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WEDNESDAY JUNE 4, 2014 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 1

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EDUCATION

is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. —William Butler Yeats

2014

ORIENTATION ISSUE


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NEWS

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UNIVERSITY

New Common Experience theme to address desegregation By Naomi Lovato NEWS REPORTER ‘Exploring Democracy’s Promise: From Segregation to Integration’ will serve as the Common Experience theme for the 2014-2015 academic year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the university’s desegregation. The desegregation celebration began May 1when the first five African-American students at the university were brought back to speak about their experiences, said Diann McCabe, co-chair of Common Experience. Philosophy dialogues, student films, a gallery in the Honors College and a series of play readings

are some of the events students can participate in to learn more about the new theme, McCabe said. The campus-wide events and activities will help highlight the progress the university has made. The theme is a chance to bring the university together and educate students on providing everyone with equal opportunities, McCabe said. “This theme allows students, faculty and staff to have a conversation about an idea,” McCabe said. “I’m hoping that they’ll be tied to the history at Texas State and explore how the university has changed since 1963.” Dwight David Watson was hired in the 1990s and was the first African-American history professor at the

university. Hiring an African-American professor was a big step for the university, and the new Common Experience theme will highlight the progress that has been made since then, Watson said. “Texas State was one of the last schools to be desegregated by court order,” Watson said. “Every school had a 50-year celebration, so this is our way to celebrate and show acceptance.” Dr. Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs, was able to get the ball rolling on the use of the desegregation theme and has made Watson proud to take part. Watson will be teaching two classes that are specific to the Civil Rights Movement and is looking forward to being able

to use this theme to “embrace social justice.” Growing up in Pennsylvania, Smith often visited the South and saw the impact segregation had on the country, from water fountains to hotels to theaters. The country has come a long way since then, and the theme was chosen to share that journey with the university, Smith said. The university is more diverse than ever. “It’s important for people to understand what occurred to understand why there are still some of those attitudes out there,” Smith said. “(The new theme) helps people understand the history and why things are done the way they are done now.” Students can look forward to

a fun-filled year highlighting the progress the university has made, Smith said. Activities and events will help students embrace the theme of integration and desegregation. The new theme is something that will teach students more about the university’s history and help launch future change, said Pam Wuestenberg, senior lecturer in the College of Education. Integration is not a finished project, but a continual improvement, Wuestenberg said. “We don’t want to repeat mistakes from the past where we deny people access to higher education, programs or just anything,” Wuestenberg said. “The students today are going to be making the changes to the future.”

CITY

Smoking ban takes effect in city businesses By Naomi Lovato NEWS REPORTER The San Marcos City Council passed a strict no-smoking ordinance on public places including restaurants, bars and places of employment, which took effect June 1. San Marcos already has a “Clean Air” ordinance which states that people are allowed to smoke in designated areas, said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The smoking ban is a strengthened version of the original ordinance. Properties that have obtained and posted permits to build outdoor smoking areas by June 1 will have until January 1, 2015 to go smokefree and will need appropriate “No Smoking” signage, said Matt Brinkley, Assistant Director of Community Services. The no-smoking ordinance includes e-cigarettes and other inhaled vapor devices. The ordinance exempts private residences, designated smoking rooms, hotel or motel rooms, smoke or vape shops and designated outdoor areas, according to the San Marcos City website. Consequences for violating the ordinance will include fines beginning at $200 for a first offense, $500 for a second and up to $2,000 for

any further infractions, according to the City of San Marcos website. Guerrero said he has spoken with visitors who were surprised that San Marcos was not smoke-free yet and were therefore unwilling to visit many public places. For example, the local bowling alley managers decided on their own that they would become smoke-free and have already started to see a growth in business. Hopefully by going smoke-free, many attractions and businesses around San Marcos will see an increase in visitors, Guerrero said. “This was the second attempt to pursue a non-smoking ordinance, and we were successful this time,” Guerrero said. “We had overwhelming support from the council, and I think the response of the public was overwhelmingly positive.” City councilmembers have been discussing the passing of this ordinance for many years, Brinkley said. Councilmembers raised the idea of going smoke-free a couple years ago but was met with much opposition, Brinkley said. In a January 14, 2014 University Star article, Johnny Finch, owner of Chances R, said he is against the smoking ban because it affects business at his bar and believes if someone wants to go to an establish-

ment that does not allow smoking, they can choose to go elsewhere. “Anytime the government restricts your ability to run your business like you want, it doesn’t help it—it’s a detrimental effect,” Finch said in the article. When the idea was brought forward this time, there were no pressing issues and most people seemed to be on board, Brinkley said. The public is moving forward, and there is a new movement around the country to become smoke-free. “I think the public really wants this,” Brinkley said. “The businesses are looking forward to us being heavy on this.” Many restaurants have already gone smoke-free, which shows how much they are in favor of the ordinance, Brinkley said. Health is also an important factor in strengthening the argument for the ordinance, Brinkley said. In the state of Texas and the country, there is a push to make the public aware of the negative effects of smoking. The council also wanted to eliminate secondhand smoke, which is believed to be just as bad as smoking, Brinkley said. “We’re a society that suffers from obesity and many diseases, and we’re trying to improve that,”

Brinkley said. “It’s not just locally but nationwide.” Surrounding areas such as Austin have already gone smoke-free, Brinkley said. San Marcos is trying to “come alongside” many other communities that are developing similar policies. Melissa Millecam, spokeswoman for the City of San Marcos, said going smoke-free will make visiting a business a more pleasurable experience. “We had a positive response

from businesses because it puts everybody on an even playing field when it comes to attracting patrons,” Millecam said. “If everybody is smoke-free, it makes it easier for people to make choices of where they want to go.” City councilmembers want to join surrounding communities in supporting a smoke-free environment, Millecam said. Guerrero said he hopes by going smoke-free, San Marcos can become a more enjoyable place to be.

