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Students, faculty discuss upcoming primaries

Cedric Vallieres, senior infielder, hits the ball April 14 at Bobcat Ballpark, where Bobcats were defeated 8-10 by UTSA.




Library repository may be built at S.T.A.R. Park By Rebecca Banks NEWS REPORTER @r_banks13 University officials hope to build a repository to relocate books not commonly checked out at the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (S.T.A.R.) Park. The architectural design and

budget for the repository will be submitted for approval by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, said Lori Hughes, director of administrative services at Alkek Library. The submission and approval of the plan is expected to occur in May. “We’re pretty landlocked here, so we knew we weren’t going

to add on to (Alkek Library),” said Joan Heath, associate vice president and university librarian. “What the university then decided to do was build this repository, which is a high-density storage building.” Construction of the building is expected to begin Summer 2015 if the proposal is approved and would not be completed un-


Homecoming 2015 plans in full swing By Brianna Stone SPECIAL TO THE STAR @bristone19 Homecoming could include new attractions to spice up traditions as SACA begins planning for the Fall 2015 event. Homecoming plans are headed by Alex Puryear, communication studies junior and the new Pride and Traditions coordinator of the Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA). SACA and the LBJ Student Center financially sponsor homecoming. The 2015 homecoming football game will be held on Saturday, Nov. 7 against the New Mexico State Aggies. Puryear has no solid plans for new events for Homecoming 2015 but has not ruled out mak-

ing changes. The Pride and Traditions coordinator can suggest new ideas each year, said Hallie Crawford, coordinator for Campus Activities. “We are very excited about some new ideas to make (homecoming) an even better event,” Puryear said. Traditionally, a talent show is held on the Wednesday and the Soapbox Derby on the Friday of homecoming week. The dates of other homecoming events have not been determined, Crawford said. “The Soapbox Derby is one of the longest-standing homecoming traditions,” Crawford said. A few other homecoming


til Fall 2017. The total cost for the development of the repository would be $14.8 million, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of facilities. “We knew we were going to need more space,” Heath said. “The way to free up space is to move a certain amount of the

See S.T.A.R. PARK, Page 2


False acceptance letters a result of mailing list error By Rebecca Banks NEWS REPORTER @r_banks13 The Office of Undergraduate Admissions mailed a letter of apology to 341 of the 458 students who wrongly received acceptance brochures last week. On April 7, the university accepted 117 applicants of the 458 students into Texas State. Twentysix applicants completed the forms and are under review, and 30 were declined admission, said Jayme Blaschke, University News Service director. “One applicant out of those 458 has withdrawn their application,” Blaschke said. “The remaining 284 still have incomplete applications.” According to an April 7 University Star article, a third-party mailing vendor sent the acceptance brochures to students in error. The

students were supposed to have been notified their applications were incomplete. None of the 458 applicants had yet been accepted to the university, Blaschke said. “It was through a third-party vendor handling mail-outs for university admissions,” Blaschke said. Integ, a third-party mailing company, sent out the brochures, Blaschke said. University officials do not send information directly to applicants and instead use Integ to mail notifications, Blaschke said. The company made the error because officials received two mailing lists from the university admissions department, he said. Blaschke said there was no clarification between the two mailing lists given to Integ. The university has been working with Integ since the error to understand why and how the mistake occurred.

By Alexa Tavarez SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @lexicanaa Political enthusiasts are watching the news closely as candidates announce their presidential campaigns. Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, secured the attention of the media and campaign donors early with the announcement of his entrance into the

“That field will stimulate a fair bit of debate among the (Republican) primary contenders that will make them all sharper and ready for the general election.” ­—PATRICIA PARENT, POLITICAL SCIENCE SENIOR LECTURER primaries. Rand Paul, a senator from Kentucky, and Florida senator Marco Rubio have joined Cruz in the hopes of becoming the next Republican nominee for the presidential candidacy. Patricia Parent, political science senior lecturer, said other speculated Republican candidates include but are not limited to Scott Walker (governor of Wisconsin), Chris Christie (governor of New Jersey) and Jeb Bush (former governor of Florida). Parent said the Republicans have an advantage in the upcoming presidential race due to the “deep field” of potential candidates. “That field will stimulate a fair bit of debate among the (Republican) primary contenders that will make them all sharper and ready for the general election,” Parent said. Hillary Clinton has risen as the “queen” within the Democratic Party, Parent said. “(Clinton) is not going to have the same type of competition in debate, or at least that is the way it looks right now, “ Parent said. Parent said Walker currently seems to be the most likely candidate to win the Republican primary. She said the establishment has demonstrated tolerance for Walker, which is important to the Grand Old Party (GOP) leadership. “Party nominations define someone who can develop that bridge and can effectively bridge that gap,” Parent said. “Scott Walker has that ability to bridge that gap.” However, Parent is not counting Paul, Cruz or Rubio out of the race yet.



