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Proposed legislation threatens cancer screening access By Alexa Tavarez SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @lexicanaa Nonprofits offering health services for uninsured and low-income women remain in the crossfire of political agendas during the 84th Legislature. Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), authored by Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would funnel money away from nonprofits such as Community Action, Inc. of Central Texas and Planned Parenthood. Nelson wants to use a tiered system that prioritizes distribution and reallocation of federal funding of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program. The program provides breast and cervical cancer screenings in health clinics across the state that would cost approximately $200 if paid out of pocket, said Lydia Perez, program coordinator for the breast cancer navigation team at Community Action. Federal funds for the program are directed to clinics and nonprofits at the discretion of the State Health Department through a competitive grant process, said Sarah Wheat, vice president of community affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. SB 2 has evoked concern among nonprofit officials about the future health of low-income and uninsured women relying on these services, Wheat said. “Texas has gone further than anyone else to dismantle women’s health care, and it’s especially important in Texas be-
“Texas has gone further than anyone else to dismantle women’s health care, and it’s especially important in Texas because we have some of the highest rates of uninsured women in the country.” —SARAH WHEAT, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER TEXAS cause we have some of the highest rates of uninsured women in the country,” Wheat said. Health clinics offering comprehensive care are first in line for federal funding from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program through the tiered system. Community Action and Planned Parenthood fall on the last rung of the tiered system because they don’t provide comprehensive and preventative care, said Carole Belver, executive director at Community Action. “(SB 2) will cut the legs off our services,” Belver said. Belver and Wheat believe SB 2 is an attempt to “dismantle” Planned Parenthood because of its abortion services. Belver said officials used “the same type of language” to funnel funds away from Planned Parenthood during the previous legislative session. As a result, Community Action Inc. had to lay off staff and close clinics, leaving some clients without a place for care, Belver said. Belver said she is not sure why the legislature is lumping Community Action together with Planned Parenthood as if it were a “one-stop-shop” for allocating federal funding. “We’ve seen the legislature (pursue) similar political agendas before,” Wheat said. “In the end, the negative impact is for the women that we serve.” Wheat said the health clinics providing women with services through the breast and cervical cancer program don’t provide abortions. “It’s important that elected officials
See TEXAS WOMEN, Page 2
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Brock Gillman and Brandon Gardner, social work senior, help distribute food Feb. 20 at the Redwood Community Center Food Drive.
Redwood Community Center improves neighborhood with hard work, food By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox
ife is hard for many in the Redwood neighborhood, but a one-room community center has made an impact in the lives of those who need it most. Redwood is located five miles south of downtown San Marcos, but the area feels like an island of poverty in a sea of prosperity. Sulema Arrecis, administrative director for the Redwood Community Center, said she improves the lives of residents by coordinating with volunteers. Redwood’s location in the northeastern corner of Guadalupe County makes it difficult to acquire social services and aid, according to the center’s information handbook. Some of Redwood’s poorest areas are located in the San Marcos extraterritorial jurisdiction,
making them ineligible for some of Guadalupe County’s services, according to the handbook. Redwood’s geographical difficulties have forced Arrecis to seek help in unlikely places, she said. Community center officials seek aid wherever they can find it, including San Marcos, Hays County and San Antonio. The Redwood Community Center’s partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank allows officials to provide for hundreds of local families the third Friday of each month. It was business as usual on the third Friday in February. A truck from the San Antonio Food Bank arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m., its side emblazoned with a picture of little girl eating a slice of watermelon. “Sure looks like a delicious watermelon,” said Phil Walker a volunteer from San Marcos, shifting his weight onto his cane. “She’s smiling too. God
“I am the queen of bananas!” —VICKI JANEK, A VOLUNTEER FROM SAN MARCOS’ FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH bless her.” Walker’s physical disability prevented him from helping unload donations from the truck. He offered words of encouragement and joked with the other volunteers as they worked. More than 20 volunteers were present. Some were from churches in San Marcos. Others were from Texas State’s Alpha Phi Omega service organization.
A few were from the Redwood community. Griselda Contreras, a resident of nearby Martindale, sat in her car about halfway down the line with her 4-year-old daughter Kamilla in the back seat. Contreras said her husband works, but she cannot take a job and instead stays at home with the five children. She has been coming to the food drive for
See REDWOOD, Page 2
San Marcos businesses give back to community By Exsar Arguello NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael The Nike store at the Tanger Outlets in San Marcos ‘just does it’ when it comes to donations and recycling old products. Nike donates unsold or leftover items to the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD). The
sell.” The store will set these clothes aside and donate them to different organizations across the city, Riojas said. Nike has a program called “Old Soles Never Die,” an initiative allowing people to donate new or old shoes—regardless of brand name—to be recycled into new products. The outlet has an area designated for people to
“We donate a lot of clothes that aren’t the best quality or may have some type of flaw within them. Sometimes we’ll get different articles of clothing with a swoosh backwards or different dysfunctional parts that we can’t sell.” —KATRINA RIOJAS, NIKE OUTLET EMPLOYEE
store has different environmental initiatives to further help people in need with clothing, shoes and accessories. “We donate a lot of clothes that aren’t the best quality or may have some type of flaw within them,” said Katrina Riojas, Nike outlet employee. “Sometimes we’ll get different articles of clothing with a swoosh backwards or different dysfunctional parts that we can’t
drop off old pairs. The donated shoes are sent to Nike’s corporate office, where they are broken down into the raw materials needed to remake different products, Riojas said. Georganne Logue, secretary to the SMCISD superintendent, said Nike is the only store in the outlets that donates to the San
See NIKE, Page 2
PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
A2 | The University Star | News | Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Correction: In the Feb. 18 issue of The University Star, Al Henson’s name in the “Freedom through the years” article was spelled incorrectly.
