FEBRUARY 1, 2016 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 3
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Grocery store participates in ‘Souperbowl’ madness By Nestor Camacho NEWS REPORTER @RoarRoarRoar_
DARYL ONTIVEROS MULTIMEDIA EDITOR The construction being done on Bobcat Trail is nearly complete.
Texas State: a never-ending $750 million project By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley
Bulldozers have become a common sight at Texas State as the university renovates, expands and creates buildings on campus. All of this construction comes with a $750 million price tag. According to the Campus Construction website, the university has invested in a variety of projects both cur-
rently in development and in the very early stages. “All of these constructions are in alignment as part of the university’s Master Plan,” said Juan Guerra, vice president of facilities. “The new construction is due to the huge growth we are experiencing on campus.” The renovation of Jones Dining Hall is 50 percent complete, according to Campus Construction. Along with the new Moore Street
Housing complex, other facilities are being developed and planned. Some of these facilities include Hilltop Complex, a new housing project, along with a new Engineering and Science building. Guerra said the 150,000-square-foot engineering building is actively being designed. Once the final design is submitted to the Texas State University System Board of Regents for
approval in May, Campus Construction will proceed with the effort this September or October. “The College of Engineering and Science is one of the fastest-growing colleges on campus,” Guerra said. “It will support more classrooms and quite a few more research laboratories.” A key factor in some of these new developments has been recognizing the importance of maintaining balance
between city and student life at Texas State, Guerra said. “We are very sensitive to making sure we maintain a good quarter and a good connectivity between the campus and the community,” Guerra said. Guerra said an example of this conscientiousness is the university’s decision to build the Performing Arts Center on University Drive, across
See CAMPUS, Page 2
Away from work, political science professor turns to music By Brigeda Hernandez NEWS REPORTER @brigeda_h
When he is not teaching political science courses at Texas State, students can find Donald Inbody strumming his guitar on local stages. Inbody, a senior lecturer, has earned multiple degrees and served in the United States Navy for 29 years. He’s been giving political science lectures at Texas State since 2008, but still finds time to play with his band BuffaloGrass. Inbody began singing in church choirs at a very young age, and his grandmother gave him his first guitar when he was 10 years old. Music has been a crucial part of his life ever since. It is now a way to balance out his life and work, Inbody said. He sings every Sunday with the Oak Hill United Methodist Church choir. “While you’re doing music, you’re not doing anything else,” Inbody said. “Your mind is completely involved in that. It kind of gets your creative juices going, and allows you to think about one thing and not let
the other things get in your way.” Inbody moved to the Austin area in 2003, where he met a mandolin player and bass player. The trio formed the band BuffaloGrass and completed an album in six months. He continued to play with the band regularly after they released the album “Gone to Nickel Creek” in 2007. The album was named after a ranch in West Texas by the same name, not after the band Nickel Creek. Coincidentally, Nickel Creek had drawn their band name from the same ranch. Members of Inbody’s band attended a West Texas block party at the Nickel Creek ranch. Attendees came from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas for a fourday music festival at the foot of Guadalupe Mountain. Band members drew inspiration for their album from the experience, Inbody said. The band now consists of Inbody on guitar, Scott Byars on mandolin, Thom McNeil on banjo, Tom Lindsey on fiddle and Scott Broberg on the upright bass.
