By David Gomez Jr. Editor-in-chief Published Monday, Sept. 7, 2020
So far as editor-in-chief for a second semester, it is already overwhelming but I cannot see anyone else doing what I do. I am sure anyone can do what I do, especially if they have organization skills–seriously.
Anyway, that was just me blowing off some steam, but blowing off steam can get people into strange situations or start something they never intended to start.
One of the things blowing up my realms of social media has been that Texas A&M International University and the City of Laredo are in some type of “battle.” This disagreement calls into question TAMIU choices regarding the pandemic. Leaving flex scheduling and both buildings, the Academic Innovation Center (that’s how you spell it, KGNS), and the Kinesiology, Wellness & Recreation Center, open for students and faculty. That quarantine order was later rescinded.
From what I read from a wide variety of local theories, reaching into the unknown, the reason for the initial quarantine order was because the previous Laredo Health Department director is now a consultant to TAMIU, or because the City of Laredo cannot force any of its orders onto TAMIU, or my favorite reach yet, because the University is being run by marionettes and is making administration and faculty its puppets with strings that stem all the way from College Station–reptiles in disguise is what I am getting at here. Hilarious stuff.
Then again, this might be the year where some believe such oddities. Students and everyday people are believing without seeing anymore. Twenty-twenty. 2020. The year that spawned bizarre theories out of boredom due to quarantine and overactive imaginations.
TAMIU is not safe from those same imaginations at all this year. I believe things will blow out of proportion a lot this semester and if things do not wind down, it’ll certainly flow into the spring.
I think this is all just people blowing off steam in the worst way.
Of course, it looks bad for our University to keep its doors open through a global pandemic but some of our international students might not have gotten enrolled if TAMIU went fully online (at least, that’s how it looked up until around July 14 when ICE and the Trump administration backed off of that international student requirement). Flex scheduling helps with situations like that, where funding may be dependent on face-to-face class offerings. We are an international university, after all.
This past summer, in July, new international students could take a full course load online without complications from U.S. Customs or the student’s respective embassy.
I’ve been here at TAMIU since 2006. There was that gap from 2012 to 2019 where I did leave, though. I believe I know already how this works, in a way. I was there for what my friends called “Swine 09” when the H1N1 epidemic occurred. It only lasted for a week but, even then, TAMIU knew to close its doors when things turned for the worse.
And currently, this pandemic, things are bad. Yet, we are living with it and adjusting to find some form of normalcy–even if that means going to a class face-to-face. You do not have to, but you can.
If someone tells you it is raining and someone else says it is not, you go to the window and check for yourself.
I am not saying I defend TAMIU’s rejection of the city order, but I understand why we students are making a big deal about this. We care so much for our school that we don’t want anyone here to contract the virus. TAMIU is home and we want to keep it as clean and safe as possible.
Here’s a shout out to the maintenance staff for doing the best they can with what they’ve got! Thank you for all your work.
By Tomas Cruz Bridge Marketing Director Published Monday, May 11, 2020
The Spring 2020 semester rapidly became one of the toughest semesters for many students’ academic journey at TAMIU. The coronavirus pandemic impacted not only our university, but the rest of the world.
As a Texas A&M International University senior, I faced many bumps on the road to finish my degree. This spring semester I was interning at a marketing/advertising agency for my COMM 4350 Internship course.
Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, many interns faced issues with internship locations closing and not being able to complete their hours. While some of us were able to work remotely, many others were unfortunately not able to return to their internship because numerous businesses temporarily closed. This prevented students from trying to put their academic skills into the work environment face-to-face and frightened those of us seniors looking at the job market after graduation.
As a former student employee of the A.R. Sanchez School of Business Dean’s office, it was unfortunate I was not able to physically be there at work my last days. I would like to recognize the entire college for allowing me to work all four years of my academic journey, everyone was very nice and helpful to one another. I would also like to recognize the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade for allowing me to photograph their speaker series events and conferences.
Like many employees once the lock-down began, I had to work remotely from home and finish all my tasks from work, school and my internship. Even The Bridge student newspaper transitioned into more of an online publication. While it was a new and difficult situation for many, we are finally here at the end of the semester. I can officially say I received my bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in marketing. Although, it does not feel like it yet. Sadly, every graduate was supposed to walk across the stage this May, but commencement was postponed until August.
The cancellation of everything saddens most individuals. Commencement, internships, jobs, traveling and more, suffered cancellations due to this pandemic. However, life must go on and everyone should think positive. Many people’s lives are at risk right now and the best we can do is be glad we are alive and remain safe. Although we weren’t able to walk the stage this May, we will hopefully walk in August. For now, my only wish is for all TAMIU and everyone in this world to get through these tough times taking precautions and staying safe.
