WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2015 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 52 www.UniversityStar.com
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University officials review student media hiring process in wake of oversight By Nicole Barrios, Kelsey Bradshaw and Carlie Porterfield THE UNIVERSITY STAR The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is currently reviewing the student media hiring process due to recent events involving the previous editor-in-chief of The University Star. It came to the attention of SJMC officials late last week the previous editor-in-chief of The University Star was ineligible to continue because he did not meet requirements of the job description, said Judy Oskam, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The job description states students must have a 2.5 GPA and be in “good academic standing.” Applicants are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours unless they are graduating in the final semester of the year-long appointment. An emergency editorial board meeting was held at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 30 without then editor-in-chief Osagioduwa Evbagharu. SJMC officials received his email of resignation during the meeting, Oskam said.
I said, ‘You need to clear this up right away,’ because I”m still thinking it’s a mistake, it has to be a mistake.”
—Bob Bajackson, director of student publications
“I talked with (Evbagharu),” Oskam said. “He called me right before the meeting.” Oskam said she assumes Evbagharu was aware of his academic status. Evbagharu’s resignation was due to a family illness, according to the letter. Bob Bajackson, director of student publications, said he received a phone call from SJMC officials the afternoon of Jan. 28 informing him Evbagharu was not enrolled. Bajackson texted Evbagharu that afternoon telling him university officials said he was not enrolled in any classes and was listed as a freshman. “I said, ‘You need to clear this up right away,’ because I’m still thinking it’s a mistake, it has to be a mistake,” Bajackson said. “So that’s when he was first notified.” Bajackson said Evbagharu was then planning to check on his status. According to the Office of the University Registrar, Evbagharu was not enrolled at Texas State in the fall 2014 or spring 2015 semesters. “According to the registrar’s office, he is not enrolled in class this semester,” Oskam said. Attempts made to speak with Evbagharu before publication were unsuccessful. However, he commented via text message. “My comment, then, is: I have cleared everything up with my enrollment issues, and I’m ready to move on,” Evbagharu said in the message. Evbagharu was enrolled at Texas State from fall 2012 through spring 2014. “We are reviewing our student media hiring process right now to ensure that our student media employees meet eligibly requirements,” Oskam said. Bajackson does not know exactly how often administrators checked the enrollment status of student employees. He said students who work for the Star are often in his classes or he sees them in the halls. “We’ve never had this problem before, so we’ve never had a situation that I know of that this was done where—it just, in my mind, why would someone come in here and apply who was not a part of the university?” Bajackson said. Norma Guerra Gaier, director of Career Services, said Career Services was not aware Evbagharu was not enrolled is because the
See MEDIA, Page 2
ANDRES J RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Kyle lawmakers passed an ordinance June 2014 prohibiting businesses from selling e-cigarettes to minors. A statewide law may follow suit.
Lawmakers, citizens discuss banning e-cigarettes for minors By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox Texas lawmaker has inA troduced a bill to prevent minors from using and obtaining e-cigarettes. House Bill 647, filed by State Representative Jason Isaac days before the commencement of the 84th Legislative Session, would update current law to include e-cigarettes in the same category as traditional cigarettes. The bill would make it illegal for minors across the state to possess e-cigarettes. Isaac learned of the issue from a group of outspoken high school students from Kyle who noticed growing e-cigarette use on campuses. Similar bans previously enacted by local Texas governments
and consolidated independent school districts served as a model for HB 647. The bill is expected to receive bipartisan support. Texas is included in a shrinking group of 10 states and the District of Columbia that have not passed state laws making the sale of e-cigarettes to minors illegal, according to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) press release. More than 16 million children can currently purchase and use e-cigarettes legally, according to the press release. A recent study may demonstrate a link between the use of ecigarettes and traditional cigarettes for minors. A National Youth Tobacco survey found the percentage of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes more than doubled
from 2011 to 2012, rising from 4.7 percent to 10.0 percent. The study showed 76.3 percent of students polled who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days also smoked traditional cigarettes in the same period. The absence of a statewide ban has forced some local governments, school districts and schools to create their own regulations in an effort to keep e-cigarettes away from minors. Students at Hays County Independent School District’s Lehman High School found in possession of an e-cigarette face a disciplinary referral, said Tracy Holly, assistant principal secretary at Lehman High School. Hays CISD has taken its own
initiatives to prevent the use of ecigarettes by students. The 2014-2015 Hays CISD Parent-Student Handbook prohibits the use and possession of e-cigarettes and “personal vaping devices” while on campus or at school-related activities. Kyle passed an ordinance in June 2014 preventing businesses and individuals from giving, distributing, selling, marketing or offering e-cigarettes to minors, said Jerry Hendrix, director of communications for the City of Kyle. San Marcos officials have yet to create a similar ban, said Kristi Wyatt, director of communications and intergovernmental relations for San Marcos.