Tech startups find accomodations in Austin, San Marcos area By Gabrielle Huezo SPECIAL TO THE STAR @_ghzzzo The Wall Street Journal recently named the Austin area first in the nation for attracting tech startups. The growth is reflected in San Marcos through facilities like the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (S.T.A.R.) Park and the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP). S.T.A.R. Park provides a location for beginning businesses until entrepeneurs find their own space. The facility is the only one in central Texas that offers laboratory space for startup companies. “You’ve got minimal regulation, access to capital and an environment that provides support for startups,”

said Stephen Frayser, executive director of S.T.A.R. Park. “You also have people that have done investing in life science companies or material science development companies, and they have tech backgrounds and understand what it takes to be able to support and scale a company.” Frayser said the Austin-San Marcos area has an abundance of specialized service providers such as intellectual property attorneys and contractors specializing in finance and human resources. Business owners move to the San Marcos area because it gives companies second chances, Frayser said. Starting a business is seen as a learning experience in San Marcos. The community helps business owners improve and try again if they fail. MicroPower Global, Quantum

Materials and the System and Materials Research Corporation are among the startups moving to the area and operating at S.T.A.R. Park. Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, said the Austin-San Marcos environment is ideal for new technology companies. The GSMP works to promote economic growth in Hays and Caldwell Counties. “This area has a lot of tech talent, and it is different and innovative,” Cruz said. “The presence of Texas State is an attraction because it is an affordable place to be.” Brian Bondy, president of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, said San Marcos is catching up to Austin in the tech field. “Austin itself has been a magnet for tech businesses for the past de-


The Austin area is first in the nation for attracting tech startups, and S.T.A.R. Park is the only facility in central Texas that offers laboratory space for startup research.. cade,” Bondy said. “But now people cially due to the less dense populaare realizing San Marcos is a good area to start their companies, espe- tion.”

2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, April 15, 2015

S.T.A.R. PARK, from front lower-use materials to a storage facility.” Heath said officials would remove published titles that have not been checked out for the last 10 years. “Part of what (we) would move out there is materials from the library’s circulating collection,” Heath said. “We also have the university archives here, and those do tend to be low-use, and some of those are already stored off-site because we don’t have space.” University officials currently pay Safesite, an off-campus records and

storage management company, for temporary accommodation for some of the archives, Heath said. The archives will be relocated to S.T.A.R. Park once the repository is complete. Heath said the size of the repository would be 15,000 square feet. The building would have climate control to maintain a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit with 30 percent relative humidity to preserve the materials. The repository would accommodate the university’s current renovation plan to develop more overall

PRIMARIES, from front Parent said the senators in the race have displayed ambition and energy in their own political careers. Paul’s platform is founded on libertarian views, and Cruz has made his name based on constitutionalism. Naomi Narvaiz, president of the San Marcos Area Republican Texans Group, recognizes some overlap between the political platforms of Paul and Cruz. She said Cruz’s constitutional principles are his strengths. “Rand Paul hasn’t really identified with the Christian conservatives,” Narvaiz said. “Ted Cruz can bring those groups together.” Narvaiz said Cruz will appeal to young voters despite the consensus they identify more with liberal policies. A moderate Republican will not win the presidential election, she said. “What’s going to win him (the presidency) is the rule of law—unless people want to see a country that is lawless,” Narvaiz said. Parent said a candidate with a more defined, conservative voice

space and areas for group work, Heath said. The space would also accommodate relocation of some artwork and photography in the Wittliff Collections, Heath said. The repository would look similar to a warehouse and have several 35foot shelves to store the materials, Heath said. The building would be able to store about one million titles. Heath said the repository design would also include space for staff to process checkout requests and a loading dock area.

“Right now, we are still planning the work flows and processes stage,” Hughes said. “Pretty soon we should be able to identify the number of staff we are going to need.” Library officials are discussing whether new positions will open up at the repository or if staff will transfer from the campus to the repository location, Hughes said. “(Students) could have the materials delivered to the circulation desk at Alkek or they could go out there,” Heath said. “We will have a reading room, so if people want to they could

go out there and they can spend their time doing their work there.” Guerra said students’ checkout requests from the repository would be delivered to the campus library within one day. Books would start to be removed Fall 2017 beginning on the second floor of the library. Over time, items from each floor would be removed, Guerra said.

