Category: Guest Article

Sen. Sanders stops in San Antonio

Sen. Sanders stops in San Antonio

By Alejandro Hernandez
Special to The Bridge
Published March 30, 2020

    Riding the momentum of two primary victories, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., made it imperative to rally in Texas. Sanders focused several stops throughout this significant super Tuesday state—including San Antonio.

    Held on Feb. 22 at the Cowboys Dancehall during the Nevada primary caucus, supporters and media in attendance viewed the results live, leading to loud celebratory reactions for Sanders’ strong lead.

    Sanders walked on stage and led the rally after being declared the Nevada caucus winner. First, he introduced his wife, Jane Sanders, as “the next first lady,” spurring “Jane” chants from the crowd of more than 5,700. His major talking points focused on healthcare, education, raising the minimum wage, combating climate change and many other campaign points for the working class people.

    “We are going to win here in Texas,” Sanders told the crowd. “We are going to win across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time.”

    During the March 3 primary, Sanders received 102 delegates from 30 percent in Texas with 622,360 votes. He lost to Joe Biden, who received 111 delegates from 34.5 percent in Texas with 716,030 votes.

Jessica Rodriguez | Bridge
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., waves to San Antonio’s crowd during his rally Feb. 22 at the Cowboys Dancehall. Jane Sanders, his wife and political staffer, smiles at left.

“Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” an estimated 5,700 people cheered wildly in the San Antonio Cowboys Dancehall auditorium as anticipation grew for the senator to walk out on stage.

Held on Feb. 22, during the Nevada primary caucus, supporters and media in attendance viewed the results of the caucus live while waiting, leading to loud celebratory reactions for Sanders’ strong lead at that time.

Before taking the stage, local activists and political leaders spoke on several key issues that the Sanders campaign is running on. Maria Victoria de la Cruz, a mother, and political organizer moved the crowd with her personal accounts of how the current presidency affected her loved ones.

“Tengo una hija que es recipiente de DACA. Es una maestra fregona, chingona. Si este señor Donald Trump le corta sus sueños, que va a pasar con todos esos jóvenes soñadores. No es Justo Señor Bernie.” A message that reverberates with the large Latino community in south Texas.

Finally, John Lennon’s song “Power to the People” played over the loud speakers and Sanders walked in. He thanked San Antonio and led the rally by declaring his official victory of the Nevada caucus.

“In Nevada, we have just put together a multi-generational, multiracial coalition which is gonna not only win in Nevada, it’s gonna sweep this country.”

Jessica Rodriguez | Bridge
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., speaks during his San Antonio rally on Feb. 22 at the Cowboys Dancehall.

Sanders’ speech heavily advocated for raising the minimum wage, achieving equal pay for women, making it easier for people to join unions, helping rebuild infrastructure and building low income and affordable housing for people. One of his main talking points was about the importance of quality education and the need for better universal child care.

“We need more Latino teachers, we need more African-American teachers … We are gonna fight to make sure that no teacher in America earns less than $60,000 a year,” he urged.

He concluded, saying he will fight for the people by eliminating student debt, the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, the criminalization of drugs and marijuana, the increasing number of jail incarcerations, the demonization of undocumented immigrants and many other propositions.

“Brothers and sisters, if we stand together we will not only defeat Trump, we will trans-form this country and create a government and an economy that works for all of us,” he finalized.


Paying It Forward with Project Pengyou

By Soledad Olmeda From January 27th to February 2nd, Project Pengyou hosted an event for chapters across the nation to celebrate Chinese New Year by paying it forward. This event was called Pay It Forward on Chinese New Year (PIFOCNY) and the purpose was for each respective chapter to “adopt” a school in their community and inspire children to learn about China. The ultimate goal of PIFOCNY is to teach kids to become aware of other cultures, and to teach empathy and respect to them at a young age.   Continue reading “Paying It Forward with Project Pengyou”

‘No More’ – A Call To End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault Awareness Week will take place from March 3rd through March 10th. Here is a schedule of events open to the public.   Continue reading “‘No More’ – A Call To End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence”

