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New studentshelpsprogramwith academic life

Orientation Issue

A new beginning: incoming students on choosing TXST

Whether it is the classes, people or education, Texas State has multiple elements that contribute to its current

Texas State launched NavigateTXST, a platform designed to streamline academic management for incoming and current students. The app launched on April 28 for incoming students and Texas State plans for an additional full release for current students on Aug. 5.

Available on the App and Google Play Store as "Navigate Student," the app enables students to create to-do lists, communicate with advising centers, make appointments and receive personalized guidance, according to Associate Vice President for Student Success Michael Preston.

student population.

These factors may matter more to newer students who have yet to decide where to go for college or to explore much of the campus. Three incoming students shared their thoughts on how they came across Texas State and what made it their next stop in their educational journeys.


Presidential candidates refuse TXST debate

The first of three presidential debates planned at Texas State on Sept. 16 may no longer take place.

On Nov. 20, 2023, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced Texas State’s San Marcos

campus as the first host site for the 2024 presidential debates. However, on May 15 the Biden administration sent a letter to CPD refusing its debates.

“The purpose of this letter is to provide notice that the President will not be participating in CPD’s announced debates in 2024 and plans to participate in debates hosted by news organizations,” the letter from the Biden

Hays County inmate speaks out on poor medical conditions

More than a year after inmates and advocates previously spoke out about poor conditions in the jail in 2023, inmates are reporting no improvement.

Inmate Mark Suniga, who is currently detained pretrial on a charge of indecency with a child, is facing the possible amputation of a foot due to what he claims is medical neglect from the Hays County Jail staff.

"[The jail] never addressed the problem or tried to resolve it at all. They just ignored me and closed my [grievance] tickets," Suniga said.

Suniga was arrested on March 17, 2023. According to Suniga's fiancée Belinda Rodriguez, Suniga has diabetes-related nerve damage and broke his foot three days after his arrest when trying to get off his bunk.

"He asked not to be put on the top bunk because he already had to amputate his toes," Rodriguez said.

According to Rodriguez, jail medical staff initially told Suniga his foot was fine, only to later have pieces of his bone pierce through his skin. Suniga was then rushed to the hospital for surgery and had screws placed in his foot.

After the surgery, Suniga was placed in a medical cell. Rodriguez said the cell had no light, which made Suniga trip in the middle of the night, causing

his screws to shift.

Rodriguez said several weeks after his second injury, Suniga was taken to see a doctor who said a second surgery was necessary. The surgeon was willing to do the surgery but never heard anything from the jail about scheduling it after the initial appointment, Rodriguez said.

"As far as I know, one of the guards told [Suniga] 'Well they said that the doctor that was going to do your surgery was too expensive'," Rodriguez said. "Nobody was answering me, so I ended up calling the doctors myself. [They said] 'We're all waiting for [Suniga] to come [for the surgery] we haven't heard anything.'"

Rodriguez said after several months Suniga was taken to another doctor for a second opinion. The second doctor said due to the long delay between Suniga's screws shifting and seeking treatment, surgery could result in a bone infection and eventually amputation of his foot.

Suniga and Rodriguez reported other issues, such as Suniga recieving insulin injections in the dark, getting the wrong medications and grievance complaint forms vanishing from Suniga's tablet.

"[The nurses] can't see anything at night. They have to flash the light because there is no light in the cell," Rodriguez said. "They use a blue light flashlight and they'll just eyeball his insulin."


administration stated.

Instead, on May 15 CNN announced Biden and Trump will debate on June 27 in its Atlanta studios, and ABC News announced the candidates will also debate on Sept. 10 in New York. However, Texas State said it is working with CPD to mitigate the changes.


TXST impacted by possible presidental debate cancellation

Texas State may no longer host the first presidential debate on Sept. 16. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have refused to participate in any debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which could potentially eliminate all college campuses as host sites in 2024. The Sept. 16 debate on campus would mark the first presidential debate to take place in Texas.

A state that is at the forefront of political discourse on topics such as abortion rights

and marijuana laws. A state that only a year ago tried to prohibit polling locations on college campuses with HB 2390. A state where at least 50 students were arrested on college campuses for pro-Palestine protesting.

The decision could limit voter outreach, reduce Texas State students from getting as involved in the election and disrupt planned education opportunities.

CPD is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that hosts presidential and vice-presidential debates every four years since 1988, specifically to ensure that such debates reliably take place and reach the widest television, radio and streaming audience.”


www.Universitystar com TUESDAY VOLUME 114 ISSUE 1 June 4, 2024

Lucciana Choueiry |

Suniga and Rodriguez also reported being denied access to Suniga's medical complaints. The University Star received documents from Suniga that show Wellpath, the medical contractor used in the Hays County Jail, has a policy of not releasing medical records to currently incarcerated individuals.

Wellpath did not respond to a request for comment from The Star on their medical records policy, or on the reason for delays in Suniga's medical treatment.

Suniga is not the only inmate to complain about medical conditions in the jail. The Star, from public information requests to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS), received over 200 pages of documents relating to medical complaints in the Hays County Jail, or other facilities Hays County inmates were sent to.

One complaint alleges inmates in the medical wing of the jail, also known as "close watch" are often isolated and have few options for ways to pass the time.

