WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2014 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 39 www.UniversityStar.com
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RAVE emergency system to focus on text messages to alert students Students walk in The Quad Nov. 10 by the Stallions, an area on campus considered a free expression zone.
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
pression by Student Involvement that they have to fill out paperwork to be able to table in the free speech zone, which is not true,” Scott said. The UPPS code doesn’t state student organizations have to get permits through the Student Involvement office to table in the free expression zone.
The RAVE emergency notification system used by Texas State to send out alerts to the entire university is being revamped and marketed to increase participation. The emergency system, also called the TXState Alert System, uses short text messages, emails and banners on the website to alert the university to any dangerous situation, such as an active shooter. “Ever since we started with RAVE we have been doing marketing, but we need to do more intense marketing,” said Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs. Smith said one of the issues with the old setup was the requirement of having to supply cellphone numbers and carriers to join the alert system. “We don’t have (the carrier) stored
See QUAD, Page 2
See RAVE, Page 2
Treatment of some organizations in ‘free speech’ zone stirs controversy By Anna Herod NEWS REPORTER
ecent incidents in the campus free expression zone have left the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and the College Democrats calling Student Involvement’s enforcement and representation of the university policies and procedures into question.
The College Democrats were removed from The Quad the week of Oct. 20 for “impeding traffic” and being too loud, said group member Victoria Ogden. The Young Americans for Liberty have not been removed from The Quad. However, they have been asked for permits on many occasions, said Morgan Scott, campus
coordinator for the Texas State chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. Student Involvement has “misrepresented” university policy concerning rights and the free expression zone on campus on multiple occasions, Scott said. “The majority of registered student organizations on campus (have been) given the im-
By Nicholas Laughlin NEWS REPORTER
Game-day parking designations cause confusion, towing By Benjamin Enriquez NEWS REPORTER Unclear designation of the university’s parking area in the Springtown lot has caused attendees to be towed after parking in the wrong section. The shopping center lot, located at the intersection of Springtown Way and Thorpe Lane, is used for additional parking during home football games this season. The university only pays to use one-third of the space for game-day parking, said Steve Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services. Attendees pay to park in the university’s section but are towed if they leave their cars outside the designated area, he said. A record number of people attended the football game against Navy on Sept. 13, Prentice said. The
university ran out of spaces, and people were forced to park wherever they could. “We got a call from one of our staff that works out there that Twin Liquors and some of the other places—they were going out and towing people outside of where we park folks,” Prentice said. An announcement at the stadium ran three times before the game began warning attendees about towing if their cars were parked beyond the university’s section, Prentice said. Parking Services staff circled the lot telling people parking outside of the designated area they were going to be towed. “We went over and tried to get folks out of there before they did get towed,” Prentice said. Sarah Nonaka, physical therapy doctoral student, drove Jaxsen Day, computer information systems
sophomore, a disabled student, to the Navy game. Her car was towed because she parked in a spot outside of the university’s designated area. “We were verbally told by parking staff that were manning the normal lot, the actual stadium lot, that this spot was an overflow lot for the stadium,” said Day. Nonaka said she saw the cones and rope sectioning off the parking lot and thought she was in the right area. “All I saw was people crossing the street, so I was like, ‘OK, cool, obviously other people are parking and crossing the street, so I should be OK, especially since I’m in a handicap spot with a handicap placard,” Nonaka said. Nonaka explained no attendant was in the lot to give her a ticket stub to park or collect money from her. “I’m just like, ‘OK, there’s no one
Veterans honored in on-campus ceremony By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER More than a hundred students and San Marcos citizens huddled together yesterday morning in The Quad to pay their respects at this year’s Veterans Day ceremony. The event featured speeches from President Denise Trauth and keynote speaker Col. Ronald W. Burkett II, an award presentation,
performances by a brass band, a low-altitude flyover by a formation of airplanes and the firing of a ceremonial cannon. Burkett began his military career after graduating from Texas State in 1989. His career led him from the 82nd Airborne Division to the Army Aviation Branch. Burkett trained to become an Apache attack helicopter pilot and commander. Burkett served multiple combat tours in Iraq, Kuwait and
PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Cheyenne Stoker, president of Veterans Alliance, delivers a speech Nov. 11 to a crowd during the Veterans Day ceremony in The Quad.
Kosovo, Trauth said. Burkett recounted a conversation he had in 1996 at a beer garden in Linz, Austria with a man who witnessed the arrival of liberating American forces near the close of World War II. “I am pleased to share with you a very personal story that happened to me early in my career that has certainly inspired my service ever since,” Burkett said. “It provides a constant reminder of the privilege that I have to serve the country.” The Austrian man told a story of the first American soldiers who came to Linz and the sacrifices they made to help his family and community, Burkett said. “It seemed to me that each memory (the Austrian man) relayed brought back another painful memory that had been buried for quite some time,” Burkett said. “From time to time, he would pause to wipe his eyes or gather himself.” The Austrian explained how the Nazis drafted his father and the other men of Linz and sent women and children, including his own mother and siblings, to work in steel factories where they ultimately died, Burkett said.
