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Press Start Welcome back Bearkats!

Welcome Level 5 Letter From the Editor: Welcome Bearkats!

BY TYLER JOSEFSEN Editor-in-Chief Hello fellow Bearkats, I hope you are all excited for the upcoming semester at Sam Houston State University! My name is Tyler Josefsen, and I am honored to be inheriting the Editor-in-Chief position for the Fall 2018 semester. I am a doublemajor in Mass Communications and English. I am a member of the

Elliott T. Bowers Honors College and have been the Sports Editor and Associate Editor of The Houstonian prior to this semester. I plan to graduate this December with the goal of pursuing a career in sports journalism or radio broadcasting. My time at SHSU has taught me a lot. I have made great friends, experienced incredible classes with knowledgeable professors, participated in some unbelievable opportunities and now get to spend my last semester at the helm of a terrific publication. I know I speak for my entire editorial staff when I ask you to consider The Houstonian your friend and ally. I will be running a publication whose goal is to be your primary source of information and to be an outlet to

give students a voice when they want to shout from the rooftops. The Houstonian has a long and proud tradition at SHSU. It has a 105-year legacy, and we always find ways to improve the publication. Next semester, you’ll see us in your school email inbox every Monday morning. Don’t just swipe it away! We will have a weekly newsletter that we will be working hard to create that can benefit each and every student at SHSU. It will be filled with upcoming events, local hot spots you might not even know existed and letters and stories from students just like you that have something they need to say. You all are always welcome to submit letters to the editor and contribute to our content. As hopeful as The Houstonian staff

is that you will read our articles and find our news beneficial, we always appreciate new writers and innovative ideas. Our goal is to serve you—the students. SHSU students are our primary audience. There are over 20,000 of us. I hope the majority of you all will at least reach out to us at some point and maybe even submit a story. I am really excited about the direction this publication is going and hope you all share that enthusiasm moving forward. With any student-run college newspaper, there is consistent turnover with the entire staff, Unfortunately, many times a publication gets judged on the performance of past editors. I am fortunate enough to be inheriting this paper from current News

Editor Ryan Reynolds, who did a job so extraordinary words cannot adequately express the positive impact he has had on The Houstonian. From his reign to mine to hopefully the editors of the future, The Houstonian continues to be a staple on the campus of SHSU. Our legacy is embedded in the university’s culture and our purpose remains to benefit students that dedicate their collegiate experience to being Bearkats. I hope you all find the thing that allows this campus to become your second home while enjoying everything SHSU has to offer— starting with The Houstonian. From myself and our entire editorial staff, we hope you have an amazing semester! Eat ‘em up, Kats.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition


Level 6

Letter from SGA President: David Eller addresses Kats BY DAVID ELLER SGA President

My name is David Eller, a Junior Interdisciplinary Agriculture major from Silsbee, Texas. Throughout my time here at Sam Houston State University I have had the opportunity to serve you in many capacities. Out of all of the positions that I have held, I am beyond lucky, blessed and humbled to serve you as your next Student Body President here at SHSU. Coming from a small town and being a first-generation college student, I never dreamed of being in this position. It would only be right to give all of the credit to my family, friends, mentors and YOU! Your support of myself and my amazing administration was remarkable and made this entire process beyond worth it.

We faced many challenges throughout the process, but fought through it all with transparency, dignity and honesty because in the end we are all here for one reason, and that is to serve the students of SHSU. This year you will see a change in leadership, attitude and dedication to serve you and having your voice heard across campus. My administration and I are here to break the mold of many past administrations by being present throughout the year at many events, meetings and programs. We are here to represent you and that is exactly what we will do. Throughout this upcoming year my office door will always be open to you. The one thing that I want to stress the most is that I am here to hear any comments or concerns that you may have, good or

bad. This is the year for change, and most importantly, this is the year to take the step to unite our campus and to embrace the diversity that surrounds us. Be on the lookout for events such as “Bearkats United,� open forums and others that will be the ignition to the fire that we will light throughout all individuals, student organizations and SHSU administration. SGA will create positive change with these new events and initiatives, the continuity of programs and events that bring positivity, education opportunities and change to our campus each year. If at any point you would like to contact me, please feel free to email me at or stop by the Student Government Association office in the Lowman Student Center suite 326. It is time to BE HEARD, Bearkats!

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition


Level 7

‘Fake News’ and the truth behind journali$m

BY TYLER JOSEFSEN Editor-in-Chief JAN. 31, 2018 --The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, New York Times United States (1971) News spreads like wildfire. That’s great until someone gets burned. Almost every story starts with a pure, honest idea: something wholesome and informative,

something to be proud of. Along the way, the original story can become so diluted it is basically just a drop of truth in the bucket of sensationalized news. Unfortunately, that original drop of water is never enough to extinguish the “fake news” epidemic that has engulfed 21st century America. I would argue there are too many corporations these days that believe profitable news is quality news, rather than the other way around. Decisions are financiallybased—perhaps a necessary evil, but simultaneously a violation of journalistic foundations.

I believe that every major news corporation that ever embodied the fallacious ideal that they would change the nature of news reporting was at some point forced to abandon this dream during their rise to fame. The definition of what is “newsworthy” is arguably becoming as murky as the news itself. It seems that newsworthiness has strayed away from the original ideas like timeliness, proximity and human interest and rather now possesses a bias toward stories that will produce the most responses from an audience.

