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The martin luther King, jr. Commemoration Program and Celebration Week kicks off Thursday

Bobcats sound off on what san marcos is “missing”

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january 21, 2009


Volume 98, Issue 40

History Made Texas State students witness Obama’s inauguration

By Alex Hering Scripps Howard Foundation Wire It was the first day of class at Texas State, but Mandy Domaschk said compared to the inauguration of the first black President of the United States, the syllabi she missed didn’t weigh much. “There are occasions in life such as this when life is more about the experiences you have,” said Domaschk, who was among the estimated two million people who flooded the nations capital this week. That was the general feeling among the 10 Texas State College Democrat members who came out in below freezing temperatures early Tuesday. Domaschk, political science senior and president of College Democrats, said amidst the long lines for tickets and the crowds of shoving people, the smiling faces kept her believing in “the change” they felt was happening. “Everyone just wanted to talk,” she said about the opening ceremony concert Sunday afternoon. “They would say ‘What’s your journey? Where are you from? How excited are you for this change?’ So even in the cold, even when it is crowded and there are long lines, it is really nice to see a smile on everyone’s face.” Domaschk, who was staying with local friends, said she felt that although the masses came from all over the country, they felt unified. “We were at a little restaurant in Chinatown and a news station was playing the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and everyone just stopped eating and listened,” Domaschk said. “It’s definitely very unified no matter if you’re black, white, Republican or Democrat.” Domaschk said she had purple-ticketed seating, which began at after Capitol grounds and ended at the reflecting pool. Domaschke estimated she

stood in line with 80,000 other spectators beginning 5 a.m. Tuesday. “We didn’t get inside though,” Domaschk said. “We were all a little disappointed. The line started at this tunnel and a riot almost started near the front of the line. It was mob like and kind of scary for a while.” The unity in the people was apparent in what she called the “cool kids,” the people she was stuck in lines with during the speech. “It was cool though because someone would call

Joseph Rodriguez, management junior, said he did not have tickets to any standing or seated areas near the Capitol, but found a comfort comfortable place where he listened to the speeches. “I wish (Barack Obama’s) speech was longer, but it was cold,” Rodriguez said. “Just being there and walking along the streets and watching people listening to the speech on the radio was memorable. They were there, watching or listening in some way, all of them very proud.” Domaschk said she was not able to see Obama sworn into the presidency, but it did not matter. She said it was the over overall change she was looking for. “It’s not about seeing the actual ceremony,” Domaschk said. “It’s about feeling the spirit of it all. It’s about feeling that you are part of something bigger than us. It’s about being a part of the massive pile of people who understand the huge change that is happening and what it means to them and the world.” Members of College Democrats are not the only young Americans getting involved in this year’s election. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, voters 18-to-29 years-old came out to the polls in record numbers this last election. An estimated 23 million Americans under 30 years of age voted in the 2008 presidential election, Chuck Liddy/ Raleigh News & Observer 3.4 million more than the 2004 election. their mom and have them put Obama’s speech on For Payne, the inauguration symbolized the speaker phone so we would all be huddled around end of two years he spent working with the Colthese little phones,” she said. lege Democrats, he said. Ryan Payne, history senior, said he drove to “Well, I’ve been working on the campaign for Washington D.C. He said he was moved up to the the last two years, so it’s good to have a closyellow seating area because of a lack of space. ing chapter,” Payne said. “At the same time, the “The overflow of people ended up getting me things Obama brought up are things that we’ve pushed back up into the wall in the purple ticket been trying to tell people since the beginning. It section,” he said. “They asked me and a few other feels good. There’s a rumor about what do you people to move up. We didn’t even sit most of the do tomorrow when you wake up? Well, you start time, we were standing up with them to watch.” working on 2012.”

Texas state student dies from gunshot wound By Theron Brittain Senior News Reporter The New Year began on a sad note for the friends and family of Jonryan Paysse. The Texas State junior died Jan. 7 after an accidental shooting at his University Heights II apartment in San Marcos. While handling a .45 caliber handgun he purchased on his 21st birthday just three days earlier, the gun discharged and Paysse was shot in the abdomen. Roomates called 911 and Paysse was airlifted to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, where he was pronounced dead. Paysse’s family and friends described him as a light-hearted companion who kept everyone in high spirits. “He was never in a fight — his laughter was so infectious and calming,” said his mother, T.J. Poe. “He loved to help people. His friends meant everything to him, and his girlfriend was the love of his life.” Paysse was majoring in construction technology and planned one day to oversee construction sites, Poe said. He was in a committed relationship with a fellow Texas State student, Jordan Mullen. The two met

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through the “J crew,” an unofficial, but closeknit, group of friends formed during their freshmen year in Jackson Hall. “He was the life of the party,” said Mullen, interior design junior. “He really brought our group together. If anyone had a problem, he would be there for them. If anybody got drunk, he would always take care of them.” A sporting enthusiast, Paysse spent as much time outside as he could, according to his friends and mother. He was an avid fisher and hunter, and was active in every sport he encountered. A scholarship in his name has been established at his high school in Llano to help underprivileged children pay for sports equipment, Poe said. He was interested in becoming a member of Ducks, Unlimited. “We went fishing and hunting all the time together,” said Robert Coffey, his roommate and best friend. “He was a brother to me.” The two met in fourth grade, went to high school together and moved to the same dorm when they came to Texas State. “He was a great friend,” said Coffey, business junior. “He always did what he said he was going to do. He would always tell me

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what he was thinking — if I was messing up, he would tell me and I would do the same thing for him.” Mullen said she and Paysse planned trips to Las Vegas and Spain to visit his aunt. They talked about marriage one day, though she said there were no specific plans. She said rather than viewing Courtesy of Danika Hughes his death as a loss to the Texas State community, she believes it had brought his friends closer together. “I feel like we let some relationships slide and now that this has happened, everyone has come together and is supporting each other,” Mullen said. “We realize that you cannot just let those things go. I’m sure that is what he would want for us.” Support for Paysse outpoured on the soSee JONRYAN, page 2

