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Defending the First Amendment since 1911


Wendy Davis is best known for her famous filibuster in June 2013 where she stood for over 13 hours at the Texas Capitol against House Bill 2.


Wendy Davis, former Texas senator, speaks at a College Democrats-sponsored event Feb. 10 in the Evans Liberal Arts building.


Former Texas Senator Wendy Davis attends College Democrats meeting By Anna Herod NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy

A 15-year-old woman of Native American descent gave birth to the first of 14 children, all while facing the “double sting” of racism and poverty. A generation later, former Texas Senator Wendy Davis’ mother quickly learned the difficulties of providing for her family with only a ninth grade education. Davis attended Wednesday’s Texas State College Democrats’ meeting where she gave a presentation, answered audience questions and took selfies with each

person who wanted one afterward. Davis began by saying it was access to education and reproductive healthcare that allowed her to rise above poverty and work toward translating her passions into action. “When (my mother) got thrown into the workforce, she learned all too quickly how a lack of education impacted her ability to earn an income to support her family,” Davis said. “I remember the orthopedic comfort shoes that she wore. With all the hours of standing she did working, scooping ice creams, and flipping hamburgers… she stood for hours

and hours and hours.” Standing for hours and hours and hours is not unfamiliar to Davis— she once stood for over 13 hours at the Texas Capitol filibustering House Bill 2. That would be the moment that made Davis a household name, but that wouldn’t be until much later in her life. Davis found herself struggling to pay for groceries and to keep her electricity on as a single mother, without a degree, working two lowwage jobs. “It was education that allowed me an opportunity to move up and out of poverty,” Davis said. “It was not just education, it was also repro-


Community development grant to benefit nonprofits aiding locals By Cristina Carreon NEWS REPORTER @Ccarreon90

Nonprofit projects aiming to benefit residents may soon find funding as the city of San Marcos is accepting applications through Feb. 29 for the Community Development Block Grant. The CDBG is awarded to nonprofits seeking funds for programs that service low-tomoderate income residents of the city. “The CDBG grant is very community driven,” said Janis Hendrix, community initiatives administrator. In the past, the grant has allocated funds to Southside Housing Rehab, CASA Child Advocacy, and the Hays-

Caldwell Women’s Center. “It’s a great service to the community, and CASA is grateful to have this as a funding resource available so that we can provide services to abused and neglected children,” said Dalinda Newby, community initiatives technician. In 2015, some funds were donated to buy land for Habitat for Humanity and make improvements to Dunbar Park. City officials first received the grant in 1994 at $749,000—the highest endowment ever awarded to the city. Local officials receive the federal grant annually, and use the funds to provide housing, suitable living environments and economic

expansion opportunities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hendrix said she expects city officials will receive approximately $500,000 this year, but will not know the exact amount until March or April. Funding for the grant increased by $13,412 in the past two years, coinciding with more eligible participating counties. “On the federal level, the government isn’t increasing the program funding overall, but each year, more and more cities and counties become eligible to receive funding,” Hendrix said. “So, the pie

See CDBG, Page 2

ductive health care.” The only health care Davis had access to for four years during early adulthood was at a Planned Parenthood clinic near her home in Fort Worth, Texas. The former senator said she has an acute understanding of what it means to plan a future family in a way that allows a woman to first get an education. “That was my breakthrough,” Davis said. “If I had had another unplanned pregnancy, I probably would have never been able to succeed on the journey that I was on. So I have a deep understanding of the fact that, for women, having reproductive autonomy is absolutely, infi-

nitely, necessarily linked to our economic opportunity in this world.” Davis said the best way to characterize the reason she decided to have a career as a public servant, is the idea of wanting to walk in other people’s shoes. Imagine Davis’ shoes. They were pink when she stood for hours and hours and hours, but they were also the shoes of a Democratic candidate running in a historically red state. An example Davis gave in Evans 116 of putting oneself in another’s shoes was the passage of the 19th amendment, granting suffrage to

women in America. “We had to rely on an allmale congress to do it for us,” Davis said. “We had to ask them to step into our shoes and consider what our experiences were and why our voices were unique and needed to be added to the conversation at the ballot box.” America is in need of public servants who are willing to put themselves in other people’s shoes, she said. “I hope that as we think about that right, and that precious privilege of voting, (that) we remember— whether we are a minority

See DAVIS, Page 3


Faculty Senate clears confusion after controversy last week By Lesly De Leon ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @leslyd28

