NOVEMBER 11, 2014 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 38 www.UniversityStar.com
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Recent rainfall brings little drought relief By Mariah Simank SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Dunkin’ Donuts will open in Jones Dining Hall fall 2016.
Last week’s rain brought much-needed moisture to San Marcos, but it was not enough to deliver long-term drought relief to the city. The steady rainfall reached almost 3 inches in 48 hours, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority. Dianne Wassenich, Program Director for the San Marcos River Foundation, said the aquifer temporarily rose eight feet after the rains but is currently below storm levels. The San Marcos River also experienced a minor flow increase. “We had a very slight rise in the flow of the river, just a few cubic feet per second,” Wassenich said. “We really need heavy rains right north of San Marcos in the Blanco River and Sink Creek watersheds to get more flow in the river since a major part of our recharge zone is right around there.” Thomas Hardy, Chief Science Officer for the Meadows Center, said more than double the amount of rain San Marcos received last week would be needed to positively impact the aquifer. “We need something like seven inches of rain over a relatively short period to make a dent in the aquifer recharge and, therefore, the spring flows,” Hardy said. “We are at the mercy of the weather at this point, and it may be months or even years before we see relief.” Officials do not yet know how the rainfall will affect current drought restrictions. “The drought restrictions are based on a 10-day average, so I'm not sure this rain will be enough to take the aquifer out of Stage 4 (drought conditions),” Wassenich said. “It might, but we'll just be in Stage 3 then, which has the same watering rules here in San Marcos.” The rains may have given some citizens a sense of relief, but much more will be required to bring the aquifer back to the level it reached last spring, Wassenich said. “What we really need is for the aquifer to rise above what it was last spring by January or February 2015 so the river will not be drawn down so very low next summer,” Wassenich said. “We are far from out of the woods and frankly are quite worried about whether the Comal Springs will dry up next year, and our river might not be far behind the Comal.” Residents need to follow the watering rules very carefully until the flow in the aquifer rises, she said. “If people care about the river, they should conserve water more than they ever have,” Wassenich said. “Don't let a small rain give you a false sense of security about (the) river's flow.”
TEXAS STATE TO RUN ON DUNKIN’ By Sierra Holmes NEWS REPORTER pening fall 2016, students will be able to use their meal plans on more than traditional food with the addition of Dunkin’ Donuts in Jones Dining Hall. “Meal trades are going to be implemented throughout the plan for students,” said John Root, director of Auxiliary Services. “There is going to be an abundance of breakfast options.” A definite price has yet to be
determined, but students will see an increase in the cost of meal plan packages, he said. “Dining hall plans will increase two to four percent, as it does every year.” Root said. “There has to be a compensation for the renovation of Jones.” The dining hall renovation is long overdue, Root said. “This is a great concept for students, and it is more than just donuts,” Root said. “We are expecting for this new addition to bring an increase and an optimistic outlook for our students.” The Dunkin’ Donuts inside Jones will be the first of its kind
in San Marcos, Root said. The donut chain has expanded with universities across the nation, said Michelle King, director of public relations for Dunkin’ Brands. “Universities turn to Dunkin’ Donuts to provide a valuable amenity for the entire school and community,” King said. “It is an important incentive to attract students.” Students will have easy access to the updated dining hall through the bus stop, and the demand for donuts will be high, Root said. “You have a variety of coffee
drinkers and breakfast eaters,” Root said. “There are people who enjoy Dunkin’ Donuts and those that enjoy Starbucks.” San Marcos residents will not be turned away when trying to enjoy donuts. The public will have access to the breakfast shop. “We are not restricting (the) public from Dunkin’ Donuts, but it is not designated for the public since it is of the university,” Root said. Students are the foundation of the renovation, and university officials are bringing what they want, Root said.
Texas State ranked 14th most veteran-friendly By Sierra Holmes NEWS REPORTER Texas State was recently ranked the 14th most veteran-friendly program on a list of 86 universities across the nation. The university’s programs provide for veterans while maintaining a 55 percent graduation rate, giving Texas State a place of prominence in a list from the Military Times. The University’s Veterans Advisory Council, Veteran Affairs and the Veteran’s Alliance at Texas State (VATS) are among the programs offered. The programs have created a multifaceted collaboration for current and future veterans.