Parking loss heightens students’ concerns By Scott Thomas Editor in Chief Seeing three parking lots under construction and unusable surprised Marshall Laechelin when he came back to Arnold Hall after Winter break. He was not the only one. Residents of Jackson, Arnold, Smith, Hornsby and Burleson halls found the spaces they usually use to park their vehicles were fenced off, dug up and under construction after coming back from Winter break. Residents of the halls say there was no warning. Laechelin, agricultural business and management junior, said he is now concerned about getting to his two jobs off cam-

pus on time, all while being a full time student. “They say they have a shuttle taking us to Spec parking lot … but it won’t operate on the week weekends,” he said. “No one wants to move their car now. I must move regularly.” Laechelin said parking was bad last semester, but now the lots are closed and parking near the dorms is only available on the streets among the halls. Victoria Pfaff, undecided sophomore, said she believes limited parking can lead to safety concerns. “I had a friend who had to walk to her dorm from Jones dinning hall at 3 a.m. by herself,” she

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said. “That’s not safe for a girl.” Brett Baker, student body president, said ASG will distribute cards with information telling students how to contact the tram services and Bobcat Bobbies. “What it will say is ‘if you are parked far away from your dorm, if you feel uncomfortable walking to your dorm at night’ or whatever it might be, ‘here is the number to a shuttle that runs Sunday through Thursday and also for Bobcat Bobbies,” Baker said. “We know that students are having to park at Specs Street if they live in Jackson Hall. So basically what we have to do is give them information so that they can get a ride — a safe ride — back to their dorms.” Baker said perhaps some organizations, including ASG, could have done a better job warning affected students. However, he said ASG members will help and inform the students anyway they can. “If (students) have something going on they are worried about, or maybe they have some suggestions for the future, we want them to come to us,” Baker said. “That’s why we are here.” Brittany Rogers, interdisciplinary studies freshman, said she has not unpacked her car from Winter break yet because she had to park farther away than usual. “I brought in some sheets to sleep on, and that’s it,” Rogers said. “I’ll bring it in little by little. So many people park here it’s ridiculous.” Rogers said she and a friend are taking a golf class on the opposite side of campus, but are now afraid to move from their parking spots. “We don’t know if we’ll have a parking spot when we come back,” she said. Matt Peterson, management freshman, said he too was appre-

hensive about moving his car. “We’re battling for spots with other halls now,” he said Students said noise generated by construction was a problem. “It’s noisy, I can hear it in my room,” Laechelin said. “It starts at 8 a.m. and echos off the library.” Rogers said the noise is potentially disruptive to her future study habits. Blake Whitaker, pre-theater sophomore, said a refund for green-parking stickers is fair compensation. “First off, I paid $200 for green parking for both semesters, now I have to park at Spec,” Whitaker said. “There was zero warning. If they told me this at the beginning of the (school) year, I would have gotten a green sticker (last semester) and a purple sticker (for spring).” Construction is expected to last 18 months, with development going through this semester and next year. Residents of the affected halls say they do not plan on living there next year. “I’m getting out of here as soon as possible,” Laechelin said. Construction is inconveniencing them, but other hall residents said they understand it is growing pains. “I’m glad they are doing it, there’s not sufficient parking,” Peterson said. “It just sucks for me.” The parking taken out will be used for the Matthews Street Garage. The $25 million garage will house 956 parking spaces, with a projected completion date of August 2010. Baker said the good thing about the construction is the parking garage will serve “a huge group” of students who are part of a “growing university.” “It was going to happen at some point,” Baker said. “It just happens to be it is at this point. Thank goodness it is happening now so that more work can be done in the summer and more students don’t have to suffer.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bush finds warm welcome in Texas By Howard Witt Chicago Tribune MIDLAND, Texas — At least they still love him in Midland. George W. Bush departed Washington Tuesday as one of the least-respected and most vilified presidents in modern history. But you’d never know it from the adulation he received at a rally here Tuesday evening, his first stop on his journey back to life as a private citizen on his ranch in Crawford and a newly-purchased mansion in Dallas. Church choirs, high school bands, country music singers and a cheering crowd of at least 20,000 packed a downtown square to welcome Bush and his wife, Laura, back to this West Texas oil town where they both grew up and later met and married. It was a bookend rally to the send-off Midland gave to its favorite native son eight years ago when he headed off to the White House. “He did a great job for our country,” declared Cleve Seamon, 61, an oil industry worker who had to stand in place more than five hours to hold a front-row viewing spot. “He stood by his beliefs. He stood by his

faith. And we’re just so glad he was in office when 9/11 happened.” Smiling broadly but sounding spent, Bush repeatedly told the crowd how happy he was to be back home in Texas — and how he had no regrets for any of the “tough decisions” he had to make as president. “I gave it my all,” Bush said. “Sometimes what I did wasn’t popular. But that’s okay. I always did what I thought was right . . . When I get home tonight and look in the mirror, I’m not going to regret what I see.” Nowhere in Midland was there any mention of Bush’s rocky presidential tenure or the polls showing that a mere 22 percent of Americans approved of his performance by the end of his term. Three-quarters of the front page of Tuesday’s local newspaper, the Midland Reporter-Telegram, was devoted to Bush’s anticipated homecoming, with just one small story taking note of the historic inauguration of his successor, President Barack Obama. “You know, President Bush did his best for our nation,” said spectator Lois Graham, 60. “I don’t see anything in the world he did wrong.”

