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Defending the First Amendment since 1911

DECEMBER 4, 2013



Sept. 1

Sept. 6

SMPD officers arrested

Move-ins postponed

Drumline arrests

TMT changes ownership

San Marcos Police Department Officer David Amerson and Cpl. James Palermo were arrested in two unrelated cases. Amerson turned himself in for fraudulently obtaining controlled substances and was later placed on administrative leave. He attempted to obtain hydrocodone and oxycotin, according to his arrest records. Palermo was arrested for allegedly assaulting a Texas State student during a routine traffic stop. According to 22-year-old marketing junior Alexis Alpha, Palermo broke her teeth and gave her a concussion. Palermo was indefinitely suspended from the force, which is the civil service equivalent of termination.

Three apartment complexes delayed move-ins because of unfinished construction, forcing some students to find temporary living arrangements through the first week of classes. Vistas San Marcos, The Avenue at San Marcos and Millennium on Post offered compensation to those with leases at their complexes such as reimbursing hotel fees. However, after moving in some students experienced malfunctions in their units.

Thirteen members of the Texas State drum line were involved in a hazing incident that resulted in their arrests. Charges against the students included hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor and making a false report to police.

The Marc opened in the building formerly known as Texas Music Theater. Scott Gregson, principle owner of the former Texas Music Theater, retains possession of the building but handed day-to-day operations over to Omar Dawoud, an exploratory professional senior and owner of AfterDark Entertainment. The building underwent few physical changes to the interior, and the four remaining staff members were employed at the new venue. The venue primarily caters to fans of electronic music but features different genres.

Sept. 18

City-wide smoking ban

City councilmembers passed a citywide smoking ordinance that will ban residents from smoking in public places, businesses and city-owned areas beginning June 1, 2014. The ordinance was introduced to reduce secondhand smoke. Business owners will be in violation if they fail to prohibit their customers from smoking. Anti-smoking signage must be posted, ashtrays must be removed and those who report smoking violations will be protected from retaliation under the ordinance.

Oct. 1

Oct. 17

Nov. 2

New food handling rules

Double homicide

Football bowl-eligible

A food safety UPPS went into effect requiring organizations selling food on campus to have at least one member with special training present while food is on-site. The training is required in an effort to combat the risk of outbreaks of food poisoning on campus. The training involves lectures and hands-on sessions on cross-contamination, storage, cooking and equipment. According to a Nov. 13 University Star article, nearly 400 students have taken the training.

Fashion merchandising senior Hailey Nicholls and her boyfriend, 26-yearold Jesse Robledo, were shot and killed Daniel Stillwell, her ex-boyfriend. Stillwell broke into Nicholls’ apartment and shot the pair with his roommate’s gun. Stillwell was found dead later the same day near Highway 32 after he drove his car over a cliff near “Devil’s Backbone” in Comal County. Police said Stillwell was found with a bullet wound to the head.

The Texas State Bobcat football team became bowl eligible for the first time in university history with a win against Idaho. The team became the second fastest team to be eligible for a bowl game after joining the Football Bowl Subdivision.


Campus Construction Update Legislators discuss current issues at Texas Tribune event By Autumn Bernhard News Reporter

Comal Building

Construction on the Comal Building began in May 2013, and is scheduled to be complete in June 2014. Classrooms and offices for the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Philosophy will be housed in the building, as well as a Philosophy dialogue room, said Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for Finance and Support Services. The estimated cost of the project is $13.85 million. Interior demolition, exterior brick repair work and excavation for the new water service lines in the building have been completed. Replacement of the existing roof, installation of underground electrical service lines, structural steel framing and stairs, as well as the replace-

ment of the window system, have yet to be completed. The electrical infrastructure upgrade construction on the building began in January 2012, and was completed in January 2013. The entire undertaking is anticipated for completion in December 2014, and the projected cost of the renovation is $11.8 million.

Old Main

The Old Main roof repair project began in January 2013, and the anticipated cost is $3.5 million. The project includes minor structural repairs, replacement of the roof and repairs to damaged wood framing, Nusbaum said. Construction is 55 percent complete, with masonry cleaning and limestone block replacement already finished, Nusbaum said. The windows and doors were finished last month, and repairs to


Kathryn Parker | Staff Photographer Evan Smith, editor-in-chief and CEO of the Texas Tribune, interviews State Sen. Donna Campbell and State Rep. Jason Isaac during a Hot Seat discussion Dec. 3 in the Reed Parr Room at J.C. Kellam Administration building.

By Taylor Tompkins News Editor

Comal Building

Old Main

Performing Arts Center

West Campus Housing Complex

State legislators representing the San Marcos area discussed topics including water, healthcare, education and the Republican Party during a Hot Seat session hosted by the Texas Tribune on campus Tuesday. The discussion featured State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), who answered hot button questions posed by Evan Smith, editor-in-chief and CEO of

the Texas Tribune. Campbell won her seat in 2012 and served as vice chair of the nominations committee during the last legislative session. Isaac was elected in 2010 and served as vice chair of the rules and regulations committee last session. Both are up for reelection in 2014. Isaac is currently unopposed, while Campbell has two challengers in the primary and one democratic challenger in the general election. The pair first discussed the passage of Proposition 6 in the November general election. The state consti-

tutional amendment will take $2 billion out of the Rainy Day Fund to support strategies to fix water shortages in the state. Campbell said Prop 6 will jump start many water programs, especially in rural areas, and conservation efforts. “While it is not enough, we’ve started not only a conversation but at least started a plan for water,” Campbell said. Isaac said funding from the state’s budget should have been used to support Prop 6 instead of taking


A2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday December 4, 2013

CRIME BLOTTER Dec. 2, 8:09 p.m. Possession of marijuana The Tower Parking Garage A student was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center. Judicial review

under investigation.

Dec. 1, 6:58 p.m. Public intoxication Ranch Road 12 A non-student was cited and arrested for public intoxication and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review

Nov. 25, 10:00 p.m. Theft under $500 Jones Dining Hall A student reported their personal property had been taken without consent. This case is under investigation.

Dec. 1, 3:09 a.m. Public intoxication San Jacinto Parking Garage A student was cited and arrested for public intoxication and transported to HCLEC. Judicial review

Nov. 25, 2:55 p.m. Reckless damage or destruction Sessom Parking Lot A student was cited for reckless damage. Judicial review

Nov. 29, 3:15 p.m. Forgery Texas State Golf Course Visitor Information A non-student reported that U.S. currency was counterfeit and used. This case is under investigation.

Nov. 24, 9:38 p.m. Possession of drug paraphernalia Blanco Hall A student was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Judicial review

Nov. 28, 10:59 a.m. Graffiti Recycling Center University property had been vandalized with graffiti. This case is under investigation.


