A Trike Unlike Any Other

By: Isaiah Silva

One Aggie is literally, building his dream from the ground up. James Owen, a Mechanical Engineering Technology student, is building a prototype for his own invention. Owen wants to bring something new to the table in the sport known as, “trike drifting.”

“They’re essentially oversized tricycles. The sport itself started in Auckland, New Zealand, made its way to Australia, and then really as of recently has come over to the United States. It’s really up-and-coming; I think there are still a lot of people who don’t know about it,” Owen said.

Owen got his start with Aggie Shark Tank in the spring of 2016. Aggie Shark Take models itself like the television show, Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs present their inventions to investors in hopes that they will get a chance to take their dreams to the next level.

“I essentially saw an advertisement for Aggie Shark Tank and I thought, ‘Well, why not make this passion a business,’ and that was really actually when it got started,” Owen said.

It was through Aggie Shark Tank that Owen met the CEO of Mesilla Valley Transportation, Royal Jones. Jones was one of five investors in the Shark Tank.

“He said, ‘Look, you can use our labor, you can use our components, and hey, we got one of the best paint booths in town, so I’ll even paint it for you too,’” Owen said. “He saw an interest in it and he really wanted to see it go somewhere, so he gave me that opportunity.”

When Owen started, he designed the initial frame on the computer, using 3D modeling. What is special is that although the frame followed some drift trikes before, it was completely custom to Owen. He didn’t do it alone though, Owen has had some people join him on his journey.

“I would say, kind of along this venture, I’ve had a lot of guidance from various friends and such. But, I brought on a buddy of mine, Michael Rogers, who is also in the Engineering Department with me. I brought him on as the cofounder, so he played a role in helping me get this trike developed,” Owen said.

The trike was completed around October/November 2016. Owen has made a lot of progress and modifications to the trike, so it is a lot different than how it was back in March 2016.

“The plan for this year is to essentially wrap up the prototype, set our sights on a new prototype. Something that is, I want to do something along the lines of a collapsible trike, so something really mobile, something that customers can fit in the back of their car,” Owen said.

Before Owen devotes himself to the drift trike business, he wants to get a feel for the market and see if there is a demand. If so, he will start the process of pushing out units. One of Owen’s ideas to get drift trikes more exposure is to have what he calls, “Drift Trike Days.” This will showcase the drift trikes and allow people to ride them.

“That’s the biggest struggle we’ve encountered right now is just informing everyone of what a drift trike is. That’s the vision,” Owen said. “The mission statement, if you will, is to give everyone the experience, the thrill of a drift trike. You really don’t know what it’s like until you ride it.”

Owen has many goals as to where he wants his drift trikes to go. They include the possibility of doing made-to-order trikes and going into full production, not mass production, but doing a small number at a time. Owen expects to go back on Aggie Shark Tank with his prototype. Aggie Shark Tank is held every semester.

Here to Help

By: Isaiah Silva

In college, one in five women are sexually assaulted and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, these statistics are only based on the incidents that are reported. Doña Ana County ranked second in the state for reported sexual assault cases. La Piñon Sexual Assault Recovery Services of Southern New Mexico is a resource available to victims of sexual assault.

La Piñon is the only center of its kind in southern New Mexico. They provide services not only to the Las Cruces community, but also to cities such as: Anthony, Chaparral, Deming, Hatch, and Silver City.

“My goal is to be able to help as many people out there,” Amanda Carreras, Campus Advocate for La Piñon said, “Like I said, it’s very underreported and I’m not sure people just don’t know where to go on campus because not only is it, as far as reporting, and this just isn’t at NMSU, but this is in general that a lot of people they fear reporting and what that looks like.”

Sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior or contact that is not consensual. Some of the conducts that NMSU prohibits include: rape, groping, stalking, fondling, and forced kissing.

“Campus sexual assault is much more common than people imagine. There was a survey conducted that approximately up to 15 percent of male college students reported that they actually were the offender or perpetrator to a sexual assault within that past year,” Carreras said.

According to Carreras, when they do their outreach on NMSU’s campus, they do anonymous surveys in order to get insight as to what students think of sexual assault and whether or not they know how and where to report an incident.

“All those results are useful for me to be able to know where I need to target populations on campus,” Carreras said, “For example, in 2013 the NMSU Police Department had reported only two sexual assaults and then in 2014 they had four. There’s no way of telling whether or not these statistics are the same for everyone, however you can see that the number is very underreported.”

