More Than A Holiday

katie-kilbane

My boyfriend jokes with me that every holiday is my favorite holiday. Presidents Day, Earth Day, Tax Day… to an extent I do enjoy celebrations, but Thanksgiving is at the top of that list.

Drinking my uncle’s homemade wine made with grapes found in my families backyard and piling green chile mashed potatoes onto my plate might be some of my years most anticipated moments.

Underneath the apple pie crust and warm fuzzy feeling you get when surrounded by friends and family, I challenge you to make a conscious effort to be thankful all days of the year and not just on Thanksgiving.

Instead of a new gym membership, make a commitment to give thanks or be thankful for the people and things around you. Two years ago, I made this commitment to myself and practice it as often as possible. I’m thankful to have traveled, been given the opportunity to attend a four-year university, have a family who will support my dreams, a roof over my head, shoes to cover my feet, even tough love from my sibling.

I am thankful.

Make the commitment every day to find something to be thankful for. Even on days where it seems nothing is going right. The sun is in the sky and your feet are still moving forward. Be thankful. We are only given so much time, appreciate it and keep moving forward. We only limit our potentials if we don’t acknowledge the things we have now whether they are few or many.

Think Before You Speak

corey-stevens

Donald J. Trump defeated the odds and secured the Presidency in what people are calling a “historical upset”. I want to take a moment to repudiate the false and uneducated accusations of Trump being a “racist”, “homophobic” bigot. Let’s take a look at what these words actually mean.

Racism is defined as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities.” Let’s take a look at what President-Elect Trump has vocalized about race. When discussing his campaign, he says, “It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people…” Without the media distorting and overemphasizing his words, this is the true Donald Trump that over 59 million Americans supported on Election Day. He has been the only candidate to appeal to the inner-city voters and propose plans to revitalize the inner-cities and create new and stable jobs within the communities. By the way, Donald Trump secured nearly 30% of the Hispanic vote, an increase of 3% from the 2012 election.

Regarding him being a homophobe, Trump has said, “As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect the LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” He then goes off script and thanks his fellow Republicans as they applaud his support for the LGBTQ community.

President-Elect Trump represents a new and improved vision for our country and will fight for ALL Americans. His economic plan will empower the American worker and salvage small businesses across the nation while creating thousands of new jobs. Our country has been ruled by the political elite for nearly 100 years; give him a chance to prove you wrong and revitalize the American Dream. To my fellow Patriots: Hillary Clinton, a candidate who represented the failed elite Washington establishment, will never exercise the power of Commander-in-Chief. Consider November 8-9, 2016 America’s new Independence Day.

Aggie Soccer Falls to Utah Valley in WAV Quarterfinals

By: Joseph Fullbright

The 2016 season has officially come to an end for the New Mexico State women’s soccer team as they fell to Utah Valley 2-0 last week in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament. The Aggies finish the season with a record of 5-13-2.

Like most games this season, the Aggies failed to really get anything going on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, Utah Valley’s goalkeeper did not even attempt to make a save because NMSU could not get up a shot on goal the entire match. The Wolverines attempted 21 total shots compared to the Aggies’ six.

Utah Valley got on the board first thanks to Libby Weber’s goal in the 12th minute. The two teams went scoreless the rest of the half.

Sheridan Fox put the Wolverines up for good 2-0 in the 59th minute.

With the victory, Utah Valley advanced to the WAC semifinals and would go on to lose to the eventual champions, Seattle.

Aileen Galicia finished the season leading the team with 17 points (7 goals, 3 assists). Sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Martin amassed 88 saves, which makes her the Aggies’ all-time leader in saves with a career total of 146.

Why Paul Weir Will Revitalize NMSU Basketball

By: Derek Gonzales

Last May, New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia hired Paul Weir as the 25th head coach in men’s basketball history, replacing Marvin Menzies, who left the program after nine years to take the head coaching position at UNLV. Weir was made a finalist immediately as soon as the Menzies’ departure was official, and though Moccia conducted a thorough national search, those in the community and close to the program, including current and former players, wanted Weir all along. Here are a couple of reasons why the Weir hire was the right choice for the program.

