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CONTENTS SECTION A – NEWS Remembering the fallen: The list of the Virginia Tech victims ... A3 University, student concerns heard by Texas Congress ... A4 Semester’s end brings cheating temptation, punishable by expulsion ... A6 Popular ADHD medication carries risks, drawbacks for illegal users ... A7 Test performance, diet directly related ... A7 ‘Dream’ internships have it all, including hefty price tag ... A8 Texas State student avoids fraud ... A8 Hip Hop Congress uses ‘edutainment’ to aid San Marcos High School Students ... A8 Business owners, residents join against river ordinances ... A9 Ugandan conflict motivates students ... A9 Letters to the Editor ... A11
In every special issue of The University Star this year I took the chance to thank our readers. This will be my last opportunity to do so. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this has been one of the most successful years in Star history. We continued our streak of victories at this year’s Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention. We brought home awards from the Society of Professional Journalists regional convention, and one story from The Star placed nationally in the Hearst Foundation’s in-depth writing competition. But we’re here for our readers, not the people who judge those contests, and I think the best example of our success this year has been the feedback we’ve received. If you look in the back inside page of this section you’ll ﬁnd the letters to the editor we received in the past few weeks but could not run. Last year,
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getting a letter from a reader was such a rare occurrence, when we redesigned the Opinions page this year we didn’t make enough space to run all the letters we’ve received. I think this is a clear indication of the service we provide our readers. Even when someone writes in complaining about The Star, I’m pleased with the fact he or she not only read the paper, but cares enough about it to write the editors and voice an opinion. When someone writes in with thoughts about an issue at the university or in the community, I’m happy that person feels The Star is the forum to make his or her opinion known. I always loved getting letters singing The Star’s praise, but the letters that most warmed my heart were when someone wrote in about an issue we had covered and simply wanted to discuss the issue further. When we encouraged people to reﬂect on and discuss issues aﬀecting Texas State and San Marcos was when I felt we had really performed a service. But enough navel gazing, I’m here to thank you, our readers. Thank you to everyone who wrote in. It made me feel as though there was a purpose to all the time and energy The Star’s staﬀ and I gave this year. And thank you everyone who read The Star. I can’t tell you how proud I felt any time I passed a newsstand with only
a handful of papers in it, or when I walked into a classroom and saw people reading The Star. I was especially proud when I saw people reading the articles rather than working on sudoku or the crossword puzzle. But I need to take this opportunity to thank The Star’s staﬀ as well. The people who worked on the paper this year put in a lot of time for very little pay and I hope it was as rewarding for them as it was for me. Everyone from those on the front oﬃce staﬀ, to the advertising staﬀ to the editorial staﬀ played an integral part in creating the paper this year, so thank you. The people I worked with were hardworking and professional. When I walked into the newsroom and found staﬀers on the phone, at their computers or discussing stories with editors I got the feeling there was a real sense of duty to get the information out there. So, to our readers and our staﬀ, good luck with ﬁnals. Be safe this summer. For those of you leaving Texas State, good luck wherever the world takes you. For those of you who will be back next year, please keep reading the paper. And to everyone, thank you for helping make this year a success. Jason Buch Editor in Chief
Main Point ... A12 Legal Guy ... A12 Editorial Round-up ... A12
SECTION B – TRENDS Dining out doesn’t have to be unhealthy ... B2
Effects of energy enhancers ... A7
Keep insects at bay this summer … B2 Communication, respect key to students’ success in marriage … B2 Saving money today saves hassle later … B3 Alice Martindale anti-speed trap movement must begin … B3 The National Endowment for the Humanities honors professor … B4 Study abroad, mini sessions make summer studies memorable … B4
Professor honored by National Endowment for the Humanities ... B4
Americans take a shining to whitening products … B5 Body’s natural rhythms reason why danger lies in late-night drives … B5 Sneaky salads: Adding toppings can load on calories … B7 Highs and lows of life inspire Rockus Circus … B8 Brain building excercies can sharpen students worn-out brains ... B8 International fashion industry fights model malnourishment … B9 Gamer pastime turning into virtual world addiction … B9 Summer blockbusters … B10
Rockus Circus ... B8
Austin party helps Eeyore lose his birthday blues … B11 Calendar … B11 Rix’s Technology Fixes … B12 Comics, Sudoku and Crossword ... B12
SECTION C – SPORTS Perception and Progress: Bobcat athletics’ success requires support of all ... C5 Missions baseball receives $1.2 million upgrade ... C6
Missions Baseball ... C6
End of NBA season leads to mixed emotions of draft strategy ... C6 Collegiate players feel NBA pressure ... C7 Tournament brings comedic fun ... C7 Summer Camps ... C7 Tackling technology: Fish finders offer easy-to-use help ... C8 Chicago mayor overjoyed by city’s Olympics nomination ... C9 NFL-bound wide receiver enjoys growing legend status ... C10 ’07 NFL Draft delivers deep options for secondary improvements ... C10 Electric leisure boat has transformative qualities ... C10
Fishing technology ... C8
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REMEMBERING THE FALLEN The list of the Virginia Tech victims One was a cellist who hoped to serve in the Air Force. Another used her expertise in biology to help residents of developing nations improve the quality of their water. A third was a swimmer who sang in the choir. The 33 victims of the Virginia Tech massacre were promising students and dedicated professors. Here is a list of the victims: Caitlin Hammaren, 19, upstate Westtown, N.Y., was a leader among students at Minisink Valley High School, Principal John Latini said. Hammaren played violin in the county orchestra, was in the top 10 percent of her class and belonged to the National Honor Society. Mathew Gwaltney, 24, Chesterﬁeld, Va., was about to ﬁnish his master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. He was a huge Hokies sports fan and was sports editor at his high school newspaper. Matthew LaPorte, 20, Dumont, N.J., dreamed of serving as an oﬃcer in the Air Force and began working toward that goal in seventh grade, when he entered Carson Long Military Academy in New Bloomﬁeld, Pa. In college, he served as a cadet in the Air Force ROTC and earned a scholarship, family and friends said.
was a fan of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Ryan Clark, 22, Martinez, Ga., known as Stack, was a senior majoring in biology and English. A member of the marching band, he was a resident adviser at the West Ambler Johnston dorm where the ﬁrst shootings took place. Austin Cloyd, 18, Champaign, Ill., was a freshman in international studies and French who worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor in the summers. Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Blacksburg, Va., was a French instructor from Canada. The mother of two girls, she came to Virginia Tech with her husband, Jerzy Nowak, the head of the horticulture department. Kevin Granata, 45, Blacksburg, Va., was an engineering professor. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, the married father of three was an expert in movement dynamics in cerebral palsy. Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, Bellefonte, Pa., a civil engineering graduate student, was planning a career in environmental work. He ran the Pocono Marathon last year in 4 hours, 4 minutes.
Michael Pohle, 23, Raritan, N.J., was a senior majoring in biology. He played football and lacrosse at Hunterdon Central High School.