STAR FILE PHOTO


Wednesday June 4, 2014 | The University Star | News | A3

CITY

Head of Google Fiber Austin gives speech in San Marcos By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER Mark Strama, the current head of Google Fiber in Austin and former member of the Texas House of Representatives, gave the keynote address at the 2014 Greater San Marcos Economic Outlook convention on May 22. Google Fiber is Google’s latest endeavor, providing broadband Internet and television to a small but growing number of locations via a fiber-to-the-premise service, according to the Google Fiber website. In April 2013, it was announced that Austin would become a “Google Fiber City,” and that residents would be among the first to have access to the service, according to Google’s blog. Americans pay more for Internet than any other country, but only have the eighth-fastest Internet speeds in the world, Strama said. Google Fiber would enable users to “surf the Internet” 100 times faster by switching to gigabits, Strama said. In his keynote address at the San Marcos Embassy Suites, Strama discussed the importance of innovations in technology and the difference “mere speed” can make in those advances. “You can use the Internet in fundamentally different ways as speed increases, and it becomes a fundamentally different thing” Strama said. “It can play a fundamentally different role in your society and your economy when you can use it for different applications,” Three new applications that could arise from a faster connection are those in healthcare, education, and high-definition video conferencing, Strama said. “What applications will emerge when we move from today’s broadband speeds to gigabit Internet speeds?” Strama said. “One could speculate that in a gigabit-enabled

world, there will be awesome applications for healthcare, that we will be able to provide better healthcare for cheaper.” In Provo, Utah, another “Google Fiber City,” the gigabits are already being put to use in the medical field, Strama said. A geneticist in Provo described Google Fiber as having “materially accelerated” the advancement of his research, thanks to gigabit high speeds, Strama said. Strama hopes Google Fiber can facilitate online educational opportunities. “We’ve got to find a way to leverage technology and make education both more effective and more efficient,” Strama said. One application Strama feels certain will become “a hit” is high-definition video conferencing. While video-conferencing has already become relatively common, a higher-quality version will be a game changer, Strama said. “You have probably already used video conferencing, from your laptop,” Strama said. “But because of the limitations of bandwidth, it’s probably pixelated, the sound and the video isn’t always in sync, and it’s not a really satisfying experience.” By pairing unlimited bandwidth to transmit data with quality high-definition webcams and computer screens, Google Fiber users could potentially upgrade the video conferencing experience entirely, Strama said. “Think of your cell phone, e-mail, the technology that has been introduced into your life in the past 10 or 15 years that makes you go ‘What did I do before I had that?’” Strama said. “My guess is that really good, high definition video conference technology will be the next one.” “Speed and bandwidth is the driver behind these opportunities for innovation.” Strama said. “Google profoundly believes this to be what matters.”

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber in Austin, spoke May 22 at Embassy Suites for the Greater San Marcos Economic Outlook Convention.


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UNIVERSITY

Texas State Enactus chapter to compete in worldwide competition By Camden Scarborough SPECIAL TO THE STAR The Texas State University chapter of Enactus was named a national champion at the Enactus United States National Exposition and will represent the U.S. at the Enactus World Cup in Beijing, China. Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), is an international business organization based on the concept of entrepreneurial action. According to the Enactus website, student teams develop community outreach projects to help and empower people in need by applying business concepts. As the national champion, the Texas State team will travel to the Enactus World Cup in Beijing October, said Chelsea Watkins, Enactus president-elect. Texas State will be competing as Team America against other groups from the 36 countries that make up Enactus. At the national competition, held in Cincinnati, the Texas State team showcased four out of over 50 current projects to a panel of more than 100 judges, Watkins said. The Texas State team finished first out of the 518 U.S. teams that competed, according to an Enactus press release. The team has finished

in the top 20 for 15 of the past 17 years. “Mobile Loaves and Fish” was one of the “biggest” projects showcased at the national competition, said Mykayla Goodwin, executive committee member. The project provides the homeless with employment by allowing them to sell simple crafts at festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest as well as affordable housing, according to a video of the national competition. Another project showcased was “ROW,” which provides online services to help small businesses adapt to a rapidly changing digital environment and give them an online presence, said Ali Ijaz, current Enactus President. Initially a student-led project, “ROW” has developed into an actual business that provides real jobs to its 13 employees, according to the presentation. Texas State Enactus will spend the next semester working on the continuation of the two projects and preparing for its World Cup presentation, which may prove challenging, Goodwin said. “We may have as many as five of our six presenters out-of-state or outof-country next semester,” Goodwin said. “So we will be meeting over the

summer and practicing over Skype once the semester starts.” A group including CEOs from Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola will judge the World Cup presentations, Watkins said. The road to winning the 2014 national competition was “unusual” because this was the first year without a regional competition, Watkins said. The team went straight to nationals. “Without a regional competition, nationals was more than a month earlier than usual,” Goodwin said. “[This] gave the presentation team nearly a third less time to prepare and fine-tune our presentation.” Prior to nationals, the team gave its annual mock presentation with the dean of the McCoy College of Business Administration, Texas State Enactus students and other members of the San Marcos community, Watkins said. The team went to nationals with some concerns but felt “confident and full of energy” in each round of its presentations, Watkins said. Although the presentation itself is important, the teams are graded on five criteria, including their application of business concepts and whether their projects improve the quality of living for the project beneficiaries, Ijaz said.

A group of four executive committee members, with the oversight of the chapter’s faculty advisor, spent about four months writing the script and storyboard for the presentation, Ijaz said. “For the World Cup, we’re going to make changes to our script to represent the U.S. in the best light we can,” Goodwin said. As an Enactus member, Ijaz has

had memorable experiences and made career connections. “I’ve gotten to meet Doug McMillan, CEO of Walmart, several times over the last few years,” Ijaz said. Ijaz said he hopes to leave with a World Cup win under his belt. “Back in 2012, we got to observe the world cup in D.C., and it really motivated us to want to get there one day,” Ijaz said.

KENWORTHY ULEANYA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Seth Bleiler, Greg Souquette, Ali Ijaz, Mykayla Goodwin and Chelsea Watkins were members of the winning Enactus team that will travel to Beijing for the World Cup.

RESEARCH

University archaeologist helps find timepiece in shipwreck excavation By Nicole Barrios ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR A team of researchers, including a marine archaeologist from Texas State’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, recently discovered a timepiece that could date back to the early 1800s. Fritz Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist for The Meadows Center, said Texas State became involved in the excavation a couple of years ago. Last July, the team sampled one shipwreck in Monterrey and discovered two additional shipwrecks in the same site, he said. The team believes the shipwrecks, which lie 4,500 feet deep in the ocean, are from the early 1800s. They do not know what country the ships are from yet, Hanselmann said. “We just barely started scratching the surface on what this all is last year with the 2013 expedition,” Hanselmann said.

