THURSDAY JANAURY 29, 2015 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 50
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Enrollment growth dictates legislative priorities for Texas State By Bleah B. Patterson NEWS REPORTER @missbleahp The Texas 84th Legislative session has begun, and university officials hope to receive more funding as enrollment continues to rise. Texas educators will take concerns and proposals to their districts’ representatives during legislative sessions, and the delegates will present them before Congress. The Higher Education Assistance Fund (HEAF), which is granted to state public universities, is at stake. This fund would not go to the University of Texas and Texas A&M, which collect their own grants from the state exclusively. The amount allotted is chosen once every decade and reevaluated every five, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. The university was last evaluated in 2010 and is due for a new allotment of funds. University officials hope the spike in student population will mean additional funding for Texas State, Nance said. The university has experienced a spike in enrollment in the last five years, Nance said. Nance anticipates a funding increase between $3 million and $8 million per year depending on which Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) proposal is passed into legislature. Nance said gaining the financial support necessary to construct two new academic buildings is a priority for the university. Texas State needs an increase in tuition revenue bonds in order to fund construction of the buildings, Nance said. “We are planning two buildings—an engineering and science building for the San Marcos campus and a health professionals building for the Round Rock campus,” he said. Many universities and colleges in the state pushed for bills to fund new buildings during the last legislative session, he said. However, they failed the day before the session ended. Nance is hopeful the bill paving the way for new buildings will pass during the 84th session. “We’re really hoping for support to build these new buildings this time around,” said Eugene Bourgeois, university provost. Building new facilities on campus is imperative in order for the university to keep up with a rising student population, Bourgeois said. “Recent growth in enrollment means we’ve run out of space,” Nance said. “The engineering program is full—completely out of space—and they cannot take any more admissions.” Bourgeois agrees with Nance, acknowledging the growing health and nursing programs need more space. Constructing a new building at the Round Rock campus is
See ENROLLMENT, Page 2
MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Jess Liao, San Marcos resident, poses Jan. 21 at Jo on the Go. The wall shown is covered in photos of locals who have been visiting the coffee shop since its 1999 opening.
San Martians fear city losing authenticity By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox
owntown construction is slated to be finished by summer, but some local residents say San Marcos has already lost its “small-town feel.” Population growth, along with what some residents feel are superfluous development projects, have taken away the city’s small community feeling. City hall commissioned three downtown construction projects last year. The renovation plans involve full street
reconstruction on LBJ Drive and Hutchison Street, new water and wastewater lines, widened sidewalks and the addition of bike lanes. According to U.S. census data, an eight percent population growth rate between June 2012 and June 2013 made San Marcos the fastestgrowing mid-size city in the nation. Some long-settled locals say the growth is eroding the city’s sense of community and its leisurely atmosphere.
Laurie Moyer, director of Engineering and Capital Improvement for the city, said construction projects throughout San Marcos have increased in response to the growing population and the resulting demands on infrastructure. “We definitely will continue to see a substantial amount of construction on city projects in the community based upon our 10-year capital improvement program,” Moyer said. “We’re just kicking that off. There are a lot of projects on the horizon that have been identified.” Moyer understands the im-
pact of construction on everyday citizens’ lives, but hopes residents will recognize the importance in creating and maintaining a healthy city infrastructure. Jeffrey Kender remembers San Marcos as smaller and “sleepyslow” in 2000 when he first arrived from Houston. It was not long before he became an active member of the community and opened the city’s first food trailer, The Tin Box. “At first I did not like this town,” Kender said. “I didn’t understand it. It was a small town, and for me
See GROWTH, Page 2
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Consistently falling gas prices benefit San Marcos
By Jake Goodman NEWS REPORTER @jakethegoodman Gas prices have been falling for two months, helping commuters and students living on campus save money. The lower gas prices can be attributed to several factors, said Joni Charles, associate professor of finance and economics. Causes include new technology like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, increased domestic production of petroleum that coincides with decreasing reliance on production in politically unstable countries and reduced global demand. The price of gas has fallen from $3.55 per gallon to $1.25 per gallon in only 90 days, said Bernie Bowden, owner of seven Pac-NSac gas stations in San Marcos. The price of gas was $90 a barrel two months ago. The cost was fore-
Ray Vasquez fills up his truck Jan. 26 at The Yellow Store.
See GAS PRICES, Page 2
ANDRES J RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
See GAS PRICES, Page 2
Holiday season peak time for shoppers at Tanger Outlets By Rebecca Banks NEWS REPORTER @r_banks13
JOHNEL ACOSTA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The Tanger Outlets attracted two million local and international shoppers this past holiday season.
