Orientation Issue Volume 101, Issue 83 Summer 2012 Section A
THE UNIVERSITY STAR – SUMMER 2012
BY STEPHANIE SALINAS
Q&A WITH KIM PORTERFIELD
BY ADREW OSEGI
Q&A WITH ROSANNE PROITE BY MEGAN CARTHEL ITAC KEEPS BOBCATS PLUGGED IN BY NICOLE BARRIOS
from the news desk. No matter how many times you have someone tell you it’s a “great day to be a Bobcat” during New Student Orientation, it isn’t going to register until you begin to understand the reasons why Texas State is such a “great” school. As The University Star’s News Editor for the 2012-2013 academic year, I hope to provide you with some of those reasons. The Star will be your best source not only for campus news, but also that of the greater San Marcos community. If you want to be provided with insight to the decisions being made by student leaders, university administrators and city officials that affect you on a daily basis, it is my hope that you will look to the Star’s news section first. This is truly an exciting time to be a Texas State student. The university recently achieved Emerging Research Institution status, just joined a new athletic conference and research being conducted
by Texas State professors consistently receives national recognition, among many other accomplishments. The university is in a race to become the state’s next tier-one school, and I am excited to provide you with stories to chronicle Texas State’s journey. With so much news happening surrounding both Texas State and the city, it is important to stay informed. Believe it or not, there are some students who are ignorant of major news and the people making it happen at this school. The University Star will be providing you with accurate and in-depth stories year-round, covering both the good news and the bad. I hope that through those stories you will gain a better understanding of what is happening in the Texas State community. -Caitlin Clark, News Editor
New Bobcats anticipate orientation, PAWS Preview By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor Thousands of new faces will be seen on campus this summer preparing for Bobcat life before the fall semester begins. Incoming students will arrive at Texas State starting June 7 for New Student Orientation and Aug. 18-21 for PAWS Preview. New Student Orientation (NSO) is required for all new incoming students, and varies depending on hours of credit being transferred. This program aims to familiarize students with the campus, acquaint them with resources offered through the university and help new Bobcats register for classes. Students are walked through the registration process and given advice from current peers.
Freshmen living on campus take a twoday session that includes a “Texas State 101” workshop and academic advising meetings. Freshmen living off campus can attend a compact one-day session. Transfer students have online options depending on credits, as well as in-person workshops. Students can bring family members, who participate in workshops on issues such as financial aid and tuition payment options. Freshmen who will be living on campus and their families are given dorm rooms to stay in during orientation. Eric Tradup, assistant director of NSO, said freshman sessions usually contain 350 students, while transfer student sessions can have up to 425 students. Concessions have been made to try to cut that number down. The biggest challenge is to accommodate
those students and the guests they bring along, while helping them feel the university was the right choice, Tradup said. “We want to see them connect with the university,” Tradup said. “We want them to be excited to be a Bobcat.” The next step of the incoming students’ process is PAWS Preview. PAWS Preview is designed to adjust students to campus life. Students are grouped into “dens” with current professor namesakes. Students attend a diversity seminar with Hip Hop Congress, an on-campus group that promotes multicultural involvement. They are led by student co-chairs through workshops, such as “college note taking” and “alcohol 101.” Students are also taught traditions and Texas State pride. Roman Arispe, student manager, said New Student Orientation and PAWS Pre-
view have different goals. “You don’t know how the program is going to go until it actually begins,” Arispe said. “The things that you learn or you take in from orientation are completely different from the things you take in at PAWS Preview. PAWS Preview deals more with preparing them for college life and that’s a lot of social aspects.” Tia Watson, incoming freshman, said she looks forward to the experience of New Student Orientation and Paws Preview, which she feels will help her in the first weeks of the semester. “I expect to make some new friends, but mostly to figure out the selection of classes I should be taking,” Watson said. “I also want to know the quickest way to get food from my dorm.”
UPD krav maga classes gain popularity among students By Kolten Parker News Reporter Students interested in mixing it up with a university police officer will have their chance this semester. The University Police Department is offering free hands-on krav maga training to students, staff and faculty in the fall. The noncompetitive system of self-defense techniques was developed in Israel and is used by law enforcement agencies around the world. The training consists of two four-hour sessions, usually spread over a week or two. The department offers co-ed and female-only courses.
“We are formulating a plan for students to use what they already have — instincts,” said UPD Sergeant Alex Villalobos. “Nothing has to be very difficult or technical. We are forming a program around simplicity and natural movements.” The instinct-based system uses natural movements and threat-neutralizing techniques, said Villalobos, who instructs the course. He pointed out the training offers participants physical exercise in life-like scenarios as well as a lecture portion to enhance awareness of surroundings and avoidance of dangerous situations. UPD Captain Rickey Lattie said the program has been well received by the student population and even a few admin-
istrators. He said classes typically fill all 25 open spots the same day the course opens on the UPD website. He said one course last semester filled up in 15 minutes. “We have received such a positive response that we actually added two more classes this past semester,” Lattie said. “We were pleasantly surprised about the interest and enthusiasm not only from students but staff and faculty.” Jerry Rosado, system support specialist and course instructor, said the department switched to krav maga from RAD training, a rape defense class, last fall because there was more flexibility within the training.
Rosado recently tore cartilage in his right arm during an instructor training session. He said he is the only “civilian” instructor — each of the other five are commissioned police officers. All those who attend the training sessions are added to an email list that updates them on new sessions, Rosado said. A Facebook group named Texas State Krav Maga began April 22 and has 16 likes. Rosado said many students have stayed in contact through email and the Facebook group to continue training. Villalobos said the funds for the course come from UPD’s budget. He said the course enables the officers to interact with the university community.