See BUFFALOGRASS, Page 2
San Marcos and Hays County is my home and will continue to be. AH: Why did you decide to run for public office? RR: When you have an incumbent, I think we PRECINCT 3 HAYS COUNTY all need to have COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE opponents in the primaries, especially when our The Texas primary elec- outlook as far as how the tions are quickly approach- money is spent, public debt ing. The University Star and the future of the counspoke with Precinct 3 Hays ty is paramount right now. County Commissioner I think we need to have candidate Rob Roark to someone with a different discuss his campaign. vision, a different perspective. I am a working-class Born: October 23, 1965 Republican and I think that Occupation: Quality receiv- I am called to run for this ing clerk at Senior Flexonics in New Braunfels, Texas Education: Studied business at College of Charleston and semi-conductor manufacturing at North West Vista College in San Antonio, Texas
Anna Herod: Where do you call home and why? Rob Roark: San Marcos is my home. I have lived in San Marcos and the Hays County area going on 13 years. I’ve been in Texas since 1995 and it’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere in the country. My father worked for the (Veterans Affairs) hospital system so as a youngster, I moved all over the country. But
office at this time. AH: In your opinion, what are the biggest issues Hays County faces, and, if elected, how would you tackle these issues? RR: The biggest issues that I see, and that I think all of us see for Hays County, are growth and people coming to Hays County. We’re going to have limited resources and the infrastructure that we have in Hays County right now in order to support the increasing population that we’re going to be seeing over the next 10 to 20 years. Those are the biggest issues that we’re going to see. And the infrastructure is
See ROARK, Page 2
—PHOTO COURTESY OF ROB ROARK
The Hays County Food Bank is expecting to receive over 2,000 cans of food this February thanks to local H-E-B stores. The Texas grocery chain, as well as Kroger and Randalls, have joined the nationwide “Souper Bowl of Caring” movement in efforts to help “tackle hunger” and give back to the local community. “Our store takes it very seriously and makes it fun for us participating in it,” said Maria Cavazos, an H-E-B employee. The annual food drive began Jan. 18 and will last until Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7. At the register, customers may purchase bags of food that the store will give to the food bank or decide to donate $1, $3 or $5. The store donates prepared bags containing non-perishable food items, including canned tuna, brown rice, green beans, peanut butter and kettle corn. “During our shifts we have this thing called ‘power hour,’” Cavazos said. “We try to get at least ten donations each (in two hours). In my opinion it makes asking for donations more fun because it’s sort of a competition with all of my coworkers.” Cashiers who exceed the goal of 10 donations receive prizes from management, like a gift card or free food. Alejandra Espinoza, a San Marcos resident of five years, said it’s good for H-E-B management to stress to employees the importance of asking customers for donations. “Most of us, including myself, don’t even know where the food bank is located here in San Marcos,” Espinoza said. “Even if I did, if it’s not on my daily route—I wouldn’t be able to donate.” H-E-B’s “Souper Bowl of Caring” makes it convenient for customers to donate to the food bank while buying groceries, Espinoza said. All the donations collected at the local H-E-B stores are given to the food bank and distributed to families, individuals and over 40 partnered agencies in the county, said Mallory Raschke, communications coordinator for the food bank. “I think it’s wonderful (HE-B) donates the food to us and they have been for a while now,” Raschke said. “We pick up the donated food every day from them Sunday through Saturday so our clients can receive it when needed.” This isn’t the busiest time of the year for the bank, Raschke said. The food bank receives the most donations during the months of October, November and December.
See SOUPERBOWL, 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.
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2 | Monday, February 1, 2016
The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy email@example.com
from the city’s commercial district. The Edward Gary Street Parking Garage, capable of housing over 400 vehicles, was built next to the Performing Arts Center to create a close connection between the university and the city. “We are trying to make this a much more cohesive interaction between the university and the community,” Guerra said. “The new music building is also going to be located adjacent to the brand new parking garage and just
south of the new Performing Arts Center.” The new music building is not in any construction stages at this point. However, it is a part of the university’s Master Plan and officials intend to request project funding from the legislature, said Thomas Clark, School of Music director. “Performing arts is all about having an audience and giving our art to the community,” Clark said. “Because of that, it becomes a natural and almost logistical thing that,
BUFFALOGRASS, The band has been inf luenced by a variety of artists. Lindsey mentioned Hank Williams and George Strait, while Broberg said he grew up listening to classical music, but also enjoys Chicago, Eric Clapton and James Taylor. Inbody said he was inspired by Gordon Lightfoot and Nickel Creek. The BuffaloGrass musicians all participate in other projects outside of the band. Inbody said McNeil is “Austin’s 911 banjo player” because he can join any band on short notice for a show. McNeil joined the band as a multi-instrumentalist, versed in guitar, resonator guitar, bass and harmonica. “Inbody is a forgiving friend and is always sensitive to what’s important to other members in the ensemble,” McNeil said. “I have worked
when a new music building is funded and constructed, that it will be located next to the Performing Arts Center.” Currently, there are six different buildings on campus that accommodate classroom and recital space for the School of Music. The new music building will replace the current one on Pleasant Street, Clark said. “There is already a lot of foot traffic and vehicular traffic when moving instruments to the Performing Arts Center (from the current music
with him on several different types of musical projects. He loves to sing and has a powerful, very rich voice.” Lindsey is a member of the Texas Old Time Fiddlers Association, and has won the senior division of the organization’s competition in recent years. “Inbody is a swell fellow,” Lindsey said. “He has a great background in music, sings beautifully, and plays guitar well. He’s the key man in the band. We all respect him and love to play with him.” The band plays only a few shows each year, at places such as churches and retirement homes. BuffaloGrass plays a mix of bluegrass, traditional Appalachian music, folk songs and cowboy songs. Sometimes the band will play a few songs from the 1950s as well.
