ROLLING PURPLE HILLS Despite government proposals, hallucinogen remains legal SEE TRENDS PAGE 7
Men’s Basketball team to play 7 p.m. Wednesday
FORGIVE DON’T FORGET Student shares view on thick and thin skin
SEE SPORTS PAGE 10
SEE OPINIONS PAGE 5
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
NOVEMBER 28, 2007
VOLUME 97, ISSUE 39
Asbestos found in Sterry Hall pipes Report raises residence hall concerns By Nick Georgiou News Editor A risk management team report recommends an abatement be conducted in Sterry Hall after asbestos was discovered in pipes on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the building. The risk management team conducted an assessment after a maintenance worker expressed concern about being exposed to the cancer-causing agent in the building. The Nov. 12 report recommended the hiring of a licensed consultant and the removal and replacement of all ceiling tiles in the building, in addition to the abatement, which is a costly process reducing or eliminating asbestos. Terry Dowdy, risk management oﬃce director, said he did not think anybody had been exposed to asbestos in the building. “We didn’t see anything that would cause us immediate concern, but until we get a licensed consultant out to do a complete assessment and get some air samples I can’t, with 100 percent certainty, say there aren’t some particulates in the air,” said Dowdy, who has worked in the environmental compliance
Athletic audit finds inconsistencies, probationary status to be removed By Jackie Baylon News Reporter The Internal Audit and Compliance Oﬃce conducted their annual audit on the athletics department and found some inconsistencies, though they will not jeopardize Texas State’s NCAA eligibility. The audit report, which was conducted in March, stated recruiting logs were incomplete and spot checks by the athletic compliance oﬃce were not performed. A total of 116 recruiting logs were reviewed and 77 of them had one or more issues concerning unrecorded data. The athletic compliance oﬃce has since revised the recruiting logs to include dates regarding when each sport must submit their logs to be reviewed. The assistant athletic director has designated spot checks for compliance. Another fault found was a social security number listed as the same number for two diﬀerent athletes on two forms. “In this one situation, you got an error where someone just plugged in the wrong number on the declaration forms, but the names are correct,” said Scott Lazenby, assistant NCAA athletics compliance director. “On a situation like this, the
conference oﬃce on eligibility declaration forms does not look at social security numbers because they don’t keep track of those. They are looking for the names. So the names were all correct, it is just the social security was wrong for somebody.” Inconsistencies were found in the eligibility declaration forms as well. The forms being faxed to the conference oﬃce were not always stamped or signed. As a result, the Internal Audit and Compliance Oﬃce could not ensure whether the athletics oﬃce was in compliance with department policy. Lazenby said the inconsistencies were not major violations. He said people needed to be reeducated of the proper procedures so the faults would not be repeated. “They come back every year to check if we are doing what we said we were going to be doing to correct the faults,” Lazenby said. “We have to show proof of what we said we would do.” He said it was important to perform everything by the books because there are various violations and they do not look good on the record. “You can have a small, minor violation, but if you don’t take the
business for more than 30 years. “My guess is that there might be, but whether those are asbestos, I couldn’t say.” Asbestos, a mineral ﬁber commonly used in construction materials, is found in most buildings, particularly older ones such as Sterry. “Anything that was built before 1976 you can assume it has asbestos in it,” Dowdy said. Asbestos is not harmful unless it becomes friable, which means the substance can be easily crumbled into smaller pieces. Asbestos can then pose a health hazard because people breath in the particles. The degree to which it can be harmful depends on the amount of asbestos found in the material, which usually ranges from 1 to 5 percent. “If it’s 1 to 5 percent and its bonded with other materials, there’s a good possibility it will leave the (person’s) system,” Dowdy said. “But pure asbestos, the ﬁbers themselves are very jagged (and) anything with moisture they just stick to. The chance of them being expired from the system are pretty remote.” It has not been determined whether the asbestos observed by the risk management
team in Sterry is friable or not. “That’s why we want to license (a contractor),” Dowdy said. “We’re not allowed to take air samples.” In Texas, a consultant has to be hired to take the air samples. Dowdy said he did not know if the university had hired one yet. William Nance, ﬁnance and support services vice president, said a group composed of representatives from the facilities department, Residence Life and the risk management ofﬁce will review the preliminary assessment Dec. 3 and make their recommendation. The facility department is involved because it is “responsible for managing the planning, budgeting, scheduling, programming, design and construction of all new and renovation projects related to Texas State facilities.” Pat Fogarty, facilities associate vice president, could not be reached for comment. The ﬁnance and support services division assumed responsibility of the asbestos, indoor air quality, mold and lead program from the facilities department this year. Dowdy, who has been at the university for See ASBESTOS, page 3
Texas State cracks down on abuse of university credit cards By Scott Thomas Assistant News Editor The director for the Oﬃce of Audit and Compliance is in the process of establishing an internal compliance program after several reports showed the use of procurement cards were abused by university staﬀ. Yvonne Eixmann, the director for the Oﬃce of Audit and Compliance, said the internal compliance program aims to decrease the abuse of procurement cards, which are a type of credit card used for various purchases. “Every faculty, staﬀ, and I think student workers, are going to have to take 17 training modules,” Eixmann said. “It’s stuﬀ about how to use (procurement) cards, how to make purchases (and) all the rules you have to