President Denise Trauth and Provost Gene Bourgeois attended the Wednesday meeting to clear confusion after a possible violation of state requirements stirred up controversy in Faculty Senate last week. At the Feb. 3 Faculty Senate meeting, senators learned that a student bypassed Texas Success Initiative requirements set by the state legislature because of his or her possible connections to a high-up administrator. Trauth and Bourgeois assured the senators the student in question received

permission to enter a math course without the prerequisites, in compliance with state requirements. “Obviously we take these kinds of things seriously,” Trauth said. Trauth said she hopes the senators know that neither herself nor Bourgeois would ever break or bend the rules. Bourgeois said the TSI requirements can and should be waived in certain cases. The parent of the student in question contacted him asking for guidance because a math course was the last course he or she needed to graduate. Bourgeois told the parent he believed the issue would have to go through the Math Department or the TSI office.

After contacting the TSI office, Bourgeois learned the student or parent had already contacted officials prior to contacting him. Daniel Brown, dean of University College and director of the PACE Center, as well as Michael Nava, associate dean of University College, were already evaluating the student’s situation when Bourgeois contacted them. Brown and Nava were both present at the Faculty Senate meeting. Nava is the university’s TSI compliance officer, Trauth said. Brown and Nava verified it was the last course the student needed to graduate,

See FACULTY, Page 2

Let all of campus know about your upcoming nuptials by being included in the Star’s 2016 Bridal issue, hitting stands February 25.

go to for more info

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doesn’t get any bigger, but more people are eating it.” At least 70 percent of CDBG funds must benefit people of low-to-moderate income, prevent or eliminate blight, or address an urgent threat to the community. Individuals or families must have gross incomes at or below 80 percent of the Area Medium Income to be considered low-to-moderate beneficiaries of the grant. HUD officials calculate the AMI by considering universitystar @UniversityStar theuniversitystar

Go to university


Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy @universitystar

the income levels of several counties and cities in the Austin-metro area that receive the federal grant, Hendrix said. “Our numbers are regionally based,” Hendrix said. “We are tied in with Austin, Round Rock, Williamson County and Travis County.” The requirement increased for the city of Austin because its residents’ average gross incomes are greater than that of San Marcos, Hendrix said.

Officials will prioritize funding housing, public facilities, infrastructure and public services when using the grant. Hendrix said grant money is rarely used to alleviate urgent problems in the community, such as aid for flood damage, because city officials must prove to HUD officials that no other funding is available. City council members will decide how to allocate the grant money in their May

17 meeting or at another one June 7. Before council members decide, residents and applicants for the grant will have an opportunity to comment May 3 at a public hearing. After council members finalize their decision, Hendrix will write an action plan and allow a 30-day comment period before submitting it to HUD officials for review. Several representatives of local nonprofit organizations attended the appli-

cation workshop Jan. 29 for information about the grant. “We need exposure because the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team is formed from out-of-state skilled volunteer groups,” said Cynthia Jones, BR3T donations committee volunteer. “We need funds because the committee is not highly populated.”

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and both have reviewed the student’s academic history and readiness. The state legislature passed new requirements and standards for college readiness in 2014, and there are a variety of ways for students

to demonstrate college readiness Brown said. Officials can conduct a holistic review of the student’s academic record and personal situation to determine if an alternative is required, but it isn’t a common or regular

occurrence, Brown said. Brown said the student in question was in one of the rare situations that allowed him or her to bypass prerequisites. There have been a couple of past examples of a student

being granted permission to bypass math prerequisites, Nava said. “It’s not something we advertise,” Nava said. There is no “cookie-cutter” way for students to get permission to bypass the prereq-

uisites, he said. “There’s a lot of things that get taken into consideration,” Nava said. “We have said no to many students and yes to others. This is not something that happened for the first time.”

TSI officials try to work closely with students, and officials should personally meet with students who don’t meet requirements, Nava said.


Q&A with Andrew Homann, Student Government presidential candidate The Student Government elections are quickly approaching. The University Star spoke with student body president candidate Andrew Homann to discuss his campaign. Major/classification: Finance sophomore

stated that they weren’t happy with what Student Government was doing. And while I may disagree with a little bit of that, it’s not acceptable that the voice of the students doesn’t feel like we’re being impactful enough. I wanted to run to really make a difference, and I feel like president is the best spot to do it.

