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esT Ts play Conferen onferenC Ce Triple Tes Thespians cause dramam on stage

see T Tre reND re NDs ND s Pa PaGe 6

The women’s tennis team takes two wins and one loss in the weekend’s matches see sPor orT Ts Pa PaGe 8

Defending the First Amendment since 1911

february 18, 2009


Volume 98, Issue 52

Pell Grant Increase

Stimulus legislation serves higher education, cuts facility construction funds By Rachel Nelson News Reporter Higher education will reap some benefits from the $787 billion stimulus bill that was signed into law Tuesday, but the gains will not be what some hoped for when the plan surfaced. Allocated funds for higher education construction and the federal work-study program were reduced by U.S. Senators while making cuts to the package. President Barack Obama addressed the nation in early January before sworn into office, communicating his optimism about the proposal to build educational facilities. “To give our children the chance to live out their dreams in a world that’s never been more competitive, we will equip tens of thousands of schools, community colleges and public universities with 21st-century classrooms, labs and libraries,” Obama said during his economic recovery speech Jan. 8. “We’ll provide new computers, new technology and new training for teachers so students in Chicago and Boston can compete with children in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future.” According to information provided by the Texas State Financial Aid Office, there was a 1.1 percent increase for allocated federal workstudy funds during fiscal years 2008 and 2009. However, the number of work-study positions was reduced as a result of the increase in minimum wage that occurred in July 2008.

Sarah Strick/Star photo illustration

The number of students receiving Pell Grants will see an increase, and the maximum amount of the grants are greater than previous years. The original House package sought to increase the grant amount by $500 and the number of recipients by 800,000 in the next year.

The maximum amount in the revised Senate version of the bill for a Pell Grant is up $281 during the 2009-2010 award year, but will jump to $400 in 2010-2011. The number of recipients will increase in 20092010 by 175,000 and 250,000 in 2010-2011, respectively. Sidencio Leija, College Democrats member, said he was dis-

appointed in the decision to cut educational facility funds because of the jobs they would have created for Americans. “I think by them increasing (Pell Grants) by this amount, it will hopefully reduce the amount of students going into debt over the four or five years in college,” Leija said. Leija is a veteran of the U.S.

Navy and said grants and the G.I. Bill have made it possible for him to focus on his studies rather than having to work while in school. The Financial Aid Office said 6,611 Pell Grants were awarded at Texas State, according to data from 2007-2008. The office encourages students to reapply for grants each year because they may be eligible for subsidized need-based loans, such as a Federal Direct Loan, if they do not qualify for Pell Grants. A higher tax credit is designed to provide relief for college students and their parents. The legislation states 100 per percent of tuition and related expenses paid by citizens during the taxable year will be credited provided the amount does not exceed $2,000. Twenty-five percent will be credited for costs between $2,000 and $4,000. Leija said he thinks it is a great time to be a student during this economic turmoil, especially for freshmen and sophomores because they will not have to struggle to find jobs until after they graduate. “They hopefully will be there at the point when things are going up,” Leija said. “If you’re a junior and senior, looking for a job is going to be tough.” Graduate school is something Leija said he is looking into to avoid the dwindling job market for two more years. “We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Leija said. “We won’t see any results until the beginning months of next year if we get lucky.”

‘It will hopefully reduce the amount of students going into debt...’ —Sidencio Leija College Democrats member

Citizen Summit engages greater numbers by offering multiple sessions By Theron Brittain Senior News Reporter Texas State students will have a chance to help shape the future of San Marcos this week. The 2009 Citizen Summit is underway. The annual event provides community members with an opportunity to discuss the direction of San Marcos and offer suggestions on improving the economy, environment and standard of life in their city. One of the meetings will be held for the first time on the Texas State campus. Kim Porterfield, community relations director and Place 1 City Councilmember, said the degree to which students will be included is significant. “Students, faculty and staff will have an oppor opportunity to participate in our annual city visioning,” Porterfield said. “Any time we can make it more convenient for student residents to participate in municipal government, that is a good thing.”

The community relations department will host the session at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the LBJ Student Center. The 2009 summit is divided into six sessions to be held Wednesday and Thursday at different locations in San Marcos. The multiple sessions are designed to engage more of the community than if just a single, large meeting were held, as has been the case in previous years. Richard Lewis of the Round Top Consulting Group will moderate the summit and perform an analysis of resident input. The event culminates in a presentation to the City Council at a general community summit at the San Marcos Conference Center Thursday evening. Mayor Susan Narvaiz said input from previous summits aided the council in creating a vision for the future of San Marcos. “Every year we have been doing this, we have used the feedback to formulate our budget goals,”