“Veteran Affairs, a chartered student organization, deals with the benefits that the veterans are guaranteed and provides advice and support for services and programs designed to facilitate the smooth transition of military veteran students to college and also to promote veteran student success,” said assistant registrar Melissa Hyatt. The school’s ranking is the result of a group effort amongst all the veterans programs, she said. VATS keeps people in line and helps them feel included, said veteran Caleb Henderson, VATS marketing chair. Henderson attributes assistance from faculty and professors to the
group’s growth. “The support that Texas State gives to the veterans places our university above the others,” said Antonio Mitchell of the United States Marine Corps. “It is very important that the school itself can come in and support (veterans). Other universities cannot actually say that.” The programs at the university help veterans relax and focus on school, Henderson said. VATS promotes comfort within the alliance. Resources across campus such as Career Services, SLAC and US Seminar courses focus on veterans by implementing protocols for their adjustment. “Professional development
training is a curriculum to help the student veterans understand the transition from combat to classroom,” Hyatt said. Students are becoming more aware of the veteran-friendly programs due to their presence on campus, Hyatt said. Veterans’ brunches and seminars have been implemented to reduce the rate of suicide, Mitchell said. Auditors from the state want to use the university as a benchmark on how to work with veterans, which Hyatt calls a “big deal.” “Improvement should start with informing and better educating faculty and students so that they can know what veter-
The support that Texas State gives to the veterans places our university above the others. It is very important that the school itself can come in and support veterans.” —Antonio Mitchell, United States Marine Corps.
Officials encourage citizens to report water theft in wake of contamination threat By Jon Wilcox NEW REPORTER The City of San Marcos WaterWastewater Utility Department is seeking cooperation from the community to catch citizens stealing water from fire hydrants. The city regularly sells water from fire hydrants to construction contractors and other customers by applying meters at purchasers’ requests, said San Marcos spokesman Trey Hatt. Residents’ reports of illegal water usage have prompted city officials to encourage citizens to notify authorities of suspicious activity. Such activity includes taking water from hydrants without a meter. Nick Menchaca, San Marcos resident, witnessed suspicious activity on the morning of Nov. 8 outside of his house adjacent to Rio Vista Park. “At maybe like 10 or something in the morning, I came outside and saw somebody taking water from a hydrant with a truck with a big, black tank on it,” Menchaca said. “They had a fire hose connected to it, and they were filling up the truck.
The whole street was soaking wet, and there was a big puddle.” Menchaca said he did not see a meter connected when the truck took water from the hydrant. Jon Clack, assistant director of Public Services, said the city rents meters for customers to legally draw water from hydrants. Taking water from a hydrant without a meter constitutes theft, Clack said. “We rent what we call a fire hydrant meter, and it’s a meter that we go and place on a particular fire hydrant,” Clack said. “Usually we rent these out to contractors. We rent the device, the meter, and the water is paid for based on the meter readings.” Hatt said people sometimes draw water illegally from hydrants. “Periodically, we’ll have residents call and report suspicious activity,” Hatt said. “They’ll see commercial vehicles or commercial equipment hooked directly into a fire hydrant drawing water and rightly suppose that’s not the correct procedure to be followed and call in a report to
See WATER THEFT, Page 2
Officials say water is being stolen from city fire hydrants.
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
2 | The University Star | News | Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Bat population helps ecosystem but presents health, safety hazard By Naomi Lovato SPECIAL TO THE STAR Hays County has the third-largest bat population in Texas, and evidence of this can be found in the Alkek parking garage at Texas State. Mexican free-tailed bats inhabit the Alkek parking garage along with barn swallows, said Elsie Romano, environmental health and safety specialist. Bats can also be found in Bobcat Stadium and Jowers Center, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. The Alkek garage has cave-like characteristics, making it a popular area for bats, Nance said. The bat population on campus is in the thousands, but is hard to count because many can squeeze into small spaces, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities. “As far as I know, they’ve been there for a while,” Guerra said. “I’ve been here for five years, and we’ve had the bat population over at the garage for quite some time.” Officials at facilities have worked with Parking Services to fill in all the holes and crevices in the garage to deter bats from squeezing into concrete cracks, he said. “Bats will find a place to live,” Nance said. “Bats are here, and we can’t get rid of them. Whenever we get them out of one place, they’ll get
into another, so it’s just us relocating them.” Nests are cleared out of the garage and cracks are sealed after the birds and bats leave in hopes of discouraging the animals from coming back, he said. “If there’s anything in the nests, we are not allowed to touch it all,” Nance said. “Once (the bird eggs are all) hatched, you can go in there and do what you need to do as far as maintenance.” About once a week, the garage is power washed for health and safety reasons, Romano said. Not everyone who parks in the garage is accepting of the bats due to the smell and the slipping hazard caused by the buildup of guano, or bat poop, Nance said. “It does create a nuisance with their guano, but they do help the ecosystem,” Romano said. Farmers sometimes use bat houses. Bats help to eliminate moths and other insects that are harmful to crops, she said. They help to cut down on the mosquito population. “We’ve got international students here that have never seen a bat,” Romano said. “I see this as an opportunity to educate people that bats are good and we need them.” Sometimes dead bats are found on the ground. These bats are sent in for testing to determine the cause of death, Nance said. Signs have to be
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
A sign in the Alkek parking garage warns people of bats.
