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Texas State students making ‘mark’ with new campus organization

Austin author Lawrence Wright wins the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction




APRIL 18, 2007


Texas State sponsors memorial panel for Virginia Tech victims By Christine Mester The University Star “God Bless You.” The simple words were written on four tall panels in the LBJ Student Center Tuesday. The panels were set up to provide a way for Texas State students to show their empathy for the victims of the Virginia Tech University massacre that occurred Monday morning. The suspected gunman, identified as Cho SeungHui, killed 33 people including himself. Annie Fitzgerald, history junior, stopped to read the messages. “It’s hard to wrap your mind around kids our age experienc-

ing that,” Fitzgerald said. “It blows my mind.” The news of the shootings at Virginia Tech has Byran Johnson reconsidering his safety on campus. “I was sitting in my class today and that’s what I was looking at,” said Johnson, exercise and sports science senior. “There’s only one way in this class and there is only one way out and I am on the third floor. It makes you really think about it.” Fitzgerald, however, said she feels safe on campus. “Security on campus isn’t something that runs through my head,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m just going through my day — going to class. Honestly, I do feel

secure. I see security guards around a lot. I see police cars. It just never crossed my mind that maybe we aren’t secure here.” Natalie Kleinecke felt disbelief that a college campus would experience such an occurrence. “I never thought anything like that would happen at a university,” said Kleinecke, studio art senior. “It opens your eyes to how crazy people can be.” Kleinecke questioned Virginia Tech’s policies that are in place to deal with situations involving homicides on campus.

MORE COVERAGE INSIDE News, Page 3 •Parents’ reactions to Monday’s shootings •Potential emotional toll on unscathed students •VT’s initial response in shooting question Monty Marion/Star photo BEST WISHES: Students left messages of condolence Tuesday afternoon for those affected by Monday’s Virginia Tech shooting.

See MEMORIAL, page 3

San Marcos hospice seeks volunteers to spend time with elderly Election day stained with negative ad

By Alex Hering The University Star Melvin Hoffman plays dominoes. He plays them so well in fact, he was the Division I champion of the Metro Domino League. Every Friday, Hoffman plays dominoes with Texas State student Lance Harper, and “pretty much hands it to (him),” said Harper. VistaCare, a hospice caregiver, employs Harper to volunteer his time with people like Hoffman. “He’s pretty good,” said Harper, biology junior. “He counts (the bricks) so fast, and calls out the number faster than I can count them in my head. He’s been at it a long time.” Hoffman, who lives with his daughter and her family in New Braunfels, said when people get to his age they “don’t have much to do.” “Ouch. That’s no good, that’s no good,” Hoffman said Friday as he analyzed the blocks on the table in front of him. “If you play wrong that’s OK, it’s all part of the game.” Harper, who has been volunteering for VistaCare since November, said he finds his time with Hoffman fun because he learned to play dominos from his grandparents at a young age. “Mr. Hoffman reminds me of my grandfather big time,” Harper said. “He also reminds me of myself because he talks about what he did when he was my age and that’s pretty much what I’m doing now besides school.” April Coldsmith, manager of volunteer services at VistaCare, said they provide the elderly with spiritual, medical and emotional support. She encourages students to volunteer through events like the Volunteer Fair, where Harper discovered VistaCare last semester. “We do volunteer training every month,” Coldsmith said. “We have at least one or sometimes more from Texas State

By: Philip Hadley The University Star

Alex Hering/Star photo MAKING CONNECTIONS: Melvin Hoffman analyzes dominoes at his home in New Braunfels with Lance Harper, biology junior. Hoffman plays several games every Friday with Harper, a student volunteer for VistaCare.

who want to volunteer.” Coldsmith said VistaCare has four types of volunteers. Harper is a patient care volunteer. “What the volunteer will do is sit and talk with the patient,” Coldsmith said. “What they also can do is look at old photographs, make small meals or run errands for them. It’s all very touching and wonderful stuff. One thing we want to do is have the volunteer set up web pages for the patient so the families can have something to look at. “A volunteer like this one provides companionship. One of our patients cannot talk anymore so the volunteer will just hold (the patients’) hand.” Coldsmith said although it may not sound like much, the com-

panionship is valuable to the volunteer and the patient. She said most volunteers will be placed in nursing homes instead of at patients’ homes because it is easier on the students’ schedule. The second type of volunteer answers phones at the VistaCare office and files documents. Coldsmith calls the third a bereavement volunteer. This volunteer spends time with the families who have just lost a loved one. “Those volunteers are few and far between,” Coldsmith said. “This is someone who has lost a loved one and can speak that language.” A special projects volunteer makes special gifts for the patients. Coldsmith said the women of a local church make “wrap

blankets and bibs.” “We also have a 13-year-old who lives in Canyon Lake who makes gift bags for us,” Coldsmith said. “She stuffs them with cookies and things like that. We might have her make Mother’s Day bags for us as well.” The volunteers get background checks and complete training, Coldsmith said. The volunteers have “a significant amount of responsibility in their hands, but it is a rewarding experience.” Harper said apart from learning about Hoffman, he has educated himself about the medical limitations of the patient’s illness. “All he really wants is for someone to come and play domi-

noes with him.” Harper said. “That’s the least I can do for him — just play dominoes with him. You are trying to do all you can for them while they have just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. That’s all they are asking for really. They know they have a limited time.” Harper encourages students who would like to make a difference at the hospice to volunteer. His familiarity with Hoffman has made Harper grateful for the time he has with family and friends. “It really makes you appreciate what you have and the time you have with loved ones and friends,” Harper said. “I think that a lot of college students take that for granted.”

Counseling Center feeling effects of understaffed, under-funded field By Chelsea Juarez The University Star A recent study shows anxiety disorders to be common among college students in the United States. The study revealed the growing demand for mental health services is being met with a lack of staffed professionals and resources. The study was released by the nonprofit Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Jerilyn Ross, the association’s president and CEO, said a goal of the research was to raise awareness about the dangers of anxiety disorders among students and university leaders. “Also at this time of the year, when prospective students and their parents are making college decisions, we want to give them another important factor to consider: What mental health resources

are available on campus should they need them,” Ross said. Michael Hershberger, an intern at the Texas State Counseling Center, said he has noticed more students seeking help for combating stress and anxiety. “Here we see lots of depression, transitioning issues, test anxiety, breakups, stress-related anxiety, social anxiety and other significant issues,” Hershberger said. “This is a stressful time for most students making that jump from life back home to college.” Ross said it is important to recognize of the 40 million Americans who suffer from an anxiety disorder each year, approximately 75 percent experience their first episode before age 22. Kristen Freeman, interdisciplinary studies junior, said she agrees stress and anxiety are “rampant” among college students.

Today’s Weather

Sunny 79°/53°

Precipitation: 10% Humidity: 52% UV: 10 Very High Wind: NNW 16 mph

“It’s hard not to be stressed most of the time, what with tests and breakups and projects. It’s a hard balancing-act most need help with at times,” she said. All schools reported a noticeable increase in students seeking treatment for anxiety disorders, though there is a lack of staff available to meet the growing demand. Gregory Snodgrass, vice president and director of the Counseling Center, said there is a lack of resources available and most students who need continued treatment are usually sent off-campus to local clinics. “We have limited resources here so we don’t get to see students as much as we would like to,” Snodgrass said. “We’re here to help deal mainly with adjustment issues, but we also offer some mental and psychological help if needed.”