NIKE, from front Marcos school district. “They generously donate clothes to students of all ages and grade levels throughout the district who are in need,” Logue said. Nike “adopted” a student from the district earlier in the year to receive new school supplies and clothing, she said. “This particular student was provided with a new backpack,
socks, a jacket and other types of clothes that were completely paid for by the employees of the Nike outlet,” Logue said. Other stores at the outlets donate leftover items to stores such as Marshalls and Ross to be sold for discounted prices. Bradley Tanksley, assistant manager at Rue21, said whatever is not sold at the store is sent back
to the corporate office. The unsold items are distributed to Ross and other discount stores or donated. “The Rue21 in San Marcos is the best-selling Rue in our area, so a lot of clothes that don’t sell at other stores are sent directly here,” Tanksley said. “But if for some reason our clothes don’t sell, corporate takes care of it
REDWOOD, from front
from there.” Logue said finding companies willing to donate is hard, but she is happy with what the district receives. H-E-B is the only food-based store donating to SMCISD, Logue said. H-E-B donates gift cards and food to the district that is distributed to children of lowincome families.
“I’ve sent letters to—I can’t even tell you how many different stores to donate to our district,” Logue said. “All they ever tell me is to call their corporate office, which never respond to my letters or calls. I’m grateful (for) what Nike and other companies have done, and they have treated this district with much respect and care.”
TEXAS WOMEN, from front understand that because at the end of the day, it’s about if we can serve uninsured women,” Wheat said. This is the third time the legislature has tried to limit which medical centers and clinics receive federal funding. Wheat said. “We’ve always had our battles,” Belver said. “State legislators have made it so hard to provide care for low-income women that it’s not even funny.” Community Action serves women who live in rural communities and are reliant on the services provided by the breast and cervical cancer program, Belver said.
“There isn’t another source for them,” Perez said. Perez said breast and cervical cancer screenings are the first step in diagnosis. She said the screenings are “crucial” for women to be able to receive extensive medical care should they need it. Women should be able to receive screenings to be properly diagnosed, Perez said. Whether SB 2 will pass under the current political climate is not clear, Wheat said. However, advocates are spreading awareness and allocating resistance.
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Griselda Contreras and her daughter, Kamilla, fill out vouchers for food while waiting in line Feb. 20 with volunteer Martha Rios at the Redwood Community Center. about a year. Money often stretches thin in the middle of the month with the rent due date fast approaching, she said. The donations come at a crucial time for Contreras and her family. “I hope they have mac and cheese like last month,” Contreras said. Up the street from Contreras, the volunteers unloaded boxes of sweet corn, instant mashed potatoes, ripe mangoes, whole wheat rotini, frozen chicken quarters, celery, purple grape juice and bananas. “Stack the potatoes as high as you can,” said Caitlyn Odom, a volunteer from a San Marcos church. “I am the queen of bananas!” said Vicki Janek, a volunteer from San Marcos’ First United Methodist Church, jokingly, as she hoisted a box of bananas from the truck to the pavilion outside the community center. Evelyn McDaniels, a volunteer coordinator for the community center, walked through the crowd of volunteers with clipboard in hand, pointing with her pen and shouting instructions.
McDaniels has lived in Redwood since 1986 and can remember when things used to be a lot worse, she said. In the 80s, the community was plagued with gangs, driveby shootings, thefts, graffiti and fires, she said. “There was no police, no fire department, no animal control,” McDaniels said. “We had packs of dogs running loose, and when the adults were at work, the kids would skip school and break into houses.” For years, Redwood only had unpaved dirt roads, hindering the presence and effectiveness of police, fire and animal control departments, McDaniels said. Community representatives petitioned Guadalupe County to pave their roads in 2000 only to find the cost to be $105,000, McDaniels said. This amount was too high for Redwood residents to pay on their own. Redwood’s land developer, a man known affectionately as “Mr. Gieseke,” deposited $95,000 into the community’s road development fund, McDaniels said. This act transformed the community for the better.
Police and fire department response times have drastically lowered, and packs of wild dogs no longer wander the streets, McDaniels said. More than a dozen cars sat parked on one of the roads paved by “Mr. Gieseke” as the volunteers unloaded boxes from the truck. Each vehicle in line displayed a pink paper voucher wedged under a windshield wiper to show the owner had registered with the community center and was eligible to receive a donation. “They’ll still keep showing up,” Arrecis said. “They’ll keep coming by 11, 12 o’clock.” One by one, the recipients drove to the front of the community center, giving thankful smiles and kind words to the volunteers as they loaded bags of food into the cars. By noon the last of the cars had filed through and received their donations. Arrecis smiled as she estimated the total number of families fed was 270, with some coming to the center to pick up their donations and others waiting at home for deliveries.
DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
FILM & PANEL DISCUSSION
NOT ENOUGH TIME THE STORY OF TIFFANIE PERRY Catherine Shellman narrates her firsthand experience with dating violence through the eyes of a mother. Tiffanie Perry, daughter of Catherine Shellman, was born in Beverly Hills, raised in Austin, and was in her final semester of a business management degree at Texas State. She had everything going for her, including the ability to finally leave her abuser once and for all. She was graduating from college and bought a one-way ticket to Italy…all she needed was a little bit more time.
THURSDAY 2/26/15 @ 6PM
LBJ STUDENT CENTER TEACHING THEATRE If you require accommodations (information in alternate format or sign language interpreting) due to disability, please contact Julie Eckert at 512-245-1710 or email@example.com. Accommodation requests should be made at least 72 hours in advance of the program start time to ensure availability.
PANELIST WILL INCLUDE: Catherine Shellman: Mother of Texas State student Tiffanie Perry
Melissa Rodriguez: Director of Community Partnerships at Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center Curtis Clay: Associate Director of the Texas School Safety Center Xavier Reveles: President of Men Against Violence at Texas State
Health Promotion Services
The University Star | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | A3
Storylines to watch: Texas State vs. No. 3 Houston By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem
MONKEY OFF THEIR BACKS
The Texas State baseball team took six games to earn its first victory of the season. The 7-5 victory over Wichita State allows the Bobcats some breathing room heading into a matchup against the Houston Cougars. Texas State squandered a three-run lead in the fourth inning before reclaiming the lead in the seventh inning. It was a much-needed win for a team that lost several games against UC Davis. The key is to sustain momentum for the rest of the season.