posted for two weeks near where a bat with rabies was found to inform
the public of potential danger. “With everything there’s a risk,”
Texas State to implement Cats’ Caravan for university promotion By Naomi Lovato SPECIAL TO THE STAR Texas State will roll out a new initiative for road promotions at the end of April with a tour of major Texas cities called Cats’ Caravan. Cats’ Caravan is a universitywide marketing and recruitment activity planned for the spring, said Barbara Breier, vice president of University Advancement. In each city, the “caravan” will highlight the accomplishments and achievements of Texas State, she said. The “caravan” is a collaboration between Texas State Athletics and University Advancement with part-
ners from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Career Services, the Office of University Marketing and the Division of Student Affairs. The initiative will present a coordinated message about the university. The promotional tour will stop in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. If budget and time permits, other cities, like Midland, Odessa and the Rio Grande Valley area, could possibly be added to the tour, Breier said. “I think there’s a lot of things we’re trying to accomplish,” said Travis Comer, associate athletic director. “We want to get people excited about Texas State University.” David Cavazos, English se-
nior, said he is from the Rio Grande Valley and is happy his hometown will be visited with a big, promotional entourage. “When I came to school, there was no advertisement for Texas State aside from the people that came to my high school and passed out pamphlets, so this will really open up the option for kids leaving high school in my home area,” Cavazos said. Breier said she wants to include alumni in the “caravan” as much as possible because not many have the opportunity to be continuously involved in Texas State after they graduate and move away. “I think it’s cool that they’re doing something like this, espe-
cially, since I’m so close to being an alumni,” Cavazos said. “It really makes me excited that I’ll have a fun thing to be a part of in the future.” The creators of Cats’ Caravan hope to build pride and passion in Texas State alumni, create a strong fan base, attract donors and promote the university, Comer said. “We hope to encourage more students to consider Texas State as their college of choice,” Breier said. Department officials usually conduct promotional efforts separately, Breier said. “It’s going to be the first time that we will do this around here, so (there are) still a lot of unknowns out there,” Comer said.
“We are truly grateful to be ranked, but our true goal and our benchmark for the veterans program is to be recognized by the Texas Veterans Commission and to rank as one of the best veteran-friendly schools
around,” Hyatt said. “You truly know where you stand in comparison to the other universities through their statistics.” Hyatt said the Veterans Advisory Council has come a long way since it was founded in
2008. He expects to see future improvement. “I know we will potentially be top five one day with our resources,” Mitchell said.
VETERANS, from front ans do,” Henderson said. “This can bring more veterans to the programs as well as the knowledge of the programs amongst the country.” Hyatt hopes to see a higher ranking in the future.
Romano said. “But like everything you manage it and control it.”
WATER THEFT, from front our Water-Wastewater Utility (Department).” Theft may pose a threat to the city’s drinking water, Hatt said. “If you do have somebody who is tapping unlawfully directly into a fire hydrant, it’s theft of water,” Hatt said. “They’re stealing water, and it’s obviously a bad thing to do. But the real thing we want to prevent is backflow contamination of our water supply.” Fire hydrant meters have backflow prevention devices installed to prevent contamination, Clack said. The equipment is called a “reduced pressure zone backflow device” and prevents foreign or contaminated water from entering the city’s system, he said. “If you’re filling up a tank truck, and for whatever reason the pressure on the water system side dropped, that backflow device keeps the water in the tank from being pulled into the city’s water system,” Clack said. Menchaca said he was concerned but did not know whom to contact to report the suspicious behavior. “I know we’re in a Stage 4 drought, so I didn’t know if I should call somebody or take pictures or something,” Menchaca said. Water theft is everyone’s concern, Hatt said. The public can call the Water-Wastewater Department or the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) to report alleged theft. “We’re absolutely in drought conditions,” Hatt said. “We’re in Stage 4 water conservation measures and have been for months. Those are the most stringent water conservation measures we have.” The city has notified SMPD, and officers are now monitoring areas for suspicious behavior and ensuring people are collecting water properly, Clack said. Hatt said city officials are doing all they can to ensure the cleanliness of the water. “We go to great lengths to ensure that we’re distributing clean, high-quality water to our customers,” Hatt said. “We don’t know about the water on the other side of the meter.”
