North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 91, No. 38, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 26, 2008 Page: 1 of 6
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Pancakes for life
Read about how IHOP will give away a lifetime supply of pancakes.
Arts & Life Page 3
Read about the softballll team's inspirational leader.
Sports Page 4
Wednesday, March 26,2008
Volume 91 ssue 38
North Texas Daily
Arts & Life, 3 & 6
The Newspaper of the University of North Texas
SGA president election marred by rule-breaking
By Abigail Thatcher
Inresponse to the unprecedented
move by the Student Government
Association Election Board to with-
hold the results of the presidential
and vice presidential election after
allegations of misconduct, one set
of candidates filed a case with the
student supreme court.
Jeff Kline, presidential candidate,
and his running mate, Rebecca
Finberg, supplied a brief to the
supreme court, questioning the
constitutionality of the "revote"
and whether the board can with-
hold election results.
The association's bylaws state
the board does have the say on
elections and that election results
cannot be released until the board
certifies the results.
According to an official state-
mentfromthe Student Government
Association, "the Election Board
was unwilling to certify the results
due to continued examination of
issues brought before them."
These issues concerned the
promotion practices of both candi-
"We have never had a discrep-
ancy of this magnitude in a pres-
idential election," said Stephen
Withkowski, SGA election coor-
Out of the formal complaints
filed to the Election Board, three
against Kline and Finberg stood
and one against Thomas Holman
and Meghan Vittrup stood, with
one still under investigation by
Kline and Finberg countered the
complaints against them.
One point addressed Kline's use
of the Pit Crew Facebook group
to promote his campaign while
working on campus. Kline said
because SGA is not specifically
mentioned on the group, SGA has
no rule over messages he sends as
an administrator of the group.
Finberg had another position
on the issue.
"It would be different if we were
using money invested for the Pit
Crew," she said. "It's just like saying
the student organizations that have
had events funded by Eagle's Nest
funding should not be visited by
About taping a promotional
poster too close to the computer
lab in Wooten Hall that could serve
asa polling place, the two said they
had permission from the building
director to hang posters anywhere.
The candidates said the lab is not
a university-recognized general
access lab, but signs in the building
conflicted with that statement.
The Election Board cited the
Holman and Vittrup campaignfor
posting signs too close to the Music
and Language Buildings.
"I know that the Election Board
did their due diligence, and I'm not
going to refute what was found,"
Holman said. "I placed it there,
but I took every possible precau-
tion to follow the guidelines as far
as I was aware."
Vittrup said she and Holman
attempted to runa clean campaign,
but the election boa rd found some-
thing wrong with their adver-
While the Kline camp feels the
Election Board's decision should
not stand, the Holman camp
believes the board made the deci-
"We want the voice of the
students to be heard through the
proper election process stated in
the SGA governing document,"
According to the brief to the
supreme court, no mention of a
revote procedure exists in the SGA
bylaws. Kline and Finberg claim
this makes the board's decision
See Candidates on page 2
Dean puts dancing
shoes back on
By Michael Hernandez
As a spotlight lit the path,
Sandra Terrell stepped back in
She swayed back and forth,
gliding across the floor like
she'd never left. Her bejeweled
gown glistened under the lights,
and her high heels made little
clicking sounds as she hit each
She was back— back to the
world of ballroom dancing.
"It was strangely familiar," she
said. "But I thought, 'Boy, you've
got a lot of work to do.'"
And work she has.
Terrell, dean of the Robert B.
Toulouse School of Graduate
Studies, has vowed to make her
return to competitive ballroom
dancing by August 4, her 57th
Knee and shoulder injuries
sidelined her hobby in 2005, and
she's since completed vigorous
rounds of physical therapy for
She decided about four
months ago, she said, that it
was time to put the dancing
shoes back on.
"It's almost like learning to
walk all over again, but this is
faster than if you're doing it from
scratch," she said.
She meets with her instructor,
Tony Hernandez, once a week for
a two-hour session.
"She's hardworking and she's
very focused," Hernandez said.
"She's not afraid to try new
things. The more difficult some-
thing is, the more she's willing
to learn and the more focused
Terrell always wanted to learn
to salsa, she said, and finally got
her chance in 2001 when she
began taking classes at an Arthur
Murray dance studio during
a vacation in the Washington,
She had recently completed
the academic year-long American
Council on Education Fellows
Competition in Washington and
chose to take a few weeks vaca-
tion before returning to NT.
