By Matt Stiver
The ring of a cell phone shattered the silence Monday afternoon on the second green of the Mira Visa Country Club. TCU Athletic Director Eric Hyman put down his club, picked up his phone and raced back to TCU.
The voice on the other end told him Conference USA Commissioner Mike Slive and the C-USA board had issued TCU an expansion bid, a bid TCU later accepted.
TCU will participate in the Western Athletic Conference in 2000 and join C-USA beginning in Fall 2001 for all sports. Southern Methodist University was not extended a bid.
Over the past few weeks, concern arose among C-USA basketball schools that expansion was not in the best interests of the conference.
Slive said this was not a problem at the decision-making meeting.
"The vote was unanimous among our members, both those in basketball and football," Slive said. "One option was to do nothing, and that was unacceptable."
Hyman said the announcement caught him off guard. He expected the announcement from the C-USA board meeting in New York City to come down later Monday evening.
"I was out playing golf at the Horned Frog Fundraiser," Hyman said. "To be frank with you, I didn't have my mind on (golf). My first ball I hit into the water. Then I got a call back in the second hole, and I was sort of relieved. We are thrilled to no end."
In addition to adding TCU's entire athletic program, C-USA accepted East Carolina University - currently a participant in football only - for all sports and South Florida. South Florida will not participate in football until 2003. At that time, C-USA will have 11 teams for football and 14 for basketball.
Slive said TCU's recent NCAA berth in men's basketball and the 1998 Sun Bowl victory were large factors.
"I think over the last couple of years, the success of their programs was important to the board."
However, speculation about C-USA expansion before Monday's meeting had both TCU and SMU joining.
Hyman said the news caught him off guard, but TCU and SMU never were a package deal.
"I am shocked and stunned that SMU is not going to participate in C-USA," Hyman said. "TCU is disappointed. We have a long-standing relationship, and I hope we can maintain our rivalry outside conference.
"TCU is doing what's best for TCU. That always was our approach."
Hyman said he does not know why SMU was not selected.
By Tealy Dippel
The timing of a speaker sponsored by Baptist Student Ministry on National Coming Out Day led some students to rally outside The Main Monday with posters and flyers.
Student members from the Leftist Student Union, TCU Student Allies and the TCU Triangle gathered outside of The Main close to an hour before BSM's meeting to protest Randy Thomas' speech concerning his denouncement of being gay and finding God's love. Thomas is co-director of Living Hope, an Exodus-affiliated ministry in Arlington.
Phil Doan, co-founder of LSU, said members of his group banned together to fight homophobia and heterosexism but said BSM had the right to have a speaker.
"We are just protesting the content," Doan said.
One student carried a poster that read, "Don't judge others, and God won't judge you: Luke 6:37."
TCU Triangle President Matt Townsend said Living Hope practices "reparative therapy," a way to free gays from the sin of a homosexual life. He said Thomas' presence was not in line with TCU's step toward diversity. Instead, it is a step backward.
"Reparative therapy is detrimental," Townsend said. "It forces people to hate themselves because (they think) God doesn't love them. They wonder why God created them with homosexual feelings."
Thomas spoke to about 100 students at BSM's regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. in the Student Center, Woodson Room.
Toney Upton, director of BSM, said when he initiated the date for Thomas' visit, he was not aware it would be the same day as National Coming Out Day.
"We wanted Randy to share his story and his message to our group," Upton said. "We want to give BSM perspective and insight on how we react and interact with those that disagree with us."
Thomas, an open homosexual until 1992, said he wanted to tell his story about what it's like to be a former homosexual and to talk about his relationship with God.
"I became a Christian in 1992 when I had a spiritual awakening," he said. "If the Lord can create a universe out of nothing, he can certainly tell me what's best for me."
In an article that appeared in a September 1999 Living Hope newsletter, Thomas said an inner pain began early in his life. At age 16, he had his first homosexual experience.
After his mother told him he was an "abomination going to hell," Thomas said he began evaluating what he believed.
"I did not become a Christian to overcome homosexuality," he said. "I became a Christian because Jesus Christ made sense."
Thomas said homosexuality and salvation are tied together.
"I went through a lot of pain not identifying as gay, but I know God loves me," he said. "My journey is to identify as a child of God."
Thomas said those protesting his speech had the right to do so.
"As Americans, we all have the right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness which I am doing by not being gay," he said.
Doan said gay-rights activists fought for many years to overcome anti-gay discrimination. TCU can play a role in that crusade, he said.
"If TCU wants to be diverse, this is consistent with that," Doan said.
By Steven Baker
TCU students, faculty and staff met for a panel discussion as part of National Coming Out Day in the Student Center Lounge Monday.
Roscoe Compton, a sophomore advertising/public relations major and a member of TCU Triangle, a gay and lesbian student organization, said faculty members and students are supportive of gay students.
"At first it was pretty scary being a gay man," he said. "You really don't know how people are going to react until you start talking about it. Most public universities wouldn't be able to have anything like this. TCU is very good about having people here with an open mind - which is a very good thing."
During the panel discussion, Compton proposed questions concerning coming out. The panel was composed of the Rev. Durrell Watkins, of Agape Metropolitan Community Church; Jean Giles-Sims, a professor of sociology; and TCU students Julia Bogart and Matt Townsend.
The meeting was sponsored by Programming Council, the Triangle and Student Allies, a student organization that shows support for gay and lesbian students. Faculty, staff and students were free to ask questions during the panel discussion as well.
