VOLUME 102, ISSUE 9
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
WEDNESDAY GO NE ONLI NOW
SEPTEMBER 12, 2012
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COLOR COORDINATING Parking options disproportionate between students, faculty, staff
Residents show support at 9/11 memorial
By Greg Tate News Reporter
Parking Spaces Resident – 3,103 All Zone – 5,061 Campus Apartments – 963 Falculty/Staff – 2,200 Commuter Perimeter – 482 Handicap – 380 Visitor – 92 Car Pool – 51 Total number of parking spaces in different lots on campus according to figures obtained from Parking Services
There are approximately 11 times as many Texas State students as faculty and staff members. However, there are only about two times as many student-exclusive parking spaces as faculty- and staff-exclusive spaces. There are 4,599 parking spaces exclusively for students across commuter, resident, campus apartments and carpool lots. There are 2,200 parking spots for faculty and staff. There are an additional 5,061 non-exclusive, all-zone parking spaces for students, staff and faculty. Joe Richmond, director of Transportation Services, said his department is in the process of reallocating parking resources to better accommodate the university. The parking lot next to the tennis courts had 96 spaces recently reassigned as red parking for faculty and staff only. The spaces were changed to red to compensate for parking spaces near the College of Education that are now unusable due to construction in the area. Student parking spaces in the tennis court lot that were lost due to the reassignment have been moved to perimeter commuter lots. Richmond said there is the assumption that because Texas State faculty and staff come to campus every day, they should have higher quality parking spaces. Richmond said the general industry standard for a reasonable walk to campus is a quarter mile to half a mile. “There’s walking involved in everything we’re going to be doing in the future,” Richmond said. “Historically, because of the ample parking, people didn’t have to walk very far. They got to park pretty close. That’s not the story anymore. ” Richmond said students can be broken down into two categories: those who commute and those who live on-campus. Most of the parking spaces on campus are primarily utilized by faculty, staff and students living in residence halls, Richmond said. Texas State is in the process of replacing surface parking lots with garages, Richmond said. However, garages are more expensive to build than surface lots, so there has to be a balance between the construction cost of garages and the price of parking permits. “The more convenient the parking is, the
READ PARKING, PAGE 2
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
San Marcos residents showed their support for 9/11 victims by lowering the flags to half-mast. By Andrew Osegi News Reporter Eleven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, residents gathered at San Marcos City Hall Tuesday for the Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony. Mayor Daniel Guerrero said it was a day to honor and show appreciation for the service members the country “owes so much” to. “We are here to remember and honor those on the front lines,” Guerrero said. “We depend on and admire our veterans, leaders, fire fighters and emergency responders of all kinds.” City councilmembers, firefighters, municipal workers and citizens were in attendance. By the time Guerrero was ready to deliver his speech, a crowd of more than 50 residents had gathered. “The impact of that day reminds us of our vulnerability as a nation, but also gives us strength as we remember the courage of those emergency responders who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others,” Guerrero said. “As we raise our nation’s flag, try to remember where you were that life-changing day.” An honor guard then proceeded to raise the American flag at half-mast. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited directly afterward. San Marcos Fire Chief Les Stephens
READ 9/11, PAGE 2
Increase in SMPD patrols to occur only during large events By Karen Zamora News Reporter Despite the number of recent hit-and-runs, the San Marcos Police Department will not increase the number of officers patrolling the downtown area. SMPD Commander Penny Dunn said the department has noticed an increase in pedestrian-vehicle fatalities since May 2009, when local bars extended their closing time from midnight to 2 a.m. Dunn said there have been nine vehicle fatalities since Jan. 1. Of the nine car-related deaths recorded this year, five were pedestrians. Dunn said five vehicle fatalities were recorded in 2011, and three were pedestrians. Although the recent hit-and-runs did not take place during a game day weekend, SMPD is only planning to increase the number of officers patrolling downtown during large events. Dunn said they would only increase the
number of officers when there is an event, like a football game, that brings in a large volume of bar-goers. She said on a normal night there are usually two police officers patrolling downtown. San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams said there were 10 police officers patrolling The Square Saturday night after the Texas State vs. Texas Tech football game. He hopes to eventually have more officers downtown, but in the meantime there will only be an increase during game day weekends. Williams said officers stopped pedestrians who were jaywalking Saturday night and informed them about the dangers of not crossing at an intersection. He said this was in response to a Sept. 2 hit-and-run that left three pedestrians injured. According to a Sept. 6 University Star article, the incident occurred in downtown San Marcos at approximately 2 a.m. during Labor Day weekend. Cas Kutach was a criminal justice junior,
but had to withdraw from Texas State after sustaining multiple physical injuries during the incident. The two other injured pedestrians, his sister and brother-in-law, are Texas State alumni. Kutach, Kristin Fanelli and Roman Fanelli were crossing the Hopkins and North LBJ intersection after leaving Taxi’s Piano Bar when a pickup truck struck Roman Fanelli first, then Kutach. Kutach said the truck nipped his sister’s leg, but she was not severely injured. He said it was their rightof-way, and the driver was speeding and intoxicated. Kutach was released from Brackenridge Hospital in Austin six days after the accident. The injuries he received were a fractured skull, a shattered knee with multiple torn ligaments, a broken right arm, several cracked ribs and a punctured lung. He requires surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene,
but several witnesses were able to write down her license plate number, Kutach said. She ran a red light before hitting him and his relatives. The driver, 25-year-old Tiffany Dahl, was charged with three counts of failure to stop and render aid and two counts of intoxication assault. Dahl was released from jail after posting the $75,000 bond on the five charges. Williams said SMPD is trying to get ahead of the curve to “prevent collisions from happening, period.” He wants pedestrians to be mindful of where they are walking, and to use the proper intersections. Keeping people out of the streets and making sure they are crossing at the appropriate time would solve a lot of the auto-pedestrian collisions, Williams said. “There is not a whole lot we can do,” Williams said. “It’s really hard for us to have any proactive effort to reduce the leaving-thescene collisions.”
