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construction commences When Bands attack Bobcat stadium tadium undergoes renovations for Texas state’s tate’s move to the Football Bowl subdivision ubdivision

Texas state tate students create sinister stir in The Quad to promote their music

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january 28, 2009


Volume 98, Issue 43

University construction threatens river, Texas Wild Rice By Brigette Botkin News Reporter The San Marcos River has endured multiple threats — now it faces campus construction. Silt buildup created by construction taking place at Texas State is running into the river, according to environmental officals. Texas State officials say the univer university is working to decrease the threat sediment saturated runoff produces by using settling ponds and requiring contractors to submit and follow a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

Dianne Wassenich, San Marcos River Foundation executive director, said the settling ponds are not working. She said settling ponds, which serve to catch and resolve sediment in runoff water, by the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building are only causing more harm because Hyacinths, a bulb-like plant related to the Lily family covering the ponds, are washing into the river. Excess growth of Hyacinths in the river can crowd native plants. Wassenich said the sedimentcatching pond near Sessom Drive, by the Co-gen Plant, is “ridiculously undersized,” only serving to “catch the

Law enforcement Rock presses underage drinking laws

sediments in one place and then wash them all into Sessom Creek.” Sessom Creek then drains directly into the San Marcos River near the intersection of Sessom and Aquarena, she said. Wassenich said problems stem from the loss of natural runoff areas caused by construction and additions to the university. “The university has filled in ravines along Sessom Creek and paved them for parking lots, which accelerates the runoff,” Wassenich said. “This speeded up water, tears out the banks, and that causes more sediment to flow into the river as well.”

Sediment settles on the bottom of the river with the Texas Wild Rice, an endangered species unique to the area. The sediment continues to build up, burying the Wild Rice and harming or killing the plant. Timothy Bonner, associate professor in the department of biology, said efforts are being made to solve the problems. “The university is working on multiple fronts to resolve issues,” Bonner said. “We’re trying to figure out how to protect these systems, but it takes time.” William Fogerty, associate vice pres-

See TABc, page 3

See WIld RIcE, page 3

language yoUR WoRld arabic proves vital in job markets By Lora Collins News reporter

By Scott Thomas Editor in Chief The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission worked with local law enforcement to catch minors using fake IDs this past weekend in San Marcos, issuing 51 charges and arresting 22 people. TABC and local law enforcement arrested the individuals during Operation Fake Out. Commission officials and officers are present at places selling alcoholic beverages — such as convenience stores, supermarkets, bars and restaurants — looking for violations of the law concerning alcohol. According to a press release from the commission, a doorman visually scans an ID and then passes the customer inside to the waiting police officer. The officer re-checks the ID using a magnetic strip reader and ultraviolet light to detect imperfections. If the ID passes the test, the officer compares the ID’s description and picture with the person’s appearance. TABC Sgt. Pete Champion described the operation as a success because officers were able to apprehend minors using fake IDs. Champion said any crime concerning a fake ID would be enough to get someone arrested. “That’s something we want to present a strong message on,” he said. Champion said furnishing alcohol to a minor will give someone a night in jail as well. “We don’t want to just apprehend minors, we want to hold (people who give minors alcohol) accountable,” he said. “Also, we want to work with retailers, show them our expertise. Hopefully we left them with an idea of their legal obligation and responsibility, to let them do their job.” Champion said most charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor come from convenience stores, but not employees. He said most often the charge is issued to an individual older than 21 years of age giving the alcohol to minors outside the establishment. Unlike most stings, Operation Fake Out does not work in secrecy. TABC members send out press releases to media sources in the area announcing their intentions. However, the commission has been able to round up dozens of offenders despite the forewarning. “We try to get the word out, educate people about the consequences, but they still try and they get a ticket or go to jail,” Champion said. “In big cities they announce they are running

ident for facilities, said the university has plans with the Corps of Engineers to return areas of Aquarena to their natural state. He said nearly all the buildings on the peninsula at Aquarena will be demolished, except for the Texas River Center. “This restoration should lessen problematic runoff,” he said. Fogerty said Texas State and the City of San Marcos are creating a Habitat Conservation Plan, which will set steps to keep the river healthy.

Alyssa Scavetta/Star photo students are excited for the newly renovated student recreation Center offering activities such as rock climbing, yoga, and swimming. See full story page 3

A growing modern language program is preparing students to travel to the Middle East. Amjad Mohammed started Texas State’s Ara Arabic program in August 2007. The program has since grown from 10 to 33 students and attracts people from all majors to study the culture and language of the Middle East. Mohammed was born in Jordan and earned his bachelor’s degree in the English language and literature. He then studied in the Univer University of Colorado at Boulder where he earned his master’s in linguistics. Mohammed transferred to the University of Texas in 2002 and was later hired as a teaching assistant in the Arabic department. Mohammed was promoted to teach Arabic classes and remained at the University of Texas until 2006. “I enjoy teaching the American students with a new language and a new culture,” Mohammed said. Mohammed wanted to work at Texas State because of aspirations to start his own program. “I like it here because it is my program,” he said. “There is a lot of lack of knowledge about the Middle East and the Arab world, so now I have the pleasure of teaching the language and the culture.” Mohammed hopes the Texas State Arabic language program will continue growing. “There are thousands of students in the Unit United States that know Arabic,” Mohammed said. “The (program at the) University of Texas at Austin started small. Now it is the biggest and the best program in the United States. Almost every university is opening a program now.” Mohammed said the Texas State program will expand with time. “If this program succeeds then we will be one of the best in Texas,” he said. “I always tell the students we compare ourselves with excellent universities, and that gives the students pride to join the program.” Mohammed said students join the program because of their future job plans. “Some of them are interested in the language, others want to work because there are oppor opportunities with the government or in the army,” Mohammed said. “We would like to encourage the ROTC students to join because that is very important to them as part of their army. They get deployed to Iraq, and the language is very important.” Mohammed said the lack of Arabic speakers See ARABIc PRoGRAM, page 3

Pet microchipping ordinance concerns residents By Christine Mester News Reporter A cat named Fluffy was the unwilling star of a meeting held in City Hall Monday. Bert Stratemann, Animal Services manager, implanted a microchip in Fluffy as part of a demonstration held to educate residents about rules of a new city ordinance. The Animal Ordinance, which will take effect April 1, was adopted by the City Council in December. The most controversial issue of the new ordinance involves the mandatory microchipping and registration of pets. Stratemann said the purpose of the microchip is to return lost pets to their owners and lower the number of euthaJenny Polson/Star photo nized animals each year. “The most important benefit of PET PRoTEcTER: a new city ordinance is now requiring san marcos resithis microchip is the opportunity to dents to microchip their pets beginning april 1.