Conversation with “Cast Away” screenwriter and free screening Texas State’s Wittliff Collections are partnering with the Austin Film Festival to host a conversation with “Cast Away” screenwriter Bill Broyles and a special screening of the film. The screening will use 35 mm film, and related artifacts from Broyles’ major archive at the Wittliff will be on display at the event. Broyles will take part in a conversation at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin Dec. 8 from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. complemented by a special exhibit featuring archived materials from “Cast Away” helmed by the Wittliff Collections. Building upon a narrative that taps into writing from a place one knows as well as maintaining the stamina to plow through draft after draft takes sincere patience and passion. Broyles has stated it is about “committing to the ride, not the destination.” The conversation will focus on the writer’s journey and what it takes to truly see an idea through to completion. Tickets to the discussion are $12. Austin Film Festival will host a 35 mm screening of “Cast Away” at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum’s Texas Spirit Theatre at 7 p.m. Following the plight of a FedEx executive who survives a plane crash and is left stranded on a deserted island, the film will highlight elements from the panel discussion with Broyles in attendance for a short postscreening Q-and-A. The “Cast Away” screening will be free and open to the public. —Courtesy of Michele Miller

Nov. 24, 7:00 p.m. Theft under $50 Nov. 29, 9:29 a.m. Matthews Street Parking Garage Graffiti A student reported their personal Bexar Parking Garage property had been taken without University property had been van- consent. This case is under invesdalized with graffiti. This case is tigation.


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The University Star | News | Wednesday December 4, 2013 | A3

CONSTRUCTION, continued from front the roof are underway. “Although they wanted the roof done by Homecoming, they are still on schedule for the actual construction completion date, which is this month,” Nusbaum said. “The rain held the construction back.”

Performing Arts Center

Construction of the Performing Arts Center started in September 2011 and was completed September 2013. The grand opening ceremony is scheduled for February 2014, and the total estimated cost of the project is $83.2 million, Nusbaum said. The center is composed of a recital hall, a theater, the Edward Gary Street Garage, South Chill Plant, streets and grounds. The recital hall seats 300 and the theater seats 400. The parking garage holds 455 cars and is mostly complete except for a few additional improvements.

West Campus Housing Complex

Construction of the West Campus Housing Complex began in November

2012, and its projected completion date is June 2014. Residents should be able to move in for the fall 2014 semester. The projected cost of the project is about $60.5 million, Nusbaum said. The residence hall will house 578 beds, and the dorm layout will feature two bedrooms with an adjoining bathroom. There will be a small community building, meeting rooms, offices and small study rooms or lounges. “We are able to use one percent of our construction budget on artwork,” Nusbaum said. “For West Campus Housing we chose James Surls, a Texas artist, in October 2012 to design a tetrahedron vase sculpture.” Currently, the residence hall portion of the project is 34 percent complete. The installation of windows, roofs, exterior brick and plaster and mechanical equipment will be completed in the next three months. The utilities portion of the project is 97 percent complete.

TRIBUNE, continued from front money from the Rainy Day reserve. Another major budgetary concern in the state the pair spoke about is funding education. Isaac said there can never be enough funding in education. Isaac said he filed comprehensive education reform legislation last session that was optional for school districts because he feels there are too many regulations on public schools. “My goal was to put the independent back into independent school districts,” Isaac said. “We’ve got to let the school districts manage themselves.” Standardized testing is costing schools “way too much money,” Isaac said. He said he wants the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education to have a more limited role. Campbell agreed that school districts should have more local control and less state requirements. Another divisive topic Campbell and Isaac discussed was healthcare. Campbell said Medicaid is a “pig that never gets satisfied.” “How many of us really think the federal government that prints the money is really going to be able to afford cover-

ing the United States with the growth and expansion of Medicaid?” Campbell said. Campbell said if the number of people receiving Medicaid is not limited, doctors and the system as a whole will be overwhelmed. Isaac said government control should be removed from health insurance. Both legislators spoke about the Republican Party, which Smith described as being in a “civil war.” Campbell said there is a difference in the way the party’s message is presented across the nation, but the morals are consistent. “There is a schism in the party,” Campbell said. “There definitely is a spectrum and what defines conservative in New Jersey is different than conservative politics here in Texas.” Campbell said she thinks the majority of people share morals across the state and country. Isaac echoed her thoughts, saying there is a division within the party but he is not worried about the statewide Democratic ticket headed by gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and Lt. gubernatorial candidate Leticia Van de Putte.

A4 | The University Star | Wednesday December 4, 2013


University Fall Report Card Transportation Athletics Transparency Community Relations Growth Management Ryan Jeanes| Star Illustrator

Transportation Transportation seems to have become one of the most difficult dilemmas for university officials to solve. The editorial board previously gave Transportation Services officials an F in a February 2013 Main Point for their failure to accommodate Texas State students in many areas. However, the department has shown considerable improvement this academic year. An increasing amount of students pour into Texas State every fall semester, and officials have taken multiple steps to correct

poor decision-making and disorganization in previous years. The cancellation of the Bobcat Tram Interurban services, for example, compounded parking issues by forcing former BTI riders to commute to campus via car. However, officials have rezoned several lots to add more commuter spaces and recently made the lot in front of the nowclosed Clear Springs apartment complex available for purple permit parking. Additionally, the new Edward Gary Street

Parking Garage has 250 spaces reserved for residential permit holders, as well as 208 pay-by-the-hour spots. Despite the addition of new spaces, parking and transportation are by no means perfect at Texas State. Buses are still crowded, finding a parking space before class is still difficult and students are still unhappy. The lack of a Transportation Services director is also disconcerting. However, what is encouraging is the way in which university officials have responded

to the criticism regarding these issues. Proposed permit fee increases of astronomical proportions were lowered following student feedback. An additional bus stop has been added on Woods Street, rerouting some traffic to a different side of campus. Zipcars have also been made available for students to rent for an hourly and daily fee. While it is easy to be cynical about the transportation issue at Texas State, progress has been made, which is a significant turnaround from previous years.

In addition, the football team became the second fastest team ever to become bowl eligible after joining the Football Bowl Subdivision. The soccer team finished fourth in the conference standings and was one win away from being in the championship game of the Sun Belt tournament, which was hosted at Texas State. The volleyball team finished third in regular season standings but captured the Sun Belt Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after just

one year in the conference. Although the basketball season is underway, it has not begun the way many had hoped for both the men and women’s teams. Despite this, Coach Danny Kaspar was a great hire. Kaspar has been the winningest coach in the state of Texas for the past six seasons and will improve the team once he gets his recruits into the program. Coach Zenarae Antoine is entering her third season with the Bobcats and is still implementing her system with recruits.