Commissioners Court considers handicap parking program By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor Hays County Commissioners voted to begin research and discussion with Access Improvement, a non-profit corporation, to help the county’s Parking Mobility Program during their Sept. 11 meeting. Access Improvement would aid in penalizing those parking in handicapped spaces without necessity. Mark Kennedy, special counsel to the court, said the Access Improvement soft-
ware program will be a more efficient way of taking down and storing incidents of individuals parking in handicapped spaces without a placard or license plate. First time offenders will have the option of an educational program through Access Improvement that is similar to defensive driving. The program costs $250 for the offender, but they can decline the program and pay the $500 fine or take their case to trial in an attempt to get it dismissed. “People need to know it is not ok to do this,” Kennedy said. “It will be treated like
any other misdemeanor offense.” Ray Whisenant, commissioner for Precinct 4, said his constituents had voiced concerns about the proposal. He said they were worried about being able to appeal the fine if they had a placard or license plate and were wrongly accused. The questions of money and whether the justice of the peace will preside over these cases are still topics of discussion. The court moved forward with the process of deciding whether or not to implement the program. Judge Bert Cobb said another issue with
the proposal is the availability to receive a handicapped placard or license plate in the state of Texas. If the offender has a placard but is not handicapped, the ticket still will not go to court. The court said getting the word out to the community will be vital to the success of the program, if it is approved for use. “It’s a good program and I am looking forward to it,” Cobb said. “We are trying to educate the public to not misuse the handicapped parking spots. When you don’t enforce the law, people disregard it.”
2 | Wednesdau September 12, 2012 | The University Star
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
shared the history of American fire fighters and their sacrifices during the Sept. 11 attacks. Amid the following silence, the San Marcos fire bell was struck 15 times, with three pauses between every fifth strike. Stephens said the “tolling of the bell” is a tradition symbolizing sacrifice in the line of duty. “The bell rings in tribute of their lives in service,” Stephens said. “It’s important for students to remember this day for not just those who died in the act of duty, but what it meant for the United
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States in the new 21st century.” Those who felt their lives were affected by that fateful day were then asked to place a rose on the flower memorial provided by the city. John Thomaides, Place 3 city councilman, said this was his 11th ceremony with the city, but the crowd seems to get smaller every year. “The crowd today was relatively smaller than what I remember,” Thomaides said. “I have no doubt that this day is branded into the memories of many, but it’s sad to see that active support is diminishing.”
Cactus planter petition delayed
Kathryn Parker, Staff Photographer
Texas State has designated more restricted parking spaces at the Peques Street parking lot.
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Joe Ptak, owner of Planet K San Marcos, filed a petition to amend the city ordinance on junk vehicles to save “Ralph,” the cactus planter in front of the store. By Adrian Omar Ramirez News Reporter Planet K manager Joe Ptak has hit another speed bump on his way to returning Ralph, the store’s infamous carturned-cactus-planter, to the front of the shop. Ptak has been petitioning to return the planter, which was removed in 2010 because it was in violation of the city’s junk vehicle ordinance. Ptak hoped to put the issue to a vote in the November election. However, Ptak’s petition was not entered on deadline. Ptak said he later discovered the deadline had been moved up. Ptak said he was prepared to turn in the petition 64 days ahead of time, but was “stunned” to find out the City of San Marcos has to receive petitions 75 days in advance of the election. Jamie Pettijohn, city clerk, said the deadline does not have anything to do with this being an election year. According to Pettijohn, the 75-day deadline is outlined in sections 6.04 and 6.10 of the city’s charter. Within 45 days of a petition’s filing, the city clerk must determine if the petition has been properly signed. City council then has 30 days to adopt the ordinance or call an election. Because of confusion over the deadlines, Ptak’s petition would not appear
until the May elections at the earliest, which he said wouldn’t be ideal. Ptak’s other option would be to attempt to put the petition on the November 2013 ballot. He said there would be a major problem in regards to the validity of the petition’s signatures. “Signatures are only valid for 180 days,” Ptak said. “We would need people who signed the petition to sign again.” Another issue Ptak said he faced was the labeling of “suspense voters.” Ptak said there are 1,150 suspense voters in San Marcos, which are registered voters who have no record of voting activity. If a suspense voter signed the petition, Ptak said the city would not be able to count it. “There was a time when there were other opportunities to call elections,” Ptak said. “Now there are only two, May and November, and all the big elections are in November.” Michelle Ratliff, Planet K employee, gathered the most signatures for the petition besides Ptak himself. Ratliff said she’s going to continue “sticking up for what is right and fair.” She enjoys spreading the word because a lot of people don’t know what is happening surrounding the cactus planter. “I love my job. It’s easy to do, and I stay motivated,” Ratliff said. “I just hope everybody gets what they want.”