Gender Studies — More than Misandry

By Amanda Castillo The last decade has been defined by a rising understanding of the harmful implicit attitudes present in society. More recently, and most visibly, the issues that have taken center stage in the media are related to racial and gender discrimination. Movements that address these issues are widely heard about and both are heavily misconstrued. When it comes to critiques surrounding the implicit and casual racism in the United States, opponents of these ideas misdirect these conversations so that what was originally a conversation surrounding the police brutality directed towards people of color becomes a conversation about how #AllLivesMatter. Something very similar happens when it comes to the conversations related to the study and critique of attitudes surrounding gender. Continue reading “Gender Studies — More than Misandry”

Supporting a Friend Through Mental Illness

By Amanda Castillo Mental illness—In America, it is a phrase that is met with judgement, assumptions, and a lot of stigma. For those who experience mental illness, they are plagued with feelings of isolation and, oftentimes, a lack of compassion and understanding from those around them. On the other hand, people who do not experience mental illness often feel uncomfortable thinking about it and are unsure of how to approach people who are open about their mental illness. The end result is a distinct separation and wariness from both parties and a lack of supportive communities for people who suffer from mental illness. Continue reading “Supporting a Friend Through Mental Illness”

Student Seeks To Improve Daily Commute For Students

By Daniela Rodriguez, Student Contributor As a student of Texas A&M International University, I am very proud to be part of a great community within a great city. I live near Merida Avenue, which is only a 15 minute car ride to TAMIU. However, when I ride the bus, travelling takes more than two hours. Besides myself, many other students struggle with the same situation. Throughout the eight months I have been riding the bus, I have realized the city needs to expand their routes and schedules, add the number of the route to every post, and add a map to every bus stop. It is necessary that the proper authorities realize Laredo is growing rapidly, and that they should expand their routes to accommodate this growth. For example, according to El Metro Transit website, there are 22 bus routes covering the Laredo area, but none of them take you to newly-opened Alamo Draft House on East Point Drive, which is located in a rapidly booming and northernmost area of town. Similarly, bus services for the southern area of Laredo must be expanded as well. Like its northern counterpart, it is also growing at a substantial rate. Unfortunately, only three routes cover this area: Route 14 (Santa Rita), Route 19 (Santo Niño) and Route 20 (Los Angeles). The average wait time for an individual taking these routes ranges from 70-90 minutes. Regarding the schedules of El Metro Transit, they must be expanded to adapt to Laredo’s growth. Personally, I need to take two different buses in order to get home. The first one is Route 16, which covers the TAMIU area, and it takes me downtown to the transit center where I must take Route 19 to get home. Route 19 only has one bus which takes more than an hour to complete its crossing. This means that if Route 16 is delayed, I must wait downtown for an hour to wait for the next Route 19 bus. Also, I have noticed that some routes end too early, which causes problems for workers who leave work late at night and to students who cannot enroll in night classes or have to leave during class to take the last bus. Finally, I must mention the lack of maps at bus stops. A few months ago at a bus stop, I ran into a woman who was visiting Laredo. She asked me which route we were on. That made me realize the lack of maps and route numbers at all bus stops. It is difficult to get to know a city when there is no transportation capable of giving access to all areas of the city to its citizens and visitors. The first time I rode the bus, I had no idea where it would take me. If I had not been able to check the route schedule on my phone, I do not know what could have happened. I encourage El Metro Transit to observe and improve these problems mentioned above. The people of Laredo deserve a better bus system. Laredo is the largest international port in the country, and many workers from Mexico use the bus to travel to and from work. Ensuring a better public transportation for not only students, but transnational workers as well, ensures a stronger economic future for our city. I know that I am not the only person dealing with this problem. I hope when the authorities read this, they see what can be improved and work towards building a better Laredo.
Rodriguez invites all readers to participate in the following survey. The results will be presented to officials at City Hall on April 18th at 5:30 P.M:

TAMIU visits Texas A&M Law School

By Francisco Garza, Student Contributor The drive to and from Fort Worth, Texas gave me enough time to decide where I wanted to go to for law school. Once the Pre-Law Chapter got to the hotel, settled in, unpacked, and washed up for dinner. Once we all met at the lobby, we took a unique bus downtown to Ricky’s Barbeque. It had the most delicious barbeque ribs and brisket I’ve ever tasted. This restaurant was recommended to us by the Texas A&M Law School staff. These people were tremendously smart and enthusiastic. They not only talked to about the beautiful city, but they encouraged us to attend their law school. Over dinner, one professor informed us about the majority of things that go on in his business law class and benefits of attending their Texas A&M Law School. The next day, which was a Monday, at 8am the TAMIU pre law group met with the staff of the law school and together we walked down two blocks to get to the law school. The short distance really impressed me. The building is two stories tall and it reminds me a lot of a fancy hotel stocked with several neatly spacious classrooms. In addition, the school library made you feel automatically intelligent and like you could solve any problem because of all the books that were there to help you. The most exciting part was that the students there get along with each other just like we get along. One pretty girl came to talk to us and provided us with answers to our questions. Finally, after visiting live class rooms and buying things at the book store, we headed back home. The TAMIU Pre-Law Chapter and Texas A&M built a strong connection. They visited the Cayman Island in the summer for conference meetings and they like cabrito. Now they are coming to our school and offering a law class about immigration. Their professors and some of their students are coming down to TAMIU to teach and attend the class. If there are any questions about law, law school, or any legal opportunities contact the TAMIU Pre-Law Advisor Dr. Palmer. Her office is located in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center room 216. I want to formally thank the Texas A&M Law School for providing us with the trip and encouraging us to give our best at standing out as leaders and attending Texas A&M Law School in Fort Worth, TX.

Home of the Mighty Fighting Buckaroos

By Adrian Campos, ECHS Student Contributor  My hometown Freer, Texas located in Duval County at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and State highways 16, 44, and 339. It’s only 60 miles east of Laredo, Texas and is where I’ve grown up all my life. It’s a small town with a population of only 3,241 where everybody knows each other. If you’ve ever lived in a small town then you know what it’s like. Freer is named after Daniel John Freer, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1866. Freer married Nancy Gabehart in 1890. They had six children, one son named Charley, and five daughters. In 1915 the family discovered an advertisement in a newspaper for people to come to “Rosita Valley” (later known as Freer) to buy land at $1.000 for 60 acres. Mr.Freer sent his son Charley to check out the situation. Charley liked what he saw and met and married Hinnie Riley while the rest of the family moved to Rosita Valley in 1917. At the time there were no stores or post office in Rosita Valley. Mr.Freer purchased and developed the original townsite. He operated the Post office out of his home. He built the first utility plant for the town, he owned one of the first gas stations, he donated land for the first church, and he helped establish the first Chamber of Commerce in 1934. In 1938 the City of Freer was the second largest producing oil field in the United States. At the time the population was estimated at 5,000 to 8,000. There was a monthly payroll of $500,000. The 3,000 oil wells produced 50,000 barrels of oil a day. D.J. Freer died on December 7, 1941 at the age of 75. Freer, Texas is home to the “Official Rattlesnake Roundup of Texas.” The first Freer Rattlesnake Roundup was in 1965 and it was known as the Oil-O-Rama. This year will be the 51st anniversary of the Freer Rattlesnake Roundup. Many people come from all over Texas to come to this event 2 day event. It’s on Friday and Saturday, during the last weekend in April. There are many things to do. It’s a time for many nonprofit organizations to raise money by selling food or other things. There is live music, vendors, a carnival, a parade, and a live rattlesnake show. Last year there was even a monster truck show and a helicopter ride. Each year there is Miss Freer Pageant and a new Miss Freer, Jr. Miss Freer, Little Miss Freer, and a Little Mr.Freer get chosen by judges to support the city. They dress up in rattlesnake skin and they go to many local parades year round. Freer is home to the mighty Buckaroos. The team symbolizes family because without even one of them the team wouldn’t be the same, like a family. The team all supports other in events like football and baseball. We all work together with pride. Without the support of the citizens of Freer the High School Athletic program wouldn’t be able to accomplish what they do. We may be a small town but many things go on year round and it’s is a pleasure to be part of it. Lots of love and affection get put into everything. Since we all know each other we treat everyone as family. I wouldn’t want my life any other way. Yes, there are benefits to living in a big city, but Freer is home and it always will be.

