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THURSDAY JANUARY 21, 2016 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 35

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COMMUNITY

San Marcos to host 7th annual Senior Citizens Expo By Cristina Carreon NEWS REPORTER

City officials will make services and networking opportunities available to the elderly community at the seventh annual Senior Citizens’ Expo Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the San Marcos Activity Center. Kristi Wyatt, director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations, said the event aims to provide senior citizens and caregivers a social environment in which they can network with local clubs and organizations as well as get access to goods, services and discounts. “The Senior Expo is an event hosted by the city of San Marcos Senior Advisory Board and the San Marcos Parks and Recreation department to give senior citizens and caregivers access to programs and discounts to improve their lives,” Wyatt said. Nick Riali, recreation programs secialist with the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the idea for the event was inspired by business expos. “(The city) wanted to have an expo to connect the senior population with businesses and organizations that provide services specifically for the older population,” Riali said. Riali said caregivers in the local senior community, especially those that provide help to family members, are crucial to elderly residents. “This event is a way to get information for their loved ones, home healthcare, or long term possibilities and to see what resources are available to them,” Riali said. “A good number of those moving to San Marcos are older adults.”

See EXPO, Page 2

DARYL ONTIVEROS MULTIMEDIA EDITOR The mermaid mural, located just across the street from Chimy’s, can be seen by pedestrians and motorists alike.

Mermaid initiative expected to make a big splash By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe

Mermaids are expected to make a big splash this year in the San Marcos River. Although local conservation efforts and economic interests have historically clashed, San Martians can expect to see the birth of the Mermaid Society SMTX, a new initiative intent on marrying environmentalism with entrepreneurism. July Moreno, founder of Mermaid Society SMTX, said the idea behind the initiative is to transform the idea of the mermaid from what she once was—an entertainer—into a protector of the San Marcos River. “The Mermaid Society of San Marcos exists to cocreate sustainable, shared wellbeing,” Moreno said. “It was conceived to be about the co-creation of a sustainable economy and local voice for San Marcos.” The historical and symbolic significance of the mermaid in San Marcos be-

gan at the former Aquarena Springs amusement park, where women in mermaid costumes were hired to perform underwater in a submersible theater. Although the theme park itself is no longer operational, the legacy of the mermaid lives on. An upcoming byproduct of this initiative is Mermaid Week on Sept. 16-17, which will include three separate events: the Mermaid Society Ball, a parade and the Mermaid Splash. According to the society’s mission statement, the initiative is intended to be a cooperative effort featuring a combination of volunteerism, private and public investment and selfsustaining partnerships. Additionally, the society aims to foster collaboration and dialogue as well as improve the city’s profile as being both environmentally conscious and economically vibrant. “It’s the synergy of bringing like-minded groups together, in order to make all of our efforts more produc-

tive,” said Clay DeStefano, the society’s co-founder. “We want to unite the factions in San Marcos that are doing good work individually, together for the same purpose.” DeStefano said he hopes the idea will ultimately lead to locally-focused economic improvement while staying true to the principles of river stewardship and protection. The ball is set to be a Friday night affair involving music, finery and food. The mermaid court, comprised of local honorees including Shirley Rogers, one of the original Aquarena Springs mermaids, will occur at the ball. A downtown parade will be Sept. 17, and the society’s founders expect the event to draw participation from the local art community. “The ultimate vision is that this will be an arts, music and environmental festival with a focus on environmental sustainability and economic growth,” DeStefano said. “It’s an op-

portunity to get your mermaid on.” The former centerpiece of environmental efforts in San Marcos was known as the Texas Wild Rice Festival, and will be replaced by the Mermaid Festival. “The founders of the Texas Wild Rice Festival have met with us and completely embraced this vision, frankly because the Mermaid Festival is a better vehicle for environmentalism,” DeStefano said. “It will attract a broader audience and a more collaborative spirit.” It is too early to make concrete predictions as to what the festival will look like, but DeStefano projects that the event will likely entail fundraising, education, retail and entertainment. “This is a San Marcosspecific community event,” said Carina Boston-Pinales, society coordinator and representative. “Mermaid Week will highlight our efforts to reach out, and will showcase how far we have come and where we’re go-

ing.” Despite the fact that Mermaid Week will take place in September, the society will likely be operational yearround, Boston-Pinales said. “In order to stay a viable, sustainable organization, we are looking to hold other business opportunities that will foster and generate collaboration in San Marcos,” Boston-Pinales said. “Throughout the year we will be rolling out opportunities to be a part of the initiative. This may take shape as volunteer events, local investment opportunities or sponsorship.” The society’s leaders are considering the possibilities of hosting a river cleanup and Earth Day celebration at some point, Boston-Pinales said. “Our hope is that entrepreneours use the Mermaid Society as a San Marcosspecific platform to facilitate involvement and build local identity,” Boston-Pinales said.

