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JANUARY 25, 2016 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 36

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Bobcats could receive more credit from AP tests By Nestor Camacho NEWS REPORTER @RoarRoarRoar_

LESLY DE LEON STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Susie Mullen holds one of the handmade Valentine’s Day card she makes and sells herself to collect money for the San Marcos food bank.

Local Viking goddess impacts community in a positive way By Lesly De Leon SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @leslyd28

Students recognize the pigtail braids and bright smile when they see her around campus and the city. Susie Mullen, known as Susie from Jones by the student body, is loved by Bobcats for her constant positivity and kindness. Mullen is a San Marcos native and a 1988 graduate from Southwest Texas State. Mullen became a substitute teacher after earning her certification in 1992, focusing on early childhood grades. After teaching for a few years, Mullen opened her own vegetarian restaurant, Susie’s Vegetarian, on the edge of campus. “It was a whole lot of fun,” Mullen said. “It was just great. I could cook anything I wanted. Feeding people is one of my passions, so I was able to indulge that.” Mullen enjoyed owning a restaurant but knew she would have to close it because its location was being demolished. “We went month-to-month knowing they could tear it down at any time for three years,” Mullen said. “And

then, finally, they were ready to do that.” After her restaurant closed, Mullen began working at the university for Chartwells nearly 11 years ago. “San Marcos is my hometown,” Mullen said. “I grew up here, I went to school here. My father worked for the campus, so I pretty much grew up on campus, killing a lot of time at the library. I feel very at home here.” A few years after she began working on campus, some students nicknamed her Susie the Viking Goddess and dedicated a Facebook page to Mullen. She embraced the nickname and began wearing a Viking hat a friend gave her. Mullen, who is working at the Lair in LBJ now, was nominated to be a namesake for the 2015 Bobcat Preview. Mullen said it was a “fantastic honor.” “The beauty of this job and one of the things that keeps me showing up all the time is that you meet so many wonderful people,” Mullen said. In her years working at the university, Mullen has seen the student body give back to the community and show they care.

Giving back is important to Mullen. This February will mark an annual tradition of approximately eight years that Mullen has stood in the Quad wearing her Viking hat while singing encouragements to students to do their part in ending local hunger. “If every Bobcat was to give $1, there would be no hunger in the community,” Mullen said. Mullen combines her passions for art and feeding people by creating colorful Valentine’s Day cards to sell to students. Mullen donates all the money to the city’s food bank, collecting between $300 and $500 each year. “It helps raise awareness with all the students at the same time that it doesn’t take much to have a big impact,” Mullen said. Mullen is dedicated to helping others in any way possible, and when she needed it the community helped her in a big way. In 2013, Mullen was losing her sight and needed eye surgery. The community came together to fund the procedure so she could recover her eyesight. Mullen’s long-time friend,

Jeska Savage, began a GoFundMe webpage to raise money for the surgery. Savage knew Mullen would not agree, so kept the site quiet until after enough money had been acquired for the procedure in one eye. “She doesn’t understand how much people would want to help her,” Savage said. “I just knew as many people as we know and as wonderful as Susie is that we could probably raise that.” Two weeks after Savage opened the GoFundMe account, the site had already collected enough money for Mullen to get the procedure done in both eyes. “The entire community got together and raised about $6,000—enough money for me to pay for the operations,” Mullen said. “I am so grateful. I wish there was a way I could thank every one person that contributed to that site.” Friends, family and students love Mullen for her unfailing optimism, Savage said. “She refuses to be put down by circumstances,” Savage said. “She always finds a way to be happy with what she has.”

