JANAURY 27, 2015 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 48
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Emergency crews respond to air alert By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox
A search for a downed aircraft in northeast Hays County has yielded no evidence of a crash. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials confirmed the transmission of an alert at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 from an “unknown airplane type” 18 miles south of the airport. The Hays County Office of Emergency Management enlisted the aid of the county sheriff and a STARFlight helicopter crew after discovering the possibility of an aircraft emergency near RM 1826 and Nutty Brown Road. Kharley Smith, Hays County Emergency Management coordinator, said radar from the airport revealed the aircraft’s last location in northeast Hays County. “The information was so obscure that the location and the type of (alert) and what type of aircraft were unknown,” Smith said. “We looked at the last known location and wide areas around the last known location on radar, but that’s not to say the plane didn’t land safely at a private airstrip.” Jim Halbrook, information officer at the airport, said the emergency signal from the aircraft was not a “mayday” call but a common and less serious “alert.” The airport receives alerts at least once a week, Halbrook said. Officials picked up a similar alert from another aircraft on Jan. 24 for a “stuttering engine.” The aircraft landed safely and without incident hours before the broadcast of the second alert, he said. “It’s not an everyday occurrence, but it’s not uncommon either,” Halbrook said. “A pilot can experience any number of things, even a strange smell in the cockpit, and once that is called in it goes out to our emergency responders.” Airport emergency services always treat danger signals from aircraft as potential worst-case scenarios, Halbrook said. Airport firefighting crews and other response services were prepared to meet the aircraft on the runway in the event of an emergency landing, Halbrook said. “It’s part of a system that we have for response,” Halbrook said. “When it comes out over the scanners and pagers, it’s an ‘alert,’ and our emergency responders start coming to the airport.” The official emergency report received by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport categorized the emergency alert as “aircraft squawking emergency,” a term Halbrook had never seen before. The search was called off after efforts by the Hays County sheriff and STARFlight crews proved fruitless, Smith said. Halbrook is unsure where the plane
See AIRCRAFT, Page 2
TUITION FOR ONE 3-CREDIT HOUR CLASS
ONE HOUR OF CLASS IS WORTH
HOURS A SEMESTER IN A 3 CREDIT HOUR CLASS
THREE HOURS OF CLASS IS WORTH THE SAME AS
7 StarPlex movie tickets, 3.4 massive pizzas at Gumby’s, 30 breakfast tacos from Lolita’s, 36 gallons of gas (at $1.74 a gallon)
The true price of skipping class By Mariah Simank ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank
tudents are sleeping through classwork by hitting the snooze button every morning, but data show they are also wasting money. Students who don’t attend class regularly may be doing so without understanding the price they pay for each hour of lecture, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. “One three-hour class—the tuition for that is $716.04, and according to institutional research,
in one semester there are 34.17 hours of class time for that threehour class, so if you just divide that out you will see what each hour of class is worth,” Nance said. “By doing this, we were able to determine that if students skip one hour of class, they have wasted, if you will, $20.96 of their tuition.” Cindy Kruckemeyer, director of Student Business Services, hopes breaking down the numbers will demonstrate class is worth waking up for and benefit students both financially and academically. “I would think it might make students think a little harder after seeing the numbers, and maybe having it broken down by hours
might make it more real to them,” Kruckemeyer said. Allie Krassner, public relations sophomore, said an attendance policy should not be required for students once they reach college. “I believe attendance should be a choice,” Krassner said. “I think if the policy were to be eliminated, it would act as a weeding-out process that would give the people who show up to class a chance to get their money’s worth, and the people who don’t attend and don’t learn the material would be elimi-
nated from the system.” Other students feel being present in class is crucial in forming a well-rounded education, even though some disagree with the current policies. “I think it is up to the student to attend class regardless of the money they would be losing if they didn’t,” said Andrew WallaceBradley, public relations junior. “It is their responsibility to receive an education, and attendance is an important part of that.” Failure to attend classes before
See SKIPPING CLASS, Page 2
Wimberley businesses recover following burglaries By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox In the wake of a series of breakins a month ago in downtown Wimberley, the community has improved security and rallied in support of the owners of the burglarized shops. Two 17-year-old males were arrested for burglarizing and attempting to break into 19 Wimberley businesses. A crime spree of this magnitude was unprecedented in downtown Wimberley, said Diana Holmes, owner of Enchantment, a handmade jewelry store. Her shop had been broken into only once before, five years prior to the Dec. 10 2014 burglaries, she said. The crimes have led many business owners to install alarms, cameras, reinforced doors and other security measures. Holmes, who had $85 in cash stolen from her moneybox, did not have security systems in place before the break-in but has since installed a “heavier, sturdier” door and an alarm system. Josh Farris, owner of Peak Out-
Student Government elections begin with revised, staggered terms Election day nears as last-minute contenders join the race for president, vice president and senatorial positions in Texas State’s Student Government. The deadline to run for a Student Government position is Jan. 30 at 5 p.m., according to the Student Government website. Tiffany Young, Student Government president, said there is no limit to how many individuals can run for positions, but few applicants will be accepted. Ap-
SKIPPING A THREE HOUR CLASS IS WORTH
By Exsar Arguello NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
plicants must be students of Texas State for at least two semesters, in order to run for president and vice president positions, she said. “With senators, you just need to be above a freshman, full-time student,” Young said. “If you’re running for president or vice president, you also need at least a 2.75 GPA and a 2.5 GPA for senators. You also need to be in good academic and disciplinary standards with the school.” Candidates are allowed to post and advertise starting Feb. 3, and elections end on Feb. 19, said Sean Quiñones, Student
See STUDENT GOVERNMENT, Page 2
ALEXANDRA WHITE STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Nancye Britner shows damages done to her store, GNS Cigar Shop, one of 19 locations broken into on Dec. 10 in Wimberley.