more expensive it’s going to be,” Richmond said. Richmond said if a faculty member is making a “decent” salary, they will be willing to pay more to park closer to campus. “We’re here for the students,” Richmond said. “But if we make the assumption that the students don’t come (to campus) every day, they don’t need that same spot every day.” The recent opening of the North Campus Housing Complex added more than 600 beds to campus. However, no parking spaces were added to accommodate for the influx of students living on campus. Richmond said some universities do not allow freshmen to have cars on campus. However, some hall residents bring their cars to campus, park them and let them sit in a parking lot for as long as a week at a time. “Some of (the cars) sit there until the tires go low and the battery goes dead,” Richmond said. “They think they need the car, but in reality, they don’t drive it that much.” As a result, prices for parking in garages
and surface lots near residence halls are expected to increase in the future, Richmond said. Lara Knapp, biology sophomore, said parking is inconvenient for students. She said faculty parking lots should be open for students as well. “I don’t want to be parking two miles away and have to hike all the way down to The Quad,” Knapp said. “That’s not fun. All of these stairs (on-campus)? No.” Breanna Baker, wildlife biology freshman, said Texas State’s parking situation needs improvement. She was accustomed to parking near the tennis courts before they were converted to faculty parking. However, she thinks faculty members should have priority when it comes to allocating parking spaces. “I’ve gotten along just fine without being able to park close to class,” Baker said. Richmond said freshmen should forget whatever expectations about parking they have. “The smartest thing you can do is walk,” Richmond said. “Walk is a four letter word, but everybody needs to do it.”
Car accident leaves cyclist critically injured By Megan Carthel News Reporter A vehicle struck a cyclist on Highway 123 around 6:20 a.m. Tuesday. The cyclist, 57-year-old Sidney “Bud” Turner, and the driver of the vehicle were traveling inbound near Monterrey Oaks Drive when the driver hit Turner from behind with his two-door sedan. The driver called 911 at the scene, and Turner was transported with critical injuries to Brackenridge Hospital via Emergency Medical Services. Sergeant Chris Tureaud, supervisor of the San Marcos Police Department’s Collision Investigation team, said the accident was “pretty serious.” Tureaud said there are no shoulders in the area where the incident occurred. However, the cyclist is as entitled to the
road as any vehicle. Turner had a headlight on his bike, a requirement in Texas, and a red reflector on the back. Police are still investigating the incident and hope to find out whether the driver was distracted in any fashion. The driver of the vehicle did not see Turner until after the incident, Tureaud said. Tureaud said even though the driver dialed 911, if he did anything negligent, he could still face charges. If the driver had fled the scene, he would be facing a felony. Citizens need to pay attention while driving, riding or walking, and cyclists should wear a helmet and make sure other vehicles see them, Tureaud said. “When you’re driving, you’re driving a weapon,” Tureaud said. “Things happen in a blink of an eye. You’ve got to be paying attention.”
Sept. 8, 4:20 P.M. Jowers Hall Minor in possession of alcohol A student was cited for minor in possession. The case is under judicial review. Sept. 8, 4:05 P.M. Aquarena Springs Drive Public intoxication Two students were cited for public intoxication. One student was transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center and is awaiting a court date. Sept. 8, 3:36 P.M. Jowers Hall Minor in possession of alcohol A student was cited for minor in possession of alcohol. This case is under judicial review. Sept. 8, 7:40 A.M. Speck Street Prostitution A student reported that an unknown male solicited sex for money. This case is under investigation. Sept. 8, 3:34 A.M. Matthew Street Driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor A student was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and another student was cited and arrested for public intoxication. Both were transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center are awaiting a court date. Sept. 8, 2:09 A.M. Hutchison Street Open container in vehicle A student and two non-students were issued citations for open container in a motor vehicle. The case is under judicial review. —Courtesy of University Police Department
Austin Humphreys, Star Photo Editor
Megan Elder, aquatic biology senior, searches for aquatic insects Sept. 10 at the San Marcos River headwaters near Sewell Park.
