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President’s special assistant retiring after 45-year career at Texas State By Nicole Barrios ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR


Erin Cambridge, the only female cadet commander for AFROTC, poses Nov. 19 in The Quad.

Female student serving as wing commander in male-dominated AFROTC By Houston M. York NEWS REPORTER


he Air Force ROTC wing commander at Texas State wears a skirt, heels and sometimes a “power bun” all while maintaining the responsibility, welfare and training of 75 fellow student cadets. Cadet Wing Cmdr. Erin Cambridge, environmental management senior, is the chief leader of the AFROTC. The program has 20 student cadets as part of the professional officer corps (POC). The corps is made up of upperclassmen who have completed field training. Only five of the 20 cadets are

female, one of whom is Cambridge. The remaining AFROTC is made up of freshmen and sophomores or the general military corps. Cambridge said she first considered joining the military at the age of 14 when she attended an awards ceremony for her grandfather, retired Col. David Cambridge. A veteran at the ceremony asked her male cousin if he would join the Air Force but did not ask Cambridge. “I was left wondering why the colonel did not ask me if I was going to join,” Cambridge said. “I was not offended, but I still thought I could do it,

Robert Gratz, special assistant to the president, is retiring to spend more time with his family, his Bobcats and his Spurs after a 45-year career at Texas State. Gratz’s career included working with five presidents, guiding the creation of six graduate programs, watching the development of Emerging Research Institution status and witnessing too many construction projects to count. He wouldn’t have wanted to work anywhere else. “I can’t imagine a better place to have spent a career,” Gratz said. Gratz began his career at Texas State in 1969 as an assistant professor of speech. He was promoted to associate professor in 1973, and in 1984, he became a professor. In 1973, Gratz became the chair of the then Department of Speech and Drama. Gratz taught undergraduate and graduate communication, speech and leadership courses. Gratz wishes he could have taught a class in one of Texas State’s large lecture halls. “That’s one regret I have,” Gratz said. “I never got to teach in one of the teaching theaters. That would’ve been fun. I never got to teach one of the really big classes.” Gratz became the associate dean of the Graduate School in 1975. He was acting dean of the School of Applied Arts in 1977 and dean in 1978. In 1981, he became associate vice president for academic affairs and then, in 1986, dean of the university. From 1990 to 2004, he

See AFROTC, Page 2

served as vice president for Academic Affairs and in 2000 was acting president while Jerome Supple was off campus doing research. Gratz became special assistant to the president in 2004. “Texas State was a university that was interested in moving forward from the time I arrived,” Gratz said. “The year I arrived, Texas State became a university.” In 1969, the university changed from Southwest Texas State College to Southwest Texas State University. “I guess I feel like ever since, throughout my entire history here, Texas State has always been in the process of moving forward aggressively to the next stage of development,” he said. Tamara Alejandro, senior administrative assistant in the president’s office, has worked with Gratz for over ten years. Alejandro said starting an administrator position and having a mentor like Gratz is rare. New administrators on campus go to Gratz for guidance, she said. “People flock to him because he’s very knowledgeable, and he’s always very, very generous with his knowledge,” Alejandro said. “Some people are so stuck on job security they want to hold what they know so that they keep their job, but he’s willing to share anything he knows with everybody.” Alejandro said Gratz’s positivity and humility made working with him enjoyable. Michael Heintze, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, has worked with Gratz for nine years and

See GRATZ, Page 2

Austin real estate group purchases Springtown Shopping Center By Benjamin Enriquez SPECIAL TO THE STAR


The developers of The Domain in Austin have purchased the Springtown Shopping Center in hopes to revamp the space. ume store when there was more (businesses) here.” Cantu said customer traffic is not as high as it was in the past, but the store still meets company expectations and has loyal customers. Bath and Body Works is expected to do better than before with more shopping options, she said. Gaby Springli, sales lead at Bath & Body Works, said she would be happy with more customer traffic. “I’m super excited,” Springli said. “I feel like it’ll boom and bring a lot more people in.” The center is located alongside Interstate Highway 35, making it a great location in San Marcos for those who want to avoid the “craziness” of the outlet mall, she said.


t @UniversityStar E Go to university


University contributes $2.2 billion to state, doubled since 2006 By Nicholas Laughlin NEWS REPORTER The economic impact of Texas State on the surrounding community has more than doubled since the last survey in fall 2006, with an annual state impact of $2.2 billion. James LeSage, the Fields Endowed Chair in Urban and Regional Economics in the Department of Finance and Economics at McCoy College of Business Administration, authored the university’s economic impact study. The study has been in the works since August. The university released the new economic impact study on Nov. 18. The study measures pending by university students, faculty and staff. “I was surprised in the economic impact of the university in such a short period of time,” said Provost Eugene Bourgeois. “It more than doubled (from the previous study).” The university’s economic impact was $2.2 billion and created 29,000

San Marcos is an attractive place to live and work in a college town. If the trend continues with the upscale apartments and students willing to spend more money, the economic impact of Texas State University is going to grow.” —James LeSage, Fields Endowed Chair