If information is power, then what is news? Is it information? Is it unequivocal truth? Is it a ruthless, cutthroat business? Yes, yes, and sadly yes. Now the question that every potentially great journalist has wrestled with at one time or another: Can I find the balance in the middle? I feel like people are never given the opportunity to understand the decision-making process of a writer, a reporter and an editor (in this case an editor that holds himself and his writers to the highest of ethical journalistic standards). Whether you are a person that turns the news on every free moment you have or even if the extent of your world knowledge is the top three stories on social media each week, you are our audience. You deserve to know what our goal is as we communicate with you. Journalism is a grind; everything a journalist says and does is scrutinized. When a professional baseball player strikes out with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning in game seven of the World Series, it can change his public perception. For a journalist, every word we say and every story we print can turn into that make-or-break spotlight moment. The pressure that comes with that feeling is the grind, but that does not

excuse the journalists that crack under it. I will continue the grind. Not everyone will agree with everything I write, and in the interest of being honest with my readers I feel inclined to divulge how difficult that is to accept. There are times as a journalist that I feel I have comprised a story that should be unanimously well-received, but that is not the world we live in. The world we are part of is a difficult one where political leaders harvest secrets and journalists treat information like a bargaining chip. Perhaps, though, the truth can level the playing field. This is easier said than done, of course. The people with the desire to change the status quo often don’t have the power to do so, and those with the power have no interest in the status quo changing. This is where journalists need to be journalists for the right reasons: for the people, for the freedom of information and the disbursement of truth. Trust the process, and trust that news reported for the right reasons, will produce the right outcome. Everyone that says news is not a business is lying to themselves and to you. From small, local newspapers to national corporations, news agencies are nothing without their viewers.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition


Construction conundrum BY DEMETRE FOSTER SHSU Alumni JAN. 31, 2018 -- Fellow Bearkats, we must discuss the appearance of our home. Sam Houston State University is known for its outdoorsy campus. It is about 368 acres of nature blended with man-made constructs. However, we have seen a wave of construction scattered across our campus. During the Summer II 2017 semester, a section of Bowers Boulevard was dug up. It started at the intersection of Avenue H and Bowers Boulevard and ended where Bowers Boulevard meets Avenue I. This made walking to campus a pain. Students had to choose which side of Bowers Boulevard

that they wanted to walk on, and if you chose incorrectly it added five or more minutes to your trip. Fortunately, Bowers Boulevard has been freshly paved and is rather pleasant to cross. Even though the construction workers forgot to add the cross walk ground markers, it still looks great. This semester, I tried my best to ignore all the heavy equipment and easily assembled barriers, until walking through Bearkat Village. Normally, I would cut across Intramural Field 1, but to my surprise most of the field is blocked off by a chain-link fence. Inside of that fence is an entire construction camp. Unfortunately, I had to make an adjustment in my daily routine to find another way around. I used to be able to leave

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my apartment and make it to class in about 15 minutes or so, but now I leave 30 minutes early to make sure I don’t run into unexpected construction. While the construction is unsightly and inconvenient, there are also times that the construction brings unwanted noise. When I was attending one of my classes, I was disturbed by a constant drilling sound that rang on-and-off for several minutes. In addition to that, construction workers constant yell to one another. I don’t mind the yelling, but when you look over at them to see what on earth they are yelling about you’re regularly greeted with a sneer. I know the stereotype is that construction workers aren’t the friendliest people, but they are literally tearing apart our

Level 8 campus. I think it would be nice to get a neighborly nod at least, instead of a mean mug. I am happy to report that the sewage smell that was occasionally wafting around the Lee Drain and Academic IV buildings is gone. I assume it was the construction that invited the unwelcome smell. Even though the construction has bothered me on multiple levels, it is a necessary evil. I know it may take longer to get to class, but I appreciate the new pipes that are under our streets. I enjoy the smooth paved road of Bowers Boulevard; however, I still question what construction workers are doing to the Administration Building, but I am sure it’s worth something. I also need to mention the newly planted foliage and trees around the Evans building and am also excited to see the Lowman Student Center updates, even

Jordan Likens | The Houstonian

though I will graduate before it is finished. At the end of the day, I will leave some wisdom for my fellow Bearkats that want to make the best of our construction situation. Leave earlier than you normally would. Pay attention to SHSU emails or campus alerts. Also, read The Houstonian for updates on construction and general campus news to help better navigate through our patchwork campus.


Fall 2018 Orientation Edition


Level 9

School Shootings: Staring down the barrel of truth BY SHARON RAISSI Associate Editor FEB. 21, 2018 -- On Feb. 14, a 19-year-old gunman named Nikolas Cruz showed up to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15. According to a 15-year-old student who passed by him on his way into the building, Cruz said, “You’d better get out of here. Things are going to start getting messy.” In about 20 minutes, three faculty members and 14 students were killed or fatally injured, and 14 more were wounded. This is the seventh intentional school shooting this year. We’ve seen this before. We saw this in Orlando, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, etc. It’s become a cycle.