Tanger Outlets profited from shoppers’ holiday spirit in 2014, bringing in two million customers during November and December alone. John Lairsen, general manager of Tanger Outlets, said the holiday season is the busiest time of the year for international shoppers to visit the outlet mall. “The December numbers are just through the roof,” said Lairsen. “It was an incredible holiday season.” San Marcos received a 5.9 percent increase in sales tax revenue in 2014 from the previous year. The city received $2,243,976.99 million in sales tax revenue from No-
vember 2014 to January. San Marcos received $2,119,843.98 million, over $100,000 less, during the same time span the previous year. Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez, executive director at the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau, said the outlet malls account for 45 percent of the total collected sales tax for the city. “This past year most of our customers (were) from Mexico,” said Maria Falcon, manager at Tax Free Shopping. An estimated 87 percent of customers come to San Marcos from Mexico for the outlets, Falcon said. “With $500, (the shoppers) can probably only get 10 items in Mexico, but over here, with the same amount and same product, they’re going to
double the amount of items they purchase,” Falcon said. Tax Free Shopping had a 30 percent increase of customers from China between 2013 and 2014, she said. “We saw a big increase in Chinese customers because there are more direct flights from Shanghai to Dallas or Houston,” Falcon said. An estimated 80 percent of customers visiting Rue21 are international shoppers, said Bradley Tanksley, assistant manager. “In our store in general, just because we’re the outlet, we do really well in clearance,” Tanksley said. “A lot of people come to our clearance just because we have so much of it.” Rue21 remained busy during Black
See OUTLETS, Page 2
2 | The University Star | News | Thursday, January 29, 2015
STUDENT GOVERNMENT, from front to come from a city to a small-town pace—at first I was confused, but once I got to know more of the locals in town, it grew on me very fast.” Kender is not the only one to have fallen in love with the city. The construction of single-family housing has increased by 30 percent since 2011, according to a city press release. “This town has grown drastically,” Kender said. “There are places I used to go hiking out in the woods that are now apartment complexes, and that’s horrible.” Jess Liao moved to San Marcos from a “middle-class, mostly white and Christian” Houston suburb in 2005 to attend Texas State. Liao said she received a warm welcome from a diverse and accepting community upon arriving—something she had never experienced before. Liao said she found her niche working as a barista at Jo on the Go, a local coffee shop. She enjoys seeing the same friendly faces each day after nine years of calling San Marcos home.
OUTLETS, from front “We have, in the back of the coffee shop, a wall covered in pictures of people who have been coming since 1999, and some of the people in those pictures still come in,” Liao said. “The sense of stability is very calming.” Liao has noticed demographic changes in the city’s population and cafe’s customers. Enrollment numbers at the university have increased from 23,517 students in the fall of 2002 to 36,739 for the 2015 spring semester, according to data from Texas State’s Department of Institutional Research. Liao said she worries unchecked student population growth may destroy what brought her to San Marcos—the city’s “small-town feel.” “I don’t want (the city) to be too big, too busy, filled with people who don’t care about San Marcos itself, people who are just here for the university,” Liao said. “(Students) trash the square on the weekend, trash the river in the summer and go home and don’t give a shit. That makes me sad.”
Colin Downs moved from Amarillo in 1999 and currently bartends at two of San Marcos’s oldest bars— Showdown Bar and Triple Crown. Downs was attracted to the city’s once-vibrant live music scene but believes that era has all but disappeared. He attributes the waning of live music and dive bars to the city’s changing demographics. Most residents seem to agree San Marcos is changing but differ on how to cope with the transformation. The city’s growth may soon become too much for Liao. “I don’t think I’ll live here forever,” Liao said. “I think San Marcos will outgrow me. At some point the overdevelopment will make me too sad, and I’ll just move.” Kender disagrees. He has no choice but to stand by the community although many of the changes are unfavorable to him. “I consider San Marcos my home,” Kender said. “I don’t have that much family, but the people in this town are my family. That’s why I’ve stayed.”
An estimated $1 million was covered by the state last year, leaving the university to pay for the rest, Nance said. Texas State officials hope the state will start paying for those waivers. “We believe the state should fund it,” Nance said. “If this bill passes, they’ll be responsible for much closer to 100 percent.” Nance hopes the legislation will produce more financial aid funding. “Right now we’re giving less aid then we were once able to,” Nance said. “A great deal of that is because of larger enrollment than before and less money
than before.” Nance and Bourgeois can agree an improved infrastructure on campus and more financial aid will help the university continue to grow and thrive. The 84th legislative session began Jan. 13 and will last 140 days. Local representatives have until March 13 to submit bills. Congress will vote through June 1 on proposed bills. June 21 is the last day for Governor Greg Abbott to veto bills passed during the session. Bills passed during legislative session will take effect Aug. 31 unless otherwise stated.
“I used to spend about $200 (per week), so I’ve saved about 80 bucks,” Hicks said. “So that’s a big chunk of change.” Kristina Bell, finance senior, said she has been spending half as much on gas each week since the prices started to drop. Bell lives in San Marcos and frequently drives to her job at the outlet mall. “It costs me half as much as it did (to fill up),” Bell said. “I fill up every three weeks, so it’s a lot (that I save). It’s definitely nice, but it’s probably not going to last long.” Students living on campus have been benefiting from the lower prices as well. Zach Cottrell, criminal justice freshman, said he lives on campus and does not drive often but still saves $30-$45
with each gas purchase. Cottrell expects students to take more day trips because of the lower prices. “Kids are going to be taking a lot more day trips to Austin,” Cottrell said. “I’d say it has encouraged kids and parents to bring their cars (to campus) over the break.” Rajesh Kumar, owner of the Conoco on North Interstate Highway 35 Frontage Road., said the price change has not reduced the amount of gas sold. Kumar has spent about half of what he paid for gas in November to make his commute from Austin, but the new prices had no noticeable effect on his business. Charles said the price will continue to fall but could rise again in the summer.
