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AUGUST 31, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 9

Defending the First Amendment since 1911

“My first GOAL WAS TO





FLOAT FEST MAKES WAVES Three-day festival brings music, tubing to San Marcos By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @Mariahsimank

nicorns could be seen floating at Cool River Ranch this weekend. San Martians came in troves, equipped with inflatable unicorn inner tubes and beach balls, Aug. 28-30 for the second annual Float Fest event. The festival featured a unique vibe and unforgettable performances across two stages and three days. Festivalgoers listened to artists such as Local Natives, Ghostland Observatory and Phantogram. Each day of the festival showcased very different genres of music. Friday’s lineup highlighted mostly indie rock artists whose performances seemed to be a carefree, super chill representation of their abilities. Although the day was jampacked with great artists, it seemed that many people chose


to stay at the river until the sun began to set. Greg Earl, University of Texas at Austin student, said he was surprised to see how relaxed the festival was. “It has actually been pretty intimate because there are not a lot of people here compared to what I was expecting,” Earl said. “I would say it is pretty laidback and you don’t feel as stressed to go to each show because everyone is just kind of hanging out all over.” Friday’s highlight happened in the heat of the day, as crowds, still soaking wet from the river, watched Taylor Muse, Quiet Company lead singer, leave the stage to stand side-by-side with the audience during a cover of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.” Muse said the band, which has been together for nine years, strives to leave everything on the stage during their performances. “I think it was pretty good. Man, I had an awesome time,”

Muse said. “My first goal was to pass out onstage, but that’s never happened to me before. So I set a goal for myself to throw up and never quite got there.” Local Natives, who performed songs from their new album, hit the main stage Friday night as the headliners for day one. Their set featured enough energetic drumming and smooth three-part harmonies to get any audience member up off their blanket as they danced to the beat. People showed up in droves for day two of the festival, dressed casually in T-shirts, bathing suits and the occasional flower crown. Crowds were treated to electric and hip-hop performances that were as musically sound as they were aesthetically pleasing. Sam Lao, who performed in the early afternoon, said the festival was a nice way to become familiar with the San Marcos community. “This is my first time ever

in San Marcos,” Lao said. “I happen to love areas like this with the countryside that just feel a little bit more open and more relaxed. I love that there is a sense of community here.” Lao said the event had a very different vibe from larger productions like the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) and South By Southwest (SXSW). “Float Fest feels a little more homey to me, and I don’t mean that in a bad way its just that something like SXSW can get really overwhelming,” Lao said. “Places like San Marcos that seem to be more appreciative when big artists come and I feel like those are the people who become real fans.” Saturday’s standout performance came from Ghostland Observatory, whose concert captivated festivalgoers with its synchronized laser show and floating unicorn tubes scattered across the audience. Anthony Erikson, Float Fest marketing director, said the deci-

sion to extend the festival to one day to three was a no-brainer. “It was very well-received last year and we had just over 6,000 people,” Erikson said. “We just wanted to be able to provide a more diverse musical lineup and more opportunities for folks to enjoy the river and camping on the ranch.” Erikson said Marcus Federman, Texas State alumnus, founded the festival last year. “He lived in San Marcos for years and enjoyed many floats on the river and was a musician himself,” Erikson said. “He eventually got the idea to combine two of Texas' favorite pastimes into one great event.” Mutemath, Youngblood Hawke, Wild Cub, Sarah Jaffe and Mobley were just a few of the acts that performed throughout the festival’s final day. Each performance built on the one before it until Phantogram ended the night with an explosion of energy that captivated audience members.


Local Natives closes out day one, Aug. 28, of Float Fest.


Festivalgoers look on as Bun B performs Aug. 29 at Float Fest.

2 | The University Star | Monday, August 31, 2015



Target pulls gender labels from stores, San Marcos residents react By Kasandra Garza NEWS REPORTER @KasGarza

Target announced Aug. 7 that the company will eliminate gender labels in several departments of its stores nationwide. Molly Snyder, Target’s senior group manager of public relations, said removing gender labels has been a conversationTarget officials have been

hearing for quite some time in their call centers. “We wanted to make the right adjustments that we felt would be the best for our company and our guests,” Snyder said. “At this point in time, we felt that it was the right step to take.” Snyder said although customers have had a wide variety of opinions, the overall customer feedback has been favorable.