follow to protect student privacy.” A 2006 audit of the Oﬃce of Special Projects, which coordinates all university presidential events and oversees the President’s House, showed the cardholder in four of the ﬁve procurement accounts reviewed was also the account manager. The report stated this was the result of an oversight and is not in the best interest of the cardholder/ account manager or the university. “You’re supposed to make sure you’re not the person making (purchases) and reviewing them,” Eixmann said. The report states account managers and cardholders should be separate individuals in order to maintain expenditure integrity and See PLASTIC, page 3
See AUDIT, page 3
Monty Marion and Spencer Millsap/Star photo illustration
UPD reports increased car burglaries Misplaced student frustrated By Katie Carmichael News Reporter
The University Police Department is investigating 12 car burglaries committed during October and November in garages and parking lots around campus. Paul Chapa, UPD captain of operations, said a combination of items left in the vehicles were stolen, including stereos. “We are diligent in our patrol of those areas, but we have yet to make any arrests,” Chapa said. He said students, faculty and staﬀ should practice basic crime prevention techniques for vehicles. “Park in a well-lit area, if you can,” he said. “Put your valuables out of site, under the seat or in
Precipitation: 10% Humidity: 61% UV: 4 Moderate Wind: SSW 10 mph
your trunk. Make sure to take the extra second to prevent burglaries. It gives the burglars more incentive to break in to your car when the doors are unlocked or valuables are left in sight.” The areas aﬀected have been the Jackson Hall parking lot, Tower Hall Garage, Wood Street Garage, Charles Austin Drive, Student Health Center parking lot and San Marcos Hall Garage. Chapa said students can call the non-emergency UPD line at 245-2805 to report any suspicious activity. — compiled by Alex Hering, news reporter
Texas State student Chase Fruge has not lived on campus all semester, yet he and his family recently completed a $1,600 payment to Residence Life for room and board. Fruge, accounting freshmen, was originally given a temporary room assignment, but he said a residence hall director advised him to wait for permanent housing. Halfway through the semester, Fruge said he still had not been assigned a permanent dorm room to live in. Room assignments at Texas State are made on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst serve basis. Students who turn in applications on a later date face the possibility of not receiving the hall of their choice or, in some cases, being without a permanent place to live.
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“I was kind of a last minute Texas State student,” Fruge said. “I got accepted, but I didn’t really plan on going here. I was going to go to LSU, (but it) didn’t work out for me, so given the situation, my housing application went in pretty late in the summer. I had all my stuﬀ turned in, and I was good to go. Then about two days before move in, I called and (Residence Life) were like, ‘Well, we have you as temporary housing, so we’re not really sure.’” Fruge was instructed to call the Residence Life oﬃce the morning of move-in to receive his room assignment. He was told Aug. 16 to contact Beretta Hall, where he would most likely be placed. He received a temporary assignment in Beretta with a resident assistant, and was told a permanent room would be found for him as early as the following week. He was assured this process would
not take long and the hall director suggested he commute from his parents’ house in Buda while waiting. A week later, Fruge contacted the residence hall regarding the status of his room. “It seemed like all the spots were full expect for the room with the RA and he had moved the furniture around and stuﬀ to make it compatible for one person,” Fruge said. He said the hall director then advised he would be better oﬀ waiting until permanent arrangements could be made, instead of making the RA move the furniture back. Weeks went by and Fruge was forced to get a job to pay for the extra gas he was using to commute everyday. He began adapting to his arrangement until he
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Page 2 - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today in Brief
starsof texas state Marc Speir, mass communication graduate student, was one of six winners in the annual “Filming Austin’s Lives” contest hosted by KLRU-TV and News 8 Austin. “Austin-tatious Landmarks” was the theme this year. The contest
invited amateur and professional ﬁlmmakers to compose short ﬁlms about true Austin landmarks. Speir’s three-minute ﬁlm debuted on News 8 Austin throughout the day on Nov. 20. The ﬁlm is a historical journey about Chateau
Bellevue. It highlights the history of this mansion on Seventh Street and San Antonio Street in downtown Austin. — Courtesy of University News Service
News Contact — Nick Georgiou, firstname.lastname@example.org Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System
Calendar Wednesday Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay will depart 12:15 p.m. from Old Main and proceed through campus to the Texas State Campus Mall. “Stress & Alcohol: Is it Really “Happy” Hour?” seminar will be held 1 p.m. in the LBJSC, 3-5.1. “The Devil Came on Horseback” film screening will be held 6 p.m. in Centennial Hall Teaching Theatre. The rosary will be prayed in the CSC St. Jude Chapel 6 p.m. The CSC will have a pre-Advent penance service 7 p.m. in the CSC chapel. A Darfurian speaker will speak 7:30 p.m. in Lampasas, 407A Student Volunteer Connection will hold its weekly meeting 6 p.m. in LBJ Student Center 3-1.5. Higher Ground will hold a contemplative and peaceful Evening Prayer service 5:30 p.m. in the basement of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (510 N. Guadalupe, directly across from the Tower dorm), followed by supper at 6:15p. m. Students of every religious background are welcome. Thursday The Catholic Student Organization will meet 6 p.m. in the library of the CSC. The Rock — Praise & Worship will take place 7:30 p.m. in the St. Jude Chapel of the CSC. Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320. There will be contemporary worship, relevant teaching, prayer and plenty of fun. Everyone is welcome to attend. Friday 30 Alcoholics Anonymous Newcomer’s Meeting, River Group, will be 9:15 p.m. at 1700 Ranch Rd. 12, Suite C. Monday Men Against Violence meeting will be held 5 to 6 p.m. in LBJSC 3.10. Higher Ground Campus Ministry Bible Study will be held in the basement lounge of St. Mark’s Episcopal (510 N. Guadalupe, directly across from the Tower dorm), 6 to 7 p.m.
