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THURSDAY DECEMBER 3, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 33

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THE UN IV

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The University Star Editorial Board presents your final grades for the semester.

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The administration at Texas State has been impressively transparent and open with students this year. Senate Bill 11, otherwise known as the campus carry bill, will go into effect next fall and allow licensed individuals to carry firearms on campus. Although this fact is a victory to some, it has left many Bobcats apprehensive about what the new legislation will mean

B

Parking has long been a source of frustration for Texas State students and

ADMINISTRATION/ TRANSPARENCY to them in terms of safety. However, university officials have made an effort to be very open about the issue and have encouraged feedback throughout the year. Each school is set to present recommendations for the implementation of campus carry, including which zones will be determined gun-free, and President Denise Trauth has been proactive while drafting this document. She began by creating a campus carry task force in which university officials have had the chance to determine the safest avenue for implementing the legislation into daily campus life. Trauth had the task force send out surveys and host numerous open forums where faculty and students had

the chance to voice their opinions on the drafted recommendations. This means Bobcats and professors were able to voice which buildings they want to be considered gun-free, as well as the ones where they want guns to be allowed. University officials have been fairly transparent about future tuition increases. The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved a 2.75 percent increase in tuition. For every 12 hours a student takes, he or she will have to pay roughly $100 more than they have in previous years. Although this decision was not highly publicized, university officials were very welcoming to reporters covering the issue.

SAN MARCOS CITY COUNCIL From bringing in new businesses to showing tolerance and acceptance to groups that are often discriminated against, city council has done an efficient job of catering to the diverse population of San Marcos. Mayor Daniel Guerrero declared Nov. 19 Transgender Day of Remembrance. Guerrero said it was to be a day in which citizens can remember people of the transgender community who have been killed because of their identity. It was a time to educate the community by starting a conversation about the issues transgender people face. While much of the public closes schools and offices

in observance of Columbus Day, the City of San Marcos declared that Oct. 12 will be observed by the city as Indigenous People Day. Council members approved a request to allow Amazon to set up shop in San Marcos as well as EPIC Piping. The tech and pipe manufacturing companies are set to create jobs with benefits for citizens and create more opportunities for Bobcats to be able to find a career and stay in the city after graduation. On Nov. 17 city council members followed the lead of cities like Austin to enforce greater safety among drivers. At the meeting council members passed a

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hands free ordinance, prohibiting drivers from using any electronic devices while behind the wheel. In conclusion, San Marcos City Council has managed to show more tolerance, better the local economy and increase traffic safety.

TRANSPORTATION/PARKING SERVICES faculty alike. Enrollment numbers have been record-breaking for 18 consecutive years—which means more cars on campus. Some students were apprehensive upon hearing that there are four perimeter parking permits sold for every perimeter parking spot, but Steven Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services, said no data indicates Texas State needs additional spaces. Prentice said

Better than hairballs.

the highest influx of vehicles on campus is during peak hours of class time—from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are at least 1,200 to 1,300 empty perimeter parking spaces during these times. The problem seems to lie with the convenience of available parking spots rather than their existence. However, despite the Moore Street housing complex that will be added to campus and open its doors next fall, minimal

additional spots will be created. The new hall will house a grand total of 598 beds, but university officials only plan to add 22 residential parking spots. Parking on campus is not as convenient as it could be, but it is available for those who need it. Transportation Services gets a seal of approval for its responsiveness. A flier plastered on walls across campus stated students were not receiving quality

shuttle service. It encouraged Bobcats to call Texas State’s transportation providers to demand longer hours, more summer routes and Sunday buses. Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the department plans to make several changes to bus loops by increasing the frequency of the routes. However, Nusbaum said that if students want more extensive change then Trans-

portation Services officials need more feedback from students about the specific problems they would like addressed. Overall, Transportation and Parking Services are not always 100 percent satisfactory, but the departments work with what they have and make an effort to be responsive to students’ needs.