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recover your pet,” Stratemann said. “By having (the pet) registered both at the national level and the local level there are more chances your pet is going to be returned to you and not end up as one of the pets that ends up euthanized because we can’t find their owner.” The San Marcos Animal Shelter received nearly 6,000 animals in 2008. Stratemann said more than half of those animals were euthanized. Groups against the new ordinance, including the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance of San Antonio, cited health risks involving the implantation of the microchip and issues of personal privacy. “We have had some questions about the health risk of the microchip,” Stratemann said. “We want to reassure people that the microchip side effects are extremely rare.” The cost of the microchip and regis-

tration fees is raising concerns among students. “My cat is an indoor cat and I have never felt the need to have her microchipped,” said Veronica Boston, social work junior. “I don’t think the city should require our pets to be microchipped. It should be a personal decision and, as a college student, I really can’t afford it.” According to the San Marcos Animal Shelter, the cost of a microchip varies between $10 and $60. The local registration fees have not been established. Low-cost microchipping clinics will be organized by the city to help lower-income residents comply with the new law. Stratemann said the main goal of the ordinance is to promote safety. “We want to increase the health and safety of the pets and the people See MIcRocHIPPING, page 3

Inside news ........... 1,2,3 opinions ............ 4 Trends ............. 5,6

Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System

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To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 © 2009 The University Star


2 - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today in Brief

starsof texas state Paul Goldschmidt, finance junior, who was named to the 2008 All-Southland first-team, garnered the honors after belting a league-best 17 home runs and second-place totals in RBIs (69), slugging percentage (.689) and total bases (157) last season. The Woodlands native finished the year with a .360 batting average, a team-best and a 10th ranking in the league. —Courtesy of Texas State Athletics

News Contact — Amanda Venable, Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System



University Police Department

LGBQ Pride Group is from 12 to 1:30 p.m. It is open to students wanting to discuss the impact of their sexual identity on crucial aspects of their lives in a safe and confidential place. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. Anger Management Group is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Learn simple, innovative techniques for managing anger and developing healthier ways of relating. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-2452208. ACOA/Dysfunctional Families Group is from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. for adult children of alcoholics dealing with dysfunctional families. Prescreening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. There will be an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 130 W. Holland. Career Services will be holding “Career Ser Services to the Rescue” in The Quad from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. THURSDAY Veterans Support group is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The idea is for veterans to help vet veterans to cope with the stress of transition and the demands of college lives. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. Coping with Grief and Loss Group is from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. It is a source for students who have experienced the death of a loved one. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center 512-245-2208. MONDAY Sexual Assault and Abuse Survivors Group is from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. It is a support group of the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center for Texas State Students. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208.


Austin Byrd/Star photo T.J. Hardy, English and history senior, and Eric Trout, psychology senior, engage in a serious discussion at Mochas and Javas Tuesday.

Business leadership week focuses on leadership, ethics Corey Ciocchetti, assistant professor of business ethics and legal studies at the University of Denver, will present the Business Leadership Distinguished Lecture during the 2009 Business Leadership Week Feb. 9 to 13 at Texas State. Ciocchetti will present his keynote lecture, “Chasing Authentic Success,” at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Woods Teaching Theatre in McCoy Hall on campus. Business Leadership Week focuses leadership and ethical issues and is co-sponsored by the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State and members of the Business Leadership Forum. Other scheduled events during the week include the Alumni Rearview Mirror Panel at 5 p.m. Tuesday in McCoy Hall, room 127, followed by an alumni-networking

reception. The Business Leadership Etiquette Dinner is 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in the J.C. Kellam Building, 11th floor, featuring speaker Diane Gottsman of the Protocol School of Texas (dinner ticket required). A speed-interviewing extravaganza is 5 p.m. Feb. 12 in the LBJ Ballroom sponsored by Career Services on campus. “Leadership in the Trenches,” a business leadership forum, is 2 p.m. Feb. 13 in McCoy Hall, room 233, featuring Robert Konopaske, an associate professor in the department of management. Contact Brian Robinson at 512-245-1993 or visit businessleadership.html for additional information.

Jan. 10, 3:19 p.m. Graffiti - Loss under $500 / Bexar Hall Parking Ga Garage While on patrol, an officer noticed university property had been vandalized. The case is under investigation.

Jan. 12, 1:55 a.m. Criminal Mischief-under $500 / Bexar Hall A student reported to a police officer university property had been damaged. The case is under investigation.

Jan. 10, 5:52 p.m. Graffiti - Loss under $500 / Alkek Library While on patrol, an officer noticed university property had been vandalized. The case is under investigation.

Jan. 12, 9:10 p.m. Property Damage / McCoy Business Building While on patrol, an officer noticed university property had been damaged. A report was made of the incident.

Jan. 11, 2:38 a.m. Public Intoxication / Pat Garrison Street While on patrol, an officer noticed a nonstudent acting suspiciously. Upon further investigation, the nonstudent was arrested for public intoxication and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center and is awaiting a court date.

Jan. 13, 3:58 p.m. Graffiti - Loss under $500 / Bobcat Stadium Parking Lot While on patrol, an officer noticed university property had been vandalized. The case is under investigation.

Jan. 11, 4:37 p.m. Graffiti - Loss under $500 / Bobcat Village Commuter Parking Lot While on patrol, an officer noticed university property had been vandalized. The case is under investigation.

Jan. 15, 2:08 p.m. Burglary of Vehicle / JCK/Moon Parking Lot A student reported to a police officer his property had been taking from his vehicle without his consent. The case is under investigation. —Courtesy of University Police Department

Career Services hosts summer jobs fair

Texas State Career Services administration invites students —Courtesy of University News Department from all majors and backgrounds to the annual summer jobs fair they will host Feb. 4, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the LBJ Ballroom. The summer jobs fair is held every spring and brings employers offering seasonal opportunities in a variety of fields. However, Jonathan Pliego, career advisor, said most positions featured by employers at the event are limited to the summer months. The fair still presents a good opportunity for job seekers to meet with professionals in a multitude of industries and to find their way into more stable positions in the future. “This is a great opportunity for students to get a summer job, but there is also the opportunity to network for full time job opportunities,” Pliego said. “It is a great

networking tool for students.” Employers such as SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Depart Department, summer camps from areas statewide and others will be present at the event to mingle with students and discuss opportunities. “We strongly encourage students from all majors and experience levels to attend the summer job fair because of the variety of employers attending,” Pliego said. Students can log on at www. for a list of employers who will be represented at the summer job fair. Contact career services at 512-245-2645 for additional information regarding the summer job fair. —Courtesy of University News Service

