VOLUME 101, ISSUE 87
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
WEDNESDAY GO NE ONLI NOW
JULY 25, 2012
Thread by thread Emily Lewis is a local artist and one of the few remaining art
majors with a focus in fibers at Texas State. Check out her art work and more at star.txstate.edu
$10,000 degree offered within system
By Karen Zamora News Reporter The Texas State University System is the state’s third major university system to offer a bachelor’s degree costing $10,000 in an effort to make higher education more affordable for students. In response to Governor Rick Perry’s challenge to create affordable bachelor’s degrees, Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College will be the first institution within the system to offer three bachelor’s degrees costing $10,000. Mike Wintemute, spokesman for the Texas State University System, said Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College is the first institution to offer the “10K Scholars Program” because it has the most affordable tuition and fees in the system. Biology, chemistry and mathematics, the degrees offered within the program, are not new or different to the school, but will be obtainable at a more affordable price tag, he said. To take part in the “10K Scholars Program,” high school students must graduate with at least a 2.5 GPA and have completed 30 hours of college credit. Students spend their first year of college at Southwest Texas Junior College, then finish their degree at Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College. The total cost of their bachelor’s degree would be capped at $10,000 through deferred scholarships worth $2,122, if students maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and take 15 hours per semester to graduate in three years. The $10,000 degree will also be offered at the University of Texas-Permian Basin starting this fall. Students enrolled in this program will earn their bachelor’s degree at the four-year institution, not a junior college. However, they must qualify for the Texas Science Scholar—a program that caps their tuition at $2,500 per year, instead of the average $6,300 annually. The UTPB $10,000 degrees are offered in chemistry, computer science, geology, information systems and mathematics.
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Top: Wendy Wan, owner of WANderLust, prepares Thai Vermicelli noodles for customers. The noodles are served with assorted vegetables. Left: WANderLust is an Italian and Thai inspired food trailer located at the Hitch on Hopkins.
New food trailer brings taste of Thailand, Italy to The Hitch STORY ON PAGE 7
READ DEGREE PLAN, PAGE 2
Asbestos detected, removal work in progress in Elliott Hall By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Features Reporter
Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor
Texas State is currently investigating asbestos contamination in several older buildings across campus, most recently Elliot Hall A.
Vinyl composition tile that tested positive for asbestos is being removed from Elliott Hall Building A. The renovation was ongoing as of press time. In an effort to maintain the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, the university works to identify, inspect and test all university buildings that have or may have asbestos-containing materials. Buildings constructed prior to 1980 may have asbestos-containing materials. These buildings include Hornsby, Burleson, Arnold and Laurel halls, among others. Don Compton, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction associate director, said the fact that on-campus buildings have been made with asbestos-containing materials is not merely a rumor. “While we are well aware of asbestos, that does not mean people are being exposed,” Compton said.
In Elliott Hall’s case, it is uncertain whether the building’s tile had been physically damaged or if the tile’s glue had become exposed. Kyle Estes, Housing and Residential Life associate director, said asbestos-containing materials have also been removed from Elliott Hall Building B in the past. The United States Environmental Protection Agency lists vinyl floor tile and sheet flooring among common asbestos-containing materials. Estes said initial campus-wide building asbestos testing began 10-15 years ago, and has been continuously updated since then. Compton said there are testing reports for all on-campus buildings that have asbestoscontaining materials. Katie Eskridge, Texas State alumna, said she lived in Elliott Hall as a freshman. “My parents moved me in and said something had to be wrong,” Eskridge said. Eskridge said she was ill the entire time she
READ ASBESTOS, PAGE 2
Next Generation Science Standards forgone in Texas education By Megan Carthel News Reporter New national common science standards may soon be implemented in public schools across the country, but it is not likely they will be taught to Texas public school students anytime in the near future. The Next Generation Science Standards are intended to provide a common science curriculum for students in kindergarten through high school in every state. The standards are expected to be complete early next year. But in Texas, where the state scored a “C” average for overall science curriculum in a 2012 study conducted by the Thomas Fordham Institute, the new standards will likely not be put into effect anytime soon. The study points out “evolution is all but
ignored from kindergarten to fifth grade.” According to the Institute, the word “evolution” is not used in the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) standards Texas currently uses. “One of the sticky points of the common core science standards is how evolution is handled,” said Michael Soto of the State Board of Education, District 3 representative. “It is a politically touchy subject.” Soto said the Thomas Fordham Institute is a fairly conservative think tank. “When you have conservatives giving Texas low grades in science for injecting politics into the curriculum, you know that something is taking shape that’s not about education,” Soto said. “It’s all about politics.” Other political issues have surfaced as reasoning for rejection of the Next Generation Science Standards. The state sets its own
standards for education because the Texas GOP opposes too much national government control, said Chris Elam, spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas. Elam said the control of Texas schools and education should be kept in the state. Common core state standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. There are only five states that have not adopted the common core standards, Texas being one of them. “It’s a lot of political posturing,” Soto said. “The common core standards are incorrectly perceived as another version of federal intrusion. The Republican Party is pretty dead set against anything like that in Texas.” Sandra West Moody, program faculty of
biology at Texas State, said the areas of scientific engineering practices and cross cutting concepts seen in the Next Generation curriculum are two new dimensions of standards not seen in the current TEKS objectives. West was on the 2009 TEKS writing team, focusing on science curriculum. The State Board of Education updates its curriculum every eight years, so with the current TEKS objectives being fairly recent, West said the Next Generation standards and curriculum are not needed. Soto said no one in Texas is pushing for the Next Generation standards. He believes Texas students will be missing out on educational opportunities if the new science standards are not adopted.
