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An adviser’s take on how to choose a minor By Bri Watkins NEWS REPORTER @briwatkins17
Students often face confusion and uncertainty when choosing their minor and often end up unsure whether to choose one for the fun of learning something new or if it should correlate with their career path. Lauren Fairley, PACE academic adviser, said she helps students choose a minor that will complement their major based on personal interests. When choosing a path, advisers ask students to decide what their interests are and what they would like to do with their minor. Fairley said when students come to her office, she shows them a list of classes required for their specific minor. If those classes will teach skills they desire, she recommends that to be the student’s minor. She said it is okay for students to choose a minor in a field they simply find interesting, just like it is acceptable to choose one that prepares them for their career. If a student were to come in with an interest of being a lawyer and was majoring in philosophy, the student could take two approaches upon choosing a minor. “When you’re a lawyer, you want to choose classes that are difficult, classes that can help you think critically, form arguments well,” Fairley said. “So, students choose a minor that will help facilitate that to prepare for law school later. Minors can be approached that
See MINOR, Page 2
Removal of Cape’s Dam faces controversy By Kelly Dunn NEWS REPORTER
After city officials decided to remove Cape’s Dam last week, residents have started a petition opposing the action. City residents have expressed concerns that the removal of the dam would negatively affect Stokes Park, which features green space centered around the San Marcos River. Additionally, the park serves as an opportunity to tube and
kayak on the popular portion of the water. Residents need 4,000 signatures before June 10 for the issue to be put on the ballot in November. It would cost about $35,000 for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove the dam. City officials would not have to pay, but must agree not to rebuild the dam. Replacing the dam would cost the city more than $1 million. Research conducted by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment has
kayaking school near Stokes Park, said he is a strong advocate for keeping the river open. Kvanli said city officials aren’t in favor of having any college apartments by the river and it seems they are trying to close the part behind the Woods out of spite. “The folks that complain about everything complained about the Woods and they now want to fence the apartment complex off and divert all of the water to the other side of the island, away from the Woods,”
Kvanli said. Volunteers have even been working with “Keep San Marcos Beautiful” and other organizations by picking up the waste and making the area safe again. “It is very frustrating that I have now volunteered two of my weekends towards picking up trash and helping restore the river but it still remains closed,” said Amy Diaz, psychology junior and volunteer. “I don’t want them to make any more changes. I simply just want my river back.”
Texas State students to strut their stuff for PAWS By Richard Dray NEWS REPORTER
The Texas State Strutters are hosting the Strut & Pup 5K Fun Run to raise money for the PAWS Shelter and Humane Society of Central Texas, along with as many as 10 furry friends from the shelter April 3 at 5 Mile Dam. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and all students are
welcome to participate. Runners are invited to bring their own dogs so they can complete the race by their companion’s side. For the Strutters, the 5K is more than just a fund raising opportunity for the team because of the personal connection they share with the shelter, said Meghan Hopper, Strutters social officer. “A few of the girls on the
Networking event for underrepresented STEM majors slated for April Underrepresented populations within science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors will have the opportunity to network on campus next month. The LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research is hosting a social event April 5 in the LBJ ballroom with intentions of attracting and creating a network of students—especially underrepresented populations in STEM majors. For the past 10 years, the LBJ institute for STEM Education and Research has supported Texas students—kindergarten through undergraduate studies—with innovative approaches to improve skills for STEM, both in the classroom and in the workforce. “There is a misconception that all we do is facilitate all this programming across the university, but that is just a means to an end,” said Laura Rodriguez Amaya, research faculty. “Behind every program we have, there is a research component.” The institute provides extracurricular education
found upstream water levels would not be affected by the dam’s removal, and downstream water levels would reach about 3-4 feet. However, San Marcos citizens and residents of the Woods, an apartment complex marketed around allowing tenants to live on the river, have expressed concerns. Stokes Park is an attraction for the complex’s residents, who are worried removing the dam would negatively impact the area. Ben Kvanli, owner of Olympic Outdoor Center
By Jacob Lock NEWS REPORTER @jacobboydlock
DARYL ONTIVEROS MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
John J. Stokes San Marcos River City Park March 23.
