VOLUME 102, ISSUE 41
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
DECEMBER 5, 2012
University, city experience year of development
Emerging Research Status— Jan. 12
With the number of students steadily rising, the university responded with the opening and construction of several new buildings this year. The City of San Marcos is also developing and saw new construction of its own. Texas State and the city have experienced significant growth, and residents and students saw its effects in 2012.
Texas State was reclassified as an emerging research institution, which made the university eligible for more multi-million dollar potential funding. The new tier two distinction placed Texas State among the ranks of other state institutions including Texas Tech University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Houston.
Comanche 24-inch Water Transmission Main—Installation began July 9
The project is part of the City of San Marcos’ 2004 Water Master Plan in an attempt to bette distribute water around the city. The project re-r ceived about $2.6 million in funding from the City of San Marcos through water taxes. Approximately 6,561 feet of 24-inch main pipeline will be laid during construction.
North Campus Housing Complex—Opened Aug. 18
Undergraduate Academic Center—Completed June 2012 Hillside Ranch Phase Two—Rezoning approved March 20, 2012 The San Marcos City Council voted 4-3 to pass an ordinance to rezone a single-family residential district to a multi-family district to begin construction of Hillside Ranch Phase Two.
The North Campus Housing Complex opened its doors to students this fall. Construction on the $48 million project began two years ago. The housing complex consists of two separate residence halls built to house approximately 300 students.
Downtown Construction— Began Aug. 2012
The Retreat—Opened Aug. 2012
The Retreat, a student housing complex located at 512 Craddock Ave., contains 780 beds and 187 cottages. The complex opened its doors to students this fall.
Bobcat Stadium – North Side Complex—Opened Sept. 1
Star File Photo Star File Photo
The $47.7 million facility houses the ExPersonalized Academic and Career erund and ram prog CE) ploration (PA graduate advisement, as well as the psychology, sociology and political science departments.
The renovated Bobcat Stadium welcomed thousands of Bobcat Athletics fans this fall. The stadium underwent renovation to accommodate the growing university population, doubling its existing capacity. The $33 million project addressed the need for concession space, restrooms, locker rooms, storage, display and retail space.
Star File Photo
The City of San Marcos broke ground on the two-year Downtown Reconstruction Project this fall. The $10.2 million construction project will improve Hutchison Street from the San Marcos River to LBJ Drive to Hopkins Street to University Drive. The project will include complete street and sidewalk reconstruction, installation of underground electric lines, and drainage, water and wastewater improvements.
S.T.A.R. Park—Opened Nov. 9
Texas State recently opened S.T.A.R. One, the first incubator building at the Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park. S.T.A.R. Park, located at Hunter Road and McCarty Lane, will introduce the availability of wet labs, clean rooms and office space for companies looking to develop ideas and pursue patents.
Emerging Research status spurs funding, enthusiasm By Monica Solis News Reporter Texas State has experienced increased monetary funding and interest from students and professors almost a year after the university’s designation as an Emerging Research Institution. Texas State became an Emerging Research Institution Jan. 12, joining Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dallas, Arlington and El Paso. The status, a step below tier one, makes the universities eligible for additional funding in the form of the Texas Research Incentive Program. Michael Blanda, assistant vice president for Research and Federal Relations, said the eligibility for new funding has created new expectations for success at Texas State. “(Emerging Research status) really has invigorated a lot of people who have worked hard for this—students, faculty and support services,” Blanda said. “It has validated their efforts through achieving it.” Blanda said the additional funding allows for the enhancement of gifts for research. The state-financed program awards matched funds to emerging research institutions, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Blanda said he has seen “higher energy, enthusiasm and satisfaction” among faculty members this year as a result of the institution’s designation. As an Emerging Research Institution, Texas State must offer a minimum of 10 doctoral programs, enroll at least 150 to-
tal students in them and reach $14 million in research expenditures in one year. The university currently offers 12 doctoral programs. Texas State has awarded 64 doctorates between 2010 and 2011 and enrolled 404 doctoral students in 2011, according to an overview presentation by University President Denise Trauth. The research expenditure had increased by 2011 to approximately $33.4 million. Provost Eugene Bourgeois said he believes the Emerging Research status received in January was “long overdue.” Bourgeois has spearheaded an executive research committee to align with the coordinating board’s requests. The coordinating board, which awards the status to schools, requests institutions have separate research and university strategic plans. Blanda said he chairs the Executive Research Plan Committee, which will submit the finished strategy to Bourgeois in April. The committee has been working on the strategic plan since September and hopes to describe how the institution will go from its current Emerging Research second-tier status to National Research, or “top tier,” Blanda said. “Now that we’re into our first year operating as an Emerging Research University, I think we’re proving not only to ourselves, but also to the state of Texas that we deserve this status,” Bourgeois said. “We will build on that and try to become eligible as a National Research University within the next ten years or so.” Cynthia Opheim, associate provost of