READ SCIENCE, PAGE 2
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Bill Fannin, provost of UTPB, said the reason they did not use a community college route, like the Texas State University System, was primarily based on students receiving a “full, four-year university experience.” Fannin said when looking at which degrees would be considered, it was only right to look at fields that are needed in the workforce. “Students want the degrees and the state needs the degrees,” Fannin said. “Why offer degrees in areas that nobody wants after they graduate? Offer where the need is.” Fannin said he doesn’t believe the $10,000 degree plans are sacrificing educational quality, but are helping students. He said the degrees offered at UTPB under the $10,000 degree plan have been in place for many years and past graduates have been successful. Fannin said students are just spending less money on the same education.
tants are supposed to report problems with asbestos-containing materials or presumed asbestos-containing materials, Compton said. Louis Obdyke, labor and employment attorney, said in an email that annual asbestos inspections of dormitories are not required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “The only time asbestos abatement and/or inspections are required is when there is construction, demolition or remodeling that may cause the asbestos to become friable or airborne,” Obdyke said. Compton said asbestos abatement has already been completed by the time building demolitions have begun. He said an air quality sample is tested and public notices are placed around the demolition site by the regulatory agency the university hires. “It costs more to demolish a building with asbestos-containing materials than to remove the materials first,” Compton said. Estes said this was the situation when Falls Hall was demolished last year. He said asbestos-containing materials, such as ceiling grids, were safely removed prior to demolition. Residents of any hall are asked to refrain from disturbing the ceiling, walls, floor spaces or tiles within hallways, common areas and rooms, and insulation on pipes. Those who believe asbestos-containing materials have become damaged are asked to contact the Texas State Department of Housing and Residential Life or
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“Publishers are going to invest a lot of effort into developing really fantastic online content for the common core standards,” Soto said. “It’s just going to be so much more of a step up in the high end development of great products to teach common core standards than there is here in Texas.” However, since Texas educates 1-in-10
It makes you smarter.
By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor Conferees representing Guadalupe and Hays counties, Martindale and San Marcos voted unanimously to merge their transit districts under Capital Area Rural Transportation System July 16. The meeting was held to decide between two choices for the city’s new Urban Transit District. The City of San Marcos, along with parts of Martindale, Redwood and Caldwell and Hays counties had the option to create their own transportation districts, allowing for more control but requiring more money and resources. “What we want to do is build that bridge to help San Marcos get to the next stage to create the transit system they want,” said David Marsh, CARTS general manager. CARTS is looking to avoid drastic cuts in transit hours, develop a five year finance and implementation strategy and look for grant opportunities, among other commitments for the next two years, Marsh said. Mid-term goals for the next three to five years include optimizing transfers among locations other than CARTS facilities and integrating the university’s shuttle service.
“We are both aware of some of the challenges as well as the opportunities,” said Joe Richmond, director of transportation for Texas State. “One of the first things we are going to be talking about is sharing common bus stops, future plans and how the services can complement each other.” This decision was made after the 2010 Census ruled San Marcos an urbanized area, which allows the city to receive federal and state funding for public transportation if the transportation district meets federal requirements. “It is a dawn of a great age in San Marcos,” said Kim Porterfield, San Marcos city councilmember, Place 1. Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe said the decision to work with CARTS saves the city and county money. “I think there are a lot of individuals, including the poor and the elderly, that utilize these services, and we need to provide them with the most effective service,” Ingalsbe said. “I also believe that the best way we are going to do that is combining our forces.” The decision will go into effect in October, when San Marcos will officially lose its previous status as a rural area, Porterfield said.
