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Student Government drafts legislation to bring immigration attorney to campus

Protestors gather around the Hays County Historic Courthouse Nov. 12 during a peaceful protest. Protestors marched from Tantra Coffeehouse to the square. PHOTO BY JENNIFER CHACON | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By Rae Glassford Assistant News Editor @rae_maybe Between the Monday, Nov. 28 administrative Round Table, the circulation of a petition to designate the university a sanctuary campus, the demonstration of solidarity with undocumented students in the Quad Dec. 1 and governor Greg Abbott’s threat to cut off funding to public institutions in support of the sanctuary campus initiative, it has been a busy week for Texas State officials and students alike. On Friday, Dec. 3, an official statement intended to address the petition was released by Student Government president Andrew Homann. The statement condemned violence and called for dialogue, and explained that Student Government will not condone any action in opposition to the laws of the United States. “Firstly, I want to say that we feel safety is the most important concern,” Homann said. “Every student, regardless of their beliefs and opinions, should feel that their life is being protected here on campus –

that they’re safe to go to class and be active. And while we realize that, the responsibility of student government is to represent all of the student body, and we can’t go against laws in place that the state puts upon us. So, myself and the cabinet cannot at this time support the petition.” The statement does not reflect the personal opinions of every individual member of Student Government’s legislature, just those of the cabinet and executive branch, Homann clarified. “I think one of the things we’ve done is taken the initiative to be active,” Homann said of the importance of communication between government and constituents. “It’s easy to sit back and not respond to this at all, but it’s vital that elected officials voice their opinions on important topics, so we decided to speak out and release a statement.” The statement was released in time to serve as a response not only to the circulation of the sanctuary campus petition by organizations like SCOPE and LULAC, but also to comments made by Texas governor Greg

Abbott via Twitter last Thursday, in which he declared his intention to cut off funding to universities that adopted sanctuary status. “That may be a reality, but we’re going to push for what we believe in,” said LULAC president Julia Estrada about Abbott’s stance. “It’s important that donors to the university know – that everybody in the state of Texas knows – that we take our education very seriously, but we also take everybody else’s education very seriously. Everybody has the right to an education, no matter where you come from or where you’ve been.” Although the statement made clear Student Government’s formal stance, the question of whether its release has successfully mitigated students’ fears remains unclear. “I have known a couple of (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students, and right now they’re worried about what all this means, and what’s going on,” said Latin Music Studies professor and ensembles coordinator John Lopez. “On the day after the elections, one of my

students confided that they feel their future is at stake.” Seeing as undocumented people must voluntarily come forward to offer personal information such as names and addresses in order to register with the DACA program, many DACA students are concerned that such information could be used against them if the act is repealed, Lopez said. “As a professor and a teacher, I feel really helpless and sad because these are very, very hardworking and incredible students and now there might be a chance that their dreams may not be fulfilled,” Lopez said. “The whole point of DACA is trying to get undocumented students a social security number, to create a pathway to help them fulfill their dreams. And it just takes a swipe of the pen in an executive order to make all of that come crashing down.” Lopez said that he has heard other faculty members voice similar concerns on behalf of their students. “It’s just a really unfortunate situation because in my experience,

the DACA students I’ve worked with have been some of the best students I have ever had in all my history of teaching,” Lopez said. Since Lopez has been granted a sabbatical this semester, he was not on campus in the days immediately following the election. However, he found out that on the morning of Nov. 9, one of the music program’s mariachi students reported that she had been verbally harassed while walking through the Quad. “She said another student followed her, yelling at her to go back to Mexico and telling her she’s not wanted here,” Lopez said. “I found out about it that night, and I broke my sabbatical to come out to campus and talk to my students. In all my 23 years of teaching, I have never ever brought a conversation about politics into the classroom until then.” Right now, the only thing he can tell his students that lots of things that were said on the campaign trail will probably never happen, but all we can do is wait and see, Lopez said. The coalition to make

Texas State a sanctuary campus remains active at the university. However, another solution may be in the works. “From what I understand, there is a piece of legislation that will be written, introduced and voted upon by the senate next semester (since we have adjourned for this semester), which is meant to address the same issues that the petition does, in some way,” Homann said. “We have had some brief talks with university administration, and they’re looking into specific parts of the petition and deciding what the best route for Texas State could be.” According to Student Government senator and director of student services Cutter Gonzalez, the draft of legislation Homann was referring to actually pre-dates the arrival of the sanctuary campus petition by several months. See,

CAMPUS, pg.. 5.

Sights & Sounds of Christmas

Year in review inside See,

CHRISTMAS, pg.. 3.