“She refuses to be put down by circumstances. She always finds a way to be happy with what she has.” —JESKA SAVAGE, MULLEN’S LONGTIME FRIEND

Students across the state of Texas have been given a greater opportunity to receive college credit hours thanks to the passage of House Bill 1992, which will go into effect next fall. HB 1992 was passed in the 84th Texas Legislature last year. The legislation mandates that every public college and university in Texas must accept a minimum score of a three on any Advanced Placement test to receive college credit. In order to ensure that Bobcats gain full benefit from the legislation this spring, Texas State officials have already begun to implement the law. “The credit will be automatically gained and shown on their transcripts if the student’s test scores were a minimum of three on the advanced placement tests,” said Daniel Brown, Dean of University College and director of the PACE Center. “It’s important that students talk to their academic advisors in case they are having trouble not receiving the credit or it not reflecting on their transcript.” Students affected by HB 1992 were notified via email. Those who came to Texas State with an AP score of three but did not receive credit initially have been given credit, which is now reflected on their transcripts. Most of the tests students are now receiving credit for are world history, European history, biology and music theory exams. This is because the university only accepted higher scores on these exams. Refunds will not be given out to students who have already taken the courses they did not initially receive credit for. Tiara Batiste, animal science freshman, was affected by the new legislation. Batiste received a score of three on her AP biology exam. However, HB 1992 will not benefit her because she took the course last fall. “If the law was passed in summer of 2015, then (the school should have) notified us about the new law before we even started our first semester,” Batiste said. “If that was the case then I wouldn’t have wasted my money and time taking Bio 1331.” Batiste was able to be exempt from taking Bio 1330 since she scored a three on her test. However, to be exempt from other biology

courses such as Bio 1331, 1130, and 1131 she needed a score of four. Sandra West Moody, biology and science education associate professor, sees HB 1992 as a disadvantage to students who are majoring in

“The credit will be automatically gained and shown on their transcripts if the student’s test scores were a minimum of three on the advanced placement tests.” —DANIEL BROWN, DEAN OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AND DIRECTOR OF THE PACE CENTER

the course that they become exempt from. Moody agrees with Brown that the legislation is a good solution for students who want to save time and money. However, she believes that it comes with a cost. She said students who receive credit for the AP test and come to Texas State at a sophomore level will not receive the background information freshman biology majors get. “The reason why many colleges came up with the minimum score of a 4 was because they found that students who came in with an AP score of three weren’t adequately prepared and they did struggle with the upper level courses,” West said. Brown said this is not the case at Texas State. He said research has been done at the university to see the correlation between taking the subsequent courses after receiving credit compared to taking the subsequent courses without AP credit, and they have had the same effect. “We’re going to repeat the analysis we’ve done every two years and then discuss solutions with professors on what to do if we see that they (students) are not doing well in their courses,” Brown said.

CITY

Rio Claro Studio brings life to downtown art scene By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley

Artistically inclined San Martians may be pleased with the latest artistic addition to downtown San Marcos—Rio Claro Studio. Rio Claro Studio opened its doors Sep. 19 and offers a unique experience to visitors. The studio remains open even when artists are actively creating, allowing people to come in and watch as the handmade silks and paintings are being crafted. “Usually, a studio is not open to the public and many people cannot see the work as it’s being done,” said Gigi Mederos, owner of Rio Claro Studio. “For me, it’s important that people who come here can take away more than just buying a piece of art.” The studio features a wide variety of art that

Mederos and her husband, Stevie Black, have created. Whether it is decorative ties and scarfs, silks or stamps, Mederos said it is crucial to keep an open mind and try new things. “I always think it’s good for artist to work with many different mediums,” Mederos said. “When people say you only have to focus on one thing, I say, ‘tell that to Leonardo DaVinci.’” Mederos lives on Hopkins Street, right next door to her studio, and is always eager to interact with those interested in her work. “When you meet Gigi for the first time, she instantly brings you into her world,” said Lisa Hover, longtime friend and buyer of Mederos’ art. “When you enter her studio, you get to see a big part of who she is as a person and as an artist.” After owning a previous

See STUDIO, Page 2


2 | Monday, January 25, 2016

NEWS

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“I was fascinated by the way things looked when I had my glasses on and when I had them without. Through this, I developed a better sense of comparing and contrasting certain images.” —GIGI MEDEROS, OWNER OF RIO CLARO STUDIO

MELODY TOWNSEND STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Gigi Mederos shows off art work Jan. 10 at Rio Claro Studio.