Snyder said she wants to emphasize that Target respects all of their customers’ opinions. “I like Target, got nothing against them,” said Jacob Anderson, San Marcos resident and frequent shopper. “I think the removal of gender labeling is pointless. (They are) just children’s toys. Most little boys and girls play with different types of toys, so makers market to those genders.”

Prior to Target’s announcement, the company had teams identify areas where genderbased signage could be phased out to help bring balance to the shopping experience, according to the company’s blog. Snyder said the phasing-out process has already begun in the bedding section. The signs in that section are unnecessary since the departments are across from one another,

she said. Instead of signs labeled by gender, the new signs will read “Children’s Bedding,” according to Target officials. In the toy section, Target plans to remove the colors pink, blue, yellow and green to remove reference of gender, according to the company’s blog. “We want customers to be able to make those choices for themselves,” Snyder said.

“The majority of Target locations across the U.S. have already made the necessary changes.” Snyder said she would like to emphasize that the change does not apply to departments such as apparel and restrooms. Managers and HR representatives from the Target located in San Marcos were not available for comment on the removal of gender labels.


Place 5 city council candidate San Marcos Animal Shelter struggling with hosts campaign kickoff overpopulation, encouraging adoption By Alexa Tavarez NEWS EDITOR @lexicanaa

Place 5 city council candidate Frank T. Arredondo kicked off his campaign Thursday night at Cuauhtemoc Hall. In his stump speech, Arredondo said the devastation the Memorial Day weekend floods brought upon San Marcos residents was the tipping point in his decision to run for city council. Arredondo was a flood victim himself back in 1970 and 1972. “I once was a resident of Blanco Gardens,” Arredondo said. “I know the anguish of being in the flood, the anguish of rainclouds forming and falling again multiple days on end.” Arredondo said he empathized with the flood victims, specifically those of Blanco Gardens. Recently, the neighborhood’s residents received a federal letter from Federal Emergency Management Agency stating residents must raise their homes by 12 feet in order to remain in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program. “I’m not interested in a handout, but what can (the city) do when they approve apartments like the Woods, which I understood contributed to some of the flooding issues that those neighborhoods experienced,” said Diana Gonzales, born and raised resident of San Marcos. “What is the city going to do? What is the council going to do?” Arredondo said there are several neighborhoods that do not feel they have representation on the council. He said demographically

established neighborhoods like Blanco Gardens represent 40 percent of San Marcos’ population, and they should carry the same weight as any other neighborhood. “I am sorry, they also proportionately pay taxes too,” Arredondo said. Arredondo noted all other members on city council are “Anglo-Saxon” besides Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The demographics alone should place at least three Hispanics on the council, he said. “I have that genuine trait,” Arredondo said. “I am Hispanic. I have walked in those Indian moccasins.” He said he wants to give Hispanic youth a choice to stay in San Marcos after they graduate and secure well-paying jobs. Gonzales said Arredondo’s initiative to encourage the Hispanic youth to participate in civil service is inspiring. “We need better representation, reflecting the demographics of the community,” Gonzales said. Several elected officials were present at the campaign kick off, including Guerrero, Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2, and Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, Precinct 3. “When Frank (Arredondo) told me he wanted to run for city council and the reasons why—the ones he mentioned tonight—that’s something I work on everyday,” Conley said. Conley said he and Arredondo share a common thread concerning their interests in public service. “I need ambassadors. I need workers. I need you,” Arredondo told his supporters.