Two-day Forecast Thursday Partly Cloudy Temp: 81°/57° Precip: 0%

Friday AM Clouds/PM Sun Temp: 81°/60° Precip: 10%

The center is staffed with eight full-time counselors, three practicum and three interns. The counseling staff visits with several students a day. “If one student filled every available slot for counseling services every day, once a week, we wouldn’t have enough staff members to accommodate,” Hershberger said. “Because of funding issues we cannot provide enough staff for the volume of students’ needs.” Ross said the study’s findings prove students are not receiving adequate care. She said this issue begs for acknowledgment and improvement. “There have been numerous surveys done that prove that the availability of mental health care is inadequate,” Snodgrass said. “It’s not a problem just for Texas State, but other campuses nationwide.”

An advertisement attacking Associated Student Government presidential candidate Reagan Pugh was circulated Tuesday to some students and faculty via a mass e-mail, and mysteriously disappeared that evening. The e-mail was sent on the first day students headed to the polls to elect their next ASG president. The message was sent from an anonymous group referring to themselves as the Students For Truth. The advertisement, entitled “I Quit,” features Pugh with a sinister look on his face sitting in front of a News 8 Austin anchor who appears to be reporting on the election. The advertisement blasts Pugh for quitting his position as an ASG senator. Pugh called the advertisement unfair, and was disappointed that anyone would resort to such campaign strategies. “Texas State students deserve more than that, students deserve to hear about the issues and a chance to really be able to make up their minds fairly,” Pugh said. “Dirty politics is unfair.” Suspicion was raised when the e-mail was mysteriously deleted from the inboxes of its recipients. Jude Prather, one of Pugh’s campaign coordinators, said the e-mail was in his inbox early Tuesday but disappeared that evening. “I think it’s odd that the e-mail was deleted from my inbox,” Prather, public administration junior, said. “I don’t know how the system was accessed, or if it was a faculty member or student.” ASG presidential candidate Chris Anderson said the anonymously circulated e-mail and an e-mail sent by his campaign outlining his ticket’s platform were deleted from students’ inboxes. He said if the university administration is responsible for deleting the messages, his campaign thinks it would be a dismissible offense. Anderson said no personal e-mail should be removed from a student’s inbox, regardless of the message’s content. “I’m not saying it’s the administration,” he said. “But obviously you have to have some sort of administrative privileges

Inside News ..............1-4 Trends .............5-8 Crossword ......... 8 Sudoku .............. 8

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

Comics .............. 8 Opinions ............ 9 Classifieds ....... 10 Sports ......... 11,12

See ELECTION, page 5

To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 © 2007 The University Star


starsof texas state Junior pitcher Ragan Blake won her third consecutive Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honors, league offices announced Tuesday. This marks the third consecutive week and fourth this season Blake has won the award, which is voted on by

conference sports information directors. She is the only player to win the award three times this season, and the second pitcher to win the award more than once. — Courtesy of Texas State Athletics

Wednesday in Brief

April 18, 2007

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


A student-led rosary will be prayed 6:25 p.m. in the Catholic Student Center chapel. Sound Wave, a Christian rock band, will perform a free concert 7 p.m. outside the Campus Christian Community Center. The Association of Information Technology Professionals will hold a social 5 p.m. at Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub. All majors are welcome. The Earth First Organization will meet 4 p.m. in Evans Liberal Arts, Room 314. For more information, e-mail Bogan Durr at The Alcohol and Drug Resource Center will hold “The Network” meeting 5 to 7 p.m. in The LBJSC, Room 3-6.1.


The Catholic Student Organization will meet 6:30 p.m. in the CSC lounge. The Rock - Praise & Worship will be 7 p.m. in the CSC chapel. The Badminton Challenge, sponsored by Chi Alpha, will be 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the LBJ Mall. Players compete to win a $100 gift card. Everyone is welcome. The San Marcos Sunrise Club will sponsor Centerpoint Bingo at The Zone, Sk8, Arcade and Party Place. Doors open 6 p.m. and games begin at 7 p.m. $1,700 in cash prizes will be given each night. Bingo money will be used to fund college scholarships for local high school students. A one-hour orientation and training session will teach attendees to use the Freeze-Framer biofeedback program to reduce the negative effects of stress. The session will be 3:30 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 3-11.1. Overeaters Anonymous will meet 5:30 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 130 W. Holland St. For more information, call (512) 357-2049. Meditation and Contemplation will be 4 to 5 p.m. at the Campus Christian Community Center. For more information, e-mail Micah Robbins at or call (512) 8782036. The Tennis Club will meet 6 to 8 p.m. at the tennis courts on Sessom Drive, behind Joe’s Crab Shack. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, e-mail Scott Schoenmakers, tennis club president, at Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting 8:30 pm in Old Main, Room 320. Ryan Koenig, worship leader at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels, will be the guest speaker. Everyone is welcome.

Call (512) 557-7988 or e-mail

Rainy bikes

On this day... 1521 — Martin Luther confronted the emperor Charles V in the Diet of Worms and refused to retract his views that led to his excommunication.


The Philosophy Dialogue Series presents “The 10th Annual Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Student Symposium,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Psychology Building, Room 132.

1676 — Sudbury, Massachusetts, was attacked by Indians.

Japanese Language and Culture Club presents the Sakura Festival, a celebration of Japanese culture, in the LBJSC Ballroom from 6 to 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

1775 — American revolutionaries Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott rode though the towns of Massachusetts giving the warning that “the British are coming.”


An on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meeting will be noon to 1 p.m. For more information, call the Alcohol and Drug Resource Center at (512) 2453601.

1791 — National Guardsmen prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.

The Alcohol and Drug Resource Center will hold the Men Against Violence meeting 5 to 7 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 3-6.1.

1818 — A regiment of Indians and blacks were defeated at the Battle of Suwann, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.

Alpha Lambda Omega Christian Sorority will hold its weekly Bible study 8 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 3-13.1. Everyone is welcome to attend. Rise ‘N Shine Toastmasters Club will meet 7 to 8 a.m. at Cabela’s in Buda. Visitors and guests are always welcome. For additional information, call Clark Lyman at (512) 295-7777, e-mail or visit


The San Marcos Sunrise Club will sponsor Centerpoint Bingo at The Zone, Sk8, Arcade and Party Place. Doors open 6 p.m. and games begin at 7 p.m. $1,700 in cash prizes will be given each night. Bingo money will be used to fund college scholarships for local high school students. Facing the Fear: Anxiety and Panic Group will meet 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sessions offer a supportive way to cope. For more information or to register, call the Counseling Center at (512) 245-2208. Every Nation Campus Ministries will meet 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Room G-02. There will be free food, fellowship and a relevant message.

Karen Wang/Star photo Neal Underwood, sound recording technology junior, locks up his bike outside of The Tower after a slippery ride through the rain Tuesday morning.

Overeaters Anonymous will meet 12:30 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 130 W. Holland St. For more information, call (512) 357-2049.

1838 — The Wilkes’ expedition to the South Pole set sail.

