Swinging into Sea eaS Son Recycle Revolution The women’s tennis team begins its spring season against Prairie View a&m m
Texas state is competing in a recycle competition to see who’s the top green campus
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
january 29, 2009
Volume 98, Issue 44
College Democrats research border fence for protest
House bill gives student regent voting ability, voice
By Brigette Botkin News Reporter
decide if the campus needs a 24-hour library. Heath and Wyatt said no specified number will be used. Heath said extended hours would likely not take effect until fall, if decided upon. The library staff will use a pamphlet to track observations and attendance numbers. “Each night the library staff or guard has been asked to track infor information, some of that is head count, keeping track of how many people are on the floor and of how many of those people are at a computer or how many are studying,” Heath said.
College Democrats discussed organizing a possible protest to the construction of the U.S. Mexico border fence at their first meeting of the semester Wednesday evening. Courtney Strange, former College Democrats president, is spearheading the movement. “We are a nation dedicated to tear tearing down walls,” said Strange, political science senior. “We worked to tear down the Berlin wall for freedom. We shouldn’t be building walls if we’re about tearing them down. It’s a blatant disrespect for equality and Civil Rights.” Fidencio Leija, international studies and relations senior, said he and fellow College Democrat members are interested in the possible protest, but feels more research needs to be done before a commitment is made. “We need to learn more about this before we put the full support of the College Democrats behind it,” Leija said. Edna Duarte, pre-mass communication sophomore, said she is opposed to the border fence saying it is offensive and not functioning properly. “It’s a slap in the face to immigrants,” Duarte said. “And, people are going to get around it one way or another. They already are.” Leija said he feels the fence is a waste of taxpayers’ money. “It’s too much money to spend on something to simply keep people out,” Leija said. “It won’t even cover the whole border. It’s a waste of funding.” Amanda Domaschk, College Democrat president, said protests would be later in the semester or during the summer, though nothing has been scheduled yet. Strange said protests would be focused on halting construction in cer certain areas before they begin. “We’re aiming to protest ground breaks in construction,” Strange said. “We’d like to do sit-ins and gain media attention to stop construction.” Strange said he wants to team up with like-minded groups on campus to organize. “I want to start a group for this and invite all organizations to get involved,” Strange said. He said no commitments have been made on whether a protest will be organized. He said the College Democrats are still considering it and will discuss the issue further in later meetings. Members also discussed working to take action against the carrying of concealed weapons on campus. Domaschk, political science senior, said they are considering lobbying against the idea during the legislative session. “It’d be a big monster to tackle, but there’sopposition,it’sjustnotorganized,”
See LIBRARY, page 4
See PROTEST, page 3
By Allen Reed Assistant News Editor A new bill seeks to interject student representation into the most powerful group of people in the Texas State University System. The Board of Regents is a group reserving the right to enact policy changes and set university tuition and fees. Texas Rep. Patrick Rose (D-45) filed House Bill 712 on Jan. 21 which if passed, would allow the student seated on the board to have the right to vote. “The student perspective is a critical perspective for the board to not only hear, but it’s important for them to be able to exercise a vote,” Rose said. “The decisions of the board impact all aspects of a student’s existence. It’s important that a student is on there making decisions.” The student regent is a yearlong position selected by Gov. Rick Perry from a pool of applicants that span the Texas State University System. The first student regent hailed from San Marcos, but Texas State has not had a presence since. ASG President Brett Baker said five to six students from Texas State apply each year. “They sit at the table with the Board of Regents, and there are some very influential people on the Board of Regents,” Baker said. “That student has a voice and can chime in on how a situation might af affect the students. Even though they don’t have a voting right, it’s still a very powerful position because each one of those regents cares what they have to say, and they will listen to them.” The student’s position on the Board of Regents was created two legislative sessions ago. Rose and Texas Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-25) worked together to get the bill passed for a student to sit on the Board of Regents. Rose said when the bill was originally proposed they were “laughed at.” “It’s hard to explain how impossible this was supposed to be,” Rose said. “We got the first step done in 2005, which was a strong step — to put a student on the board,” Rose said. “We made real progress. What we need to do this session is empower the student with a vote.” Baker said if a student was given the right to vote, he or she must be willing and able to travel and to understand the needs of each of the universities within the system. “There’s a lot of debate right now over whether we’re asking too much by asking for a voting member, See STUDENT REGENT, page 4
Bobby Scheidemann/Star photo illustration ALL NIGHTER: The alkek library is staying open for 24 hours to determine if there is student interest in studying until dawn.
24-HOUR LIBRARY By Amanda Venable News Editor
Slumber parties are about to get more scholarly. Beginning Tuesday, the Alkek Library will be open 24-hours Sunday through Wednesday for the following six weeks. The pilot program, which ends March 11, will gauge library usage during ex extended hours and provide officials with estimated costs. “It’s a six week pilot to see what kind of usage there is at the library if the hours are extended over night,” said Joan Heath, assistant vice president of the university library. “It will also give us feasibility to see what it would cost, how the library is
used, where the areas are that are used.” Van Wyatt, vice president of Information Technology, said ASG spearheaded the idea. A 24-hour library was a platform issue last spring when ASG presidential and vice presidential candidates Court Courtney Strange and CJ Morgan advocated the need for an all-night study spot. ASG is footing the cost of flyers and table tents to get the word out that study studying into the wee hours will be easier. “The idea ASG had of working together to do a pilot is helpful,” Wyatt said. “If we talk this up a lot and the students really get behind it and will sustain a pat pattern of usage, that makes the decision very easy.” Officials will use attendance results to
students, faculty, staff react to adding Friday courses By Lora Collins News reporter
David Schmidt/Star photo ANTSY STUDENTS: With the new 80-minute classes, students anxiously wait to get out in order to make it to their next class on time.