"Hays County Jail has implemented an arbitrary policy of denying access to a TV and tablets to inmates housed in medical," one complaint stated.

One document states TCJS policy does not guarantee inmates access to televisions, but Suniga and Rodriguez said access to tablets is necessary because inmates use them to file jail grievances and access their commissary accounts.

Another complaint alleges jail corrections officers do not pay enough attention to inmates experiencing

medical issues. The complaint said officers are more concerned with finding contraband than inmate safety.

"All it would take is one officer not paying attention to a diabetic who is unresponsive, and that diabetic could go into a coma, or die before anything is done," the complaint stated.

Sam Benavides, communications director for Mano Amiga, a local advocacy group, said the majority of inmates in the jail are still awaiting trial, and are often too poor to properly advocate for themselves.

According to the Hays County Jail Dashboard, 402 out of a total 540 inmates in the jail were pre-trial detainees as of May 28, 2024.

"Almost three-quarters of our jail's population are pre-trial detainees, meaning they have only been accused, but not convicted of any crime," Benavides said. "Despite what the state has accused them of, everyone incarcerated in our county jail deserves to have their medical needs met."

TCJS said in an email to The University Star there were nine pending investigations into medical conditions in the Hays County jail as of March 4, 2024.

The Hays County Sheriff's office said they could not comment on any of the complaints due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) laws.

Scan the QR code for more information on Hays County Jail.

Texas State offers The "Problem" of Palestine class

Students can register for The “Problem” of Palestine for the fall, a class that brings the history of the region into the classroom and offers context for the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict, according to students who took the class in fall 2023.

Elizabeth Bishop, associate professor in the Department of History who created the class, first taught The “Problem” of Palestine (HIST 4327) in 2016 and teaches it every fall semester since.

"In 2015 I was like 'I should have a class that has the word Palestine in the title so that no one can ever take my right away to teach Palestine' and that is when I decided to put this class forward," Bishop said.

According to the course catalog, the topics include an examination of Arab Palestine, Ottoman records to 1914, Israel’s creation in 1948, Jordan’s loss of control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the Palestinian Diaspora, Yasir Arafat’s leadership and the “Intifada.”

When it comes to incorporating the Israel-Palestine conflict into class curriculum, Bishop has reasons for and against it.

One reason against integrating the conflict is the "30-year rule," which suggests that events are not considered history until 30 years have passed, according to Bishop.

On the other hand, Bishop said there are digital techniques that expedite the dissemination of primary sources, meaning the current conflict could be taught using potentially available resources.

“I think with [the Oct. 7 attacks] the jolt of recognition the students experienced made them acknowledge what they were reading was really timely and important, but I stuck with the same curriculum,” Bishop said.

of Oct. 7.

“[The “Problem” of Palestine] definitely helped me understand the historical context… I understood the long history of the region and especially the pattern that we are seeing,” Rinehart said.

Bishop stressed the quotation marks in the title The “Problem” of Palestine to distinguish the literal meaning of the phrase ‘Palestine is a problem’ alluding to W.E.B Du Bois’ question “What does it mean to be a problem?”

To get the class approved, Bishop had to formulate a syllabus and get it approved by the College of Liberal Arts’ and Texas State's curriculum committees.

“I decided to teach this class because I want academic freedom and I want students to have academic freedom,” Bishop said.

I decided to teach this class because I want academic freedom and I want students to have academic freedom,"
Elizabeth Bishop Associate professor in the Department of History

Ethan Rinehart, a history senior, took the class in fall 2023 and said the course added context to the events

Chair of the Academic Freedom Committee Nathan Pino defined academic freedom as the "ability for

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faculty and students to teach, learn, read about or speak on subjects as long as it is in their area of expertise."

Pino said the importance of academic freedom is rooted in the advancement of knowledge.

“We need academic freedom and not being told what or what not to teach… on issues such as current conflicts in the Middle East, faculty should be free to speak without being intimidated and students need to be able to express themselves,” Pino said.

The “Problem” of Palestine was an asynchronous class which Bishop said allowed even more academic freedom for students when doing the readings, writings and assignments, specifically those who took the class in fall 2023. However, the class is set to be in-person beginning fall 2024, according to Bishop.

“With the asynchronous aspect, students were already developing their expertise before the events of Oct. 7, and then students were developing their expertise when the events of Oct. 7 happened but were not under any pressure to say anything in class,” Bishop said.

One of the biggest goals of The “Problem” of Palestine is for students

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to develop a working thesis based on readings, Bishop said. At the end of the semester, rather than sit for a final, students have the option to write a research paper and submit it to a research journal.

Trinity Sutherland, a public administration sophomore who took the class in fall 2023, said the class content was well-rounded in providing different first-hand accounts of Palestine through primary source readings.

“I sent my journal to [the] Texas State Undergraduate Research Journal and I liked how we had that option because it made it feel like what we were reading and writing was insightful not just for us but could be for other people,” Sutherland said.

Bishop plans to continue teaching The “Problem” of Palestine for as long as she is a professor at Texas State because she said Palestine is at the core of her work as a historian.