By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter has carried high populations throughout the year and continues to struggle to find homes for man’s best friend. Regulations set up by the shelter and city ordinances make it difficult to house large amounts of animals in the shelter. When animals are brought to the shelter, the city of San Marcos cannot turn down them down, which fuels the overpopulation problem, said Kara Montiel, animal services manager for the shelter. “We are a shelter that really tries to hold all that we can,” Montiel said. “City ordinance states that we have to keep animals for a specific amount of time before we can euthanize them.” The shelter does not euthanize unless space is desperately needed or animals aren’t getting adopted, Montiel said. Sometimes animals are brought in because their owners do not hold the capacity to take care of their pets, Montiel said. Different pets come back to the shelter once the owner realizes they cannot pay and keep up with having an animal, she said. “The best way to prevent the overpopulation of our shelters is to (spay) your pets,” said Erin McCann, animal shelter supervisor. “The animal shelter in San Marcos is an intake facility, meaning we take everything. If you (spay), it will really help us out.”


Nicole Nocki, full-time shelter tech at the San Marcos animal shelter, plays with Pickles Aug 22., who is a dog that lives at the shelter. McCann said there is a city ordinance in San Marcos that does not allow people to have more than four dogs and a combined total of seven pets. She said if you fail to comply with these rules, animal control will take immediate action and take away all of the individuals pets. The city has strict rules on how to take care of pets, and because of that the shelter really pushes adopters to make sure they can afford to take care of the animal, Montiel said. There are a lot of rules to follow, which are all in place to protect the pets adopted or bought. “All of those animals will then be brought here to the shelter, so you can see how quickly our numbers can pile up for animals,” McCann

said. The shelter is also dealing with animals that come in from different areas without homes, Montiel said. “We have students who will bring animals from back home who they found on the streets,” Montiel said. “It can be frustrating because they should really be taking those animals to the shelters they belong to. Our capacity is full, and when other animals come in from different areas in can be difficult.” The intake facility rule has gray areas that put the animal shelter in a tough spot, Montiel said. Even if animals are brought in from different areas, we have no choice but to take them in. Cheyenne Watson, communications disorders sophomore, has avidly adopted

animals from shelters all her life. Morally, Watson said adopting at a shelter just makes sense. “I am completely against buying animals at stores and breeding grounds,” Watson said. “There are plenty of healthy, full-of-life animals that need your adoption at shelters.” She said animal shelters also give a lot of benefits to the owners. Some shelters will provide free spading, and sometimes help pay for medical expenses if the dog comes with any special conditions. “There are a lot of dogs that have had a bad start, and who is it to say it’s their fault?” Watson said. “You’re giving new life to an animal that deserves it.”


Hays County officials consider FEMA floodplain map adoption By Anna Herod ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy

Hundreds of Hays County residents may soon have to purchase flood insurance and see the construction standards for structures around them change. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began releasing updated advisory floodplain maps Aug. 21, which are currently under a yearlong review by county officials. If county officials adopt the advisory maps, the floodplain will greatly expand along the Blanco River and tributary creeks throughout the southern portion of Hays County—the area most devastated by the Memorial Day weekend flooding. FEMA’s floodplain maps determine which properties must have the appropriate insurance, how high new construction must be built and

what the base flood elevation will be. Base flood elevation determines the minimum height requirement for the first floors of new buildings. Old buildings are grandfathered in, but any new structures having to abide by FEMA’s construction standards. These rules and requirements apply to communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). San Marcos and Wimberley both participate in the program. According to the advisory maps, some areas would have a new base flood elevation of as high as 8 feet-12 feet. In order to meet the height requirements, developers will have to turn to methods such as building on stilts or raising the height of the foundation. Hays County staff is reviewing the changes and comparing them to previous maps, and other flood date, according to n Aug. 23 Hays

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County statement. The county will release additional information when the review process is complete, according to the statement. Hays County has not made a decision whether or not to use the floodplain maps as regulatory maps, according to the statement. County officials are making the maps and any additional data public to make sure citizens are informed. Amy DuBose, association executive of Four Rivers Association of Realtors, is a group representative of real estate professionals spanning five counties from Austin to San Antonio. DuBose said association officials will be reviewing FEMA’s revised maps to make sure they only make the necessary changes. “(Unnecessary overreach by FEMA would) be anything that’s going to impede the individual’s personal property rights, but then also anything that might force a

financial burden,” DuBose said. “We’re not necessarily totally concerned with flood insurance because we understand that’s a possibility.” The Four Rivers Association of Realtors wants to ensure the properties included in FEMA’s revised mapping should be included at all, DuBose said. She said properties added to the revised floodplain maps will be affected on the market. “I’m not sure that we would see a huge impact on the property values themselves, but what you would see is that because of the additional insurance requirements, the buying power might be hindered slightly,” DuBose said. She said buyers would have to consider the cost of their mortgage payments as well as flood insurance rates, which are “above and beyond what would be typically their homeowner’s policy.