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ASG Beat The past two weeks the Associated Student Government has been busy, and there are a lot of exciting things happening for the students of Texas State. Last week, ASG spent a lengthy amount of time debating the Concealed Campus resolution, which called for the state legislature to reconsider the policy for concealed handguns on campus. The revised policy would allow students who have a concealed handgun license to carry ﬁrearms on the Texas State campus. ASG concluded it was more important for the students of Texas State to decide for themselves, and thus passed it into referendum. ASG asks all Texas State students to educate themselves on this matter and be prepared to vote on this issue in the spring. Furthermore, ASG was able to organize and solidify a new system for handing out the yearly student scholarships. If any Bobcats are interested in applying for a scholarship from ASG, feel free to visit the student government oﬃce in the LBJ Student Center. This week in ASG marked a signiﬁcantly momentous occasion for Texas State. The entire President’s Cabinet made an appearance Monday to announce the oﬃcial beginning of a ﬁve-year plan, which will put
Texas State on the road to competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision once the NCAA moratorium is lifted. Several changes will be put in place over the next ﬁve years that will place Bobcats in an ideal position to transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision and athletics at large. This event is the beginning of a new era in Texas State, and all Bobcats should be proud of this turning point. In recognition of Students Taking Action Now for Darfur, the resolution “In support of STAND” passed. The resolution encourages all Texas State students to attend the Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay 12:15 p.m. Thursday, beginning at Old Main. Students Taking Action Now for Darfur has successfully made Texas State a stop for the relay, so students should come out and show support. Monday marked the last ASG meeting for the semester, and will not be in session until 2008. As always, ASG encourages all students to come and watch our weekly meetings Mondays 7 p.m., Room 3-14.1 in the LBJ Student Center. Remember, even when on a break, it will still be a great day to be a Bobcat. — Courtesy of Associated Student Government
Book fair to raise money for charity The San Marcos Student Reading Council invites university students, faculty and staff to shop for the holidays, and not set foot in a crowded bookstore or mall. Conveniently located on campus, shoppers can purchase holiday gifts in between classes at the Scholastic Book Fair Wednesday through Friday in the Education Building Room 3070. To add to the holiday spirit, free hot chocolate and candy canes will be provided. Schedule and opening hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday. The event, themed “Book Fair Blizzard,” will feature a variety of children’s books by bestselling authors and illustrators. The event will also include computer stations for downloading student activities and teacher curriculum materials, as well as book talks and special author video clips. Shari Belmarez, Texas State curriculum
and instruction lecturer, said she encourages students who are majoring in education to take advantage of the special discounts and stock up on educational materials. “This is a great opportunity for future teachers to start building their class libraries,” Belmarez said. “The book fair is a great place to find popular titles at lower prices than what you would normally find at local bookstores.” Proceeds will benefit the Texas State Reading Association’s international project, which will help build a library for the Lauro Aguirre Elementary School in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. For each book sold, $1 will be donated to special programs and charities. Each person who purchases a book or makes a dollar donation can enter a raffle to win an assortment of door prizes. Through the One for Books program, Scholastic will match every dollar raised to benefit their list of charities. Further, book donations are accepted. Some of the door prizes include free beauty treatments from Hollywood Nails, Sink Creek Day Spa & Massage, Mary Kay and Head West Salon, Chipotle gift certificates and university apparel from Colloquium Bookstore and the Texas State bookstore. The San Marcos Student Reading Council is affiliated with the Texas State Reading Association and the International Reading Association. Students who join the San Marcos Student Reading Council also become members of the Texas State Reading Association and receive quality educational publications for cutting edge teaching strategies. — Courtesy of University News Service
SPIRIT OF YOUTH: Bill “Balloonatic” Bitner, left, paints up Jack’s Roadhouse owner Floyd Chapman during a fundraiser beneﬁting the San Marcos Youth Shelter at Jack’s Roadhouse on Nov. 17.
CRIME BL TTER University Police Department Nov. 17, 1:08 p.m. Information Report/Smith Hall Two oﬃcers were dispatched for a suspicious odor report. Upon further investigation, a discarded cigarette in a pile of peat moss and mulch started a ﬁre and it was extinguished. This case is under investigation. Nov. 17, 2:01 p.m. Medical Emergency/Smith Hall Two oﬃcers were on patrol and observed an individual kneeling on the ground and vomiting. The student advised it might be an allergic reaction to medication and EMS transported him to Central Texas Medical Center for further evaluation. Nov. 18, 12:28 p.m. Medical Emergency/Bobcat Stadium An oﬃcer was on patrol and was approached by an individual. A non-student fell, hit their head, was evaluated by EMS and refused transport to CTMC. Nov. 18, 3:11 p.m. Information Report/Bobcat Stadium Two oﬃcers were dispatched for a suspicious activity report. A non-student reported receiving a counterfeit bill while working at the concession stand. The bill was conﬁscated as evidence. This case is under investigation. Nov. 19, 7:16 p.m. Theft – under $500/Blanco Hall An oﬃcer was dispatched for a theft report. A student reported property was taken without consent. This case is under investigation. Nov. 20, 2:18 p.m. Drug: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Alcohol: Minor in Possession/100 Llano An oﬃcer was on patrol and initiated a traﬃc stop. Upon further investigation, a student was issued a citation for PODP and MIP. Nov. 20, 9:28 a.m. Criminal Mischief – under $500/UPD Lobby An oﬃcer was dispatched for a criminal mischief report. A non-student reported a motor vehicle was damaged while it was parked at Flowers Hall and property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation. Nov. 20, 12:11 p.m. Medical Emergency/JCK An oﬃcer was dispatched for a medical emergency. A non-student was ill, was evaluated by EMS and transported to CTMC for further evaluation. Nov. 20, 2:13 p.m. Harassment/Sterry Hall An oﬃcer was dispatched for a harassment report. A student reported another student was harassing the student. This case is under investigation. Nov. 20, 3:05 p.m. Theft – under $1500/UPD Lobby An oﬃcer was dispatched to the lobby for a theft report. A student reported property had been taken from Blanco Hall without consent. This case is under investigation. Nov. 20, 5:52 p.m. Theft – under $1500/Blanco Hall An oﬃcer was dispatched for a theft report. A student reported property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation. — Courtesy of University Police Department
A Gruene Chirstmas Photos with Cowboy Kringle 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pictures will be taken in the breezeway between The Grapevine and Gruene General Store Chrismas along the corridor Pony Express 10 a.m. Saturday Pony Express riders from the Heritage Trail Ride Association arrive at 10 a.m. carrying a “Christmas Greeting” from the governor of Texas.