The track and field teams are coming off a season where they captured three WAC titles and look to build on that momentum. Baseball has been consistently strong, and softball just finished undefeated this fall after a disappointing spring season. Overall, athletics officials have done a commendable job with marketing, creating hype around the teams and, most importantly, raising expectations that have been low for years.

not adequately gauge riders’ opinions. Furthermore, information such as Faculty Senate meeting minutes needs to be updated in a more timely fashion and made more easily accessible on the Texas State website. At the very least, university officials need to make an effort to better communicate with students. University President Denise Trauth’s

open door sessions are great opportunities for students looking to voice their concerns, but these few meetings each semester are not enough. The sessions are offered infrequently and are not publicized as well as they could be. University officials should make an effort to push these events on social media. Students are interested in attending such events—the

sizable turnout at this year’s Associate Student Government roundtable event proves that. University officials are out of sync with the needs of the student body. While Texas State is not completely off the mark with transparency, greater involvement with students would greatly benefit the university in the future.

State administrators still must do more to increase mutual university and city involvement. One easy way to begin furthering this initiative would be having an administrator present at city council meetings when topics affecting students, staff or the campus are on the agenda. This could help ensure university and student interests are

accurately represented and expressed to city leaders. City officials need to communicate with university representatives to better schedule construction projects. In addition, Texas State administrators must take it upon themselves to clearly inform students of such community matters, even if these issues do not directly affect bus

routes. A prime example of poor communication with project planning is the construction on LBJ Drive. Cooperation with counterpart departments in the university and the city is possible if solid initiative is taken—as exemplified by communication between the San Marcos and university police departments on a number of cases this semester.

Texas State administrators requested $83 million during the most recent legislative session for the construction of an engineering and science building on the main campus. Unfortunately, legislators could not agree on a bill before the session ended, meaning plans for expansion at Texas State were stalled. Despite this, it is encouraging that university officials recognize the need for the proposed buildings. However, the reality of the situation remains that Texas State officials continue to admit increasing amounts of students

to the university when it clearly cannot accommodate its existing students. The university is clearly overcrowded, hence the need for additional buildings, and the population increase has created a slew of problems. The completion of several construction projects, like the Undergraduate Academic Center, has helped alleviate some space shortages. Additionally, it was a wise decision to not allow any new stops on the Texas State bus route for new apartment complexes. These are positive steps in the

right direction, but they will be short-lived improvements if administrators do not raise admission standards and continue to accept record numbers of students each year. More enrolled students equals more money for the university, but this formula has backfired since it has placed a strain on several departments. If Texas State plans on achieving its goal of increasing prestige and becoming a Tier One university any time soon, officials must first correct existing space and funding issues.

Athletics The Texas State athletics program has made positive strides this year in improving the quality of its teams and being competitive in the Sun Belt—its third conference in three years. The move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Sun Belt made sense from a geographical stand point—the university is now competing against teams from Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama rather than traveling to states like California, Utah and Washington.

Transparency Transparency at Texas State is decidedly lackluster. Administrators need to make more of an effort to be open with students about policy changes that directly affect them. The cancellation of the Bobcat Tram Interurban services in January was decided with student input only coming from a poorly conducted survey that did

Community Relations While the university’s community relations have improved over the past year, university officials need to reach out to city leaders to create better lines of communication between the two entities. The declaration of the citywide “Pack Bobcat Stadium” day was a positive sign of a partnership between the university and the community. Despite this, Texas

Growth Management The university once again experienced a year of record population growth for both the freshman class and overall enrollment, and ranked fourth in statewide applications. Enrollment increases are exciting, but Texas State unfortunately still seems to have trouble properly managing its growth. The editorial board’s C- grade for growth management is an improvement from last year’s F- in the same category because university officials are clearly attempting to find solutions to the problem.

The University Star | Wednesday December 4, 2013 | A5



Christmas causes unnecessary stress

Ashley Trumps Opinions Columnist Journalism senior

stress far outweighs the joy the HTheoliday season is meant to bring each year. end of every year goes out in a

blaze of lights, a flurry of shopping and distended bellies as special food and candies reign. Cheerful, jingly commercials flaunt products that are exactly the same aside from packaging covered in snowflakes. Everybody holds hands, burns candles and sings songs preaching about giving—most of it is a waste of time. I hate to “bah, humbug!” here, but I cannot help feeling overwhelmed this time of year. Every Christmas as a kid, I would watch my parents scurry frantically

to and fro from the kitchen to the store to the secret wrapping room upstairs. It used to make me anxious, but now it makes me angry. The holiday holds many contradictions within itself that do not seem to line up with traditional Christmas values of generosity and family. Santa Claus is one of these contradictions. For the sake of “tradition,” parents purposefully play an elaborate prank on their children for eight years or so. They lie to the child for years, knowing when the kid finds out Santa is a phony, they could be crushed. What kind of sick lesson is this supposed to teach kids? It is not very generous to lie to children for the first decade of their lives. The loss of Santa Claus was one of the first real letdowns of my childhood, and the people I loved most perpetrated it. Another direct contradiction is the insistence by adults that Christmas is “not about the presents” It is about spending time with family and ingesting ungodly amounts of glazed ham. Yet even before these words have fallen from the parents’ lips, they are busy making everything all about the presents. This sends mixed signals to children. Parents’ words and actions do not match up. Because of this,

children are excited about presents but might feel guilty for feeling that way, or they simply disregard family altogether in lieu of the gifts. Either way, it is not consistent. Another confusing aspect of the holidays is the frantic shopping that turns malls into hunting grounds. Each year people storm the malls for the perfect toy that will make their kid love them again after finding out Santa Claus was a fraud for all those years. The stress of holiday shopping can really put a strain on people. By the time I have finished browsing for gifts, I am ready to take the next fistful of glitter I see and throw it into somebody’s eyes if they dare cross me. The holidays are a time for relaxation, appreciating family, eating delicious food and being thoughtful. The extreme nature of the holiday season in today’s society robs this special time of its potentially positive qualities. If instead people took the time to unwind and spend time with their loved ones during the darkest, coldest part of the year, they could usher in the New Year with happiness. My advice—step away from the money pits looking to take advantage of customers and make the most of this holiday season with those who matter most.


‘Movember’ should not be limited to men

Imani McGarrell Opinions Columnist Journalism sophomore

o Shave November” may have come “N and gone, but the movement, while worthwhile, is one that perpetuates cer-

tain unwritten gender restrictions. The purpose of “No Shave November” or “Movember” is to raise awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. Participants are encouraged to “let it grow” to commemorate the cancer patients who often lose their hair during treatments. Many men choose to partake in the movement by growing beards, but other forms of participation include opting not to shave arms or legs. It seems women are generally discouraged from participating in the event as a whole. One of the beauty standards in today’s society is the expectation of women’s bodies to be hairless. Therefore, the idea of women allowing themselves to be hairy is often viewed as gross.

