VOLUME 102, ISSUE 2
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AUGUST 28, 2012
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North Campus Housing Complex
The North Campus Housing Complex is one of Texas State’s newest residence halls. For more information, check our our website at universitystar.com.
Texas State’s water research center receives $1 million
A FRESH START
By Kolten Parker News Reporter A center at Texas State focusing on water research, sustainability and drought management received a million-dollar boost and a new name Aug. 24. The Meadows Foundation of Dallas, which has donated more than $3 million to Texas State since 1991, pledged an initial gift of one million dollars to kickstart the center. The group has also agreed to make subsequent donations over the next few years, totaling $5 million, to permanently endow the $10 million project, officials said. Texas State’s Board of Regents officially renamed the River Systems Institute as The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in recognition of the donation. “This is a transformational gift,” President Denise Trauth said. “Water is a core value at Texas State and The Meadows Center is uniquely poised to be a leader in this country on that topic by combining research, stewardship, education and service.” She said it is another stepping-stone to Texas State’s growing visibility. State Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) said Texas State is living up to its slogan as the “Rising Star of Texas.” Branch, chair of the House’s Higher Education Committee, said water management is one of the most vital issues facing Texans in the future. Branch pointed to the rapid population growth in Central Texas as proof of water’s finite availability. He said Texas State’s proximity to major water sources such as Edward’s Aquifer, Aquarena Springs and the plethora of river systems and lakes in Central Texas makes the university the perfect entity to tackle water issues. Andrew Sansom, the center’s director, applauded The Meadows Foundation’s commitment to water resources. He said the new funds will attract top-notch professors and researchers from around the world to Texas State. Most importantly, Sansom said, the recently re-named center will be a “tremendous” source of career opportunities for students studying water at Texas State. He said there are more students from Texas State employed at the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality than from any other university. The research center was founded in 2002 with the help of The Meadows Foundation, and will continue its focus on sustainability, pollution, drought management and public policy. Texas State will seek other philanthropic donations and also apply for matched-funding from the state. “Establishing the center is a critical step toward our goal of preserving a sustainable supply of water to support the needs of Texas’ residents, wildlife and natural habitats by providing scientific research on which to base sound water management policies in Texas,” said Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. Evans said Texas State’s newly acquired status as an Emerging Research Institution played a large role in her organization’s decision to fund the project because of the potential for state dollars to match the private gift.
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
Top: Katrina Johnson and Rachel Sipe, mass communication freshmen, arrange their closet space Aug. 18 in the new North Campus Housing Complex. Right: The new residence halls will house 612 students and cost $46 million to complete.
Students and staff celebrate opening of North Campus Housing Complex By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor Bryn Thompson was waiting in a line that wrapped around Strahan Coliseum early Aug. 18 to register, get her keys and move into her dorm room. Thompson, English freshman, is one of 612 inaugural students living in the recently opened North Campus Housing Complex. The housing community consists of two halls, Gaillardia and Chautauqua. Each hall can hold 306 students, said Rosanne Proite, director of the Department of Housing and Residential Life. A common building and an outdoor courtyard join the two halls. A traditions room, which is still in development, depicts the history of residence halls on campus dating back as far as the late 1800s, Proite
said. The halls also include small group study rooms on every floor, lounges and three seminar rooms for staff and speakers. Student instructor sessions will also be held in the halls. “We are the test rats,” Thompson said. “There are a whole bunch of other places on campus that people stay at, so housing knows what they are doing.” Each floor in Gaillardia and Chautauqua Halls has two RAs. The halls’ residence directors share offices and facilities. Stephanie Wintling, residence director for Chautauqua Hall, said the dorm is special because it is traditional-style housing with a unique design. “We have about nine people sharing one bathroom, but it’s still that sharing aspect,” Wintling said. “I am
READ HOUSING, PAGE 3
University prepares to build West Campus Housing Complex By Andrew Osegi News Reporter The Texas State University System’s Board of Regents approved the construction of an approximately $60.5 million West Campus Housing Complex at their July 25 meeting. The housing complex is projected to begin construction mid semester and is a part of the university’s 2012-2017 Campus Master Plan. The projected completion date is summer 2014, with the hall opening to residents for the 2014 fall semester. The new residence hall is being built to accommodate the growing population of students living on campus. According to Texas State’s Campus Construction webpage, the West Campus Housing Complex will hold 578 beds in suite-styled rooms. The suites will have two bedrooms joined by a single bathroom. Three courtyards are a part of the complex. One will be designated for outdoor activities and sports, one for quiet studying and a third will serve as an entryway. The complex will also include a small community building, meeting rooms, group study areas, offices