Narvaiz said. She said more than 400 residents participated in 2007, 200 more than in 2008. “Every year we have changed it up to refresh the idea and the concept,” Narvaiz said. “Last year, we had a facilitator, and we decided to do it in multiple locations by demographic.” The council did not attend those meetings, but received a report at the end. A 2008 report compiled by Round Top Consulting Group listed four major areas in which residents agreed steps should be taken. Economic expansion, environment enhancement, cooperative efforts between major stakeholders in the city and transportation alternatives were foremost on the citizen wish list. Seventeen percent of those in attendance at the 2008 summit listed the need for a comprehensive transportation plan as the most pressing problem facing San Marcos, with 11.5 percent saying the

city should target economic development in order to achieve the Collective Vision for 2014. The Collective Vision is a formal statement of intentions for San Marcos to be accomplished by a set year. Round Top Consulting Group constructs the vision from descriptions provided by residents during the summit. Narvaiz said she believes progress has been made on objectives set in 2008. “From an economic standpoint, we have been trying to draw in the economic development master plan,” Narvaiz said. “We have all put money together — the county, the university, the hospital — different people have come on board with us to reach that regional goal. We are highly involved in the region on rail relocation and transportation. I would say we are realizing (progress).” An online survey was provided to residents Feb. See SUMMIT, page 3

Sagewood fire lane causes parking difficulties Correction regarding By Theron Brittain Senior News Reporter Sagewood Circle has earned its stripes. Residents of Sagewood say parking is hard to come by, and they are receiving fire-lane relat related offenses to prove it. A fire lane installed in 2003 stretches along one side of the street for its entire span. There is no curbside parking on that side, and residents must ensure vehicles in the driveway do not extend into the street. “It is a hassle,” said Matt Whit Whitig, industrial technology junior. Whitig has lived on the fire-lane side of Sagewood for a year, and received a ticket for parking too Bobby Scheidemann/Star photo far away from the opposite curb. “That ticket cost me $30,” RED STRIPE: People have disputed over the necessity of the fire he said. “There is absolutely no line at sagewood.

Today’s weather AM Showers


Precipitation: 30% Humidity: 75% UV: 3 Moderate Wind: S 7 mph

Two-day Forecast Wednesday


Partly Cloudy Temp: 80°/44° Precip: 10%

sunny Temp: 66°/34° Precip: 0%

parking available on this street, and even people who live here do not have room for their cars. You can get ticketed for letting the back of your truck stick out over the fire lane.” The fire lane runs along the west side of the street. It stretches across curbs and driveways, and is designated by a red stripe. Whitig said the residents of his threebedroom house can not all park in their driveway without at least one vehicle extending over the stripe. Fire Marshall Ken Bell said he ordered the lane in 2003 in response to incidents during which emergency personnel were unable to gain entry to the street because of vehicle congestion. Bell said ambulances, fire trucks and police cruisers had all been denied acSee SAGEWOOD, page 3

staff-hiring freeze The headline about the hir hiring freeze in Tuesday’s UniverUniver sity Star should have stated the university will halt hiring new staff positions. Provost Perry Moore explained the “fexible” hiring freeze in greater detail. Moore said critical staff positions will be filled. “Our highest priority is to continue employing them,” Moore said. Moore reiterated the university has no plan to cut jobs. He said all vice presidents will review staff positions not filled and decide if they are critical or not. “We do not know what the

future budgets hold,” he said. “We don’t now what the legislature will do or what the economy will do.” Moore said the university official’s goal of creating new faculty positions stems from the institution having one of the highest full-time faculty to student ratios. He said when including part-time adjunct faculty that statistic is lowered somewhat. “That is the goal. If we maintain tuition as currently advised we will recruit new faculty,” he said. “If we do not, I’m not sure we can recruit new faculty.” The University Star regrets this error.

Inside News ........... 1,2,3 opinions ............ 5 Trends ................ 6

Diversions.............7 Classifieds............7 sports...................8

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


2 - Wednesday, February 18, 2009


starsof texas state Guard Victoria Davis, applied arts and sciences junior, finished with a career-high 26 points and eight rebounds, going 12-for-17 from the field in a 66-62 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday. —Courtesy of Texas State Athletics

Today in Brief

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



WEDNESDAY LGBQ Pride Group is from 12 p.m. 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.

University Police Department

Anger Management Group is from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Learn simple, innovative techniques for managing anger & developing healthier ways of relating. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208.

Feb. 6, 12:30 a.m. Failure to Comply/Striking Unattended Vehicle / Wood Street Parking Lot A student’s vehicle was damaged while legally parked. This case is under investigation.

ACOA/Dysfunctional Families Group is from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. for adult children of alcoholics dealing with dysfunctional families group. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. There will be an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 130 W. Holland. Career Services presents Job EXPO in Strahan Coliseum from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The morning rain refreshes campus greenery Tuesday as students walk to class.

Austin Byrd/Star photo

The Student Chapter of the Alumni Association will be holding Trading Up in The Quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Center hosts conference focusing on Latino media

The Faculty Artist Series Presents: Faculty Recital at 8 p.m. in the School of Music Recital Hall. Admission is $5 for general public and $3 for students.

The Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets in the School of Journalism and Mass Communicationis preparing to host the second annual International Conference on Spanish-Language and other Latinooriented Media. Approximately 60 speakers from throughout the world will converge for the conference, scheduled Feb. 19 to 21 at the Texas State campus, to address students, faculty and media professionals. Federico Subervi, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and center director, said the conference is a great opportunity to showcase the univer university’s efforts for study in this field to its top people. “This is the signature, major inaugural event of the Center,” Subervi said. “It puts us and Texas State on national and international maps as an academic unit that is on the cut cutting edge for research, teaching and professional service related to Latino

THURSDAY Veterans Support group is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans can help veterans cope with the stress of transition and the demands of college lives. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-2452208. Coping with Grief and Loss Group is from 5:15 p.m. 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. Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, room 320. Enjoy contemporary worship, relevant teaching, prayer and plenty of fun. Contact 512-557-7988 or mail@texasstat for more information.

media and markets.” Attendees will include television and print journalism managers and editors, educators and also the communications strategists responsible for the Latino-oriented campaigns of President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain during their 2008 presidential campaigns. Subervi said one topic of conversation will be increasing collaboration in higher education institutions for improved research on the topic. “During the conference, we also plan to discuss the establishment of an inter-university consortium that will allow for extended collaboration between national and possibly inter international academic units that teach and conduct research about Spanishlanguage and Latino-oriented media and markets,” said Subservi. The opening and closing sessions of the conference will be free and open to the public while other events will be limited to registered participants

Feb. 6, 1:51 a.m. Possession of Marijuana / But Butler Hall A police officer was dispatched to the location for a suspicious odor call. Upon further investigation, a student was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and arrested for possession of marijuana. The student was transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center awaiting a court date.

only. The opening session, begins at 5 p.m. Feb. 19 on the 11th floor of the J.C. Kellam building. The session will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Spanish-language press in the Unit United States and include presentations on current Latino-oriented media. The closing session, beginning at 1:15 p.m. Feb. 21, will feature strategists involved in the Latino-focused parts of the 2008 presidential campaign. Several private companies and or organizations and various Texas State departments are sponsoring the conference. Visit www.centerforlatinomedia. com to register for the conference or to access a complete schedule of events. Call the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets at 512245-5267 or e-mail Federico Subervi at for any additional information.

Feb. 6, 1:07 p.m. Medical Emergency / Student Recreation Center A student reported to a police of officer that he injured his leg. The student was transported to Central Texas Medical Center for a medical evaluation.

—Courtesy of University News Ser Service

—Courtesy of University Police Department

Feb. 7, 3:35 a.m. Criminal Trespass Warning / Butler Hall A police officer made contact with a nonstudent acting suspiciously. The nonstudent was issued a criminal trespass warning. Feb. 7, 9:09 p.m. Property Damage / Falls Hall While on patrol, a police officer noticed that University property was damaged. This case is under investigation.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Flu season cause class attendance to drop By Lori Jones Special to the Star There is more than love in the air this month. According to Health Center officials, February is the peak month for the flu season. Physicians at the Student Health Center are seeing up to 200 students a day with cold and flu-like symptoms, said Karen Gordon-Sosby, assistant director of the Student Health Center. “This has been the highest demand all year,” Gordon-Sosby said. The Health Center usually maintains nine fulltime medical providers year round. A temporary tenth physician was hired this month to help treat patients because of the increase in student appointments. Gordon-Sosby said the number of students coming to the center is comparable to previous years. She said January and February have typically higher numbers of students coming in because of the flu season. “Doctors in town are seeing the same peak,” Gordon-Sosby said. The amount of students suffering from

cold and flu-like symptoms is attributed to the cold weather, she said. Students are saying the flu is affecting more than their respiratory tract — class attendance has been disrupted as well. “I never get the flu,” said Sergio de Leon, exercise and sports science sophomore. “I haven’t had it in years, but this year I got it and it lasted about five days. I even had to miss class.” Alberto Mendez, lecturer in the department of modern languages, said he has noticed a recent class attendance decrease because of the flu season. “I have a lot of students contact me about missing class because they were sick,” Mendez said. Jake Johnson, management senior, said he had the flu for almost two weeks. He said the Student Health Center was booked every time he tried to make an appointment. Students are able to make appointments both online and over the phone for the center. They can begin scheduling same day online appointments at 6 a.m. GordonSosby said every time slot has been filled by 8 a.m.

Gordon-Sosby said one physician for emergency cases reserves half of the day for students needing immediate treatment. The slots reserved for immediate treatment have been filled each day as well. Gordon-Sosby said if students are unable to set up an appointment they are encouraged to “call the nurse so they can be triaged and given advice on what to do.” Physicians can treat students via phone and recommend over the counter medicines available at local drug stores. Gordon-Sosby said she urges students to get the flu vaccine offered at the Student Health Center. The center ordered 12,000 vaccines last year at $20 each and sold out. “We would like to double that number this year,” she said. The price of the vaccines to be offered in the fall 2009 remains undetermined. Gordon-Sosby said students wishing to avoid getting the flu should “eat well, rest, wash their hands and practice good hygiene.” The Student Health Center expects the flu season will last through the month of March and possibly April.