studio in the colder climate of the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Gigi Mederos said it was time to relocate to a warmer environment with a rich culture such as Central Texas. “Winter was coming as we left our gorgeous 1955 home in Massachusetts,” Mederos said. “We then moved to Austin last May and actually stumbled upon San Marcos by chance.” Once she visited the downtown area, Mederos knew from that point on that San Marcos was the place to be. She said being in an environment with a diverse group of residents and being so close to a younger group of

artists from Texas State was a strong influence in opening up Rio Claro Studio. “There’s a lot of uncertainty when you leave somewhere cold turkey, but this whole community has been very welcoming,” Mederos said. “Downtown doesn’t feel contrived like some of the other popular tourist spots seem to be sometimes—it’s a very great location.” Mederos hopes her new studio will improve the art culture of San Marcos by influencing others to open up newer art galleries in the downtown area. “It’s risky when you come to a place where there are no established galleries,” Mederos said. “Especially

when we were coming from a place that is very historic and is surrounded by some of the longest continuing art galleries in the country.” Samantha Armbruster, manager of the Main Street program, said there have been many conversations from people in the city about expanding the art scene downtown and Rio Claro Studio is a “great start” to this expansion. “I really think Rio Claro Studio will help engage an artistic movement that is going to grow really fast in the city,” Armbruster said. Mederos said she became more self-aware of her interest in art whenever she put on her first pair of glasses

at the age of six. “I was fascinated by the way things looked when I had my glasses on and when I had them without,” Mederos said. “Through this, I developed a better sense of comparing and contrasting certain images.” Mederos said this helped her gain an interest in analyzing the differences and similarities between micro worlds and macro worlds. This type of imagery is more prominent when she is making stamps and paintings. Because of this, most of her paintings become very abstract and open to interpretation. “I grew up looking through a microscope and exploring

different cellular worlds,” Mederos said. “The first time I went on an airplane and I saw an aerial view of fields from the air, I noticed that this was just like looking through a microscope too.” Mederos said whenever she gets more attention and expands her business, she would love to eventually start curating shows, which will exhibit more local and younger artists. “We were going to do a call to artists before Christmas, but then Stevie had a stroke,” Mederos said. “That slowed us down a lot, but we do plan on inviting submissions from Texas State students who are interested in print making.” This invitation will be released on Rio Claro’s Facebook page and Mederos only plans on accepting 20 students whose work will be showcased with a reception at the studio that will be hosted in April. Mederos said she calls her outside balcony area “the Wosi” because when viewing her apartment number from outside her door, it spells out “WOSI” backwards. Here, she hopes to attract customers by making this area the most inviting and has even considered featuring local musical guest play in the “Wosi.” “One of the reasons why the city expanded the downtown sidewalks was to make the streets a very active and public place,” Armbruster said. “Anything that the businesses and property owners can do to draw people in by giving energy to the streets of this town is absolutely wonderful.” Rio Claro recently joined the Chamber of Commerce and a ribbon cutting ceremony is expected to commence sometime in February, Mederos said.

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Monday, January 25, 2016 | 3

LIFESTYLE

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

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

MERMAIDS

CARLIE PORTERFIELD LIFESTYLE EDITOR

Maria Russo, owner of Sirenalia, with her baby Jan. 21 at the Mermaid Society SMTX Kickoff party.

Full-sized mermaid tails fulfill hopes and dreams By Carlie Porterfield LIFESTYLE EDITOR @reporterfield