Music events open to public The Texas State School of Music invites students and the public to a schedule of events for February. All events will be held on the Texas State campus unless otherwise noted. Contact the School of Music office at 512-245-2651 for more information about events. Feb. 2 Music Lecture Series: Dimitar Ninov, 6 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission Feb. 8 Nathan Smith Senior Tuba Recital, 4 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission Feb. 10 Chiao-chun Change Graduate Piano Recital, 8 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission Feb. 11 Music Lecture Series: Christopher Dillon “Visions of Fire: Alexander Scriabin’s Synaesthesia and its Significance in Prometheus, Poem of Fire Op. 60 and Other Selected Late Works,”8 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission Feb. 16 Percussion Studio Recital, 8 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission

Feb. 18 Faculty Recital, 8 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, admission is $5 general and $3 student and senior citizen Feb. 20 Ensemble Series: Symphonic Winds and Wind Ensemble Joint Concert, Caroline Beatty and Rod Schueller, Conductors, 8 p.m., Evans Auditorium, admission is $5 general and $3 student and senior citizen Feb. 22 Ensemble Series: Texas State University Symphony Orchestra, Texas State University Chamber Orchestra with Texas State Faculty Soloists and Winners of the Aria and Concerto Competitions, 3 p.m., Evans Auditorium, admission is $5 general and $3 student and senior citizen Feb. 22 Jasmine Crist Senior Voice Recital, 4 p.m., Music Building Recital Hall, free admission Feb. 23 Ensemble Series: Jazz Or Orchestra Concert, Keith Wink Winking, Director, 8 p.m., Evans Auditorium, admission is $5 general and $3 student and senior citizen —Courtesy of University News Service


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The University Star - 3

Recreation center expansion cuts Arabic Program down on machine congestion CONTINUED from page 1

Greg Richards/Star photo

SPLISH SPLASH: The pool is a new feature offered at the Student Recreation Center.

By Theron Brittain Senior News Reporter Visitors to the new Student Recreation Center might encounter people dangling 50 feet in the air. The Rock Wall Climbing Center, a simulated cliff face soaring three stories, is an addition to the expanded SRC and is just one of the improvements found in the sprawling 184,000 square foot complex. The expansion boasts facilities new to the SRC, including a natatorium with a six-lane lap and leisure pool, in a move to consolidate more of the recreational programs offered at Texas State. The number of basketball courts has doubled to eight, with the new courts capable of conversion to two indoor soccer fields. A lounge area above and between the courts provides spectators with unobstructed views of the action. An enticing feature for students is the larger workout room. A centralized weight area containing double the amount of free weights and machines highlight the main building. A raised area encircling the weights displays more than 80 pieces of new cardio equipment. SRC employees credit the larger space and additional machines with easing congestion in the weight room and predict an increase in regular attendance. “We have double the weight equipment and double the cardio equipment so we are having less lines,” said Asha Mata, graduate assistant in informal recreation who oversees the daily operations of the SRC staff.

“Monday to Thursday, it is busy,” she said. “That will probably last a good two to three weeks. Students are coming back. New transfers and freshmen are coming in. People are definitely getting in here.” The first week of the 2009 spring semester approximately 15,000 people crossed through the turnstiles at the SRC, according to data provided by Ryan McAfee, assistant director of informal recreation. Comparatively, only 3,000 people visited for the same week a year ago. “On a normal day we get roughly 1,500 students in here,” McAfee said. “We have already seen an increase. If people were discouraged because of the size of the old facility, they should come over and try it out and maybe they will find something they like here.” Mata said improvements over the old weight room were obvious. “You could get maybe 40 students comfortably in there and have 70 students just in there waiting,” she said. “We would have lines, people sitting on the stairwells, sharing machines. Now we can probably accommodate a good 90 students. We still have students sharing machines, but I notice now it is students who are working out together and alternating — it is not ‘When is this person getting off so I can use it?’ Right now, that situation is much better.” One student finishing his workout rated the experience highly. “I would say it is about a nine or a ten,” said Drew Harvey, wildlife biology sophomore. He said he usually does a half cardio and half weight routine and does not expe-

rience any problems with lines. The SRC natatorium lap pool consists of six 25-yard lanes ranging in depth from four to nine feet. The leisure pool provides space for water basketball and volleyball, as well as two 15-yard lap lanes and underwater lounging benches with various jets. Free swimming and water safety clinics will be held in the natatorium starting this spring. The SRC offers kickboxing, Pilates, yoga and other fitness classes. For a fee, students can sign up for personal or group training exercises, or join an intramural league. The new center will feature a golf simulator, set to be unveiled soon. Also new, the SRC provides a computer lab and wireless Internet service. “Campus recreation is very important,” Mata said. “This is a time to release and let go and not think about class. People do not realize how much we can offer students. They are not coming here just to get their body in shape. They can go to classes that expand their mind with yoga. A lot of times one of the bigger things other than staying fit is meeting people. You see a lot of people standing around, talking, getting to know each other and I think that is a good way to get started.” Students can register on a new biometric hand scanner at the front desk to facilitate entrance, though ID cards are still accepted. The old building will continue to function as part of the SRC, with four basketball/volleyball courts and an indoor track, with some space converted to informal recreation department offices.


Bonner said the university is trying to decrease its impact on the surrounding area. “Not all the problems are resolved yet, but the university is working to minimize its footprint on the environment,” Bonner said. Low water flow, silt build up, recreation, litter and the introduction of non-native species are posing threats to the river and its endangered species. Wassenich said the recent drought is causing low water flow. She said water conservation in San Marcos and surrounding areas is vital to the health of the river. The entire river is affected by

the low-flow, but the wild rice, which grows only in the first 2.7 miles of the San Marcos River, is especially threatened. Wassenich said plants are at risk of being scorched by the sun because of the low water flow. Bonner said the university is taking steps to reduce water use during low-flow periods. Residence halls are using low-flow shower nozzles, and fountains across campus are shut off to conserve water. He said evaporation decreases by cutting off fountains, which results in having to refill the areas less frequently. Recreation and litter pose threats to the health of the river and Wild Rice as well. Jennifer Winters, Ph. D student in the Aquatic Biology


of San Marcos and to increase the number of lost dogs and cats that are returned home,” Stratemann said. “Ultimately that is our goal, to get these animals back to their owners.” The ordinance updates a variety of local rules, including the requirement of a rabies vaccination every three years, prohibiting the selling of animals on public property and private parking lots, providing proper shelter for pets and feral cat management. San Marcos, alongside San

Antonio and Albuquerque, are among the few cities in the country to mandate the microchipping of pets. According to the ordinance, pet owners who neglect to microchip their pets may see fines of up to $500. Microchips, which are the size of a grain of rice, are implanted in between the animal’s shoulder blades. A scanner at the Animal Shelter or a veterinarian’s office reads the microchip to return lost pets to their owners. A third public information session on the Animal Ordinance will be held Feb. 7.