See E-CIGS, Page 2
Vistas apartments add new safety features By Darcy Sprague NEWS REPORTER @darcy_days Officials with the Vistas apartment complex in San Marcos are hopeful about the future despite recent negative media attention. The Vistas experienced incidents last year that had many residents and community members nervous about safety. Multiple crimes in and near the complex were reported in 2014 and garnered negative attention on social media, said Jason Pyron, Vistas property manager. “The main issue has been the break-in,” said Kate Miller, education senior, who works at the front
desk of the Vistas. Miller was referring to last October when a man fell from a balcony as he tried to escape after an attempted robbery. Abel Cruise, physical training senior and Vistas office worker, said residents frequently left their doors unlocked at the time of the attempted robbery. “All the gates are controlled-access active now,” Pyron said. The lack of controlled access gates left residents feeling uneasy, he said. Vistas employees believe security cameras on entrance doors and controlled access gates will result in a safer environment
See VISTAS, Page 2
Electro Purification contract for use of aquifer pending approval By Frank Campos NEWS REPORTER @frankcamposj The Hays County Commissioner’s Court approved a resolution Feb. 3 establishing local regulation for commercial and non-exempt groundwater production in aquifer areas currently outside of the district. The resolution is a direct outcome of a contract fulfilled by Electro Purification, LLC. The treatment and supply company based out of Houston plans to pump 5.4 million gallons of groundwater a day from the Trinity Aquifer for its clients. Commissioner Will Conley, Precinct 3, represents the portion of the county most affected by the Electro Purification contract and presented the resolution to the court. “This is not right,” Conley said. “People work hard, abide by the rules and make investments for their family just to see a company figure out a way to manipulate the system and take advantage of a community.” Grant Tait, Hays County well and property owner, urged the court to approve the resolution and not allow the company to claim ownership of the water flowing through his land. “There is no such thing as a ‘right to water,’” Tait said. “When a company starts to deplete our resources in a sneaky way for its own profit, that is wrong.” Texas State may be affected by Electro Purification’s plan to pump such a large amount of water out of a fragile area. The one area may affect the other due to certain points where the Aquarena Springs meets the Trinity Aquifer, Tait said. “It is very lush and beautiful along the river,” Tait said. “Many people love to float the river and enjoy the area. The water levels could drop drastically because of EP, and that would take away one of the draws to Texas State.” Nancy Weaver, Hays County resident, asked the court to act before it was too late. “If we continue the way we are going, we are going to create a desert here,” Weaver said. “We are inviting people to live here and buy property here at a rapid pace without telling them the water may not last through their 30-year mortgage.” A special meeting will be held Feb. 5 to further discuss issues related to the Electro Purification project.
If we continue the way we are going, we are going to create a desert here. We are inviting people to live here and buy property here at a rapid pace without telling them the water may not last through their 30-year mortgage.” PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
A sign outside the Vistas apartment complex advertises leasing for the upcoming year.