Officials with Endeavor Real Estate Group from Austin purchased the Springtown Shopping Center located off Thorpe Lane and Springtown Way Nov. 4. Twin Liquors, Bath & Body Works and RadioShack are currently in the center with a few vacant buildings where Target was previously located. Officials plan to revitalize the shopping center, said Buck Cody, principal of retail development and acquisition for Endeavor. “I think we envision it being a more traditional retail shopping center,” Cody said. “Our plan is to build something that serves the student body of Texas State and the population of San Marcos.” Cody said Endeavor officials will not rebuild the shopping center until they know which businesses will occupy it to better serve their prospective clients’ needs. The goal is to “completely stabilize” the center in the next 30 months. Cody said the Endeavor team is excited about the recent purchase and hopes to deliver. “We believe it’s the best large piece of real estate in all of San Marcos,” Cody said. “We hope it’ll be a great place to eat or to shop at.” He said the opening of new stores and restaurants will create jobs and lead to sales tax generation for the city. Lydia Cantu, store manager at Bath & Body Works, said she welcomes the change. “I’m looking forward to a center that’ll have more foot traffic coming through here,” Cantu said. “We were a higher vol-


Tara O’Brien, Bath & Body Works sales associate and general studies senior, said she hopes Endeavor officials will do more than the previous owners did, such as fix the lighting in the parking lot. “It’s really scary walking to your car sometimes, and I hope that the new management will be able to make the shopping center a little more inviting,” O’Brien said. She said even the lights in the back of the store do not work at times. “There’s definitely loyal customers that come, but sometimes people don’t even know we’re here,” O’Brien said. “I think it’ll be beneficial to have other stores here because it’ll be good for business.”

Alex Barreto, computer science sophomore and phone repair technician at RadioShack, said, according to his manager, his store used to generate the highest revenue in the region for the company. However, things started to go downhill after Target left. “If they open new stores, we’ll start getting more business here,” said Barreto. “Business is below average right now and not doing too good. We’re kinda just forgotten about over here.” Barreto is hopeful for what the future might hold for the shopping center. “It’s gonna make a lot of people come in, more sales for the sales associates and more phones for me to repair,” Barreto said.

jobs in the surrounding community, according to the study, which measured data from the 2013 fiscal year. Of the $2.2 billion, $1.4 billion of the total impact is the result of direct, indirect and induced spending by the university’s students and visitors. The remaining $822 million is spent by the university and its employees. “The fact that it doubled within six or seven years is what is surprising,” Bourgeois said. “I think that is a short period to have our economic impact doubling.” The economic impact on Hays County from direct spending by Texas State, its employees and students is $1.1 billion per year, according to the study. LeSage said more students are choosing high-end living. “There has been a 30 percent increase in enrollment since 2007,” LeSage said. “From 2012 to the fall of 2015, there will be an additional 4,000 units with 11,000 beds in San Marcos.” Eight hundred of the units are still under construction and will not be completed until fall 2015, LeSage said. “San Marcos is an attractive place to live and work,” LeSage said. “If the trend continues with the upscale apartments and students willing to spend more money, the economic impact of Texas State University is going to grow.” Bourgeois said student spending created the biggest increase in community impact, partially because of the larger student population and local spending. “There is a big increase in willingness of students who are living off-campus to spend money,” LeSage said. The study is timely because the university has had “tremendous growth” in the last seven years, Bourgeois said. “The economic impact study is measuring a number of things,” Bourgeois said. “This includes the construction spending that has been taking place on the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses. We have hired a significantly greater number of faculty over the last seven years, and our enrollment has also increased since the last study.” The state of Texas’ impact numbers show the influence of the Round

See IMPACT, Page 2

2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Farewell from the Editor-in-Chief

It is with deep regret that I must announce I will be vacating my position as editor-in-chief of The University Star effective Dec. 12. It was never my intention to cut my term short, but, as many of us know, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances in life that cause a change in plans. I must say, though, that I am overwhelmed with pride when I look back on the last seven months spent as editor of the Star. Throughout the past year, the Star has undergone more changes than perhaps ever before in its history. Some changes are obvious—the push toward digitalization with more multimedia content, fresh content and design ideas, increased social media and community presence, new equipment and a renovated office, to name a few—but most changes are unseen by the public eye. It is these internal shifts that I feel most proud of. First and foremost, our efficiency is higher than ever before. My

staff can churn out an entire newspaper in less than five hours, three times a week, and still provide daily online content while maintaining a full load of classes. My news staff can put together extensively comprehensive election coverage in one night, including live-Tweeting, stories on the website throughout the night, videos, infographics and photos, in addition to all of the content we regularly produce such as the sports, opinions and trends sections of the paper. My sports staff can cover a game with live updates on the website and Tweets throughout each event along with full recaps with quotes before fans leave the parking lot. In the past seven months, I have witnessed a staff of almost entirely new, young staff members (the editorial board included) come into its own and produce, in my opinion, some of the best content the Star has seen in years. The youthfulness of the staff

brought a new energy to the paper, as well as innovative ideas and an unparalleled passion for the job we do. On top of it all, the Star feels more like a family than ever, and if that is the legacy I leave, I will feel I have done my job well. Most importantly, I feel that the Star has only further solidified itself as the community’s newspaper. Yes, we are a student-run paper, and yes, we do make mistakes. However, with our coverage of the university, city, county and even surrounding areas, the Star is much, much more than just a university newspaper, and it always has been. When I take my leave in the coming weeks, Odus Evbagharu will become the first African American male to be named editor-in-chief of the publication, in the 50th year of Texas State’s desegregation. The weight of this moment is not lost on me, and I hope it is not lost on you,

