VOLUME 102, ISSUE 73
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
THURSDAY GO NE ONLI NOW
APRIL 4, 2013
Top Girls The Department of Theatre and Dance presented Top Girls, a play about the lives of successful women in the 1980s. To watch an interview with David Weynand, the play’s director, go to UniversityStar.com.
Uncontested ticket wins election, bus fee increase passes By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor
Carlos Valdez, Assistant Photo Editor
The student-made Victory Star that was intended to sit on top of Jackson Hall is being stored in a warehouse temporarily because of safety concerns.
New victory star in storage, awaiting placement By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter An array of miscellaneous items lay in a warehouse on Ranch Road 12 waiting to be used. Outdated computers sit clustered together on a shelf. Chairs stacked one on top of the other tower over supplies for Bobcat Build, and brooms, wheelbarrows and shovels await tasks to complete. In the middle of the inventory of unused objects, a star rests unassumingly.
Sitting disassembled in the warehouse, the star is stored with other university items that are currently unneeded or without homes. The star is propped against a metal shelf, broken down into two pieces. When put together, the pieces will form a star that spans almost 18 feet tip-to-tip. Administrators hope it will become the new Victory Star for Texas State, but until a building is chosen to place the star upon, it remains in storage. The “Lighting the Way” initiative has
been in progress for more than three years and was originally launched to replace the Victory Star above Jackson Hall with a new one. However, this will not be a possibility because of safety concerns. Don Compton, assistant director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, said a structural engineer was brought in to determine if the star could be put on Jackson Hall. The
READ STAR, PAGE 3
While the outcome of the Associated Student Government election was unsurprising to the crowd awaiting the results Wednesday evening, the news was still exciting to the newly elected student body president and vice president. “We did know we were going to win, but it is still exciting for it to finally be real,” said Eddie Perez, ASG vice president-elect. “We can finally say we are going to be the next people in office.” Vanessa Cortez, public relations junior, and Perez, her running mate, were voted into office with 904 and 910 votes respectively. Their ticket was uncontested. In total, 1,117 students voted in the elections, which is 3.3 percent of the student population. The bus fee referendum passed with 538 of 799 votes, or 2.3 percent of the student population. The $17 increase will go into effect for the fall 2014 semester. All 39 senators at large who received votes were elected, as well as the four senators representing colleges. Only one of the six college representatives who received votes was not elected. Cortez said there was a “whirlwind of emotions” when her name was called, even though their ticket was uncontested. She said the flood of emotion came from remembering standing in the same spot in Lilly’s Lounge at the LBJ Student Center her freshman year when she ran for an ASG senator position. “Our ticket lost (my freshman year), but it was still amazing being a part of that and being a part of the campaign,” Cortez said. “Now being here myself running in this position just means so much to me. I have been waiting for this.” A sea of Cortez-Perez t-shirts awaited the results, with some senators celebrating their wins with highfives or jumping as their names were called. Both Perez and Cortez said the hardest part of their campaign was running without opposition. However, Perez said it didn’t stop them from letting students know who they are or spreading awareness about their platform. “It is hard to go out there every day and still push your message, but we had a great team that was willing to go out there every day and work hard to let the students know what we are all about and what we are doing for them,” Cortez said. The Cortez-Perez campaign ran on a platform aiming to emphasize student involvement and pride, as well as campus sustainability and energy conservation. Cortez said she and Perez have begun setting up meetings with administrators to discuss initiatives and are “more than excited” to begin work on things they want done, such as improving the tailgating experience. Current ASG president Nathan McDaniel said he is excited to see what the next administration and group of senators can accomplish next year. “We were really excited because (Cortez and Perez) are passionate student leaders who really care about this school,”
READ ASG, PAGE 3
Bobcats aiding City officials prepare for Loop 82 university police in overpass construction, traffic risk assessment By Natalie Berko News Reporter
By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Criminal justice students are teaming up with the University Police Department to create a threat assessment manual that will be used to determine the risk of buildings around campus and how to handle them. An intelligence analysis graduate class taught by Wayman Mullins, criminal justice professor, is currently working on gathering data about threats, vulnerability and risks in campus buildings and recording them for the manual. The manual will be distributed to first responders in the surrounding area so they may benefit from the information about the campus’ risks when responding to an emergency. The bomb threat in fall 2012 prompted discussion of creating a threat assessment manual. Alex Villalobos, University Police Department sergeant, came up with the idea for the project, which began this semester. He brought it to Mullins because it corresponded with the curriculum of his intelligence analysis course. Villalobos said the public thinks threat assessment means analyzing terroristic activity. However, threats can be created by research the university is doing. Some research can be sensitive and the use of chemicals must be secure, he said. “The idea for this type of threat assessment is to bring together more of the business side to the side of governance
READ POLICE, PAGE 3
Officials hope the Loop 82 overpass will alleviate traffic caused by trains, but in the meantime the city
is gearing up for its construction by holding public meetings. Rey Garcia, senior engineer for capital improvements, said the window for construction is “a moving target” from September 2013 until
Shea Wendlandt, Star Photographer
The city is preparing for upcoming construction of the Loop 82 overpass. The project will help relieve traffic caused by trains on Aquarena Springs Drive.