Fridays are no longer considered part of the weekend for Texas State students. The university went from having 25 Monday, Wednesday, Friday courses in spring 2008 to 486 this semester. Michael Heintze, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said the system was created to meet policies put in place by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “By Coordinating Board policy, classes must meet prescribed contact-hour requirements,” Heintze said. “Based upon the number of days in our semester, 80 minute and 50 minute classes were needed to be in compliance.”
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Contact hours refer to the length of time a class needs. Faculty Sen. William Stone said in Wednesday’s meet meeting that the university has not been in compliance with the coordinating board’s policy for 10 or 15 years. Texas State held 95 Friday-only classes and labs, and totaled 619 MW-F courses in 2006. The number of Friday courses decreased in fall 2007 and increased in spring 2008, when the university totaled 25 Friday courses. Heintze said the system is likely to become permanent, which will affect faculty, staff and students. “Making the changes required faculty to restructure their lectures and examinations,” Heintze said. “Bus schedules were updated. Campus activities, in some cases, had to be rescheduled.”
Heintze said there have been no complaints against the new system, and professors are adjusting to the revised schedules. “Most faculty liked the (former) schedule, which focused most classes on Monday through Thursday, but they also understand the issues that required the modifications,” Heintze said. UPD Officer Phillip Holden said there has been no change in security with the addition of Friday courses. “I don’t believe that prior to cancelling the Friday courses, which the university only did for two semesters, we did not decrease any of our tactics or security measures or staffing lev levels,” Holden said. Caitlin Kinkade, interdisciplinary studies junior, said the change
in class times negatively affects her schedule. “I started taking education classes (last semester) and they could really go into detail about examples in the classroom,” Kinkade said. “Now they hardly got through the syllabus and class was over.” She said the 50-minute classes make it hard to focus, and put an added strain on the professors to finish on time. “Knowing that class is 50 minutes long, it is harder to concentrate because it’s like, ‘OK, time is going by, it’s almost time to get out,’” Kinkade said. “I would prefer longer classes. It’s not so much that it is on Friday, but that it is shorter.” John Wren, music studies junior, See FRIDAY CLASSES, page 4
Inside news ........ 1,2,3,4 opinions ............ 5 Trends ............. 6,7
Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System
Diversions............ 8 Classifieds........... 8 sports..............9,10
to Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 www.universitystar.com © 2009 The University Star
2 - Thursday, January 29, 2009
starsof texas state Cameron Johnson, forward and management sophomore, scored 19 points and a career-best 13 rebounds in a 71-65 loss to Lamar Saturday afternoon.
Today in Brief
—Courtesy of Texas State Athletics
News Contact — Amanda Venable, firstname.lastname@example.org Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System
CRIME BLOTTER University Police Department
Veterans Support group is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans can help eachother 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.
Jan. 16, 11:40 p.m. Possession of Drug Parapherna Paraphernalia / Sterry Hall A student was issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. A report was made of the incident.
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 at 512-245-2208.
Jan. 17, 1:38 a.m. Medical Emergency / Bobcat Village Apartments A student injured her hip and was transported to Central Texas Medical Center for a medical evaluation.
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. Prescreening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. TUESDAY
Bridgette Cyr/Star photo Andrea Singleton, digital and photographic imaging senior, puts the finishing touches on her photo for the Sabinalia Photography Exhibit. The opening will be 5 p.m. Friday night in Sabinal hall.
Alkek librarians offer sessions, resources for research topics
“Say What You Need To Say” is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Become a pro at direct, open, Students make their first acquainhonest communication. Pre-screening is re- tance with the Alkek Library through quired by calling the Counseling Center at class sessions requested by professors. 512-245-2208. However, they do not have to wait for a professor to bring them to the library WEDNESDAY for learning sessions. The library offers a variety of opLGBQ Pride Group is from 12 to 1:30 portunities to learn better, efficient rep.m. The group is open to students want want- search techniques and useful tools. ing to discuss the impact of their sexual Texas State’s librarians are available identity on crucial aspects of their lives in for individual instruction and research a safe and confidential place. Pre-screening consultations. These can be on any is required by calling the Counseling Center research-related topic, and can be ar arat 512-245-2208. ranged for small groups as well. Generally they last about an hour. Use the Anger Management Group is from 4:30 online form at www.library.txstate.edu/ to 6:30 p.m. Learn simple, innovative tech- about/departments/instruction/individniques for managing anger and developing ual-instruction.html to arrange an indihealthier ways of relating. Pre-screening is vidual or small group session. required by calling the Counseling Center The library also offers workshops at 512-245-2208. throughout the semester. Refworks is
a research tool that collects and stores citation information, generates bibliographies in different style formats and creates in-line citations. Refworks workshops are given throughout the semester, at various times. Check the posted workshops schedule at www. library.txstate.edu/about/departments/ instruction/workshops.html. Sign up for a Refworks workshop at www.library. txstate.edu/help/workshops/workshopregistration-form.html. All workshops are given in Alkek 101, unless a differ different location is specified. Faculty members using TRACS who request instruction sessions can also ask a librarian to be “embedded” in their class site. Embedded librarians are then able to add customized guides and content to the class site wiki. Librarians also can be contacted easily via IM with
an added meebo widget from the course site. Simply choose the “Embed a Librarian in your TRACS site” checkbox on the instruction request form at www. library.txstate.edu/about/departments/ instruction/request-instruction.html. Visit the Alkek Information Literacy wiki at alkek.library.txstate.edu/wiki/ index.php?title=Embedded_Librarians For directions on adding a librarian to your course site. Do not have time to come in to the library? Check the Alkek Library’s Youtube tutorials at www.library.txstate. edu/community/alkek-youtube.html. New tutorials are continually being added, and suggestions can be sent to www.library.txstate.edu/community/ alkek-youtube.html. —Courtesy of Alkek Library