The University Star - 3


cess to the street at some point. “That is what it boils down to,” Bell said. “We had multiple, massive gatherings that were occurring in the area. The final straw was when we had somebody injured (on Sagewood) and we had to close down the street on both ends with police units because of the amount of vehicles, and only let people out and not in. This was just to get the ambulance to the 1000 block of Sagewood to get the person out. That was enough.” Sagewood is a horseshoeshaped street with two points of access, both on Craddock. Lisa Dvorak, assistant police chief, said parking and emergency entry are negatively affected as a result. “Imagine putting vehicles on both sides of the street, and having just normal sized cars going two ways trying to make it through,” Dvorak said. “It is not going to happen.” Bell said Sagewood was designed as a family neighborhood. The original parking structure was intended to accommodate single-family households. Bell said the area became home to college students over time, bringing more vehicles than driveways were designed to accommodate them. Whitig and other residents say they feel Sagewood is singled out for its reputation as a party neighborhood. Dvorak admitted Sagewood receives more attention than other neighborhoods, but said the fire lane’s purpose is to allow access by emergency


5 through Feb. 16. Porterfield said information gained from the survey will be presented at the general summit Thursday. Narvaiz said a part of the 2009 summit will be analyzing progress made in the past year. “(Lewis) will recap for the citizens at the beginning about how what they said last year has resulted in some real work,” Narvaiz said. ASG President Brett Baker is encouraging students to attend Thursday’s meeting. “They should go because they live in San Marcos,” Baker said. Spencer Millsap/Star photo illistration “It is currently their home, and ALL BOOKED: The Student Health Center has been overcrowded, making it difficult for students to make appointments. it might be their home when they graduate from college. This

vehicles, not to curb partying in the area. “Sagewood is not singled out from the standpoint of being picked on,” Dvorak said. “It certainly is a neighborhood where we have issues we want to look at, which are noise, trash and the parking situation. If you have parts of your neighborhood that start to get into an area of decline, you have to address it in some way, shape or form. That is what we have done.” The San Marcos Police Department made 75 traffic stops and conducted 93 loud noise investigations on Sagewood, issuing 46 citations and logging 140 hours of patrol time between October 2007 and September 2008, according to a City Council report in November. The police department used its interaction with Sagewood as a base for suggesting changes to a city noise ordinance. Dvorak and Bell said the police department patrols Sagewood regularly for violations of the fire lane. “We have taken proactive measures in the Sagewood neighborhood because of four particular complaints we have had, number one being the parking issue,” Dvorak said. “We do drive through at night and that is part of our proactive order maintenance policing.” Bell said the fire lane is a permanent fixture for the foreseeable future, but could always be removed if parking congestion did not cease to be an issue.

allows them to express any concerns about what the city has done in the past couple of years, and allows them to provide input on how they want to see the city grow and prosper.” Narvaiz said she hopes residents will participate in either the online survey or town hall sessions. “If you go back over the last several years, we have consistently said as a city that transportation issues, job creation and economic development are important,” Narvaiz said. “It will be interesting to see if people, especially in light of the economy, will respond differently.” Information on times and locations of City Summit sessions can be found on the city Web site.

4 - The University Star


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

OpiniOns 5 - The University Star

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


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan,

The Main PoinT lot can be said for good leadership.


A band of strangers will never come together without some dominant figure pointing the way for them. Getting people to work in unison toward a common goal can be one of the most difficult tasks an individual can undertake, and it takes a certain person to be that leader. People who have witnessed Texas State men’s basketball games must be wondering where that leadership is right now. It would seem that the Bobcats do their best only after the other team acts up. The men’s basketball team won the game Feb. 4, only after a brawl broke out. According to the Feb. 5 issue of The University Star Star, Brandon Bush, senior guard, said the fight is definitely what fired the team up. Why has the team not gotten this kind of inspiration from their coach? There is no doubt head Coach Doug Davalos is a vocal man. How However, the octave of his voice does not equate into leadership abilities. He is yelling, but he is not communicating with nor inspiring his players. The basketball team is being inspired by other teams’ actions. If the Bobcats were to face a team that abstained from acting up, they would find their inspiration to be dried up. It is at these moments the coach should be able to rally his men. However, as evidenced by the 4-7 record in the Southland Conference, Davalos is not stepping up. His verbal berating of a referee caused the team a technical foul in the Feb. 11 game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Coaches should not take a lousy call lying down, and no one expects them to say, “Excuse me” and “Thank you” in a polite voice when addressing the referee. However, Davalos failed in encouraging his players all the while getting them a technical foul. The ironic part about this situa situation is, according to Davalos’ biog biography on the Texas State Athletics Web site, Davalos had a reputation for turning teams around. The men’s team’s prospects for playoffs certainly look better than they did even last week, but few would ar argue it is Davalos turning the team around. It is the other teams’ unjust action doing his job for him. Davalos is clearly a talented recruiter. No one is going to say the men’s team suffers from a lack of athleticism. Furthermore, Davalos surely has a firm grasp of the game of basketball. The area he needs to work on is his ability to lead and inspire his men. A basketball team is a corner cornerstone of any good athletics depart department, and when they do not win because of a lack of leadership and inspiration it discourages the players, fans and students. With a basketball team inspired by its coach we would be able to win more games, and more people would attend the games because they are excited.


