VOLUME 103, ISSUE 3
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
AUGUST 28, 2013
VIDEO | UniversityStar.com River Sports: Stand up paddle boarding is a popular water sport gaining attention as a fun and innovative way to enjoy the San Marcos River. To learn more, go to UniversityStar.com.
Alleged unpaid wages spark worker protest
Jimmy Dagley smokes a cigarette Aug. 27 at Triple Crown.
By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter
Six construction workers have teamed with a union to seek an alleged $15,000 in unpaid wages for their work on the Millennium on Post apartments. About 20 protesters gathered at the apartment complex Aug. 16 to protest contractor Galaxy Builders Ltd. Some workers protested in hopes of receiving nearly two months worth of pay. Jesus Contreras, a worker on the project, left after one month and said he received only $300 for hundreds of work hours. Subcontractors told Contreras he would be paid in cash at the end of each day. At the closing of the workday, he and other workers were told their checks had not come in, and would be paid at a later date. Jorge Ramirez, Workers Defense Project intern, said the workers will pursue legal action if an agreement cannot be reached. Workers Defense Project officials will try to find legal counsel to represent the workers. Lawyers can help determine if Galaxy Builders Ltd. is responsible for the alleged claims of unpaid wages at Millennium. Chris Franklin, project manager at Galaxy Builders, told the workers at the protest his company is not responsible. Franklin said Galaxy Builders paid CBMJ Investments and Development Ltd. who, in turn, was supposed to pay the workers on the construction project. Calling CBMJ a “dubious” company, Franklin said all legal action has been taken on behalf of Galaxy Builders, and it is CBMJ who workers should be protesting. CBMJ did not return multiple calls for comment. Contreras said when wages were not received, six workers approached theWorkers Defense Project. Workers Defense Project is an Austin-based organization focused on helping employees who do not get paid or receive below minimum wage. Contreras said before leaving the project, workers
City Council considers stricter smoking laws By James Carneiro
Assistant News Editor
an Marcos city councilmembers are reexamining a 1995 ordinance that allows smoking in designated public areas after a citizen survey re-
See PROTEST, Page 3
vealed a majority of those polled support stricter regulations. The possible ordinance could ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other private establishments in San Marcos. The specific details have not yet been determined. Assistant City Manager Collette Jamison gave city councilmembers a presentation during their Aug. 20 meeting concerning public opinion and information on smoking in public. The current ordinance allows smoking
Carlos Valdez | Staff photographer in designated areas in bars and restaurants as well as at private functions and bowling league matches. Smoking is explicitly banned around children’s play areas. In a spring citizen survey, 47 percent of residents polled supported stricter regulations and about 26 percent did not, according to a release from the city. About 21 percent of residents polled said they were neutral on the subject, and five percent said they did not know how they felt, the release said. In July 2011, 56 percent of San Marcos residents surveyed at public opinion open houses hosted by the city said second-hand smoke was a problem, Jamison said. However, 42 percent of residents polled said second-hand
See SMOKE, Page 3
San Marcos elementary school receives ‘unacceptable’ rating By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter
The Texas Education Agency’s accountablity ratings based on state-wide standardized tests deemed DeZavala Elementary School, part of the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, academically unacceptable Aug. 8. DeZavala did not meet the standards based on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, which include student achievement, progress and closing performance gaps. DeZavala is the only school in the SMCISD that requires improvement. It was one of 6.5 percent of schools in the state that did not meet the test’s standards, according to the report. Debbie Ratcliffe, Texas Education Agency director of media relations, said one school in a district not meeting the state standard casts a spotlight on the particular school. However, Ratcliffe said negative light from one school could affect a district and how the public sees the schools and judges their effectiveness.