An Austin-based artist who creates lifelike tails to make mermaid hopeful’s dreams come true has partnered with Mermaid Society SMTX to help make a splash during the upcoming San Marcos Mermaid Week. Maria Russo owns Sirenalia, a company specializing in all things mermaid. Sirenalia makes and sells adult-sized mermaid tails and offers other services for aspiring merpeople. Russo got her start in mermaid tailoring when she organized shows in the Riviera Maya, land along the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. During

shows, Russo would usually suggest that a mermaid should be placed in the pool. She began making costumes for the mermaid performers to wear. “Every time I made a tail, I thought, ‘I can make it a little bit better,’ so I started improving them,” Russo said. About three years ago, Russo teamed up with another artist to create tails made from silicone. After creating two tails that cost about $900 each to make, they decided to sell them to make a profit. From there, they began getting requests from mermaid enthusiasts. “The mermaid community is pretty big,” she said. “There are a lot of people in the world that feel like they are really connected to the mermaid imagery or even feel like they

are a mermaid.” Sirenalia silicone mermaid tails are designed for wear in the water. Customers often use tails to fulfill their dreams of becoming a merperson. “The majority of my clients feel like they are a mermaid and need a mermaid tail to complete their mermaid persona,” Russo said. “A fabric tail won’t work (for them).” Mermaid tails from Sirenalia are available in both fabric and silicone, along with accessories like tops and headdresses, Russo said. A Sirenalia silicone mermaid tail starts at about $1,800. “I really love costuming of all kinds, and the challenge of creating a functioning costume was really attractive to me,” Russo said. “The mermaid costume has to function.

That’s what really drew me into (creating) it.” Sirenalia also offers “mermaid transformations” in which people dress up as mermaids and have pictures taken underwater. The company even hosts what Russo calls “mermaid retreats.” “A mermaid retreat is a vacation for mermaids,” she said. “It’s really just an opportunity for mermaids to get together and swim and be mermaids with like-minded individuals.” Merpeople all over the world admire and relate to the image of the mermaid for a plethora of personal reasons. “I think it’s different for everybody,” Russo said. “For me, it’s really about a connection with the water. The idea of something that lives in the water but is kind of a human

fantasy really resonated with me.” Russo plans to host a retreat in San Marcos during Mermaid Week in September and expects a great turnout. A portion of the retreat price will be donated to a nonprofit, and a spot in the retreat will also include entry to the city’s Mermaid Week events. “We will be able to bring in a lot of mermaids,” Russo said. “We have a really big following. We work really closely with the mermaid community, so we’ll be able to bring in a lot of mermaids from all over the country (to San Marcos).” Working with the city of San Marcos is a “dream come true,” Russo said. The first place she ever saw a mermaid was at an Aquarena Springs show. It was there that she

began to learn firsthand how the image of the mermaid can inspire activism. “(San Marcos) was where I had that first magical moment and, from that point on, I felt like I had a connection to the water, and pretty quickly, responsibility,” Russo said. “When you care about something, you feel responsible for it and you don’t want to see trash in the river.” Russo said she looks forward to Mermaid Week and believes it will be great for the people of San Marcos. “Celebrating mermaids is a great way to celebrate the river besides getting drunk in a tube—not that there’s anything wrong with that,” she said.

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4 | Monday, January 25, 2016

The University Star

OPINIONS

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

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

THE MAIN POINT

Flint, MI water crisis illustrates the errors of government costcutting and regulation

IMMIGRATION

Mass deportation comes at a high cost

Monique Guerrero SENIOR OPINIONS COLUMNIST @peachy_monique

KARINA HERRERA STAR ILLUSTRATOR

The current Flint, Michigan crisis illustrates the dangers of deregulation and an apathetic government body out of touch with its constituents to the point of environmental mistrust and irrevocable damage. In an April 2014 attempt to cut cost, a state-appointed city manager of Flint authorized changing the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. This may seem an innocuous behavior, but the city’s water supply was polluted after purposeful failure to treat the water with an anti-corrosive chemical agent. If the government had taken the time to do their due diligence and apply corrosion protection chemicals, 90 percent of the current problems would be solved. Unfortunately, money was their number one priority— not the residents. The corrosive water damaged the city’s pipes to the point of releasing lead and other pollutants into the water supply and, by proxy, into the mouths and on the bodies of approximately 100,000 residents. Individuals such as the top state environment official