Graham, who is African-American, wore an Obama t-shirt to the rally — two details that made her stand out in the overwhelmingly white, conservative Republican crowd. “Here in Midland, we love everybody,” she explained. Over at the George W. Bush Childhood Home museum, a 3-bedroom rambler on West Ohio Avenue where the young Bush lived from 1951-55, curators made a point earlier in the day of opening their doors to visitors during the Obama inauguration ceremony — and promised there would be no televisions to distract any Bush pilgrims paying their respects. But even in Midland, reality can only be avoided for so long. The Bush Childhood Home is just beginning a $6 million campaign to raise funds for planned improvements and an expansion — a task that might be difficult given the economic collapse over which Bush has presided, not to mention his dismal popularity ratings. “Certainly we’re going to weigh the timing of the start of that capital campaign to coincide with an upturn in the economy, whenever that may occur,” said the executive director of the museum, Paul St. Hilaire.


Sara Strick/Star photo City officials work quickly to investigate a water pipe burst at the intersection of Hopkins and N. Edward Gary Monday.

Star file photo PARKING PROBLEMS: Students are now hang to fight for parking spaces on the North side of campus.


cial networking site Facebook. A group called “We Love and Miss You Jonryan” claimed over 414 members by Monday. The group is open to anybody and members can post memories and wishes for Paysse and his family. Mullen said Paysse was close to his mother and planned to stay in Texas after graduation so he could be near her. He was her only child. “He was the best kid any woman could ask for,” Poe said. “He was my only baby and he was the light of my life. He grew up to be such a respectable person and such a grown-up.” She and Paysse‘s father gave doctors at Brackenridge permission to do a complete organ harvest, something her son had

discussed with her. Poe said she was told up to 120 lives could be saved from the harvested tissues. “He would have wanted that,” she said. Mullen’s parents volunteered the payment for Paysse’s headstone. Poe said her son wanted an English bulldog and she and his aunts would be buying bulldog statuettes to place at his grave. “We are getting two of them to watch over him,” Poe said.

Correction In the Back to School issue of The Star, the second Round Rock Health Professions Building will cost $63 million.

Weeklong events celebrate MLK By Gabby Jarrett News Reporter “Let it Ring: Our Civic Responsibility Resonating to All” is the theme for Texas State’s 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program and Celebration Week. The events are sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs and the 2009 Martin Luther King Committee. Jessica Horace, MLK committee public relations chair, said she is hoping these celebrations will bring students together and show the diversity throughout Texas State. “I want students to get out and meet other people,” said Horace, biology sophomore. “Our goal is to bring the campus together.” The celebrations will begin Thursday with a Candlelight March and Keynote Program. The march will start 6 p.m. from Old Main, ending at the LBJ Student Center. The Keynote Program will be held 7 p.m. in the LBJ Student Teaching Center. Reverend Valerie Bridgeman,

keynote speaker for the event, is an associate professor of Hebrew Bible/Homiletic and Worship at Memphis Theological Seminary. Committee members are asking students and San Marcos residents to bring canned food donations to the events. Trenton Thomas, business finance junior, said he plans to attend the Thursday night events. “Keynote speakers make me think about life,” Thomas said. “I always end up leaving fulfilled.” Thomas said he is expecting Texas State to gain a sense of unity from the week. “I want people to catch the meaning of ‘I Have a Dream,’” Thomas said. “It’s not just for African Americans, but for all people.” The week’s events come in the midst of the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama. Thomas said he is proud the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the first black President was inaugurated into office. “You can’t write anything better, especially knowing what ad-

versities he has come through,” Thomas said. “African Americans can no longer feel a sense of entitlement, but now they have greater expectations on their shoulders.” Thomas said black children once felt they could only make and have a successful life if they were professional athletes or rappers. Now, he said, kids can have pictures of Barack Obama on their wall instead of musicians or basketball players. “We can let our pride out,” Thomas said. “‘Yes we can’ is greater than a political message — it means ‘Yes we can’ be victors in life.” Williams said the committee is expecting a large crowd for the march. She said it is designed to kick off the weeklong celebration, and she hopes it will inspire students to take part in the other events. “I’m excited because this year it’s a week long celebration,” Williams said. “In the past there has only been a march. We have so many new events and I hope

students will make canned food donations.” The celebration week continues with a community service event 9 a.m. Friday at Hernandez Intermediate School. Britney Williams, MLK committee member, said volunteers will interact with intermediate students. Williams said she hopes they gain a positive view of college students. Horace said Saturday will be the first year the committee has put on a dinner theater, which will be a story based on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. The show will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday in the LBJ Ballroom. Admission is $5, or $3 with a canned good or a nonperishable food item. A prayer breakfast and church service will take place 8:30 a.m. Sunday in the LBJ Ballroom. The events will end Tuesday with a game night hosted by the National Pan Hellenic Council. Visit the Multicultural Student Affairs Web site for a complete schedule of the week’s events.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

onlineconnection Check out in the following weeks for continued News, Sports, Trends and Opinions coverage.


The University Star - 3

Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan,

The Main PoinT exas State, though it has carried several names in the past, is truly “The Rising Star of Texas.”t