NATIONALLY RANKED COMPETITION
Houston had its first loss of the season to Alabama Sunday, concluding a six-game winning streak. In that stretch, the Cougars outscored their opponents by 4.5 runs per game. Baseball America ranked Houston as the third-best team in the country behind Vanderbilt and LSU. The Cougars are an excellent litmus test for the Bobcats. They represent the standard the program needs to achieve. Beating
them moves the needle in that direction. Zac Taylor, Cougars freshman outfielder, leads the team with a .391 batting average, along with 11 runs, nine hits and one home run this season. Houston has five players hitting above .300. Houston’s biggest strength this season may be in the pitching department. Andrew Lantrip, Cougars sophomore pitcher, heads a starting pitching staff with a 0.75 earned run average in 12 innings. Houston’s cumulative earned run average is 3.00, the 59th-best rate in Division I. The Cougars’ 2.81 earned run average from the bullpen complements a starting rotation that allows the offense to build a lead. In sum, this is a legitimate opponent. A positive performance would go a long way to erasing last week’s memories.
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT JERSEY RETIREMENT
The baseball program is holding a retirement ceremony for Paul Goldschmidt’s jersey before the game. The ceremony will begin approximately at 5:45 p.m. Goldschmidt is the first baseball player in Texas State history to have his jersey retired. Goldschmidt spent three sea-
sons (2007-2009) with Texas State as a first baseman. In his tenure, Texas State won three consecutive Southland Conference championships. Goldschmidt is the all-time leader in home runs (36) and runs batted in (179). He holds the single season records in runs batted in and walks. Goldschmidt, an eighthround selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, finished second in 2013 National League Most Valuable Player voting behind Andrew McCutchen. He tallied 36 home runs and 125 runs batted in. He was the first Bobcat to appear in a Major League Baseball All-Star game.
Texas State is 11-12 against Houston during Coach Ty Harrington’s 16-year tenure. The Cougars defeated the Bobcats 7-1 in last year’s matchup, extending their winning streak over the Bobcats to three games. Houston limited Texas State to three hits on 29 at bats in the win.
Texas State hosts Central Michigan for a four-game series beginning Feb. 27. Central Michigan is 5-3 this year with a two-game losing streak.
A QUICK LOOK 5
HOUSTON PLAYERS with a batting average above .300 this year
for Texas State, the third lowest mark in the conference
HOME RUNS for the Bobcats
EARNED RUNS allowed by Texas State
EARNED RUN AVERAGE The Cougars’ ERA is 59th best in Division I
Voted BEST Pizza in San Marcos 2014
$20 pitcher and pie 2-4:45 and 10-close 700 North LBJ Drive #107
A4 | The University Star | Tuesday, February 24, 2015
THE MAIN POINT
Marriage equality a necessary step forward
he recent marriage license issued to a homosexual couple in Austin has moved the state one step closer to achieving equality for all citizens. Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanna Bryant married Feb. 19 after state District Judge David Wahlberg ordered they be issued a marriage license. The judge waived the 72-hour waiting period for weddings and granted the license due to Goodfriend’s declining health. This license illustrates progress is possible even in states as traditionally conservative as Texas. Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to void the marriage
and condemned all involved, which is to be expected from a Republican-dominated state government. These circumstances can seem like two steps forward and one step backward, but slow progress is better than no progress. Gay and lesbian couples should feel hope for the future of marriage equality as long as people keep fighting. In the U.S., 37 states have full marriage equality. Six, including Texas, have pro-marriage equality court rulings, and seven still have a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Disagreeing with gay marriage on a moral standing is one thing, but marriage equality is a civil rights issue. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, intersex and transgender folks should be able to marry the people they love. It makes sense from a political standpoint for Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to stick to their conservative views of marriage. Conservative Texans put them in office, and if they stray from those constituents, they are unlikely to return to office. Proposition 2 in Texas defines marriage as being between a man and woman. When pressed for change, the two simply state they are upholding the law in order to escape criticism. Advocates of marriage equality often cite civil unions as
an acceptable alternative for lawmakers to grant same-sex couples. However, the two are not in fact equal. Civil unions give the couple fewer federal benefits in areas such as taxes and social security and are not treated the same on a state-to-state level. Additionally, having a separate term that only applies to gay and lesbian couples isn’t exactly a step forward. Words mean something, and the legacy of security and love tied to the word “marriage” should not be limited to heterosexual couples. At this point in the discussion of marriage equality, it is clear how the tide is turning and what the outcome will be. History has seen how ridiculous it looks when southern states sit in their pride instead of adapting to changing times. All of the state lawmakers holding onto the past for dear life are simply going to end up putting Texas on the wrong side of history.
—Kirsten Peek is a journalism senior
Protesters turn 50 shades of red over movie premiere
eeks after the tantalizing tag line “Mr. Grey will see you now” sent women flocking to the theatres, some people are still up in arms over Fifty Shades of Grey’s apparent glamorization of domestic abuse. The general consensus of the protesters chalks up Christian Grey’s offbeat behavior to the sexual abuse he endured as a child, which is why he has a fascination with dominance and being sexually adventurous. Grey solidifies this theory with a line from the book and movie about how “50 shades of fucked up” he is.