Rachael Hill, 18, Richmond, Va., was a freshman political science major. She graduated in 2006 from the Grove Avenue Christian School.
Julia Pryde, 23, Middletown, N.J., was the kind of young woman who cared about a lot of things and did something about them, Virginia Tech Prof. Mary Leigh Wolfe said. Pryde used her expertise in biology on a trip to help residents in South America improve and maintain the quality of their water, Wolfe said.
Emily Hilscher, 19, Woodville, Va., had a passion for animals and horses and majored in animal science.
Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, Saugus, Mass., was a sophomore focusing on English, business information technology and French. “I like to laugh and tease, and I have a pretty weird sense of humor,” he wrote in his Facebook proﬁle. Christopher Bishop, 35, Blacksburg, Va., was a German instructor. He helped oversee an exchange program with Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany with wife Stephanie Hofer. Brian Bluhm, 25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned an undergraduate civil engineering degree from Virginia Tech before starting a graduate program in water resources. He
Jarrett Lane, 22, Narrows, Va., was a senior majoring in civil engineering. The valedictorian of his class at Narrows High School, he played trombone, ran track and played football and basketball in high school. Henry Lee, 20, Roanoke, Va., played Frisbee and racquetball, according to his Facebook.com page. A freshman, he planned to major in computer engineering. Liviu Librescu, 76, Blacksburg, Va., survived the Holocaust and went on to escape Communist Romania. Known for his work in aeronautical engineering, Librescu will be remembered as a hero for protecting students as the gunman tried to enter his classroom. G.V. Loganathan, 51, Blacksburg, Va., was a married father of two. A native of Karatadipalayam,
India, the civil and environmental engineering professor was an expert in hydrology and water resources. Lauren McCain, 20, Hampton, Va., listed Jesus Christ on her www. MySpace.com site as “the love of my life.” She was a freshman international studies major. Daniel O’Neil, 22, Lincoln, R.I., was an engineering graduate student and teaching assistant. He was a guitar-playing songwriter who posted original lyrics on his Web site, www.residenthippy.com. Minal Panchal, 26, was a native of India and a graduate student in building sciences. Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was an engineering graduate student who loved to play bongos. He had recently married Liselle Vega Cortes, a student at Virginia Tech. Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, was a former member of Peru’s national swim team who liked to sing and dance. Partahi Lumbantoruan, 34, was from Indonesia and was a graduate student studying civil engineering. He wanted to become a teacher. Erin Peterson, 18, Centreville, Va., was a basketball player at Westﬁeld High School, where her friend Lori Ficks said she was “outgoing” and made everybody laugh. Mary Read, 19, Annandale, Va., was born in South Korea to an Air Force family. She lived in Texas and California before moving with her family to Virginia. Reema Samaha, 18, Centreville, Va., was a dancer and performer who won accolades for her work in a high school production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Cho Seung-Hui, 23, was a South Korean national and a permanent resident in the U.S. He was an English senior. Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, 32, Zagazig, Egypt, was a doctoral student in civil engineering. Shaalan came to Virginia Tech to work with G.V. Loganathan, an engineering professor who was killed in Monday’s shooting. He was married and the father of a 1-year-old son. Leslie Sherman, 20, West Springﬁeld, Va., was an international studies and history sophomore who worked part time at the West End Market on Virginia Tech’s campus.
Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer IN GRIEF: Virginia Tech students gather April 16 for a candlelight vigil at the chapel on campus following the shooting that killed more than 30 people on campus earlier in the day. Maxine Turner, 22, Vienna, Va., was just one month away from graduation. The chemical engineering student practiced Tae Kwon Do and
belonged to a sorority. Nicole White, 20, Smithﬁeld, Va., was a junior international studies ma-
jor who spent her high school summers working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA. — New York Daily News
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University, student concerns heard by Texas Congress By Molly Berkenhoﬀ The University Star Several Texas State leaders have given testimony this semester in regards to legislation aﬀecting the university and have provided information to congressmen in order to voice interests and concerns. University President Denise Trauth spoke before the Texas House and Senate in February with other university oﬃcials. She appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and the Senate Education and Finance Committees. Trauth’s visit was in regards to the development of the state budget. “The primary thing discussed was the university budget itself,” said Robert Gratz, special assistant to the president and member of her cabinet. “As a public oﬃcial, (Trauth) isn’t allowed to speak for or against a bill, but rather she provides important information about the students she serves.” A particular need discussed was tuition revenue bond funding, which Gratz said would support the building of an undergraduate academic center. The bond would further allow construction of a new building on the Round Rock campus which would house the nursing
hen I saw tuition deregulation “W was being discussed, I wanted to make sure someone from Texas State was there to speak about the issue.”
— Kyle Morris ASG president
program. Additionally, Gratz said Trauth requested startup funding to begin the Texas State nursing program. She asked for support for additional program development in engineering as well. Amanda Oskey appeared before the Higher Education Committee March 12 on behalf of Texas State. Oskey, Associated Student Government vice president, testiﬁed in support of a bill that would provide tax-free textbooks for students. The bill was ﬁled by state Rep. Patrick Rose, DDripping Springs. The other bill requires the de-bundling of textbooks. “When you buy a textbook now, they sometimes come with workbooks and CD’s that aren’t necessarily used in the classroom,” Oskey said. “If they are de-bundled, you can buy them separately and only buy what you really need.”
Oskey said when books are bought this way, often after the seal is broken they cannot be resold. She said this hurts the used textbook market. The bill provides for limitations on the reprinting of new textbook additions in ﬁelds not in constant change, such as some history and mathematical areas. “History doesn’t change,” Oskey said. “A lot of times you have to buy books that are the newest edition when the only diﬀerence between the new one and the one before it is that they re-arranged a chapter or added a paragraph.” ASG President Kyle Morris gave testimony April 10 and 11 in regards to a tuition de-regulation bill. Designated tuition was deregulated in 2003 because of considerable cuts in higher education funding. The deregulation allowed universities to set their own tuition rate so they could make up
for the cut in funding. Tuition costs statewide have increased every year since. Morris testiﬁed against the policy. “When I saw tuition deregulation was being discussed, I wanted to make sure someone from Texas State was there to speak about the issue,” Morris said. “Otherwise you would have a disproportionate amount of UT students and that’s a skewed view. They support the bill and it’s absurd and disgusting that they want this elitist pricing policy.” Morris said the demographic diﬀerences between Texas State and the University of Texas show much discrepancy. Morris said the average income of a UT student’s household is around $100,000, whereas a Texas State student’s household averages around $35,000 to $40,000. “UT can aﬀord to continue to jack up their prices, but it’s at the cost of Texas State students,” Morris said. “They want to price kids out of higher education. This bill puts universities that serve working-class citizens at a disadvantage. I said to (state) Senator Judith Zaﬃrini, (D-Laredo), ‘If you want to deregulate the tuition of UT, that’s ﬁne with me, let them have their elitist policy. But leave Texas State alone.’”
