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Not all are pleased with the nearly completed Bobcat Trail By Richard Dray NEWS REPORTER @Richard_Dray ALYSSA DUGAN-RODRIQUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The Blanco River Reforestation Project is a part of TreeFolks’ Reforestation program to restore forests that are damaged in natural disasters in Central Texas.

shades the river, slows the speed of floods and provides habitat,” Perkins said. Planting tree life in an area that experienced complete destruction is a baby step to recovery, she said. It is a beautiful thing to see the growth of life sprout up physically and emotionally in the lives of the Hays and Blanco County residents. “We are helping to heal

Bobcat Trail, one of the many construction projects on campus, is approaching completion. However, some are not happy with its outcome. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor and faculty senator, said Bobcat Trail did not meet her plant life expectations. “We had understood that it was going to be green space and most of it is brick and concrete,” Bell-Metereau said, referring to the Faculty Senate’s opinion. Construction of Bobcat Trail, which began in June 2014, cost $5.48 million and was delayed as a result of underground obstructions. According to the campus construction website, the project is currently 75 percent finished and will reach “substantial completion” by March 31. Michael Petty, director of campus planning, design and construction, said the amount of green space wasn’t decreased from the amount in the original plan. Petty said there is proof that

See BLANCO, Page 2

See TRAIL, Page 2

Blanco River Reforestation Project plants life into what was lost By Bri Watkins NEWS REPORTER @briwatkins17

TreeFolks, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is working to rehabilitate the Hays County environment following the historic May and October floods that ravaged Central Texas last year. County officials and TreeFolks established the Blanco River Reforestation Project to help restore the riverside

life lost during the floods. Thaïs Perkins, executive director of TreeFolks, said the project will consist of a four-year effort to plant trees for free. The project will offer free public service to private landowners whose property was directly affected by the floods. The Memorial Day weekend flood affected the health of the Blanco River as well as the lives of those nearby. The river lost its shade, the

wildlife lost their habitat and people lost their homes. “It damaged the environment and damaged personal life,” Perkins said. TreeFolks’ mission is to bring change by empowering communities through the planting and caring of trees. Established in 1989, the organization has planted 1.6 million trees in Central Texas through the efforts of volunteers and staff. The project started off

with the planting 900 seedlings at the Five-Mile Dam in San Marcos. Volunteers and staff were able to lend a helping hand in bringing beauty to the riverbanks. Their goal is to reforest 60 miles of the Blanco River. Perkins said the restoration of the Blanco River riparian forest will be a slow, but beautiful process. “A functioning riparian forest is a continuous forest that filters storm water,


Donald Trump or any other candidate could visit campus By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe

After being contacted by representatives of the Donald Trump presidential campaign Feb. 9, university officials are considering revising the policy concerning political campaign events on campus. Officials received a call from a Trump campaign representative inquiring if the university had an available venue to host a political event, said Vicki Brittain, assistant to President Denise Trauth. “At the time, they were considering having a campaign

rally somewhere on the San Antonio/Austin corridor,” Brittain said. After the call, a representative of the Trump campaign visited campus to ask if Trump could rent Strahan Coliseum for an event. Officials later learned representatives of the Trump campaign were only exploring the possibility and were no longer interested in hosting a rally on campus, Brittain said. As far as university officials know, Trump has no intention of visiting Texas State. Brittain said if Trump campaign representatives were interested, university

officials would have allowed the rally to occur. The request encouraged university officials to consider refining and updating the existing policy concerning political events on campus, Brittain said. During the 2008 presidential race,President Barack Obama visited Texas State. Brittain said the subject of political campaigns on campus was not brought up again until recently. “At this point, we don’t really have a policy,” Brittain said. “But, since the campaign season is really beginning to swing into full gear, it’s possible that we’ll

get more calls from other candidates. In that case, we want to be ready.” Officials in the President’s Cabinet decided to delegate a small group of faculty and administrators to work on developing a more structured official policy regarding political campaign events. “We need to be proactive,” Brittain said. “I think it would be interesting for students for some of the candidates to come to campus. We just want to make sure that when KARINA RIVERA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER it does happen, we are preThe Cabinet is talking about developing a policy for allowing political pared.” Brittain said possible poli- campaign events to take place on campus or not. cy changes are not intended cials’ authority to exercise See POLITICS, Page 2 to increase university offi-


College of Science and Engineering interim dean quiets rumors By Bailey Buckingham NEWS REPORTER @bcbuckingham

Faculty Senators speculated at their Feb. 17 meeting about the College of Science and Engineering’s future. However, the interim dean said there is no substance to the rumors. At the meeting, senators mentioned the possibility of the college splitting into two after the new engineering building is completed and a new dean is hired. The science and engineering department is to receive its own building which will be titled Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall. The College of