“SOC is not involved with the planning of homecoming, but we are involved in terms of promoting and being advocates for homecoming,” said Travis Green, English sophomore and SOC president. SOC officials do not require participation in homecoming from their 364 student organizations, but it is encouraged, he said. “It should be a really big week,” Green said. “It’s often overshadowed by everything else that is going on (at the beginning of the semester), but more effort from all organizations, departments and students would help.” Homecoming 2014 did not attract as much excitement as the 2013 event, Green said. “Everybody wasn’t as involved this year as they were last year,” Green said. Russell Boyd, public relations freshman and event coordinator, said SOC serves as a resource for

organizations during homecoming. “We go out and support homecoming events for the university and also (for) student organizations,” Boyd said. “We make sure to show our Bobcat spirit in every way possible.” Student organizations have an impact on homecoming, Boyd said. Organizations bring together diverse groups of students to garner school spirit and participate in events. Boyd said better advertising and varied events to accommodate every student at the university could improve homecoming. “Texas State is growing and changing, so we will work hard to ensure all SACA events, including homecoming, meet these trends while keeping the traditional spirit of Texas State alive,” Crawford said.

HOMECOMING, from front has a better chance of winning the GOP nomination. “The conservative voice in (the) Republican Party is pretty strong and pretty frustrated,” Parent said. “There is a fair bit of tension among conservatives.” Angela Pates, president of the College Democrats at Texas State, said a moderate Republican candidate is necessary to appeal to American voters. Pates said Cruz is a tea-party “demigod” and appeals to people’s emotions through his persuasion. However, the GOP leadership does not typically endorse candidates as far right as Cruz. “(Cruz) is really going to have to prove that what he stands for is good for America,” Pates said. Opponents to run against Clinton in the Democratic primary have yet to appear. “Politicians are in the race for the vote,” Pates said. “It is really going to come down to who can make the best promises and seem like they can follow through on their word.”

events are commonly held from year to year. Events last year included a three-on-three basketball tournament and powderpuff football. New traditions were incorporated as well, Crawford said. The Spirit Festi-mall, added last year, included games, entertainment and carnival food. The hospitality tent for homecoming court members and families had food, drinks and photo opportunities during the pregame tailgate, Crawford said. “Homecoming certainly has grown as the university has grown,” Crawford said. “Each year, we try to ensure our events are open and inclusive to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community.” The Student Organizations Council (SOC) pushes for participation from students and organizations throughout the week.

“We make sure to show our Bobcat spirit in every way possible.” ­—RUSSELL BOYD, PUBLIC RELATIONS FRESHMAN AND EVENT COORDINATOR


IH-35 overpass to be widened under current standards By James Palmer NEWS REPORTER @jmesspalmer Drivers in Central Texas will soon see bridge installations and renovations along Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35). The Yarrington Road bridge reconstruction project will cost $12.2 million. The new bridge is expected

“By building bridges to a higher standard, literally and figuratively, we can make the transit there safer for everybody.” ­—CHRIS BISHOP, TXDOT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER to be opened May 2016. The bridge will be broadened to prepare for driver needs in coming years, said Chris Bishop, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) public information officer. “The bridge itself used to be just two lanes, and we’re expanding it and broadening it to not only meet the current traffic demand, which was above and beyond what it was designed for, but also to make it handle traffic for the future,” Bishop said. Widening the bridge at Yarrington Road would help alleviate

traffic by encouraging drivers to opt out of using IH-35 altogether, said Ning Zou, City of San Marcos transportation engineering manager. Drivers would instead take Highway 80 to Yarrington Road. Zou said the interchange lanes from Aquarena Springs Drive to IH-35 helped relieve traffic between San Marcos and Austin. TxDOT receives $230 million annually from the Highway Bridge Program (HBP). The program was established in 1978 to provide for the repair and replacement of onand off-system highway bridges, according to a TxDOT brochure. HBP was absorbed into the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012, said Nancy Singer, U.S. Department of Transportation public affairs contact. The act provides $4 billion annually to each state. Singer said some states re-appropriate funds to manage projects tailored to local needs, so combining the programs was a logical move. MAP-21 was passed to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Bishop said some commercial trucks are heavier and taller than the ones bridges were built to support. “(We are) meeting newer and current standards, which would be allowing for greater clearance,” Bishop said. Current clearance standards average 16 feet at any given bridge’s highest point to accommodate trucks carrying bulky cargo such as shipping containers, construction machinery and mobile homes, Bishop said. Some trucks exceed the updated clearance standard. As a result,