have already resigned from their positions in disgrace. The next to vacate his post should be the Michigan governor, Rick Snyder. There is no bigger failing as an official than poisoning 100,000 residents, including pregnant women and children. The governor’s attempt to allocate resources for corporations and the wealthy resulted in the pollution of the underclass: the epitome of deregulation and plutocratic posturing gone awry. Government officials failed to properly regulate the water supply in efforts to save the $100 a day it would cost to purify it. Earlier this month President Obama officially announced a state of emergency for Flint, sending in the National Guard to hand out water bottles to the 50,000 households in the Detroit suburb. Due to the state of emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is required to appropriate the funds to help the city in this crisis. Unfortunately, FEMA can only allot a maximum of $5 million as the disaster is man-made, furthering a sense of hopelessness for residents

and illustrating how damning the trust they placed in their officials was. In this predominantly black, disproportionately poor town, this is nothing short of racialized environmental terrorism. As Snyder stated, this is his Hurricane Katrina. When racism and classism intersect, the result is often one of catastrophic proportions. Historically, when natural and environmental problems arise in majorityminority communities, officials ignore them. The UN recognizes access to clean water as a fundamental human right. The government of Michigan, in a roundabout way, sought to curb residents’ access to this fundamental right. As a result, those individuals’ human rights have been violated. This is the other side of deregulation. While the government is attempting to save money, people are left drinking lead-filled waters and suffering with the negative consequence of a poisoned water supply. The effects of lead poisoning take years to manifest, so the real horrors of the Flint

crisis are yet to be determined. What is clear is that residents are at an increased risk of permanent brain damage, negative reproductive effects, destruction of nerve cells and brain tissue, and potential increase in criminal behavior. Attempts to defund integral aspects of society will lead to the lower life outcomes of an entire generation of children in the throes of Michigan’s already deteriorating infrastructure. When there are no checks in place of managerial action, also known as deregulation, you get officials isolated from the goings-on of a community making self-regarding decisions for the lives of the people they purport to represent. There is an immediate need for a series of excessive redresses for the victims of the incompetent Michigan government. Apologies, pleasantries and echoes of “oops” only go so far. The people of Flint have been internally and externally devastated. Accountability, care and redress—there’s nothing more to add. Flint residents need help, and they need it fast.

The idea of deporting millions of illegal immigrants who have gradually established lives on American soil is both financially and emotionally costly. The cost of deporting just one individual is about $23,480, according to a 2010 report of Immigrant and Customs Enforcement financial appropriations by the Center for American Progress. Taking into account the estimated 11.3 million illegal immigrants, a five-year deportation campaign would cost a hefty $285 billion. Based on the current national deficit, the land of the free is about to be in even more debt. Going through with deportation when the cost far exceeds the benefit would be a financial disaster. There is more sense in focusing on securing America’s borders, where the supposed problem is originating from. But taking the time to legalize undocumented immigrants and enforcing a more flexible immigration system would both benefit and expand the economy by an estimated $1.5 trillion in gross domestic product over 10 years. By allowing illegal immigrants to achieve citizenship, a large dent could possibly be made in America’s enormous financial burden. As they say, the more the merrier. Besides, the fear that illegal immigrants bring about higher crime rates and harm is unreasonable, as they are less likely to commit crimes than actual U.S. citizens. In fact, between 1990 and 2010, when the number of illegal immigrants tripled from 3.5 million

to 11.2 million, FBI data indicated that violent crimes went through a 45 percent decrease and property crime fell about 42 percent. Illegal immigrants are not as evil or violent as many claim them to be. These people come to America to better their lives and the lives of their loved ones, not poison the society. Aside from finances, mass deportation would be of high emotional cost because the immediate result would be the breaking up of families. About 16.6 million people currently live in mixed-status families, with at least one unauthorized immigrant, while a third of children of immigrants live in mixed-status families. Children who lose their parents to deportation are often left in foster care or with only a single parent to support them. Plus, the loss of parents is not only a heavy burden on family but on government spending as well. For example, the total cost of fostering each child is about $29,000 a year. Allowing families to remain whole and support each other? Priceless. Mass deportation is detrimental to countless family units—there is no morality in separating a child from a hard-working parent in the name of citizenship. Of course, there is a reason why “illegal” is attached to the status of these individuals, but people get desperate in desolate countries. Crossing borders for dreams and better lives is not a national crisis in the making. Many illegal immigrants are willing to earn their keep. If they are willing to serve this country, they should be allowed to keep their families together and access an affordable legalization process. Before supporting the deportation of millions of families, workers and potential revenue-makers, America’s citizens must consider—is it really worth the price? —Monique Guerrero is a journalism freshman

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.