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.

Zach Ashburn/Star Illustration

Death penalty needs further discussion By Tristan Watson Star Columnist Former President George Bush claimed to be a Christian, but when he took the position of Governor Governorship of Texas in 1995 he allowed the executions of more than 130 people in the state. Qualifying the death penalty as a remedy for punishment is morally and spiritually wrong. The legal system is playing God by saying it is okay to take the life of a human being and deciding any wrong doing would be vindicated through a person’s death. No one should have the power to decide who lives and dies. Every day in the criminal justice system someone has either been sentenced to death, or has died as a result of being on death row. What does it ac accomplish when the criminal justice system purposely kills someone? According to, an online publication, Odell Barnes was sentenced to death for the murder of his friend and lover. The evidence which suggested Barnes committed the murder wasn’t conclusive and cast immeasurable doubt on his guilt. Nevertheless, Gov. Bush allowed Barnes to be ex executed. CNN reported on the case of Timothy Cole Feb 6. Cole was an innocent man convicted in 1985 of a rape he did not commit according to later DNA evidence and a confession by another man. He died an innocent man in 1999 while serving a 25-year prison sentence. The Death Penalty Information Center reports Texas is the nation’s foremost executioner since 1976, responsible for a third of the death sentences in the country. The center officials say numerous death penalty convictions have been tainted by overzealous prosecutions and the use of perjured testimony. But the real questoin is how many people actually died who were innocent? I agree with the Texas Defender Service which states the “Texas death penalty system is flawed and has allowed executions based on false evidence and dubious guilt.” I am a strong advocate for life in prison, but to take someone’s life is not bringing justice. The death penalty can be a contentious subject matter, especially among religious believers. Individuals who believe in God should not advocate ending someone’s life. They know another human should not determine life and death. I question the former President’s position on Christianity and how he could knowingly allow so many people to die. Individuals commit heinous crimes and should be held responsible, but taking life will not undo the crime committed. Texas should not imply that the only effective punishment is death. How can society distinguish between an executioner and the legal system of which uses death as punishment? The death penalty should be abolished. The criminal justice system should vigorously work to find new ways to punish offenders.

Senate still beneficial but legislation ‘legitimacy’ at risk By Allen Read Assistant News Editor This is the second part of a two-part series. ASG senate attendance records need to be reviewed immediately and senators found to be in violation of the rules should be expelled. Failure to do this would be a reckless disregard of the integrity of the student government. If the administration refuses to uphold the Code of Laws then it should be held responsible. The Baker / Moore administration needs to make ASG senate and committee meetings attendance available on the ASG Web site as an act of good faith, transparency and commitment to the student body. Prominent senators with more than two absences are in violation of the attendance policy. Because of the un-

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certainty of the record keeping, they will not be named. Senators Justin Collard, James Flink, Thomas Luna, Jonathan Moldenhaur, Daniel Neal and Andrew Salazar have had perfect attendance since the beginning of the academic school year. Sen. Coulter Ray joined mid-way through fall semester and has had perfect attendance since. According to the ASG Code of Laws, “quorum in the senate shall consist of two-thirds of the members of the senate in good standing” and “the senate shall not conduct official business without the presence of a quorum.” If the senate has not been meeting quorum by way of low-attendance or use of ineligible senators, or if records have not been properly kept, the legitimacy of all legislation passed by this body comes into question. However, the senate, flawed as it is,

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has produced beneficial legislation. The impact of which should not be diminished. A small group of senators should be commended. Senators Crystal Celmmons, Amanda Domaschk and Michael Guzman have authored more than one piece of legislation this academic school year. Clemmons and Domaschk along side Senators Justin Collard, Daniel Neal, Michelle Malcik and Ariana Vargas have sponsored more than two pieces of legislation this school year. Those six have accounted for 50 percent of all sponsorships cast by current senators on legislation this academic school year. Approximately half of the senators have neither authored nor sponsored legislation this academic school year. It should be not noted 11 senators were appointed Feb. 2 to fill vacant seats. “This year we hope to continue and even improve the transparency of

the Associated Student Government,” states the first line of ASG President Brett Baker’s executive agenda. This can, and must, be done. The following information needs to be made public on the ASG Web site as well as be updated weekly when and if it changes. ASG Senators names and who they represent ASG Senators contact information ASG Senators attendance records ASG Senators voting records Baker said he would support these pieces of information to be more visible. The senate’s meeting minutes and legislation should be made available on the Web site as soon as it’s available. ASG President Brett Baker and Vice President Jason Moore must find a way to energize the senate. Their job as student leaders is

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to do such and in this regard they have failed the senate and the entire student body. The senators who have not, do not and will not work to make Texas State better for their constituents must resign. It is the only responsible action these senators can make at this point. However, if the behavior outlined above and in yesterday’s installment is any indication, their ability to make such a mature decision is unlikely. I am confident the Baker administration will take these findings and use them as a conduit for making the Associated Student Government more efficient and transparent. There is a bountiful opportunity to do so. And lastly to the senators, if this column has offended you then you are likely not doing your job. The data used was current as of Feb. 13.