I recently asked several guys I know how they feel about girls participating in the no-shave movement. Of the 15 that were asked, only four said they think it is okay for girls to participate. One even said he thought it was sexy to see women moving past vanity and insecurity to support cancer awareness. I asked those who responded negatively why they felt that way, and responses included statements such as “shaved legs are (part of) what set men and women apart in our society.” These types of reactions are the reason why the movement has experienced as much feminine backlash as it has. In fact, one year during high school, some girl friends and I decided to do “No Shave November” for that very reason. We had discussed how annoying it was to be subjected to the scraggly wannabe beards of our male classmates for a whole month while we were still expected to shave. At that moment, we made a pact to each other that we would make it through the whole month without shaving. At first it felt weird and it was hard to resist shaving, but by the end of the month we felt awesome and powerful. It was amazing to prove we could do it and show not shaving did not impact our femininity whatsoever. Some critics of women participating in the no-shave activities are not on board with the movement because the focus

tends to shift from the original purpose to feminism. Like me and my friends, some women can get caught up in the hairy liberation and forget about the true purpose of raising awareness and funds for cancer. I do not see a problem with women participating in “No Shave November,” especially if females remain focused on awareness and donate money that would have otherwise been spent on hair removal supplies to an organization like The American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, the month of November has already come to end, and female students have missed their chance to participate this year if they did not already. However, I think it is always important to raise cancer awareness and collect donations year round. All in all, I will continue to show solidarity with my fellow female no-shave participants. Students who made disparaging comments to females choosing not to shave last month should reconsider their attitudes in the future. Not shaving during November is a nice way to raise awareness for cancer patients, which is the real focus of the month. In fact, I encourage everyone to participate in “No Shave November” next year. By putting down the razors for a month and letting hair grow wild and free, students can support a worthy cause in a fun way. Ladies can enjoy a liberating month of hairiness while supporting those with prostate and testicular cancer.

University Star


The editorial board graded the university in five categories (page A4). Do you agree with the grades given? Tell us what grades you think each category deserved.

Students must practice caution when hooking up at parties

James Soto Opinions Columnist English senior

here is nothing wrong with partyT ing, but both men and women need to use good judgment and make

safe choices when alcohol and sex are involved. Oftentimes hormones run high and alcohol flows freely at parties. Inhibitions are lowered and “liquid courage” makes an appearance. Both men and women can become brave and aggressive and start looking around for somebody to have some fun with—that is just how it goes. The reality of college life is students will likely find themselves drinking alcohol and hooking up with other people. Hooking up can be safely done under the influence of alcohol, but students must exercise caution, even more so since it can easily become tricky to make sensible choices. This process can become even trickier when both parties are drunk. Rape and sexual assault are no laughing matters. Far too many students experience assault during their college years, and many feel pressured to have sex and drink alcohol. This is a serious problem on college campuses across the country. According to the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education, consent is not possible when one party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The website states approximately one of every four to five women are assaulted on college campuses every year, and 7 percent of rape victims are male. The issue of consent can be tricky for college students participating in campus hook-up culture. The law says an intoxicated individual cannot give sexual consent. However, degrees of intoxication vary from person to person. Issues especially arise when both individuals are under the influence. Does this mean neither is giving consent and both are equally in the wrong? It is a serious matter, but unfortunately, the idea of consent always being invalid under the influence seems too simple for realistic situations where gray areas abound. Students at a party are not likely to stop making out and start talking about blood alcohol levels and consent forms. Maybe things would be better if that was the norm, but it is not and is unlikely to change any time soon. Drunken hook-ups are rarely carried out with clear, mature logic as the driving force behind them. But even so, that does not give students the green light to throw caution to the wind. Both men and women need to be clear on what they want and do not want while drinking. It can be tough and may ruin the mood, but by speaking up, both sides can avoid problems. The reality is sex and alcohol go together too often. Men and women will drink and hook up, and this will be sometimes good and sometimes bad. Being vocal about the situation will not stop assaults completely, but it can help cut down on misunderstandings and assumptions. Getting drunk can be fun and seem really important at the time, but showing responsibility for others and oneself can and should be equally important when sex and alcohol are mixed.

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Editor-in-Chief..................................................Caitlin Clark, Managing Editor..........................Liza Winkler, News Editor............................................Taylor Tompkins, Trends Editor.............................................Amanda Ross, Opinions Editor..................................Savannah Wingo, Photo Editor.......................................Austin Humphreys, Sports Editor.......................................Odus Evbagharu, Copy Desk Chief................................Lesley Warren, Video Editor........................................................Alex Peña,

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, December 4, 2013. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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The University Star | News | Wednesday December 4, 2013 | A7


Downtown construction projected to be complete next summer By Kelsey Bradshaw News Reporter

Construction in downtown San Marcos is on track to be completed by summer 2014. The downtown reconstruction project is a $10.2 million undertaking that began in August 2012. The construction will give the downtown area a new look, said City Spokeswoman Melissa Millecam. Pedestrian amenities are a significant part of the reconstruction plan, and bike racks, benches, special lighting, trees and landscaping are being added. The sidewalks will be widened to become “more pedestrian friendly,” Millecam said. The additions will “enhance the connection” between the university and the downtown historic area that dates back 150 years or more, Millecam said. “In that kind of length of time,

you have to upgrade and make major upgrades and provide into the infrastructure that will support a thriving downtown, and that’s what the city’s doing,” Millecam said. In addition to pedestrian amenities, utilities will be added underground and there will be new drainage and water improvements. Back end parking will also be introduced “We are real excited about the downtown and the progress we’re making,” Millecam said. The downtown reconstruction efforts underway are a phase of a larger master plan, Millecam said. “It’s a bigger picture than the downtown project, which is very important and a big step forward, but we’re also doing many other things to look at the mobility in downtown, the pedestrian-friendly nature of downtown and to enhance the access to the businesses in the area,” Millecam said.

Chris Motz | Staff Photographer


By Rebecca Banks News Reporter

Eugene Bourgeois Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Reynaldo Leaños | Staff Photographer

Texas State reached emerging research instituation status in 2011, and has since been striving for national research status.. Eugene Bourgeois, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, discussed Texas State’s progress toward becoming a Tier One university and his expectations for the upcoming year with The University Star. RB: Explain the importance of the university becoming recognized as an emerging research institution. EB: I think it represents the culmination of a number of developments in terms of academic programming, our entire academic profile and our outreach to recruit better students in 20 years or so. Becoming an emerging research university represents a culmination of all those initiatives. I think it means a great deal to Texas State because it now puts us in the same grouping with other universities such as Texas Tech and the University of Houston. How was the progress this year at the university? We have wrapped up one year now basically in the category of emerging research university, and to date we now have about $21 million in restricted research expenditures. The goal for us is to become eligible for national research university funding, which is $45 million. So we have made progress towards that goal, and we are establishing a new strategic plan for research that will help get us to a $45 million mark. If you go back only six or seven years ago, we were actually in the single digit figures in millions for restricted research expenditures. In terms of recruiting new students, in this fall 2013 freshman class about 49 percent had graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class. We have to hit 50 percent of our incoming freshman having graduated in the top quartile of their high schools, and we expect to reach that in the next