via an array of programs such as NSF-TX State STEM Rising Stars, which connects new students to existing mentoring activities and student organizations. Another opportunity is the Viz Star Program, which is a second semester program designed to improve the spatial visualization skills of STEM students, said associate professor Clara Novoa. “We look at things such as persistence of female STEM students in higher education, issues of access and equity in STEM education K-12,” Novoa said. “We also look at what are the best practices for STEM learning. This is the venue we have to engage in this research and advance STEM education.” Adrian Medrano, graduate research assistant, said research has indicated that there is a large gap in STEM-related majors, both in gender and ethnic populations. After their second year, most students will give up finishing their STEM degree. In a study done by the STEM Rising Stars, it was found that only 5.3 percent of students in STEM majors were considered freshmen, and 74 percent
were sophomores and seniors. “This social event aims to target first- and secondyear STEM-related students, specifically minority students, women and people of color,” Medrano said. The social event set to be held next month is titled Innovating Minds STEM Networking Night. All students are invited to join, no RSVP is needed. “There is underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and women,” Amaya said. “Nationally, we know there is a push to diversify our STEM workforce, and with this social event we aim to close this gap.” The Viz Star program, for example, reflects this. “We have had a high percentage of female participation, but it was only something around 40 percent,” Novoa said. The networking event will feature guest speaker Olivia Holzhaus, a Texas State STEM alumna who currently serves on the Alumni Association Board as Director-at-Large. Along with free food, a mini-grant presentation will be made at the event and representatives from STEM related industries,
See STEM, Page 2
team have actually rescued dogs from PAWS,” Hopper said. “We’re all really passionate about what (PAWS does) and we’re all really excited to work with them.” Representatives of the shelter said they are excited a team from the Texas State community cares about their work. “A lot of our volunteers are actually Texas State students,” said volunteer coor-
dinator Katheryn White. The event will serve as an opportunity for PAWS to reach out to the community and build their volunteer base, she said. “They really seem to care about the animals,” White said. “They’re super sweet and they really want to help make a difference.” White said the people at PAWS hope the Strut & Pup 5K Fun Run will
increase not only the number of volunteers, but also the amount of adoptions. A portion of the proceeds from the run will be donated to the shelter, which will help fund everything from food and basic necessities to medicine and medical procedures, as well as aiding in the adoption process.
Fourteenth annual Bobcat Build set to have record breaking participation By Bri Watkins NEWS REPORTER @briwatkins17
Texas State students will have an opportunity to express their gratitude to the San Marcos community April 2 by participating in the 14th annual Bobcat Build, the second-largest service event in the state. Bobcat Build is a student-led organization that
co-chair, is serving as an officer of Bobcat Build this year after starting as a volunteer and consequently moving up to a member of the planning committee. “I know that when it was first starting, it was a lot smaller, and now it has grown probably five or six times as much,” Faltin said. “As the university is growing, the event is growing and it’s been really
co-chair, has been a part of Bobcat Build for three years. She started as a member of the committee freshman year, and is now in her second year of serving as an officer. “Usually it’s elderly people that we are helping, so its gardening, moving rocks and updating gravel pathways,” Lund said. “It’s in the spring, so a lot of people need leaves raked
PHOTO COURTESY OF BOBCAT BUILD
formulates a structure for students to come and serve the community by volunteering. This year, the event will consist of 4,300 students at approximately 300 different job sites, which exceeds last year’s turnout. Naomi Faltin, programs
positive.” To get involved in Bobcat Build, people can sign up online as an individual or with a group of friends. After signing up participants will work from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at their assigned job site. Emily Lund, programs
and gardens replanted with fresh flowers.” Faltin said Bobcat Build is a great bonding event because it unites students and faculty as well as the university community with native residents of San
See BOBCAT BUILD, Page 2
2 | Thursday, March 10, 2016
The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy firstname.lastname@example.org
way, or students can say, ‘You know what? I want to choose a fun minor. I want to choose something that I really enjoy.’” The decision relies solely on what the student wants to get out of their minor, she said. Some degree plans do not even require a minor. For example, a business major is not encouraged to have a minor, although students may minor in any field. Nicholas McAden, management junior, said he decided on finance as his minor because it will allow him to learn the numbers behind managing people and dealing with different personalities and cultures. “Finance is the background to the principles of management,” McAden said. “Since I am going the business route, I wouldn’t take a class that doesn’t apply to what I am doing.” While degrees in business do not require a minor, a degree in psychology does. Ashley Araiza, psychology junior, is minoring in forensics. Araiza took a different method to choosing her minor—the crime show Dexter sparked her interest in the field. “I was intrigued by his fascination and expertise in forensic psychology,” Araiza said. “I have always been interested in the forensic side of things. I do plan on using it eventually, just not soon.” Some degrees require
SAM KING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER With so many courses to take in each major, making a selection can be overwhelming.
students to have a specific minor. Fashion merchandising students are required to minor in business because it complements the
field those students will be working in. Fairley said advisers want to set students up for success.