People die, and each time all we are offered are thoughts and prayers instead of policy change and results. Each time, we watch the news coverage in horror as the death tolls rise. Each time, it’s “too soon” to talk about it. The sound of inaction is deafening. It’s louder than 17 life-ending gunshots, louder than the sound of screams down school hallways and it’s louder than the cries of parents on their knees when they get the news. Why is it that we are the only country in the world in which these shootings routinely occur, and yet we still claim there’s nothing we can do to prevent these tragedies? How many times will we see the same story with a different headline, how many children do we have to

bury before people finally realize that enough is enough? I respect and appreciate the right of every citizen to own a weapon. It’s a principal this country was founded on, and one that I believe is still applicable. The only problem is, the weapons have changed, but the policies have not. A 1776 musket would never be as much of a threat as a modern-day assault rifle. The second amendment was made in a time when mass terror attacks such as the ones we’re facing today didn’t exist. The times change, and if we don’t change with them— in the words of Nikolas Cruz himself— things get messy. It is clear that as long as politicians stand to gain something from a lack of gun regulation, we can expect to see

no changes. We have two options: we can sit on our hands and watch innocent people die, or we can start to work together to formulate policy change. But gun violence is not the only issue here. Mental health in this country is overlooked, and at times, entirely ignored. In the case of Nikolas Cruz, the FBI had actually received warnings about his behavior and chose to ignore them. If we don’t allow ourselves to regulate access to weapons, at least let us look deeper into the missteps that caused such an egregious overlook when the tip was received in January. Let’s explore mental health in this country, and why a federal bureau would think it acceptable

to pass by someone who was so clearly a threat to those around him. This was not the first mass shooting this year, and unless something changes, it certainly will not be the last. Let’s pay attention to how many children die, and how many innocent people get slaughtered in the street. Above all, pay attention to how long it takes to lose your sense of outrage. Our world does not have to be this way. The worst thing we can do is become numb to the violence. If we do not recognize something has to change, we become complicit in the tragedies. Have those difficult conversations, write to your representatives and scream this from every rooftop in the city, “something has to change.”

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition



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Campus News Level 13 Case closed: David Eller named SGA President BY EMILY DAVIS SHSU Alumni

APRIL 11, 2018 -- The Sam Houston State University Supreme Court convened Tuesday to deliberate the disqualification of Student Government Association (SGA) presidential candidate David Eller. The court made a unanimous decision to overturn the election commission’s decision to disqualify Eller, officially making him the SGA president with Alexus Hardy as vice president, Jaidyn Wilkerson as secretary, Christian Wolford as treasurer and Amanda Lee as chief of staff. “We find that the election commission committed er-

ror,” Director of the Office of Student Legal and Mediation Services Gene Roberts said. “We are also encouraging the election commission to certify the results with the votes of Mr. Eller prior to the protest and the disqualification.” On March 27, a “top five” banner was found hanging outside on the front of the Lowman Student Center, showing all five of the top ticket candidates running for the SGA executive board. The banner was removed by LSC Director Robert Webber after current SGA President Briauna Augustus asked him to remove it because it would be in violation of the Election Commission code to have campaigning materials sponsored

by any on-campus entities. This violation required the candidates to remove all of their campaigning materials on campus and on social media. All social media posts were deleted, and the group went out to take down all of their on-campus signs. The top five’s opponents then found one of the missing yard signs and filed another protest against them. “When the sign was found, the sign was standing straight up like no wind had blown that whole day,” Eller said. “But every sign we did find was blown away or laying down flat, and we did not place any signs on that side of the LSC. I am not saying that they planted that sign there, but I am saying that

anything could happen. Someone could have picked it up and put it there.” When the Election Commission met to deliberate the consequences of the campaigning materials, they ultimately decided to disqualify Eller from his presidential candidacy and allow the other four of the top five candidates to keep their elected titles. According to Eastland, following the election commission’s meeting, she overheard two commissioners speaking to Eller, saying that they did not agree with the decision made and that they did not know that they could have overthrown the entire protests by speaking out. Eastland also witnessed Au-

gustus, who serves as election coordinator, say to Eller that he should appeal the commission’s decision. After the election commission made their decision, it then went to the Supreme Court for deliberation. Following Eller and Eastland’s testimonies, the Supreme Court ultimately concluded that Eller should not be disqualified. “It’s been a really long process and even though we have really been drug through the coals, the students can appreciate that we are still here to fight for them like we said at the beginning,” Eller said. “We are still here to fight through all the personal issues. We are here to serve the students.”

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Campus News

Level 14

Kats stand united after radical protests in LSC area BY SHARON RAISSI Associate Editor JAN 31, 2018 -- “Jesus said unto her, ‘…go, and sin no more.’” John 8:11 It is the quote featured on the front of their pamphlet, a precautionary one dedicated to, as their signs say, “rebellious women,” amongst others. They stand, they scream, they warn until they are red in the face. But who are these people, and what are they doing on our campus? It never seems to fail that several times every semester a group of people show up in the Lowman Student Center mall area holding signs and screaming their beliefs. This group belongs to two different organizations: the Pentecostal Lighthouse Church, led by Pastor Joshua Herridge, and the Consuming Fire Fellowship Church, led by Britt Williams. Every school day from Friday through Tuesday, these organizations stood out in front of the LSC, yelling at most any students that happened to be passing by. “We’re here today preaching the gospel to them,” Williams said. “The Bible says there’s a means to communicate the gospel, and that means is preaching.