The Yarrington Road bridge is expected to be opened May 2016, which will alleviate traffic. the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) provides permits for high capacity vehicles, Bishop said. “The DMV, like us, keeps track of bridges and low points,” he said. “They keep track of the safe ways for vehicles to travel, they look at the various restrictions that are on roads and they provide the routing for a trucking company.” One trucker ignored the TxDMV’s routing information and collided with an IH-35 support beam March 27, killing a man and injuring three others, Bishop said. “In that particular incident, the


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vehicle that struck the bridge did not have a legally required permit to carry an over-height load,” said Adam Shaivitz, TxDMV media contact. Drivers who violate regulations may have their permits revoked or incur fines, Shaivitz said. Standard highway bridges are not designed to handle truck collisions at key structural points. Bishop said TxDOT officials pay attention to bridge integrity. TxDOT officials inspect bridges in Texas every two years, Bishop said. Older bridges deemed “functionally obsolete” are inspected

annually. The bridges incur traffic levels they were not designed to sustain. “With the inspection, they not only determine the physical condition of the bridge but its ability to continue to be used safely,” Bishop said. Bridges that do not pass inspections are closed as soon as possible, he said. “Safety is our number-one priority, followed by mobility,” Bishop said. “By building bridges to a higher standard, literally and figuratively, we can make the transit through there safer for everybody.”

The University Star | Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | 3


Film by Texas State alumna screened By Sarah Bradley LIFESTYLE REPORTER @sarah_bradskies Movie enthusiasts gathered at the Alamo Drafthouse Village in Austin on April 9 to view a screening of the indie film The Bag Lady. The film was written, casted, filmed, directed, produced and edited by Ericka Marsalis-LaManna, Texas State alumna of studio and fine art photography. Ericka’s husband, Ray Sr., did technical work behind the scenes and starred as himself in the film. This is the second film the pair has produced. Their first movie, Generation Me, was released in 2012. The two recently founded TrendSmashers Productions and work as part-time filmmakers in Austin. The Bag Lady is based on Ray Sr.’s life story. It highlights the

struggles of living in an unstable household, homelessness, imprisonment and teenage parenthood, Ericka said. The story reveals how one must forgive in order to break the negative cycle. “The film follows Ray Sr. through the toughest times in his life, including being in prison with a son,” she said. “After he was released from prison, he spent the next 13 years trying to keep his son away from the negative cycles that affected his own family for generations.” The inspiration the two needed to create the feature film started as a trivial remark about the craziness of her husband’s life, Ericka said. “It all started when I overheard Ray Sr. having to deal with a very intense phone call with the mother of his child,” she said. “Then I happened to comment on how hectic his life was and said, ‘Your life is seriously like a movie,’ and then it clicked.”

Ericka said Ray Sr. handed her a pen and paper and said she should start writing ideas down. An outline for the script was finished within an hour and a half. “I definitely found Ray Sr.’s story inspirational,” she said. “Not only because of the obstacles he had to overcome regardless of all odds being stacked against him but also how it can relate to so many other people.” Ericka said Burt Pritzker, her artistic mentor and senior lecturer in the School of Art and Design, provided encouragement. “Anytime I create anything, I always find myself referring back to Pritzker’s lessons,” she said. “Although he was a (lecturer) for photography, his lessons apply to everything: music, art, paint and film.” Ericka said the film’s plot encompasses a variety of life problems that people will find relatable.

Texas State cancer victim honored with 5K

“Today, over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce,” she said. “There are countless single parents and tons of teenaged parents. From this, I found Ray Sr.’s story to be significant as something to write about because it’s a story for most everyone.” Ray Sr., who attended Texas State for three years, said having his life documented for the world to see was intimidating at first. By the end of the process, he realized his story could help others. “It’s definitely scary exposing yourself to the world, especially with a criminal background,” Ray Sr. said. “But if it helps someone realize that the cycle of bad parenting leads to bad kids and then more bad parents, it’s worth it. I hope it helps people with similar stories.” The film had one microphone, one camera and a budget of approximately $10,000, Ericka said. “When running into acquaintanc-

Furious 7 races past historical records By Mariah Simank ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank


Andrea Hernandez, athletic training senior, and Haley Karlik participate in the Got Your Back 5K April 12 near Five Mile Dam. By Callie Haley LIFESTYLE REPORTER @calliehaley Members of the Texas State Athletic Department hosted the second annual Got Your Back 5K on April 12 in memory of David Gish, former head athletic trainer. Carla Heffner, event director and senior lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Performance, said Gish worked at Texas State for over 25 years before losing his battle with cancer in 2014. Heffner said the 5K began after Gish received the diagnosis and was continued as a way to celebrate his memory. “In 2013 he developed cancer, so last year we hosted the first 5K,” Heffner said. “He was a runner, and it was just natural to honor him and raise funds with a race.” The money raised from the race goes toward a scholarship fund in Gish’s name to support athletic training students, Heffner said. “He was always a very big educator, so starting a scholarship in his name seemed like a natural fit to continue his education legacy,” Heffner said. Heffner hopes to see the first scholarship from the fund awarded next fall. “We need $25,000 for the scholarship to become endowed,” Heffner said. “Then we can distribute it. Hopefully the funds raised from the 5K, along with donations and other fundraisers, will help us reach that goal by the end of this school year.” Jessie Frausto was the first person to cross the finish line 17 minutes and 54 seconds after the start of the race. He said San Marcos was a beautiful location for the event. “I’m from Austin,” Frausto said. “I usually run 5Ks and 10Ks there. I read about this race online, and I’ve never run here before, so I came.” Darcy Downey, assistant athletic trainer, said she participated in the race to pay respect to a man valued by everyone who met him. “I started working with David in 1998,” Downey said. “He was just the kind of person that genuinely cared about people, especially his students. That’s why 1,100

people showed up to his funeral.” Downey said she appreciates the turnout and support for the race and scholarship fund. “My favorite thing about last year’s 5K is that he could be here,” Downey said. “This year, I am just so happy that people came to support the scholarship fund and David’s memory.” Leah Collazo, athletic training senior and vice president of the Athletic Training Sports Medicine Club, said the registration goal was 250 people and 300 attended. Collazo said some participants were alumni impacted by Gish during his time at Texas State. “I knew David personally,” Collazo said. “He was a really big mentor to me and a lot of other people. I credit him to my confidence and my abilities, so I would do anything for him.” After the race, a team of volunteers hosted a raffle and barbecue lunch for competitors, Collazo said. Heffner said proceeds from the additional events will go toward the scholarship fund. “Texas State Tubes made a very generous donation for the raffle,” Heffner said. “They donated rental packages. We also have Schlitterbahn tickets, and the athletic department donated four pairs of Texas State football game tickets for the 2015 season.” Heffner, Downey and other event organizers plan to continue the 5K as a way to keep Gish’s memory alive. “Our goal is that the 5K will continue to raise money for the scholarship fund and that we can also donate to other cancer-oriented organizations,” Heffner said. “We obviously made it for David, but for other organizations, we want to say we ‘got your back’ too.”

es and explaining the circumstances of what we had to make this film, you could definitely see the skepticism on people’s faces,” she said. The film has completed two paid screenings and can be purchased on, Ericka and Ray Sr.’s company site. Samone Murray, recurring actress for the company, said Ray Sr. and Ericka are two of the hardestworking people she knows. “Working with Ray and Ericka was nothing but amazing from their work ethic and positive attitudes,” Murray said. Murray has faith in the success of the two producers based on their talent and drive. “If there’s anything in life that you want to achieve, you simply have to go out there and work for it,” Murray said. “That is exactly why Ray and Ericka have been and will continue to be so successful.”

Saying goodbye to an old friend can sometimes be as simple as parting ways at a fork in the road. Paul Walker, who starred in six of seven The Fast and the Furious movies, was killed in a high-speed car accident in November 2013, and the initial shock at the news of his death gave way to the realization Furious 7 would have to address it. According to Variety, just over half of Walker’s scenes for the movie were completed at the time of his death. Unseen footage was used, and new scenes were filmed using Walker’s brothers with his face digitally placed on their bodies in order to finish the movie. The Fast and the Furious franchise began in 2001 as a movie that followed an undercover cop’s attempts to combat crime in the fastpaced world of Los Angeles street racing. The series has since gone full-throttle toward unbelievable heists and espionage involving outrageously over-the-top action sequences. Several movies into the franchise, the central team seemed to slip into a realm that offered immunity from death by car accidents, intense fights and countless other traumas. Overlooking the awkward writing in favor of embracing a gathering of misfits and their exhilarating, laugh-out-loud adventures became easier. The franchise had found its mainstream audience and box office success. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Furious 7 set a new record with its debut, grossing $200 million in eight days, faster than any film in Universal Pictures history. The film exceeded the $239 million North American gross of Furious 6 in 10 days. In Furious 7, Walker plays Brian O’Conner, a family man with a need for speed whose wife, Mia, (Jordana Brewster) is the sister of his