There are some myths about sexual assault that indeed are not true. The first thing that comes into play when defining sexual assault or rape is consent.

“Consent is an actual, affirmative agreement and verbal yes, or no. However, just because somebody consented to it once doesn’t mean that it’s continuous. We can’t just assume that, ‘Okay this person, we had sexual intimacy or whatever, and now it’s okay every time,” Carreras said.

There are limitations, or boundaries even if someone consents to intimate behavior. While someone may consent to one thing, they could say no to another.

Another thing that comes into play is alcohol.

With alcohol being such a big part of the “college experience,” it makes the chances of sexual assault occurring greater. Anyone under the influence cannot give consent.

There are other myths as far as reporting a sexual assault.

“A lot of times people don’t report because they believe no one is going to believe their story is true. They’re going to say, ‘Well why did you go to the party? Why were you so drunk you couldn’t get yourself home and you had to get a ride from someone?’” Carreras said,

“So, that goes into little bit more victim blaming where that overrides their ability and their strength to report, or to get the help that they need.”

Many times cases go unreported because the survivor is already weakened by the incident and it is difficult to share the details of what happened to a complete stranger. Since La Piñon provides services to many different communities and the university, some clients are from out of town and come alone.

“A lot of our students in the cases I’ve received, they’re not from here, and so they feel alone already because their families are out of state or out of town, and they don’t want their parents or their families knowing what happened here because then they’re going to cause worry to their family,” Carreras said, “A lot of those factors come into play of why people feel like they’re not going to report because people think that maybe they don’t believe them.”

Other myths could be that people don’t think the person who assaulted them is going to get convicted, which is hard to determine since it is determined case by case. People also don’t report because they feel as if they need to report the assault. Through La Piñon, one has the right to not report the assault to the police.

If one does decide to seek help through La Piñon specifically, there are a multitude of services they offer to help the survivor cope with being sexually assaulted. One thing they help with is the survivor’s school. They work with administration to help extend deadlines and help get extra time on assignments. La Piñon will also help if the survivor needs to move schools, or just move back home because they feel like they cannot be at school anymore.

“They’re already experiencing a significant amount of either guilt, or pain, or sadness that now their goals that they once had are no longer there,” Carreras said.

They will also work with housing to get room changes if they see it will benefit the survivor. They will also help the survivor’s parent as well if the parent has to take time off of work to be with their child. They could recover lost wages, similar to workman’s compensation.

“We want to be able to assist them in a way where they are still able to do those things that they would’ve done had this not happened.” Carreras said.

Carreras wanted survivors to know that what happened is not your fault. There will always be someone there to help. La Piñon does instructing of staff and faculty at NMSU, so help is easily accessible.

For more information, you can contact La Piñon at 575-526-3437, the 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 1-888-595-7273, or the NMSU Police Department at 575-646-3311

Midterms: Teacher Edition

By: Isaiah Silva

Students are usually the ones who pop into everyone’s minds when the word midterm comes up. Other words that may come up are: time management, stress, and sleep. On the other hand, professors go through he same time management, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Professor Ana Lourdes is an Assistant Professor in the Journalism & Mass Communications Department and is going nonstop all semester

“Well, I am a very busy person because in the morning I get up and I have my breakfast, I feed my dog and my cat and I do everything I need to do at home, then I drive here. I commute from El Paso everyday. I teach my classes,” Professor Cardenas said, “Then when I finish my classes I try to grade some of the assignments,”

Professor Cardenas went on to explain that she is teaching two classes, which entails grading and preparing materials for each class. She will also be teaching a mini-mester class that will begin next week.

In addition, she is on track to become tenured at the university, so she has a lot of research to do. She is also a freelance journalist and has stories that need to get written.

As if that isn’t enough, she is taking an online class. She is studying the US-Mexico border. The class is a yearlong.

“It’s a one year certificate. It’s a lot of work, so I have to watch a lot of videos. I have to read papers and write my own papers,” Professor Cardenas said.

Like students, Professor Cardenas needs to keep her time management skills as sharp as possible. When she returns home, she has to walk her dog and then prepare her classes for the next day.

“It’s really a busy, busy semester. You know every semester is busy. I try to organize my life, I create my compartments. From 8 to 2, I do this; from 9 to 10, I do this, and that’s it, I usually go to bed at like 11 or 12,” Professor Cardenas said.