Strategic planning for 20172023 cycle soon to begin By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe
As the school year nears its end, so does the university’s current planning cycle—making way for the development of a new strategic plan. In a report recently delivered to President’s Cabinet, Provost Gene Bourgeois outlined discussions he has conducted in regards to initiating the 2017-2023 strategic plan. He has engaged in conversation specifically about possible themes for this cycle’s “read-across” committees. Such committees are related to the concept of strategic process, wherein a mission statement is determined by the institution, goals are established and individual departments and programs begin working on what they can do to help the university meet its goals. Those departments then present their plans, which contributes to that college's strategic plan. Once all colleges and divisions have plans, read-across committees are created to select certain themes which are present in every plan. “When creating a new university plan, we have to begin by reviewing our mission statement and values and establishing higher-arching goals,” Bourgeois said. “It could take 6-8 months to complete that, and only then can the academic departments begin to consider their priorities.” Currently, the three areas that appear to have defined themselves as potential readacross themes are the Honors College, graduate studies and innovation. This process is in early stages and will likely continue all year. “The read-across committees have not yet been appointed,” said Lisa Garza, director of university planning and assessment. “Appointments will occur in March of 2017, and those selections
are based on the individual’s expertise in the area to be discussed.” The process is primarily internal, and read-across committees typically consist of faculty and staff, Garza said. “This is a very inclusive process, in that we continue to speak with key stakeholder groups across campus, including faculty, staff and students,” said Beth Wuest, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness. After each division has specified its own priorities and developed its own plan, a report is submitted to the President’s Cabinet, the body responsible for determining which items should be raised to the institutional level, Garza said. “This is expected to impact student life in a number of ways,” Garza said. “Depending on which items are selected, this new plan could mean the introduction of new academic programs, new processes implemented for research, etc.” Although this new cycle is in early stages and nothing is finalized yet, the university is considering a focus on graduate studies at large, as well as innovation and discovery, Bourgeois said. “We also want to focus on increasing numbers of honors students enrolled at the university, offer more honors college courses and organize recruitment of high schoolers,” Bourgeois said. “The read-across committees will sit down and pull various ideas out from the plans, and identify common items related to the themes we have selected.” The 2012-2017 cycle proved the effectiveness of strategic planning, as many of the proposed initiatives have since been institutionalized, Garza said. “The purpose of this is to guide the institution in the desired direction,” Garza said. “We have to anticipate any potential items that must
be included. As President Trauth says, ‘If it’s not in the plan, it doesn’t get funded.’” A new masters in engineering, the addition of endowed scholarships and enhancements to Texas State’s nursing program were among the highlights of the last cycle, Bourgeois said. “One of our foremost goals was to recruit, attract and retain high quality faculty,” Bourgeois said about the last strategic plan. “To do that, we had to make sure we had the funding and space to provide new faculty with the resources they needed in order to get their research up and running within their first year here at Texas State—and we have been very successful in doing that.” Despite the apparent success of the 2012-2017 cycle, not every item proposed during the planning process is realized, Garza said. “We do annual progress reports, which enable us to track our progress towards the university’s goals,” Garza said. “We are addressing everything, though not completing everything. By the time we reach our formal mid-cycle review, some initiatives will be dropped and some added. We operate according to a ‘living plan’ philosophy.” Though strategic planning consumes a considerable amount of administration’s time and energy, all effort is spent in an attempt to further the university in its ultimate journey to become a nationally recognized research institution. “One reason the university engages in planning is to make sure we have appropriate goals, outcomes and initiatives that support and enhance the university’s mission, which in our case is to become eligible for (National Research University Fund) funding,” Bourgeois said. “It is my hope that this will point us toward achieving that significant goal.”
“One thing I stress with students is even though you may be sure with what you want to do right now, don’t be afraid if it changes,”
Fairley said. “If you change your mind and you start to find an interest in something else, don’t be afraid. Ask questions, talk to a
BOBCAT BUILD, Marcos. Mikaela Ramirez, physics junior, will participate in the event with her Austin Stone small group. She said getting involved with Bobcat Build is exciting. “It’s the first thing I have actually been involved in,” Ramirez said. “So (it’s exciting) to go out with community and get to be a part of something bigger than just what we are doing by ourselves.” Another way to become a part of Bobcat Build is to join the planning committee. “The planning committee is a group of students who work year-long behind the scenes in order to make all of this happen,” Faltin said. The planning committee currently consists of about
career counselor, and use your resources to figure out more of what your interest is.”