But is this rising star receiving the recognition and consider consideration it deserves from the Texas legislature? There are those who speculate Texas State is a subor subordinate school, running a distant third to Texas A&M and the University of Texas in the minds of many Texans. Some would argue our priorities lie behind even some others. However, Texas State has been a legitimate, powerful presence in Texas education since its early days. Our university is in pursuit of new projects and ventures these days, such as a new Music Recital Hall and Theatre Center. There are a number of complaints in the existing buildings Texas State hopes to replace. Things are not working right, or perhaps the infrastructure is not holding up anymore. The current Music Building is one of Texas State’s oldest, having stood unaltered since the early twentieth century. This building is historical, having been where former President and alumnus Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the higher education act. However, it was designed as a gym and should not be expected to hold a quality music department like ours. Re-vamping of our older, less efficient buildings could be beneficial to the almost four hundred theater and dance majors, but could bring in significant revenue to the university as well. We would be able to host several productions more frequently, and in a more flattering setting. Texas State is a growing institution. Enrollment is up, perhaps because of the name change, perhaps it is the ever-increasing reputation of the university. We have seen such changes as a new Recreational Center, and depleted parking areas to build garages recently. Why not spend money on things with a little more value that would greatly benefit more students and faculty than a rock-climbing wall? Having the state legislature help in funding these projects and their permission to issue bonds would not only benefit Texas State and San Marcos, it would bring revenue into the area. Gov. Rick Perry said on the opening days of the legislature this will be a tight budget year for Texas. However, with so many suffering under the weight of an economic downturn the state should look to spending as much as it can to stimulate the economy. Construction is expected to be hurt badly through the rest of the recession. But the legislature can make things easier on Central Texas construction company employees and their families by giving them work here in San Marcos. The university has plans and needs funds to make them possible.


The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State UniversitySan Marcos.

New hero needs a nickname By Nathan Seltzer Opinions Columnist

Tuesday was the day I had been waiting for since I first heard the greatest human being on the planet was running for president. It was Inauguration Day. The course of every life on the planet changed forever at noon Eastern Standard Time. It was not a moment in history. It was the culmination of history. The only thing missing from the big day was a nickname for the hero. Heroes can’t use their real names. They need something catchy that defines them. This ar article is a brainstorm to find that nickname. The first thing to do is to look is at the new President’s own personal heroes, and chief among them is Abraham Lincoln. Obama is quick to point out these two have a good deal in common. They are both from Illinois and, of course, both wear stovepipe hats. Lincoln, like Obama, also favored abortion and high taxes on the wealthy. Obama, for his part, considered employing Lincoln’s strategy of leaving a 100-mile wide swath of destruction from Atlanta to Savannah as part of a scorched-earth strategy, if he had lost Georgia. Luckily for millions of residents, Obama won the state. Obama and Lincoln are practically the same person. Perhaps Obama’s nickname could be Lincoln. Then again, Obama is also a great healer and teacher. People believe he is the solution to all the world’s ills. Another historical figure inspired this same religious fervor among his followers, 2000 years ago, is Jesus of Nazareth. Lepers, cripples and the blind wanted Jesus to lay hands on them. He said if they believed in him, they would be healed. Likewise, many of those who are unemployed or afflicted with a different type of blindness want Obama to lay hands on them — as long as those hands are full of money taxed from rich CEOs. So maybe Obama’s nickname could be revised to Lincoln Jesus. However, according to the UK Guardian, Obama has 4 years to save the world from the diabolical threat of the evil and sinister Global Warming. I learned from watching cartoons as a kid, there is only one person to call when pollution threatens: Captain Planet. So perhaps Obama’s nickname could be further revised to Captain Planet Lincoln Jesus. Yes, all the world’s ills will soon be solved now that Captain Planet Lincoln Jesus is on Zach Ashburn/star illustration the job. No CEO is safe and no polar bear need fear any longer that its offspring will not receive free healthcare. Then again, Captain Planet Lincoln Jesus is really too long for a nickname. We get the pictures of communities need something shorter and crowding around the radio and more catchy. So what are cheering in Kenya, or of joyObama’s qualities? ful people with tears trickling Faster than a sinking down their faces in Europe and economy, more powerful the Middle East — and right than global warming and able here, the crowds of Columbia to leap diplomatic hurdles students who left the comfort in a single bound. Look! Up zone of Morningside Heights in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a and paraded into Harlem at plane! It’s Air Force One! midnight, screaming and hugI’ve got it. Disguised as ging complete strangers? We mild-mannered community overcame the Republicans’ at atorganizer, Barack Obama, it’s tempts to divide America. We Presidentman! triumphed with positive messages of “hope” and “equality.” I was starting to think that I -Nathan Seltzer is a mass would never see any of that hap- communications senior. pen in my lifetime and it feels extraordinary to have been a part of it.

Communities worldwide celebrate election of President Obama By Greer Feick Columbia Daily Spectator Our country is at the best place and the worst place I have ever seen it. I opened my “college fund” stock portfolio statement yesterday and was stunned to find it had lost almost half its value. People are on the verge of unemployment. Falling real estate prices are af affecting almost everyone I know back home in California. The cost of health care is crippling. CNN recently tried to keep up with the times by airing a segment on how to cook gruel. Yes, it’s all pretty frightening, but a shiny silver lining exists in this dark cloud —Barack Obama be-

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came our 44th president. Up until now the political experiences of most liberal college-aged Americans have been defined by crushing disappointment. The first election we followed was Bush vs. Gore in 2000. We know how that ended. Then, for many of us, the Iraq War protests of 2003 were our first acts of political expression. We saw how that turned out. We tried our best to keep our spirits up and elect John Kerry in 2004, but in the end, Ohio let us down. We gathered our troops once again. We made more phone calls, raised more money, knocked on more doors. We braced ourselves. Then we all exhaled the longest-held col-

lective breath at around 11 p.m. EST Nov. 4, 2008. We would not be living the nightmare of “two mavericks” in the White House. The media focused much at attention on young voters, but for me at least, an important aspect of Obama’s presidency is his ability to cut across all generations. Throughout last October, my 82-year-old grandmother got up at 6 a.m. every workday and drove to the village green in her small New Hampshire town to hold up homemade Obama signs and catch commuters on their way to work. Leading up to the election, my mother made phone calls to swing states for four hours every night. I was lucky enough, along

