EL PASO, Texas — The DJ gives her a formal introduction. Adrenaline floods her veins as she takes center stage. The lights dim down and the music begins to blare and she begins to strip. Men gather around the platform waving dollar bills at her. This is a typical night for Melissa (she asked that her real name not be used) who took up exotic dancing four years ago as a way to pay for her college education and have free time to raise her daughter.
EL PASO, Texas — I had a revelation today as I left the office of my advisor earlier this morning. I was walking out scrambling through my degree plan, which he had given me, when it all sank in. I will be done with school for good and finally have my college degree! This was surreal to me, as cliché as it sounds. It seems like just yesterday I was filling out my application and waiting for the acceptance letter from UTEP. Soon, I will be exposed to the real world, exposed to life.
EL PASO, Texas — El Paso’s border culture generates nationwide interest because of its unique history —its Hispanic-Texican roots and cowboy folklore— and has been a signature element in many major films such as Glory Road and Border Town. But the border city has yet to produce a great filmmaker. Some students believe that filmmaking is almost a foreign concept at the University of Texas at El Paso, but Michael Huante and Joel Gannon and a few others hope that attitude will be changed by Miner Movie Makers, a new organization at UTEP that aspires to ignite a movement in film that goes well beyond the norm. The idea to start Miner Movie Makers originated in October when Stephanie Soto, who is now the president of the organization, was applying to grad school and realized that most film students at UTEP don’t have much to put on their resume. When she pitched her idea to Michael Huante, who is now the vice president and Joel Gannon, secretary, they jumped on board.