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side and put a cross into the area that eventually found its way in the back of the net.

By Garrett Caywood SPECIAL TO THE STAR @polo__garre



Texas State lost for the second time this weekend, falling to 1-2 overall. UTEP recorded its 10th overall win against the Bobcats. The series is now (10-2-1) in favor of the Miners.

The strength and physicality from UTEP ultimately decided the game. The go-ahead goal was a scramble in the box. The Miners were more physical and able to crowd the area and win a 50-50 ball for the game-winner in the 78th minute.

TURNING POINT The turning point was UTEP's goal in the 37th minute off a cross from the right-hand side tying the game at 1-1. Aleah Davis, Miners junior midfielder, sprinted down the right-hand

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER Brooke Ramsey, sophomore midfielder, was able to show off her pace down the right hand side and used it well against an

athletic UTEP team. Ramsey frequently won possession back for the Bobcats and quickly worked the ball down the edges.

GOOD There was good pressure early in the game. A couple of crosses challenged the UTEP backline. One of those crosses led to Lynsey Curry, senior forward, getting free in the box. Curry scored her second goal this season and gave the Bobcats an early advantage. Texas State did an admirable job holding possession down the wings. The Bobcats strung together better possession in the second half

by generating corner kicks. Curry took advantage of the possession in the second half and was able to hold up play and let the midfielders push forward. The defense showed patience and defended with composure.

BAD Texas State lost momentum after Davis' goal. The Bobcats got caught in possession and struggled to control the ball in the latter part of the first half. Following the Curry substitution, the Bobcats had difficulties getting the ball out of their zone, which led to UTEP scoring opportunities.

UGLY The defense on corner kicks. The apparent height advantage for UTEP led to opportunities off corners and throw-ins. Texas State was not as physical in the box and it ended up costing them the late goal.

WHAT’S NEXT The Bobcats will play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at an away game Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at Dugan Stadium.




Dallas McClarty, junior defensive lineman, practices Aug. 26 at Bobcat Stadium. By Paul Livengood SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER @IamLivengood

Dallas McClarty, junior defensive tackle, isn’t the biggest guy on the team. At 5-11, McClarty seems a bit undersized, but he uses that to his advantage. McClarty was second on the team in tackles for loss (7.0) and sacks (3.0) last season. McClarty is entering his third season for the Bobcats and it may be his most productive to date if he lives up to Coach Dennis Franchione’s hype. “Dallas is playing the best I’ve ever seen him play,” Franchione said. Some say the low man always wins. With McClarty’s height, technique and quickness, he gets lower than his man and uses that leverage to beat bigger opponents. “He’s playing low,” Franchione said. “He’s got a good understanding of the defense, where he needs to be and how he fits into it. His quickness is the best I’ve ever seen.” The other factor of McClarty’s game that sets him apart is his work ethic. Franchione wants players

willing to sacrifice for the team’s collective good, and McClarty is a prime example of Franchione’s “OKG” motto—our kind of guy. There is no bigger critic of McClarty than himself. McClarty knows how to play his gap and recognize blocking schemes to see how the offensive line wants to block him. McClarty is preparing for the fast-approaching Florida State game just like any other game. The team has been practicing the past few days with filtered crowd noise being blasted through the stadium speakers, and McClarty thinks it is helping them prepare. “Honestly I just see it as another game,” McClarty said. “I know (Florida is) a very good team, but the