certain precautionary measures to ensure the protection of both, such as the use of a safe word. Some also argue the books and movie do not depict the world of BDSM in the best light and only scratch the surface. After doing some research of my own, I do have to agree with this one. The world of BDSM is vast, filled with everything from the downright freaky to the more “vanilla,” or mild, side of sex. I do not like the Fifty Shades franchise because BDSM is not for me, and the books need to be looked over by about four more editors. However, I am not standing outside a theater shoving my opinions down people’s throats like overpriced movie popcorn. So, to the fans of wild, kinky sex and poorly written books—I salute you, and may you find your Mr. or Ms. Grey. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or violence, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). —Rivers Wright is a journalism junior
Solar panels ideal investment for university
Jeffrey Bradshaw OPINIONS COLUMNIST @jeffbrad12
limate change is a fact, and something needs to be done about it. One way the university could help is by implementing more green energy sources. Solar panels and wind turbines should be installed around campus. San Marcos had 232 sunny days last year, and each one of those days could have
been producing clean renewable energy for Texas State. If the university implemented solar panels, they would go on the roofs of buildings to avoid getting in the way of day-to-day life. There are costs associated with maintaining solar panels, but according to renewableenergyworld.com, renewable energy revenue usually stays in the place where the energy is produced. Texas State would be reinvesting that money back into San Marcos, which would benefit everyone. Green energy is only going to become increasingly popular, and the jobs that go along with building and maintaining these types of structures are only going to grow in demand. If the university put in solar panels and wind turbines, students
The University Star Interim Editor-in-Chief...................................Nicole Barrios, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor....................Cameron Cutshall, email@example.com Letters................................................................................firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor..............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, email@example.com Lifestyle Editor..........................................Britton Richter, firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions Editor.......................................Imani McGarrell, email@example.com Photo Editor...........................................Madelynne Scales, firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor........................................... Quixem Ramirez, email@example.com Copy Desk Chief.....................................Sam Hankins, firstname.lastname@example.org
could get firsthand experience working on these technologies. Creating a renewable resource program like this is not as simple as putting in solar panels, but it will probably be worth it in the end. Making a renewable energy program would attract more students, who would eventually pay for the program through tuition, so it is a winwin for everybody. Along with the economic benefits and the possibility of a hands-on program, the main benefit of green energy is that it doesn’t hurt the environment. The environment is literally the most important thing in the entire world. We could not function if we didn’t have it. We are constantly polluting the planet with things like cars and airplanes, both of which are vital to the way humans live.
—Jeffrey Bradshaw is a political science sophomore
OPINIONS COLUMNIST @MonsieurRivers
Kirsten Peek OPINIONS COLUMNIST @kirsten_peek
Because of this, we should do everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions. Much of the oil the U.S. uses comes from overseas, and according to the EPA, green energy would diversify the supply and reduce dependence on imported fuels. This would benefit the country greatly by lessening the chances of an energy crisis. The only drawback to implementing more renewable energy sources on campus is money. However, the sources would eventually pay for themselves. Texas State would reduce carbon emissions, which are bad for the environment. Solar panels and wind turbines are a fantastic idea the university should look into more extensively.
RYAN JEANES STAR ILLUSTRATOR
mainstream topic of discussion. The intention of the book was to write a steamy fan fiction looking into the world of BDSM and mixing in a modern love story. While the book did a poor job and the movie was borderline HBO after dark, the story peeks into a world usually swept under the rug for fear of making people feel uncomfortable. According to justice.gov, domestic violence is defined as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” The website describes sexual abuse as “coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent.” The definitions may sound similar to the dominant/submissive relationship of the people who choose to participate in activities depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey. The difference between the two is that in domestic violence, nothing is consensual. In dominant/submissive relationships, both parties are in agreement about the actions they are going to partake in and take
Pornography unrealistic standard
nal bleaching. Vaginal rejuvenation. Labiaplasty. Oh my! With the rise of pornography, these expensive, painful and often medically unnecessary alterations to the human body are becoming increasingly mainstream. The Internet has made it easier than ever to find a reference point to what is deemed “sexually appealing” by society. People should not allow societal trends based on porn to shape their expectations for sex and standards of physical attraction. The genital plastic surgery industry is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it allows for more options and availability in the case of gender reassignments. It also offers an avenue for those who require surgery for functional impairments or other medically related reasons. On the other hand, it correlates with the rise of porn, which indicates people are pressured to seek surgery to replicate what they see in the media. Labiaplasty is one of the most common female genital cosmetic surgeries. It involves altering the labia minora and labia majora. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, many women who request labiaplasty report being influenced by media images. The majority of women who request this operation have labia that fall within what is considered a normal range but feel selfconscious due to what they have seen broadcasted. “Porn envy—yeah, that definitely exists,” said Colin Iliff, environmental studies senior. “People are now more exposed than ever, pun not intended, to attractive body stereotypes. There’s a lot of pressure to compare porn to your own sex life, genitals included.” Porn is clearly here to stay, for better or for worse. It is important to understand porn is acting and is not an accurate representation of a happy and healthy sex life. Sex should be about pleasure, while porn is merely aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Even in porn, trends change over time. Mainstream porn reflects, or perhaps dictates, what is currently considered sexually appealing by society. Forty years ago, unshaved pubic areas were considered sexually appealing on women and were prevalent in porn. Now, completely shaved is the standard in porn as well as the personal expectation for many people. This goes to show society does not know what will be deemed sexually appealing in years to come. Hence, if someone is going to get cosmetic surgery, it should be because the receiver truly wants it for his or herself and will feel good about it. It should not be because their favorite porn star or partner made them think they need it. “If cosmetic genital surgery is what somebody needs to achieve their ideal self, then I support that,” Iliff said. “But don’t let someone tell you that your body should be changed.” Porn is merely visual entertainment and should not be used as a tool to learn about sex or the human body. Each person is unique and should strive to achieve selfacceptance.
The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.
What is really 50 shades of messed up is the people finding any excuse they can to boycott the movie. It is absolutely absurd that people cannot leave well enough alone. If people want to go watch a publicly acceptable version of softcore porn, that is their prerogative. Understandably, there is scientific research that states people abused in their childhoods are more likely to reenact such violence as adults. They often either become sexually promiscuous or are timid and afraid of intimacy. Mr. Grey is sexually adventurous, but in no way is he promiscuous. Claims of domestic violence depicted in the books can easily be thrown out the window with one quick trip to the all-knowing Google. Granted, there is a thin line between BDSM and domestic violence, but the line is still there. I highly doubt the author of the books intentionally included a subtext of domestic violence. Most outraged people are usually ignorant and uneducated. They just cannot deal with the fact that sex is becoming a more
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The University Star | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | A5
San Marcos offers variety of pizza By Kara Dornes SPECIAL TO THE STAR @karadornes Pizza is a popular go-to meal in university communities, and Texas State is no exception. Traditional delivery places such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Papa John’s are options. However, San Marcos features local hot spots like Valentino’s, Gumby’s and Pie Society for the pizza aficionado. Pie Society, located on North LBJ Drive, is owned by the Katz Brothers, local entrepreneurs. “We try to pride ourselves on local and fresh ingredients,” said Patrick Vernor, Pie Society manager. “For example, our mushrooms are from Gonzales, our goat cheese is from here in Texas (and) our honey is from Austin. Everything is very fresh and local.” Pie Society does not have a freezer, so everything has to be made fresh in house. “We make everything in house by hand from our dough, our sauce, our meatballs, our chicken, our bread— everything is made in house, so the quality in our products, I feel, stand out among the rest,” Vernor said. The Balance of Power is one of the most popular pizzas, Vernor said. “The uniqueness of the flavors is what makes it stand out,” Vernor said. “It has crushed red pepper, spinach, spicy sausage and Texas honey on top, so the sweet and spicy aspect is what makes it pretty unique.” Students around campus also enjoy the effort and freshness involved in a Pie Society slice. “Pie Society is definitely my favorite,” said Jaimee Raver, fashion merchandising senior. “I like their crust because it has a really good crunch with every bite. It’s not just actual crust.” Raver said Pie Society has
Townwood Apartments IS THE COOLEST PLACE IN TOWN TO LIVE!!!
PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
David DeLeon prepares dough for pizza Feb. 22 at Pie Society. a variety of draft beers to complement the pizza. The staff is willing to give samples so customers can make sure their choices go well together. Gumby’s Pizza and Wings located on North Guadalupe Street at the edge of campus, is another infamous pizza restaurant in San Marcos. “My favorite pizza place would have to be Gumby’s,” said Dustin Schiffli, computer information systems senior. “Their deals cannot be beat, not to mention their delicious pizza.” Gumby’s features peperoni rolls for 50 cents on Tuesdays and a ‘massive’ 20-inch pizza for $10 on Thursdays. The deals featured at Gumby’s make it ideal for college students looking for pizza on a budget, Schiffli said. “They have many special-
ized pizzas that are superb if you feel like treating yourself to some, such as the Stoner Pie,” Schiffli said. “In my opinion, these things are what make it the quintessential eatery in San Marcos.” Valentino’s, located on the Square, is another late-night option for students who are going out for the evening. The pizza parlor serves weekday lunch buffets with beer specials and includes the popular arcade game PacMan and sports on the TVs. “Valentino’s is definitely the place to pick up some quick pizza as you are leaving the square from a night of drinking,” Schiffli said. Each pizza eatery in San Marcos has its own unique flare and environment, promising a perfect style for every customer.
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The Student Publications Board of the Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication is conducting an all-campus open petitioning process to select a student as Editor-in-Chief of The University Star. Term begins one week following the final issue of 2015 Spring Semester publication schedule. Applicants must be available to serve the entire term of the appointment. Each applicant is asked to complete a written petition, which is subsequently screened by members of the student publications board. The board will interview qualified candidates for the position. The student publications board includes the journalism sequence coordinator in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a member of the print medium who is selected by the director of student publications. The director of student publications and the current editor-in-chief serve as ex officio members for the committee.
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To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in at least nine hours each semester during the term of office. Students graduating in the final semester of the appointment (Spring Semester 2016) may be enrolled in fewer hours as long as they meet graduation requirements. Applicants must have worked in a professional editorial environment, or have served as a section editor at a university student newspaper. Students of all majors and classifications, including graduate students, may petition for the position. Applicants must be in good academic standing with the university when submitting an application. An overall minimum 2.5 grade-point average is required for application consideration.
The University Star Mission
Term of Office Term of office begins following the final publication of the Spring 2015 semester and runs through the Spring 2016 semester. Applicants must be able to serve the entire term of office in order to be considered for the position. A salary is paid during the term of office.
Petitioning Process A written petition is to be completed by each applicant. This petition consists of questions to determine an applicant’s qualifications in journalism academics and management. A letter of interest must be included with the formal application. The letter should address personal characteristics addressing reasons the applicant is qualified for the position. Applicants, certified as qualified by the student publications board, will be interviewed. The board will select the editor-in-chief.
Petitioning Deadlines Applications for the position will be due by noon, Wednesday April 1 to the Director of Student Publications, Trinity Building, Room 107. People interested in petitioning should sign a candidacy list in Trinity, Room 107 and acquire an information package. Qualified applicants will be notified and interviews will be scheduled beginning April 13. Selection of the editor-in-chief will be made shortly after interviews have been completed for the position. Formal assumption of duties will begin one week after the final newspaper of the Spring Semester is published. PACKETS AVAILABLE: March 2, noon; Trinity, Room 107
The editor is the primary student editorial administrator for DEADLINE: The University Star and has authority in all personnel Wednesday, April 1; noon; Trinity, Room 107 matters and makes the final decision regarding news, sports, feature, photo, Web and opinion content. The editor INTERVIEWS: April 13 determines daily operation guidelines, provides a role model for professional behavior, delegates operational authority and fulfills policies and procedures as determined by the student publications board and faculty adviser. The editor oversees meetings and handles personnel problems, evaluates all copy and artwork for each publication. The editor-in-chief is responsible for hiring, properly training and supervising all members of the editorial board. The editor-in-chief promotes relations between the publication, the community and campus organizations. The editor-in-chief is also the voice of the publication with the community.
A6 | The University Star | Advertisement | Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | B1
The Bridal Issue Mother-daughter team creates wedding desses By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox Owner Antonina Sosa-Lozano sews wedding dreams into reality at Shirley and Frida Seamstress. Sosa-Lozano has 27 years of sewing experience. She and her sewing shop crew handle everything and anything in the world of formal wear from simple jacket alterations to custom wedding dress designs, Sosa-Lozano said. The bridal waiting room doubles as Sosa-Lozano’s workroom and showcases completed dresses as well as works in progress. SosaLozano often stays late into the night after closing, working alone on her projects. “Sometimes I work till 10, 11, 12 at the store, but I always finish,” Sosa-Lozano said. Sosa-Lozano loves when clients ask for unique wedding dress designs and always completes orders
to their specifications regardless of the difficulty. Sosa-Lozano has never told a client a project was not possible. “Sometimes a customer will bring in just a lace or embroidery, and I will make it into a dress,” Sosa-Lozano said. Business at Shirley and Frida Seamstress has been great, said Shirley Sosa-Lozano, exploratory professional sophomore, Antonina’s daughter and business partner. Shirley works the business side of the shop and hopes to expand the enterprise by opening a boutique in San Marcos. Antonina and her daughter’s partnership works perfectly, she said. Shirley handling finances and bookkeeping, so Antonina is free to focus on her true passion: pleasing brides with custom wedding dresses. “I see the love of the brides, the novias,” Antonina said. “It’s beautiful.”