See VETERANS, Page 2
here, maybe they stop ticketing after a certain time,’” Nonaka said. Nonaka felt the university could do more to clarify things for people parking in the Springtown lot. The area designated for university use was surrounded by four-foot-tall cones weighing about 50 pounds and connected by heavy rope with tiny flags, according to Prentice. “There’s handicapped parking inside our area, and there’s handicapped parking on the outside of it,” Prentice said. “We don’t promote that as an area for disabled persons parking, though.” Day said Parking Services should more clearly designate parking areas for game attendees. “Before they put (parking staff) out there on game day when it’s hectic, train them,” Day said. “Tell them where people can park if there’s no parking in the stadium, but exactly
where, not just like, ‘Over here in this big lot.’” No one was stationed at the side of the lot where Nonaka was towed. That side is opposite from the only entrance to the university’s area of the lot, said Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services. “The same guards are at that lot every game,” Nusbaum said. “We just had no idea we would’ve had the amount of people that showed up for the Navy game.” Nusbaum said owners of the other section of the lot are responsible for putting up more signage informing people they will be towed for parking in non-university spots. Nusbaum said Parking Services officials will put a sign in the lot on game day to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Students consider safety in both on- and off-campus housing By Frank Campos NEWS REPORTER Texas State students living onand off-campus agree safety should be a concern when choosing where they live during their time in college. Students living in residence halls said they still feel relatively safe a little over two weeks after terroristic threats were made in Tower Hall. Off-campus students feel safe despite the attempted robbery that occurred at the Vistas. Living off–campus has its advantages, said Lauren Reese, microbiology freshman. However, safety can still be a concern no matter where students decide to live, “I feel very safe living in Falls Hall,” Reese said. “I have heard of plenty of theft and crime happening off-campus, and I have not really seen anything happen in our dorm yet.” Reese feels safe enough to leave her dorm room unlocked at times but realizes anyone can
have access to the building if he or she seems like a student. “I have stayed in a different dorm with a friend and had easy access to her building,” Reese said. “They have a scan-in system at each door, but most people just let others in behind them, not thinking twice.” Reese feels students should practice smart safety measures and become more aware of who enters the building. Starting college in a dorm has made Reese feel safe and continues to be a better decision than living off-campus. For Christopher Savala, chemistry junior, moving off-campus was about more than getting the freedom to live with his cousin and being able to choose where he resides. “When I lived in the dorms I felt exposed,” Savala said. “Now that I am here, I realize what privacy is and how big a role it plays in my safety.” Living at the University
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2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, November 12, 2014
QUAD, from front However, Student Involvement officials leave students thinking if they don’t get permits they cannot table, Scott said. However, the organization’s intentions are not malicious, said Peter Pereira, assistant director of Student Involvement. “We don’t want to restrict anyone,” Pereira said. “We’re trying to make sure that students don’t feel like they can’t walk through The Quad because it’s too crowded, but at the same time we don’t want to stop anyone’s ability to have their campus expression.” Student Involvement officials monitor the permits for their own information purposes, he explained. Some students choose not to get permits. In these instances, Student Involvement documents the organizations’ presence and moves on. “It’s not our intent to harass anyone or to marginalize anyone,” Pereira said. “And part of it, honestly, is just fact gathering
because when we do review our policies and procedures, we are asked for that information to find out how many organizations are putting a reservation in and how many are out there.” Student Involvement’s desire for information is not an issue, Scott said. The way Student Involvement represents the policy is the problem. “I think it’s completely reasonable for Student Involvement to ask people to run it by them if they will be tabling so they know a number of who’s going to be out there and where they’ll be,” Scott said. “But it’s definitely not right for them to represent the policy as their permits are the only avenue that students have.” Student Involvement “wrongly portrays” the freedom of expression zone, Scott said. Maps on the organization’s website inaccurately inform students the zone is restricted to the area near the fighting stallions.
SAFETY, from front Heights Apartments near Aquarena Springs Drive has made Savala feel safer than he did in a dorm. Having a courtesy patrol officer on site and being able to use a deadbolt to lock his door at night has made a big difference, Savala said. “I never had anything happen to me in the dorms, but the possibility seemed much more probable than off-campus,” Savala said. “Having a few extra security measures really makes me sleep better at night.” The University Police Department’s (UPD) Crime Prevention Division provides the university community with programs such as safety, theft prevention, self-defense and sexual assault prevention training, said Otto Glenewinkel, UPD police officer assigned to the Crime Prevention Division. “We are happy to provide these services and hope people take advantage of them,” Glenewinkel said. “Offering these classes empowers individuals to be prepared for anything, and since crime is so unpredictable, the best we
According to the UPPS code, the freedom of expression zone is comprised of the area from the Stallions to Flowers Hall as well as the entire LBJ mall. “One thing I will mention is that we are actually in the process of updating our maps,” Pereira said. “Those are some old maps, and they just honestly need to be revised. We’re hoping to have updated maps soon so that it does reflect that. We are aware, and we are working on it.” The College Democrats had a tent set up near the stallions the week before midterm elections giving students the opportunity to write why they voted on a banner. A Student Involvement representative asked the College Democrats to take their tent down and leave, Ogden said. “The employee came up and told us to tear our tent down because we were ‘impeding traffic,’” Ogden said. “We had our table up against the stallions
and way away from the stairs. I’ve seen larger demonstrations there before, like the preacher who comes with the cameras ,and we weren’t in the way, so it made absolutely no sense.” The pro-life-versus-pro-choice demonstrations that happened in the following days at the same spot were a “significant obstruction of pedestrian traffic,” and Student Involvement allowed them, Scott said. “It seems very discriminatory for (Student Involvement) to let (the pro-life-versus-pro-choice demonstrations) occur just because the protestors jumped through hoops and did paperwork,” Scott said. “They were creating an issue to the point where people were actually complaining, and then the Democrats had a tent that was not in the way and were told that they had to shut down.” The College Democrats believe Student Involvement of-
ficials are taking advantage of their power, Ogden said. “Student Involvement knows that they’re breaking the law and infringing upon our rights, but they know that we can’t sue them because we’re a student organization and lack the resources, and they’re taking advantage of it,” Ogden said. “And why they’re targeting specifically political groups is questionable, too.” Student Involvement employees want to do their best to interpret and enforce policies correctly, Pereira said. If something goes wrong, they make sure it is corrected. “The majority of our student organizations don’t seem to have a problem with our process because, I’m assuming, they don’t see it as hindering their ability to have free expression,” Pereira said. “At the end of the day, I think we’re supporting and following the policy.”