ASG Beat ASG President testifies in favor of tuition deregulation The Associated Student Government is the official voice of the students at Texas State. ASG meetings are held 7 p.m. every Monday in the LBJ Student Center, Room 3-14.1. ASG elections are currently

There will be a CEO Meeting 5 p.m. in McCoy Hall, Room 127. The Tennis Club will meet 6 to 8 p.m. at the tennis courts on Sessom Drive, behind Joe’s Crab Shack. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, e-mail Scott Schoenmakers, tennis club president, at

1834 — William Lamb became prime minister of England.

going on and will end 5 p.m. Wednesday. All students are encouraged to vote in the elections. Let your voice be heard. ASG will conduct its last formal meeting of the semester Monday. Any student wishing to participate in ASG next year, or become familiar with the newly elected administra-

tion should attend the meeting. Many important issues will be discussed at this final meeting as several Senators have filed legislation for voting. April 10 Student Body President Kyle Morris testified at the Senate Sub-Committee on Higher Education at the Texas Legislature on tuition deregulation. Morris noted tuition

has gone up more than 50 percent at Texas State since 2003. Morris made the recommendation that tuition be re-regulated at Texas State. For more information on ASG please call us at 512245-1ASG or email us at — Courtesy of ASG

CRIME BL TTER University Police Department April 11, 8:43 a.m. Medical Emergency/LBJ Student Center, Chik-Fil-A An officer was dispatched for a report that a non-student

had fallen and injured herself. She was transported to Central Texas Medical Center for further evaluation. April 11, 9:32 a.m. Criminal Mischief under $500/UPD Lobby An officer was dispatched for a criminal mischief report. A student reported property of The University Star had been vandalized at Bobcat Stadium. This case is under investigation. April 11, 1:19 p.m. Medical Emergency/

Music Building An officer was dispatched for a medical emergency. A student reported she was feeling ill but refused transport to CTMC. April 11, 3:27 p.m. Theft under $50/UPD Lobby An officer was dispatched to the lobby for a report from a student stating an unknown person had taken his property without consent while at the Recreation Center. This case is under investigation.

April 11, 3:39 p.m. Property Damage/Sessom Guard Booth An officer was dispatched for a property damage report. A non-student reported having damaged a gate arm. The arm was replaced and a report was generated for this case. April 11, 5:34 p.m. Theft under $500/San Marcos Hall An officer was dispatched for a theft report. A student reported property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The University Star - Page 3

Parents rush to Blacksburg to help students heal after violence By Kytja Weir and Dave Montgomery McClatchy Newspapers BLACKSBURG, Va. — Hundreds of emotional parent and child reunions were on display across the grieving Virginia Tech campus Tuesday, as moms and dads descended on Blacksburg to console — and in some cases, retrieve — sons and daughters in the aftermath of the worst mass murder in U.S. history. Tom and Cathy Ritter drove more than four hours to Virginia Tech from their home in Reisterstown, Md., to be with their two sons, a senior and a freshman. For the Ritters, it was a relief to know their children were all right. But seeing them was important even after they’d gotten text messages and phone calls telling them their sons weren’t hurt. The Ritters spoke of their anxious journey on the condition their sons not be named, underscoring the extraordinary sense of insecurity pervading the campus. “I think a lot of parents want them home,” said Cathy Ritter. “It’s a matter of being able to touch them and to put your arms around them.” She said she hugged her

younger son’s friends, too, telling them: “This is from your mother. And they didn’t pull away,” she added. After Tuesday’s convocation, many students could be seen pulling overstuffed luggage down sidewalks and putting it into trunks of vehicles. With classes canceled this week, some decided to head home. For others, staying felt like a necessary part of the healing process. As typical American college parents, many Tech mothers and fathers had felt the normal anxieties of sending their children out of the nest when they left home for college life in a tranquil mountain setting. None could have conceived the fear that swept America Monday when newscasts interrupted their routines with news of a gunman rampaging across Virginia Tech. For too many Tech parents, the day brought the ultimate horror — the loss of a child. Even parents of children who escaped unscathed physically worried about the emotional toll the horrific day might take. “We just want to try to help him get through it in any way they suggest,” said Brenda Koonce, who drove from Charlottesville,

Va., with her husband Ed to aid their 19-year-old son Jeffrey, a freshman. The parents recalled Jeffrey had been accepted at seven schools but chose Virginia Tech after visiting the campus, picking Tech over the historic University of Virginia in his hometown. “He just liked it from the minute he was here,” said Brenda Koonce. She said a friend had learned of the unfolding tragedy from a newsflash on her e-mail and called her. Like hundreds of other Tech parents, she immediately called her son’s cell phone, frantically trying to reach him. He didn’t answer the first time, but later responded to her message. “Everyone he knows is fine, fortunately,” she said. David Mabry, an environmental scientist from Alcoa, Tenn., had planned to drive to Blacksburg this week — a 265-mile trip — to visit his daughter, Erin Mabry, a 25-year-old graduate student, and deliver a lawnmower for her offcampus apartment. After Monday’s violence, the purpose of his trip expanded to one all parents Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer understand. REMEMBERING FRIENDS: Kenny Thompson (center), a sophomore at Virginia Tech, bows his head “I’m just here to support during a memorial service on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, at Lane Stadium, a day after 33 people were Erin, to give her a little comshot to death on campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. fort,” he said.

MEMORIAL: Students focus on mourning, not possibilities of violence at Texas State CONTINUED from page 1

“I think they should have cancelled classes and everything for the day,” Kleinecke said. “If you have a guy with a gun on your campus you should close campus.” Kleinecke is referring to the two-hour time difference

between the initial killing of a woman and a resident assistant and the slaughter of 30 students in a campus building. Students were attached to the 24-hour cable news networks Monday and Tuesday as the events unfolded. “When I first heard about it I was in my dorm watching it on

the news,” Fitzgerald said. “It didn’t cross my mind to be worried, it was just a sorrow and a sadness. I never had a second thought about it happening here. It seems too surreal for it to happen.” The panels in the Student Center will be sent to Virginia Tech.

“I think it’s a tragedy,” said Melissa Stratton, agriculture sophomore. “It’s hard to react to it because I don’t want to think about being in that situation ever. No one is going to be 100 percent safe and that could happen anywhere. You look at things differently when you go class here now.”

Page 4 - The University Star


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Looming investigation

Austin author awarded Pulitzer Prize for novel By Emily Messer The University Star

in. I’d like to take this opportunity to salute my colleagues and Two members of the thank them for their Joint Terrorism Task efforts.” Force rang Lawrence Roy Peter Clark, vice Wright’s doorbell one afpresident and senior ternoon in spring 2003. scholar for the PoynWright invited them ter Institute, was the into his upstairs office Pulitzer Prize chair of Wright of his two-story, yelthe jury for non-fiction low brick Austin home. books. The committee There, the agents told him they is in charge of selecting three fihad been tapping his phone calls. nalists without prejudice. They were suspicious of Wright’s Clark said the hundreds of calls to a London solicitor who book nominations can vary from represented several jihadists the serious to the frivolous. linked to Sept 11. Wright was be“As you’re weeding through ing investigated. And Wright was this process, suddenly a book angry. will surface and it will rise above On a large, white dry erase the best,” Clark said. “That beboard in the front of the office, comes standard for reading the information about Osama bin rest of the books. I can rememLaden and Aymar al-Zawahari ber The Looming Tower stood out was mapped out. The hands of like that early on in the process. one agent started trembling and When Sept. 11 occurred, he had a little bead of sweat that Americans were left with many formed on his lip. He thought he questions. Wright’s book adwas right in the nest of al-Qaida, dressed most of those questions, Wright said. Clark said. It was information for his lat“I think The Looming Tower est book The Looming Tower: had this special quality, which Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, was that it was the product of which would be released by exhaustive research and detailed Knopf in August 2006 and even- reporting, and yet, it was writtually become the 2007 Pulitzer ten with an elegant hand,” Clark Prize winner for general non-fic- said. “It worked in a literary tion novel. sense as a powerful story.” “To be singled out at any time Prior to receiving a Pulitzer for such an honor is humbling, of Monday, The New York Times course, but especially after such and Washington Post named The an extraordinary year for impor- Looming Tower one of the top tant, non-fiction books,” Wright five nonfiction books of 2006. said in an e-mail. “So many jour- It was nominated for the 2006 nalists have risked — or lost — National Book Award and has retheir lives in the course of their ceived other literary claim. attempts to enlighten the Ameri“Mr. Wright not only traces can public about the critical his- how Al Qaeda evolved — from torical moment we find ourselves an opponent of two of America’s