—Nancy Weaver, Hays County resident
2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, February 4, 2015
SMCISD school board considers televising future meetings By Anna Herod SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @annaleemurphy San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District board members voted unanimously Jan. 26 to analyze the cost to begin televising monthly meetings. The board previously voted four to three against televising the meetings in 2013 after a recommendation from Mark Eads, SMCISD superintendent. Eads’ recommendation stated the board should address current policy issues before revisiting the possibility of televised meetings. The board’s initial worry was
finding enough money to televise the meetings. Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, said he reached out to the board to help alleviate costs as a member of Open San Marcos, an organization advocating for transparency in city government. Thomaides said the school board was offered the use of city council’s chambers. He said the T.V., audio and computerized system to feed into a cable channel were set up and budgeted. The school board was offered the room at no charge but ultimately declined. The board voted against the 2013 offer with Thomaides’ recommendation for two reasons, Eads said. “First of all, it would mean that
we would have to go to a different location,” Eads said. “We want to be able to have (the meetings) here at our current facilities. The second thing is we don’t feel that (the city council chamber) has the ability to host enough people, and you can see at our board meetings we have anywhere from 20 to 50 to 100 people show up.” Thomaides said Open San Marcos received a verbal agreement from Eads following the 2013 vote. The verbal agreement, made with witnesses present, stated the board meetings would be filmed and broadcasted by the first of 2014. “Well, here we are in January of 2015, and it still hasn’t happened yet,” Thomaides said. “If you want
E-CIGS, from front
your community to be involved, if you want to have an open government, you have to broadcast the meetings and make it easy for the public to watch the debate and discussion, and that’s absolutely what this school board has to do.” John Crowley, school board member, said he managed to get the issue on the agenda once again for last week’s meeting. “The Hays County Commissioners Court is televised, San Marcos City Council is televised, and I personally believe that could add a layer of transparency to what we do as a school district,” Crowley said. “We’re the largest portion of the people’s tax bill that they pay, and I think that we owe it to our
parents, and citizens and taxpayers to let them see what’s going on from the comfort of their home.” Crowley stands with the Open San Marcos belief in the importance of transparency in government. He said the unanimous vote by the board to look into the possibility of televising the meetings gives him hope the initiative will be successful. Eads does not see any obstacles to moving forward with the initiative. “The benefit would be that it would offer more visibility to people,” Eads said. “So (citizens) will be able to see what’s happening, and they can watch the board meetings at their convenience.”
MEDIA, from front
“At this point we do not have any city ordinance that restricts the use of e-cigarettes by minors,” Wyatt said. “The only ordinance that we have that references e-cigarettes is our smoking ordinance, and that restricts where you can smoke.” The decision to sell to juveniles is up to store owners, said Ray Santerelli and Sharon Teal, co-owners of the San Marcosbased e-cigarette and vaping shop Ahh Vapors. “I wouldn’t want my kids smoking cigarettes or vaping,” Santerelli said. “Vaping is a lot safer. It doesn’t have the carcin-
ogens that cigarettes have, but I just wouldn’t want my kids to do it under the age of 18.” Santerelli and Teal check the ID of every person who enters the store and refuse admittance of minors. The co-owners support prohibitive legislation at city and state levels and do not believe such a measure would hurt their business. “I don’t think we’ve had anybody under the age of 18 try to buy (e-cigarettes)," Teal said. Santerelli and Teal think ecigarette and vape shops have an unwarranted bad reputa-
tion. “We have helped a lot of people quit smoking,” Santerelli said. Santerelli has witnessed heavy smokers control their addictions by slowly lowering the nicotine potency of their ecigarettes. Some former smokers eventually reach a point when they are satisfied to vape without any nicotine in their ecigarettes, he said. “One example is right here,” Santerelli said, nodding at Teal, who was able to quit smoking cigarettes with the help of ecigarettes.
“We are already out of full four- and five-bedroom (apartments),” Miller said. She expects the apartments will fill to 100 percent occupancy. Pyron said the complex fills to capacity every year. Current resident Marisa Copeland, psychology junior, does not plan on re-signing. She cites cost as the main reason but also said she did not feel safe in the complex. “Living with just your best friend is kind of scary,” Copeland said.
Resident Fran Sheinberg, health and wellness promotion sophomore, said she will definitely re-sign with the Vistas. She said the complex is a safe community in a “very friendly town.” Sheinberg admits to feeling scared when she learned of the alleged crimes occurring in the complex, but the workers at the front desk made her feel very safe. “I think people are happy living here no matter what,” Pyron said.