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partner in crime, Dom (Vin Diesel). The movie picks up where Furious 6 left off, and the group is assembled again. Skilled fighter Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), team comedian Roman (Tyrese Gibson) and tech guru Tej (Ludacris) take on a new set of challenges in a way only they can. They must face villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who seeks revenge against the group for killing his brother. The crew must also deal with his partner, Jakande (Djimon Hounsou), who abducted a hacker named Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) in order to gain access to her surveillance technology, God’s Eye, which has the unique ability to locate anyone around the world. The strategy to rescue Ramsey includes dropping the team out of a plane in their cars in order to gain access to a remote Azerbaijan highway. They speed off to the streets (and skies) of Abu Dhabi, and finally they find themselves playing a dangerous game of cat-andmouse through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Any one of these scenes could reasonably have been the focus of the film, but all three created something absolutely absurd. The plot was at times too disorganized, but the film is still a commendable endeavor. The franchise’s creators developed an un-

derstanding when it comes to figuring out exactly what the core fan base expects to see after almost 15 years of dedication to the films. The movie’s few big confrontations with repetitive action sequences in between will not easily engage anyone who is not already devoted to the films. The film incorporates guest appearances, one-liners and unique camerawork anywhere possible, but that may not be enough to entertain newcomers. Furious 7 produces the expected adventures and excitement, but Walker’s real fate played a part. As the audience watches his character, Brian, it is clear even though Walker still exists during the film, his absence is already felt. It was a unique experience to watch a movie that has this much fun but also carries so much sadness. The film runs about 20 minutes too long, and parts of the conversation are so cliché viewers may find themselves saying the lines under their breath before the actors. However, that doesn’t mean these largely drawn, fiercely loyal characters with their unfathomable vehicular and individual maneuvers aren’t extremely entertaining in this largerthan-life sequel. And I mean really, once you’ve thrown the laws of physics out the front window, why not have fun with it?

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4 | The University Star | Wednesday, April 15, 2015



Regulation of Jacob’s Well beneficial for nature, visitors T

he impending regulation of Jacob’s Well are a positive step for the ecological preservation of the treasure of the Texas Hill Country. The location has seen an increase in popularity due to recent advertisements in The New York Times and other national publications. Wimberley officials implemented a rule requiring swimmers to reserve two-hour slots to keep up with the demand for access. Reservations can be made through the Hays County website. Sixty people will be permitted to swim during each slot, totaling 300 well-goers per day. Reducing this number is good for the preservation of the land and will help minimize damage while increasing the effectiveness of each visit. This plan is good for promoting fairness. Sometimes people who plan to visit the well end up not being able to get in because others hog the space all day. A natural resource like Jacob’s Well should be open to all, not just those who bully others out of the way. Time slots are good for visiting families. Groups can explore other parts of the natural area and city while waiting for their assigned time to swim. Other possible activities include hiking, bird watching, shopping in the square and finding a scenic spot for a nice picnic. Surrounding nature spots to visit while waiting include

Hamilton Pool, Blue Hole and Mount Bonnell in Austin. Entrance fees will be enacted for those who wish to visit the area. The price for adults is $9 per person. A reduced ticket cost of $5 is available for children aged 5 to 12 and Hays County residents with photo ID and proof of residency. The price is also $5 for service members, veterans and senior citizens over 60 years of age. Children under the age of 5 are admitted for free. The reservation system promotes organization of the 81.5 acres of Jacob’s Well Natural Area. Being able to get out and enjoy nature is what the area is all about. This new system will allow that to happen in a more environmentally friendly way. Online reservations open May 1 for the summer season. Wimberley is a small town, and its economy is largely dependent on tourism, according to an April 8 University Star article. These new regulations will promote tourism for other parts of the city, which is to everyone’s benefit. Jumping off of the rock overhanging the well is a priceless part of the experience. Reducing the number of visitors present at a time will help clear the way so well-goers may have a greater opportunity to test their resolve and see if they’re willing to brave the jump and enjoy the natural area.

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. JORDAN GURLEY STAR ILLUSTRATOR


Abstinence-only sex education harmful to student health

Greg Arellano OPINIONS COLUMNIST @GregGoneWild


bstinence-only sex education isn’t working. The goal of encouraging students to abstain from hormonal urges is succeeding in instilling stigma, but it is not in educating students to be more knowledgeable and conscientious of their sexual habits. The statement rings even truer when one examines Texas’ 2010 Sexually Transmitted Disease statistics. Chlamydia tops the list of most reported STDs in Texas with over 118,000 cases. Gonorrhea came in second with 31,000 cases, and HIV/AIDS cases remained under 6,000. Such statistics are usually low-balled because not all people infected with an STD know of their status. So these figures don’t seem to paint the picture abstinence-only advocates would lead us to believe. The problem isn’t so much the intention of

abstinence education as it is the consequence. Sex health education filled with second-rate access to relevant sexual information is a dangerous disservice to students. The abstinenceonly approach to sex education remains flawed in its presumptions. Still, educators and legislators continue to stick with the "safer route" to maintain political stability. This protects them in case any parents take offense. The thing is, parents aren’t the ones who will be having sex for the first time. Their students are. There is a correlation between increased sexual activity and higher education levels. However, sexual education doesn’t endorse anyone to run out and have intercourse with the first remotely knowledgeable person they meet. Amy Meeks, a psychology senior lecturer teaching Human Sexuality, said the “more education, more sex” argument often used against alternative sex education isn't fitting for students of higher education. According to Meeks, people who have overall higher educations usually feel more secure in their sexuality and are thus more likely to engage in sexual activities of all kinds. "It is not, however, saying that someone who is educated about sexuality will