and lounges. The site, located near Blanco Hall and the Glade Theater, is currently being surveyed by pre-construction services. Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for Finance and Support Services, said the complex is being built to replace the demolished Falls Hall. This hall will also accommodate students who are in dorms that are anticipating major renovations, including Burleson, Laurel, Brogden and Hornsby Halls, she said. “The student population increase has forced some on-campus hopefuls to move out of the residence halls, but this new complex is expected to take in a large amount of students, most of whom will be freshmen,” Nusbaum said. Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life, said the West Campus Housing Complex will share similarities with the recently opened $33 million North Campus Housing Complex. The new housing development shares similarities with Gaillardia and Chautauqua Halls, the two dorms in the North Campus Housing Complex, but it will have its own
Image courtesy of Texas State University
Funds for the West Campus Housing Complex have been approved at less than $60.5 million. Construction is set to begin within the month and is projected for completion in the fall of 2014. unique structural layout and will retain an agreeable exterior, Proite said. The architectural design will match the rest of the campus’ theme. “This school is in the middle of great transition,” Proite said. “New, up-to-date
residence halls are the next big steps for residential life on campus and the university’s master plan.” Nusbaum said the environmental and municipal impact of this construction project is expected to be minimal.
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McGraw-Hill selects Bobcat as student ambassador By Monica Solis News Reporter
Katrina Barber, Staff Photographer
Justin Garelick, health and fitness management junior, is Texas State’s student ambassador for the McGraw-Hill publishing company. The program is implemented at 13 campuses across the country.
A Texas State student is one of a handful of chosen representatives across the country educating classmates about services that could improve their academic performance. Justin Garelick, health and fitness management junior, was chosen by McGraw-Hill Higher Education to represent Texas State through their Student Ambassador Program, which was implemented for the first time this year. Garelick said McGraw-Hill’s program helped him reach his own academic goals. As a student ambassador, Garelick said he represents McGraw-Hill by informing faculty and students about services the company provides. He will primarily promote the company’s Connect program, which professors use to provide study tools specific to their lectures. Garelick will conduct focus groups on campus to directly help students with the program’s various study tools. Texas State is one of 13 schools in the McGraw-Hill Higher Education Student Ambassador Program. McGraw-Hill selected Garelick out of hundreds of applicants across the country.
“I wasn’t expecting to get (the position) and was really excited when they called,” Garelick said. “I’m excited to be helping other students realize the benefits of what the program has to offer.” Garelick will also be promoting awareness of McGraw-Hill’s study tools by leading classroom presentations and will act as a resource to students by being available through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Joe Mahshie, associate marketing manager at McGraw-Hill, said the company looks for outgoing pupils who have success stories when selecting student ambassadors. “Justin was an outstanding candidate,” Mahshie said. “He stuck out from day one and has continued to.” Garelick said John Huber, his freshman psychology lecturer, recommended he apply to the program. Garelick took Huber’s introduction to psychology class, in which he failed the first exam. After that, Garelick was persistent in going to Huber’s office with questions regarding ways to improve. “He was a student who was helping himself,” Huber said. “I would suggest, ‘You need to do this. You need to do that,’ and he would come back and do
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just really interested to see if (the residents) come out of their rooms, if they will hang out with each other and things like that.” Miranda Barrera, communication disorders freshman, moved into her dorm with the help of her family and Cats Crew. She said she is excited to live in a room that no one has ever lived in before. “My roommate was in Chautauqua already. She requested me, so I got in here,” Barrera said. “If she hadn’t, I
would have been in one of the older dorms.” Barrera said she is optimistic about the school year and her new home. “I’m looking forward to everything — the freedom, knocking my classes out and all that good stuff,” she said. Jessica Jordan, dance freshman, was the first student to move into Gaillardia Hall Aug. 18. “I am really excited,” Jordan said. “I just happened to get (this dorm). I don’t think it will take me long to
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move in. I just have a lot of boxes. I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new people.” Jordan was greeted by a cheering group of resident assistants and resident directors. “We celebrated the life of halls when we tore them down,” Proite said. “We decided we should celebrate the beginning of this one so that one hundred years from now someone can say, ‘Jessica was the first resident’ and make memories.”