EDITOR’S POINT of VIEW By David Gomez Jr. Editor-in-chief Published Monday, April 20, 2020
The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes the disease COVID-19. The ‘rona, as some people are calling it, came fast and deadly. It added pressure to an already fragile economy.
At the front lines of keeping the economy afloat, other than the medical, grocery store clerks, farmers and janitorial staff who deserve so much praise, are also the other “essential” businesses.
I am currently one of those essential workers.
I work in a hardware store, yet it doesn’t feel essential. I recently went from a part-time to a full-time employee. Nowadays, the type of customers who come into the store are those tired of being at home. It used to be just the casual, usual handyperson customers. Now, they look around and “shop” for the things they need or other things because they found time for their DIY projects.
Though, I am torn down the middle. My first reaction is, “stay at home,” and my second thought is, “I’d go out anywhere if I were stuck in my home and couldn’t handle myself for days in a row doing nothing.”
Times are difficult and as much as we’d like to go out as it were before March 16, we cannot.
Working in an essential field, I feel grateful, but exhausted. Lines stretch out in front of the store. Asking an impatient customer to wait is like telling a river to stop flowing. Those kinds of people want to see you as miserable as they are, but the truth of the matter is that we are miserable, too. At least I know I am.
Tired. Exhausted. Running on three to five hours of sleep a day because college online classes make things even more tiresome. Lethargy sets in and I am suddenly behind.
“Maybe things will be better if I quit my job,” I think to myself or, “leave The Bridge altogether. I mean, we’re almost at the end of the semester and have switched to online now. No one will read it.”
These are my thoughts when things get difficult. And they have been difficult, but it’s also the only way to show my true character. I don’t want to be known as a quitter.
When I was younger, I was known to give up on many things. I’m not like that anymore. The idea of dropping everything seems like a relief but I am my harshest critic who will criticize every decision ever made. I know for certain I will never forgive myself if I chose to drop it all.
This is not only a test of my own will, but to everyone who is essential and continues to work till their head is pounding. Requests by management to disinfect the area, keep a head count of customers inside the store, make sure I’m wearing protective gear, restock the new materials received, help customer with their needs and my personal favorite, short staffed because my coworker was exposed to the virus and might have it—so they will be quarantined until their results come in.
I wouldn’t wish this virus on my enemies but it all adds up, takes a toll and makes one quite agitated and frustrated.
This is a test of patience for everyone. And no one can cheat off someone else this time. Everyone must keep their head down and give it their all—even from a couch. Take care of yourselves and each other.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT By Allison Villareal Bridge contributing illustrator Published Monday, April 20, 2020
For this concept, I intended to use variety, contrast and movement to demonstrate the overwhelming and uneasy feelings that can be experienced when having too many things in our hands.
I used variety by having hands of many sizes holding different objects that represent time, relationships, health, financial issues, chores, education, entertainment and self care. I used contrast to highlight the dark pressures and stress that can be behind each responsibility that is being held. I used movement to express the variety of weight each hand is carrying.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT By Jose L. Martinez Bridge contributing illustrator Published March 30, 2020
For this concept, my intention is to use line, shape, value, form and space to create proportions, variety, unity and emphasis.
Using these art elements and design principles, I remind people how plastics are a contributing factor to climate change. To support this message, I creatively combine the unrelated ideas of bullying with climate change.
After personifying all these different components, I use value and roughly the same scale to unify them; however, to create contrast and emphasis on the world globe, I arrange it at the center of the composition, reduce its scale and use it as the main light source.
By Lydia DeanBefore anything, there is a difference between just “living on campus” and “on campus living”. “Living on Campus” is the physical act of actually staying—day in and day out—on campus. The university is your home for the semesters to come. “On Campus Living”, on the other hand, is creating a life for oneself when being on a college campus. Taking parts in campus wide events, working for the university, or even running an organization. Continue reading “Living on campus vs. on campus living”→
By Carlos LeonMany religions tend to break down into various smaller denominations, especially the Christian religion.There is one specific religion in particular based on Christian beliefs called the Church of the End of Times (Iglesia del Fin del Tiempo or IFT is the name and acronym in Spanish). This church has a unique prescience throughout most of Latin AmericaContinue reading “This is the end”→
By Alexis GarzaLaredo: the city is considered the least diverse to some, but is also considered as the city that grew from a villa to the largest inland port on the united States-Mexican border.Continue reading “The Underrated City”→