2 | Tuesday, December 6, 2016


The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar


2017 is our year 2016 may have royally sucked, but 2017 has the possibility to be much better. Numerous events have transpired that have left us lost for words and battling feelings of disillusionment and uncertainty. There is an ongoing war in Syria, the alt-right movement is on the rise in America, a reality television star will be the next leader of the “free world” and Brexit—freaking Brexit. It is easy to believe that the world will soon collapse into apocalyptic ruin, if the events that

transpired in 2016 are any evidence of our future. However, before we began searching the skies for signs of the four horsemen, we must remember our saving grace—ourselves. The human race is not a stranger to disaster. In 1929, Wall Street crashed and led to the worst economic disaster in American History. 1932 led to the rise of fascism in Europe, and 1968 was a year of mass protests across the world—from civil rights marches in the United States, to student protests in Poland

in opposition to police involvement on campus. 2016 may be the worst year our generation has faced but our feelings of uncertainty this year are not novel. Our parents and grandparents also had little confidence about the future when they were young and they somehow managed to survive. If you believe that 2016 was one of the worst years our generation has faced, ensure that our following years, starting with 2017, will be better. If you are afraid for

your safety and the safety of others, then guarantee that you have access to protection for yourself and others. If you were unhappy with the results of the 2016 presidential election and are not pleased with the direction of our government is headed, then get involved with politics and remain involved. Our system of government relies on an educated electorate, so it is imperative that you educate yourself on the issues you find most disruptive and damaging to your life and the lives

of those you care about. Once educated, become active in the various groups available to incite change. Take your hopelessness and lack of motivation and fight for the things that you care about. The nation has its eyes on not only our generation, but specifically, our school. Texas State University is home to an array of beautiful people who wish to make the world a better place not only worldwide, but also close to home. We have faced our fair share of heart-

ache and struggle this year: the rise of assaults on campus, the hateful flyers posted in bathrooms and the deaths of students. Sure, 2016 made the worst out of most of us, yet, 2017 gives us the opportunity to redeem ourselves and prove how capable we are of change. 2017 should be a year of not only personal growth and development, but a time of unity and progression as a country. Be the change you wish to see.

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 Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.


Letter to the Editor: Cheaper food on campus Dear Editor, Food is the most important component to life because it provides nutrients for energy and good health for the body. Without food our bodies would not be able to function properly at the highest level possible mentally and physically. We, as humans consume many different types of food whether its protein, fruits or vegetables, they all contain certain amounts of components that power our bodies while having a strong influences our health. In many colleges across America students are required to live on campus the first year and are required to purchase a meal plan either for the semester or the whole school year. The “Meal Plan” is a system in which students pay ahead for a set number of meals that they can use through out the semester or year without having to consistently be charged. This process was created to help move food lines faster and make it easier for students to maintain their money without

spending it recklessly. Texas State follows this same system. The university offers a block meal plan that includes dining dollars to be used on either snacks or retail dining. The problem with the meal plans on campus is food on campus does not offer enough variety and it also does not provide an affordable meal plan for students not living on campus and professors. The university offers three meal plan options in which all three cost more than $1,000 per semester. Money is a very crucial part of college and not everybody has the wealth to pay for their child’s meal plan or have their child spend money on food off campus. The main reason

why a lot of students go off campus to eat is because they are either bored or cannot eat the food that is being served because of the slim choices that are available with the price that it is charged at. Professors and students commuting usually stay at the university for at least half the day and are afraid to buy food because of the price. Also vegetarians and vegans tend to have a hard time eating at the dining halls because the halls do not provide a lot of food for those lifestyles. This is a huge problem because there are so many students that attend Texas State and without the nutrients, we as students will not have the physical and mental

strength needed. Students at Texas State propose a policy in which the price of the meal plans for commuter students and professors are lower and put at a more affordable price but offer less meal swipes than a student living on campus. This allows commuter students and professors to have the opportunity to eat on campus. Also the policy will include Texas State signing contracts with other food corpora-

tion that offers a more wider variety of food for students that have certain preference. This should be something that should be taken seriously because there are many dining halls around campus but they are all over priced and do not offer enough food for vegetarians and vegans. That is why Texas State should adopt this policy and make it something permanent through out the years to provide a better food service for

the students and professors. Sincerely, Henry Le, Hailey Whitman, Mariah Rodriguez, Jasmine Serra Le, Whitman, Rodriguez and Sierra are freshman at Texas State

The University Star

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | 3

LIFESTYLE @universitystar

Denise Cervantes, Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise


Sights & Sounds: A San Marcos Tradition By Trista Castillo Lifestyle Reporter @tristaaaaa This year was the 30th anniversary of the annual San Marcos winter festival, Sights and Sounds of Christmas. The event was held Nov. 30-Dec.3 at San Marcos Plaza Park from 5-11 p.m. and welcomed the holiday spirt with carnival rides, a petting zoo, live music, an ice skating rink, stores and food. Since there were renovations to location of the event this year, the festival looked different. Tommy Curtis, President and Coordinator of Sight and Sounds of Christmas. said the layout of festival was more spread out.