doors, a sporting goods shop, said he did have an alarm system at
the time of the break-ins, but had forgotten to set the alarm the eve-
See WIMBERLEY, Page 2
Proposed passenger rail to connect major Texas cities By Bleah B. Patterson SPECIAL TO THE STAR @missbleahp Students and San Marcos residents attended an open house Monday night to voice their opinions on a proposed project to connect Austin and San Antonio by rail. The Lone Star Regional Rail project is expected to improve mobility along Interstate Highway 35 by creating a passenger rail service from north Austin
to downtown San Antonio. The rail will include 16 stops with major ones at Texas A&M University, downtown San Antonio, airports in Austin and San Antonio, Texas State University, downtown Austin and downtown Round Rock. A committee kicked off a tour through central Texas holding open houses to get feedback from cities on the proposal. Texas State students attended the open house held at the San Marcos Activity Center and
expressed concerns about the rail’s potential impact on taxes and how much money would be needed for construction. Katya Copeland, planning senior, said she is excited about the rail, the positive impact it will have on the environment and the access to nearby major cities it will provide the public. However, Copeland worries the city will be financially burdened as a result. “The project will be funded
See RAIL, Page 2
2 | The University Star | News | Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Benefits, drawbacks of new complex remain uncertain By Bleah B. Patterson SPECIAL TO THE STAR @missbleahp San Antonio developer Darren Casey of Casey Development Ltd. is moving forward with an approved 13-story apartment complex downtown after the city council denied the addition of two levels. Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt, Place 1, voted against the addition to the Concho Commons apartment complex. She said she could not support the plan in light of a decision made by the council last year to strive toward more affordable housing. She believed the density the addition would add, paired with cost of the apartments, would not be conducive to socioeconomic diversity and would attract only an exclusive group of renters. “It just wasn’t able to fulfill my needs and our terms,” Prewitt said. “We want diversified housing and need to begin negotiations with all housing for both students and families.” Casey said he was shocked when the proposal was not approved. “The interesting thing is it was all but approved before the vote,” Casey said. “We had favorable recommendations from (Planning & Zoning Commission) and from the council. We went through negotiations and complied with their concerns.”
The apartment high-rise originally approved in October 2012 includes 310 units and a total of 585 bedrooms. The additional floors would bring those beds up to more than 800, Prewitt said. Councilman Shane Scott, Place 6, voted in favor of adding two floors and “completely disagrees” with Prewitt. Scott thinks the apartments will be affordable for the people they are meant to attract. “I trust the market research they’ve done,” he said. The specifically targeted demographic is the problem, Prewitt said of Casey’s plan. Prewitt said preventing the downtown area from becoming too exclusive is important to her. In dense areas such as downtown San Marcos, the council has to be vigilant and make sure all housing is affordable. “I would hope it’s a conversation we can have in the future with the developer,” Prewitt said. “The way the situation was explained to me, (Casey Development Ltd.) didn’t even have a chance to respond to our complaints.” This is not the first time Casey felt blindsided by the council, he said. Casey Development Ltd. filed a suit against the council last January. The council was stated to have used “illegal efforts to prevent Casey’s development.” Another concern was “Casey has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars unsuccessfully to sat-
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR The lot of the future Concho Commons apartment complex is located on University Drive. Construction will proceed despite the denial of two additional stories.
isfy the city’s whims.” Casey refused to comment on the lawsuit but said it concerned a separate project that was abandoned. Casey Development Ltd. did not win the lawsuit.
Prewitt hopes Casey Development Ltd. can try again within the 90-day window because the council’s vote was neither a denial nor approval without a fourth vote. Scott hopes the company will try
STUDENT GOVERNMENT, from front
RAIL, from front
Government vice president. “Winners will be announced on Feb. 19 for the general public,” Young said. Voting will take place Monday through Thursday, Quiñones said. This is a change from previous years, when students voted on a Tuesday and Wednesday. “We started something new this year as far as how long you can hold office,” Quiñones said. “We now stagger terms similar to that of the United States Senate. Half of our senators will hold position from 2013 to 2015, and the other half serve from 2014 to 2016.” Staggering elections allows the ability to build members and provides veteran senators the opportunity to share knowledge with newer
by growth revenue, which basically means we’ve had someone estimate how much money the city will gain because of the rail and we would be funded accordingly,” said Joe Black, rail manager. Edward Garza, rhetoric and composition master’s student, said he supports any initiative promoting greener living and “invites people to be adventurous.” Black said the difference between the rail’s locomotive and the average freight train will be water vapor emissions instead of common, harmful carbon emissions. “I support anything that’s going to be this good for the environment, and I’m really excited to see this company encouraging students to use the rail,” Copeland said. “I want
members, Young said. “We advise candidates to work together in the election, but anything they use to campaign such as stickers, posters, et cetera, must be approved beforehand,” Quiñones said. “The only thing that isn’t allowed is pooling money into different campaigns to boost benefits. You are not allowed to share funding with anyone that is running in the senatorial race.” Candidates are allowed to pool money together for presidential and vice presidential elections to help their campaigns, Young said. “I’m super excited to see the results of the elections this year, and I look forward to seeing how exhausted and motivated candidates are after the election,” she said.