READ RESEARCH, PAGE 4
(Emerging Research status) really has invigorated a lot of people who have worked hard for this—students, faculty and support services. It has validated their efforts through achieving it.” —Michael Blanda, assistant vice president for Research and Federal Relations
Eugene Bourgeois University Provost John Casares, Staff Photographer
By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Provost Eugene Bourgeois looks back on Texas State’s accomplishments in 2012 and shares some expectations he has for the legislative session, campus construction and the university’s status in the upcoming year. NB: What was the challenge the university has faced this year? EB: The biggest challenge, probably, was accommodating the record number of students this semester in the face of the budget reductions we’ve encountered in the past three years. NB: What set Texas State apart from other universities this year? EB: Well, we’re on a roll. We are the hot thing in the state of Texas right now in terms of our status now as an Emerging Research University. I think another thing that is making us more and more attractive is the fact that we continue to bring new buildings online and to improve the overall look of our campus. I would add the opening of the new S.T.A.R. One, our Science, Technology and Advanced Research building that is part of our research park just south of campus. That also has brought us a number of hits in terms of newsworthiness around the state of Texas.
NB: What do you look forward to in the coming year? EB: Well, for one, we’re hoping that in this next legislative session that higher education is treated a bit better than it has been more recently. We hope we see some funding restored for higher education. I would hope that students, as well as I know our administration, would look forward to no further reductions in financial aid programs such as the TEXAS Grant. We also very much hope the legislature approves debt financing for two new buildings that we are seeking, one being a new engineering and science building here in San Marcos, and the other one being what we’re calling our first health professions building in Round Rock. NB: What events and changes can students look forward to next semester? EB: Well, some of the construction will be more close to completion, which means some of the roads, byways and pedestrian ways around campus should be open and free from the obstacles that students, faculty and staff are experiencing. Again, I think continuing to sort of celebrate the fact that students at Texas State are attending one of the prominent public institutions in the state of Texas. They need to enjoy that status as an Emerging Research University and get engaged in research activities whether they are undergraduate students or graduate students.
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KP: What is the relationship between San Marcos and Texas State? DG: Back when I was an undergraduate at Texas State, those were some really difficult times between the university and the city combating over water rights and well rights. Since then, I think there’s been more of a focus on what can we do to work together to improve economic development. Texas State is undoubtedly a huge economy injector in San Marcos, not only from a sales tax perspective, but it is producing talented people and useful data and products that are valued globally, and it’s happening right here in San Marcos. The focus on what mutually benefits the city and the university has made us a greater partner. Do we still have challenges when it comes to culture clashes between young citizens and residential citizens? Well, yeah, but I don’t think that’s different than any other community. KP: Are there any other challenges of having a university in San Marcos? DG: The biggest challenge we have is that as a state institution there is no property tax value assessed on the university’s property. The amount that we don’t get from the school is roughly $1.4 billion. That’s a huge hole to try to fill when you are serv-
and we are a municipality. That’s the fundamental aspect. The other thing is that when it comes to growth with the university, we typically are trying to find reasonable means of compromise between its growth and the city’s needs. Not to mention, a lot of the businesses in San Marcos, small businesses and outlet mall retailers, are dependent upon the students not only to be customers, but to be employees. So there are a lot of benefits of having a university here, and it’s one of our major employers.
KP: Should city government monitor or limit the growth of the university? DG: No, I don’t. For one thing, it is a state institution,
KP: What’s the situation with the construction around town? DG: We are way behind on improving our streets
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and roadways. Our transportation infrastructure is the most important aspect to our economic development and we’ve had plans in the works for 12-15 years that had not been executed because the cost of materials skyrocketed after Sept. 11. Right now, these costs are beginning to level out, so basically we are getting them done while we can afford it. The number of drivers in San Marcos is increasing every day, and we’ve got to get it done before the costs go back up.
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Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who was re-elected as mayor last month, discusses the effects of Texas State on the city.
ing an entire community. On top of that, because they’re within our municipal jurisdiction, we, as the city, are still responsible for ensuring they have fire protection and EMS protection. When you look at where the partnership initiated, it was a granting of land, 11 acres from the City of San Marcos to Southwest Texas State Normal School that got it started. I think that partnership has flourished. It has had its challenges, but if the university were not here, this community would not be what it is today.