“If the state of Texas ever passed a law that may negatively impact the ability of Bishop to teach the course, it would probably be a violation of federal law,” Pino said. “We want her to teach as she wishes.”


Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, June 4, 2024. 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.

Deadlines: Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication. Corrections: Any errors that are in the pages of The University Star and brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible.

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Hays County Jail inmate Mark Suniga in 2022 in San Marcos prior to his arrest on March 17, 2023.

June 4, 2024

"[NavigateTXST] is going to be the number one platform for [students] to interact with our advising centers on campus, for degree plans... it's an opportunity for [students] to have all those resources in one place," Preston said.

Preston said the application would allow students to directly send questions to Texas State.

"We will have a feature called Hand Raise where you can ask a question and we will have a team that will get back to you," Preston said. "Hopefully, that will eliminate the shuffling around campus to try to find the right person [to answer a question]."

Additionally, Preston explained how the platform's analytics will enable Texas State to assist new students facing challenges in university life. By comparing the academic paths of current students with those of past students who had similar journeys, NavigateTXST can identify those who may be struggling. This allows the university to address potential issues early on.

"[NavigateTXST is] a predictive analytics platform... and what it does is it takes 10 years worth of student data and analyzes it," Preston said. "Each student will have a different profile that advising centers can review and make sure [the student] will hold up to graduation."

Preston said NavigateTXST will

protect students' information by retaining it at Texas State and using the same encryption methods as other campus sites that store student data.

Lizzie Ibeabuchi, an incoming health sciences freshman, supports the program and said it would benefit her as she transitions to college.

"I think that [NavigateTXST] could help, especially [for] freshmen when you're getting used to that shift from high school academics to college academics," Ibeabuchi said.

According to Preston, current students will also see an immediate difference when it comes to communicating with the university.

"[One] nice feature is [that current students] will be able to make a number of different appointments outside of the normal business hours," Preston said.

One of those students is Carlos Bacca, a history senior who said his freshman year was isolating, especially during COVID-19. Bacca said this program would have been helpful when he was

“The purpose of this letter is to provide notice that the President will not be participating in CPD’s announced debates in 2024 and plans to participate in debates hosted by news organizations,” the letter from the Biden administration stated.

Instead, on May 15 CNN announced Biden and Trump will debate on June 27 in its Atlanta studios, and ABC News announced the candidates will also debate on Sept. 10 in New York. However, Texas State said it is working with CPD to mitigate the changes.

“We are aware of the latest developments surrounding the presidential debates,” a Texas State email statement sent to The University Star said. “We are working closely with CPD as we assess the situation.”

President of College Republicans Carly French said the debate would give students the opportunity to actively be involved in the political process.

“Students are the future of the political realm and it kind of feels like the rug is being pulled out from underneath our feet if the debate gets canceled,” French said.

Similarly, President of College Democrats Averyann Guggenheim believes the debate would give students who are not usually involved in politics a chance to take an interest in it.

“For students already involved in the political process I do not see them being discouraged since this is what they do,” Guggenheim said. “But the majority of students are not and they would have really benefitted from the debate and understanding how democracy works.”

Executive Director of CPD Janet Brown said they have completed initial planning for Texas State to host the first presidential debate but have now paused the day-to-day work.

“The CPD is proceeding with work on all four 2024 debates scheduled to take place in September and October at universities selected in November 2023," Brown said. "Thanks to excellent preparation over the last seven months, the university sites are well situ-

starting at Texas State.

"The extra support [from Texas State] would've given us another perspective on why... [students were] struggling," Bacca said. "[NavigateTXST] might have given [students] advice that you are maybe not getting from someone else or someone that's close to you."

For Preston, the main goal of NavigateTXST is to help students successfully graduate.

ated to pause daily work until more information about recent developments is available."

In preparation for the debate, Texas State announced closures, incorporated debate classes, organized volunteer opportunities for students and initiated financial and safety planning.

There is no information from the university on where the preparations currently stand. However, the three summer classes created for the debate are currently in session and the other nine classes are still scheduled for the fall.

CNN announced its debate will be held with no live audience present “to ensure candidates may maximize

"[NavigateTXST] can find [students] a more efficient way to graduate and they don't stay here an extra year," Preston said. "[Students] don't pay another year of tuition, [students won't have] to take out more loans [and] get to a full-time job faster."

the time allotted in the debate.” ABC News has not provided information on if the September debate will have an audience.

Both CNN and ABC News announced the moderators for their June and September debates but CPD has yet to do so for its debates.

According to Brown, the CPD does not usually choose a moderator until August but it is still researching different people who could moderate the potential debate at Texas State.

“Holding the debates on campuses involves thousands of young people in their production and extracurricular programs, and promotes cross-generational debate-related conversations surrounding the communities…,” Brown said. “This should be a source of enormous pride for the U.S.”

The criteria for candidates' eligibility to debate at CNN and ABC are they must file a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, appear on enough state ballots to reach 270 electoral votes, agree to the debate rules and format and receive at least 15% support in four national polls of registered voters or likely voters. CNN requires candidates who intend to debate to meet the requirements by June 20.

CPD’s criteria are the same except instead of four national polls, it requires five. Also, CPD’s deadline is on Sept. 2, allowing more time for third-party candidates to meet the requirements and debate at Texas State.