50 students who are split up in four different subcommittees. Each subcommittee does job site evaluations. They will meet with every participating homeowner to determine how many volunteers are needed, what kind of work needs to be done and what tools they need. Faltin said the time consuming responsibilities of the committee helped coin their motto, “A year of planning, a day of service.” Anyone is allowed to join the planning committee by filling out an application. “It’s been really cool to see the teamwork involved,” Faltin said. “If we set up the structure and no one comes, that’s not going to work, and if there is thousands of students who are anxious to do work but there is no struc-
ture, that is not going to work either. It’s like students helping students connect to the community.” The most important thing about Bobcat Build is the relationship between the university and city community, Lund said. “I think this is an opportunity for homeowners to feel like they are important to the university and that the students care about them,” Lund said. “And then at the same time I think it’s important for the students to realize that the people they cut off in traffic and the parking spots they steal are real people who didn’t ask for a university to be shoved in the middle of their city, but are all the more gracious to have us here.”
nity building within the university will aid in increasing the completion of STEM degrees. “We want to reach out and create a network of
STEM students, faculty, and organizations to come together and build a relationship with each other and learn of other organizations on campus,” Medrano said.
such as USAA or possibly the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, will be present to interact with attendees. Medrano said commu-
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Fencing club great for beginners and competitors By Louis Zylka LIFESTYLE REPORTER @LouisZylka
Even beginners with no previous knowledge of fencing can take the sport with the help of an on-campus club. The Texas State Fencing Club is part of the university’s Department of Campus Recreation and has trained students to compete nationally since it first started in 1975. James Basler, anthropology graduate student, has been part of the fencing classes and activities at the university since he transferred to Texas State in 2009. He is now the club’s president. “This club is pretty interesting in that we actually have the distinction of creating and producing ranked fencers at the national and state level,” Basler said. Members practice their fencing techniques at the Jowers Center. Basler said Texas State has one of the largest fencing facilities in Texas. “People love to come to our gym to fence because it is absolutely enormous,” Basler
said. Austin Roseman, music studies junior, said he has been part of the club for three months and learned how to properly use a blade in his first week. “I thought it was really cool because they didn’t treat me like a kid and they just taught me the basic minimum of what I needed to know,” Roseman said. Roseman said he has enjoyed going to practices because everyone in the fencing community is friendly and supportive of one another. The club has no physical requirements or documents to fill out in order to learn, Basler said. They teach anyone how to fence and compete in the sport. “This club has a specialty in taking people who have no knowledge of the sport and making them into competitive fencers,” Basler said. “We do it very quickly and very effectively.” Texas State students only have to pay a fee of $60 per semester, Roseman said. The gym has an armory so mem-
bers do not have to spend money on their own equipments. “You can just show up and put on all the gloves and equipment and fence for three hours and go home,” Roseman said. “You don’t need your own stuff.” Basler said they are flexible with sending any of their members to compete in Southwest Intercollegiate Fencing Association tournaments. Roseman participated in his first SWIFA tournament at Rice University in Houston and won first place in one of the saber categories. “For my first tournament, and to be part of the top saber class, it was pretty cool,” Roseman said. Basler said fencing is the safest sport a person can be a part of. Fencers wear layers of padding and equipment to prevent any injuries during a fight. Aside from being protected by the weapons, members said fencing is helpful for strengthening their minds and bodies. Kathy Tran, management senior, started taking a fencing
Two epee fencers mid bout at the Texas State Fencing Club.