SUMMER 2012 – THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Cat Camp to assist incoming freshmen for third year
It makes you smarter.
Photo courtesy of University Marketing
Above: Cat Camp introduces incoming students to Texas State traditions over a three day period before they begin life as Bobcats. Left: Cat Camp introduces students to the Texas State way of life while allowing them to make new friends. By Karen Zamora News Reporter Incoming Texas State students eager to get a head start on their university trivia and traditions have the opportunity to do so before fall classes begin. Cat Camp is a three-day getaway located in T Bar M Resort and Conference Center in New Braunfels. The camp is separated into two sessions, the first beginning August 13 and the second August 16. Cat Campers will learn Texas State traditions and the ins-and-outs of being a Bobcat from current student counselor perspectives. Karli Koerner, co-director of Cat Camp, said the program helps new students jumpstart their involvement at Texas State. Koerner, communication studies junior, said because the university seems to be losing spirit, the camp is a way to promote school pride early. Koerner said Cat Camp teaches students basic Texas State traditions like hand signs and what not to do, such as wearing a T-shirt from another university. Koerner said Cat Camp teaches students how to “not look like freshmen.” Cat Camp will enter its third year of operation this summer with its largest group of freshmen to date. Co-Director Eddie Perez said 70 students are currently registered for the camp. Perez, mass communication senior, said since the camp’s beginning in 2009, there have never been that many applicants so early in the summer. He said a new sub-committee was formed to relieve counselors from the added responsibility of creating camp events that would take away from interacting with campers. Natalie Cavazos, communication studies senior, will enter her second year as a coun-
selor. Cavazos said she never had the chance to be a camper, but her relationship with the incoming freshmen from last summer is still a strong one. Cavazos said she still maintains communication with her first group of Cat Campers. Koerner said she has firsthand experience of reaping the camp benefits. She said Cat Campers are more grounded in the university and stay involved and connected to Texas State. “I got the most out of (Cat Camp) by getting involved at Texas State. That made my experience better than if I had not been involved at all,” Koerner said. Koerner and Cavazos both agree that Cat Camp is a useful tool to a successful Texas State experience that provides the opportunity to meet new people and address issues before moving in. “It really shows what Texas State is about — the pride and traditions, what it means to be a Bobcat and how meaningful that is,” Cavazos said. Andrew Potter, mass communication sophomore, said his experience at Cat Camp motivated him to apply to become a counselor. “Being a counselor is kind of an honor because I know the impact a counselor can have,” Potter said. “My role is the face of Texas State to these freshmen. They don’t know much else. I’m the real deal. I get to help the freshmen make that transition to college life.” Perez and the other counselors agree their fondest memory of Cat Camp is the surprise event on the last night. The last night the campers and counselors spend embodies the point of Cat Camp — to instill Bobcat pride and traditions. “You come to camp as students and leave as Bobcats,” Perez said.
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THE UNIVERSITY STAR – SUMMER 2012
Construction updates reveal improvement for fall semester By Stephanie M. Salinas News Reporter
Commons Hall Renovation Commons Dining Hall has been undergoing renovations to all three floors of the building since December 2011. The interior renovations include repairs and upgrades of the air conditioning systems, heating and ventilation, as well as refurbishing of the entire interior with new floor coverings, doors, building signage, ceilings and paint. Other systems that were upgraded include the plumbing and electrical systems and all “life safety” systems and other interior spaces in order to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The third floor of the building is being converted into office and support space. Commons Dining Hall is projected to reopen in fall 2012.
Performing Arts Center Complex The Performing Arts Center construction, which began development in September 2011, is comprised of the following four components: University Drive Parking Garage, Music Recital Hall and Theater Center, South Chill Plant, Streets and Grounds.
Undergraduate Academic Center Streets and Grounds Street and ground improvements are estimated to be complete by September 2013. They will include the addition, modification and expansion of four campus streets so roads can accommodate the flow of traffic in the area. Other modifications to the area include landscaping, walkways, plazas, gardens and signage in order to fulfill the Campus Master Plan goals to convert the campus spaces from “gray to green.”
The Undergraduate Academic Center, located adjacent to the Evans Liberal Arts building on Guadalupe Street, is expected to be completed in time for fall classes. The fourstory, $4.7 million building will be the home of the Personalized Academic Career Exploration Center (PACE).
South Chill Plant The South Chill Plant, costing more than $83 million, will provide air conditioning and dehumidification for a portion of campus. The estimated construction completion date is September 2013, and is located adjacent to the University Drive Parking Garage.
Music Recital Hall and Theater Center The new recital hall will seat 300 in the auditorium and 400 in the theater. These two areas will total 62,750 gross square feet. Construction is projected to be completed by September 2013, with the building ready for occupancy in December 2013.
The previous site of Falls Hall is still under heavy construction for the Performing Arts Center located off of University Drive. The facility will feature a 300 seat recital hall and a 400 seat theatre as well as classrooms, rehearsal spaces, staging areas and a grand lobby.
The PACE Center, located off of Guadalupe, is targeted for completion by April 2012. The center will house classrooms, labs and offices for political science, psychology and sociology course work as well as a coffee house.