Weir Will Revitalize a Stale Fanbase

It is no secret that attendance in the Pan American Center has plummeted in recent years. The team’s lack of success in non-conference play, coupled with the slow-paced offenses that Menzies had after his third season made for unentertaining basketball that Aggie fans did not take interest in watching. It also hurts that conference opponents coming to Las Cruces are now almost unrecognizable. Playing Chicago State and UMKC in conference play is a far cry from when the Aggies would play Utah State, Boise State, and Nevada. (sometimes on ESPN) That’s not a coaching staff problem. It’s an athletic department problem that Moccia will have to address, but it has definitely impacted attendance. In 2007 (Reggie Theus’ second season), New Mexico State ranked 57th in the nation in attendance at 9,413 fans per game. (Pan American Center capacity is 12,572) In the most recent ncaa.org document in 2014, NMSU ranked 89th in attendance with 5,948 per game. Weir has the charisma and fire that can rally Las Crucens into the Pan Am, and his introductory press conference showed that. As Weir began to speak, he had to pause a few times to fight back the emotions because he appreciates the work it took to have the opportunity. He is blue-collar, as he began climbing the ladder at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Weir then went to the University of Iowa as the director of basketball operations under current UCLA coach Steve Alford before landing in Las Cruces. “I mopped floors, worked concession stands, and mowed lawns to hopefully, one day, stand at a podium like this and realize a dream.” Weir has worked for this, and Aggie fans should, at the least, relate to the hard work and passion Paul Weir brings to the program.

Weir is Home-Grown

Paul Weir was only in his late-twenties when he arrived to NMSU in 2007. He met his wife in Las Cruces, he bought his first home here, and has a master’s degree from NMSU. He began as the program’s daily operation manager, but quickly moved to the bench after a year. After three seasons as an assistant under Marvin Menzies, he was appointed the associate head coach in 2011. When the news came out of the staff changes, Menzies said of Weir, “This move was well earned by Paul. He will have a very successful head coaching career someday.” Four years later, the job is now his.

Weir is Breath of Fresh Air

During Menzies’ nine seasons in Las Cruces, his overall record was 198-111. He won four consecutive WAC Championships from 2012-2015 and led NMSU to the postseason in six out of his nine seasons. A problem with Menzies seemed to be that the program plateaued. His last five seasons saw the team post records of 26-10, 24-11, 26-10, 23-11 and 23-11. During that time, he went 2-8 against New Mexico, while the Lobos were a Mountain West powerhouse under Steve Alford and came back down to Earth under Craig Neal. Aggie fans grew tired of losing to UNM, and UTEP hasn’t been an impressive program in years. Menzies was unable to connect to Aggie fans. His lack of energy on the sideline and unwillingness to go out on a limb with the media to fire up fans for an opponent caused the Pan Am to grow emptier as his tenure wore on. Weir has that fire, as he could be seen yelling at his team to sharpen up defensively in the past. He is not afraid of picking up technical fouls, and his fire will be something that his players will eventually pick up, unlike the always mellow Menzies. He has said he wants tougher players, and he is moving a program in a direction that will hopefully amount his team just no longer allowing UNM to come into the Pan American Center and win.

The program is in great hands. Paul Weir understands New Mexico State basketball, and he also understands Las Cruces. He will do what it takes to revive the program and to knock the dust off of Pan American seats that have been a little too empty for a little too long. We all will soon have a reason to bring out our inner “Panamaniac” soon enough.

Aggie Football Returns For Two-Game Home Stand

By: Derek Gonzales

The New Mexico State football team will return to Aggie Memorial Stadium to continue Sun Belt Conference play against the Texas State Bobcats Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Aggies will keep pushing towards improving on last season’s three-win total, though most cannot help but feel disappointed that the team will not have a bowl bid to show for the improved team that took the field this year. Here are a few things to look forward to this Saturday and in their last two games against Appalachian State and South Alabama.

Larry Rose is chasing his third 1,000-yard season

Even after missing the first three games of the season due to injury, Larry Rose III has a chance to get his third 1,000-yard season, which would keep him on pace with former Aggie running back Denvis Manns as the only two running backs in Aggie history to have four 1,000 yard seasons. To reach that plateau, Rose will need to average 158 yards per game through the last four games of the season, which seems like a stretch, until you realize that Rose averaged 179 yards per game last season in a four-game stretch that included Texas State. If he does it, it will be safe to assume that the Aggies tack on another win on two onto this season’s total.

Field Goal/ PAT Kicking

Sooner or later, head coach Doug Martin is going to have to make a decision on sophomore kicker Parker Davidson. The highly-touted Texas native has struggled mightily all season, and these final three games will determine whether Martin will move into 2017 with Davidson keeping his job. The good news is that Davidson’s issue is mental and not because he lacks the talent to be an FBS placekicker. Hopefully he is solid the rest of the year and gives himself and Aggie fans confidence going into next Fall.