year or two. We were actually above 50 percent a couple of years ago, and we’ve hovered around the 50 percent mark for the last five years. What are the future research plans for the university? We have a number of ongoing initiatives and new initiatives that are tied into our materials, science, engineering and commercialization doctoral program. They represent faculty in the departments of physics, engineering, chemistry and biochemistry. The initiatives they are embarking on represent that new pathway for discovering nano materials that will wind up in your next generation of cell phones, in solar panels and in heat transfer devices. Possibly (they could be used) even in ways in which the medical professionals can deliver drugs to your body using nano particles. We’ve opened up a strategic research park that is also a business incubator. It’s called S.T.A.R. Park at Texas State. We now have four companies that are in S.T.A.R. Park, and those companies are working with our students, our faculty and research staff to develop some of these new devices and materials at the nano material level. What are your expectations next year as the university continues to grow? I expect and I hope that we have more restricted research expenditures on our campus. I expect and I hope that we have more faculty earn designations that represent either national or international accolades or awards such as NSF (National Science Foundation) Career Award recipients. I expect we will have a freshman class that is at least 50 percent having graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class next year. I hope and expect that we will have grown our endowments beyond $150 million by next year. Just a few of the things that are tied to the criteria we have to meet to become eligible for national research university funding.

Halloween floods cause temporary campus recreational area closures By Scott Allen

Special to the Star

Several recreation areas on campus have experienced closures as a result of the Halloween rainstorm that caused flooding across Hays County. According to a Nov. 7 University Star article, Kharley Smith, emergency management coordinator for Hays County, said San Marcos saw between 10 to 12 inches of rain Oct. 31. This caused the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers to rise about 37 feet outside their banks, Smith said. Many recreation activities around Hays County were temporarily closed due to the magnitude of the rainstorm, and the resulting flood had a negative effect on some university facilities, said Glenn Hanley, director of Campus Recreation. “We had to shut down the

golf course for a week, but there wasn’t any long term damage there,” Hanley said. “Also, we didn’t rent anything at the Outdoor Center at Sewell (Park) until the next weekend.” The Outdoor Center, located on the south side of Sewell, was forced to shut down for more than a week following the flood. Meredith Shirley, logistics manager for the Outdoor Center, said she saw the river rise higher than ever before during the Halloween rainstorm. “The river rose over the pavilion and washed down some of the park,” Shirley said. “We had to reschedule some events, but everything worked out.” The Outdoor Center rents out recreational equipment including kayaks, tents and snorkels. The flood prevented students from renting equipment for more than

a week. “We were able to start renting on the ninth of November,” Shirley said. “We had to wait for the river to go down and the bacteria levels to subside before recreation could continue.” University Camp, located 20 miles away in Wimberley, sits on 126 acres of university-owned land along the Blanco River. The Halloween flood affected the area significantly, Hanley said. “Flood got up about five feet up into the campsites,” Hanley said. “It took away some picnic tables and trash cans and some chairs, and from upstream it brought some chairs and tables.” No damages occurred to the three cabins on the property. A volunteer crew cleaned and fixed any damages to areas around the camp on the Saturday following the flood, Hanley said.


Texas State earns high score in classroom, lab space utilization By Nicole Barrios

Assistant News Editor

Texas State earned the highest possible marks for classroom and lab space utilization from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for 2012 and 2013, which indicates a lack of space at the university, officials say. Preliminary data from the THECB shows Texas State ranked highest for space utilization along with three other Texas public universities in 2012. The coordinating board looks at utilization, demand and average percent fill when determining scores, said Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president of Financial Services and Planning. To determine the utilization score, the number of classrooms the university has is divided by the total number of classes held. “We’re exceeding what the coordinating board wants us to do with classrooms and class labs,” Nusbaum said. Texas State has received the highest possible score for classroom and lab space utilization for the last four years, if not longer, Nusbaum said. Out of 46 Texas public uni-

versities under the coordinating board’s jurisdiction, four of them earned the highest score for space efficiency, said Thomas Keaton, director of Finance and Resource Planning for the THECB. A classroom should be occupied 38 hours per week under the THECB standard, Nusbaum said. Texas State’s classroom unitization score was 39 hours per week from 2013 preliminary data, she said. To determine the category of average percent fill, the coordinating board counts how many students are enrolled in a class compared to the number of seats in that classroom, Nusbaum said. The university receives the highest score for that category if a classroom is 65 percent ful or more. Texas State averaged 72 percent fill from 2013 preliminary data. Laboratory space is measured with the same categories, Nusbaum said. Texas State scored 83 percent fill for laboratory space, she said. Texas State has 217 classrooms and 104 class labs on record for fall 2013, said Chris Reynolds, Facilities Inventory coordinator in an email. “(A high score) shows that

the university has a very efficient use of their facilities which helps to keep all costs down and allows more assets to be (used) in a more flexible manner to meet the needs of the student population,” Keaton said. The assessment shows the university is utilizing space well but proves the institution needs more space on campus when it exceeds the standards, Nusbaum said. “This really proves that we need more labs,” Nusbaum said. Although the university is not awarded anything for earning the highest score, it is more likely to have a construction project with classrooms approved by the coordinating board, Nusbaum said. Texas State’s high score will also help the university’s proposal to legislators to approve tuition revenue bond financing for new buildings, such as a Science and Engineering building or Health Professions building, said Provost Eugene Bourgeois. “It puts us in a better position to argue for additional funding to build new academic buildings on our campus,” Bourgeois said.

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Former student readjusts to City Christmas tradition continues life following ‘Big Brother’

Courtesy of Aaryn Gries

By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Trends Reporter

Last Thanksgiving break, former Texas State student Aaryn Gries was a redhead sitting on her bed in Colorado looking up nationwide casting calls online. Gries must have applied for dozens of jobs in the entertainment industry, she remembered. The now-blonde Gries said she sent photos of herself and short audition videos describing her aspirations of becoming a travel or talk show host to casting agents. Each television show audition was met with what Gries called her “show face,” referring to her professional demeanor, until representatives of the CBS reality television series “Big Brother” came knocking on her door. “I think they knew I wasn’t putting on a show face,” Gries said. Gries’ honesty landed her 70 days in the “Big Brother” house under 24-hour surveillance. The television series’ title refers to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984,” where people in the fictionalized society are under complete government surveillance. The San Angelo native’s attitude also landed her a spot on some fan-created lists of the most hated “Big Brother” cast members. Gries was evicted from the “Big Brother” house more than two months ago after causing a stir on the show with comments she made during the program’s 24-hour live feed that were deemed by many as