Anna Herod: Why did you decide to run for student body president? Homann: I’ve been involved in the organization for close to two years. I’ve been a senator, and I’m passionate about Texas State and I’m passionate about the students. I feel like there’s still a lot of work to be done. I actually read an article that The University Star came out with this past December that

Herod: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish? Homann: One of the biggest things that I want to accomplish is student involvement. We have close to 40,000 students now, but when you look around to other big schools such as A&M and the University of Texas, our student involvement is nowhere near their level. And

I think that’s partially Student Government’s fault as well. So I really want to just flip the culture of Student Government and just be able to get students more involved in everything. Herod: What are the biggest issues the student body faces, and, if elected, how do you plan on addressing those issues? Homann: Like I was saying in the previous question, I feel like student involvement and one way to address that is spreading the word and coming up with an idea that we can have a big organizational—maybe like a rush week for all organizations. That way students can come in, and not necessarily if they

want to go Greek or if they want to join business organizations, but just for them to figure out what’s all out there at Texas State because I feel like a lot of the students don’t really know. Another thing I hope to accomplish is a bigger homecoming tradition. I feel like Texas State’s homecoming is not very relevant. Not necessarily a bad thing, I just feel like it definitely has some room to grow. Herod: How are you qualified to be student body president? Homann: I’ve been a senator the past two years, and I’ve also been a part of other organizations in which I’ve held leadership positions. I was the judicial board for

my fraternity (Delta Tau Delta) this past year. And I was a delegate on the Model Organization of American States, a political science group, this fall. Herod: Why should students elect you? Homann: I think students should elect me because I’m going to reach the biggest voice. They can rest assured that I’m going to go into the office every day and not be afraid to challenge the higher authorities at Texas State, and make sure that meaningful pieces of legislation get written so they have an impact in our students’ lives.

ponents? Homann: I just feel like I can reach out to more of the student body. I’m more diverse with people that I interact with. I’m not specifically in one organization; I’m part of a fraternity, I am in Student Government, I’m constantly going to the athletic games. I’m friends with multiple players on the baseball team. I just feel like I’ll be able to reach out to a good majority of the students and figure out what concerns them and after I’ve figured that out, we can go forward and write legislation that’s going to impact people’s lives here.

Herod: Why are you better for the job than your op-





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or whether we are female or whether we are both—all of the people that fought along the way to make sure that we had the equal right to vote in this country and to express our voice,” Davis said. In addition to sharing her journey, and her shoes, Davis spoke to students at the meeting about the importance of voting in the upcoming primary and general elections. The meeting attracted over 150 students, filling up the teaching theater in Evans. Tyler Price, marketing senior, said he has stood behind Davis since 2014 when she ran for Texas Governor. Price came to the meeting to show the former senator that his support for her has remained constant since her concession to Governor Greg Abbott. Nick Laughlin, president of Texas State’s College

Democrats, said he hopes students listened to Davis’ call to vote and be politically active. “We have the lowest voter participation in the country,” Davis said. “It’s not just that voters are entirely responsible for that phenomenon. It’s purposeful. It’s 20 years in the state of a very active amount of work being done to suppress the vote of people whose opinions won’t necessarily support the folks that are in power right now.” Davis said gerrymandering of voting districts has led to a system in which potential voters have become apathetic. “The deck is stacked purposefully to create that outcome,” Davis said. “It teaches people after a while ‘My vote doesn't matter.’ And it does create this self-fulfilling prophecy, so the only way to combat that is to vote, vote,

vote, vote, vote. Get everyone you know to vote.” Davis, who has publicly endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the primary race, said she is actively working to equip young women to take on the political scene. “My hope is to build a series of advocacy training programs where we help take passion and move it into action,” she said. The initiative will kick off with a campaign about sexual assault on college campuses, she said. “(It will) help young people all across the country to put together, with tools that we provide them, a way to actively change the climate of their administration’s response to sexual assault on their campuses,” Davis said.


“We had to ask them to step into our shoes and consider what our experiences were and why our voices were unique and needed to be added to the conversation at the ballot box.” —WENDY DAVIS, FORMER TEXAS SENATOR


Bobcats for Bernie want you to ‘Feel the Bern’ By Bailey Buckingham NEWS REPORTER @bcbuckingham

Over 500 people are already “feeling the Bern,” and have RSVP’d for Bernie Man, a rally for Vermont senator and presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders, Feb. 28 at Sewell Park. Bobcats for Bernie, a political organization on campus, is hosting the event in an

attempt to rally support for Sanders before the March 1 Texas primary election. “The support for the event has been completely unexpected and really exciting,” said Taylor Cavin, co-president of Bobcats for Bernie and elementary education senior. “I mean, we’re already over the amount (of donations) we said we needed because people really want to make this happen.”