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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 Wednesday, February 18, 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


6 - Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Band addresses political issues Leslie Peters

Trends Columnist

The heavy metal genre was invaded in 1994 by an influx of foreign influences, specifically System of a Down. The band is of Armenian ancestry, and has a left-wing political philosophy. Its songs cover topics like the Armenian Genocide, the war on drugs, Iraqi Civil War, religion and censorship. System of a Down is part of the nonprofit organization, Axis of Justice, co-founded by Serj Tankian (lead vocals) and Tom Morello (guitarist for Rage Against The Machine). The organization dedicates itself to gathering musicians, fans and other political organizations in the name of social justice. System of a Down has expanded the horizons of the metal world and given way for the acceptance of new instruments in an old genre with a wide range of experimentation and stylistic varieties. Its alternation between loud screaming and soft, sweet singing

is also a trademark of the band. Band members have been successful as a group and recently in solo projects. The most successful was lead singer Serj Tankian’s solo album Elect the Dead, released in 2007. The album is a powerful political statement of compelling lyrics and the combination of the usual metal elements with the addition of keyboards and pianos. Songs such as “Empty Walls,” “The Unthinking Majority” and “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” are the most recognized hits off the album. The album is the perfect addition to any fan’s collection. The lyrics to songs may seem random at first, but this is System of a Down’s genius at work. The meanings, like most poems, short stories, novels and artwork, are not directly correlated to the specific words or images. The band’s stream of consciousness is obsessively and instinctively incorporated into the lyrics, which can be appealing to any listener. “Sugar,” “Soldier Side,” “B.Y.O.B.” and other songs have allowed System of a Down to create a political and worldly awareness in its primarily younger audience. It infuses middle-eastern musical and philosophical influences with heavy metal, giving a fresh outlook to a world American music listeners tend to judge quickly but know little about.

The New York Times’ Aron Pilhofer will be at the LBJ Teaching Theater at 6:30 p.m. Pilhofer is the editor of the Interactive Newsroom Technologies team at the world-renowned newspaper. Pilhofer and his team has helped develop the Times’ Web site into one of the most innovative news sources in the world. Pilhofer will be talking about the changing face of the media and the ways students hoping to enter the media industry can keep up with technology. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

Trends Contact — Brett Thorne,

Texas State hosts regional theater festival

child the kitchen maid has taken responsibility for. “We performed the Caucasian Chalk Circle last spring,” Fleming said. “We entered the production into the competition and were selected. Actors, even some graduates who were in the production last spring, have returned just for the event.” House of Several Stories is written by John Boulanger, theater graduate student, and is directed by Jeremy Torres, electronic media junior. According to the department of theater and dance Web site, the play is about “how stories (whether true, false or borrowed) help us fill the vacuums in our lives caused by death, loss and dysfunction.” “The new show, House of Several Stories, rehearsed for about five weeks,” Fleming said. “They re-rehearsed for two weeks in order to prepare for the festival.” Michelle Ney, professor in the department of theater and dance, has been on the regional committee for two years, but has been active in American College Theater Festival since “the dark ages.” “As a member of the regional committee, I am responsible for traveling to see shows and give feedback,” Ney said. “All of the members of the regional committee get together one weekend to watch recordings of the productions to try to select which ones will be performed at the Region VI Festival. It is a voting process, and I do have to remain un-biased, Danny Rodriguez/Star file photo since I am a part of the Texas CLASS ACT: The upcoming annual Region VI American College State body.” Theater Festival will bring students from 35 schools across the There are various criteria used to select the productions to be southern states to Texas State’s campus on Feb. 24 and 28. performed at the regional festival. By Morgan Wilson Seven productions will be per“The Regional Committee looks Features Reporter formed in front of the festival’s for the strongest overall across the judges. Texas State is performing region,” Ney said. “We look at perMore than 700 thespians will two of its original productions. formance, directing, design, stage swarm Texas State Feb. 24. “This year, there will be seven management, acting and a few Texas State will host the annual shows at our festival. Two of them technical things.” Region VI American College The- are Texas State productions, inTexas State has had eight stuater Festival for more than 700 the- cluding a new play by one of our dents advance to the Kennedy ater students from 35 institutions graduate students,” said John Center in the past eight years. from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Fleming, theater chair. “We have had students advance Louisiana and New Mexico. They House of Several Stories in scene design, lighting design, will perform productions, attend and Caucasian Chalk Circle will costume design, acting and stage workshops, and participate in com- be performed. management,” Fleming said. petition. Students will compete for Caucasian Chalk Circle is Students who earn the opthe opportunity to travel to the about a kitchen maid and a portunity to attend at the naKennedy Center in Washington, drunken judge whose lives tional level tend to say the event D.C for the national finals. merge because of the trial of a is eye-opening.