Brown said exit poll data showed more than 60% of the public finds the debates helpful in learning about the candidates and making voting decisions.

“The CPD’s debates belong to the public. They expect to see candidates debate in the two months leading up to election day and that is when they are paying attention to the race,” Brown said.

The University Star will update information as it becomes available.

NEWS Lucciana Choueiry | News Editor | starnews@txstate.edu DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 | 3 Tuesday,

Opinions in The University Star are not necessarily those of our entire publication, Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Student Publications Board.

The airing limitation restricts access and contradicts CPD's mission to reach the widest possible audience, thereby diminishing the debates' overall impact. It targets audiences who already consume news from these networks, excluding a significant portion of the American public who rely on other sources for information and students who may not have access to cable network channels.

CNN and ABC are left-leaning according to the media bias chart. Hosting the debates on networks perceived as left-leaning undermines the trust in the debates' fairness and impartiality, potentially skewing public perception and favoring one political side over the other.

Hosting the debate at Texas State could be an incredible educational opportunity for students. Texas State began planning ways to use the presidential debate as an academic opportunity.

12 Texas State courses were created to “examine historical and contemporary themes or topics” related to

campaigns and strategic communications. The courses: three in the summer semester and nine in the fall — are in the mass communication, political science (POSI) and political science (PS) catalogs. The courses can adapt to change regarding the presidential debate but shouldn’t have to. Integrating the presidential debate could benefit students.

Rescinding the choice to hold the debate at Texas State touches not only students, but faculty. Many Texas State professors worked in coordination to bring a healthy speaking forum to the school –– their work is taken for granted in the possible cancellation of this event.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, despite being one of the largest potential voting groups in the country, Americans aged 18-29 had the lowest voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election. Students need to witness the democratic process up close because it motivates them to participate in the presidential election and believe their votes matter. A debate should still happen

on campus because it allows for an immersive educational experience that could connect young people to the candidates they would be voting for.

The presidential candidates must find other ways or platforms to speak to the residents of Texas, who are struggling with the issues of gun violence, abortion rights and the crisis at the border. The candidates need to make it a point to speak to the issues that many Texans are concerned with if they want to convince voters who are dissatisfied and are suspected of withholding their votes in November.

If the debate is no longer held at Texas State, it would be a big disappointment. It could be a new opportunity for the student body, university officials and student media and it shouldn't be taken from us.

The Main Point is an opinion written by The University Star’s Editorial Board. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of our entire publication.

TXST fraternities are working toward better reputation, unregistered frats are not helping

Since 2017, after the tragic, alcoholrelated death of Matthew Ellis at an off-campus initiation, fraternity life at Texas State is marked with a stain, one that is not easily removed without great effort and reform.

Texas State’s freshman classes have experienced record sizes for the past three years, bringing many new students looking to join fraternities. It is essential for incoming students to understand what they are getting into.

Today, the university enforces strict hazing guidelines and serious consequences for those involved in hazing and other forms of misconduct. However, incidents are still occurring.

Per the Texas Education Code, Texas State lists a detailed description of hazing incidents on the school website. The reports are difficult to read.

In 2019, new members of Lambda Chi Alpha were "required to perform acts of servitude, required chores and tasks, verbally berated [and] told to jump off a roof." In addition, "fight nights [were] hosted" and "associate members [were] required to sell illicit drugs to make a profit for the colony."

In 2022, Alpha Psi Omega members were "blindfolded and wrapped with plastic wrap (2-4 times) binding their arms to their bodies."

In 2023, Phi Beta Sigma members "were required to perform calisthenics during unsanctioned meetings."

Also in 2023, Sigma Chi's new members were "verbally berated" and

required to "perform acts of servitude," "run errands for actives" and "forced food consumption."

All these incidents occurred among registered organizations, which is why Texas State can issue punishment and formally post these violations.

However, not all frats are created equal. Registered fraternities are those regulated by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Multi-Cultural Greek Council or the National Panhellenic Council. Across all of them, there are fourteen registered fraternities at Texas State.

Any other fraternity is consid ered off-campus or unregis tered. While this may seem like a technicality, the differences between registered and unregistered frats are significant. Off-campus frats are not under any governing board, so when incidents occur, such as hazing, alcohol misuse or any other form of misconduct, Texas State cannot intervene.

For registered fraternities, if an extreme case of hazing or misconduct occurs, consequences are issued, and

there is a years-long process to get back in good standing. Depending on the incident, law enforcement, court fines and university sanctions can be involved. When faced with suspension, a fraternity is prohibited from participating in on-campus events and many fraternities cannot reinstate themselves for years after the incident. These rules do not apply to unregistered organizations, parties and events. Incidents are made known to the student body through word-of-mouth. This makes it difficult to pinpoint misconduct, leading to underthe-radar incidents that do not come to light until something extreme happens, such as a student death.

Caden Carpenter, president of the IFC, said many negative stigmas around fraternities are born from offcampus frats.

“We don’t take hazing lightly at all and we take action for what we find out fraternities do…that’s a huge difference between us and unaffiliated fraternities,” Carpenter said.

“When you think of the typical negative, toxic aspects of a fraternity, that’s usually stemmed from the off-campus fraternities.”