either. Under Odus’ leadership, the Star will continue to flourish. Anyone who knows Odus can tell you that he is truly one in a million in terms of his creativity, drive and leadership ability. He is a force to be reckoned with. He will do incredible things with this organization, and there is no one I would trust more with this position than him. You should all be very excited to see what he comes up with next. I know I am. I do realize this letter may seem a bit dramatic (and, admittedly, a little self-serving) to some, but the simple truth is there is no organization quite like the Star. What students do here, what they learn here, who they meet here—it’s bigger than any one person, and it stays with you wherever you go. I have loved my three years at the Star and the way this organization framed the most important years of my life so far. I will cherish the

—Lesley Warren

IMPACT, from front Rock campus. However the Round Rock campus’s economic impact is not factored into regional data. Bourgeois said the study will be used internally for the university and to help acquire funding for higher education and building needs.

“We are hopeful that the economic impact study will inform legislators of the impact of the university,” Bourgeois said. “I think it will tell the public the true economic impact of the university.” The majority of the economic impact was local or

regional—rather than statewide—because of the tremendous impact students have in that sector, he said. “(This study) shows that we are an impact driver for economic development in this region and the state of Texas,” Bourgeois said.

the society to see how she would react in different situations. “The officers get in your face, are very critical of you and have you do a lot of marching, push-ups and situps,” Cambridge said. “My mother thought I would turn and run away if someone yelled in my face, but I did not.” She was awarded an incentive flight during which an Air Force pilot took her for a ride in a T-38, one of the jets used for military training. “We flew about 80 miles in less than ten minutes at around 300 knots,” Cambridge said. “We took several sharp turns, then would swoop down like we were aiming at a target. When we would pull back up we hit about four G’s (gravitational force), and a roller coaster is only around 2 G’s.” Cambridge had only flown on a commercial airliner previous to the incentive flight, she said.

“I was the only female cadet out of the four that took the training jet incentive flight and the only one that did not throw up, but I was nauseous,” Cambridge said. “When we went into sharp banks, the jet would leave your head dangling so you could see the whole world below you.” Cambridge said membership in AFROTC defines her more as a person than being a student at Texas State. The force will be her next eight years of life. Officers in a profession of arms do not always have to be the best but are expected to serve and participate at events, Cambridge said. “As a leader in the Air Force, you have to show your people how you want them to be,” Cambridge said. “Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all you do are the Air Force’s core values, our motto and credo.”

sity, he said. “Having the chance to help a number of those departments become not only undergraduate departments but also graduate departments was something I really enjoyed,” Gratz said. Graduate programs in the fields of social work, physical therapy, mass communication, physiology, family and consumer science and anthropology all started during that time, he said. Many other departments also developed new graduate as well as doctoral programs, he said. Gratz chaired the committee that developed the proposal to create Texas State’s Round Rock campus. Gratz has not made “too many specific plans” for retirement, but he does hope to travel, continue his

involvement in Texas State athletic and cultural events and attend many Spurs games, he said. “It’s pretty hard to know me for very long without knowing I’m a Spurs fan,” Gratz said. “It’s hard to find a better organization than the San Antonio Spurs.” Gratz has been a Spurs season ticket holder for many years. “I know he’s going to enjoy that opportunity to spend more time with family and especially the grandchildren and, of course, with his beloved Spurs,” Heintze said. Alejandro said she hopes Gratz finds time to relax during retirement. “I seriously doubt he’ll stay away from the university,” Alejandro said. “I’m sure we will all see a lot of him in many different ways.”

AFROTC, from front that I could be something.” Cambridge did well enough to earn a “field training slot” in the POC during her freshman year. She eventually became one of 11 cadets who completed officer training. One of Cambridge’s proudest accomplishments was becoming wing commander because she had to apply and interview for the job. Cambridge’s colonel was instrumental in her decision to train as a combat systems operator, she said. Cadets are constantly evaluated, and the colonel is always looking to see who is trying hard. Cambridge considers the ability to support fellow cadets to be one of her strongest traits. “They call me ‘Mama Cbridge’ because I take care of people,” Cambridge said. “Cadets depend on me like a mother.” Arnold Air Society, a professional military training organization, helped Cambridge learn to be brave. She chose to join

GRATZ, from front said he will miss his kind, helpful personality. “I think the thing that’s always struck me about Dr. Gratz is his openness and his ability to bring people together and to work out complex issues in a very professional manner,” Heintze said. “I think that’s a great legacy. That’s a tradition that will live on after he has gone into retirement.” Looking back, Gratz said he was happy to be able to help shape the Graduate College. In the ‘90s, a surprising amount of Texas State departments did not have graduate programs considering the size of the univer-





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memories for the rest of my life. In closing, I would like to say a profuse thank you to the Star’s faculty and full-time staff. Without the guidance and leadership of Bob Bajackson, Linda Allen, Chris Salazar and Kelsey Nuckolls, the Star would cease to exist. None of us could ever thank them enough for the countless hours and energy they devote to us and this organization. They deserve medals (and all of the good things in this world). I also want to thank Kym Fox for volunteering so much of her time to guide and teach us. We have learned, and will continue to learn, a great deal from her. Finally, above all, I want to thank my incredible editorial board, the most loyal, most loving and most dedicated people I have ever met. I will never be able to fully express what they mean to me. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Star team, go!