Greg Rodriguez, SMCISD director of accountability and school improvement, said DeZavala was two points shy of meeting the required 30-point score on the index. The index measures student progress in reading, math and writing from one year to the next. DeZavala Principal Dolores Cruz said the only thing that differentiates the school from others in San Marcos is the high population of English language learners and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. However, Cruz said she does not see this as an excuse not to meet state standards, and the school will put new plans into place to meet them next year. Rodriguez said SMCISD will be working closely with the campus and the TEA to address student progress. An improvement plan will be made and implemented, and more resources will be allocated to helping DeZavala. Cruz said the school is working toward meeting state standards by having professional development meetings with staff, finding the gaps in learning and working on closing them. She said the focus is on getting students engaged in class, doing more
Texas schools rated academically unacceptable
Danielle Charles | Staff photographer hands-on group projects and making students more accountable for their work. Parents are aware of the ratings and have questions and concerns, but the administration has been making gains and just fell short on this year’s assessment, Cruz said. Rodriguez said as a parent, he would not judge his child’s school based on one score but would instead focus on the school’s climate and parent involvement. Parents can continue to work with their children at home and outside of school, he said. Rodriguez said there will be no impact on San Marcos or the school district based on
SMCISD school failing to meet standards
this assessment, and the school’s incentive is to improve the education of each student. Improvement is defined as becoming academically acceptable and better preparing students, he said. Rodriguez said if DeZavala does not meet state standards again next year, there are no repercussions, but the school will continue with the improvement plan and oversight from the TEA. Rodriguez said he does not anticipate DeZavala being academically unacceptable next year. Ratcliffe said if a school does not meet standards for several years in a row, state law allows it to be reconstituted or all teachers to be replaced. In the worst-case scenario, the school could be completely shut down, Rodriguez said. All five other elementary schools in the city met the standards, as well as the two middle schools and San Marcos High School, according to the report. The Hays County Juvenile Justice Alternative Program was not rated. The school district met state standards overall on all indexes.
Index points shy of academically acceptable rating
—Information courtesy of Texas Education Agency
Outlet mall hosts state’s first Tesla station By Katharina Guttenburg News Reporter
San Marcos became the home of the first Tesla Motor Supercharger station in the state Aug. 20. At the Supercharger station, located at the San Marcos Premium Outlets, Model S car owners can charge their cars for 20 minutes and gain up to 150 miles for free, said Alexis Georgeson, spokesperson for Tesla. The station was opened for the convenience of its customers who are on long car trips. Tesla strategically built the station along Interstate 35 since San Marcos is in the mid-
dle of Austin and San Antonio, and it gives Model S car owners a chance to shop, eat or use the restroom while their cars charge, she said. Mayor Daniel Guerrero said the Supercharger station is mainly benefitting the San Marcos Premium Outlets, and it will give San Marcos additional publicity. “There’s a lot of people excited about it being here,” Guerrero said. Previously, Model S owners had to exclusively charge their cars in their garage, which takes up to four or five hours, Georgeson said. The Supercharger station offers the fastest charging technology to help enable
these convenient, quick charging stations, she said. “First of all we have a really great relationship with Premium Outlets,” Georgeson said. “It’s a great place to put a Supercharger station, so customers can just stop and shop instead of waiting in their car for 20 minutes. San Marcos is a very green town and innovative and welcoming and thoughtful.” The first Supercharger station was built last November in California, and Tesla has since expanded to the East Coast, Georgeson said. Georgeson said by the end of the year the company hopes to open a Supercharger station in Canada. She said the company is very focused on the Interstate 35 route because so many people travel on it daily,
whether they come from Dallas, Austin or San Antonio. There are currently more than 700 Tesla customers in Texas, and officials plan to build another Supercharger in Waco in the future, Georgeson said. Model S owners are the only people who directly benefit from the Supercharger since Tesla will not receive a profit, but it will help people feel more confident in electric cars, Georgeson said. Tesla officials have made a point not to put Supercharger stations in major city centers, instead picking locations on major routes between major cities, Georgeson said. She said it is convenient for cross-country traveling, so people will be able to make it from station to station.
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2 | The University Star | Wednesday August 28, 2013
Sept. 2 Labor Day
Classes do not meet
Last day for schedule changes at 3 p.m.
Drop with 100 percent refund stops at midnight
Graduation Application System Deadline
Last day to drop first eight week classes. Automatic “W” deadline ends at 5 p.m.
Reynaldo Leanos | Staff Photographer Tisa Djahangiri, geography senior, jumps into the San Marcos River Aug. 23 during staff training for the Outdoor Recreation Center.
Aug. 26, 1 p.m. Counterfeiting A non-student reported that a counterfeit bill had tried to be used. This case is under investigation.
Transportation division updates traffic control
Aug. 25, 9:19 p.m. Burglary of vehicle Jowers Access A non-student reported that their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.