ENROLLMENT, from front the first step toward moving the entire program there, Bourgeois said. Nance said other priorities include government evaluations of the Hazelwood Act and the Hazelwood Legacy Act—programs that allow veterans and their children to attend college for free. Universities are responsible for the tuition costs for veterans under the Hazelwood Act, Nance said. “It’s a fantastic program,” Nance said. “Last year alone, $16 million in tuition and fees were awarded, and we’re estimated another $18 million this year.”
GAS PRICES, from front casted to drop as low as $50 per barrel. As of Jan. 21 The price is $46 per barrel as of Jan. 21 and is predicted to drop another $15. “(Gasoline) is one of the most volatile things you can buy as far as catching on fire and price,” Bowden said. The price at the pump is determined by adding approximately $0.20 cents for refining the gasoline to the price it is traded at plus the cost of transporting the fuel to the pumps, Bowden said. Gas stations only earn $0.03 cents per gallon of gas sold. “We have to be competitive, and that’s why sometimes we’re selling below our cost,” Bowden said. Jordyn Hicks, accounting junior, lives in San Marcos but regularly commutes to Flatonia to visit her family.
Friday sales, Tanksley said. “For us it was just a little different,” said Fabian Hernandez, stock supervisor at Rue 21. “We’re used to things being really chaotic, (and) for this year it was real steady. We were constantly ringing.” Tanger Outlets has 30 stores participating in Tax Free Shopping, Falcon said. The program offers a sales tax refund to international shoppers. “The customer must spend $122 from each store in order to qualify,” Falcon said. “They have to present their travel documents, original receipt and purchased items to process the (refund) application.”
Internet scam discovered in Jobs4Cats system By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox An online scam within the Jobs4Cats system through the Texas State Career Services website was reported Wednesday by the University Police Department (UPD). Career Services notified UPD Jan. 27 of the scam after learning from a Texas State Internet user of a phony job solicitation post on the Jobs4Cats employment network. The post asked applicants
presents our Spring Schedule 2015 Group Counseling
Mondays, 1:00- 2:30 PM
• Understanding Self in Dating Relationships
Wednesdays, 1:00- 2:30 PM
• Breaking Free to Be MeAdult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional • Sexual Assault & Abuse Families *new time* Survivors Support • Woman to Woman
Mondays, 3:00- 4:30 PM
Mondays, 5:15- 6:45 PM
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00 PM
• Support for Managing Bipolar Disorder
• Mindfully Working Through Depression
Tuesday, 1:00-2:30 PM
• Facing the FearOvercoming Anxiety
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 PM
Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 AM
• Art-Healing through Creativity
Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 PM
• LGBTQIA Support and Empowerment
Thursdays, 2:45-4:30 PM
• Moving Through GriefSurviving the Death of a Loved One Fridays, 1:30-3:00 PM
• Self-Esteem: Overcoming Shame and SelfCriticism Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 PM
How to DEAL (Develop Affective Approaches for Life) These 50 minute workshops are offered at various times throughout the semester. For complete schedule and online registration visit:
firstname.lastname@example.org/outreach/DEAL Basic Stress Management Creating Focus Through Mind and Body Connections Happiness Rehab: Steps Towards Creating Change Mood Management: Taking Charge of Feeling Good Overcome Test and Performance Anxiety Small Talk Stress Management: Finals Edition Zombie Apocalypse: College Survival 101
to deposit money to pay for a background check, officials said. The post received over 170 views and 38 responses. Any job opportunity asking for money or bank information should be reported immediately to UPD. “Any job where you have to (actually) pay (to continue in the process)—those are almost always illegitimate,” said Otto Glenewinkel, University Police Crime Prevention officer. Those who believe they may have been victims of the scam are asked to contact UPD to file a report.
Where the good meat is
The Counseling Center • Building Social Confidence
International shoppers must spend $10 in sales tax at each participating store to receive a refund, Falcon said. “For the retailer, it’s a good way to increase their sales because the customer has to spend at least $122,” Falcon said. Most international customers receive their sales tax refund and go back to the stores to purchase more items, Falcon said. Tanger Outlets will introduce another retailer at the end of the year, Lairsen said. “Tanger is adding an additional 24,000 square feet to house H&M that will open the fall of 2015,” Lairsen said.