program, has been compiling information on the impact of recreation on the river during her time in San Marcos. Winters said Wild Rice is ripped and pulled up by swimmers, tubers, paddles and dogs as they move through the river. The destruction of the Texas Wild Rice becomes worse during times of low-flow as more of the plant becomes exposed. Bonner said the impact of recreation will be one of the most difficult problems to solve. “The river is a big part of San Marcos,” Bonner said. “Should we simply limit activity, and if so how? Any set limits by the university on students wouldn’t affect nonstudents. So it wouldn’t be very productive.” Bonner said a lack of awareness is fueling recreational is-

sues. He said people do not understand the threat they pose to the river and the organisms in it. Fogerty said the university is working to place two signs on both sides of the river warning people about the endangered Wild Rice, and telling them not to disturb it. Signs of other endangered species are already posted near the Lions Club Tube Rental building and the Clear Springs Apartments. Fogerty said the signs should be posted within the next few weeks. Bonner said Texas State will continue to work, but problems will not be solved over night. “There are problems right now, and we’re trying,” Bonner said. “We’ve just got to grit our teeth and work to get past it.”

is a problem within government jobs. “Some of our students might work with the government and the state department,” Mohammed said. “They are looking for cultural consultants — the FBI, the CIA is short of students who speak Arabic, so they want good students who speak it, and they pay good money, too.” Robert Fischer, professor and chair in department of modern languages, said there is a demand for bilingual speakers in today’s society. “Knowledge of a second language is really important for a variety of areas: jobs, commerce,” Fischer said. Mohammed teaches all Arabic classes to fulfill a student’s language requirement including 1410, 1420, 2310 and 2320. He said there is a shortage of Arabic teachers in the United States. “It is wise the students start as early as possible with the language, because he or she needs more time, about three years, to speak the language fluently,” Mohammed said. “That is why we are working on training American students to become Arabic teachers.” All Arabic courses are offered as extension courses through Texas State. These courses are offered to accommodate languages that are not funded by the university. “There are several languages offered through extension, including Italian, Latin, Chinese, ASL and Arabic and so on,” Fischer said. “This is a budget consideration. It would be difficult to find salaries to add those courses into the department.” Mohammed said the courses can be helpful to outside students not attending Texas State. “We encourage officers from around the bases,” Mohammed said. “Anyone from around the community who is interested can join, too.” The students are encouraged to travel and study abroad. “We had some students travel to Yemen last summer, and we have about seven this coming summer that are going to travel to either Oman or to Morocco,” Mohammed said.


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radar on a particular highway, but they still catch speeders.” Jacob Gregory, pre-geography junior, said people he knows use fake IDs. He said he has seen convincing fake IDs, but they are a minority. “(The fakes) usually are from a different state, or they’re thicker,” Gregory said. Champion said fake IDs have become more convincing through the years. “They’ve gotten pretty good, we have to do more investigation,” Champion said. “We have to ask a lot of questions, run it against our database.” Champion said TABC officials look for imperfections, such as bubbles or if it is expired, when analyzing the ID’s authenticity. Champion said a restaurant or bar staff can get in trouble for serving a minor, depending on the circumstances. “It depends on the investigation — how good the ID is, if it is a valid, current Texas license consistent with the person who handled it,” he said. “If it’s expired, or doesn’t look like the person, doesn’t match the description,” then the

Daniel Leffler, pre-international studies sophomore, is in his second semester of the Arabic courses and said he plans to travel this summer. “I am going to Morocco,” Leffler said. “It seems like one of the most fun places to go.” Andrew Nelson, political science graduate student, said his experience with studying abroad in Yemen aided his studies in Arabic. “Two of us were there for five weeks and it was much more traditional than Saudi Arabia is considered to be, but some of the things that would be OK in Jordan or Egypt would be frowned upon in Yemen,” Nelson said. He said the culture shocked him at first. “It was hard to deal with the changes,” Nelson said. “We had to get up at 5:30 a.m. every day. A lot of shops would close from noon to 4 p.m. because everybody closes when they think it is too hot, and they would stay open till like 10 or 11 p.m.” Nelson heads the Middle East Culture Club at Texas State and said the main reasons for the activities are to promote knowledge of the misunderstood lands. “It is focused around the language classes,” Nelson said. “We are trying to promote the knowledge, the understanding and the culture of the language because there is such a lack of it.” Fischer said the department has to “be careful about choosing the location” because the state lists several Arabic speaking countries as unsafe. Justin Frasier, anthropology sophomore, said the studying opportunities Arabic speaking countries offer are growing. “I think they are missing a pretty good opportunity to expand,” Frasier said about the safety procedures set by the Office of Studying Abroad. “They are scared when we talk about traveling to the Middle East.” Mohammed said the program is not well known among students. “The students are wonderful,” he said. “The only thing is getting the word out to advertise for the program. I’m sure there is an interest out there, but a lot of students complain they do not even know there is an Arabic program at Texas State.”

server could face charges. TABC officials sat at the entrance of the doors checking for fakes and arresting offenders. Ryan Keating, a bartender at Bar One 41, said he did not realize TABC officials were looking for fake IDs until a fellow server told him toward the end of the night. The TABC also conducts Cops in Shops, where agents or officers pose as customers or employees of a convenience store and apprehend underage violators as they attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages. The commission will send minors out to attempt to purchase alcohol, however the minors cannot lie about their age when doing so. There are other ways for minors to get alcoholic beverages, of course. Several minors interviewed said they did not use a fake ID and can get alcohol, through friends older than 21 years of age or shops selling alcohol indiscriminately. Meredith McGraw, undecided freshman, said students in her hometown of Fort Worth knew of three or four convenience stores that did not card and sold alcohol to minors. McGraw said she heard two of the stores got fined and one stopped selling afterward.

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4 - The University Star

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan,

The Main PoinT ntertainment opportunities lie outside campus sidewalks, dining halls and classrooms for the thousands of Texas State students who call San Marcos home.