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with three friends, to meet Obama one morning on the tar tarmac at LaGuardia Airport when he was in New York for Sept. 11. My Republican grandmother in Connecticut now prominently displays on her fridge a copy of the photo taken by a staffer of me with Obama’s arm around my shoulder. So what if Obama falls somewhat short of the expectations we all have of him? No matter what we have the memory of Nov. 4 — the night when we came together as a campus, community, city, country and as a world. As members of the human race, we rejoiced over what we as Americans had accomplished. Who will ever for for-

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Trends the university star


4 - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Texas State’s radio station, KTSW 89.9, racked up numerous awards last year including “Best Technical Production,” “Best Feature Show or Broadcast,” and was nominated for “Best Student Media Website.” The students at the station are giving back to their fellow Bobcats by offering free goodies during the often frustrating and expensive book buying process at the campus bookstore. KTSW will be giving away free CDs, stickers, posters, Nintendo games and concert tickets. The giveaway will also be accompanied by performances from Holly Psychedelics, Bob Barney, the Ali Wagner Band and Lara Claire. The giveaway will begin today at 11a.m. and end on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Trends Contact — Brett Thorne,

Students seek entertainment in Austin, San Antonio By Mayra Mejia Features Reporter A typical college town consists of bars, clubs, restaurants, stores and other attractions to indulge students. However, San Marcos is often perceived as something different to its students. Some students do not enjoy the entertainment San Marcos offers them and choose to venture I-35 to Austin or San Antonio. Rachel Taylor, family and consumer sciences senior, said she travels to surrounding areas for entertainment. “Both Austin and San Antonio have big events throughout the year that attract a lot of people, not only from San Marcos, but from all over,” Taylor said. “For example, Austin City Limits and Fiesta in San Antonio. San Marcos has the capability to dosomething like this.” “I think San Marcos is a very cool place to live,” said Ashleigh Jackson, pre-psychology sophomore.

The Square is a popular hang out in San Marcos among college students on the weekends, and with a newly passed resolution, the bars will be keeping later hours. San Marcos is well known for the river and the Prime and Tanger Outlets, which are the largest outlet shopping center in Texas. Jackson said these attractions have been enough to satisfy her entertainment needs, but she occasionally goes to Austin. “I am actually a new transfer, and I’ve only been here a week. I love San Marcos and have everything I need here. However, I can see how every once in a while I might just want to get a taste of city life here and there, so I would go to Austin for that,” Jackson said. “Also, weekend night life seems like it might be livelier in either Austin or San Antonio.” Taylor and Jackson have the same opinions on going out to Austin or San Antonio for late night fun. “To be honest (I leave San Marcos) just to have a little

variety. I know my friends and I go to Austin for the nightlife and shopping mostly. The bars in Austin are different and are not restricted to the midnight curfew,” Taylor said. Rachel Browne, pre-fashion merchandising junior, said she has a different point of view on the reasons why Austin and San Antonio are popular among college students. “I think (students leave) to get away from the life we have in San Marcos. To be distracted, have some fun for the weekend, and let the memories be created,” Browne said. Taylor and Browne agree that the nightlife should be open until 2 a.m. in San Marcos. They suggested ideas to improve the availability of the entertainment in San Marcos. “Good music, good drink specials, good shopping and good food,” Taylor said. Browne made a similar suggestion. “A late night hotspot that’s open until 2 a.m.,” Browne said.

Sara Strick/Star file photo MISSING LINKS: Students and local residents travel to neighboring cities of Austin and San Antonio to experience things San Marcos does not offer.