The Greek word for preach means ‘public crier’.” Well, if there is anything these organizations are good at, it is crying publicly. The screams of their preachers can be heard from several buildings away. Their wildly colorful and straight-forward signs catch the eye immediately, begging to be questioned. They say fairly straightforward things like “LAKE OF FIRE FOR ALL SINNERS,” “ETERNAL HELL AWAITS” and “#BE A HO NO MO.” Some have spoken out on Facebook, voicing their disillusionment with the ongoing ruckus these organizations bring to campus. “I don’t pay this school money to have a disruptive learning environment throughout the week,” Digital Forensics major Yesenia Valles said. “I can sit in class and be distracted almost the entire time because there is a horde of religious nuts outside literally screaming. Freedom of speech is fine, but once it starts to impact the quality of classes students pay for, there is a huge problem.” Their homemade signs included warnings to people in the following categories: “lewd women, sports nuts, Mormons, pot-smoking little devils, homos,

witches, rebellious women” and so forth. In the midst of the intense and sometimes vitriolic nature of the event, students could be seen “counter-protesting” them, in a manner just as loud and proud. At one point, the sound of the church’s yelling was completely drowned out by more than a dozen college students yelling the words to the early 2000s hit song “All Star” by Smash Mouth. “ “They come all the time, they stand in the LSC area, and they tell people they’re going to hell, call people names,” senior Zeke Lewis said. “It’s not the right approach, but there’s freedom of speech, and we are a public campus, so they’re able to come do it. I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe in spewing hatred.” The effectiveness— or lack of— is clear at this point. Both organizations are free to continue coming to campus and yelling at students, but they should be mindful that these students yell back. That

is the beauty of the college campus culture— every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In their attempt to shame ‘rebellious women,’ ‘homosexuals,’ ‘sports enthusiasts,’ and others, they instead bring them together into a unified force.

Even if the students’ reproach together is singing washed-up pop hits in a unified manner to drown out the hate, it is still a more profound sense of community than one that thrives off yelling at unsuspecting college students.

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Campus News

Level 15

Roommate Etiquette 101: Do’s & dont’s for dorm living BY JORDAN LIKENS Copy Editor FEB. 20, 2018 -- During my time at Sam Houston State University, I have had four roommates. With that being said, I have compiled a list of tips so that you and your roommate may live peacefully. Welcome to Roommate Etiquette 101. Respect one another’s belongings and space. I had a roommate who often watched her nephew while her sister was at work. One Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend while my roommate had her nephew stay over in our dorm. When I returned on Sunday, I noticed something was off. The blanket that I had left neatly folded and hanging over the back of my desk chair was no longer neatly folded. A few days later, I found boogers (yes, boogers) smeared on the wall by my bed. I’m still nauseous to this day and my desire to have children.

Be conscious of noise-levels and aware of one another’s sleep schedules. If you make a mess, clean it up. One of my roommates was too messy to even function. There was not a single instance in which she had made a mess that she did not clean up—she simply existed to produce messes. Ensure your guests clean up after themselves and respect your roommate. Flush the toilet. I never thought I would have to flush the toilet for another human being, but you guessed it. I have had not one, but two roommates who never quite grasped the concept of flushing a toilet. Seriously, though. Flush the toilet. Communicate with your roommate when there is an issue. I have shared with you only a few of the issues I have encountered with my college roommates. Ironically, I never once communicated any of these issues to them.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Looking for an On-Campus Job? Look No Further than JOBS for KATS! Find on-campus, part-time, and even full-time jobs on Need Help Choosing a Major? Stop by Academic Building IV -Suite 210 to talk with one of our Career Counselors and start planning for your future today!

• Mock Interviews • Resume Critiques • Career Counseling • Career Assessments • On-Campus Interviews • Career Fairs I 936.294.1713 I Sam Houston State University


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Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Introducing The Houstonian Newsletter The Houstonian will have a weekly newsletter beginning Fall 2018. The best part? It's FREE... and will be sent straight to your inbox!

Fun Facts Motto: “A measure of life is its service.� School Colors: Orange & White School Song: Bearkat Fight Song Number of Varsity Sports: 17 Bearkats since 1923

Campus News

Level 21

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Campus News

Level 22

Executive director of Residence life Joellen Tipton: “Tearing down sorority hill has been...the plan” BY ABIGAIL VENTRESS Contributing Reporter APRIL 18, 2018 -- SHSU Residence Life met with Greek Life coordinator Abby Hurt to announce that sorority hill will only provide sorority housing through May 2019. “I’m really excited, and I think it’s an opportunity,” Hurt said. “The houses are just dilapidated. They’re old. They’ve gotten all of their use out of them.” According to the Department of Residence Life, the sorority houses on campus will either be repurposed to serve as regular student housing or demolished to make room for the future construction of a large residence hall.