building),” Clark said. The Hilltop Complex is still in the early stages of development, as well. According to Campus Construction, the process will include demolishing existing residence halls Arnold, Burleson, Hornsby and Smith. Costing approximately $132 million, the existing halls will be replaced by a new complex with 1,200 beds. Possible classroom and auxiliary space will be added as well. Andrew Villarreal, inter-
“Inbody is well enough versed in music that he can take almost any song and make it something that we play,” Lindsey said. “It’s something that’s interesting and also a challenge.” Lindsey and Broberg both said they enjoy the challenge playing in the band provides. Broberg had not been playing the upright bass for very long when he joined the band, and Lindsey had never played anything like the band’s particular genre of bluegrass. Inbody said he gravitated toward traditional kind of music because of the versatility it can provide with different arrangements. “It’s all string instruments, all improvisatory, and it’s kind of a natural thing,” Inbody said. “That’s what the string band kind of thinking is, and it’s a lot of fun.”
national studies senior, was a resident assistant for three semesters at Smith Hall. He said Arnold and Smith shared one residence director and the RAs were in charge of seven buildings, six of which housed residents. “Each building was divided to where you had to enter one place, and if you wanted to go to the other side of that same building, you would have to exit and go to the other entrance,” Villarreal said. “I kind of wish the place was a little more centralized,
because this creates smaller communities among residence.” Villarreal said the university is reinventing current residence halls, but hopes the Hilltop Complex will be a community-style residence hall with conjoined buildings and cheaper prices. “Not everyone can afford the air-conditioned rooms or the suite-style rooms,” Villarreal said. “They have those there for a reason.”
water, transportation, your roads, but it’s also our Internet and our ability for people in the remote areas of Hays County to continue to be able to be connected. Part of that is if we have a lot of telecommuting, if we have a lot of the brain train that is going on in the area, that if we can continue to keep people from Texas State, if we can continue to keep people in the area so they don’t have to commute going into Austin or commute going to other places we can really build jobs, we can be an incubator. We can be the new Silicon Valley, the Silicon Hills extended out from Austin if we can make sure that we have our infrastructure and our resources here. So it’s being able to also provide the jobs, the working living-wage jobs (so) that people can afford to live here in the county, and we have to be able to keep the property taxes low so that people can afford to live here as well as figure out new and innovative ways to get that infrastructure. So how do we go about doing that, what are some things that I can bring to the table? I think we’ve got to
stop doing things the same way that we’ve always done them. My background is in semi-conductor and computer chip manufacturing for 13 years. I believe that we’ve got to start being innovative, we’ve got to start looking at new ways to get businesses here to the area as well as allowing for our people to live here close to the jobs rather than having to commute into Austin or commute into San Antonio. We also have to start to look at ways that we can have the Internet infrastructure for people. Just in the past few years, we’ve had problems even getting broadband outside of Wimberley, outside of Dripping Springs, in those areas. We’re just now starting to be able to get the bandwidth and be able to get to where people can talk on cell phones out in those areas. So we’ve got to look at that infrastructure situation as well. AH: Why should Hays County residents vote to elect you? RR: Two reasons. Number one is that I am not a politician. I am a working-class Republican that wants to come and serve. I am not
looking at this as a longterm career. I believe that our Constitution, the forefathers of Texas, they saw that we need to have people from the community come in with different ideas that want to serve, want to lead, and then go back to their jobs and go back to the community. I bring the ability to bring different people in the community together. I have done that with organizations. I have been involved with everything from the food bank to community radio to getting people in the community involved. And that’s what I can bring to the table is that I see this as a way we can make the community of Hays County stronger. AH: Why should voters choose you over your opponent, Will Conley? RR: Voters should choose me over my opponent because I have not been there for 12 years. I bring something new to the table. I have innovation, I bring the fact that I have a different approach and that I am not looking for this as a stairstep to another position somewhere else later on.