May 2014. Actual bridge construction will not begin until early to mid 2014. Proposals for the construction of the overpass were presented to residents and drivers during a public hearing March 21. Christopher Bishop, Texas Department of Transportation public information officer for the Austin district, said the hearing held by TxDOT and the City of San Marcos was designed to gather feedback from residents. Exhibits were on display for attendees to examine, and residents could ask questions to project staff members before presentations on proposed improvements began. Presentations were followed by a brief recess and comment period. According to the plans, the project aims to increase mobility and safety by providing an alternative means of travel along Loop 82 without interruptions from daily train crossings. “(The current crossing) is at a bit of an angle and the car rocks and shakes and whatnot,” Bishop said. “This will take care of that because most of the traffic will be going above the tracks
READ LOOP 82, PAGE 3
2 | Thursday April 4, 2013 | The University Star
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DAY IN HISTORY
1818 - Congress decided the U.S. flag would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state. 1841 - President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia one month after his inauguration, becoming the first U.S. president to die in office. 1850 - The City of Los Angeles was incorporated. 1887 - Susanna Medora Salter became
the first woman elected mayor of an American community—Argonia, Kan. 1888 - Baseball Hall of Famer Tris Speaker was born in Hubbard, Texas. 1902 - British financier Cecil Rhodes left $10 million in his will to provide scholarships at Oxford University in England. 1949 - Twelve nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty. 1974 - Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves tied Babe Ruth’s career home run record by hitting his 714th round-tripper in Cincinnati. 1981 - Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic elected mayor of a major U.S. city - San Antonio, Texas. 1988 - The Arizona Senate convicted Gov. Evan Mecham of two charges of official misconduct and removed him
from office. 2003 - U.S. forces seized Saddam International Airport outside Baghdad. 2003 - Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the 18th major league baseball player to hit 500 career home runs. 2006 - The Iraq tribunal charged Saddam Hussein and six others, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds. 2007 - Radio host Don Imus made offensive on-air remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He was later fired by CBS Radio and cable network MSNBC. 2013 - Yielding to politi-
CRIME BLOTTER April 1, 2:38 p.m. Theft under $500 Student Recreation Center A student reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.
April 2, 3:00 p.m. Unauthorized use of vehicle Student Center Drive A nonstudent reported their vehicle was used without authorization. This case is under investigation.
April 1, 2:38 p.m. Theft under $500 Student Recreation Center A student reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.
April 2, 7:06 p.m. Arson Alkek Library University property had been damaged due to intentional fire. This case is under investigation.
April 2, 9:30 a.m. Theft under $500 LBJ Student Center A student reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation. April 2, 9:30 a.m. Theft under $500 LBJ Student Center A student reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation. April 2, 1:56 p.m. Theft under $500 Agriculture Building University property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.
April 2, 11:36 p.m. Warrant serviced Blanco Hall A nonstudent was arrested for a warrant and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center. --Courtesy of University Police Department
cal opposition, the Obama administration gave up on trying avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian federal courts and said it would prosecute them instead before military commissions. --Courtesy of the New York Times
The University Star | Thursday April 4, 2013 | 3
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter An array of miscellaneous items lay in a warehouse on Ranch Road 12 waiting to be used. Outdated computers sit clustered together on a shelf. Chairs stacked one on top of the other tower over supplies for Bobcat Build, and brooms, wheelbarrows and shovels await tasks to complete. In the middle of the inventory of unused objects, a star rests unassumingly.
Sitting disassembled in the warehouse, the star is stored with other university items that are currently unneeded or without homes. The star is propped against a metal shelf, broken down into two pieces. When put together, the pieces will form a star that spans almost 18 feet tip-to-tip. Administrators hope it will become the new Victory Star for Texas State, but until a building is chosen to place the star upon, it remains in storage. The “Lighting the Way” initiative has been in progress for more than three years and was originally launched to replace the Victory Star above Jackson Hall with a new one. However, this will not be a possibility because of
safety concerns. Don Compton, assistant director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, said a structural engineer was brought in to determine if the star could be put on Jackson Hall. The engineer concluded there was not enough evidence to determine if it was safe. “We understood that the students did want to see that star up on Jackson Hall,” Compton said. “But, unfortunately, we can’t just put anything on whatever building someone wants it.” Finding a home for the star is the new focus of the Lighting the Way campaign. Compton said the facilities department is looking into which building would be most ap-
propriate and yield the most public viewing, as well as be a safe and clutter-free space. Members of the president’s cabinet discussed placing the new star above the ticket office at Strahan Coliseum at a recent meeting. The new Victory Star was made by engineering students Lindsey Whitworth, Nick Worley, Robert Fischer and Wes Poirier, who graduated in 2011. Now a student organization, Cats in Action has taken on the task of fundraising and marketing for the Lighting the Way campaign. Chandler Sparks, biology senior and president of Cats in Action, said the organization has raised about $25,000 for the campaign so
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
By Nicole Barrios News Reporter
By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor While the outcome of the Associated Student Government election was unsurprising to the crowd awaiting the results Wednesday evening, the news was still exciting to the newly elected student body president and vice president. “We did know we were going to win, but it is still exciting for it to finally be real,” said Eddie Perez, ASG vice president-elect. “We can finally say we are going to be the next people in office.” Vanessa Cortez, public relations junior, and Perez, her running mate, were voted into office with 904 and 910 votes respectively. Their ticket
far. The majority of the funds were raised through the sale of raffle tickets, which were purchased by students as incentives to win 12 credit hours worth of free tuition from the Family Association. Additional fundraising was conducted at campus events and sporting activities, Sparks said. However, Sparks said the campaign still lacks student support. He said students who take pride in Texas State should care about Lighting the Way. “It’s another way to let the community know about Texas State,” Sparks said. “When we win we light the star up, and everyone from miles around, everyone who drives by on I-35, will see how great Texas
Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor
Margarita Arrellano, Dean of Students, congratulates Vanessa Cortez, ASG President-elect, and Edward Perez, ASG Vice President-elect, during election announcements April 3 in the LBJ Student Center.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
By Natalie Berko News Reporter Officials hope the Loop 82 overpass will alleviate traffic caused by trains, but in the meantime the city is gearing up for its construction by holding public meetings. Rey Garcia, senior engineer for capital improvements, said the window for construction is “a moving target” from September 2013 until May 2014. Actual bridge construction will not begin until early to mid 2014. Proposals for the construction of the overpass were presented to residents and drivers during a public hearing March 21. Christopher Bishop, Texas Department of Transportation public information officer for the Austin district, said the hearing held by TxDOT and the City of San Marcos was designed to gather feedback from residents. Exhibits were on display for attendees to examine, and residents could ask questions to
project staff members before presentations on proposed improvements began. Presentations were followed by a brief recess and comment period. According to the plans, the project aims to increase mobility and safety by providing an alternative means of travel along Loop 82 without interruptions from daily train crossings. “(The current crossing) is at a bit of an angle and the car rocks and shakes and whatnot,” Bishop said. “This will take care of that because most of the traffic will be going above the tracks and then coming back down on either side of it.” Garcia said the March 21 meeting was required as a part of TxDOT’s environmental impact study. A part of the presentation was dedicated to discussing the water quality aspect of the project. Garcia said water from the project will drain into a storm sewer system, then even-
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Criminal justice students are teaming up with the University Police Department to create a threat assessment manual that will be used to determine the risk of buildings around campus and how to handle them. An intelligence analysis graduate class taught by Wayman Mullins, criminal justice professor, is currently working on gathering data about threats, vulnerability and risks in campus buildings and recording them for the manual. The manual will be distributed to first responders in the surrounding area so they may benefit from the information about the campus’ risks when responding to an emergency. The bomb threat in fall 2012 prompted discussion of creating a threat assessment manual. Alex Villalobos, University Police Department sergeant, came up with the idea for the project, which began this semester. He brought it to Mullins because it corresponded with the curriculum of his intelligence analysis course. Villalobos said the public thinks threat assessment means analyzing terroristic activity. However, threats can be created by research the university is doing. Some research can be sensitive and the use of chemicals must be secure, he said. “The idea for this type of threat assessment is to bring together more of the business side to the side of governance and do what we would call an inventory of our facility,” Villalobos said. Villalobos said assessing the campus would yield an inven-
Thursday April 4, 2013 | The University Star
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Officials deserve praise for putting safety first in busing changes
n the interest of student safety and operational efficiency, transportation services officials should be commended for their plans to reroute buses beginning April 8 away from Sessom Drive to Woods Street. Some of the trams will be rerouted for the next two weeks to avoid increased construction on Sessom Drive, according to a March 28 University Star article. The Post Road, Mill Street, Wonder World and interurban tram routes will drop students off at the new terminal on Woods Street. In addition, the Blanco River, Aquarena Springs and Bobcat Stadium routes will temporarily disembark at Beretta Hall. However, students on the LBJ and Ranch Road routes will continue to be dropped off at The Quad bus loop. Paul Hamilton, Shuttle Service manager, said in the same University Star article emails will be sent out about the changes and maps of the new routes posted online. It is important students are aware of the temporary route alterations, not left confused and
frustrated by the changes. The reroutes are of dire importance because Sessom has become increasingly dangerous and difficult for Texas State buses to navigate during heavy traffic conditions. Sessom construction will continue to drag on in the coming months because the projects are not scheduled for completion until later this year. An unidentified male was struck by a vehicle while driving down Sessom on his moped, according to another March 28 University Star article. This type of accident seems more likely to happen as construction continues. The officials made the right move by contracting with Capital Area Rural Transportation to put less bulky trams on the Campus Loop route for the upcoming weeks. These alternative buses will only serve to further student safety during the construction projects because the route cannot avoid Sessom. Almost all of the buses will be temporarily rerouted, which will reduce some of the traffic burdens on Sessom. However, the reroutes may cause more
traffic issues in other locations around campus and the downtown area in the meantime. City and university police department officials should be actively planning to direct traffic during busy hours Monday through Thursday around San Marcos. The lack of police presence for the duration of many construction projects in the city has been inconvenient at best and truly dangerous at worst for students and residents. Police officers could help direct traffic at the lights leading cars from Aquarena Springs Drive onto Sessom and at the left-hand turn onto State Street from Sessom. Often, cars make illegal left turns from Sessom onto State Street, backing up traffic in the one open lane on the road. City construction projects take place at some of the most inconvenient times of the year, which has caused significant issues for students and residents. In addition, workers repainted the road lines on Aquarena Springs in the afternoon last month, further burdening already-heavy traffic at that time. The lines around the main stoplight leading onto Ses-
som in particular were repainted at approximately 1:45 p.m., which is a peak time for students to be heading to class. These restoration and construction projects must be better timed around student schedules to help ease traffic on the main roadways. Projects should be worked on mainly in evenings and over the summer break to help ease driver frustrations. Construction has inconvenienced numerous people and will continue to do so in the short term. However, it is admirable transportation services officials took a stand for safety by rerouting the buses to make shuttling more worthwhile. 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 UniversitySan Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University-San Marcos.