UNIVERSITY

Texas State's ‘best-kept secret’ By Brandon Saucedo NEWS REPORTER @bdsaucedo

Only four universities in Texas offer a National Student Exchange program, and Texas State is on the list. The program is similar to studying abroad, but participating students are given the opportunity to travel within the country—United States territories including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands as well as Canada. Just as the program sends Bobcats abroad, Texas State accepts students from other NSE programs as well. Lisa Chrans, NSE coordinator at Texas State, said the program is one of Texas State’s “best-kept secrets” because it is often overshadowed by other, more popular programs such as Semester at Sea and Study Abroad. Only 40 students were admitted into the program last year. The deadline for students

to apply this year is Feb. 24, coinciding with FAFSA deadlines. The NSE allows students of any major to travel to almost 200 participating schools across America, while allowing participating students to still pay in-state. Chrans said the program is a viable option for students considering transferring to another school. Instead of transferring to an out-of-state university for up to three times the price of a state school, students can attend the outof-state school of their choice for up to a year for no additional cost. “In many cases, (out-ofstate) school’s tuition is actually less expensive than ours,” Chrans said. “I could send a kid to Queens College in New York City and based on 15 hours they’ll pay $3,599. Whereas (at) Texas State, you’re paying $4,900.” Canada is part of the few international options offered though the NSE program and

where Haley Stuart, English senior, spent her exchange. Stuart picked the location partly because she is a French minor. “I knew that I wanted to study abroad so I could learn, practice and use French,” Stuart said. “No one really thinks of studying abroad in Canada. Sure, the accent is a bit different, but it’s still French.” Stuart said her experience at Université de Sherbrooke, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, was “absolutely amazing.” The intensive program Stuart took part in allowed her to take a full semester of French courses, which is currently not an option at Texas State. Stuart credits her exchange in Quebec for improvements in her French speaking as she was forced to use the language outside of the classroom. “I still have a lot to learn, but if anyone asks me if I can speak French now, I can confidently say ‘oui,’” Stuart said. Chrans said she recom-

See EXCHANGE, Page 2

COUNTY

BR3T in need of ‘money, manpower and materials’ By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe

In the midst and aftermath of two disaster-level floods in 2015, the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T) helped mitigate flood damage and provide support to victims of the devastating weather. BR3T serves Hays, Blanco, Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties. James Gabriel, executive director of the organization, said BR3T received a letter of determination from the IRS in November, authorizing the group to operate as a nonprofit. In addition, the letter authorized BR3T to act as the primary long-term recovery organization supported by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Gabriel said. Though the organization is

relatively new, BR3T is outfitted with six task-oriented committees, and offers relief for a variety of needs. “Case management is the key to long-term recovery,” Gabriel said. “The case management committee triages the information provided by a flood survivor, and puts together a case file concerning the survivor’s remaining unmet needs. Our case management committee is currently made up of six case managers trying to serve around 2,000 cases.” As the case number greatly exceeds BR3T’s resources, the organization has received a state grant that will provide resources to build capacity and employ additional case managers soon, Gabriel said. “After the management phase

See BR3T, Page 2


2 | Thursday, January 21, 2016

NEWS

The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy starnews@txstate.edu

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

EXPO, from front The 2010 U.S. census shows that seniors make up 6.7 percent of the San Marcos population. The Aging Services Council of Central Texas found U.S. Census data from 2000 to 2010 showing the AustinRound Rock metro area had the fastest growing population between 55 to 64 years,

and ranked second with seniors over 65 years old. According to the Aging Services Council of Central Texas, rapid growth in older populations is expected to continue with seniors 65 and older comprising onefifth of the Central Texas population by 2040. In previous years, the

event has drawn in as many as 250-400 visitors, Riali said. The Senior Citizen Advisory Board is comprised of seven members and is charged with advising city council members about issues concerning senior citizens in the San Marcos community.