President Obama seen as pop-cultural icon an outlet to voice frustrations should the Obama presidency not live up to expectations. “The bloggers are going to be all over him” if they’re disappointed, says Peterson. “It will be interesting to see how the images of him change as he has to make difficult decisions,” Rader said. “What happens if all the people making tennis shoes with his picture on them get laid off?” Obama’s stature as pop-culture figure also grows out of what comes across as authentic passion for popular culture. He told Rolling Stone in July — whose commemorative edition he adorns – that he had Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Howlin’ Wolf on his iPod, in addition to Wonder, Springsteen and Crow. He referenced Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off My Shoulder” after debating Clinton in Philadelphia in April in “a (brush-off) gesture that endears him to youth culture,” says Peterson. Peterson calls Obama the “first hip-hop generation candidate.” Obama has been critical of rap content, but hip-hop has shown him only love, with tributes from mainstream acts like Nas and Ludacris as well as underground MCs like Murs and Mekka Don, whose new Obamathemed EP “All Eyes on Me” recasts Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Corey Lowenstein/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT Mama” as “Dear Obama.” Obama’s campaign released POP PRESIDENT: Barack Obama has harnessed technology like iPods, BlackBerrys and the Internet to become a fixture of pop culture. “50 Things You Don’t Know By Dan Deluca question, as to who is the most ward-spiraling economy, adorn- has so thoroughly saturated the About Barack Obama” after he The Philadelphia Inquirer omnipresent pop cultural icon ing T-shirts, sneakers and vast stretches of the semiotic was elected. The first revealed on the banks of the Potomac. coffee mugs, as well as end- imagination as Obama.” that he’s a fan boy at heart: “He Megawatt star power will not That would be Barack Obama, less iterations of street artist That means Obama is every- collects Spider-Man and Conan be in shortage in Washington the self-described “skinny kid Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster, where even more so now. One the Barbarian comics.” as the nation celebrates the with a funny name” who shares which hangs in the Smithso- reason he is everywhere is “I just thought, ‘This has inauguration of its 44th presi- the cover of the sold-out current nian’s National Portrait Gallery “there are so many more plac- got to be the coolest thing on dent. Beyonce, Jay-Z, Denzel issue of Marvel Comics, “The and has been retrofitted for es to be now,” as Rader, who Planet Earth for us,’“ says Joe Washington, Bruce Spring- Amazing Spider-Man” with an- covers of Time and Esquire. teaches English at the Univer- Quesada, Marvel’s editor. “The steen, Jamie Foxx, the Jonas other web-savvy superhero. Dean Rader, coauthor of the sity of San Francisco, put it in commander-in-chief is actually Brothers, John Legend, Bono, Obama is the president-as- blog “SemiObama,” which focus- an interview last week. a nerd-in-chief.” Shakira, Sheryl Crow and Ste- pop-star who has his own set of es on the “new visual culture” An often-used analogy of the Marvel comics are set in the vie Wonder, among many oth- Topps trading cards, including surrounding Obama, wrote in Democratic primary season real world, so incorporating ers, will honor the incoming one of him in his high school the San Francisco Chronicle in was that Hillary Clinton’s more Obama in a Spidey strip made chief executive. basketball uniform. His mug is July that “in the history of this conventional campaign qualified sense. (Too bad the strip does However, there will be no a reliable sales tool in a down- country, no American politician her as a PC, while Obama’s edg- not offer a better likeness of ier approach made him a Mac. him.) Past presidents have ap“But Obama is also an iPod peared beside Peter Parker, as and an iPhone and a Black- have pop-culture figures like Berry and a PlayStation,” says Stephen Colbert. And Spidey Rader. “If you think of the gad- does not have political prefergets and the options on those ences. “If it had been John Mcgadgets — Twitter, MySpace, Cain elected president, and he Facebook — as the domain of said he was a Marvel fan, he a new generation, he used that would have been the one on domain to reach out to a new the cover,” says Quesada. group of people and involve Obama’s comfort with the them in the political process. entertainment world, without There are so many spaces that seeming hopelessly enthralled, so many Americans go to now has drawn the entertainment where there haven’t been poli- world to him. ticians before. And he was the “He’s as at ease with Jay-Z as first guy to get there.” he would be with the president “And it’s not just the Inter- of France,” says actor Blair net stuff,” says James Peter- Underwood, who narrates the son, a professor at Bucknell hagiographic DVD “President University in Lewisburg, Pa., Barack Obama: The Man and and founder of the educational His Journey,” which comes consulting company Hip-Hop out Jan. 20. (Underwood met Scholars. “It’s his relationship Obama in the early 1990s, to technology. He doesn’t want when he was on “L.A. Law” to let go of that BlackBerry, and his character was the first man. That’s pop culture. Be- black president of the Harvard cause our relationship to tech- Law Review. “I’m the first black nology is very different than president of the Harvard Law those who came before us. For Review,” Obama told him, “so people who grew up in the in- you’re playing me.”) formation age, technology is a Underwood believes the keys to big part of their lives.” Obama’s pop-cultural appeal are The interactive means by which “his youth, his intellect and the the candidate built his constitu- fact that he’s biracial. He has exency also will give his supporters perience reconciling different cul-

tures. He can see other people’s points of view and other people can see themselves in him.” As with the electorate at large, Obama “expanded the pool of politically active people within the entertainment industry,” says Ted Johnson, managing editor of Variety, who writes a blog on Variety. com about politics and entertainment. Obama’s Harvard friend and “CSI:NY” actor Hill Harper recruited Underwood. Rapper’s “Yes We Can” video on the eve of Super Tuesday gave a forum to everyone from Scarlett Johansson to Herbie Hancock. The sheer scale of entertainment at the inaugural is due to “pent-up demand,” says Johnson. A broad range of artists, from soul man Sam Moore to teen star Demi Lovato to avantpop star Santogold, will perform at shindigs that Creative Coalition director Robin Bronk collectively calls “Obamarama.” Johnson calls this presidential fete “the biggest ever,” with Bill Clinton’s 1993 swearing-in the only real competition. “There has been such anti-Bush sentiment within the industry since about 2002. Everyone’s just ready.” The celebratory mood can be summed up in the name of a Beastie Boys-Sheryl Crow concert: “Hey, America Feels Kinda Cool Again.” Obama’s celebrity was mocked by McCain, and in opinion polls, voters say celeb endorsements don’t influence them. So did the Obama campaign’s success at bonding the candidate to a youthful demographic really help him get elected? “It made a huge difference,” NBC News and Wall Street Journal pollster Peter D. Hart told Rolling Stone. “Youth voters turned to Obama in numbers that are just hard to fathom. It was a connection that was as psychological as it was issue-driven. “This is somebody who spoke their language, who understood the times. ... Gore carried young voters by two points. Kerry carried them by about nine points. Obama carried them by 34 points.” That’s no surprise to pop-culture decoders like Bucknell’s Peterson and “SemiObama’s” Rader. “You’ll find plenty of pictures of Mariah Carey and Britney Spears and even George Bush on the Web,” Rader says. “But they’re not icons. Obama is.” Rader brings the overused word back to its religious meaning, where “someone’s face carries some transcendent, profound sense of significance. And in a world that’s obsessed with pop culture and is obsessed with image, how could that not translate into election results?”


Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961 President Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 President Obama is the fifth youngest person to be elected to the office at age 47.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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The women’s basketball team defeated the Central Arkansas Bears 75-61 Saturday at home. Gabriel Mattox, sophomore forward, recorded a double-double for the Bobcats. Kelsey Krupa, freshman guard, scored a career-high 14 points. The Bobcats are now 2-1 in Southland Conference play and 8-7 overall. They will play Sam Houston State tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville.