Jan. 17, 12:57 p.m. Welfare Concern - Attempt to Locate A staff member reported to a police officer a student had a welfare concern. There are no concerns about the student. A report was made of the incident. Jan. 17, 4:34 p.m. Elevator Rescue / J.C. Kellam Administration Building A staff member was rescued from a stuck elevator without harm. A report was made of the incident. Jan. 17, 4:52 p.m. Theft-Under $500 / The Tower Hall A student reported to a police officer her property had been taken without her consent. The case is under investigation. Jan. 18, 1:16 a.m. Harassment A student reported to a police officer she received harassing messages. The case is under investigation. —Courtesy of University News Department
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ohio professor formats lectures for iPod touch By Jordan Valinsky The Post Select students be able to listen to Poison on their iPod touches next quarter, as well as learn about toxic hazards. Timothy Ryan, an associate professor in the School of Public Health Sciences and Professions, plans to complement his lectures by distributing them to students equipped with iPod touches in his Introduction to Industrial Hygiene class this Spring Quarter. The trial run is a first at Ohio University. The lectures, which will be a hybrid of video and slides and have been specifically formatted for the iPod touch, will come preloaded on the device. The students are expected to watch and review the lectures before class to allow for a better use of class time, Ryan said, adding
that he can monitor whether students are watching them. “When it is time for class, we are going to restructure that time,” Ryan said. “It will be more engaging, more questions and answers and exercises. The talking at you has been done already.” Students will be able to give feedback at the end of the quarter on the effectiveness of Ryan’s trial when they return their iPods. Using the iPod as a learning device ushers in a new era of mobile learning, or “m-learning,” where the student can access the curriculum anytime, anywhere, Ryan said. He said he sees this as the next step in learning. “(You can) watch the lecture in the 15 to 20 minutes you have available to you as opposed to just reading the newspaper,” Ryan said, adding that these por-
PROTEST CONTINUED from page 1 Domaschk said. “We need to put a face to it and bring awareness.” The College Democrats are invited and will be attending
a day at the Texas Legislature April 20. They will be joining Democrats from other colleges statewide to discuss and lobby their issues. Domaschk said nothing has been decided yet, but a speaker will be at the next meeting
table video devices have “a real convenience factor” because of their size and portability. Ryan received nearly $15,000 in a one-time 1804 Foundation Grant to cover the costs of 32 iPods, cases and to pay two other faculty members for assistance. The annual grant, which is funded by the Ohio University Foundation, was awarded to assess the usefulness and effectiveness of “m-learning.” Ryan said he hopes to expand using the iPod as a teaching tool if the trial proves successful, but is cautiously optimistic about the future of this method. “It’s the million-dollar question, I think universities are going to innovate in terms of special, niche applications, but like so many things, I think, it will be the real-world and industry to take the ball and run with it,” he said.
to discuss concealed carry. She said more discussion is needed before a vote can be made on what action, if any, to take. “We’re bringing it up to see what people think, and we’ll go from there,” Domaschk said.
The University Star - 3
4 - The University Star
LIBRARY CONTINUED from page 1 “In addition, we will also be tracking what kinds of questions come up about library research or computer related questions.” The library is employing 17 students who will work various hours throughout the six-week pilot. The employees will account for approximately $9,500 in additional staffing costs, Heath said. Wyatt said no additional costs, except for programming elevators to lock on certain floors, will be added. The Texas State University System Board of Regents voted in November to increase the library fee by $2 per semester credit hour. Wyatt said the fee increase will take effect in the fall, covering any additional expenses associated with the extended library hours. Access will be limited to the first through fourth floors after regular library hours end. However, Heath said study areas, second and fourth floor computers and printers, laptop checkouts, periodical and microform collections, reserve services and the circulation desk will be available throughout the night and early morning. Baker said the university needs a
Thursday, January 29, 2009
FRIDAY CLASSES 24-hour library, but if students “feel they don’t need the extend hours,” then it should not happen. Students can use the adjusted schedule for more than just allnight cram sessions. Baker said as a “morning person,” he plans to take advantage of studying in the early hours. “I like to get up early and study, probably 5 a.m. until about 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.,” Baker said. “Right now the library opens at 7:30 a.m. I don’t have anywhere to study. I have to go somewhere like IHOP — that’s the only place to go to 24 hours. That’s the only place I can go to and spread out and have some light.” Baker said students with 8 a.m. classes can take advantage of the new hours by getting to campus early to read over notes or study for tests. Baker anticipates slow attendance for the pilot’s first couple of weeks, but said once tests and midterms approach students will start using the extra hours. Wyatt said only time will tell. “I’m looking forward to the experiment,” Wyatt said. “It’s refreshing to see people so excited. We want to help the students be successful, and if it takes extended library hours to do that, it is a no brainer.”
CONTINUED from page 1 said he also prefers longer classes for all courses. “I think I would get a lot more accomplished in a longer class, and even though it is only two days, I feel like I could get more in detail,” Wren said. Jose Carrillo, graduate teaching assistant, said the new 50 minute courses do not allow him enough time to conduct his 1410 and 1420 Spanish classes. “I like teaching better for over an hour because you cannot teach much in 50 minutes
and it just goes too fast,” Carrillo said. “Especially in a foreign language, you cannot cover sufficient material in 50 minutes.” He said change in times affects underclassmen. “I think it affects more of the incoming freshmen and sophomores than the juniors and seniors because you have to remember the juniors and seniors had a taste of both worlds and they already know how it bends,” Carrillo said. Gerald Farr, assistant professor in the department of biology, said the drop in Friday courses shocked him. “It did strike me as interesting when
we went with no Friday classes,” he said. “When my wife and I went here, we were required to take Saturday classes.” Heintze said campus organizations will benefit from the changes. “The return to more M-W-F classes will help with campus traffic, reduce overcrowding on the buses, help students who want or need part-time jobs during the week and promote more student participation in student activities on Fridays,” he said. “Campus businesses, such as the bookstore and food court, have welcomed the return of more Friday classes.”