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Legislation affecting Texas State University System students this session SB 161 Filed by Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio Would allow schools in the system to create a $8.75 athletic service fee per semester credit hours for regular semesters and $4.40 for summer semesters. The fee must pass a student referendum to be imposed. • Texas State students have already approved fee. • Texas State’s Associated Student Government is expecting the bill to include an amendment that would allow a majority-student committee to decide how to allocate the money collected from the fee. Current Status: The bill passed the Senate and was received by the House on April 19. HB 1418 Filed by Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham Prevents the TSUS Board of Regents from changing the name of Sam Houston State University. • The bill was reported favorably without amendments April 4. Current status: The committee report was sent to local and consent calendar on April 11. HB 956 Filed by Scott Hochberg, D-Houston Places restrictions on the cost and sale of textbooks by university-afﬁliated bookstores, including: • Faculty cannot require students to purchase textbooks that will not be used. • Students cannot be
required to purchase textbook editions in print for fewer than three years, with certain exceptions. • Schools must post a list of required textbooks on their Web sites. • University-afﬁliated bookstores can sell course materials in a bundle only when they adhere to speciﬁc guidelines. • University-afﬁliated bookstores cannot penalize students for returning opened bundles of course materials if all other conditions of the return policy are met. Current status: The committee Report was ﬁled with committee Coordinator on April 17. The report was sent to Calendars April 18. HB 1434 Filed by Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs Creates a tax-free textbook holidays spanning from the second Monday in August to the second Sunday in September and Jan. 1 to Jan. 31. Current status: Testimony was taken in committee March 12. The bill is still pending in committee. SB 49 Filed by Judith Zafﬁrini, D-Laredo Creates tax-free textbook holidays spanning from the second Friday in August to thesecond following Sunday and the second Friday in January to the second following Sunday. Current status: Another co-author was authorized April 16.
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Semester’s end brings cheating temptation, punishable by expulsion By Karen Little The University Star With the end of the semester comes more time spent studying, increased stress levels and multiple tests. These conditions can sometimes lead a student to cheat or plagiarize. Roughly 80 percent of college students admit to cheating at least once, according to the Center for Academic Integrity Web site. “Student justice is a long and tedious process,” said Ben Hicklin, a teaching assistant and history graduate student who has handled cheating within the classroom. “It requires a lot of time outside class.” Hicklin said students who are caught cheating or plagiarizing in his courses are given a zero or asked to drop the course. “Typically students will admit to their actions,” Hicklin said. Brooke Straub, anthropology senior, said the size of the class can determine how simple cheating can be. “In bigger classes, it can be easier to cheat because of all the tight seating,” she said. Straub was recently accused of cheating in one of her classes. She said her professor told the students if they are easily distracted they could wear earplugs during the exam. Straub did not own earplugs so she wore headphones. “I wore them for the ﬁrst test and there were no problems,” she said. “The second test, he walked up to me in front of the entire 250 person class and announced, ‘You need to take those out.’ It ruined my focus and I didn’t do well on my test.” Other than large classrooms, Straub said she does not encounter cheating often in her classes. “People either do it really well or they don’t (cheat) at all,” she said. Because of the Internet, cases of plagiarism have been more frequent in colleges nationwide. Under Texas State policy, plagiarism is deﬁned as “the appropriation of another’s work and the unacknowledged incor-
aving students write honor “H codes makes them think about the honesty issue.” — Susan Beebe senior lecturer, English
poration of that work in one’s own written work oﬀered for credit.” According to www.plagiarism. org, “a national survey published in Education Week found 54 percent of students admitted to plagiarizing from the Internet; 74 percent said at least once during the past school year they had engaged in ‘serious’ cheating; and 47 percent believe their teachers sometimes choose to ignore students who are cheating.” To prevent or deter plagiarism, some faculty members use such Web sites as www.turnitin.com. When students submit their paper to the Web site, faculty members receive an “Originality Report.” According to www.turnitin.com, “results are based on exhaustive searches of billions of pages from both current and archived instances of the internet, millions of student papers previously submitted to Turnitin and commercial databases of journal articles and periodicals.” The anthropology department uses another procedure to mitigate cheating. Straub said the department has a system requiring students to turn in two copies of their paper. The second copy is kept on ﬁle. “They have up to 11 years worth of papers,” Straub said. In 2004, Texas State began asking students to write the university honor code on their essays. Sometimes professors will print the honor code on an essay or test and have students sign their name. Susan Beebe, English senior lecturer, said the honor code helps students weigh their morals. “Having students write honor codes makes them think about
the honesty issue,” she said. In the English department, Beebe said the majority of the courses are taught objectively. The tests she and many other faculty members create have various versions so no two students sitting next to each other will have the same exam. “We proctor those exams closely,” she said. Although Beebe said she rarely encounters blatant test cheaters, she does recall particular times she caught students’ eyes straying. Instead of waiting to take disciplinary action after the exam, Beebe moves the student the moment she sees their wandering eye. “The student gets a zero on the exam,” she said. “If it’s before the drop date, I’ll give them a chance to drop the course.” Beebe said faculty members can take a wide range of actions against a student. They can pursue a disciplinary action and the student can potentially be expelled. “What penalty you assess is completely up to the professor,” Beebe said. “Plagiarism is the felony of academia.” The university has an Honor Council, which deals with cases of academic dishonesty. The council is comprised of an equal number of students and faculty. They hear evidence from both parties and submit their recommendation to the dean of the college in which the alleged Honor Code violation occurred. According to university policy, the Honor Council will be brought into a situation under three conditions: a faculty member recommends an additional disciplinary penalty, the student rejects the original punishment or if he or she has previous Honor Code violation.
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Popular ADHD medication carries risks, drawbacks for illegal users By Christina Kahlig The University Star From caﬀeine to the numerous energy drinks available, college students have options when staying awake to cram for ﬁnals. However, the latest craze, Adderall, might be more harmful than helpful. “Adderall is a prescription medication that is not made for common use,” said Mike Wilkerson, health education coordinator for the Student Health Center. “It’s an addictive substance and that in itself is dangerous.” Adderall is the most prescribed medication for attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder. It restores the balance of chemicals in the brain to allow people to concentrate. Some students who have a prescription to the drug sell it to others who are wanting to stay awake all night. “You’re better oﬀ getting some sleep than pulling an all-nighter,” Wilkerson said. “People who take Adderall illegally will feel like they’re focused, but their retention is lower. It’s absolutely not
a good idea to take it if it is not prescribed.” Howard Williams, San Marcos police chief, stressed not only the dangers of Adderall but also the legal consequences. “Adderall is one of the most abused prescription drugs among college kids,” Williams said. “If you are in possession of or taking a prescription drug that was not prescribed to you, you can go to jail.” Williams, like Wilkerson, said the drug keeps people awake by disturbing their sleep pattern, but it does not improve one’s memory capability. “It’s not an aid to studying,” Williams said. “If you are thinking about taking it, don’t.” Sarah Porter, pre-radiation therapy freshman, said she took Adderall once after getting it from a friend who has a minor form of attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder. “After I took it, I slept for about an hour and then stayed awake from (8 p.m.) to (2 p.m.) the next afternoon,” Porter said. “It made me really alert and I felt like I could concentrate a lot better.”