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lived in the dormitory, and was diagnosed with bronchitis for the first time. After spending time in and out of the doctor’s office, she said she was prescribed an inhaler to alleviate symptoms of bronchitis. Eskridge said it was only after she moved from Elliott Hall to College Inn, where only minor health problems were experienced, did she begin to make a correlation between her previous illnesses and place of residence. Eskridge said even though symptoms persisted for a month, she did not inform a hall staff member. Compton said concerned residents should report any problems they believe have to do with the building to their hall staff. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, long-term asbestos exposure will increase a person’s risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, among other respiratory disorders. People are more likely to experience asbestos-related disorders when they are exposed to high concentrations of asbestos and/or are exposed for long periods of time. Compton said asbestos-containing materials are only problematic when they are exposed or friable, meaning the substance can be broken into smaller particles with little effort, enabling them to easily enter a person’s lungs. Compton said environmental factors have caused many asbestos-containing materials to deteriorate over time, making them friable. Residence hall directors and assis-
Wintemute said the Texas State University System has encouraged every institution in the system to discuss implementing $10,000 degree plans. Debbie Thorne, associate vice president of academic affairs, said as of yet the only plans in place at Texas State are to study the situation and figure out if the university can offer such degrees. She said Texas State is in the preliminary stages of discussion, but there are concerns when it comes to tuition and fees, and the money being spent on support programs for students. “If we were to discount our tuition so significantly that we could get it down to $2,500 a year, what would that mean in terms of all the support services?” Thorne said. “What would it mean in terms of faculty quality and faculty pay, Student Learning Assistance Center and all the other support services we have in the university that help students become successful?”
Officials make first step toward CARTS
American public school students, Soto said some of the new materials and learning mediums will probably leak into the Texas school systems and students will be able to benefit from them. “I think it’s always worth redoing something if you can end up with a better product,” Soto said.
City council, east side residents hopeful for park acquisition By Adrian Omar Ramirez News Reporter The San Marcos City Council discussed the possible acquisition of Cape’s Camp to construct a new city park during its July 17 meeting. The 98-acre piece of land is the largest undeveloped piece of land along the San Marcos River inside the city limits. The Thornton family currently owns the land, and is considering rezoning the area for residential purposes. The council decided to postpone the vote regarding the acquisition until the next session. Jim Kimmel, professor in the department of geography, called the river “an amenity value.” He said he is very much in favor of the city acquiring and maintaining open spaced parkland along the river and other environmentally sensitive places in town. “It brings value to the entire community, not just to the places on that particular land,” he said. Kimmel has published a number of books detailing the San Marcos River’s influence on the city’s growth.
The park would be the first river park on the east side of town, said Maggie Hutchins of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. “The east side of San Marcos has a park deficit, which acquisition of this land would help alleviate,” she said. “The Cape’s Camp area is like no other.” Jay Hiebert, treasurer of San Marcos Voice, spoke on San Marcos’s long cultural history with endangered species in the area and how humans have inhabited the hanks for 13,500 years. “We are truly America’s oldest neighborhood.” Angie Ramirez, Blanco Gardens neighborhood representative, said the neighborhood’s residents strongly support the acquisition. “It’s important to me that (the council) understands how invested the people on the east side are in this idea,” Ramirez said. Resident John Stark said good stewardship of such a “precious resource” is important. ”You’d go down in history as being good stewards by supporting the expansion of city parkland in the area around the river,” Stark said.
News | The University Star | Wednesday July 25, 2012 | 3
City hires firm to assess downtown parking solutions Sara Beth Worcester, Staff Photographer
The Kimley-Horn and Associates consulting firm presented possible solutions to downtown parking problems. They are scheduled to release plans within 60-90 days. By Gregory Tate News Reporter Parking and street issues in downtown San Marcos could soon be things of the past. A public meeting was held July 12 to discuss the future of downtown’s parking situation. The Downtown Parking Initiative is the next step in implementing the Downtown Master Plan, which contains a number of recommendations regarding parking. The city has hired consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates to find a way to implement the recommendations into the Master Plan. Dennis Burns, regional vice president for Kimley-Horn and Associates, was in attendance at the meeting and gave a presentation about parking districts and the possible economic development of downtown San Marcos. Burns said that the city is taking a progressive look at things, and the firm is looking at the situation very holistically. He said there are three primary goals the city hopes to achieve. The first is preserving future options for a walkable mixed-use downtown. The second is forming partnerships with the university and county to achieve shared goals. The final goal is to view parking as a part of the solution for downtown’s future, rather than a problem. Burns said, through his presentation, he intends to give citizens an idea of what is going on across the country in terms of parking development, and how to relate those ideas to San Marcos. He also presented ways to help implement the ideas into the Downtown Master Plan. The city is currently looking into technical solutions to fix said issues. Parking has been an ongoing issue for downtown retailers. Matthew Lewis, director of development services for the city, said there is already a plan to redo Hutchison, LBJ and Guadalupe Streets with reverse-angled parking. This type of parking is popular in down-