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STUDENT GOVERNMENT The University Star cannot give Student Government a grade because the group has not done much of anything this year. Guest speakers frequent the meetings and the Senate does what it can to increase attendance at sporting events, but as far as any impactful legislation—it has been a fruitless year. While Student Government at universities such as the University of Texas at Austin receive

national attention for fighting to remove statues of confederate leaders on campus, the Texas State group can barely get anyone to run for any positions. And when one person does decide to run, only 2 or 3 percent of the student body cares enough to actually come out and vote. If Student Government took a stance on controversial topics like same-sex marriage or campus carry, they might be able to get more than 20

or 30 people to attend their meetings. And when Student Government does do something important, like when Jack Rahman, director of the LBJ Student Center, spoke on the possibility of raising the LBJ Student Center fee, the Senate Executive Board asked The University Star not to publish a story on behalf of Rahman. The University Star contacted Rahman and the Nov. 9 article was still published in

order to inform the student population about what is happening in the governmental body, which is supposed to represent their best interest. Rahman said he didn’t have anything to hide when he spoke in the public, open meeting but that he didn’t want anything published out of respect for the Senate. Students cannot be informed if the Senate tries to censor campus media and that same campus media hap-

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pens to be the only people who actively follow their ac-

tivities or lack there of.

TOP 10 STORIES OF THE YEAR 1. MEMORIAL DAY FLOOD IMPACT WORTH $7 MILLION IN DAMAGES: During this year’s Memorial Day weekend, Central Texas was on the receiving end of flash floods that reached historically unprecedented levels. Twelve people died and the cities of San Marcos and Wimberley are continuing to feel the affects of extreme damage. Nearly six months later, the financial and environmental extent of the damage has been calculated. The total cost of flood damage is $7 million for the region which includes Blanco, Hays, Guadalupe and Caldwell Counties, said Kristi Wyatt, director of communications and intergovernmental relations for the city of San Marcos.

2. FIFTY YEARS OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT: President Lyndon Baines Johnson returned to his alma mater Nov. 8, 1965 for one very important job—to sign the Higher Education Act. Now, 50 years later, the act continues to give Americans the chance to receive federal financial aid in order to go to college. Before the signing, Johnson spoke about how the legislation would open the door to education. He said the act would allow high school seniors anywhere in the country to apply to any college or university, regardless of financial status.

3. TSUS BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVES 2.75 PERCENT TUITION INCREASE: Bobcats will soon have to reach a little deeper into their pockets to pay for classes. The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved a 2.75 percent tuition increase during its Nov. 12-13 meetings. The 2.75 percent increase will include a $7.12 increase for tuition and a $2 library fee. This means students will pay $9.12 more per semester credit hour they take, approximately amounting to an additional $100 a semester for a student taking 12 credit hours.

4. HALLOWEEN FLOOD LEAVES WIDESPREAD PROPERTY DAMAGE: Storms and flash floods made an appearance Halloween weekend, leaving residential property, the city and the university wrecked with debris. Just six months after the Memorial Day weekend

flooding, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb declared Hays County a disaster zone Oct. 31, according to a Nov. 1 county press release. The declaration activated the Hays County Emergency Management Plan and mobilized local resources to help the community assess and recover from damages caused by the storms and floods that ensued on the eve of Halloween.

5. AMAZON HEADED TO SAN MARCOS, EXPECTED TO CREATE 350 NEW JOBS: City council unanimously approved a deal with Amazon July 21 that will create 350-1,000 jobs. The project was in the works for a couple of years, said Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2. Amazon, the largest Internet-based retailer in the country, is asking the city to build a new fulfillment center off of McCarty Lane. The center is planned to be 855,000 square feet and an estimated investment of $60 million. The retailer is expected to bring in 350 new jobs, not including those provided through labor and construction on the new building.

6. BOBCATS MARCH AGAINST STUDENT DEBT, RISING TUITION: Students marched from the front steps of Old Main to the front lawn of President Denise Trauth’s house holding signs and chanting demands for free tuition and an end to student debt Thursday afternoon. Bobcats who participated in the Million Student March could be heard chanting slogans like “education should be free, no more debt for you and me,” and “banks get bailed out, we get sold out” as they marched across campus. The protest was a call to action from students who were advocating for tuitionfree public institutions, cancellation of all student debt and a $15 minimum wage for university student employees.

7. NATURALIZATION CEREMONY ON CAMPUS: Fifty-one people officially became American citizens at Texas State’s first ever naturalization ceremony underneath the arch of the Undergraduate Academic Center Oct. 8. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman presided over the ceremony and granted citizenship to the people awaiting to officially become Americans. Family and

friends of the newly ordained U.S. citizens, who collectively came from 25 countries and five continents, gathered to celebrate their first day as Americans.