enemies (the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein) to America’s sworn foe — but he also gives the reader a visceral sense of dayto-day life at its training camps,” New York Times literary critic Michiko Kakutani wrote in an Aug. 1 review. Using more than 600 interviews, Wright’s book highlights the jihadist plan to attack America and the breakdowns in federal intelligence agencies that failed to thwart bin Laden and his group of Islamic extremists. “The incompetence really bothered me. It’s one thing to be snooped on in the name of the greater good. It’s another thing to be pried upon by people who don’t understand what they’re doing,” Wright said in a February interview. “That’s really dangerous, because they misuse the information and draw conclusions that are uninformed.” Wright recently completed a one-man play in New York called “My Trip to al-Qaeda,” which was based on his experiences in the book and the direction of America since Sept. 11. After al-Qaida’s attack, the U.S. has made severe compromises in its civil rights, Wright said. “We’ve lost a considerable battle of moral standing because of the torture that we’ve engaged in, the lack of civil rights and the observances of Geneva Conventions, those kinds of things have taken a real toll on our standing in the world,” Wright said. Wright is frustrated that five years after Sept. 11, the FBI and CIA have not implemented changes to better combat terrorism. The FBI had eight Arabic speakers before Sept. 11,

Wright’s book reports. Late last year, The Washington Post revealed only 33 of the bureau’s 12,000 agents have even limited Arabic language proficiency. “They claim they have 25 Arabic speakers, but I’ve talked to some of these guys,” Wright said. “They went to Middlebury College for nine weeks and they can order breakfast, but they cannot interrogate a suspect.” Without native Arabic speakers, U.S. intelligence cannot understand al-Qaida. “There’s a prejudice inside the intelligence community that refuses to let native Arabic speakers or Muslims inside the intelligence community. And it is really crippling our efforts to understand this enemy,” Wright said. Instead the culture of intelligence agencies has been slow to change, Wright said. “If you go up on the seventh floor of the FBI building, the headquarters building, in Washington and look around, (you see) this is the organization that made its reputation fighting the mafia and to some extent, the IRA,” Wright said. “Who do you see up there? Irish and ItalianCatholic guys.” Wright said the country has taken steps in the wrong direction. Within months of Sept.11, American forces invaded Afghanistan and fought the battle of Tora Bora, quelling al-Qaida by the end of 2001. But, the continuing war in Iraq revitalized the terrorist organization. “Their leaders got away but the movement was essentially dead. The war on terror was over,” Wright said. “For the next three years, al-Qaida existed in a

zombie state, neither alive nor entirely dead. Iraq brought it back to life.” Wright may have insight on the attacks. He knows jihadists. He ate with them. He prayed with them. He talked with them. Wright found his interviews with radical jihadists linked to al-Qaida varied intensely. “There were times when we had very pleasant conversations and then there were times when the gulf just opened up between us, and it was really frightening to think how vast our differences are,” Wright said. “There were times when it was very difficult for me to keep my emotions under control, because I was still very angry, myself. There were a lot of late-night bitter shouting matches.” There were the interviews about John O’Neill, the FBI special agent who led a fervent investigation on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. But the complications of his personal life cost him promotions he longed for and people within the bureau were his trusted allies or sworn enemies. Frustrated, O’Neill left the bureau to head a security firm in July 2001. His office was in the World Trade Center. Obtaining interviews about O’Neill was easier than Wright expected. Even the three women who believed to be engaged to O’Neill and his former coworkers talked. “Because he was such a controversial figure, a lot of people wanted their views aired.” Wright said. “A lot of the people felt the need to either protect his reputation or attack him.” But, most of the time, the FBI

and CIA were difficult to access information from. “They’re very secretive cultures,” Wright said. “One of the things that helped me is that their hatred for each other is so profound that one can usually engage them on that score.” The person who came closest to foiling the Sept. 11 events was Ali Soufan, the Arabic FBI agent under O’Neill. Soufan worked on the USS Cole bombing case, which he was able to link to alQaida after he received data the CIA withheld from him until after Sept. 11. “The people who made those decisions within the CIA that made the decision about withholding the information from the FBI, I think they should be imprisoned, as should their superiors if they knew about it,” Wright said. Today, Wright remains irate the CIA was uncooperative with him. “The CIA was, as you would expect, a little more difficult.” Wright said. “I am still upset with the fact that the CIA didn’t cooperate with me in terms of giving me access to certain individuals who made the decision not to give the information to the FBI that would’ve stopped 9-11.”

✯FYI Wright is the co-writer of the 1998 political action film The Siege, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is also the keyboard player for the Austin-based blues band Who Do.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The University Star - Page 5

ELECTION: Commissioner deems e-mail not in violation of rules CONTINUED from page 1

to go into every student’s e-mail and pick out things from their inbox.” Anderson said if the administration is responsible, it constitutes unacceptable interference with ASG elections. “They don’t have any business interfering with student body elections, or deleting people’s personal e-mail,” he said. The Star was not able to reach university officials for comment. Anderson is unsure from where the advertisement came, but said election code was not violated unless it could be tied to a specific ticket. “As far as I know it’s not against election code,” Anderson said. “I don’t know who wrote it, or where it came from and whoever sent it didn’t break

any rules. The e-mail addresses are published publicly on the Texas State Web site.” One of the pictures in the advertisement also appears in a Facebook group created by Eric Heggie and Mathew Golding, members of ASG President Kyle Morris’ cabinet. Heggie has worked for MAP and Associates, the political consulting firm founded by Prather, Sam McCabe, Anderson’s campaign coordinator and ASG presidential cabinet member, and Jordan Anderson, former ASG president and Texas State alumnus. Heggie, meanwhile, has been the subject of controversy in previous elections. Last year, he was questioned by the Hays County District Attorney’s office during investigation into fraudulent signatures on a petition to extend the Austin Community College tax district to

San Marcos. He resigned his post as president of the College Democrats in October when it came to light he was supporting the election of then-Republican County Judge Jim Powers, a MAP and Associates client. In November, Heggie was involved in a complaint filed with the Hays County Elections Administrators office about ASG’s voter registration practices. Heggie said he gave advice to the people who created the advertisement, but did not send it himself. He would not say to whom he gave advice or if a database compiled by MAP and Associates was used to distribute the e-mail. Golding said he was unaware of the e-mail’s origin or the database that was used to disseminate it. McCabe did not immediately return phone calls to The Star.