VISTAS, from front and happier residents. Leases at different complexes throughout the city are often signed during the spring. Pyron said the crime rate at the Vistas will not affect the number of residents who re-sign. The Vistas officials are aiming to re-sign 40 to 50 percent of current residents, Pyron said. He said 30 percent of residents have re-signed their leases, which is normal for the current time of the year. The Vistas have had five leases signed in the last two or three weeks, Miller said.
office only keeps track of positions paid on an hourly basis. The editor-in-chief position is classified as “task worker,” which does not show up on Career Services’ monthly reports, Gaier said. The Office of Payroll and Tax Compliance referred questions to Human Resources. Lynn Ann Brewer, manager of employment at Human Resources, could not be reached for comment. When a student applies, the newspaper’s policy is to give their application to the appropriate section editor, Bajackson said. That editor then interviews him or her. In the future, faculty advisers will likely run applicants’ ID numbers to check academic status, Bajackson said. Oskam communicated the news about Evbagharu to the school’s personnel committee, made up of the tenured
faculty who act as a board of directors. “It’s important that the editor-in-chief meet the eligibility requirements, and I think all of the faculty in the School of Journalism (and Mass Communication) believe strongly in making sure that The University Star editor-in-chief is in fact meeting eligibility requirements,” Oskam said. Evbagharu was not checked to see if he met the eligibility requirements to fill the position after Lesley Warren, the editor-in-chief from May to December 2014, left the publication, Bajackson said. “We didn’t have a reason to.” Bajackson said. “He’s been here since 2012. He was eligible then. He moved up through the ranks and did such a tremendous job that he brought a lot of innovation, a lot of energy. I would ask him—I would ask any student—‘You are in school, right?’ And they’d say yes. There was no reason to think otherwise, but now we will.”
Where the good meat is
The University Star Cordially Invites You To Announce Your Wedding in
Are you getting married and want to tell the world?
The University Star would like to feature your wedding announcement in our Bridal Issue February 24, 2015. The deadline to submit couples’ information is Februaury 19 at noon. Information can be submitted online at Universitystar.com or in our office located in the Trinity building.
The University Star | Wednesday, February 4, 2015 | 3
Oh My Pizza Pie offers unique flavor varieties By Mariah Simank ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank Jake Wright was always on the move when he first started Oh My Pizza Pie in 2012. Now he is easy to find. Wright started his first food truck in Austin and has used it to travel to festivals across the state for the past three years. His location at The Hitch, which opened in December, is Wright’s second trailer. Both trucks include brick ovens crafted by Wright. “I would build the oven during the weekend, and then during the week I was attending my classes at the University of Texas at Austin,” Wright said. “I built the first one over the course of two months, and the oven for the trailer at The Hitch, which is a slightly different style oven, took me about five weeks.” Wright discovered his passion for brick ovens while living in Germany, where he learned how to bake bread and developed the skills needed to start baking pizzas in the United States. “The place where I learned to cook bread had a huge oven, and we would make around 40 loafs of bread each night,” Wright said. “I just kind of fell in love with it, and from that point on I decided that one day I was going to build an oven similar to that one.” Wright, who moved to San Mar-
cos in March, considered starting a stationary food trailer in the area for quite some time. “I have had a desire to start something that is set in one place where you can have returning customers—not just on a yearly basis but hopefully on a week-to-week basis,” Wright said. “I thought it would be nice to have something more permanent where I live that is a little more steady and not just focused on one busy season like festivals tend to be.” Some menu items remain the same week-to-week. Other items revolve around local seasonal specials depending on the availability of farmers market produce, Wright explained. “We haven’t been open that long, and I am still trying to work out the best way to get our food locally, but I always try to use veggies on the weekly special that I get at the farmer’s market,” Wright said. “Normally I go and see what they have, and two weeks ago I ended up making a beets-and-carrot pizza, which was one of my favorite pizzas to ever make.” Kohner Fogelberg, Oh My Pizza Pie employee, said weather is a major business factor. “In the beginning, business was kind of slow, but on good weather days when the sun comes out and it warms up, it gets pretty busy,” Fogelberg said. “Over winter break we saw mostly families and adults, but now that the spring semester has started, there has been more
MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR
Jake Wright, owner of Oh My Pizza Pie, prepares to cook a pizza Jan. 24 in his handmade wood-fired brick oven at The Hitch. of a variety.” Lisa Coppoletta, San Marcos resident, said style separates Oh My Pizza Pie from its competitors. “They use farmer’s market ingredients, and the pizza is cooked with a wood burning stove,” Copoletta said. “I’m a vegetarian, and my favorite pizza is mushroom and jalapeño.”