Terrell decided to do all the
things she always wanted to do
on vacation, and one of those
was to learn to salsa.
The introductory program
taught her everything from salsa
to swing to mambo, she said, and
she participated in both private
and group lessons.
"It got me moving," Terrell
said. "It was highly social. I met
people that I never thought I'd
She returned to Texas and
contemplated calling the Dallas
Arthur Murray studio, but the
distance from her home was
But after months, temptation
got the best of her and Terrell
began lessons at the studio.
It was there she learned about
the world of competitive ball-
room dancing when she walked
in and saw the walls lined with
trophies and plaques. She told
her former instructor she wanted
to compete and immediately
went into training mode, she
She went to gym and group
sessions as often as possible and
even immersed herself in the
social scene with other ballroom
dancers, seeing movies and plays
and attending parties.
Her first competition was in
2002 in Toronto, Canada.
"This was my alter ego life,"
she said. "Along with the grad-
uate school and things I do with
my church, this was something
I really enjoyed doing."
Competitions took her to
Canada, New York City, San
Francisco, Hawaii and Las
She won all the time, she
"She's 100 percent in,"
Hernandez said. "When you have
that in someone and her natural
talent, they're going to rank in
the top three every time."
She placed first at a compe-
tition in Hawaii and third in
See Ballroom on page 2
Photo courtesy of www.jazz.unt.edu
Professor Neil Slater, chairman of jazz studies, directs a group of jazz students during rehearsal July 20 at the Combo Workshop 2007 in the Music Building.
wo longtime jazz professors to retire
By Robert Middaugh
NT College of Music directors
Neil Slater of the One O'clock Lab
Band, and Jim Riggs of the Two
O'Clock Lab Band will retire at
the end of the school year. Both
professors have been a part of
the music faculty for a combined
"With faculty, [leaving] is
always with such regret," said
James Scott, dean of the College
of Music. "They are such good
people and legends in their own
right. I will both personally and
professionally miss them."
John Murphy will take over
for Slater as the interim-head of
the jazz studies division begin-
ning in the fall, and Steve Wiest
will replace Slater as director of
the One O'Clo ck Lab Band for the
Riggs' replacement has yet to
During his tenure with the
university, Slater hasbeen director
of the One O'Clock Lab Band, a
position he took over in 1981 after
the departure of Leon Breeden.
He has been the chair of the jazz
studies division in the College of
Music and was appointed to the
music faculty in 1981.
Slater, apianist, former member
of the Stan Kenton Orchestra-In-
Residence program and Grammy
Awardnominee, has recorded and
performed with artists such as
Buddy DeFranco, Dave Weckl, Mel
Lewis and Joe Morello, according
to the College of Music. Before
coming to NT, Slater founded
the jazz studies program and
established multiple degree
programs in jazz at the University
of Bridgeport in Connecticut.
Along with Riggs and other
jazz studies faculty members
who arrived after him, Slater has
helped shape NT into "the top jazz
school in the nation," Scott said.
"The whole jazz division has
worked so well together," Scott
said. "The jazz faculty under the
leadership of Jim and Neil has set
the stage for that."
Riggs joined the College
of Music as a student in 1969,
performing in the One O'Clock
Lab Band under the direction of
Leon Breeden and received his
master's degree in music from
NT in 1972.
Since then, he has served as
a regents professor at NT while
teaching saxophone and directing
the Two O'Clock Lab Band. He
took his current position after
John Giordano left NT to help
develop Bass Hall and the Fort
Riggs coordinates the world's
largest enrollment of saxophone
students here at NT, according
to the College of Music. As a free-
lance artist, he has performed
with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald,
Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson,
Henry Mancini and Stan Kenton,
"Directing the band has been
an honor." Riggs said, "but I've
taught at NT for 38 years. It is
time for me to retire— time to let
someone else do this job."
Riggs said he decided to move
to Denton so he could learn and
play with outstanding musi-
"I didn't come here to stay, but I
fell in love with it here," Riggs said.
"In the summer of '67,1 had just
bought a new Volkswagen Beetle
and decided to drive with my wife
from Toledo to Bloomington to
Denton to Coral Gables and back
to Toledo. Out of all of those cities,
it became apparent to me that
Denton was the place to be.
Riggs said family and music
will become his focus after retire-
Scott noted that Slater will
probably continue to workprofes-
sionally with groups and clinics
as well as visiting other univer-
For 27 out of the 38 years Riggs
has beenatNT, Slater was afellow
faculty member. Riggs said it was
"an honor to work with Slater"
during that time.