Antonina Sosa-Lozano prepares a wedding dress Feb. 19 for a fitting. JOHN CODY STALSBY STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Tuxedo stores offer wedding discounts By Frank Campos NEWS REPORTER @frankcamposj
San Marcos offers locations for future brides and grooms to rent or buy tuxedos for their entire wedding parties, with some offering steep discounts. The options range from big businesses like Bealls and Joseph A. Bank to the more local option of Special Occasions. “We can do it all and provide a high level of service,” said Lilia Perez, owner and manager at Special Occasions. “From western to modern or even a classic look, we can provide a service for most anything a client wants.” Getting a tuxedo fitted in other places will most likely lead to the wedding party choosing from a book instead of trying on what they will actually wear, Perez said. “We do more of a custom fit,” Perez said. “Everything is available to try on here at the store. That way customers
Dresses Tuxedos Photographers
can mix and match and actually see what they would look like and also make sure they are truly satisfied.” Special Occasions offers group packages with discounts if the entire bridal party decides to rent tuxedos from the shop, she said. Joseph A. Bank, a men’s formal wear business chain, is another option for tuxedos in San Marcos. Leah Broten, store manager, said the store specializes in tuxedo rentals and is a one-stop shop for any individual or entire wedding party interested in highquality attire. “We offer multiple packages and options that can actually be tried on in the store,” Broten said. “The bride can see her groom in what he will wear on their special day and, of course, make the final decision.” The store offers an incentive for the groom to get a free rental if the wedding party rents five tuxedos. A free suit for the groom if the wedding party rents 10 tuxedos is another option, Broten said.
HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
San Marcos wedding photographers capture special memories By Jonathan Hamilton LIFESTYLE REPORTER @jonodashham1 San Marcos couples can go to The Smile House studio when looking for a wedding photographer with over 26 years of experience. Laura Kay Wootan, owner of The Smile House studio, received her bachelor’s degree in photography from the University of TexasArlington. Wootan has worked as a freelance photojournalist for major publications such as the Associated Press and The Dallas Morning News. Wootan took her first wedding photos over two decades ago. She maintains a laser-like focus when
snapping shots for a couple’s big day. Wootan is involved with the entire process on the day of a wedding, a commitment that can take up to 10 hours on average. “I am there when the bride is eating her pancakes in the morning,” Wootan said. Wootan said being able to share such an intimate and special day with a beautiful couple is the most satisfying part of wedding photography. Customers should reserve her services at least six months to a year ahead of the wedding date due to the amount of time and energy required to create quality photos. The long periods of time spent together create strong personal connections between the photog-
rapher and the bride and groom. These relationships are essential to making wedding day pictures memorable, Wootan said. Wootan warns people looking to tie the knot to do a healthy amount of research on a photographer before making a decision. “Anybody can take three or four good photos,” Wootan said. “What separates the good ones is that every photo is worth owning.” David Ikechi Uzoigwe, exercise and sports science senior, has provided his photography services for a variety of events and is now poised to begin snapping photos for couples. Uzoigwe is the proud owner of Ikechi Optics, his personal photography brand. Uzoigwe got involved with the
craft over three years ago out of personal interest and to provide photos for the African Student Organization (ASO), a group he is heavily involved in. Some of his young peers are reaching a potential marital age, and Uzoigwe plans to become the go-to photographer for those looking to tie the knot. Uzoigwe said he is not in the business for fame or money. His passion for imagery stems from being able to create genuine memories in people’s lives. “Wedding photography is the big thing,” Uzoigwe said. “I want to get into it because it is the ultimate moment capturing. People are going to look at those pictures forever.”
Hair & Makeup Flowers
Couple’s Counseling Rehearsal Dinner Venues
B2 | The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Local bakers design custom wedding cakes By Rebecca Banks NEWS REPORTER @r_banks13 Bakers at Pennington’s Cakes and City Bakery work with soon-to-bewed couples to design the dessert centerpieces for their big day. “(Customers) have been ordering more simple cakes that go with fresh flowers,” said Letty Sassenhagen, owner of City Bakery. Sassenhagen said the bakery was busy with wedding cake orders toward the end of 2014. Vanilla cake covered with fondant is a popular choice, she said. City Bakery charges $3 a slice for its wedding cakes. A two-layer, 10inch cake will have an estimated 35 slices, Sassenhagen said. Sassenhagen said clients can order cupcakes as a middle tier. Pennington’s Cakes offers specialty flavors including pineapple filling and a strawberry swirl. Stephen Horn, Pennington’s Cakes owner, said popular themes include rustic country with burlap
as well as vintage chic. “We’ve been doing some naked cakes lately,” Horn said. Horn said a naked cake is made of yellow cake with no icing or small amounts of buttercream. Wedding cake decorations include edible lace patterns, real or gum paste flowers and detailed designs in buttercream icing. “The fun stuff is in the grooms’ cake because you get to (do) something a little more out of the ordinary because you can do 3-D cakes,” Horn said. “There’s a lot of personality in a groom’s cake.” The bakery has made groom cake designs featuring a bulldog with a Cowboy’s jersey on, a “Batmobile” and a standing Yoda. Horn said clients have to spend a $150 minimum for a wedding cake. The average cost for a wedding cake is $450 to $900, he said. “Most brides are really pleased with our pricing because we don’t try to gouge them,” Horn said. “We let them use some of that money for fun stuff like a honeymoon.” MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR
Stephen Horn, owner of Pennington Cakes, pours batter into a pan Feb. 18 at the
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The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | B3
Valarie Ryan, owner of QuickSilver Dance Center, conducts a lesson Feb. 18 with Mary Seaborne at Texas Old Town.