Coppoletta said customer service was the most unique thing about her experience at the food trailer. “The owner of the company was such an authentic person,” Coppoletta said. “I could tell he enjoys what he does and he really cares about his customers.” Wright has short-term plans to
continue both trailers but hopes to cut back on the festivals in the long run as his San Marcos business expands. “The season will be starting back up again pretty soon, and I will be traveling every weekend,” Wright said. “So it will be both for a while, but at some point I will cut back on the festivals.
Kevin Hart shines in major comedic role By Jonathan Hamilton LIFESTYLE REPORTER @Jonodashham1
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Hugh Simmons buys carrots Jan 31. from Elizabeth Gillis of River Bottom Farms at the San Marcos Farmers Market.
San Marcos Farmer’s Market creates community relationships By Kayla Jamerson LIFESTYLE REPORTER @ItsKaylaJay Students and San Marcos residents gather every Tuesday and Saturday to stock up on fresh produce at the local farmer’s market in The Square. The market runs on Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendors include farmers, producers, gardeners, craftsmen and other community organizations. Ellie Gillis, River Bottom Farms salesperson, said customers must have an environment where they can create personal relationships with vendors and their neighbors while they shop. “You need to know who your community is, and that is what the market does,” Gillis said. “That is
what is different about a market versus going to the store. You can supply yourself with the things you need with the community around you.” Brandy Dumalet, Becky Sosa and Deana Pinales are San Marcos residents who started a shop with other parents called Mothering at the Market. The three women met through a Facebook group that serves as a support network for mothers in the community The mothers balance parenthood by participating in the market, selling handmade personal crafts such as picture frames, scarves and hats. Dumalet said the market is a great opportunity for the community to bond. “It is just wonderful for the community to come together and support each other without nec-
essarily having to go to a bar,” Dumalet said. The farmer’s market has been open for two years and is continuing to expand alongside the growth of the city. Kevin Adams, staff member, said a farmer’s market is essential to the city and its residents. “Human beings need a relationship with the land itself,” Adams said. “You can’t have local agriculture without a local farmer’s market.” Adams said downtown San Marcos has not always had something to suit everyone. “For decades downtown was nothing beyond bars and law offices,” Adams said. “Having this here creates a nice public venue that’s not really clique-oriented or demographically separated in any way.”
CRIMINAL JUSTICE CAREER DAY Discover Job Opportunities in the Field of Criminal Justice! Talk with Representatives from Federal, State and Local CJ Agencies!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10th, 2015 10 am - 2 pm LBJSC MAIN BALLROOM Students seeking degrees in all majors are invited to attend.
Sponsored by Texas State School of Criminal Justice and Texas State Office of Career Services.
For details visit www.cj.txstate.edu
Kevin Hart and Josh Gad barrel through the plot of the movie The Wedding Ringer, creating a surprisingly potent friendship. Hart proves he may be the next great comedian movie star with his performance in the film. The premise, which at times is underwhelming, focuses on Doug (Josh Gad), a prominent tax attorney who realizes he lacks the cool points to have his own best man for his upcoming wedding to fiancée Gretchen Palmer (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). That is where Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) comes in. Callahan runs a best man service that provides wedding-day friendship to wealthy loners who lack groomsmen. The most common package includes spending a day at the wedding party and giving the best man’s toast. Harris proves to be a challenging case. On top of a best man, he also needs seven groomsmen, which is referred to in Callahan’s business as the “Golden Tux.” After $50,000 for the bundle, Doug and his friends-forhire spend one week getting
acquainted, and the audience is treated to a variety of one-liners, including a family dinner that unfolds into total chaos and ends in the bride’s grandmother going up in flames. Callahan, a loner himself, begins to build a genuine friendship with Harris despite his best efforts to keep business and personal life separate. The Wedding Ringer is dazzling comedic work, and Hart's performance at the climax, when the lies he spun began to unravel, corresponds with everything the audience loved since he started forming them at the beginning of the film. The back-and-forth banter between Hart and Gad forms perfect chemistry in this film, and the shenanigans between the actors are sure to have theaters erupting with laughter in what proves to be Hart’s best work yet. Hart has long played the role of comic relief, with his past performances being used to provide a few chuckles between major scenes in films. However, underneath all of the jokes and foolishness, he emerged as this film’s best actor. A must-see if there ever was one, The Wedding Ringer is a must-see if ever there was one. The film brings in the New Year with a bang.