Curtis said that the biggest goal throughout the whole weekend is to bring people together and help others. “All of the money that we raise here at Sights and Sounds is to help out non-profits,” Curtis said. “So, its good to keep in mind that whenever you’re buying food items its going to a good cause.” Curtis said that Sights and Sounds of Christmas and the Jingle Bell run 5K are traditions that people keep coming back. “This is our 30th anniversary, and a lot of people have been coming since they were small,” Curtis said. “I think these people come, because it is a huge community tradition and it helps that we

tradition and it kind just kicks off Christmas for our family,” Smith said. “Also, of course we come for the biscuits.” Curtis said the biscuits are their number one selling food item at the festival. “Typically we hear the lights and the entertainment are reasons why people come to Sights and Sounds, but the biscuits are something everyone compliments,” Curtis said. Jayden Carmona, San Marcos resident and volunteer, said he has been coming to sights and sounds every year for 5 years. “I love Sights and Sounds, everyone is really nice and like that I get to be here and volunteer

The Ferris wheel stood tall over the festival grounds Dec. 1 during Sights & Sounds. Attendees had many carnival rides to choose from. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

A young girl meets characters Dec. 1 at Sights & Sounds. The characters walked throughout the festival grounds for guests to take photos. PHOTO BY wwLARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

“Since we have a lot more space this year everything has been flipped around,” Curtis said. “This year we have a few more carnival rides due to the renovations and the arts and crafts area will have two tents instead of one.” Curtis said Sights and Sounds of Christmas also had a bigger laser light show and a multicolored Christmas tree. “Hopefully people notice that our giant 70 foot Christmas tree wasn’t all white this year,” Curtis said. Sights and Sounds of Christmas isn’t the only tradition San Marcos has during the holidays. The Jingle bell run 5K and the Kids 1K is also a community favorite. Curtis said the Jingle Bell run 5k and Kid’s 1k are the largest and most unique in the region. “Everyone usually goes all out for this 5k and dresses up in Christmas attire,” Curtis said. “The racers also get jingles on their feet so when they are running through the town you can hear the jingles.”

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are super close to Texas State.” Joy Smith, San Marcos resident, said she has come to Sights and Sounds every year since she has had a family. “I think it’s a Christmas

with my friends,” Carmona said. “My favorite part of this event is the animals, because they let you pet them.”

Festivalgoers enjoy the merry-go-round Dec. 1 at Sights & Sounds. There were many carnival rides to choose from at this year’s festival. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

4 | Tuesday, December 6, 2016


The University Star Bri Watkins News Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar


Letter to the community from President Trauth Dear Members of the Texas State Community, I hope that you enjoyed a Thanksgiving holiday that was filled with good fellowship and had at least some time devoted to relaxation. I personally used much of the time to review and mull over the emails, resolutions and letters I have received during the last three weeks pertaining to the presidential election and the events that have transpired in its wake, both on and off our campuses.  These communications include resolutions and letters from academic departments, an open letter to the editor in the University Star, a communication from the Coalition of Black Faculty and Staff, and hundreds of emails from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university.  Over the long holiday, I carefully reread and thought deeply about the ideas and concepts that were included in these communications.  I then reread them again, this time seeking to understand what unexpressed ideas and thoughts may have existed and served as a foundation for those that were directly expressed.  As I did this, I considered the honest and, at times, unapologetic tone of these communications, the authors’ passion, and sincerity of the expression.  I began looking between the letters of the words, under and above the sentences, and in and around the paragraphs … to really hear and understand what the authors were saying. This is what I heard.  Although many members of our campus community are pleased with the outcome of the election, many more of the ones who wrote to me are feeling alarmed, anxious, marginalized, unwelcome, disrespected, targeted, and hurt due to divisive rhetoric and unkind acts that have occurred across our country, in our cities and towns, and at our university.  Many are concerned about their physical safety and their

emotional wellbeing both on our campuses and off our campuses. Many members of our community worry that racism has become acceptable and, therefore, they are no longer considered to be valued members of our Texas State community.  They worry that, all of a sudden, after the recent election, the friends that they thought they had on campus -- including me -can no longer be trusted.  They wonder if we will maintain our commitment to them and to the University mission and values that specifically and intentionally state our institutional pledge to be an open, diverse, accepting academic community that treasures and values each member of our university and embraces our diversity – because that is who we are at Texas State.  In rereading all these materials at one time, what struck me forcibly was the range of conflicting emotions that were battling for my attention.  My heart felt deeply sad to read and hear that members of our campus community not only question their safety but also question whether I am concerned about their safety.  That, my friends, is deeply disturbing to me as I consider myself to be the guardian of our campus community and the mission and values that we hold dear.  At the same time, I felt so proud that the authors of these pieces would trust me enough to directly share their perception of the feelings held by some members of our community.  These pieces offer insights into what the authors’ consider the paramount role and responsibility of a University President.  Thank you for trusting me with your voices. First, let me reassure all members of the Texas State community of my respect for and concern about the safety and wellbeing of each of you.  I also want to reassure you that I remain committed to the core mission and values of this University and to our policies that prohibit discrimination,