Despite the punishments and the long process of regaining good standing, some fraternities still find themselves in trouble for their actions, and for unregistered fraternities, it is difficult to even keep track of their actions.

No matter how many rules and guidelines are in place, nothing will change the number of incidents besides a change in the culture, and this can only be done by fraternity leadership.

Mark Budde, president of IFC public relations, said those in leadership positions are looking to do things differently than those in the past, especially before Greek operations were shut down in response to Ellis's death.

“Creating our own culture is something that’s really important to us,” Budde said. “Especially after [Greek life] shut down, IFC was very segmented and a lot of the values were misaligned… now, we’re trying to come together and make hardworking, motivated men in a way that’s safe.”

For stigmas to change, incoming students must educate themselves on university policies and understand that misconduct is taken seriously at Texas State. Students must also prioritize morals and values over simply having fun. Fraternities are supposed to be about brotherhood, which means protecting, not abusing each other.

There is a stain on the reputation of Texas State’s fraternities, but future students are in charge of removing it.

-Faith Fabian is an English junior

Use TXST resources instead of national suicide hotline

Editors note: this column contains mentions of suicide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, suicide is the second highest cause of death among college students.

Data from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also shows around 24,000 college students attempt suicide, and 1,100 students do not survive their attempt each year.

When mental health struggles become too much for a person to handle, many Americans are aware of the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

However, when calling 988, many are greeted with a waiting period rather than being prioritized. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested almost $1 billion to better the hotline. However, many states still struggle to ensure calls are answered locally. 988 call centers are located throughout the country, and staffing these centers is essential to ensuring the hotline's usefulness. However, because of low staffing Texas' answer rate was 75% in April 2023, ranking it among the worst performers. Also, in April 2023 alone, states cumulatively missed over 11,000 calls.

The good news is that students at Texas State have a better alternative they should utilize: the Counseling Center Crisis/Urgent Support, located right on campus at 601 University Drive.

Texas State students should utilize campus resources as it is evident the national hotline is not effective enough.

Dr. Richard Martinez, assistant director and senior

psychologist at Texas State’s Counseling Center, said students should contact the center in crisis situations. Calls are directed to someone they can speak to based on their situation.

"We help provide different catered resources," Martinez said. "If there's a student who needs a resource in the community or on campus, we help develop that so that way these individuals and providers are more familiar with that than if you called the national number."

One benefit of the national suicide hotline is that it runs 24/7. However, Martinez said there are also options for Texas State students who need help at any time.

"If students call outside of business hours, there's a couple of options students can utilize," Martinez said. "If they call our office number they'll hear a recording, and if they press option two, they can connect with a counselor for any urgent concerns that cannot wait until the next business day."

Martinez also said students should be proactive and reach out when they see a shift in their mental health.

"If [students] are starting to notice signs or recognize their distress or distress in others, don't wait, don't put it off," Martinez said. "It can be a little bit easier to get back on your feet than if you let things fester."

Texas State cares about its students’ mental health. Because of this, the Counseling Center Crisis/ Urgent Support is the better choice for students seeking mental health guidance. Unlike the national lifeline, students are prioritized when they call this number. The school’s resources have proven more useful.

If students are feeling depressed or having thoughts of suicide, they should contact the Counseling Center Crisis/ Urgent Support by contacting the Counseling Center at

1-512-245-2208 and press option two if it is after hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). If a student's life is in immediate danger, they should call 911 immediately. Texas State students don't have to be alone.

-Emma Hall is a journalism sophmore

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

OPINIONS Rhian Davis | Opinions Editor | staropinion@txstate.edu 4 | DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 Tuesday, June 4, 2024


Hays County commemorates fallen soldiers during Memorial Day Ceremony

For the 21st Memorial Day in a row, the Hays County community gathered despite the sweltering heat at the Hays County Veterans Memorial to honor local servicemen who were Killed in Action.

The ceremony consisted of speakers including San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson and Keynote Speaker U.S. Marine Jason White.

Community organizations such as Girl Scout Troop 1098, the Aquarena Springs Symphonic Band and the San Marcos High School Air Force JROTC participated in the event, making it a true community affair.

The ceremony included the placement of wreaths to honor those Killed in Action and the reading of local servicemen who gave their lives in major conflicts.

SNAPS DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 | 5 Tuesday, June 4, 2024 Kobe Arriaga | Multimedia Editor | starmultimedia@txstate.edu
A member
the San Marcos High School Air Force JROTC is greeted
a veteran, Monday, May 27, 2024, at the 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony at the Hays County Veterans Memorial.
U.S. Marine Jason White gives the Keynote Speech, Monday, May 27, 2024, at the 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony held at the Hays County Veterans Memorial.
Locals paddleboard the San Marcos River with a dog, Monday, May 27, 2024, at Sewell Park. "Blocker" for team Spongebob attempts to prevent "jammer" from team Patrick from scoring during San Marcos River Rollers' roller derby, Friday, May 31, 2024, at 301 River Ridge Parkway in San Marcos. U.S. Navy member David Franklin salutes the wreaths placed to honor service members who were Killed in Action, Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Hays County Veterans Memorial during the 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony. Girl Scout Troop 1098 leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony, Monday, May 27, 2024, at the the Hays County Veterans Memorial. Skaters of the San Marcos River Rollers practice ahead of the "Battle for Bikini Bottom," Friday, May 31, 2024, at 301 River Ridge Parkway in San Marcos. PHOTO BY LUCAS KRAFT PHOTO BY MEG BOLES PHOTO BY LUCAS KRAFT PHOTO BY MEG BOLES Local residents float down the San Marcos River, Monday, May 27, 2024, at Sewell Park. PHOTOS BY MEG BOLES
GAMES Jen Nguyen | Creative Services Director | starcreative@txstate.edu 6 | DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Asher Brackmann