town Austin for its safety advantages. Doors are opened to the sidewalk rather than to the street, Lewis said. John Foreman, planning manager for San Marcos, said the city is currently developing action items. “I think it’s a way to turn a problem into a potential benefit for downtown and to make it better for the future,” Foreman said. There were several concerns voiced by San Marcos citizens who were in attendance, Lewis said. One ongoing issue that was brought up is that many Texas State students park their cars in The Square and walk to class, thus hindering downtown business. Burns said the perception is students are taking over downtown by parking there, but students are not the entire problem. He said it is important to look beyond the symptoms to find the real root of the issue in these situations. Another recurring issue is downtown parking enforcement, Lewis said. Residents voiced concerns at both ends of the spectrum. Some think there is too much enforcement, and others believe there is too little. Residents also shared what they think could be helpful solutions. One solution is to set parking meters so customers can have the first 20 minutes free. “If someone wanted to go grab a cup of coffee or some shoes, they have 20 minutes to do so,” Lewis said. “But if they wanted to continue shopping, they would have to feed the meter for a predetermined amount of time.” Other solutions included more high tech changes, such as license plate recognition meters that would make enforcement much easier, as citations would be mailed to the home address of said license plate. Burns said the first problem he noticed with downtown San Marcos is the current two-hour parking. He said employees are forced to constantly move their cars if they want to beat the meters, which is technically
illegal. He said, however, they do not have a choice. Burns said one option is to create longterm parking areas for employees, which could free up some parking space for customers, subsequently increasing turnover rates for downtown retailers. Kimley-Horn and Associates is currently analyzing parking trends, traffic tendencies
and other technical analysis of downtown parking areas to find the best solution for each street. After analyzing the information, the firm will develop an implementation plan, which will take approximately 60-90 days. Once the parking management recommendations come back, they will be taken to city council. Each project will move forward if city council chooses to adopt them.
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Music, coffee at Tantra not mutually exclusive A
San Marcos icon has sadly and unnecessarily silenced itself. According to a July 11 University Star article, founder and co-partner of Tantra Coffeehouse Nathan Todd confirmed all outdoor live music came to an end following the company’s birthday celebration on July 7. Instead of drowning out a majority of the music altogether, Tantra Coffeehouse should have been looking for ways to accommodate a family-friendly atmosphere and an outdoor live music venue. It is understandable why Todd’s announcement prompted shock from several customers, who expressed feelings of disappointment on the business’ Facebook page. In light of the elimination of outdoor live music at Tantra, fans can still enjoy the Wednesday Bluegrass Night free musical showcase due to its all-ages nature and low sound volume. The editorial board believes Tantra can move back to its original intent as a family-oriented community location and continue to offer the eclectic live music scene which frequently drew huge crowds. Rather than silencing all outdoor live music entirely, there are plenty of alternate routes Tantra can take to turn into both a family and college-age hub. Since Tantra was originally envisioned as a place for families to feel welcome, the business is making the right move by installing an outdoor children’s play area. However, Tantra should be able to allow outdoor live music in addition to having a designated area for children. Kids typically love music and can have a great time dancing as well. There are plenty of restaurants in San Marcos which offer kid-friendly environments and live music on select nights including Valentino’s, Coffee Pot Bistro and Pluckers Wing Bar. With one of the only outdoor music venues in the city, Tantra was unique and brought in a variety of local customers as well as fans from surrounding communities in Austin and New Braunfels. Local artists like Henry + The Invisibles had the opportunity to perform for a wider audience, and groups such as Broken Umbrella Academy were able to break out onto the scene. By carefully selecting respectable bands with all-ages lyrics and lowering the overall volume of music, Tantra can easily cater to its large fan base with an improved outdoor venue. There is another alternate path Tantra can take to welcome a complete spectrum of clientele. Potentially, an event line-up could include family fun and music in the earlier hours of the day, with a transformed outdoor music concert atmosphere later in the night. Without any inconvenience, a reformed schedule would target exactly what college-age customers have grown accustomed to expect over the years. By making several adjustments, Tantra can bring back outdoor live music, create a family-friendly place and ensure no one will be left to search for a new local hangout. The business should acknowledge and continue to embrace its unique niche in the community. Tantra needs to listen to its many customers who have pleaded, “Please don’t stop the music.”
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.