—PHOTO COURTESY OF DON INBODY
SOUPERBOWL, “I believe that one of the reasons why people tend to donate during those months of October through Decem-
ber is because it’s the holiday season,” Espinoza said. “We have to remember that not all of us are lucky and blessed
enough to have a nice meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas.”
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The University Star
Monday, February 1, 2016 | 3
Carlie Porterfield, Lifestyle Editor @reporterfield firstname.lastname@example.org
How to make Ram nâ€™ Cheese FOOD
By Vivian Medina LIFESTYLE REPORTER @vjmedina6
The life of a college student can be overwhelming between juggling classes, maintaining a social life and the endless debate of nap or Netflix. Along with the stress, it can be difficult to find the time to cook up a delicious meal. Chick-FilAâ€™s waffle fries may be seductive, but going out to eat canâ€™t always fit into the college budget. Instead of breaking the bank, students can enjoy a cheaper alternative by cooking a delicious meal. Cooking has its upsides, as
it can be very therapeutic after a long day of work and classes, and you can prove to your mom you really are obtaining new life skills in college. The pantry of a college student may be pretty sparse. Maybe your empty kitchen seems like it doesnâ€™t have enough food to make a complete meal, but this recipeâ€™s main ingredient is something that you most likely already have: a bottomless pit of ramen noodles. Ramen is a staple in every college studentâ€™s diet and a goto meal for its simplicity and quick prep time. However, most Bobcats donâ€™t know that a whole assortment of meals and snacks
can be made with just one package of ramen noodles. This Ram nâ€™ Cheese will blow the mind of any person and make them regret not coming up with the idea first. There may not always be time to cook a feast, but the quick and minimal recipe below can help any college student become the next master chef. Ingredients: Âž cup of shredded cheese Â˝ cup of milk 1 package of ramen noodles Â˝ lime Condiment of your choosing Directions:
1. Add Âž cup of shredded cheese into a medium saucepan. 2. Combine the Â˝ cup of milk with the cheese in the saucepan and cook it on a medium to low heat setting. 3. Mix until the combination is at the desired consistency. 4. While keeping the cheese warm, boil the ramen noodles in a separate pan. Do not pour in the included seasoning packet. Tip: most ramen noodle packages instruct you to boil for three minutes, but for a softer and smooth noodle, boil for 5-6 minutes. 5. Once the noodles are fully cooked, drain out the water. 6. Combine the cheese and
noodles into a medium sized bowl. 7. To top off meal, squeeze half a lime into the ingredients. 8. Optional Step: for more flavor, add a condiment of your choosing, such as salt or pepper. If you are feeling courageous, add around 5-10 drops of any kind of hot sauce. Voila! This quick and easy meal is finished with time to spare before class. Take a picture of it and send it to your mom so she can be surprised you actually cooked a meal. Then, post it on Instagram to make friends believe that your life is actually put together.
Poetry Open Mic Night at Stellar Cafe expands horizons By Erin Oâ€™Donnell LIFESTYLE REPORTER @1erino
Poets from all over Texas come to Stellar Cafe every third Thursday to make their voices heard at the coffee shopâ€™s Poetry Open Mic night. The cozy cafe is a perfect atmosphere for poets to express their works and surround themselves in the words of others. With a cup of hot chocolate and a comfy chair, Stellar Poetry Open Mic Night is a nice way to end a long school day. Michaela Kelton, owner, said Stellar Cafe has hosted
the open mic night since November 2015. â€œWe started Poetry Night last November with the help of Kayla Brown, our host, and will continue to do so every third Thursday of the month,â€? Kelton said. Stellar Cafe employees are always looking for events and ways to get involved in the community, Kelton said. â€œKayla approached me about having an event at the cafe,â€? Kelton said. â€œShe was able to get quite a few poets together and an audience followed.â€? Kelton said the event gives poets a place to express themselves while sharing their
works and opinions. â€œThe more art, events and culture a community has, the better,â€? Kelton said. â€œIt helps get people together and to get involved.â€? Kayla Brown, Poetry Open Mic Night host, said she created the event to form a literary community of all ages and skill levels. â€œIt a great place to make friends and share a common interest with such diverse styles and backgrounds,â€? Brown said. â€œI always walk away with a new spark of love for poetry.â€? Brown said running the event has been an ongoing process. She often takes
time throughout the week to promote the event on social media and inspire writers to showcase their works. Brown said the event is important because it helps foster a creative outlet for the community to participate in and enjoy. â€œIn participating, not only are we supporting a local business, we are also supporting and encouraging local bards in their creative journey,â€? Brown said. Brown said she hopes more people will participate in the event as the years pass. â€œPeople should participate in open mic night to share and encourage the expres-
sion of verbal art with fellow friends and San Martians,â€? Brown said. Aaron Michael, event attendee, said the first open mic night he attended inspired him to go to the event again in the future. â€œI had a really great time just listening to everybody speak their works,â€? Michael said. â€œI liked getting a little glimpse into that personâ€™s soul and their world with every breath they take.â€? Michael said he saw a promotional poster around Stellar Cafe and thought it would be interesting to see what an open mic night was all about.