The expedition partnership in the Gulf of Mexico among The Meadows Center, the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the Texas Historical Commission and the Maryland Historical Trust led to the latest discovery by NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer ship, according to an April 24 University News Service release. The exploration team went back to the Monterrey shipwrecks site two weeks ago with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Hanselmann said. The team’s recent exploration led to the discovery of a chronometer, an ancient timepiece for ships at sea, on April 17 at the third shipwreck. “We could barely make out what it was from because it was mostly buried,” Hanselmann said. “All we could see were

the numerals and the hands.” Hanselmann said the chronometer is now on their list of artifacts to recover when they go back to the site in 2015. “The chronometer was big— that was the big discovery of these dives,” Hanselmann said. The discovery of the chronometer is another reminder that “the shipwrecks are, in a way, time capsules,” said James Delgado, director of NOAA’s maritime heritage program. It is also a reminder that meaningful discoveries are going to continue to provide insight into the past in the deep ocean, he said. The shipwrecks have captured the interests of many people and focused attention on the oceans, Delgado said. “They’re also incredible, absolutely incredible, oases of life in that undersea desert,” Delgado said. The initial Monterrey shipwreck was discovered in 2011 during an oil and gas survey funded by the Shell Oil Com-

pany, Hanselmann said. The shipwrecks are currently “being looked after very well” by Shell, who has leased the section of the ocean in which they were found, Delgado said. In 2012, NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer ship dropped ROVs on one target the team found interesting. This site “turned out to be a shipwreck with cannons and muskets and the whole nine yards,” Haselmann said. “And we figured that was really a pretty phenomenal site,” Hanselmann said. “So we decided we’d go back and actually pursue a more detailed study of the wreck site.” The team hopes to discover where the ships came from, why they were in the gulf, what caused them to be lost and what stories they can tell, Delgado said The exploration project is ongoing, but field work typically happens in the summer months, Hanselmann said. However, the team is not going

KENWORTHY ULEANYA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Fritz Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist, shows photos of chronometer found in the Gulf of Mexico expeditions.

back to the shipwreck this summer. “We’re working on analyzing the data that we collected last summer so that we can be better informed for going back in 2015,” Hanselmann said. “I have a really solid research design plan to go sample artifacts from the other two wreck sites.”

“It was definitely interesting to be able to sit in the command center and see them talking live to the ship, and having the stop and look at artifacts and try to figure out what they are,” Haughney said. In order to recover any artifacts from the wrecks, the team needs to have permits and they

“I have a really solid research design plan to go sample artifacts from the other two wreck sites.” —Fritz Hanselmann, chief underwater archaeologist for the Meadows Center Hanselmann said they stream the exploration live online and, from the exploration command center at The Meadows Center, Hanselmann is able to “tap into the ship” and direct the ROV pilot on what to do from campus. Some students came to view the exploration with Hanselmann, he said. Kathryn Haughney, anthropology senior, said it was an interesting experience to be able to watch the exploration live.

are currently working to obtain the permits, Hanselmann said. Once the artifacts are recovered, the collection will be curated at Texas State in The Center for Archaeological Studies once the conservation treatment at Texas A&M University’s Conservation Research Laboratory is complete, he said. Delgado said “the idea is” that after the artifacts are treated and preserved, and they will go to a public museum.


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TRENDS

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Rock the Porch By Ernest Macias TRENDS REPORTER Plum Creek, a master-planned neighborhood of Kyle, has launched an initiative aimed at bringing communities together through art and creativity. The public art initiative, named Rock the Porch, focuses on placing 20 rocking chairs, uniquely designed, at places like Lake Kyle, City Hall and other public areas. The University Star spoke with Kelsey Kemper, lookthinkmake publicist, about art, music and the future of this event. EM: What’s the story behind RTP? KK: Rock the Porch started

last year as a way to engage Plum Creek with Kyle and its surrounding areas. Rock the Porch gets people involved under one initiative. This event shows how a master-planned community that includes homes, parks and natural trails is connected. It’s connecting and engaging through art, location and other people. It is a way of sparking a conversation

through art pieces among residents.

that people create chairs that represent genres of music, artists, songs, nature or whatever makes them rock out during the summertime in Texas.

EM: Who is encouraged to participate in RTP? KK: We are looking for

many different perspectives and ideas. Anyone who is interested can apply to participate. We’re looking for creative minds. Last year we had an art class submit a chair. We had a summer camp participate and a non-profit organization. We even had a Texas State alum participate. The call is open to any individual, group or business that is interested in creating a piece that shows their point of view. This year we are reaching out to the Fine Arts Department at Texas State hoping to get some student participation. EM: What is the theme of Rock the Porch? KK: Last year we did not

EM: What is the message RTP is trying to spread/ deliver to the community? KK: Rock the Porch is

trying to spread a sense of place and community engagement. It tends to spark conversations and art through individuals and as a whole community. It’s about getting people together, fostering a sense of engagement through the kind, warm friendliness that is common in Texas and Plum Creek.

Public art initiative to be launched for second year, aims to unify community

Texas. EM: How is the winner of RTP selected? KK: The culmination of

the event takes place in October at Plum Creek’s fall festival, Hootenanny on the Hill. In order to stay in line with the music theme, the Hootenanny will feature a live music event. The 20

selected artists will reveal their chairs at the event, and the crowd will vote for their favorite. The event is not about competing or choosing favorites. It’s more about community and art. The crowd favorite chair creator or artist will choose a charity, and Plum Creek will donate $500.

EM: What is the future of RTP? KK: We’re excited about

expanding the event. We’re growing, and maybe in the future, the chairs will be displayed in locations outside of Kyle. We’re looking to find even more creative minds and angles expressed through art and community engagement.

EM: Which communities are RTP inviting to participate? KK: We’ve started distribut-

have a theme. We decided to have a theme this year, and we chose music. It came from Texas summers and what you hear when you’re outside. It’s open to interpretation, (and) we’re hoping

ing posters, post cards and applications throughout Kyle and some surrounding areas. We’ve reached out to San Marcos, Wimberley and South Austin. Mainly we have targeted local businesses, coffee shops and artists’ groups throughout central

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Late night dining options abundant in San Marcos By Kara Dornes TRENDS REPORTER College students are notorious night owls, and many know the struggle of trying to find tasty food options late at night. To aid in this struggle, The University Star compiled a list of a few late night food options for the hungry Bobcat.

Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub

AJ’s Ranch Road Grill

Wake the Dead Coffee House

Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub is home to all different types of food options, making it a one-stop shop that ensures everyone in the group can get what they want. The pub-restaurant hybrid is open until 2 a.m. most nights. “We have literally the biggest menu ever,” said Abby Delp, assistant manager. “We have everything from traditional Irish fare to bar food like burgers, sandwiches, salads, assorted appetizers and almost anything else you can imagine.” Sean Patrick’s—or Sean P’s, as it’s affectionately known—also hosts live music nights and schedules different events for guests to enjoy throughout the year.

AJ’s Ranch Road Grill, located on Moore Street, is a family-operated BBQ joint that targets the late-night crowd. AJ’s is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. AJ’s also delivers every night until closing. “We have really good mac and cheese, and our famous Philly (sandwich) along with corn dogs and sliders and other things like that,” said Samantha Buyers, assistant manager. An alternative to the traditional late-night fast food stop, AJ’s offers its restaurant goers more bang—and flavor—for their buck.

The deep colors and comfy couches provide for a relaxing visit any time of the day, but Wake the Dead Coffee House specializes in catering to those students who need to stay up late to study. The hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week. “Besides coffee we also sell beer and wine,” said Michael White, barista. “We also sell food, like sandwiches and what not, and we have a soup of the day.” The coffee house hosts local bands for bouts of live music and occasionally offers movie showings for patrons.

Erbert and Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop There’s a reason Erbert and Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop is also known as Flavornation. “We have a high emphasis on specialty sauces and flavors that we use on our sandwiches and the best high-quality, flavorful soups that we can get our hands on,” said owner Lindsey Gentry. Erbert and Gerbert’s is open every day of the week until 3 a.m., catering to students who are up late studying or finishing up a night on The Square a block away.

Advertisement for San Marcos area running in Times Square By Aubrie Iverson TRENDS REPORTER With Texas State's enrollment numbers climbing every year and the U.S. Census Bureau dubbing San Marcos the fastest-growing city of its size, residents have seen an increase in tourism, construction and business openings over the past several years. Now the buzz about San Marcos has made it all the way to New York City. Times Square in Lower Manhattan is one of the most heavily trafficked metropolitan areas both nationally and internationally. The CBS Jumbotron on 42nd Street, with a screen measuring 20 by 26 feet, sells 30-day, 30-second advertising spots starting around $50,000 to companies that wish to reach the expected audience of approximately 200,000 commuters that pass through the intersection daily. It was with a stroke of luck and

a steep discount that the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP), a local firm that looks to advance small businesses in Hays and Caldwell counties, was able to purchase a 15-second, 106-day advertising spot for a mere $18,000. Adriana Cruz, president of GSMP, said the opportunity couldn't be missed. “We presented the offer to our board of directors, and they thought it would be great opportunity, so we decided to take the spot,” Cruz said. The original purchaser of the Jumbotron ad spot had backed out a few days before the video clip was scheduled to run, leaving Cruz with only days to produce an appropriate cut and convince GSMP board to make the leap and take the offer. She pulled through, and the San Marcos snippet has played once per hour 18 times every day since March 29, when the advertising spot began. Cruz might not have had a video to sell were it not for another short-notice offer just weeks before.

MAIN STREET PROGRAM MANAGER By Lindsey Bedford TRENDS REPORTER

Samantha Armbruster

COURTESY OF MAIN STREET PROGRAM

One week prior to the 2014 South by Southwest trade show in Austin, GSMP was approached to present a one-minute video to be shown on the trade show floor along with representation by other cities. The marketing staff at GSMP, whose budget Cruz referred to as printbased, had no material of their own. Naturally, the partnership turned to Texas State. “We are always excited to have information about Texas State University broadcast across the state and nation,” said Michael Heintze, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “We saw the video as another way to communicate the many strengths of Texas State to the citizens of Texas and beyond.” The university footage, which was provided free of charge, was then sent to Zero Signal Productions, a web design and video production agency based in Austin that put the original one-minute reel together.

Cruz said that while the unexpected video expenses have yielded good opportunities as of late, she doubts the Greater San Marcos Partnership will change the make-up of its budgets in the future. The partnership has retained its original video, however, utilizing it wherever it can—at client meetings, in the office lobby and for upcom-

Responsible for revitalizing the city with evens and projects centered on community involvement, San Marcos native Samantha Armbruster spearheads the Main Street Program. The University Star caught up with Armbruster to discuss the program and its events, her time in San Marcos and what it takes to make it in such a popular career field.

learn so much in a classroom, but the experience is the most helpful.

what we do is driven by the people who approach us with good ideas.

LB: Tell me a little about the Main Street program. SA: The Main Street Program is a nationwide program (run by) the National Trust. In Texas, we are managed by the Texas Historical Commission, and we are a program under the City of San Marcos. Our goal is to support and revitalize downtown. We have a lot of construction going on right now, so we say, “What can we do to help the small businesses downtown?” We keep our downtown looking good. We’re a thriving and growing community.

LB: How do you come up with the ideas for events? SA: Well, I think some of it is inspired by events in other places that I’ve seen done. We try to have as many conversations with people as possible. We have Coffee Talk in the morning and afternoon to talk about anything—mostly downtown. Anyone can come to Coffee Talk. The majority of people we see are really involved: students, business owners and engaged citizens. Students have been a great energy because they have great ideas and can think outside the box.

LB: What made you want to get into this field? SA: I had previous experience in tourism and marketing. I had my own business doing social media marketing. I just saw that there was such an opportunity to market our downtown and city using new technology, and that’s my passion. I saw an opportunity to come to this place I love using all the new technology available.

LB: What does a typical day look like for you? SA: Every day can be different. One day we will be hauling food and ice and coolers and packing up boxes and making chalkboard signs. Another day we’ll be taking pictures and cleaning ashtrays. Other days it will be lots of meetings with people wanting to do things downtown. It’s equal parts logistics and promotion and customer service.

LB: What’s next for summer and fall? SA: Summer and fall are going to be some of the same but bigger and better. Last year was our first Passport event, but this year should be better. June 14 is our MAP tour that features makers, artists and performers. There will be more activity on the sidewalks and street as part of the new construction. We’re about to launch a new era for downtown.

LB: How can others get into this field? SA: The first and foremost is you have to like promotion. You have to like dealing with people, and event experience is helpful. The best advice is to get involved any way you can. There are always volunteer opportunities. You can

LB: Are there any other responsibilities? SA: We are also in support of the businesses. We have several grant programs. If businesses want to put a new façade or sign for their building, they can apply for it. We’re always looking for new things to get involved with and support. A lot of

LB: How important is it for the community to be involved? SA: It’s more important than ever for them to be engaged. An idea that maybe you got may be good for your own town. Getting involved in any way you can—with social media so successful, it’s easy to be involved. It doesn’t take much.