Michelle Wadsworth, The University Star
Residents should ask Doggett to help protect TANF program
By Jose R. Gonzalez Opinions Columnist
he current economic conditions in San Marcos should encourage U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a ranking member of the human resources subcommittee, to help stop the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from granting waivers on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In 1996, bipartisan efforts pushed to enact the TANF program. Part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, TANF helped successfully reform welfare in the U.S. In addition, TANF furthered the most effective of requisites—causing people to prove they were employed or seeking employment in order to receive short-term financial aid. On July 12, Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, issued an administrative order granting waivers on TANF to states. The decision to grant state waivers on TANF amounts to little more than an effort to enlarge the role of welfare in this country. Since the requirement to prove an individual is employed or seeking a job will vanish, waiving TANF will reduce the incentive for individuals to seek work as long as government assistance is provided. San Marcos carries the serious risk of becoming a welfare-led community. An increasing dependency on welfare will generate a culture of entitlement. San Marcos and cities in similar impoverished situations will be en route to a paternal state society where perfectly able-bodied adults opt for government dependency over earning their livelihood through work. This will be at the cost of the individual’s dignity and the taxpayer’s money. The effects of waiving TANF will be significantly regressive to the economy
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of San Marcos. The current economic numbers in San Marcos are very dismal. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 36.9 percent of the population of San Marcos lives below the poverty line, and the average household income in San Marcos is $26,734. The city’s average household income is an overwhelming $22,912 below the Texas average. San Marcos and other cities in similarly bleak economic situations face irreparable hurt if TANF employment requirements are tossed out. The accomplishments TANF has achieved should merit its immunity from the waivers. According to the Administration for Children and Families’ 2011 data on the TANF caseload, the total sum of welfare recipients has dropped by over 63 percent since the enactment of the provision. The number of households on welfare decreased to approximately 56 percent, according to the data. If the potential harm of the TANF waivers was not enough of a reason to oppose them, the clear overreach of the health and human services department should be. The administrative order asserts undue authority. According to a memorandum put forth by Sebelius, the department has the power to permit states to alter “definitions of work activities and engagements, specified limitations, verification procedures and the calculation of participation rates.” This memorandum is an outright misinterpretation of the law that put TANF in place, and the proposed waivers are a violation of the law itself. Under section 615 of the law, the act nullifies the department from granting waivers to states as they apply to work and the work-seeking requirements integral to the provision. The creators of TANF understood employment as intrinsic to the value people place on themselves and the communities in which they live. These lawmakers created a safeguard against government dependency and replaced a hand-out with a hand-up. Waiving TANF will undo the progress the welfare reform act has made in the last 15 years. The people of San Marcos deserve to have TANF protected and should demand Rep. Doggett lead the charge to do so.
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All students should be required to take a world religions course
By Christian Penichet-Paul Opinions Columnist
ince there are few topics in the world more influential than religion, Texas State students should become well-informed on the subject—especially through a core class. The general education curriculum of Texas requires university students to study several core courses including American history, philosophy and the performing arts. However, the study of religion and its monumental impact on the world is not required as a basic class and often goes unnoticed by many Texas State students. The university should create a required comprehensive world religions basic course. Until then, all students should be persuaded to enroll in the 1300 World Religions class, which is offered in the philosophy department as an informative elective. A course of that nature can give students a deeper understanding of their own faith and other religions. According to a 2010 U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, data showed that Americans as a whole knew very little about religion. In fact, atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored the highest in the survey, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics. According to the survey, 45 percent of Catholics failed to identify their church teachings that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion actually become the body and blood of Christ.
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If people are unable to completely understand their own faith, it is expected that they would be less informed and possibly even less open to accepting people of different religions. As a history or philosophy class does today, a required class on world religions would inform students on a variety of views. Religion is also a very important aspect of human culture. In the West, the Bible has influenced countless novels through its characters and plots. The tale of Moses, an infant placed by his mother in the reeds of a riverbank, resembles the story of Superman, the comic book escapee from Krypton. The literature of many well-regarded writers, from Dante to J.R.R. Tolkien, is highly influenced by religious interpretations. In a similar manner, the English language and its style has been severely impacted by the King James Bible. A class on the world’s religions could introduce students to the root of many cultural influences from the West and beyond. Texas State currently offers several courses on religion. It only makes sense for students to enroll in one of the many religious education classes that are available. Students should choose an elective on religion because it is beneficial to be well-informed on the subject. The most effective choice would be the 1300 World Religions class in the philosophy department, which introduces students to a comparative study of the world’s main religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and others. With this introduction, students could develop a satisfying familiarity with different religions and their impact on the world. Encouraging students to take a comprehensive class on the world’s religions is important. Since this subject continues to impact society and cultures around the world, all students need to take religious education classes at Texas State.