Science and Engineering is currently located in the Roy F. Mitte building. The college is in the midst of hiring a new dean. This is the second time Robert Habingreither has filled the interim dean position. The opened position has been nationally advertised, and there have been several rounds of interviews to find the right candidate. Although Habingreither said he can get the job done, he is not interested in the position long term. With the new building and the hiring of a new dean underway, there have been rumors pertaining to the college. Habingreither said the idea

LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The Ingram School of Engineering will soon have its own building.

of even considering splitting the colleges is of such a high magnitude the discussion would need to be initiated

among administration. Until that happens, he does not see the need to discuss rumors. “Well, that decision would

come from the administration,” Habingreither said. “As far as I am concerned—and we’re all concerned—that’s something that may be out there on the horizon, but there is no substance to it right now. I’m in the business of stating facts.” The dean-hiring process is extensive and a decision that carries a lot of weight, he said. “Have you ever been around cows?” Habingreither said. “Hiring a new dean is kind of like birthing a cow.” Habingreither continued by saying that while he is not on the search committee, per his request, the candidates being interviewed all

have impressive credentials. However, the committee is searching for someone who is a “perfect” match for the future of Texas State. “We look for the candidate whose persuasions and credentials match the best with where the president and the provost want this university to go—particularly the College of Science and Engineering,” Habingreither said. “And we are very focused on research and fundraising.” The committee has narrowed the search down to three candidates for the dean position. Habingreither said he took the interim position and promised to serve as


2 | Monday, March 7, 2016


The University Star

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the lands, and helping to heal their hearts,” Perkins said. Hays County reached out to propose a similar model of TreeFolks’ role in the Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program to reforest property burned in the fire during Labor Day weekend of 2010. The Blanco River Reforestation Project aims to benefit


Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy @universitystar

all that was lost during the floods. TreeFolks has already received 200 applications from property owners requesting help. It is first come, first serve. Volunteers will speak with applicants to discuss what needs the landowner is looking for, prepare a site plan and provide education on reforestation succession.

“I’m really impressed by the general knowledge people have towards the river’s health,” Perkins said. Prior to the floods, Cypress trees were among the tree species along the banks of the Blanco River. The floods knocked some of the oldest Cypress trees down. Miranda Wait, assistant manager at the Meadows


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the contrary is true and that green space has actually been increased. “We understand that trees are important,” Petty said. “We actually did an aerial study from before and after and we’re close to three quarters, if not an acre of additional green space.” Bell-Metereau said that although sections of Bobcat Trail contain small trees and shrubs, she feels there are not enough plants that contribute to the well-being of the environment. “A lot of the green that is there is not very ecologically beneficial,” Bell-Metereau said. Even though construction is almost complete and not much can be done, students still have a chance at making an impact on what is included on Bobcat Trail, she said. This request would be to replace what already has been planted. Bell-Metereau feels replacing the grass there would be the best option, given that it does not contribute to the overall health of the environment.

Center for Water and the Environment, said the project is a great start to recovery, but it is going to take a while to get back to the way it was. The Meadows Center is a laboratory located on Spring Lake where departments and research centers engage in environmental studies to provide practical opportunities to faculty, staff and students.

“I think that the students could request that the grass there gets replaced with some native plantings,” Bell-Metereau said. Petty said he agrees that students can influence construction on campus. Students could participate in the update of the campus master plan by sharing feedback on what they want built on campus. “Students can have input into the campus master plan,” Petty said. Bell-Metereau said she and her colleagues hope to be a part of the planning process for future construction projects outlined in the university’s master plan and will be attending meetings. “I’m hoping that we can come to more of an agreement that’s in line with what environmentalists recommend,” she said. Bell-Metereau said that while she was outspoken about the lack of green space on Bobcat Trail, the construction was not all bad. “I will say that it’s nice that they turned it into an area where there’s no buses and

cars and things like that, but I think it could use some improvement,” Bell-Metereau said. According to the campus construction website, Bobcat Trail is one of many projects under construction and a number of projects are being planned, totaling up to $750 million. Students and faculty who have complaints about any aspect of campus construction can have their voices heard at a number of public meetings being held by the master plan planning committee. Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for finance and support services planning and project leader for the campus master plan, would not comment on Bobcat Trail. However, she has been attending forums to discuss the master plan with her colleagues on the team. Forums about the campus master plan are open to students and faculty and are a great opportunity to voice concerns or make suggestions concerning the master plan.

“Some of the cypress trees were up to 300 years old,” Wait said. The cypress trees brought historical value to San Marcos in their old age. Wait said some were left there because they had a chance to regrow. The floods only added more detail to a surviving trees’ story. Hays County approved a

contract with TreeFolks for the pilot program that will ultimately launch into the official four-year program this fall. TreeFolks is raising funds to pay for the large number of trees for the project. Anyone can donate if interested.

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selectivity when allowing candidates from different political backgrounds access to campus, as that would be unethical. Any policy change concerning political events would regard technicalities of hosting an event, such as accommodation of extra security, she said. “When Obama came to campus in 2008, he spoke outside by the river,” Brittain said. “It was a huge event. The Secret Service was everywhere. With any type of political campaign event, there are risks.” Lauren Stotler, student body president, said hosting political events on campus would leave a positive impact on the university.