         When it comes to grading, Professor Cardenas deals with a lot of writing which can be time consuming. She said that she grades her assignments little by little in order to keep herself on track and keep her stress levels low.

“When I get an assignment I just start grading because otherwise it’s horrible when you accumulate those [assignments],” Cardenas said.

“For grading it really depends on the class. In the writing classes you spend a lot of time because of that. I mean you review the lead, the grammar, punctuation, AP Style, if the story makes sense, if the story doesn’t make sense, so then you have to write your comments and then send it back to the student,” Professor Cardenas said.

Professors have a lot on their plate even during spring break. Professor Cardenas will utilize her time to work as much as possible in order to alleviate some of the work that she has to get done before classes start up again.

“For this spring break, I have a lot of work. I have to prepare for an online class that I’m teaching for the first time, so it’s going to be a lot of work, and teaching an online class requires a different organization,” she said, “I have to write some stories and I’m trying to use this spring break to catch up with my research because I have been postponing some things that I need to do.”

The difficult thing now is choosing whether to push responsibilities to the side and have fun, or catch up on work in order to make things easier. For Professor Cardenas, she chooses to get ahead.

Bro Code Spring Break 2017

1. What do you do if your friend is hooking up with someone who is a 4 on a scale of 10?

I let them. It’s not my business.

2. What do you do if your friend needs a wingman?

I try my best to help them out, as long as I know they will do the same for me.

3. How do you avoid a creeper in the club?

Just make sure you’re with your squad. The more, the better. And keep your eyes peeled. Never know when someone will try something.

4. How do you keep your squad at their best? i.e looking good, feeling good (hydrated), having fun?

We just have to, you know? Stay the course together and be open and trust the process that we as a group can move forward towards achieving our goals and making ourselves better individuals.

5. What is the rule on doing something crazy? (getting a tattoo or piercing)

I would say that for a tattoo, it has to in a place that you can’t see. Unless the person is in the right state of mind then they can do whatever they want. I would say piercing are a no! They’re too risky.

#SpringBreak2017 Mottos

* Don’t die

* Work hard, play harder.

* We made it back. I don’t know how, but we did.

* Have as much fun as possible because this will be your last break until summer!

* Don’t do anything I would do.

Is Spring Break Really a big Deal?

By: Luis “Luigi” Finston

Spring Break isn’t fun and games, especially for some NMSU students.

Simon Polakoff is a junior in mechanical engineering who says that the main thing he wants to do is focus on work.

“I’m staying in town primarily for financial reasons”, he said.

Polakoff takes the opportunity to train and hone in on his skills. Spring Break is no time to take a break and get lazy, but to improve without the worry of a deadline for an assignment.

“I would rather save my money up for a different occasion then spend it right now. I’ll be working the entire time. I’ll want to relax and rest as much as I can. I don’t want to do anything strenuous, because my degree is strenuous enough. I’ll also be catching up on lost sleep and making the most of it.”

Kayla Rodriguez is a freshman studying biology and is a member of the NMSU cheer team. She said that while she usually tends to travel with her family during Spring Break, this break will be for training and keeping things simple.

“I won’t be doing much besides going to practice and probably just watching Netflix”, said Rodriguez.

She also says that she doesn’t think Spring Break is that big of a deal, but will miss the family time during the week.

“Usually my family and I go out of town to somewhere that involves the beach or something related, but this is the first year I won’t be doing anything so I’m pretty sad about that.”

For those staying in town, the Blink-182 and Naked and Famous concert will be taking place March 25 and students staying in town can potentially have a little bit of fun even though they aren’t going anywhere.

Locations that appeal to students at NMSU for Spring Break are South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, San Diego, Panama City, Daytona Beach, and Cancun. This year several members from Greek Life and various other organizations will be going to Lake Havasu City in Arizona.

According to Valeria Gomez, a freshman who is studying business management, describes Spring Break as a time to relax, but to not lose focus.

“Spring Break, for me at least, is a time when there should be a pause from school work, and a time to relax”, she said, “I will be staying in Las Cruces and taking my pause from school, and focusing on work, and taking every opportunity to go to the gym.”

Whatever students at NMSU may be doing this Spring Break, the main thing is to enjoy yourself, be safe, and make sure to make the most of it. After a week of doing what you want, it’s back to the books and preparing for finals!

Girl Code Spring Break 2017

1. What do you do if your friend is hooking up with someone who is a 4 on a scale of 10?

Let them! If they’re happy then cool.