to see students just be themselves and stop worrying about public transportation not being cool. I-35 is important to this community, and we need to stop congesting it with vehicles that are toxic to our environment.” Jeanette Shamorrow, planning junior, said certain initiatives are necessary to keep San Marcos “San Marvelous.” Shamorrow commutes and supports the rail proposal. “I go to San Antonio every weekend,” Shamorrow said. “So this is great. It’ll save me so much on time and gas.” Black said the trip would be fast and enjoyable for the passengers. Riders would expect a 40-minute ride to San Antonio and a 30-min-
again because “the general consensus prefers the high density.” Casey, however, said he is not interested in trying again for now and will instead continue with the approved 13 stories.
ute ride to Austin from San Marcos. The price per passenger has not been established, but officials want the transportation to remain affordable. “We want (the ticket price) to be cheaper than the gas it would cost to make the trip,” Black said. The team will start integrating the public’s suggestions in a reboot of the proposal beginning next month. The rail is expected to be finished within three years, according to the most recent proposal at city council. The next open house is scheduled for the summer after the board is able to take into consideration the comments from Monday’s discussion.
SKIPPING CLASS, from front 60 percent of the semester is completed can be especially costly for students receiving financial aid, said Christopher Murr, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships. “If students stop attending classes prior to the 60 percent point in the semester, then we are forced to do a recalculation under what is called an unofficial withdrawal,” Murr said. “Even though a student doesn’t officially withdraw, if they’re not academ-
ically engaged in at least one of their courses past the 60 percent point, then they could be subject to what’s called the Return of Title 4 Calculation, with Title 4 being the type of aid they are receiving.” The university recently created a grade of ‘U,’ which stands for ‘unearned F,’ to identify unofficial withdrawals, said Murr. “A lot of times, we would have faculty not respond at all to our questions
if the student received an ‘F,’ and we would have a hard time figuring out if the student was academically engaged beyond the 60 percent point,” Murr said. “By creating this grade, we now know who those students are who are actually engaged throughout the semester, and we require faculty to provide the last day of academic engagement.” The debt students create ultimately falls back on the university, which is
WIMBERLEY, from front ning of the robberies. Police believe Farris’ store was hit first. The burglars were able to enter through his back door by breaking the door’s lock. Two pairs of gloves, a watch, a pair of running shoes and about $50 of change were stolen, Farris said. The two teenagers failed to notice the $220 in cash and a loaded pistol with spare ammunition in plain sight, he said. “It didn’t even add up to $700,” Farris said. “The total amount (stolen) wasn’t even worth enough to claim on insurance.” Farris believes the burglars could have taken more merchandise and were “plain stupid.” Queen Bee Fabulous Finds, Uncommon Goods and Antiquities, a small boutique featuring jewelry, clothing and gifts, was one of the handful of stores to be spared and the only store on the night of the burglaries to already have outdoor cameras installed, said owner Mary Van Ostrand. Van Ostrand had a previous incident with one of the alleged perpetrators, Lee Weed, in 2012 when she arrived at her store one morning to find her door covered in spit. Van Ostrand reviewed the previous night’s security camera footage and identified one of the spitters as Weed. Weed had a reputation for trouble even before the burglaries. He was charged last summer for allegedly break-
then tasked with trying to collect repayment. The university has to collect debt because the federal government keeps Texas State responsible for its students. Employees at the Collections office of Student Business Services process payments on overdue loans, installment plans or financial aid that has to be repaid to the government, Nance said. Nance said students should think less about missing one hour of class
and be more wary of how developing a pattern of skipping can affect a person’s GPA. Murr said students often fail to realize the ramifications of their absences. “I think when students see that actual monetary cost associated with missing classes, that is information that will help them make a more informed decision,” Murr said.
AIRCRAFT, from front ing into a neighbor’s vehicle and was quickly apprehended when law enforcement found him asleep inside a pickup truck with “all the loot in his lap,” Van Ostrand said. For breaking into the truck, Weed was given a lenient punishment—probation— because of his father’s reputation within the community, Van Ostrand said. “(The Weed family) are working, well-thought of people here,” she said. The Wimberley View, a local weekly newspaper, published an apologetic letter in their Dec. 18 2014 issue from Calvin and Nancy Weed, Lee’s parents, after the Dec. 10 burglaries. Nancy Britner, Pro Tem Mayor for the City of Woodcreek and owner of GNS Cigars and Gifts, said her business suffered from the break-in. “It’s hurt the store really, really bad,” she said. “Especially with a small business, it hurts because you have the insurance deductible and mine was high, so my insurance didn’t cover (the losses). I had to pay out of pocket.” 9'%-7)%,5':+%&;%-7)%<8545#8")
Britner said she does not leave cash on premises after hours, but the perpetrators still took around $40 in coins, butane lighters and close to $1200 in cigars. Britner also discovered a half-eaten fudge bar on her counter the next morning. She remains thankful only merchandise and profits were lost. “Nobody was hurt, nobody was killed, it was just stuff,” Britner said. “It could have been a lot worse, and they were caught.” Britner said she received an outpouring of community support after the burglary. One friend donated a considerable amount of merchandise to help make up for the loss, a contribution she described as “helpful.” A fiveyear old boy and his mother also brought a freshly baked banana nut loaf after the break-ins, and apologized for the burglar’s actions, she said. “This town is really good about rallying around an issue of any kind,” Britner said. “I just wish we could make them pay some kind of retribution, but that's not going to happen.” !%=).%>&&*+%>&.'%=*&2%<*8)')%?5##
landed. He does not believe it landed at AustinBergstrom International Airport. The emergency signal emitted by the plane was an automated warning and an unusual occurrence. Halbrook said many features on modern aircraft are now automated. Smith said the emergency signal began broadcasting when the aircraft was flying near Canyon Lake. It then passed multiple airstrips where it could have made emergency landings. Reports of an automated emergency signal and lack of radio contact with the aircraft may have led to a belief it was an unmanned drone,
Smith said. “I saw KXAN put it out that it was possibly a drone or that STARFlight led them to believe there was an unmanned aircraft,” Smith said. “I have absolutely no idea where the drone statement came from. It didn’t come from the airport. It didn’t come from Hays County. It didn’t (come from) my office.” Smith attributes the misunderstanding to limited and ambiguous information at the time of the alert. The type of aircraft is still unknown.