San Marcos offers a taste of what all major college towns should from informal to extravagant — good food, entertainment and fun times. San Marcos may not have the size of Austin’s music scene, or the excitement of San Antonio’s nightlife, but it does have attractions to keep students occupied when not in class. Bars like Triple Crown offer live music, often giving their stage to local bands like Fulton Read and This Will Destroy You. The change in Lucy’s has caused a bit of a stir in San Marcos’ scene, but local musicians have spoken out about keeping the music going. San Marcos has its fair share of quiet spots to help people who are interested in calm entertainment. Coffee shops like Tantra, The Coffee Pot and Wake The Dead can compete with Austin’s Spider House Café and Ruta Maya Coffee Shop in atmosphere and quality. The local spots provide places for down time and late nights cramming sessions for students, but they also offer live music and events to keep the community spirit alive. San Marcos has something no other surrounding city can claim when it comes to shopping. Home to the largest outlet strip in Texas, The Prime Outlets offer more than 130 stores for bargain hunters to choose. Located a few exits south of campus, the need to travel far to find the perfect purchase is unnecessary. San Marcos is home to a variety of unique qualities, giving students more reason to stay in town rather than drive far. The clean, clear river running through campus makes for a great hangout throughout the year, not to mention it is simply a convenient 10-minute walk from the center of campus. Underground scenes, like fixed gear cycling and unicycle football, also offer entertainment and community unlikely to be found anywhere else. There is no need to waste gas driving elsewhere to find a good time when diverse happenings lie around every corner. There is no need to drive to the drag when The Square is just a short walk away. San Marcos has ev everything students could ask for.

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 University-San Marcos.

Zachery Ashburn/ Star Illustrator

Republican party needs return to traditional conservatism By Ian Bezek Rocky Mountain Collegian People have said they’d never consider voting for a Republican again, but I believe the Republican Party can still be saved. I was raised in a Republican household and naturally gravitated in that direction as I grew up. However, as I read biographies of famous presidents and examined American history, I realized the Republican Party of 2000 shared little more than its name with the Republicans of the 1900s. The modern GOP has morphed into an extreme party driven by religious fundamentalism. The Republican Party my parents joined was focused on traditional conservatism. The Republicans of the past valued

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small and efficient government, deliberate dispassionate decision-making and a respectful toleration of the rest of the world’s ideas and leaders. The actions of the past two decades, particularly of Presidents Bush Sr. and Jr., have made a mockery of their forefathers’ conservatism. The Republicans no longer stand for small government. They now favor theocratic gov government — if their god says the Jews are his chosen people, it means we must launch unilat unilateral wars with all the Jews’ enemies immediately. If their god says substance abuse is bad, then we must throw millions of plant-smokers in jail. The Republicans have also forsaken deliberate decisionmaking: just take a look at the passage of the Patriot Act.

This almost 1,000-page long monstrosity was passed in just a few days. Congressmen complained they didn’t even have time to read the bill before voting on it. The Republicans of old would have been ashamed to pass a bill that bad without thinking it over first. Finally, the Republicans’ for foreign policy changed from cautious isolationism to reckless unilateral aggression. Republicans routinely criticized Democrat Woodrow Wilson for interfering in world affairs to promote democracy. His League of Nations proposal was strongly rejected. However, a century later, Bush was viewed as a reincarnation of Wilson. Bush’s rhet rhetoric about making the world safe for democracy came right from Wilson’s policies.

Editor In Chief..............................Scott Thomas, News Editor.............................Amanda Venable, Trends Editor....................Brett Thorne, Opinions Editor.......................Krista Almazan, Photo Editor....................................Karen Wang, Sports Editor....................................Lisa Carter,

Now the Republicans have turned into an aggressive theocratic party. Their leaders are as corrupt and immoral as the Democrats’, but they claim to have the will of God on their side. Apparently the god Republicans worship doesn’t mind party leaders such as Sen. John McCain, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani all have had messy divorces and multiple affairs. However, in their minds, President Bill Clinton was public enemy number-one for his sexual affairs, the Republicans expect to get away with equally distasteful things without consequences. People like mega church pastor Ted Haggard preach every week about the evils of homosexuality and then go and have

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affairs with gay prostitutes. America is sick of watching this hypocrisy. The Republican Party claims to be moral, but their actions are morally bankrupt. It’s time for the Republicans to drop this religious charade and go back to being the Republican Party of old. Once the religious nuts are kicked out of the party, the Republicans can go back to focusing on the neglected economy and better foreign policy. Here’s a lesson for aspiring Republican leaders: just because the Bible says Armageddon will occur in the Middle East doesn’t mean you have to go bomb every Muslim country back into the Stone Age. If God wills it, I’m sure He can blow stuff up perfectly well without our assistance.

Office Manager.............................Emily Gerngross, Media Specialist.......................................Matt Lynch, Advertising Coordinator......................Jodie Claes, Publications Coordinator...........................Linda Allen, Publications Director...............Bob Bajackson, Visit The Star at

Animals are not people

Tristan Watson Star Columnist

There are aspects of society that require separation, and it’s time for individuals to mull over the idea of distance between a pet and an owner. There should be a clear distinction when it comes to animals and humans. However, animals are sometimes treated as if they are human. Pets do not belong in the same bed as their owners. It is not sanitary, and they should not be allowed on furniture. They belong outside. They should be trained to use the restroom in their own yards, and should be leashed to prevent harm to others. People who own pets need to stop being lazy and take responsibility by making sure their animal is not roaming around unattended. Animals that cause injury or death should be chained or fenced at home, and leashed if they are with their owner. Pet-owners who truly care about their pets don’t allow them to wander the streets or inflict harm on others. A chained dog in Keene broke free from his restraints and attacked a 6-year-old girl, ripping off a section of her scalp that measured 13 inches in diameter. An 11-yearold boy in Bryan was bitten on the chest by a 9-month-old chained dog. A 2-year-old girl in Edinburg was attacked by her family’s dog. She lost sight in one eye and the left side of her face is paralyzed. The girl will need dozens of reconstructive surgeries. These are horrific attacks committed by pets, according to Helping-Animals, a publication dedicated to helping fight cruelty and chaining of animals. I support the efforts toward stopping animal cruelty, but I do not support the project to ban chaining them. Pets can have destructive behavior, such as turning on their owners. How dare this organization petition to stop the chaining of pets? Pets need to be chained, especially if they have any history of injuring children. It’s important to treat animals like animals. Sure, they deserve certain rights as living creatures, but they are not human. The Humane Society of the United States claims continuous chaining or tethering of an animal is inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined dog, as well as other animals and humans. Adversely, if owners do not have some type of control over their pets, cer certain ones can cause immeasurable damage to people or other animals. Animals can and will sometimes turn on people without any solid explanation or warning. Owners must realize it doesn’t matter how long you’ve had an animal, or how much love you have for them. An animal can be destructive and deadly without reason. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state dog bites send nearly 368,000 victims to hospital emer emergency rooms every year, and in America, more than 30 attacks per year result in death. Sympathy should not be bestowed upon a vicious animal that attacks the people who care for it. Chaining and leashing pets is one of the only methods that will ensure innocent people won’t be attacked. The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a distribution of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, January 28, 2009. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief.