RACE

White people and the curse of white privilege

Shannon Davies OPINIONS COLUMNIST @el_shannon12

In light of the recent “death by police” shootings, a lot of people have been taking a look at the

bigger picture. The bigger picture is racism and the prevalence and reality of a little thing called white privilege. White privilege is real. It is most prevalent in rich white men, and is based on the luck of the draw and who passed on that genetic code. Until recently, I was not even aware of “white privilege,” and it is something I have neither earned nor deserve if the situation were to arise when the color of my skin could keep me out of trouble. Throughout history, white people have

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

been trying to destroy or dilute other races. This has led to some preconceived notion that white people are superior to everyone else. This is why it is a cursed privilege. Other races look at white people and might assume we are just inherently racist or use this unearned privilege to our advantage. White people are still considered the majority of this country, so it can be concluded that is why manufacturing companies and businesses still cater to white people—further compounding the argu-

ment that white people are privileged, even entitled. Some people use their hardships in life to somehow escape the fact they are still under the white privilege umbrella. That just is not the case. Trying to erase who someone is by using their past experiences against them is a step in the wrong direction. Sure, most people can pretty much relate to one another through some common hardship, but consider the outcome for those of another race in similar situations. As a white female,

I might not be as wellregarded in the privilege sphere as a white male. When people look at me, they will most likely think that I will be treated better or get away with something because of how I look. Consider that this is how minorities feel. Everyone is walking around in a shroud of different-colored skin and that hue will determine how he or she is treated in life. No one wants to be judged on looks. That is how white privilege should be viewed. Scientists say in the near

future, whites will become the minority. Now, I cannot say with certainty that the tables will turn and another race will be held in a higher regard. But while we metaphorically have the floor, white people should stand up for what is right and what is good for all humans—not just people that share the same skin tone. White people should use their privilege to help set the stage for everyone to be treated fairly and equally. —Shannon Davies is a public relations sophomore

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Monday, January 25, 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

Monday, January 25, 2016 | 5 Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IAmLivengood starsports@txstate.edu

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Get to Know Zenarae Antoine

Women’s Basketball Coach By Autumn Anderson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @aaautumn_

Autumn Anderson: Who is your favorite professional basketball player? Zenarae Antoine: I honestly don’t have one. Growing up there were two players I really

admired—one was Teresa Edwards, a women’s basketball player who played at Georgia and on the Olympic team, as a guard. My favorite player, of course, being from Houston, was Hakeem Olajuwon, a post player. So much in fact, when I left for college, I took with me my Hakeem Olajuwon bottled

SOFTBALL

Get to Know Taylor Webb

Softball Utility By Thomas Mejia SPORTS REPORTER @ThomasMejia79

Thomas Mejia: What made you decide to come to Texas State? Taylor Webb: Probably because of the atmosphere. I just really like the area—it is not too big. Everyone was very supportive and welcoming here. I also like how it is between San Antonio and Austin. It just felt like home when I came. TM: What do you love most about softball and your position? TW: I love how it is a team sport and I can count on my team the most. If I make a mistake, I know I can rely on them to pick me up. I’m new in outfield and I’m excited for the experience. TM: If you could play any

other sport, what would it be? TW: I like basketball a lot because I played in high school. It was aggressive and exciting. TM: Who is your favorite athlete? TW: Mike Trout, I love the way he plays outfield. He’s very aggressive, you can tell he doesn’t doubt himself or anything. TM: What is your favorite baseball team? TW: I have to go for the Astros. I’m from Houston and I got to support my hometown. TM: Who is your biggest inspiration? TW: My sister—especially in softball, because she supported me and just loves it so much, even when she can’t play anymore because she already done her four years. Just seeing that reminds me of how lucky I am that I can still get to play. And