LB: What made you want to work in San Marcos? SA: After I graduated high school, I went on many adventures and ended up in Austin. Out of all the places I lived and visited, I couldn’t think of any other place to settle down and raise my child. For me, the best place is downtown San Marcos.

ing trade show events including SEMICON West in San Francisco, a convention that GSMP will be attending July 8-10. The initial production is available for viewing on GSMP’s YouTube channel. The video clip currently running in Times Square will continue its 18 daily appearances until July 15.

COURTESY OF GREATER SAN MARCOS PARTNERSHIP

Songwriters collaborate at local music venue By Ernest Macias TRENDS REPORTER Apart from worldwide acclaim, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Strait and Randy Rogers have one thing in common: they all participated in Cheatham Street Warehouse’s Songwriter Circle, a Texas honkytonk tradition established in the ‘70s by Kent Finlay, the warehouse’s owner and founder. “Back in the day, there were five or six of us in the circle sitting around a wooden stove, writing songs,” Finlay said. “It has become a bigger thing than I expected, but it still revolves around the song and listening to each other.”

The event was created because there weren’t any songwriting spaces in San Marcos, Finlay said. A songwriter himself, he decided to create a space for likeminded artists to express themselves. While Nashville’s acclaimed Bluebird Cafe is often credited with forming the country’s first songwriting circle in 1987, Finlay was ahead of the curve. The Cheatham circle began in the ‘70s, a Texas music trailblazer. “I always loved music,” Finlay said, adding that he grew up working on his family’s farm. “I would create songs in my head while driving the tractor, and then I’d run back up to my pickup and write down a line, and so on. That’s where it all started.”

The Songwriter Circle, along with Finlay, has seen people like Randy Rogers grow into Texas country stars. Rogers’ songs made an impression on Finlay right away. As a test of Rogers’ commitment to the industry, he was offered Stevie Ray Vaughan night—the highly coveted Tuesday evening spot—to perform. According to Finlay, one hour after the proposal, Rogers had a band and was ready to go. Once the band made it big, Finlay appeared on Randy Rogers’ live performance DVD, “Homemade Tamales.” “I told him, ‘If you want to work harder than you ever have in your life, I will help you,’” Finlay said. “He’s recorded a couple of my

songs, and it has worked out really well for him.” The fame of Cheatham’s Songwriter Circle has increased with each passing year. Artists from New York, L.A. and Nashville attend the weekly event, and Finlay brings special guests and performers from time to time. According to him, it’s all about creating art and being honest. “I believe we have one of the last authentic songwriter circles,” Finlay said. “It’s not about selling beer or talking to people. It’s all about the song and inspiration.” Cheatham Street Warehouse has started a non-profit called Cheatham Street Music Foundation. The organization is in charge

of funding the circle, carrying it further and helping it live forever, Finlay said. “In 2007, the class of ‘87, as we call ourselves, reunited,” Finlay said. Many Texas songwriters turned up at the warehouse for a musical reunion. “It was, as someone said, the proof in the pudding,” Finlay said of his friends’ return. “We all felt like we’ve made world a little better through songwriting.” The Songwriter Circle is held every Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Cheatham Street Warehouse.


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B4 | The University Star | Wednesday June 4, 2014

OPINIONS

UniversityStar.com

THE MAIN POINT

Incoming Bobcats must feel comfortable to be themselves

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ith the onset of New Student Orientation this week, The University Star editorial board feels it is important to encourage all incoming freshmen or transfers to feel free to be themselves and know that Texas State is a safe, comfortable environment to do so. Texas State students, faculty and staff work hard to foster an accepting, welcoming environment for all Bobcats. Many faculty members and student leaders undergo training in order to properly serve the diverse groups of students that call Texas State home, in addition to professors and administrators. There are many student groups on campus here to provide support to their fellow Bobcats and a countless number of clubs and organizations that cater to people from all walks of life. While this acceptance is extended to all people, Texas State has made exceptional efforts to be inclusive of LGBTQIA students. The Ally program is stronger than ever, and groups such as Lambda, Trans*cend, Bobcat PRIDE and Bobcat Equality Alliance, for example, are all safe places for LGBTQIA students to connect with others that may share the same experiences as them. While everyday acceptance of LGBTQIA people is arguably much more common than in previous years, one of the areas that is only just begun to be breached

is athletics. However, the recent publicity aimed at openly gay athlete Michael Sam should serve to encourage students and remind them that it is okay to live the life that best suits them. Sam decided to come out before he was drafted to the NFL so the team that chose to draft him would know exactly who he was as a person. Doing so required immense courage and did not come without some backlash but the support was more overwhelming than the hate. Sam’s example should serve as encouragement to all LGBTQIA students who are struggling with the decision of whether or not to reveal their sexual orientation. It takes an immeasurable amount of courage to be true to oneself, but all Bobcats should feel certain that they will be accepted and welcomed at Texas State. This university welcomes students from all backgrounds and walks of life, and athletics is not any different. The editorial board is confident any openly LGBTQIA athlete wanting to attend Texas State would be welcomed to the Bobcat family with open arms just like the rest of the population. In fact, any incoming students should feel comfortable enough to be themselves. Seeing the recent string of athletes and stars deciding to come out and own who they are should be empower-

ing to all. College is the time and place for students to figure out who they are and blossom into

well-rounded adults. No one should be afraid to be themselves, regardless of who that might be. The editorial board encourages all students to feel

safe to be the person they want to be and know their fellow Bobcats will be there to support them no matter what.

Pilar Keprta STAR ILLUSTRATOR

The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.