6 - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sports Contact — Lisa Carter,

Islanders end winning streak for men’s basketball

The Texas State men’s basketball team won five games in a row to put themselves two matches over the .500 mark. However, the Bobcats have dropped two games on the road against Texas A&MCorpus Christi Jan. 14 and Central Arkansas Jan. 17. The A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders snapped the Bobcats’ five game winning streak 89-64. It was the first time the Bobcat defense had allowed more than 80 points in a game since Dec. 15, 2007 at New Orleans. Ty Gough, sophomore center, was the only player to score double digits for the Bobcats with 15 points. It marks the second time this season Brandon Bush, senior guard, did not score in double figures. Kevin Palmer, junior guard, scored a game and team high for the Islanders with 21 points. Palmer was named Southland Confer Conference Player of the Week. He has received the award three times and has been the only repeat winner this season. Central Arkansas held on to take a 77-72 victory Saturday, despite a second half rally by Texas State. The Bobcats scored the first two points of the game on a slam dunk by Bush, but Marcus Pillow, Central Arkansas junior guard, converted on a pair of three-point field goals and a free throw to give the Bears a 7-2 lead. Central Arkansas increased its lead to 11 before PilAustin Byrd/Star file photo low nailed his third 3-pointer of STUFFING STRAHAN: The men’s basketball team will host conference rival Sam Houston the half. State Wednesday during its annual “Stuff Strahan” game.

Corey Jefferson, senior guard, hit a jumper from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to end the first half, putting Texas State to within 40-31 at halftime. The Bears extended their lead to 44-31 in the first two minutes of the second half. Pillow missed a 3-pointer, but grabbed his own offensive rebound after Gough tipped in a missed lay-up by Jefferson. Coach Doug Davalos put John Bowman and Roshun Jackson, freshmen guards, along with Emmanuel Bidias a Moute, junior forward and Cameron Johnson, sophomore forward, to join Jeffer Jefferson on the floor. Bowman forced a turnover by Dewan Clayborn, Central Arkansas freshman guard, and hit a jumper in the lane. Johnson stole the ball from Pillow and Jackson hit Bidias a Moute for a lay-up. Jefferson stole the ball from Clayborn and sunk a lay-up, despite being fouled. Jefferson would go on to convert the free throw. The Bobcats scored to within two points when Bidias a Moute tipped in Jackson’s missed lay-up on Texas State’s next possession. The Bobcats took the lead at 4846 after Jefferson and John Rybak, junior forward, nailed a pair of 3-point field goals. Rybak would nail a 3-pointer to break the tie at 50. Central Arkansas countered with back-to-back lay-ups to give the Bears a 54-53 advantage. Gough made a lay-up to put Texas State up 55-54. However, Brian

Marks, Central Arkansas senior center, made one of his two free throws to tie the score at 55 with nine minutes left to play. Ryan White, sophomore guard, was charged with his fifth personal foul and Pillow would make the second of his two free throws to give Central Arkansas a 56-55 lead. Mitch Rueter, Central Arkansas junior forward, led with 20 points in the game. He made two free throws to give the Bears a 58-55 lead. Texas State scored four straight points on a pair of free throws and another slam dunk by Bush to take a 59-58 lead with seven minutes left to play. Bush finished the game with 11 points. All of his field goals came off of four dunks. Central Arkansas answered with five straight points. Rueter hit a jumper in the lane and Marks scored three points off a lay-up and a free throw to give the Bears a 63-59 lead. The Bears defeated the Bobcats 77-72. Reuter’s led the Bears with 20 points and Taylor added 19 points. Pillow finished with 15 points. Rybak led Texas State with 16 points. Jefferson and Gough scored 12 points each. Bush finished with 11 points and a teamhigh seven rebounds. Texas State returns home for two games against Sam Houston State Jan. 21 and Lamar Jan. 24. The Bobcats are 8-8 overall and 7-1 at home. Texas State is 1-2 in Southland Conference play. —Report compiled by Keff Ciardello

Steelers’ interception wins AFC championship By David Haugh Chicago Tribune Nothing in this city’s rich football heritage ever will replace the “Immaculate Reception.” It is the nickname given Franco Harris’ great catch to win a 1972 AFC playoff game against the Raiders in the final seconds. However, now the Steelers have an interception that deserves a title, too. Safety Troy Polamalu picked off Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with a play for the ages in the Steelers’ 23-14 victory over the Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday at Heinz Field. Polamalu read Flacco’s eyes and followed them all the way to Tampa on third-and-13 at the Baltimore 29 with four minutes 24 seconds left and the Steelers clinging to a 16-14 lead. Polamalu stepped under the route run by intended receiver Derrick Mason, caught the ball and returned it to the end zone to set off a celebration. “I was able to freelance because we blitzed LaMarr (Woodley) and James Harrison, so the man I was assigned to defend (tight end Todd Heap)

stayed in to block,” Polamalu said. “I got lucky.” Thousands of the yellow “Terrible Towels” that waved as coach Mike Tomlin accepted the AFC championship trophy can be packed for Florida now that the Steelers beat the Ravens for a third time. Pittsburgh will play the Arizona Cardinals coached by the man who called plays in the Steelers’ 2006 Super Bowl victory, Ken Whisenhunt, Feb. 1 in Super Bowl XLIII. “They did it tonight the way we did it all year,” Tomlin said. “It’s a humble group, a selfless group, and because of that we’re very opportunistic.” The Steelers took advantage of opportunities but never really took control of a game physical enough to have been played in the 1960s. The Steelers got to the Super Bowl in a manner people in this town respect — the hard way. They used a defense that held the Ravens to 198 total yards and an offense that overcame itself. But in the end, besides the violent nature of the collisions, the game will be remembered for how Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, made plays that Flacco could not. Flacco looked like the rookie he is, completing 13 of 30 passes for 141 yards and three interceptions for a passer