The University Star Editor-in-Chief................................................Nicole Barrios, Managing Editor....................Cameron Cutshall, News Editor..............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Lifestyle Editor..........................................Britton Richter, Opinions Editor.......................................Imani McGarrell, Photo Editor...........................................Madelynne Scales, Sports Editor........................................... Quixem Ramirez, Copy Desk Chief.....................................Sam Hankins,

automatically become sexually active,” Meeks said. The fear of comprehensive sex education is merely the fear of the unknown. It is unreasonable to expect communities to have safer sexual practices when people remain ignorant of how to successfully maintain their sexual health. If parents are concerned about the way their children may carry themselves in regards to sexuality, then an important way to discuss sexual health should be sought out. Robbing students of crucial information about how to properly maintain positive sexual health can’t be the right answer. Holes in abstinence-only sex education curriculum include comprehensive birth control education, LGBTQ-centered concerns and the general lack of depth. Looking at these missing pieces only helps make the argument that the damage has already been done. Sexual education’s primary role is to teach students how to properly take care of their sexual well-being. Although the abstinence approach is similar in its end goal of improving the sexual health of students, reception of this information can be hindered by its inherently patronizing and exclusionary ways. -Greg Arellano is an electronic media sophomore


Hazlewood funding must remain veteran-exclusive

Madison Teague OPINIONS COLUMNIST @maddiebell_bell


he Hazlewood Act provides veterans with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. Lawmakers are sometimes eager to help veterans and soldiers in their policymaking by expanding acts such as this. However, there have been talks among Texas lawmakers regarding a substantial cut to the Hazlewood Act. In 2009, Texas lawmakers expanded the Hazlewood Act to benefit not only veterans but their spouses and dependents as well. Since 1923 when the Act was created, it remained relatively unchanged in the sense it solely pertained to veterans. This significant increase in the number of people who qualify for the exemption led to a massive increase in necessary funding. It is completely logical to fund veterans as they strive to better their education. Veterans and soldiers deserve the extra funding, especially when it comes to aiding their transition from military to civilian life. A proper education and degree can land veterans with jobs military service alone would not get them. The Hazlewood Act provides these brave men and women

with the opportunity to pursue a steady career outside of the military. Lawmakers had good intentions in adding the other beneficiaries, but the price tag got too high, said Sen. Kel Seliger (R-31) in a March 22 Huffington Post article. Seliger is the chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. In a Jan. 26 Texas court case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas overturned the requirement for veterans to enter service in Texas in order to be eligible to receive the Texas Hazlewood exemption. This means veterans from any state can come to Texas and benefit from the Hazlewood Act. While this may benefit veterans from out of state, the influx of people dependent on the Hazlewood Act to fund their education would hurt Texans. There would be an increase of people in need with no increase in funds. Lawmakers are worried over the projections showing the Hazelwood Act could grow to a budget of $2 billion. “Funding veterans’ education is the least we can do for these brave men and women,” said Adam French, Texas State alumnus and Hays County Young Republicans chair. “Funding at a $2 billion level is unsustainable. Unfortunately, the Hazelwood Act has been extended to some family members, creating a funding gap, thus the call for cuts.” While it may be logical to fund veterans who have served their country, it may be too much of a strain to encompass all of their families as well. Dependents and spouses may have to be exempt from the program in order to maintain veteran benefits under the Hazelwood Act. -Madison Teague is an English junior

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 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 Wednesday, April 15, 2015. 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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The Texas State baseball team’s comeback attempt fell short Tuesday night in the 10-8 loss to the UTSA Roadrunners. The comeback represents an achievement in itself. Texas State trailed 9-0 in the fourth inning. The Bobcats scored eight runs in a span of three innings, giving the team an opportunity to reclaim the lead in the ninth. UTSA won the season series for the first time since the 20072008 season. “When you dig yourself a 9-0 lead, it’s hard to come back, especially with a team that can continue to hit like UTSA,” said Jeremy Fikac, assistant coach. “They swing the bats well.”