ANDRES J RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Couples prepare for wedding dances By Rebecca Banks NEWS REPORTER @r_banks13 A couple’s wedding day can bring anxiety about dancing at the reception, but taking a group class or private lesson can help before the big day. QuickSilver Dance Center, owned by Valerie Ryan, offers group dance lessons as well as private instruction for couples in Wimberley, Kyle and New Braunfels. Ryan would like to resume teaching dance classes in San Marcos soon. “For some people group lessons are intimidating, so they would rather do a private lesson,
which is more expensive because they’re paying for my time,” Ryan said. “Some people prefer that because they get one-on-one attention and (will) not be so self-conscious.” QuickSilver group classes are $75 per couple and $40 for a single person for four two-hour sessions over four weeks. Private lessons cost $50 an hour, Ryan said. Ryan is currently working privately with three couples for their weddings in March and May. Ryan said January is one of the busiest times for her to teach dance lessons for weddings along with May and June. “Ballroom is not as popular a request as country western, so a lot of people ask for country western two-step,” Ryan said.
Anthoney Quebedeaux, biology junior, has taught private dance lessons. Students pay $25 per hour. Non-students pay $55, he said. “It’s kind of hard to go out and learn for an hour and then really get something,” Quebedeaux said. “Typically most of the dance lessons are two-hour sessions, and then (they) come back a week later or few days later.” Quebedeaux said he teaches “basic” forms of dance like two-step or waltz as well as more technical maneuvers such as lifts and tricks. “It’s your special day, so whenever you can bring some confidence to the dance floor on your first dance, it kind of gives an awe factor,” Quedebeddeaux said.
B4 | The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015
PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Maxine Schaffer, owner of The Floral Studio, designs an arrangement Feb. 18 at her business.
Bride seek new hair and makeup trends By Callie Haley LIFESTYLE REPORTER @CallieHaley San Marcos salons are receiving new hair and makeup requests following recent bridal trends. Saidat Adelakun, manager and makeup specialist at Salon MINK, said bridal fashions have changed in recent years. Earlier styles included “elegant” and “clean” features like a red lip or classic old Hollywood pin curls. “Now it seems to be in transition into a very natural bohemian feel,” Adelakun said. “Eeverything is really lightweight as far as hair and
“We don’t want brides to look back at their wedding pictures and think, ‘Who is that, my hair isn’t usually done that way.’ We want them to look like themselves.” —SAIDAT ADELAKUN, MANAGER AND MAKEUP SPECIALIST AT SALON MINK
makeup goes.” Adelakun said pictures of these trends are circulating social media websites and are the main inspiration for the new natural look. “We get a lot of women coming in with pictures from Pinterest,” Adelakun said. “The women want to look just like the models with loose tendrils, waves and—surprisingly—braids.”
Mary Vigil, owner and stylist of Out of the Blue Salon, said she often gets requests for braids. “I do a lot of cascading braids and curls, not as much up-dos,” Vigil said. “Brides want something more naturally beautiful and nothing too perfect.” Adelakun said she was surprised by brides asking for non-natural hair colors. “Recently a bride came in, and we dyed her hair lavender for her wedding and gave her a loose braided up-do,” Adelakun said. Adelakun recommends brides stay natural and stray away from making big changes right before weddings. “We don’t want brides to look back at their wedding pictures and think, ‘Who is that, my hair isn’t usually done that way,’” Adelakun said. “We want them to look like themselves.” Recent make-up trends for brides tend to feature a defined eye and flawless yet natural-looking skin. “We recommend airbrushed makeup for brides,” said Adelakun. “Airbrush usually lasts all day, and it’s waterproof. We also have a lash specialist on staff for lash extensions to bring out the eye.” Salons are adjusting their bridal packages to accommodate trends. Weddings in non-traditional places such as gardens and houses are becoming more popular, Vigil said. “Consultations are free, and we offer packages for brides to come in for practice styles before their wedding,” Vigil said. “We can also travel offsite within the area and about an hour away for day-of-wedding styles.” Out of the Blue Salon welcomes bridal parties to bring food, wine and whatever they need to make them feel comfortable for studio work, Vigil said. MINK Salon offers packages that include hair and makeup.
Flowers: labor of love By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox Maxine Schaffer, owner of The Floral Studio, brings wedding dreams to life and transforms fantasy into reality through the science and art of floristry. Schaffer made the decision to quit her career in the computer industry after years of occupational dissatisfaction and nurture her true passion— flowers. Schaffer blends her knowledge of botanicals and design to create unique floral compositions. Schaffer took many classes and workshops to perfect her craft. She studied under artist Hitomi Gilliam, who was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers in 1986. Schaeffer said flower arrangements purchased at grocery stores and over the Internet wilt in comparison to the products of the personalized creativity of a trained and experienced florist. Schaeffer begins her process by meeting with her clients to discuss personal tastes in order to craft floral creations for that special day. “I sit down with the bride anywhere from three months to a year in advance, but sometimes when they come in two weeks before the wedding, it gets scary,” Schaeffer said. The Floral Studio coordinates with
flower farms to make sure plants arrive at the right time. The Floral Studio obtains flowers from the farms to ensure their quality and freshness. Flower farms from Holland, Colombia, Ecuador and Hawaii require coordination and planning to work with but pay off in the end. “I can honestly say a week ago these roses were growing on a living plant in Ecuador,” Schaeffer said, pointing to a vase of roses. Expert knowledge is required to create expert arrangements, and Schaeffer calls on her botanical biology training to make certain flowers look their best on the wedding day. Some flowers, like lilies and peonies, may take time to open. Others require food and flower sealants. Schaeffer makes sure every flower gets exactly the right treatment. “Flowers are (a) must-have at every wedding,” Schaeffer said. “They bring atmosphere, set a theme and mode. They solidify and help tie everything together.” Kenzie Curry, one of Schaeffer’s assistants, said he believes flowers make a special statement, a message of caring unlike anything else. Weddings may last a day, and a flower’s life is fleeting, but they bring something special to every occasion. “Flowers don’t last forever,” Schaeffer said. “But the pictures and memories do.”