Asher Brackmann, an incoming political science freshman, heard about Texas State from a few people in his high school, Del Valle High School, about the political science program. Growing up in a predominantly Hispanic community, he wanted to find a university with a similar cultural background and diverse demographic.

"I stumbled across colleges — Texas A&M, UT [Austin], Texas State — and I found that UT and Texas State were two of the more diverse, accepting communities," Brackmann said. "I really value that, and it speaks a lot about the environment I will be running in."

Brackmann's feelings deepened when he attended Bobcat Day in November 2023. The University Ambassadors' passion and experiences made him feel sure of his decision, and he saw students of different colors, races and genders. He also liked the campus' atmosphere and locations, especially when he heard about the challenging hills.

"There's this thing I've heard of where it's called the freshman 20 or freshman 40," Brackmann said. "It's where you gain weight your freshman year, but it's great that you have the hills to keep in shape."

After her campus tour mid-fall last year, Grace Darcy, an incoming chemistry freshman, could see herself attending classes and meeting people at Texas State. She compared her experience with other campus tours, which felt spread out and disconnected.

"At Texas State, everything is a bit closer together, more connected, somewhat more like a college campus versus some other campuses I toured," Darcy said. "[Other campuses] felt like a bunch of buildings put together."

Darcy found Texas State relatively close to her hometown, Houston, Texas. She was also comfortable knowing some people she knew either attended the university or planned to go there.

Despite her initial feelings, Darcy felt a bit iffy about where she wanted to go due to her indecisiveness. She talked with one of her best friends, who already committed to Texas State, which helped her decide.

"The more we talked, the more I felt more comfortable with it, and it really pushed me to choose Texas State, even though it was ultimately my number one," Darcy said.

Samantha Wray

Samantha Wray, an incoming transfer junior from San Antonio College, has been a fan of Texas State for a few years. While she is not too fond of San Marcos due to the chaos of its traffic, she is familiar with Texas State since she grew up in the area.

"I absolutely love the nature feel of the campus and it feeling like a world away from San Antonio but still being close to home," Wray said.

Wray plans on continuing her education at Texas State with its teacher education program. While looking into other campuses' education programs, she felt they were not as organized and did not have as good intentions as Texas State's program. She has many reasons for going into education, but her main one is the help she can give students in their lives.

"I want to be able to help students find their path and being able to tell them they matter and have a voice in the world and be another person they can talk to," Wray said.

For more information on first year advising, scan the QR code

LIFE & ARTS Carlene Ottah | Life and Arts Editor | starlifeandarts@txstate.edu DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 | 7 Tuesday, June 4, 2024 INFOGRAPHIC BY ADRIANA VILLANUEVA
Grace Darcy INFOGRAPHIC BY EVA BOWLER PHOTO COURTESY OF LIBERTY VELA PHOTO COURTESY OF SYDNEY CHILDRESS PHOTO COURTESY OF LEAH TORRES Incoming political science freshman Asher Brackmann poses for his senior photos, Sunday, April 14, 2024, at the Austin Central Library. Incoming chemistry freshman Grace Darcy poses for a photo at her high school prom, Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Minute Maid Park. Incoming education transfer junior Samantha Wray at her graduation, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at the Alamodome.

SMAL hosts first award showcase for local artists

Canvases glistened under gallery lights as the San Marcos Art League (SMAL) hosted its inaugural award show on May 3. Fifty of the SMAL's talented members put brush to canvas and sculptor's tool to clay to compete for the best in multiple categories to secure a spot in the July winner showcase.

Margo Handwerker, the SMAL award show judge, evaluated the artwork submitted for the award show. The show provided no artist information or titles. Handwerker conducted a walkthrough, looking for originality, composition, technical skills, use of color and contrast, emotional impact and storytelling ability.

Garrie Borden, local artist, won "Best in Mixed Media." Her 3-D collage, titled "My Cup Got Runneth Over" is comprised of an assortment of ceramic pieces and ceramic leaves assembled in a wallhanging box. Borden created it during a mosaic workshop hosted by her friend, where she intended to simply have fun with the artistic process.

Borden began creating art while in college, focusing primarily on paintings

and collage artwork. When she moved from Rhode Island to San Marcos in 2012, she immersed herself further into the local art community.

Borden believes the SMAL's award show provides recognition for local artists instead of monetary gain. She said the event aims to inspire new artists by enriching the artistic experience in the community.

"The events the Art League hosts and even the ones at the Price Center allow young artists to talk to artists from many different backgrounds and experiences," Borden said. "It gives these younger artists a way to learn from these artists and gives them a way to comfortably get into the local art community."