“We were competitive. We kinda dinked them to death a little bit. It got us back in the baseball game.” ­—JEREMY FIKAC, ASSISTANT COACH David Paiz, senior third baseman, and Jared Huber, freshman catcher, nearly keyed the Bobcats’ ninth-inning rally. Paiz drew a walk, and Huber singled to right field. Texas State

had two runners on base with one out. Ben McElroy, senior designated hitter, and Derek Scheible, freshman center fielder, had a chance to score the game-winning runs. Neither reached base, and the Bobcats failed to capitalize on the scoring opportunity in the final frame. “It was almost like a game of runs, and we exhausted ourselves to a point,” Fikac said. “I’m proud of the guys for hanging in there and continuing to play and compete.” Texas State’s scoring began in the fourth inning with a focus on the little things: hitting the ball and forcing the defenders to make plays. The run did not begin until there were two outs in the inning. A walk from Huber and double from McElroy erased the zero on the scoreboard. Texas State added four more runs in the inning without hitting a fly ball. Jesse Baker, Roadrunners junior second baseman, committed a throwing error, which allowed the Bobcats to continue the inning. Baker’s error turned into two additional runs when Colby Targun, senior right fielder, hit a soft line drive to center field. Each of Texas State’s eight runs occurred after two outs in the inning, continuing the trend from the previous two games. The Bobcats scored 17 of their 23 runs in the three-game series against UTSA with two outs in the inning. “When you make them field it and throw it, you have an op-


Pasquale Mazzoccoli, senior pitcher, throws the ball April 14 at Bobcat Ballpark. portunity,” Fikac said. “We were competitive. We kinda dinked them to death a little bit. It got us back in the baseball game.” Cory Geisler, junior pitcher, started in place of Montana Parsons, freshman pitcher, and allowed six unearned runs in three innings. He faced 20 batters and allowed 10 baserunners. Fikac said Geisler’s command was inconsistent and he elevated his pitches in the strike zone, allowing UTSA to hit the ball in the air. Joe Powell, sophomore pitcher,

had a two-inning stint resulting in another three runs for the Roadrunners, the fourth-highest scoring team in Conference USA. Geisler and Powell created a deficit that was too much for a team capable of flipping games around. After all, it happened before in the same setting. The Bobcats turned a three-run deficit into an 11-7 victory over the Roadrunners March 17 at Bobcat Ballpark. “The nine runs was too much to overcome,” Fikac said. “I’m disappointed in that start, that we

BOBCATS LOOK TO BUILD MOMENTUM IN MIDWEEK GAME The Texas State softball team is poised to take advantage of Wednesday night’s non-conference contest against Houston Baptist before the weekend series against South Alabama. Texas State is 5-1 in midweek games this season with one loss to Baylor. “We’re definitely looking to get into a better spot going into the conference tournament,” said Ariel Ortiz, freshman shortstop. “Every game counts. We’re going to try to get as many wins under our belt so we can go into the tournament confident.” Texas State is coming off a 2-1 series win over Troy, which moved the Bobcats into third place in the Sun Belt with an 8-6 conference record. The 8-6 conference record puts Louisiana-Monroe and Troy half a game behind the Bobcats for the third seed in the conference. There are 12 games remaining in the regular season. The Huskies are 10-24 overall and

UPCOMING GAMES •Louisiana-Lafayette, April 17, 6 p.m. at Bobcat Ballpark •Louisiana-Lafayette, April 18, 3 p.m. at Bobcat Ballparlk •Louisiana-Lafayette, April 19, 1 p.m. at Bobcat Ballpark •Texas, April 21, 6 p.m. at UFCU DischFalk Field



By Donavan Jackson SPORTS REPORTER @djack_02

didn’t come out and start better than that.”

4-13 in the Southland Conference coming into Wednesday’s matchup. Houston Baptist has four batters hitting above .300 with Nicole Shedd, Huskies freshman outfielder, leading the offense. Shedd has a team-high .364 batting average, 20 runs batted in, four home runs and two triples. Melissa Herman, Huskies senior catcher, has 18 runs batted in, five doubles and three home runs. Randi Rupp, freshman pitcher, said everyone on the team is confident heading into the last stretch of the season. The series win last weekend snapped a four-game losing steak. The Bobcat lineup has seven batters hitting above .300 with a team average of .288. The offense is closing in on the program-high 59 home runs. This year’s team has 49 runs. Kendall Wiley, junior first baseman, and Kortney Koroll, senior designated player, lead the Bobcats with nine home runs. “I feel like everything is going good heading into this part of the season,” Rupp said. “Everything is going well offensively and defensively. I feel like we’re (in) a good spot for conference right now.”

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