Energy conservation becoming higher priority for university By Christina Kahlig The University Star Texas State will spend more than $14 million in utility costs this academic year, including water, wastewater, natural gas and electricity. “This price is increasing each year, and we need to try to reduce consumption so our bills don’t go up,” said Pat Fogarty, associated vice president for facilities. “I tried to come up with four points that are easy for everyone to do. That’s about all you can ask anyone to do and the rest is out of your control.” Fogarty laid four rules out in a news release regarding the energy costs. The rules are intended to help the university save money and reduce pollution. In one of his rules, Fogarty said thermostats should be left at a reasonable level. The university heats to 68 to 70 degrees during colder months and cools to 74 to 76 degrees during warmer parts of the year. When the building is being heated or cooled, Fogarty said windows should remain closed. “When we can produce elec-

tricity (from a generator) cheaper than we can buy it, then we do,” Fogarty said. “During the summer, we can only produce about a third of the energy we need and in the winter we can produce nearly half.” The news release recommended turning off all lights when a space is unoccupied, even if for a short amount of time. This is the same recommendation used in houses, residence halls, classrooms and offices. If no one is there to use the lights, they should be off. “It is very difficult to know if everyone is contributing their part,” Fogarty said. “But if supervisors enforce these ideas in his or her area of responsibility, we can conserve more energy.” Fogarty said conserving water while showering, brushing teeth or shaving helps save energy. The Edwards Aquifer provides a majority of the water for the university and at the current rate, Fogarty said, there will be a water crisis unless serious conservation measures are taken. “We are in the process of getting new chillers to cool water

and that will reduce costs,” Fogarty said. “There is a potential for excess use and we want to avoid that.” “I know it’s hard to mitigate your energy usage, but I feel like a university of this size can reduce energy costs,” said Daniel Palomo, pre-mass communication junior. Palomo said recycle bins on campus might not be used as often as they should be and that students living in dorms may not realize their excessive energy consumption because they do not pay a separate electricity bill. “New buildings, such as the McCoy Building, will include qualities such as the lights in the bathrooms turning off when no one is in there,” said Bogan Durr, president of Earth First!, a Texas State student environmental organization. Durr said the university is taking small steps in the right direction. “As long as we have recognized that there is a problem and we are working on fixing it,” she said, “I believe that in a few years, the university’s energy consumption will decrease.”

Anderson said he does not condone the use of the advertisement and wants to keep campaigning as clean as possible. “I think you should always stay positive when campaigning,” Anderson said. “It’s too bad that the election has come to this. I think some people want negative, it is the culture of politics.” Pugh agreed the negative advertisements were not against policy, but said the election commissioners need to decide their legality. “Even if it was found to be connected to a specific ticket, it would be up to the election commissioner to determine the legality of the e-mail,” Pugh said. “There’s really nothing that says that you can’t send out an e-mail bashing another candidate. You just hope that people have a little more matu-

rity about them.” Election commissioner Ryan Galloway agreed the e-mail was not in violation of ASG election code. “Negative campaigning is a type of campaigning, and currently as it sits, the e-mail is free speech and does not violate any information acts,” Galloway said. Galloway said the election commission plans to investigate in-depth Wednesday the deletion of the e-mails. “We plan on figuring out exactly what happened and how the e-mails were deleted,” he said. “This issue arises some ethical dilemmas that we will have to deal with and get to the bottom of.” Galloway believes the person or people behind the dissemination of the e-mail have some sort of political history.

“The persons behind this has to be someone that might be supporting the other candidate, or someone that has a personal bias or beef with Reagan,” Galloway said. “This person obviously knows what they’re doing and has some sort of political history.” Galloway said historically, negative campaigning has been used to sway voters before elections. “It’s political wittiness, these people understand that they can get a free e-mail account without stating who they are, and that they can put this information out there and that it has the potential to sway a person’s vote,” Galloway said. He said this election is one of the most intense he has seen, and is expected to yield the largest voter turnout in Texas State’s history.


petof the week This playful white and tan male cat is looking for a home. Contact the San Marcos Animal Shelter at (512) 393-8340 for adoption information.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - Page 6

Trends Contact — Maira Garcia,

MISLEADING MEDIA Skin-and-bone celebrities make poor role models By Clara Cobb The University Star

Recent media reports have questioned the suitability and influence of celebrity bad girls Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. At Texas State, women think these Hollywood bad girls are toxic. In a convenience sample of 100 Texas State women, 41 percent identified most with Carrie Underwood, American Idol and Grammy winner. The country music star is known for being socially conservative compared to her popular music peers. Toxic singer Britney Spears bottomed out the list — 3 percent of Texas State women identified most with her. Michael Hershberger, psychology intern at the Texas State Counseling Center, said celebrity obsession is common among a young population. “Based on my experience with a college-aged population, I’d have to say celebrity influence has a great influence on college individuals,” he said. Hershberger said celebrity obsession is it not a college phenomenon, but rather, starts much earlier. “When individuals are in high school or middle school, they look wherever they can to get feedback,” Hershberger said. “Media sort of glamorizes that, so individuals grow up and see ‘This is what I am to expect.’”

He said some bad-girl behavior is just a part of growing up. “It’s normal for people to rebel as they’re developing. The more freedom parents allow, the more outrageous the rebellion,” Hershberger said. “Some parents are more indulgent; It is really the exception, not the norm.” Since college equals freedom from parental supervision, he said there is more celebrity emulation on college campuses. The survey asked women which celebrity trait they most desired. A change in body or personal image was desired by 31 percent of respondents. The success Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls and America Ferrera in Ugly Betty has some media and body image experts speculating a shift in celebrity body image. Advertising choices by companies such as The Body Shop and Dove, with its Campaign for Real Beauty, also promote realistic body ideals. Hershberger said he is not so sure the celebrity ideals and images are changing. “A lot more guys have Lindsay Lohan posters than America Ferrera posters,” he said. “That’s what guys like, or at least, that’s the perception. Young women think, ‘this is what guys like, so this is what I need to be like if I want to meet a guy, keep a guy and feel good about myself.’” He does, however, recognize

the media buzz surrounding more full-figured celebrities. “Every once in a while, there is a strong, beautiful woman who does not equal the Hollywood standard of beautiful. It takes a while to see a sort of shift and the question is, are things starting to shift?” Hershberger said. “At the end of the day, are we going back to the stereotype? It is hard to tell if it is going to stick.” Even Queen Latifah, a plussize model, singer, actress and CoverGirl spokeswoman, had to lose weight to reach her celebrity status. Lauren Corbut, electronic media junior, believes celebrity images have a huge impact on young women. “What happens is girls see these images in the media and in magazines and they start to identify that as normal,” she said. “They look (at the images) and think, ‘that’s what skinny is. That’s what normal is.’ So we get these distorted images of what healthy is.” She said many actors and actresses are killing themselves — compulsively exercising, taking laxative and diet pills, smoking or using drugs — in order to maintain the images they give us. These ways to lose weight, she said, transfers into the real lives of students. “When real women can’t obtain a size zero or two, they be-


hat happens is girls see these images in the media and in magazines and they start to identify that as normal.”

— Lauren Corbut electronic media junior

WHAT CELEBRITY DO STUDENTS RELATE MOST TO? Convenience sample of 100 Texas State women; 10 had no response.