BR3T, from front is over, a case is then presented to our unmet needs committee, where our funders decide how they’re going to fund that particular project,” Gabriel said. “That could include anything from emotional/spiritual support to property repairs. It could entail a total rebuild of that individual’s home.” Funding on the unmet needs table is typically made up of a variety of sources, from local entities like United Way to non-governmental disaster relief agencies and faith-based organizations, Gabriel said. “Our construction committee has hired a full-time construction manager, who will work with both the case management committee and the unmet needs committee in order to certify that the work required can be done,” Gabriel said. “Once the money is garnered, the construction manager will oversee that particular project.” The organization’s donations committee is responsible for writing grants in order to raise the necessary funding. Gabriel said the nonprofit aims to raise close to $7 million in five years. “We are focusing on corporate donations first,” Gabriel said. “Approximately 30 percent of our funding will come from individual donations; the rest will have to come from grants.” The organization’s support committee offers emotional and spiritual aid to flood survivors experiencing distress. “Two major flooding disasters in the space of five months has weighed heavily on this community,” Gabriel said. “If an individual is suffering from depression as a result of the financial impact of the flooding, for example, we can assign them a clinician or direct them to the

Board members will be surveying visitors throughout the event to discover what information and services visitors are perusing as well as what attendants would like to see more of, Riali said. Amerigroup, Central Texas Medical Center and Coldwell Banker First Na-

tional are sponsoring the expo. Gold Sponsors will be recognized at the event for being top contributors and will receive mention in promotional materials and the department’s senior newsletter, as well as receive a 50 percent discount on normal vendor rates.

“All proceeds from this event will go to offset the cost of programs for senior citizens,” Riali said. “They can provide goods, services or discounts, but that isn’t a requirement. Some may provide in kind donations like food for the lunch or items to be used as door prizes.”

through the NSE. She participated in the Grand Canyon Semester, where she got to work in the canyon and along the Colorado River. Through the program, Koehn investigated the landscape, cultures and politics of the greater

Grand Canyon region. “The immersive program was such an incredible and even bonding experience that I would not have been able to be a part of (without the NSE program),” Koehn said.

EXCHANGE, from front appropriate service.” There is clergy on the emotional and spiritual support committee who are available to meet with individuals. Another function of the committee is to provide resources to the community. “We’re reaching out to the school districts and governmental entities, to make them aware that these services are available through our organization,” Gabriel said. The BR3T’s support committee recently held a compassion-training workshop in Wimberley for first responders in an attempt to increase volunteers. One of the organization’s biggest divisions is its volunteer committee. The group recruits volunteers and facilitates housing for those from outside the immediate areas. “We’re looking for skilled volunteer groups—people who are skilled in construction and debris removal,” said Harrison Metcalf, BR3T representative. Skilled volunteer groups come from out-of-state disaster relief organizations such as the St. Bernard Project and AmeriCorps, which operate nationwide. A partner organization called Rural Renew is coming into the Kyle and Buda areas to do specific indepth assessments starting Jan. 25. Volunteer teams are currently being rotated in and out of the San Marcos Housing Authority, which sits near the intersection of the Blanco and San Marcos rivers and bore the brunt of recent flooding. The first stage of the repair process, known as “muck-andgut,” entails ripping out flooring, insulation, and sheetrock walls that have suffered water damage, Gabriel said. Teams then work on mold remediation, drywalling, sanding, painting and the final air quality test that must

be administered before the residents can move back into their homes. “There are people here from Connecticut, California, New York—all different parts of the country,” said Stephen Underwood, construction volunteer from Denver. “It’s pretty incredible that young people from all over are coming together to help rebuild.” Out of the 96 housing units that were damaged in the floods, 36 have been finished and the occupants have moved back in. “The time it takes to complete repairs varies depends on how many volunteers we’ve got,” Underwood said. “Our hope is that we’ll be able to finish the remaining units by maybe July or August of this year.” Even with six committees and numerous nonprofit organizations working overtime, assessing the needs of the community has proven difficult. The FEMA registration period for the Halloween weekend flood will officially close Jan. 25. “The (Halloween weekend) flood added to the existing chaos by damaging homes that were in the process of being rebuilt in the aftermath of Memorial weekend,” Gabriel said. As of Jan. 19, 1,500 individuals have submitted aid applications to the organization. The number is expected to increase before the registration date closes. Roughly 2,015 applicants turned to BR3T for assistance after the Memorial Day weekend flood. Thus far, the organization has been able to rebuild close to 50 homes and repair over 100, Gabriel said. “Money, manpower and materials are what we need the most,” Metcalf said. “We’re always accepting donations.”