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4 | The University Star | Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Year in Review THE MAIN POINT



It has been business as usual for Bobcat athletics. 
Texas State is in its second year with the Sun Belt Conference, and each program has benefitted from the competitive familiarity. 
The football team completed a 7-5 season to secure bowl eligibility for the second consecutive year. David Mayo, senior linebacker, leads the nation with 154 tackles, and Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, tallied 28 total touchdowns in his second year running the offense. Texas State dedicated the season to head athletic trainer David Gish, who passed away after a yearlong bout with cancer. The program’s first bowl game would cement Texas State as a fixture in the Sun Belt Conference. Volleyball Coach Karen Chisum earned her 800th career victory this season, putting her 14th among alltime Division I volleyball coaches. After winning the Sun Belt Conference championship in 2013, the volleyball team fell in this season’s conference to ArkansasLittle Rock. Flush with young talent, including the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, the team is in a position to contend for another conference title next season. Soccer reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2011 before the team was eliminated in the conference semifinals by the second-seeded Troy Trojans. There’s certainly room for optimism as Texas State enters the spring season.

The university has made improvements in transportation over the past year. The updated bus system is a marked upgrade from that of previous years. The new contract the school has with Transdev has brought in new buses, drivers and route changes. Students passed a referendum in April 2013 that raised bus fees. Part of that raise helped sustain the new contract. These new changes have made a huge impact on the overall bus-riding experience. Heat and air conditioning on the new buses help students weather the elements, and the route changes seem to make more sense. One downside is that the shuttles no longer run as long at night, pulling back from midnight to approximately 10:20 p.m. Additionally, the school has unveiled a new feature of the Texas State mobile application that allows students to track the trams in real time. Faculty, staff and students can also view the tracking map from their computers on the Bobcat Shuttle website. However, for those who are not frequent shuttle riders and instead drive their cars to campus, the parking situation remains lackluster at best. Commuters lost 442 parking spots this year with the closure of the Speck Street surface lot. Transportation Services and the President’s Cabinet also decided to remove the free parking spaces on campus and install pay-to-park meters in the Edward Gary Street Garage and the LBJ Student Center Garage.

ADMINISTRATIVE OUTREACH President Denise Trauth and other university officials have done a good job of improving their availability and communication with the student body this year. Trauth hosts and is involved with many events every year where students are encouraged to come and voice their opinions on university matters. Opportunities for students to speak to Trauth and other key administrators include two LBJ Student Center Open Door events, an ASG Round Table and the President’s Cat Chat. Trauth spoke at this year’s Veterans Day ceremony and recognized the university’s status as the 14th most military-friendly school in the nation. The president also participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge that was trending earlier in the semester. One thing Trauth can improve on is being more visible around campus on a casual basis. The editorial board understands that being president of a university is no walk in the park, but it would be nice for students to be more familiar with seeing Trauth around campus. University officials need to improve their communica-



The San Marcos community has improved its relationship with Bobcats living in the city. San Marcos High School’s football team has been using the university’s stadium for its games for years before getting its own space earlier this year; the relationship between the two schools is reminiscent of that of older and younger siblings. Another positive aspect of university relations in the city is that a large amount of Bobcats are deciding to stay in the city after graduation. Graduates are finding jobs and staying local as the city unemployment rate decreased 4 percent. One of the more negative aspects of university relations is the tension between San Marcos citizens and Bobcats. Bobcats are the “atrocity” of the city, according to Patrick Montgomery, one of the candidates that ran for mayor earlier this year. Montgomery isn’t alone in his sentiment either, as many residents feel that students are messy, loud blemishes on an otherwise quiet city. The dynamic between students and native citizens has some ways to go, but overall improvements have been made through events like Bobcat Blend.

The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

Editor-in-Chief............................................Lesley Warren, Managing Editor....................Odus Evbagharu, News Editor............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Trends Editor.............................................Amanda Ross, Opinions Editor.....................................Imani McGarrell, Photo Editor........................................Madelynne Scales, Sports Editor......................................... Quixem Ramirez, Copy Desk Chief.................................Sam Hankins,

tion with students in incidents of emergency on campus in some cases. The emergency alerts sometimes come way after the student body learns about something happening, which only makes them redundant and useless. It is understandable that they need time to verify information before releasing it to the student body, but getting a text message from the RAVE system 20 minutes after seeing something on Twitter seems highly ineffective. Additionally, the university needs to improve its course ratings accessibility on the Texas State homepage. The HB2504 tab houses all of the course evaluations that students do in class at the end of the year, but many students do not know that this is even there because of its inconspicuous location and name. This could be an instrumental tool for students in selecting their classes, but the university seems to have placed little to no importance on making it known that they even have it. The course evaluations dilemma is disappointing because the university does a good job with making other records known. Faculty Senate meetings are open to all to attend, and President’s Cabinet minutes are available online.