twice as much work as we anticipated.” Per Huber’s suggestions, Garelick utilized the online study tools provided by McGraw-Hill linked to his class, which he attributes as a major contribution to his success in the class. “If you really do put the effort into (the program), it really can help you,” Garelick said. “Use the tools that are given to you.” Huber said having Garelick as a student ambassador will help students using the McGraw-Hill programs for the first time because he has personal experience using them. “He is going to be an invaluable source for the students,” Huber said. “This (student ambassador position) is also going to be a great segue to life after college. He is going to be ready for the workforce. I see what successful people look like, and that’s Justin.” Garelick currently works part-time coaching at Texas Football Academy, and anticipates graduating from Texas State in May or August of 2013. Garelick said he hopes to market for McGraw-Hill in the future, but would also like to teach and coach at a local high school, eventually working up to a sports management or sports marketing role.
4 | Monday August 28, 2012 | The University Star
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Students, residents must brace for Tech game mayhem
Kara Ramer, Star Illustrator
Bobcat Stadium and San Marcos’ infrastructure will soon be stretched to its limit. Get ready. On September 8, legions of football fans will arrive for Texas State’s opening home contest against Texas Tech, along with a strong showing of Bobcat fans, alumni and students. As of this issue, 24,000 tickets — and counting up to the capacity of 30,000 — have been sold, according to the Texas State ticket office. Already set to be larger than that of any other in Bobcat football history, the massive crowd will arrive just in time for the completion of Bobcat Stadium’s renovations -— welcome necessities, at least for this particular game. There will also be no shortage of confusion, disarray and general pandemonium. Aquarena Springs Drive, a heavily clogged road even on typical Saturday evenings, will bear the brunt of the day’s onslaught. Traffic on Aquarena Springs is expected to be so dense exit 206 will be closed to prevent spillover from interfering with access road traffic, and spectators coming from the north will be directed to exit 207. Visitors from the south and those who missed the redirect at exit 207 will be funneled onto Highway 80 at exit 205. From there, Charles Austin and Thorpe Streets will form a temporary, clockwise one-way loop to and from
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the stadium. Even experienced San Marcos drivers will encounter some difficulty navigating the new circumstances, especially when they find that the connections of Mill, West and Eastwood streets to Aquarena Springs Drive are closed. No changes will be made to The Square’s traffic flow, but it will be far from safe as drivers from Highway 80 who missed the turn onto Charles Austin get tangled in its network of one-way streets, likely due to unfamiliarity with San Marcos’ roads. Every single student who lives in San Marcos, from inexperienced freshmen to returning seniors living on- or off-campus, whether attending or not, will be affected by this game. Regardless of the final score, Sept. 8’s game will make a bold appearance in Texas State’s record books. University history will be made, and all students are strongly encouraged to be a part of it by getting a ticket and attending tailgate. However, responsibility, planning ahead and common sense, above all, will be absolutely critical during the incoming mayhem. Students who are planning to attend should find a friend who isn’t attending but can drop them off and pick them up from the stadium, because Texas State’s typical parking difficulties will be made trivial by the congestion expected on Saturday. If parking is an absolute necessity, they need to arrive early. Very early. Whatever time seems reasonable to beat the traffic, they should show up an hour (or five) earlier than that. Additionally, they must make
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certain the lot they choose to park in allows event parking. While most official Texas State lots will be labeled, private lots nearby may be riskier, no matter how tempting. In the process of parking and tailgating, fans of both sides will intermingle. Texas Tech’s fans will arrive in full force and should not be underestimated. Anyone who doubts Tech’s turnout should be aware that Texas State’s ticket office has reported occurrences of Tech fans buying up Texas State season passes simply for better seats, to be used presumably only at the one game against Tech. Students will likely encounter Tech fans who have driven the eight hours from Lubbock to watch their team and see what San Marcos has to offer. These fans are guests to the city and should be treated as such, regardless of the game’s results and stressful traffic conditions.