Emmanuel Ramirez, Star Illustrator
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Opinions | The University Star | Thursday April 4, 2013 | 5
In-state tuition Budget cuts could have negative effects on students should be available
By Alex Pernice Opinions Columnist
he economic sequester may seem like a confusing web of financial information to some, but it is important students become well informed and contact their local representatives about the proposed budget cuts. Congress passed a law in 2011 that stated arbitrary and automatic budget cuts would occur if legislators could not agree on a deficit plan, according to a statement by the White House. A series of budget cuts were then put into effect March 1 after Congress failed to come to a consensus on reducing the deficit by $4 trillion. The cuts are concentrated across the board, affecting everything from military readiness to public health initiatives, educational training and employment. Every state is affected in some way, and without action from Congress, the effects of budget cuts known as the sequester will become increasingly harmful. The state of Texas could experience severe blows from the budget cuts, according to an interactive guide on the sequester on the White House. Public health and environmental protections could be at risk of losing more than $10 million in funding combined. Cuts toward programs supporting elderly residents who are sick or in need of in-home care could be greater than $3 million. Texas army bases will be short $233 million in operational funding. All of these negative consequences could soon affect Texas if the sequester is not resolved by legislators in a timely manner. One of the most damaging consequences of the se-
quester, however, is its effect on educational funding. With the economy already in poor condition, students have relied on loans, grants and other types of college and state-disbursed aid to help achieve dreams of higher education. It is estimated about 1,450 workstudy jobs for low-income college students in Texas will be lost, and about 930 teacher and aide jobs are in danger. States have been having a difficult time avoiding tuition hikes in public schools because of heavy cuts to educational funding, according to a March 20 Huffington Post article. All 50 states have had to raise tuition by at least 2 percent since fiscal year 2008. The state of Texas has seen an increase of 17.8 percent in tuition, and Arizona experienced the highest surge at 78.4 percent, according to the same article. A number of other federally funded programs could be at risk if something is not done to counteract the budget cuts. Students need to be aware of every part of the sequester and how it will affect them in the long run. Education is hit hard in these budget cuts, and the consequences will soon be felt on campus. Lowermiddle class students who rely on federal and state grants and loans could find their ability to pay tuition is severely hindered if the sequester continues to stay active. Texas State could experience a loss in enrollment as more students state-wide become unable to afford college tuition. Research funding could eventually take a heavy blow. Texas State’s aspirations to become a tier-one research institution could be delayed. Resources may drop significantly as the budget cuts continue to make their mark on educational funding across the nation. It will be interesting to see whether the sequester is soon replaced by a set of tax hikes or any other kind of relief from the harmful budget cuts. People across the nation are already feeling the hurt by a reduction in funding, and college students are especially suffering. Hopefully Congress will soon take action to ensure citizens are not left in the dark. In the meantime, students should be informed about the future impact the sequester may have on education and contact their local representatives to share perspectives and suggestions. --Alex Pernice is a mass communication sophomore.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Money management key to future success
ith graduation approaching fast, many questions loom in the minds of every graduate. “What will life after college look like?” “Will I be able to find a job?” “How will I pay off this student debt?” There was a time when a college degree meant increased opportunities. The Associated Press estimates nearly 53 percent of college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. Many students are faced with debt upwards of $20,000 before they even enter the workforce. Financial responsibility and money management are more important to students today than ever before. Look at your spending habits. Figure out where you are wasting money. Perhaps it is time to cut out that bloated bar tab or buying fashion accessories you do not really need. Do not spend money you do not have. If you use a credit card, make sure you can pay the balance every month. The interest assessed on unpaid portions of the credit card represents money you could be saving. Take care of personal business such as rent and food and make plans to begin paying off those student loans. Defaulting on student loans can damage a graduate for life. It will show up on your credit history and can even cost you a job. It is hard enough
for graduates to find a job in the first place without losing an opportunity because they fall behind in paying off debt. Employers are eyeing the credit histories of job candidates looking for signs of financial responsibility. In the eyes of an employer, if you can manage your personal finances, you are capable of maintaining a job. Now more than ever, college students should strive to borrow wisely, budget monthly and save frequently. Sincerely, Andrew Flowers --Andrew Flowers is a public relations senior. Twitter: @moneysavvycats
to all Americans
By Ravi Venkataraman Opinions Columnist