She said once the Adderall wears oﬀ, it all hits at once. “Once it hits, you crash and burn,” Porter said. “It helped for the night, but I would deﬁnitely not make a habit of it.” Data suggests students pulling all-nighters do worse on exams than those who received an adequate amount of rest. “Sit down and study, but stop and try to get a few hours of sleep, or as much as you can,” Wilkerson said. “Then get up the next morning and review what you studied.” Web sites such as www.stevenbao.com have lists of study tips and ways to concentrate when cramming for ﬁnals. These tips range from keeping the room a person is studying in cold and taking cool showers every few hours to turning oﬀ the computer and even studying in one’s underwear. “Students need to realize they are going to have lower cognitive function if they stay up all night,” Wilkerson said. “If you’re wired and can’t sleep, it’ll negatively aﬀect your performance on your exam.”
Test performance, diet directly related By Christine Mester The University Star Late-night cram sessions and study groups are a part of many students’ agenda during ﬁnals week. However, students may be neglecting an important aspect of their test-taking success: a healthy balanced diet. “Take care of your basic health during stressful times,” said Michael Wilkerson, health education coordinator. “When you are stressed you are more susceptible to illness. Taking care of your health will also help you think more clearly.” Stimulants, such as the caffeine found in coﬀee and energy drinks, help students focus and stay awake during studying and test taking. However, Wilkerson advises students to limit their intake of these drinks. Caﬀeine makes it more diﬃcult to fall asleep and can alter a person’s regular schedule the next day, Wilkerson said.
“During ﬁnals last year, I drank coﬀee all night and up to the minute before the test,” said Meghan Nichols, pre-psychology sophomore. “Once I stopped drinking it, during the test I crashed and I was pretty out of it. I will never do that again.” Green tea is a recommended alternative to coﬀee or energy drinks. Green tea contains caffeine to aid in studying and is full of antioxidants that are good for the immune system. Students are advised to limit their intake of greasy fast foods during ﬁnals. The excessive intake of carbohydrates and fatty calories from a fast food meal will leave the body feeling tired. Healthy snacks, such as granola and fruit, provide more energy than the quick ﬁx of a fast food meal. To avoid resorting to fast food, students should plan ahead of time what they will eat during ﬁnals week, Wilkerson said.
“Plan ahead for healthy snacks to eat while you study,” Wilkerson said. “Try buying bags of mini carrots, nuts or trail mix. These foods are healthy and also a good source of energy.” Wilkerson recommended students to get a good night’s sleep. He said a sleep-deprived person’s body craves sugars. Eating breakfast is another way for students to boost their metabolism and receive a source of energy. “Eat something for breakfast even if it is small,” Wilkerson said. “Students should have a breakfast with some sort of protein.” He advises students to try to eat healthy during ﬁnals but said they should not make any drastic changes to their regular diet. For more information on healthy foods and meal suggestions, visit the Student Health Center Web site at www.healthcenter.txstate.edu/healthed
ENERGYDRINKS KRT PHOTO BY LAURA MORTON/SEATTLE TIMES CANNED ENERGY: Although energy drinks advertise they give you a boost, food and medical experts say they really don’t provide that and the level of sugar and caffeine in some of the drinks can cause dehydration and be dangerous for the young and active.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007
‘Dream’ internships have it all including hefty price tag By Molly Berkenhoﬀ The University Star A recent trend allows students seeking internships to avoid the sweat, stress and anxiety of the application process — so long as they are willing to put forth a few grand to save them the hassle. Companies are now emerging which guarantee internship positions to students who pay the companies hundreds to thousands of dollars in return for their connections. One of the largest of these companies, the University of Dreams, offers more than 1,000 internship positions with connections at 500 plus institutions. Many of
the positions granted through the company are unavailable to typical non-paying applicants. However, they can be attained through established connections at the University of Dreams. “I think paying companies to ﬁnd you an internship is taking the easy way out,” said Andrew Cohen, marketing freshman. “You don’t learn a thing about working in the real world if you can’t even go out and look for a job yourself like millions of other people are doing daily.” The packages include housing, meals and transportation to and from work and can cost nearly $9,000 for an eight-week program. Interested students can
choose from a slew of locations and professional areas listed on the company’s Web site. The online application, along with the necessary funding, completes the process without requiring a résumé. According to its Web site, the University of Dreams has placed 99 percent of all applicants in an intern position in its six years of existence. A March 12 article in the Chicago Tribune said internships, along with good grades and extracurricular activities, have become among the most important aspects of résumés for those entering the job market. Employers seek students who have held internships because they have
more experience and need less training. Ashley Loh, recruiting adviser for the University of Dreams in Los Angeles, said the program opens doors for students in places they cannot get themselves. “Because of all the connections in place through this program, students are able to ﬁnd themselves in really fantastic internships that are otherwise unavailable,” Loh said. “I think the cost is outweighed by all the beneﬁts of the program and the experience and expertise you are able to gather by participating in it.” Loh said an additional incentive to participate in the University of
Dreams program is the lack of hassle involved. “We not only ﬁnd the internship for you, but also take care of all the other arrangements you’ll need for the summer,” Loh said. “It takes a lot of planning and stress out of taking an internship in a diﬀerent city.” Not everyone is certain about the beneﬁts of such internshipﬁnding companies. “I don’t recommend (these programs),” said Karen Julian, assistant director for experiential learning at Career Services. “You can ﬁnd an internship without paying a large amount of money to someone to locate or place you in one. There are plenty of
opportunities to use networking and other resources to ﬁnd one yourself.” Career Services oﬀers several outlets for students seeking internships. Prospective interns are recommended to attend the many job fairs held throughout the year, especially the Internship Fair which takes place every February. “I deﬁnitely don’t think it’s worth the cost,” said Gretchen Halle, fashion merchandising senior and Julian’s intern. “There is deﬁnitely a reward that comes from getting that internship you’ve worked for. I don’t think it would be as rewarding if you didn’t earn it yourself.”