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.
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Opinions | The University Star | Monday August 28, 2012 | 5
Texas State can conserve energy while beating the heat
By Ariella Hannon Opinions Columnist Air conditioning is convenient and accessible during the summer months, but it is also worth conserving. In the summer heat, almost any outdoor activity results in fatigue and sweat. San Marcos residents are left to swim or blast air conditioning in the hopes of cooling off, with few other options. Unfortunately, not everyone has the convenience of a pool or the time to visit
the San Marcos River. As a result, some locals choose to stay cool inside and pay the price of high summer electric bills. It is important that one conserves energy while surviving the heat. Texas State adopted Sustainability as its Common Experience theme during the 2010-2011 school year. In subsequent semesters, Texas State worked with students to foster the idea of conserving all natural resources. To embrace the theme, students placed recycling bins around campus and in areas such as the residence halls. However, during the hot summer months, recycling is not the primary problem. There are plenty of rooms and buildings that are not in use during summer school sessions. Nevertheless, Texas State cools the buildings the same way as during the regular school year. If Texas State’s administrators are truly interested in conserving energy, they could reserve condensed air-conditioning specifically for the active
summer classrooms in select parts of the campus. In turn, they would avoid the unnecessary cooling of a large number of unused rooms. Thermostats turn down inside as the heat rises outside. According to a July 11 University Star article, Tom Taggart, director of public services, said a string of 100-degree days usually means that energy peaks will surge higher than historical levels. Fortunately for San Marcos, there have been very few triple-digit days. However, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas saw record-breaking electricity demand levels on June 25 and 26. In addition, Taggart said that turning thermostats a few degrees higher can help cut electrical costs and decrease energy demand overall. Other tips include closing window shades, keeping air conditioning filters clean, and keeping the temperature of living spaces higher when no one is home, according to an April 9 U.S. News
and World Report article. According to a Dec. 13 USA Today article, household electric bills have skyrocketed considerably in the past five years. On average, households paid $1,419 for electricity in 2010. Additionally, data in the article shows electricity costs are now a greater share of Americans’ aftertax income than at any time since 1996. Students should still be courteous to the environment, even if they live on campus and do not have to pay an electric bill each month. Conserving energy will help lower the electric costs for the university as a whole. During the summer months, conserving energy is even more important when the Texas heat is almost unavoidable. A common way conservation can be achieved is by monitoring the use of air conditioning. Overall, it is important to be aware of the impact individual consumption has on the community.