North Campus Housing Complex Completion The new North Campus dorms located near the LBJ Student Center will house more than 600 students during the 2012-2013 school year. Since its groundbreaking ceremony in October 2010, the complex, located at the corner of Comanche Street and Sessom Drive, has undergone major construction to prepare for the opening of the dorms this fall. The North Campus Housing Complex is projected to be complete for move-in this August.
University Drive Parking Garage The new pay-as-you-go parking garage, which began construction in September 2011, will be located on University Drive and comprised of 455 parking spaces for Texas State students and visitors. The projected construction completion date is September 2013.
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
Construction is still underway for the Performing Arts Center as well as the campus area of Edward Gary Street. Construction completion is aimed for September 2013. North Campus Housing Complex, on the corner of Comanche and Sessom, is expected to be completed by the Fall of 2012.
SUMMER 2012 – THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Star File Photo
ASG Vice President
San Marcos City Councilmember, Place 1 Photo Courtesy of Kim Porterfield
By Andrew Osegi News Reporter Councilmember Kim Porterfield, Place 1 representative and Texas State alumna, discusses her role in the San Marcos community. AO: Where are you from and how did you end up where you are today? KP: I grew up in Rosenberg, Texas, where I graduated from Lamar High School. I then moved to San Marcos in 1979 to attend Texas State. I chose journalism as my major and worked for The University Star. During my time as an undergraduate, I did my fair share of volunteer work around San Marcos. I saw there was a lot the city could do to help its community and after graduation I felt the need to take my volunteering to the next level. Policy implementation revealed itself to me as the best way I could accomplish my municipal aspirations, so I decided to run for city council in 2007 and have been a member ever since. AO: What do you focus on as a city councilmember? What are some of your responsibilities? KP: I research city issues and make decisions on economic developments, zoning and the city budget. A major concept municipalities agree on is that a city can have an overwhelming influence on development of its youth. The health of the community is directly related to the health of local families, so the city council creates policy with the intention of helping to promote an engaging environment for its families and young people. AO: What can returning students and incoming freshmen expect to experience this fall semester? KP: If I had to make a bucket list titled “Things To Do in San Marcos,” floating
the river would definitely be one of my top three. A lunch at one of San Marcos’ several unique restaurants or shops and a visit to the city’s historical downtown square would be high on my list as well. Students should make time to visit some of San Marcos’ green spaces like Purgatory Creek, Rio Vista, Spring Lake or any other of the city’s parks to get a real feel of the atmosphere and attitude of San Marcos. Students should also expect to get involved. Read the media, participate civilly and stay active in organizations and the community. AO: What is city council currently working on? What issues will students encounter this fall? KP: The city just passed the controversial alcohol ban from city parks, but the ban will not take effect until fall 2013. We are also working on a comprehensive plan update, which will entail taking a strategic re-evaluation of what the council needs to address at the municipal level. Students can expect to see a lot of construction on the Texas State campus and in the downtown San Marcos area due to renovations. The city is also making strides toward student recycling and single-stream recycling within multi-family housing. All changes, political and physical, are for the better. AO: What do you like most about San Marcos and being a councilmember? KP: I love working in San Marcos and at Texas State because I have a passion of working with students and helping them get involved with the community. Improving the city and meeting new people along the way has proven to be the most rewarding aspect of being a councilmember. I graduated from here, met my husband here and my daughter will start her collegiate journey here at Texas State in the fall. This city with a small-town feel is my home, and I love it so.
By Monica Solis News Reporter Associate Student Government Vice President Alison Sibley discusses her plans for ASG in the upcoming academic year, as well as her vision for Texas State’s future. MS: Is there anything else that you’re involved with right now at Texas State? AS: Currently, I’m involved in Student Foundation. It’s a group of student “legislature” on campus. Basically, we represent the university anytime President Trauth needs us to. We also host events such as Bobcat Pause and Foundations of Excellence. MS: Why and when did you decide to run for ASG Vice President? AS: I decided to run whenever Nathan approached me about the situation. It was never something I felt I needed to do. I had a couple of friends who told me I would make a good candidate but never took it seriously until Nathan approached me and I knew that him and I worked really well together, so it kind of went off from there. We started working together building our platform, and it was about a seven- to eight-month process so it was a lot of fun. MS: What are some of your specific plans for ASG for this coming fall and spring semesters? AS: Well, specifically for me, being vice president, I want to completely revamp the senate. I want to make sure that every senator is effectively utilized and have skills that are necessary to be a part of ASG. I think that once people realize that, they can actually be a force to be reckoned with on campus. Right now we have around 20 vacant senate seats so I’m also working with the professors and deans of colleges. I’m just trying to get students to apply, and as soon as we possibly can, pick out a wonderful bunch, go from there and just work really hard
Nathan McDaniel and Allison Sibley celebrate their presidential and vice presidential wins after the ASG election results are revealed April 4 in the LBJ Student Center.
within the senate. MS: With that in mind, where do you envision Texas State being in the next few years? AS: In the next few years, I envision Texas State hands-down being better than other universities such as Texas Tech and the University of North Texas. I know that we have more and more applications every year, and we’re getting better. Within a few years, we’re going to be next to UT and A&M. We are going to have a lot of school pride, we are going to have the academics and I am really excited to see what takes place at this university. MS: What do you think Texas State’s biggest accomplishment of the past year has been? AS: The past year our biggest accomplishment was becoming an Emerging Research Institution. A lot of that had to come from the administration, so what Nathan and I want to do is to just let the students know what an Emerging Research Institution is so they can be more proud of their diploma. It makes our degrees more valuable in the workforce. So that was a huge accomplishment. We also became a Hispanic serving institution within the past year. It’s honestly ridiculous how many accomplishments we’ve had in the past year and I don’t want it to stop there. I want to make sure we continue to improve, we continue to reach for accomplishments, we continue to reach for goals, and strive to become a better university. MS: What is your favorite thing about going to Texas State? AS: My favorite thing about going to Texas State is definitely the environment. I know it’s so cliché — everyone says they love the river, but it’s not just the river. It’s also the people. Everyone here is so friendly. It’s the random squirrels that will come up to your feet while you’re walking because they’re not afraid of you. Texas State just has a family environment.