The City of San Marcos Transportation Division of the Public Services Department has updated traffic signals and other traffic control measures in preparation for a record volume of traffic on City streets during a busy first week of school. “In the past, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District started before Texas State University,” said Sabas Avila, Assistant Director of Public Services. “The earlier SMICSD opening had allowed the City a few days to address traffic issues around public schools before the influx of University drivers. This year, we will not have that buffer.” To minimize potential traffic issues, the Transportation Division has been updating traffic signals, school zone crossings, pavement striping, street signs, and parking restrictions. Beginning preparations last spring, the Transportation Division collected new traffic counts at every signalized intersection in the City. Using these recent traffic counts, City staff updated their traffic signal model and developed new traffic signal timings. After
Aug. 25, 12:04 a.m. Possession of Marijuana Arnold Hall A student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review. Aug. 24, 2:28 a.m. Possession of Marijuana Edward Gary Street A non-student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review. Aug. 23, 11:55 p.m. Minor in Possession of Alcohol Lindsey Street A non-student was cited for minor in possession of alcohol. Judicial review. Aug. 23, 10:24 p.m. Possession of Marijuana Sterry Hall A student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review. Aug. 23, 10:19 p.m. Influence of Alcohol by Minor Comanche Street A student was cited and arrested for DUI Minor and two other students were cited for minor in possession of alcohol. The student arrested was transported to HCLEC. Judicial review.
developing the new timing plans, City staff spent the summer upgrading and synchronizing nearly all the traffic signals throughout the City. Even with the new timing plans, the Transportation Division is still expecting congestion at several intersections such as IH 35 at SH 80, Aquarena Springs Drive at IH 35, and Sessom Drive at Aquarena Springs Drive. Based on the City’s model, these intersections already operate at or above capacity during the peak afternoon periods. In addition, the City will be monitoring back-to-school traffic using its real-time traffic video system. The City’s traffic video system was installed last year at select intersections prior to the Texas State vs Texas Tech football game and enables traffic engineers to monitor traffic and make traffic signal adjustments in real time. The Transportation Division has posted the following traffic tips in a press release: • Allow extra commute time in the morning
• Do not text or talk on your cell phone while driving • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits • Be alert for school zones that have a reduced speed limit at designated times of the day • Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences • Watch for school buses. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate the school bus is stopping to load or unload children. State law requires you to stop • Keep an eye out for children walking to school • Be alert for children playing and gathering near bus stops and for those who may dart into the street without looking for traffic • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch for children walking or biking to school For additional information, call the Transportation Division of the Public Services Department at 512.393.8036.
Texas State’s electrical engineering program earns ABET accreditation
Aug. 23, 2 a.m. Intoxication Bexar Hall Parking Garage A student was cited and arrested for public intoxication and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review. Aug. 23, 1:07 a.m. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by Minor Academy Street A student was cited for DUI - Minor. Judicial review. Aug. 22, 9:14 p.m. Possession of Marijuana Craddock Avenue A student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to HCLEC. Judicial Review. -- Courtesy of the University Police Department
The Ingram School of Engineering’s electrical engineering programs have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET(Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). ABET Accreditation “demonstrates a program’s commitment to providing its students with a quality education”, according to a Texas State news service press release. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review process that requires programs to undergo comprehensive, periodic evaluations. The evaluations are conducted by teams of volunteer professionals working in industry, government, academia and private practice within the ABET disciplines. These professionals focus
on program curricula, faculty, facilities, institutional support and other important areas when they review programs. One of the key elements of ABET accreditation is the requirement that programs continuously improve the quality of education provided. As part of this continuous improvement requirement, programs set specific, measurable goals for their students and graduates, assess their success at reaching those goals and improve their programs based on the results of their assessment. In addition to providing colleges and universities a structured mechanism to assess, evaluate and improve their programs, accreditation also helps students and their
parents choose quality college programs, enables employers and graduate schools to recruit graduates they know are well-prepared, and assists registration, licensure and certification boards in screening applicants. ABET is a not-for-profit organization, owned and operated by more than 30 professional and technical member societies. An organization with some 2,000 volunteers, ABET has been reviewing higher educational standards for nearly 80 years. More information about ABET, its member societies, and the evaluation criteria used to accredit programs can be found at www.abet.org.
—Courtesy of City of San Marcos
The University Star | News | Wednesday August 28, 2013 | 3
PROTESTS, continued from front spent 10 hours per day, Monday – Sunday at the site. He said it was difficult for the workers to not receive adequate pay for their work. “We (the workers) fell behind on payments,” Contreras said. “We had to borrow money and accumulate debts we didn’t have.” Contreras said the current subcontractor for Millennium is paying its workers. However, before it took over, a number of subcontractors were hired and then subsequently fired. “We went through three subcontractors, and everyone got money except for us,” Contreras said. “We worked and they got the money.” Ramirez said Galaxy Builders, the general contractor of the property, hired subcontractors but failed to check whether they had enough capital to undertake the project. Ramirez said supervisors from Galaxy Builders were on site and aware workers were not receiving payment. He said supervisors allowed subcontractors to promise workers pay they would never receive. Ramirez said more and more workers
left the project as nonpayment continued. “The reason they are behind on the project is they lost all the workers that didn’t get paid,” Ramirez said. Ramirez said only six workers came to Workers Defense Project, but there are more who did not receive the pay they earned. Almost 30 workers are owed a combined $100,000, according to one subcontractor Ramirez contacted. “Galaxy benefited from the labor, property owners benefited from the labor, the building is almost ready for leasing and they’re going to start getting rents,” Ramirez said. “But the people who built the buildings didn’t get anything.” Roberto Olgin, another former worker on the Millennium project, said he wants justice for the six workers who went to Workers Defense Project and for any others who have gone through a similar ordeal. Olgin said the situation is like a magic act, because each contractor, and the money, disappeared without a trace. “It was like magic,” Olgin said. “And it’s not just. We’re construction workers, but we all deserve pay.”