s more states permit bills granting in-state tuition and higher education opportunities to undocumented residents, students need to push legislators to pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The DREAM Act would cancel the removal of certain undocumented students if they met a series of requirements, according to the text of the bill. The eligibility criteria includes entering the nation at or under 16 years old, a U.S. high school diploma, equivalent or college education and living in the country for at least five years. The bill would allow states to determine residency for higher education and military purposes. In addition, undocumented students would be eligible for federal work study and student loans. States could decide whether to provide financial aid to the students, according to the Immigration Policy Center. Above all, it would provide a way for undocumented students to become legal permanent residents with citizenship. The bill was introduced to the floor in 2001, and it has been shut down from becoming a law, revised and stuck in limbo for the past decade. Yet since then, states have been taking initiative on parts of the bill. A March 22 Oregonian article mentioned the Oregon senate passed a bill granting in-state tuition to undocumented high school graduates. Oregon is now one of about a dozen other states that allow undocumented students who meet certain requirements to receive in-state tuition. Undocumented Oregon students can receive in-state tuition if they have attended school in the country for at least five years, with a minimum of three at a state high school and graduation. The students must also show intent to become a citizen or a legal permanent resident, according to the same article. A similar measure has been in effect since 2001 in Texas. California and Texas were the first states to enact legislation of this nature, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislature. Undocumented students can receive financial aid in Texas unlike in many other states. A report published April 14, 2009 by the Pew Research Center estimated 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the country in 2008. In an April 12, 2009 article by ABC News, it was estimated 65,000 undocumented students had graduated from high school in the United States and had the potential to go to college. These undocumented students for the most part are Americans even though they are considered aliens. Many have lived in America for much of their lives and have nowhere else to call home. There do not appear to be clear statistics available for the exact numbers of undocumented immigrants who have lived in America for a majority of their lifetimes. However, a number of case studies and reports are showing the evidence and excellence of these undocumented scholars. One report by the University of California – Los Angeles Center for Labor Research and Education featured multiple undocumented students, one hoping to become a doctor and another aiming for a Ph.D. Some states have decided to take authority and restrict education for undocumented students because the DREAM Act has failed to pass into law. Undocumented students are barred from enrolling in a college or university in Alabama and South Carolina, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislature. This type of action goes against human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a key piece of international law adopted by the United Nations which includes the United States, mentions the inherent right of obtaining an education. In Article 26, the document states, “Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” Furthermore, what does the country have to lose by granting Americans the opportunity for higher education? These students are Americans, and the only thing they lack is a sheet of paper that states they are. The nation could be preventing potential job creators, revolutionary scientists and harbingers of positive change from rising up by not rewarding the merit of ambitious undocumented students seeking higher education. These are a just a few of the many things the DREAM Act could offer American society. --Ravi Venkataraman is a creative writing masters student.
Increased Train Regulations AGAINST
TALK IT OUT
By Jose R. Gonzalez Opinions Columnist
esidents and students who regularly complain about San Marcos trains need to realize they are here to stay, and they must get used to it. What do people expect when they move next door to train tracks? All that railing is not there as some kind of public abstract art project. If I move next door to a Jack in the Box, I am going to expect the smell of deep-fried food. Some residents and students appear to act as if the trains are annoying neighbors who suddenly moved in and started making uncomfortable noises to hear in the middle of the night. A train is no more responsible for the potential suicide of a resident or student than a skyscraper is. Extra guards on the tracks will only burden taxpayers who may have to pay for these additions with extra shifts at work. Trains in the Old West symbolized modernity at the dawning of flourishing cities like San Marcos. They are still necessary and vital to economy of the country. People need to back off criticizing the safety of trains and the tracks and concern themselves with other city issues. A good place to start would be increasing the number of small, local businesses that would benefit from goods carried by the trains.
FOR By Daniel Palomo Opinions Columnist
henever someone dies, it is a tragedy. Whenever a pedestrian dies from a collision with a vehicle, in this case a train, it is always senseless. Incidents involving the deaths of 20-year-old Tyler Rhein Schobert and 18-yearold Angelina Castillo exhibit why improved train safety is needed in San Marcos. It is easy to blame the victims for acting irresponsibly, especially when they are no longer here to defend themselves. The community may stray from taking responsibility for not providing pedestrians with a safe way to cross an intersection, be it roadway or railway. But what if highway interstates did not have concrete barriers? Some people would avoid them, fearing for their lives. Others would risk the danger and drive carefully, but still there would be some driving on the highways like they are immortal and realizing they are not. Unfortunately, this is the case for pedestrians and cyclists. A stripe on the ground or an LED sign does not a safe crossing make. City officials and taxpayers should ensure more funding is given to increasing pedestrian infrastructure at all crossings. Residents and students are paying for it already, in ways much more costly than any amount of funding.
6 | Thursday April 4, 2013 | The University Star
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Students bond over vampire role-playing game
Shea Wendlandt, Staff Photographer
Phillip Hitsman, English senior, Lindsay Howze, international studies junior, Cristina Brewis, Spanish senior and Dhayne White, advertising junior, V-LARP April 3 outside LBJ Student Center. narrative nights behind the LBJ Student Center, sometimes playing in Boko’s Lounge. They use the “Laws of the Night” and “Vampire: The Masquerade” series of books as references. “Our players are so good at getting into character that their characters will make a decision that I know for a fact they themselves would never make,” said Robert de la Garza, theatre sophomore. De la Garza said the intensity of the game physically and emotionally moves players, such as when Cristina “Dee” Brewis’ character “Delilah Bell” recently met her final maker.