unequal treatment, and acts of violence. Additionally, I want to reassure all that we have taken, and will continue to take steps that allow us to maintain an academically vital, safe, and sacred space that promotes civility, dialogue, discussion, debate, and the free and unfettered exchange of ideas, opinions, thoughts, and theories.  We will not tolerate vile acts of aggression such as the vigilante posters that appeared the day after the election.  As examples of the proactive steps that we continue to take in our on-going efforts to both preserve the vitality of our academic environment and protect every member of our campus community, we are:   · Increasing the presence on campus of the University police by adding bike and walking patrols, encouraging students to add the free Bobcat Guardian mobile safety app to mobile devices so they have a direct connection to the University Police Department (UPD) in times of need, reminding students to use the Bobcat Bobbies service to ensure safe movement on campus, and asking students to immediately contact UPD to report any threat, intimidation, act of violence, or unusual activity that they have witnessed or have experienced; ·  Encouraging faculty, staff, and students to talk to one another and share any concerns they have about their wellbeing or the wellbeing of others on campus with their closest supervisor and asking those supervisors to immediately report those concerns to the appropriate vice president; and · Providing public forums for discussion of issues on the national, state, local, and campus levels that are or may impact members of our campus community.  The public forums provide safe environments for civil discourse between all members of the campus community and encourage the communication

of diverse perspectives on controversial issues to allow us to hear one another, learn from one another, and arrive at a more informed and better understanding of the viewpoints held by each other. These public forums include: -  Sponsoring through Student Government “Bobcats United,” which is a series of town hall meetings that encourage open discussion of various issues and controversial topics. -   Sponsoring through The College of Liberal Arts a dialogue series that is open to all members of the campus community titled:  “In the Aftermath of the 2016 Elections:  Dialogues on Democracy and Conflict.”  These dialogues are held in the Philosophy Dialogue Room, Comal 116, from 11 a.m.12:15 p.m.  The first was on November 21 and the topic was Talking Politics With Our Families.  Today’s topic was What is Patriotism?  Protest and American Democracy.  Three more will be held this semester: November 30 (Topic:  Politics and Roommates); December 5 (Topic: Freedom of Expression, Safe Spaces, and Brave Spaces); December 7 (Topic:  What Does It Mean to be “An American.”).  More dialogues are being scheduled for the spring 2017 semester. In this context of the safety of our campuses, I must point out that during the three weeks since the election, UPD has not received any reports of an assault or a direct threat of an assault upon a Texas State student, faculty, or staff member.  So let me reiterate:  all threats or assaults should be reported immediately to UPD. I would now like to turn to my vision of the duties and responsibilities of a University President.  I do this so that all members of our campus community can better understand why, in my role as a university leader, I must always act in the best interest of the university.  Although other university presidents may have a dif-

ferent vision of their role as the leader of an institution of higher education, I believe that in my role as your University President, I have an absolute duty to publically speak out as an advocate on issues that directly impact the university and our academic mission. However, I also have a corollary duty not to speak out on controversial or societal issues that are beyond higher education, absent extraordinary circumstances.  This corollary duty not to speak allows me to be an impartial guardian of the sacred academic environment that we have on our campuses now that allows us -- every member of our community -- to engage in vibrant, unfettered discourse, discussion, debate, examination, and testing of ideas, thoughts, positions, theories, and concepts known and unknown.  This corollary duty, often referenced as institutional neutrality, as a general rule, does not allow a university leader to publicly take a position on any issue that is not central to its educational mission because the risks to the academic enterprise, including the potential for intimidation of members within our campus community who do not hold the same view, are too great.  Such intimidation would have the effect of thwarting one of the most basic values held in higher education, which is the preservation of academic freedom, inquiry, and scrutiny of ideas.  Having said that, it must also be acknowledged that we are living in a divided society where many disagree with one another on the correct path for our nation to follow on several issues.  As guardian of this sacred academic environment, I pledge to act in the best interest of Texas State University, to speak out on issues affecting the academic enterprise, and to continue to follow the principle of institutional neutrality on issues beyond higher education, until and unless some extraordinary situation arises that would

change the risk/benefit analysis described above. In closing, please know that I hear most certainly the voices summarized in the letters and petitions I have received. I hear the voices of those in our community who do not feel safe and those who do and I deeply respect the varying opinions contained in them.  In my role as the leader of Texas State University, I remain staunchly committed to our core values that include diversity, equality, and inclusion.  I have spoken plainly and forcefully on behalf of these values because they are fundamental to who we are.  I also remain committed to be the guardian of this sacred academic enterprise that promotes inquiry, discovery, analysis, and freedom of expression -- a freedom that is both indivisible and enhanced, not diminished, by vigorous debate.  Centuries ago John Milton described the environment in which this kind of debate is most likely to occur: “Let her [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?” I believe that when Bobcats are united in our commitment to respectfully and inclusively engage with one another, to talk, to understand, and to find bridges across ideological differences, that is when we are at our best. As I finalized this letter, I have become aware of a growing national movement to support the needs of immigrant students and a petition that is circulating at our University.  I am reviewing these initiatives and determining what the University’s role should be.  Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and for caring deeply about our great university.   Sincerely,   Denise M. Trauth President