The University Star | Thursday, January 29, 2015 | 3
Vinyl sales on the rise among young consumers By Mariah Simank ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @Mariahsimank Zach Jennings picked the right time to get into the vinyl business. Superfly’s owner moved from Gruene to San Marcos in search of a steady clientele, but he never anticipated the continued boom in vinyl business. Sales reached 9.2 million in 2014—the highest since 1991—and experienced a 52 percent increase from 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “I think in the last couple of years there has not been one specific moment,” Jennings said. “It has just been kind of a steady rise. Kids see their friends’ record collections and realize it is relatively inexpensive to start their own if they buy a lot of used, so I think that kind of drove it up and attracted even more people.” Vinyl sales declined by 30 percent in 2005 and remained stagnant in 2006, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Sales began to rise by 15 percent in 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The industry would soon see a far bigger increase than many experts could have predicted, Jennings said. “I think Record Store Day and events similar to that have kind of catapulted vinyl sales in these last three years or so,” Jennings said. “It had gone from being this little niche community of ‘Audioheads’
to being as much a part of your life as a CD player would be.” Jennings said the store is helping to bridge the gap between oldschool appreciators of the format and fresh ears purchasing their first record. “I would say when we started here, 75 percent of our customers were the old guard that were coming,” Jennings said. However, over the last two years Jennings has started to see a younger audience take interest in the tangible music experience. Makayla Perez, theatre sophomore, said the appeal among younger vinyl fans could have something to do with the appearance of records. “I think the fascination with vintage items is an aspect that makes vinyl really popular among college students,” Perez said. “There is something about owning your favorite artist on vinyl that makes it all the more exciting to have, and it’s even become a fun hobby to collect vinyl for many people as well.” The allure of cover art and sound quality of vinyl albums continue to attract a new generation of record collectors, and the inventory for the store has adjusted accordingly, Jennings said. “At the beginning, we were probably selling one record player or one turntable a week, and now we’re selling around four a week,” Jennings said. “We now have towers of record players in our store,
and it has become more of an issue of making sure we have enough of the different record player styles in stock to accommodate all of the demand.” Joseph Kotarba, sociology professor, said the sale of mediums such as CDs and digital albums is decreasing. Vinyl LPs are experiencing such unprecedented growth that the music industry is being forced to accommodate them. “A lot of critics and record labels try to say it’s a fad and it will not last a long time because there is a shortage of vinyl materials and they don’t make a lot of the record players anymore to keep us from growing as an interest,” Kotarba said. “I would rather refer to it as an expression that pop music fans have chosen to gravitate towards so they can have better ownership of their music.” Superfly’s was initially thought of as a store specifically for used vinyl but has turned into a haven for the latest releases and hard-tofind used records, Jennings said. “We certainly have more inventory than the stores in Austin,” Jennings said. “I’d say per capita we are still on the lower end, and that is something that should drive me as a business owner and everyone as employees—to make sure that the people of San Marcos know that we are here and trying to accommodate all of their listening needs.”
PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Montana Holmes, psychology sophomore, thumbs through vinyl records on Jan. 23 at Superfly’s Lone Star Music Emporium.
Transparent pushing barriers for Amazon By Britton Richter LIFESTYLE EDITOR @BrittonRichter Socially progressive shows like Girls and Orange is the New Black are dominating networks and awards shows alike, but Transparent, an Amazon original series, is quickly surpassing them all. The cast and crew of this unique show have proven they have the skill and prowess to make it in this fast-paced digital-viewing era with only one season (10 episodes) under their belts. Transparent takes place in modern-day Los Angeles with some minor flashbacks. The show focuses on a family of three children and two divorced parents. This may sound incredibly dull and overdone—something one would expect to see running on some off-brand network with a weak and repetitive storyline. However, Transparent is apparently immune to the potential to be just another show about families. The children are 20-somethings attempting to live life in the best way they know how when their world is quickly rocked by a dramatic and rapid change. Cue the dramatic plotline. This particular plotline, however, evades the repetitive themes seen throughout many television shows today. This show centers on the patriarch of the family coming out as a transgender woman, hence the name Transparent. Transparent is the first show centered on transgender issues. It is a foreign topic for most viewers and can be difficult for some to understand. The show portrays the experiences of trans individuals in an honest way. The minds behind the show have included a unique element to ensure the story is told in the most accurate way possible. Transparent creators hired Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, two young trans artists, to serve as consultants behind the scenes. The inclusion of these two individuals ensures the honesty of the show. They provide a voice and information to keep the show as honest in its storytelling
as possible. They provide authentic knowledge of transgender issues and struggles. Transparent is beyond any show I have seen largely due to its sincerity. Yes, Girls and its portrayal of the various types of white women is honest, graphic, moving and entertaining. Yes, Orange is the New Black is phenomenal in its ability to tell diverse stories with intertwining tragic and comedic performances. The element that makes Transparent stand out is the truth within its characters. Storytelling with characters is often redundant. I do not mean the same characters exist throughout television, but development can be painstakingly unnoticeable in various shows. If I hate someone in the first season, odds are I will hate them at the end. This is largely due to the fact that the characters stay the same throughout the series. I hated the children in Transparent. All three of the 20-somethings are loathsome in the early episodes. However, I do not hate them anymore. The development lets viewers understand characters as complex human beings. It allows people to see the characters in the same way they would see their friends. I love my friends dearly, but I will combust if they smack their gum even slightly in my vicinity. They show traits I admire and some that drive me moderately crazy, but they are my friends and I love them despite those things. The ability to relate to characters is determined by how they are presented. Transparent allows the characters to evolve into three-dimensional human beings. The show has appeared at a crucial time for society. It is a TV show that has established itself as a force to be reckoned with through its brutal honesty and ability to keep the viewer’s eyes glued to the screen. Transparent is a good bet for binge-watching and has the potential to open viewers’ eyes. Transparent made waves, winning two awards at the Golden Globes, but no number of awards could explain this show’s impact. Only watching can do that.