Cowboy Kringle Kids’ Workshop 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Children will be able to make and wrap oneof-a-kind handcrafted Christmas presents to give family members. Parents may safely leave their children at the gift center while they shop, eat or enjoy the historic district. For more information, call (830) 620-4247. — Courtesy of Gruene Historical Society
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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was informed he would still have to pay the $1,600 housing fee. “My parents had to pay for my meal plan and my housing for this semester and I haven’t eaten a single meal on campus,” Fruge said. “I haven’t spent the night on campus at all. The only time I’ve been in a residence hall was when I went into Beretta that day to talk to the hall director.” Fruge ﬁled a request with Residence Life on Sept. 19 to be released from his current contract for the semester and have his status changed to commuter. He said his request was denied a month later. “The whole argument they use is that they oﬀered me temporary housing and even though they discouraged it, they still offered and it is a legally binding contract,” Fruge said. Fruge and his parents are in the process of appealing the decision. The Residence Life housing contract cannot be canceled unless the student graduates, fails to enroll in classes, is involved in student teaching, at an internship requiring absence from campus Monty Marion/Star photo or if the student becomes legally married.
With smoke from a ﬂashbang grenade still hanging in the air, members of the Hays County SWAT Team confront two simulated hostage-takers at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center on William Pettus Road Tuesday morning. The raid was designed to show the type of training offered at the ALERRT Center, which allows ﬁrst responders to engage active shooter situations where backup would normally be required.
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almost two years, said he does not know how the facilities department handled asbestos on campus in the past, but he may have an idea of how it was done. “To me, it looks like they just dealt with the area where the problem was and that was it, which opens up the potential to have to go back and deal with the adjacent spaces in the future,” Dowdy said. According to documents dating back to 1995, Sterry has had several small abatement projects. One abatement cost estimate for Sterry from 1995 totaled approximately $225,000. According to the report, several areas contained high concentrations of chrysotile, the most common type of asbestos. Some areas contained between 20 and 50 percent chrysotile. “If it’s 50 percent mixed with some other type of material, that’s pretty severe,” Dowdy said. He said if it was up to him, he would like to see large abatements performed. “Financially, doing a lot of little projects is going to be a lot more expensive than doing one or two big projects,” Dowdy said. But Nance said it is unlikely
any major renovations will take place at Sterry because, along with Falls Hall, it is scheduled to be demolished in the next five years. “We’ll do these little projects to take care of these things as they come up,” Nance said. “But I can assure you, if conditions in Sterry posed a health hazard to students they wouldn’t hesitate to shut something down.” Kyle Estes, associate director of Residence Life, participated in the Sterry Hall investigation and said it is important students are educated on the issue. He fears students overreact when they hear the words “asbestos” and “mold.” “You need to get accurate information out there so people know what we have and what we don’t have and whether it’s something that should be of concern to them or not,” Estes said. In response to the preliminary asbestos report on Sterry, Estes said no immediate action was required. However, he said a few areas concerned them. “There were four or five items where we felt like we needed to be proactive and address those issues to make sure they didn’t become problems,” he said.
avoid potential misuse of funds. “People sometimes just get weird ideas, like, ‘oh it’s a credit card,’” Eixmann said. “It’s not your credit card, it’s the university’s credit card.” A September 2006 letter to University President Denise Trauth from the Oﬃce of Audit and Compliance revealed purchasing card guidelines were not followed, internal control weaknesses were found regarding the veriﬁcation of procurement card purchases, property management guidelines were abused and proper tracking of alcohol purchases for university events was not maintained. “A lot of the time when we go
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violation, and take the time to reeducating the ones who are involved in it, then you can have a problem down the road where people keep doing the same thing,” Lazenby said. “Then you have the situation where you have multiple violations of the same rule, and then it turns into a major problem.” In 2005, the consistent violations of the same rule lead to Texas State receiving probation from the NCAA. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced the penalty in response to two issues: improper textbook purchases between 1997 and 2001 and excessive football practices in 2003. University President Denise Trauth said in a March 2005 news release that in order for the
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in and somebody is doing something wrong, it’s because they said, ‘Well so and so said that’s the way they did it,’” Eixmann said. “Somebody has trusted someone completely, and they had no idea they would abuse the privilege. I like to believe everyone here (at the university) is basically honest.” According to the report, a review of procurement card accounts showed large amounts of wine were purchased at one time with no documentation of use and inventory tracking of alcohol purchases/uses for university events was nonexistent. “Account managers should take special care to review and note any large purchases that do not fall into property management guidelines, but
“I just want them to do what’s right. Either reimburse me or give me credit for the spring,” said Duﬀy Hobbs, Chase Fruge’s stepfather. “It’s not right…I paid for services not rendered, primarily the $1,600 for housing, cut and dry.” Rosanne Proite, Residence Life director, declined to comment on Fruge’s situation. If the appeal is denied, she will make the ﬁnal judgment. “At this point it would be difﬁcult for me to make any comment,” Proite said. Fruge said it was not just housing he did not receive, but the experience of living on campus as a freshman. “I really wanted to live on campus,” Fruge said. “I was really excited about it and I was kind of upset when I never got to. I was more upset when they just never made me an assignment. There are a lot of commuters at Texas State, but I do kind of feel like my collegiate experience was jeopardized a little bit by not having that freshman year in the dorm, staying up all night, causing mischief and mayhem. But right now, all I’m really worried about is my parents getting their money back or something being worked out.”