rating of 18.2. Meanwhile, “Big Game Ben” was 16 of 33 for 255 yards and one touchdown. Flacco eventually developed confidence and a rhythm in the second half that kept the Ravens in it until the interception that will haunt him all off-season. Polamalu’s pick was more costly but no less careless than Flacco’s first interception. It came on Flacco’s sixth snap. Facing pressure from Woodley, Flacco forced a throw to Mason. Cor Cornerback Deshea Townsend jumped the route and easily intercepted Flacco at the Baltimore 29 for the rookie’s first postseason pick in 50 passes. The mistake set up a field goal, but even with a 6-0 lead, the Steelers could not relax. Roethlisberger absorbed a blow to the upper back and ribs from safety Haruki Nakamura in the first quarter after he released the ball. The Steelers were concerned enough that Byron Leftwich, quarterback, started warming up. But a moment before the starting offense returned to the field, Roethlisberger jogged back onto the field — to cheers. Roethlisberger stepped up on third-and-9 on the next series, threw a wobbler off his front foot and let Santonio Holmes, wide receiver do the

rest. He took advantage of Fabian Washington, who had slipped, and ran into the open field for a 65-yard touchdown pass to build a 13-0 lead. “I got lazy and let the defender feel like the ball was going to be thrown out of bounds,” Holmes said. “When I saw it short, I reacted quicker than he did.” Nothing summed up the vicious nature of the game more than the sight of Ravens running back Willis McGahee being wheeled off with 3:39 left. Steelers safety Ryan Clark uncorked the blow that left McGahee down and motionless for several minutes. McGahee left the field wearing a neck brace on a stretcher. He was moving his arms and legs but complained of significant neck pain, according to Ravens personnel. Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne told that McGahee was “neurologically intact.” McGahee was to be kept in Pittsburgh overnight for observation. After this one, every Raven hurt all over. “I thought our guys throughout the course of the season and this game demonstrated who they are as men,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “(I) couldn’t be more proud of them.”

President Obama supports playoff system By Iliana Limon The Orlando Sentinel Supporters of a playoff for college football believe they have a strong advocate in new President Barack Obama. But will the inauguration Tuesday of a man who won the presidency on a platform of change lead to a shake-up of college football’s postseason? The Bowl Championship Series was formed in 1998 to crown a definitive national champion. It relies on a combination of polls and computer rankings to determine which teams play in the BCS national championship game and help set the lineups for the most prestigious bowl games. The formula has been tweaked over the years, but changes have done little to quell discontent. This year undefeated Utah and oneloss USC and Texas all complained after they were left out of the national title game. Obama has voiced his support for a playoff at least four times. “If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner,” Obama said on 60 Minutes in November. “We should be creating a playoff system.” Obama continued to question the system af after Florida won the BCS championship game and was declared the national champion despite Utah’s 13-0 record and a 31-17 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. “That’s why we need a playoff,” Obama said. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, has drafted a bill seeking to prohibit the promotion, marketing or advertising of any national championship game that is not part of a playoff system. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, has sponsored a measure that would declare the BCS an illegal restraint of trade. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., the new chairman of the House Over Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told USA Today he is planning a hearing on how to get the BCS to use a playoff system.

Experts say a playoff is unlikely despite support from high-ranking officials. Tulane President Scott Cowen, who in 2003 led successful lobbying of Congress to gain more BCS access for schools like his, does not expect change to come to college foot football even if it has come to Washington. “Even though there is a cry for a playoff, I think it’s unlikely we will see it in any reasonable period of time,” he said. The BCS is simply an agreement between Division I-A’s 11 conferences and Notre Dame to control college football’s postseason revenue and keep it out of the hands of the NCAA. The NCAA controls postseason championship revenue distribution for all other sports. The mission is simple — produce teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in a computer ranking so they can play for a trophy. The system has never failed in that regard, even if there is annual debate over the matchup. It is a compromise designed to quell public clamor for a “true” No. 1 while protecting the traditional bowls and keeping the most money in the hands of the most prominent schools. The six conferences with automatic BCS bids and Notre Dame were awarded about 78 per percent — or $580 billion — of the BCS payout from 2003-07, according to NCAA statistics. Critics say a playoff would generate even more money for the schools. Conventional thinking is that a college football playoff TV deal would dwarf the NCAA’s $6 billion deal with CBS for its men’s basketball tournament. John Swofford, ACC commissioner and cur current coordinator of the BCS, agrees. A playoff would be lucrative. “We are not at a point where there’s a willingness to go to a playoff, knowing full well that a playoff would generate more money for the postseason,” Swofford said. Conference commissioners and university presidents are resistant to any change that would extend the season into the spring semester or interfere with fall semester exams. Swofford also said the conferences would be hesitant to adversely impact the traditional

bowl lineup. Television contracts with the current BCS lineup run through the 2013 season, with ESPN outbidding Fox to take over the broadcast of BCS games starting in 2011. The net network will pay $500 million over four years for the broadcast rights. Do not expect ESPN to exert playoff pressure. “I just don’t think it’s appropriate for us to put down ultimatums or to make unsolicited suggestions about how they should run their sport,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming. Magnus said the bowl structure draws great television ratings for the network. Ratings for the BCS championship game broadcast on Fox were up 18 percent and 17 of 27 non-BCS bowls saw ratings increases over last year. Four bowl games broadcast on ESPN saw double-digit ratings increases. Gary Roberts, a veteran sports law professor at Indiana University who has studied the BCS extensively, sees two big obstacles to a playoff: the Big Ten and Pac-10. Those confer conferences have had lucrative agreements with the Rose Bowl since the 1940s and do not intend to relinquish them. “You really can’t hold a playoff without support from a huge chunk of teams,” Roberts said. “I think the BCS presidents would fight a playoff until the bitter end, but they would be open to making it easier to reach the national championship game.” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive proposed a plus-one format last year, but it was rejected by the 11 Division I conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director who cast votes on BCS changes. The plus-one format is a mini-playoff, with the four major bowl games played as scheduled and the winners ranked again to determine which of those teams should play in the BCS championship game. “At least in this generation of presidents and most commissioners, I don’t see an interest in moving to a playoff,” Slive said. “Plus-one is some something that deserves legitimate opportunity.”

01 21 2009  
01 21 2009