“I think it’s a good thing for the university to host these events, as long as the opportunity to visit is given to all candidates,” Stotler said. “Students need to be involved, so this is a great opportunity for the student body to get real exposure to the candidates they may eventually have to vote either for or against.” Stotler recalled there have been instances in the past when candidates have come to student organization meetings. “Just being able to speak to candidates on a personal level, and hearing what they stand for in person is so much better than reading it online or in a newspaper,” Stotler said. “Interactions

ENGINEERING, dean until someone permanent is hired. He plans to stay through the transition process. “My wife kind of wants me to retire. We bought a

like that have a much bigger impact.” University officials would apply the first-come-firstserved rule to candidates or parties interested in reserving a venue. Candidates are welcome at the university, but officials need advance notice to ensure the speakers and audience are safe, said Margarita Arellano, dean of students. “It is important that we ensure fairness,” Arellano said. “Everyone has a right to be here. Our policy must be broad enough and thorough enough to provide the coverage we need.” The updated policy is tentatively estimated to be released within the next couple of months, Brittain said.

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ski boat,” Habingreither said. “The problem is, I really like what I am doing. I have loved my employment here at this institution. I feel like I’ve done well for them,

and they have done well for me. I truly love the people here, and for me to be able to look back on my career and say that I’ve truly enjoyed it, it is a privilege.”

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The University Star

Monday, March 7, 2016 | 3


Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IamLivengood @universitystar



Toshua Leavitt, freshman guard, is transitioning from the lifestyle of a high school student to that of a college basketball player 11 hours away from home. Leavitt attended Nixa High School, in Nixa, Missouri. She broke the school’s three-point record in her first three seasons of playing. Leavitt scored 51 points in a single game and was named Conference Player of the year. The guard led her team to backto-back district championships. One thing Leavitt misses

about high school basketball is her coach and having her parents around more. “I love my coach. She was like my best friend,” Leavitt said. “It was easy having her as my coach and my parents got to be at every single game.” Basketball wasn't always the main focus for Leavitt, who was a multi-sport athlete. She started playing basketball while she was in kindergarten, thanks to her brother showing her the ropes. “My brother always played sports, so he always taught me how to play,” Leavitt said. “But my parents never played—none of my family is really athletic.”

Leavitt played several sports including softball, basketball, soccer and even tackle football, and continued her multisport involvement all the way up until the guard’s freshman year of high school. Soccer was Leavitt’s favorite sport besides basketball, but unfortunately she had no choice but to quit playing. She has a cyst on the back of her knee, which inhibits her ability to kick or jump repeatedly. “I still have it, so that's why I still can’t play,” Leavitt said. “I can’t kick things or it starts swelling up, and I can’t jump on a trampoline because of all

the impact.” Thankfully for Leavitt, the cyst doesn't affect her playing basketball. One of the main reasons Leavitt decided to play basketball for the Bobcats was because of Coach Zenarae Antoine. To Leavitt, Antoine was the nicest coach of all of her options. “Even though I’m an outof-state student, I feel like she cares,” Leavitt said. “She knows that I miss my parents sometimes.” When Leavitt visited Texas State, she instantly connected with the teammates and coaches. Even Leavitt’s parents thought being a Bobcat was the right choice

simply because of Antoine’s first impression. Adjusting from high school to college has already proved to be challenging both on and off the court for the freshman. According to Leavitt, balancing school while on the road is one of the toughest parts about it. “It’s hard,” Leavitt said. “We basically teach ourselves sometimes.” On the court, Leavitt says the biggest adjustment is the strength and skill of her teammates and opponents. For Leavitt, one of the better parts about playing with more talented competition is the game flows at a faster pace.

For her first season as a Bobcat, Leavitt is averaging 5.3 points and one rebound per game. She is also shooting an average of .379 percent from the field and .400 percent from beyond the arc. Leavitt scored her season-high of 16 points against Georgia Southern in January. Leavitt looks back on her freshman season and sees it as a good one. “I think towards the beginning I was kind of scared,” Leavitt said. “I feel like now I’m not scared, and I’m excited for next season and to see what it brings.”


GET TO KNOW: CODY LOVEJOY thing out doors or by water.


KR: Would you rather go to class for a day dressed in a hula skirt and coconut bra? Or a leotard and tutu? CL: I would go with the tutu and the coconut bra. KR: What is your guilty pleasure? CL: I like to sit out and tan. KR: If you won the lottery, what would you spend it on? CL: A boat, 100 percent. KR: What other hobbies do you have besides Baseball? CL: Fishing, hunting, any-

KR: Do you prefer a night out, or a movie in? CL: A night out. I like to laugh with friends. KR: What are your top three favorite movies of all time? CL: Ace Ventura, Fury, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. KR: If you were a superhero, who would be your ideal enemy and why? CL: Someone who’s really smart, not necessarily strong but someone that would challenge me mentally.