8. CITY COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS MOVE SAN MARCOS IN NEW DIRECTION: Newly elected Place 5 and 6 city council members Scott Gregson and Melissa Derrick shared their victory with a cheering crowd of student supporters, longtime friends and a number of city officials on Tuesday evening. Once the final votes rolled in and Derrick and Gregson’s victory was confirmed, the pair said they would use their new positions to protect the San Marcos River and adhere to the comprehensive master plan.

9. VETERAN HOPES TO EDUCATE COMMUNITY AFTER SERVICE DOG INCIDENT: An Iraqi veteran is accusing Texas State of implementing an illegal policy after an event regarding his service dog happened earlier this year. Jeremy Kennard, social work senior, contacted a lawyer when he discovered the university enforced a policy he felt violated the federal American Disability Act. Kennard entered the classroom of Raphael Travis, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, on the first day of the fall semester with his service dog, Athena. He said Travis asked him to produce paperwork proving Athena was a certified service dog.

10. ACCLAIMED FILM DIRECTOR SPEAKS AT DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES: Students and faculty packed Evans Auditorium Wednesday evening to listen to critically acclaimed screenwriter, film director and producer Robert Rodriguez deliver a speech for the Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture series. Rodriguez’s lecture was the first in an LBJ speaker series as part of this year’s theme “Bridged Through Stories: Shared Heritage of the United States and Mexico, an Homage to Dr. Tomás Rivera.” Rodriguez said he was shocked Hispanics were underrepresented in the mainstream film industry. Hispanics only made up two to three percent of the presence in front of and behind the camera, even though Hispanics make up 17 percent of the nation’s population.

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Blue Bell returns with more support than ever Blurb: Blue Bell continuing to reign supreme? People failing to be weary? Yep, just as predicted. Passed. While Blue Bell has yet to make its mark back in San Marcos, the Texas darling has been occupying shelves elsewhere since a listeria outbreak left three dead and many ill. After halting production for nearly five months, Blue Bell began restocking select Texas and Alabama stores. In a June 10 Main Point on the Blue Bell controversy, The University Star claimed consumers should be weary of the company, but that it would undoubtedly make a more than noticeable return. As predicted, Blue Bell sold out across Texas and Alabama during Phase I of the company’s distribution process. The South’s favorite treat is flying off the shelves just as fast as it’s being stocked. Consumers fail to be critical about their frozen favor-

ites. Perhaps they trust the corporation, or maybe they simply do not care. Regardless, failing to be diligent when products have been recalled due to people dying from shoddy containment is not the best decision. Blue Bell’s return to the shelves is exactly as The University Star, and frankly every person this side of the Mason-Dixon Line, predicted. The company is seemingly unscathed in the wake of the listeria outbreak and many Southerners have lost no desire for the frosty treat. The Brenham-based creamery continues to reign supreme as no love was lost from its nigh five-month absence, and the public continues to remain unaffected by its sordid history. The overall grade for the comeback of the decade: A-. Good work

bouncing back, but shame on the callous public. Unfortunately for San Martians, they are still waiting to be blessed by the presence of those goldgilded buckets. But for others, have fun with the return of Blue Bell folks—let’s just hope that there’s no lingering listeria hidden in that cookies and cream flavor.

F

Citizens continue to live in fear of law enforcers as they continue to brutally attack and kill unarmed citizens. No improvements, just more of the Law enforcers continue to break their vow to serve and protect as they consistently kill and brutalize unarmed men, women and children. In an Oct. 15 editorial, we asserted that law enforcement agencies and individual officers need to be held accountable for the multitude of transgressions on their hands. The reliance on excessive force and the fear causing officers to shoot before apprehending has led to the deaths of dozens in the month and a half since the Main Point was printed. The most recent example of this systematic issue lies in the Laquan McDonald case in Chicago. The teen was shot and killed 14 months ago on Oct. 20, 2014, but the police department refused to release the dashboard footage showing the boy being shot 16 times—14 of which occurred while he was lying on the ground. Even worse, officers rushed to a local Burger King to delete surveillance video, which just so happened to show the shooting. Jason Van Dyke, the officer responsible, was charged with the first-degree murder