preparation is the same as always. We are playing in front of 80,000 fans. I think (the crowd noise) is something that is really helping us because it is hard enough to hear out here, so I can only imagine how it will be over (in Florida).” The Florida State offensive line should prove to be a challenge for McClarty. The Seminoles are no strangers to having NFL talent in their program. Three Florida State linemen were drafted to the NFL and one more was picked up as a free agent. The fact that there will be new faces will make it more difficult for McClarty and his comrades on the defensive line to know opposing players’ tendencies. There is one thing the team knows about Florida State, though: the Seminoles, even with new starters, will continue to be one of the best football teams in the country. Having a dependable guy like McClarty in the middle of the defensive line gives the Texas State coaches confidence to compete against high-caliber opposing talent. “It’s awesome, man,” said Coach Mike Hudson. “We want them all like (McClarty). When you know you can count on a guy, that makes you more confident as a coach. When you know you can count on him, the players around him know they can count on him and the defense knows they can count on him. Its trust, it’s all about trust.” McClarty has been chosen as a Preseason All-Sun Belt defensive lineman by ESPN, but he doesn’t focus on personal accolades. He just wants to improve from game to game. When it’s all said and done, McClarty shares the same goal with his team. “I would like to hang my hat on just going to a bowl game,” McClarty said. “That’s my goal. That’s the team’s goal.”

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Lauren Prater, junior forward, is growing into what Coach Kat Conner calls “shooting boots.” Prater’s role has slowly transitioned coming into her third season with the Texas State soccer team. Coach Conner said Prater is growing as a striker and is playing a similar style to Tori Hale, former Texas State soccer player, who holds the all-time program record in assists (19). Putting the ball in the back of the net is the first priority for a striker so, naturally, Prater is looking to transition into more of a goal-scoring threat this season. Prater began the season with a goal in Texas State’s 2-0 win over Houston. Conner has mentioned the need for a reserve player with the ability to score goals. Prater is vying for that role as a substitute who can

put pressure on the opposing backline. Conner mentioned Prater’s development, but not in terms of goal scoring. She was referring to Prater’s growth as a team leader. “That’s something I see with Lauren, she has the desire to lead and be more vocal,” Conner said. “She is growing into her shooting boots.” Conner said Prater benefits from working with Lynsey Curry, senior forward, and Hale in the previous year. With that being said, it is no surprise that Curry and Prater linked up for the first goal of the season. “Lynsey Curry is a role model to me,” Prater said. “She can read the game very well, so every time I am not doing something well enough then I will go ask her what it is I should do better. She is really good at giving through balls and that is how I was able to score in Houston.”

Over her first two years, Prater only scored twice. Yet Prater said she is confident and knows what the team needs to accomplish. “The past two years it has been a little bit of a letdown that I haven’t been able to come in and score as much as I’ve wanted to,” Prater said. “But this year I’ve started out strong. I think my confidence is up and I look forward to the next game and hopefully getting more goals out of everyone.” The junior entered as a substitute and notched 31 minutes against Houston. Prater hopes to continue scoring and to be successful in whatever role she plays. “My personal goal is to at least get one goal every game,” Prater said. “Our team goal is to win the championship and hopefully go onto the NCAA championship because we’ve been pushing for that these past few years that I’ve been here and I know we’ll get it this year.”

4 | The University Star | Monday, August 31, 2015



More public institutions should take after UT statue removal decision I

n the wake of recent tragedies, the University of Texas is doing away with Confederate commemorative statues, figures and symbols and all other public grounds need to follow suit. On August 13 University of Texas at Austin officials announced that they would be removing the statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, foolishly located in the middle of campus for everyone to bear witness. For all the Confederate lovers out there, they are not taking away the statue entirely, but they are relocating it to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History—a place where such a statue belongs. Too long students of color—specifically those of African ancestry—have had to endure the lasting, taunting figure of a man that would have them in chains instead of at an institution