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, July 25, 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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Science camp students study San Marcos River water
Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor
Sixth graders Valeria and Marisa inspect tiny shrimp harvested from the Edwards Aquifer with a magnifying glass July 23 near the Freeman Aquatic Biology building. The Aquatic Science Adventure Camp engages kids aged 9-15 interested in learning about freshwater science and the Edwards Aquifer. By Page Lambert Trends Reporter Kids of all ages run through Sessom Creek, scanning the crystal clear water for tiny organisms to examine under a microscope. This isn’t part of summer school, but a camp that mixes education and fun in an engaging way. The Aquatic Science Adventure Camp started in 1988 to educate kids about fresh water science and the waters around San Marcos, created by the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center. The camps are broken up into eight weeklong sessions and two two-day sessions, each catering to a different age group, ranging from 9-15. Students stay in dorms and use the
labs on campus, with certified teachers leading the groups. “That first year was a trial run. We only held one session,”said Lendon Gilpin, assistant director for education for the data center. “We had a big turnout and kids were wanting to come again, so we expanded the curriculum and amount of sessions.” Whether it’s a two-day camp or weeklong over-nighters, the students get fun-filled days while learning about general fresh water science and the aquifer. Students start the day by collecting plankton, testing the local water, or exploring the natural springs on a glassbottom boat tour.
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“Watching the kids run into Sessom Creek with their little nets was always so much fun,” said Catherine Bairley, teacher at Meadows Elementary in Fort Hood. “They were amazed to actually find tiny water organisms that were in a petri dish.” After an eventful morning the campers have fun swimming, rafting, and other recreational activities, sometimes even venturing to Schlitterbahn and
Sea World. “One day we got to take the kids fishing. One of the girls caught a catfish that was half her size,” said Cliff Sims, teacher at Brookhollow Elementary in Pflugerville. “Most of the kids had never gone fishing, so to see her eyes light up after that catch was a real treat.” Glipin changes the curriculum and activities every few years, trying new and fun ways to keep the students en-
gaged with the academic side of the camp. Bairley said Gilpin set up a fish printing activity where students could stamp fish shapes on t-shirts, much like the fish they would see on the excursion. “It’s rare that you see an academic and social camp combo like this,” Sims said. “Gilpin has found a way to present how essential the aquifer and clean water is for everyone.”
The constant return of students show the camp’s expense is well worth the experience. “These camps are certainly well worth investing in. The are so many activities for the kids, and Lendon never sounded boring during his presentations,” Bairley said. “There was not one kid who did not enjoy it or want to come back. This really is a great program.”
New food trailer lets customers “wander” through other cultures By Chelsea Kelley Trends Reporter Since the first food trailer park opened last year, more and more have been popping up all over San Marcos. WANderLust is one of the newest in town. With all the eateries in San Marcos, some people may think there are no more surprises to be had. However, WANderLust has brought something new to the area, which according to owner Wendy Wan is “Italian, Asian-inspired global street food.” The menu features different kinds of hot sandwiches, from all-American combinations like grilled cheese to more international sandwiches like the porchetta. “I have definitely never had anything like this in San Marcos,” said Chamberlain Garber, a recent masters of psychology graduate, after eating one of Wan’s porchettas Garber said she chose to eat at WANderLust because she had never been to The Hitch, which is where Wanderlust is located. After walking to all the trailers, she thought it smelled the best. Because of the Texas heat, Wan also offers cooler items including Thai noodles and internationally inspired teas, though she said the menu is ever-changing. “I can create as I go, and it’s fun for me. I like being creative,” she said. That is where she got the idea for the trailer’s name. She expects her customers will enjoy wandering through different cultures as they eat. Plus, she liked the play on words she created with her last name being in the title.
“These food trailers are almost like a little culture in and of itself,” said Brian Jacobs, a San Marcos local. In the summer months, business dies down a bit, which makes things a little more difficult for trailer owners like Wan. She gets a lot of the working crowd during the week, so she made a commitment to herself to stay in the trailer from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. “It gets really slow sometimes, but I can’t run errands because I have some regulars who expect me to be here, and I need to be here for them,” she said. As of now, Wan is the only employee, and she said she likes it that way. When school starts in the fall though, she hopes business will pick up a lot more and she will hire at least one other employee. The hiring process may prove to be difficult because she is not originally from San Marcos. In fact, she is not even from Texas. For the last 10 years, Wan cooked with topnotch chefs in New York. She took her experiences from there and moved them with her. “It was time for a change,” she said. She learned a lot of her cooking style from those chefs in New York who gave her very high standards for her food. She makes everything but the cheese and bread from scratch. “It has a very homemade feel to it,” said Jacobs as he ate his porchetta. Even the mayonnaise she puts in her coleslaw is made by hand instead of being pulled from a jar. Wan hopes all of her efforts will prove worthy and bring more people to WANderLust.