class on campus this semester and said the sport helps improve her quick decisionmaking skills. “It definitely requires a lot more cognitive thinking than I thought,” Tran said. “It’s not just one of those sports where you can just get into with your
physical strength.” Roseman said he gets an exercise just by squatting for hours while fighting another opponent and moving constantly. “You have to sprint a lot, and there is a lot of explosive action,” Roseman said. “It is a
very good work out.” The club holds practices Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m., and the next SWIFA tournament will be held April 3 at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
Bobcats opt for bicycles By Sam King LIFESTYLE REPORTER @SKingAustin
It is not often students use outdated technology when there is a newer option, but more and more Bobcats are opting to ride their bicycles to campus instead of taking a car. David Ross, art history senior, rides his bike to school and work for a variety of reasons, but saving money is high on his list. “I don’t spend money on gas, I don’t have to pay for a parking pass for campus or spend money parking at (the LBJ Parking Garage), which makes so much every single
day,” Ross said. Ross’ car is currently being scrapped, but he only used it about once a month to get groceries or to drive to his cycling team’s bike races. Alex Lincoln is one of the owners and operators of The Hub Cyclery in San Marcos, a full-service shop catering to everyone from racers to average commuters. He prefers to cycle over driving to work. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many, because after all, he runs a cyclery. “(Riding a bike) is healthier for your body,” Lincoln said. “You’re not sitting around in air conditioned
environments, you’re actually getting out and sweating. You gotta deal with the hills here, but it makes you stronger.” San Marcos, although it has its hills, is relatively flat compared to the rest of the Texas Hill Country. Depending on where someone lives here in town, riding a bike can be just as fast as driving or taking the bus. Cars are also hazardous. Anyone who has ever been hit by a car agree. In fact, the most dangerous thing about riding a bike is probably cars on the road. “Be aware of your surroundings,” Lincoln said.
“Put your headphones down and realize you are much more vulnerable than the cars around you, so you have to be that much more vigilant on a bike.” Another thing to consider when choosing to bike over driving is to work smart and not hard. Bikes are tools, and each type is built with different specific mechanics. The size of the wheels, the type of gear set and the treads all make a difference in the amount of work a user has to put into biking. It is important to know which bike is appropriate for the style of riding. “Get something that’s
“You’re not sitting around in air conditioned environments, you’re actually getting out and sweating. You gotta deal with the hills here, but it makes you stronger.”
—ALEX LINCOLN, OWNER OF THE HUB CYCLERY
comfortable,” Lincoln said. “If you want to ride the trails, you’re going want a different style of bike than if you’re, say, knocking around town, going to the river and school. And certainly you’re going to want a different style of bike
if you want to go two or three hours out in the country.” Everything aside, riding bikes are just fun. That’s why both children and adults use them. So stay healthy, get out there and ride, Bobcats!
Quad Fashion Finds By Tiffany Goulart LIFESTYLE EDITOR
This week, I staked out the quad searching for stylish Bobcats. The first person I talked to was senior Laura Watson (3). She was wearing a black shirt, black shorts, a jean vest, a brown leather backpack and Toms shoes. "I would describe my style as comfortable, but still cute," Watson said. Her favorite places to shop are H&M, Forever 21, Vagabond, thrift stores and any-
where else she can get cute clothes at an affordable price. Her style is inspired by Free People’s clothing line, but it is a little too expensive for the average college student. The second person I talked to was Ramiro Marroquin (1), computer science senior. He was wearing brown pinstriped pants with a matching vest, a pink shirt and brown shoes. Ramiro's style is very sharp, classy and shows the world he is a very confident man. His style is inspired by old blackand-white gangster movies and he enjoys shopping at Express
and Burlington Coat Factory. The third and final person I talked to was Sarah Reese (2), theater freshman. She was wearing a black hat, mustard yellow fitted tank crop top, flowing tie-dye pants, a jean jacket and sandals. The jean jacket tied around her waist is her mom’s jacket from the ‘90s, she said, and has splatters on it from painting the house. Her style inspiration is Yolandi Visser. College is hard. Snaps to these stylish Bobcats for taking the time to look presentable for class.