Naturalists optimistic for future bird-watching stations in Hays County By Alexa Tavarez NEWS REPORTER Hays County Master Naturalists remain optimistic as they continue to identify new locations for future bird-watching stations in San Marcos and surrounding cities. The Birding Network Project began about a year ago in a countywide initiative to bring in ecotourism revenue. Naturalists planned to create up to 20 bird-watching stations in natural areas over two to three years. Thus far, four sites have been completed in Wimberley, Dripping Springs, the Spring Lake Natural Area and Jacob's Well, said Larry Calvert, chair of the committee for the Birding Network Project. Other sites in the county, including San Marcos, are partially developed. Calvert said. These sites need funding for further development. The naturalists have a location in mind for the next station but have not approached the city for approval and funding, Calvert said. Calvert and the naturalists anticipate support from city officials for the next birding station, he said. "The thing that's interesting about this project is you really need to be aware of the politics," Calvert said. "You want to make sure the city is aboard before you go and talk to the (site)." Historically, Hays County has been a primarily rural area, Calvert said. The project is part of the county's transition into being a more developed region. "Texas is a major flyway for migratory birds, and we're kind of dead center in it," Calvert said. "There's a lot of good bird habitat and feed-
ing along the Gulf Coast almost all year long." From the county's perspective, the birding project is important because it will bring in tourists and alleviate financial problems, Calvert said. "(Birding) is going to bring in a very clean tourism," said Lance Jones, avid birder. "The people that come in that are birding are very respectful of the community." Tourists attending birding festivals along the Gulf Coast can easily stop in San Marcos or other surrounding cities in Hays County, Jones said. No current data clearly shows the amount of public revenue received from birders traveling to San Marcos and surrounding cities, Calvert said. "It's going to take a while before (birding) is established to the point where we see change," Calvert said. "I think it’s going to be difficult to evaluate because change from this one project is going to be overwhelmed by the growth and activity in the area." Promoting birding is the next step in the project to bring people to Hays County and "provide direction" to both veterans and beginners, said Lynn Weber, head of the de-
sign and construction team for the Jacob’s Well site. "With enough promoting, I think it will bring people from all across the nation to Hays County," Weber said. The number of potential sites to be built in the future depends on the amount of funding and donations the Master Naturalists receive, Weber said. The cost per site varies and de-
pends on size, function and location, Calvert said. Some sites require construction and cost around $2,000 while others may just need a sheltered bench. Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife are currently working on a comprehensive map that will identify all the birding sites in the area, Calvert said. The map is expected to be published early next year. "The project has been successful,
but there's still a lot more work to do," Calvert said. "We're committed to it, and we've got a nice network started." For the next project, Calvert hopes to improve on overall management and how the sites are built. "We had some times when we had (volunteers) out there, but we had the wrong tools," Calvert said. "They're minor issues, but you can lose a whole work day.”
The University Star | Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | 3
Food bank campaign feeds families By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER The Hays County Food Bank is gearing up for its 8th annual Turkeys Tackling Hunger food drive. Last year, the community outreach effort fed more than 3,000 families with Thanksgiving meals. This year nearly 3,400 families have signed up to receive services. The mission of the turkey giveaway is to assist families in need and provide them with an authentic Thanksgiving experience. Anyone in need who resides in the county or within the boundaries of the Hays Consolidated Independent School District is able to receive a turkey box. A box consists of a frozen turkey, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, yams, stuffing mix, mashed potatoes, fruit cocktail and JellO. All of the frozen turkeys and trimmings are purchased from H-E-B, and the boxes will be assembled there as well. Several other businesses are partnering with the Food Bank to sponsor this demonstration of kindness. Night Hawk Frozen Foods, Broadway Bank and The Leaning Pear are just a few of the companies lending a helping hand. Rachel Buchanan, owner and
general manager of The Leaning Pear restaurant in Wimberley, jumped at the opportunity to assist the food bank. Buchanan explained the motivation behind the restaurant’s sponsorship of the turkey drive, saying, “We’ve been long-time supporters of the Hays County Food Bank. It’s a great thing they do for the community, so we happily joined them.” Buchanan even went a step further by requiring all employees at The Leaning Pear to wear
takes care of its own. “It’s really awesome to see how giving our community is,” Raschke said. “Everybody just comes and helps out. Everybody wants to volunteer. Everybody wants to give. It’s just wonderful to see how giving and loving our com-
munity is.” The food bank accepts monetary donations for the drive and physical participation to help feed the expected 12,000 or more participants. The turkey boxes will be distributed at the end of Novem-
ber. The fundraising campaign for Turkeys Tackling Hunger will continue until Dec. 31. Monetary donations received during the campaign help cover the costs of the turkey boxes and support the ongoing efforts of the food bank.