tion to students, faculty and staff.” Palmer said other systems are used such as desktop messages, emails and the emergency alert boards around campus. “Text message is the best way to get information to people,” Palmer said. “Everyone has their cellphone with them these days. That is why we are stressing the text piece.” Palmer said the marketing must explain to students, faculty and staff how they can provide their cellphone numbers or opt out of the system if they so choose and the details of the system’s workings. “Trying to find those places where there are large populations of new people, like new student orientation and new faculty—that is how we tell about this system,” Smith said. The text message alert list will not be used to send marketing material or promote upcoming events, Palmer said. It is just for emergency alerts. “We test it the second week of every semester,” Palmer said. “The only other time you will ever get a text message is when there is an actual incident going on and we need you to do something specific.” Smith said university officials
are revising RAVE systematically, so all of the information is in one place and will be updated every week. “We saw a lot of improvement from our presentations at Bobcat Preview,” Palmer said. “This is a thing that a lot of universities are changing to.” Palmer said incoming students enrolled and new faculty information will automatically be put into the system. “It was really simple to do,” said Emma Horvath, nursing freshman. “The session at Bobcat Preview was really informative, and they showed us how to sign up.” Smith said the system is designed to protect students, faculty and staff. “You feel safer when you get the information quickly,” Smith said. “I think it is a great mechanism for people from a safety standpoint.” Horvath said the new system would be “beneficial” to the incoming freshman class and the university because more people will be reached. “It is going to be a dramatic improvement on how we are going to get information out,” Palmer said. “It’s a big step forward for the university.”
RAVE from front can do is be ready for it.” The Crime Prevention Division is part of the Campus Lighting Committee. This committee helps decide where extra lights should be placed around campus. Additional lights are an extra safety measure, Glenewinkel said. However, more lights added to a parking lot will ultimately not prevent a serious criminal offense or save a life. “The focus needs to be that it is everyone’s responsibility to be as safe as possible,” Glenewinkel said. “Sadly, not every criminal is deterred by extra lights, and our patrol division covers the whole campus, not just the dorms.” A call to action by every member of the university community will go a long way toward making people feel safe and prevent crime whether an individual lives on- or off- campus, Glenewinkel said. “We just ask that everyone use common sense,” Glenewinkel said. “Lock your doors, hide your valuables and always be aware of your surroundings. You will be surprised at how far that goes in making people feel safe.”
anywhere,” Smith said. “We could market it and try to get people to go with the system, but there was no way we could systemically do it.” Emergency alerts are sent out with emails, but the RAVE system has been updated so only the phone number is required and not the carrier, Smith said. “We were averaging 11 to 14 percent on participation with the text message,” said Jake Palmer, emergency management coordinator. “Which, surprisingly enough, is a pretty good number compared to other universities, but it is nowhere near the number that we need.” Palmer said students who have already supplied their cellphone numbers will automatically go into the new alert system. Students who have not supplied their numbers to the university will have to join manually. “We are switching to an optout system,” Palmer said. “Most people won’t even notice.” Smith said universities are required to have emergency alert mechanisms. “It can be weather, active shooter, a fire in some place,” Smith said. “We have email—not quite as effective—but this is a text message, which has proven that this is a critical way to get important informa-
University Council disbanded to streamline communication By Frank Campos NEWS REPORTER Texas State decided to eliminate the University Council from its governing system Oct. 30 after more than 15 years of existence to enhance communication between departments. Provost Eugene Bourgeois brought the issue to the President’s Cabinet, and they agreed the council is unnecessary. The council has not been used for its intended purpose in years. The President’s Cabinet is a committee comprised of the vice presidents of the various departments of the university. The Provost’s Office now handles communication between the President’s Office and the university. The University Council is supposed to examine recommendations made by departments and organizations to the cabinet, said
Robert Gratz, special assistant to the president. Jerome Supple, then president of Texas State, created the council in the late 1990s, Bourgeois said in an email. At the time it was needed because communication had become an issue for the President’s Office, Gratz said. “The University Council was created by Dr. Supple because he was seeing recommendations come up to the President’s Office that were really not vetted very well,” Gratz said. The need to form a council was evident when the cabinet started to do double the work to make sure a recommendation was ready for the president, he said. “At this time (the university) didn’t have a provost structure, so many of the vice presidents would just bring the cabinet a recommendation,” Gratz said. “We would
have to do a sort of pre-screening and then send it to the appropriate outlets to get reviewed before it was ready again. That is not something a President’s Cabinet should have to do.” Now that Texas State has established a provost, Gratz believes the University Council is unnecessary because communication has been streamlined. “At the time, there was no provost, and we relied heavily on the council,” Gratz said. “Now discussions take place at the committee level and continue to the provost when ready. There is no need to involve a council that has no input on the issue.” The University Council was created to help support a more formal and deliberate pathway for policies and procedures that impact multiple divisions of the university. However, the council has become obsolete, Bourgeois said in the email.