By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Trends Reporter Every other Friday some Texas State students visit the City of Resonance, a modern-day mythical place where vampire clans, soul-eating priests and spies run amok. The “voice from the drainage ditch” calls to them under the light of the San Marcos moon to participate in this no-contact, vampire live action role-playing game (V-LARP). Members of the Texas State Interactive Story Telling Society work to develop psychologically intriguing collaborative
Brewis, Spanish senior, created the foulmouthed vampire who was “embraced” in an Internet café bathroom in Hollywood. Being consumed by flames to protect her clan may not have been what Brewis had in mind for her character, but de la Garza said players’ decisions matter and affect the game’s outcome. De la Garza would know, as he co-wrote the game’s overarching plot. “There’s a whole list of mechanics for how the game works,” he said. “It lends itself very well to social interaction between people who may not otherwise get that much.” His role as the game’s co-storyteller comes after his recent, brief history with LARPing. De la Garza was introduced to the game by his former Texas Wesleyan University roommate and co-storyteller Kevin Whiteside. He said they immediately bonded over mutual interests, which included Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games. But it took more effort on Whiteside’s part to persuade de la Garza to join him at a V-LARP. The game’s connotations with the popular YouTube video “Lightning Bolt,” which depicts a combat-style “ogre battle” LARP, hindered him. Unlike combat LARPs, City of Resonance uses descriptive language to move the game’s action forward and rock, paper, scissors to resolve conflicts. Whiteside, computer science junior, wrote a character for de la Garza when they were at Texas Wesleyan based on those he enjoyed playing in the video game “Assassin’s Creed.” De la Garza said he most enjoys
playing “shadass,” or “shadowy badass,” characters. “(The) hat’s pulled down real low, and they’re always really quiet, but they’re always really awesome,” said de la Garza. “I got thrust in the middle of this giant war between (Whiteside’s) character and some other characters, so he basically built my character just to use and manipulate.” To de la Garza, that is what friends are for: spending hours writing characters for each other and overarching plotlines for City of Resonance, similar to a television series’ seasons. He and Whiteside now spend two to three hours every week rewriting the plot for City of Resonance. The duo, nicknamed “Timon and Pumbaa,” started what may now be the largest V-LARP in Central Texas last semester with about 20 active members, most of whom had never previously played the game. “There are more (LARPers) than people think,” Whiteside said, including de la Garza’s girlfriend Zoe Miller, mass communication sophomore. The game’s second season concludes at the end of this month. Despite growing popularity, Whiteside said those outside of the V-LARP community may continue to have misconceptions about the game and its players. He stressed City of Resonance is not affiliated with the occult, nor do its players believe they are real vampires. “One of the major aspects of the game is to realize that it’s just a game, some escapism, some harmless fantasy—to have fun,” Whiteside said. “The whole point of the game is to tell a story.”
Vocalist for country band Gloriana
By Fiona Riley Trends Reporter The country band Gloriana will be playing April 18 at Riverfest, a large music festival put on by the Student Association for Campus Activities. The band is comprised of guitarists Tom Gossin and Mike Gossin, mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball and lead vocalist Rachel Reinert. The University Star spoke with Reinert about the band and its upcoming performance.
theater, or a club or an arena. We want them to forget about that stuff that’s going on outside the song, the music, and how it makes them feel, and have a great time and really just enjoy themselves. FR: You were on CW’s “Heart of Dixie.” What was that like, guest-starring on a TV show? RR: Oh my gosh, it was amazing. We got to meet a majority of the cast, and everyone was just beyond nice and so thankful that we were there. We couldn’t believe that, because to us these people are huge stars, and we’re just a band from Nashville. It was a very different experience for us because we hadn’t really done any kind of acting before like that, especially for a TV show. So that was a stretch for us, but it was so fun. We loved it. We got to perform “Can’t Shake You” on a show, and it seemed that everyone really loved the song and knew all the words and everything.
FR: What songs will you be playing at Riverfest? RR: You know, I don’t really know yet. Usually we just choose our set list the day of, and it depends on what the venue’s like and what we’re feeling. But we’ll definitely be playing a lot of covers, a lot of songs from the new record and some songs from our first record as well. FR: What is the main message you’re trying to get out to fans with your songs? RR: For us, all of the songs came from our own personal experiences, and to us what’s really important is being able to write songs that we feel other people can relate to and feel like they can connect with the lyrics. For other people to be like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been there, and I know what that feels like,” to us is definitely a priority, especially when it comes to songwriting and songs that we choose to put out. When people come to the show, I want them to feel like they can just forget whatever’s going on in their life outside of that area, whether it be a college, or a
Photo courtesy of Gloriana
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FR: If you could go on tour with any band, dead or alive, who would it be? RR: Honestly, I’ve really idolized Sheryl Crow since I was a little girl. She’s why I started singing. I got a cassette tape of “All I Wanna Do” when I was 5 years old, and I just wore that thing out. Now, we’ve gotten to perform with her a couple times. She’s just amazing and such a good example of a human being and also an artist. I just adore her, and we’ve got some shows coming up with her soon.