The University Star | Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 3
SPORTS MEN’S BASKETBALL
BOBCATS FACE NOTEBOOK: APPALACHIAN STATE 64, TEXAS STATE 58 OFFENSIVE WOES AFTER LOSS TO MOUNTAINEERS WHAT THE LOSS MEANS By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem
By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem Coach Danny Kaspar does not make excuses when it comes to the Texas State men’s basketball team’s offense. The statistics reflect an offense that is not gelling. Texas State is last in the Sun Belt in scoring and conference field goal percentage. “Numbers never lie,” Kaspar said. The Bobcats’ 64-58 loss to the Appalachian State Mountaineers is their fourth consecutive defeat, dropping them to eighth in the conference. Kaspar called the offensive performance against Appalachian State “dismal.” Emani Gant, junior forward, said the team is going through a “rough patch.” “I’m frustrated right now,” Kaspar said. “I’m at a loss for words. We have to shoot the basketball better. I’ve never had a team go through this bad in my history as a coach.” Gant’s response to the offensive woes was simple for a team that has not exceeded 60 points in four of the last six games. “We have to do a better job putting the ball in the basket,” Gant said. “That’s pretty much it.” Gant finished with a team-high 16 points along with six rebounds. “We need to figure it out and be a little more confident on offense,” Gant said. “I’m confident we’ll bounce back.” Kaspar pinpointed the first half of the game against LouisianaMonroe as the start of the scoring slump. The Bobcats bounced back in the second half, but they haven’t been the same team since, he said. Texas State has utilized four different starting lineup combinations in the past four games. Kaspar said the team’s inability to find a consistent winning combination is preventing the Bobcats from winning games. Wes Davis, senior guard, missed his first game of the season after injuring his shoulder in a collision with a Georgia Southern defender on a screen. Frank Eaves, Mountaineers junior guard, scored a game-high 31 points on 16 field goal attempts. “Wes is our best defender,” Gant said. “We did a bad job on defense in terms of guarding Frank Eaves. It really hurt that he couldn’t play. I don’t want to make any excuses. One man down, one man needs to step up. It’s team defense.” The problems cycle back to the offensive end, where the Bobcats rank 322nd out of 351 Division I teams in adjusted scoring offense, which accounts for strength of schedule and possessions. Kaspar maintained perspective following the loss, admitting the Bobcats are not the “best shooting team in the world.” His solution involves a positive shift in one direction—either on offense or defense. “We have to play a little better on defense or we need to play a lot better on offense,” Kaspar said. “I think it’s that simple.”
Not all is lost, but the Texas State men’s basketball team is need of a win to reclaim some stability. The Bobcats are now on the fringes of postseason contention with 10 conference games remaining.
TURNING POINT Happened at the four-minute mark. Texas State shaved the deficit to three points. Appalachian State drew a free throw on the next possession and missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Bobcats could not corral the rebound, and Mountaineers junior guard Frank Eaves converted a layup. Emani Gant, junior forward, missed a shot on the next two possessions, and the Mountaineers bumped the lead to 10 points in fewer than two minutes.
SPOTLIGHT PLAYER Gant. In a game where Texas State chucked up 36 misses, Gant was one of the few bright spots. His shooting efficiency was not there, but he created 10 free throw attempts to compensate. He is the Bobcats’ most consistent offensive player, and his improvement on the defensive end keeps him in the game. Coach Danny Kaspar played him 37 of 40 minutes in the loss to Appalachian State. Kaspar does not play any player more than 37 minutes who is not competent on both sides of the court.
LOSING GROUND Texas State dropped to a tie for eighth in the conference following
the loss. This place is significant because eight is the number of teams eligible for the Sun Belt Conference postseason tournament. A few weeks ago, a berth seemed likely. Losing four consecutive games, including two at home, puts the Bobcats in a vulnerable position. Nothing is guaranteed at this point.
GOOD It could have been worse. Texas State hung around in the game despite missing shots from every spot on the floor. Ethan Montalvo, junior guard, was granted the green light, and he missed eight of 11 3-pointers. The defense kept the Bobcats in contention even as they were on the verge of shooting themselves out of the game.
BAD The bench unit. Kaspar has tried four different starting lineups in the last four games. The team lost all four of those games. Kaspar is tinkering with the rotation to find continuity, and he is falling short. Jonathan Wiley, freshman guard, was the beneficiary of the experiment as he led the bench with six points in 11 minutes. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, sophomore forward, moved to the bench as a result of a four-game slump in which he made one of 22 field goals. Whoever Kaspar goes to, he cannot find a few players to consistently supplement the starters.
UGLY Three-point shooting. Kaspar mentioned four instances when the team botched a layup or dunk against the Mountaineers. Missed layups and dunks did not turn out to be the biggest problem. Texas State shot 45 percent on 2-point attempts, in line with its 45.5 per-
MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Emani Gant, junior forward, drives the ball to the net Jan. 24 against Appalachian State defenders at Strahan Coliseum.
cent mark this season, but the team missed 14 of 17 3-pointers in the game. The Bobcats have been forced to operate within a confined space without a reliable perimeter shooter. Gant said players are stagnant offensively. Kaspar said he has never been part of a worse shooting slump in his coaching history. Half of the basketball battle is putting the ball in the hoop, and
Texas State is playing with their hands behind their back.