After having several meetings and one debatewatching party, Cavin said the group is surprised by the amount of support they have received from fellow students. “I never expected to get this much support from people on campus,” Cavin said. “Even if you don’t support Bernie, everyone pretty much knows who we are.” Blaine Anderson, co-pres-

ident of Bobcats for Bernie and international studies senior, thinks the organization’s supporters recognize the change she feels Sanders could bring to America. “Bernie’s message is ringing with youth because our age group is realizing that we are the necessary step to begin a political revolution,” Anderson said. “We’re done with the Clintons and the Bushes, and much like

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 2016 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.

SOPHIA DE LA ROSA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Bobcats for Bernie, a student-led organization at Texas State, aims to encourage students to be more active in politics and rally support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Minimum Qualifications To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester during the term office. Students graduating in the final semester of the appointment (Spring 2017) 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. Applicants must maintain a 2.5 semester and overall grade point average during their time of appointment. A student who falls below the 2.5 grade point grade semester average will forfeit the office even though he/she maintains an overall 2.5 grade point average.

The University Star Mission The editor is the primary student editorial administrator for The University Star and has authority in all personnel matters and makes the final decision regarding news, sports, feature, photo, Web and opinion content. The editor 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

Obama said in his campaign, we want change, but we want actual, systematic change.” Cavin said even though College Democrats and Socialist Alternatives cannot publicly endorse a candidate, there are several members in both groups that are Sanders supporters. Students for Rand was an organization formed by student supporters of Rand Paul.

However, the candidate discontinued his campaign Feb. 3 so the group has now declared their support for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, said Joseph Sadler, Students for Rand member and physics graduate student. The group has not yet announced any events on campus for Johnson.

editor-in-chief is also the voice of the publication with the community.

Term of Office Term of office begins following the final publication of the Spring 2016 semester and runs through Spring 2017 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 Applications for the position will be due by noon, Wednesday, March 30 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 4. Selection of the editor-in-chief will be made shortly after interviews have been completed. Formal assumption of duties will begin one week after the final newspaper of the Spring Semester is published.

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 INTERVIEWS Will be scheduled beginning April 4

4 | Thursday, February 11, 2016

The University Star


Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams @universitystar


From the Love Editor: the perfect Valentine’s Day Date 1

Have good hygiene.

Muy importante! Try not to smell bad and brush your teeth and wear deodorant. That’s all that needs to be said.


Dress nicely.

Taking pride in your appearance is an attractive quality. There is no telling how long your date spent getting ready, so give them the common courtesy!


Be yourself.

Calm down and be yourself and not who you think your date wants you to be. Don’t agree with anything and everything they say for the sake of “having something in common.” Sometimes opposites attract.


Mind your manners.

No matter how great and nice you are, if you’re rude to the waiter, it’s a no-go. So, don’t be rude. Also don’t eat with your hands. Or do, if your date is into that.




Everyone goes for the typical dinner date on Valentine’s Day. Why not go to a petting zoo to show your fluffy side or hit up an arcade for a night of competitive fun!

Listen to what your date is saying, and respond accordingly. The eyes are the windows to the soul so make sure to maintain eye contact when communicating to keep your date engaged.


Don’t look at your phone.

Show up on time.


It’s rude. There needs to be a zero cell phone use policy on dates. It’s extremely rude to the other person and will make them lose interest quite quickly. And no emoji will like you as much as your date!


Think outside the box.

It’s rude to be late. Make it a priority to be punctual. Being late sends the signal to the person that your time is more important than theirs.

Make sure your lips are moisturized.

Relax and have fun!


You never know when your date might make a move for that Valentine’s Day smooch! Hot tip: use a light sugar scrub to exfoliate your lips and apply a layer of lip balm, make sure it’s not sticky, and you’ll be ready for anything. This is open to interpretation.

It’s normal to be nervous or anxious because you might not know what to expect. Go into the date with an open mind and be ready to have a good time.


*Oh, and bring flowers. Or candy.

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.


Useless anti-bag legislation does harm, not good

Madison Teague SENIOR OPINIONS COLUMNIST @maddiebell_bell


ity officials should not pass legislation as a test to see if a policy will be beneficial just because they think it might be best. Austin “bag ban” proponents, I’m talking to you.