Set Condition Beige A Response to Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth Dr. Trauth, In 1962, a group of student activists met in Port Huron, Michigan and drafted a statement which began, “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.” Now, 54 years later, “uncomfortable” has been replaced with stronger words — words like “dread,” “fear,” and yes, even “terror.” After the results of the presidential election, many of us, even middle-aged white guys like me, have legitimate concerns about the safety of our friends of color. We’re concerned about the safety of our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. We’re concerned about the well-being of our friends and family in the LGBTQIA community. We have good reason to be. I was a student at Texas State (then Southwest Texas State University) on September 11, 2001 and I absolutely remember what happened in the

days after. I remember the doors of Muslim students being vandalized in ostensibly “safe” dorms. I remember my Muslim roommate, Abdullah, who was from Turkey, being afraid to attend class. I remember hate — not unity. When I returned in 2005, I have vivid memories of the 2008 election — particularly when on that historic election night someone asking me point-blank outside the 7/11 on Guadalupe Street if I had voted for “that n***er.” I remember that same word being shouted from down my street from a fraternity house that shall remain nameless. It’s disconcerting to look back on those days as better ones, but here we are. And I bring this up to emphasize what’s going on is not a new phenomenon. If you think it is, you simply haven’t been paying attention. Now, Texas State faces unprecedented challenges — ones of leadership, commitment to diversity and yes, even attacks on

the fundamental open nature of the university itself. Nobody can say you don’t do great things for our school. Under your management, fundraising has increased, as has our public image. But your response to the legitimate concerns of the students you’ve been entrusted to educate and protect is lacking in leadership, sincerity and action. There’s a difference between being a manager and being a leader. You are, unquestionably, a manager. Texas State needs a leader. Nowhere in your thoroughly milquetoast reply did I feel you directly addressed the urgency of Texas State students and their needs. You state that you read, re-read and re-re-read. You say you tried to read between the words, many of which were critical. You say the accusations leveled at you hurt — and well, they should. They were supposed to. But is is simply impossible for myself and many others to believe one needs to go to such lengths to understand

a problem as clear as a cloudless sky. The solutions you propose are not solutions. They’re just more of the same. The students know about Bobcat Bobbies. They know the police department is there. The crux here is you didn’t tell tell them anything they don’t already know. The students need firm assurances, not reminders. It is also well and good you want to promote dialog, but aren’t we a little past talking here? To have a conversation implies legitimizing an argument, and while that might work in debate class, many students don’t want to talk to those actively practicing intimidation, both overt and subtle. There’s nothing to talk about. The students of Texas State should not be expected to break bread with these people, and I believe it is insulting that you should even suggest it. But the most insulting part of your letter is when you try and cover your posterior by explaining the bind you’re in as a university president. Re-

spectfully, the alums and students of Texas State who are concerned about their safety don’t care about your problems. The student body does not exist to worry about your problems. You exist to worry about theirs. That’s your job. That’s your responsibility. That is your duty. Now is not the time for impartiality, because in the face of reckless hate there can be none. You simply cannot ride the proverbial fence. In doing so, you suppress the legitimate concerns of students while emboldening those threatening them by giving them a place at the table. They don’t deserve it. Not all points of view deserve debate. Some must simply be dismissed and scorned. Across the country, university presidents are taking a stand. They are putting their careers on the line to do the right thing. In short, Dr. Trauth, they lead. You manage. Now is the time for leadership at Texas State, and if you can’t provide that, I respectfully suggest and request you step

aside for someone who will. For now, your statement, to slightly alter the Bard, is a tale of sound and no fury, signifying nothing but your desire to keep your job with the minimum amount of hassle. You won’t get it. This is a time for hassle. This is a time to lead. Be brave. Be a leader. One day, there will be a reckoning for these times, and people will remember where others stood. How do you wish to be remembered? Is it as a manager who tried futilely to keep things neutral — beige, if you will — or will it be as a leader who sees the true color of the times, looked hate in the eye and said in a firm and commanding voice “Not on my watch.” You’ve written your answer, but time will determine what that answer is worth. Sincerely, Sean Wardwell, Texas State alumus

The University Star


Tuesday, December 6, 2016 | 5 Bri Watkins News Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar

A finals jingle Set to the tune of “The Night Before Christmas” ‘Twas the night before finals, And all through the Halls; Students were cramming, With books wall to wall.

The RA’s were sequestered With the RD in his room, They shivered and shuddered Knowing what would come soon.

With broom and with mop, The next day would be hectic, They would work and not stop.

Custodians were ready-

When out on the QuadCame a shout and a cheer.

is a threat to our institution,” Gonzalez said. “Also, being openly in support of the petition would be a dangerous stance for Texas State to take because it creates an unreliable precedent for future action.” Gonzalez believes that the Student Government cabinet did the right thing in releasing its Dec. 2 statement because of implications regarding state funding to the university, he said. “What really needs to happen is immigration reform, rather than violation of immigration law. I’ve pushed for legitimate reform, not disobedience,” Gonzalez said. “Among the senate there is a huge amount of concern for all students on this campus, and we want to make sure that what we do is adequate,

that we actually do affect long-lasting change.” The prevailing sentiment among the Student Government senate is that something should be done to assuage students’ concerns regarding the matter, but that the sanctuary campus petition is not the way to do it, Gonzalez said. “This administration is about legitimate change that has a real effect, and doesn’t just look good on paper,” Gonzalez said. “I hope that students will come to me and work with me so that I can help them have their voices heard. We want to bridge the disconnect between the legislature and everyday people, and organically make a change at Texas State.” Members of Student Government’s Student Services Commission

Those who were Greeks, Were dispensing free beer.