Charlotte Wattigny, a ceramist, won the "Best in Show" award. For the past 40 years, Wattigny has dedicated herself to the local art community. As the creative and marketing manager for Visit San Marcos, she oversees the city's Mural Arts Program, which showcases work by local artists on murals throughout town.

Wattigny said exhibitions like the SMAL's Award Show benefit the local art community by offering artists a venue to display their work and feel appreciated.

"My advice is to make art for yourself, not for others, and don't be afraid to express your creativity," Wattigny said.

"With the art league's many exhibitions artists can submit work to, they encourage artists to express themselves."

Norman Bean, a drawing artist and co-chairman of the SMAL's Award Show, has been an artist for 60 years. Bean's artistic notoriety began in the second grade, and he has been creating art and learning about the craft throughout his life.

Bean worked with Nancy Brown, the art center director of SMAL, to organize the annual exhibition showcasing local artists. Bean said the show allows local artists to earn money, win prizes and gain recognition and exposure beyond the art community.

"The award show gives artists great public exposure," Bean said. "They go to incredible lengths to create excellent artwork."

Bean said the show provides an important platform for artists of all backgrounds and art mediums to showcase their skills to a wider audience beyond their hometown circles.

"While organizers like myself and Brown are from the same art commu-

nity, the show attracted a wide variety of artists from Austin to San Antonio who all competed," Bean said.

The award show allowed visitors to view all the competing artwork. Category winners also on display were Karly Schlievert for "Best in Ceramics," Mia Hendricks for "Best in Photography," Jessie Kennedy Steinburg for "Best in Wet 2-D" media such as watercolor, oil and acrylic and Augustin Diocares for "Best in Dry 3-D" media such as crayon, pastels and charcoal.

The winners' exhibition will be held at the San Marcos Art Center on July 12 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the San Marcos Art Center.

For more information on SMAL events scan the QR code.

LIFE & ARTS Carlene Ottah | Life and Arts Editor | starlifeandarts@txstate.edu 8 | DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 Tuesday, June 4, 2024
MAP BY JARELL CARR Artists and collaborators (left to right) Annette Kennedy, Norman Bean, Nancy Brown, Jennifer Rosas and Lacey Weyler pose for a photo, Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at the San Marcos Art Center. Artist Carol Serur poses with her displayed artwork, "When you forget to close the door...," following the San Marcos Art League May Showcase, Thursday, May 30, 2024, at the San Marcos Art Center. PHOTO COURTESY OF NANCY BROWN PHOTO BY KOBE ARRIAGA

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

BOBCATShadow provides one-day jobs for students

BOBCATShadow allows Texas State students to intern for a day with various employers and partners. Registration opened on June 1, and the programming will take place on August 22 and 23.

This will be the second year Career Services will put on BOBCATShadow. The event connects students to companies and alumni for a hands-on learning experience in their respective industries and careers. Students can expect to gain numerous benefits, such as informal interviews and shadowing daily tasks, regardless of major or career plan.

Yakima Anderson, career experiences coordinator, believes the program is one of the first steps in planning out a student's future.

“It allows students the opportunity to either continue on their degree pathway or if they want to make a few changes,” Anderson said.

Career Services connects students with employers to learn their experience and find more about what their degree means before they cross the stage.

“One of our students made the comment she learned more during her one-day shadow than she did in the three semesters she’s taken classes,” Anderson said. “I thought that was a very bold statement to make but probably bold and true.”

Anderson estimates approximately 50% of all community partners in BOBCATShadow are Texas State alumni. One of them, Michael Hufschmid, a Comal County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) supervisor, graduated in 2010 with a criminal justice bachelor’s degree. He is excited to partake in BOBCATShadow again, seeing it as beneficial for students and the community.

“It offers exposure for the student and then it helps us gain those connections, possibly getting someone’s attention and interest to work for us,” Hufschmid said.

Hufschmid urges students to participate in as many programs similar to this one as they can. He thinks it

provides something Texas State physically cannot offer students in their classes, and clarification about their future career.

Alumnus Yvonne Troyano, a supervisor for Comal County CSCD, graduated with a criminal justice bachelor’s in 2009 and a master's in 2011 and will be working with BOBCATShadow. She thinks programs like this can help encourage students who may undergo something similar in their college career.

Troyano praised the connections BOBCATShadow created in the community in and around San Marcos. She said a student who participated in the program now has a job at the CSCD, and it started with BOBCATShadow. To her, networking within the community represents the pride students and alumni have for Texas State.

“It does solidify the pride our school has and how we are not just striving academically, but striving for success,” Troyano said. “I think it is kind of imperative to keep that going because it’s a legacy of Texas State.”

Carlene Ottah | Life and Arts Editor | starlifeandarts@txstate.edu DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 | 9

Women’s basketball bolsters roster through transfer portal ahead of 2024-25 season

Texas State women's basketball Head Coach Zenarae Antoine put an emphasis on recruitment this offseason and signed five athletes to play for the Bobcats this upcoming season.

Texas State announced the signing of dual-threat guard and forward Melinda Winston from Alief Hastings High School, who holds records for points, rebounds and steals for her alma mater.