Hays County Jail inmate population on the rise By Weldon McKenzie News Reporter
Hays county commissioners are monitoring inmate population data for the Hays County Law Enforcement Center to make sure it stays at capacity level in the future. Captain Mark Cumberland of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office said the Hays County Jail has a capacity of 362 inmates, but jail standards require 10 percent, roughly 35 of the beds, to remain open. According to Hays County Commissioners Court minutes, the peak population was 323 inmates for the week of July 14 through July 20. The jail had a weekly average of 313, which is 87 percent capacity. The following week saw an increase with a weekly peak and average of 328
inmates. However, the census taken on Aug.13 showed the jail had a decreased population of 285 inmates, or 78 percent capacity. Cumberland gave a short update on inmate population to county commissioners July 23. The inmate population total is a standing agenda item revisited every week in order to better monitor changes in the numbers. In the meeting, Bert Cobb, Hays County judge, said the commissioners will continue to look at these numbers on a week-to-week basis to better understand what further steps need to be taken. “There have been many times that we were over the standard in the jail,” Cobb said. “With these numbers, we can stay on top of it and hopefully find a solution to this problem.”
SMOKE, continued from front smoke was not a problem, and two percent had no opinion. There were 97 open house attendees, and city councilmembers decided to leave a considered smoking ban ordinance item off the 2011 ballot. Jamison said a potential ordinance could be based on the no-smoking rulings of Austin and San Antonio. Both cities established all indoor public places and public parks as smoke-free, Jamison said. Neither city has conducted a comprehensive study of the economic effects of the smoking bans, but San Antonio has announced its business conditions have improved, Jamison said. Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2, said he supports a new anti-smoking ordinance. “Do you want to infringe on the right of those who want to breathe clean air?” Prather said. Some members of the city council expressed concern about possible negative effects on businesses due to a smoking ban. Councilman Ryan Thomason, Place 5, said there should be “some kind of outreach to stakeholders in this fight” before the ordinance could be passed. Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, said an all-encompassing ban might have negative consequences because there are “unique” places where people enjoy smoking. Devin Lopez, a bartender at Zelicks Icehouse, said an anti-smoking ban would probably not affect the establishment’s business because it is a mostly outdoor bar. Lopez said he does not think a ban would “affect us that much” assuming
it would only apply to indoor establishments. Lopez said he does not think secondhand smoke is a problem at Zelicks because of its outdoor layout and how “good ventilation” circulates the air away from customers. Lopez said he thinks secondhand smoke is a problem in small buildings with little ventilation. City councilmembers did not specify whether the ban would apply to outdoor establishments. Erin Dickson, a bartender at Treffs Tavern, said a smoking ban would affect the bar since around 80 percent of its customers smoke. She said Treffs Tavern opened in 1994, and people have always been allowed to smoke there. Dickson said Treffs is a “different” kind of bar where people smoke, watch TV and hang out all day, and a ban would keep the regulars from enjoying the atmosphere. Dickson said she thinks secondhand smoke drives a few non-smokers away from the bar but not most of them. She said Treffs now has a non-smoking section for people who want to be out of the smoke’s range. Dickson said a smoking ban might affect the business, but the customer base is so loyal they would keep coming to Treffs. Dixon McKaye, an employee at Triple Crown, said the business is officially against an anti-smoking ordinance. “We don’t like people coming in and telling us what to do,” McKaye said. The city council has scheduled a public hearing relating to the new ordinance for Sept. 3.
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Chartwells partners with local produce suppliers for all campus dining locations. Atkinson Farms • B&M Farms • Black Gold Farms • Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm • Brazos Valley Cheese • Cooper Farms • Bella Verdi Farms
Learn more online at www.dineoncampus.com/txstate or scan the QR Code with your smartphone.