In 2013, single-use plastic bags were banned in Austin in an effort to reduce pollution. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, just as the Austin city landfill is now filled with earth-harming “reusable” bags. Once single-use plastic bags were outlawed within city limits, the new sturdier, bigger, multiuse plastic bags took their place. The issue is that these new, heftier bags are still being thrown away, causing heavier consequences than the previous bags. The Austin Resource Recovery group was asked to evaluate the effective-

ness of this ordinance and they discovered multiuse bags were actually worse for the environment overall than single-use. Ironically, these reusable bags are typically made of “non-recycled low-density polyethylene,” making them harder to break down. The ordinance is even more damaging to the environment because each reusable bag leaves a larger carbon footprint than the single-use bags when discarded. In order for the reusable bag to be less harmful than the singleuse, every bag would have to be used around 4-12

times. Unfortunately, this is not the case. People are purchasing the more expensive reusable bag just to throw away later, which costs them more than the singleuse option. Not only is the environment now slightly worse for wear, but consumers and businesses are losing money due to the unnecessary ban on bags. Stores in Austin are losing customers because of the ridiculous ban. Shoppers are choosing to go out of their way to avoid the ban by going to neighboring towns. A city should not be able to ban a good just because it may

not be beneficial, especially without proper evidence showing the policy would help. The problem comes down to personal responsibility. It is not a matter of what type of bag the city should allow the market to sell and its people to purchase. Rather, it is a matter of whether or not residents properly recycle or reuse their bags rather than simply throwing them away. Offering incentives to businesses rather than punishments is a better way to ensure that companies do all they can to recycle. Incentives grow businesses

while helping the environment, making them mutually beneficial. No one should have to pass legislation just to get people to throw away their trash correctly. The city should educate its people on how to properly recycle instead of wasting time and money passing useless ordinances that backfire and do more harm than good. Many will do their best to properly recycle their garbage once the public is aware of the environmental benefit and monetary incentive of recycling. —Madison Teague is an English Senior


The black card doesn’t exist, stop giving it

Brandon Sams OPINIONS EDITOR @TheBrandonSams


t seems inevitable—a white person does something deemed respectable toward black people, we go wild and bestow upon them “the black card.” But what if I told you it doesn’t work like that? Breaking news: it does not work like that. There is no black card to give, because it does not exist. Patting a nonblack person on the back for being a decent human being simply because historically

it’s been all too beneficial for them to denounce us is more than a bit pathetic. It is unclear where the idea that honorary status should be given to white people who express a modicum of affinity or understanding toward black culture or struggle originated. Either way, the practice needs to stop. No matter what, these people are still white. Part of the black experience and identity is intrinsically tied to our history and battles against adversity on a national and global scale. No amount of dabbing and flexing will make that true for some random white guy who said “black lives matter” once. American racial politics are a tricky thing, and part of white America’s sense of self-worth is based on looking down on black people. In turn, many are delighted when they partake in our

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, Sports Editor..............................................Paul Livengood, Lifestyle Editor......................................Carlie Porterfield, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor..............................Daryl Ontiveros, Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall,

cultural delicacies like a peasant to a queen. The kind of jubilance we as a community get out of white affirmation reveals how deep-seated the idea of paternalism and dominant recognition is to us. It’s not right, and it needs to be convicted for what it is: an inferiority complex. If your white homeboy can hit the Quan, congratulations—still no black card. Perhaps your white girlfriend has an affinity for dabbing—sorry, still a no. Even if your white friends actually understand the racial dynamics of America and fight against them, the work is appreciated but, alas, they are still not black. Stop giving away these faux cards because they do nothing but energize entitlement. These are the same “friends” who sardonically go about flinging the n-word like some kind of ebony lance as they walk around,

haphazardly striking unsuspecting black people with the acidity of their words. Congratulations, that is the fruit of your labor. It is generally understood that the notion of a “black card” is meant in jest, however, I am not one for uncritical eyes. Understand that, while it may be unfortunate to say, the American experience is one built wholly on a bed of injustices. And with this false narrative of “the black card,” a whole new breed of willful ignorance is born: the cosigned bigot. Cosigned bigots are people so staunchly firm in their ignorance because “our black friend said it was cool.” Please don’t be the Stacey Dash to somebody’s Rudy Giuliani. Let your white friends be allies, if that’s even what they are. Have them love the culture if that is true to who they are. However,

encouraging the hijacking of a movement, a people and a legacy on the basis that a person knows all the words to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is offensive. If you want to find out what a “black card” looks like, then check out Beyoncé’s flawless Formation. All of those beautiful, brown-skinned people are what a “black card” looks like. If you lack the aforementioned qualities, then tread lightly because you’re in the wrong lane. Blackness is cultural, historical, intrinsic and most important to us. So no more giving out “black

cards.” Let racial imperialism and the string of cultural entitlement die out. It’s survived far too long already. —Brandon Sams is a journalism junior

A February

Black History Month Column Series

In honor of Black History Month, the opinions section will spotlight a column written by one of The University Star’s black staff members in each issue. The University Star hopes to showcase a variety of perspectives in the new series dedicated to bringing issues in the black community to light.