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Bobcats aim to improve home record in weekend series
By Odus Evbagharu Sports Reporter The Texas State softball team will try to avoid being the first team in 13 years under Coach Ricci Woodard not to finish more than .500 at home when it faces Louisiana Tech University this weekend. The Bobcats (7-27) are currently 2-12 this year in San Marcos with 11 games left at home this season. The team’s two wins at home this year came in March against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Troy University 7-1 and 5-0, respectively. “We don’t really talk about whether we are home or away,” Woodard said. “It shouldn’t matter. We should play the same ball.” The Bobcats dropped their first home WAC series to the University of Texas-San Antonio, getting swept by the Roadrunners for the first time since the 2004 season. The team has been outscored 68-38 by its opponents in 14 games at home this year, averaging 2.7 runs per contest. “At this point our record isn’t a huge concern anymore,” said senior second baseman Anna Hernandez. “We go into every
game expecting to win and not necessarily caring whether it is home or away. I mean we love our home crowd with our parents being there, but it’s not just something about it being home or away. We want to get wins either way. It really doesn’t matter in that sense.” Texas State will host a Louisiana Tech team who is coming into San Marcos this weekend on a five-game winning streak. The Lady Techsters currently sit fourth in the conference with a 4-2 record and are 18-15 overall. Louisiana Tech leads the league in hitting, posting a collective team batting average of .320 in 33 games played for the 2013 campaign. “Honestly, for us it is not necessarily about the other team in the dugout,” Hernandez said. “We are excited about playing (Louisiana Tech). It is another conference game. We are absolutely looking for another ring. That’s not something that has gone away as a goal.” The Lady Techsters will be led by freshmen outfielder Kristen Miles and utility player Anna Cross. Both players have started and played all 33 games for Louisiana Tech this season. Miles is fourth in the confer-
ence in hitting with a .414 batting average. She is second in hits (41), third in runs scored (28) and fourth in stolen bases (12) in the WAC. Cross leads the league in stolen bases (17) and has been caught once in her 18 attempts. The freshman posts a .346 batting average and an ERA of 2.93, both good enough to be top 10 in the conference. Louisiana Tech leads the conference in stolen bases with 77 and has an 85 percent success rate, having been caught 14 times this year. “They are playing very well right now,” Woodard said. “They are swinging the bats pretty well and scoring some runs. They have a lot of stolen bases, so we are going to have to make sure that we don’t let them be the aggressors this weekend. If we do, we are going to put ourselves in a bind. We have to make sure we keep their base runners off the bases, and if they do get on base, that we don’t let them steal bases on us.” Texas State currently sits two games behind the Lady Techsters in conference standings. The Bobcats are tied for third with the University of Texas-Arlington and Seattle University,
Star File Photo
Texas State softball will team up against Louisiana Tech University in a double header April 5 with a third game April 6 at the Bobcat Softball Complex this weekend.
all having 2-4 records in conference play. “We need to win the series,” Woodard said. “There is no reason we shouldn’t. I feel like we’ve been playing better ball as
of late. We just need to continue that trend this weekend. We need to continue to fight and find a way to win ball games.” Twitter: odus_Outputs
Fencing club to compete in national tournament By Bert Santibanez Sports Reporter Within the Jowers Center on the Texas State Campus resides a mostly unknown sporting organization with a longstanding and distinguished history. The Texas State Fencing Club, established in 1975, is the longest active club organization at Texas State. For the first time in its history, the club has been invited to compete in the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs Championships at Michigan State University April 6 and 7. The tournament has open competitions for schools around the country to participate, but receiving an invitation is a special honor. “The club has a good tradition,” said
Wyatt Constantine, international studies senior and fencer. “We have a reputation of fielding good fencers. I’m not scared at all. At the very least, they’re going to remember Texas State. We’re going to be facing a lot of schools where fencing is really strong. It’s going to be awesome.” To further contribute to the club’s confidence as the tournament approaches, John Moreau, the coach of the club, is no novice to competitive fencing. Moreau has 40 years of fencing experience and has obtained many accolades in his professional fencing career. Moreau was a member of both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic fencing teams. In 2003, Moreau became the United States national champion of fencing at the age of 52, the oldest ever to be named champion.
“We tend to attract the more eclectic athlete, the scholar and the intelligent,” Moreau said. “What they lack for in physical attributes, they more than make up in mental acuity. As a team, we’re not going into the tournament to lose. These kids know what they can do and have a lot of experience. Those (competing schools) put their pants on the same way we do.” Many intricacies and psychological components are involved in the sport of fencing. The degree of aggressiveness and speed of the sport cannot be underestimated. Fencing is divided into three stylistic categories of fighting: foil, saber, and épée. In the club, the épée version is generally preferred by most members. However, some differ in their preference of fighting style. “Saber is generally considered a slashing
weapon,” saber specialist Jake New said. “The weapon was originally fashioned after the cavalry sword on horseback. Of the three weapons, saber is definitely the fastest pace. I feel like it’s the most technical and aggressive of the other weapons. Since last semester, the club has gained a lot more sabers, and now we’re one of the top saber teams in our collegiate circuit. My goal here for the team is to really build up the saber dynasty, where every tournament we finish first and second consistently.” As the national collegiate tournament approaches, the Bobcat fencing team feel they have the passion, skill and experience to make a memorable showing on a national level. Twitter: @BTSantibanez
| The University Star |
Thursday April 4, 2013
Drafts, preparation begin for Maroon-Gold game “You know, I’ve done this so many times that I’m almost surprised every year,” Franchione said. “I mean sometimes you think they’re going to take this quarterback surely, and they don’t. You can kind of tell what they think of their teammates.” The Gold Team received the first pick of the draft, taking senior defensive lineman Blake McColloch. Junior running back Chris Nutall was picked second overall by the Maroon Team. “It’s always interesting,” Star File Photo Texas State football will play in its third Maroon-Gold Spring game April Franchione said. “Some guys get a depth chart and 6 at Bobcat Stadium. they study it, and they come prepared. And some of them By Samuel Rubbelke come in and just fly by the seat of their pants. Sports Reporter It’s always interesting to see the strategy of The third Maroon-Gold Spring Game un- who is picked first, second or third.” Senior quarterback Duke DeLancellotti der Coach Dennis Francione will kick off at 6 p.m. on April 6 at Bobcat Stadium, but for has participated in the Franchione Maroon and Gold Draft before and shared his insight the players the game began on Wednesday. Captains were chosen, and the Bobcats of what goes on in the draft room. DeLancelheld a draft to make up the Maroon and lotti believed defensive players would domiGold teams Wednesday afternoon with strat- nate the beginning of the draft, going against egy and winning already on the minds of the his offensive roots. “They’ll probably start picking some good players prior to setting foot on the field.