mends students interested in NSE to be strategic in where they choose to study, as Stuart did. Emily Koehn, geography resource and environmental studies senior, attended Northern Arizona University

LARA DEITRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Where the good meat is

RAE GLASSFORD NEWS REPORTER A flood-damaged kitchen is pictured before and after BR3T member repairs.

AGE

COMPENSATION

Men and Women 18 to 55

Men 18 to 55

Men and Women 18 to 55

REQUIREMENTS

TIMELINE

Up to $1000

Healthy & Non-Smoking BMI 19 - 32 Weigh at least 110 lbs.

Thu. 2/4 - Sun. 2/7

Up to $5000

Healthy & Non-Smoking BMI 18 - 29.9 Weigh 121 - 220 lbs.

Wed. 2/10 - Mon. 2/15 6 Outpatient Visits

Up to $5000

Healthy & Non-Smoking BMI 18 - 30 Weigh 132 - 220 lbs.

Thu. 2/11 - Mon. 2/15 Multiple Outpatient Visits


The University Star

Thursday, January 21, 2016 | 3

LIFESTYLE

Carlie Porterfield, Lifestyle Editor @rep0rterfield starlifestyle@txstate.edu

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

FILM

Breaking it down: The 87th Academy Awards By Juliana Adame LIFESTYLE REPORTER @kate_monster04

By now, your Facebook feed has probably been flooded with BuzzFeed posts about who did or didn’t get nominated for film’s highest honor: Mr. Oscar. Lots of opinions, lots of nominations. So, where do we stand? Let’s break it down with some of the larger categories.

BEST PICTURE The Big Short Bridge of Spies Brooklyn Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian The Revenant Room Spotlight

Likely winner: Most likely The Revenant. Boasting last year’s Best Picture and Best Director winner Alejandro González Iñárritu, the film holds a whopping 12 nominations—the most of all nominees. But The Martian also did well at the Golden Globes and The Big Short won big at the Critics’ Choice Awards. My analysis: Of the three, I’ve only seen The Big Short. I found it to be fun, but a little overwhelming due to its subject matter: the housing market. However, the performances were still outstanding. I don’t have particular plans to see The Revenant. Every year there are a small number of films that are just not my cup of tea that I don’t make myself see, because that’s not fun.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Bryan Cranston, Trumbo Matt Damon, The Martian Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl Likely winner: I firmly believe Leonardo DiCaprio’s year has finally come. From what I’ve heard and read about his performance, it’s amazing, which is no surprise to any seasoned DiCaprio fan. I could see Matt Damon being his possible competition—both actors

won Golden Globes earlier this month. Eddie Redmayne, last year’s winner, is also an Oscar favorite and a great actor/specimen, but I feel DiCaprio and Damon have a bit more buzz at the moment. But yay for all three! My analysis: I’d really like to see DiCaprio finally take it home.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Cate Blanchett, Carol Brie Larson, Room Jennifer Lawrence, Joy Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn Likely winner: Brie Larson. She completely deserves it. I haven’t seen Room yet, but fully plan to. It’d be cool for Saoirse Ronan to take it, too— she’s lovely, and Brooklyn is getting rave reviews. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t need it, and Joy has received mixed reviews. My analysis: I will be enraged if Larson loses. She’s getting so much work lately and is an outstanding actress. She’s got this in the bag.