of Laquan McDonald—a rare victory in the fight against police brutality. So, while a presently small victory, there is much that still has yet to be seen. Americans with a conscience and an ear for racial dog whistles are still campaigning for more of these murderous cops to be sentenced and convicted for their crimes against people. It’s important not to deride all cops in this discourse. However, understanding that it is a systematic problem and not solely an individual action is the best way to address the problem while hoping for reform to an unfair system. It continues to be more of the same. No amount of dead bodies or officers being lambasted in the media has changed the tactics of rhetoric of officers. It seems as though they will never learn, regardless of the protesting. Unfortunately, it seems the country is just content with the murder and abuse of citizens, so long as they’re of a particular hue. Until tangible, noticeable reform is illustrated on a systematic scale, law enforcement will

always be in the troughs of societal consciousness. No governmental agency is above scrutiny. They exist solely to serve the public. Recently there has been a lot less “serving” and more running scared as people urge law enforcement to answer questions of aggressive policing. If the response to people saying, “Do not brutalize us without due cause,” is to exclaim how you’re not going to do your job, then perhaps being a public servant is not in your future. Law enforcement agencies and their refusal to be held accountable get an F. Utter failure and systematic disgrace to the citizens they serve. A fish stinks from the head down, the problem is systemic, not independently.

America’s gun culture fails to change while costing people’s lives Mass shootings happen every day in America and representatives refuse to pass common sense gun regulations. The gun lobby continues to be more important than the lives of Americans. Americans gun problem getting better?

Never. America still has a gun problem. Seemingly every day there’s a new mass shooting leaving people dead because politicians and the public will not concede to regulating their precious, deadly playthings. The only possible score is a failing score. National gun regulatory laws have not been passed since 1994. The only possible thing lawmakers could agree on is the assault weapons ban. These events are occurring like clockwork at this point. On Wednesday afternoon a shooting in San Bernardino left 14 people dead and dozens more injured. Two suspects were killed and one was detained. The general public is so desensitized to mass shootings in America that instead of looking on in awe, people simply sigh and say, “There goes another one.” How much

more death and disaster must Americans endure before policymakers beholden to the gun lobby do something about the mass and unencumbered availability of firearms? According to an October Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws. Yet, the public sentiment falls on deaf ears. When America agreed it was OK to kill a slew of schoolchildren in cold blood, any hope of common sense firearm regulatory legislation flew straight out the window. There’s not much more to say, the statistics speak for themselves. There has been 336 days in 2015, and 351 shootings of two or more people. There’s not much more to say. The statistics speak for themselves. There is nothing worse than failing to combat mass violence and protect the Ameri-

Blurb: Dismantling Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments pervasive in society? Failed.

A F

Law enforcement continues to fail the citizenry same. Failed.

Islamophobia exacerbates in Western society

F

can citizens. Money talks, and apparently it speaks with an indomitable tone. The guns are as American as apple pie and baseball. This belief has been woven into the fabric of the American experience, and no amount of facts and danger can stop that. When it comes to guns, there is no progress—only regression. Nothing is more fitting for an unchanging system than an F for failure. So much for American exceptionalism.

Apparently Xenophobic habits die hard. The University Star dedicated the Oct. 12 editorial to combating and dismantling the pervasive force known as Islamophobia, which is the irrational fear, aversion to and hatred of Muslims and Islam. In the wake of expeditions, skirmishes and wars in the Middle East, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments have been commonplace in much of the western world for the past three decades. Muslims and people stereotyped as Muslims, such as Hindus and Sikhs, have fallen victim to discrimination and terrorist attacks because of it. Instead of branding a population of 1.6 billion people with the actions and sentiments of a miniscule amount of extremists, people should treat each other with due respect. Islamophobia has been on a stark incline due to the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. As egregious as it sounds, even leading presidential candidates are advocating religious tests for refugees and potentially shutting down mosques across the country. Those advocating for shutting down mosques and requiring religious tests for ref-