are large in value and have the possibility of being adapted for personal use,” the report said. The university administration agrees with the report’s recommendations. Further, Trauth asked for written reports from each of the ﬁve vicepresidents and the director of athletics on what policies are in place to ensure procurement card holders and account managers are separate people, procurement card guidelines are followed and transaction limits are enforced. “You try and minimize risk for your university,” Eixmann said. “You don’t want things going wrong.”
institution to move forward, the past must be acknowledged and the university needs to learn from its mistakes. She said the staﬀ was doing everything it could to prevent future infractions. According to the news release, the university took appropriate and decisive action once the violations came to the attention of the president. Several administrators were replaced and the university penalized itself by withholding scholarships, sidelining players, requiring repayment of funds and reducing practice times. The athletics director now reports directly to the president. Texas State will be oﬀ probation in March 2008. “It is good to have an audit every year so we know if we are doing something wrong and it could be ﬁxed,” Lazenby said.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
2,000miles back to music Local band Three Leaf’s lead singer and bassist paddled their homemade canoe over 2,000 miles down the Mississippi River. They began the trip in Minnesota and ﬁnished in New Orleans. To celebrate their safe return, the band is hosting a show 8 p.m. Friday at Triple Crown Live. For more information about the band or the trip, visit www.threeleafmusic.com/log/.
Page 7 - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Trends Contact — Clara Cobb, firstname.lastname@example.org
Salvia divinorum allowing spiritual growth Sean Batura News Reporter Just before dusk on Saturday, a while after he took a second hit of Salvia divinorum from a bong, Jon Stone recounted his psychedelic experience. “It was strange,” Stone said. “There was another being. It was a female being. Don’t laugh, but it was like she was skipping. And there was this weird kind of music – like carnival music.” Stone, a San Marcos resident, earned a master’s degree two years ago from Texas Tech University, and now works in the architecture industry. He reported suddenly ﬁnding himself in a pastel, soft-edged land of rolling purple hills, though he didn’t appear to move from his perch on the mossy boulder in a dry creek bed at Prospect Park. “It was like the middle of the day,” Stone said. “I was like a ﬂower on a purple hill. You know sunﬂowers, how they follow the radiance of the sun? I felt like I lifted my head up, and I was kind of like a red ﬂower on this purple hill. There was this weird kind of carnival-ness to it. This presence was skipping or dancing to the music or something – frolicking. I think she said, oh, look, there’s another one waking up.’” An hour earlier, while sitting at a table at the Tantra Coﬀeehouse, Stone explained his reasons for using psychedelics and the precautions he takes. “I have done several hallucinogens to spiritually grow as a person, where I was in a safe environment,” Stone said. “I wasn’t in any way going hurt myself or anybody else — I made sure of that.” Stone said he hadn’t expected his ﬁrst experience with Salvia divinorum, a semi-tropical species of sage traditionally used by
Trends in brief
pooks clash with Christmas cheer as the department of theatre and dance presents the holiday children’s play “A Monster Carol” Dec. 5 to 13. Written and directed by Dwight Markus, performances will be Dec. 5 to 7 and Dec 10 to 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 9 at 2 p.m. on the Main Stage. The show, featuring a fusion of Halloween and Christmas themes, takes place Christmas Eve at Vincent’s House of Wax. Once the
Mazatec Indians, to be so cartoon-like. The West has known about Salvia divinorum, commonly called “salvia,” for at least 40 years, though it only began to be heavily marketed here in the 90s. It is widely available in most states, including Texas. The eﬀects of salvia, which depend on dosage and the user’s psychological state and immediate environment, range from light-headedness and mild closed-eye visuals to full-blown visionary trances. At high doses of salvia, a person may move around without realizing it. Many people recommend a sitter — a trusted individual who monitors the user — for those smoking salvia. The eﬀects obtained by smoking are rapid and, though the most intense visions occur within a short time-span of ﬁve to 20 minutes, some residual eﬀects can be felt for up to an hour. Sublingual and ingested doses make for a milder and longer experience. Joseph Bosarge, a psychologist at the Counseling Center, said he never heard of salvia, nor seen students addicted to other psychedelics such as LSD or mushrooms. He said the drug students seem to have the most trouble with is alcohol. “We’ve had addictions to several diﬀerent drugs but most of it alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine – but not (salvia), that’s kind of a new one for me,” Bosarge said. In 2004, researchers from the University of California and California Paciﬁc Medical Center Research Institute conducted a survey of 500 salvia users. Most respondents reported the salvia experience as being very diﬀerent from most psychedelics. The researchers asked salvia users how and why they took it. Matthew Baggot, lead re-