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, February 11, 2016. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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San Marcos bird walks make for great Saturday mornings By Louis Zylka LIFESTYLE REPORTER @LouisZylka

San Marcos bird walks are held every first Saturday of each month, during which participants can learn about various species of local birds and learn how to recognize them. Lance Jones, Greenbelt Alliance coordinator, said these bird walks originally started four years ago. He said the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance supports these recreational events to protect the natural environment and the life in it. Jones said they have had groups ranging from 10 to 20 people. They regularly see new faces joining the walks, while others return for the same experience. He said

they start these strolls early in the morning, when the birds are the most active. “It’s just a matter of getting up early on a Saturday morning and doing something we all enjoy doing,” Jones said. Stephen Ramirez, bird walk coordinator, said the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is a volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving the status of the city trails and parks. “(The alliance) encourages park acquisition by buying more park lands and protecting the natural habitats in those parks,” Ramirez said. Ramirez said he receives emails from everyone who is interested in attending and sends them the time and location of each bird walk. He said people contact him

through the organization’s blog and the San Marcos visitors’ website. Ramirez said he tries to pick diverse parks or locations for visitors to walk through and have a better view of the birds without trees or objects in the way. “I usually try to pick places that have open views and get a variety of habitats or locations,” Ramirez said. “We just try to keep it fresh and changing and rotate all the places we go to.” Jones said Ramirez and Colton Robbins lead these bird walks each Saturday. They are very knowledgeable about recognizing birds, especially by hearing their distinct noises. Ramirez said he is the leader and coordinator of


these monthly activities. He run conservation organiza- always try to do something said their bird walks are very tions to form money and proj- different.” casual and beginner-friendly. ects to raise those numbers Ramirez said there is a va“We can show people the up,” Robbins said. riety of birds on the walks variety of local birds and get Jones said the bird walks and it is easy to recognize a people out doors and enjoy have been held at different ar- species, whether people are a nice morning outside,” eas of San Marcos like Spring at a park or in their backyard. Ramirez said. Lake, Purgatory Creek Park “All it takes is stopping to Jones said Robbins lists an and Ringtail Trails. He said notice and look to realize approximate number of all they also go along the San there is nature and wildlife the birds seen on each hike Marcos River to see more (in San Marcos), and you and posts the list on their species in the open. don’t have to go to a natural website. “We always do something park 200 miles away to see “Sometimes it’s easy, but new and interesting (each nature,” Ramirez said. sometimes there will be a bird walk),” Jones said. “We flock, and he will estimate out of hundreds of what kind of birds we saw,” Jones said. Robbins said they always CLASSIFIEDS try to document rare birds because it becomes valuable data for species considered declined or even endangered. NATURAL BRIDGE specimen, healthy college “(Discovering rare birds) WILDLIFE RANCH is students age 18-39. For helps people who actually hiring immediate FT/PT application go to www. VISITOR CENTER and RESTAURANT personnel. Join our friendly, customer- KUNGFUSANMARCOS. oriented team with flexible COM schedules and an unique atmosphere. Apply today Come join our loud, fun, in person or download aphappy crew and learn how plication to roll pitas like a pro. All positions available! Must www.WildlifeRanchTexas. love life, people and pitas! com. Email us @: SEMEN DONORS NEEDED! $150 per

Sky’s the Limit for Piggy Smallz By Tiffany Goulart LIFESTYLE REPORTER

A seven-month old miniature pig named Piggy Smallz puts a smile on the face of anyone he meets during his walks around The Woods apartment complex. Reagan Haggard, public relations major sophomore and Piggy Smallz’s owner, decided to adopt him when she saw an advertisement on Facebook. She got Piggie Smallz at the Buckwild Wildlife Preserve in Ingram, Texas when he was only two weeks old. Piggy Smallz’s hobbies include swimming in the river, playing outside, and of course, eating. He is often spotted taking long walks around the apartment complex. Breezy West, criminal justice and psychology junior, was in her car with some friends when they saw Piggy Smallz on a walk. “A pig is a pretty unusual animal to see at a college apartment complex,” West said. “We stopped to see who he belonged to. I love his name!” For someone considering having an indoor pig, Haggard’s advice is to already own a dog. Piggy Smallz was trained by watching Haggard’s other pet, a toy poodle named Lux. Indoor pigs can be taken care of similarly to dogs. Piggy Smallz and Lux go to the same veterinarian, have kennels and pet beds and drink water out of dog bowls. They are both bathed in the bathtub with dog shampoo and go on walks together. Lux taught Piggy Smallz

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LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Reagan Haggard, public relations sophomore, holds her pet pig, Piggy Smallz near The Woods apartments.