VETERANS, from front Burkett said he believed the memories were hurting the Austrian and felt compelled to stop him from finishing the story. Instead, the man continued, explaining his tears were not from grief but joy. “He was crying because he was so happy,” Burkett said. “He was an old man and thought he would die before he could thank an American soldier. He held my hands close to his chest and said ‘thank you’ over and over.” Burkett said the conversation he had with the Austrian man helped to define his purpose as a soldier and understand the responsibility associated with wearing a military uniform. “The tradition, the values, the freedom and hope are sewn into the fabric of today’s men and women who serve throughout our armed services’ history,” Burkett said. “American soldiers represent hope.” Trauth said the university owes a debt to service members and holds a responsibility to serve student veterans well as they come through the university. “Those we honor today have committed their lives to protect these freedoms, and we never want to take these freedoms for granted,” Trauth said. “Texas State is now recognized as 14th in the nation as a military-friendly school. This year I have 914 students who are veterans and anoth-
er 1,748 students who are dependents of veterans.” Cheyenne Stoker, president of the Veterans Alliance at Texas State, presented the 2014 Above and Beyond Award to Milton Nielson, associate vice president of Instructional Technologies, for his support of student veterans. “Dr. Nielson serves on the Veterans Advisory Council where he is a strong advocate for programs, services and initiatives that support the success, retention and graduation of student veterans at Texas State,” Stoker said. “Dr. Nielson has been a tremendous advocate for veterans alliances at Texas State by supporting our programs and helping secure resources.” Nielson expressed pride in the veterans attending Texas State and the university’s supportive attitude toward them. Trauth, Nielson, Stoker and Burkett thanked the veterans in attendance and said they appreciated their sacrifices. “Like you, I am so grateful that we live, raise our families, work, grow (and) learn in a country that so values peace that it is willing to fight for it,” Burkett said. “We are protected by brave men and women who, generation after generation, are prepared to sacrifice everything to maintain our peace and bring peace to those who can’t fight for themselves.”
The decision to change a bylaw made by a previous president was not easy, Bourgeois said. However, it was necessary. “This decision was not made quickly,” Bourgeois said. “I received input from everyone involved and based my decision on what would benefit the university the most.” The need for the University Council has diminished since the division’s inception because of the implementation of strategic and master planning processes, Bourgeois said in the email. New policy and procedure statements, including the roles of the Faculty Senate and university divisions, have been reviewed, and the provost system has increased campus “openness and transparency,” he said. The University Council’s conferences have become information sessions, said Matt Flores, Texas State spokesman, who attends the
council meetings on the first Thursday of every month. The council has not made any major decisions for a long time. “We all go to get information that, for the most part, we already know,” Flores said. “Although this can be informative, it is something we can find easily by email or a phone call.” Faculty and staff want to put more of an emphasis on communication with the Provost’s Office, Flores said. “The President’s Cabinet received a lot of input from all of us and would not have made this decision unless they thought it would benefit us,” Flores said. “This university is all about efficiency, as it should be, and getting rid of something that was basically a waste of time is an idea I can stand behind. I am all for any changes that benefit this university.”
The University Star | Wednesday, November 12, 2014 | 3
TEAM TO FOCUS ON DEFENSE, LEADERSHIP HEADING INTO SEASON By Mariah Medina ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @MARIAHMEDINAAA After finishing the season 8-23, the Texas State men’s basketball team hopes to finish their season with double the number of wins. In this expectation Coach Danny Kaspar realizes the level of participation needed from his team. Texas State will play familiar foes ranging from the Texas Longhorns, currently ranked 10th in the nation by the Associated Press preseason polls, to the defending conference champions, Louisiana-Lafayette. Defense, Kaspar says, is what will define the outcome of the season.
DEFENSE The defense can be expected to win games for the Bobcats. Kaspar was referred to as a “shooting guard” in college. He was offered a scholarship because of his shooting capabilities, but on some nights he couldn’t make many baskets.
“One night you can be three for 12, (and) one night you can be nine for 12,” Kaspar said. Kaspar has actively stressed defensive prowess as a result of his own experience. Defense, Kaspar said, is not as skill-oriented as offense. Playing sound defense involves teamwork, effort and communication—three characteristics Kaspar says the team possesses this season. “Sometimes our offensive skills are dictated by when we sign somebody,” Kaspar said. “Either we have it or they don’t, but we can teach everyone how to be a better defensive player.”
NOTABLE NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS SEATTLE The Bobcats will play Seattle University Friday, Nov. 14 in their first away game of the season. The Redhawks enter Friday’s game ranking third in the Western Atlantic Con-
ference men’s basketball media poll. Seattle finished last season with a record of 13-17, but Coach Danny Kaspar says the Bobcats will face competition from the Redhawks’ versatility on defense and rebounding abilities. One player you don’t want to forget: senior guard Isiah Umipig. Umpig averaged 19.6 points per game and started every matchup last season.
TEXAS The Bobcats fell short of a win by over 30 points in their last meeting with the Texas Longhorns. Texas scored 52 points in the second period of the game. Texas lost three starters but has retained forward Jonathan Holmes and center Cameron Ridley from last year’s lineup. The duo combined for 24 points per game last year.
NOTABLE CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
GEORGIA STATE The Panthers took the conference title their first year back in the Sun Belt conference and finished the season 17-1. Georgia State has retained its most helpful talents while acquiring new players with three returning starters and 10 new additions to its roster. Guards R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow combined for 36.1 points per game last season. Georgia State will begin its season defending a 13-game winning streak at home.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE The Ragin’ Cajuns will begin their 2014-2015 season coming off an NCAA playoff berth and the Sun Belt conference tournament title. Kaspar let last season’s accolades speak for themselves. He said both Georgia State and Louisiana-Lafayette pose a threat because of their consistency. Louisiana-Lafayette welcomes back guard Xavian Rimmer and forward Shawn Long. One of the team’s newest additions, forward Brian Williams, transferred
from Oklahoma State, where he made two NCAA playoff appearances.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP G- Wes Davis G- D.J. Brown G- Jamarcus Weatherspoon F- Kavin Gilder-Tilbury F- Emani Gant
WHERE THEY WILL FINISH THIS SEASON Kaspar wants at least 16-18 wins this season, and after recruiting nine new players and improving upon the returning roster, Kaspar said this is feasible. His team, he said, has potential. “If they make up their mind that they want to work at it and not care who gets the glory and focus on winning, I do believe they can be a successful program,” Kaspar said.