Carrie Underwood 41

America Ferrera 22

Beyonce Knowles 11

Lindsay Lohan 9

Paris Hilton 4

Britney Spears 3

Michael E. Perez/Star graphic

See CELEBRITY, page 8

Pop culture and news knowledge

Percentage of students who know the name of: Paris Hilton’s dog (Tinkerbell): 29 Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi): 11 Both: 17 Neither: 44


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The University Star - Page 7

Art & Design Festival gives students chance to showcase, sell work By Tug Ledermann The University Star Students will show off their artwork and have a chance to make money at the first Art & Design Festival. The event will be held Wednesday in the LBJ Mall. Adam Cervantez, Student Association for Campus Activities coordinator, said the organization created the festival for artists. “Something like this has never been done by SACA, so it is basically a trial run, and this event had a lot of promise already with over 50 Texas State art students signing up,” said Cervantez, history senior. Jonathan McGinnis, studio art senior, said he appreciates the opportunity to display and sell his automatic drawings. “Automatic drawings brings out your self-conscience, it is drawing without planning,” he said. “(The Festival) is a good opportunity to get your work out there.” Cervantez said he expects the festival successfully allowing students to advertise and sell their work. “At SACA we are hoping that when we bring the artwork from the art building and

present it at the (LBJ Mall), it will give students the opportunity to appreciate that work,” Cervantez said. “Mainly because a lot of the time students lives are so fast paced, they really don’t have time to go out of their way to visit other departments and appreciate what those students and faculty actually create.” Jordan Minton, communication design junior, said he looks forward to reactions from spectators of his art. “Part of the experience of creating art is showing it to people, and this festival will allow me to practice,” Minton said. “It is intimidating to have a new perspective weighing in for what I create but there is not a lot of opportunities to present or sale art work for free.” The festival will allow student artists to gain extra cash as well. Artists can display their artwork in booths free of charge. “All the money that is generated the artists get to keep themselves,” Cervantez said. “SACA is not taking any portions or profits. We are just trying to give students the opportunity to give to Texas State and by doing that also give appreciation to the art students here.”

t is “I intimidating to have a new perspective weighing in for what I create but there is not a lot of opportunities to present or sale art work for free.”

— Jordan Minton communication design junior

Karen Wang/Star photo DILIGENT ARTIST: Jonathan McGinnis, studio art senior, sketches a drawing of his grandfather Monday in San Marcos Hall. McGinnis will feature his artwork and prints to be sold Wednesday at the LBJ Mall during the Art & Design Festival.

Tubers, kayakers find calm waters in San Marcos By Todd Schaaf The University Star On a small river such as the San Marcos, one might assume there would be friction among factions of river-goers. However, there appears to be no harsh feelings between two of the river’s primary occupants: tubers and kayakers. Michelle Kvanli, kayak instructor at the Power Olympic Outdoor Center, said the consensus is both groups want to get along. “We really do want to share the river,” Kvanli said. “I think the idea is that there’s a notion throughout the community that there’s kayakers on one side and then tubers, and we can’t get along no matter what. And we really don’t want that.” Monty Marion/Star file photo Kvanli said conflicts between NO WATER WORRIES: Enoch Castleberry, psychology senior, carries a kayak during the Outdoor the two groups are rare and the Recreation Center’s open house April 11 at Sewell Park. Despite close quarters, kayakers and tubers occasional dispute arises only rarely dispute sharing local waters. every now and then.

“Occasionally you’ll get a rogue boater, and he’s going out there, he’s doing his thing and he’s going to do it regardless,” Kvanli said. “And then you’ll find he’ll bump a tuber, and the tuber will swim in or jump on top of him, but for the most part I think we really want to sort of work with everybody.” There are several reasons kayakers and tubers have a good relationship, according to Kvanli. Because kayakers aren’t restricted from the river except when the temperature is nice, they do not always have to worry about tubers. Kvanli said kayakers have learned to go out either early in the morning or later in the evening. “We just know if you look out there and it’s just swamped, there’s no way you’re going to get a good surf in; (there is) no way you’re really going to be able to play,” Kvanli said. “So we really try to let everybody

have their time, and then we have our time.” Courtney Haynes, who works at the Texas State Outdoor Recreation office, has tubed and kayaked the San Marcos River and offers perspective from both sides. She said there are other options for more claustrophobic kayakers. “This river is nice to kayak on, but it’s really not that big,” said Haynes, undecided freshman. “I think if kayakers really had a problem with tubers, they’d be better off going to Comal County River or Canyon Lake or something like that.” Kvanli said the balance between the different enthusiasts comes from a mutual understanding and respect. “We realize that especially here in San Marcos, where we have such a great river, it’s really that everybody just wants to have fun and get in the river and have a good time.”


Page 8 - The University Star

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Professor uses Homer Simpson to teach statistics class By Josh Shaffer McClatchy Newspapers Statistics professors aren’t known for their jokes. Let X equal the number of chuckles coming out of a data mining class, and X equals zero. Enter Homer Simpson. Longtime North Carolina State University professor Len

Stefanski discovered a way to work the lovable cartoon boob into his class work, and his method will be celebrated next month in a national journal. Here’s an explanation even Homer can understand. Study statistics for very long and you’ll come to know and love the term “regression analysis.” Say you’re doing a medical study on high

blood pressure, and you want to measure whether weight, doughnut and Duff Beer consumption can hasten Homer’s hypertension. Take all the results and graph them, and a regression analysis helps narrow down doughnuts or Duff as the key variables. If the study is good, and the regression analysis is thorough, little

Recalls make alternative pet food more popular option By Denny Boyles McClatchy Newspapers FRESNO, Calif. —With the list of recalled pet foods growing daily, owners face a tough choice: buy ultra-expensive organic pet foods, mass-produced brands that may be recalled tomorrow or make their own pet food at home. None of the options is riskfree, and opinions about which is right vary, even among veterinarians. “I’m not sure myself,” said Sukhwinder Singh of the Family Pet Hospital in Clovis, Calif. Singh said he began recommending organic pet foods or home-cooked meals after products he recommended showed up on the list of contaminated foods. “Brands that I trusted have been recalled,” Singh said. “Now, I’m not confident recommending any commercial brand.” Andrea Fascetti, an associate professor at the Nutrition School of Veterinary Medicine on the campus of the University of California - Davis, said despite the extensive recall under way, commercial pet foods have historically been safe. The recall, she said, has not changed her mind. “In general, I recommend feeding commercial diets over home-cooking whenever possible,” she said. Fascetti said if owners decide to cook for their pets, they need to do their homework. Cooking for your pet means meals have to follow strict recipes, she said. Substituting ingredients


or example, a diet without enough calcium can result in bone fractures, but one with too much calcium may lead to developmental abnormalities of the skeletal system.”

— Andrea Fascetti associate professor, University of California - Davis

or leaving them out entirely can cause problems. “For example, a diet without enough calcium can result in bone fractures, but one with too much calcium may lead to developmental abnormalities of the skeletal system,” Fascetti said. Fascetti said there is a lack of large, published studies examining the long-term benefits or problems regarding home cooking for dogs or cats. The discussion over the safety of commercial or massproduced foods began with a Monday recall by Menu Foods, Inc., which supplies ingredients to many pet food manufacturers. The recall list, which now includes dozens of manufacturers, involves wheat gluten found to be contaminated with

melamine, an industrial chemical used to make fertilizer. The contaminated gluten was imported from China. Pet foods made with contaminated wheat gluten are believed to have killed dozens of pets and sickened hundreds nationwide. Because many different manufacturers used the contaminated wheat gluten, the list of recalled foods continues to grow. It’s grown so fast; in fact, that the FDA issued a warning Thursday some retailers were still carrying tainted food products on their shelves. Singh said it’s a problem that won’t be solved anytime soon, because new contaminated products are still being found. Andi Brown, a Florida author and pet-food maker, said she lost confidence in mass-produced pet food long before the recall. She has been cooking for pets for more than 20 years and markets her own brand of pet food under the Halo Purely for Pets brand name. “I realized that commercial pet food, no matter the brand, includes many things that we would not eat. It’s barely junk food,” Brown said. Brown acknowledges her products cost nearly twice as much as food sold by companies such as Alpo or Pedigree. The extra cost, she believes, is worth the results. “My pets are all healthy, they don’t shed, and they only go to the vet once a year,” Brown said. “I’d rather pay for prevention than pay more later to fix a problem.”

dots should get scattered all over the graph. Stefanski’s twist: do the analysis correctly, and the graph shows a picture of Homer working a math problem. Work it poorly: no Homer. “I’ve done a few others,” Stefanski said. “When N.C. State upset Duke, I created an image that had the Wolfpack image, score and ‘Congrats, Sidney.’”