Take the time to be a Health should be considered in vending quality roommate machine choices
By Savannah Wingo Opinions Columnist Campus vending machines should have more nutritious options available for students on the go. Vending machines tend to be the only choice for many Bobcats who want to squeeze in a last-minute snack between classes. Currently, several types of foods in campus vending machines are nutritionally inferior and offer nothing but fat and sugar. The pickings are slim for students who do not have the time to stop at Paws-N-Go to grab an apple, but still want to retain healthy eating habits. There should be a greater variety of tasty foods, although there are a few low-calorie options such as cereal bars available in vending machines around campus. While lots of healthy snacks may be inappropriate in a standard vending machine due to a low shelf life, there are still several other options that could be offered to students. Instead of fat and calorie packed snacks, Texas State vending machines should be stocked with dried fruit, raw nuts or even 100-calorie packs of popular snack foods. If these changes were implemented, students might start to improve their eating habits overall. Obesity is an increasingly trouble-
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some issue in the United States, and American college campuses are not exempt. According to a 2011 report by the American College Health Association, 29.2 percent of college students are considered overweight or obese. Texas State can combat this issue by providing a wide range of options for eating, especially within the traditionally unhealthy vending machines on campus. Last semester, dining halls began to provide nutritional information for all foods. To continue on the path toward a healthier campus, Texas State should begin to assess the health of vending machine foods as well. In the future, the university could also invest in specialized vending machines to hold fruit, yogurt and other perishable products that might not work in a traditional vending machine. Currently, the laws of supply and demand help dictate what is stocked in our vending machines. Unsurprisingly, most of the foods in demand are the ones that are the unhealthiest. There should be additional factors that determine which snacks are offered in the vending machines. If a slightly extended range of wholesome products were offered, the profitability of campus vending machines could stay intact. Furthermore, if students were given healthier alternatives to choose from, they may turn down unhealthy options. Students who already lead a healthcentered lifestyle may also be more likely to buy from vending machines with wholesome snacks. Although students across the nation continue to make unhealthy food choices, Texas State should continue on its path to become a more healthconscious campus by providing a greater range of nutritious products in the vending machines.
By Ariella Hannon Opinions Columnist For many students, the beginning of the fall semester signals change with a variety of new classes, friends, activities and, most importantly, roommate situations. Whether it is your first time living away from home or you are living with your latest batch of roommates, it is important to know the ins-andouts of being a good roommate. There can always be strife between roommates, no matter if a roommate situation was previously arranged or if it was a potluck decision. Knowing a roommate beforehand does not prevent relationship issues. It is always important to keep good roommate practices in mind. Tips for becoming a good roommate include addressing the little things that bother you, like respecting your roommate’s belongings. It’s important to follow the golden rule and always remembering you can be friendly without necessarily being best friends with your roommates, according to an article on About.com. Although dorm life is not ideal for many Texas State students, it is a requirement for new freshmen. Living in close quarters, such as a dorm room, occasionally creates more issues than apartment life due to close everyday interactions. It is very important to communicate because of the limited space in dorm rooms. For a lot of people, the cleanliness of their living quarters becomes an issue. During my freshman year, my
roommate was anything but clean, but kept her unorganized disaster on her side of the room where it was not in the way. Because we had excellent communication, she was able to live comfortably how she wanted, and I was able to keep my side of the room clean. Roommate relationships are a lot like marital relationships, in that compromise is often the key to happiness. Living in an apartment with roommates allows for more privacy and personal freedom than dorm rooms, but that does not mean boundaries are no longer necessary. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink for a week or allowing four bags of garbage to pile up is not conducive to a stress-free relationship with your roommates. “If you fill up the trash, take out the trash,” said Brandon Ricks, English senior,. “Making the place stinky will make your roommate, no matter how gentle a soul they are, contemplate punching you.” It is important to give your roommate a chance before you judge them. Learn about their everyday habits, and try to work around each other’s schedules. Going out late at night, waking up early or just being unnecessarily noisy are all habits that can really affect your roommate relationship in a dorm room or apartment. Giving your roommates the benefit of the doubt also eliminates unnecessary issues. Having a roommate requires a lot of patience and understanding. It is easy to get frustrated and upset, but it is important to keep relationships from falling apart due to little things that may bother you. The perfect roommate relationship is not possible for everyone, and it is not always going to be easy. Do not give up on your roommate – they are probably as stressed as you are with school sometimes. Finally, remember to treat your roommate and their belongings the way you would want to be treated. Good luck.
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