TEXAS STATE RAP ARTIST LIVES DREAM THROUGH MUSIC By Jonathan Hamilton LIFESTYLE REPORTER
and efficiently behind the scenes. “I am the puppeteer, if you’d like to call it that,” Johnson said. “I handle all of the back work and put everyone in positions to manifest whatever the goal or idea may be.” Goya, whose artist name is Stackz Too Trill, is a music producer with a belief that the organic bond he shares with Curry is a contributing factor to the natural flow of his music. “The chemistry is deeper than just rapper to producer because he’s like my little brother,” Goya said. “It’s bigger than music. We are a family.” Curry preaches persistence and
encourages everyone to make the most out of opportunities. Curry has had numerous people attempt to tear down his art, but his inner confidence is unwavering. “I’ve had people doubt me so many times,” Curry said. “When people saw what I was doing with the music, they didn’t believe I would do anything with it. But now, just two years later, music is all I’m known for.” Curry said he is doing everything he can to become a household name with his desire to succeed and the right group of people supporting his dream.
Growing up in Arlington, Donovan Curry always believed he would go pro as a sports player, yet the discovery of rap music drew him to the studio and he never looked back. Curry is focused on building a loyal fan base with performances in San Marcos and San Antonio. He recently captured the attention of fans across Texas State with his single “Put It Down.” Curry said his ability to relate to young people across the nation is one of the main reasons his music has been well received thus far. “There are billions of people in this world,” Curry said. “Somebody out there will be able to identify with your music, and from there you can sell that person your dream and they will buy into Happy Hour All Day Every Day! it.” Open 3pm Curry is quick to mention that he is not exclusively Free Pool til 8pm responsible for his success despite his growth as a solo 1904 RR12 in the Crestwood Center 512-878-8080 Follow us @ facebook.com/Horseflies (Just past Dakota Ranch, on the Right) artist. He points to his team as the machine behind his music. Nassyre Johnson, Curry’s manager, and Obari Goya, one of the major influences behind Curry’s vision, are two of the critical pieces that make up the puzzle that is Don Curry music. Johnson ensures everything is running smoothly
MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Donovan Curry, recreational administration junior, poses Jan. 27 on the Square.
4 | The University Star | Thursday, January 29, 2015
THE MAIN POINT
Government-funded community college creates opportunities for students MP
he Obama administration’s new plan to pass legislation providing two years of free community college will open a whole new world of opportunity for prospective students. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 36 percent of community college students in 2014 were in the first generation of their families to pursue postsecondary education. Government-funded tuition for the first two years of community college will go a long way toward alleviating some stress students are already under. Students benefitting from this plan will be able to save up money to use later in their pursuit of higher education. Many people considering college after high school postpone their undergrad in order to work and save money. In a lot
of these instances, a gap year can stretch out for longer than expected or even extend indefinitely. According to EducationByTheNumbers. org, only 6 percent of students who took off a year or more after high school earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they turned 25 or 26. The community college plan offers students the opportunity to explore their majors and really find what they want to do. Experimenting in community college is less of a high-stakes environment than it would be at a four-year university. Additionally, community college is an easier transition from high school, and having tuition paid for allows students to focus on their grades. Opponents of Obama’s plan bring up valid concerns as to where the estimated $6 billion a year it would take to make this plan happen will come from. There are con-
cerns that increasing the amount of people with Associate’s Degrees will drive down the value of other degrees as a result. Having two free years of college paid for is not the handout many seem to think it is. There are guidelines students would have to abide by in order to partake in the program. Some requirements suggested by the proposal include maintaining a 2.5 GPA and logging some community service hours. Every person is not destined to have a bachelor’s degree despite the mold perpetuated in mainstream society. Attaining an associate’s degree leads to other successful pursuits such as achieving a higher education and moving forward debt-free. America’s reputation as the land of opportunity is also tied into hard work and dedication. Free community college should be part of the package as well.
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. RYAN JEANES STAR ILLUSTRATOR
Environmental cons of fracking outweigh economic pros
Rivers Wright OPINIONS COLUMNIST @MonsieurRivers
n issue known as fracking is a problem shaking environmentalists to the core and leaving people torn on whether the process is helpful or harmful.