KR: Where do you see yourself five years down the road? CL: Hopefully still playing ball, hopefully get drafted and sign as a free agent. If that doesn’t work out I’m going to go to grad school for electrical engineering. KR: Do you have any siblings? CL: Yes, I have a younger brother who is 21 and he pitches for Sam Houston. We play them this year so hopefully I can get a hit off of him. KR: What is your spirit ani-

mal and why? CL: A fish because they are sleek and quick and they always work together as a team. KR: If you could live in any movie, what would it be and who would you play? CL: I would be in a comedy for sure. I would probably want to be in Guardians of the Galaxy and play Chris Pratt’s part as Peter Quill. KR: What is your favorite part of Texas State? CL: The river for sure, and the baseball field. KR: If you could design your

own shoes, what would you call them and what would they look like? CL: I would design baseball cleats that were designed with stronger and longer spikes like track cleats. That way it would help players push off and get better traction when running the bases. I think I would name them zero gravity track speeds. KR: What would be a perfect place to visit? CL: I really want to go to Cabo. I want to lay on the beach, get some sun and be on the water.

KR: If you had to escape from being tied up in a mad man’s basement, would you… a) Use your super strength to crush the puny human. b) Shrink him to the size of an ant and smush him. c) Teleport out of there cause ain’t nobody got time for that d) Patiently eat your chicken while you wait for help to arrive. CL: C. I would Teleport out of there.


y t i s r e Univ STAR

The Student Publications Board of the Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication is conducting an all-campus open petitioning process to select a student as Editor-in-Chief of The University Star. Term begins one week following the final issue of 2016 Spring Semester publication schedule. Applicants must be available to serve the entire term of the appointment. Each applicant is asked to complete a written petition, which is subsequently screened by members of the student publications board. The board will interview qualified candidates for the position. The board consists of the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the journalism sequence coordinator and a member of the print medium, who is appointed by the director of Student Publications. The director of student publications and the current editor-in-chief serve as ex-officio members for the committee.

Minimum Qualifications

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To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester during the term office. Students graduating in the final semester of the appointment (Spring 2017) may be enrolled in fewer hours as long as they meet graduation requirements. Applicants must have worked in a professional editorial environment, or have served as a section editor at a university student newspaper. Students of all majors and classifications, including graduate students, may petition for the position. Applicants must be in good academic standing with the university when submitting an application. Applicants must maintain a 2.5 semester and overall grade point average during their time of appointment. A student who falls below the 2.5 grade point grade semester average will forfeit the office even though he/she maintains an overall 2.5 grade point average.

The University Star Mission The editor is the primary student editorial administrator for The University Star and has authority in all personnel matters and makes the final decision regarding news, sports, feature, photo, Web and opinion content. The editor determines daily operation guidelines, provides a role model for professional behavior, delegates operational authority and fulfills policies and procedures as determined by the student publications board and faculty adviser. The editor oversees meetings and handles personnel problems, evaluates all copy and artwork for the print and online product. The editor-in-chief is responsible for hiring, properly training and supervising all members of the editorial board. The editor-in-chief promotes relations between the publication, the community and campus

organizations. The editor-in-chief is also the voice of the publication with the community.

Term of Office Term of office begins following the final publication of the Spring 2016 semester and runs through the Spring 2017 semester. Applicants must be able to serve the entire term of office in order to be considered for the position. A salary is paid during the term of office.

Petitioning Process Applications for the position will be due by noon, Wednesday, March 30 to the Director of Student Publications, Trinity Building, Room 107. People interested in petitioning should sign a candidacy list in Trinity, Room 107 and acquire an information package. Qualified applicants will be notified and interviews will be scheduled beginning April 4. Selection of the editor-in-chief will be made shortly after interviews have been completed. Formal assumption of duties will begin one week after the final newspaper of the Spring Semester is published.

Petitioning Deadlines Applications for the position will be due by noon, Wednesday March 30 to the Director of Student Publications, Trinity Building, Room 107. People interested in petitioning should sign a candidacy list in Trinity, Room 107 and acquire an information package. Qualified applicants will be notified and interviews will be scheduled beginning April 4. Selection of the editor-in-chief will be made shortly after interviews have been completed for the position. Formal assumption of duties will begin one week after the final newspaper of the Spring Semester is published. PACKETS AVAILABLE: March 2, noon; Trinity, Room 107 INTERVIEWS Will be scheduled beginning April 4

4 | Monday, March 7, 2016

The University Star


Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams @universitystar


Bulldoze the trees. Oxygen is overrated.