The University Star | Wednesday September 12, 2012 | 3
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Drinking and driving: there is no excuse
Haley Householder, Star Illustrator
tudents and residents of San Marcos need to pay attention to the warnings against drunk driving they hear each day. The slogans, posters and presentations denouncing drunk driving are nearly as omnipresent in college life as the alcohol they warn against. When any message, no matter how well intentioned, is thrown in a person’s face as rapidly and repeatedly as anti-drunk driving campaigns, the meaning can begin to get lost in the noise. However, drunk driving remains a dangerous activity and leaves absolutely no excuse for the Sept. 2 hit-and-run incident that left three people hospitalized and the driver of the car that hit them in jail. Pedestrians in an area as concentrated as The Square depend on the respon-
sibility of every single driver on the road for their safety. As the city saw last week, just one intoxicated driver is enough to seriously compromise the well being of everyone in the vicinity. Fortunately, San Marcos police were able to stop and apprehend the driver in question. Tiffany Dahl, 25, is currently out of jail on $75,000 bail and faces three felony charges of failure to stop and render aid as well as two counts of intoxication assault. Only Dahl and the people she was with know the amount of alcohol that contributed to the incident and how enjoyable the night may have been to that point. However, it is doubtful she considers those memories worth it with the consequences she faces now. Drinking is not an inherently shameful activity. The economy of San Marcos, especially The Square, relies on the sale and consumption of alcohol by responsible adults looking for ways to relax and enjoy themselves after working and studying. For an area so heavily
trafficked, The Square is usually a safe place to enjoy such activities, as long as proper precautions are taken. However, incidents like the one on Sept. 4 threaten the safety of everyone involved and damage San Marcos’ reputation. The issue of drunk driving does not stem from lack of education, but application of that knowledge. In this age of public service announcements and multi-million dollar campaigns, no one of drinking age can reasonably claim not to know the dangers of drinking and driving. Problems occur when the time arises to make the decision to drive after drinking. Too many people choose the wrong option, with potentially deadly results. A small town like San Marcos cannot afford to be known as a place where such dangers are common, especially since the university works hard to improve its reputation with parents of future students. Though the public has heard this message thousands of times before, it obviously was not enough last week. Anyone
who chooses to drink accepts the responsibility for all of his or her actions under the influence. Every group should include a driver responsible for getting their friends home safely. Drinking has its own dangers in itself, but they can be sharply reduced if the alcohol is handled properly. But drinking and driving is always dangerous and oftentimes fatal. Three peers to the thousands of students and residents across San Marcos were hospitalized because of one drinker’s negligence. There is no excuse.
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.
Cape Road bridge renovations are much needed, well-timed
By Ariella Hannon Opinions Columnist
f $800,000 is going to be spent to replace the bridge on Cape Road, it should be beautiful, structurally sound and convenient for residents and tourists. The fate of the bridge has been a topic of discussion with the Texas Department of Transportation for more than a year. The bridge is located in John J. Stokes City Park near Thompson’s Island. TxDOT and city officials are now on board to replace the bridge, which provides a path for residents and visitors over the San Marcos River. According to an Aug. 30 University Star article, con-
struction is set to begin Sept. 10, and the project is supposed to last no longer than four months. The $800,000 bridge update may seem costly, but it will benefit the community overall. It is important that the bridge is replaced due to its age and condition, according to the agenda from a June 19 city council meeting. In addition, the completed project will widen and raise the bridge for improved safety and mobility. Aside from making repairs for regulation and safety reasons, the bridge is old and could use a little modernization. It was smart for officials to start construction on the bridge during the colder months when the project would not discourage tourists, tubers and kayakers from enjoying the river. According to the same article, TxDOT and the bridge contractor, Dan Williams Company in Austin, originally planned to shut down the river from IH-35 to the construction site. Under that plan, people would have to exit the water and catch the river about a half-mile downstream. However, since exiting the water could harm businesses, like T&G Canoes, officials and locals joined efforts to design a plan around the construction area. Instead of disadvantaging those who want to enjoy the river, the contractor of the project decided to cutoff
the traffic closer to the bridge. That way, kayakers and tubers could use the left channel or get out of the river and only walk a little way downstream. If the contractor had chosen to make people get out and walk about half a mile, business owners, families and tourists would have been inconvenienced. Due to the September to December time frame, the construction of the bridge is not only needed, but it is made more convenient for the community. If officials had chosen to start construction on the bridge during the summer months, or even late spring, the traffic flow on the river would have made construction a hassle. Also, it would have most likely discouraged many people from entering the water in the first place. Although kayakers may be a little inconvenienced due to traffic control and congestion, the number of people present during the cooler months does not come close to the amount on the river during the spring and summer. After a pending stage, the bridge on Cape Road is finally coming to fruition. With the compromise of construction plans for the bridge, cooperation between TxDOT and the city will greatly benefit river-goers, local businesses and the community as a whole.