4 | Thursday, March 28, 2016
The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MAIN POINT
Ne’er-do-Wellers attempt to disenchant Enchanted Rock Rising amidst Texas Hill Country, the Enchanted Rock shimmers with the promise of stories told and untold. The enchantment of the area was unfortunately violated on March 20 by two alleged perpetrators suspected to be from San Marcos. The presumed offenders tagged “ca$h truck” on the southern portion of the summit, damaging the ancient splendor captive in Enchanted Rock by indigenous tribes. Despite the fact that it is disrespectful to tag a rock housed in a state park, the consequences of this paint job may be dire. The damage done by the two alleged local degenerates might have damaged Enchanted Rock’s lichens, which can take years to regrow. Outside of the flora devastation, the paint forced on the ancient site could result in a costly bill for the state. In order to limit damage the removal process may bring, the Texas Parks and Wildlife department is looking into the use of laser technology. The procedure could cost up to $10,000. The money needed to reinstate the natural state of the rock may have to come from donations due to the department’s limited budget. If people weren’t so willy-nilly with spray cans, the department
would not have to scrounge up dollars to clean up a mess someone else made. Clearly, not every individual who owns a spray can is an artist. The intentions of the alleged perpetrators are unknown, but if their motive was some poor attempt to be artistic, the phrase “ca$h truck” alludes to a need for art classes. Not that folks should run around vandalizing for the sake of vandalization. For those who have the audacity to destroy nature and other historic artifacts in the name of a good time, serious consequences should be the logical choice of action. The alleged culprits highlighted in the camera footage should know that there are repercussions for their disrespectful and illegal actions. Against all odds and miscreants, Enchanted Rock has persevered a billion years on this ever-changing planet. It’ll take more than a couple of rascals to disenchant her beauty. The rock has gone through many changes. In 1978, The Nature Conservancy purchased the pink granite dome at the urging of former first
NINETTE SOLIS STAR ILLUSTRATOR
lady, Ladybird Johnson. Before American recognition, Enchanted Rock was a respected site of mysticism for the original inhabitants of the land. The Tonkawa Indians in particular considered the rock to be home to spirits, both tortured and peaceful. Hopefully these spirits will haunt the suspected offenders until they confess all their sins.
San Marcos and Texas State in general have already gained a reputation for being filled with disrespectful and idiotic college students who do nothing but party. Apparently the fact that many residents of San Marcos believe there is more to life than getting obliterated on a Wednesday night is irrelevant. Destroying nature is not cute, cool or whatever
the purported suspects believed they were doing. Enchanted Rock has been open to those who would like to commune with nature and revel in the beauty of Texas’s natural landscape, not ne’er-do-wells who have to pee on sites to prove they’ve been there. Instead of violating and damaging the environment, people should work toward improving the
quality of both natural and man-made surroundings. If participating in ecological advancement is not one’s speed, it is best not to damage things that have been around longer than all of us. Believe it or not, there are people out there who still appreciate and respect the allure of nature. Crazy, right?
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.
Societal systems should treat addiction as a disease, not a crime By Cris Rivera OPINIONS COLUMNIST @cris_rivera13
Twenty-three million people above the age of 12 have a problem with drug use and addiction. Only about 11 percent of those people get the treatment they require to overcome this disease. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.” The ASAM’s definition mirrors the delineations used to describe mental health. Looking at drug addiction in the same light as mental health should cause anyone to see it as an illness, not a criminal activity. Violent crimes can be common with drug use. In those cases where harm of a person or their property happens, drugs should not be used as a defense, but that is a different matter
than going down the selfdestructive road of addiction. When going through addiction, people cannot stop because of their psychological or physical dependency on the drug. While addicts need to want help for themselves, they cannot one day wake up and say, “I am going to stop doing drugs forever.” Addicts need professional help to work through their problem, and then they will be able to function as a normal part of society. Incarcerating people on the basis of drug use, and then releasing them after their prison time is over, will not help addicts kick their addiction. Prison time does nothing to address the real problem that landed addicts there in the first place, and that should be the point of our legal system—to teach people what they did is wrong and deter them from doing it again. Simply locking addicts up and not actually helping them is akin to the institutionalization of the mentally ill in the 19th and 20th centuries—serving to lock them away, separate from society. This is a result of a
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misunderstanding of the problem, creating perceptions of addicts that serve to separate them from general society, instead of trying to help them get past their problems. These are not some sub-human monstrosities that live in the outer fringes of society. These are real people with real problems ranging from kids as young as 12 to middle-aged adults who simply need help. Drug addiction needs to be viewed as what it is—a disease. It is not a crime and it shouldn’t be treated that way. With this simple understanding it will become easier to help get past the perception drug addicts are not all around us or they belong in the lower echelons of society. All it takes is some kindness and to show people do care for addicts and want them to get better—after that the steps to rehabilitation get easier. Everyone in society deserves to get help to be a good, happy and functioning part of the society they live in. —Cris Rivera is a computer science freshman