racist and homophobic. Gries told a fellow Asian-American cast member to “go make rice,” and said, “no one’s going to vote for whoever that queer puts up” while addressing another openly gay houseguest, among other comments. Series producers chose to air some of her statements in a montage. The backlash has had a ripple effect, causing one friend who stood up for her on Twitter to be fired from their job, Gries said. Numerous websites and social media accounts were created in retaliation of Gries’ comments. “It was shocking how ruthless people can be online,” she said. “It just gets to the point where you’re numb to it. It really doesn’t affect me at all anymore. I’m emotionally maxed out.” Since the show ended, Gries said she has been traveling and living with her mother, Elizabeth Owens, in Colorado. Parental support helped Gries through what she considered to be one of her most trying times, she said. Gries, an only child, said it was difficult making relationships and adjusting to life in the “Big Brother” house. Gries lived with 15 other people who she said are the “complete opposite” of her sometimes “neat” and introverted behavior. “Every room had two-way mirrors,” she said. “(There was) absolutely no privacy. You’re basically being thrown into a shark tank with cameras.” Chaunte McDuff, communication disorders junior, said she started watching season 15 of “Big Brother” after she heard about the out-of-character comments one of her best friends, Gries, was making on the show. This was not the “sweet and caring person” McDuff remembered having wine and chocolate nights with in San Marcos. It was in San Marcos where Gries found out she had been chosen as a “Big Brother” cast member. After she received a key to the house, series representatives took her cell phone and would not allow her to contact family and friends, she said. Most people were supportive of her decision, Gries said, but one acquaintance warned her of the perils of reality television typecasting. “She’s not like how she was being portrayed,” McDuff said, adding that people have lost sight of how well Gries performed on “Big Brother,” winning four Head of Household competitions. During the preshow sequester period when cast members are kept in isolation, Gries said she watched all previous 14




Kristen Lefebvre | Star File Photo Sights and Sounds of Christmas will be held in San Marcos Plaza Park Dec. 4-7 and will feature vendors, fried foods and carnival rides.

By Amanda Ross Trends Editor

Offering a classic and engaging take on the holiday season, Sights and Sounds of Christmas is a local tradition for residents and students to experience this winter. Held Dec. 4 through Dec. 7 at San Marcos Plaza Park, the four-day event is packed with family-friendly activities perfect for visiting parents and friends. In true Texas fashion, the festival features fried food to tempt even the healthiest patrons. Fried fish, turkey legs, chicken tenders, Manske rolls and funnel cakes are consistently

popular options. All food vendors are from either local or non-profit organizations. The festival’s opening night is dubbed Family Night and features half-priced carnival rides. Many students invite their parents and siblings to San Marcos for the event, showing off scenic views of the river and thousands of multicolored lights illuminating the park. Texas State night will be held Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m. offering a discount to school faculty, staff and students who flash their campus ID at the gates. Additionally, anyone who wears a Texas State shirt will have access to dollar drinks all night. The festival will conclude on Saturday night with a special parade hosted by the San Marcos Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. The parade, which will benefit the department’s Operation Blue Santa charity program, will kick off at 10 a.m. Participation in the parade is free, but guests are asked to bring an unwrapped children’s toy for the Blue Santa program. For those looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping, Santa’s Gift Shop will be open each night of the festival. Packed with more than 30 vendors offering everything from elaborate, homemade jewelry to prettily packaged fudge, the gift shop has the perfect something for everyone.

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B2 | The University Star | Wednesday December 4, 2013


Hidden Gems of The Square

By Lindsey Bedford and Ernest Macias Trends Reporters

Stellar Café Tucked away on North LBJ Street, Stellar Café is a coffee shop opened by owner Michaela Kovaric about seven months ago. “(Kovaric) was inspired by 1920s European cafes,” said Jake Buckholz, barista at Stellar Café. “She loved coffee and wanted to fill a void in San Marcos.” Antiques and artwork adorn the walls, and the rustic

interior is scattered with various pieces of interesting furniture. The cafe serves a variety of coffees and teas. “The Peppermint Mocha Latte is the most popular right now,” Buckholz said. The cafe is currently open each night until 11 p.m., offering the Texas State community a cozy and quiet environment in which to study for finals.

Kristen Lefebvre | Staff Photographer

Hays Co Outfitters Hays Co Outfitters is a trendy and youthful shop owned by Tiffany Yeates. Most students know about the outdoor clothing available for purchase there, but the boutique is packed with the latest fashions and styles appropriate for a variety of occasions. “We have a little bit of everything for everyone,” said Whitney Connell, manager at Hays Co

Outfitters. “We have outdoor gear and going-out clothes.” Items found at Hays Co Outfitters include beaded coin purses and key chains handcrafted by Guatemalans for a brand called Unique Batik. Fraternity Collection is brand offered at the store that carries soft-colored shirts with unique and stylish pockets known colloquially as frockets.

Danielle Charles | Staff Photographer

LBJ Museum A lesser-known quick and free activity is the LBJ Museum of San Marcos. It is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum has been open since 2006 and features a variety of historical items. Many patrons of The Square appreciate the beauty and historic importance of this destination. “Many of the locals don’t even know we are here,” said

Kristen Lefebvre | Staff Photographer

Elizabeth Delgado, LBJ Museum manager. “We are non-profit and try to maintain by donations and membership.” The LBJ Museum may not sound as enticing as bar-hopping. However, it is a viable option for a culturally enriching experience for Bobcats looking to further their knowledge about the history of Texas State and the San Marcos area.

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GRIES, continued from B1 seasons of “Big Brother” and took notes to prepare for the competitions. Her interest in psychology, her major while at Texas State, was a deciding factor in agreeing to be on the show. Gries said she was also simultaneously in the finals for the MTV series “The Real World.” “I chose (“Big Brother”) because it was more respectable,” she said. “I wanted to be a competitor.”

While the 23-year-old admitted that she did not perform well academically at Texas State, she would like to re-enroll next semester to complete her degree. “I haven’t even been to Texas State for a while,” Gries said. Instead, she has been trying to “reintegrate herself into the real world” and working on future entertainmentrelated projects.

Two students to compete in national mariachi competition

Chris Motz | Staff Photographer Nelson Ruiz, criminal justice senior, and Robert Casillas, music studies senior, have been selected to compete Dec. 7 at the 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio.

By Ernest Macias Trends Reporter

Two Texas State students will be participating in a seven-day mariachi festival beginning Saturday that will showcase the history behind the music form. Nelson Ruiz and Robert Casillas have been selected as part of 36 finalists that will be competing Dec. 7 at the 19th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza held at Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio. The finalists will be judged by members of the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. The winner of the contest will have the privilege to open for the Vargas performance and be named “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” Texas State is no stranger to the festival. According to Cynthia Munoz, event producer, every year Bobcats are represented at the extravaganza. Last year, Karen Zavala placed first in the vocal competition, and got the chance to perform and serve as opening act for Mariachi Vargas. The extravaganza reunites the best mariachi groups and vocalists from the U.S.

and Mexico. “The festival contributes to the lifestyle of people in San Antonio. It enriches cultural pride and the very best of Latino culture,” Munoz said. “It is uplifting in so many ways, there is youth involved and it is multigenerational it brings families together.” Casillas and Ruiz are both competing in the same category at the festival. According to Ruiz, there is no extra pressure competing against fellow Bobcats. “What matters is to represent the school well and there are more chances with more people competing,” Ruiz said. The participants range from elementary level to college level, and more than 1,000 mariachi musicians take part in the event. The event has come to be the largest and longest-running mariachi festival in Texas since it began in 1979 with the hope of preserving and promoting music, culture and traditions from Mexico. “It is very hard to get into the competition. It really is though,” Munoz said. “These kids that are chosen as finalists represent the best of the best.”