While quick measures are being taken to try to get this process banned, it is moving fast and needs to be brought under control. Fracking is basically the process of injecting fluid into shale beds at high pressures in order to free up petroleum resources. Fracking has been used since the early 1940s but has seen a boom in the last ten years as the search for a new process to gather natural gases becomes more urgent. The fluid injected into the shale bed is a combination of water, sand and various chemicals. About 700 chemicals make up the compound used alongside the water and sand, though most of these ingredients are unknown. After the natural
gases have been exhausted from a certain drilling location, the hole is then sealed and left alone. Though the use of fracking is an easy solution to the growing need of natural gases, Environmentalists worry negligent sealing after exhausting a site will lead to water contamination. A Sept. 15, 2014 ThinkProgress article confirmed some of those suspicions when it reported two cases of water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania. The contamination came from the sealing portion of the fracking process and can easily be fixed by ensuring a better seal but it is still related to fracking in the grand scheme. Leaving the land to its own
devices instead of using the natural resources it has to offer is simply not an option. In order to continue living, humans must live off the Earth. There are better ways to live off the planet, though, and fracking is where I draw the line. One of the major criticisms against fracking is it leads to earthquakes occurring in places that have never experienced the phenomenon. The high-intensity pressure cracks open the earth and causes shifting of the tectonic plates, leaving new areas susceptible to environmental changes. Aside from damaging the land, fracking has been linked to harmful air pollutants as well. Fracking causes greenhouse gases to be re-
leased into the air, which has played a considerable role in the changing climate of the world. When put into perspective, the dangers of fracking seem to outweigh the benefits. Towns such as Denton have led the charge in banning the process of fracking. Hopefully other towns will eventually follow suit. Fracking should be banned in all areas. The cons outweigh the pros in the case of fracking. Until a safer, more inexpensive alternative is invented to extract natural gas, it is best to just do away with the process. —Rivers Wright is a journalism junior
Rape kits necessity at Health Center
Global warming not a hoax
Brandon Sams OPINIONS COLUMNIST @TheBrandonSams
tudents should steer clear of the Health Center if they are seeking worthwhile help after falling victim to sexual crimes. Unfortunately, the Student Health Center currently does not house any rape kits to perform forensic examinations on victims of sexual assault. According to a Nov. 12, 2013 University Star article, they lack kits because sexual assaults often occur on weekends and during the late hours of the night, both times when the Health Center is closed. Aside from availability during at-risk hours, the facility would have to invest in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). The SANE would need a degree of special training and availability to testify in court should a victim want to take the accused to trial. Simply put, the resources, tools and finances are not always available at university clinics to provide adequate training for these specialized nurses. Considering only a small minority of Texas State students actually live on campus, it is probably not advantageous for the university to relocate funds for SANE training and hiring. Couple this with the fact many sexual assaults are not reported to the appropriate authorities and it is clear a false sense of unimportance may be clouding the issue of funding. When people look at the occurrence of rape
in and around campuses, they are getting an incomplete story. According to the National Research Council, approximately 80 percent of sexual assaults go unreported. The numbers are even more abysmal when it comes to prosecution. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, only 7 percent of rapes lead to an arrest and only 3 percent are referred to prosecutors. While it may seem like sexual assault is not occurring with disturbing frequency here at Texas State, perhaps this is not the case. Especially taking the statistics into consideration, we are more than likely living in a fool’s paradise. Rape and sexual assault continue to remain one of the hardest crimes to not only get a conviction for but to prove. It often delineates into a literal battle of “he said, she said.” Now given the fact performing a forensics exam and collecting evidence as soon as possible after an assault is vital and can make or break a case, students should not falter. If students should find themselves in such a grave predicament, it is best to find the nearest hospital, preferably one with an emergency room, to get the immediate help one needs. Aside from providing immediate help to victims, due to the 2013 Texas Senate Bill 1191, all hospitals with emergency rooms are required to have staff trained in the performance of a forensics exam and the collection of evidence in cases of rape and sexual assault. So, while the university may be lacking in worthwhile medical support for victims, there are tons of resources students should preemptively become familiar with. In cases of rape and sexual assault, time is of the essence. If victims wish to ensure justice is served in these often traumatizing cases of coercion, force and violence, it is best to seek immediate attention—attention that should not be wasted on the Student Health Center. —Brandon Sams is a journalism sophomore
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Nabil Hourani OPINIONS COLUMNIST @nabil_hourani
he division between the group of people who believe in climate change and those who do not seems to be worsening. Global warming has entered the realm of intense discussion and debate in both the scientific and political communities. The questions of whether climate change is really happening, if this climate change is caused by human actions and what the repercussions may be all seem to have triggered a schism. The scientific evidence to support the existence of climate change due to human activity is becoming increasingly clear. The skeptics who continue to deny the science will only look like fools as the evidence becomes more apparent in the years to come. People must understand the possible repercussions of
maintaining or increasing the level of carbon dioxide currently being released into the atmosphere. "The climate is warming,” said Dr. Richard Dixon, climatologist and geography professor. “That's documented. It's also been shown that there is a human component to that warming, so the debate on that is settled. The proper debate should be on what to do about it." One of the many arguments skeptics bring up is the earth is just in a natural warming cycle and global warming has nothing to do with what humans are doing. "We know that the earth goes through cycles,” said Dr. Rene De Hon, geology senior lecturer. “We're in one of those warming cycles. We're still coming out of the ice age. Natural warming is going on. The other side of the coin is whether we're contributing to it, and all of the science looks like we are contributing to it." Although there has been intense division in the political arena about the debate of global warming for many years, it actually seems more senators are coming around on the climate change issue regardless of their political party affiliation. According to a Jan. 21 Think