4 | The University Star | Wednesday August 28, 2013
THE MAIN POINT
Smoking ordinance potentially unfair A
city ordinance proposed to ban smoking in the “public places” of San Marcos would be a step backward for the local economy and an unnecessary affront to property rights of business owners. According to a city poll, 47 percent of San Marcos residents support the “Clean Air Act.” The ordinance would regulate tobacco smoking in “public places,” a term not yet clearly defined but that can be presumed to mean all public business establishments within city limits. Before any real discussion of the merits of the act can continue, its scope and enforcement policies need to be confirmed. However, scope and enforcement are both potentially problematic aspects of the plan regardless of how they are written. Though the ordinance likely would not single out downtown bars, residents would be hard-pressed to find any other type of public The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.
establishment that does allow smoking indoors. In a display of little more than extra red tape, businesses that depend entirely on tobacco use, such as Stratosphere and Hill Country Humidor, will presumably be burdened with obtaining new permits. The decision to permit smoking on private property ought to be left completely to the owners of buildings and businesses. In a culture that values private property rights as much as Texas’ does, forcing owners into these decisions is a severe overreach of local government. The City of San Antonio, which enacted a similar ban in 2011, has announced business conditions have improved. However, economic conditions in general have improved since then and there is no clear causal link between smoking bans and improved business. It is this editorial board’s opinion that economic decisions are best left to those whose livelihood depends on them, and the owners of San Marcos’ bars have decided. Compromises, such as the non-smoking section of Treff’s Tavern, can arise without the city’s heavy-handed input. City Councilmember Jude Prather, Place 2, missed this point at the Aug. 20 council meeting when he asked if voters wanted “to infringe on the right of those who want to breathe clean air.” Hyperbolic lan-
guage like this does nothing to promote meaningful discussion and unfairly vilifies those who support private owners’ rights. Residents already have every right to breathe cleanly by avoiding bars, which are hardly shrines to public health, even without the smoke. If people are concerned enough about their personal health that they are willing to interfere with the rights of both property owners and their fellow customers, it is worth asking why they are drinking at a bar to begin with. Enforcement presents an equally tricky predicament. The San Marcso Police Department has far more worthwhile tasks on The Square at night than handing out tickets to smokers, and the still-hazy state of Texas State’s campus tobacco ban shows how ineffective such enforcement methods can be. It is more likely, then, that the city will simply fine businesses that turn a blind eye to smoking patrons. This puts managers and owners in the uncomfortable role of enforcing rules they do not support against their own customers, many of whom are regulars who have been smoking there for years. The University Star’s editorial board, most of whom are non-smokers, appreciates clean air as much as anyone else. However, smoking bans set a disturbing precedent of government overreach that has
Lara Shine | Star Illustrator to be kept in check. Though 47 percent of poll respondents agreed with the proposal, it is highly improbable that nearly half the city’s population frequents The Square, where changes would be most apparent. The ordinance, then, would
unfairly target college students and downtown regulars whose habits are already reasonably contained to bars, among those who have accepted the health risks of a night on the town and away from the more sensitive lungs of children.
Professors need to make lectures more interesting for students T
exas State professors need to actively engage students in classrooms and change their teaching styles in order to keep Bobcats interested in lessons. It is well Molly Block known students Opinions Columnist often have a Mass communication senior difficult time paying attention and participating in lectures. This can be because of droning professors, boring teaching methods, uninteresting subject matter or any number of things. One can immediately spot a handful of students playing with their cellphones while the professor is lecturing upon walking into a classroom on campus any day of the semester. It
might seem like these students are not paying attention because they are absorbed in their phones, and that perception would be totally correct. Blatantly not paying attention in class is somewhat disrespectful, but professors have a responsibility to tailor their lectures so they are engaging for the students enrolled in their classes. A Nov. 2010 Wilkes University survey concluded 91 percent of students text during class. The same survey showed 95 percent bring their cell phones to class. This may not be such a prolific issue if more college classes deviated from the typical professor-talking-at-you lecture style. Many of the individuals who are constantly on their phones during class are the same students who receive failing grades and do poorly in their curriculum. It is the responsibility of the student to pay attention to the lecture
and take adequate notes, but some of the blame undoubtedly falls on the professor. Everybody learns differently, but no student wants to sit in a lecture hall for more than an hour listening to the professor drone on to the backdrop of a PowerPoint. It is not easy to sit through a long lecture without zoning out a bit. Doodling has been an acceptable way for students to occupy themselves and messing around on a cell phone is just the modern counterpart to this. Cognitive scientists have revealed individual short-term memory is limited, according to an article by American Public Media. This means our brains can only process so much at one time. Most information is given to students during a typical lecture comes at them too fast and is easily forgotten, according to the same article. Many professors desperately need to change their way of teaching in
order to help more students succeed in college. One way to achieve this is to incorporate more group-based projects in class or to implement other interactive approaches. Furthermore, instead of teaching classes purely by lecture, it would be more effective for professors to pose questions to students. These methods would help professors reach more students in the classroom and keep them involved, in turn producing better grades. Changes must be made if professors at Texas State want to get rid of distractions in the classroom and help students achieve better grades. Group-based projects, interactive approaches and asking more questions in the classroom are just three of the ways professors can help solve this problem.