of higher learning. The fact that any institution would memorialize a figure like Jefferson Davis sheds light on America’s culture of indifference to its large, enduring population of nonwhite inhabitants. Aside from the issue of race, the statue is a clear celebration of American antagonism, as the Confederacy Davis represents was in obvious opposition to the very union existing today. In Germany, no matter how historically significant, they would never have a large statue of Adolf Hitler for everyone to bear witness to. The Confederacy is a dark part of our history and the Civil War cost over half of a million Americans their lives—it is a part of history. Therefore, as a part of history, it should be preserved in the proper historical setting of a museum or history building as UT has decided to finally do. Immortalizing Davis

as an honorable person in the face of people Davis thought he was superior to is the epitome of insensitivity. Yes, these people died in a war on home soil, but they were not fighting for America, but against America. Also, they fought to own people—that is not a commendable stance, nor should it ever be. More places need to take the precedent now set by UT and rename schools honoring these American criminals while dismantling the undue honor placed on these figures of racial and cultural animus. While it is noteworthy that UT has decided to relocate the statue of Jefferson Davis, their refusal to budge on their statue of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders is reminiscent of a culture bent on offense and antagonism. It shows that many institutions will sell the minority body of their


constituents down the river before they take a stance in dismantling pervasive ideas of supremacy and bigotry. The removal of Davis, while stalled for the time being, is a step in the right

direction. But this is not a sprint—it is a marathon. So, while it is a great step, there are still a thousand more that need to be removed before everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. It has been

150 years since the Confederate States of America was destroyed, so it is high time the Confederacy and its lingering culture is permanently dismantled.

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, Texas State University or the advertisers.



Students should utilize counseling center to ensure success

Haley Smutzer OPINIONS COLUMNIST @awkward_adverbs


transcript tells a story. Scanning through the years, a transcript reveals the hardships faced by students. A straight-A honors student might experience a single semester ridden with cringe-worthy Fs. An average student might withdraw from all of his or her classes for an entire year. Similar, drastic inconsistencies are often common when evaluating student records. Some particularly hollow individuals, unwilling or unable to analyze critically, might instantly attribute these dissatisfactions to laziness or immaturity on the part of the pupil. These individuals might think such students are just not ready for the college experience, but that is far from the case. This is where a primary resource comes into play—the Texas State counseling center. It is crucial that students realize they are not alone in the stress of life and there are people to help them through the universal hurt of being human. Attending to the welfare of both their physical and mental health should be a

top priority for all college students. The counseling center is a resource often left unused by many students, specifically underclassmen. Students are often unprepared for the emotional difficulties they are likely to face during these years away from the comfort of their homes. Mental health is usually the last thing on a student’s mind as he or she is ushered into life at a university. For some students, a loved one may die, parents might divorce, sexual orientations may be questioned and then transformed, unexpected pregnancies may appear and sensitive decisions might follow complex situations. The list of possibilities to send someone over the proverbial edge are endless. Couple those life problems with a new environment and it is clear why assessing mental health should be a top priority. However, it is imperative students take advantage of the many resources the counseling center has to offer and take control of their mental health and happiness. After all, the counseling center offers completely free services provided by trained professionals in the field of psychology and psychiatry for all students to utilize when need be. Not attending to individual mental health can negatively impact students in severe and often limiting ways. “Mental health is important to anyone in general,” said Kathlyn Dailey, counseling center director. “For our

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, News Editor....................................................Alexa Tavarez, Sports Editor.............................................Quixem Ramirez, Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor......................................Preslie Cox, Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall,

students it can really impact how they do academically and just their whole college experience.” Every year, students are forced to withdraw from both individual classes and the university entirely due to mental health issues. Withdrawing from a class or university for any reason can be disadvantageous to future plans, and it can be challenging to remain committed to an academic plan, once removed. If students realize Texas State has a counseling center that is taking active steps to reach out to the study body, then withdrawal numbers would go down. According to a 2012 study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 64 percent of college students who experience mental health concerns in college end up dropping out. Whatever the circumstance, all students should be encouraged to seek assistance from the counseling center and to remain attentive to their mental health. “Whether you’re having difficulty transitioning to college, feeling overwhelmed by stress, experiencing depression or anxiety, or worried about someone else… we’re here to help students deal with life’s difficulties so they can be successful in college,” Dailey said. Success in college is the reason we are all here in the first place, so do not be afraid or embarrassed to seek help to ensure success. —Haley Smutzer is an English junior