Texas State student avoids fraud Hip Hop Congress uses ‘edutainment’ By Karen Little The University Star Texas State student Deborah Moran was in search of a roommate and placed a classiﬁed ad in The University Star the week before Spring Break. Within two days of placing the ad, she received a strange e-mail. The sender, who ﬁrst referred to herself as “Sandra,” then “Serah,” said in the ﬁrst message she was prepared to write Moran a check. The e-mail was written in broken sentences and used incorrect grammar. “(I) don’t just jump into it, I ask them some questions,” said Moran, applied arts and sciences senior. “I asked what the address was she lived at. “She said she inherited a house from her mother in Belgium. She said (she was) coming for a ‘special holiday.’ I asked what the special holiday was and they never answered.” Moran said she looked up the address the person sent in the e-mail and it was listed as the NEC Philips Uniﬁed Solutions Corporation in Belgium. Sensing something was not right, Moran called the FBI. They told her she may have almost been a victim of Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. FBI oﬃcials said it was a scam and if people say
they are sending the check through registered mail, it may indicate fraud. Moran never received a check or any response to her last e-mail. The scam, originating in Nigeria, involves con artists oﬀering to advance a person money via check. Once the recipient places the check in his or her bank account, the scam artist requests the money back. “The way it works is you put (the check) in your account,” Moran said. “The scammer said they wrote the check for too much. They make fraudulent checks.” After a person receives the check, the scam artist says the recipient needs to send the money back in order to continue the transaction. The catch — the scam artist writes a fake check, but the victim sends a real one. Today, the operation is predominant overseas. “Be wary of personal checks,” Moran said. “Do a background check over a person. If they do send you a check, tear it up and don’t answer any more e-mails.” Eric Vasys, spokesperson for FBI ﬁeld oﬃce in San Antonio, said numerous scams occur every day. He said Moran was wise to catch the scam quickly. “Never open an e-mail you don’t recognize,” Vasys said. “(The scam artists) pry upon your kindness and greed.”
He said projects with “advanced fees” do not exist anymore. Although this ﬂags fraudulent activity, Vasys said the culprits are still diﬃcult to catch. “No legit organization should be asking for money upfront,” said FBI special agent David Rawlings. “Some of this stuﬀ is so painfully obvious. You’re putting all your information on the Internet for people to see.” When a check is deposited to a bank account, it can take up to six weeks to clear. Because this is not always taken into consideration, the scam can work well. “You can’t send money back,” Rawlings said. “She did the right thing. (We) encourage people to have a heightened sense of awareness.” Vasys said the majority of advance fee fraud victims are the elderly. “The good thing is most college students don’t automatically trust people,” he said. Moran said she believes she made the right decision and that she will always be wary of anonymous e-mails. “I don’t know how to tell my fellow Bobcats how to deal with this situation,” she said. “When you put up a classiﬁed ad, make sure you’re not getting scammed or getting Freddy Krueger as a roommate.”
to aid San Marcos High School students By Alysha Mendez The University Star War, politics, higher education, social awareness, job skills, relationships, masculinity and misogyny in hip hop are among topics members of Hip Hop Congress will discuss with high school students Saturday at Texas State. The campus organization will host Hip Hop TRiO Student X-Change, an event beneﬁting high school students under the programs Upward Bound, Rural Talent Search and Educational Talent Search. The programs are targeted to assist low income, ﬁrst generation college students and those with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs. Ray Cordero, alumni adviser and co-founder of the Hip Hop Congress, said the goal is to educate and entertain, or “edutainment.” “We want to encourage these youths to think responsibly about their everyday lives, take their academics seriously and plan to attend college,” he said. “Hopefully at Texas State, which has been the case in too many instances to count.” The event will bring 100 to 130 high school juniors and seniors from San Marcos and surrounding areas to campus. “These are not your usual well-oﬀ students,” said Ariana Vargas, interdisciplinary studies freshman and Hip Hop Congress member. “We try
RiO is one of our favorite events because we get to help out disenfranchised youth and spread Texas State’s message of diversity at the same time.”
— Ray Cordero cofounder, Hip Hop Congress
to give these students the motivation they need to attend college whether or not they have the support from their family and the mentality that they can do it themselves.” The entire production is an original concept created by Jesse Silva, who serves as the Multicultural Student Aﬀairs student organization development specialist and Hip Hop Congress adviser. “TRiO is one of our favorite events because we get to help out disenfranchised youth and spread Texas State’s message of diversity at the same time,” Cordero said. “I think this program is one of the best here at Texas State. It’s received overall program of the year from (the Campus Activities and Student Organizations oﬃce) and is a favorite among the students and the Multicultural Student Aﬀairs staﬀ.” In recent years, Hip Hop Congress has won several awards, including Organization of the Year, Man of the Year (former chapter head Ernst Bernard), Student Organization Program of the Year and the Champion
of Diversity Award. “Hip Hop Congress is a diverse community service-based organization that strives to unite cultures through the art of hip-hop by encouraging creativity, expression and social activism,” Cordero said. “Overall, the congress is making innovative strides in a number of arenas and we hope to continue to serve as leaders here on campus.” The Texas State Hip Hop Congress began in Fall 2004 and was the ﬁrst chapter in the southern region of the U.S. “We would also like the community to know that you can also use hip-hop as way to educate and put aside all of the negative attitudes that are carried along with it,” Vargas said. Tim Swain, head of the Texas State chapter, said the group is highly anticipating this year’s TRiO Student X-Change program. “We have invested a lot of time, eﬀort and energy into this event,” he said. “We are eager to see how this year’s program will change a student’s life.”
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The University Star - Page A9
Business owners, residents Ugandan conflict motivates students join against river ordinances By Patrick Ygnacio The University Star
By Ashley Gwilliam The University Star An increasing number of Texas residents will slather on the sunscreen and pack their coolers before heading to New Braunfels for a leisurely day ﬂoating the river. This summer, residents will learn to pack lightly because a new ordinance limits the size of coolers permitted on the city’s rivers to 16 quarts, which holds up to 20 12-ounce cans. This is one of several controversial ordinances regulating the consumption of alcohol on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers below Gruene Bridge, inside the New Braunfels city limits. The ordinances were passed by the New Braunfels City Council to improve public safety, enhance the visitor experience and protect the natural environment. Other related ordinances include the banning of open containers in Prince Solms and Cypress Bend Parks and Hinman Island. Jell-O shots and beer-bongs on the river were restricted in 2006. “The ultimate goal is to try to control the alcohol consumption a little bit,” said Gale Pospisil, district 3 councilwoman. Many residents who disagreed with the initial ordinances passed Feb. 12 succeeded in convincing the city council to relax the rules. Originally, the council passed an ordinance requiring sixpack coolers on the Comal and twelve-pack containers on the Guadalupe River. “There was such uproar from members of the community about the small size,”
Pospisil said. “A lot of people wrote their council members and turned up at our meetings to voice their concerns.” Pospsil said many residents were not concerned about room to pack alcohol; they were concerned about the lack of space for their families’ cokes and sandwiches. “We thought the ordinance was a compromise, but are worried that using the smaller coolers may actually encourage people to bring more tubes, making equipment trafﬁc worse,” said Kevin Webber, spokesman of Keep NBNB. Keep NBNB is an advocacy group consisting of New Braunfels residents seeking to recall Ken Valentine, district 6 councilman, who advocated many of the restraints. “Lucky for us, not all the legislations passed,” said Amy Fleming, advertising senior. “I think some measures did need to be taken, especially since residents have complained of tubers going as far as to defecate on their property. Bottom line is, if they make it too strict, New Braunfels will lose tons of business and they will have to revoke the ordinance.” A group of unincorporated New Braunfels business owners are already anticipating ﬁnancial loss and have taken matters into their own hands. More than 10 river outﬁtters, beer distributors and other individuals ﬁled a lawsuit in the 207th District Court, seeking a temporary restraining order and permanent injunctions against the laws April 5. The unincorporated group is suing under the name “Stop The
Ordinances Please.” The lawsuit claims the recent ordinances are in violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which says only the state can govern the transportation or possession of alcoholic beverages. “The city council obviously thinks the ordinances are legal or we wouldn’t have passed them,” Pospisil said. Webb said the open container bans are unlikely to curb drunken behavior on the river. “Has banning alcohol outside of stadiums or other places people use alcohol stopped people from becoming drunk inside them?” he said. “In Keep NBNB we are looking for real solutions to our problems that are workable, legal and enforceable. The things we’ve done so far just aren’t that.” Pospisil said she thinks a very small minority of the people who come to the river create a problem. “Unfortunately everybody kind of has to get punished because of this, but my concern all along has been that the small minority that goes to get drunk is going to ﬁnd a way to do it no matter where we ban alcohol.” Several previous safety ordinances will continue to be enforced this summer. Glass and foam containers are never permitted on Texas rivers. Littering is illegal and receptacles for garbage disposal are available in the parks. Jumping from bridges, dams and trees into the rivers is restricted. The city does not recommend tubing and swimming for the public when the river ﬂow is above 500 cubic feet per second.