â€œI always wanted to go to one, but I just never had the time,â€? Michael said. â€œI will, however, try to go to as many as I can this year to see some of my favorite performers again and see what new performers share their works with us.â€? Michael said the event gave him a newfound appreciation for poetry. He plans to find new artists to learn from their works. â€œWho knows? Maybe in a couple of months Iâ€™ll be up on that stage if the inspiration strikes,â€? Michael said. â€œBut, for now, I am content just listening to these spectacular artists.â€?
Itâ€™s good medicine!
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.
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.
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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
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 | Monday, February 1, 2016
The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
Participation medals spawn laziness MARIA TAMIR STAR ILLUSTRATOR
THE MAIN POINT
The importance of understanding consent and boundaries Late last week a woman was killed by a man for simply uttering the word “no.” Her name was Janese Talton-Jackson, and she was the latest victim of the poisonous cultural byproduct of boundless, non-consensual entitlement. By daring to spurn advances, Talton-Jackson was condemned to death by a man socialized to take ownership of the bodies of women and girls and exception to their expressions of sexuality. Dismantling this toxic idea of masculinity, maleness and ownership should be a key concept on all educational levels. This idea is indoctrinated into the minds of men and boys from a young age. Women are often told in elementary school that if a boy physically assaults her, it is simply because he likes her. It’s his way of showing emotion. “Boys will be boys,” as some would say. The excuse of simple male expression is no longer acceptable. Teaching children to express their emotions rationally, instead of utilizing a vehicle of aggression, would go a long way. Additionally, kids need to be taught the power of consent the
moment they begin to experience puberty. Many institutes of higher learning understand this. Here at Texas State, incoming freshmen are required to take an online course through Title IX, which includes a sizeable section reserved for understanding and identifying proper consent. Teaching consent and respect for boundaries is not simply about teaching men and boys how to interact with women. In fact, men are often victims as well. Men need to be taught that their autonomy and sexuality belong to themselves, void of social commentary and expectations. Men are often indoctrinated into the belief that their sexuality exists to impress other men who often jest about sexual exploits and even violations under the age-old trope of the indomitable, always-active male libido. This can cause many male, often heterosexual, victims of sexual violations to internalize their trauma due to fear of being labeled less of a man, or gay. Now, there’s a conversation about the problems of equating homosexuality with a negative label and why being subjectively
“less of a man” is such an issue, but that’s a completely separate discussion. Changing the social structure of how we talk about sexuality and expression will allow for more liberated expressions for both men and women, and all those who fall between and outside the gender binary. Instead of only teaching girls and women how to protect themselves against predators, society should teach males—the disproportionate perpetrators of sexual violations—how to respect boundaries and not take advantage of others. A common deflection technique utilized in conversations about consent and sexual violence is yelling “not all men.” While not all men are predators, as any sane person could deduce, shouting “not all men” does nothing. In a conversation about female victims of predominantly male violence, it just seeks to center men’s sensibilities in a conversation about women’s autonomy. And therein lies the problem. Fostering a culture that allows and preaches respect for people and their autonomy is key in the fight against victimization, rather than wasting
time and resources on the male ego. According to a study by Campus Sexual Assault, 13.7 percent of undergraduate women had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault. If people are more concerned with this statistic’s implication of men, instead of wondering how to better protect women, then they are not committed to helping women like Janese Talton-Jackson. They are not dedicated to defending people—often women—maligned in the battle against male prerogative. Consent and boundaries are not complex concepts. They are actually quite simple. Do not pressure people into things if they are clearly uninterested. If someone says no, take them at their word. Badgering and pleading until a potential partner finally says yes is not consent—it’s coercion. The fact that a woman is not wearing a muumuu does not guarantee a free express ride on her love train or an all-access pass to her body. Keep it in your pants, and respect people’s boundaries. They owe you nothing: not a smile, nor a hello, and damn sure not their lives.