The parking situation at Texas State is in dire need of assistance. The only plausible solution is to begin removing trees to provide parking spaces for the growing number of Bobcats. The university is expand-

ing at exponential rates and the inclusion of new residence halls means more parking spaces will be needed to accommodate the students. With the addition of the Moore Street residence hall, only 22 new parking spots will be avail-

able for those residents. The miniscule number of parking spots available will make it that much more difficult to find parking. Parking Services, the bastion of all that is parking—obviously—is the sole bearer of a whopping

$7 million-a-year debt. The massive amount of debt, accumulated by the construction of several parking garages, naturally allows parking services to charge students for parking permits that they are not guaranteed to receive. It makes absolute sense that students pay a fee in the triple digits only to find that four parking permits are sold for every parking space. Absolute sense. Obviously, Texas State is in need of a creative solution to the parking fiasco. What administration, Student Government and parking services fails to realize, is that the answer has been before their very eyes since the dawn of the university—sucking up all the precious carbon dioxide and blocking views to boot. Now is the time to bulldoze every tree on campus to provide students with a parking space. Never again will students be plagued with the trial of searching for a nonexistent parking space—a total absence of all trees will surely remedy this inconvenience.

There are a variety of reasons to replace the trees with parking spaces. First and foremost, trees are a fire hazard. Students should not have to fear for their safety. The ecosystem is completely overrated and it is about time Texas State replaces all this useless nature with something students can use. Trees cannot get you to class when you are running fifteen minutes late. A patch of grass will not house a building of students, TAs and professors comfortably. A concrete jungle will eradicate any desire for an actual jungle. Lions and tigers and bears are gross. The environmental fee at Texas State is only $1 compared to the $20 per credit hour students pay for athletics. According to Texas State, environmental concerns are not of concern and athletics is much more important than taking care of the planet. And finally, as stated by Ted Cruz and countless other credible politicians, global warming is not real. Global warming is a myth

made up by politically motivated scientists who have no better use of their time. The trees are in the way of Bobcats and their parking and must be handled accordingly. For those who will miss the trees for whatever reason, it must be kept in mind that a river runs through the Texas State campus. The river supplies enough nature, beauty and “environment” to keep the wackiest of environmentalists happy. The trees supply extra fodder to the vast amount of nature Texas State already has. If the river does not keep ungrateful students happy, the additional parking spaces can have trees painted on them. The plethora of art students will create trees much better than actual giant sticks and provide Bobcats with the beauty they crave. In short, parking services is not thinking outside of the box—if they are thinking at all—for a solution to the parking paradox that burdens Texas State.

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.


Cultural Divide: American military forced to enable child predators By Jessica King OPINIONS COLUMNIST @JessCheyKing

In Afghanistan, it is considered a sign of prominence to have a “bacha bazi,” which is a little boy sex slave. The “beardless boys” generally have an age range of 12 to 15 years, which is basically around the time puberty starts. The boys are often from some small villages and are kidnapped primarily by warlords and police, but anyone can obtain one should they choose. Although most cases are nonconsensual, some men actually do court these pre-adolescent boys.

The men attempt to entice them with gifts such as money and sweets for a few months until the boy ends up willingly agreeing to a sexual relationship. This horrific practice has been around for centuries and likely has a lot to do with the fact that women are absolutely unattainable. Men rarely see anything other than ankles and eyes on any woman outside of family. So when pent-up sexual frustration arises, pre-adolescent boys and occasional girls tend to be the answer. One might never know whether it is based on homosexuality or because girls are subjected rather frequently to honor

killings for even a kiss. However, an even bigger problem has risen between Afghani police and the United States soldiers who have been stationed there for the last several years. Afghani police and militia are bringing these bacha bazis into the camps with the soldiers. Due to the close proximity between both groups, the soldiers often hear the cries of these innocent boys. How can this get any worse? Per strict military orders, the soldiers are not allowed to interfere with these pedophilic practices. Many soldiers are have had military careers ruined or received severe punishment for intervening on

behalf of these children. According to reports from soldiers, they are in living hell. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” said one serviceman to his father during was the last call the Marine made to his father before he was killed days later. Many intervene anyway. Dan Quinn, former Special Forces captain, was relieved of service after assaulting an Afghani militia commander who had a little boy chained to his bed. According to Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesperson for the U.S. military, “Allegations of child sexual abuse

by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” Right, so let the authorities known to indulge in bacha bazi practices themselves handle issues regarding child sex slaves. Good job, U.S. military. For those wondering how this could go on, the answer is quite simple—the military is choosing not to get involved in order to maintain good relations with Afghani servicemen. It is considered to be a part of their culture. So basically, soldiers who went to fight a war based on immoral practices by the Taliban are now being forced to quell and go

against their own morals. Here’s the kicker—the Taliban are actually fighting bacha bazi practices. If a man is found to be practicing homosexuality with a pre-adolescent boy, he is tied down while they use a tank to knock over a wall on him. It is difficult to justify the United States military’s position on this subject. American troops should not be forced to defend these monsters. We cannot be the great country that prides itself on doing what is just, while simultaneously enabling immoral practices.

forests, we are still involuntarily removing wild trees. We do not use hemp to make all of our paper because of our nation’s long and complicated laws regarding marijuana. Most people, including lawmakers, do not see a difference between hemp and what Colorado recently legalized. However, there is a big difference between the two. Hemp is a different breed of the cannabis sativa plant. It has a very low amount of THC, which is the chemical that makes

marijuana illegal. This would be akin to including chihuahuas with pit bulls on a list of dangerous breeds because both are dogs. We are cutting down large amounts of forest and there is not an end in sight. We are expected to need more paper, and no amount of digitalizing will be able to counteract this trend. This why Americans must turn to hemp for all of our paper needs.