SOCIETY

Students make, break New Year’s Resolutions By Erin O’Donnell LIFESTYLE REPORTER @1erino

We may be only two weeks into the New Year, but many Texas State students have already mapped out lifestyle changes they plan to make. Ashleigh Murie, communication studies freshman, said making resolutions helps her prepare for the year. “My resolutions are to focus on self-love and self-care and to go on more adventures and have more fun,” she said. Murie is going to achieve those goals by being mindful about how she treats and views her body. She lost motivation for past resolutions, but Murie feels she will be able to push through the slumps this year. “I didn’t have the motivation necessary to succeed,” Murie said. “I did not have a good reason for why I wanted to change things.” Murie had to reflect upon the past year and

delve deep within herself to determine her resolutions. “This year, my resolutions were set from a different perspective,” Murie said. “Instead, I reflected back on my year and decided that I wanted to make real changes.” Murie expects this year to be one of personal and academic growth. “I think (2016) is going to hold lots of adventures and surprises,” she said. However, New Year’s resolutions are not for everyone. Allison Rothrock, recreational therapy freshman, does not believe in New Year’s resolutions. “Starting one single day to start a major life change doesn’t make any sense and usually ends in failure,” she said. Rothrock said the feeling of self-loathing from a failed resolution is not worth the hassle of making one in the first place. “There is very little difference between 11:59 p.m. on December 31 and 12 a.m. on January 1,” she

said. “You are not going to suddenly change your life because of a minute difference.” Ethan Westerfield, physical geography sophomore, said the majority of people will not stick to resolutions set in place for the year. These resolutions fail because of the tendency for people to fall back into their own habits. “Let’s be real with ourselves here—you say you are going to go to the gym, you say you are going to start eating better,” Westerfield said. “Give it a couple of weeks, and you are going to fall back into your old habits.” He expects the year will be one of hard work and independence for him, and he is looking forward to see what the year will bring. “I’m figuring out who I want to be as a person for the rest of my life,” Westerfield said. “I hope to strengthen the relationships I have made over the past year.”

CASSANDRIA ALVARADO STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

1/1/16


4 | Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The University Star

OPINIONS

Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams staropinions@txstate.edu

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

MARIA TAHIR STAR ILLUSTRATOR

T

he Oscars are the premiere event for Hollywood. A beautifully excessive night of glamour, passion, decadence and, once again, white people. The 88th Annual Academy Awards nominees were announced Jan. 14. For the second year in a row, all of the acting nominees were white and all of the directing nominees were male. People were naturally outraged by the lack of diversity in nominations, which spiraled into the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The Twitter trend sought to satirically criticize the academy for its lack of diversity, but the reality is a lot more elusive than 140 characters. An in-depth analysis of

the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership conducted by the LA Times found that 94 percent of the 6,028 voting member were white. The LA Times reporters divided the results using race and ethnicity as mutually exclusive terms. The study shows that 2 percent were black and the remaining 4 percent were made up of Latinos, Native Americans and Asians. Given the kind of stereotypical, white-appeasing roles people of color do win awards for—drug-addicts, pimps, thugs, slaves, maids, promiscuous women and so on—the underlying message in the academy’s decision process is so explicit it’s almost palpable. Being a

willing participant in a kind of self-inflicted, expressive blackface is the only guarantee for recognition and praise from the overwhelmingly white, mostly male academy. The message sent by this kind of inequality is simple: black actors are allowed to entertain and perform, but without any of the recognition and accolades that comes along with it. In response, superstars such as Spike Lee and Jada PinkettSmith have advocated for a boycott of the 2016 Academy Awards. Other stars such as George Clooney have expressed that the organization is clearly moving in the wrong direction by citing

the lack of substantive roles for people of color in film, echoing the sentiments of Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis. In her awe-inspiring Emmy acceptance speech, Davis proclaimed, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” The lack of diversity in recipients and nominations is not based on a lack of talent or proficiency, but a lack of opportunity. Lack of access is the leading cause of inequality and, more importantly, inequity. Nothing encapsulates this more than the current Oscar fiasco. People may see complain-

ing or culturally critiquing award shows that honor the upper class as being pedantic or aggrandizing, but media shapes people’s perceptions of themselves and others. As much as people try to fight it, the images prevalent in media are important and content creators should be careful of the messages they indirectly send to consumers. A message of exclusivity, disproportion and racial bias is not an inclusive one. A structural problem exists, and needs to be addressed. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has vowed to review the membership process and has stressed disappointment in continued exclusive results.