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4 | Wednesday December 5, 2012 | The University Star | News
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Academic Affairs, said Texas State has always been a draw for “talented” faculty, but the status has enhanced that attraction. “This raises our visibility and prestige,” Opheim said. “Just like it helps attract more talented faculty, it attracts more talented students. It raises the value of a
student’s degree.” Opheim said faculty will pursue grant expenditures more often because of the Emerging Research status, but doctoral education will be a focus of the university. Doctoral programs are looking to be expanded along with the amount of doctoral students enrolled, Opheim said.
Chief of the University Police Department By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Ralph Meyer, chief of the University Police Department, reflected on the performance of the campus police this year, and discussed what Bobcats can look forward to in 2013. Star File Photo
Director of Housing and Residential Life By James Carneiro Special to the Star Rosanne Proite, Director of Housing and Residential Life, discusses how she is responding to Texas State’s growing population and what effects the student increase will have on campus living. JC: If any new dorms are built, what kind of accommodations can we expect them to have? RP: We just broke ground on a brand new building, and it will have 578 beds. It will be for freshmen, some sophomores, juniors and seniors. There will be two adjoining rooms, so it’ll have two double bedrooms and a bathroom in between. We’re now planning the next building and two more after that, and those will all be traditional-style residence halls. We will not be building any apartments. JC: How is your department responding to the increase in student population? RP: Well, for one thing, we did away with the sophomore requirement to live on campus. At one time, you had to live on campus as a freshman and as a sophomore. Two years ago we finally eliminated the requirement altogether because we don’t have enough housing to guarantee housing for all of those people. I think most people agree freshman year is the year you want to have a requirement. It’s the year you come to campus, kind of get your bearings, have lots of people around you who are also getting
their bearings. So, it’s “misery loves company” almost. That’s why we’re focused so much on freshmen. JC: Will the Loop 82 Overpass Project make it difficult for students to live on campus? RP: I think in the long run, the Loop 82 Overpass is going to be the best thing since sliced bread. I think there will be some inconveniences that will occur during the construction, but we’re experiencing inconveniences throughout the City of San Marcos and throughout the campus in order for us to eventually get to the place where we’re all going to have a better experience. So, I think it will be a good thing. JC: Considering the lack of parking spaces for students on campus, do you think it would be a good idea to let some freshmen live off campus someday? RP: No, because I still have to fill all the beds. The answer isn’t to let students live off campus. If you look at other universities across the country, parking is a significant issue that everyone deals with. It’s not just here at Texas State. And if you were to look at the University of Texas, what do they pay for parking? Students who live on campus pay a huge amount of money. And they’re not close to their halls at all. So, we’ve got some struggles, we’ve got some issues that we’ve got to get resolved, and I know that (Transportation Services) is working very hard at coming up with some different options and solutions for the future.
NB: What was the biggest challenge this year for UPD? RM: Preparing to go to the new football FBS, starting out with the new stadium, and getting prepared for the Tech game. That was our biggest challenge between (UPD) and the city. It was an extremely good effort. NB: One of the big things that happened this year was the bomb threat. How would you describe the university’s handling of the situation? RM: I think it was exceptionally excellent. With the information we had, we acted accordingly. We had to vacate one building, the admissions building, so that was good. And we were able to catch the person who we believe sent the message, and that’s going through the court system at this time. NB: Would you have done anything differently with how it was handled? RM: No, I think it was pretty well handled. We tried to get out as much information as we could to the population. I guess the negative is I wish we had more students in the R.A.V.E. system so we could automatically notify them so there wouldn’t be a problem of not everybody getting the message or getting the word. It would help tremendously if we could
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
get all the information to them. NB: How has UPD dealt with the smoking ban on campus this year? RM: There are less people openly smoking. We don’t have as many people calling in as we did last semester. We still have some. There’s pockets of people who hide behind buildings and do this. And when we’re running into those we get their names, and we have a policy and procedure intact that they’re reported to the Dean of Students or to the faculty chair that they’re under. But it hasn’t been as big a problem as it was last year. It’s been more and more accepted. NB: What do you all look forward to in the coming year? RM: I think we’re looking at, the whole university and not just the police department, the uncertainty of the legislature, whether there is going to be money for funding for all the different things the university needs. That affects everybody. We were fortunate to get three new officer positions in September. So we have two on board for that new position, so we’re feeling good about that. We could always use more funding. Everybody on campus could use more funding. But we’re not going backwards, and that’s just our biggest plus.
It makes you smarter.