Progress article, the U.S. Senate decided in a 98-1 vote climate change is, in fact, a real thing. Although senators will continue to debate what exactly is causing global warming, this is monumental news in showing the more open-minded approach senators and other politicians are taking towards this subject. Due to the complexity of climate change, many who are not scientists and academics often sound like ranting pseudo-intellectuals when discussing it. People must accept we as a society are emitting a dangerously large amount of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. According to NASA, this continued climate change would result in longer, more intense heat waves and loss of sea ice, causing water levels to rise dangerously. Society must make itself more informed on this subject. Supporting the actions being taken to create alternative energy sources and reduce greenhouse emissions is a necessity. Without a monumental shift in the way industrialized societies are run, the future for this beautiful planet seems bleak to say the least. —Nabil Hourani is a public relations senior 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666
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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 Thursday, January 29, 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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The University Star | Thursday, January 29, 2015 | 5
BOBCATS ATTEMPT TO BOUNCE BACK FROM THREE-GAME LOSING STREAK By Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER @SabrinaFloresTX
MADELYNNE SCALES STAR FILE PHOTO
The Texas State men’s basketball team is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and the offense has failed to exceed 60 points in three of the four losses. To break the streak, the Bobcats will need to beat Louisiana-Lafayette, an opponent Coach Danny Kaspar called “one of the more talented teams in the conference.” “It’s a tough opponent for us,” Kaspar said. “We are going to have to play better offensively than we have been in the last three or four games.” Shawn Long, Ragin’ Cajuns junior forward, is averaging a team-high 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Long, a 6-foot-9 forward, is a projected selection in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft according to DraftExpress.com. “I think that as a group, collectively, we have to work together to stop Shawn Long,” said Cameron Naylor, junior forward. “I think that I have to do the dirty work that some players can’t. That’s my role on the team.” Texas State’s issues begin on the offense end. Kaspar identified five bad shots in the 64-58 loss to Appalachian State after watching film of the match. Kaspar was encouraged by the shot selection and turnover prevention. However, he noted the Bobcats need to convert a higher percentage of shots. “I mean, our team is right there,”
Kaspar said. “We just have to get over the hump. I don’t think we’ve been involved in a game, except for Texas, that we felt, ‘We can’t win this thing.’” Kaspar gave Ethan Montalvo, junior guard, the freedom to shoot from the perimeter. He said the offense struggles when Montalvo and D.J. Brown, senior guard, miss shots from 3-point range. Montalvo, who has attempted 82 percent of his shots from 3-point range is focusing on his teammates rather than himself to break the slump. “The only way we can get out of (the slump) is to find easier buckets and 3-pointers and long-range 2-pointers,” Montalvo said. “We need to get inside—Emani (Gant), we need Jamarcus (Weatherspoon) and Cameron (Naylor). We need to get them some lay ups.” Montalvo has made six of his last 23 shot attempts in the last three losses. Montalvo has attempted to redeem his poor shooting by getting 100-200 extra shots outside of practice. Kaspar is concerned with defensive rebounding along with the offensive slump. Texas State allowed 46 offensive rebounds in the four-game losing streak. “I think defensive(ly) we are one of the better teams—if not the best team in the league, certainly of the better teams in the league,” Kaspar said. “I’m a little disappointed in our rebounding area. That’s an area that we need to block out better, which is why I’m disappointed in our defense.”
Rebounding takes precedence against Louisiana-Lafayette, which ranks 11th in Division I in rebounds per game. Texas State is averaging 33.1 rebounds per game compared to 40.4 from Louisiana-Lafayette. “As a team we play great defense,” Naylor said. “Coach (Kaspar) has mentioned that it’s good but it’s not great because the rebounds allowed the other teams to get those second chances up.” Texas State’s defense took a hit when the Bobcats lost Wes Davis, senior guard, against Georgia Southern. Davis sprained his shoulder and is considered day-to-day. He has been practicing non-contact drills with the team this week. The Bobcats have tried four different starting lineups in the past four games due to injuries and shooting. Kaspar is using practice and team context to find the right mix as the season progresses. “If you practice very well, you’re going to start.” Kaspar said. “Overall, the defensive is good enough to win. It’s the lack of offense that is keeping us from getting victory.” Faced with a losing streak, Montalvo is maintaining perspective. “We are a great team,” Montalvo said. “We are just in a slump (and we’ve) got to get out of it. We can’t be down on ourselves. We just need to bounce back. We are all a little frustrated, but we believe in each other. We believe if we just get one win we will be back to where we were at before we started our losing streak.”
TEXAS STATE TO FACE RAGIN’ CAJUN DEFENSE AT HOME By Paul Livengood SPORTS REPORTER @IamLivengood Coach Zenarae Antoine’s philosophy this year focuses on the defensive end, where the Texas State women’s basketball team ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference. The ranking notwithstanding, Antoine’s defense has not reached her expectations. “I feel like we are getting better, but we are still not where we need to be,” Antoine said. The Bobcats’ next opponent, Louisiana-Lafayette, is one of the three teams ahead of them in defense. The Ragin’ Cajuns allow 57.7 points per game and force a conference-high 21.4 turnovers on average each matchup. Antoine said Louisiana-Lafayette excels on creating turnovers by being physical and active in passing. The team’s aggression compensates for its height disadvantage. The Bobcats defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns in both meetings last year by a combined 26 points. Familiarity, Antoine said, is an integral part of this matchup.
