Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Houstonian: Students name new dining facility

From the Houstonian:
The students of Sam Houston State University can name the new dining facility and win as much as $100 in bearkat express points.

Dana L. Grant, assistant director for finance and marketing from the department of residence life said, "Since we have a new dining facility on campus, upper administration wanted the students to name it. They gave us the make it into a contest." The contest is similar to a previous contest held in the early 90's in which the student body named Tater's n Stuff located in the Paw Print, Grant said.

Grant also added that many of the entries so far have either Bearkat or Sammy in the name but there is nothing in particular that we are looking for, its totally up to the students.

The new diner is scheduled to open in January and faculty and staff may also participate in the contest.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Houstonian: The Bearkat then and now

Today’s issue of the Houstonian discusses the history of Sammy Bearkat:
In the late 19th Century, college campuses began to introduce mascots to sports teams. Often these mascots were real animals, although most colleges abandoned this practice due to the high cost of caring for the animals. Real animals were soon replaced by people in animal costumes, a tradition that still continues to this day in most different levels of sports.

In 1923, Sam Houston State Teacher's College chose "The Bearkat" as the nickname for all the school's teams. The actual bearkat is the South American kinkajou, though it was probably not the basis for the animal that the school had in mind, which was actually a fictional creature that derived from a local saying "tough as a Bearkat." Despite this, SHSU did briefly have a live kinkajou as a mascot in the early 1950s, but quickly returned it to the wild when it did not adjust to captivity.

Houstonian: Professor studies trees on campus

Here's news of an interesting project started by Dennis Williams in the biology department: identifying every tree on the SHSU campus:
"The project was started to develop a manual for one of Dr. Williams lab classes," said Lauren Grawey, a senior majoring in environmental science who assisted Williams in this ongoing project. "The manual allows students to look at a tree and be able to identify it." The information provided by the manual is not limited to just the type of tree, but also the genus, species and more.

"We have identified every tree on campus," Grawey said. There are 950 trees on campus. As additional aspect of the project, Williams and Grawey plotted a Global Positioning System (GPS) point for every tree with a hand held receiver. They then measured the diameter of the tree and logged this information into the receiver.

"Physical Plant wanted the manual to help them," Grawey said. The manual would allow Physical Plant to identify trees in a situation where there might be a disease. For example, if a few pine trees get a disease in a particular area, Physical Plant can use the manual to find where the other pine trees are located and protect them from the same disease.

Pine trees are the majority of the trees on campus.

The manual has been completed, however it has not been distributed yet. "We need to bind the manual," said Grawey.

The manuals will be given to Physical Plant, Williams and Grawey. The manuals will also be available in the library.