The University Star | Wednesday December 5, 2012 | A5
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Graduates, students should prepare for finals, future
he semester is almost over. Though the weather may not indicate the end of the fall semester, finals are rapidly approaching, and December graduates are itching to pull on their caps and gowns. The editorial board would like to congratulate all December graduates. We wish them the best of luck as they head into the professional world and hope they strive to represent Texas State to the highest standard. The university has continually worked to uphold its title as the “rising star of Texas,” which can be achieved if graduates head into their respective fields and put their hard work in the Hill Country on display. Alumni build the reputation of the university as they move into the post-collegiate world and pave the way for future Bobcats. Alumni must not forget where they came from once they walk across the stage. Graduates can choose to donate to the Alumni
Association and should make time to visit the university as often as possible. Development and growth will continue to play a huge part in the future of the city and university. Alumni should be active in shaping how their alma mater and the city as a whole handle a growing student population and ambitious goals in the coming years. Those who are not yet graduating should use the winter break to recharge their batteries and come back ready to learn. Students can start anew in the spring with refreshed dedication to their classes and a clean slate. If the semester did not turn out as planned, come back next semester with a good attitude, rested mind and maybe a replenished bank account. In the meantime, all students should utilize the resources available to them to lessen the burden of finals week and avoid crashing at the end of the semester. The library is open 24 hours a day
during finals week and has extended hours leading up to then, offering open computer labs and a quiet space to study. It may take hard work, but a high final grade will positively affect a GPA and ultimately be worth the dedication when the semester is over. This year has been one of development and growth for the university. It is a good time to reflect on why more than 34,000 students have chosen to come to Texas State this year. The Hill Country is a beautiful backdrop for college years. For students returning in the spring, remember to take full advantage of college and everything it has to offer. Texas State has knowledgeable faculty members who can assist students on their way to success, many like-minded students to meet and local sites and businesses to visit. Do not give up now. Winter break and graduation for many Bobcats will be here before we know it.
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.
Emmanuel Ramirez, Star Illustrator
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Opinions | The University Star | Wednesday December 5, 2012 | A7
Stay strong during finals
By Alex Pernice Opinions Columnist
obcats should remember to keep their focus on finals as the fall semester wraps up. With finals only days away and winter break not too far behind, it can be somewhat difficult to stay on track and find motivation. The end of the semester not only signals exams and projects, but could mean major grade changes if students do not keep up with their studies. As a student, you may find yourself drowning in stress during these next few weeks, but remember— surviving finals is not an impossible task. The basic essentials for a good study session include organized notes, lecture slides, handouts and other class materials. However, even with preparation, studying may be difficult for some. If that is the case, it is important to quickly develop a reliable, simple study process for final exams.
Effective studying starts with one thing—finding the right time to actually do so. Now is not the time for procrastination, even though it may sound tempting. You might feel like sleeping in a few extra hours and The Square may be calling, but choosing to stay in and review for a difficult final is important. Make flash cards or bring notes to places such as the bus during a ride to campus and to the kitchen while you cook food. Class content can even be reviewed in between commercials during that Harry Potter marathon you have been dying to watch. It does not matter whether a student devotes small spurts of time or a long stretch of a few hours, studying must be done. Something many students might overlook is the importance of getting comfortable while studying. Do not set up a laptop and books somewhere cramped or crowded. Wear comfortable clothing and relax when getting ready to study. Your environment can help put the mind at ease and lessen the stress studying may cause. Feeling comfortable can really get those learning vibes going while getting through some of the hardest times of a college
career, otherwise known as hitting the books for finals. One of the biggest nuisances to take away from a solid study session is a bad distraction. Students can turn off cell phones, avoid social media websites and study in silent and calm places to help avoid this issue. Set goals for the study session and reward yourself when they are met. For students with extremely short attention spans, a small reward such as a quick snack break may be needed after every paragraph read or problem solved. Those with slightly longer study tolerances might take a trip to the park for some fresh air and go on a walk to celebrate their success. When taking study breaks, avoid getting on Facebook or Twitter. Social media websites may easily distract students from finishing up much-needed study sessions. Do not fret, Bobcats. The time has almost come for that glorious month off from school with nothing but stress-free living. However, the time for finals is here now, so make sure to finish strong.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR I am concerned that juvenile justice agencies are not seeking out new interventions to address at-risk behaviors in youth, which lead to delinquency, truancy, dropping out of school or referral to the juvenile justice system. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department Board approved $1.5 million to be used to fund programs and services intended to prevent or intervene in at-risk behaviors by prioritizing community-based services and minimizing secure state facilities. I am concerned that agencies are not being held accountable for the quality of services provided to the youth. I propose that agencies actively pursue the most effective interventions and start implementing more experiential education in their programs such as adventure therapy, equine-assisted therapy and outdoor education. Experiential education reaches youth who do not respond well to traditional counseling interventions. There are many benefits of experiential education, which could help our youth overcome obstacles to a happy and productive life. Respectfully, Dream Team (April Bonds, Lisa Brooks, April Hubbard, Matthew Krugh, Aleah Penn) Social Work 5322: Advanced Social Policy and Social Justice
—Alex Pernice is a mass communication sophomore.