“It’s not a factor of the university not wanting the sororities to be here,” Executive Director for Residence Life and Living-Learning Programs Joellen Tipton said. “It is about what is feasible.” The sorority houses and other small houses on sorority hill typically house 36 students each. “The university has outgrown the system, and we don’t have room for that type of housing anymore,” Tipton said. “Simply, the university can’t afford to build something that’s only for the sororities.” Most of the sororities that have houses on campus require members to live in the house for a year or two in order to fill all of the available spots. If a soror-

ity does not fill each spot with a member, the members who did not fulfill their housing requirement are typically fined by their sorority, and Residence Life will fill the spot with another student that needs to live on campus. “It has not been great for the sororities over the past few years anyways-having people live in the house that aren’t members,” Tipton said. “It’s hard on the sororities and on us because we have to fill the space.” The rooms in the small houses are shared between two people and have a conjoining bathroom with another pair of roommates; the rooms have twin beds and built in wardrobes. “The way the houses are now

is not the best quality of living,” Hurt said. “It’s a little bit bittersweet for sure because they’ve been here for so long and the houses have been a vital part of their sisterhoods for many years.” According to Tipton, the small houses were renovated in the early 2000s to add electrical outlets. This renovation was not structural. Tipton said an engineer looked at Rachel Jackson last summer and found that the structure met code, but was settling quickly. She said that the engineer’s theory was that this would spread to its connecting house, Sigma Sigma Sigma. “Looking at what a renovation would cost, there was no way we

would be able to afford to redo all of them,” Tipton said. “Because we are landlocked, we have to lose things to build things” The most recent new residence hall on-campus, Piney Woods Hall, was more costly to build than the one on sorority hill will likely be. “We want to keep upperclassmen on campus,” Tipton said. “We have a lot more wanting to stay on campus.” Residence Life will not know how to build on the hill or if the hill will have to be removed until it is determined by an architect. Tipton said that the building will probably start where the Title IX office is located and bleed over into the sorority hill parking lot.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Campus News

Level 23

SHSU enforcement of federal regulations yields changes in financial aid BY EMILY DAVIS SHSU Alumni FEB. 28, 2018 -- At the 2018 SHSU Advisors Meeting, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Scot Mertz explained the procedural changes that advisors and students will have to make before next semester. College students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are eligible for its benefits receive grants, loans and work-study funds for college or career schools.; it has been federal regulation that financial aid only covers the cost of courses that directly apply to a student’s degree plan. You cannot award the student aid for classes that do not count toward their

degree, certificate, or other recognized credential. This is a federal regulation, and the financial aid offices of every university are required to comply with this law. “It is not a new rule,” Financial Aid Director Lydia Hall said. “This is a federal regulation that has been around for several years, we just didn’t have the capability to comply with this regulation due to software limitations.” Several changes are in store for this upcoming semester. As a part of financial aid’s Direct Loan Policy, a student can only receive a loan when they are enrolled in at least six credit hours. Now that financial aid will no longer cover courses that do not apply to degree plans, this may affect some students’ class loads. For example, if a student receiving direct loans is enrolled

in one three-hour course that applies to their degree plan, and another three-hour course that does not apply to their degree plan, they are no longer eligible for that loan; this is because all hours must apply directly to that student’s degree plan. According to Mertz, in the case that a graduate student only has three credit hours remaining to complete their degree, there is a way they can get around that and still receive the loan. This is possible if they take that course during the summer, because summer classes are considered half-semesters and, therefore, is half of a full course load. However, this only applies to graduate students, and undergraduates still need to at least six hours. Students receiving Pell Grants may also be affected in the in-

stance that they need to retake a course. Pell Grants pay by credits hours, and apply to all undergraduates in increments of three credits hour at a time: 12 credit hours being the maximum benefit of the grant. “30 percent of our undergraduate students are on Pell Grants,” Mertz said. When a student passes a course in their curriculum with a “D”, financial aid will not cover the cost to retake it for a better grade. Students eligible for financial aid will now be required to declare a major in order to receive the financial benefits. Now students are allowed to switch majors no matter their GPA. SHSU will start enforcing these regulations in full effect Fall 2018. “What this really does is clean things up, makes things more

transparent and makes it a more direct path to graduation,” Mertz said. According to Mertz, now that they have the software, they will be sending out further information regarding these changes once they have determined an efficient communication plan that will best inform students and faculty. “We are going to load the data, stress the system and develop our communications plans based on what we see,” Mertz said.

Jordan Likens | The Houstonian

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

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is always looking for writers! Interested in writing news, sports, opinions or entertainment? Email eic@houstonianonline. com or visit the Dan Rather Communications building room 210.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Pollution is a big problem. Become part of the solution.

SHSU now offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Sam Houston State University Sam Houston State University



Take a

step in the right direction by earning your

teacher certification at Sam Houston State University.

Bearkat Bucket List! Want to make the most of your experience in Hunstville as a Sam Houston State Bearkat?


Sam Houston Statue

Take a picture with the 70 foot tall dashing statue of General Sam Houston in all of its concrete glory.

Sam Houston Memorial Museum

has you covered...

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Get a taste of the good ol’ days, and see where all the ducks and chickens from around campus come from. It’s also free with a Bearkat card.

Huntsville State Park Become one with nature—at least for a day. Fish, swim, canoe, or picnic around the park.

Cinestar of Huntsville

See a movie for $3. Literally $3. It’s close, it’s affordable, and gets most every new movie anyone would want to see.

places to visit before you graduate...

e Texas Prison Museum

Sam Houston State University

Come to the

NERD SIDE we have

Visit us online to learn more about a math degree at SHSU.

When you live in a prison town, you might as well visit the museum and see the infamous “old sparky.” Also, SHSU students get a discount!