“Irritation to the point of people coughing up the ball (and) our ability to be patient will be important,” Antoine said. “Having gone through that, we clearly understand how hard they work and how hard they play.” Louisiana-Lafayette’s aggression translates to the offensive end, where the team is averaging 20.6 free throws per game. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ strength is in their offensive balance. LouisianaLafayette is the only team in the Sun Belt with three players averaging over 12 points per game. Containing the perimeter players remains a key component in Antoine’s strategy. She said the Ragin’ Cajuns will be the Bobcats’ best test in perimeter defense this year. “They’re a great team off of the bounce,” Antoine said. “When you have teams that have multiple scorers, you obviously don’t want any one kid to go off. I think that’s going to be key for us, is making sure we are doing a solid job defensively on all of them.” The development of Taeler Deer, freshman guard, gives the Bobcats another scoring weapon off the bench. Deer has scored 54 points in her last 91 minutes, including a career-high
23 against Appalachian State. Deer’s defensive effort has allowed Antoine to place her on the opposing team’s best scorer. The overall scoring output from Meghan Braeuer, senior guard, has decreased from 12 points per game in her first 13 matchups to nine in her previous six. Despite the dip in scoring, Antoine noted Braeuer is still taking quality shots. Braeuer is the conference’s leading 3-point shooter. She remains the Bobcats’ most reliable perimeter shooter. “Yeah, it’s going to be nice if I get open looks, but that’s not how I go into every game (looking for open shots),” Braeuer said. “With that, I just make sure my spacing is good when Ayriel or Taeler come off of that screen, and if I’m the one coming off of the high screen, then (I) just make good decisions. If it’s me scoring then great, but if not then create for somebody else.” Antoine said her offense, much like Louisiana-Lafayette’s, is best in numbers. “You don’t know on any given night,” Antoine said. “We have a variety of young women who have the ability to put up big numbers.”
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6 | The University Star | Sports | Thursday, January 29, 2015
BOBCAT NEWS AND NOTES BASEBALL
HUMPAL IS CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE YEAR Lucas Humpal, junior pitcher, was named the Preseason Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year. Humpal appeared in 15 games last year, winning four of his 10 decisions. His 3.76 earned run average is the 12thbest mark in the conference among qualified starters.
A deeper look at his peripheral stats indicates a pitcher who can handle the responsibilities of a No. 1 starter this season. Humpal struck out 82 batters compared to 27 walks, a 3.04 strikeout-to-walk ration which ranked third behind Austin Williams and Taylor Black.
GEISLER MAKES FIRST TEAM Cory Geisler, junior outfielder, was the only Bobcat named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team. Geisler started in 37 of 52 games played last season while shifting between outfield and pitcher roles. As a hitter, Geisler reached base on 35.8 percent of his
plate appearances, the sixthhighest mark on the team. He tied for the team lead with 11 stolen bases on 11 attempts. Geisler capped his season with a team-high 1.97 ERA as opposing batters hit .206 against him.
HARRIS, KOROLL EARN SPOTS ON PRESEASON TEAM Courtney Harris, senior third baseman, and Kortney Koroll, senior utility player, represented the softball team in the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team. Harris recorded a hit on 50 of her 160 at bats last season, with 17 extra-base hits. Harris’ seven home runs were tied for
second on the team, and her .506 slugging percentage placed her in the top 10 of the conference. Koroll led the team with nine home runs. She recorded a home run on 6.8 percent of her at bats along with a .409 on-base percentage.
BOBCATS PICKED FOURTH Texas State earned 48 points in the coaches’ All-Sun Belt Conference Preseason Poll, placing fourth behind Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama and Georgia State. The Bobcats haven’t finished above .500 since the 2011-12 season.
1. Louisiana-Lafayette (7) - 79 pts 2. South Alabama (2) - 74 pts 3. Georgia State - 57 pts 4. Texas State - 48 pts 5. Georgia Southern - 44 pts 6. Troy - 37 pts 7 .Louisiana-Monroe - 27 pts 8. UT-Arlington - 24 pts 9. Appalachian State - 15 pts
BOBCATS PLACE SECOND Texas State received 94 points and a first-place vote in preseason voting, finishing second in the preseason poll. Louisiana-Lafayette earned the top spot with 114 points and eight first-place votes. 1. Louisiana-Lafayette (8) – 114 points 2. Texas State (1) – 94 pts
3. Arkansas State – 87 pts 4. UT-Arlington – 80 pts 5. Troy – 78 pts 6. Georgia Southern (2) – 77 pts 7. South Alabama – 71 pts 8. Georgia State – 35 pts 9. Louisiana-Monroe – 34 pts 10. Arkansas-Little Rock – 31 pts 11. Appalachian State – 25 pts STAR FILE PHOTO