It’s really awesome to see how giving our community is. Everybody just comes and helps out. — Mallory Raschke,
Event and social media coordinator
Hays County Food Bank T-shirts for the month of November as a means of raising awareness. This initiative is one of the ways the community of Hays County is making sure no one is left hungry on Thanksgiving. Mallory Raschke, event and social media coordinator for the food bank, is aware of how the community of Hays County
JOHNEL ACOSTA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Hays County Food Bank prepares for Turkeys Tackling Hunger.
MANSKE ROLLS, HISTORY MAKE GIL’S LOCAL LEGEND By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER Just a block away from Texas State sits Gil’s Broiler, a favorite among Bobcats and residents, with enough history and traffic to be considered both a San Marcos hot spot and legend. Not only is Gil’s home to the famous Manske Roll, but it has a longstanding history of supporting the Texas State and the San Marcos community. Ruben Becerra, owner and operator of Gil’s Broiler, has been with the restaurant for over a decade and considers himself an expert on its rich history and future. In the 1940s, Roland and Ruth Manske used leftover dinner rolls to create the Manske Roll, a sweet sticky bun, in order to cut waste, Becerra said. The treat became very popular at Southwest Texas State Teachers College, with students running down to the restaurant to grab Manske Rolls between classes. Manske Rolls are still popular with students and others,
including famous patron and alumnus George Strait. But more than the history keeps Gil’s going. Becerra has made a point of keeping the quality of the food and atmosphere up to par with what patrons have come to expect. “No matter how nostalgic something is, if the food is terrible, people will drive by it—point to it, but will never become patrons,” he said. Members of the Gil’s team take pride in preparing their food to a higher standard. They make the bread daily and take special care with all of the ingredients that go into every meal. Gil’s has been striving to grow and evolve with the Texas State culture. The restaurant doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Gil’s has gone from being an establishment that did not play any music to a famous restaurant with an online presence. As for what’s next for Gil’s, Becerra said things are changing quickly. “Currently, we close at 10 p.m. seven days a week, but
as we start to make more dinner time promotions, like 50-cent wings and dollar pints, we’ll expand the hours to move onto midnight, and if the customers continue to come, we’ll take care of them.” The fact that Gil’s is still a successful restaurant has not made Becerra forget about the community and the customers who have made it one. “I’m very grateful,” he said. “I have seen through the construction zone where we were completely inaccessible at points in the process. There were concrete barriers blocking access to our restaurant, and I saw very old people climbing these concrete barriers to come eat at our place, and I find that to be very wonderful and very humbling.” Not only does Becerra remember the community that has made Gil’s a success, but he encourages Bobcats to stay within San Marcos after graduation. “I would say that this
town is a real treat, that I hope that they will find the thing that they like to do here, because we would benefit greatly from them sticking around,” Becerra
said. “We are surrounded by a real blessing of talent, and the coolest thing would be if you stay.” Gil’s Broiler is located at 328 N LBJ Drive. The
HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Miranda Rodriguez, photography junior and Jesus Fuentes, manufacturing engineer junior, eat a meal Nov. 7 at Gil’s Broiler.
restaurant is open MondaySunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can find more information, including the menu, online at www.manskeroll. com.