“We have had a few students travel to the Kennedy Center,” Ney said. “They say it is life-changing to be in that kind of environment.” Ney said competing universities use the festival as an opportunity to be creative. “It is great to see when all these schools come together and generate ideas among one another,” Ney said. “It is a good opportunity for us, as well as the students, to learn more. Ney deserves credit for bringing the competition to San Marcos. “(Festival committee members) were looking for a school to host it,” Ney said. “So, I brought it to the faculty and staff here, and they agreed. It is a great opportunity for the students to learn more of the technical side of theater.” Fleming said planning for the festival has been a big undertaking. “We have been meeting since fall semester,” Fleming said. “There is going to be 700 to 800 people from all over the place.” Ney said because the Region VI American College Theater Festival is being held at Texas State, more theater students can participate in the festival. “The students learn a great deal in association with putting together the festival,” Ney said. “More students in theatre can participate, because the festival is here on campus. We want more of our students to be exposed to more than what they learn in our cozy theater.” The American College Theater Festival will take place Feb.24 to Feb 28 at the Theatre Center.

The productions performed at the festival are as followed:

Anatomy of Grey - University of Oklahoma As It Is in Heaven - Oklahoma Baptist University Caucasian Chalk Circle Texas State Doubt - Midwestern State University House of Several Stories - Texas State Metamorphoses - Centenary College of Louisiana Rabbit Hole - West Texas A&M

Vortex Street teaches positive thinking, leadership skills By Mike Patterson Features Reporter Mindy Audlin has seen the power of positive thinking. Audlin was born in Arlington and graduated from Texas Tech in 1992 with a degree in broadcast journalism. She formed a business in 2000 in Arlington called Vortex Street. The business’s purpose was to teach college students leadership skills and the power of positive thinking through experience workshops. Audlin noticed students would “what-if down,” meaning they would lower their personal expectations. “So we decided that we would ‘what-if up.’ We would work ourselves into a sort of energy vortex of positive possibilities,” Audlin said. “I was really doing it to create a better atmosphere

for the other stuff in the program, but the next thing I knew miracles were happening.” People were coming to the meetings with goals and dreams of finding their soul mate, buying a house and getting their degree. Audlin said she began hearing the success stories a few months after the group started. Audlin and her community had found the power of the law of attraction. The law says if one focuses on an object, person or experience, they will “attract” it. Audlin later moved to Wimberley, and is now a spiritual leader at the Unity Church of Wimberley. She is also an online radio talk host for the program “The Leading Edge.” She interviews pioneers on the leading edge of the law

of attraction. She has hosted well-known authors, speakers nd spiritual leaders such as Joe Vitale, John Gray and Marianne Williamson. Audlin said the law of attraction works positively and negatively. Her first example was Sept. 11. “The crime rates across the world fell for that day as the whole world focused on that event,” said Audlin.“In the material world that we see and live in, yes there are things we say are bad things. But I believe on the level of our spiritual essence, things can only make us better.” Audlin, Vitale and others from the fields of medicine, physics and spirituality will be participating as speakers at the Awakening Conference from Feb. 26 to March 1. The con-

ference will take place at the Embassy Suites. The event will feature speakers, workshops and other events to help attendees better understand this law of attraction. “We’d really like to see as big a turnout as possible, especially from the universities,” said Kathy Perry, co-producer of the event. Audlin will be speaking on March 1 about her concept of “what-if up.” Audlin said she hopes the conference gives students a retreat from the stresses that come with graduation and independence. “If you’re in that mindset, this is the place to go,” Audlin said. Visit for more information on the conference.


Wednesday, February 18, 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.

Solutions 2/17

Classifieds E-mail Classifieds at

rates and policies

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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Texas State softball’s Chandler Hall, freshman pitcher, was named Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week Tuesday. Hall held a perfect 3-0 record this weekend in the UH Crowne Plaza Classic. She pitched 14 innings and had 13 strikeouts. She ranks second for wins in the SLC with three and second for strikeouts per game with eight.

8 - Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sports Contact — Lisa Carter,

Track, field teams prepare for conference championship By Jessie Spielvogel Sports Reporter The Texas State track and field teams competed in their last meet before the conference championship at the Texas A&M Invitational Saturday and Sunday. Construction to the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium was recently completed. “The track at A&M is the best in the nation,” said Dmitri Kabakov, senior. De’Andrick Johnson, undecided freshman, is among Bobcats who competed at the event. He finished with a time of 7.11 in the 60-meter dash. Johnson is the record holder in the event for Texas State. He qualified for the finals with a time of 6.92 and finished in the finals for the 200meter event with a time of 21.85. Iris Darrington, interdisciplinary studies junior, finished the 400-meter event with 57.12. Morgan Canty, marketing freshman, finished behind Darrington with a time of 59.87. Canty finished the 200-meter event with 24.72. Lindsey Maxwell, exercise and sports science sophomore, finished the women’s 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.75. Michael Webley, accounting senior, finished with a time of 1:55.41 for the men’s 800meter event. “I did faster than the last meet, so that was positive,” Webley said. “Now we (the team) just have to prepare for the conference.” Kemuel Morales, health and wellness promotion senior, placed third in the shot put with 17.05 meters. Valerie Hancock, applied sociology junior, placed fourth in the high jump with 1.72 meters. “My goal is to place first in high jump or the pentathlon, or in the top three,” Hancock said.