"He has supported me and
we have supported each other,"
Riggs said of Slater. "I have been
here since Breeden had the One
[O'Clock Lab Band] and was
the only full-time jazz faculty
There are 14 faculty members
now, and most of them were hired
while Slater was in charge.
Preston Cummins, a Poway,
Calif., senior said Slater and Riggs
are the reasons jazz is still around
and still has a future, even in the
midst of more popular modern
See Music on page 2
Kosovo gains independence, legitimacy as nation despite flaws
By Megan Schwarz
Asim Mujkic of the University of
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
spoke on campus Thursday after-
noon about the right of Kosovo to
be an independent nation.
He was sponsored by the
student group Model International
Organization, which seeks to
inform students about foreign
"Issues like Iraq and the 2008
presidential election are impor-
tant, but there are other things
happening in the world," said
sophomore Karina Lopez, a
Bogota, Colombia native and MIO
events officer. "We need to know
what's going on."
During his lecture in Wooten
Hall, Mujkic expounded upon
Kosovo's 20 -year struggle for inde-
pendence from Serbia, which was
finally declared on Feb. 17,2008.
Serbia has tried to retain Kosovo
because it is the spiritual center
of the dominant nation, Mujkic
"Kosovo is the cradle of the
Serbian state," he said. "Key
monasteries are there, and Kosovo
was also the birthplace of nation-
alism in ex-Yugoslavia," he said.
Milan Reban of the political
science faculty said the Serbian
right to Kosovo is based largely
on a sort of mythological nation-
The Serbs base their national
identity on their defeat by the
Ottomans on June 28,1389.
"There is a legend concerning
the battle that the Serbian Prince
Lazar was visited by the archangel
Elijah, who said, 'Tomorrow if you
win this battle, you will inherit
the kingdom on earth. But if you
lose, you will inherit the kingdom
of heaven,"' Raben said.
Since then the Serbs have
viewed themselves as suffering a
defeated victory, and hence, have
consecrated Kosovo as "hallowed
ground," Raben said.
Kosovo's current U.N. provi-
sional government, established
in 1999, is founded upon those
same ethnic divisions that plague
the rest of the republics which
once belonged to the former
Mujkic warned that Kosovars
must shed the mentality of
favoring ethnic collectivism over
individual rights and liberties in
order to attain self-determination,
which he defined as "the right of
people in an established territory
to determine its own destiny. This
is at core of democratic entitle-
ment," he said.
He lamented that what initially
seemed to be the pursuit of the
right of self-determination has
turned into the opposite of
that, preservation of territorial
"This makes it almost impos-
sible for citizens to participate in
choosing a government and its
policies, and therefore the govern-
ment^will fail to realize its intended
purpose," Mujkic said.
He compared the ethnic divi-
sions which plague Kosovo's
government to the idea of orga-
nizing the American government
byrace or religion, which would be
divisive and unsuccessful.
"Instead of serving individual
citizens, politicians employ the
strategy of ethnic homogeniza-
tion to retain power. They say,
'Our ethnic group is in danger.
Vote for me or we'll disappear,"'
Despite the flaws of Kosovo's
government, it meets certain
criteria for being a legitimate
nation, he said.
"Namely, they do not threaten
the lives of significant portions
of the population by ethnic
cleansing or religious persecu-
tion," he said.
He also frequently mentioned
another way of legitimizing
Kosovo's independence— the fact
that its population is 92 percent
He contrasted Kosovo's struggle
for independence with that of
Srpska's, a region of Serbia that
has engaged in cleansing of e thnic
Albanians and therefore does not
"I remember those days; I lived
them," he said. "Ethnic Albanians
were erased from constitution.
They couldn't have anything
in their language, which is very
different from the Serbs'. They
couldn't have schools or papers
or radio stations in their language.
They were marginalized."
He concluded that Kosovo is at
Photo by Charlie McRae / Intern
Asim Mujkic of the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina speaks about
the rights of Kosovo Monday afternoon in Wooten Hall.
a "crossroads," which hinges on its
choice of government.
"Ethnoterritorialism is where
real danger lies, because it elim-
inates diversity by eliminating
the possibility of meaningful
level of control over one's life," he
said. "In order to develop a liberal
democracy in the classical sense,
this is of crucial importance. We
must insist on what unites us, not
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North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 91, No. 38, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 26, 2008, newspaper, March 26, 2008; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145563/m1/1/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.