Texas State should seek alternatives to custodial outsourcing
By Molly Block Opinions Columnist
exas State officials need to take advantage of alternative measures to help end the utilization of outsourcing for custodial vacancies at the university. According to a Nov. 27 University Star article, Texas State began procedures last summer to outsource custodial positions. It was agreed the university would enter into a contract, which came into effect June 1, with McLemore Building Maintenance, Inc. According to the same article, the positions will be filled by McLemore employees as Texas State-employed custodians retire or decide to leave over time. Many custodians hired by Texas State do not feel confident about the new employees’ abilities to
do their jobs, although the university will ultimately save money because of this recent decision. It seems the need for custodial outsourcing stems from financial difficulties. However, Texas State really should not be struggling for money right now. According to a Sept. 18 University Star article, there are a total of 34,229 students attending the university. Numbers from the Texas State website indicate the total yearly cost of tuition for a Texas resident living on campus is an average of $21,130 based on 15 credit hours a semester. The cost goes up to an estimated $31,660 a year for an oncampus non-Texas resident with the same amount of credit hours. Extra charges not included in tuition, such as library and student service fees, play a role as well. Like many other institutions across the state, the university has suffered recent multi-million dollar budget cuts. Despite this, Texas State has fared well within the university system due to careful planning. It is unlikely the budget will experience a significant decline if the university continues to hire and keep Texas State-employed custodians instead of
outsourcing them. There are no plans to terminate any current Texas State custodians to make room for McLemore employees, according to the article. However, the prospect of outsourcing all custodial workers in the future may be a scary thought. In the article, Nance said the idea to completely outsource all custodial operations has been a popular topic for many years. Any custodians employed by McLemore working at Texas State in the future will get fewer benefits than what current university-employed custodians receive. Right now, Texas State custodians receive a retirement program, health insurance, time off to enroll in classes and an increase of 1.5 percent every two years in their salary. Since McLemore is a private company, the benefit package they provide is not as accommodating as the one provided by the university. For any future Texas State custodial workers, this notion will likely be unsettling. Texas State needs to seek other alternatives instead of choosing to outsource all of the custodial positions at the university. If Texas State students were hired to work part-
time, similarly to those employed with the Bobcat tram system, the university could save money and help put an end to the outsourcing of custodial jobs. These students will be working for the university part-time alongside the experienced custodians. The students can learn from them and not have to be paid as much as full-time workers. Custodians deserve the benefits granted to them as Texas State-hired employees. It is important that these benefits are preserved and not diminished through outsourcing. In addition, the university could more evenly redistribute money within the budget through a gradual give and take process to ensure custodians will not be fully outsourced in the future. With rising tuition and fee costs and a growing student body, money will continue to pour into the budget despite overall university debt and legislative budget cuts. If these steps are taken by Texas State, outsourcing could largely be prevented, and Texas Stateemployed custodians could worry a little less. —Molly Block is a mass communication junior.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR N. LBJ Drive is undergoing a water line construction project, and a road project will follow next semester in 2013. It is quite torn up from Sessom Drive to Holland Street. There are many pedestrians and bicyclists still using it, weaving in and out of heavy equipment and heavy traffic narrowed down to one lane. There are few sidewalks, and those are not connected. They could be using Chestnut Street which is parallel to N. LBJ, very nearby, and this street has an entire lane blocked off for bikes and pedestrians. It even has a lot of shade from overhanging trees. N. LBJ is dangerous, has very little in the way of sidewalks, and students walk on what is worse than a mountain goat path, with sharp-pointed cactus lining one side just for good measure. We residents of San Marcos have been advocating for sidewalks for the students on this street for 12 years, and it is finally going to happen next year. But until then, please do not use N. LBJ if you can help it. And cars would be advised to also use Ranch Road 12 as their artery through town, not N. LBJ while this construction is going on. It will be safer for all. Thanks, Dianne Wassenich, 11 Tanglewood, San Marcos
Grace Perkins, Star Illustrator
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