Comic Class Teaches History

By Edward Garza, Student Contributor Anybody who has picked up a comic book will more than likely say that they are a source of entertainment and nothing more. The brightly toned panels leap at the reader to capture their attention. Crafty home brewed villains act to generate fear and antagonize civility. Then by the end of the comic, the titular superhero rescues the girl, stops the robbery, and captures the bad guy. Today, they have spawned a multibillion dollar industry that continues to inspire wonder among viewers of all ages. But, what if they were more than entertainment? What if they were a source of knowledge: a looking glass into the past? If readers read carefully, they can be viable sources of historical information. This is what Dr. Richard Hall’s “Intellectual History of the U.S.”  class concerns itself with this spring semester. The creation of the modern American comic book comes in the 1930s as the Great Depression loomed. Superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman saw their debut and maintained the little hope that readers had. As war approached in the 1940s the comic book medium became an almost propagandic entity asking for readers to join the war effort any which way they could. The Red Scare of the 1950s would transform the superhero comic and even kill off other genres entirely for their “communist sympathetic” qualities. Then the 1960s seemingly broke all ties of conformity in America and thus, a rebirth of the superhero genre occurred. Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man–these and more were born in the wake of the rebellious 60s. This pattern of reactionary creationism continued throughout the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and even post-9/11 America. Every time America was suffering or rejoicing, the comic book was there to capture the thoughts of Americans and voice them out on cheap newsprint. Dr. Hall gives his attention to each decade and traces various societal products or “isms” like racism, sexism, nationalism, communism and others. In this history class, comic books themselves become the primary sources. Students analyze speech bubbles and the bold illustrations and it is then, the entertainment value of the comic book is surpassed by the intellectual value. I spoke with Mr. Christopher Garcia and Ms. Alejandra Guajardo, both students of Dr. Hall’s “Intellectual History” class and they offered me their thoughts and outlook on the course. “I’ve been a big comic book fan since 2008” says Mr. Garcia, a communications major.  “I had knowledge of current events but no knowledge of the comics before 2002…I’m taking this class because a friend suggested it,” When asked what he has learned in this class he said, “I’ve learned how the historic events and social movements at the time affected the writing of comics from day one, when Superman debuted. As history progressed so did the comics such as the X-Men, arriving during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and Superman became an embodiment of Moses and Roosevelt” Likewise, I asked Ms. Guajardo, a history major, why she took the class: “I had to take it because it is a history class. But, I chose it because the topic looked interesting. I had no knowledge of comics at all. I only knew about superheroes because of the movies.” She continued on what she learned, “I have learned that pop culture reflects society. As a historian it is important because the expression of cultures tie to the ideals of the time. We portray our sentiments in different ways. I have also learned many things about comics that I’ve never imagined. I feel like a better critic now. Also, I have learned to appreciate the genre more.” Thus, to sum it up, this class is suited for armchair historians, historians-in-training and comic book lovers in general. Dr. Hall takes his passion for both comic books and history and wraps it up for students to unravel over the course of the semester. If interested, keep a lookout for any and all classes offered by Dr. Hall because he is sure to bring a welcome twist to learning.

The Pope of Mercy

By Dr. Daniel De La Miyar, Adjunct Professor of Communication and Faculty Advisor for The Bridge 2016 marks the Holy Year of Mercy within the Catholic Church as designated by Pope Francis with the motto “Merciful like the Father”. During this Holy Year of Mercy, Mexico celebrated His Holiness Pope Francis’ first visit to Aztec land as the first Latin American Pope during a six-day pastoral tour that included the newly renamed Mexico City, and the states of Mexico, Michoacan, Chiapas and Chihuahua. Continue reading “The Pope of Mercy”