Author Archives: The Courier

Holiday sugar feast promote obesity

By Jacob Vaughn
Copy Desk Chief & Music Editor

Photo illustration by Jubenal Aguilar

By Jacob Vaughn
Copy Desk Chief & Music Editor

Throughout the year, people gather with friends and family to stuff their faces as they share with their loved ones. They forget about the growing obesity epidemic in this country. Continue reading

Don’t politicize children’s costumes

By John C. McClanahan
Copy Editor & Editorial Proofreader

When I was 10 years old, I dressed as 6-foot black NBA superstar Allen Iverson for Halloween. I was a small white boy with shaggy brown hair and goofy blue glasses. But no one said anything about me inappropriately using the image of a person of color, at least in the realm of American sports icons. Continue reading

District initiative to track students’ course programs

By Jubenal Aguilar

Dallas area Democratic candidates took the stage alongside musical performances for a day of entertainment and a massive voter registration two days before the state registration deadline. Continue reading

Lyft, Uber to offer rides on Nov. 6

By Josh Drake
Distribution Manager

Voters with transportation problems will have a way to get to their polling locations on Election Day. Ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber will offer discounted and free rides Nov. 6 to help increase voter turnout during the midterm elections. Continue reading

Founding BHC member retires

Photo by Eriana Ruiz

By Stephanie Colmenero
Managing Editor/Web &
Social Media Director

“I’ve always liked working with people, but I’ve always liked working with data and information,” Michael Dennehy said. “If people have information, good information, they can make better decisions.” Michael Dennehy is executive director of planning, research and instructional effectiveness, is a charter member of Brookhaven College. Continue reading

Bears to party like it’s 1978


By Adam Bourenane
Contributing Writer

Brookhaven College will celebrate its 40th anniversary Oct. 11-13. Students, staff, faculty and alumni can attend various events, including the annual faculty art show, a Bears baseball and soccer game, and a community movie night in celebration of the campus’ milestone.

Meridith McLarty, director of marketing and public information, and Kevin Hurst, athletic director, planned the celebrations for the anniversary semester, though some finalizations are still in process, according to a campus-wide email. 

An arts reception will be held 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, beginning with dance and harp ensemble performances in front of the faculty art show. 

She said Darise Error, theatre department chair, will overs this year’s fall production of “The Laramie Project” with Brookhaven alumni who attended from 1978-2018. “She will have 40 years of theater in one show,” McLarty said. 

There will also be a tailgating party after a Bears baseball game and before a Bears soccer game from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 12. In the P1 parking lot near the Brookhaven soccer complex. 

Brookhaven will provide burgers, hot dogs, music, carnival games and cornhole toss, McLarty said.

There will also be a screening of 1979’s “The Muppet Movie” around 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 on campus.

Both McLarty and Hurst encourage all Brookhaveans to join the celebrations. 

“This week isn’t just a time to celebrate or reflect on the past 40 years, but on the potential for the next 40, while enjoying each other’s company,” Hurst said. 

McLarty said, “I really think it’s a time where we can reinvigorate and reimagine ourselves to be whatever we want by the time we hit 50.”

Hurst said he would like to see the same growth he has seen over his 19 years at Brookhaven. 

“Specifically, I would like to see us lead the pack in our students reaching the state of Texas’ goal of 60x30TX – 60 percent of those 25 plus having a degree or certification by 2030,” he said.

Ban yields no tickets on campus

By Robyn McAllister
Layout Editor

While cruising on North Texas highways, drivers may see several billboards warning about the dangers of texting and driving. On June 6, 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 62, which banned Texas motorists from texting and driving. However, no citations have been issued at Brookhaven College since the bill went into effect, Dallas County Community College District Cmdr. Mark Lopez, said in an email to The Courier. 

“The law is intended to require drivers to pay attention to their driving and the road ahead of them,” Lopez said. “Driving a vehicle and paying attention to your text can become a very dangerous situation.”

Lopez said all traffic laws will be upheld to prevent texting and driving on campus. 

According to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 341 tickets and 2,061 warnings were issued statewide between Sept. 1, 2017 and Feb. 28.

The Texas Department of Transportation states that a misdemeanor will be issued for first time offenders, ranging from $25-99. Repeat offenders will receive a $200 fine. 

“A lot of people like to say texting and driving is bad, but still do it,” Kayla McDaniel, a student, said. “It’s a serious problem, and there should be stricter laws enforced.”

There are at least nine people killed every day due to texting and driving, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Out of the 25 percent of motor vehicle crashes that occur, teens and young adults are the largest group affected, according to 

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 out of 5 accidents that occur involve distracted driving. 

If texting and driving are the cause of an accident resulting in death or harm, the violator will be charged with a class A misdemeanor which can result in a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to $4000. 

Sara Perez, an Early College High School student, who drives, said she has been in a texting and driving-related accident, but did not receive a citation for it. 

“I thought I was being cool, but didn’t realize not only did I put myself at risk but others as well,” Perez said. 

 “I suggest to have your priorities straight between answering your friend or the life of yourself and others,” Perez said.