The harm and disrespect of self-diagnoses By Jessica King OPINIONS COLUMNIST @JessCheyKing
“Man, I’m depressed!” Sound familiar? Many of us throw around psychological and medical terms despite their actual meanings, or we just hit up the Internet for a quick symptom search. America as a whole loves to self-diagnose. One little bad tummy ache and we’re off to WebMD because let’s be real—it’s much more convenient than going to the doctor. Unfortunately, when people research a tummy ache they come out thinking it’s stomach cancer. We’re all guilty of it. Unfortunately, there are many dangers to selfdiagnosing. For instance, cyberchondria is when someone believes they have a serious disease based on symptoms found on a search engine. Due to the amount of sites, forums and blogs out there, many people are worse off after typing in their symptoms because of the induced anxiety and/ or panic. What may just be a sore throat is now somehow HIV because both share a symptom of swollen lymph nodes. Keep in mind not all information on the World Wide Web is true. Many absorb everything they read and end up undermining and frustrating the
doctor later on. Let’s be real—there is nothing ruder then acting as if one is more qualified than the doctor. Don’t be that person. Anyway, many illnesses can pose as psychiatric but really be something more serious. For instance, brain tumors can cause a person to act as if they are suffering from psychosis or other mental health issues. Another issue with self-diagnosis is when one looks up their symptoms as opposed to visiting a doctor as they’re supposed to, and the possibility of comorbidity becomes a real risk. Comorbidity designates a diagnosis of multiple syndromes. An example of this is anxiety’s frequent comorbidity with depression. On the other end of self-diagnosis, people often incorrectly overuse psychological terms. Even I am guilty of this. I often hear people describe themselves as depressed, OCD or having PTSD. Please note that these are generally chronic diseases that the average person is not qualified to diagnose. A diagnosis of major depression takes several weeks because one must present five or more symptoms of a span over a few weeks, not 45 minutes. That’s right. One bad day
is not being depressed— that’s being sad. There’s a difference. Another common euphemism is the term “OCD.” “I’m super OCD about how I organize my papers.” No, obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized as a constant, intrusive compulsion or obsession that takes over someone for at least one hour a day. When others constantly using psychological terms incorrectly, many people who actually have the illness in question end up feeling cheapened. For me personally, there is nothing worse than someone being quick to use the term PTSD. It takes six months to be diagnosed with this terrible disorder that can easily take over someone’s life with intrusive visions, feelings and dissociative symptoms. However, one experiences a slightly traumatic or emotional moment and the term gets thrown around. Please, ladies and gentlemen, be mindful in the way health is handled. Don’t jump on the WebMD bandwagon or incorrectly overuse terms for psychological illnesses. In both instances, you’ll end up sounding like a fool. —Jessica King is a psychology senior
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Coach Everett Withers: The New Hope By Autumn Anderson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @aaautumn_
New head coach Everett Withers has created quite the expectations from Bobcat football fans and players. Withers is replacing Dennis Franchione, who had respectable success as Texas State’s head coach but seemed to be fading last season. Franchione led the Bobcats to being eligible for a bowl game two seasons in a row, in 2013 and 2014. Franchione led the team to seven wins in 2014. Despite all of that, Fran-
chione stopped delivering success last season. The Bobcats went 3-9 on the year, ending up in second to last place in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State wasn’t considered a tough opponent to other teams. Attendance has been a problem for the football team, because people generally don’t want to go to a game when a loss is expected. Franchione was a let down from the get go last season and people wanted him gone. Withers is bringing hope once again. The obvious things we all want to see
is a bowl game and a winning record for the Bobcats. Withers seems like the guy who can do the job. He’s already shown positivity, but according to Withers, the team is still searching for “who they are.” That is a given with a new coach, new players and an overall different feel. Being able to make football a serious sport here at Texas State would be a miracle that I believe Withers can pull off. Withers started his coaching career in 1988 at Austin Peay State University where he was the
defensive back and then coordinator. He eventually became the defensive quality controller for the New Orleans Saints. Afterwards, he was a defensive backs coach for the University of Texas at Austin and then the Tennessee Titans. After taking a job as the defensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he then became their interim head coach. In 2013, Withers become the head coach at James Madison University. In 2014, Withers led the Dukes to a 9-4 season, putting them at third in their
conference. The Dukes went on to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In his second season as head coach for the Dukes, the team went 9-3 and tied for first in conference standings. The Dukes even made it to the second round in the NCAA tournament. Withers overall career record as a head coach is 25-13. Withers has tons of experience, even professional. He has been defensive coordinator several times which puts a lot of focus on his defense. Defense is one of the
things the Bobcats desperately need help with. Their defense last season was to blame for all of the losses. Having a defensively minded and knowledgeable coach on the sideline will only benefit Texas State. The lack of defensive focus last season was evident, and Withers will definitely change the game. With Withers’ positivity and mindset, the Bobcats are bound to have a winning season. This might even get students to come to home games again, and award the Bobcats with a long-awaited bowl game.
who knows how long now.
grade when I broke my shoulder.