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.
Allison Chavez OPINIONS COLUMNIST @AllisonChavez21
Participation medals—everyone has gotten one at some point in their lives. Whether a medal made the earner feel venerated or disgusted by doing nothing to deserve it is another matter altogether. There is apparently a great debate going on between parents about whether participation medals aid in boosting children’s self-esteem, or are merely great at fostering thoughts of futility. After all, if kids know they are going to receive an award just for showing up, then they will question putting in any effort in the first place. I happen to fall into the category of people who believe participation medals only serve to convey the message there is nothing wrong with doing a crappy job because “we’re all winners!” Sorry, but if people do crappy jobs and put zero effort into something, they should not be rewarded just for the sake of not hurting feelings. They should be taught to strive for hard work and effort, not be patted on the back and given a trophy just for existing. Participation medals teach children the entirely wrong message. These false trophies will cause children to believe they never have to work hard because things will just fall into their laps without any effort. This will only serve to multiply the plethora of lazy children who will grow
up to believe the planet revolves around them and exists simply to serve their every wish. That is not the only trouble with participation medals, however. These nasty atrocities also have a habit of spawning children who break down and give up on life at the first sign of difficulty because institutions sheltered them from the reality that is failure. Not knowing what it is like to fail causes the dual side effect of never learning that failure is an inevitability in life, but not the end of the road. Though it may feel like the world is ending, the best lessons come from hard situations. When failure knocks you down, it is important to brush yourself off and get back up. This little trick is an entirely necessary tool in any successful adult’s repertoire. If everyone just stayed down after a failure, there would be no chance to learn from the letdown, no betterment from the journey of realizing what went wrong and how to prevent a similar mistake from happening again. We would simply sit and wallow in our disappointment. There would be no growth or enlightenment, no resolutions to try harder next time. We would stay the same disappointing creatures of bad habits, doomed to repeat our failures with no hope for growth. Let’s face it: no one wants to live on a planet where half the population consists of snot-nosed brats who issue orders like doing so is their God-given right because they never learned the essential trait that is hard work. So teach children the value of hard work and effort by ceasing the abomination that is participation medals before it is too late. —Allison Chavez is a journalism freshman
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Knowledge of black history important in overcoming adversity
Mikala Everett OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mikala_maqeulla
History is a vital aspect in any individual’s life. It shows us the mistakes and accomplishments of our forefathers and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. To know where you are going, you have to know where you have been. I cannot stress the importance of knowing
the history of your people. As an African-American woman, I have been told that I am less intelligent, less civilized and less beautiful than my white counterparts. If my mother had never taught me the history of my people and their journey in White America, the damaging stereotypes and assumptions could have been my undoing. My mother taught me it was possible to be smart because my predecessors were capable of brilliance. People like Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Phyllis Wheatley were able to demonstrate their aptitudes and understandings of the world with the words they wrote. The understanding of the world or desire to understand the world I
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live in was handed to me in the books and stories of African-Americans before me. I understand things will not be easy for me because of the color of my skin and the reproductive hardware I am packing. I understand that, although individual racism is not as prevalent, institutional racism is very much alive. There are those who still believe my race is less “civilized” and genetically inferior because of where our ancestors were either taken from or exploited. If not for my knowledge of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Malcom X and many others who proved we are civilized, brave and enduring, I would easily be destroyed. The idea of self-worth has been something AfricanAmericans have been, and
are still fighting for to this day. Society teaches us that African-American men are “scary,” “dangerous” and “wild.” It has been said that African-American women are not beautiful, but our features are desired and sought after. Other women have to pay to achieve features we are born with, yet we are still fed that we are undesirables in society. When I look at how strong, resilient and true African-Americans of the past have been, I marvel at how lucky I was to be born into a race of such beautiful people. History shows us that any empowerment is seen as racist and whiny. History has shown us that our issues and struggles are not as important. History has
shown us that it is preferred to leave the past in the past. History has shown me that we shall overcome any struggle and any barrier placed before us, because it has been done. Some believe Black History Month should not exist. Regardless of what the mainstream wants, it is up to us to keep our history alive. Our predecessors have fought, bled and died to give us the rights we have today. If we do not honor and remember them, who will?