BOBCATS AIMING TO REPLACE STAR PLAYERS AS SEASON APPROACHES By Devin Tyler SPORTS REPORTER @DEVINNOONECARES Since her arrival in 2011, Coach Zenarae Antoine has turned the struggling women’s basketball program into a contender in the Sun Belt. After going 16-16 last season, the Bobcats will need to pick up the tempo on both sides of the court to get through this year’s challenging season.
splash, averaging 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game along with 58 total steals. Peoples, named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Preseason first team, helped lead the Bobcats to their first postseason appearance in five years. “She can play on both ends on the floor,” Antoine said. “Erin is multifaceted and a good defense player as well. When she gets excited, the entire crowd rallies around her.”
REPLACING MARTIN AND EZEH AYRIEL ANDERSON This season the Bobcats will need to fill the spots left by two graduated players in Ashley Ezeh, center, and Kaylan Martin, guard. Ezeh led the team with 384 points and 24 blocks last season. Martin led with 105 assists. Nine players from the previous season will return, including Erin Peoples, junior guard, and Ayriel Anderson, junior guard. Last season, Peoples made a
Anderson’s efforts for the Bobcats last season were also noticed as she was named to the conference preseason third-team. Anderson only starting 11 of the 31 games, but she provided the necessary offthe-dribble punch to complement Martin. “Ayriel Anderson played a lot of starter minutes for us last season at point guard,” Antoine said. “Anderson and Meghan Braeuer (senior
LUNCH WITH COACH FRAN By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @QUIXEM The Bobcats reside in football purgatory. They aren’t good enough to beat the best teams, but they are leaps and bounds better than the bottom-tier teams. The Bobcats idle on the treadmill of mediocrity. As always, a healthy dose of perspective is essential. If you look at the team with reasonable expectations, there are plenty of positives to glean. If you hold Texas State to an elevated standard, you will be disappointed. Baby steps. Building a legitimate football program isn’t a linear process. There will be peaks and valleys, with heavy emphasis on the latter. Valleys are expected. They are what molds a program, what humbles them and ultimately what motivates them to jump to the next level. For a program in its second year of bowl eligibility, there haven’t been too many valleys. The Bobcats have won 11 of 21 games in two seasons, a winning percentage that places them squarely in the top 50 percentile of Division I teams. Winning percentage doesn’t account for team context, though. A deeper look at the schedule indicates the Bobcats have not beaten an upper-echelon team this season. Their five wins have occurred against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Tulsa, Idaho, Louisi-
guard) will be able to fill in our gaps and bring their own unique abilities, very similar to Kaylan Martin. ”
NOTABLE NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT OKLAHOMA STATE Oklahoma State finished 25-9 overall last season with their season coming to an end at the NCAA Sweet 16 round. The Cowgirls return two players who averaged double-digit figures in scoring. Brittney Martin, junior guard, averaged 11.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The Bobcats will need to contain Martin’s versatility on both sides of the court in order to compete against the NCAA tournamentcaliber team.
NOTABLE CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
ARKANSAS STATE One of the toughest opponents for Texas State last year was against Arkansas State. The Bobcats went 0-3 in their series against the Red Wolves, who finished first in the conference. Aundrea Gamble, junior guard, led Arkansas State in various categories. She averaged 18.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game last season. Ball control will be crucial as the team has committed over 40 turnovers in their previous three meetings.
ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK Texas State is ranked third in the SBC preseason polls. Secondranked Arkansas-Little Rock will be another tough conference matchup. The Trojans went 18-12 last year while going 1-1 in their series. Taylor Gault, senior guard, has been an important player, putting up 15.2 points and 2.6 rebounds
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP G – Meghan Braeuer G – Ayriel Anderson F – Erin Peoples F – Jacqueline Jeffcoat F – Kileah Mays
WHERE THEY WILL FINISH THE SEASON Considering Ezeh’s departure, I anticipate the team struggling at the center position. The problem can be cured if the Bobcats run the high screen offense to open up the post position. Peoples, the team’s Swiss army knife, will have to be consistently productive. The Bobcats will experience difficulty improving from last year’s 16-16 record if turnovers continue and they do not have better ball control.
Where the good meat is
BREANNA BAKER STAR ILLUSTRATOR
ana-Monroe and New Mexico State, teams with an average win-loss record of 2-7. The Bobcats lost to Navy, Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia Southern, teams with an average win-loss record of 6-4. Texas State fell short in both nationally televised games, losing by a combined 38 points. Navy and Louisiana-Lafayette traveled to San Marcos and exerted their will. Teams with postseason aspirations don’t lose those games. The losses indicate there is a considerable amount of growth left before the team can win convincingly in front of a national audience. Where the team struggles is in maintaining a consistent level of play. The inconsistency, Coach Dennis Franchione says, is a product of the teams’ construction. That’s just how they were built. The same team that scored 21 points in the first half against Illinois is the same team that allowed New Mexico State to gain 639 total yards. The same team that shut down Georgia Southern’s top-ranked rushing offense is the same team that couldn’t contain the lowly Idaho Vandals. For brief stints, the offense and defense coalesce into one cohesive unit. More often than not, however, Texas State lags on one end of the field, forcing the other unit to pick up the slack. This is a program that is finding its footing at the Division I level. They can crawl, but they can’t walk. Remember—baby steps.