Student of fading art subset shares her work
Sara Beth Worcester, Staff Photographer
Emily Lewis, studio art senior, has artwork on display in Tantra. Lewis creates her pieces through styles of embroidery and painting. By Xander Peters Features Reporter
When creating her art, Emily Lewis looks to the world and people around her for that initial wave of inspiration. Lewis, studio art senior, is one of the few students still cultivating her skills with textiles in a small subset of the art department called fibers. Fibers is a particular style of craftsmanship that focuses on materials, such as plywood, fabric, paper, thread, beads, sticks and burlap, as well as the amount of physical labor involved in each piece. Since discovering her passion for fibers and other styles of art, like design, painting and photography, an exceptional amount of the blooming artist’s life has been committed to establishing her name in the local art scene. “I draw from what’s around me, and the significance that could or has been placed in that object,” Lewis said. Lewis brings the emotions of antiquity, warmth, love and loss to a physical state, and then sees the impression the work could leave on others, she said. “I like using a certain type of feeling in my art, to have a mysterious quality coupled with a sense of comfort.” The persistency Lewis includes in her work is what
has managed to help publicly display her art in four separate galleries around the city. This includes a piece for the theater production Oklahoma!, a show at the Coffee Pot, a small gallery in the recreation center and the most recent artwork on display at Tantra. Lewis is also preparing for her upcoming show at Wake the Dead in October. The aspiring artist said that the coffeehouse galleries have helped add momentum to her career, and the pieces on display in Tantra especially have helped people to recognize her art, and to associate her name with it. In hopes of furthering her art career, Lewis hopes to attend graduate school in the future and eventually become an art professor. Until then, she plans on continuing her process of furthering a portfolio of mixed media and building more social recognition for her style of creativity. From the primitive look of a broadcloth stretched around a female mannequin, crowned with sticks and bordered with lace, to paintings of facial expressions or black and white portrait photography, Lewis’ creations are personal expression through objects that others might find obscure. “I try to look into my childhood interests, animals, people, life around me, the unknown and let my imagination go wild from there,” she said.
Read it any way you like.
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Left: Wendy Wan, owner of WANderLust, prepares a porchetta with rosemary and onions for roasting.
8 | Wednesday July 25, 2012 | The University Star
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Franchione discusses future, present of Texas State football conferences By Jordan Brewer Sports Reporter Although Texas State athletics will not be participating in the Sun Belt Conference until the 2013-2014 school year, Coach Dennis Franchione represented the Bobcats at the conference’s annual media day in New Orleans. The main topic for all of the program’s head coaches, including Franchione, was the current realignment among members of the Sun Belt. Two current Sun Belt teams, North Texas and Florida International, are to be replaced in a year by Texas State and Georgia State. South Alabama will be playing its first season in the Sun Belt this upcoming year. Texas State will begin the 2013 season in its third conference in three seasons. Franchione spoke about the lengthy process, plus what advantages and disadvantages come with the transition. “It is a process, no doubt about that,” Franchione said. “Two years ago we had 63 scholarships, last year we had 74 scholar-
ships and this season we will have 85 scholarships. You have to make adjustments with everything you do. You have to identify who is in the league and how you fit in the league. Then you make adjustments.” Franchione will be taking a peek at Texas State’s future, while keeping full focus on their current group of opponents in the Western Athletic Conference. Along with adjusting to team’s schemes and tendencies, there will be venues, college towns and programs that are completely fresh to the Bobcat football team. One integral piece to the Sun Belt who will not be unfamiliar to Texas State is the conference commissioner, Karl Benson, who opened the door to the Football Bowl Subdivision by bringing the Bobcats into the WAC. Holding the same position in the Sun Belt as he did in the WAC, Benson was quick to stand behind the realignment. “This is a transition year, and I’ve been through a lot of transition years in my previous position,” Benson said. “Although it can be awkward, it also can be manageable and quite productive.”
Texas State football released the pricing for individual tickets last week. The cheapest Texas Tech ticket option (besides the free student sections with a valid student ID) is $65, with tickets capping off at $85. All other individual tickets for remaining home games range from $15 to $40. The general public can begin buying individual game tickets on Aug. 15. Season tickets are currently being sold and do include the Texas Tech game in the package. If season tickets are purchased, the other five home games are discounted at up to 80 percent.