The crime rates in San Marcos seem to have increased this year, which does not bode well for the future of the city. The shooting and attempted gunpoint robbery at Gotta Habit Smoke Shop in addition to the robbery at Vistas and the body found outside of the 817 Loft construction were shocking to the usually quiet community. On top of these issues, the Hays County Constables do not have enough money to cover

TEXAS STATE GROWTH MANAGEMENT This year Texas State has experienced its 17th consecutive year of record enrollment and became the 4th largest university in Texas. One of the results of the university’s inability to accommodate its growing student body is that 21 freshmen without residency exemptions were forced to live off campus. The growth is exciting, but university officials need to recognize the need for stricter admission requirements. Texas State would benefit from a better-quality student body as opposed to just more students in general. The “strategic growth” plan outlined by officials to control enrollment numbers is vague at best. Sore quads and heavy breathing aren’t the only side effects to being a university on a hill. When it comes to expansion, there aren’t many places for the university to add onto. The 10year renovation plan for dorms is nice in theory but does not match up to current housing needs. The Department of Housing and Residential Life plans to build a new dorm every 2 years to accommodate the student body, but this still begs the question of exactly where there new dorms are going to be built. Additionally, while the newer buildings on campus like Comal and Falls Hall are very nice, they also make the decrepit parts of campus look that much worse. Older buildings like Derrick and Flowers could use a facelift, and those renovations would assist in making the campus seem more modern overall. Great things are happening at the university that deserve recognition such as the inclusion of more gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and the university’s status as an Emerging Research Institution. One way university officials could help manage Texas State’s image as it grows is to do a better job promoting the university. University promotions are a good way to make Texas State’s name carry more weight and attract the best students.

the cost of all of the new equipment they need. If the law enforcement in the area is not being equipped with the tools it needs to complete its job, citizens cannot expect them to be able to handle the challenges of a growing city. The police have done a good job handling all of the crime that has happened in the city, but the increasing rate at which it is occurring is concerning and needs to be addressed.

OUTREACH Overall the city has done a good job with outreach to San Martians and Bobcats alike. San Marcos took steps towards equality and acceptance earlier this year by hosting its first-ever pride parade. Additionally, as the city grows, larger corporate businesses such as Torchy’s Tacos and Potbelly Sandwich Shop come here to plant their roots.


San Marcos has experienced a lot of growth in the past years. Construction runs rampant throughout the city, making things difficult for everyone. It is a necessary evil to endure when adjusting to the growing pains of an expanding city, but the way that contractors go about it could use some improvement. Many students were left without their promised homes this year at both Uptown and 817 Lofts when construction dates were pushed back repeatedly. This seems to be the ghost of construction past, as the same thing happened last year with the Vistas’ and the Avenue’s development. Other construction delays include a push-back of the Loop 82 construction project and work on inDesign Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, Assistant News Editor........................Nicole Barrios, Account Executive..................................Hanna Katz, Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, Account Executive.....................................Jamie Beckham, Media Specialist............................................ Chris Salazar, Advertising Coordinator..............................Kelsey Nuckolls, Publications Coordinator.......................................Linda Allen, Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson,

Additionally, the Main Street Sign Program helped businesses downtown revamp their signs. The program was a way to help businesses stay afloat during construction struggles. Helping out with new signage is a nice step towards establishing a partnership between the city and the companies operating in it.

tersections around downtown. Additionally, San Marcos was ranked the fastest-growing city in the nation for the past two years but, despite that, experiences high poverty rates. Much of the growth that has benefitted the city has not aided its poorer residents. There is a growing need for quality government-assisted housing areas in the city. More housing is being built for middle-income families in the area with the development of the La Cima Public Improvement District. City officials need to work with construction companies on making sure construction gets done in a timely fashion instead of enduring the delays and obstructions everyone has grown accustomed to. 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, December 3, 2014. 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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PICKS OF THE WEEK By Kara Dornes TRENDS REPORTER The end of the semester doesn’t mean the end of fun in San Marcos. End fall with a bang at one (or all!) of these December events.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS: DEC. 3-6 The city’s annual event, dubbed the “Best Christmas Festival in Texas,” is a favorite among residents, students and out-of-towners alike. This year’s festival features a per-

formance by country superstar Kyle Park as well as an iceskating rink, a nativity scene and carnival food favorites.

STRUTTERS CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: DEC. 5 Treat yourself to an evening of spectacle and dance performance in support of Texas State’s world-famous Strutters. The annual event is perfect for the whole family, including kids. The Strutters and special guest Santa Claus will be on standby for photos after the hour-long show.

CAKED UP: DEC. 12 The Marc’s annual winter event is bigger and better than ever this year. Presented by Afterdark Entertainment, this year’s event features DJs, Colorwave Lighting, amazing drink specials and hours of dancing. The show is 18+. Tickets can be found on The Marc’s website.

THE NUTCRACKER: DEC. 6-7 The River City Ballet pres-

ents a special performance of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic at the San Marcos High School Performing Art Center in conjunction with the City’s SMART orchestra. Performances on both days are at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10 on the River City Ballet website.