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4 | The University Star | Wednesday, November 12, 2014
THE MAIN POINT
Residents must prioritize safety on Sessom W
est Sessom Drive is a dangerous and perilous road that students need to be cautious on when driving or walking. Sessom is filled with narrow sidewalks, dimly lit streets, speeding cars and loops that could make Sonic the Hedgehog dizzy. Students and drivers need to take proper precautions when roving Sessom’s perilous streets.
When students make the admittedly foolish decision to walk on Sessom, there are a few things they need to take into account. First and foremost, students should not use their cellphones when walking on the sidewalks. Not only are the sidewalks extremely narrow, but cellphones distract and decrease reaction time. Students could end up falling over or aimlessly roaming into the street like a game of “Frogger.” Speaking of “Frogger,” students should not take their chances and move through traffic like they are the latest incarnation of the popular 1980s videogame. Students
should do one of two things—either not cross the street or look around and make sure there is no oncoming traffic when deciding to move through the business that is Sessom. While the saying “look both ways” may be repeated ad nauseam, the point always holds true. Pedestrians should look both ways when crossing and remain alert. Given the excessively narrow sidewalks on Sessom Drive, long-boarders and bikers should steer clear of this road. Speeding down the loopy road could result in serious injury due to the loops and narrow sidewalks. The road was not made for the bikers and long-boarders of the world. God forbid a person should be walking in the opposite direction. This would result in a duel of sidewalk privilege between the biker heading north and the walker heading south. Best-case scenario: head-on collision. Worst-case scenario: one of the two is pushed onto the street into oncoming traffic. Basically, lose-lose situation.
The people who drive on Sessom do not get off the hook on this topic. Drivers must remain vigilant and always stay alert. As aforementioned, the roads are narrow, and for whatever reason, Sessom seems to be a hotspot for speeding cars. A single deviation of attention could result in any given amount of tragedies. Drivers must try to always stay alert: no cellphones, no dozing off and no deciding this is the time to perform a music video. The consequences could be dire. However, not everything falls on simply being vigilant in driving. Sessom has several blind spots that drivers may not be aware of. Therefore, drivers should pay attention to the signs provided for their benefit. For instance, at the end of Sessom, drivers are not permitted to turn right—only left. Still, drivers choose to turn right, thinking they’re racecar drivers, and almost always get into wrecks due to the huge curve and blind spot on the street. The possibilities of tragedy are
RYAN JEANES STAR ILLUSTRATOR endless on the perilous streets of West Sessom Drive. Drivers and pedestrians must do their due diligence in order to minimize the
possibility of tragedy. Basically, they must stay alert, stay cautious and stay safe. Sessom takes no prisoners.
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.
Cannabis prohibition hurts citizens, economy
Trevor Neely OPINIONS COLUMNIST Sociology sophomore
arijuana prohibition laws have been a detriment to our society for far too long, and we are in the midst of a critical time of change. With the recent passing of recreational marijuana laws in Oregon and Alaska, the United States now has four states that can sell marijuana in dispensaries recreationally and not just medically. Colorado and Washington passed their legalizations back in the 2012 elections.
These states are not the only ones to pass marijuana laws. The nation’s own capital just overwhelmingly passed laws to sell and possess the plant. This leaves an astounding imprint on years to come. One now has to question just how real national legalization is. Just as alcohol was slowly legalized during its time of prohibition, marijuana is following in its footsteps, garnering avid support from politicians and lawmakers. This increasing support has taken a slightly different road than alcohol prohibition. Many of the questions being raised in courtrooms across the nation are of the medical benefits that marijuana has in its arsenal. Much research has been done to show that cannabis has the ability to cure many diseases and aid in pain relief for people who suffer from other ailments. Many people have caught
on the cannabis train and are curing themselves with this wonderful plant. According to a Feb. 19 New York Times article, more than one million people legally use medical marijuana in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It’s long past due for the federal government to get on board with the rest of America. Legalization will put a chokehold on these big pharmaceutical companies who use and abuse people’s illnesses for their own selfish gain. These companies seem almost like drug cartels in their massive exploitation of people’s health concerns. New laws will stop people from buying irrelevant pills and drugs that have a miniscule benefit to their health from these companies. The end of prohibition could mean so much for America economically and socially. The failing “War on Drugs” has been a thorn in our society for years.