WHAT’S NEXT Texas State plays Louisiana-Lafayette Jan. 31 at Strahan Coliseum. The Ragin’ Cajuns are fifth in the conference with a 5-4 record.
NOTEBOOK: TEXAS STATE 67, APPALACHIAN STATE 58 By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem
the Mountaineers’ defense and defended well enough to play 29 of the team’s last 34 minutes.
WHAT THE WIN MEANS
The Texas State women’s basketball team is moving the needle in a positive direction. The team has won three consecutive games, putting them one matchup behind Arkansas State for second place in the conference. While they are fifth in conference scoring margin—a metric that typically indicates whether a team is playing well—the Bobcats are still finding ways to win games. Texas State is still in contention for a postseason championship even after taking into account variables such as injuries and shuffling rotation.
Deer. Her scoring prowess was well known to the coaching staff. The key for Coach Zenarae Antoine was her development on the defensive end. Antoine said her trust level is rising because Deer can defend opposing ball handlers without missing a beat.
TURNING POINT When Taeler Deer, freshman guard, entered the game. Texas State was trailing by two points when Deer created a turnover on her first possession. The rest was history. Deer found space in
Deer’s strength remains on offense, though. The freshman guard, attacking the rim with both hands, scored a career-high 23 points in 29 minutes. Texas State’s guard rotation has been hit-or-miss thus far, and having Deer ready on the bench is a nice luxury.
LEGIT POST PRESENCE? After Ashley Ezeh, the primary interior option for the offense, graduated there was a void in the post. Kileah Mays, junior center, has compensated for
Ezeh’s absence—and then some. Mays tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Appalachian State, but her comfort level in the low block is more significant. Mays is incorporating a spin move against a single defender that could, with more refining, be used as a weapon. Texas State’s perimeter shooters’ jobs are much easier if Mays continues her progression.
Defensive rebounding. The Bobcats are eighth in the conference, and they allowed Appalachian State to record 16 offensive rebounds, which could have swung the game in the other direction. The Mountaineers scored 9 points on these second-chance opportunities, an efficiency that is a testament to the Bobcats’ defensive ability.
Second half defense. Appalachian State’s offense cratered against the Bobcats’ defensive pressure. The Mountaineers’ field goal percentage dipped from 46.2 percent in the first half to 27.8 percent in the second half. Antoine, prioritizing defense in her rotation, inserted Ericka May, freshman guard, in the starting lineup against Appalachian State. Antoine is preaching balance on both ends of the floor. For the first half of the season, it is working.
Free throw shooting. Texas State continued its middling efficiency at the foul line with nine missed free throws. Missing these opportunities has not bitten the team yet, but it could influence the final result of games against a higher level of competition.
WHAT’S NEXT Texas State plays Louisiana-Lafayette Jan. 31 at Strahan Coliseum, where the team is 7-2 this year. The Ragin’ Cajuns have the third-best defense in the conference.
BOBCATS EXTEND WINNING STREAK TO THREE GAMES By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem
Coach Zenarae Antoine said the Texas State women’s basketball team’s 67-58 win against Appalachian State defined the character of her players. Wins like this put the Bobcats in a position to realize their preseason goal—a conference championship, Antoine said. Texas State is third in the Sun Belt Conference and on a three-game winning streak. “These are the teams you need to truly be able to compete with and put away,” Antoine said. “This team just finds a way. If they put forth the effort, they are generally gonna come out victorious.” Appalachian State was down three points with one minute remaining. The Mountaineers needed to create turnover or get a rebound after a Texas State miss. The Bobcats scored the next six points to seal the victory.
Antoine noted the Bobcats’ top players in the win—Taeler Deer, freshman guard, and Kileah Mays, junior center—were not “traditional scorers.” Mays finished with a season-high 16 points along with 10 rebounds. Deer scored a career-high 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Deer made eight of 12 shot attempts. Antoine said her defense needs improvement. “I always knew the kid could score,” Antoine said. “She can score in buckets. It’s just a matter of time for her understanding what we need from her to be able to step up.” Antoine inserted Ericka May, freshman guard, into the starting rotation for the first time this season. May finished the game with 10 rebounds, two steals and five points in 30 minutes. Freshman players accounted for 62 of the team’s 200 minutes in the win. “I wanted to bring some energy to the floor,” May said. “I’m happy that we were able to win.” Texas State allowed the Moun-
taineers to shoot 46 percent in the first half. Appalachian State’s field goal percentage dropped to 28 percent in the second half, including 10 missed 3-pointers. Mountaineers senior guard Katie Mallow missed 14 of 17 field goals attempts. Texas State ranks fourth in defense, allowing 63.1 points per game. “These girls did awesome defensively,” Antoine said. “To take a look at what we did in the second half to this type of an offensive team—it was the defensive effort that won the basketball game for us. Appalachian State gave a lot of effort. They didn’t make it easy on us.” The Bobcats have a week off until their next game Jan. 31 against Louisiana-Lafayette. Antoine is looking forward to the extended rest after playing four games in a week. “The number-one thing on the front of my mind is that these bodies need some rest right now,” Antoine said. “We just started school, so they need the opportunity to get their feet under them before we get rolling again.”
ANDRES J RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kileah Mays, junior center, attempts a layup Jan. 24 against the Mountaineers at Strahan Coliseum.