STMXMAS: DEC. 6 This collaboration among local vendors is a one-stop shop for holiday shopping hosted by Angie’s Sweatshop. Local vendors show off last-of items as well as new pieces and

designs in a collection of popup shops along the Square. The shops will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and accept both cash and credit.

HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS: DEC. 7 Five unique homes in San Marcos known for their classic, innovative holiday displays will be open for tours on Sunday. Visit the Heritage Association of San Marcos’s official website for a complete list of homes and to purchase tickets for $15.

Farewell from the Trends Editor By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that leaving Texas State in just four years is a lot like leaving the party at 10 p.m., so you can imagine my disappointment when I met with my adviser and found out I could graduate in three. Forget leaving at 10 p.m., I barely even made it to the party. As cliché as it sounds, it really does feel like I moved into Jackson Hall just yesterday. 18-yearsold, wide-eyed and 30 pounds thinner, I couldn’t even imagine what the next three years would have in store for me. Countless nights laughing in the library

with my friends, countless hours spent sitting in The Quad and countless calories consumed at Jones all added up to a completely priceless college experience. I did a lot during my time at Texas State, but nothing compares to my two-and-a-half years spent working at The University Star. After a ridiculously disastrous first interview, I all but gave up my ambitions of becoming a news reporter at the Star. However, I decided to go for Round Two a year later and I’m so glad I did. I was hired. My first few months at the Star were peaceful and not particularly stressful, so I was surprised when my editor suggested I apply for an editorial position for the follow-

ing semester, which I got. The next year-and-a-half spent at The Star was the most stressful, frustrating, successful and joy-filled months of my life. I logged more hours than I thought possible in our poorly lit newsroom, editing stories, writing articles and spending time with some of the greatest people you could ever meet—cue Janis Ian. From covering every major music festival to bringing exposure to some amazing things students at Texas State are doing, I had the best time of my life creating content for the Trends section. My staff of writer, videographer and reporters are some of the most gifted people I’ve ever met, and I can’t wait to

FINALS STUDY TIPS By Ernest Macias ASSISTANT TRENDS REPORTER It’s the most wonderful time of the year: fall finals. The semester’s last ten days can seem more “Hunger Games” than “Joy to the World” between feverishly handing over that last $5 for extra espresso shots, crying over soon-to-begraduating friends and trying to fill out every review before the TA-sponsored study session. Follow these tips to ensure a (relatively) stress-free week.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Staying up until 3 a.m. rotating between stalking potential employers on LinkedIn and studying a virtual flashcard deck on Quizlet may seem like a great idea, but it is not. Students should cut themselves off at a certain hour to avoid wasting the next day in a sleep-deprived haze. A lack of sleep leads to both an unproductive next day and potentially missing a final altogether, and it’s a surefire way to

pack on weight right before going home for the holidays and subsequently seeing everyone from high school.

JOIN FORCES. (Almost) all students feel like they’re drowning in vocabulary terms, practice problems and review sheets. Bobcats would be wise to send out exploratory emails to classmates asking if anyone wants to get together at Alkek for some group work. Students can double-check their answers against each other, get help on problem areas, trade study tips and all-in-all make the experience more enjoyable.

CHANGE THE SCENERY. It’s easy to despair trapped in a dorm room the size of a closet while frantically trying to remember what mitochondria do (powerhouse of the cell, duh). Grab some classmates, friends or even just a blanket and head outside to take advantage


of the fact that it’s 70 degrees in December. Sit on the hill at Sewell with a textbook and get some fresh air. If going outside is too much of a distraction, head to the library, dorm study room or one of several coffeehouses near campus to mix it up. A change of scenery can amp up the study process and help students to refocus.

KEEP IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE. When things seem unbearable, know that they aren’t. Finals seem like a never-ending stretch of professor emails and TRACSchecking, but it will all be over in a week’s time. While all students should certainly study for their exams, cramming for tests shouldn’t come before a Bobcat’s well being. Eat right, go for a walk, meditate and see some friends. It’ll be over soon enough.

see what they accomplish next semester and beyond. To the ed board, thank you for being my perfect work family. Every single member of the ed board is so talented, ambitious, hilarious and dedicated. I admire every one of you, and if you think I’m not turning up out of the blue uninvited Adele-style then you’re very, very wrong. I’m not the only one leaving the Star this semester, either. Our editor-in-chief Lesley Warren is on to greener pastures—literally, she’s going to Nebraska. I didn’t think it was possible for someone my age to be both stunningly mature and ridiculously fun, but then I met Lesley. I was privileged enough to not only call her my boss, but also my

best friend. I can’t wait to see how successful she will undoubtedly become in her adult life, mostly because that means I can hit her up for money thanks to a few incriminating post-Square selfies on my phone. Graduating seniors, we did it. Well, if I pass statistics, that is. To everyone not gradating just yet, enjoy your time in this beautiful town. Study hard, but don’t forget to blow everything off once in a while to float down the river and soak up the sun. Enjoy about this amazing place, because you’ll be missing everything about it soon enough. Even the Alkek stairs. Eat ‘Em Up.