The post-grads were huddled Behind their closed doors, With printers a humming Turning out thesis galore.

say, Thank God it’s over

They’d work thru the night.

In the gloom of the night Dr. Trauth was heard to

Paul Prince is a custodian at Texas State University

have pitched the idea of allocating funds to hire an immigration attorney to help DACA students obtain visas at reduced or no cost, Gonzalez said. “That’s the type of legitimate action we’re talking about,” Gonzalez said. “Something that makes real resources available to students, something they can truly utilize to their benefit.” The basic underlying concept of the bill is to make arrangements for hiring a lawyer through the Attorney for Students’ Office. This measure is still in the works, and was initially proposed several months before the sanctuary campus petition began to gain traction, Gonzalez said. “We want to hire an immigration attorney to provide DACA students with legal counsel and

help them accomplish their goals,” Gonzalez said. Although he does not speak for all of Student Government or its cabinet, Gonzalez said he projects that the initiative will do well in the senate. “Student Government is made up of a variety of political opinions, but we’re all mostly on the same page when it comes to doing more for students from underrepresented populations,” Gonzalez said. Whether or not the project will get off the ground is largely a matter of adjusting funds at the administrative level, Gonzalez said. It’s a question of whether the university can afford to hire a specialty purpose attorney. Student Government senators working on the bill include Alex Molina,

who helped co-author the sanctuary campus petition. “I hope that the student population, especially the sanctuary campus people, recognize that Student Government does not disapprove of their intent,” Gonzalez said. “As an elected body and a chartered organization, we have to have a degree of legitimacy in all things we do; this administration takes that responsibility very seriously. We want students to come to us and help us work on other solutions.” Gonzalez said that many senators are worried about coming across as being anti-immigrant, which is not the case. In reality, Gonzalez said, the aim of Student Government is to avoid adopting an over-simplified stance on such a complex issue.

Professors in rooms With low burning lights, Were turning out finals,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Have a great end of semester.

CAMPUS, from front.

“Personally, I’m not a hardline staunch ‘builda-wall’ person by any means, but I do recognize that there are legitimately passed laws and that’s what stands,” said Student Government senator and Director of Student Services Cutter Gonzalez. “Sanctuary campuses and cities are a gray area, and in my interpretation the idea behind them requires a violation of the law.” Public institutions are state agencies chartered by the Texas legislature, and acting in defiance of federal immigration law initiates a conflict that could end badly for the university Gonzalez said. “Considering the status of our state’s legislature—I t being very conservative currently— Texas State taking such a clearly opposed position

The University Star Editor-in-Chief.................................Emily Sharp, News Editor...........................Bailey Buckingham, Sports Editor........................Autumn Anderson, Lifestyle Editor.....................Denise Cervantes, Opinions Editor........................Mikala Everett, Multimedia Editor.................Lara Dietrich, Copy Desk Chief....................Claire Abshier,

Trinity Building Texas State University San Marcos, TX 78666

Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

Design Editor.........................Jessica Strickland, Engagement Editor................Jeffrey Bradshaw, Sales Director.............................Morgan Knowles, Media Specialist..............................Dillan Thomson, Advertising Coordinator..................A.J. Arreguin, Publications Coordinator.........................Linda Allen, Publications Director.............Richard Parker,

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, April 21, 2016. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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This issue takes a look at our most popular and iconic stories of 2016.

U N I January V E Texas State University welcomes its R new head coach, Everett Withers S I T Y SPORTS

After Dennis Franchione decided to go into retirement following a 3-9 2015 football season, the University started frantically searching for a replacement. Fortunately, Texas

State connected with Everett Withers and hired him less than a month after Franchione’s farewell. Withers has 28 years of coaching experience behind him, and is ready to take the

challenge of transforming the Texas State football program.



Mermaid initiative expected to make a big splash The San Marcos Mermaid Society made a splash in town last January in an effort to integrate economic interests and environmental conservation efforts. Founder of the movement July Moreno asserted that the initiative was about more than just combining sustainability

and entrepreneurship. Moreno and her collaborative team took the first step toward their goal last autumn, when they coordinated Mermaid Week between Sept.16 and Sept.17. Intended to utilize the historical and symbolic significance of the Aquarena Springs mermaid, the

week of celebration included three separate events: the Mermaid Society Ball, a parade and the Mermaid Splash. Although the amusement park that made mermaids a local trademark is no longer operational, the legacy of the mermaid lives on. Moreno’s collective aims to foster co-

operation and dialogue as well as improve the city’s profile as being both environmentally conscious and economically virile.