Texas’ poor educational standards worsened by inaccurate textbooks
Hanna Foster OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior
exas is not exactly known for having the best test scores, the highest academic standards or the greatest educational programs. As a Texan, it is easy to disagree. From a nationwide viewpoint, Texas does not have the best reputation in regards to education, and with reasonable cause. This is exceptionally problematic because many of the textbooks that get approved for use in Texas are used in schools all over the country. This, in turn, creates not only a misinformed state but also a misinformed nation. The State Board of Education (SBOE) is currently in the process of creating new textbooks to be published and distributed throughout the state of Texas. The problem is many of these proposed books hold extremely biased and inaccurate information. The Texas Freedom Network (TFN), a nonpartisan watchdog-like organization that monitors far-right actions, commissioned a group of The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708
history scholars to review the proposed textbooks. According to a Sep. 12 Washington Post article, they found a vast amount of inaccuracies in textbooks on American government, U.S. and world history and religion. Unsurprisingly, a number of these findings have caused great controversy in the potential approval of these books. For example, one of the most ridiculous ideas present in a handful of these proposed textbooks is that Moses and Solomon inspired American democracy. Yes, you did read that correctly. There are textbooks which have been created that teach children and young adults that Moses is somehow related to American democracy. Other ideas which are present in various proposed textbooks include things like exaggerated Judeo-Christian influence on the founding of our nation and its traditions. Several of the proposed world history and world geography textbooks include inaccurate and biased statements that negatively portray Islam and the Muslim culture. Furthermore, most of the proposed U.S. history books ignore or hardly go over the history of LGBTQIA citizens and their efforts on achieving civil rights. Several of the proposed history and geography books contain incomplete and inaccurate information regarding religions other than Christianity. Additionally, two government textbooks include misleading information that
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undermines the constitutional idea of separation of church and state. The TFN did an analysis on the panel of people selected by the SBOE to review the proposed textbooks. According to a press release, the TFN found that out of over 140 individuals on the panel, only three of them are currently faculty members at Texas colleges and universities. They also found that many of the other individuals on the panel were political activists and individuals without degrees in the actual topics of study of the textbooks, nor do many of them have any teaching experience. It is completely irresponsible to hire unqualified people to be making such important decisions. Once these textbooks are published, they will be in use for the next 10 years before going into review again. That is an entire generation misinformed by biases and inaccurate or incomplete information regarding the history of this country. This controversy revolving around the accuracy of the information present in these textbooks is, at its core, an issue of the separation of church and state. Religious biases should not be present in textbooks that are meant to be as factual as possible. Textbooks are meant to provide for honest and credible information, not pushing for some sort of agenda. Texas is a state of roughly 26 million people. We have no room for this ignorance. Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, email@example.com Assistant News Editor........................Nicole Barrios, firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive..................................Hanna Katz, email@example.com Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive.....................................Jamie Beckham, email@example.com Media Specialist............................................ Chris Salazar, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Coordinator..............................Kelsey Nuckolls, email@example.com Publications Coordinator.......................................Linda Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson, email@example.com
It has only been used as a target to increase the inmates and profits for the prison industrial complex. Targets for petty marijuana offenses get unfair prison sentences for possession of a harmless plant, and the majority of these targets are minorities. It is an unfair system that is only used to fill the quota for these prisons to make profit. Destroying the criminalization of marijuana will save states and taxpayers millions every year from not paying for law enforcement and housing of these inmates. The states can also impose a tax on the plant that will generate billions of dollars. That money could be used to go to something beneficial for the people such as funding for education, building more hospitals or maybe having better roads. Legalization will also increase jobs for the citizens. When it is legalized, the states
will need people to cultivate the plant, run distribution and work the dispensaries. This rippling effect of prosperity cannot, and will not, go ignored by the people of America. There has been a wide spread amount of talk about the inevitable legalization of marijuana in the state of Texas. Much support is gaining for the plant as the economists in Texas see another opportunity to increase the state’s wealth. The only question that remains is: how soon? The possibility of the near future is very strong if people put their rights into action. College students, especially at Texas State, can make history with their votes. Most college students tend to sway more liberal, and this swaying could rock the history books if our students make a conscious effort to do so. After all, the legalization can only happen if we pass a “joint” agreement.
Militant atheism harmful, counterproductive practice
Jefferey Bradshaw OPINIONS COLUMNIST Political Science sophomore
am an atheist. However, I do not agree with the lawsuits and attacks targeted at certain aspects of religion in this country by the militant branch of atheism. Militant atheists need to settle down in their attacks on religious America. There are many branches of atheism, and some of them are militant. For the purposes of this column, a militant atheist is a person who is hostile toward religion and does not want it in the world anymore. Most of the attacks made by militant atheists are toward government buildings or schools expressing any sort of religious ideas or symbols. For example, back in 2003, Thomas Van Orden filed a lawsuit against the State Preservation Board of Texas trying to remove the Ten Commandments monument from State Capitol grounds. He argued that this violated the establishment clause of the first amendment, meaning that Texas was endorsing a religion. Governments should not endorse or make any laws based on religion. Having a Ten Commandments monument, even one that was presented to the State, does neither of those things. According to Fox6, a local Fox
affiliate in Tennessee, a girl was suspended for saying ‘bless you’ to another student. This incident is another example of the lunacy often accompanying the tender subject of religion in schools. Schools should have no position on religion. Someone saying ‘bless you’ after you sneeze does not affect anyone’s freedom. I say ‘God bless you’ all the time, and you won’t find me in church on Sunday. Spreading the good word of atheism, however, is something I completely agree with, except, of course, when it turns into something crazy and unnecessary. According to the American Atheist website, “Activism and education are, first and foremost, about raising the profile of atheism and normalizing atheism in the public discourse.” This makes total sense. There are many things wrong with organized religion and the way it expresses itself here in the U.S., and if someone comes over to the dark side because of atheistic activism, that’s great. It’s not super important to try to change people, though. Attacking religion and banning it from our vocabulary is not the way to go when it comes to spreading atheism. Religion is an extremely personal thing, and when you attack it, you not only stir up a firestorm of hate, but you also come across as the bad guy. This weird need to remove religion from the world is unnecessary, and militant atheists are doing no one a favor. Of course there is some validity to a secular world, especially when you look at extremists who take religion too far or lawmakers who say that their religious beliefs are more important than human rights. However, extremism is not the case for most religious people, and militant atheists need to realize this and calm down.