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THE UNIVERSITY STAR – SUMMER 2012
Star File Photo
Director of Housing and Residential Life
Dean of the University College
By Megan Carthel News Reporter
MC: What is the biggest change you have seen this past year?
By Melanie Dutschke Special to the Star
Rosanne Proite, director of the department of Housing and Residential Life, looks over the division of the university responsible for all aspects of student living. She took over as director in 2007.
RP: The biggest thing has been more about what the students are capable of doing. In the past, you told us where you wanted to live and you were supposed to give us 10 choices. This year, for the first time, we have a new software product and it allows the student to go in and pick their space, their actual room. We hope next fall our freshmen will give us better feedback on their room assignment. They get to pick their roommates and their rooms.
University College Dean Daniel Brown discusses his goals as the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) program director for Texas State’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
MC: What are some specific things you would say the department has accomplished in the last year? RP: The biggest and most important accomplishment we’ve made is the opening of the new North Campus Housing complex, Gaillardia and Chautauqua halls. We’re just thrilled about the fact that we are on schedule. The new hall is really going to offer us a new standard as we move forward. We have plans for a total of six new residence hall complex buildings. MC: What are some events in the past year that have made an impact on you and the department? RP: I think on me, the most momentous moment was when we broke ground for the new office building. As the director of a department that employs the most people on this campus, this year we will probably hit close to 150 full-time employees in housing, and I’ve got nine or 10 people that are being officed off-campus. It’s a culmination of five years of work to see all the department of housing employees to be together in one building. For my department, it means we’re all going to be together. That’s just huge, to be able to have our training in one building, and we’re making space for RHA (Residence Hall Association).
MC: What are some goals you have for the upcoming year? RP: We’ve already started the process of designing the next new hall, and so my goal is to get that done. We’re going to break ground for the new hall in the fall, so we’ve got a very busy summer. That hall will open in the fall of 2014. It takes us two years to build. Our goals are not only to focus on the new buildings, but then also to do some strategic planning for our existing buildings. This coming year, Brogdon will be closed for renovations. MC: What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming school year? RP: I’m looking forward to the dedication of the new residence hall and the first day of move-in. (The freshmen) are all signing up for that hall and they’ve never seen it. This is the seventh new residence hall I’ve been involved in building. I get goose bumps every time I open a new building. To stand there and watch that first group walk in, to walk the halls and listen to people say, “look what we have here.” That’s pretty cool.
MD: What are some of your goals for the upcoming academic year? DB: The biggest one is to fully implement our PACE initiative. It’s going to be exciting because we’re rolling out PACE advising services, we’re developing a new peer mentoring program for freshman and we’re doing a lot in the area of University Seminar. Preparing to serve the wonderful, record-setting freshman class is going to be my biggest goal for the year. MD: Do you know how many incoming freshmen there will be? DB: To give you a snapshot, we have 238 sections of University Seminar scheduled. That’s a significant increase over previous years, and every class is capped at 20 students. MD: How will the University Seminar program change? DB: The predominant change is that we’ve included what I’m calling a “careerism element” to University Seminar. We’re taking students from thinking about a major and a degree to thinking about a career and a life. MD: What will students do in University Seminar? DB: The first assignment is learning about who you are, what your interests and
skills are and how those relate to careers and majors. The second assignment is the challenging one because we’re asking every freshman to contact someone they can interview to find out what the real world of work is like. The third assignment is a résumé and a plan for what they want to be involved in. MD: How do you see PACE impacting students as time goes on? DB: I think we’re going to look back and realize that we’ve planted a seed with our students. We’ve helped them think more about possibilities and opportunities. We’ve helped them develop a process for being successful. Even though we’re already doing the right things with respect to college performance, we’re going to do even better. Our students are going to be more successful and more competitive, and PACE will be a big part of that. MD: Do other universities throughout the state have programs like PACE? DB: No, we’re unique here. There are other examples that are much smaller, but no one has taken on the challenge of doing this for all freshmen. MD: What advice would you give incoming freshmen? DB: Hit the ground running. You come to college and there’s so much around you that it’s easy to lose focus. Sometimes the first day or two of classes seems to be a review of previous work you’ve done and you kind of relax, but you can’t. You’ve got to be studying, taking notes, meeting the faculty and joining study groups. I believe I was successful because I did all those things in college.