Texas State students will gather Saturday in Austin to join thousands of others from across the state in telling the global community to “Displace Me.” Invisible Children Inc. has organized a nationwide event in which participants leave their homes to simulate the lives of nearly two million people displaced because of a longstanding internal conﬂict in northern Uganda. It is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the conditions at displacement camps in the region. Participants from 15 U.S. cities will commit to sleeping on the ﬂoor of designated sites to demonstrate how people live within the camps. The event in Austin will be held at the Travis County Exposition Center. “You can’t just sympathize and say OK, well I can’t do anything — you really can, it’s not hard,” said Lauren Bazan, Baptist Student Ministry intern. “Invisible Children has already provided plenty of opportunities. They’ve already done the ground work.” The experiences of three American college students on a trip to Africa were chronicled in the 2006 documentary Invisible Children. Much of the ﬁlm documents the lives of Ugandan children and their nightly commutes away from home to avoid being abducted and forced into military service by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Since 1986, the army has waged a rebellion against the Ugandan government as a result of the strictly divided political climate. The insurgency’s military force now primarily consists of about 30,000 children who have been abducted from their homes and forced into military slavery, according to the Uganda Conﬂict
Action Network’s Web site. Bazan said the problems in Uganda have persisted as long as they have because of scant media coverage and little intervention from governments worldwide. “In America, (the) youth, they are our world, they are huge to us,” Bazan said. “And so, if this was happening in our country, you bet the president would be all over that. You bet people would be all over that, but because it’s in Africa, people are like, ‘Well that’s Africa, that’s a diﬀerent place.’” Nearly two million people have been evicted from their homes by the Ugandan government in an attempt to shield them from the dangers posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army. The displaced natives now reside in camps sheltering 10,000 to 60,000 people each. An estimated 1,000 people die per day because of the deprived conditions within these camps. Since the release of Invisible Children, a global movement has been established to raise awareness and to motivate leaders from around the world to encourage a peaceful resolution to the conﬂict in Uganda. Upon ﬁrst learning of the number of people aﬀected, music sophomore Casey Cowan was moved to explore the possibility of participating. “This whole time I’ve been sitting here like, ‘What can I do?’” Cowan said. “What can I do personally and what can I do in my relationship with God that will help me get the word out and help me just have the courage to step up and doing something about this?” Bazan, Texas State alumna, said the operation calls for the time and talents of those wanting to get involved. “It’s anything and everything
that your heart desires,” Bazan said. “I’m a photography major; I can take pictures, make posters. You can do anything, and they need that creativity. That’s the big thing.” Sarah Tarhini, interdisciplinary studies freshman, said the campaign has gained signiﬁcant success. She said since the release of the documentary, educational programs and mentor services have been established for children aﬀected by the conﬂict. In 2006, a Global Night Commute was organized in which 80,000 Americans walked to their downtown city districts and slept outside to demonstrate for the cause. Following the event, peace talks were initiated in Uganda and rebel activity began to steadily decline. “It did bring peace talks, and it did bring a cease ﬁre and it did rally media and governments,” Tarhini said, “In fact, it’s changed from raising awareness to actually ending the war.” Tarhini said the movement provides an opportunity for young people to make a diﬀerence in a time when they are often regarded as indiﬀerent and unresponsive to international issues. “They say our generation will be remembered for three things,” Tarhini said, “The technological advances, September 11 and what we did or did not do for Africa.”
✯FYI Anyone interested in learning more about the discords in Uganda or wanting to register for Displace Me can visit the web site www. invisiblechildren.com.