searcher, reported his ﬁndings, which stated, “(Salvia) was often used in darkness, with music, or with a sober companion. Commonly expressed reasons for (salvia) use were to explore altered consciousness, curiosity, to have a spiritual/mystical experience, pursuit of personal growth/selfunderstanding, and contemplation/meditation.” The compound responsible for salvia’s eﬀects is salvinorin A. It is composed of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms, and acts on a diﬀerent part of the brain compared to other psychedelics. Pharmacologists who have studied salvinorin A have concluded it has low toxicity and little potential for addiction. Scientists hope derivatives from the compound may someday be used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. There do not appear to be any published reports of individuals seriously injuring themselves or committing violent acts while under the inﬂuence of salvia. A bill proposed in 2002 to criminalize salvia at the federal level did not pass, and three bills to control the possession or sale of salvia in Texas died during the last legislative session. Four states have made possession of Salvia divinorum illegal, while Maine has opted to regulate it. Bills prohibiting or regulating salvia have been proposed in several other state legislatures. David Beckworth, ﬁnance and economics assistant professor, said most economists would favor drug regulation rather than outright prohibition. “One kind of standard story told by most economists is that if you legalize drugs — with regulation — you would completely remove the incentives for drug lords, drug gangs and drug traf-
doors are locked at night, the wax ﬁgures come to life inside, and on this night, Jake — the ghost of Jacob Marley — comes calling to pull a “Scrooge” on one of the monsters. Having lost the Three Spirits of Christmas, Jake enlists the aid of Veronica the Vampire, Franklin the Monster and Louise, the curator of the museum, to help him reenact the past of Wolfgang the Werewolf. Plans go awry, however, and mayhem ensues as Jake’s true intentions are revealed and Wolfgang’s past brings
some unexpected revelations. Children and their parents are invited to stay after the show for the Monster Picture Party, where the performers will be available to pose for photographs. Admission is $5 for everyone. For ticket reservations, contact the Texas State Box Oﬃce at (512) 245-2204. For additional information, call (512) 245-2147. — Courtesy of the department of theatre and dance
Texas State student gets illustrations published By Tug Ledermann Features Reporter The Kindred and Other Tales by Elle Pepper, is the ﬁrst glance into an exciting world vividly illustrated by Logan Hayse, a Texas State artist. Hayse, studio art senior, illustrated the cover of the novel and several pieces for each story. “He did a very good job at personifying my main characters or the big theme of that particular work,” Pepper said. “It’s a cutting edge sci-ﬁ with some fantasy element in it. It’s a little avant-garde, but he seemed to get that and I could see that he knew what he was doing.” Hayse said the opportunity to work on the novel was a surprise. He never expected to have his art published. “A friend of mine back in Dallas told me about someone in his class who was looking for an illustrator, and that’s how I ﬁrst heard about it,” Hayse said. Hayse’s work impressed Pepper, and she decided he was best for the job. “My editor approved two or three people and Logan was the one that I thought had the best idea of where I was going with my stories,” Pepper said. J. Marcus Blake Algreen, director of publishing affairs for Starving Writers, said Pepper admired the work Hayse did as well. “She was ecstatic about it because he was able to bring to life what her stories are, and that is a key detail because this is a whole universe that she has created,” Algreen said. “It’s a pretty remarkable thing to be his age and to have the credit he does as an illustrator for this project. Algreen said he is conﬁdent Hayse will be successful.
Trends in brief
agoberto Gilb, writer and English professor in the master of ﬁne arts program in creative writing, was recently honored with the Bookend Award for lifetime achievement and contributions to literature at the Texas Book Festival in Austin. Gilb was recognized for his lifelong contributions to Texas writing through his two novels, four collections of short stories and an anthology on Texas-Mexican literature. He accepted the award in the chambers of the House of Representatives at the State Capitol earlier this month along with fellow recipient and author Rolando Hinojosa-Smith. His works include The Magic of Blood (1993), The
Hayse created various designs for the characters based on their descriptions in the stories. “They gave me a manuscript and I just took out bits and pieces about the book that seemed cool enough to draw,” Hayse said. Hayse said he has been drawing since he was six years old. “I remember getting caught drawing the ninja turtles on my parents’ day bed and they weren’t that mad because they thought it was drawn so well,” he said. Though Hayse never worked with writer before, his work impressed both the author and director of publishing for Starving Writers. “When we saw what Logan could do I didn’t realize he was as young as he is,” Algreen said. “We thought his work was that of somebody who had been doing this for twenty years.” Pepper said her admiration for mythology and other genres was an inspiration for her stories. “I blended more than I followed, so I kind of took aspects of diﬀerent people’s writings,” she said. Starving Writers works with authors who are starting their careers, Algreen said, but quality is of the most importance. “We are looking for great stories that will be around for a long time, not just entertaining literature that won’t move anyone,” he said. Algreen was impressed with the work of both Pepper and Hayse, and he has high hopes for The Kindred and Other Tales. Though the book has been released, Pepper has yet to meet the illustrator for her book. “I have not had a chance to meet him yet, I am looking forward to hopefully setting up a time to meet him sometime — but I haven’t as of yet been able to shake his hand, which I would love to do,” Pepper said.
Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna (1994), Woodcuts of Women (2001), Gritos (2003) and Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas-Mexican Literature (2006). Gilb’s work has appeared in The New Yorker and Harper’s. He is a past recipient of numerous honors, including the Whiting Writer’s Award, the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, the Texas Institute of Letters’ Jesse Jones Award and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Recently, Gilb was a ﬁnalist for the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Gritos and is currently working on a novel named The Flowers, scheduled for release in Jan. 2008. — Courtesy of University News Service
ﬁcking, and all the resources that we dedicate toward ﬁghting drugs – it’s huge. A lot of that would disappear if you simply made them legal,” Beckworth said. Dean Geuras, philosophy professor, explained why some might want to prevent others from using salvia. “Somebody might say this: ‘I feel very insecure taking a drug that puts me out of my senses, and I don’t want other people to suﬀer the consequences that I myself might suﬀer,’” Geuras said. “So there might be a legitimate reason here for somebody being paternalistic. Now there’s another question: is paternalism a good aspect of government?” Stone said his spiritual path should not be blocked if he is not harming himself or anyone. He said when the government criminalizes possession of psychedelics, it presumes most citizens are not capable of acting responsibly, which he said is not in line with core American values. “I am just trying to grow as an individual,” Stone said. “The sheer fact that the government says I’m not old enough or mature enough to make that decision on my own is bullshit. I think our government was built on the fact that, hey, if you’re man enough to do something and it’s not going to aﬀect anyone else, then do it. You want to practice a religion, as long as you’re not doing anything to harm another person, then do it.” Vincent Luizzi, chair of the philosophy department, said there is a legal precedent for expecting citizens to be capable of behaving responsibly. “In the area of tort law, for example, you get this construct of what’s called the reasonably
enis Johnson, former holder of the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State has won the National Book Award in ﬁction for his novel Tree of Smoke. Johnson’s novel, which he has said he ﬁrst thought of in the early 1980s, has been widely praised since coming out this fall. It tells of spies, counterspies and others caught up in the blur and horror of Vietnam from the day after President Kennedy was shot until the early 1980s. The author of “Jesus’ Son” and
Cotton Miller/Star photo illustration CONTROVERSIAL ALTERNATIVE: Despite recent efforts to criminalize the widely available stimulant Salvia divinorum, its popularity has grown as a legal substitute for other hallucinogenic drugs.
prudent person,” Luizzi said. “You get the idea, at least in that area of law, (of) the way in which you are presuming reasonable people in your society as a standard.” Stephanie Boswell, program staﬀ at the Counseling Center, said she has not encountered salvia in the course of her profession, but she advises people
thinking of trying it to carefully consider the possible consequences. “You should research it,” Boswell said. “This one’s legal, so they’re not going to have a legal ramiﬁcation. You would have to ask yourself what you are trying to get from it, and is it worth the possible health risks involved in it?”
other works earned praise for Tree of Smoke’s recognizable story about the certainty of exploration and suﬀering and the hope for salvation. Johnson is currently on writing assignment in Iraq. He held the Mitte Chair in Creative Writing in Texas State’s department of English during the 2006-2007 academic year.
the Paramount Theater. Ballet Austin presents the 45th annual showing of “The Nutcracker” at the historic Paramount Theatre. The ballet will run weekdays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays Dec. 1 to 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 to $65 and may be purchased at 1.866.4.GETTIX, www.balletaustin.org or at the Butler Dance Education Center. For more information, call Paramount Theatre at (512) 472-5470.
— Courtesy of University News Service
t’s snowing on Congress this holiday season — at least inside
— Courtesy of Ballet Austin
Page 8 - The University Star
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.
THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Sean Taylor, safety for the Washington Redskins, passed away Tuesday after being shot by an intruder in his home Nov. 17. A tribute video on Taylor, who was 24 years old, can be watched on the Redskins Web site, www.redskins.com.
Page 10 - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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Winter Preview Men’s basketball train for toughest games of season By Carl Harper Senior Sports Reporter
While the students of Texas State ﬁnish up ﬁnal exams and head out for the holidays, the Bobcat basketball team will be training for the toughest games of the season. The ﬁrst is a match against the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Dec. 15 at 5 p.m. Last season, the Bobcats struggled in the second half against the Longhorns and lost the match 96-70. “Texas is a tremendous program, an NCAA tournament representative every year and are always a good team to face,” Coach Doug Davalos said. “If we want to be a tournament contender, then we have to prepare for teams like this. Texas will give us a good measuring stick of where
we’re at and get us ready for a tough conference schedule.” The Bobcats return home Dec. 18 to battle Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. On Dec. 29, the Bobcats head up Interstate 35 for the SMU Holiday Classic in Dallas to take on SMU and Paul Quinn. Texas State have the next week oﬀ to ring in 2008. The ’Cats return on Jan. 5 to play Texas-Pan American, the last home game before the spring semester, then hit the road for the ﬁrst two conference games of the season Jan. 10 and 12 against Northwestern State and Central Arkansas. The Bobcats split the season series against Texas-Pan American last season 1-1, losing the ﬁrst game 77-64, but winning the second
84-74. Dylan Moseley, junior forward, posted 28 points and seven rebounds in the game. The Bobcats are 4-1 after winning the consolation game in Keenesaw, Ga., against Jacksonville State 8683, and defeating Texas-Pan American 102-75. “We have a long ways to go, but we are improving as a team,” Davalos said. “Our freshmen are maturing, and everybody is starting to understand their role.” Bush is leading the team with 16 points per game and 35 rebounds. Ty Gough, who scored his first double-double against Texas-Pan American, also has 35 rebounds. “We established the tone and were in the attack mode the whole game,” Davalos said of the win against Texas-Pan American. “We
Men face Prairie View By César G. Rodriguez Sports Reporter With a 4-1 record, the men’s basketball team is looking forward to ending its road game schedule against the Prairie View Panthers Wednesday. Coach Doug Davalos said the game is a good road test, though the Panthers are 2-3, 2-0 at home. “There’s no easy game on the road,” Davalos said. Prairie View’s losses have been against top 25 teams — Oklahoma State, Tennessee and West Virginia. Jonathan Sloan, freshman forward, who led the Bobcats to victory with a career-high of 20 points against Texas-Pan American, said the team is conﬁdent. “The aggressor usually wins,” Sloan said, noting full court pressure causes turnovers. Davalos expects a tough environment against the Panthers because of
their home court. He said the Panthers have players who score from multiple positions, trap and force turnovers. Limiting unforced errors and throwing the ball without being pressured will be a key factor for the ’Cats to pull a win on the Panther’s court, he said. Texas State’s only loss has been to Colgate at the 100 Club Classic. The ’Cats shot 28 percent in the second half, but Davalos said the team did not rotate out of the traps well, did not pressure enough and did not contest the boards. “It’s about how well we defend on half court and how well we can rebound in front court,” he said. Davolos said he expects a contribution from each player, regardless of how much time they spend on the court. “Every aspect of the game needs to improve everyday,” Davalos said.