Ashley Trumps TALK IT OUT
DINING HALLS Dine on Campus
Improvements Needed The dining halls at Texas State should be more equipped with diverse food options in order to better serve the wide array of students attending the university. The quality of the food in dining halls is not bad for on-campus fare. However, options are narrow for those with specific food needs or preferences. For example, there are few meals offered on campus suitable for vegetarian Bobcats, and for those who choose to live a vegan lifestyle, there are virtually no meal options available. Of the meals that are available, there is little variety. This can be extremely discouraging to students who have just moved away from home and are trying to acclimate to a new lifestyle. When it comes to college, having access to appropriate food choices should be the last thing students have to worry about. Although dining halls are typically seen as simple cafeteria-type eateries, the diversity present in modern day universities demands variety and accessibility in food choices. Students should explore their op-
The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708
tions, become more knowledgeable and demand their specific nutrition needs be met when it comes to oncampus dining. On the other hand, Chartwells should focus on bettering outreach to Bobcats who choose or need to eat a certain way. It would be wise for Chartwells officials to consider rethinking food options at places like Harris and Commons dining halls, where students can consume a wide variety of snack-type items as opposed to set meals. For more food court-like locations such as Jones Dining Hall and The Den, more greens and less fried food options would greatly improve the options of diners with restrictive diets. A range of tasty and healthy on-campus food options is necessary with such a large population of students relying on meal trades for nutrition. Without a variety of food options available, Texas State will alienate students who require specialized diets, making on-campus living a hassle rather than a convenience.
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Texas State’s dining halls are an excellent resource for students. Essentially, students are buying in bulk, which makes products cheaper as a whole and guarantees a lack of food will be never be an issue. The requirement to purchase a meal plan takes the burden of budgeting food expenses off the plates of freshmen joining the Bobcat ranks. Dining halls are spaced conveniently across campus, making it easy to grab a bite anywhere between classes. An enormous variety of foods are available from buffet-style to simple burgers and fries. All tastes are catered to, and gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are available in every dining hall. Buffet-style eateries such as Commons or Harris dining hall s offer different food choices every day, so students never get bored. The DineOnCampus website has really amped up its game recently, now providing such details as daily menus, portion sizes and nutrition facts. Vegan, glutenfree and locally provided foods are labeled as such, so health and eco-conscious students can continue to eat conveniently while
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still meeting their needs. External links to the nutritional information of national brands on campus are provided on the website. On-campus dining still offers great options for commuters who are not required to purchase meal plans. Purchasing a quick snack is easy, affordable and saves students trips off campus during the day. Downtown San Marcos would be even more congested with traffic as commuters grabbed a bite to eat between classes without Texas State’s dining halls. Fast food drive-thru queues would be agonizingly long, and good parking spaces would only be attainable by either sacrificing lunch breaks or bringing meals to campus. Meal plans could no longer be covered by financial aid, and the likelihood of eating ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner would increase as students struggled with budgeting. The number and variety of dining halls on campus alleviate these potential problems and more. Meal plans are well worth the cost for students, whether they live on or off campus.
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, August 28, 2013. 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 University Star | Wednesday August 28, 2013 | 5
Texas State becomes common ground for two sisters By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Trends Reporter
Courtesy of Eric Morales
By Amanda Ross Trends Editor
Roger Sellers Alumnus, touring musician
By Amanda Ross Trends Editor
Shaped by fond memories of his time as a student musician, Texas State alumnus Roger Sellers prepares for a nationwide tour, new album and performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest. AR: How did your time at Texas State and in San Marcos shape you and your music? RS: My time in San Marcos definitely shaped me in a big way. A lot of people that I met there made a big impact on me. I studied music at Texas State. It’s really when I started to take myself and my music seriously. I liked taking classes on things that I felt so strongly about. To this day, San Marcos is one of my favorite places to play because it was so important to my development as a musician. The people here are just genuine and unique. AR: How did you start playing music? Did you play while you went to school? RS: I’ve been playing music since I was a child. I play the piano, the guitar, drums—really anything I can get my hands on. I didn’t really have any kind of formal music education until college. I’d try to take piano lessons, but it didn’t really work out. College is the time in my life where I started to take myself seriously. I’d play around town and try to get my name out there.