Defense continues to improve

The NMSU defense is clearly better than it has been at any point during the Martin era in Las Cruces. The team will lose the nation’s leading tackler in senior Rodney Butler, and defensive lineman Noah Brown, but should return every other defensive starter next season. Defensive Coordinator Frank Spaziani has not addressed his future with the program, but continuity would be nice with next season’s senior class having had three different defensive coordinators. Having held Georgia Southern to 22 points and Texas A&M to 38 points (taking away two punt-return touchdowns), the defense has shown the grown it needed to have this year, so they will have the opportunity to be a middle-of-the-pack unit statistically in the Sun Belt in 2017, and more of the same in the last three games will do a lot on the recruiting trail and hopefully convince Spaziani to stick around and continue to work his magic.

Offense needs to find its groove

The offensive side of the ball has been a disappointment for a majority of the season, only averaging 23.9 points per game, which is good for 7th in the conference. With coach Martin being only one of six head coaches in FBS who is also the offensive coordinator, the expectation coming into the year was that the offense would carry the team, and they have underperformed, especially against Georgia Southern, where the defense was fantastic and the offense only mustered up 19 points. Wide receivers have struggled to get open, and the offensive line has struggled to protect Tyler Rogers, which can be due to the youth at both tackle positions and injuries along the time. Martin preaches a 30-point a game threshold, and the Aggie offense should strive for that in these last three games, especially with two of them being at home.

Food Truck Mania

By: Salina Madrid

Have you ever wanted a good, quick meal? Well food trucks are the place to be. Whether you are on your lunch break or just exploring new things, you won’t be disappointed.

You can never go wrong with a sandwich, but if you want to spice things up a bit head over to 138 Sandwiches located at the Farmers Market on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“We specialize in sandwiches, that’s what we do. Almost everything we make is sandwiches. We try to take flavors that people like put them into a sandwich. Our goal is to break the mold of what people think of as a sandwich,” said Ben Wood, the owner of 138 Sandwiches.

They don’t just make the typical ham and cheese sandwich but make sandwiches you’ve probably never heard of. They make sandwiches from a pozole sandwich, a Cuban sandwich all the way to a chorizo burger.

Working in a food truck is a different environment than working in a restaurant, but workers seem to love it.

“My favorite part about working in a food truck is the creative freedom we have. The ability to have a restaurant and to completely focus on the food is incredible.” said Mina Smith, who works at 138 Sandwiches. “We don’t have to worry about servers making sure people are happy because we are not only the cooks, but the servers and cleanup crew as well.”

Another popular food truck in Las Cruces is The Greenhaus. They serve tasty, healthy, delicious food of all kinds. From breakfast, lunch, coffee, sandwiches and smoothies, they have it all.

Greenhaus owner Ana Ordaz decided to start her own food truck after she went to culinary school and studied restaurant hospitality.

Eating healthy is very popular and Ordaz’s food truck focuses on that.

“I like to eat healthy and I think that is where the trend is going. Living in a place with farms we are so lucky because I am able to use local beef, chicken and eggs,” said Ordaz.

The Greenhaus Food Truck is all over town, so make sure to stay up to date on where they are at to get some naturally good, healthy and delicious food.

Another great food truck is called The Luchador, located at the Farmers Market Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Luchador is ready give you a food experience like you’ve never had before.

“My best-friend and I Otilio Reyes, decided we wanted to start our own food truck and here we are,” said Ivan Saenz, one of the owners of The Luchador.

“We always try to difference our selves on different levels. Not only is our name fun but all of our menu items are named after wrestlers,” said Saenz. “The stuff that we grew up loving to eat when we’d go to Mexico, is the best food we’ve ever had and we want to share that with everyone.”

But how did they get this interesting name?

“The name is a nostalgic thing for us. My parents are Mexican so growing up I grew up with the cheesy old Mexican wrestler movies and I’d like to play around with the Mexican wrestlers. It is a fun name and that is why we chose it,” said Saenz.

To keep up with The Luchador, make sure you follow them on Facebook for more information.

To find more food trucks, head on down to our local Farmers Market to fulfill your taste buds needs.

What Are You Really Thankful For?

By: Salina Madrid

In modern times, people of all different cultures and ethnicities are able to celebrate the holiday that we call Thanksgiving.

But do you really know what you’re celebrating or do you just celebrate because of tradition?

“I like that my family all comes together and we just get to spend quality time with one another,” said Destinee Gabaldon, a junior at NMSU.

Traditions of this time range from a variety of things.

For Gabaldon, it stays traditional and her family eats and watches football.

But for Francisco Barrios, he celebrates it for the social aspect, rather than the historic meaning around the holiday.