Construction signals new growth for Texas State
By Christian Penichet-Paul Opinions Columnist Construction signs and wire fences around Texas State are now as iconic as the Bobcat statue near the bus loop. Even though construction on campus may appear to be an everlasting endeavor, it is critical to the continued growth of the campus. As Texas State strives to improve the campus, the inconvenience of construction has gotten in the way of many students. Some students are forced to walk farther distances around construction sites to get to class. Oth-
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ers must give up on shortcuts and merge into the flowing mass of people in The Quad. Yet the construction of new projects around campus is good news because it points to a better and stronger future for the university. Additionally, construction projects will help build the reputation of Texas State. New buildings, like the recently completed Undergraduate Academic Center, will increase the amount of classroom space. According to an Aug. 20 University Star article, the center now serves as the academic home for psychology, sociology and political science majors. Instead of being overcrowded in an older building, these three departments now have more classroom space and better facilities. It is also compelling to have a university with up-todate facilities. The Performing Arts Center Complex, which should be completed in September 2013, will give students a better venue to create and perform in quality productions. These new buildings will result in better educational opportunities and will complement Texas State’s recent classification as an emerging research institution. The new structures are also bound to affect pride in the university. There is something about seeing new buildings rise up that signals the university is moving forward. Improving facilities, buildings and dorms could strengthen pride among students. Eating food at a
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deteriorated dining hall does nothing to encourage students to care about their new home. New construction, on the other hand, would present a sense of improvement and dedication to make students feel proud about the university. Many students may graduate before much of the on-campus construction is completed. However, this should not create apathy or disdain for the current obstacles perpetrated by the construction projects. The new structures will likely help the university receive a better reputation. Students should consider the construction an investment for what their college diploma will be worth in the future. For example, the reputation of the University of Texas is not the same today as it was in the 1970s. The university has grown since then to become one of the best-known public institutions in the country. In a similar manner, new construction will benefit Texas State alumni in the future by increasing the reputation of the university and the value of its degrees. Shortcuts and easy routes to class have largely been blocked for the last two years. In many ways, the blockades around campus have been inopportune. However, it is important to remember that this new growth will have many positives aspects for Texas State and its students.
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“Happy” Mercado goes pro at partying By Amy Greene Trends Reporter For Amiel “Happy” Mercado, throwing parties, attending festivals and pushing vodka are all in a day’s work. Mercado, dubbed “Happy” at camp as a kid, certainly has something to smile about. His job as the Event Marketing Manager at Tito’s Handmade Vodka requires him to throw parties to promote the brand. A typical day at the office does not exist for Mercado. “If I am at a festival, I am on site until it’s over,” Mercado said. “Sometimes it’s 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., and then I do it all over again the next day.” Some of Mercado’s favorite music festivals where he represented Tito’s Handmade Vodka include SXSW, Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. Mercado said he likes the food and wine festivals too because he loves food and drinks. “It’s really awesome getting to taste the different flavors from around the country, and at the same time showcase our product to people who have good taste,” Mercado said. Mercado’s journey to his current job began at Texas State in 2003 as a marketing major. His top two colleges coming out of high school were the University of Texas and Texas State. He chose Texas State. “Without being the Texas State poster child, it’s a great value for the same education and for less money,” Mercado said. “It was kind of a no-brainer to stay there. Then, once I was at Texas State, I fell in love with it anyway.” Even before it became his job to throw parties for a living, Mercado was a happy guy. Lindsay Childers, Texas State alumna, remembers Mercado from her days living on campus. “We lived at San Jacinto Hall together. I saw him outside on the benches every day, talking to anyone and
everyone,” Childers said. “His name is really fitting. He isn’t in-your-face happy, but he has a great outlook on things, and he is very friendly.” Like many other students, Mercado had a few different jobs while in college. He worked at Gristmill in Gruene as a waiter and lead trainer, at Texas State as a camp advisor for summer camps, and at Camp Sweeney as an advisor for a couple of summers. His last job before graduation, and the one that had the biggest impact on his life, was an internship at Sweet Leaf Tea. He said as the semester progressed, the internship began to lean more toward event marketing. He talked Sweet Leaf Tea into becoming his first employer as a college graduate in 2007. “At the culmination of my internship and graduation, I convinced them to take me on to handle events,” Mercado said. “At that time, they didn’t have anyone working full-time doing local events. So I essentially became their first brand ambassador and field marketing manager.” Mercado said he started planning events locally for Sweet Leaf Tea, and eventually the company was sending him everywhere, including a trip to Lubbock in Sweet Leaf’s trademark school bus, which maxed out at 45 miles per hour and had no air conditioning or radio. “It was the longest nine hours of my life,” Mercado recalls. Mercado said his role at Sweet Leaf Tea evolved into a marketing manager. He supervised four event-marketing managers and took over Sweet Leaf Tea’s internship program. He has registered Sweet Leaf Tea with career services and hired many students from Texas State. But eventually it was time for a change. After receiving the blessing of his boss at Sweet Leaf Tea, Mercado began promoting Tito’s. He said the transition was an easy one. “Naturally, Sweet Leaf Tea and Tito’s Vodka go together,” Mercado said. “Both are locally-based prod-
Photo courtesy of Amiel Mercado
Amiel “Happy” Mercado, Texas State alumnus, is the event marketing manager at Tito’s Vodka.
ucts. They both party together throughout the year and trade products for different marketing events. I became friends with Tito’s and Beth Bellanti-Walker, who is now a Creative Partner.” Mercado said he some day hopes to have his own agency that could encompass digital marketing, event marketing, and festival productions.
Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice reveals musical influences By Amy Greene Trends Reporter
Austin Beavers, Staff Photographer
Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice performs every Monday night at Triple Crown.
The name Chief and TheDoomsDayDevice may conjure images of a full band dressed in black while singing songs about the end of time for some, or perhaps a group of musicians who despise Superman. On the contrary, Chief is a solo DJ, MC and music producer. Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice can be found at Triple Crown in San Marcos on Doomsday Mondays. In one recent performance, Chief introduced himself, pointed to a red box on stage, and said, “I have TheDoomsdayDevice with me.” He then hunkered down over the box and music started to pour out of the speakers. Chief, wearing his hooded jacket in a dim, blue light, began rapping in the microphone. Chief, also known as Texas State alumnus Greg Williams, said he created a name for himself that would keep people intrigued. TheDoomsdayDevice is a piece of musical equipment Williams performs with to perpetuate a sense of mystery. Williams moved from Austin to San Marcos in 1998 when he started classes at what was then Southwest Texas State University. He worked at KTSW for several years while in school and hosted a specialty show called Underground Sounds. “I really enjoyed the school and still enjoy the town, which is why I still live here,” Williams said. “Living in San Marcos is a nice breath of fresh air.” Williams said he has always enjoyed different kinds of music and meshing sounds of many genres together. He said that working at Sundance Records as a student opened up a never-ending stream of new music, though the best way to find out about songs is still through active research. “The lion’s share of finding out about music comes from talking to people and seeing what people are listening to and what they are into,” Williams said. “You talk to people
Dagar’s Catering keeps business in the family By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Trends Reporter What began as a working man’s café in early-1950s Austin has become one of Texas’ most well-regarded names in catering. Dagar’s Catering has worked with numerous public figures, corporations and universities in its 60 years of business–from blue to white collar, and everything in between. Kathryn Dagar-Albarado, Dagar’s Catering owner, said Downtown Austin was home to many mom-and-pop shops in the days before music festivals and traffic congestion. Among these was her late grandfather Freddie Dagar’s café, located at 511 E. Sixth St. Dagar-Albarado, Texas State alumna, said a chance encounter with a caterer at a meat market led her grandfather to expand his barbeque blue plate specials into the business it is today. “(My grandfather) asked him what catering was and he said, ‘Hell, I can do that,’” she said. Freddie Dagar closed the café and focused on catering for his growing list of clients as businesses started to move away from Sixth Street in the mid-1970s, Dagar-Albarado said. The business’ 1981 move off North Lamar in Austin saw Albert Dagar, Freddie’s son, at the helm. Albert Dagar, Southwest Texas State alumnus, used what he learned from his father and the events that occurred during his stay in New York to expand the business’ offerings and menu, Dagar-Albarado said. Dagar-Albarado said catering and rental companies were few-and-far-between in Texas. She said her mother, Donna Dagar, sewed tablecloths and skirting and baked and decorated wedding cakes when the business catered more formal events, such as those at the University of Texas. The business’ menu now includes multicultural food stations, such as crepes and pasta, but its fajita marinade and barbeque are triedand-true recipes. The family’s love of barbeque has rubbed off on Dagar-Albarado. As children, she and her brothers would routinely come home with red hands from rubbing down brisket with their grandfather in preparation for an event. Dagar-Albarado reminded her siblings fill-
ing cups at weddings or helping make 100 pounds of potato salad meant hanging out with their father. Dagar-Albarado said their volunteer work continued throughout college, and, as for her brothers, continues to this day. “That’s what the family did—that’s still what the family does,” she said. The humble roots of Dagar’s Catering run deep in Central Texas. Dagar’s Catering, referred to by some as the “most educated caterers in Austin,” has served Texas State, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University and St. Edward’s University. Texas State, formerly Southwest Texas State, nourished the mind, stomach and heart of Albert Dagar. He met his future wife in Commons Dining Hall. After her father’s death last May, DagarAlbarado continues to expand the business’ scope at its current location off West Kramer Lane in Austin as owner. “When you are born into a family business, there isn’t a choice of if you’re going to work,” she said. “It’s not necessarily what I was planning on doing, by any means.” Dagar-Albarado was surrounded by catering events her entire life, but her father believed it was important for her to learn every aspect of the business, which included loading and unloading trucks, fixing grills and ovens, washing dishes and cooking. Dagar-Albarado said one of the reasons the business has been successful for decades is its consistency. Dagar-Albarado said she learned from her family failure is not an option and there are no excuses, which has transcended into her business practices. “My grandfather taught my dad this and my father taught me this. There isn’t a job within your company that is too big or too small for you to do,” she said. “If you’re not willing to do it, don’t ask somebody else to do it.” Dagar-Albarado has since brought her husband, Frank Albarado, into the catering fold. As co-owner of DNA Events, Frank Albarado, Southwest Texas State alumnus, said it has been interesting to see the dynamic between the hospitality services business and Dagar’s Catering. “We saw a chance for a niche service to be filled,” he said. “There’s flexibility and the ability for it to grow.”