4 | The University Star | Tuesday, November 11, 2014
THE MAIN POINT
Midterm election voter turnout pathetic the voting process. According to a Nov. 5 University Star article, some students feel that the voting process is too time-consuming and difficult. Additionally, those who may be affiliated along different party lines than Texas’ traditional Republican leaning do not vote because they feel their voices will not be heard. The perception of congressional impotence may be justified in a broad sense, but on a closer scale there are changes made every day. Some politicians do want to make a difference and improve the lives of the people they represent. The idea of the government and everything it stands for can be overwhelming to think about as an individual. Looking at the grand scope of government influence can make people feel that their voice does not matter, but that is far from the truth. Every vote truly does make a difference. Someone who is not speaking cannot expect his or her voice to be heard. Whether Democrat, Republican, Liberal or otherwise,
the people elected to fight will listen if their constituents make an effort. Citizens should be engaged and informed and speak up when something happens that they don’t agree with it. Those upset with the results of the latest midterm election should keep in mind that change is a slow but steady process. Getting someone on the ticket is progress. Increasing voter registration and turnout in progress. Every little bit gets things a little bit closer to what voters are aiming for, regardless of what party affiliation that is. With all of the statistics that usually get thrown around about voting and elections, it is easy to forget the very human aspect of all of this. Encouraging friends and family to vote helps change the anti-voting culture that exists in America for many people. Voting may or may not make the changes people want on an individual level. However, one thing is for certain—not voting at all guarantees nothing will happen.
JORDAN GURLEY STAR ILLUSTRATOR
he results of the most recent midterm election show that America still has a long way to go towards increasing voter turnout and reducing voter apathy. Popular late-night host John Oliver spoke about the midterm election on the Nov. 2 episode of his show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. According to Oliver, this Congress is on its way to being the least productive in history. Oliver also said that campaign efforts for this election totaled roughly $4 billion. State legislative elections are very important. In terms of dayto-day operations, state officials affect their constituents more than the federal government does. These politicians are the direct representatives for the places they work, but despite all of these facts, students and citizens still do not vote. Voter apathy is a huge component of the less-than-stellar voter turnout for the latest election. College students have traditionally been disenfranchised with
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.
Education critical in ending sexual harrassment
OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior
exual harassment and sexual assault are two serious issues that are increasingly popular topics of debate. People need to understand that sexual harassment and sexual assault are not acceptable actions to take when communicating with a person. Recently, popular YouTube
vlogger Sam Pepper went around pinching women’s butts without their knowledge or permission as a prank. After this video sparked outrage, many women came forth with various sexual assault and sexual harassment claims against Pepper. Another more vague incident of sexual harassment was illustrated in a recent viral video of a woman walking around New York City for ten hours while recording reactions she received from men. While some of them were people being polite, most of it was catcalling with some of the men persistently following her to try to continue a conversation. While she did not seem to be in immediate danger, being followed by strangers is not something that should be happening to people.
The viral video sparked arguments and comments from both sides on whether the catcalling was simply boys complimenting a woman or legitimate sexual harassment. The world is a scary enough place without having to worry that someone will be made to feel threatened while simply getting a cup of coffee. People need to be educated in order to clarify an issue that has been clouded by extremists that want an end to anything they deem “inappropriate.” Most people attribute sexual harassment to the extremities of the spectrum. This extremity would be considered sexual assault where physical contact is made, whether it is along the lines of a butt grab in public or rape. This is an issue that needs
to see an end in the near future. No one under any circumstances, male or female, should be touched inappropriately against their will. It is a disgusting and inhumane act that shows how low some people can be. The textbook definition of sexual harassment would include catcalling. From here, most people confuse catcalling with complimenting. Complimenting and catcalling are two different things. Complimenting someone is kindly and politely telling them that something about them is attractive. This could either refer to an actual physical attribute or an article of clothing that they have on. Meanwhile, catcalling is the rude and sometimes vulgar way of calling out something that
Veteran homelessness serious problem, must be combatted
Olivia Garcia OPINIONS COLUMNIST Public relations senior
omelessness is a serious problem in this county that should not be taken lightly, especially for those who have fought to defend this country. Veteran homelessness has been at an all-time high for the past couple of years. According to a Nov. 4 Los Angeles Times article, there are an estimated 4,600 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County alone. With all the change and progressive movements this country has continuously been striving toward, it is important for Americans to not forget why America continues to develop and remains a force in 2014. The men and women of the armed forces have always bravely fought every enemy America has faced. Their efforts secure our freedoms and progression. However, when they come home, the country fails them by not even providing these veterans with housing, shelter and worthwhile counseling. When soldiers are active in the military, they receive universal praise from Americans nationwide, but once they are out of the service, they are forgotten and reprimanded. This disparity illustrates a grotesque hypocrisy among the general public. The neglect faced by many veterans is not the only thing that causes hardships for these former soldiers. Going from constantly keeping a watchful eye