—Jessica King is a psychology senior


Put this idea in a pipe and smoke it By Jeffrey Bradshaw OPINIONS COLUMNIST @jeffbrad12

From rolling papers to notebooks, America needs to transition to hemp. This country has a complicated relationship with the plant we call marijuana. No matter people’s opinions on whether or not the recreational use of this plant should be legal, everyone should be united on the use of hemp. Hemp can be used for many products like cloth and paper. In fact, the Dec-

laration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper, so let’s take heed from the founding fathers and use hemp for all of America’s paper needs. We are all taught in elementary school that trees are used to make paper and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. These two facts combined make for a detrimental situation. On one hand we need paper—we might be moving to a digital world but paper is not going anywhere. On the other hand we are producing so much carbon

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, Sports Editor..............................................Paul Livengood, Lifestyle Editor......................................Carlie Porterfield, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor..............................Daryl Ontiveros, Copy Desk Chief.................................Abigail Marshall,

dioxide that it is warming our planet. In short, we need more trees. The problem is trees take a long time to grow to a reasonable size—hemp does not take that long. Hemp plants only take a couple of months to mature compared to the several decades trees take. This would mean a continuous, very renewable supply of material needed to make paper. Hemp also has more cellulose fiber in it compared to trees. This fiber is the stuff needed to make pa-

per. Trees generally consist of 30 percent usable fiber. The other 70 percent has to be removed using chemicals, which are dangerous to the environment. Hemp has about 80 percent cellulose fiber, which means fewer chemicals. Hemp is also brighter than tree pulp, meaning far less chlorine bleach is needed. Using trees for paper would not be as bad if we were farming them, but we are not. Most logging is done in wild areas, and even though we are moving away from clear-cutting

—Jeffrey Bradshaw is a political science junior

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Monday, March 7, 2016. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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The University Star

Monday, March 7, 2016 | 5


Carlie Porterfield, Lifestyle Editor @reporterfield @universitystar


Bobcats take on SXSW By Denise Cervantes ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @cervantesdenise

A few lucky Bobcats will indulge in the perks of Austin’s music, film and interactive festival South by Southwest. SXSW will be taking place Mar. 11-20 in the Austin Convention Center and will include two different types of volunteer programs. All Conference Volunteers are allowed to be in two crews maximum at any time, and Music Festival Volunteers are to work in one crew during the evenings of the music festival. Ivy Romines, English sophomore, will be returning to SXSW for her second year as a staff member. “I work in the technical support department,” Romines said. “My job is to go around to different venues and make sure volunteers who are scanning people into events with these Android tablets are

doing okay and that everything is working.” According to the SXSW website, volunteers are rewarded with “perks” depending on the number of hours they they put in during their time at the festival. “As a staff member, I get a platinum pass, which lets me into any of the events, and I get it for free,” Romines said. “It’s really cool.” Taylor Briley, history junior, said this is her first time volunteering for SXSW, but has been looking to volunteer for over two years. “I never had the opportunity,” Briley said. “I had walked around the festival before, and my friends are doing it this year, so it just worked out.” Briley said she is excited and nervous to be taking on the volunteer experience. She will be volunteering in the film portion of the festival. “I think I’m more excited (than nervous),” Briley

said. “My shifts are the same time as my friends’, so I’m pretty excited. I’ve never been before, so I’m a little nervous. There’s some shifts that don’t end till midnight, so that’ll be quite the experience.” All those looking to volunteer can register through the SXSW website. The age requirement is 18 years or older, except for music volunteers, who must be 21 or older. “It was really easy,” Briley said. “I just had to apply online. And then within two or three days, I got a response saying I got accepted to volunteer. Then you go to a meeting and choose what area you want to volunteer in.” Alexandra Richards, English junior, is returning for her second year as a volunteer and said she learned social skills through the volunteer experience. “There’s a lot of people who are excited and you have to be nice and interested in what they’re saying, but get them through

really fast,” Richards said. “It’s kind of a version of multitasking and a balance you have to figure out.” Richards said being able to discover new music during her time at SXSW was one of the greatest experiences. “My favorite part was just being able to listen to bands I never heard before,” Richards said. “I wouldn’t know who they were and got to discover a lot more of the Austin and Wimberley music scene. There’s a lot of people playing, but sometimes you just hear something that catches your attention.” Romines said she would recommend anyone to take the opportunity to volunteer or become a SXSW staff member. “I learned a lot through my training,” Romines said. “Networking a lot. I also learned the city well. I would recommend volunteering, or if you can find an opportunity in tech or staff position, I would totally do it.”