who are artists, musicians and other creative types. A lot of those folks are driven by music.” Troy Baham, creative writing grad student, shares the stage with Williams on occasion. Baham, also known as Symmatree, said he would describe Williams’ music as eclectic or ambient. “Even when he DJs, he pulls from every kind of genre to do mashups and mixups,” Baham said. “His sound is very broad.” Baham said Williams is versatile in his sound and talent, as he can be booked as an instrumentalist, a DJ and an MC. “I think his best work is the work he has invested in the most,” Baham said. “The work when he does all of the production and writes all of the verses too. He has full control of the project and it is truly his vision. I think he is the best when he is behind the board and behind the mic.” Williams is influenced by hip-hop artists such as El-P and Public Enemy. Williams said it’s because he loves the sound and the way they explore other types of music. He said these artists take complete ownership of their music, and that he is trying to release at least one more album before the end of the year. “I am working on a new album of solo material, all of my own beats and rhymes,” Williams said. “It is called Permanent Record. It will be a very personal record, kind of like a portfolio of the man who is Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice, a very honest one.” Williams said he has been laboring hard as a solo artist for the last few years, but it doesn’t seem like work because it is his passion. “It has to be something you would do even if nobody was listening,” Williams said. “I think you are really putting yourself into the music when you are making records for yourself, your family and a close circle of friends. I think you get a sense of the person when you listen to their music. It has to be a genuine expression of you.”
It makes you smarter.
The University Star | Wednesday September 12, 2012 | 5
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Bobcats struggle on South Carolina PGA course By Sam Rebbulke Sports Reporter The golf team couldn’t swing their way up the leaderboard after the team got a slow start through the second round of The Ocean Course invitational, finishing eighth. This was the season opener for the men, after the women placed first at the Chris Banister Classic in Huntsville, Ala. The Ocean Course hosted the 2012 PGA Championship won by Rory McIlroy, currently No. 1 in the world. Coach Shane Howell’s team consisted of red-shirt senior Luis Thiele, juniors Stuart Smallwood and Juan Diego Plasencia, sophomore Juan Carlos Benitez, and freshmen Justin Newby and Scott Tredo. For the first round, Thiele highlighted the Bobcats by shooting an opening round of 73. Thiele’s score of one over par placed him in a tie for fifth for individual performance. The first day at the Invitational concluded with the Bobcats shooting 308 collectively in the first 18 holes. Smallwood improved on day two by shooting two over par, 74, in the second round, giving him the low round of the day for Texas State. Smallwood and teammate Benitez finished tied for 27th at nine over par through the first two rounds of play for individual performance. Benitez’s score
rose by one stroke, shooting a 76. The Bobcats improved from the opening round, firing a 307 as a team Monday afternoon. The Ocean Course invitational ended with the Bobcats shooting 23 over par for the final day and 62 over par for the entirety of the tournament for a total score of 926. The team showed confidence as Benitez finished strong and saved his best round for last, shooting two over par, placing him 12th on the individual leader board. Thiele had an unsteady second round with ten over. However, he shot four over par to conclude the final round of The Ocean Course, which placed him at a tie for 21st. Florida State came in first with a total score of 882 and finished 18 over par, UT Arlington finished second with 906, Houston finished third with 912 and the host, College of Charleston, missed out on the top three by one stroke, shooting a total of 913. The top individual performance went to Scott Wolfes of Georgia Southern, shooting a total score of 220. However, Florida stole the headlines with four players in the top five standings. The Men’s Golf team will return to action Sept. 24 and 25 when it heads out to Boulder, Colo. for the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational.