Women’s tennis beats St. Edward’s, UTPA

Kabakov placed seventh in the pole vault with a height of 4.61 meters. Kabakov said he was disappointed with his results at the meet. “I jumped a foot shorter than my personal record,” Kabakov said. “I expect to do better at the conference (meet).” Webley said the team starts out with more difficult and longer workouts, but eases up closer to the conference meet. “I will do the same (work out) and jump higher,” Kabakov said. Asiya Iskakova, marketing junior, placed fifth in the triple jump event with a height of 12.54 meters. The women’s 4-by-400 meter relay team finished with a time of 3:50.39. The men’s relay team finished with 3:21.23. Hancock said the meet was tough because of the nationally ranked schools that attended, such as Texas Tech and Miami. She said placing is difficult when competing against good opponents. “I think I am on track to breaking my record, but I have not done it yet,” Hancock said. Aaron Jones, accounting junior, said the team has goals for its next meet. “The goal for the team is definitely to win the conference championship,” Jones said. Jones said each win in an event counts as a certain amount of points toward the team. At the end, the team with the most points wins the championship. However, competitors of each team must place in the top eight spots in order to earn any points at all. “Sprinters and throwers are our strongest,” Jones said. “They always bring in a lot of points for the team.” The Southland Conference Indoor Championships will take place Friday and Saturday in Houston.

Austin Byrd/Star photo KEEPING STRIDE: Ashley Ellis, political science senior, defeats North Texas opponent Madura Ranganathan and improves her dual match record to 4-1 this spring. The Mean Green defeated the Bobcats 5-2 Sunday at The Bobcat Tennis Complex, but Texas State won against St. Edward’s and Texas-Pan American.

By Dustin Stelly Sports Reporter All eyes were on Texas State’s Ashley Ellis, political science senior, and North Texas’ Madura Ranganatha Sunday in the women’s tennis team’s final three weekend matches. Ellis had won the first set 6-3 and earned an early lead in the second set. She was at match point winning the second set 5-2, but lost the point. She earned the match point four times before losing the eighth game of the set. Ellis then lost three of the next four games. Finally, she won the set in a tiebreaker 7-4. “The second set was extremely frustrating,” Ellis said. “Coach (Tory Plunkett) came out and told me to focus.” Plunkett said Ellis improved after the pep talk. “I went out and talked to her at 5-4 and said, ‘You’ve got to play aggressive’,” Plunkett said. “At the very end she started hitting the ball better, hitting off her front foot and dictating the point.” North Texas won the matches for the day with 5-2. Ellis’ match had been conceded in the second set, but she continued to play. North Texas’ coach Sujay Lama said her team worked hard to secure the win. “It just came down to executing in the end,” Lama said. “It was partially tactical, but mostly mental.” Ellis won all three of her singles matches and all three of her doubles matches. However, her undefeated record for the weekend was destroyed after she lost the second set 2-6 against St. Edward’s Regina Del Bosque. “I started out so strong and I was playing really well,” Ellis said. “I just fell apart and lost six games in a row. Coach came out there and helped me. She said I was rushing my shots too much and going for too much, so she said, ‘Let’s just make points and get back into the groove. Get our technique back and get the timing back.’ I got my game back and I was

able to finish the tiebreaker successfully.” The Bobccats secured a 5-2 victory Thursday against St. Edward’s. Texas State won two of three doubles matches and four of six singles matches. St. Edward’s coach Russell Sterns said he was impressed with the Bobcats’ performance. “I’m just glad to be at a competitive level with Texas State because they have a good women’s program,” Sterns said. “(Ellis) is a good, little player. I have a lot of respect for her. She plays within herself really well.” Andrea Giraldo, management junior, spent time off last semester with an injury. Plunkett said Giraldo’s goals were different. “Andrea played both singles and doubles and that’s the first time she’s played an entire match,” Plunkett said. “Her arm didn’t hurt. She finished off strong, so that’s a huge win for us.” Giraldo teamed with Lainy Chafitz, exercise and sports science senior, Saturday against Texas-Pan American to win the first doubles match 8-4. However, Plunkett decided to rest Giraldo in singles play. The other girls moved into higher spots in the team with Giraldo sitting out. The squad still defeated UTPA 5-2, including a 6-2, 6-4 victory by Jennifer Nowland, psychology sophomore, in her first match of the spring season. Plunkett said she decided to move Giraldo into the No. 1 team spot Sunday against North Texas. Giraldo played in the No. 1 spot last year. Plunkett said she has proven herself over time. “Andrea had an awesome fall and beat a couple of players Ashley lost to last year,” Plunkett said. Plunkett said she is still working Giraldo back into playing shape but is confident Giraldo will be ready to go when the team starts conference matches––– in a few weeks. Texas State has an overall record of 3-2. The team will host a match against Trinity at 11 a.m. Saturday.

02 18 2009  
02 18 2009