ugees are as un-American as the very people they claim to be against. Attacking peaceful religious institutions and requiring tests of religion is completely antithetical to people’s First Amendment freedoms. When xenophobia, racism and Christian privilege intersect, the ending result is Islamophobia towards those who are non-western, generally non-white and explicitly non-Christian. Liberals and progressives have been trying to combat fear-mongering politics perpetuated by the right-wing, but it seems to be failing. In the wake of the attacks in Paris, a Bloomberg Politics poll found that 53 percent of Americans do not want to accept any Syrian refugees. Granted, the results of the

poll are not wholly attributed to Islamophobic rhetoric circulating the media lately. However, considering the only thing linking the group of refugees and the attackers in Paris is their Muslim faith, it’s not hard to extrapolate why anti-refugee sentiments have grown stronger. In the wake of the Paris attacks, anti-Muslim hate crimes have increased. According to the most recent FBI reports, while hate crimes have decreased in general, anti-Muslim attacks increased. According to the data, in 2014, hate crimes dropped by about 8 percent, while those against MuslimAmericans increased by 14 percent. In regards to progression away from anti-Muslim rhetoric, America gets a big, hefty F. Anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments have only exacerbated since the editorial gearing people away from this cyclical trend. By using traditional divisionary tactics many Muslim-Americans are purposely alienated and isolated, feeding into the hands of the extremists who seek to create an “us vs. them” mentality. Congratulations, America.

Planned Parenthood stands strong amidst right-wing propaganda and terrorism Support for Planned Parenthood?

Passed.

B

Planned Parenthood has survived the right-wing onslaught of lies, distortion and misinformation, but the end result was less than what it bargained for. In the Oct. 5 Main Point, The University Star decided to stand in solidarity with Planned Parenthood after the Center for Medical Progress released consistently discredited, falsified footage accusing the organization of selling “baby parts.” While a solid try, Planned Parenthood still stands, though battered, never beaten. Unfortunately, Americans have let the right-wing smear campaign tarnish the

affordable healthcare organization. According to a recent Gallup poll, compared to the 1993 data Americans’ unfavorable view of Planned Parenthood has increased from 13 to 37 percent. The silver lining: 59 percent still view the organization favorably. So, while the campaign to tarnish the organization was successful, it wasn’t strong enough to completely shift the overall opinion from good to bad. Evidently, Americans have finally become sensible regarding clear propaganda. However, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. While the general public was not meaningfully swayed by the anti-choice rhetoric and propaganda, many have adopted the viewpoint in a destructive way. As Planned Parenthood has become the symbol of evil in the overactive, often falsely constructed imagination of the right wing, the inevitable deadly eruption left many scorched. Domestic terrorist Robert Gear opened fire on Nov. 28 in a Planned Parenthood

clinic shooting 12 people, including police officers, and killing three. This is the end result of a right-wing smear campaign. The disgusting thing is, in the wake of these attacks conservative pundits are doubling down, but we’re not buying what they’re selling. While the organization stands strong, Americans have wavered and their extreme opposition now must live with the fruits of their labor and the blood on their hands. Planned Parenthood is standing triumphant in the wake of recent negative attacks, and that is truly commendable. The American public gets a C, but Planned Parenthood’s refusal to fold under pressure and terrorism gets an A+, leaving the score a respectable solid B. Continue the good fight, Planned Parenthood. As the organization gears up to celebrate 100 years of service to men and women across the country, Planned Parenthood stands unabashed, unashamed and unstoppable.

Where the good meat is


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Thursday, December 3, 2015 | 5

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THEATER The Department of Theatre and Dance kicked off its 2015-2016 season this semester with a playwrights conference that explored diversity in theater, a variety of plays and one musical. The 14th annual Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, which took place Sept. 7-13, served as the department’s first big event of the season. The weeklong occasion gave Texas State theater students the opportunity to work with playwrights from all over the world in an effort to help them better their skills. A View From the Bridge, written by Arthur Miller, ran from Oct. 6-11 as the first fall semester production in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre. The play perfectly illustrated the talent that lies within the walls of the theater department at Texas State. Director Melissa Utley,