The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | B5
Universtiy offers couples counseling Dinner venues offer group, wedding packages By Denise Cervantes LIFESTYLE REPORTER @cervantesdenise Texas State offers a multitude of resources for students to utilize, including couples counseling for those who might need support. The only condition to set up an appointment for couples counseling is that both students involved must be currently enrolled at Texas State. Kathlyn Dailey, director of the Counseling Center, said students do not often come in for couple sessions. “We don’t necessarily have that many couples come in for counseling because they both have to be students,” Dailey said. “So for many of our students, they may be dating someone else from off-campus, and then their schedules have to match where they can both be available for the same time.” Erika Cantu, nursing freshman, said she understands the benefit of couples counseling and might use the service at some point. “Maybe if me and my boyfriend had a problem that we couldn’t resolve on our own and we needed extra help,” Cantu said. Dailey said the main difference between couples and singles counseling is no individual in the relationship gets special treatment. The service focuses on the duo as a whole. “When you’re doing couples counseling, it’s really the couple that is the client,” Dailey said. “It’s the focus of the system and not just each individual but the relationship itself.” Couples can return for sessions as needed and as recommended by a counselor. Dailey said a couple can meet with any trained counselor on the staff. However, one counselor has the credentials of a licensed marriage and family therapist. The couples can come in for walk-in appointments or schedule ahead of time depending on the center’s availability, Dailey said. “If they just want to initiate couples counseling, they would come in for what’s known as an initial consultation,” Dailey said. “They would fill out the background information and meet with the counselor, and then they gather information to determine what their needs are.” The counseling center is located in the LBJ Student Center in room 5-4.1.
By Bleah B. Patterson NEWS REPORTER @missbleahp A rehearsal dinner is chance for a soon-to-be bride and groom to gather and thank their wedding party as well as family members who have been fundamental in the success of their upcoming nuptials. San Marcos’ fine dining offers options for every couple’s style, from upscale and classy to classic and casual. Local choices help to ensure the rehearsal dinner is not another stressful task amidst the chaos. Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar
& Grill offers fine dining and has a history of hosting not just rehearsal dinners but weddings and receptions, said Kyle Easterling, restaurant manager. “We have rooms available for groups of 12, 20 and even 60,” Easterling said. “Some guests have rented out the entire dining room and the courtyard for weddings.” Easterling does not have a general price range for events. He usually consults with individual guests and offers prices from there. Easterling said group packages come with menus to suit the party.
“We have different menus depending on what the event coordinator wants—anything from chicken plates and fish plates to steak,” he said. Easterling said each package has about four entrees and two to three desserts to choose from per guest. Root Cellar Cafe, on the Square, is another popular local restaurant striving for an elegant yet minimalistic atmosphere. Buddy Pajack, server at Root Cellar, said the restaurant offers options for any budget. “We have the Root Cellar Bakery just caddy-corner from
LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Palmer’s Restaurant Bar & Courtyard.
us now, so what we’ll often do is have groups with a smaller budget go to the bakery,” Pajack said. “There’s more space for larger groups, and they can have snacks, dessert and pastries catered as they need.” Pajack said the price is a little steeper for dinner groups but worth it for a couple that can afford the cost. “We’ll open up a room in the back, and for an hourly rate we’ll cover everything from alcohol to dinner and dessert,” he said. Pajack said the cost for a minimum of 15 people is $650 an hour Monday through Thursday, everything included. The cost is $800 an hour Friday through Sunday. Popular dinner options include a smoked salmon plate, pasta dishes, steaks and salads. Grin’s Restaurant is a popular choice for a laidback party, said restaurant manager Janelle St. John. “It’s great, especially with 99-cent margaritas Monday through Thursday,” St. John said. “It’s a great place to kick back.” St. John said Grin’s hosts parties regularly and has rooms for groups of 20 to 60 available at no extra cost for reservation. “We set the rooms up, let the party decorate and provide great service,” St. John said. “We’re here for you to have a fun time.” Grin’s has no exclusive menu for party guests, but St. John said the burgers and chicken-fried steak are always a crowd pleaser.
Hill Country offers unique wedding backdrop By Mariah Simank ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank
The invitations have been mailed and the colors have been chosen, but where will the wedding take place? Wedding venues that offer unique experiences for gatherings both large and small are available throughout Central Texas.
Meredith Guthrie, events director, said couples searching for a venue that captures the beauty of the hill country should look no further than Rustic Ranch. Guthrie said the Wimberley ranch is home to country singer Kevin Fowler, who recently opened the residence to the public for weddings and other events. “We have only been open a couple of months,” Guthrie said. “I would estimate for 2015 we would be looking at about 30 weddings.” Guthrie said Fowler’s love for brick buildings and antiques makes the venue truly one-of-a-kind. “The ranch itself has a lot of very authentic Texas charm and items that you aren’t going to see anywhere else in the hill country,” Guthrie said. “It also has the underlying appeal of the Texas music scene, which is secondary to the historical element, of course, but there is definitely some tributes to Texas country.” Guthrie said the ranch can host up to 150 guests without additional organization. “We advertise 150 guests, but we can accommodate more,” Guthrie said. “It just takes some additional planning. It’s just one venue. We don’t separate all of our sites out.” For more information on rates and packages, call (512) 917-6146 or visit www. rusticranchtexas.com.
Texas Old Town
Couples who have an appreciation for hill country scenery will fall in love with the Texas Old Town venues, according to Kirsten Sherman, administrative assistant. “We have the outdoor ceremony site that is surrounded by nature, and that is something couples really love,” Sherman said. The site sits on 70 acres and features four different halls for brides and grooms to consider. “We have four different halls varying from 160 guests up to 350,” Sherman said. “Each space has its own ceremony site as well as a reception hall, and the surrounding area is beautiful, with bridges, shrubbery and little ponds.” Sherman said the venue, which is going on 12 years of weddings, saw about 480 services last year. “All of our halls do really well,” Sherman said. “Our little Redbud Hall, which is the least expensive option, usually books up twice as fast.” Sherman said flexibility sets Texas Old Town apart from other venues in the area. “Something that makes us stand out from the other wedding venues is our ability to be very flexible,” Sherman said. “People can bring in their own vendors, and I think that makes us kind of unique to the area as well.” For more information on rates and venue availability, call (512) 396-1800 or visit www.texasoldtown.com.
B6 | The University Star | Bridal | Tuesday, February 24, 2015