Compton said more students attended this year.
"The event went better than last year," he said. "I was really excited that it came off as well as it did."
Townsend, president of the Triangle and a junior economics and English major, said since he came out last year, he has not lost any of his friends. Being gay at TCU is not too difficult, he said.
"If there is one message that I would like to get out, it is that being gay at TCU is not a negative experience at all," he said. "I have met more people since I came out then I had beforehand. Once you give your friends and people at TCU the opportunity to accept you for who you are, you are really going to be surprised."
Townsend said TCU students must continue these type of events.
"For the first time ever, people are open to what we have to say," he said. "So if people don't start standing up, talking and spreading information, then we are going to bypass this opportunity. The environment right now is one that is receptive and needs to be taken advantage of."
Bogart, a senior English major, said although the faculty supports gay and lesbian students, the conservatism of some students might scare gay students from coming out.
"There is a sheep kind of thing at TCU," she said. "Everybody has to follow and do what their leaders tell them. So the Greek feeling is pretty much that this is horrible, unchristian and something to be feared."
Heather Patriacca, a sophomore religion major and president of Allies, said she did not stop the first time she walked past a table advertising the Triangle, simply because she was not educated about homosexuality.
"The purpose of this event is to provide a safe environment for people that are homosexual to come out and be aware that there are organizations on campus that support them," she said.
Patriacca said some people are scared of homosexuality because they don't know what it is.
"Being tall, short, African-American or Hispanic, we are all different in our own ways," she said. "And this is just a group of that. Some students just don't understand that you can be a straight student and support homosexuality."
By Carey Hix
The story of a woman who overcame stereotypes in the business world to become an internationally recognized fashion and portrait photographer will be told Wednesday during a free lecture sponsored by the Women's Resource Center and Canon USA.
"I'm a completely self-trained person, and most of the reason for that is because nobody would hire women as assistants," said Barbara Bordnick, who will address the TCU community at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Moudy Building North, Room 141. "It's an interesting story about a woman in a field that was completely dominated by men because when I started there were no women fashion photographers."
Bordnick's work has been featured in several publications, including Time, Life, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and others. The one-hour lecture will feature slides of her work.
A reception sponsored by the College of Fine Arts and Communication will be held in the TCU Bookstore Café Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. The reception will be an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to meet Bordnick and ask questions before the lecture.
Tenacity is also a central theme of Bordnick's lecture, she said.
"Hopefully what people will get (from the lecture) is how to fight for something they really want, and how incredibly important it is to know what you want and then when you know, you just go for it," she said.
After 30 years in the business, Bordnick said the process has not lost its novelty.
"It's still magic how it happens, how you just stand there and an image comes up," she said. "I think that no matter how many years a photographer works, it's still a miracle. The most important thing is that I enjoy what I do."
Marcy Paul, program coordinator of the Women's Resource Center, said the lecture will be relevant to everyone.
"Photography, I think, is an area that reaches everybody, and the reason I say that is because the moment we open our eyes, we see things all around us," she said. "The question is what do we do with that information. I think it's really interesting to look at something and think about why it's there, how it's changed."
Bordnick's excellence in her work was key in her being invited to speak at TCU, Paul said.
"I admire her work," she said. "I think she's an incredible artist, and I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to bring her, so students, faculty and staff could meet somebody outside the community and a professional in her field. I think she has a lot to offer in terms of not just photography, but the subjects she chooses and how she looks at the world."
Luther Smith, a professor of art, said he plans to bring his class to the lecture.
"Any time that we have an opportunity for students to see someone who's a professional photographer working in the field, I think it's a great idea for them to take advantage of it," he said. "If you're going to make a living (in photography) you have to figure some sort of way to do it, and she's had lots of publications and has good credentials. So I think it would be really terrific for anybody who's interested in photography to go and see her."
By Jessica Schambach
The refurbished Pizza Hut eatery lessened lines in all dining facilities and brought about positive feedback from students Monday, dining services representatives said.
The eatery - which remains unnamed pending the results of a campus-wide competition to name the facility - includes Pizza Hut, Pretzel Logic, Freshen's yogurt, Stems and Staples, The Grind and a nacho and hot dog stand. It also features countertop computers that students can use to access the Internet.
It will be open from 7 to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
"We are very pleased," said Ed Lube, food service director. "It has certainly met our expectations. We feel the quality is there. We've heard nothing but positive comments from the students, and that's what it's all about. We are doing it for the students."
David Ripple, general manager for Sodexho Marriott, said the eatery was scheduled to open Oct. 4, but building inspections, equipment difficulties and employee training delayed the opening for a week.
Ripple said although Saturday's opening of the eatery was not advertised, dining services almost doubled its business from last year during Fall Break.
"Typically it's real slow," he said. "But we sold about 250 smoothies Saturday and over 300 Sunday."
Ripple said he is happy with the turnout.
"It's popular, obviously, and it's helping The Main right now," he said. "It's taking traffic out of some of the other places, so that's been a real help."
Dining services representatives are willing to make changes to the eatery depending on what students want, and customer satisfaction surveys will be distributed in about a month, Ripple said.
The smoothies, pretzels, expanded candy bin and computers are the biggest hits, he said.
"It's a big improvement," said Logan Battison, a junior religion and philosophy major. "I'm impressed. There's more variety."
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