4 | The University Star | Wednesday, February 4, 2015
THE MAIN POINT
Editor-in-chief steps down Due to unforeseen circumstances, the previous editorin-chief of The University Star has stepped down. Osagioduwa Evbagharu was the Star’s managing editor fall 2014 and took the position of editor-inchief in spring 2015 when the previous editor-in-chief, Lesley Warren, left. Officials from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication met with the editorial board on Jan. 30 without Evbagharu because it had come to their attention that he no longer met the eligibility requirements to continue in the editor-in-chief position. While the editorial board was in that meeting, Evbagharu sent a letter of resignation to SJMC officials citing family illness as the reason for his departure. After learning of these developments, the editorial
board reported on the story. We did so ethically and in an unbiased manner. The University Star abides by the highest ethical standards and felt keeping a development such as this private would not be ethical or in keeping with our reporting principles. If the Star learned that a similar situation had occurred with another student leader on campus, we would be called to report on the story just the same. Reporting on a coworker and friend was difficult and took an emotional toll on the editorial board. However, we had a journalistic duty to fulfill to our readers and ourselves. The editorial board believes the necessary steps were taken, with the guidance of advisors and SJMC officials, to handle the situation and report on the story.
Furthermore, the editorial board believes in transparency and truth. If the Star does not seek truth and report it, then we are not doing our jobs as journalists and are failing the community that puts its trust in us every day they read. The editorial board wishes to express to our readers that this change in leadership will not hinder The University Star or its content in any way. The University Star has been defending the first amendment since 1911. For 104 years this publication has thrived, and it will no doubt continue to do so for 100 years more. All we ask the community is to continue to put your trust in us, and we will deliver unbiased, ethically reported news to our valued readership. —Sincerely, the Editorial Board
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.
‘Anonymous’ true voice in social activism, not just computer hackers
Nabil Hourani OPINIONS COLUMNIST @nabil_hourani
he online activist group Anonymous has made headlines several times over the last decade or so for its use of online hacking to promote social activism, or hacktivism.
Many of these hackings carried out by Anonymous are against groups or government entities most people would agree have caused social injustices. Still, the question of whether Anonymous is an ethical group for invading people’s Internet privacy can certainly be raised. To the general public’s eye, it can be a little unclear as to what exactly Anonymous is and what it stands for. Anonymous originated from users who connected on the website 4chan and would post to message boards anonymously. From here, it escalated into a loosely based network of Internet surfers who remained anonymous to launch cyberattacks for social activism causes.
It is possible for anyone to join the network of Anonymous users. With the right knowledge or a willingness to learn about the software involved, and some thick skin for tough conversations that may be involved, you can join Anonymous in online hacktivism. There are many who may be skeptical of Anonymous and its members’ use of hacking to spread their voice. The power held by Anonymous in its ability to hack major websites, such as those of a country’s government, has made some question how far it can push its abilities and if the hacking is always done by people who are ethical. When looking at all of the events carried out by Anonymous
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
#BlackLivesMatter comes at crucial time
Brandon Sams ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR @TheBrandonSams
BlackLivesMatter. They always have, and they always will, contrary to what the world has told us. The Black Lives Matter movement has come at an opportune time to commemorate this year’s Black History Month. The year 2014 was pivotal for the development and advancement of black voices in the public arena. Race has been on the minds of media outlets, pundits and everyday citizens due to the extrajudicial killing of several unarmed, innocent young black people. The lack of repercussions for the accused, and sometimes proven, killers congealed into a fever pitch from which the Black Lives Matter movement was born. The movement is long overdue and has much ground to cover and uncover at the same time. Black lives are seen