Teen drivers make up the highest fatality rate caused by distracted driving compared to other age groups, according to

Lopez said: “If you can’t seem to stop the habit, I would suggest that the phone be turned off while driving, or if you have to place it in your trunk. Out of sight out of mind.” 

TX DOT recommends drivers keep focused on the road, with phones out of reach on “Do Not Disturb mode while driving. Apple and Android have also taken steps to ensure motorists from using their phones while driving. IOS11’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode can be set to turn on automatically based on detected motion indicating a user is driving. Additionally, Drive Mode, an Android based application, can read texts aloud and creates an interference with smartphones is less distracting, according to

Brookhaven celebrates 40 years

Look for this series logo to find all of our 40th anniversary articles. 

By Jubenal Aguilar

Brookhaven College turns 40. Continue reading

Instant film convention returns to North Texas

Photo courtesy of Instant Film Society

By Mekayla Thomas
Contributing Writer 

For the third year in a row, photographers from all over the U.S. will gather in Dallas and Denton to share their love for instant film. Continue reading

Political climate still tense 50 years later

Photo illustration by Eriana Ruiz

By Adam Bourenane
Contributing Writer

Massive demonstrations in the streets of Chicago outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention helped finalize the political polarization of the time. Half a century later, political polarization is still an issue today. 

John Rodden, independent scholar at The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Research Center, said the events of 1968 were by far one of the most culturally impactful years, comparing its effects with that of the French Revolution in 1789. 

“We are all 1960s kids, still and now,” Rodden said. 


1968 brought with it a presidential race in which Democratic moderation split the party between an establishment candidate and a more radical, progressive candidate. Rodden said the main contenders of the1968 Democratic primaries, Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy, easily compare to their 2016 counterparts, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. There are also similarities between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, Republican presidential nominees for 1968 and 2016 respectively. 

“Some of the speeches are almost identical,” Jennifer Allen, Brookhaven College history professor, said. “If you study the background of the Nixon administration and the Trump campaign, they appealed to the same people,” she said. 


The 1960s started in 1963, and ended in 1974-75, Rodden said. 

Before the 1960s, the youth kept their parents’ lifestyles. Young men wore suits and ties on college campuses, and both the youth and elderly enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and others, he said.

But as the world moved into the atomic era of warfare, the days of the simpler pre-1960s were numbered, Rodden said. In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis, a brinkmanship Allen called hell on the collective psyche of America, solidified a global sense of foreboding. 

People in 2018 experienced similar fear with Trump’s promise of bringing fire and fury to North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un. 


When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, it was clear to people things were changing, and they adapted, Rodden said. 

Kennedy drafted the Civil Rights Act, but would not live to see it pass. 

President Lyndon Johnson sought to honor his predecessor by ensuring the bill would pass in 1964, but there was pushback. Riots, assassinations, the split in the civil rights movement and the founding of the Black Panther Party highlight the discourse of the time, Allen said. 

The Black Panther Party was established as a social movement to address racial inequality toward black communities. Today’s Black Lives Matter movement addresses similar issues the Panthers addressed through social activism, according to the San Francisco Chronical.

While civil unrest unfolded on American soil in 1968, the U.S. military occupied southeast Asia. 

In a Feb. 27, 1965 state department memo, Johnson wrote: “This [North Vietnamese] aggression … is a fundamental threat to the freedom and security of South Vietnam.

The people of South Vietnam have chosen to resist this threat. At their request, the United States has taken its place beside them in their defensive struggle.”

Allen said the Vietnam War was the first significant televised conflict, with the Korean War labeled the ‘Forgotten War.’

It showed the brutality of war and the problems with American intervention.


According to The Los Angeles Times, on June 23, 1967, Johnson arrived at The Century Plaza, along with 10,000 anti-Vietnam War protesters. Clashes with protesters and Los Angeles police officers ensued as the marchers assembled across the street from The Century Plaza Hotel. Hundreds of nightstick-wielding officers forcibly dispersed the protesters. 

By the next summer, when Chicago police beat demonstrators in the street outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the country was at war with itself, according to The Los Angeles Times. 

Activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin founded the Youth International Party, whose members were called Yippies, in January 1968, according to They deployed guerilla theater tactics against mainstream culture. Yippies believed adamantly that culture and politics were inseparable. 

Hubert Humphrey, then-Johnson’s vice president, won the Democratic primary nomination on June 11, 1968. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Humphrey was able to gain enough delegates to take control of the convention without entering any primaries.

The aftermath was similar to 2016’s primaries, Allen said. Clinton received 55.6 percent of the vote, with Sanders at 49.9 percent, according to 

“The 2016 Democrats picked someone who would not appeal to the broader audience for a variety of reasons. Establishment politics was out, and so Trump was picked to lead,” Allen said. 

Democrats advocated unions, immigration rights and progressive values, Rodden said. But since Humphrey supported the war, and therefore, the draft, progressivism shifted from moderate Democrats to the revolutionary youth, according to the PBS documentary series “American Experience.” Humphrey would go on to write: “One person and one place dominated my life that election year. The place, Vietnam. The person, Lyndon Johnson.” 

Three months later, Nixon was elected the 37th President of the U.S.