2. What do you do if your friend needs a wingman?

I would totally do it, I would pretend to think that my friend is hot, but does not like me to make them seem more desirable to the person they are interested in.

3. How do you avoid a creeper in the club?

Move around to different places until the creeper can’t figure out where you’re at. Then as soon as you can lose them leave, or just keep moving so that they can’t figure out where you are.

4. How do you keep your squad at their best? i.e looking good, feeling good (hydrated), having fun?

Open communication and honest opinion. If my friend isn’t looking her best, I will tell her. If we are doing activities like being in the sun or drinking, water is a must.

5. What is the rule on doing something crazy? (getting a tattoo or piercing)

I would say that for a tattoo, it has to in a place that you can’t see. Unless the person is in the right state of mind then they can do whatever they want. I would say piercing are a no! They’re too risky.

#SpringBreak2017 Mottos

* You can never go back

* What happens at South Padre, stays at South Padre

* Yolo

* If you’re not drinking, you’re not playing

* Have fun and forget all responsibilities for the week.


By: Jianna Vasquez

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico and the department of Arts and English, hosted a “Know Your Rights” workshop on February 24, at Williams Hall.

“People have a lot of questions about their rights,” said project coordinator of ACLU of New Mexico, Erica McDowell.

ACLU is a nonprofit and nonpartisan that has been working for nearly 100 years, to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution of the Unites States guarantees for everyone in this country.

“It was important to not only bring this issue to NMSU, but also to the whole community,” said McDowell.


* You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.

* You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.

* If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.

* You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.

* Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.


* Stay Calm

Don’t run, argue or obstruct the police even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights.

* Ask if you are free to leave.

If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away.

* You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings

but police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon


* Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible and show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, upon request.

* If an officer or immigration agent ask to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.

* Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent

If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.


* You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status.

* If you are not a U.S citizen and an immigration agent request your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.

If you are over 18, you should carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

* Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents

* If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

* Do not resist arrest


Remember: Police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street

* Write down everything you remember

* File a complaint

* Call your local ACLU

For any information on your rights you can contact ACLU of New Mexico at

(575) 527-0664 or visit http://www.ACLU.org

Making Loans Great Again

By: Isaiah Silva

Many people may disagree with President Trump’s policies, but his view on student loans is similar to what a lot of students are feeling.

President Trump wants to change the way a person pays back their loan in order to get it done faster, so that person can move on with their life. The plan is to cap loan payments at 12.5 percent of your income. Then, after 15 years or monthly payments, any remaining student loan debt would be forgiven.

“Students should not be asked to pay more on the debt than they can afford, and the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives,” Trump said during a campaign event in Ohio.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2016 Quarter 4 “Report on Household Debt and Credit,” student loan balances were at approximately $1.3 trillion. Last year, 11 percent of the loan debt at that time was more than 90 days late.

Paying back student loans can take a long time and can halt people from making big purchases like a home, car or even having a child.

“It’s not fair and we are going to fix it.” Trump said.

As of now, the cap for payments that are based on income is at 10 percent. The payment plans go for 20 years, after that loans are forgiven. Trump’s plan will increase the amount one pays, but they will finish their payments up to 10 years faster. These plans are called PAYE, or Pay As Your Earn and REPAYE, Revised Pay As You Earn.

According to time.com, around 4 million people are enrolled in the income-based payment plan.

Some may wonder, how does allocating more of my income to student loans save me money. It saves money because the amount of time you’re paying is shorter than the current payment plan.

Taking out loans does can be scary, but there are a few benefits to taking out loans.

One of the biggest benefit to loans is that they provide financial relief when a student needs it. Using loans for school and education are the best ways to use the money.

A con to taking out loans is having to pay them back and with interest.

“Make sure you know what your balances, interest rates, and monthly payments are, and when your grace period ends,” Adam Minsky, Boston Student Lawyer said.

Staying on top of all these elements of repayment will help keep one out of financial trouble. Minsky also went on to say that you should make sure that the lender has updated contact information for you. Just because they cannot find you does not mean that your debt will disappear.

It is also helpful to find a payment plan that fits your budget.

“As your financial situation changes so can your repayment plan, and it can be changed up to once a year.” Liz Stapleton, finance blogger, said.