STUDENT REGENT CONTINUED from page 1 since just recently we were granted to have a representative on the board,” Baker said. “I would love to see a student be able to vote on the board. The question is — is it time? Do we need to let the position evolve a little more?” Baker has come out in support of a student vote. “I think it’s time,” he said. “I’ve seen some very qualified student regents and I think they’re only going to get more and more qualified.”
The bill picked up the endorsement of Jason Moore, ASG vice president. “I think as far as the voting goes, it might be time to push for that and let the student’s voice actually be heard,” Moore said. “It’s a cool position.” Currently, the odd number of nine regents on the board prevents tied votes. The legislation would not provide for draws. “We’re making the student one of the nine voting regents,” Rose said. “There will be one less regent on the board.” The minimum GPA requirement for
the student will be raised from 2.5 to 3.0 if passed. Rose said the change was not because of problems with the applicants. Adding the previous student regents had exceeded academic expectations. “It’s been my impression that each of the students who have served has done great on the board,” he said. Rose said the change could help garner support for the legislation, and he is unsure when the Texas House of Representatives will vote on the bill. “It will be tough sell, but it’s important that we do it,” Rose said.
OpiniOns 5 - The University Star
onlineconnection Check out www.UniversityStar.com in the following weeks for continued News, Sports, Trends and Opinions coverage.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan, email@example.com
The Main PoinT loyd Doggett L is discussing an issue other
elected officials are ignoring— higher education. Academia and education in general is given the financial stiff arm even in the best of times, so when the economy started to go sour last year it did not bode well for institutes of higher learning. The decision makers were not giving much thought to colleges and universities when major companies started tanking, and that is part of the problem. However, with this new economic stimulus package coming down the pipeline, Pell grants might be increased, and if Lloyd Doggett’s C.L.A.S.S. Act is included, students might get relief concerning tuition and text books. According to the Jan. 21 issue of The University Star, Doggett’s Act would credit taxpayers for their educational expenses. Taxes go toward helping fund universities like Texas State and thus it can sometimes seem like the students are being double billed. We do not advocate any learning institutions lose money, but it has never seemed right that so much has to come out of the students’ pockets. So instead of punishing either the universities or students, Doggett’s Act would help take the burden off undergraduates by placing it on the government. The Act would make it so that, for every dollar spent on tuition and textbooks, a dollar would be deducted from most students’ tax bills up to $3,000. This way the double billing of the students will be alleviated, and universities will not be the ones taking the hit by lowering tuition rates. Students and administrators do not always agree on how to fund higher education. However, Provost Perry endorsed the bill. Moore acknowledged the importance of higher education for the public good as a whole, not only for individual students. America will be more inventive and able to better compete in global markets if there are more students going to college. Not every bill helping students can pass. Bills endorsing tax-free textbooks have died in some form or another several times, and tuition deregulation will be another battle in the Texas Legislature this session. However, this is an act attached to a major piece of legislation at the federal level. President Barack Obama is already facing a tough battle to push the pack package through Congress without Republican help. The GOP may even find a way to stop the pack package from going through at all. If that happens, something new may be put in its place. However, as long as the Legislature is passing something to help the American people in this dire economy, higher education should be remembered.
Recreation center claims ring false for students
Christopher Alberts Guest Columnist
Texas State invested more than $31 million into the expansion of the Student Recreation Center. The additions included basketball and volleyball courts, lap and leisure pools, extra exercise and fitness rooms and supposed indoor soccer courts. Unfortunately, this was a fallacious claim by the university. These “soccer courts” are, in actuality, only basketball courts with rounded edges. Students are out of luck if they hoped to finally have a place to play soccer without worrying about club or school teams reserving the fields. These new soccer courts are only for intramurals, meaning the money students voted to invest into the renovation is not enough for them to use the courts freely. Interested players have to pay money to sign up a team for in intramurals to gain court access. Soccer players don’t really have much choice when it comes to where they can play at Texas State. The West Campus, Bobcat Village and Jowers Practice Fields are primarily reserved for use by club teams, so playing time is extremely limited for nonclub students. The fields are usually open to student use during the morning and midday, when most students have class. Late at night is also an option, but the fields are not lit, and it is difficult to see. No true soccer goals around campus can be used freely by students without having to pay for them through intramural or club sign-up. The only real soccer goals for use are those on the Texas State’s official team field, which are not available for student access. Lying about indoor soccer fields, reserving the supposedly “open use” fields for club teams and not providing legitimate soccer goals shows how neglectful the university is of its diverse student population. Claiming that open-use, indoor soccer courts would be included in the expansion and then not following through with this declaration is deceptive. Going one step further and claiming that the soccer courts are only available for intramurals is an additional slap in the face. Basketball and volleyball courts are at almost all apart apartments complexes in San Marcos, as well as in the old sections of the SRC. Outdoor volleyball and basketball courts at Sewell Park are also available. There are no open-use soccer goals with nets any anywhere on campus. Students have to pay even more money than they already do through tuition to use any of the goals. These actions by the university univerKate Siscoe/ Star Illustration exhibit the fact that the univer sity supports its organizations and not its students.
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.