Texas State construction completion date—never

Mikala Everett SPECIAL TO THE STAR @mikala_maquella


ome of the Bobcats? More like home of the endless construction. Texas State has been inundated with seemingly endless construction since I got here, and I have frankly had enough. So, I was standing in line at Blimpie’s the other day when I struck up a conversation with a stranger about construction. Said stranger mentioned they had been studying abroad for a year in Japan and expected construction to be done by their return. We simultaneously rolled our eyes and had a good laugh while nearby people glanced around, bewildered. Since my arrival, Texas State has constantly been under construction. The construction has caused many unnecessary detours and a multitude of potential disasters, such as walking into a fence or driving into a hole—at least on my part. There are so many rumors floating around

about the various projects that no one truly knows what is going on. It faintly reminds one of high school. Instead of the gossip being about which cheerleader is sleeping with which football player, everyone wants to know what food places are going to be in Jones. Exciting. On Texas State’s Planning, Space Management, & Real Estate webpage, students can find more information regarding this tedious construction. There are various projects underway that do not have a definite or even estimated due date. In fact, as of August, only two of the 26 listed projects have been completed on the Project Status Report document, meaning the university will not be free from construction obstruction any time in the near future. What a pity. I am sure, minus the construction hindering the ambience, the university used to host a beautiful campus. I guess the beauty the school has to offer will be reserved for the minds of long-gone nostalgic alumni because, for people actually going to the school, serene is not the first word that comes to mind. While the information may be readily available, there needs to be greater transparency for students on campus to know exactly what is going on

around the institution they are paying to attend. It is their university, their place of residence for the next four years and they deserve that much. Aside from being burdensome on students, the construction projects are costing the university quite the pretty penny. The projects represent well over $650 million in current and future investments. That is a lot of loot that is funding this slothful construction, and I am sure there are valid reasons why some projects are taking so long. Yet, students are none the wiser to any of these projects continuing to inconvenience their fluid college experience. It is wonderful that Texas State is growing and expanding, and the current and future construction projects reflect that, but the mass of construction hinders a lot of the experience of college life. I would not be surprised to come back to visit the campus in 2038 and still find construction between Flowers and Commons Dining Hall. It is almost like it is going to drag out for as long as possible, like Hollywood did with the Twilight series. Texas State construction’s estimated completion date: August 2038?

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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 Monday, August 31, 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 moment Jason Johnson met Jafus Gaines, he knew there was something special inside him. Johnson, wide receivers coach, noticed that Gaines, a freshman at the time and now a senior wide receiver, carried himself with an advanced maturity. He cared about school. He paid attention to route running. He did all the little things. He didn’t care about being noticed. “We knew when he first came on to campus, he’d be a pillar of the program,” Johnson said. “Day one he put himself in a position to be a leader. You don’t have to be a senior or upperclassman to be a leader in our program. He’s shown that since he came in as a freshman.” Those were different times. Texas State was not in Division I at the time. The end zone complex didn’t exist then. The locker rooms weren’t the same. Gaines and Johnson developed a kinship for each other because they were in the same boat—brand new to a program slowly working itself to relevancy. “I appreciate how far we’ve come,” Gaines said. “I try to remind the other guys how good they have it because when I was here, they didn’t have none of that.” Five years later, Johnson and Gaines’ bond is stronger than ever. Johnson utilizes Gaines as a second coach because he trusts him to instill the “Bobcat way” in his younger teammates. “He’s come to me for any-

thing—on and off the field,” Johnson said. “I lean on him heavily, especially this year. He’s really helped me coach and helped the younger guys understand what to do. He does a great job for that.” Gaines has spent time with Johnson’s family. At this point, they are more than just a football family. “He’s been here as long as I have,” Johnson said. “We’ve kind of grown up together in a sense. He knows my habits and traits by now.” In his fifth year, Gaines has seen it all. He’s been buried on the depth chart. He spent a year on the sidelines as a redshirt freshman. Gaines’ career trajectory has taken him to the final destination—an established role on the first-team offense. Last season, Gaines recorded 14 catches for 289 receiving yards and four touchdowns. With Bradley Miller and Ben Ijah graduating—leaving a combined 720 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns behind—the opportunity for Gaines is finally there. Gaines has been waiting his entire career for this. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but I’ve been patiently waiting for the right time,” Gaines said. “There’s been a lot of great wide receivers in front of me. I know what I can do, but now it’s my opportunity, my chance.”