Trends the university star


Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen will hit the road with the E Street Band beginning on April 1 in San Jose, Calif. Springsteen’s tour in support of his album Magic grossed $232 million making it the most lucrative tour of the music veteran’s career. Springsteen will hit the Frank Erwin Center in Austin on April 5 and the Toyota Center in Houston on April 8. Tickets for the shows go on sale Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. Football fans will get the first glimpse of Springsteen on tour when he and the band will play during halftime of Super Bowl XLIII.

5 - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trends Contact — Brett Thorne,

When Pandas Attack gets ‘creative with presentation’ By Brittany Bemis Features Reporter People in the music industry continually devise strategies to attract listeners and encourage them to continue purchasing music. When Pandas Attack, a local band comprised of Texas State students, promoted itself by dressing up as zombies and cavorting in The Quad Tuesday. The zombie stunt went well, according to Carl Gonzales. “We got a lot of positive feedback from students,” said Gonzales, bass player and theater senior. “They started laughing and gave us credit for waking up at 7:30 in the morning.” When Pandas Attack consists of members Nicole Bennett, Dalton Hamilton, theater senior, Wesley Riddle and Carl Gonzales. The band formed in April of last year and was complete in January after the addition of lead singer, Nicole Bennett. Bennett, pre-theater junior, described being the only female in the band. “I don’t think that our genders have been a real issue,” Bennett said. “We mesh really well. We have similar creative styles and I think we all work really well together.”

Dalton Hamilton, guitarist, explained the origin of the band’s name. “We changed the name 30 different times,” Hamilton said. “It was important to get something that described our state of mind in a weird way. We were looking for a band name that made us all laugh.” Gonzales said starting a band takes a considerable amount of work. He described the support the band received. “We have really good connections,” Gonzales said. “We have really good friends who support us and help us out and hopefully we will become what every band dreams.” Hamilton agreed a great deal of the band’s success has come from the support it receives from friends and fans. “All of our friends have sacrificed to help us get to where we are, and we love them for it.” Hamilton said. When Pandas Attack is not the first band to get creative with their presentation. According to, international bands like Oasis are coming up with unconventional ways to market music. Oasis debuted their new album, Dig Out Your Soul, by teaching 30 street musicians the new songs and

having them play on the roads of New York. Gonzales enjoyed the uncommon marketing by Oasis. “That takes a lot of guts,” Gonzales said. “That’s a really creative way to get people involved.” Bennett agreed capturing public interest is an important aspect of starting a successful band. “I know some musicians are really hesitant to put themselves out there because they are so worried about protecting their work and protecting their music,” Bennett said. “But I think that it’s so important to really get out there, no matter how people hear your music.” When Pandas Attack is in the process of creating its debut album, Fast Animals, Slow Children. “We are just getting up and running. We are (still) pretty green,” Hamilton said. “But we should have a demo within the next month.” The band declined to comment on any more upcoming publicity stunts. “It will involve bamboo,” Hamilton said. “Let’s just leave it at that.” When Pandas Attack will be performing 11 p.m. Thursday at Tantra Coffeehouse. Visit When Pandas Attack on Facebook for more information.

Alyssa Scavetta/Star photo PANDAS ATTACK: San Marcos band When Pandas Attack pounces on each other in The Quad Tuesday to promote their upcoming Thursday night show.

Pluckers wings bar has grand opening in San Marcos By Christian Wallace Features Reporter

Jenny Polson/ Star Photo LOTS OF WINGS: Shannon Dolan, senior, serves a plate of wings at the grand opening of Pluckers Monday night.

Businesses may be boarding up their windows as America sinks into economic turmoil, but the owners of the new San Marcos wing bar, Pluckers, say business could not be better. “No matter how little money people have, they are still going to go out to eat. We have burgers, wings, beer — we have comfort food. For the quality of our food and service, the value is just outstanding,” said David Paul, one of three owners. The San Marcos Pluckers celebrated its grand opening on Monday. It is the newest addition to the growing franchise, which now boasts 9 locations across Texas and Louisiana. Pluckers Wing Bar was conceived in 1991 by Paul and his roommate, Mark Greenberg, during their first year at the University of Texas.

“We worked on the idea of this store from the beginning of our freshman year until we were seniors,” Paul said. “We would go to chili cookoffs and try out our different wing sauces.” MD Pluckers Wing Factory and Grill opened in 1995 in downtown Austin and has since been listed as one of the fastest growing businesses in Central Texas by the Austin Business Journal. Paul explained while Pluckers may be expanding, each restaurant has a unique feel and must meet the standards of the original location. “As we continue to grow, we want to remain anti-chain. We built this store specific to this location. We make everything from scratch and we want to make people feel at home,” Paul said. Patrons of the San Marcos Pluckers will be able to

enjoy live music from a 30foot outdoor stage, which will showcase local talent, a beer garden with a capacity of 400 people, more than 40 plasma televisions broadcasting sporting events in HD and an entertainment section featuring a pool table, darts and video games. Leanna Miller, industrial engineering sophomore, is a waitress at the new establishment. “I really enjoy working at Pluckers. It has a really different atmosphere, it’s more laid back and yet there’s always something going on — there are rock, paper, scissor contests, Rock Band competitions, you name it,” Miller said. The restaurant offers more than flat-screen TVs and drink specials. Cooks serve up unusual dishes and use homemade recipes. Paul, of course, recommends a first-timer at Pluckers

try the wings, but he has a few other ideas. “You have to try our fried pickles for an appetizer and fried Twinkies for desert,” Paul said. Several of the 17 sauces smothering the wings are the same ones Paul and Greenberg concocted during their college days. Customers who manage to eat 25 of the infamous “fire in the hole” wings get their names etched on a hall of fame sign which, for now, hangs void of any names. Paul said he expects 5,000 pounds of wings to be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday at the San Marcos Pluckers. Paul hopes Pluckers will fit nicely in San Marcos, especially with the college crowd. “You never get treated well as a college student. The whole reason we started this business was to make sure you feel special as a college student at Pluckers,” Paul said.