Around Town Level 33 Gateway shuttle turns into weekend party bus BY REBECCA JONES Contributing Reporter JAN. 30, 2018 -- Gateway Apartments, a local student-housing complex, utilizes its complex-to-campus shuttle as a party bus on the weekends. From Thursday night to Saturday, the Gateway shuttle bus provides safe, free and convenient transportation to Gateway residents and their friends. The bus stops include five local bars in Huntsville: Draft Bar, Humphrey’s, 12 Street Bar, The Jolly Fox and Shenanigans. The bus leaves the complex around 9:30 pm and leaves the last bar around 1:30 a.m. “They emailed all [the residents] and posted it on twitter

and Instagram,” current resident and sophomore Glennis Cornwell said. “It was not super reliable because it was not on a time schedule, but it definitely was cool when we finally got on it. Me and my friends have used it once or twice before, and it is a definite possibility for the future,” Cornwell said. The bus has only been in progress for about two weeks, and the first saw a large passenger turnout. “The route takes the driver about 30 minutes,” property manager Alex Bash said. There is also an app called Shadow Tracker Mobile that residents can download and use to help track where the bus is and where its next stop will be.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Around Town Level 34 Bearkat Community Gardens brings town closer BY EMILY DAVIS SHSU Alumni OCT. 24, 2017 -- The Bearkat Community Gardens is a brand new, grassroots program at Sam Houston State University, with a goal to end food insecurity through service, education, and sustainable gardening. The Garden was started in January 2017, to give students, faculty, staff and alumni the space to practice their own sustainable gardening. The garden is located at the SHSU Horticulture Center, and is currently comprised of a three-fourths acre Field Garden with 12 raised-beds that grow approximately 10 different types of fruits and vegetables each season.

The Community Garden is maintained and cared for by volunteers and donations. “While the majority of the ‘dirty’ work is completed by awesome volunteers in exchange for service hours,” Garden Manger Isabella Jeffrey said. “There are some things that rely on the generosity of local businesses and donations from individuals, like deer fence, water hoses, mulch, fertilizer, etc.” The garden is sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement, and is supported by several departments on campus, including Biological Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Curriculum & Instruction, First-Year Experience, along with many others. Not only does the garden

enable learning opportunities and friendships, but it also allows students to give back to the community through their service. “With the addition of our new Field Garden, we are producing tons of fruits and vegetables that we make available to our volunteers and club members,” Jeffrey said. “We are also partnered with the SHSU Food Pantry and the Good Shepherd Mission of Huntsville, so any of the extra produce is donated to the Food Pantry if their distribution days line up with the harvests and given to the Good Shepherd Mission otherwise.” There are several ways to be involved with the gardens, whether as an individual or as a group. Service hours are offered

during the week for individuals at the Open Garden, and Service Days are scheduled for organizations to do some of the more extensive projects. Groups of students can also adopt one of the 12 raised beds, for a small fee, and grow whatever they would like in their plot. “Of course, they sign a contract and have to make sure their plot is maintained through regular weeding, watering, and harvesting throughout their specified contract season,” Jeffrey said. Not only do the volunteers get service hours for their time working in the Garden, but they can also take home some of the harvests. “We have a very diverse pool of volunteers, so there are a

lot of perspectives shared and conversations had,” Jeffrey said. “And of course, there are infinite learning possibilities for anyone who is interested, but we welcome volunteers of all experiences. That is part of what makes working out there so interesting.”


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Design a curriculum to meet your goals • Texas core curriculum • 3 academic minors • General Studies capstone • Supporting courses

Bachelor of General Studies

Liberal Studies

Sam Houston State University

SHSU Sports Objective: Eliminate Southland Conference opponents

SHSU Sports

Level 39

Choose your athlete

Men’s All-Sport Award and Commissioner’s Cup Winners

Bearkat spotlight

Nathan Stewart

Carlota Suarez Crespo

Junior Wide Receiver Hometown: Dallas, TX Games played: 27 Receptions: 124 Yards: 2,652 Touchdowns: 26

Sophomore Forward Hometown: Madrid, es Games played: 18 Goals: 8 Assists: 2 Shots on target: 51-percent

Junior Outfielder Hometown: crosby, TX Games played: 164 batting avg: .302 home runs: 11 Runs batted in: 92

Sophomore guard Hometown: penbroke pines, FL Games played: 54 Points per game: 9.6 Assists per game: 2.7

She netted 24 goals and 4 assists in 24 games at Tyler Junior College

went 2-4 with two RBIs in the Super Regional clincher against Texas Tech in 2017

She led the southland conference in three point field goal shooting percentage (.400) in 2016-17


He is the Only Bearkat in history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons


Hunter Hearn Baseball

Career stats as of May 16, 2018

Earn your Bachelor of Science in

Jenniffer Oramas SAHAJA YAMALAPALLI JOHN DEWEy III Womens Basketball



freshman Hometown: Hyderabad, IN singles record: 11-2 doubles record: 6-4

junior guard Hometown: bronx, NY Games played: 70 Points per game: 10 Assists per game: 4.7

Went undefeated in flighted singles play in both the 2017 Rice Invitational and Sam Houston Fall Invitational

Dished ou t 168 assists in the 2016-2017 season, which is tied for 11th all-time in a single season at SHSU

Composite Science

Full story below:

for Teacher Certification in

Biology • Chemistry • Earth Science • Physics Learn more at

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition Sam Houston State University



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Wonderful team. Everyone that helped us at this office was professional and did what the needed too . Cristina went above my expectation every step of my home buying process.