“COOLNESS UNDER PRESSURE.” It was fourth down at Tulsa’s five-yard line. With the game on the line

in overtime, Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, looked to Gaines. Gaines made the catch for a touchdown to extend the game to a second overtime period. Texas State defeated Tulsa 37-34 in three overtimes. The road victory wouldn’t have been possible if Gaines hadn’t separated from his defender and hauled in the pass in a tight angle. Only Gaines didn’t realize the high stakes of the situation. “I said, ‘Man, that was a great catch on fourth down,’” Johnson said. “Great mental toughness. He was like ‘Coach, it was fourth down? I didn’t even know that. I’m just next play, Coach.’ The game was on the line. If he would have dropped it, game over, we lost.” Johnson credits Gaines’ ability to excel in any environment to his “coolness under pressure.” “I just went out there and kept playing,” Johnson said. “He didn’t pay attention to the score and that’s something that always stays with me. That was a dicey game that could’ve went any way for us.” Gaines is the same guy who showed up to Bobcat Stadium three hours prior to a game that didn’t even count. It was the Maroon-Gold Spring Game and Gaines took a shower to get his mind ready. And in typical Gaines fashion, he was in the right place at the right time in the team’s annual intrasquad scrimmage. Gaines snuck behind the defense and Connor White, sophomore quarterback, lofted a high-arcing pass that was tipped into Gaines’ hands.

The game-winning touchdown made ESPN’s top 10 plays.

“IT’S JAFUS GAINES. HE’S NO. 80.” To Kwamane Bowens, sophomore wide receiver, Gaines’ consistency is his best quality. “Once he steps on the field, it’s all leaving him,” Bowens said. “It’s Jafus Gaines. He’s No. 80. He’s able to just go. He doesn’t think about it.”

“HE’S DEFINITELY ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THE TEAM, NOT JUST AMONG RECEIVERS.” Gaines’ role extends beyond his on-field production. He said molding the younger wide receivers and showing them the ropes is the more important facet of his job.

“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN IN THIS SITUATION WHERE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN THE UNDERDOG.” Among one of the deepest wide receiver classes in years, Gaines doesn’t stand out. He’s used to being overlooked. After all, it took five years for Gaines to get to this point. “I’ve always been in this situation where I’ve always been the underdog,” Gaines said. “I’ve never been on top at all. I just got used to it and I liked it.” Besides, the underdog role is the entire reason why he came to Texas State in the first place. Five years ago, Texas State was off the radar. So was Gaines. And now both have come into their own. “It’s a great feeling,” Gaines said. “I wanted to come be a part of something that is growing, not something that has already been set.”

We knew when he came to campus, he’d be a pillar of the program.”






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Gaines was voted to the team’s leadership council by his teammates this season. The group consists of 12 players. “Make sure I keep leading,” Gaines said. “Make sure when anybody is down, we pick them up. That’s what the leadership council is. It’s who (the team) thinks walks the walk and talks the talk.” Gaines prefers to lead by example. He took the younger guys in the wide receiving corps and worked out with them in June and July. He was coaching them when Johnson wasn’t. The installation of the playbook was easier with Gaines’ knowledge. “When he speaks to the team, he has command of it,” Johnson said. “He has a gentle presence of leadership. He’s not a big ‘ra-ra’ guy. He’s definitely one of the leaders of the team, not just among receivers.”

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Jafus Gaines, junior wide receiver, practices Aug. 28 at Bobcat Stadium. After five years, Gaines has the opportunity he always wanted.

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Aug 31 2015  
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