AR: Your music style has been described in a lot of different ways. How would you describe it? RS: It’s always changing. I know everyone says that, but I mean it. I’d say right now it’s very minimalist. It’s very melodic. There’s a lot of electronic stuff, and there’s a lot of acoustic stuff. Melody is, to me, the most important aspect of any music. I try to make the melody very lush and very colorful. It’s almost like a soundtrack and very cinematic. AR: What advice would you give to students? RS: Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is an inevitable part of everything in life. Once you decide that it doesn’t matter and you’ll come back from it, it’s liberating and it kind of puts you on another level. Just don’t give up, and eventually things will happen for you if you continue to put yourself out there. Basically, you have to make things happen for yourself. AR: What’s next for you? RS: I’ll be playing at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, so I’m excited about that. I’ll also be starting a small tour just before that in late October. I love to travel, so of course I like to tour. I’ll be working on a new album just after that. Like I said, my style is always kind of changing, so I don’t even know how it’s going to be yet. I’m just going wherever the wind takes me. [laughs]
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As Chloe Scarborough, waited at the base of the Laurel Hall staircase, she recounted the times her sister, alumna Alix Scarborough, had been in the same position when she was a student. For Chloe, an anthropology freshman, following in her sister’s footsteps and adding to her family’s Texas State legacy is something she greatly cherishes and values. Elisa DeFord, annual giving coordinator for Alumni Relations and Family Association liaison, said parents of Texas State students can become more connected with the university by becoming a member of its Family Association. “It’s a way to become a part of our Bobcat family,” DeFord said. There are more than 1,000 members of the Texas State Family Association, which aims to raise money for scholarships and bridge the communication gap between students and their parents. Alix Scarborough said her parents were supportive of her decision to attend Texas State and encouraged her to study abroad. Alix shares a love of travel with her sister Chloe, who said she would like to experience other cultures and work for a nonprofit organization after graduation. “I’m really looking forward to our relationship in the next few years,” Alix Scarborough said, with a similar optimistic anticipation as her sister Chloe. Chloe Scarborough remembered visiting her sister as a high school freshman during her first year at Texas State and staying the night with her in Butler Hall while her roommate was away. “I came on campus and loved it,” Chloe Scarborough said. “This is what a college is supposed to be. It’s always how I pictured college being.” Alix Scarborough said she is trying to make her college experiences different from her sister’s, an accomplishment that has already occurred by her attendance at fraternity parties, something she said her sister may never have done as a student. However, there are 99 other activities
that Alix Scarborough has requested her sister participate in before she graduates from Texas State. These tasks include eating at Rhea’s Ice Cream, walking by the river and buying local music at Superfly’s Lone Star Music Emporium. In the week Chloe Scarborough has lived in Laurel Hall, she has made a conscious effort to complete local activities and tasks on the list her sister compiled for her as a birthday and high school graduation present.
Alix Scarborough, the first in her family to attend Texas State, posted the bucket list on her Facebook page with the disclaimer that she did not check off all the items on the list but that “most of them represent fond memories and/or wild stories.” She said it was a therapeutic process after graduating last May and preparing for her new job as a planner with Black + Vernooy Architecture and Urban Design in Austin. Despite bearing physical similarities, Alix and Chloe Scarborough agreed they have very different personalities, making Chloe’s decision to attend Texas State a surprise for her sister. “We’re alike in some ways,” Alix Scarborough said, who majored in urban planning and design. “In some ways I think she felt like she was living in my shadow.” However, Alix Scarborough did stress that in the end, her sister’s decision to attend Texas State had nothing to do with her. They will, however, continue to share memories of going to Sonic after special events at Westwood High School, family vacations to Chicago and having their parents buy them groceries when they visit San Marcos.