Religion in inaugural ceremony remains historically, respectfully viable XanWhite Yale Daily News The overt Christianity on display at the inauguration of President Barack Obama made people cringe. Did a secular ceremony that lasted less than an hour really need an invocation and benediction? Did the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court really have to inquire “so help you God?” at the end of the constitutionally mandated oath of office? Did our new president really have to put his hand on a Bible before promising to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”? As a matter of tradition, if not law, the answer is yes. John Quincy Ad-
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ams took the oath with his left hand on a constitutional law book, but his symbolic act of secularism remains an aberration almost two centuries later. Theodore Roosevelt is the only president to refuse a Bible at his inaugural ceremony. “So help me God” as a quasi-official part of the oath has a long history. George Washington supposedly added the words unprompted, but in recordings from the 20th century the per person administering the oath said “so help me God” after the affirmation. Barack Obama’s inauguration of offered plenty to those of us hoping his presidency ushers in an era of secularism and religious pluralism. The mention of “nonbelievers”
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alongside “Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus” in Obama’s inaugural speech has already garnered ample praise from irreligious types in the media. His promise to “restore science to its rightful place” strikes a sweet-sounding note to Americans — and, doubtless, some foreigners — disillusioned with the Bush administration’s preference for religious dogma over scientific insights when making policy decisions on issues. Even the Bible on which Obama took the oath of office is an important deviation from the story of “America the Christian nation” so favored by the evangelical right. The Bible was used at Lincoln’s first swearing-in and is part of the Library of Congress’ Copy Desk Chief...............Claire Heathman, email@example.com Design Editor...Kelly Patterson, Carrie Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director...........................Michelle Oros, email@example.com Sales Manager..................................Krystal Slater, firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing & Promotions........Samantha Manley, email@example.com Jr. Account Executive...................Rachel Harville, firstname.lastname@example.org Jr. Account Executive.............. Emilie Hernandez, email@example.com
permanent collection. Obama is only the second president to take the oath of office on that Bible. The Lincoln Bible should be seen as an artifact of American history. It was selected not for its contents — which are identical to those of other Bibles — but for its place in America’s historical narrative. Obama, ever the constitutional lawyer, chose a document first used by the man whose oath of fidelity to the Constitution was tested by Civil War and whose memory inspired successors to amend the Constitution in favor of equality and justice. Obama took great pains to establish his Christian bona fides like every American president of the past
and for the foreseeable future. Atheism and agnosticism remain barriers to supreme executive power. But our new president has at least shown that his faith is largely private. Obama made a symbolic gesture and paid respectful homage to a historical figure by taking the oath on the Lincoln Bible. The explicitly Christian prayers bracketing the inauguration ceremony stand as a reminder that separation between church and state remains a distant ideal. But Obama’s actions demonstrate a refreshing fidelity to our shared history and carry the promise that his time in office will be marked by a restoration of religion to a private role.
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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 Thursday, January 29, 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.
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Bobcats will be able to grab a joystick and kick off their weekend with fun in the Lair of LBJ Student Center tomorrow at 12 p.m. SACA will be sponsoring the gaming extravaganza, which will run until 4 p.m. Last semester’s gaming extravaganza featured multiple game platforms like Xbox, Playstation 3 and Wii being projected onto numerous big screens. The event is the first SACAsponsored event of the semester with more to be announced soon.
6 - Thursday, January 29, 2009
Trends Contact — Brett Thorne, email@example.com
University competes in recycling competition By Erica Rodriguez Senior Features Reporter Mario Garza and his crew can talk trash all day long. His office is nestled in an open-air garage on the edge of campus, littered with collection bins and surrounded by recycled materials and trash. Garza, coordinator of recycling and waste management, has worked for the university for the past 12 years, but brought something new to the campus world of waste last year — Recycle Mania. “Trash is a big, big business here,” Garza said, sitting at a conference table in the corner of the garage. “It’s taken me years to get it where it’s at.” This is the headquarters for the university’s Recycle Mania competition, a contest intended to promote recycling and waste reduction at colleges and universities nation-wide. The university finished in the bottom of the Competition Division last year, competing against names such as Harvard, Stanford and California State University at San Marcos, Calif. This year 510 schools will be taking part in the challenge to beat last years number of 58.6 million pounds of recycled materials. So far, the university is 203 pounds closer
and has until Mar. 28 to collect as much as possible. “You have those who want to take (recycling) to the extreme and then you have people who just don’t care,” Garza said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement but there’s definitely a demand here.” The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day, according to the National Recycling Coalition. In Garza’s experience, the university does its fair share. The LBJ Student Center and Jones Dining Hall are among the top producers of university garbage. Each location fills one trash compactor with 105 cubic yards of waste almost weekly. That is the equivalent of two cubic football fields worth of garbage in about one week, from just two university buildings. No data exist, but Garza estimates 80 to 90 percent of what is ditched is actually recyclable cardboard, which he does not have the resources to constantly pick-up. Perhaps the best thing the Mania will accomplish is creating a shift in attitude regarding recycling on campus. “Yeah we need more money (and) we need more help, but it’s more of an attitude thing here,” said Jenna Gonzales, re-
cycling and waste management worker. “We need to have more people care.” Caring can start by following simple recycle guidelines: empty plastic bottles before recycling, no trash in the recycle bins and no bathroom waste. A recyclable item’s life does not end the moment it goes into the collection bin. It must be collected, sorted and bagged all by human hands. “It’s downright disgusting,” Garza said. Finding tobacco dip remnants in plastic bottles, food items or condoms is common. “That’s why we need to say, ‘hey if you don’t want to recycle fine, but don’t throw trash in our bins.’” Recycling is making its way into the mainstream with recyacled materials increasing from less than 10 percent in 1980 to 33 percent of total waste in 2007, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “It’s definitely moved to the mainstream and I think people have kind of moved toward that trend,” said Nathan Thompson, communication design sophomore. “Most people are enthusiastic. Most people want to help. Does that mean they Stacie Andrews/Star file photo recycle all the time, probably RECYCLE-TO-WIN: Texas State is competing in the Recycle Mania contest with other universities not, but it’s something to be and colleges in the region. enthusiastic about.”