as negligible all over the world. The disposability of black bodies is a sentiment born out of colonialism and aims to separate the native people of conquered lands from their humanity in order to reconcile the injustices perpetuated against them. This ugly history still persists today as the failure to prosecute the killers of these young black people signals just how inconsequential their lives are. Movements like this communicate just how racially vulnerable the black experience can be and often is. Naysayers of the #BlackLivesMatter movement would rather proclaim that #AllLivesMatter. While this is a true sentiment, it perfectly illustrates why the movement is needed. All lives have not been historically oppressed, systematically targeted and unapologetically maligned as those of African descent have. If anything, it just perpetuates the invisibility of the injustice. Instead of focusing on vulnerable classes, the social movement would give equal attention to privileged classes and distort the inequities and injustice. For example, 15 percent of Americans live in poverty. Yet, 9.7 percent of white Americans live in poverty while 27.2 percent of black Americans do. The 15 percent statistic masks
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
the racial inequality lurking under the surface. Going under the surface uncovers some ugly truths. No one is against the idea that all lives matter. The Black Lives Matter movement causes uneasiness and makes people examine and confront their prejudices and beliefs. Not playing it safe and prioritizing the feelings of the privileged over the reality of the oppressed is the root of what a movement truly is. Shifting the focus of the conversation away from the specificity of black lives to encompass everyone also does a disservice. The focus of the dialogue is racial inequity, eurocentrism and systemic anti-blackness. Systemic anti-blackness dates back to the Three-Fifths Compromise in which black people were seen as simply a fraction of human life. This society has come a very long way, but centuries of history and social norms do not disappear overnight. Since the beginning of America, some lives were assumed to be valued higher and more worthy of life and freedom than others. Unfortunately, even in 2015, society has been unable, or perhaps unwilling, to deprogram this assumption. Therefore, the movement must continue. — Brandon Sams is a journalism sophomore
and all of the social injustices they have stood up against, it cannot be denied that Anonymous has been a group doing good. These people are using their skills in this technological society to promote true activism. Anonymous does not steal or kill but stands up against atrocities happening all over the world. For instance, the first major hacktivist event carried out by Anonymous was in 2008 against the Church of Scientology’s website in protest of the organization, which had allegedly imprisoned some of its former members. In 2011, Anonymous released information from a major hacking forum online, which was able to reveal that Chinese hackers had
launched cyberattacks on the U.S. In 2012, Anonymous defaced two Ugandan government sites in protest against the increasingly intolerant LGBTQIA laws being passed in the country. These are just three of the many noble, daring events Anonymous has carried out against social injustices and human rights atrocities happening worldwide. The hacktivism of Anonymous will only continue to grow stronger with the awareness of this brave and heroic group, and it must be understood, not feared, for what it is and the honorable causes it is standing up for. —Nabil Hourani is a public relations senir
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Minorities call out for representation in media
Imani McGarrell OPINIONS EDITOR @ImaniMCG
y name is Imani, I am almost 21 years old and I cried like a baby when I saw Lupita Nyong’o on the July 2014 cover of Vogue. Every time I get into conversations with people about how much representation in the media truly matters, I bring up this story. It perfectly encapsulates every reason people fight so hard to show minorities in media. There are many people who complain about everything being too politically correct nowadays. Critics often say society is too sensitive, and it seems like every television show now has to fill the P.C. quota by having one character of each race. People seem to think incorporating more of a rainbow cast is enough to appease complaints. Simply having the character is far from the end of the battle, though. Media representation is more than just seeing someone your color on TV. It is about destroying the hollow caricatures many black actors and actresses are forced to try to fill and replacing them with real depictions of black life. Things seen on television shape life perceptions whether people think so or not. Even as an adult, the way someone watches something changes when they see themselves in the characters. The basic rule of TV is to connect the people watching to what they see, and black people deserve