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in active military duty to simply being thrown back into civilian life would not be an easy transition for anyone. A majority of these homeless veterans are also dealing with mental illnesses—illnesses they have received from fighting the nations’ battles—the most common being post-traumatic stress disorder. Some veterans will never get over the realities of war and the images emblazoned in their minds. It is hard to even think about what these former soldiers have seen and experienced. The general populace has no clue. Allowing them to live on the streets without proper care shows a total disrespect for what these brave men and women have done. There are several nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping these veterans get back on their feet. The least society can do is donate to these nonprofits for these heroic men and women who are struggling to survive. If there is any demographic that deserves total support from its government and its people, it is the veterans. President Obama made a pledge with the Veterans Affair director to end veteran homelessness by 2015. With this pledge, veteran homelessness relief efforts across the country have helped decrease the number of homeless veterans. According to an Oct. 15 KVUE News article, from 2011 to 2014 the number of homeless veterans in Austin dropped by 66 percent due to Austin’s mayor also taking President Obama’s pledge. However, one homeless veteran is still one too many. On this Veterans Day, we cannot forget about these people and be quick to judge as to why they are homeless. It is not about that. It is about Americans who have had to deal with extraordinary circumstances, like war, who are now dealing with unfortunate circumstances. It is important to remember that Americans must fight for the people who once fought for us.
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is found attractive. Catcalling usually ends in the receiver of the compliment feeling uncomfortable. If someone feels uncomfortable after a comment is made towards them, they have the right to express their discomfort as long as it does not create a bigger situation. There is no need to yell at someone. Yelling creates a feeling of violence and unwanted attention that is reported in the news. Frankly, yelling solves nothing. Politely sharing the discomfort that is felt from a catcall will suffice. Sharing discomfort politely informs catcallers to rethink the comments being made and is a good way to diffuse the already tense situation and educate someone who clearly needs to be educated.
Objectivity more important than neutrality in journalism
Brandon Sams ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR Public relations sophomore
n the field of journalism, there exists a code of ethics all journalists, especially reporters, must go by. One of the most important is the state of being objective. However, journalists and news outlets must not equate objectivity with neutrality. They are not the same, and it is about time journalists stopped acting like they were. Journalistic objectivity does not equate to being neutral. Objectivity is defined as being honest and relaying the facts of any given situation. Meanwhile, simply being neutral is actively not taking a stance, regardless of the facts, for fear of being deemed partisan. For example, in a report about the shape of the Earth, an objective journalist would note that all science points to the fact that the Earth is, in fact, round. On the other hand, a “neutral” journalist would give equal time to the idea that the Earth is flat, ignoring the vast research that says
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otherwise, in fear of being perceived as taking a side. Neutrality in journalism leaves the general public in an oblivious state of confusion and miseducation. The reason journalism is considered the Fourth Estate is it should seek to inform the citizenry about factual, need-to-know information. Objective reporting effectively keeps politicians and people in positions of power honest and accountable. The shift from objectivity to neutrality can be attributed to clamoring conservative decrees of the “liberal media.” Many news outlets took these objections seriously and have decided to take a seemingly unbiased, neutral stance on various issues. Upon actually researching the facts, it is evident that conservative decrees of liberal bias in media are unfounded. According to an April 27, 2012 Washington Post article, the news media is non-partisan. Researcher David D’Alessio reviewed 99 studies on the news coverage of campaigns over the past six decades and came to the conclusion that bias in media is actually net-zero. In layman’s terms, it is nonexistent. Granted, there were instances of both liberal and conservative bias, but they were outweighed by the general unbiased reporting of most other outlets. However, if everyone is being honest, some
objective ideas are simply going to be partisan. That is just a fact. According to a survey by the Environment Research Letters, over 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is man-made. The Environment Research Letters journal came to this consensus after reviewing nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science studies. Unfortunately, climate change has increasingly become a contentious political debate in American politics. Therefore, many conservatives would deem reporting objectively on the issue partisan. This is a problem because the media seems to fear conservative outrage. Even though there is a consensus among climate scientists, news outlets like CNN still choose to remain neutral instead of objective. These outlets give equal time and seriousness to climate skeptics who are often people with no expertise in science, let alone climate science. With media outlets that are typically perceived as the watchdogs of society and the public trust, people need to re-examine the trust they actually put into these flawed institutions. The public cannot trust an entity that purposely chooses not to offer objective news in fear of seeming partisan. After all, as the old saying goes, reality has a liberal bias. Sometimes the media is just going to have to be partisan if they want to report the honest truth.