A disparity is bound to develop and persist over time when an organization recognizes itself as an honor society for professionals in cinema, and the only people getting those positions are old, white men. The next step is not to complain or boycott, but to elicit actions to fix the disparity. The problem existent within the structure of the system serves as a microcosm for greater issues. There is much to learn when it comes to achieving equity in a historically unequal setting. The country isn’t changing, it changed a long time ago—and it is time the media caught up.

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.

POLITICS

RACE

Ted Cruz shouldn’t Where can white people but can be president meet? Everywhere

interpretation of the presidential eligibility clause of the Constitution. There seems to be bipartisan denigration of Cruz’s eligibility. Whether Democrat or Republican, both parties are wrong. While personal conceptions of the natural-born citizen Jeffrey Bradshaw clause have evolved ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR over time, it can eas@jeffbrad12 ily be understood that anyone born a citizen ven though he can run for president. would do a terTed Cruz was born a rible job, Ted Cruz has citizen, meaning he is every right to run for eligible. I cannot think presidency as outlined of a better example to by the constitution. Recently, presidential explain the complexity of this issue. candidate and reality Cruz was born a star Donald Trump has citizen naturally. He brought up the question of Ted Cruz’s eligibility did not have to apply for citizenship or be to run for President. naturalized, which puts Cruz is the son of a to rest any disputes Cuban father and an about his eligibility and American mother, but he was born in Canada. country of origin. If people cannot Up until relatively come up with any recently, Cruz claimed other way to disqualify both Canadian and Cruz, then they frankly American citizenship. are not looking hard The constitutional enough. Cruz can be question of eligibility president, but I wholebrought up by Trump heartedly welcome the states only a naturalSupreme Court to give born citizen can be the President of the United the final interpretation of the Constitution and States. Seeing as Ted put to rest this issue Cruz was born to at once and for all. least one American Hypothetically speakcitizen, his eligibility is ing, if the Supreme truly a non-issue. Court ruled that only However, this is a very contentious quespeople born within tion and various profes- the borders of the sionals have their own United States could be

E

president, it would be appropriate to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn their decision. America is a country of immigrants, and there is nothing wrong with letting one become president. Granted, in addition to broadening eligibility, a lengthier residency requirement would preferably be required as well. There is more to being American than being born in this country, and having this requirement basically says that immigrants or non-natural born citizens are not American enough to lead the nation. If someone can garner enough support to be elected, it’s enough to qualify for presidency. Ted Cruz’s policies and personality are more than a little questionable, but what isn’t is the candidate’s love for America and his eligibility. We as a country—and you, Donald Trump— need to focus on more important topics instead of creating controversies that only seek to destroy another candidate. Ted Cruz can be president, even if he would objectively be a terrible one. —Jeffrey Bradshaw is a political science junior

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, stareditor@txstate.edu Letters................................................................................universitystar@txstate.edu News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, starnews@txstate.edu Sports Editor..............................................Paul Livengood, starsports@txstate.edu Lifestyle Editor......................................Carlie Porterfield, starlifestyle@txstate.edu Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, staropinion@txstate.edu Multimedia Editor..............................Daryl Ontiveros, starmultimedia@txstate.edu Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall, starcopychief@txstate.edu

Mikala Everett OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mikala_maquella

T

he topic of racism and race relations can be so inflammatory in a social setting. If one ties in that party topic with dating, then it becomes extremely possible to open the gates of hell. With this in mind, I embark on the arduous task of writing about the new dating site Where White People Meet. Regardless of his intentions, founder of the site Sam Russell, who has dated a black woman before, has sparked an epic outcry of racism and bigotry. However, the site is not racist. It’s just so far beyond stupid that it is light years away—to infinity and beyond. According to Webster, the definition of racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and those racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. People have become so quick to yell racism the word is quickly losing meaning. Creating a dating site that caters to niche groups—

whether they be race-based, religion-based, or farmerbased—is not racist. People are allowed to have preferences—it is as natural as urinating—but the concern arises when their preferences are allowed to damage someone else’s sense of self and being. Following this absolutely sound logic, one will come to the conclusion that racebased dating sites are not racist. These websites are discriminatory, maybe, but definitely not racist. Where White People Meet may not be racist, but it is completely idiotic and as redundant as wheels on a ferry. It is so highly unlikely that someone can step outside of their house and not run into a white person that I dare say it is impossible. Crossing paths with a white person is as American as apple pie. They. Are. Everywhere. According to the 2014 U.S. Census, 77.4 percent of Americans are white, regardless of ethnicity. Seventy-seven percent is more than half the population, according to my elementary math skills. Who are these people that cannot meet other white people? It is time for them to come to terms with the fact that the reason they are single has nothing to do with the low numbers of white Americans, but with themselves. Other race or ethnicitybased dating sites are created due to a lack of available people from that specific