6 | The University Star | Wednesday, December 3, 2014




Bowl game imminent for program in second year of Division I eligibility

Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem

The Texas State football team toed the line between disaster and success this year. The end result, a 7-5 record and a potential bowl game invitation, is a step in the right direction for a program in the infancy of its transition to the Division I level. But the season could have taken a different turn. Coach Dennis Franchione said the team could be 9-3 or 3-9 at this point – a massive difference befitting a team that takes volatility to a new level. Case in point: seven games were decided by eight points or fewer.

For the most part, the Bobcats thrived with their backs against the wall. There were dents in the armor, but that comes with any program building its football foundation from the ground up. The 2014 season can be boiled down to trial and error on both sides of the ball. Franchione implemented an offense designed to place Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, in a position catered to his strengths. Once the kinks were ironed out, the up-tempo offense elevated to new heights. Texas State averaged 76.7 plays per game, up from 64.3 last year, without sacrificing efficiency or versatility. Jones shined in wins against Tulsa and Georgia State. Rob Lowe, junior running back, and Terrence Franks, senior running back, carried the team to victories against Idaho and Arkansas State. The Bobcats offense exceeded Franchione’s expectations. Defense wasn’t nearly as seamless as offense. The team lost Mike Orakpo, senior linebacker, in the second game of the season.

Orakpo’s injury sapped the unit of its athletic punch, which was a key part in defensive coordinator John Thompson’s system. For half of the season, the defense was more miss than hit. Prior to the matchup against Louisiana-Monroe, the Bobcats had allowed five of six opponents to exceed 30 points. The defense, a strength last year, was a liability. Then David Mayo, senior linebacker, changed the complexion of the defense. Mayo led the team with 154 tackles, but statistics don’t reflect the true impact of having a player like Mayo, who Franchione said he was “blessed” to lead his team. Mayo embodies the very culture Franchione is attempting to create at Texas

State – talented, fearless, willing to subsume personal goals for the collective good. His teammates followed suit. Michael Odiari, senior defensive end, tallied nine sacks. Craig Mager, senior cornerback, and David Mims, junior cornerback, were the backbones of a defense that created 19 turnovers. Colby Targun, senior safety, excelled in a swiss army knife type role, where he filled in any gap in the running and passing game.

Everything came together against three-time conference champion Arkansas State, when they held the Red Wolves to nine points below their season average. There were high’s. There were low’s. There was poor execution. There was steely resolve in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats’ biggest strength, and weakness, is inconsistency. “We’ve changed the culture of Bobcat football,” Franchione said. “The process is not done.”


BOBCATS PREPARE TO PLAY IN TEXAS LUTHERAN’S EXHIBITION By Mariah Medina ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @Mariahmedinaa To the Texas State men’s basketball team, their most recent competitor, Howard Payne, was an “easy win.” When the Bobcats were down by six points, what coach Danny Kaspar and his staff had been preaching all week became evident—the importance of respecting the opponent. The Bobcats will compete with yet another Division III team on Wednesday—Texas Lutheran University, a group assistant coach Terrence Rencher says is more talented and aggressive than Howard Payne. “When you’re playing a non-Division I opponent, regardless of who it is, it’s always a bigger game for them to come play on a bigger stage,” Rencher said. Despite losing four of their last six match-ups, Texas Lutheran has proven to be a threat from the 3-point line. Sophomore guard Jordan Kouremetis leads the team, shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. “We’re not in a position to approach any game like it’s greater or less than the previous or the next,” Rencher said. “We’re trying to get our program to a certain standard, and everything counts.” Rencher and his team are expecting to play an energetic and well-prepared team since it’s Texas Lutheran’s exhibition game. “We’re going to match their intensity and their motivation early,” Rencher said. “They shoot the ball really well, they have some quickness, the strength of their team is their guards and they’re very aggressive. They’re going to try and switch some things up on us defensively to try and confuse us and just out hustle us and

out-scrap us because they won’t be as big as we are.” Texas Lutheran will be one of the smaller opponents Texas State faces this year, with three of the team’s starters standing at six feet tall. Still, Rencher says their shooting capabilities will give Texas State a challenge they have not encountered this season. “They’re a little bit more talented, more organized,” Rencher said. “I think they play to their strengths better than Howard Payne. I think it’ll be a better challenge than Howard Payne was for us, but I’m totally prepping our guys to be ready to get down to business.” The Bobcats earned a 29-point win against Howard Payne without their best offensive player, Emani Gant, junior forward. Gant will be available against Texas Lutheran. Gant’s absence exposed holes in the Bobcats’ offense that Kaspar noticed. Wes Davis, senior guard, says the Bobcats’ defensive woes as well as the struggle on offense caused their first loss this season. “Against UTSA we had good defense the first half and then let up the second half but continuing to play defense for the whole 40 minutes of the game,” Davis said. This week, the Bobcats have introduced new plays to increase productivity on offense and create more areas of isolation. This week-to-week improvement, however, is something Rencher finds to be a part of a grander scheme. “We talk to the guys about it every day, respecting the process of becoming a good player,” Rencher said. “We have to respect the process of becoming a good program and treat every opponent the same and go out and give the same effort every game.”