Black History Month Column Series
Educate yourself, honey.
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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TRACK & FIELD
FAMILY FUELS TEXAS STATE ATHLETE By Lisette Lopez SPORTS REPORTER @lisette_1023
Athletes may be described by their physical ability and accomplishments, but people often do not truly know the individual for who they really are. To family and friends, the athlete is so much more than just stats and records. Antonisha Stewart, junior hurdler, has been described as a unique individual. A hard worker, leader and kind-hearted person are words that only begin to describe Stewart. Kendrell Moore, Stewart’s older brother, says she is a fighter. “Growing up, she has always been sweet, really caring and friendly,” Moore said. “She was one of those people who kind of wore her heart on her sleeves.” The hurdler is from Carrollton, Texas, and had a normal childhood with rules and restrictions just like any other adolescent growing up.
Stewart come out of her shell, and encouraged her to make friends. In high school, Stewart lost her grandfather due to complications. “It was extremely hard. He was kind of the only father figure that she had growing up. She took it really hard because he was close to all of his grandkids,” Martin said. “Until this day, it is still hard. It has been six years, it was just really tough on all of us.” Stewart says she had never lost someone very close, and she tried to stay strong for the family. After her loss, Stewart’s love for track and field began. She began running in junior high as a sprinter. However, the summer before the athlete’s junior year in high school Stewart found her real passion for the sport when began competing in hurdles. Stewart never saw herself as a hurdler, but others did. Moore says he had something to do with it. “She won’t admit this, but I am the one who told her
—PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTONISHA STEWART
Sonsharon Martin, Stewart’s mother, says her daughter was not very social growing up. The junior was not a very outgoing person in her youth. Martin says she helped
to start running hurdles,” Moore said. “I was one of the people who suggested it and she was not going for it at all. Then the next year, she started running hurdles.” As her track career pro-
gresses, the hard work and energy spent at practice increases. Stewart says she does well in practice, but sometimes cannot perform the same in a race. “My biggest challenge is being consistent. It is very hard for me,” Stewart said. “I do know what to do in practice. I’ll have a good race, and then next week I probably won’t do very well.” Stewart says negative thoughts used to be rampant, but she tries not to think so negatively of her performance. “We try to get her to stay positive, and tell her that track is something that you have to grow into,” Martin said. “She really is hard on herself whenever she doesn’t do too well. We have to encourage her to keep going. Keep praying and ask God for strength and fast feet.” As the final moments of her college career approach, Stewart hopes to do well in life as well. She hopes to become a physical therapist or pursue another occupation in the health field. “I just really want to be successful in everything and what I choose to do after college,” Stewart said. “I look around and I don’t see people working hard so they can have a good life.” She will always have support from her family, including her brother. “That’s my role dog,” Moore said. “I would say I am closer to her than probably anybody else in the family. We support each other. She is a part of my support system and I am a part of hers.” The love and affection for Stewart comes from her mother, too, who says Stewart stands out in every way. “She is the sweetest, hardest working and determined person that I know,” Moore
—PHOTO COURTESY OF ANTONISHA STEWART
said. “Those are the things that really stand out. How sweet and kind she is to other people whether she knows them or not. How determined she is to accomplish her goals and how hard she works towards them.” Now as a junior, Stewart has a few goals to accomplish before graduation. Stewart says her hopes are to gain more experience in the health field, and even go after nationals and win. “I am proud not just of the results, but of the process,” Moore said. “I am proud of the effort she gives, and how determined she is. I always told Antonisha and I wanted to stress to her how proud I was at the process that she was going through and the effort she was giving.” With everything Stewart does, family is always by her side. “We are very proud of her, she has grown up to be a good and beautiful person. She is growing up to be a beautiful
woman,” Martin said. “I just want to see her succeed in every aspect of life, regardless if she continues running track as an adult. I want her to succeed, and I want her
to prosper.” Stats and records may not mean as much to family. But seeing one of their own excelling in everything she does is record-breaking.
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