B4 | The University Star | News | Wednesday December 4, 2013


Finalists selected for city manager position By Drew Castillo News Reporter

The six-month long search for a new city manager may come to an end next week as the pool of candidates was recently narrowed down to five finalists. The finalists for the position are Karen Daly, James Earp, Charles Ewings, Tansy Hayward and Jared Miller, according to a press release from the city. All of the finalists currently hold positions as assistant city managers from cities as close as Kyle to as far as Tacoma, Wash. All have master’s degrees in public or social work administration, according to the press release. Residents will have the opportunity to meet the five finalists at a reception dinner hosted by the city at the Embassy Suites Conference Center Dec. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. The final hiring decision is up to city council, said city spokeswoman Melissa Millecam. Councilmembers will interview the

candidates Dec. 10 in an executive session and could potentially make their final decision directly afterward. City Manager Jim Nuse announced his resignation June 4 after working in the position for three years, Millecam said. He worked in Round Rock as city manager for eight years and as the public works director for 18 years prior. According to a June 12 University Star article, Nuse was expected to step down at the end of September. He is expected to vacate his position Jan. 2, 2014. The city hired Strategic Government Resources, an executive search firm specializing in government recruitment, soon after Nuse announced his resignation to find potential applicants for the position from across the United States, the release said. The company worked with city councilmembers to narrow down the original 54 applicants to 12 semifinalists, then to five finalists, said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Surveys were held in the communi-

ty to gain an understanding of which characteristics residents wanted to see in their new city manager, Guerrero said. He said the list of skills the councilmembers wanted to see in applicants included experience working in local government and a university community. “There were a multitude of things we wanted our applicants to have,” Guerrero said. “We also took into account the growth of the area they’ve worked in.” San Marcos functions under a council-manager form of government, Millecam said. The city manager is appointed by councilmembers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization and community services, including general government, public safety, capital improvements, community and development. The city manager leads 550 employees and will manage an annual budget of $166.52 million for the 2014 fiscal year, according to the San Marcos city manager job position description.

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Police investigate Nov. 25 robberies, 2 may be related By Nicole Barrios

Assistant News Editor

San Marcos police are investigating three separate robberies that occurred Nov. 25. The first of the three robberies took place at the City Finance loan office on 201 W. MLK Drive at 1:11 p.m., according to a press release from the city. Two Hispanic males believed to be in their early 20s entered the office and spoke to staff about a loan. According to the press release, one of the suspects said he had a gun and asked for money, yet no gun was displayed. The suspects told the employees if they cooperated, no one would be hurt, according to the release. John Rangel, a suspect in the robbery, was arrested at Wal-Mart after allegedly shoplifting from the store. Rangel is charged with theft under $50, a class C misdemeanor, and fraudulent use and possession of identifying information. A second robbery took place that day around the 200 block of Ramsay Street and Clark Street at 6:18 p.m., according to the press release. A 25-year-old female was robbed at gunpoint while walking

back to her apartment after class at Texas State. Two men approached her, and she described one as Hispanic and the other as white or Hispanic. A silver pistol was displayed during the robbery when the two men cornered her and told her to drop her belongings and run toward campus. A third robbery took place between 6:20 and 6:45 p.m. when a 23-year-old male was robbed at gunpoint while walking through the parking lot of the Oaks Apartments on North LBJ Drive. The victim described the suspects as two Hispanic males in their late teens or early 20s, one with a silver semiautomatic pistol. The two men took the victim’s cash and told him to walk away toward North LBJ Drive. The two incidents in the area of North LBJ and Clark and Ramsay streets appear to have the same suspects involved, said SMPD Commander Penny Dunn in the release. The first incident that occurred earlier in the day does not appear to be related to the other two due to the differences in suspect descriptions,t type of robbery and the fact that a weapon was not displayed.

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C2 | The University Star | Sports | Wednesday December 4, 2013


Volleyball Bert Santibanez


Special to the Star @BertSantibanez

he Texas State volleyball team claimed the Sun Belt Conference title against UT-Arlington in straight sets at Troy, Ala. Nov. 23, qualifying for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. “I get teary-eyed when I watch the team celebrate,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “That’s really what has kept me coaching for so long, just to see the players’ excitement when they win. I’m very proud that Texas State can be represented as champions of a sport.” Three seniors on the team produced career-best performances during this season. Ashlee Hilbun, senior middle blocker, generated 24 kills during the team’s game against UTSA, finishing with a .548 hitting percentage. Hilbun ended her final year with a team-best .315 hitting percentage, ranking fourth in SBC competition. Molly Ahrens, senior middle blocker, had a career-high in kills against Troy, registering 14 in the contest. Ahrens finished with 186 kills on the year, which was fourth best on the team. Amari Deardorff, senior right-side hitter, finished the season with a team-high 430 kills. Deardorff averaged 3.23 kills per set during the season, placing her seventh the Sun Belt Conference. “This team has been a building process even before preseason started,” Deardorff said. “We really grew as a team throughout the season and peaked just at the right time. This is an awesome win to be able to share with the entire team.” Junior setter Caylin Mahoney accumulated team-high 1,230 assists during the season, averaging 8.98. Mahoney ended the game without an error during the championship performance against UTA. She also finished the contest with eight kills and a game-high 38 assists. Mahoney was named “Most Outstanding Player” in the conference tournament. “From the start, it was a goal for us to compete for the Sun Belt championship,” Mahoney said. “This win doesn’t feel real right now. I think it was very important that the team was able to bond during the summer and work together. We definitely kept that bond going throughout the season and peaked at just the right time.” The Bobcats had a supporting cast of underclassmen that contributed to the success of the team. Shelby Vas Matt, freshman outside hitter, was an integral component in the process. Vas Matt was named “Freshman of the Week” on two occasions during the season. The Oregon native ended her first collegiate season with 283 kills, averaging 2.10 per set. Sierra Smith, sophomore defensive specialist, gathered 540 digs during the season. Smith registered a career-high 37 digs Oct. 9 against the Mavericks. Smith finished eighth in the conference in digs for the year. Texas State finished first in the Sun Belt in opponent hitting percentage, restricting its competitors to an average of .159. Hilbun and Ahrens contributed in the team’s defensive success, both finishing within the top six in conference in blocking. Although the team had some questionable moments during the season, it peaked at the right time. During the season, whether winning or losing, the team rallied around each other, continuing to maintain a winning mentality. The Bobcats will encounter number one seed Texas in Austin Thursday. The team represents one of four Texas universities that qualified for the tournament. “It’s a great opportunity for these young ladies,” Chisum said. “They deserve it, and we want to compete and represent Texas State to our fullest.”