Student loans are a blessing and a curse. They provide students with relief, but repayment causes a lot of stress for many. It is comforting to know that we have a president that is working to help students get rid of their debt in a shorter amount of time, so they can continue with their lives.


By: Luis “Luigi” Finston

The Las Cruces International Film Festival that runs March 8-12 will be featuring an NMSU alumni’s film.

Alfonso Loya graduated in fall 2016. He majored in CMI and is now getting to experience being included in a film festival. He exclaimed his excited for the opportunity and is ready for people to see his documentary film “Thomas.”

“For people to see it is truly wonderful and to share it is an amazing feeling. This story was originally filmed and shot in Las Cruces, and now the people of Las Cruces are going to see it. For them to feature my film is a true blessing. And filmmakers and actors from all over will be viewing it.”

Loya’s film is about a homeless man who lives on the streets and decides to search for his adult daughter.

Throughout the film there are recollections and flashbacks of when the two were younger. When he finally finds her, his daughter is both angry and hurt and displays negative responses to him.

Loya said that the father’s character committed a murder and was sent to prison for some time. With that consequence, his daughter grew up never really knowing him or truly getting to know him.

Loya explained that in high school he met the man while working at Burger Kind that gave him the idea for the film.

“This man told me about his daughter that he hadn’t seen in many years. I found his personality very interesting and began to imagine how homeless people have a story. They weren’t born homeless. They are people just like you and me and they are human beings.”

The fundamental themes of the film are love, forgiveness, and hope for the future. The man tires to redeem himself with his daughter and reconcile from his past actions.

“As filmmakers, we should aspire and try to tell stories as much as we can,” said Loya.

At the end of the film the father attempts to reconnect with his daughter by making one last sacrifice for her. Loya didn’t want to give everything away and said one must watch to find out what happens.

“As filmmakers, we should aspire and try to tell stories as much as we can”

Loya’s experience with filmmaking goes back to when he was a teenager. He would create music videos and lip sync to them. Since then he has had a passion to create unique films for people to see.

Loya didn’t start learning the fundamental skills on creating a film until he came to the NMSU CMI Department in 2012.

“I loved the idea of making films, and all four years that I was at NMSU, I enriched my knowledge about producing, creating, and directing them.”

With the successful of Loya’s film “Thomas,” he doesn’t plan to slow down and says he wants to start his own production company. The company Cadance Films will be located in El Paso, Texas and he is currently working on a musical.

“The musical is based off the idea of what making films is like and what it takes to created them and the process. In other words: It is a celebration of making films.”

Loya explains how grateful he is to the community and university. He said he was honored to have the chance to be featured in a film festival and is excited to create more films and tell people’s stories.

“Everybody has a story but not everyone has the voice to tell it.”

The Las Cruces International Film Festival runs March 8-12. You can purchase tickets through the festivals website: http://www.lciffest.com/tickets. Or you can purchase tickets over the phone at (575) 514 – 2444.

Survival Tips to Get You to Spring Break

By: Isaiah Silva

Now that we are about a month into the semester, it is easy to say that the motivation from the new semester is long gone for most students. Everyone is counting the days until spring break. Unfortunately, there is still over a month until break, but don’t lose focus! There is still a lot of work to do.

There are many ways to fight the procrastination that seems to be floating through the air.

Don’t listen to music while you’re studying!

According to a 2010 Applied Cognitive Psychology study, students who study with music have the poorest recall ability.

Cramming isn’t a bad thing.

UCLA conducted a study and found that cramming for an exam places information into your short-term memory rather than long-term which makes it easier to recall.

Be Creative.

In order to remember large amounts of information, create a song, rhyme, or funny way to remember what you’re studying. One could even relate the material to a certain experience they’ve had.

Go to your professor’s office hours!

Even if you only want to see your professor for the times you are supposed to each week, it only benefits you to visit their office hours. Cultivating a good relationship with your professor could bring your grade up. Also, you may become actual friends with your professor and they could be willing to write you letters of recommendation that could help you land a job in the future.


Now, this may be hard to carry out because there just never seems like there is enough time to study, do homework, and fit meals in between. However, getting the right amount of sleep helps information sink in. The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

Study in a comfortable place.

For some, their studying can only be done in a library, or in a coffee shop surrounded by people. Try out different environments to see which works best for you.

As hard as the semester may seem, just remember the bigger picture. College isn’t easy, but it is worth it. The feeling of accomplishment when you receive your degree outweighs any feelings of sadness or despair you may be feeling right about now.