Entertainment Calender Thursday Brett Crenshaw, 9:30 p.m., Cheatham Street Stewart Mann, 6 p.m., Gruene Hall RC Banks, 6 p.m., Falcon Buddies, Focus Group, Education, 9 p.m., Triple Crown Our Favorite Colors, 9 p.m., Riley’s Friday Bill Rice, 9:30 p.m., Cheatham Street The Belleville Outfit, 7 p.m., Gruene Hall Ricky Lugo, 6 p.m., Clay Nightingale, Glea-
son, Bankrupt & the Borrowers, 9 p.m., Triple Crown Darryl Lee Rush, 9 p.m., Riley’s Saturday Bruce Robison, 8 p.m., Cheatham Street Gary Claxon, Erik Hokkanen & Friends, 1 p.m., The Derailers, 9 p.m., Gruene Hall Muchos Backflips, I.S.S., Dying For More, Katsuk, 9 p.m., Triple Crown Joel Hofmann Band, 9 p.m., Riley’s Sunday
Open Mic, 6 p.m., Triple Crown Monday Battle of the Bands, 9:30 p.m., Cheatham Street Bret Graham, 6 p.m., Gruene Hall Gerry’s Kids, 6 p.m., Triple Crown Tuesday Midnight River Choir, Jordan Minor, 9:30 p.m., Cheatham Street
Rodney Hayden, 6 p.m., Gruene Hall Scott Wood, 6 p.m., The Anchovies, Mankind & Me, Collin Crume, 9 p.m., Triple Crown Wednesday Kent Finlay’s Songwriters Circle, 9:30 p.m., Cheatham Street Zach Walther & the Cronkites, Texas Renegade, 6 p.m., Gruene Hall RG Stark, 6 p.m., The Thrillbillies, 9 p.m., Triple Crown
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The University Star - 7
‘Lost’ comes back stronger than ever in season five Students are part of By Aaron Barnhart McClatchy Newspapers You can learn things about a TV show just by watching it with other people. Two hundred of us watched the third episode of the new season of “Lost” on a big high-definition screen at the television critics’ winter get-together last week. The whole room would erupt in laughter at regular intervals — it was the sound of 200 “Lost” fans being served up another unexpected, what-in-thehell twist ... and loving it.
Whatever mojo television’s most ingenious thriller may have lost in its third and fourth seasons, it’s come back with compound interest in season five. Last week’s two-hour season opener easily eclipsed the fourth judge on “Idol” as the most anticipated non-political TV event of the new year. ABC has been eagerly serving up sneak peeks to critics for not just the usual reasons — to gain a return on what is easily the riskiest investment in the entire network lineup— but for a less obvious one.
The show is brilliant again, and word needs to get out. The two men at the eye of “Lost’s” creative hurricane, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, came out after the screening. They spoke with considerable candor about the storylines for this season and next — but only after swearing the room to secrecy. They seemed delighted to be answering fan site-worthy questions about characters and storylines, so much so that you might never suspect they have served them-
Photo courtesy of ABC GET LOST: Producers of the ABC television show, Lost, are excited to unveil the shows fifth season.
selves pink slips already. These are the final two seasons of “Lost,” and paradoxically, it is this knowledge — that the best job they have ever had is coming to a halt in 2010— which has made the producers so happy. Negotiating the end date to the show “completely liberated us,” Lindelof said. “We didn’t know whether the mythology we had had to last two seasons or nine seasons, and that was utterly paralyzing.” Cuse agreed. “Now that we know exactly how many episodes we have left, it has really allowed us to plan and to do this stuff with confidence. We know exactly how much of a journey is left, and that’s been enormously liberating, and really the key to the whole show for us as storytellers,” he said. It has also allowed Cuse and Lindelof to slim down the sprawling cast of guest characters, jettisoning them in various creatively violent ways, while returning focus to the core people who arrested viewers’ attention in the show’s first season. It’s going to be a huge boon for fans of Sawyer (Josh Holloway), the one regular who did not make it off Lost Island in season four, and who therefore saw his role diminished as the action shifted to the outside world and the struggles of the Oceanic 6 to return to normal lives in civilization. “This year, we’ve tried to sort of make up for lost time, as it were,” Lindelof said. “And Josh has just been doing amazing work.” However, the really big shift from previous seasons is the new emphasis on time travel.
Public Relation Student Society auctions participants’ time for Valentine’s Day By Brett Thorne Trends Editor Texas State students will step up to the auction block in the LBJ Student Center Monday. The Texas State Public Relations Student Society of America will host a Valentine’s Day auction in which students will be sold to fellow Bobcats. The rules of the auction require the participants to be Texas State students who are between the ages of 18 and 25. Sean Meyers, outreach coordinator of Public Relations Student Society of America, said the idea for an auction came up during a brainstorming session. “We had a goal we had to meet,” Meyers said. “We want-
ed to go to Texas Public Relations Association Convention so we tried to figure out ways to raise money. We had ideas for a bake sale and I was thinking about corporate sponsorships, then I came up with the idea for a date auction.” PRSSA is the largest Mass Communication professional club, with 89 members. According to the organization’s Web site, Public Relations Student Society of America hopes to “serve our members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional opportunities.” The convention will help the organization by allowing students to attend workshops, listen to speakers from within the industry
and take advantage of networking opportunities. The organization hopes to have 30 members in tow when it travels to the convention in Frisco on Feb. 27. Meyers said planning for the auction began as soon as the idea was conceived. “I went home after the meeting and created the Facebook page and started inviting people,” Meyers said. Meyers said the group hopes to recruit 30 auctionees to help them reach their goal of $500. Shannon McFadden, president of the Texas State chapter and an organizer of the event, said while the event is Valentine’s Day themed, the auction is not necessarily acting as a place to “hook up.”