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- Tricia P. My husband and I could not have been more pleased with the care and attention that Justin showed during our home purchase. Buying while living out of state could have been very stressful, Justin was crucial in ensuring we didn't have that stress. He made himself available when we were available and was very thorough during and after the sale of the home. -Irene S.

He was professional and knowledgeable. He made the buying experience super easy. Hands down the best Realtor® � ever! -Mathew K.

�DI r BENEFITS Veteran. TOCJ. Nurse. Emergency Personnel. SHSU Faculty, Employee or Alumni?









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Level 41 Bearkat claims school’s first NCAA medal Senior multievents star Tyler Adams became the first-ever SHSU T&F athlete to claim hardware at an NCAA event when he won Bronze. Story on ADVERTISING DEADLINES


Editor’s Note

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Subject matter in this newspaper and on Tyler Josefsen ............... 936-294-1505 does not STAFF Sharon Raissi ........... Associate/Opinions Editor Batuhan Keskin ................................ Web Editor are subject to the approval of listed Ryan Reynolds ...... News Editor Interested in joining? Tesla Cadena........ Arts & Entertainment Editor information, call 936-294-1505. The Houstonian is looking for more writers and photographers. Stop by Jordan Smith ........................... Sports Editor Faculty Advisor the Dan Rather Communications Jordan Likens ........................... Photo/Copy Editor Building room 210 to get started. Marcus Funk ......................... (936) 294-3553

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Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

IMLeagues Sign-Up Guide All intramural participants will need to create a profile on IMLeagues offers a Support Button on the bottom of every page. Please use this button if you encounter any difficulties. To Create an IMLeagues Profile: 1. Go to 2. Click the sign in button in the upper right hand corner 3. Click the SHSU Network ID Login 4. Once you have signed in you may see your SHSU account information. Click on the Intramurals tab 5. Then click on the IMLeagues banner in the middle of the page 6. Fill in the remaining required information 7. You will then be prompted about the Rec-It App. This app will have all game information listed on it, so you can sign up to receive alerts from this app if you would like. 8. Click the “Intramural Sports” link under “Sam Houston State University” in the upper left hand corner To create/register a team: 1. Go to for information about a particular sport or activity. 2. Log in to your IMLeagues account. 3. Current sports will be displayed on the page. Click on the sport you want to play. 4. All sports longer than one day will be open for registration until the deadline listed on IMLeagues. 5. Once registration has opened for the activity, select the league (Men’s Greek, Men’s A, Men’s B, Co-Rec, Women’s) you would like to join. If the sport is not a one-day event, you will then need to select the division (i.e. Monday 6 PM, Sunday 2 PM, Wednesday 7 PM, etc.) in which you wish to play. 6. Some sports will require captains to take a captains’ quiz in order to register a team. This quiz is being used in place of a captains’ meeting for all of these sports. 7. All registrations are first-come, first-served. 8. If a division is already full, you will need to sign up for a different division or sign up for the waitlist.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

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Adding players to a team or joining a team: 1. Adding players (for team captains) • Captains can invite members to their team by clicking the Invite Members link on the team page. Any invited members must accept the invitation to be added to the team. o If they have already registered on IMLeagues, search for their name and invite them. o If they have not yet registered on IMLeagues, enter their email address and separate each email address with a comma, semi-colon, or by pressing Enter. 2. Joining a Team • Use the Register button at the top right hand corner of every page and Select Join Team. • Click on a League or Division. Then click the Join Team button next to the team you wish to join. • You may also accept a request from a captain to join their team. 3. Join as a Free Agent • You may list yourself in as many divisions within a league as you would like. You will be visible to all members of the site and can request to join teams.

Portfolio Review Required for Admission

Sam Houston State University

SHSU Sports

Level 43

Sign up and Play What Are?... Rec Sports: Indoor/Outdoor Facilities, Fitness Classes, sponsors of club and intramural sports, aquatics Intramural Sports: programs that provide the opportunity to compete and have fun in various team and individual sports. Ex: Softball, Billiards, Basketball, Soccer, Extreme Dodgeball, Esports, etc. Club Sports: recognized students organizations that are established to promote and develop common and/or recreation related interest. Ex: Esports, Inline Hockey, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Powerlifting, Quiditch, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Wrestling, Trap and Skeet

PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER EDUCATION Want to make a difference in the lives of children? Enjoy being physically active? Feel enthusiastic about physical activity, fitness, and sports? Want job security and benefits?

Sam Houston State University

BS in Kinesiology with emphasis in Teaching Physical Education Teach fundamental motor skills to elementary school children. Help middle school and high school students find a sport or physical activity they love.

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition Sam Houston State University |

SHSU Sports

Level 45

Softball shines late in season, Valis takes over helm BY JORDAN SMITH Sports Editor JUNE 1, 2018 -- Sam Houston State University softball was an interesting story this past season, with the retirement of head coach Bob Brock and going 24-33 during the regular season. Despite the struggles through the regular season, the Bearkats finished eighth in the Southland Conference and even had a few surprise wins during the conference tournament at the end of the year. SHSU in conference play went 13-14 on the season, a better win percentage than their overall record. To start the season, the Bearkats went 3-11 to start the year before they accumulated more wins than losses in a beginning of the season tournament. The Bearkats’ first successful tournament came at the Bulldog Slamboree, where they claimed three victories in five games over the weekend stretch. It was also the final beginning of the season tournament before SHSU began their regular season style play. SHSU kept their momentum going as they would win four straight to start the usual style of