4 | The University Star | Tuesday, January 27, 2015
THE MAIN POINT
Testing and grading methods do not reflect real-world expectations MP E
ducational methods for testing students’ content recall are increasingly leaning toward regurgitation of information instead of retention. The days of SATs and TAKS tests are quickly fading into the distance for most college students. The same cannot be said for the stressful and robotic formulation of standardized testing. Most students have experienced the exhausting cycle of vigorously studying the night before a test only to forget most of the information once the exam is over. Many classes at Texas State calculate the entire course grade using simplified formulations with three exams and a paper. This high-stakes testing environment creates a culture of education emphasizing cramming over retention. Being able to recount textbook definitions word for word does not necessarily equate to comprehensive knowledge of a subject. It is no secret Americans fall behind when stacked up against students from across the world. Americans have argued the disparity is due to cultural diversity and often not included as a factor in statistics. According to an Oct. 21, 2010 article from The Atlantic, Stanford economist Eric Hanushek broke down such perceptions by looking at each state as its own “country” and comparing them to institutions worldwide. Students do not match up to their global counterparts even on an individual basis. Students must be able to apply their classroom knowledge to real life. Most college students are getting degrees to prepare them
for careers in the real world, and professors should make their teachings reflect practical situations. There is nothing wrong with people who learn by repeated, testing but professors should develop lesson plans to work for those who do not. Regular assessments are an important part of the learning process. Professors must strike the careful balance between over or under-testing to ensure full retention by students. Testing should reflect the true knowledge of a student. Presentations or group projects are better ways for students to showcase their understanding of a subject than testing. Presentations allow students to actually apply their knowledge into something concrete in a way multiple-choice tests do not. Students have grown used to the standardized high-stakes testing method of public education stumbling upon college professors who stray from the formula is unusual. Students should appreciate and embrace those classes instead of complaining about the teachers. Having to put in work past matching terms and definitions to get a grade reflects the real world. There will always be career academics who are much better at giving instruction on how to be a student than how to retain information. Professors and students should make a commitment to a higher level of learning and truly elevate their higher education. At the end of the day, flash cards will not get students through the real world. Critical thinking will.
JORDAN GURLEY STAR ILLUSTRATOR
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.
Gay marriage remains pivotal struggle in movement
Jeffrey Bradshaw OPINIONS COLUMNIST @jeffbrad12
he modern gay rights movement is a result of sexual orientation not being included in the Civil Rights Act.
In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights act. This landmark piece of legislation ended discrimination based on race, sex, religion and national origin. Sexual orientation was not included on that list, and the gay community has felt the effect of being left out. The most famous issue the gay rights movement has been fighting for is the legalization of gay marriage. On Jan. 16 the Supreme Court decided to hear four cases on the issue of same-sex marriage. Gay marriage will be legal in all 50 states if the court strikes down the bans. This is great news and a real
milestone for the gay rights cause. The gay marriage issue should not have gone through the judicial system. Instead there should have been a bill outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation like there was in the 1960s. The United States should have learned back then discrimination is bad and should be outlawed, and the question of gay rights should have been a simple “yes.” In a Jan. 19 Washington Post article, Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said with these gay marriage rulings, protection under the law will apply to all gay is-
Boko Haram, Charlie Hebdo attacks equally important
Trevor Neely SPECIAL TO THE STAR @tneely03
frican news has taken a backseat in the global media for centuries, and it is time for change. Africa has been a place of beauty, magnificent natural resources and ancient history for many years. Unfortunately, it has been plagued with poverty, disease and turmoil in many of its countries in large part due to the European imperialism continually robbing the continent to this very day. One would think a group of people who depend so heavily on this continent’s resources would at least have the decency to talk about what is actually happening to its people. This has not been the case for the people of Nigeria, who are currently suffering from a mass murder caused by the Islamic insurgent group known as Boko Haram. According to a Jan. 13 CNN article, Boko Haram's attacks over the past few weeks have been their biggest ever in terms of casualties on the Baga. They are using children to detonate bombs to carry out their relentless terrorism. Somewhere around 2,000 Nigerians were burned alive. This number is extremely alarming and should raise questions as to why the government is doing nothing about it. There seem to be high levels of incompetence and corruption in the Nigerian govern-
ment. According to a Jan. 20 New York Times article, the Baga massacre was greeted with silence from the president, while the military played down the number of casualties. Instead, the president tried to put more media focus on the issues in France rather than his own country. This was the result for much of the world, who focused mainly only on the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. This was no surprise for many who know the media’s fear mongering agenda. People can speculate the media could care less about the lives of those of African descent since they are always the last to be covered by any media outlet. This has held true for African American news in the United States. The media seems to wait until it is heavily pressured by people on social media before it covers the disregard for black lives. Other people would say the reason behind the media silence is different. Dr. Richard Warms, an anthropology professor at Texas State, said part of the reason behind the silence has to do with Paris being one of the more highly covered places in the world. The Boko Haram incident happened in a much more isolated place in Nigeria, which does not get as much media coverage as a place like Paris. Looking at the situation in that perspective, he is right. Some very isolated areas in Africa do not allow the media to safely cover what is really going on in much detail. That being said, this brings the situation closer to home. If social media can continue to push this kind of news out there to the public, then the mass media would have no choice but to make more efforts to cover the events in Africa. Let us take a stand against media censorship of these heinous crimes and shed light on them for our fellow human beings. —Trevor Neely is a Sociology sophomore