defensive players,” DeLancellotti said. “It’s always good to have a good defense in the spring game. Then you have to look for some playmakers on offense.” However, apart from the top pick in this year’s draft, offensive players dominated the next five picks. Two running backs were taken, followed by a quarterback, offensive tackle and finally a wide receiver. Senior safety Aaron Matthews believes there were tactics involved, but with such a deep team, the combinations are endless. “I feel like it’s pure strategy,” Matthews said. “We have players everywhere that can be used as viable assets towards the spring game. I’m very interested to see what the spring game will be like.” With the rosters now set, the captains have a 24-hour window to make any trades to solidify their lineups. The coaches will monitor the player movement to make sure both teams will be able to operate properly in a game. Even with uncertainty in the air that goes along with any draft, one thing was clear: friendships accounted for nothing in the draft room. “They want to win. It’s not a popularity contest,” Franchione said. “For the most part, I think this is a respect contest. They were going to pick whom they respect, and who can help them win. In my experiences, that always takes precedence over their
friends. They want to win. They want to kick their friends’ tails.” The roster is subject to change before game time.
Senior WR Senior DL
First Five Picks Maroon
Redshirt Freshman QB
Sophomore WR Sophomore OT Junior C
Redshirt Sophomore RB Sophomore OT Junior DE
Bobcats headed to California for Sacramento State series By Jordan Brewer Assistant Sports Editor Texas State baseball has turned its attention to a road trip this weekend to face Sacramento State after the team’s Tuesday game was rained out and rescheduled for May 8. The Bobcats were going into the originally scheduled game on Tuesday against Prairie View A&M University with less fresh arms than they might prefer. Six pitchers were used in the 12-inning 4-3 loss to Rice University on Monday. The 4-3 loss to Rice was among several close, competitive games for Bobcats that ended in defeats. The Bobcats also lost to the University of Texas-Austin and Baylor University, 5-3 and 6-3 respectively. Sacramento beat UT 5-3 in Austin this season but eventually lost the series. Sacramento is 2-4 so far in the WAC and 15-13 for the season. The Bobcats have improved their season prospects since WAC competition started and are tied with the University of Texas-Arlington in the early conference standings
with a 5-1 record. They “(The bullpen has) are still under .500 in been good,” said Coach overall record (12-16) Ty Harrington. “Hart but have faced a schedand Lemke have been ule with four top-30 provery good for us. I’ve grams. been proud of them “It does feel like for that. I thought we’ve started over now Lemke pitched well for that conference (play) us (against Rice), and is here,” said shortstop he went three straight Garrett Mattlage. “It games for us over the was a good thing. We weekend (against Seare 5-1 (in conference), attle).” Star File Photo and we are sitting pretty Junior Scott Grist good. Everyone looks Texas State baseball will travel to California to take on Sacramento has won three straight more comfortable out in three games April 5-7. The Bobcats have a 12-16 record. decisions on the mound there and is playing dating back to March more comfortable.” 16. In his previous three them put it in play and get themThe Bobcats’ bullpen starts combined, Grist has been a reason for some early selves.” has surrendered nine earned runs Lemke has maintained a 2.49 off of 23 hits, three walks and 12 conference wins. Last weekend the bullpen allowed no runs in three earned run average in 21 innings strikeouts. games against Seattle University. with six given up and 17 hits. FreshThe Bobcats recorded two erJunior Hunter Lemke earned three man reliever Lucas Humpal, who rors against Rice on Monday, one was the starter against Rice, is sec- of which resulted in the game-tying saves. “Every time I get another (pitch- ond on the team with a 2.16 ERA. run. The Bobcats have 45 errors ing opportunity) it feels good,” Left-handed junior Donnie Hart this season, third worst in the WAC Lemke said. “When I go out there still has not allowed an earned run and seven more than the amount with a good defense behind me, it’s in over 14 innings pitched and has the opponents they faced have had. easy to just throw strikes and let struck out 14 batters. Harrington said the defensive let-
downs have frustrated the team the most. “It’s something we can get better at,” Harrington said. “I think it’s something we have gotten better at. I would like us to play a much more focused defensive game (against Sacramento).” The Hornets are led by pitching with a staff and bullpen that are third in the WAC in earned run average (4.04). The team’s ace pitcher is sophomore Brennan Leitao, who has a 3.54 ERA in 48 innings pitched, which is third in the conference. Sophomore right-hander Ty Nichols is second in the rotation and has struck out 18 while walking seven in 30 innings pitched. Sacramento has two players hitting over .300. Freshman Chris Lewis leads the team with a .311 average and 23 runners batted in. Senior Andrew Ayers is second on the team in batting average (.308) and tied with Lewis for second in home runs with two on the season.
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The April 4, 2013 issue of the University Star.