“We don’t do anything out of the ordinary, my family gets together and we eat. It’s just a way to get together at least once a year,” said Barrios. “We celebrate it because it’s a social holiday, but I don’t really celebrate the meaning of it.”

In 1621, pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated the first Thanksgiving holiday for their coming to America. Today American families come together for different reasons, but for Viridiana Porras, it’s not worth celebrating at all.

“Do you really know the meaning of Thanksgiving?” said Porras. “If you go back in time you can find the meaning. And in my opinion, it is not a good reason to celebrate.”

According to the Huffington Post, a group calling themselves the United American Indians of New England met each year at Plymouth Rock on Cole’s Hill for what they say is a Day of Mourning. They gathered at the feet of a stature of Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag to remember the long gone Pequot. They did not call it Thanksgiving. There was no football game afterward for them.

Porras is from Chihuahua, Mexico but her and her family cur

rently live in the United States where she is a student and a student teacher at NMSU.

“The problem with society right now is that we don’t know the meaning of what we celebrate,” Porras said.

Thanksgiving for the pilgrims was to celebrate God’s plentiful harvest. Most of us are taught since elementary school about the friendly Indians and the friendly Pilgrims that got to sit down and eat together, which wasn’t really the case.

Today Americans don’t really know what this holiday is about, but still fill their plates with tons of food and the next day go out and fight over black Friday sales

Though Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, it is important to take a step back and look at the holiday we just celebrated the day before.

But for Ashley Green, it is a family tradition to go black Friday shopping the next morning.

“We celebrate Thanksgiving the good ol’ American way,” said Green. “That night we also put up the Christmas tree and then in the morning go Black Friday shopping. My favorite part is just being able to be with family.”

Thanksgiving in America has molded itself to be a holiday where we give thanks. And like Porras said, it is important that we are educated on the holidays that we celebrate, that way we can get the most out of them.

What are you thankful for this thanksgiving?

According to Arlie Whitlow, being thankful is healthy and has even been a subject of scientific research. Scientists have found that thankfulness is better than a multi-vitamin and has a beneficial impact on almost every major organ system in the body. Being thankful helps people live healthier, longer lives.

“In my opinion everyday is a day that we should give thanks,” said Porras.

Aggies in the Big Apple

By: Jianna Vasquez

NMSU’s Model United Nations will take on the Big Apple this spring.

Model United Nations (M-U-N) is raising money by selling Christmas ornaments for their trip this spring.

The organization will partake in a four-day simulation, which partially takes place in the United Nation’s building in New York.

“It’s an amazing opportunity where you get to meet incredible people,” said Government major and first year member, Cody McCarty.

Model United Nations is an academic simulation that aims to educate members about current events, topics in international relations, effective communications, and multilateral diplomacy. As many as 400,00 collegiate students take part annually in the M-U-N conferences around the world.

In previous years NMSU’s M-U-N has ranked in the top 15 percent of participants in the four-day simulation conference.

“There’s a lot of pressure on this year’s officers to maintain the ongoing track record, but it’s very rewarding,” said graduate student and president of NMSU’s Model of United Nations, Prasamsa Dhakal.

Members of M-U-N prepare themselves for their trip to New York by having mini simulations. In these simulations all members are assigned an individual country that they represent.

Members of the organization write position papers on the country they are assigned. In this paper they study the country’s views on certain points. Committees, which are a group of members who use parliamentary procedures to make decisions, are also assigned to groups to study this as a team.

“You study everything about that committee and how that country reflects on that committee, and how it represents in Model United Nations,” said McCarty. “You’re pretty much acting on behalf of that country in the simulation.”

This year NMSU’s Model United Nations is representing the country of Greece at the conference in New York.

“This team provides a mechanism by which NMSU can get its name known on an international scale, there are people at this conference from Germany, Japan and Italy. So for them to see NMSU year after year compete at such a high level is very good for this institution,” said Government major, DeLorean Forbes.

“We’ve been trying different avenues to raise money,” said Dhakal.

M-U-N will be having three fundraisers this semester, where they will be selling NMSU themed ornaments and will host giveback nights at both Jason’s Deli and Texas Roadhouse.

Junior, Government and economics major, Wilderness Castillo-Dobson hopes to continue the success of the organization this year.

“Every year we come home with awards and we’re hoping to continue that tradition,” said Castillo-Dobson.

This program is open to all students regardless of their field of study. For more information and how to get involved, contact the Department of Government at (575)-646-4935.

Is Thanksgiving Break Something to Give Thanks About?