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SACA to ‘expand horizons’ with new, more diverse events
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Chandler Tatum, fashion merchandising freshman, and Shanila Mohammed, psychology freshman, check students in Nov. 10 at George’s for a stand-up comedy event sponsored by SACA. By Ernest Macias ASSISTANT TRENDS EDITOR The Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA) is one of the most popular and well-known organizations on campus, responsible for some of Texas State’s mostattended and high-profile events,
all at zero cost for Bobcats. “We have four event coordinators who plan eight events each,” said TraJian Morgan, SACA president and pre-nursing student. “We try to host three events a week. We do a lot of events through the semester.” SACA’s core as a chartered organization is constant event plan-
ning and hosting. Funding for the organization comes from tuition, said event coordinator Shannon Hetland. The funds bring comedians, musicians, entertainment and other hands-on activities to students throughout the year. “Aside from entertainment, we offer a lot of leadership opportuni-
ties and (teach) skills like how to work well with a team and how to communicate with professionals in the business world,” said Alex Puryear, an event coordinator. “It is an excellent resume booster.” The organization was founded in the ‘70s when seven Southwest Texas State students put together Cricketfest, said event coordinator Valerie Gonzalez-Vega. The event was a stepping-stone to what would later become Riverfest, Cricketfest was a “celebration of arts” set up like a farmers market, named for a time when droves of crickets appeared all over town. SACA members spend three to five hours weekly at events and are required to attend one-hour weekly meetings. Any student can apply starting Dec. 1, and the process is simple, Morgan said. SACA members strive to be diverse and welcoming. “We pretty much accept anybody willing (to join),” Morgan said. “We just ask that you work hard, show up to events and give it your all. We do require a lot of their time, but it is fun stuff, and you get a lot from it.” The opportunities to earn leadership positions are plentiful. After a member has been part of SACA for a year, he or she can apply for a paid position as a coordinator or even president. “We (would) rather have people who are passionate about planning events and creating a sense of community in SACA rather than focus-
ing on getting paid or the value of the position,” Hetland said. SACA members are trying to create late-night events and join forces with cultural and diverse organizations to create bigger and better activities in an effort to expand the group’s horizons, Hertland said. SACA members attend the National Association for Campus Activities conference annually. At this conference, they learn what other campuses do and how to implement ideas locally, Puryear said. “I want SACA to be the organization everybody is dying to be a part of,” Morgan said. “I don’t want it to turn competitive, but I want it to grow bigger and better and reach different realms that we haven’t gotten to.” Bollywood Night will be SACA’s first late-night (after 8 p.m.) event. It will be a cultural festival hosted in collaboration with the Indian Student Association. Students will be introduced to Indian culture through henna tattoos, typical food and belly dancers, according to Gonzales-Vega. The event will be Nov. 17 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m in the LBJ Ballroom. SACA representatives are currently working with Healthy Cats and Chartwells to host DeStress Fest on Dec. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the LBJ Ballroom. The festival will include massages and other de-stressing activities for students.
Picks of the Week By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR For a fairly small area, the 512 is home to an event that satisfies satisfy even the most niche of needs. San Marcos and its surrounding area has something for everyone this weekend from an evening centered on the traditional German Wassail drink to a competition over who can cook the most creatively with pecans.
For the environmentalist:
The city of San Marcos hosts a
day of environmental fun on the courthouse square lawn Nov. 15 with the local installment of national program America Recycles. The city will provide interactive booths and a plastics buy-back program in addition to information on and demonstration of proper recycling techniques and environmental awareness. Participants can also take photos of themselves recycling and use the hashtag #RecyclingSelfie to get involved remotely.
For the party animal:
Everything is better when it’s free, and concerts are definitely
no exception to the rule. The Marc SM presents a free performance on Nov. 15 by electronic dance music artists Jauz and Gamma as part of the venue’s Lights All Night official pre-party. The show is for 18-andup patrons and requires tickets, but they can be downloaded for free on The Marc’s website.
For the foodie:
The Main Street Program rolls out its annual Wine and Wassail Walk on Nov. 14 downtown as a holiday celebration of San Marcos culture and a fundraiser benefiting United Way of Hays County. The
event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and features a progressive walking tour of downtown San Marcos. Businesses offer patrons a variety of wines and hors d’oeuvres as well as live entertainment. Tickets to the 21-and-up event are $25 and benefit United Way.
For the girly-girl (or boy):
Calling all home-schooled jungle freaks—a 10th anniversary showing of Mean Girls will take place on Nov. 14 at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse location. The quote-along movie gives guests a chance to show off their Mean
Girls knowledge as well as learn some behind-the-scenes facts from the actors who play Aaron Samuels, Damien and Jason.
For the music lover:
A weekend of camping coupled with bluegrass and country music is in store for patrons of the fourth annual Bluegrass Pecan Festival. Participants can celebrate the ushering in of cooler weather along the San Marcos River. Events include performances by The Brushy Creek Boys, open jam sessions, a potluck barbeque and a cookingwith-pecans contest.
Forever Fest promotes ‘girl power’ By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR The limit on how many times we can watch our favorite films doesn’t exist, and the people at Forever Fest know it. The event’s organizers are determined to fill in the girly gap left by other major film festivals in Austin and beyond. Forever Fest brings patrons a weekend of the best in feminine pop culture, including girl power brunches, classic chick flicks and panels picking the brains of the industry’s most powerful women. The event’s screenings and panel take place Nov. 14-16 at the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse on South
Lamar, while the too-greatto-be-missed after-parties can be found a few doors down at the Highball. The weekend kicks off with what can arguably be considered the festival’s crowing event—a quotealong Mean Girls screening featuring a question-andanswer session with some of the film’s stars, including Jonathan “Your Hair Looks Sexy Pushed Back” Bennett and Daniel Franzese, who doesn’t even go here. Saturday features Meme Girls: Women on the Internet, a panel discussion with Hello Giggles editor-in-chief Jennifer Romolini, The Toast co-creator Mallory Ortberg and Jazmine S. Hughes, contributing editor for The Hair-
pin and the official Austin screening of “Amira & Sam.” This film tells the story of a Green Beret turned stand-up comedian who bonds with an undocumented woman facing deportation. “Amira & Sam” is already drawing hype from outlets across the city. Other events for the weekend include a Spring Fling— come wearing army pants and flip-flops or a PJ Calamity’s uniform—the ultimate nail art workshop, brunches featuring hot-guy clip compilations, cute animals and a pajama party complete with dancing. The complete list of events as well as ticketing information can be found at foreverfest.com.
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