water. AA: If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be? ZA: I think I’m probably like most people; I’d love to meet Jesus one day, that would be great. If you’re talking about movie stars, Ryan Gosling. I just think Ryan Gosling is cute. AA: What is your dream vacation destination? ZA: There’s a few places honestly, because I enjoy traveling. I would probably say right now I would like to go to New Zealand or Fiji. AA: If you had to coach another sport other than basketball, what would it be? ZA: I could tell you what it would not be—football, for sure. The sport that I really enjoy, honestly, is soccer. I really enjoy soccer quite a bit. I had a chance to play when I was younger, so I thought it was fun. It’s still a team sport—that’s what makes it neat. The only tough part for me would be that it’s outdoors. I think there’s a lot of elements that are relatively similar and I

just love the fact that these kids have an incredible amount of endurance. AA: When you go out to eat, what’s your go-to restaurant? ZA: It’s interesting that you asked, since it’s (almost) Valentine’s Day and there’s some fancy ones. I’m high-maintenance with the food. I can tell you this though, probably if you had to go commercially, I’ve been to 11 different Maggiano’s—including the original in Chicago. If I went to more of a specialty restaurant I’ve got a favorite in town, the Root Cellar—that’s my go-to in town. If I just want something quick, probably like most Texans, I like Torchy’s. AA: Do you have a favorite TV show? ZA: ESPN. I watch a lot of ESPN, outside of that I don’t really watch a lot of shows. AA: What is your favorite childhood memory? ZA: I have a lot. Most of my fun memories are us doing things together as a family. I’m a

even on my tough days I can call her and she just helps me through so much. It’s awesome to have her. TM: What is your favorite animal? TW: Dog. I’m a dog lover. TM: What is your favorite Netflix show? TW: Once Upon a Time or Grey’s Anatomy. TM: Who did you look up to growing up? TW: My sister, of course. TM: What is your favorite softball memory? TW: Probably the summer of my high school senior year. I got to play tournament ball and the team I was with was amazing. I felt like I was at my top game and they were at their top game. I just felt so comfortable and at home on the field with them. TM: What is your dream vacation? TW: I want to go overseas, like Europe. I want to go on a spontaneous trip. TM: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? TW: Johnny Depp, for sure. TM: Who is your favorite music artist? TW: Selena Gomez. She has been on point lately. TM: What is your favorite social media platform? TW: I don’t really like social media. TM: If you had won the Powerball, what would you have done with the money? TW: I would have bought land, because it is always going to be needed and it is a good

investment. TM: Where do you see yourself in five years? TW: I will probably still be in (occupational therapy) school, hopefully getting an education and starting my career. TM: What is your favorite childhood memory? TW: My sister and I played on the same softball team when I was younger—that was a good memory. TM: What is your favorite season? TW: I love fall. I love the trees and the weather. Especially here, because the trees actually change. TM: Describe your perfect lazy day. TW: It has to be cold and rainy outside. I will stay inside with some coffee and food and watch Netflix all day. TM: What puts a smile on your face? TW: My friends. It’s the little things that make me happy. Good morning texts or if I get invited somewhere always get me happy. TM: What are you most looking forward to this season? TW: I’m looking forward to seeing how we do because I feel like we have so much talent on this team and I see it all coming together. I have seen how much we have improved. I think we have really good potential.

In the Mercantile Building

—COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHELTICS

first-generation American. My parents are very family-oriented, so we did a lot of fun things together, whether it be vacationing, or going to the rodeo, or going to the symphony. But most of my memories, I even have them now—we do a lot of fun things together as the family.

AA: Do you have a pregame ritual? ZA: I used to, and now I’ve just thrown all superstitions out the door because I don’t believe them anymore. I don’t have a pregame ritual. A lot of times, outside of me just saying a prayer before I go out there, there’s really nothing different.

—COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHELTICS

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