Summer check-in: Jackson and Boone reflect on coaching their first seasons By Jordan Cole Sports Reporter Track and field coaches Dana Boone and Bryan Jackson of the just finished their first seasons at Texas State, jumping many hurdles along the way. Boone is the head coach of the track team and Jackson is a track assistant and the head coach of cross country. The duo said the hardest part of the first season was getting their athletes to buy in and believe they could not only compete but win. Jackson cited a needed culture change as one of the first things to emphasize, which was not easy. Both coaches said convincing the athletes that success was possible was step one. “When you take over a new program, one of the biggest challenges is getting the kids to buy in,” Boone said. “I was getting a group of kids I knew nothing about, and they were getting a coach they knew nothing about.” Now the reciprocation is beginning to show, and Boone and Jackson feel the team is ready to do whatever it takes to win. “I think they’ve bought in now. I think they understand and believe,” Boone said. “Considering those obstacles that we had to overcome in the beginning, I think we had a very good year, and it’s definitely something to build on.” Jackson also said the first year was suc-
cessful and a step in the right direction. “At the end of the day, we had a very successful first year,” Jackson said. “There were a number of school records broken, a number of personal bests run in cross country and just a lot of overall improvements from the previous years.” Now that the team has “bought in,” Boone and Jackson expect to come back to a team that is driven and hungry for success. “I had a phenomenal first year,” Jackson said. “I enjoyed my first year here of coaching very much. Obviously, I’m not completely satisfied, but it was a good foundation. I’m hungry for more of what we need to do in the future and I think the team is hungry for next season.” Twitter: @TxStatesman
The 2012 Cross Country schedule was released last week, which will begin with Baylor’s Bear Twilight Invitational on Aug. 31. The team has two meets in Austin: the Grass Routes Grand Prix on Sept. 29, and Concordia University’s Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 13.
HmyEnaLmLe isO... Amari Dearybdalol rff Texas State Volle right-side hitter
What is your favorite movie? It would have to be all the Harry Potter movies. I really can’t just pick one. They’re all so good. What is your favorite kind of music or something you listen to before a game? Justin Bieber. I have the Bieber fever and am not ashamed to admit it. What is your favorite sport other than volleyball? I really like watching basketball. The Thunder is my team. I love Kevin Durant. Who is your celebrity crush? I would have to say Jesse McCartney. He’s my main crush, other than when it comes to Justin Bieber. Why did you choose Texas State? They just have a really great volleyball team. I knew I would be playing to win with the team here. What are your favorite things to do outside of playing volleyball? It’s pretty simple. I just like to go out shopping or stay in and be lazy and watch Netflix. I’m pretty laid back. Report compiled by Chris Blackmon, Sports Reporter Twitter: @_chrisblack
A new season
Aside from the conference changes, Franchione also had time to answer questions about the program and himself. The head coach talked about what the Texas State program can offer a young student-athlete and what pulled him back to San Marcos. “This great thing about Texas State is that it really sells itself,” Franchione said. “With 35,000 students, 12 doctoral programs, good academics, $70 million invested in athletic facilities and the commitment to becoming a good FBS school. When I first heard about this job, I thought it would be FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), but they said, ‘No, it will be FBS.’” Franchione is also embarking on a second media day in Las Vegas July 25 and 26. “The Sun Belt offers us a good, stable league in which we feel we have a chance to compete,” Franchione said. “Fortunately, we will have a large senior class when we join the Sun Belt. That gives us some upperclassmen and that should help us in our first year in the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt sells itself.”
Ticket info for Texas Tech game announced Students can pick up one complimentary ticket at Strahan Coliseum on Friday, Aug. 24. Four thousand seven hundred fifty-eight are available for pickup on the 24th, while 250 tickets will be handed out Aug. 29 at the LBJ Student Center near the Lair. Another 250 will be available on Aug. 30 at the main athletic ticket booth at Bobcat Stadium. Any tickets not given out on those dates will be available during normal business hours until all tickets are gone. If students do not pick up their complimentary ticket, the cheapest option would be $65.
Bobcats News and Notes
Men’s basketball released their 20122013 schedule on July 24 with 18 conference games, nine out-of-conference games and one tournament — the Carrs/ Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, which will take place the weekend of Nov. 22. Besides the tournament, the Bobcats open up with six games at home, including their home opener on Nov. 9 against Fordham.
Texas State tight end Chase Harper was named to the John Mackey Award watch list. The John Mackey Award is for the nation’s most outstanding tight end. In 2011, Harper was third on the team in receptions and yards and tallied three touchdowns, good for second best for the Bobcat receiving core.
Women’s soccer will kick off Texas State’s sports calendar as an official member of the Western Athletic Conference on Sunday, Aug. 19. The Bobcats will take on an old Southland foe, Sam Houston State, in Huntsville. Texas State hasn’t lost to SHSU since 2006.
Women’s golf unveiled their 20122013 schedule Tuesday, teeing off the golf season on Sept. 2nd at the Chris Banister Golf Classic. The Bobcats will have one tournament in Texas during the fall semester, at the Alamo Invitational in San Antonio.
Report compiled by Cameron Irvine, Sports Editor Twitter: @txstcamirvine
Where the good meat is
The University Star | Wednesday July 25, 2012 | 9
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10 | Wednesday July 25, 2012 | The University Star | Advertisement