The show employed a small cast to communicate the story of Eva Perón, Argentinian First Lady and socialite. Although the cast was small, their presence on stage was powerful as they worked through Evita’s life and eventual death. Jose Rivera’s Marisol, a play which took audience members on Marisol Perez’s journey through a modernday apocalypse, ran Nov. 3-8 in the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre. The unconventional play featured a relatively large cast that did a fantastic job of making the audience feel like the pandemonium taking place onstage could actually

changes this fall when Carolyn Watson was appointed as the new director of the program. Watson conducted her first piece at Texas State on Oct. 9. When The University Star sat down to talk with her about her new position earlier this year, she said the opportunity to work with young musicians at Texas State has been thrilling. “The pressure and nerves are there,” Watson said. “You know because you’re front and center and you don’t

want to be the one who gets it wrong, but it’s always just so rewarding at the end of the day.” H.M.S Pinafore, a comedic opera directed by Samuel Mungo, ran Oct. 22-25 in the Performing Arts Center. When The University Star spoke with Mungo before the show, he said the opera does a great job of informing people of British history while also cracking jokes at various aspects of British life. In order to make the show more relatable, Mungo said he made sure to cater to modern-day American life. Harvey Pittel, a worldrenowned saxophonist who has been has been recognized as a soloist in eight New York concerts, played on the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall stage Nov. 18 as part of

A

FASHION Whether it’s swimsuits with ‘90s looks or clothing with a pineapple flair, Texas State students know how to organize a good look. This year, students turned to a variety of fashions to help them look their best during the inevitable trek across campus. Dur ing the summer months, vintage swimwear made a comeback, with many students trading in their twopiece bikinis for high-waisted swimsuits during their river and pool escapades. Casey Trevino, assistant manager and head of women’s products at PacSun, said in a University Star article that students may have chosen looks that are more old-fashioned because it was impossible for swimwear to become more revealing. “If skinny jeans can’t get skinnier, the pants will move into becoming a flare again,” Trevino said. “Or if the swimsuit can’t get skimpier, it must go back to more of a conservative style.” The season was also dominated by pineapple prints,

A+

theater masters student, said in an Oct. 5 University Star article that she views her directorial debut as the perfect conclusion after three years of education and hard work within the theater department. Sunset Baby kicked off a very busy November month for the department. The play, which told audience members the story of Nina and her estranged father Kenyatta, ran from Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in the PSH Foundation Studio Theatre. The University Star sat down with Jessica McMichael, Sunset Baby director, to discuss what inspired her to direct the play. She said working with Texas State theater students to construct the production was an incredible experience. Evita, the only mainstage musical of the fall semester, ran Nov. 17-22 in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre.

MUSIC

The School of Music provided San Marcos citizens plenty of opportunities to attend showcases throughout the year, including an array of ensemble, faculty artist and guest artist series and an opera. The school kicked off its International Concert Series Sept. 10 in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall with the Faculty Showcase, which highlighted the works of 13 individuals representing numerous concentrations within the School of Music. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band visited Texas State from San Diego on Sept. 25 as part of their college tour. The concert featured a variety of marches and unique compositions from 50 performers in Evans Auditorium. The Texas State Symphony Orchestra also saw some

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B+

which appeared on a variety of clothing, swimwear, handbags and jewelry during the summer months. As far as fruits go, it’s hard to think of something more visually pleasing than the pineapple. Many students rocked bright tropical colors paired with the fruity print to create a bold summer look. As the leaves began to change and students settled into their fall semester schedules, scarves, light jackets and flannels started to appear on campus. With colder temperatures in the morning giving way to warm afternoons, many students chose to layer their clothing to avoid feeling uncomfortable. Bobcats also began channeling their inner ‘90s kid with a colorful lipstick trend that seemed to be extremely popular among college students. The key to this trend

happen. Live music, set design and lighting worked together seamlessly to create an intimidating atmosphere. The department’s programming throughout the semester showcased a variety of highly-skilled actors and actresses whose pieces had audiences laughing, crying and giving standing ovations as the curtains closed after each performance. I can’t think of a program any more deserving of an A+ rating.

Texas State’s International Concert Series. In addition to performances by distinguished faculty and guests, students also had several opportunities

—PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA MITSCHKE

throughout the semester to showcase their abilities on a variety of different instruments. The department’s willingness to surround students

with talented faculty who provide them with ample opportunities to perform earns them an A rating.