SAM KING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER All SXSW information can be found online. THURSDAY














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Buying a badge vs. RSVPing By Sam King LIFESTYLE REPORTER @SKingAustin

The key to a successful South by Southwest experience is planning in advance. As a broke college kid, it’s important to note that badges typically go on sale in September for an average of $200 less than what the “walk-up” price is. It is also equally important to know exactly what kind of SXSW experience is desired. The Platinum Badge is for just about everything: music, film and interactive, but buying one now would cost $1,745. Film badges are $695, Music badges are $895 and Interactive badges cost $1295. Andrew Turner, history junior, is from Austin and has attended SXSW for seven years now. “A lot of places have free shows. You just have to go online and RSVP for them ahead of time and they’ll let you in for free,” said Turner. “I’ve never bought a badge for SXSW.” If this is something that sounds interesting, then planning ahead is paramount to success. RSVPs mean free, but it does come at a cost: standing in line with unguaranteed admission. The best way to ensure a good chance of seeing something is to RSVP as far in advance as possible and arriving early to make sure both the RSVP list and the venue don’t fill up. RSVPs are generally in conjuncture with music events, but Everett Webre, international studies senior, has found a way to get into more Interactive events for free. “I got the free guest pass, then just looked on the calendar to find whatever events were free that day and planned a schedule accordingly,” Webre said. “I like the guest pass because I also like doing music and the interactive events, and the guest pass gets you into more Interactive. They’ll get you into more free stuff with the guest pass than RSVP-ing alone.” The SXSW guest pass website is the place to easily sign up. It asks for your name, email and address. This can be linked to the “SXSW Go” app. This is an app that will make anyone’s SXSW week better. It provides a comprehensive list of every event, syncs with maps, allows social interaction with others using the app and can be

integrated with the phone calendar to give reminders. I also like it because it tells the user what credentials they need to get into an event. This means no waiting in line for an hour to find out that the venue is “at capacity” or is no longer taking RSVPs, which does happen. Another great option is volunteering, which must also be planned out in advance. Cameron Gaines, computer information systems senior, found a way to get into two types of SXSW events for free. “If you’re going to volunteer, I recommend Film because all you have to do is just take tickets, watch movies before they come out and get to sometime escort famous people. Then, you request the music badge and get a two-for-one,” Gaines said. Gaines, who also grew up in Austin and has attended SXSW multiple times for free, has a few tips for potential RSVPers. “I like to just RSVP for anything that interests me, even if I don’t think I’ll make it,” Gaines said. This way, it allows for time flexibility whether he wants to check out the show or not. He also uses Do512, a subscription based website that will email a list of shows daily providing links to RSVP. There are two big setbacks to RSVPing over purchasing badges at SXSW, the first being waiting in line. This is a big factor for people who don’t have a place to stay in Austin or nearby. The second factor to consider when deciding between a badge and RSVPing is free events usually don’t have big headliners, which isn’t always so bad. Webre said he once didn’t get into a headliner due to being on an RSVP list that filled up. “I’ve had plenty of fun with a group of 200 people standing on top of a parking garage to see Metallica because they wouldn’t let more people in,” Webre said. If big headliners and saving time makes a great SXSW experience, then buying a badge is the way to go. But if saving money, having loose adjustable plans and seeing possibly the next big thing makes SXSW what it is, then try RSVPing this year!

6 | Monday, March 7, 2016

The University Star


Carlie Porterfield, Lifestyle Editor @reporterfield @universitystar


San Marcos becoming safer due to hands-free ordinance, officials say By Louis Zylka LIFESTYLE REPORTER @OrinZylka

San Marcos City Council has issued the hands-free ordinance as an official law, which prohibits the use of cell phones and other handheld devices while driving a vehicle. Kristi Wyatt, director of communications and intergovernmental relations, said the city council agreed on passing the ordinance in late 2015. The law will issue a fine to any vehicle owner seen holding a cellular device in their hands while their vehicle is in motion. For the last couple of weeks, a grace period was in motion from Feb. 1 up until Feb. 29 in which violators would get a warning for breaking the law. Once it goes into full effect on March 1, police officers will begin to conduct citations on those breaking the law. Wyatt said this grace period was created to allow residents to get accustomed to the law before getting a ticket. The law states drivers seen using or holding a device will be pulled over if their vehicle is still moving. Violators are required to pay fee of $100 for a first offense, up to $250 for a second offense and up to $500 for a third and further offenses. “We wanted to give people enough time to know that

it was a law and what it entailed,” Wyatt said. The city had been putting up promotional signs and social media posts to remind people to put away their personal items or end their phone calls while driving, she said. If important phone calls or other transitions need to be handled while on the road, there are other ways of using a phone in a vehicle without one’s hands. Leslie Arellano, communication design junior, uses Bluetooth, allowing the device to notify her of any incoming phone calls and text messages. “That definitely helps because then I don’t have to reach out with my arms across the car to find my phone, which is potentially dangerous because I could crash into someone,” Arellano said. Arellano said even though it has the option to read out the text messages through the speakers, her car doesn’t give the option of responding. Her Toyota Prius C is a car made to promote safety by limiting your multitasking options while driving. But people who don’t have a Bluetooth option will be unable to reply hands-free. Wyatt said one of the reasons the city’s executives decided to pass the law was because all of San Marcos’ neighboring cities outside