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Sky’s the Limit for Piggy Smallz Piggy Smallz, a sevenmonth old miniature pig, can be found walking

around The Woods apartment complex. Reagan Haggard, public relations

sophomore and Piggy Smallz’s owner, decided to adopt Piggy Smallz at

two weeks old when she saw an advertisement on Facebook.



Black People Can’t Be Racist The system of racism begins with a race designating itself as superior to another. To carry out acts of racism, a race

must have power and privilege. There has never been a time in American history when a race other than white has

had power and privilege over another—especially in the case of AfricanAmericans



Donald Tramp teases a less stressful election season

Texas State student Kristoffer Ian Celera, computer science junior, stirred nation wide atten-

tion when he performed stripteases across campus sporting a blazer, short shorts, and a Donald

Trump-esque wig. “It’s all in good humor,” Celera said. “Politics doesn’t have to be

painful. My message is not for people to not get emotional.”


March Texas State alumni share immigration stories Last March, Texas State hosted the Success Has No Borders lecture series, featuring speakers from all walks of life and a varied academic and administrative divisions. Highlighted among these speakers were Spanish senior lecturers

Gloria Velásquez and Alba Melgar, as well as current Dean of Students Margarita Arellano. Arellano spoke about her experiences leading up to her departure from wartorn Nicaragua in 1978.


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Women’s Golf wins Sun Belt Conference Title The Texas State women’s golf team conquered the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Championship

tournament in early April, winning first place out of nine teams. The Bobcats even topped the

Individual leaderboard with Maty Monzingo, junior at the time, leading the pack with a 221 total

score. Texas State had an overall score of 895, the only team with a score less than 900.


Students open hookah lounge Last April, three Texas State students turned their aspirations into a reality when they opened the doors of Bad Hab-

its Hookah Lounge on February 22, 2016. Texas State seniors Taylor Henry (exploratory professional), Ericksen Stewart

(management) and Ryan Castillo (management) met each other in high school, and are now owners of the newly de-

veloped hookah lounge in San Marcos. Since its grand opening at its Aquarena Springs Drive location, Bad Habits has

received a steady flow of customers – a promising sign for these undergraduate entrepreneurs.

The Crystal River Inn Graduation Season


Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, Student Government speak on transgender bathroom controversy Last May, new voices contributed to the ongoing controversy surrounding which bathrooms transgender people ought to use. Among these new voices were representatives from both Texas State University’s Student Government and the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center here in San Mar-

cos. Melissa G. Rodriguez, director of community partnerships for the Women’s Center, said in a statement that the center wants to “set the record straight” about the danger to women and children where public restrooms are concerned. Rodriguez assuaged concerns about the issue by re-


minding the public that the vast majority of sexual assaults perpetuated against women and girls are enacted by someone they already know, rather than a random stranger.

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America, emphasize love in wake of Orlando nightclub shooting No one seemed to know quite what to do after 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered Pulse, a gay nightclub, and committed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. It’s as if America, and the world, is in a daze of disbelief, unsure of how

exactly to begin picking up the pieces. However, if one thing can be agreed upon, it must be that we can start by choosing love and embracing out LGBTQIA friends and family.


Texas State University stands in solidarity with Orlando On the solemn Wednesday afternoon following the devastating shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the Texas State Alliance hosted a memorial service for the victims of the tragic event. Members of the Bobcat community came together in unity along with San Marcos city officials and

residents to remember those who lost their lives in Orlando. Iliana Melendez, Alliance co-chair, said that as a member of the LGBTQIA community, she stands in solidarity with the brothers and sisters lost in the tragic Pulse shooting. “We understand the senseless act of a single individual is not repre-

sentative of an entire community,” Melendez said. “As members of the allies at Texas State and Advocats, we offer you our full support. We make ourselves available to you and to help our community navigate through the various feelings and experiences in result of this tragedy.”


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San Marcos welcomes new radio station San Marcos welcomed 104.1 KZSM this summer. The radio station


has a variety of interests and music to target all of the San Marcos commu-

nity, including new locals, students and permanent residents. Local residents

were given the opportunity to host their own radio

talk shows.


Black Lives Matter marches through San Marcos for peace Last July, Black Lives Movement invited the community to march for unity and justice one Sunday evening. The event brought together hundreds of people from San Marcos, Texas State University and surrounding areas for a night of solidarity. Texas State junior Russell Boyd organized

the march, along with 12 other Texas State students and alumni. Other notable contributors to the event included the many BLM allies in San Marcos, who donated time, energy and resources. San Marcos Police Department volunteered their time to patrol the event while other members of

the community donated water, food, sound equipment and vehicles. One city council member, four members of clergy, EMS and a criminal defense lawyer were among those in attendance.



Gotta catch ‘em all: ‘Pokemon Go’ invades San Marcos “Gotta catch ‘em all” is a famous line many haven’t heard since the days of trading cards—Pokémon cards, that is. Nintendo’s

mobile application, Pokémon Go, which launched in the United States July 6, quickly took over the country. Students could

be found around Sewell Park and campus using the application.