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The University Star | Sports | Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | 7





Bobcats show improvement despite semifinal exit in Sun Belt Conference tournament

Balanced team effort, young talent propel team to second place finish

Derrick Holland SPORTS REPORTER @dholland23

The San Antonio Spurs win by committee with a selfless approach that has resulted in a present-day dynasty. The Texas State volleyball team shares the same mindset. Texas State entered the season with only four seniors on the active roster. The Bobcats had to find a way to replace three senior starters from last year’s championship team. Couple that with the fact that Caylin Mahoney, senior setter, was out for most of the season and many players were wondering if the Bobcats could even qualify for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. They played as a team instead of harping on these setbacks. No one was selfish. All that mattered was winning each match and getting better. Nine Bobcats averaged more than one kill per set and eight players registered at least 90 over the course of the regular season. Coach Karen Chisum could look down at her bench and send out anyone on the roster, with 12 players with at least 60 sets this season. Early in the season, the Bobcats traveled to Lubbock for the Texas Tech Invitational. They returned home winless, with a tough loss to Texas Tech in which the team gave up a twosets-to-none lead. The team responded with six straight wins to open conference play, including a thrilling five-set victory over UT-Arlington. The Bobcats had every opportunity to fold and accept the fact they are young, and no one would have been surprised if they hadn’t defended their Sun Belt Conference title. That was never an option. Take Jordan Moore, sophomore setter, for example. With Mahoney injured, Chisum turned to Moore and gave her the keys to the setter position. Moore

stepped up and led the team in assists, registering 6.58 per set. Ali Gonzalez, senior setter, also received valuable playing time with Mahoney injured. Gonzalez was second on the team in assists and averaged 5.61 per set. Mahoney averaged an impressive 8.31 assists per set upon her return to the lineup. The offense ran smoothly no matter whom Chisum inserted as setter. A young team usually means more playing time for freshmen. Jordan Kohl, freshman right side hitter, and Lauren Kirch, freshman middle blocker, emerged as offensive threats for the Bobcats. Kohl tallied 234 kills and a .222 hitting percentage to win the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. Kirch led the team in nearly every offensive category, registering 130 sets played, 326 kills and a .252 hitting percentage. These two players will be topping box scores for the foreseeable future. One characteristic that is often overlooked in a player is leadership. With such a young team, the Bobcats needed leadership beyond the coaching staff. Sierra Smith, junior libero, gave the team just that. Smith was constantly rallying her team before, during and after each match. Smith not only talked the talk, but she walked the walk. She led the team in service aces and finished with 520 digs, the fourth most in Texas State history. The Bobcats also got a solid season from two sophomore outside hitters. Shelby Vas Matt and Kelsey Weynand were constantly inserted in matches at crucial situations, and they finished second and third on the team in kills, respectively. This group of players scratched and clawed its way to the Sun Belt Conference Championship match, but in the end, the Bobcats ran into a more experienced Arkansas-Little Rock team. Chisum believed in her team enough to play the entire roster, and each player left everything on the court for every match. This team will be a strong force to be reckoned with in the Sun Belt Conference for years to come.

Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER @SabrinaFloresTX

Troy’s lone game goal ended Texas State’s 2014 season less than three minutes into the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals matchup. The Bobcats showed improvement from the 2013 season. The team ended the year with an 11-7-2 overall record and 5-3-1 in conference play. The Bobcats had the best start in program history but lost to TCU in their seventh game. The Bobcats began conference play with a three-game winning streak after suffering a few defeats from instate rivals UTSA and Texas. The program will lose an offensive threat this year with Tori Hale, senior forward, graduating. Hale’s speed was a big threat to op-


ponents as she was usually the first one down the field. Hale helped lead the team with five goals this season. Coach Kat Conner is left with a very young group as five seniors will leave this year. Lynsey Curry, junior forward, led the team for the second consecutive season with seven goals and 17 points. Throughout the season, Texas State faced fast and athletic Sun Belt Conference competitors. Any team in the Sun Belt could be beaten at any given time. The Bobcats slipped toward the end of conference play, losing a “must-win” home game against Louisiana-Monroe. Texas State is 0-2 against ULM since joining the Sun Belt last year. The Bobcats suffered a defensive battle to Georgia State the following week, ultimately losing their last regular season game 1-0. Despite the losses, the Bobcats earned the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference. Caitlynn Rinehart, junior goalkeeper, had a grand total of 61 saves for the season and racked six shutouts. Rinehart won the starting position this year and tripled

her save count from the 2013 season. Rinehart became more vocal over the season and carried major defensive leadership status. Senior defenders Brenna Smith and Michelle Bucy will leave the squad this year, forcing others to step up. Elizabeth Havenhill, freshman defender, showed excellent capabilities along with Kristen Champion, junior defender. The Bobcats’ defensive line will be in great shape for the 2015 season. Promisingly, Kassi Hormuth, Landry Lowe and Rachel Grout are returning along with Curry. Conner will have the off-season to develop the relationship between Hormuth and Curry. The Bobcats struggled on finishing shots and taking advantage of one-on-one breaks. The team converted on 27 of 316 shot attempts. The team’s athletic ability is there, and its skill is being developed finely. The challenge for this young Bobcat team is remaining confident after a tough loss. Conner preached to her team about being mentally focused. Overall, the team improved from 2013 and could potentially be a Sun Belt powerhouse in the upcoming season.

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