that chance just like everyone else. Shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder show networks and producers there is plenty of demand for programs that appeal and relate to black people in positive ways. I love watching Nene snap on people on The Real Housewives of Atlanta as much as the next person. It’s so much fun to tweet along with everyone else in the Twitter hashtag and enjoy the foolery, but at the end of the day those shows don’t do enough justice to the complexity of black life. Right now the most blacks have representing themselves on television screens are the seemingly thousands of Love & Hip Hop spin-offs or Kerry’s gladiator strut. Obviously these are two extremes of the spectrum, but it’s still enough to take pause. Imagine if the only shows representing white people on TV were Jersey Shore and 30 Rock. There would be uproar from all of the people in the middle left out. This scenario is the exact same for blacks, except our cries seem to often fall on deaf ears content to simply pigeonhole. Black people are luckily learning to make things for ourselves instead of waiting around for others to do it for us. For example, the YouTube channel BLACK&SEXY. TV has at least six different series displaying various storylines of black adults. The channel has over 104,000subscribers and continues to grow in popularity as viewers share the videos with their friends. The reason channels like B&S are so popular is simple. People want to see themselves in the things they consume. It’s the same reason I cried when I saw Lupita beaming like a ray of light from the cover of Vogue. Until the mainstream media starts to reflect the mixed salad-like audience it’s supposed to be representing, people will continue to make their own content. It is time for networks and producers to wake up and smell the chocolate. —Imani McGarrell is a journalism junior
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SOFTBALL PREVIEW By Donavan Jackson SPORTS REPORTER @djack_02
The Texas State softball teams’ non-conference schedule is as tough as ever, consisting of three teams ranked in the top 25 and one inside the top 10. Coach Ricci Woodard added seven freshmen to the program in the offseason, including the 2014 Gatorade Texas Softball Player of the Year, Randi Rupp. Rupp recorded a 27-1 record and 0.45 ERA her senior year at Barbers Hill High School. She led the Eagles to the Class 4A
semifinals. She struck out 303 batters, walked 27 and allowed 66 hits. Rupp held opponents to a .114 batting average senior year. “You know, we’re going to be a young team,” Woodard said. “We have a lot of freshman and sophomores who are going to see a lot of playing time this year. The more experience we can get early in the season, the better we’re going to be when it comes time to play in the Sun Belt.” Woodard added Cat Osterman, two-time Olympic medalist, to her staff as an assistant coach to help with pitching. The Bobcats finished last season with a 3.59 ERA and four pitchers in the rotation. Woodard recruited Rupp and Taylor Webb, freshman pitcher, after losing two seniors who graduated. “Our pitching circle is very inexperienced,” Osterman said. “We have two freshman and two returners who haven’t seen a lot of playing time in the last year. I’m excited to see how it’s going to play out, but it’s something that I can’t really predict yet because there is
a lack of experience.” The team has four non-conference tournaments scheduled this season. The Hampton Inn & Suites Tournament and the CenturyLink Classic will be held at Bobcat Stadium. Texas State is set to host the 2014 Sun Belt Champion Louisiana-Lafayette in March and the Baylor Bears for Strikeout Cancer Night in April. The Bobcats will also travel to Auburn for the Wilson/Demarini Classic and College Station for a late-season tune-up before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. “I feel like since August we’ve really focused on the mental game and making sure we’re in the right state of mind,” said Kimberlin Naivar, sophomore first baseman. “I feel like the last couple days of practice has been intense and focused on perfecting the little things as we head into the season opener this weekend.” Texas State will begin season play this weekend in the Hampton Inn & Suites Tournament.
Louisiana-Lafayette, one of two nationally ranked teams in the Sun Belt along with South Alabama, was picked in the 2015 Preseason Poll to repeat as conference champion. The Ragin’ Cajuns had six players named to the Preseason AllConference team, including Preseason Player of the Year Lexie Elkins, junior catcher. Elkins finished the 2014 season hitting a .388 average with 24 home runs and 74 runs batted in. The Ragin’ Cajuns could prove to be the biggest test of the season for the Bobcats when they visit San Marcos in April.
South Alabama, five votes behind Louisiana-Lafayette in the preseason poll, will be a late-season conference matchup for the Bobcats when they travel to Mobile. The Jaguars are sitting at 23rd in the national rankings.. The Bobcats went 2-1 against South Alabama last season.
Texas State will host the Baylor Bears for the second annual Strikeout Cancer night on April 8. The Bears are ranked 10th in the nation and second in the Big 12. Baylor is returning six starters, including Heather Stearns, Bears junior pitcher. Stearns posted a 15-4 record with a 2.06 ERA last season. The contest could turn out to be a pitching battle with the Bobcats’ addition of the 2014 High School Pitcher of the Year, Randi Rupp.
Auburn’s 42-win season last year is the second highest (after 50) in school history. The Bobcats will be on the road for their first-ever meeting with Auburn in the Wilson/Demarini Classic. Morgan Estell, Tigers senior centerfielder, was the only Auburn player named Preseason All-SEC. Estelle started all 62 games in centerfield and hit a .362 average with 40 runs batted in. The Tigers are the first nationally ranked opponent the Bobcat will face this season.
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