how to greet visitors. When people walk past the window or knock on the front door, Lux welcomes them by barking and Piggy Smallz contributes a series of grunts. “Piggy Smallz has never been around another pig, so I’m pretty sure he thinks he is a dog,” Haggard said. Piggy Smallz and Lux typically rest in their kennel beds, but sometimes they’ll sleep together and cuddle, Haggard said. “Piggy is a huge cuddler,” Haggard said. “I baby him and rock him to sleep every night.” Caring for Piggy Smallz comes with unique challenges, Haggard said. “Something I did not know before getting Piggy is that pigs cannot lose weight,” Haggard said. “Because of

this, I have to be very careful what I feed him.” Pigs are vegetarians and Piggy Smallz is on a strict diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and mini oats. Haggard said Piggy Smallz’s favorite food is bananas or the special treat he sometimes gets—Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. “Piggy is a very messy eater. He will get food all over his snout,” Haggard said. “We have to be careful what we leave on the ground. Paper, cardboard—Piggy will eat it all. He keeps eating our boxes that hold our Christmas decorations.” Pigs do not have a hypothalamus, the portion of the brain responsible for ending the feeling of hunger. So, they never experience being full. Piggy Smallz has no shame in begging for food.




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“Whenever Piggy wants breakfast, he will lay in front of the fridge,” Haggard said. “Whenever someone is eating, he is all over them.” For anyone considering getting a pig and raising it indoors, Haggard definitely recommends it. “They are hard work, but it’s so worth it,” Haggard said. “Piggy is such a sweetheart.” Rachel Haggard, Reagan Haggard’s twin sister and roommate, loves living life with her sibling’s pet. “I love living with Piggy,” Rachel Haggard said. “It is just so fun living with a minipig who wants to snuggle and cuddle all the time.” Once the weather warms up, Piggy Smallz will most likely be swimming in the river like a true San Martian. So, keep an eye out for him!

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6 | Thursday, February 11, 2016

The University Star


Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IAmLivengood @universitystar




Thomas Mejia: What has been

your favorite memory here at Texas State? Ashley Wright: There’s so many, but probably when we beat UT in the fall. TM: If you could play any other sport, what would it be and why? AW: Beach volleyball, because you get to tan and play something that is really cool in the sand.

TM: Who is your favorite

athlete? AW: Tim Tebow, because his morals and the way he represents himself not only in a sport, but within the community as well. TM: Who is your biggest inspiration? AW: My mom and sister because they have always been there for me and they always like pushing me to do the best I can. TM: What is your dream vacation? AW: Going to Bora Bora.

TM: Who is your favorite AW: I don’t read a lot, but music artist? AW: Sam Hunt. TM: If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? AW: Chris Pine because he is fine. TM: What is your favorite Netflix show? AW: Prison Break. TM: What is your proudest accomplishment? AW: Playing softball here for Texas State. TM: What is your favorite book?

probably a throwback and say the Twilight series. TM: If you had one superpower, what would it be? AW: I want a lot of superpowers: breathe underwater, read people’s minds and to fly. TM: What is your favorite zoo animal? AW: A monkey. TM: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three things, what would those things be? AW: Well, I’m going to have to kill something, so a knife, my

dad and since I’m stranded I will take a boat. TM: What’s your favorite holiday? AW: Christmas. TM: What’s your favorite movie? AW: 50 First Dates. TM: What is the best advice someone has told you? AW: “Do not get married until you’re 30,” and “Don’t count the days—make the days count.” TM: What is your favorite food? AW: Spaghetti, pizza and

ice cream. I love every food, though. TM: Where do you see yourself in five years? AW: Hopefully still in the San Marcos/New Braunfels area, possibly in grad school or being done with grad school, and I have a job already. TM: What are you most looking forward to this season? AW: Traveling and just having an awesome last semester with my teammates.



By: Lisette Lopez SPORTS REPORTER @Lisette_1023

Lisette Lopez: What made

you want to pursue a career in Accounting? Nikki Sanchez: My mom was an accountant. And she has kind of shown me how it works. I am pretty good at math, so it kind of made sense that I would go into accounting. I hopefully want to start my own business around central Texas. LL: Do you have a big family? What are they like? NS: No, I am an only child. I like being an only child because my parents get to go to every one of my meets. It’s fun having them support me. LL: What would be your dream vacation?