“(The participants) are not necessarily being auctioned for a date,” McFadden said. “People can do it however they want. You’re buying an hour with this person so if you want to talk to them about issues on campus, you’re free to do that.” McFadden said while the group has not reached their goal of 30 participants yet, they are optimistic. “We have 17 people set to be auctioned right now but we’re recruiting all over,” McFadden said. The event will take place in room 3.15 at the student center. Those interested in being auctioned can contact Sean Meyers via the group’s Facebook page or e-mail the group at PRSSA@txstate.edu.
city’s history, future By Crystal Davis Trends Columnist San Marcos has a way of becoming a home away from home for Texas State students. We make friends, discover favorite places to eat and enjoy the town’s unique nightlife. The additions to this town have been multiplying since I began living here two years ago. A new civic center, several restaurants, a skate park, retail stores, clubs and modifications to campus have all been constructed. San Marcos residents can enjoy a variety of venues like The Texas Opry House, Harper’s Public House, and Bar One41, without losing the familiar comforts of places like Showdown, Restless Wind and Rocky LaRue’s. We are a part of the city expanding and diversifying. The political system of San Marcos is evolving and for the first time in this town, venues will soon be allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. Students at Texas State appreciate options of activities and
luxuries our predecessors could not access. I read some negative blogs on epinions.com about former students’ attitude toward Texas State and San Marcos. It occurred to me opportunity is knocking at our door. All that was needed was a little diversity. Now, students have the chance to access numerous facets of San Marcos and create a more positive image for the school and town. Residents and students alike can now enjoy the variety of entertainment that is offered. According to the Economic Development of San Marcos Web site, it is projected that by 2012 the population will reach 62,000. That is nearly 10,000 more than the current population. The area has come a long way while still maintaining a reverence for the history of our town. The Square, which is budding with new businesses, manages to keep its traditional appearance. It seems fitting with changes occurring nationwide, that changes should be experienced locally as well.
8 - The University Star
Thursday, January 29, 2009
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 www.universitystar.com. 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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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Women’s tennis opens spring season By Dustin Stelly Sports Reporter The weekend marks the opening of the spring season for the Texas State women’s tennis team. The squad will travel to Prairie View A&M Saturday and Rice University Sunday. “We look very strong, very consistent and have a lot of depth,” said Coach Tory Plunkett, who is now in her sixth season at Texas State. Ashley Ellis, political science senior, agrees with Plunkett’s view on the team. “This is probably the best team I’ve been on since I’ve been here at Texas State. I’m really excited about it,” Ellis said. Plunkell said the fall season gives the players competitive experience while allowing the coach to decide on a spring lineup. “It’s a good team we have. It has a lot of experience,” said Andrea Giraldo, management junior. “I know that’s going to make us win a lot of games.” Giraldo played three sets in the final round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional tournament. “It was probably the best match I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching here at Texas State,” Plunkett said. Giraldo said she played the best she could in the match. “I was playing really well,” Giraldo said. “I felt more mature on the court — playing smarter, running better, moving better, being more consistent with my serve, my shots and my net game. I felt that I was a better player all around.” Plunkett said she is happy with the way Ellis ended the fall season. Ellis began Austin Byrd/Star file photo the season recovering from a knee surgery, but has since worked her way back HIGH HOPES: Andrea Giraldo, managment junior, said her expectations for the upcoming season for the Texas State women’s tennis team are high. The team’s first game of the seainto shape. “I got my confidence back,” Ellis said. son is Jan. 31 against Prairie View A&M. “Getting to see the new team together and how we interact gives confidence not only in of November,” Plunkett said. “I’m not con- (well), so I think we’re going to do fine.” my game, but also in my team.” cerned about that this year. Maybe I should Last year the team was No. 4 in the Plunkett said the players had specific be, but I’m not.” Southland Conference tournament, which things to work on before the winter break. The team has never played Prairie View is the highest seeding for Texas State in “Each player came back and did a phe- A&M under Plunkett. 12 years. Plunkett is hoping to be seeded nomenal job accomplishing their goals and “From my understanding they (Prairie at No. 1 or No. 2 this year. even surpassing them,” Plunkett said. View) aren’t one of the strongest in our re“We’ve been moving up every year “I put a lot of time in on my serve over the gion,” Plunkett said. “Rice is probably going beating teams that haven’t been beaten holiday,” Ellis said. to be one of our toughest matches, so we’ve in the history of Texas State,” Plunkett Ellis said she has been practicing hard to got one extreme to the other this weekend, said. “Each year we’ve gotten stronger prepare for the weekend. and we need to prepare for both of them the and stronger.” “It’s been a long time since we’ve all same way.” Plunkett believes this weekend can help played matches, but I think we’ll get it back Giraldo said she expects Texas State to the team to be ranked. quickly. Once we get out there and get a few play well. “We’re playing Prairie View (A&M). (We games under our belt, we should be fine.” “I know Rice is tough. It’s a good team, hope to) start off with a lot of wins and try Plunkett agreed. but still we have chances,” Giraldo said. and get a national ranking and maintain it “Last time we played was the beginning “Everybody is in good shape (and) playing throughout the season,” Plunkett said.
The University Star - 9
Sports the university star
The Texas State men’s basketball team lost its fifth straight game Wednesday against TexasSan Antonio 86-76. The game marks the team’s eigth straight road loss of the season. The Bobcats are now 8-11 overall and 1-5 in Southland Conference play. They will play TexasArlington 4 p.m. Saturday on the road.