ATHLETICS

Student athletes adequately compensated with scholarships

Hunter Larzelere OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism sophomore

S

tudent athletes should be satisfied with the benefits they already receive instead of pandering for more. More often than not, universities and colleges are most known to the public by their respective sports teams. The mention of the University of Texas brings

about thoughts of burnt orange uniforms and multiple sports dynasties and less so of their academic prowess. College athletics is not necessarily a bad thing, as it often gets kids interested in attending college. However, it can also cause colleges to care more about having a high winning percentage than having a high graduation percentage. Unfortunately, this mindset is beginning to cause incoming student athletes to have a sense of entitlement. No longer is getting a full ride to school good enough. It seems to be a sad truth that many athletes being recruited by schools receive “gifts” that tend to either come in a briefcase or a checkbook or need a key to start. Not

only is this under-the-table business a violation of NCAA recruitment rules, but it causes athletes to view themselves as just athletes and not students. Too many players seem to forget that the whole point of going to college is to get an education, not just to play sports. Many athletes claim that the only reason they accept these “gifts” is they simply could not afford to support themselves through college. Call me crazy, but if students paying for their schooling all by themselves can find a way to support themselves through college, I highly doubt that someone on a full-ride scholarship cannot find a way to support themselves without breaking the rules. Yes, I do

realize that many of these athletes do come from low-income households, but so do so many students who do not have the benefit of a scholarship. If you ask me, it is just the result of a young kid seeing dollar signs. I doubt many 18-yearold kids would turn down thousands of dollars. Recently some student athletes felt so strongly that they weren’t receiving the proper benefits that they deserved that they requested to unionize. According to a March 26, 2014 New York Times article, a group of Northwestern football players were deemed employees and were given the right to unionize by the National Labor Relations Board. This ruling was called “disappointing” by the NCAA,

and rightfully so. The ruling is basically saying that these football players are at school to play football, not to get an education. Most college athletes do not end up going pro in their respective sports, and if they put their athletics above their schooling, then their post-college life is going to be a difficult one. The NCAA is by no means a perfect organization. They have profited for years by using players’ likenesses in video games, advertisements and apparel with the students receiving no compensation. This is one of the few areas where I do believe that student athletes should receive some compensation. If my school were making millions of dollars off my likeness, I

would want a piece of that pie. I am not saying that I want some linebacker signing a million-dollar deal with Nike, but getting a percent or two of profits from products sold with their number or face on it is only fair. When it really comes down to it, a student athlete is a student first and an athlete second. Getting a full-ride scholarship and the chance to get a quality education is a gift that many would certainly appreciate without requesting more. Perhaps schools should concentrate their scholarship funds on those students who would appreciate them more. Then maybe these benefit-seeking athletes will learn what school is really for.

OPPOSING VIEWS

‘Sugaring’ can be beneficial to some

Imani McGarrell OPINIONS EDITOR Journalism junior

S

ugar daddy relationships are performed between mutually consenting adults and should not be judged by others. Sugaring is a way of life that provides happiness and stability for many people. There are a lot of wild misconceptions about the sugaring community, or “sugar bowl,” as it is referred to by some of its participants. People often assume that these relationships occur only between young women and older men. However, there are sugar pups, who are men who are looking for a sugar daddy or momma. In addition, there are older sugar mommies looking for sugar babies or pups. Another assumption placed on these men and women is that they are lazy harlots who would rather spread their legs for a shopping trip

The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

than work for it. This is misguided for a variety of reasons. Firstly, not all sugar babies have sex with their sugar daddies. For some of these men, the relationship is about a lot more than a physical interaction. A lot of the time, the benefactors are simply looking for a companion on the same page as them. These benefactors have worked hard for all of the nice things that they have and do not mind sharing them with someone beautiful, smart and nice who actually listens to them and wants to hear what they have to say. Comparing sugaring to prostitution is fundamentally false because sugar babies are often the ultimate girlfriends for these men, whereas prostitution is usually a purely physical act. Yes, sugaring is often ultimately about the money. However, the term “gold-digger” brings to mind someone lazy who has no job or drive and sinks their fangs into unsuspecting old men to drain them of their resources. Firstly, people need to realize that these relationships occur legally between two consenting adults. There are no pretenses about what the true natures of their interactions are.

For this reason, I would even wager that some sugaring relationships are more honest than normal relationships people have with their significant others. There is no lying or manipulation necessary because sugar babies and daddies often iron out all of the terms of their relationships way before any problems can arise. Things like compensation and frequency of communication are discussed openly and freely without any pretense. Additionally, a lot of these women are college students or have graduated from college and simply need some help along the way. All in all, the bottom line is that if these interactions are happening between two adults that are fully aware of the situation, it is not really anyone else’s place to judge. These “Mutually Beneficial Relationships,” a term coined by the very popular sugaring website SeekingArrangement. com, are so popular and successful because both parties involved know exactly what they are getting into and are willing participate anyway. Sugaring is not for everyone, but those who do not participate should not knock the hustle of those that do.

Editor-in-Chief............................................Lesley Warren, stareditor@txstate.edu Managing Editor....................Odus Evbagharu,starmanagingeditor@txstate.edu Letters..................................................................................starletters@txstate.edu News Editor............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, starnews@txstate.edu Trends Editor.............................................Amanda Ross, startrends@txstate.edu Opinions Editor.....................................Imani McGarrell, staropinion@txstate.edu Photo Editor........................................Madelynne Scales, starphoto@txstate.edu Sports Editor......................................... Quixem Ramirez, starsports@txstate.edu Copy Desk Chief.................................Sam Hankins, starcopychief@txstate.edu Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, stardesign@txstate.edu

Sugar daddy relationships unwise

Jenna Coleman OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior

W

omen who are considering becoming involved in sugar daddy/ sugar baby relationships should consider how these men perceive them as well as how this type of relationship will affect their self-image and capacity for love. College-aged women seeking and engaging in sugar daddy arrangements are slowly becoming more common. Women who are provided for by these wealthy, and usually older, men are referred to as sugar babies. ABC News reports that college student membership on the website SeekingArrangement. com increased 58 percent from 2011 to 2012 and that many of these women are looking for money to help them pay