NS: Bora Bora. It looks really

fun. I really like to swim and so it makes sense. LL: Who is your celebrity crush, and why? NS: Channing Tatum, because of Magic Mike of course. LL: What do you do for fun? NS: Spend time with friends. Walk my dog. The normal San Marcos stuff. LL: If you could be anything you wanted, what would you be? NS: I would love to be someone who is around dogs all the time. On Twitter I saw a job where you can just hug dogs all day long. Taking care of dogs would be my dream job. LL: What is your favorite animal?

parents a lot. Also, so they other than running? NS: A dog or a monkey. LL: When did you find your could watch me run. I also NS: Dogs. really like the atmosphere LL: What do you hope to bepassion for running? come after college? NS: I played basketball when it brings. I was really little. My mom LL: Who is your favorite ath- NS: I want to travel a lot. kind of forced it on me. Then, I realized I wasn’t really good at it. So my dad stuck me in a one mile run, and I did fairly well. So I always just stuck with it since then. LL: When did you start running? NS: I started running when I was 11. I just kind of did open events. Not really attached to anything. I just did all the 5K’s I could when I was little. LL: Why did you choose Texas State? NS: I am actually from San Marcos. It was close to home, and being an only child I really wanted to be around my

lete? NS: Lolo Jones. LL: What is your favorite sport? NS: I like everything. I played a lot of volleyball in high school. So it would be either volleyball or running. LL: If you had to choose between being invisible, or having super strong strength, what would you pick and why? NS: Invisible. It would be kind of cool to see everything without actually being there. So people wouldn’t see you or realize that you’re there. LL: Do you have anything you are truly passionate about

Hopefully get a business running and being able to do everything that I want to do in life. LL: Do you have any big dreams? NS: I want to travel, and see everything. Spain and Brazil. I want to get to live through everything. I want to see the world. LL: Do you have any major influences in your life? NS: My parents. My dad the most. He has always been with me through my running and school. He has always been someone to talk to. LL: What does your average day consist of?

NS: School, running, my dog

and more homework. It is super busy. LL: Do you own any animals? NS: I just got a dog, and his name is Ollie. He is half Border Collie and half something else, I’m not really sure. I also have two Beagles at my parents’ house. Their names are Tweetie and Logan. LL: Do you have a favorite fast-food place to go to? NS: Chipotle LL: Who is your favorite artist? NS: Taylor Swift, I love all of her songs. LL: What is your all-time favorite snack? NS: It is called a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. I make it myself, it is really easy.


The University Star

Thursday, February 11, 2016 | 7


Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IAmLivengood @universitystar


GET TO K N OW CORY GEISLER Left-handed pitcher & outfield

By Brooke Phillips SPORTS REPORTER @brookephillips_

Brooke Phillips: What is your

favorite part about playing college baseball? Cory Geisler: My favorite part about playing college baseball is just playing with all my teammates and getting to interact with them every day. We’re with each other more than anyone else. BP: Who is someone you look up to and why? CG: I look up to my dad because he’s just been a great role model to me since elementary school all the way up until now. BP: What is something that makes you happy? CG: Winning baseball games. BP: Where is your favorite place to travel to and why? CG: Probably California. I played baseball there my freshman summer. All the different beaches there are beautiful and they all have their own unique look to them, and I like the beach. BP: What was the last compli-

ment you received and whom was it from? CG: Coach Ty Harrington. I got a double and he told me, “Nice hit.” BP: What is one piece of advice you live by? CG: Do whatever makes you happy and live to fulfill anything you want to do in your life, and don’t let anybody take that from you. BP: What is something you like to do outside of baseball? CG: Here in San Marcos, I like to go to the river all the time, and the outlet malls are just across I-35 so that’s not a bad place to go spend money. BP: Who is someone you wish you knew better and why? CG: Carrie Underwood, because she has a beautiful singing voice and she’s beautiful as well. BP: Who is one musical artist everyone should know about and why? CG: Drake, because he’s not like a Lil Wayne. He interjects himself with college basketball. He kind of does everything with his music. BP: Favorite movie of all

time? CG: Dodgeball. I just like the way Ben Stiller acts in it and it’s hilarious. I love Vince Vaughn and I could watch that movie every day. BP: If you didn’t play baseball, what other sport could you see yourself playing? CG: My favorite sport to watch is basketball and I played basketball, so I would say that. BP: What is something you’ve always wanted to do and why? CG: Baseball has always taken up much of my life, which I don’t have a problem with. But, other than baseball, I think it would be cool to travel around the world and see what other cultures people live in. BP: Describe your perfect pizza. CG: It would be a barbecue chicken pizza—barbecue, cheese, glazed grilled onions with some ranch on the side. BP: When was the last time you were proud of yourself? CG: This morning, because I got up and went to every single class.



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February 11 2016  
February 11 2016