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seems to be finding a color that is all one’s own, from vibrant blues and purples to earthy browns and reds. When the cold temperatures arrived, students were ready with the latest fall and winter boot styles. While there doesn’t seem to be one particular boot dominating the season, many students on this campus seemed to favor ankle booties and mid-calf boots. Students across campus find a variety of different ways to dress by utilizing styles that range from casual to couture. After a brief walk through the Quad, it’s easy to see the students at this university are a very put-together group. Whether it’s leggings and a simple tee or a sophisticated dress, its easy to see how fashion on campus could earn a B+.

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DANCE

The Texas State Division of Dance opened its season Sept. 11-12 with Dancestry, a performance that showed audience members a brief history of the art form. Students in advanced choreography classes had original pieces featured at the biannual Division of Dance Choreographers’ Showcase Nov. 12 and 13 at Jowers Dance Studio. The Latin Music Studies portion of the School of Music hosted a monthly Salsa Night beginning in September at Stonewall Warehouse. According to the University calendar, the event utilizes the Salsa del Rio and Orquesta del Rio salsa ensembles. The event was designed to educate students on the history of salsa music and dance in a fun and exciting way.

ART

The University Galleries of Texas State featured a variety of exhibitions in Galleries 1 & 2 in an effort to enrich the academic experience for students. The galleries showcase the work of prominent artists, faculty, students and alumni throughout the fall, summer and spring semesters. The University Galleries kicked off the fall semester by showcasing the work of four new faculty members during the Aug. 24-Sept. 3 And Introducing… exhibition. The professors, all employed in positions with the School of Art and Design, showcased various forms of art in an effort to get to know their students. De La Tierra, a component of the university’s current Common Experience theme, was the next exhibition to take the gallery floor Sept.

A

The Texas State Strutters entered the fall semester with brand-new uniforms, a change that hadn’t occurred in 17 years. The team debuted their new maroon and gold uniforms at their Aug. 22 Meet the Strutters event. In an interview with The University Star earlier this year, Katy Paulsen, Strutters head captain, said the team

9- Oct. 7. Chad Dawkins, interim gallery director, said in a University Star article that the exhibit was centered around And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera, Texas State alumnus. He said the university’s art exhibits give students the opportunity to explore various artistic media in addition to learning more about Rivera’s take on immigration. During this time, the gallery also hosted the 15th Annual Alumni Invitational in an effort to recognize the works of former students. The gallery’s most recent exhibit, The Past is a Stranger, The Future is a Guest, was a partnership between a Chicago studio group called Sonnenzimmer and Texas State art students. According to the gallery website, the exhibit featured

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was excited to enter the football season with a new look. “These skirts and uniforms really move with us when we dance,” Paulsen said. “They have a lot of sparkle and I can’t wait for the crowd to see what we can do with them.” The dance program allows students to explore various forms of dance during their time at Texas State. According to the Division of Dance website, the program was rated one of the top 25 best dance programs in the nation this year by dance-colleges. com. The program’s dedication to exposing students to a variety of dance forms, in addition to the opportunities they are given to organize dance showcases, earns the program an A rating.

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A

upholstered paintings, sculptural records of original music, quilted textiles and printed matter. The gallery’s final project of the year is the BFA Thesis exhibitions, which run through Dec. 11. The galleries give senior students from each School of Art and Design discipline the opportunity to showcase the conclusion of their time at Texas State. The gallery excellently showcased the works of

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students while also exposing them to art from distinguished members of the

community. The work that gallery staff has done this year to better students in the

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School of Art and Design earns them an A rating.


The University Star

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YEAR IN REVIEW

FOOTBALL

Expectations heading into this year’s football season were bowl game or bust. But this year didn’t turn out as well as Bobcats had hoped. The season is not yet over; there is one final game against the Sun Belt leader,

Arkansas State Red Wolves. At 3-8 heading into the final game, the Bobcats can either finish the season 4-8 or 3-9. It’s safe to say that neither record is in the same area as where preseason hype predicted the Bobcats to

B+

Volleyball is the only reason Texas State Athletics can have a reason to be somewhat proud. Texas State won the Sun

Belt conference championship in 2013, and made their second straight conference championship game appearance in 2014, but lost to top-

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be. So, with the failure to produce, why not give them an F? Yes, it’s apparent the football team is not the same, nor is as talented, as the one that posted a 7-5 record last season and had two defensive players drafted to the

NFL. However, 13 seasonending injuries to key players, playing two top-25 nationally ranked teams early in the season and mid-season leadership changes lighten my criticism on this team slightly. Depth has proved to be a weak point for the Bobcats this season. The first five games set the tone for this year. In September, Texas State squared off with Florida State for the first time in school history. The Bobcats showed some promise in the first half of that game. Ultimately though, Florida State’s dominance showed and the Seminoles ran away with the game. Texas State defeated Prairie View A&M, their only Football Championship Subdivision opponent of the year, as they should, 63-24. The next three games against Southern Miss, Houston, and Louisiana-Lafayette is where the season started to go south for the Bobcats.