Page A10 - The University Star
Thursday, April 26, 2007
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Thursday, April 26, 2007
San Marcos residents exceed expectations of all Dear Texas State students, faculty and people of San Marcos, my name is Forest Allen, and I moved to San Marcos in January from Mechanicsville, Va. I am a recent graduate of Virginia Tech (2005). I wanted to take the time to thank you all for your sympathy and gratitude. Thank you for the memorial, and thank you for showing a great kindness and caring spirit. Friends whom I have made here, some who I’ve known less than four months, have been calling me and asking me how I am, if I knew anyone and just being very gracious. This town has never felt more like home. Forest Wayne Allen Virginia Tech Alumnus
Ethics clearly violated with partial birth abortion ban The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on so-called partial birth abortions is a disgraceful and deadly infringement of a woman’s right to her life and liberty. Neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has any business determining what procedures are medically appropriate in performing abortions. Doctors, not politicians or judges, should make this determination, and women should be free to consider and accept their doctors’ advice. An individual’s right to life and liberty includes a woman’s right to end her pregnancy — and to do it by whatever medical procedure she believes will lessen the risks to her health and her life. The precedent set by this Supreme Court’s decision has established that the right of a woman to an abortion is not absolute, even if her health is at risk. And that violation of individual rights is a very, very dangerous precedent. David Holcberg Ayn Rand Institute Irvine, CA
‘Hedonism 101’ a poor reflection of The University Star, On behalf of several students I’ve consulted and countless others who will probably agree, the Hedonism 101 column of the paper is outrageous, to say the least. I’m all for freedom of speech when it comes to a good cause, but if I really wanted to know the dirty details about bikini trims, I’m sure I could ﬁnd it somewhere else (say, the magazine rack at 7-Eleven). I think it’s a gross misrepresentation of my interests as a student and an insult to those who believe such things are sacred. Lana Jones Social work junior
Construction on Post Road only constant headache On behalf of every Texas State student and community member who has to drive down Post Road everyday, I have to say that the ongoing road construction that has plagued my life in the past six months has gone on long enough. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by this semester where ﬂaggers have not stopped me on my way to school or work. This is an inconvenience to the people of San Marcos, and it needs to be stopped. The construction workers are rude and inconsiderate of the drivers on the road. Several times, I have found myself swerving to avoid collisions with the machines the city of San Marcos leaves on the side of the road. It’s a hazard to the community and an annoyance. Like many people who live in San Marcos, I rely on the bus to get to school. This semester I have had to catch the bus everyday an hour before my class starts, just so I can make it in time. Instead of a nice 10 minutes ride, it has turned into an almost hour long nightmare. The completion date of this project needs to be moved to the top of San Marcos’ list. City oﬃcials haven’t even had
the courtesy to send out a letter to the residents of Post Road explaining the situation, the plans they have and how much longer they will take to ﬁnish (not to mention the tax money they’re pulling out of our pockets). This is a college town, and people drink and drive all the time. No matter how much you tell them not to, people will still do it. Only time will tell before a life is taken by the dangers that San Marcos has put on our shoulders. Brandon Davis Pre-communication design junior
Anderson, Quillin ASG campaign was wrong in calling students for votes I recently received a cell phone call in the middle of class (11 a.m.), asking me to vote for Chris Anderson and company. I found this to be a little disturbing. First of all, if you have access to my cell phone number (which I don’t know how they got), then maybe they should access my schedule at the same time and not call me when I am in class, trying to pursue what I am really here for, to learn. The phone call is by far more than I needed to hear to vote for Reagan Pugh. I am not sure if anyone else experienced the same annoyances, but I thought that students might want to know a little bit about why Anderson wasn’t elected. Maybe this has something to do with it. Charles Clements Accounting senior
Anderson’s text messages cost more than a vote With Wednesday being the last day to vote in the Associated Student Government elections, this letter may fall on deaf ears, but I feel it needs to be said. I think that the
campaigning for ASG has gone too far. On Tuesday, I received a call on my cell phone from a machine service asking me to vote for Chris Anderson and Rebecca Quillin. Upon receiving the call, I was a little annoyed that they went through the trouble of obtaining students’ personal phone numbers and calling us in our free time. Then, to make matters worse, I received a text message later that day from their campaign asking me to vote for them. The phone call was pushing it, but the text message took it too far. I am charged 10 cents for every text message I receive, and that was 10 cents I had no desire to spend. While 10 cents doesn’t seem like much, 10 cents from every student who received a text message from them does add up. I have talked to several people who agree that they have taken it too far. This just seems ridiculous that they have paid money to have a service call and text message strangers, costing us money. And all for what, one more vote? Well, this is one vote they didn’t get for that very reason. Laurel Atkins History junior
Government not responsible for repercussions of premarital sex I ﬁnd it humorous to read in The University Star its opinion on the rising price of birth control and it sharing with us about how the government “forgot” to put universities on the list of Medicaid exemptions. I also ﬁnd it interesting that The Star feels that this will now lead to the birth of hundreds if not thousands of unwanted or unplanned children, and to further that the Star is blaming the government. It is unfortunate that the price is increasing and I can understand the concerns that many have. However, it is not the responsibility of the government to provide birth control to people, nor should it be their responsibility to take in and care for the
The University Star - Page A11
children of people who have made the choice to have sex but cannot live with the consequences of their decision and raise their very own child. And whatever happened to people simply not having pre-marital sex, which would help insure undesired pregnancies as well as absolute protection from contracting an STD. I think people need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming the government, wise-up, there are many other forms of affordable family-planning, and if you’re not married this should not be a concern anyway. Colby Blankenship Exercise and sports science senior
Bikini wax column makes assumptions about all students’ sexual likes, dislikes For someone writing a sex and relationship advice column, the April 18 column is very sex negative, both toward men and women. First, nothing is “socially required” except a few manners. To be told that one must conform to a societal standard when it comes to personal grooming to be sexually attractive seems very sex negative. Secondly, hair, or the lack of genital hair, does not deﬁne the cleanliness of a person. A woman with a buzz cut is not cleaner than a woman with long hair, why would it be any diﬀerent with other forms of body hair? Third, there are many variations of sexuality, and of sexual likes and dislikes. By painting all women and men with a brush stroke that they will be turned oﬀ by a “bush” is to insinuate that everyone should be clones of each other in their sexual likes and dislikes. Many men and women prefer their lovers with body hair, and many prefer to ﬁnd someone completely smooth. That is the luxury of sexual variety; one can always ﬁnd someone else with their likes and dislikes. If a new sexual partner is going to be so shallow as to have my body hair aﬀect their opinion of me as a dating and
sex partner, then they were not really a good partner to begin with. Communication is an important part of any relationship, and the column would be much better served by opening the lines of communication between current and future partners, rather than painting broad strokes of what is and is not acceptable between two people. Amanda Pitts Sociology graduate student
Gun-carrying students, teachers, could have possibly prevented tragedy The Virginia Tech shooting has been a nightmarish tragedy, and my heart goes out to the families who have suﬀered unimaginable loss. The dust has yet to settle, but we must ask how this was able to happen. Prior to the shooting, the Virginia Tech campus enacted a “Gun-free Zone” policy, which means that even a citizen with a concealed carry permit may not carry their ﬁrearm on campus. Apparently, the campus police are the only people with the right to self-defense on campus. In this case, the students in classrooms and the dormitories had to call 911 to plead for someone with a gun to come and protect them. I have nothing but the highest respect for the police oﬃcers who tried to stop a crazed gunman from killing defenseless students, but armed oﬃcers were not enough that day. We must realize that as horrible as this event was, it can happen again. What are we going to do diﬀerently? When I’m sitting in a classroom, and someone bursts in with a gun drawn opening ﬁre on me or my fellow students, is my only option to pull a cell phone and dial 911, praying someone with a gun can stop the horror? Or will we stop senseless policies of gun-free zones and allow me to draw a gun, and stop the body count at one? Stephen Sheftall Pre-international studies junior
OPINIONS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Thursday, April 26, 2007 - Page A12
onlineconnection The University Star’s editorial board has voted for the top 10 editorial cartoons of the year. To see a slideshow of these illustrations, go to www.UniversityStar.com.