The University Star Editor-in-Chief............................................Odus Evbagharu, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor..........................Nicole Barrios, email@example.com Letters................................................................................firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor..............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, email@example.com Lifestyle Editor..........................................Britton Richter, firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions Editor.......................................Imani McGarrell, email@example.com Photo Editor...........................................Madelynne Scales, firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor........................................... Quixem Ramirez, email@example.com Copy Desk Chief.....................................Sam Hankins, firstname.lastname@example.org
sues. The “bottom line” of law is the Constitution, and none of the states may go below that. Gay marriage is not the only issue for the LGBTQIA community despite what many people think. For example, according to an Oct. 16, 2014 Huffington Post article, around 40 percent of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and cite identity-based family rejection as the main reason. This means these kids have come out to their family and were either kicked out or abused, forcing them to leave. Additionally, the parents who force their kids to leave never face abuse
charges. This issue does not get as must press as it should, and hopefully with the impending ruling on gay marriage it can finally get some exposure. Though there are many other LGBTQIA rights issues besides gay marriage, the recent news means a lot. It is the first step down a path that will see LGBTQIA people as full and equal members of society. Just like the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement must take the wins when it gets them and always keep fighting. —Jeffrey Bradshaw is a Political science sophomore
Confessions from a Twitter-holic: join the less is more #club
Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem
y name is Quixem Ramirez, and I am a recovering Twitter-holic. I’ve been sober for six months. I have slowly weaned myself from dependence on Twitter since July of 2014. I no longer need the reaffirmation of retweets or the comfort of favorites to define my self-worth. I realized I am capable of much more than twiddling my thumbs and wracking my brain for a clever joke in 140 characters with this discovery. This exhausting, selfdefeating mindset nearly crippled me. I was mired in a deep depression, and Twitter, with its promise of a better virtual world, could grant me a reprieve from an otherwise empty life. Do not worry. I will let you in on my secret. But, first, I’ll confess. I still check Twitter regularly, but I shaved off a sizable amount of time I used to
toil away on the free app. Mindless time. Time that would be better spent doing literally anything else. I’m a much better person for it, too. So how did I break free of my addiction? I took a leap of faith. I tested myself with a new position and took the challenge. I stretched myself to my mental limits, eliminating the need for Twitter. Rather than hiding from the world, immerse yourself in it. Find yourself in your surroundings, your passion and your intelligence. Social media will always be there. I do recognize the importance of Twitter and social media in general. It bridges the gap between us, college students in San Marcos, to people on the other side of the planet. A larger social network, in theory, means more opportunity to grow socially. This is a good theory, but it’s rarely the case. In terms of social capital, the value of social networks, the world has never been richer. In terms of personal development, the world has never been poorer. Social media creates a unique paradox—encouraging social experimentation while stripping away the tools needed to experiment socially. The Huffington Post
delved into the overreliance on social media subject last year. The statistics indicate social media leads, directly or indirectly, to problems later in life. Consistent social media users are five times likelier to use tobacco, three times as likely to use alcohol and their chances of using marijuana double. Developing social skills is difficult when presented with a medium that allows people to filter and ignore everything except the things that interest them. Harvard’s psychology department found selfdisclosure, which makes up the very basis of most social media platforms, is a biologically rewarding experience. In simpler terms, people really enjoy talking about themselves. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are successful in large part because they tap into that side of the brain, so escaping their grasp can be tough. I would know. Now, none of this is to say social media is inherently bad. Healthy use goes a long way to creating a well-rounded person. I have simply found less is more. Join the #club. There is always room for one more person.
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—Quixem Ramirez is a journalism sophomore
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Tuesday, January 27, 2015. 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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Local textbook stores offer competitive prices to find a variety of learning tools. The company boasts a team of employees committed to helping students find exactly what they need at a manageable cost. Liz Dycus, employee, believes Textbook Solution’s integrity and cost efficiency separates it from the competition. “We are honest,” Dycus said. “If the price is cheaper somewhere, we have no problem giving up information on where students can find that book. Our prices are really competitive, though. We usually have some of the cheaper prices around the city.”
The name alone should tell students Half-Price Books is the perfect place to buy discounted textbooks. Other stores may carry a more vast selection, but Half-Price Books hangs its hat on its bargain costs. Albert Fabian, employee, is confident in Half-Price’s cost versus the competition’s asking price. “We are a little bit more fair about what prices should be, and we are realistic with how and if the book will be used again,” Fabian said. “So we base prices accordingly.”
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Elena Zavala, elementary education junior, shops for textbooks Jan. 23 at Colloquium Bookstore.
By Jonathan Hamilton LIFESTYLE REPORTER Many businesses in the San Marcos area are being designed to cater to the needs of the student body as Texas State continues to evolve in population and status.
The need for a variety of cost-efficient textbooks is a prominent issue for students at the fourthlargest university in Texas. Buying textbooks at a bargain price is crucial when students already have to pay for rent, food and nights out on the Square. Here are a few spots in the San Marcos area with
competitive textbooks prices and a wide selection of subjects to choose from.
Textbook Solutions was started in 2007 by a pair of college graduates who believed textbooks should be cheaper. The store is an ideal place
Colloquium has had a long-standing dedication to students seeking higher education since its opening in 1963. Colloquium defines success by the number of people helped at a fair price. Representatives of the business said students are their first and only obligation. Justin Cantu, assistant manager and Texas State alumnus, said camaraderie is one of the main reasons Colloquium is a trusted bookstore. “We love the students,” Cantu said. “We love interacting with them. Money can be tight when it’s time to buy books, so you want to try your best to find the best possible prices. We just want to help the students out.”