SUMMER 2012 – THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Student organizations continue to promote “green” living
ITAC keeps Bobcats plugged in
By Natalie Berko News Reporter Many student organizations are still incorporating green initiatives into their agendas for the 2012-2013 school year, even though two years have passed since the university’s Common Experience theme was sustainability. The Environmental Conservation Organization works in conjunction with the department of geography to promote environmental stewardship in the community. This group and the Student Nutrition Organization will be co-hosting the Farmers Market in the Quad four times this year on Feb. 16, March 1, April 15 and April 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tom Gleason, resource and environmental studies senior, said under his leadership he hopes the Environmental Conservation Organization will not only be a premier environmental effort, but a leading student organization as a whole. The Environmental Conservation Organization will also be working in partnership with the City of San Marcos on “Ban the Bag,” a campaign focused on possibly eliminating the use of plastic bags. Gleason said the city is working on the logistics of the initiative, such as whether to ban their use at outlet malls and if patrons would be charged a fee for them. “We would like to see plastic bags banned rather than people reprimanded for using them,” Gleason said. Last spring, the student organization Net Impact was honored at the Boko Awards for its free energy audits it performed on buildings at the university and throughout the community. Tyler Lauw, international studies senior, said his specific role in Net Impact is to lead roughly 50 percent of the audits that will take place on university property before October. Net Impact officer Ani Aroian, nutrition and foods junior, said the organization has hundreds of small-to-medium businesses in Hays County and Dripping Springs that are interested in their audit services. “It is actually quite amazing to me that they can hear and see what we are doing,” Aroian said. “I am honored by that.” The Human Environment Animal Team Establishment also plans to incorporate green and sustainable projects this year. “We are planning a number of river and road clean-ups on our newly adopted street,” said Ethan Pfeiffer, Co-Environmental Welfare committee director. Pfeiffer, manufacturing engineering and applied mathematics senior, said one of its biggest accomplishments last year was the garden members planted in the fountain in front of the LBJ Student Center. “Our vice president, Drew Luecke, waters and maintains the garden on a regular basis so that it looks presentable to students,” Pfeiffer said. Pfeiffer said within his committee he wants to get people motivated to go out and do something that speaks to them. Aroian said sustainability is important from a student perspective because resources are being over-utilized and dwindling fast. “People don’t realize that we are a consuming society, and as such, our natural resources cannot be replenished and before things get really bad, we have to think long term,” Aroian said.
Charlie Kitchen, Staff Photographer
Top: ITAC provides dicounted computer repair services and parts to Texas State students. Right: Travis Houser, CIS junior and employee at ITAC, assists TJ Stafford, exercise and sports fitness science junior, as he picks up his computer after repairs. By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Students may run into some technical difficulties during their academic careers. Texas State offers a service to help even the most technologically challenged Bobcats. The Information Technology Assistance Center, or ITAC, offers technology assistance to keep students connected and protected. ITAC began operation in January 2008, offering a wide range of technology services to Texas State students. Catherine Stevens, service desk manager, said the walk-up desk located in the Math and Computer Science building is the most utilized service ITAC offers. Students can bring their laptops to the walk-up desk if they are having issues with software or need hardware replacement, among other problems. “We’ve got a number of staff who are ready to assist students and our faculty and staff here on campus with pretty much any kind of computer need as long as it’s related to university business,” Stevens said. Stevens said the two computer problems ITAC assists with the most are virus clean up and password resets. ITAC relies heavily on student staff members to “man the front lines,” Stevens said. If students are calling for assistance, they will be helped by a peer. Stevens said student employees go through a wide range of training in order to assist with a variety of technical issues.
ITAC’s call center responds to inquiries via phone, the live chat on its website and email, according to JD Moore, tier 1 phone support at ITAC and public relations sophomore. Dell, Inc. recognizes technology resources of Texas State as a service provider in the Dell premium access program, according to the repair services webpage. Texas State is also an Apple authorized service provider. Stevens said there are some technicians whom ITAC requires to have Apple and Dell certification. She said by completing the certifications those technicians become able to perform work under warranty for students, faculty and staff. Nathan Alcantara, electrical engineering sophomore, said he had a positive experience visiting ITAC last semester when his computer had a virus. In the process of removing the virus, his computer’s operating system crashed. He said ITAC removed the virus, reloaded his operating system and was also able to save all of his schoolwork along with movies and music he had stored on his laptop. He said ITAC was originally going to charge him $150 to back up his data. “I said ‘No thanks, you can get rid of all my music. I just want my school work,’” Alcantara said. “When I finally got my computer back, they had backed up my music and everything for me and they didn’t charge me for it.” Stevens said ITAC will always be willing to help students as long as they need help for educational purposes.
THE UNIVERSITY STAR – SUMMER 2012
HISTORY ON THE HILL Staff and faculty expound Old Main history and superstition
By Gregory Tate News Reporter Old Main is among Texas State’s most recognizable pieces of iconography, sitting atop one of the highest points on campus. Construction began on Old Main in 1902 for approximately $35,000. The building’s architect, Edward Northcraft, designed Old Main as an identical twin to the Main Building that stood at Sam Houston State University, which burned down in 1982. Chautauqua Hill was chosen as the site of the first campus building. The construction of Old Main saw several setbacks. Construction workers had to pour an abundance of concrete for the building’s foundation because it kept disappearing into the underground caverns with which Chautauqua Hill is laced. This was an unexpected expense. The Victorian Gothic building opened its
doors in September 1903. In 1965 a historical marker was placed in Old Main for the contribution it played in the stature of Texas State alumnus and former United States President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Old Main underwent renovations in 1971 for $400,000. The most extensive renovations occurred in 1985 to enhance space utilization, among other updates, with a $2.5 million price tag. “Old Main is like the ‘family history’ of Texas State,” said Kym Fox, senior lecturer of mass communication. “I think it really is the heart of the campus.” Fox has taught classes in Old Main for 10 years. She said it is exciting to be able to work in a building that has housed students for more than 100 years. Harry Bowers, senior academic advisor for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has worked in Old Main since 1997.