the regular season, a win streak that included a sweep of Incarnate Word at the Bearkat Softball Complex. After that, however, SHSU would lose 13 of their next 16 games, which would be one of, if not, the main factor as to why the Bearkats finished nine games under .500 on the season record. After that, the Bearkats would go on a switch off of runs, grabbing a six game winning-streak before compiling a five game losing streak heading into the final series of the regular season. Despite the struggles of the season and at that point being 12 games below .500, SHSU still had a chance to sneak into the bottom part of the conference tournament bracket as the No. 8 seed. A sweep was needed for SHSU against Houston Baptist University and at least two losses by Lamar in their final series against conference leaders Nicholls for the Bearkats to claim the final spot of the tournament. That very situation occurred for the Bearkats and gave them the final spot in the postseason conference tournament on the final day of the regular season, a good way to send out Bob Brock. Brock, the winningest head

coach in the program’s history with 431 wins to his name at SHSU, was given a chance to make a splash at the Southland Conference tournament. In game No. 1 of the conference tournament, the Bearkats went out and grabbed a 9-1 victory over Central Arkansas, keeping them in the winner’s bracket for at least one more game. Later that day, SHSU would suffer its’ first loss of the tournament to Southeastern Louisiana by a final score of 7-0. So, at that point the Bearkats had been placed into the loser’s bracket and faced hated rival Stephen F. Austin in a special conference tournament edition of the Battle of the Piney Woods. SHSU would take the victory, eliminating the Ladyjacks by a final score of 6-0. The Bearkats would face Southeastern Louisiana once again and would lose in a nine inning classic by a final score of 7-6. That loss took Bob Brock into retirement and no longer in charge of an NCAA softball program for the first time since 1984. With that, a new leader had to be chosen to take the reigns at SHSU. It was not hard for the Bearkats to look at Garrett Valis

and promote him from Assistant Coach to Head Coach of SHSU Softball. Valis was given the promotion on May 11 and was excited for his opportunity. “I feel extremely blessed for this opportunity and thankful for all the people who have allowed me to be here-- Coach Brock, Mr. Williams, Mrs. (Chris) Thompson, Mr. (Greg) Hinze and Dr. (Dana) Hoyt,” Valis said. “I’m also very thankful for the

support my wife Angela, and our daughter Harper has given me. I look forward to the future with the program. There is lots of experience coming back.

We have been playing a lot of young kids these past few years who have been gaining valuable experience and Coach Brock has built a very good foundation for a winning program. I can’t wait to get started.” SHSU Softball will start once again with regular season play in Spring 2019 with new goals and aspirations in mind as they look to rebuild and reclaim the Southland Conference title for the first time since 2007.

Photos courtesy Southland Conference


Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

SHSU Sports

Make sure to RSVP for New Student Convocation, the celebration of the start of your Bearkat journey and the official launch of your academic career. Start What Unites Us, your 2018-2019 SHSU Common Reader, so that you can enter into one of the many Common Reader scholarship competitions and win money for your submission.

Level 46 Build a supportive academic community and develop valuable friendships at the start of your first year by joining the Freshman Learning Community that is the best fit for you. Explore, elevate, and transform your college experience through UNIV 1301 (Introduction to Collegiate Studies), a three-credit hour, first-year success elective.

Have questions about your first-year experience? We are here to help so let us know!

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Boss Battle


Bearkat Bucket List Things to do before graduation Use this guide as a checklist to maximize what Sam Houston State University has to offer. Cross off the letters after completion. Finished the list? Share with us on social media!

Submit a story you write to The Houstonian! Help a chicken cross the road. Spend the night out at the Sammys. Attend a sporting event at every home venue. on Fridays... we wear orange! Trek through the Huntsville State Park. March to the grave of General Sam Houston. Use all your kat Bucks before the semester ends Attend a theatre or dance performance. Stay up and pull an all-nighter Studying. Take a trip to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum /HoustonianSHSU Take a picture with Sammy the Bearkat. Experience the SHSU Observatory at night. @HoustonianSHSU Opportunity to do something good. Volunteer at Bearkat All-Paws In. @HoustonianSHSU Nap somewhere on campus... just not in class! Brother Jed will be on campus. Go get in a heated debate! (see page 14) Unwind and turn-up at Shenanigans! Utilize the free scantrons in the One Card Office in the Estill Building. NEVER walk under the bell towerâ&#x20AC;Śuntil after you graduate. Come to the Battle of the Piney Woods... EVERY YEAR! If you Are brave enough... drive down Demons Road at night. Kick back and relax at the Duck Pond. Visit Tripods grave. Experience the Tree of Light ceremony in December. Experience the GIANT Sam Houston statue. Tailgate at a Bearkat football game at Bowers Stadium. Ride EVERY ride at Sam Jam! Sing at karaoke night at 12th Street Bar. Look for a club or organization to join. If you are brave enough... go visit the Black Jesus statue. Invite your friends to Welcome Week events for free T-shirts. Take advantage of attending an event at Austin Hall. Sit, swim, or jump into the fountain (carefully). Yell as loud as you can and rock out at Sammypalooza!!! Take classes seriously so you can GRADUATE from SHSU!

Fall 2018 Orientation Edition

Orientation Edition 2018  

The Houstonian every year Orientation Edition

Orientation Edition 2018  

The Houstonian every year Orientation Edition