6 - The University Star


Politics, social issues influence band’s music A new wave of political uproar racy… Why let someone else that began as a solo mission 10 have the loudest voice?” years ago is now a riveting comThe album’s theme is change, munal success. Against Me! has with titles such as “White People incorporated social awareness for Peace,” “Borne on the FM and political involvement with Waves Of the Heart,” “Amerimusic and all the while having a cans Abroad,” and the song from unique sound of punk and folk. which the album gets its name, Tom Gabel, front man, had “New Wave.” The album starts been an acoustic guitarist strumwith the latter song and “Up the LESLIE PETERS ming chords and singing lyrics Cuts” and carries on through Trends Columnist for any who would listen up until “Thrash Unreal” and “Stop!” 5 years ago when he met up with Gabel screams his message of Andrew Seward, bassist, Warren Oakes, change in “Piss and Vinegar.” The Web site drummer, and James Bowman, guitarist. states, “…with Gabel caterwauling ‘Just say The band has had three successful al- what you’re thinking!’ to the faceless papbums produced by indie labels, numerous pushers of the mainstream.” Against Me! appearances in festivals across the nation has antics that alienate people, yet its angst and globe and an on-growing entourage of and passion is what draws fans as well. The fans. Against Me! debuted with its newest band has a universal appeal derived from record, New Wave, back in July of 2007. the members’ intimacy with words and “We felt like that was our mission state- melodies that bring out emotions. ment, or our manifesto for the record,” Against Me! unites the similarities of Gabel said. “Instead of sitting back and punk and folk through protest, and comcomplaining about how there’s no good bine music with social or political awaremusic out there, you should be energized ness. Music has always in a way given and take things over. Be the bands you people a louder voice, yet Against Me! want to hear. It meant ‘wave’ in a literal brings the fusion of art and politics to a sense, coming and washing away meritoc- whole new level.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Metallica celebrates induction to rock ’n roll hall of fame By Glenn Gamboa Newsday NEW YORK — It is not a good sign when most bands start focusing on death, writing about “The End of the Line” or “My Apocalypse.” When that follows a behind-the-scenes documentary that shows lots of infighting, seemingly unraveling to the point of breakup, there might be reason for worry. Metallica is not most bands. Death becomes them. “Life is good for Metallica right now,” says singer James Hetfield, with a smile. “A lot of good things are happening — quite opposite of what they were in the ‘St. Anger’ time. All the work and effort that we’ve put into our relationship since then has brought a lot of fruits of labor — this album, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Grammys, feeling good.” Their latest album, Death Magnetic, is shaping up to be their most successful in more than a decade. It ended 2008 as the seventh-biggest seller of the year and landing the band four Grammy nominations and their current soldout tour. “There’s been such a rebirth in this band on so many levels,” says drummer Lars Ulrich. “Right now, we feel stronger than we ever have. We still feel like we have one foot in relevance and that we still have a lot to give, so we’re continuing to focus on playing.” As the band’s upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame confirms, Metallica thundered its way into rock royalty 25 years ago with its debut “Kill ‘Em All” and, despite lots of high-profile ups and downs, has not relinquished its position since. How do they stay relevant? “When all else fails, call Rick Rubin,” jokes Ulrich, name-checking the producer of “Death Magnetic.” However, Hetfield takes the question seriously, adding “making music that connects with people and then playing the songs live and not splitting it out, but making it a part of your live set, your work.” “We’re road dogs,” he said. “Live is our thing. We’ve gone on the road from the beginning and pounded and pounded A, B and C markets to get a huge following. It came from our underground tape-trading following. Going out there and bringing it to the people and bringing the new songs into the set, making the audience a part of the song is a big deal for us. The more they have to do with the song, the more of an evergreen I think it will stay.” Ulrich adds that enjoying playing together is also important. “What happened to some of our records in the ’90s was because of internal friction,” he says. “There was a lot of compromises

and when things get compromised and watered down, it loses some of its singular vision. So when you have a bunch of guys who really get along and share one particular vision, then it sort of ups the ante on the relevance side.” Guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo say relevance comes with the intangibles. “We still care about the music,” Hammett says. “I’m still very, very passionate about music.” Trujillo says they still have fun. “Once the guitars get strapped on ... it’s hilarious to be around these guys when we’re in the rehearsal room. It’s like being in the garage and a teenager again. There’s still that magic and that passion toward hard rock and heavy metal in this unit.” Ulrich says the band’s entire career has been a surprising outcome from his initial reasons to start Metallica when he was a teenager. “I called up James Hetfield because I wanted to be in a band so I could basically play along to all my favorite new wave and British heavy metal songs on record,” he says. “At that time, we never even considered writing songs, making records, performing, touring or even having a tape of any of this stuff. That’s all the added bonus stuff to playing along to my favorite records.” For Hetfield, he plans to put all the past strife with Metallica’s members, present and past, behind him to enjoy the moment. “The fact that we’re relevant today — we’ve got an album that’s doing really good, we’ve got Grammy nominations and we’re being inducted into the Hall of Fame — is unbelievable,” he says. “We’re in a good space. We want everyone to celebrate that fact. This is Metallica’s moment. Let’s celebrate.” Metallica is set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 4, along with RunDMC, Jeff Beck, Bobby Womack and Little Anthony and the Imperials. But with so many complaining that heavy metal is underrepresented in the Cleveland museum, who would the band members add if they had the power? James Hetfield (singer) — “Motorhead. Lemmy is rock ‘n’ roll.” Lars Ulrich (drummer) — “Deep Purple. You say Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, you also have to say Deep Purple.” Kirk Hammett (guitarist) — “Rush. They’re a great band that took rock to a different level in terms of songwriting and technical proficiency.” Robert Trujillo (bassist) — “Jethro Tull (the band that famously beat out Metallica for the first best hard rock/metal performance in 1989). Just kidding. I love UFO. I know Kirk’s a huge fan of them, too. A band like that should be recognized.”


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The University Star - 7

Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.


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Cost - 25¢ per word (1–6 days); Cost - 20¢ per word (7+ days); Deadline - 2 business days prior by noon All classified ads must be paid in advance, unless credit is established. Classified ads will be edited for style purposes. We do our best, but please check your classified ad for accuracy. Any corrections to your ad must be made by the second day of publication. As a free service to you, all classified ads will be published on-line on our web site at However, since this is a free service, posting is not guaranteed. While The University Star attempts to screen ads for misleading claims or illegal content, it is not possible for us to investigate every ad and advertiser. Please use caution when answering ads, especially any which require you to send money in advance.

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SportS the univerSity Star


Five Texas State baseball players were named to the All-Southland Conference preseason teams. Paul Goldscmidt, sophomore infielder, Adam Witek, junior infielder, and Zach Tritz, junior pitcher, were named to the first team. Lance Loftin, junior infielder, and Laurn Randell, sophomore outfielder, were named to the second team. Texas State leads the SLC with the most players named to the all-conference baseball teams.