Monty Marion/Star photo
Victoria Davis, sophomore forward, drives around UT-Pan American’s LeKeisha Gray during the Bobcats’ game against the Broncs Tuesday. Texas State won 69-58.
were the aggressors the entire night.” Brent Benson, the junior guard who scored a career high of 21 points in the game against Jacksonville State, is averaging 14 points per game with 13 rebounds and four assists. Teammates Brandon Thomas, senior guard, and Chris Aqwumaro, senior forward, are averaging 8.0 and 8.6 points per game. Jonathan Sloan, freshman forward, led the Bobcats with a career high of 20 points in the game against TexasPan American. “Jonathan did a good job of scorMonty Marion/Star file photo ing around the basket,” Davalos said. “He was aggressive on oﬀense, and STARTING STRONG: Brandon Bush, junior it was nice to see him and the entire guard, tips the ball for two points during the oﬀense have a good game.” Bobcats’ Nov. 13 game against Dallas Baptist University.
Owls win, lose some during first season in Mid-American conference By Terrance McNeil Temple News (Temple U.) PHILADELPHIA — The football team entered this season with a goal: to win the Mid-American Conference. Some might have thought the goal was a lofty one. This was the Owls’ ﬁrst season as full-ﬂedged members of the conference. They were coming oﬀ of a 1-11 campaign the previous year. But coach Al Golden did not ﬂinch. “The expectations were high this year,” Golden said. “No matter who we play we expect to play well, and we expect to win.” Yes, the Owls did indeed fall short of their goal. They are not the 2007 MAC champions and they won’t play in Saturday’s MAC championship game. But they did win four games this season, the first time since 2002. All four wins came against teams in the MAC. At the onset of the season, it seemed as if it would be another one of those years for the Owls. After dropping their opener to Navy, 30-19, the Owls were demolished by Buﬀalo, 42-7. Then the Owls traveled to East Hartford, Conn., to take on a 3-0 Connecticut team. The Huskies were clinging to a 22-17 lead as the Owls faced fourth-and-goal. Golden repeatedly counts the Connecticut game as a victory in his book. “We won four (games) and we had another one up at Connecticut which makes ﬁve (wins),” Golden said. So, the Owls stood at 0-5 with an all-important stretch of conference games on tap in the following weeks. Instead of going into the next game with the same attitude, the Owls’ captains called a players-only team meet-
ing. With that meeting came changes. The Owls embarked on a threegame winning streak ﬁlled with drama. The Owls did not score an oﬀensive touchdown in their ﬁrst win of the season. Junior defensive tackle Terrance Knighton made a big play, a common theme on the season, scooping a fumble recovery and taking it 66 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore Jake Brownell nailed his third ﬁeld goal of the game, a 39-yarder with nine seconds remaining, to give the Owls their second consecutive homecoming win. The ﬁeld goal would not have happened without the improvisational wizardry of DiMichele. He led the Owls on the 12-play, 56-yard drive and showed his ability to perform during crunch time. The next week meant more dramatics for the Owls. This time, the Owls found themselves on the short end of 20-3 score entering the fourth quarter. But DiMichele put the team on his back and the defense really stiﬀened in the ﬁnal stanza. DiMichele, showing the moxie Golden repeatedly insisted he owns, tossed three fourth-quarter scores, including a 19-yard strike to Crudup with just 29 seconds remaining. The Owls came out on top, 24-20. The next win came with a price. DiMichele went down in a heap just in front of his own goal line in the second quarter against Miami (Ohio). He suﬀered a fracture of his left tibia and missed the rest of the season. Sophomore Vaughn Charlton stepped in and led the team to its third consecutive victory. The defense played well the entire season and ﬁnished ﬁrst in the MAC
in total defense, but couldn’t support the team by itself. The oﬀense scored only 34 points in the four games after DiMichele’s injury, and the Owls only won one of those games. But Charlton’s performance wasn’t the sole reason for the struggles. The Owls averaged 72.5 rushing yards in their ﬁnal four outings. But those numbers can be deceiving, as the Owls gained four rushing yards against Penn State and torched Kent State for 184 yards. “Obviously we have some work to do on oﬀense and with the kicking game and we’ll handle that in the oﬀseason,” Golden said. Freshman linebacker Amara Kamara, who ﬁnished his freshman year with 71 tackles and one interception, said his team’s performance throughout the year can be viewed from two sides. “We won four games this year and that’s better than last season,” Kamara said. “But we still had opportunities to win more games. We have to get ready for next year and we have to get ready to come out and play.” Knighton said the team wants to take one key step for next season. “We want to go from competing in every game to winning every game,” Knighton said. “We competed in every game, with the exception of two, and we just want to move from competitive football to winning football.” Sophomore cornerback Anthony Ferla said improvements were made but the team will continue to focus on getting better. “Right now were plus-3 from last year,” Ferla said. “All we’re going to talk about is improving from this year and ﬁnishing in November.”
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