Ideally, the Southern Miss game is the turning point in the season. The game was 100 percent winnable. The way the Bobcats lost that game kick started their downward spiral. The inadvertent whistle, the back and forth nature of the game and losing by six points hurt the team’s confidence. Then, the next two games for the Bobcats were against another top 25 team in Houston and Louisiana-Lafayette, who has always had the Bobcats number in previous seasons. After losing those three straight games, Texas State was 1-4 and already on the wrong side of the win-loss column. With their record going in the wrong direction and losing players to injuries early, the Bobcats were put into a position that is hard to come back from. To add insult to injury, defensive coordinator John Thompson resigned the day after Texas State allowed 59 points and 689 total yards

D

to Houston. Texas State named Brad Franchione, Head CoachDennis Franchione’s son, the interim defensive coordinator. The Bobcats rebranded their defense and improved from game-to-game throughout the season, but it was already too late. . The injuries, inadvertent whistles and leadership changes are significant factors to the lack of success. Texas State will finish at the bottom of the Sun Belt standings.

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VOLLEYBALL seeded Arkansas-Little Rock. With that said, the expectations for this team were to compete for another conference championship. The season started out a little rocky. The Bobcats dropped their first three games of the season before defeating rival UTSA in the Delta Zeta Classic for their first win of the season. Jordan Kohl, sophomore right side hitter, led the Bobcats this season with 320.5

points and 289 kills. Shelby Vas Matt, senior outside hitter, added another 291 points and 242 kills. Defensively, Sierra Smith led the Bobcats with 378 digs, and Vas Matt showed her well-rounded game, helping the defense with an additional 254 digs. Madison Daigle stepped up this season adding her own offensive spark, especially in the later parts of the season. Daigle averaged 9.5

C-

This year for Texas State Athletics was average, at best. Of the four sports, two made it to Sun Belt conference tournaments, but both made early exits. However, football’s record is not good enough. Football rules collegiate athletic programs in today’s society.

kills per game in the final 10 games of the season. Daigle finished the season fifth on the team with 170 kills. Texas State entered conference play with a 5-7 record, but started out strong, winning six of the first seven conference games. The Bobcats finished the year with a 13-3 conference record, and rode a five-game winning streak into the conference tournament. The Bobcats handled their business at home, posting an

11-2 home record this season. In the Sun Belt tournament, Texas State defeated six seed South Alabama 3-1 (18-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-19), but lost in the semi-final to second seed Appalachian State 0-3 (25-22, 25-20, 2522). The volleyball team gets a B+ simply because championship aspirations were the expectation. Yet, the team had a pretty solid regular season.

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

Therefore, the failed season from Bobcat football almost overshadows the two conference tournament-bound seasons from soccer and volleyball. Texas State delivered no conference championships and hasn’t done so in any sport since volleyball won

the conference tournament in San Marcos during the 2013 season. With two coaching changes, the athletic department was forced to find replacements for John Thompson and Bryan Jackson. Former special teams coordinator Brad Franchione has temporarily replaced John Thompson as defensive coordinator and improved the football team’s defense statistically from week to week. Cross country coach Bryan Jackson left Texas State to accept a job in Pittsburgh. His exit occurred less than two weeks before the first meet.

Giles McDonnell, sprints and hurdles coach, stepped up to replace Jackson. Bobcat Athletics has tiptoed the line of mediocrity in the top revenue grossing sports like football and men’s basketball. Football has progressively performed better until this season, and men’s basketball hasn’t had a winning season since the 1990s. The athletic department gets a C- because none of the teams lived up to their preseason expectations, but each did a solid job with handling the ups and downs of coaching changes, injuries, etc.

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