"Melinda had a great high school career as a scorer and rebounder," Antoine said. "Her natural size and strength at her position allowed her to dominate. Melinda is a much welcome addition to our freshman class."

Junior point guard Blake Matthews joined Texas State after transferring from Bucknell University, where she averaged six points and four rebounds per game.

"Blake is a lightning bolt on the floor," Antoine said. "She has the ability to play fast and make others around her shine. Not only does she enhance her teammates on the floor–– off the floor, her magnetic personality is delightful for all that have the opportunity to encounter her."

Announced on April 20, graduate student guard Destiny Terrell transferred from the University of the Incarnate Word, chosing Texas State to spend her fifth and final year of eligibility .

"Destiny is a tireless working woman in the classroom and on the court," Antoine said. "Her focus and discipline have helped her gain her opportunity to obtain her undergraduate degree and make an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Destiny's willingness to outwork her opponents and do whatever is asked will allow her to immediately

impact our program in a positive light."

After one season at Oklahoma State University, sophomore guard Mia Galbraith will return to Texas to play ball for the first time since attending Lake Travis High School.

"Mia's athletic ability to score off the bounce and her mid-range game will be an asset to our offense and her length and ability to rebound will aid us on defense," Antoine said. "Mia is driven to be her best and it is evident by the confidence she carries."

Sophomore guard Taleiyah Gibbs joined Texas State after spending one year playing for the Howard University.

"Taleiyah's work ethic and want to be her best will allow her to flourish at Texas State," Antoine said. "She loves to compete and takes pride in her academic

University Federal Credit Union claims rights to name Bobcat Stadium

After 42 years, Bobcat Stadium is no longer the name of Texas State football's home turf.

During a press conference on Tuesday, May 21, Texas State President Kelly Damphousse announced a partnership with University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), granting it immediate naming rights to Texas State's football stadium.

"Texas State and University Federal Credit Union have signed a multi-tiered agreement that will rebrand [Texas State's] football stadium as UFCU Stadium," Damphousse said.

The historic partnership is a 15-year deal worth $23 million, making it the largest naming gift in Texas State's history and the biggest stadium naming rights deal in the Sun Belt Conference.

"This agreement marks the largest corporate sponsorship in the Sun Belt Conference for naming rights for a football stadium and is one of the largest for a [college] football stadium in the state of Texas," Damphousse said.

The field at UFCU Stadium, which is named after former Southwest Texas State football head coach Jim Wacker, will remain the same.

This deal between Texas State and UFCU isn't the first time they have done business together, as they have been collaborating for 11 years, Damphousse said.

"Today's announcement is just the beginning of our expanded relationship that will benefit our students, the university, and our larger community," Damphousse said.

UFCU CEO Michael Crowl attended the press conference and is excited for all that comes with the agreement.

"Today really is the inception of something substantial, lasting and profoundly impactful," Crowl said.

"UFCU Stadium is more than a destination. It's really a catalyst; it's a powerful start for what we're [going to] do together."

According to Texas State University Director of Athletics Don Coryell, the agreement does more than give UFCU the naming rights to Texas State's football stadium.

"UFCU is going to directly support our student-athletes through education programs and resources," Coryell said.

"This includes financial seminars, we're gonna do workshops with our student athletes [and] training programs, all designed to assist with essential financial skills for them."

Coryell said there will be a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the partnership.

UFCU Stadium is currently under construction, as renovations and a new end zone complex are underway. Additionally, Damphousse said the stadium will get new turf.

After the program's first-ever bowl game victory and acquiring the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, Jordan McCloud, the deal with UFCU adds to the list of Texas State football's new developments.

"I'm going to get a little emotional here, but I hear people say 'the Bobcats are gonna Bobcat,'" Damphousse said. "There's this whole idea that we're always going to stumble somehow. Well, the Bobcats are Bobcatting now."

and athletic ventures. That approach will blend well with our program."

After a challenging couple of seasons including an injury at Kansas State University, redshirt sophomore guard Ja’Mia Harris signed to Texas State on May 6. Harris attended DeSoto High School and is a previous high school state champion, state champion MVP and a candidate to be a 2022 McDonald’s All-American.

"Ja'Mia automatically brings a winning mentality," Antoine said. "Her resume from high school, college and academics are all noteworthy. In all arenas she was a part of success and her work ethic and want to will positively impact our program."

Following her career at Rice High School, freshman guard Saniya Burks

is coming to San Marcos to join the Bobcats for 2024-2025.

Burks went viral on social media following her senior-night game where she racked up 75 points, 19 rebounds and 15 steals.

The second high school commit is Takeria Ramey, a 5'7" guard from Stafford, Virginia who achieved a slew of accolades at Massaponax High School.

The third and final high school commit joining Texas State is freshman guard Heather Baymon from Langham Creek High School.

The women’s basketball team looks to improve in a major way after being eliminated in the first round of Sun Belt Conference play last season.

SPORTS David Cuevas | Sports Editor | starsports@txstate.edu 10 | DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 Tuesday, June 4, 2024
The Texas State women's basketball team huddles for pregame traditions, Thursday, Feb 2, 2023, at Strahan Arena.

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