Bowers compared the image of Old Main as a representation of Texas State to the “swoosh” for Nike. Old Main has often been the subject of ghost stories and superstition. Mass communication professor Kate Peirce said the members of paranormal reality television show “Ghost Hunters” were supposed to come investigate Old Main last year. Pierce said custodians have told her they have heard odd noises in Old Main, including the sounds of students running through the hallways when no one is to be seen. Bowers said the closest he’s ever come to a “ghostly encounter” at Old Main was the smell of dead animals in the walls. Luckily, those spaces have since been filled, he said. Fox said she thinks Old Main should be preserved and cared for, and is too prestigious to be misused. She would like to see the building become a space to hold special events on campus.
Photo courtesy of University Archives
Built in 1902 atop Chautauqua Hill, Old Main’s construction was modeled after the Main building at Sam Houston State University.
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
Custodians have claimed ghostly encounters in Old Main, such as the sound of students running in empty hallways and even ghost sightings.
Campus wildlife impresses Bobcats, causes hazards By Grady Terry Special to the Star Texas State contains a wide diversity of wildlife that utilizes plants, the surrounding habitat or even the trash left out by students. Texas State, as well as much of San Marcos, has large tracts of undeveloped buffer lands surrounding it, unlike other universities located in deeply urban areas surrounded by suburban sprawl. This provides adequate habitation for animals such as white-tailed deer that browse the irrigated turf grass around campus. The large live oak and bald cypress trees offer nesting habitats for a plethora of birds and squirrels.
However, there are problem animals such as raccoons, opossums and skunks that are numerous because of the presence of garbage dumpsters and litter. Deer have been fatal hazards on roads during late nights and early hours. The deer, though a scenic addition to the campus, are a potential road hazard as they travel for large distances to feed, crossing major roadways. “Every day at probably 12 a.m. you can see white-tails making their ways toward the periphery of the campus,” said biology associate professor Jim Ott. “By 4 a.m. they are as far as Supple (Science Building).” Some problems often develop when the habitats of humans and wildlife overlap. Francis Rose, biology professor, is an
expert on turtles found in the San Marcos river system, and said he cautions against handling any wild turtles in their natural habitats. “Many people think it’s fun to catch them and keep them as pets,” Rose said. “What ends up happening is people keep them in small, confined terrariums and feed them unnatural diets, causing them to die. Others release large captive turtles that had been raised since a young age back into rivers. Many of them cannot survive because they have not grown up adapting to the natural conditions.” When walking around the campus, one can see various bird species in the treetops and sidewalks. Some commonly seen birds include great-tailed grackles, mock-
ingbirds, blue jays, mourning doves, rock pigeons, cardinals, wrens, swallows and sparrows. Another group of commonly seen birds are scissor-tailed flycatchers and kingbirds soaring from their perches to pursue flying insects. There are also many birds that are not always seen inside a city but are common occurrences at Texas State. Red-shouldered hawks can occasionally be spotted soaring above or near the campus. At night, one can hear the “hoo” of a great-horned owl. “I always love to see all the various birds on campus, even the grackles,” said Ashley Trogdon, biology junior. “Right by the aquatics building you can see greatblue herons and egrets all around the river.”
SUMMER 2012 – THE UNIVERSITY STAR
from the opinions desk. Welcome to Texas State! Orientation is an excellent opportunity to dive into your campus life experience and explore the beautiful surroundings of San Marcos. The University Star is here to help keep the student body and community invested in the important decisions within the university administration, the city and surrounding areas. I am proud to play a role in that informative process as opinions editor for the 2012-2013 school year. The opinions section is meant to provide a vessel for campus voices to be heard regarding a variety of issues, which can have an impact during your stay in San Marcos. I encourage students as well as university and city officials, to respond to student-written columns within The University Star by composing thoughtful ‘Letter to the Editor’ pieces. Opinions are meant to incite debates and discussions amongst groups of people, so don’t be shy in allowing
yours to be conveyed. Last year, we covered many buzzed-about topics including the proposed alcohol ban in city parks, a potential plastic bag ban in local businesses and tuition and fee increases. The opinions section will strive to further provide outstanding student insight on the inner workings of the university and city, as well as offer substantive suggestions for improvements or significant praise for what is occurring in the community. Please utilize the newspaper to delve into vital topics with several stimulating opinions to complement the information. Some of our best stories come from the students, so feel free to use the Star’s website to present your comments, praise or criticism about the issues which impact you. All opinions are welcomed. —Liza Winkler, Opinions Editor
Letter from the President On behalf of the entire university community, I want to welcome you to our campus. We expect your college experience to be a transformational time for you, and we feel privileged to be a part of it. While the Star File Photo level of campus activity in the summer doesn’t quite match what you will experience this fall, you still are here at an extraordinary time, as Texas State is evolving both physically and academically. You
don’t have to go far to notice the construction in several areas on campus. We are excited over how these improvements will add to the vibrancy of the university and enrich your college experience. Soon, we will have a new Undergraduate Academic Center, which will be home to the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration center— a program set up especially for our first-year students to provide essential guidance and career counseling to improve your chances for success. You’ll also see new residence halls and residential life offices, as well as new and renovated dining facilities; and, of course, a new North Side Complex at Bobcat Stadium, which will double capacity to 30,000 seats just in time for our football program’s emergence to the Football Bowl Subdivision this fall.