8 - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sports Contact — Lisa Carter,

Women’s basketball player enjoys athletics, university By César G. Rodriguez Sports Reporter Gabriell Mattox’s uncle gave her a basket basketball when she was two years old, and since then the sport has been a part of her life. “Basketball was in my family,” Mattox said. “My family put the ball in my hand, and ever since then, I’ve been playing.” Mattox, sophomore forward, enjoys her student-athlete career and wants to step up as a leader to reach the team’s goals — to win a Southland Conference ring and advance to the NCAA tournament. Mattox’s accomplishments in high school show her commitment to the sport. According to the Texas State Athletics Web site, Mattox attended Kountze High School. TexasBasket rated her as the 10th best high school player in Texas as a senior. Mattox was part of the First-Team All-State. She was Region 3-24AA MVP in her junior and senior years. Mattox led Kountze to the 3A State Champi Championship game as a freshman, according to the Texas State Athletics Web site. Mattox said seeing basketball as a team sport allowed her to develop a love for the game. “Just being on the court, you have an ex excitement,” Mattox said. She said the environment with the fans between high school and college basketball is the same, but the competition level is higher. However, that does not hinder Mattox from contributing to the team. Coach Suzanne Fox said Mattox brought versatility to Texas State. According to the Southland Conference Web site, Mattox leads Austin Byrd/Star photo the Bobcats in various categories. She aver averages 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. VERSATILE FORWARD: Gabriell Mattox, sophomore forward, has had a basketball on the tips of her fingers since She is among the top free throw shooters on the age of two. the team with .732 and in field goal percent percent-

age with .457. “She can do a lot of things on the basket basketball court, both offensively and defensively,” Fox said. “It’s that versatility, being able to make a pass, being able to rebound, being able to defend that makes her such a valuable asset as a player on the floor.” Fox said Mattox is in a learning process at this stage of her career, but Mattox’s work ethic is to be praised. “She is a player who puts in a lot of extra work after practice on her own,” Fox said. “Off the court, I’m really proud where she’s grown as a person. It is just a natural part of maturity for a younger player.” Fox said Mattox is a team player on the court, where her ability to pass the ball makes Mattox “too unselfish.” “What also stands out is her ability to pass the ball. She has excellent vision and can really set her teammates up for easy baskets,” Fox said. Being a student-athlete brings its challenges. “It’s pretty easy with (teammates) around. I’m not sure how I’ve would been able to manage things. It would be a lot harder if I didn’t have that kind of support,” Mattox said. Mattox said she likes to clear her mind by playing sport-video games on XBOX, PSP and Play Station 2. Other leisure activities Mattox participates in include sports such as volley volleyball and badminton. Mattox enjoys being with her teammates while traveling to away games, where she dedicates time to recommending the univer university to other people. “It’s a lot of fun whenever you’re traveling. They see you’re from Texas State, and you can tell them a little bit more about the college,” Mattox said. “It’s a great experience.”

Cheerleading Administration hopes stadium squad faces tough construction brings more students championship By Jessie Spielvogel Sports Reporter

By Joseph O. Garcia Sports Reporter

club seats. Each of the suites includes 12 seats, a full kitchenette, a refrigerator, a flat-screen television, operable windows that open and close for climate-control, four VIP parking passes and an attendant. The cost of a suite is $30,000 and includes a plaque that recognizes the contributions to the Texas State football program. The packages for the 440 club seats cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per seat. This includes pre-game food, a game ticket and possible contribution recognition. The club level is an indoor banquet-style area with covered outdoor seats. The first phase also includes a new throwing area for the Bobcats men’s and women’s track and field teams and new elevators and lighting for the west side of the stadium. Additional concession stands, novelty stands and restrooms are planned for renovation.

Dr. Larry Teis, Texas State athletic director, said the improvments are beneficial to the football team. “The renovations instill a sense of pride for the department and the football program,” Teis said. The completion of the new addition is scheduled for the Bobcats’ 2009 season home opener against Angelo State Sept. 5. The second phase of construction will include renovations to the press box, construction of a new track facility and the addition of approximately 8,500 seats to the stadium, increasing capacity to 24,000. Teis said the renovations and construction could add to the recruiting process for athletes. “It helps recruiting since it shows high school coaches, parents and potential student-athletes we are serious about our football program,” Teis said. “The renovations are another step in the overall direction of the department and where we are headed.”

The Texas State Bobcat football team will play in a The Texas State All-Girl cheerleading squad stadium with a new look for the 2009 season. placed fifth out of 21 teams at the 2009 United The construction follows a season in which the Cheerleading Association’s College Cheerleading football team won its first outright conference National Championship Jan. 16. championship since 1983. The team advanced Texas State competed against 20 Division I to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivischools. Emily Sheppard, marketing senior and sion Division I Football Playoffs for the second head captain, said the team knew the competition time in school history. It finished the 2008 seawould be tough. son ranked 22nd in the Sports Network Poll and The squad participated in two-a-day practices 23rd in the 2008 FCS Coaches Poll. for more than a month in order to prepare for The renovations began Jan. 12 to the west the intense competition. The cheerleaders were side of the stadium. The construction process given nine days off for Winter break before going will take place in two phases. The first phase is back to their routine practices. a $16.5 million, 47,000 square-foot addition that Sheppard said practices helped the squad suc- includes 15 luxury suites and approximately 440 ceed in the competition. “Practice makes perfect and it totally paid off to know we made it through the struggles,” Sheppard said. Sheppard said the team endured problems such as people “coming and going” and several injuries throughout the squad’s preparations. One cheerleader broke her thumb during practice and a flyer fell out of a stunt and dislocated her shoulder after landing on it. “She was replaced by one of the alternate cheerleaders,” said Amber Mack, mathematics senior and cheerleading captain. “We did not ex expect to make (the) top five since we had so many problems throughout the practices, but I feel really good knowing that we made through all of the trials and tribulations.” Karese Jenkins, communication studies senior, said Jamie Guzman, undecided freshman, was among the injured girls. She said at the last minute, Guzman’s replacement was injured as well. Guzman had to rejoin and learn the routine. “She had one week to learn the routine after being injured,” Jenkins said. Mack said the girls were intimidated when they saw their competition during their event. She said the girls did not feel as prepared as they should have been, especially after replacing several injured squad members before the competition. “Even though one stunt fell during the per performance, overall we did a really good job,” Mack said. The event was the last collegiate competition for some cheerleaders. Sheppard said it was a very emotional senior year for her because it was her final time to compete for the UCA National Championship. “Our goal was top five, and making top five is totally awesome,” Sheppard said. The All-Girl Squad has won three UCA National Championships in 2000, 2003 and 2006. The competition was nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2, according to the UCA Web Andrew Nenque/Star file photo site. The tentative airdates for the Texas State Cheerleaders’ performance will be 1:30 p.m. Sun- FOOTBALL RENEWAL: Bobcat Stadium embarks on a new renovation that began Jan. 12. It will include 15 luxury suites and roughly 400 club seats during the first phase. day, Feb. 22 on ESPN2.

01 28 2009  
01 28 2009