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6 | Wednesday September 12, 2012 | The University Star | Sports
Hope remains for Bobcats in aftermath of Texas Tech game
By Jordan Brewer Assistant Sports Editor The aftermath may be overwhelmingly negative after a much-anticipated game, such as the one Texas State students have been talking about for almost a year, ends poorly. However, there were some positive thoughts following the Texas Tech match. The Red Raiders handled the Bobcats the entirety of the game after the first three and a half minutes, which excited maroon and gold wearers that day. On a positive note, the Bobcats were able to force a fourth down on Texas Tech’s first series in which the Red Raiders fumbled. For the other 56 and a half minutes, the Bobcats were playing catch-up. In a “David vs. Goliath” level of a matchup, the Bobcats had to come out swinging—which they did. “We were ready to play Texas Tech last season, but we were not ready to win,” Coach Dennis Franchione said before the recent game against the Red Raiders. The Bobcats were not only mentally ready to play Texas Tech this season, but they believed they could win. The Bobcats just weren’t physically ready. Texas Tech’s offensive line averaged 6 feet five inches and 316 pounds, while the Bobcats’ defensive line averaged 6 feet two inches and 257 pounds, a three-inch and 59-pound difference. The point is, when a much bigger offensive line is overpowering the defensive line, it does not allow Texas State to get any pressure, and when the Bobcats are playing against a quarterback like Seth Doege, it could be a long night. Let’s calm down a little, Bobcat fans—don’t get greedy. The transformation of Texas State’s campus and sports program has sped up to a point where it’s believed certain things can happen right now. They can’t quite yet, but the Bobcats are on the right track. Further, the secondary is left in
a lot of one-on-one matchups when there is no pressure coming from the defensive front. Texas Tech was going after cornerbacks Craig Mager and Daryl Morris all game. Both Morris and Mager had multiple pass interference calls placed on them. Mager gave up three touchdown passes, all of which were in the first half. The Bobcats could not get the Red Raiders off the field, even after coming through against a similar Houston offense a week prior in clutch situations where they needed to the most. In fact, the Red Raiders’ punter got the night off. He was helping the training staff ice down Doege’s shoulder and the receiver’s hands from so many passes being completed. Offensively the Bobcats were really moving the ball (during the first drive) on the ground with the help of sophomore running back Terrence Franks and senior quarterback Shaun Rutherford until the interception. The phrase “so quiet you could hear a pin drop” was never more true than it was at the 11:25 mark in the first quarter—after Red Raider safety Cody Davis picked off Rutherford and ran the ball back 88 yards to the house— besides the screaming Tech fans. The school spirit and excitement for the Texas Tech game had never been seen in Texas State’s history. Obviously, the amount of fans in the stands is the most historically. Bobcat fans showed their pride in full force, from the white towels waving to the tune of “All I Do Is Win,” (don’t take it literally) to the humongous American Flag during the National Anthem and the tailgate setups scattered throughout San Marcos. The university experienced so much during that Saturday that it never had before—not even close. Texas State did not win the football game Saturday against Texas Tech, but the university, student body and football program won in many other aspects (cue the moral victory). Texas State is getting there. The Bobcat football program is getting there. The Texas Tech game was not a final test, but just another giant step to what the university in its entirety could be. All students should be proud of what transpired Saturday—maybe not the final score, but of everything else. Hang on, because the brightest of Texas State is sure to come. Twitter: @jbrewer32
A record-setting number
Football’s record 33,006 fan count was not only the highest attendance in Bobcat history but was the highest attendance of any WAC schools yet this season. UTSA had 30,416 attend their home opener while Utah State had 25,513 on hand for their upset over Pac-12’s Utah that was broadcasted on ESPN2 last Friday.
WAC FOOTBALL TXST BYE
UTSA Sat. Sept. 15 @ Georgia State (0-2), 5 p.m.
LTCH Sat. Sept. 15 Vs. Rice (1-1), 6 p.m. ESPN3
NMST Sat. Sept. 15 @ UTEP (0-2), 7 p.m.
SJST Sat. Sept. 15 Vs. Colorado State (1-1), 7 p.m. ESPN3
UTST Sat. Sept. 15 @ Wisconsin (1-1), 7 p.m. Big Ten Network
IDAHO Sat. Sept. 15 @ #2 LSU (2-0), 7 p.m. ESPN Gameplan
SIGMA NU Fraternity Legion of Honor 1869 - 2012 ETA TAU Chapter
ETA TAU Chapter honors one of our alumni
Mr. Jerry D. Fields
Emma Str adelfeendyer
Pin #4, 1966
Texas State senio
Chairman/CEO of J.D. Fields & Company, Inc. Honorary Doctorate Degree,Texas State University Board of Trustees, Past Chairman Houston Museum of Natural Science
Austin Humphreys, Star Photo Editor
What is your kind of candy? Anything chocolate.
Board of Directors, McCoy College of Business Administration Development Foundation Board
Board of Directors, Sigma Nu Educational Foundation
Who is the biggest role model in your life? My dad, because he does so much for me and my family. He’s always been my biggest supporter, and he is always the first person I call. Who is your favorite soccer player? Alex Morgan, because she is fun to watch. Who is your celebrity crush? After watching “Magic Mike,” I’d have to say Channing Tatum. What is your favorite type of food? Tex-Mex. Why did you choose to play soccer at Texas State? I loved the campus and the school atmosphere. The school is close to my home as well. What is your plan after graduation? Go to nursing school and be a nurse Who is your favorite actor/actress? Denzel Washington. He is never in a bad movie. Report compiled by Odus Evbagharu, Sports Reporter Twitter: @TState_Sports18
Distinguished Alumnus,Texas State University 2006 Presendents Excellence Award,Texas State University Co-chair Pride in Action Campaign,Texas State University Honorary Member, Beta Gamma Delta Pacesetter Award, American Cancer Society 2003 Camelot Award, American Cancer Society 2000 Houston’s 100 Largest Private Companies; 2009, 2010, 2011 INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies, 1990 Entrepreneur of theYear Finalist, 1989 Past President, ETA TAU Chapter, Sigma Nu Fraternity
Sigma Nu - ETA TAU Chapter thanks you for your service to our university, our fraternity, and the community