Welcome to Texas State! Everyone who visits my Washington office walks beneath a Texas State University pennant hanging above the door. As you begin your studies at Texas State, please know your school and its enduring legacy are never Star File Photo far from my thoughts. Representing Texas State and the surrounding area that Lyndon Johnson once served in Congress are great privileges. I often think of the lessons President Johnson learned under the Spires of Old Main. Namely, that becoming educated and then becoming involved are a responsible citizen’s duty. As President Johnson himself said, “Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as they have the ability to take … for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.” When the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and I spoke at a Texas State rally in 2008, we addressed a crowd of enthusiastic students eager to involve themselves in the political process. I hope that you will choose to become involved with government and public service. A wide range of community service opportunities and philosophically diverse political organizations, available on campus and in the community, would both be enriched by your involvement and enrich your time at Texas State. Congress has a responsibility to make sure that higher education is affordable and accessible. I have supported higher education achievement by simplifying the student aid process and providing tax benefits to those seeking a degree. Each year, an estimated 1.5 million students decline to seek the federal student
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financial assistance for which they are eligible because the form is too complicated. Congress passed an amendment I authored to simplify filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The Doggett Amendment reduced the number of questions on the form and the instructions necessary to complete it. To ensure students get the help they need to obtain their degrees, the Recovery Act included my proposal for a new American Opportunity, or “more education,” tax cut of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses paid during the taxable year. Forty percent of the tax credit — up to $1,000 — is refundable, meaning the families that need help the most benefit from this tax credit. My legislation will provide an estimated $9 billion in tax relief in 2012 and, according to a report by the Treasury Department, significantly expanded aid to more than 8 million students in its first year. I encourage students to get involved as interns in both my Austin and Washington, D.C. offices. Please visit my website at www.house.gov/doggett and click on “serving you” where you can find helpful information about internship opportunities and student aid, fill out a survey on federal issues, subscribe to receive legislative updates or send me an e-mail at Lloyd.Doggett@mail.house.gov. You can also visit me on Facebook at www. facebook.com/LloydDoggett or follow me on Twitter: @RepLloydDoggett. Listening to you is how I can make your priorities my priorities in Washington. I stand ready to assist you in matters of a federal nature. Have a safe, productive and memorable year here at Texas State University. Go Bobcats! —Rep. Lloyd Doggett serves on the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. He has previously served as a Texas State Senator and a Texas Supreme Court Justice.
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Off campus, we will have a new Center for Research and Commercialization where we hope to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. That’s important for us because earlier this year the state recognized us as an emerging research university, which puts us in select company and allows us to qualify for grants that will boost our research activities. During your time at Texas State, you will also benefit from other improvements that are on the horizon, including a new Performing Arts Center which we believe will be a signature building for our campus. These facilities projects are necessary to accommodate growth and to enhance university life for our students, faculty and staff. Our student body has grown significantly – by roughly 7,000 students in the last five years – and this fall we expect to ex-
ceed 35,000 students. Already, we are the state’s fifth-largest university, and we are likely to become the fourth-largest soon. Our student body is becoming more diverse, too. Last year, we were designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution after more than 25 percent of our enrollment was identified as Hispanic. That status helps us gain additional funding and, perhaps more importantly, helps foster a more culturally rich environment for our students. We are very excited that you are joining the Bobcat community, and we are eager to instill in you the sense of pride that runs deep in our family. Eat ’em up, Cats! Sincerely, Denise M. Trauth President of Texas State University
Welcome, Bobcat Class of 2016! It is with great pride that I welcome you to an institution that is like no other in the country: your new home, Texas State University. I would like to be the first to tell you without hesitation, congratulations on making the best decision of your life. Your next few years here at Texas State will define the person you become for the rest of your life. Lyndon B. Johnson, our most distinguished alumnus, said, “the noblest search is the search for excellence.” Your search for excellence has begun at this wonderful institution and we are excited to see you grow as an individual and an intellectual. While attending this university, you will be acquiring the knowledge and skills that are vital to both your growth and success as a professional and as a person. If you are anything like I was as a freshman, I bet that you are feeling nervous or anxious to be taking the next big step in your life. However, those concerns for me were quickly put to rest by building relationships with fellow Bobcats and staying active around campus. This university is going into one of its most defining years since being founded in 1899. We were recently awarded academic recognition as an emerging research institution, there are new buildings being
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built across campus, we are proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution, we are the fifth-largest university in the state and we are going to be competing in the WAC this year. Find time to take in all the recent improvements and be proud to be a Bobcat. As college students, we must strive for academic excellence, but also learn the value of sharing experiences and building lifelong relationships. Texas State offers many resources, and we encourage all of our students to make the most of them. I want to challenge you to not only excel in your academic endeavors, but to get involved. We have almost 300 student organizations and one of them is bound to fit you perfectly. Participate and contribute your talents to the community — you’ll get satisfaction and education in return for your efforts. The Associated Student Government acts as the voice for every Bobcat. All ASG meetings are open so that you can learn about the issues we face as students, and call attention to items that are important to you. I encourage any student to come visit us if you have any concerns. Our offices are located on the fourth floor of the LBJ Student Center in Suite 4–5.1. Meetings are Mondays at 7 p.m. at the LBJ Student Center in the Teaching Theater. Congratulations on making the best decision of your life! Be sure to take advantage of your time here, attend class, make unforgettable memories, and always remember to believe in Texas State! Sincerely, Nathan C. McDaniel Student Body President