ALYSSA DUGAN-RODRIQUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Elvalisa Martinez, undeclared freshman, is texting while behind the wheel of a vehicle which is a violation of the city’s hands free ordiance.

of Austin and San Antonio have it. “We were kind of the only city on I35 in between the two major cities that didn’t have it,” Wyatt said. “The hope initially was that there would be some kind of statewide uniform stating the law.” Wyatt said city council wanted to pass the law to

protect the community and promote safe driving around the state. Arellano said it is common to get distracted on the road, especially with so many car accidents being reported. “Technology is so distracting nowadays that people can’t help themselves and just be on their phones at all

times,” Arellano said. “It is uncommon for them to just let go (of their phones) and not look away for a second.” Sue Taylor, campus police officer, said statistics report more people are in car accidents because of texting while on the road than drinking and driving. “While you are texting,

you are taking your eyes off the road and you don’t really realize how long your eyes are away from where your focus should be,” Taylor said. Wyatt said those interested in learning more about this safety law can read more about the details at

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The University Star

Monday, March 7, 2016 | 7


Carlie Porterfield, Lifestyle Editor @reporterfield @universitystar


The 7 things you forgot since taking a campus tour By Taeler Kallmerten SPECIAL TO STAR @Taekall1

Last week, I went on a campus tour and was informed of things I didn't know existed at Texas State. It struck me that if I didn't know these things, other students probably didn’t either. Here is a list of things you have probably forgotten since your campus tour.

Boko’s Living Room Located on the first floor of LBJ, Boko’s Living Room provides students with nap necessities. Just bring your ID to use pillows, blankets and massage chairs. Another feature is the CyberCafe, which provides 20 computers and free printing.

Chloe Cripps, exploratory professional freshman, found out about Boko’s Living Room her second semester, but didn’t know pillows were provided.

Attorney for Students Have you ever been stuck in a lease or paid $500 for having an illegal pet? Alyssa Whiteside, management sophomore and tour guide, filled me in on how Attorney for Students can help. “The student lawyer is frequently used for apartment leases,” Whiteside said. “If you ever have anything questionable, they can give you advice for contract law.” If you need legal advice, use the free resources Texas State provides and make an appointment online.

Go Green Initiative If you have ever worked out at the Student Recreation Center, you may have noticed the green stickers on the elliptical machines. “I saw the ‘go green’ on the elliptical, but I never knew what it powered,” Cripps said. The stickers are a part of San Marcos’ Go Green initiative, said Averi Derrick, exercise and sports science senior and recreation center employee. “The power from the cardio section of the gym helps generate the lights in the Rec,” Derrick said. “While you are working out on the treadmills and elliptical, you are actually helping to power the gym.”

Free Coffee If caffeine practically flows through your veins, check out the Honors College located in the Lampasas building next to Old Main. Inside, there is a student lounge, recycling center and, yes people—free coffee. Although I came for the coffee, I stayed for the atmosphere. The remote location and peaceful atmosphere makes it one of the best studying spots on campus.

Round Rock Campus Nursing majors know they will inevitably end up at the Round Rock Campus. Texas State may be pushing for the complete transfer of all health professions majors to the Round Rock Campus. “The goal is to transfer all classes over there because of

St. David’s medical branch,” Whiteside said. “This goal is in the distant future and plans have not been set in stone.”

Trading Room The McCoy College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is given to fewer than 5 percent of business schools in the world. On the third floor of McCoy, students enrolled in the Student Managed Investment Fund course get hands-on experience with trading and stocks. These students manage over $300,000 from the McCoy College Development Foundation’s endowment fund. The money students make from trading goes into a scholarship fund.

Free Tuition: Fact or Fiction? Perhaps you have heard the rumor that you’ll receive free tuition if your roommate dies or if a campus bus hits you. This rumor is thought to be true by many Texas State students, and I am here to tell you, I do not know if this is fact or fiction. “I cannot 100 percent confirm that, because we don’t learn that in our training information,” Whiteside said. This made me curious, so I called around and talked to three Student Business Services employees responsible for handling Texas State’s tuition services. Not only were the employees shocked to find out about the free tuition rumor, but they also could not confirm or deny it.

“The student lawyer is fre-

quently used for apartment leases,” Whiteside said. “If you ever have anything questionable, they can give you advice for contract law.” —ALYSSA WHITESIDE, MANAGEMENT SOPHOMORE

SOPHIA DE LA ROSA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Elizabeth Millner, mass communication senior, guides prospective students and their families on a tour around campus Feb. 23.

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