group within certain regions of the country. It can be hard to meet other minorities in America, especially if someone lives in a white-majority area. America in itself is a predominantly white area, so the creation of sites like Black People Meet is understandable. It appears to me that Where White People Meet is not filling any holes in the white dating scene. Then again, I am not white, so who is to say? Perhaps there is a deficit in white people interactions. What I do know as a black woman in America is that dating can be hard regardless of my personal preferences. I know that dating as a college student is difficult. Actually, dating is tedious no matter what age, race, breed or particle a person is. It just sucks. The solution to the dating problem is—drumroll please— do not date at all. It is so 2013. Everyone in America should remain single until they die and that would solve all our problems. If every American is dead, we no longer have to worry about taxes, race relations, Donald Trump running for president, or any of the other problems. Sure, the American race would be eventually extinguished, but in light of Where White People Meet and golfball-head Donald Trump, it does not seem like such a bad idea.

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Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, stardesign@txstate.edu Web Editor........................................................Emily Sharp, starweb@txstate.edu Account Executive............................................Hanna Katz, starad2@txstate.edu Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, starad4@txstate.edu Account Executive..........................Angelica M. Espinoza, starad5@txstate.edu Media Specialist.............................................Dillan Thomson, djt48@txstate.edu Advertising Coordinator...............................Kelsey Nuckolls, kjn16@txstate.edu Publications Coordinator........................................Linda Allen, la06@txstate.edu Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson, stardirector@txstate.edu

—Mikala Everett is a marketing sophomore

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, January 21, 2016. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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The University Star

SPORTS

Thursday, January 21, 2016 | 5 Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IAmLivengood starsports@txstate.edu

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

TEXAS STATE LOOKS AHEAD: CHAMPIONSHIP OR BUST

BBy Autumn Anderson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @aaautumn_

Coming into this season, Coach Zenarae Antoine mentioned that this season’s roster is one of the most athletic squads she’s ever had. When asked about goals for the season, each player said she wishes to win a championship. From the looks of it, that idea isn’t too far-fetched. The team’s overall record is currently 8-7 and 3-2 for conference play. With a .600 percentage in the conference, the Bobcats are already doing better than last season’s finish. Texas State ended the 2014-15 season with an 11-9 conference record and a .550 winning percentage. Although it’s only slightly worse than this year’s performance so

far, the team seems sure to improve on their conference play by the end of the season. This season’s schedule has consisted of more highly ranked teams than last year’s. This year the Bobcats have already faced No. 16 Texas A&M, Iowa State, Idaho, No. 12 Duke and No. 25 Missouri. Texas State has lost to each of these schools, but not by extremely high margins. These losses are an obvious reason the Bobcats’ record is what it is. If it weren’t for tough top-25 opponents, there would be fewer losses on their hands. One thing the Bobcats are absolutely killing this season is their home record, which is currently 6-0. Last season Texas State finished with a 10-5 record at home. Holding down the home front is a respectable thing in basketball. Knowing that a team hasn't taken a loss on its own court can be an intimidating factor for opponents. Texas State is currently fourth in the Sun Belt Conference standings, the same place they finished in last season. Although this year, the Bobcats are above Arkansas-Little Rock, a team

that finished above them last year. The teams that are ahead of Texas State right now are Troy, Louisiana Lafayette and Arkansas State in first place. The Bobcats are highly ranked in a couple stat categories in the conference. The first is three-point percentage with a team percentage of .338, as the team sits at second just below UT-Arlington in this category. The second is threepointers made, where Texas State averages 7.6 per game and is just below Troy, who leads the category with 8.0 per game. Having that threat of shooters around the perimeter has done nothing but good things for the Bobcats. Racking up more points faster is an effective contribution to the team’s wins this season. The team could use some improvement, but Texas State is still delivering even without Erin Peoples, senior guard, out on the floor. Last season Peoples led the Bobcats with 13.5 points per game and shot 42.6 percent from the field. This season marks the rise of the Bobcat sophomores. Ericka May, guard, went from scoring 4.6