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The University Star | Tuesday, November 11, 2014 | 5
FOOTBALL Quick Five is a new University Star segment in which Sports Editor Quixem
Ramirez and Paul Livengood tackle five quick-hitting questions regarding the Texas State football team. making is the problem.
1. SHOULD THE BOBCATS HAVE GONE FOR THE TOUCHDOWN ON 4TH-AND-GOAL? 2. GEORGIA SOUTHERN RUSHED FOR A SEASON-LOW 227 YARDS. SHOULD THE BOBCATS HAVE WON THE GAME? 3. CAN WE TAKE AWAY ANY MORAL VICTORIES FROM THIS GAME? 4. DO YOU THINK THE BOBCATS CAN END ON A THREEGAME WIN STREAK AND GO 8-4 FOR THE SEASON? 5. AFTER A CLOSE LOSS TO GEORGIA SOUTHERN, IS A SEVEN-WIN BOBCAT TEAM GOOD ENOUGH FOR A BOWL GAME?
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By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @QUIXEM
1. Yes. Settling for 19-yard
field goals is not a winning strategy against any football team. At worst, the team doesn’t convert and Georgia Southern is backed up in its end zone. That’s a winning proposition, especially for a defense that wasn’t giving an inch. Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, simply misread the play with disastrous implications. The process is sound. The decision-
because limiting mistakes is part of the game. Both of Jones’ turnovers were preventable if he had stayed within himself instead of trying for the highlight play. The Eagles, as offensively inept as they were, made enough big plays to pull out the victory.
3. The defense showed up.
For much of the season, the defense has lagged behind the offense, which excelled in the up-tempo scheme. The roles were reversed against Georgia Southern. Instead of the offense propping up a leaky defense, the defense filled in the gaps while the offense struggled to find its groove.
The Bobcats have two road games against South Alabama and
The Bobcats were losing 21-10 late in the third quarter with the ball on the one-yard line against the Sun Belt leader. A touchdown makes it a one-possession game entering the fourth with all the momentum on one side. I think the mistake was calling a pass play. The Bobcats should bring in the big boys, strap up their chinstraps, grit their teeth and get that one yard. If they can’t get convert in that situ-
though it’ll take some luck. A win against Georgia Southern would’ve essentially solidified a bowl game. Alas, they’ll need some help. If Texas earns bowl eligibility, it takes away a potential bid from the Bobcats. Current projections place Texas State in a bowl game, but there are too many variables to sort out before we can accurately project anything.
ation, they don’t deserve to win the game.
off the upset.
Once again the Achilles’ heel for the Bobcats was turnovers. Georgia Southern did not turn over the ball, and the Bobcats turned over the ball twice in the second half. Limiting turnovers is essential. The overall turnover margin for Texas State in their four losses is minus-three and a plus-three in wins. The two turnovers committed by the Bobcats made the difference in the game.
way it did versus Georgia Southern, then yes. The defense played exceptionally better than it has in the past. Beating Arkansas State is the key to pulling off a three-game win streak. The Red Wolves are the toughest test for the remainder of the season.
By Paul Livengood SPORTS REPORTER @IAMLIVENGOOD
Georgia State. Winning on the road hasn’t been a problem this year. Playing Arkansas State on a short week? That’s a problem. It’s the recipe—home game on national television with the spotlight on the program— that is preventing Texas State from getting over the hump. The Bobcats haven’t shown enough in these matchups to expect a win.
not a fan of moral victories, and neither is Coach Dennis Franchione. Holding the FBS-leading team in rushing yards per game (386.5) to a seasonlow 227 yards is a big feat. The defense stepped up this game. Unfortunately the offensive firepower just came too late in the game to pull
4. If the defense plays the
5. I doubt it. It depends on
where seven wins land the Bobcats in the conference standings. An eight-win Western Kentucky team didn’t make a bowl game last year, so it seems the position in the conference was more important than an overall record. Who knows? Maybe eight wins won’t be enough because I think the Bobcats need to finish in the top two in the conference to make a bowl game. They need a lot of help for that to happen.
The Department of Housing and Residential Life will be sending a survey by email to randomly selected residence hall students. If you receive the survey invite, please share your thoughts regarding your on-campus living experience.
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