Star File Photos

By the Numbers

1 .222 .159 15.72 9

The number of Sun Belt Championships the volleyball team has now after just one season in the conference. Texas State’s hitting percentage this season, which ranked 3rd in the Sun Belt Conference. Opponents’ hitting percentage against the Bobcats this season, ranking them first in the conference. The Bobcats averaged this many digs per set this season, which was a conference best. The number of times the Texas State volleyball program has made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

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C4 | The University Star | Sports | Wednesday December 4, 2013


Football Samuel Rubbelke


Sports Reporter @SamuelRubbelke

exas State football became bowl eligible for the first time in school history Nov. 2 with a 37—21 victory over Idaho. The Bobcats became the second fastest program in history to

become bowl eligible after joining the Football Bowl Subdivision. Marshall University was the fastest program to reach bowl eligibility after joining the FBS in 1997. When Texas State became bowl eligible, the team possessed a record of 6—3, but went on to drop its final three games to end with a .500 record on the season. The only other team to lose its last three conference games in the Sun Belt was Georgia State, which lost 12 games. When it comes to the success of a season, most people remember how a team finishes, not how it starts. In its final three games, Texas State registered a negative 62 point differential, the most allowed by any Sun Belt Conference team. Texas State possessed the number one ranked rush defense,

allowing 147.4 yards. The Bobcats were often able to compete on the defensive side of the ball, but could not generate any offense. If the season had ended after the Idaho win, Coach Dennis Franchione and the Bobcats would have received an A+ for the idea of starting freshman quarterback Tyler Jones against Wyoming. Giving the reins to Jones foreshadowed a developmental year for the Bobcats. Jones finished with 1,130 yards passing and a completion percentage of 62.5. Connecting on eight touchdown passes, Jones concluded the season with a passer efficiency of 132.07. The Bobcats struggled in the aerial attack, ranking last in Sun Belt pass offense. Texas State averaged 154.8 yards per game, and they were the only team in the Sun

Belt to not accumulate more than 2,000 yards passing. The Bobcats recorded the worst pass efficiency for the season with 112.1. Jones was accompanied by a youthful backfield including sophomore running backs Robert Lowe and Chris Nutall. The fourth ranked rushing attack of Lowe and Nutall was not enough to uplift the last ranking total offense with 326.2 yards per contest in the conference. Lowe gave Bobcat fans a glimpse of the future while finishing second in rushing with 945 yards, just 55 yards shy of his season goal. Lowe averaged 78.8 yards per game and finished with nine touchdowns. Nutall accounted for six touchdowns while racking up 477 yards. Nutall recorded a season long 77-yard run and averaged 43.4 yards

per game. Collectively as an offense, the Bobcats marked the lowest amount of first downs in the conference, averaging 16.1. Texas State was the only team to not register more than 200 first downs in the Sun Belt. The Bobcats posted the second worst conversion rank for third downs. With such a young offensive team, including the offensive-line, Texas State was anticipated to be the second most penalized team. The Bobcats averaged 62.6 yards per game in penalties. Texas State accomplished a lot of firsts this season but losing three straight to end the year hurt the team in the grading and might ultimately cost the Bobcats the biggest goal—a bowl game. *If the Bobcats were to make a bowl game, grade would be A+.

By the Numbers

23.9 326.2

The average number of points Texas State scored per game this season, which was sixth best in the Sun Belt. Average amount of yards the Bobcats’ offense gained per contest, which was last in the conference by 29 yards.


Average opponents’ rushing yards per contest against Texas State, which was best in the conference.


Texas State’s team passing efficiency, the worst in the Sun Belt and ranked 103rd in the country.


The number of yards averaged per punt return, which was the best in the Sun Belt and ranked 11th in the NCAA.

Chris Motz | Star File Photo

The University Star | Sports | Wednesday December 4, 2013 | C5



By the Numbers Kirk Jones


Sports Reporter @Kirk_jones11

he Texas State soccer team closed out its season losing to number one seed Western Kentucky in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament Nov. 10, but showed solid progress throughout the season overall. The team finished the season 9–9–2 and developed well at the end of the schedule riding a season-long three-game winning streak into the conference tournament. Freshmen forwards Lauren Prater and Maddie Nichols both made an immediate impact during the season. Nichols scored the game-winning goal against Troy in overtime, and Prater started both tournament games flashing some of her speed against Western Kentucky, nearly scoring a goal. The club is young with only five of its 24 players on the roster graduating. The team leader in goals was sophomore forward Lynsey Curry, scoring seven goals and holding a top 10 position in all major statistical categories in the Sun Belt. Junior Tori Hale was second in the Sun Belt in assists after changing positions from midfielder to forward. The team did not reach its ultimate goal of making it to the NCAA tournament, but with such a young team and a transition to a new conference, the Bobcats improved well down the stretch. Mentally, transitioning from the Western Athletic Conference to the Sun Belt was an obstacle, especially with such a short adjustment period, as the Bobcats had never played most of these teams before. While in the WAC, Texas State had to face teams that used more of a oneversus-one attack strategy to try and move the offense down the middle of the field. The Sun Belt Conference teams are more strategic and use the whole field during the attack. Texas State had a rocky middle part of the season as the team had one victory in seven contests. The Bobcats faced stiff competition during that span against Oklahoma, Rice and Texas. It was not until the last two regular season games when veterans like senior forward Gabbie Cottee stepped up, scoring two goals in two games. Cottee then scored a goal in the opening round of the tournament against Troy. Cottee’s sudden offensive streak earned her Sun Belt Player of the Week during that period. The Bobcats struggled on offense most of the year, relying mainly on Curry. In the latter half of the season, the team scored eight goals in three games, the same number of goals it scored earlier in the season during a 10-game span. Texas State peaked at the right time earning two clutch wins in the last two games of the season to jump from seventh to fourth in the Sun Belt standings. After losing to ninth place Louisiana-Monroe 2-1, the Bobcats looked deflated and lost momentum from their season, but Coach Kat Conner brought their spirits up to grab a top-four seed. The Bobcats showed signs of improvement throughout the season, and Conner made the proper adjustments to improve the team even through its rough patches. Texas State had a solid season overall with a mix of youth and senior leadership. The season was a good start for a better club in the future and a solid way to jump in the team’s inaugural season in the Sun Belt.

5.32 0.16 285 3 15.95

The average number of corner kicks the Bobcats had each game, which ranked second in the Sun Belt. The amount of yellow cards Texas State received per contest this year, the fewest in the conference. The average attendance the Bobcats had at home this season, which was second best in the Sun Belt behind South Alabama by six people. The longest winning streak Texas State could sustain for the 2013 season, compared to a two game streak last year. The number of shots the team was able to take per match, fourth best in the Sun Belt Conference.

Star File Photo

C6 | The University Star | Advertisement | Wednesday December 4, 2013

December 4 2013  
December 4 2013