STAR FILE PHOTO

points and 5.2 boards per game to scoring 6.6 points and 7.1 boards per game. Another sophomore who improved is Taeler Deer, guard, who scored 7.4 points per game last season and is now averaging 11.8 per game. Whitney Apari, forward, has gone from an average of 1.1 points a game last season to an effective defender who averages 4.2 rebounds

per game along with 3.5 points per game. Kaitlin Walla, redshirt sophomore guard, came back this season from an ACL injury and has since improved her stats. Walla’s numbers for last season before the ACL injury were 2.6 rebounds and 7.6 points per game. This year Walla averages 12.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game along with shooting .427 percent

from the three-point line. As long as the Bobcats keep up their defensiveminded play and act like Sun Belt teams are top-25 teams, there’s no doubt they’ll get past the second round of the conference tournament unlike last season. Texas State will be playing Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. against ArkansasLittle Rock.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

TEAM HOPES TO LEAVE LOSING STREAK BEHIND

CBy Paul Livengood SPORTS EDITOR @iamlivengood

Texas State men’s basketball hasn’t had a winning season since the 1990s. On media day, Coach Danny Kaspar said he believes this year’s team will be the one to break that drought. Midway through the season, the Bobcats have allocated an 8-6 overall record and 2-3 in the Sun Belt Conference, which would secure the sixth seed if the Sun Belt Conference Tournament were to start today. But that’s not the case— there are 15 games left in the season. At 8-6, it would seem that Texas State is in a good position to accomplish what it hasn’t done in over a decade. However, looks may be deceiving. Despite being over .500 themselves, the Bobcats have done so with a weak non-conference schedule. When you look at who they have played—University of Texas at Tyler,

McNeese State, UTEP, University of Texas at San Antonio and many others— the overall record of Texas State’s opponents is 132147 (.473). Also take a look at the Bobcats’ record against .500-plus teams in their schedule versus those who have a record below .500. Texas State is 2-4 against teams .500 and above and 7-2 against teams below .500. The most interesting game of the year came on the road against Pac-12 opponent Washington State. Emani Gant, senior forward, tied up the game at 66-66 with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. After a missed three pointer at the 13-second mark by Washington State’s Charles Callison, junior guard, the Bobcats got the rebound and the Cougars fouled Gant in the process. Gant went to the free throw line for a one-andone and missed his first free throw. Anthony Roberson, junior guard, got the offensive rebound and put

Better than hairballs.

STAR FILE PHOTO

the ball back up to win the game, but missed. The Cougars then corralled the defensive rebound and called a timeout with only 10 seconds remaining. Callison missed the game-winning jumper and the two teams went to overtime, where the Cougars would eventually edge the Bobcats 73-78. For Texas State to compete with a Power Five conference school in such a way shows improvement. However, the Bobcats have taken steps in the wrong direction. The team lost on the road to Appalachian State and Troy, who place in the bottom three spots in the Sun Belt stand-

ings. While Texas State seems to be heading in the wrong direction as the season wanes, the team has made improvements since the previous year. The Bobcats have gone from scoring 61.5 points per game last season to 67.4 points per game this year. All the veteran players are stepping up their game. 2014-15: Gant: 12.7 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game Naylor: 8.2 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 0.4 assists per game Gilder-Tilbury: 7.9 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 0.361 three-point per-

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centage Montalvo: 7.7 points per game, 1.3 rebounds per game, 0.315 three-point percentage 2015-16: Gant: 14.9 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game Naylor: 8.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 0.6 assists per game Gilder-Tilbury: 12.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 0.383 three-point percentage Montalvo: 9.9 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game, 0.354 three-point percentage All four players have increased their production

from last season. It is entirely possible their stats are slightly inflated due to the lack of competition, but the Sun Belt and Bobcat fans will see what this team is capable of very shortly. Texas State tips off against the top two teams in the Sun Belt Thursday and Saturday. The Bobcats play their first of two meetings today with the Sun Belt’s top-ranked Arkansas Little Rock Trojans, and then follow that matchup with the second place Arkansas State Red Wolves. At this point, splitting the games and winning at least one of the two would be a success.


6 | Thursday, January 21, 2016

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