6 | The University Star | Wednesday August 28, 2013
T R O P E R E C PRACTI
Junior defensive back Brixx Hawthorne runs a play Aug. 27 during football practice. Kathryn Parker | Staff photographer
By Samuel Rubbelke
Assistant Sports Editor @SamuelRubbelke
Mental toughness and patience are being preached on the Texas State practice fields as the Bobcats prepare for their first game of the football season. Coach Dennis Franchione understands now is the time for players to knock heads and go for the highlight touchdown runs each Saturday night, but said he is not quite sure what to expect with the first game. “We’re at the point where we need to play a game,” Franchione said. “(We need to) find out where we are. You reach
a point where you need to go play somebody else in order to get better. Hopefully we’ll play well, first game you never really know, you don’t have the benefit of scrimmaging against anyone else, it’s just against yourself.” Much pressure will be placed on secondary defense and senior safety Aaron Matthews, who believes there is a significant difference from the Maroon and Gold game that took place during the spring. “I think our intensity has picked up a lot,” Matthews said. “Everybody knows their assignments, we stepped it up a lot especially from last year. I think we click together, and have a better bond, especial-
BS: What were some of the things you enjoyed about Texas State and the town of San Marcos? AW: Everyone is so friendly. Sometimes, I just can’t get over how friendly everyone is here. The campus is very welcoming. As for the team, there’s a very family-like feel to it, which I really enjoyed the most.
Amanda Watkins New volleyball transfer
By Bert Santibanez Sports Reporter @BertSantibanez
The University Star spoke with Amanda Watkins, junior volleyball middle blocker, about her decision to come to Texas State, her vision for the team and her ideal career in the criminal justice field. BS: As a transfer from Arizona Western, why did you decide to sign with Texas State?
ly in the back five.” Unity will be the key when it comes to the back five, especially when former starting safety Xavier Daniel was asked to move to corner during the spring. With more of an emphasis on coverage and a different type of footwork, Daniels has impressed Matthews during his almost flawless transition. “(It) couldn’t be better, I can’t even explain it,” Matthews said. “He’s just a great athlete, he’s talented, so he fits perfect in it. I’ve seen him progress a lot, especially from the springtime. He’s getting more physical. He looks like a natural talent, like he’s been playing corner his whole life.”
Courtesy of Texas State Athletics
AW: Basically, it was based off coaches talking amongst coaches looking to get me out of the campus. My coach at Arizona Western contacted me and asked if I would be interested in Texas State. After getting in contact with (Assistant Coach) Tracy (Smith) I flew out here and really enjoyed the campus.
BS: What were some things you were able to take away from being around the coaches and players in the volleyball program? AW: When I first came here, I thought the atmosphere was going to be very difficult, especially getting used to two-a-days. We had two practices each day for three hours each. I thought adapting would be a struggle. But when I look back on it, the high expectations the program set for their players helped push me beyond my limits as a player. BS: How would you characterize the team at this point? AW: We definitely have a lot of different personalities and characters. With the team, playing volleyball never has a dull moment. We have a lot of fun together. BS: How do you think the team is prepared
The defense is firing on all cylinders while the offense is in the midst of a quarterback battle. The competition between seniors Tyler Arndt, Duke DeLancellotti and freshman redshirt Jordan Moore still continues for the starting position. “Whoever it is, I know they’re going to be a good guy,” Matthews said. “Coach will make the right decision, we have some very good quarterbacks.” Regardless of who will be throwing the ball, Franchione will have the luxury of relying on an experienced group of receivers to take the pressure off the unknown quarterback. Texas State has three of the top four receivers returning and the Bobcat quarterbacks will have plenty of weapons at their disposal. “We’ve got a good core, three, four experienced guys,” Franchione said. “Ben Ijah, Brandon Smith, Andy (Erikson) and Isaiah (Battle), those guys have played a lot of football for us. They’re all capable and we have confidence in them, and we have some guys who are coming along as well.” Blake Cundiff, strength and conditioning coach, wanted to test this year’s team with a different approach and focused more on mental adversity in preparation for the season and Southern Miss. “We’re far and above, from where we were at this time last year,” Cundiff said. “Obviously we were in good shape going into the first game last year, but the mental approach this year has been a couple of levels above from where it was last year. The physical stuff (follows) the mental, and they’ve done a hell of a job from the summer to this point.” for the Delta Zeta Tournament in August? AW: I think we’re really strong. We’ve clicked as a team really well. The starters are really quick and fast. Everyone’s on their tempo. So, I’m very confident that we’ll do well and be one of the more impressive teams. I have a lot of confidence in the team. BS: How has it been adapting to the Texas culture? AW: I enjoy it. Everything is very laid back. Back in California, I was a relaxed type of person, but everyone surrounding me was very fast, living a fast lifestyle. They always had to be doing something. I really enjoy the slower paced lifestyle over here in Texas. BS: Your major is criminal justice. After graduation, is there a specific area of law enforcement you want to work in? AW: I want to become a detective of homicide, but I have to go through the ranks, through sheriff and deputy and get promoted. My mom, father, grandfather and my sister have all been involved in law enforcement one way or the other. My family says the job is a struggle, but they all feel that I can accomplish my goal, which provides me a lot of confidence in pursuing that type of career.