Alumni loyalty comes into question after T-shirt controversy Last August, Texas State’s allegiance to its alumni came under copious amounts of criticism from students and permanent residents alike, after the university

bookstore was accused of plagiarizing a t-shirt design logo released previously by a former Bobcat. Rio Rodriguez, owner of San Marvelous, created his business in

2011 to provide students with unique clothing to support the city and university. As a student, Rodriguez made it a priority to promote Texas State pride. But fast for-

ward four years later, and Texas State’s loyalty to its alumni came under fire. The situation was resolved after dialogue with university officials resulted in Rodriguez’s

brand being allowed to set up a booth in the quad once again this year, but whether this resolution was satisfactory for all involved parties remains to be seen.


Former aquamaid reminisces on historic submarine theater Before Aquarena Springs was widelyknown as a busy street name, it was one of America’s most prized roadside

attractions where the real mermaids of San Marcos swam. Aquamaids, an underwater clown, glass bottom boats, a swim-

ming pig and more entertained thousands. Kim Riley Whitbeck, former aquamaid, swam at the submarine theater from

1976 to 1982. She started swimming when she was only 19 years old, while attending Southwest Texas State University.


Student hauled massive umbrella to keep others dry While campus and surrounding San Marcos areas were flooding, a Texas State student took it upon himself to keep


his fellow Bobcats dry— with a massive patio umbrella. Colby Dawson, psychology senior, used one of the patio umbrel-

las at the LBJ Student Center hoping to help students stay out of the pouring rain that covered San Marcos Monday

morning. “I saw the umbrellas, and I thought they were probably not locked down,” Dawson said. “I

figured I’d take one of those, so that’s what I did.”


The EpiPen—healthcare does not inject care into costs The EpiPen is a device that allows patients with allergic reactions to inject epinephrine into their

systems and is owned by the pharmaceutical company Mylan. Because of complaints about the

skyrocketing costs of the life-saving drug, the company decided to offer a generic version. How-

ever, Mylan is still making copious amounts of money on both versions and are unaffected by the

pricing issues consumers face.


New H-E-B sparks disagreements in San Marcos This past September, the proposal of a third H-E-B caused smallscale upheaval for permanent residents when it raised longstanding environmental concerns for citizens throughout San Marcos. Information about the new develop-

ment, projected to sit near the intersection of Hopkins and Wonder World, was presented formally to the community by H-EB director of real estate Ben Scott, in an effort to alleviate some of the residents’ concerns and provide an understanding of

what work has been conducted. Regardless, at the time of the forum a petition in opposition to this development had already gained over one thousand signatures. PHOTO BY TYLER DUMAS | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

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Coach Karen Chisum’s success Karen Chisum is the Texas State Volleyball head coach, and is the sixth winningest active

head coach in NCAA Division I volleyball. Chisum graduated from Texas State when it was

Southwest Texas, she then became a middle school and high school coach. This led her back

to Texas State and she now has more than 800 wins under her belt as the Bobcats coach.



Clown scare taken to new heights Clown hunting and sightings ran rampant through Texas State. University News Service sent out an email Oct. 4 in

regards to a clown sighting at the Bobcat Village Apartment complex. The suspect, dressed as a clown, grabbed a stu-

dent. Twitter hashtag #TXSTClown began to trend and students took it upon themselves to search for the clown.

An account was created in light of the clown craze in San Marcos. Pictured as a clown, the user threatened Twitter users.


New organization aims to prevent sexual assault on campus This past October, a new group dedicated to ensuring safety in college communities launched Not On My Campus to raise awareness in hopes

of preventing sexual assault and harassment. The organization was conceived on campus by management freshmen Brooklyn Boreing and

Kristyn Percenti, whose agenda aims to shed light on a matter that isn’t often talked about: the fact that one in five women and one in 16 men have

been or will be sexually assaulted or harassed on college campuses. Not On My Campus aims to lower this number by speaking out on the is-

sue, and by establishing a partnership with fraternities.


Students protest in Quad after Trump elected On the morning of Nov. 10, students swarmed to the Stallions chanting “Love trumps hate” to protest the incoming Trump administration. Within hours, the protest had grown to several times its initial size. Students passing through the quad stopped to watch, listen, engage in

discourse and sometimes join in song, including periodic chanting of lyrics to Selena Quintanilla’s Como La Flor, the Star Spangled Banner and the Bobcat football chant as well as songs about love. Trump supporters, Love Trumps Hate, and Black Lives Matter supporters all took part in the protest; people on all sides

of the political spectrum were met with arguments as well as peaceful conversations.



Students petition for sanctuary campus; Abbott vows to cut funding


This December started with a bang when a coalition of students congregated around the Stallions in the Texas State University Quad between noon and 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, in a peaceful demonstration to show support for fellow students, who are concerned about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals being repealed. The demonstration aimed to add signatures to their petition

to request Texas State be a Sanctuary Campus. The same day, Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to cut funding for any Texas school that became a Sanctuary Campus in response to the petition being circulated by these groups. The discussion between the coalition, university officials, Student Government, and other interested parties is still ongoing.

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