By: Luis “Luigi” Finston

Is Thanksgiving break such a good thing? How could it not be right? We take time to visit our families, eat great food, and take time away from our studies to catch up on lost sleep.

But upon returning, do students slack off? Do they lose their focus after a break? How do students get back on track after a week of bliss and relaxation?

Students like Sante Guajardo love Thanksgiving break, not only because they get to return home, but because it is a moment when families are together after a long period of separation.

“Being able to see my family, sitting around the table, and having an actual meal together means a lot to me” Guajardo says,“I don’t get to do that very often. It’s a time of connection, memories, and a time to chill out.”

Even with the happy vibes, Guajardo still keeps himself occupied and busy. As a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, the Advertising Club (Ad Fed), several other organizations and school, Guajardo said he does not have time for slack.

“It depends on you as a student”, he said.

“If you’re a studious person and have a lot of homework to do at the time, then you should do it, or get it done ahead of time. There’s a good amount of time to catch up and get what needs to be done before finals kick in.”

Guajardo stressed the importance of having a solid mindset when returning following the break. Since there are only two weeks of school left by that point, it is very easy to become distracted.

“From my point of view, I’m well aware that I have finals and several assignments due that last week. I know that it’s time to buckle down and get ready for the end of the semester. I feel more motivation over the break and come back working harder.”

Students are not the only ones who take the opportunity to vacation or return home. Professors take time to enjoy the holiday season as well. The question that professors might ask themselves is, will students return with a hard working mentality.

Kaylie Martinez is a Journalism major who admits that it’s easy to lose focus. “It’s a double edged sword. The break can be bad because it’s very easy to slack off and become lazy. But I myself tend to have a serious loss in focus when I come back from the break though.”

“I think professors are aware that students are coming back from a break and they aren’t going to be all there” Martinez said, “Whether they take that into consideration as far as grading, I don’t think they care. I think they expect us to be adults about it and get out stuff done and return ready for more”

America Can Do Better

By: Albert Luna

Donald Trump is the leader of the free world, come January 20th. Nothing can change that fact.

For all the outburst, slander, and even riots at the result of Trump’s victory, it has given America a bad look. Not a bad look by the man that has been selected to lead this country for at least the next four years, but by the nation he is inheriting.

So, what happened to the polls, projections, and the media blitz that essentially laughed Trump off the stage from day one?

Like many Americans, this election seemed to come down to going out of your comfort zone and finding answers.

How could a businessman, that has never held elected office, flip the entire system on its head, and do so with essentially no relevant big name endorsements or fellow party members to even campaign with him? It is shocking, to say the least, yet it fits the Trump narrative perfectly: Keep defying the odds in this election.

In an America that has consistently been a land of opportunity, starting anew, and having a sense of perspective, many have failed to realize the history that was made on election night.

Perhaps it is the new wave of social media that has connected people in the most divisible of ways than ever before in this nation, but Trump opponents took the news far different than most would expect.

Simply going on-line during the early morning hours following the Trump victory, there was seemingly more negative talk about the President-Elect than ever before by not just voters, but in some instances, the mass media alike.

So much for “going high when they go low”, right?

If this election proved anything to our country, it is that sometimes feelings are going to get hurt, lines are going to be drawn, and verbal, even physical, wars will be waged upon. The only thing to do after these instances is to move on, work towards the next objective or goal, and chase after it.

For a lot of Americans, election night was a rare time they didn’t have an immediate response to go to or even a tweet to fire away when they didn’t get what they wanted – and they weren’t okay with that.

Within 14 hours of the election being called in favor of the Republican, there was a national trending hashtag on Twitter, “#NotMyPresident”. That hashtag, mainly referring to a sort of defiance and non-recognition of Trump, was used in over 1 million different tweets in less than a day.

Many will point to the fact Trump echoed similar remarks during many of his speeches about whether he’d be willing to accept the results from election night. Yet it clearly screams a double standard in the direction of his criticizers, who had always essentially seen themselves as the voice of reason. Instead, many of his critics were rolling in the same trenches of ego, stubbornness, and respect that Trump once did.

The President-Elect, is now the new symbol for not only his party, but for America to come together as a nation, like it or not. Many will say that the country is more divided than it ever has been, but just like the narrative that Trump was a surefire loser of this election, American citizens do not have to buy into that talk.

Instead, they can change the game themselves, not by conforming to a single party’s stance and putting on a front of unity, but instead actually using logic, reason and stopping the need for individual attention. If there was one thing that was learned on election night it is that, contrary to much thinking, their opinion may now simply not matter.

Albert Luna may be reached at truprint@NMSU.edu or by phone- (575)-646-5434