FINDING Opinions Contact — Emily Messer, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MAIN POINT
his has been a pivotal year for Texas State. The university has struggled to establish traditions and search for a new identity. There is a statue of President Lyndon Johnson as a student, discussion on Division I-A football, the Rising Star of Texas marketing campaign and an attempt to become a Hispanic Serving Institute. Texas State is at a crossroads, and it is essentially looking to compete with the top universities and become the next household name university. We’re ready to take that step and become a large university with time-honored traditions, a strong athletics program and reputable classes. But, Texas State needs to make a name for itself. We are not rising. We are already there. We are the only university in Texas to call a U.S. president an alumnus. We have professors who are National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars. The Higher Education Act was signed at what is now the Music Building. We are building on that greatness. Kathleen Peirce, an English professor, is one of nine North American poets to be honored with a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship. We have plans to build a forensic anthropology facility that will be used to research and solve crimes. The university received a $217,000 research grant from the National Institute on Aging for research and possibly to combat cancer. Our Common Experience program continues to grow and bring prestigious names such as Chilean author Isabel Allende, Olympian John Carlos and actor Edward James Olmos to this campus. The university was even named by the Princeton Review as one of America’s Best Value Colleges for 2007. These are all things that make The Star proud to be a part of Texas State. This was a successful year for The University Star. For the ﬁrst time, The Star won ﬁve awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 8 Mark of Excellence Awards. The newspaper is going to nationals next fall to compete as best non-daily student newspaper. The Star won its ﬁrst national Hearst writing award for an investigative story on the conﬂict of interest of the Associated Student Government. Texas State needs to move forward and grow, while not becoming too large of a university. We need to instill school pride. We need to keep attendance up at our football games and all other sporting events, even when the team isn’t on top. We need to continue to foster strong community and university relations through programs such as Bobcat Build. We need to stop calling Texas State a party school, because it isn’t even close to being one. Most of all, we need to realize who we are. We are Texas State.
Texas State boasts accomplishments as growing university
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
LEGAL GUY: Expunging records helps leave the past behind Entering the Knowing your rights professional world is a great start when tryafter college can be ing to clear your name. tough, but going out However, in the case of there worried about expunctions it is adviswhether you are goable, as in most legal ing to be able to get situations, to consult a a job because of past lawyer and have them CARSON GUY mistakes makes it conduct the process for Star Columnist much more diﬃcult. you. Expunctions are a Luckily, Texas oﬀers a way for delicate matter, and if you repeople who meet certain condi- ally want your situation handled tions to clean up their permaproperly, then listen to your nent record so those mistakes lawyer and learn. are truly in the past. According to Article 55.03 Texas’ procedure is called of the Texas Code of Criminal expunction. To expunge is to Procedure, there are three remove all instances of someresults that go into eﬀect after thing as if it never existed. the order has been granted. Why would you want to get First, “the release, maintean expunction? In many cases nance, dissemination or use of when you apply for a job, the the expunged records and ﬁles application might ask if you is prohibited.” Second, “… the have ever been arrested or person arrested may deny the charged with a crime. If you occurrence of the arrest and have gotten the records exthe existence of the expunction punged, in most cases you can order,” unless you are being legally answer you have never questioned under oath in relabeen arrested or charged with tion to a criminal proceeding a crime. for which the records have
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been expunged. If asked about records that have already been expunged, you are only legally obligated to say ‘the matter in question has been expunged.’ Not everyone will qualify for this process. Two things could automatically qualify you. If you are acquitted by a trial court or are convicted and then pardoned at some future point, then you almost certainly qualify to have you record expunged. Under additional conditions, your record can be expunged. You cannot have been convicted of a felony for ﬁve years preceding the arrest to be deleted. You must not have been convicted of the crime you are charged with. Finally, you must not have received court-ordered probation for the charge. Class C Misdemeanors are an exception to the ﬁnal proviso. According to Clause B of Section 55.01 in the Criminal Procedure Code there must have been “…no court ordered community supervision under Article 42.12
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for any oﬀense other than a Class C Misdemeanor.” If you received deferred adjudication in connection with a Class C Misdemeanor and successfully avoided any episodes with the police during the deferred period, then your records associated with that charge probably qualify to be expunged. This is a lot of information to take in. Unlike parking tickets and many of the other citations you may have gotten, this process can be very complicated and time consuming. If you are interested in ﬁling yourself, though, there is no better place to look than the law itself. It calls for no less than fourteen items to be listed in the ex parte petition, the document you must submit to be considered for expunction. The last item to be included in the petition is the names of any institutions that may have records which would need to be destroyed. This is a critical step, because if an institution is not listed
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that has records, you may have to ﬁght to update your record for a while to come. The popularity of private background companies with databases that do not have to be updated have made enforcing expunctions more diﬃcult. Nevertheless, an expunction is a worthwhile investment. You may have to show a copy of your expunction order to compel people to comply with it, but, most importantly, the law is on your side. Carson Guy is a political science senior. His column tackles legal quandaries. E-mail questions to Guy at email@example.com. The content and opinions contained herein are in no way meant as legal advice. All information is general in nature. Do not rely on information within this article when trying to resolve a speciﬁc legal issue. All situations are unique and require speciﬁc legal advice from competent counsel.
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Editorial roundup Universities, not students set to gain from lenders College-bound students and their parents owe a great big Thank You to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for his dogged pursuit of the much-too-cozy relationship between lending institutions and dozens of colleges and universities. Cuomo found ﬁnancial ties between the companies and schools beneﬁted the lenders at the expense of the students and their parents. Cuomo’s targeted investigations can’t put an end to the practices at all schools, but Congress can, and it should begin next week when it opens hearings on the student-loan scandal. Cuomo’s investigations found many colleges and/ or their ﬁnancial-aid ofﬁcers are rewarded in various ways, including with gifts, trips and stocks, for signing up students with loans. The loans end up costing the students and their parents hundreds of dollars more per loan. Although the investigations are continuing, some lenders and schools already have agreed to change their ways. Last week, Sallie Mae and Citibank, the nation’s largest and second-largest providers of student loans, respectively, each agreed to $2 million settlements with the New York attorney general. A San Francisco lender, Education Finance Partners, settled for $2.5 million and agreed to stop the practices. The investigations have uncovered many practices work against students’ interest. Among them are: Stock options. Some schools’ ﬁnancial-aid ofﬁcers own stock and have stock options in companies that are on their school’s “preferred list” of lenders. Preferred lenders. This is a school’s select list of lenders recommended to student borrowers. Trouble is, more than 90 percent of student borrowers choose a lender from their school’s preferred list. Revenue sharing. An arrangement that looks suspiciously like a kickback. Schools get payments from lenders based on how many students are referred to the lender. Call centers. Students may think these oﬃces that provide loan information are operated by school personnel. They are not. Many are operated by lenders. When Cuomo testiﬁes before Congress next week, he will recommend that the federal government adopt his Student Loan Code of Conduct policy. Good idea. The code would prohibit lenders’ gifts and trips, ban payments to schools based on preferred-lender programs and discourage lenders from giving anything of value to a school in exchange for loan favors, among other things. Parents of students headed for college are so preoccupied with decisions about leaving home and getting settled in a new environment that they can easily neglect loan details. Congress can help by making it harder for schools and lenders to cheat. The above editorial appeared in the Miami Herald April 19. 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 26, 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.