10 - Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sports Contact — Lisa Carter, email@example.com
Bobcats’ track, field team begins season Roadrunners clinch By Blake Barington Sports Reporter
The Texas State track and field team began its 2009 season Jan. 16 at the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invitational in Houston. Aaron Jones, accounting junior, started the season with a record-breaking 60-meter sprint, which he completed in 6.85 seconds. Iris Darrington, interdisciplinary studies junior, won the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.96 seconds, defeating 47 other competitors. “I’m very happy (about the results),” Darrington said. “It was almost as fast as last year’s conference.” Jones qualified for the finals with a 6.87-second run in the
preliminary round. Texas-Arlington’s Cordero Gray matched Jones’ run with the same time. The two met in the second heat of the finals with Jones edging out Gray by milliseconds to claim a new Texas State record in the 60-meter dash that was last beaten in 2000 by Brian Hood. Jones said he knew he would break the record. “I knew the time to beat coming in,” Jones said. Coach Galina Bukharina said she was confident in Jones’ ability to beat the record. She said Jones had the best time in the Southland Conference for the event, but it was beaten by Texas-San Antonio’s Benga Adeeko within one-hundredths of a second last week because the team did not race. Jones was joined in the finals
by fellow Bobcats Deandrick Johnson, undecided freshman, Brandon Thomas, pre-psychology freshman and Kevin Aje, undecided sophomore, who finished sixth, seventh and 10th in the first heat, respectively. Eric Williams, construction technology senior, finished third in the pole vault. Williams vaulted a height of 15 feet, 7 inches. The men’s team finished with a total of 40 points, putting them sixth in the overall standings behind three SLC teams. The Bobcats finished behind conference opponents UTSA and Stephen F. Austin. Renee Shepard, exercise and sports science sophomore, ran the 200-meter dash. Shepard’s 25.79-second run put her fourth in the final standings.
Valerie Hancock, applied sociology junior, placed second in the high jump with a distance of 5 feet, 8.75 inches. Jennifer Matthews, interdisciplinary studies senior, placed third in the women’s pole vault. Matthews vaulted a height of 11 feet, 3.75 inches. The women’s team finished with a total of 34.5 points and placed eighth overall. The women finished less than 10 points behind conference teams SFA and Sam Houston State. The team defeated four other conference opponents: UTSA, Texas, Lamar and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Texas State track and field team will continue its season with the Houston Invite and the University of Houston Combined Events meets Friday.
win in last minutes of women’s basketball
Bridgette Cyr/Star photo UP AND OVER: Gabriell Mattox, sophomore forward, out leaps her opponent from Texas-San Antonio during the game.
By Lisa Carter Sports Editor The Texas State women’s basketball team was up by 16 points in its game against Texas-San Antonio Wednesday. However, the team did not predict that point difference to turn into a 4-point deficit at the final buzzer. The Bobcats lost to the Roadrunners 56-52. It marks the team’s first home loss and third conference loss of the season. Texas State is now 8-10 overall and 2-3 in Southland Conference play. UTSA is 11-7 overall and 3-1 in SLC play. “It’s a loss. It’s an ‘L’,” said Victoria Davis, junior guard. “We just have to bounce back from it. It’s devastating, but we can’t dwell on it.” UTSA won the tip-off and opened scoring in the first half of the game. Davis was the first player to score for the Bobcats with two points. Gabriell Mattox, sophomore forward, made a 3-pointer to put the Bobcats up 5-3. UTSA attempted to score after the first timeout of the game. However, Davis grabbed the rebound and passed it to Kim Cessna, senior center, who turned it over to the Roadrunners. The Bobcat defense continued to keep the Roadrunners from scoring at 19-15 with less than 12 minutes left in the first half. Davis made a steal and a block against the Roadrunners within the next two minutes. Neither team scored until Aimee Hilburn, junior forward, made a 2-point basket with less than eight minutes left in the first half to put the Bobcats up 21-15. Mattox scored two points with 6:06 left. Hilburn attempted a shot when the Bobcats got the rebound, but missed. Davis made a layup immediately after to put Texas State up 25-25 with just more than four minutes left. Monica Gibbs, UTSA guard, had a shot clock violation at 2:09. The Roadrunners were finally able to score for their first time in 10 minutes when Amber Gregg, UTSA guard, made a 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the first half. Gregg scored again at 1:06, but Cessna answered back seconds later to put Texas State up 32-21, the final score of the half. Texas State was 15-for-29 from the field and held UTSA to a 22.9 field goal percentage in the first half. The Bobcats were 100 percent in shooting 3-pointers. Davis led the Bobcats in rebounds in the first half with 11 and shot 4-for-8 from the field.
However, Texas State allowed UTSA to catch up in the second half. Davis was first to score for the Bobcats at 19:04 with a 2-point basket. Hilburn made a steal with 17 minutes left, but UTSA grabbed the rebound on the missed layup. Onika Anderson, UTSA forward, made a 2-point basket off a rebound, putting the Roadrunners to within 15 points. Hilburn made one free throw to put the score at 41-29. She made a 2-point basket with 10:19 left. Davis scored another 2-pointer for the Bobcats at 9:36, but Jordan Stark, UTSA guard, answered back with two points of her own to make the score 45-32. Stark sunk a 3-pointer at 8:16 for UTSA to put the Roadrunners within 10 points. Gregg went to the line and made two of three free throws for UTSA. Cessna sunk a 3-pointer for the Bobcats with less than six minutes left in the game. Gibbs went to the line and made both free throws to put the score at 48-41. Stark scored two points with almost three minutes left to put UTSA within two points. Hilburn answered back with a 2-point basket. Davis fouled Gibbs who made both free throws, putting the Roadrunners back to within two points. Anderson went to the foul line with just over 1:30 to go. She made both free throws to tie the score at 50. Gibbs made a layup with more than 30 seconds left in the game. Mattox fouled, putting Stark at the line for the Roadrunners. Stark sunk one free throw before the Bobcats called a timeout. Davis made a layup with seven seconds left to put the Bobcats to within two. Stark went to the line again and made both free throws. Davis attempted one last shot in the game, but came up short. Hilburn is optimistic about the remainder of the season, despite the loss to the Bobcats’ conference foe. “There’s a lot more games left and we have a lot more opportunities left to better our record and come back in conference,” Hilburn said. “They (the Roadrunners) are our rival and the loss at home is kind of rough. We lost a couple of games in a row, so it’s kind of bad for the momentum and confidence, but we’ll come back. We just need to stick together as a team and have a couple of good practices and see what we can do on Saturday.” Texas State will play TexasArlington 2 p.m. Saturday in Strahan Coliseum. UTA is 10-8 overall and 4-1 in SLC play.