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos and is published every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, June 4, 2012. 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. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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THE UNIVERSITY STAR â€“ SUMMER 2012
SUMMER 2012 – THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Students should take advantage of new opportunities with Texas State growth
he class of 2016 will arrive in droves as the air becomes sticky and the humidity begins to settle amidst San Marcos this summer. While new Bobcats get acclimated to their new home, the editorial board encourages involvement and pride in Texas State. The impressive sights of the Texas Hill Country are soon to be embraced by thousands of new freshmen and transfer students. San Marcos has several unique college life additions not found at any other university in Texas. Students soak up the sun year-round in Sewell Park and relax by tubing down the San Marcos River, which runs through campus. Since the founding of Texas State in 1899, the university has grown to be the fifth-largest
public institution in the state. The university was recently reclassified as an Emerging Research Institution and is now ranked among other universities including Texas Tech and the University of Houston. Last fall, a new record of 34,113 was set for student body enrollment. More than 20,000 students applied for the upcoming fall semester, and the influx of new students is expected to increase even more, but by no more than 5 percent. Texas State is continually growing and becoming more nationally recognized as a valued place for learning, research and diversity. Texas State currently offers 97 bachelor’s, 87 master’s and 12 doctoral degrees. Millions of dollars are received through grants and invested in lab equipment and projects such as the new Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park for commercial pursuits. The university was recently named a Hispanic Serving Institution with a full-time undergraduate Hispanic population of at least 25 percent. There are over 300 student organizations in which Bobcats can take part. Getting
involved in a new environment may feel intimidating at first, but soon all the jitters will dissolve as you find your college niche. Students looking for excitement can try a hand at recreational sports in intramural teams or through club participation. There are abundant opportunities to discover hidden talents, embrace strengths and meet others with similar interests within the eclectic mix of organizations from Hip Hop Congress to the Hide and Seek Club. When you are not hitting the books and holed up in the library for occasional hours on end, take a trip around town. Join some friends for a tour of the Aquarena Center and explore Spring Lake on the glass bottom boat rides. Catch a bite at the local eateries and enjoy live music at local hotspots such as The Coffee Pot and the Texas Music Theater on the Square. Many students embrace the spirit of the city through San Marcos River Foundation activist groups and participate in community beautification efforts through the yearly Bobcat Build event.
There are so many ways to become immersed in your new college experience. Texas State is unlike any other institution. Do not hesitate to reach out to your new professors and fellow students, because they may just become your greatest mentors. College is all about the experience, so make yours truly well rounded.
pus in 1899, we have had a special kinship between the university and local residents. Archaeologists have discovered Native American artifacts here dating back more than 11,000 years—offering evidence that the banks along the San Marcos River are the oldest continuously inhabited site in North America. This is, indeed, a special place! San Marcos is a unique city with a great university, beautiful spring-fed river, historic downtown, live music scene, eclectic cuisine and the greatest shopping in Texas
at the outlet malls. Our historic downtown, located just a block from campus, features unique shops, great dining and live entertainment venues with Americana, country, rock and jazz music. San Marcos is filled with parks for picnicking and jogging, greenbelts for hiking and biking and the crystal clear San Marcos River for swimming, tubing, canoeing and kayaking. The City of San Marcos and our civic organizations and churches invite you to participate actively in community life.
We ask you to join your San Marcos neighbors and preserve the wonderful environment of our Hill Country community. As Texas State University students, you are important contributors to character, the well being and the future of San Marcos. Welcome home!
versity and hold student forums in order to hear directly from students about the issues that affect them. I hope to see you at these or one of the many other activities on campus this year. As someone who worked my way through college, I understand the financial challenges that many students face. One of my priorities as your State Representative is to make sure that you get the best education possible at an affordable price. I filed legislation last session to freeze college tuition for four years so that entering freshmen would have more predictable education costs throughout their time at school. I also fought to reinstate funding to the Toward Excellence Access and Success, T.E.X.A.S, grant program, which provides financial aid to students
who might otherwise not be able to attend college. These issues are important to me and my kids, and I will continue to focus on making sure that you receive a great education at Texas State without worrying about struggling with overwhelming student debt for years to come. Remember, I work for you! I always welcome your input on these or any other state legislative issues. I recognize that the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and my staff and I are always available to answer any questions you might have or help you succeed in any way possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by e-mail at Jason.Isaac@house. state.tx.us or by phone at 512-463-0647. You must be excited about starting your college career at Texas State. Between the
excellent faculty, great location and endless opportunities, I have no doubt that you will fully enjoy your time here. With nearly 300 registered student organizations, I encourage you to get involved with groups that interest you. The education that you receive, along with the relationships that you build and skills that you develop, will prepare you well for future success in whatever area you decide to pursue. It is a privilege to work for you as your State Representative. Welcome to Texas State, and Eat ‘em up, Cats!
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.
Dear Texas State University Students
Photo courtesy of Daniel Guerrero
Welcome to San Marcos! Texas State University students are an indispensable part of our community and citizenry. Ever since the City of San Marcos donated the first 11 acres to create the original cam-
Sincerely, Daniel Guerrero Mayor Texas State University, BA 2000
Hello Bobcats! Welcome to San Marcos, and congratulations on your decision to continue your education at Texas State! I am honored to serve as the State Representative for the Texas State community. InterStar File Photo acting with the students on campus is one of my favorite parts of this job. Every year, I’m excited to participate in Bobcat Build in order to help contribute to our local community, attend sporting events to support the uni-
Sincerely, Jason Isaac State Representative House District 45
THE UNIVERSITY STAR â€“ SUMMER 2012