In a news release for its May journal, The American Statistician raves, “The conscientious student is rewarded with the amusing image at the end of his or her efforts ... the student who does only a cursory analysis is not.” Fellow N.C. State statistics professor Jeff Thompson has already felt the reward. Earlier

this year, Stefanski cooked up an analysis that placed his picture as the final punch line. So Thompson’s students worked through it and “up pops a picture of me,” he said. “It was nice. It just adds a little bit of humor to the class. ... Usually, the words “statistics” and “excitement” don’t belong in the same sentence.” Now they do.

CELEBRITY: People feel false closeness to famous people, networking sites share blame CONTINUED from page 6

gin to rely on unhealthy ways to do it,” Corbut said. “In all reality, the reason they have to resort to drugs, alcohol or smoking, is because it really is unattainable. I can’t tell you how many girls I know who did that.” E! Entertainment Television reported many collegiate eating disorders are a result of trying to lose weight for Spring Break or swimsuit season. Shrinking celebrities create the beauty ideal swimsuit-clad students try to achieve. She said the problem with celebrity idolization is people aren’t aware of the reality. “We really don’t see the nasty stuff that happens with celebrities,” she said. “Under that $10,000 dress is another $10,000 of body armor sucking them in and holding them up.” Harold Dorton, assistant sociology professor, said pressures to look like celebrities are a result of the saturation of images as individuals struggle to make sense of the images of celebrity. “We’ve made celebrities into people we keep far closer to us than we really should,” he said. “We treat these people as if we really know them, but really all we know is our mediated image which is filtered through PR people, airbrushing and tabloids.” Kirsten Rowlett, public relations senior, said she does not believe college-aged women want to be like celebrities. “I like to read The New York Times … but I do subscribe to Us Weekly,” she said. “I like to read something mindless sometimes.” Hershberger said student

identity with celebrity is part of a feeling of isolation, which he contributes to students trying to avoid the issue. “They feel insecure because they feel they are the only one experiencing (an issue) because no one else is talking about it,” he said. “In my experience, people say, ‘I am struggling with this, with that, and no one else is.’ But really, I’ve just seen five people who are dealing with the same issue.” He said social networking Web sites, such as Myspace and Facebook, allow people to put out a perception of themselves, but not really express themselves. “For the most part, people are keeping their social circles smaller than ever before. Everyone is together, but really they are isolated, because people have limited social interaction and this makes them feel insecure,” he said. Dorton said the danger with celebrity identity is comparable to the novel Fahrenheit 451. “What strikes me as being really provocative is the scene with the house with screens constantly showing images of people the residents identify with, and think of like friends,” he said. “In the real world, there is a war going on no one can understand because they are too busy with the fiction.” Dorton said if it is not a leap to think false identification leads to book burning, then it is not a leap to think celebrities affect body image. He asserts celebrities are created images, perceptions and not actually real people, no matter how much we think we identify with them. “The image of these people is as real as Barbie,” Dorton said.

Most Desired Celebrity Traits A Perfect Body or Personal Image:










“Other” responses included: luck, access, fast cars, name recognition and privacy.

“Treating them as if we are familiar with them, talking about them with their first names, it is a weird kind of fandom.” He said in addition to body image issues, there is an element of social desirability to consider. “I think people identify with Carrie Underwood because that is who they want to be most like. She has the most respectable image. Her parents are probably very proud of her,” Dorton said. “Someone saying, ‘you remind me of Carrie Underwood’ would rarely be an insult, but think how loaded ‘you remind me of Paris Hilton’ would be. Is that a compliment or an insult?” Corbut said celebrity affects college women more than they may realize. “In America, we are taught if you work hard enough, if you are determined enough, if you want it bad enough, you can have it. And it doesn’t matter how much you work, you can’t do it,” she said. “But, we socialize people in America to believe that.”


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

✯ BIKINI TRIMS AREN’T JUST FOR WOMEN Imagine you’re out kissed and caressed. on a date with someOnce you’ve made the one new. Things are decision to shave, there going really well; so are a few necessary well, in fact, that you steps to take before invite him back to hacking away with your your place. You both girlfriend’s safety razor. are getting pretty First, make sure you ANNA TAUZIN hot and worked up, have your own blades Star Columnist so you carefully slide and a bottle of shaving your hand down his pants, only cream. Some creams contain to be met with a giant bush of unnecessary oils for scent and hair that probably hasn’t seen a color, so try to find a brand razor blade in years, if ever. without any of that. Aveeno’s A turn-off? You bet. It’s not shave gel works well. just women who are socially Take a hot shower or bath required to shave downstairs before you start. The water will anymore, but men too. Don’t be help soften the coarse hair. behind the times. Next, trim your pubic hair with Shaving really does make scissors or an electric trimeverything between your legs mer. This can be a pain, but it’s look bigger, gentlemen. If you’ve worth it to save time in the end. always wished for an extra Don’t try to run the scissors inch on your penis, fake it and along your skin, rather, hold shave that hair off. Additionally, the hair away from you and cut shaved genitals allow for better close as close as you can. hygiene. A man’s genital area is When you’re ready, lather up just as much a breeding ground the area with plenty of shaving for bacteria as a woman’s and cream. Holding the skin taut, should be kept clean at all shave in the opposite direction times. Without the hair to trap of hair growth. Shave down the sweat and warmth, you may away from the head of your find your lover wanting to get a penis and continue along the little closer, too. Silky smooth base, moving downward into the scrotal skin is just begging to be upper pubic area. Use a smooth

upward stroke when shaving testicles. Rinse and dry your genitals thoroughly. To avoid ingrown hairs or pimples, you should exfoliate gently with a washcloth or loofah. Next, moisturize the area with baby oil or aloe vera. You can also add a light dusting of powder if you’re worried about chafing. If shaving is too intimidating, waxing is always an option. Many estheticians now offer Brazilian waxes to men, too. Check with a close girl friend to get a recommendation. I would not recommend using depilatory creams on your genital area. The lotions smell horrible and can cause serious irritation because of their chemical content. One final note: without pubic hair, your genital skin will be a lot more sensitive. Sex will be amazing, sure, but keep that in mind when choosing which shorts or pants to wear. Tents are so middle school. Anna Tauzin is a mass communication junior. Send your sex and relationship questions to

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

Tuesday’s solutions:

Tuesday’s solutions:

The University Star - Page 9

OPINIONS S FUTURE OF onlineconnection


Do you believe you had enough information to make an informed decision in the ASG elections? Go to to vote in our online poll. Results will be published in Thursday’s issue of The University Star. *This is not a scientific poll

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - Page 10

Opinions Contact — Emily Messer,

Letters to the Editor


omewhere in the process of growing up it seems women have been fooled into believing one of two things.