MP: What are some of your hobbies?
MP: Who is your favorite athlete?
OB: Watch movies. If I’m not practicing, in the gym or lifting weights, I’m watching movies. I’ve probably been to the movies by myself since I’ve been here, over 100 times. I’m a really huge movie guy. I’ve probably seen every movie that has come out since 2000.
experiencing the ups and downs of last year on the team, not playing the way I wanted to, not getting the minutes I wanted to. I really needed that for myself. Out of the 16 years of playing ball, it was good for me to realize how much work I had to do to prove myself. In Division 1, everyone is as good as you and you have to work harder.
MP: What made you choose Texas State?
MP: What’s your favorite food?
OB: I really didn’t have much of a choice. I had been flying under the radar since high school. I just felt it was a good place for me, and Coach Kaspar and the entire coaching staff liked me.
OB: Meat Lovers pizza with stuffed crust from Papa John’s. I probably eat it two times a week.
MP: If you could have any superpower what would it be? OB: Probably speed. I’m a big Flash fan. If not speed, I’d probably want to be Wolverine, just because he can’t be beaten.
MEN’S BASKETBALL By Matt Perry SPORTS REPORTER @Matt_Sperry17
Matt Perry: How did you get into basketball? Ojai Black: My mom and dad took me, my brother and my sister to Six Flags when I was 3 years old. I was playing on the little basketball goals for games they had, and I was making all my shots and everybody started gathering around me. Everyone was like, “Look at this little guy, look at him.” I was just shooting and making all the shots. And ever since then I started loving it. MP: Who is your biggest inspiration? OB: Probably my mom. She’s
a very hardworking woman. She bends over backwards for me and my brother and my sister. Whatever I need she tries her best to get it for me. She does everything for me. Anything that she can do for me to help, basketball and school-wise, she does. So, she is a big part. MP: How old are your siblings? OB: My big sister just turned 24, and my little brother is fixing to graduate. He’ll be attending here at Texas State. MP: DC or Marvel? OB: I’m really more of a Marvel fan by default, just because DC hasn’t really made that many movies recently. Marvel has been coming with the heat for
MP: What is your favorite vacation spot? OB: I haven’t really been on too many vacations. My ideal vacation spot is Dubai, because I’ve seen a lot of people there. I had a friend of mine that I went to high school with, his dad worked over there this past summer, and he said it was the best experience of his life. MP: What are your plans after you graduate next year? OB: I don’t really know honestly. Whatever happens, happens. Whatever comes, comes. Hopefully something good. I really want to coach down the road, but we never know what happens. MP: What other sports do you play besides basketball? OB: When I was in second grade, I played baseball for a little minute. I played football too, up until eighth
OB: Kobe Bryant. I’m a huge Kobe fan, and I actually wanted to cry when he announced his retirement. It really hurt. I may not watch basketball when he retires. My mom is really talking about getting me a ticket for my birthday for one of his last games in Texas. MP: If you could pick one place to live forever, what would it be? OB: The Bahamas, because of the atmosphere and the weather. MP: What are your top 3 favorite movies? OB: One, Space Jam. Two, Four Brothers. Three, Bad Boys II. I could watch those three movies over and over again. I probably know the words to all those movies. MP: Since Kobe is your favorite athlete, are the Lakers your favorite team? OB: Definitely. I’m a diehard fan. As long as Kobe is on the floor, I really don’t care. Even when he leaves, I’m still going to be a Lakers fan.
MP: What are your top 3 fears? OB: I’d probably say one, God, two, weddings—because it’s a big responsibility and I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it—and three, probably dying. I don’t want to say I’m scared of what happens after dying, just in the moment I’m about to die. MP: What’s the best experience you’ve had while at Texas State? OB: Really my first full year,
MP: Cats or dogs? OB: Neither, but if I had to choose, dogs, because we have a dog at home. But my favorite animals are probably sharks. I’m really fascinated with sharks and I love Shark Week. MP: Who do you think is going to win March Madness this year? OB: I really hope UNC wins, honestly. I’m a big North Carolina fan. I really like seeing the games. I wasn’t surprised that Little Rock won in the first round, with the way Josh Hagins had been playing, so I wasn’t surprised.
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