lowary relieved her in the second inning, and though she did find herself with runners on base, she was able to maneuver out of jams against an Aggie offense that was tied with Missouri with a .356 battling average, which was good for 11th in the country.

Lowary had a productive weekend for the Tigers as she was the winning pitcher in all three games, improving her record to 12-2 this season. Now with 11 days before WAC play starts, the Aggies have time to reset physically and mentally.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to practice, you can identify things that need some work, then clean them up. This is a very hard working, talented group, and as much as I’m disappointed that we couldn’t win one of these games, I believe that this will help us as we head into conference play,” said Rodolph.

Looking ahead for NM State (20-16), they head into conference play in 11 days to defend their WAC championship with a three-game series against Seattle University with the first game being April 1 at six p.m. at the New Mexico State Softball Complex.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

2016 ASNMSU presidential race

NMSU have two choices to vote for ASNMSU president for next semester.

By Billy Huntsman

Managing Editor

The time is once again here for students to elect the next president of the Associated Students of New Mexico State University.

There are two candidates this year, both government majors: Matthew Bose and Lawrence Josh Hittle.

matt bose
Matt Bose.  Photo from ASNMSU’s website.

Bose is a member of NMSU’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and has been involved with ASNMSU all of his college career.

“What qualifies me is my experience the last three and a half years,” Bose says. “I started off as a Roadrunner intern in the fall 2012 and I’ve just worked my up to my current position of attorney general.”

Bose says he has worked with incumbent ASNMSU President Dustin Chavez “to advocate for students on a daily basis.”

“I’m on the Associate Deans Advisory Committee,” Bose says. “They create policy for students and I give the student opinion because I’m the only student that serves on that.”

Bose says with NMSU’s current budgetary limitations, as well as with the impending budget cuts and tuition increases in the upcoming school year, it’s important ASNSMU stay “fiscally responsible.”

“The more executive stuff (ASNMSU) does, the less money there is for (students’ interests),” Bose says. “So finding that perfect balance between the two (is important).”

Bose says, as president, he will strive to make the working relationship between the executive and senate branches of ASNMSU better.

“Senators believe that what they’re doing is more important, executive believes what they’re doing is more important, what we really need to do is unify as an organization,” he says.

Working as attorney general this year, Bose says, he has created good relationships with senators, which, he says, will benefit ASNMSU and thus students if elected president.

He has been endorsed by ASNMSU Associate Justice Corey Stevens.

lawrence hittle
Lawrence Josh Hittle.  Photo from RHA’s website.

Hittle has also worked with student government, though in a different capacity.

“I served as the vice president for the Resident Hall Association last year,” Hittle says. “And president this year. And RHA is the second-largest student government on campus (after ASNMSU). We have a budget upwards of $80,000.”

Hittle says he wants to continue to improve the lives of NMSU’s students, which, he says, he can best do by going from president of RHA to president of ASNMSU. He says RHA has officially endorsed him for ASNMSU president.

“The biggest issue that my campaign is running on right now has to deal with the CALL,” Hittle says.

The Crisis Assistance Listening Line (CALL) was a suicide prevention hotline, as well as a “warm line,” run by NMSU’s Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education (WAVE) program. People who were contemplating suicide or who were just “in a hard place” could call for emotional support and local resources to help them.

The hotline was funded by state, federal, and municipal grants, while NMSU only ever provided space and personnel pay. Last year, the hotline was discontinued last year as a result of insufficient funding.

“From 2008 to 2015, 3,000 NMSU students took advantage of this service,” Hittle says.

As president, he says, he would work with ASNMSU Senate to reallocate $12,000 to restart the CALL.

Hittle would also work to better understand the issues NMSU’s Greek Life has.

“I would appoint a liaison,” Hittle says. “An ASNMSU member who is not affiliated with any Greek chapter to attend the general meetings for the PanHellenic Council and Interfraternity Council and they would relay information and help ASNMSU better understand the needs of Greek Life.”

Hittle, who is not part of any fraternity, says he does not believe his non-involvement in Greek Life puts him at any disadvantage of being elected president.

“I think people who are involved in Greek and people who are involved in student organizations all have a passion for what they do,” Hittle says. “And even though I may not particularly be involved in their student organization, we share the love and passion for an organization and that is something that is universal around the campus.”

This shared love and passion, Hittle says, helps him connect to all voters, regardless of their organizations and affiliations.

Hittle says he would also improve NMSU’s “environmental sustainability” initiatives by also reallocating $50,000.

“I want to work with increasing the number of recycling bins on campus and the number of bottle-refilling stations,” Hittle says.

$6,000 of this reallocation would be set aside for labor costs.

Hittle has been endorsed by NMSU’s Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability (O.A.S.I.S.) Club.

He says he would also make ASNMSU “more transparent to the student body.”

“If elected president, I would hold four town hall meetings per year, one every quarter,” Hittle says.

All students would be invited to these, Hittle says, and encouraged to “voice their opinions.”

Voting will take place March 28 through April 1. To vote, visit vote.nmsu.edu.

Maria Estrada contributed to this article