Either the best way to be attractive and feminine is to behave as nothing more than a complement to the men in their lives, or being confident and independent means sacrificing femininity and behaving like a man. Chilean author Isabel Allende was this year’s LBJ Distinguished Lecturer. In her Common Experience-themed address Wednesday, she spoke on feminism in today’s society. “Men have successfully depicted feminists as hairy lesbians — and ugly,” she said. “Women today don’t want to be associated with the feminist movement; it isn’t sexy.” Women should not feel the need to sacrifice their intellect or values to be sexy. Paris Hilton and other scantily clad women don’t make covers of magazines for their opinions on environmentalism or the changing tide of a Republican-dominated executive branch with a Democrat-dominated legislative branch. These women have made covers by being silent beauties. We’ve all met them, the women who spend time thinking about what the man next to her in class might think of her rather than focusing on her education. The fact of the matter is being a strong, assured woman does not mean behaving like a man or compromising beauty. Some of the most powerful people leading our country walk into the office wearing three-inch pumps, a power suit and color-coordinated accessories. These women did not make it to Washington feigning ignorance. Women who have yet to be convinced should consider this statistic: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the end of the 2006-2007 school year it is estimated 58 percent of students earning a bachelor’s degree and 61 percent of those earning a master’s degree will be female. It is a fair assumption these approximately 1.64 million women are not destined to a life of solitude, nor are they all “hairy lesbians” because they are proud of their intelligence. The change must start today. Teaching our daughters to smile and just look pretty with their mouths shut is stifling the growth of a future of potentially strong leaders. Teaching our sons that a powerful woman is something to be feared is harming the future of our society. As Allende noted, “We don’t need to act like men or replace men, the world needs us both.” Believe it or not, there are men who find it more sexy to have a woman who can hold her own in an intellectual conversation than a woman who’s intellect is limited to which bra lifts and separates best. Women have the most to gain from being self-assured and intelligent and, most importantly, will not have to sacrifice their feminism to do so. As Allende said, “Being feminist has never stopped me from flirting… and I’ve never suffered for a lack of men.”

FEMINISM? Strong women should be embraced, not feared

Charity kindness honors Hokies alumnus’ memory As a Virginia Tech alumnus, I have been trying to understand the senseless tragedy that occurred at my alma mater. I have come across many articles and Web sites that have the common phrase “Today we are all Hokies.” I also remembered a phrase that signifies the common bond that Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff and alumni share. It is a sense of service that is instilled through the university motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). It became clear to me that to truly honor those we lost is to fulfill that common mission that each of the victims shared: to be of service to others. We can each take part in this through our daily activities. Volunteer your free time at one of the many local charities. Make a donation to a charity of your choice. Take part in one of the many projects coordinated by the service organizations on campus here at Texas State. As we remember and mourn those students and faculty lost in Monday’s tragedy, let’s honor the goals for which they were striving: the improvement of the quality of life of others through education and service. Cliff Haynes Residence Director, Tower Hall 2004 Virginia Tech alumnus

Pot legalization would improve ailments, society I am a chronic pain patient who was busted because of pot. I had not smoked until I had this constant pain, and found major relief. I went to college in California and Utah, but hope to be coming to Texas soon. It would be extremely beneficial to continue my medication as needed without facing jail. I hope others can as well, and I highly support the use of pot for medical purposes. I used everything without significant relief. From acid to heroin I tried them all. I was ready to call Dr. Kevorkian, but it was marijuana that finally calmed the uncontrollable sting. It wasn’t until Mexico that I found social acceptance, however. This puts a black eye on American legal supporters and the system they so blindly buy into. It’s friendly here and there isn’t a drug problem, because and only because they don’t see drugs as a problem. No one cares what their neighbors do until they are themselves actually damaged — and Americans should see the light as well. Legalize all drugs. I seriously doubt much of America will ever realize any difference if we do this, and the jails will soon become less packed. John Marion Cook La Paz, Mexico

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.

Claude Dylan Ramey/Star illustration

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Co-workers best resource when starting a new job

Being the new there are certain aspects person on the job can of a company that will feel like being the new take adapting to. It’s kid at school. There is rare to find a company in a desire to fit in and which the atmosphere is be liked by co-workers entirely suitable to each (the students) and employee. There may the boss (the teacher) always be something one CHAZ KYSER while feeling at home wishes were different, in a new environment. Star Columnist or done differently. One of the key ways to fit One will find some things can in is by understanding and be changed with insightful adapting to the company’s suggestions. Other quirky culture. Just as every school has aspects of the company will be its own way of life and culture, unchangeable. And that’s OK so will all the companies one if one can accept what can’t be works for throughout life. Each changed. one operates differently — has The following are seven its own quirky way of doing characteristics I’ve found work things and rules that reflect together to create a company’s the beliefs of the higher-ups. culture. One may find some companies will take some getting used to 1. The Employer’s while others will automatically Expectations: Each feel welcoming and safe. How employer has his or her own quickly one learns to operate expectations for the company. within the company’s culture The employees pick up on will dictate how fast one will fit these expectations and carry into the company itself. themselves accordingly (or This is not to say one can’t should). Some employers may stand apart from co-workers expect their company to just in a unique way, and do things get by and make a little profit. a little differently. This means One can detect this because

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co-workers will do just what it takes to get by and collect a paycheck. While one should still strive for excellence, don’t condemn others for their lack of initiative in this type of environment. Other employers will want their company to be the best in the city, state or nation, and be very demanding of their employees. Halfstepping on the job in this company will be frowned upon. 2. The Rules and Regulations: Each company will have their own set of do’s and don’ts to work by. Rules like stealing, back-talking the boss, lying and so forth are nobrainers, but others might not be so obvious. One might not find out exactly what they are until breaking a rule or seeing someone getting reprimanded for committing a “no-no.” For example, some companies may not have a problem with employees relaxing on the job when the workload is slow. Other companies may expect everyone to look like they are working even when they know there’s nothing to do. Likewise,

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dating among employees is a normal occurrence at some companies, while it may be forbidden at others. To avoid confusion, ask whether or not something is against company policy or considered an “abomination” before you do something one isn’t sure about. 3. The Interaction Among Co-workers: If people rarely leave their cubicles and like to eat lunch alone at a company, then being Mr. or Ms. Friendly might not score any brownie points. This isn’t to discourage being upbeat and cordial, but don’t be upset if some people aren’t as amiable as others. Other companies may have a spirit of camaraderie most people wish theirs had. In this environment, one will hear people’s gossip on the first day and be invited over for dinner the next. This is cool — if one appreciates friendly co-workers. If not, it is advisable to pretend one does and work on being friendly if one wants to fit in. 4. The Employee’s Interaction With Management: There’s a big

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difference in the atmosphere of a company where the boss is viewed as a team member and one where he or she is solely looked upon as the head honcho. A team-member boss may be treated casually by employees and joked with like anyone else. One can spot a head honcho boss because the room will get quiet when he or she enters. Personal interaction with these two types of bosses is different as well. The teammember boss might have what is known as an “open-door” policy where employees can freely share their thoughts and concerns at any time. The head honcho boss may require an appointment to talk, and that may be the first and only time an employee can talk to him or her one-on-one. Take cues from co-workers on how to interact with the boss until familiar with his or her management style. 5. The Dress Code: Don’t expect to fit in wearing business casual outfits when the atmosphere is conservative and everyone sports a suit except on Fridays. Take cues

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on appropriate attire from coworkers and follow their lead. 6. The Pace: If the workplace is a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment, then keep up or risk being seen as a dead weight. If it’s a slower paced, ‘take your time’ environment, then one might not fit in playing Speedy Gonzalez. 7. The Competitiveness: Some companies foster a competitive environment among employees. At places like this, co-workers will gloat about who sold the most ads, who sold the most merchandise, which team bagged the most clients and finished the project first, and so on. If one isn’t competitive by nature this may take some getting used to.

Chaz Kyser is the author of Embracing the Real World: The Black Woman’s Guide to Life After College and a Southwest Texas State University alumna. For more information, go to or e-mail Kyser at column@embr 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 April 18, 2007. 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.

04 18 2007  
04 18 2007