Multimedia Editor............................Liann Shannon, starmultimedia@txstate.edu Assistant News Editor........................Nicole Barrios, starasstnews@txstate.edu Promotions Coordinator.........................Aubrie Iverson, starpromo@txstate.edu Account Executive..................................Stephanie Macke, starad2@txstate.edu Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, starad4@txstate.edu Account Executive.....................................Jamie Beckham, starad5@txstate.edu Media Specialist............................................ Chris Salazar, c.salazar@txstate.edu Advertising Coordinator..............................Kelsey Nuckolls, kjn16@txstate.edu Publications Coordinator.......................................Linda Allen, la06@txstate.edu Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson, stardirector@txstate.edu

their tuition. Examiner.com discussed statistics released by SeekingArrangement.com in 2010, showing that 51% of sugar babies registered on their site were between the ages of 18 and 28 years old. SeekingArangement. com is merely a sample of the sugar baby population. There are many other websites women can utilize to seek out a sugar daddy. Sugar babies are perceived as having little or no work ethic and as bimbos who only rely on their looks to get what they want. Whether or not this statement may be true, being a sugar baby is not a good look for women. It is a degrading way to receive money, and it reinforces the stone-age mentality that women need men in order to thrive in the world. Sugar babies conforming to these stereotypes are propelling women’s issues several steps backward. The sugar baby dynamic contradicts the progress and discrimination women have been fighting against in regards to things like profession-

alism in the workplace and intellectual capacity to hold the same positions as men. Another serious problem sugar babies may face is self-image. Being a sugar baby can be detrimental to a woman’s self-worth and self-image. Again, the sugar baby mindset may cause women to feel as though they need a man or a man’s approval. A woman’s confidence and feeling of self-worth, even through college and the struggle of paying for it, is not dependent on a man. The argument can be made that an arrangement with a sugar daddy is nothing more than some extra cash to make ends meet. However, to a woman in her 20s, having sugaring as part of her identity can easily lead to obstruction of one’s true self and a harmful self-image. Women should think before becoming sugar babies. Not only does it affect the way others, including potential life mates, see a woman, but it also affects her ability to be successful and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

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 Wednesday, June 4, 2014. 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.

Visit The Star at www.UniversityStar.com


Wednesday June 4, 2014 | The University Star | B5

SPORTS

UniversityStar.com

Katie Doerre

junior catcher

By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem Cindy Doerre couldn’t find her daughter. She checked the field where her daughter, Katie, was supposed to be practicing in the outfield. She wasn’t there. She asked other parents. They didn’t know where she was either. Katie was nowhere to be found. Cindy shuffled into a building and found Katie playing catcher. Katie was 8 years old, trying out for a 10-and-under tournament softball team. “Coach, she doesn’t know how to catch,” Cindy said. “You don’t understand—she’s never been a catcher.” Katie interrupted her mother. “Mom, I got this,” she said. “Just go outside, take it easy. I got this.” Katie made the team as a catcher. She’s played the position ever since. “She enjoys being in the middle of everything,” Cindy said. “For her being a catcher, she was involved in every aspect of the game. There wasn’t stagnant time or down time.” At an early age, Katie would pick up a ball rather than a Barbie doll. She tried dancing and gymnastics like her older sister, Brittney, but it was short-lived. She loved being outdoors, and dancing didn’t retain her interest. Dancing didn’t feed her competitive hunger either. Katie wanted to be first in line, first in Monopoly, first in a race—first in everything. Her parents found a tee ball

softball team for Katie when she was four. She loved the sport immediately—perhaps a bit too much. It didn’t matter who hit the ball and where they hit the ball; Katie was going to find it. She would run into the outfield, grab the softball, push her teammate down and continue running to home base. Once the play concluded, she would give the ball back, but only then. “She was competitive and inquisitive,” her father, Rickey, said. “For someone who is that competitive, though, she has a kind a heart. She’s someone who really cares about people and how they feel.” Several years later, Katie participated in a quick catching tuneup lesson prior to her tryout with the Texas Peppers, a 16-and-older softball select team. Katie had to block pitches thrown at her face and chest while her hands were behind her back. The drill tested her ability to drop, block and withstand the speed of pitches. The pitches, thrown from a live pitching machine, simulated the speed of a live game. One pitch caught Katie off guard. “She had one tough hit,” Cindy said. “You knew it hurt. Her face got real red, but she didn’t cry. We all knew that it hurt her. After that, she was fine.” Though the Peppers allowed girls 16 and older, the coach was reluctant to let a freshman try out for the team. He allowed Katie to try out, but on one condition. She had to run to the fence, jump on it and catch a wayward fly ball at the same

time. A girl intentionally fouled a ball behind the plate, and Katie angled her body in the ball’s direction. She dug her cleat in the fence for leverage and extended her arm, cradling the ball in her glove. “That’s what it took to make the gold team,” Cindy said. “They all voted her on the team. She was the first freshman that Texas Peppers ever had.” Kim Trotter mentored Katie in high school. Trotter, a former collegiate softball player at South Carolina, tinkered with Katie’s swing and helped her off the field. “She’s like a sister to me,” Katie said. “I could always talk to her and listen to her. Our personalities matched up really well. I trusted her because she had been very successful. Her style made a lot of sense to me.” Division I colleges noticed Katie during her freshman season. Katie played softball and still squeezed in recruiting visits with Arkansas, Notre Dame, LSU, Oklahoma, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin.

The two finalists were Texas State and Oklahoma. Arkansas recruited Katie as a utility player since they already had a highly touted catcher. Notre Dame, a seven-hour flight from her hometown, was too far. Katie visited Oklahoma several times and had an impromptu tryout where she finished in the top two catchers. Katie, a 5-foot-7 catcher, felt out of place in Oklahoma, where some players towered over her. At Texas State, she felt like one of the girls. “Coming in, this was a winning team,” Katie said. “They had won the conference four years in a row. I felt like I fit in more.” After a one-year recruiting process, Katie verbally committed to Texas State during her sophomore year of high school. She was the youngest player to receive an offer from Texas State at the time. “Katie swung the bat really well through her high school career,” Coach Ricci Woodard said. “She does a really good job behind the plate, and I felt she had a strong enough arm where she would be

a good offensive and good defensive catcher, and those are hard to find.” This season, Katie started in 48 of 56 possible games. She’s first on the team in slugging percentage (.542), second in home runs (7) and sixth in on-base percentage (.384). “I’m not a huge kid, so I have to use my whole body when I swing,” Katie said. “There’s always things I can work on. I could throw out more runners, but for the most part, I feel I’m one of the more dominant catchers behind the plate in our conference.” Katie, a sophomore, is a physical therapy major. Once she graduates, she wants a job with a professional team where she can help rehabilitate athletes recovering from injuries. “I’ve never seen a kid adapt so quickly to college life and truly like every aspect about it,” Cindy said. “She’s bought into everything. She just enjoys everything, and that’s what we wanted for her. We wanted her to choose a school that she loved by itself, and this is the best of both worlds.”

COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS

BASEBALL

SOFTBALL

Team has room for improvement Bobcats’ season marks positive step forward Kirk Jones SPORTS REPORTER @kirk_jones11

The Texas State baseball team wrapped up its inaugural Sun Belt season by losing to top-seeded Louisiana twice in the postseason tournament. The team started the season expecting to lead the way with an experienced offense in Cody Lovejoy, junior outfielder, Austin O’Neal, senior first baseman, and Tyler Pearson, senior catcher. Lovejoy, named to the first team of the Western Athletic Conference, and O’Neal combined for 55 runs, 48 runs batted in and a .330 batting average last season. The Bobcats showed promise this season, winning nine of the first 11 games and gaining victories over Michigan, Air Force and Baylor. However, Texas State didn’t fare well against the better teams in Division I. The Bobcats were 1-8 against top 25 ranked teams and 1-6 against Big 12 and SEC teams.

Texas State’s pitching was one of the only consistent aspects of the team’s success. The team was second in earned run average at 3.61, only behind the Sun Belt champions, the Ragin’ Cajuns. Texas State led the Sun Belt in batters struck out with 431—five more than second place Louisiana. Austen Williams, junior pitcher, had 96 strikeouts, ranking second in the conference. Williams scored a complete game shutout against South Alabama. Taylor Black, junior pitcher, was a key cog in the pitching staff. He finished the season with a 2.85 earned run average, the best on the team and fifth in the Sun Belt. The Bobcats’ pitching staff had three pitchers ranked in the top 10 in innings pitched. Offense was one of the downfalls for the Bobcats this season. They placed in the bottom half in every offensive category in the conference. Texas State’s main offense came from Garrett Mattlage, junior shortstop, and Granger Studdard, freshman outfielder. Mattlage, a second team all-conference shortstop, led the team in hits, doubles, runs batted in, runs scored and on base percentage. Studdard led the team in home runs while ranking second behind Mattlage in every other offensive category. With the Bobcats’ pitching, they could have made

Kendall Wiley

junior first baseman By Tyler Hammond SPORTS REPORTER @tyhamm28 TH: How long have you played softball, and why did you choose softball over other sports? KW: I have played softball since

I was 5 years old, and it has always been the most enjoyable. Everyone in my family has played either softball or baseball.

TH: Who has been the most inspirational person in your life, and why? KW: The most inspirational

person in my life has been my mom. She is a single parent and has always taught me to keep fighting and never give up on my goals. TH: Outside of softball, what is your favorite thing to do in San Marcos? KW: Floating the river with my

teammates and watching other Texas State athletic events. TH: Do you have a specific pregame routine? KW: I watch the team highlight

video and listen to Lil’ Jon to get pumped up.

TH: What is your favorite movie

a deeper run in the conference tournament if they had shown more offensive consistency. The team struggled to find a capable mid-week starter for non-conference games. The team shuffled through starters until they found consistency in Dylan Bein, freshman pitcher. Bein finished the season with a 1-5 record and a 2.60 earned run average. Bein became a reliable relief pitcher for Coach Harrington, as his .209 opponents’ batting average was second on the team. The defense struggled throughout the year. The Bobcats committed multiple errors during several games when they had the lead or were within striking distance. Mattlage struggled on the field, relying too much on his arm instead of his footwork to set up the throw and committed a teamhigh 14 errors. The young middle infielders struggled at the start of the season. Matt Smith, sophomore second baseman, looked overwhelmed, committing 11 errors. Along with his blemishes, Smith made some outstanding defensive plays and gained recognition on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays segment. Overall, Texas State has a great mix of young players and veterans for next season. The younger players had time to grow this season, and the Bobcats are prepared to make the next leap in the 2015 season.

and favorite television show? KW: “Forrest Gump” and

“Grey’s Anatomy.”

TH: If you could travel anywhere, all expenses paid, where would it be? KW: Dominican Republic, for

the beaches.

TH: If you could hang out with any celebrity, who would it be? KW: Meryl Streep or Sandra

Bullock

TH: What has been your favorite softball memory? KW: Hitting a homerun to center

field in my first collegiate at-bat against Baylor. TH: What are you goals after college? KW: To own and run a doggy

daycare.

Ishmael Johnson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @ish_46

The Texas State softball team concluded its season in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament in Louisiana. The team finished 26-30, highlighted by a dismal 1-14 away record. However, the program’s outlook remains bright for the coming years. After the Bobcats’ 18-38 output last year, Coach Ricci Woodard hoped for a major bounce-back this year. The team started 7-3 and knocked off 23rd-ranked California. The team’s first significant loss was its 11-1 defeat to 12thranked Baylor on March 1. The loss marked the beginning of the Bobcats’ inconsistent play. The Bobcats didn’t perform well on the road, spiraling with a 7-11 finish in the final month of play. Texas State entered the Sun Belt tournament as the fifth seed. Texas State’s upperclassmen did perform well throughout the year, but a lack of consistent hitting and a fatigued ace pitcher were their ultimate downfall. The team will lack leadership after the seniors graduate. Timishia North, senior utility player, led the team with 15 stolen bases, and Coralee Ramirez, senior outfielder, was second in batting average. The most significant loss will be the team’s top pitcher, Rayn House, whose 2.50 earned run average was the fifth-best in the Sun Belt. House, Sun Belt leader

in innings pitched, was undoubtedly fatigued near the end of the season. She allowed 73 hits in the final month of the season. The top teams in the Sun Belt, South Alabama and champion Louisiana, each had two reliable pitchers they could start as opposed to Texas State’s one. The Bobcats had two underclassmen backing up House: sophomore Ashley Wright and freshman Kaylee Garner. Wright and Garner’s combined ERA, 7.53, was five runs worse than House. Experience was crucial, and Coach Woodard played House often to combat the others’ inexperience. Regardless of the team’s final record, the season should be seen as a right step forward. It would have been unrealistic to expect a team with more than half a roster of underclassmen to instantly compete in a very good Sun Belt conference. This season gave Coach Woodard a great starting point to build around with the production of her younger players. Kelli Baker, sophomore second baseman, led the team in batting average (.326), and Katie Doerre, sophomore catcher, had the fifth highest batting average (.292). Athletes like Baker, Doerre and Kendall Wiley, sophomore first baseman, will have more experience under their belts in addition to returning All-Conference Courtney Harris, junior third baseman, and Kortney Koroll, junior utility player. Perhaps the biggest addition next year will be former University of Texas and USA Olympic pitcher Cat Osterman to the pitching staff to aid the development of Texas State’s two future pitchers. Texas State should view this season not as a failure but as a stepping stone toward getting the softball program back on track and primed for a more prominent run in the Sun Belt conference.

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