Campus resources help students stay ahead By Kayla Jamerson LIFESTYLE REPORTER @ItsKaylaJay With the spring semester in full swing, students all over campus are transitioning from the relaxation of winter break to the rigor of classes, with many searching for campus resources to help them in their academic efforts. The majority of these resources is covered by student fees and requires no additional cost, which makes excelling during the academic year easier. The Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC), a tutoring center located on the fourth floor of Alkek library that covers subjects such as math, science, business and writing, is a popular resource available to students SLAC also offers Supplemental Instruction sessions for designated classes, which gives students the ability to receive additional help outside of
their scheduled lecture times. Zoe Simien, lab assistant, described SLAC as a family atmosphere. “We get along with everyone that we work closely with every week,” Simien said. “It’s just a very friendly environment.” Destiny McCoy, business management sophomore, said SLAC has helped her learn to balance schoolwork and study for exams. “I go to SLAC sometimes just to review before an exam, and it always helps a lot,” McCoy said. The Writing Center is an additional campus resource that assists students with research papers, constructing essays and preparing for the Punctuation, Usage and Grammar (P.U.G.) exam. The Writing Center is located on the first floor of ASBN and provides one-on-one tutoring. Appointments can be scheduled online, and students can select the tutor of their preference.
Several workshops are hosted throughout the school year to help students improve in different areas of writing. Workshop schedules are listed online. Workshops are available to all students. The center reopens for the spring semester on Jan. 26. Jada Washington, psychology sophomore, said the Writing Center helped improve her essay grades. “While I was taking my freshman college writing classes I had a little trouble with writing essays, but after my professor recommended me to visit the Writing Center, my grades got much better,” Washington said. Not all campus resources are solely meant to benefit students academically. Places such as Career Services function to help students explore employment opportunities. The Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (P.A.C.E) Center provides academic assistance and mentoring for freshmen.
We get along with everyone that we work closely with every week. It’s juat a friendly environment.” —Zoe Simien, SLAC lab assistant
UNIVERSITY OFFERS WIDE-RANGE OF INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES By Britton Richter LIFESTYLE EDITOR @BrittonRichter Internships allow students to take inclass knowledge and gain real world experience in their future fields. At Texas State, many different types of internships are available for each major. Resources are available to help students find internships through the different colleges and programs. One of the main resources on campus is Career Services, which assists students in the process of finding an internship. Career Services also holds a spring job and internship fair on Feb. 19 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for prospective students to browse the different types of internships for their specific majors. “Students can go through many list-
ings for many different opportunities there are out there,” said Charles Kaufman, Journalism and Mass Communication internship, scholarship and career development coordinator. “Students can find opportunities based on different organizations—PR firms and all kinds of different things.” Kaufman said Texas State has online resources for finding internships, which he uses to guide students. “The best way to start getting a head start is to go into an adviser’s office and to start talking strategy,” Kaufman said. “This helps give the students more guidance. Usually what I do is start talking to the student and writing down a list and plot opportunities in the semesters that are coming up.” Most majors on campus require an internship, and each school has different requirements.
“As far as the School of Music goes, the internships we have are in our sound recording and technology department,” said Krystyn Jensen, administrative assistant in the School of Music. Internships can be paid or unpaid depending on the company and whether a student is obtaining college credit. Regardless of the time commitment or the pay, internships are a great way for students to get hands-on experience applying classroom knowledge, networking with professionals and building their resume. “When I think of the word ‘internship,’ I think of an opportunity to further my skills and experience in a particular field as well as broadening my connections amongst peers in the desired career path I want to pursue,” said Kiely Dowling, advertising junior.
We love the students. We love interacting with them. Money can be tight when it’s time to buy books, so you want to try your best to ind the best possible prices.” —Justin Cantu, assistant manager of Colloquium Bookstore
Picks of the Week By Britton Richter and Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR AND ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @BrittonRichter and @MariahSimank
For the Riot Grrrl:
Female punk rock is on the rise, and if you associate yourself with the feminist movement, then Sleater-Kinney’s album “No Cities to Love” is for you. Riot Grrrl, the overarching name for the 90’s feminist punk rock movement, is fronted by bands like Sleater-Kinney. These punk rock ladies hail from the Pacific Northwest and can fuel an audience through hump-day blues and get you pumped for the weekend. This album was released Jan. 20 and has been a hit ever since.
For the class clown:
Back Alley Comedy Lounge in the Square hosts open mic night every Wednesday. This weekly show is sure to turn even the worst Wednesday around with five-minute sets beginning at 10 p.m. and a $2 cover charge. Anyone interested in performing must sign up no later than 8:30 p.m. that night. There is sure to be a joke for every type of humor with a variety of comedians performing each night.
For the undiscovered artist:
Triple Crown, a staple of the San Marcos bar scene, hosts an open mic night every Sunday from 8-11 p.m. This is a unique open mic that is not specific to any type of performance. Beginning performers as well as more experienced entertainers are all encouraged to attend. Any poet, comedian, singer and entertainer over 18 is welcome.
For the Seahawk:
The Common Interest Karoke Bar & Grill is the designated location for Seahawks fans going into this year’s Super Bowl. As the original karaoke bar of Austin, this historic location was selected by roughly 50 local fans. The outcome of the game remains anticipated, but this close group of fans is certain to have a memorable experience.
For the Patriot:
B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant is the meeting location of the New England Patriots Austin Fan Club. This is the spot for die-hard Pats fans to watch the Super Bowl XLIX. The game can be seen at any angle on nine high-definition flat screens. This bar is the proud home of all Patriots fans within the Austin area.
classifieds Help Wanted Tutors wanted for all subjects taught at Texas State. Pay starts at $10/hr. Apply online at 99tutors.com or call 512-354-7656. Need a Tutor? Friendly,
helpful, one-on-one tutoring for all subjects taught at Texas State. Apply online at 99tutors. com or call 512-354-7656. KUNGFUSANMARCOS. COM
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