THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 29
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San Marcos veterans honored in the Quad By Autumn Wright NEWS REPORTER @autumnwright697
San Marcos Police Department officers participate in the No-shave November Challenge for Testicular Cancer awaremess.
she has been careful to lock her apartment door at the Retreat after discovering the complex was burglarized last spring. Osburn is “extra cautious” because she lives on the first floor, but sees some of her fellow tenants being careless with their own security. “There have been parties here where people can’t even get inside and the doors remain open,” Osburn said. “I don’t know how anyone could keep track of their things.” Osburn said police have been more visible at the Retreat and that she sees them patrolling regularly,
The American flag flew near the Fighting Stallions Wednesday morning as veterans in the San Marcos area and all across the nation were honored at the Student Foundation’s annual Veterans Day Commemoration ceremony. Robert D. LaBrutta, commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio, spoke of the pride he has in his fellow servicemen and women as well as those who came before him. “We must understand that our veterans volunteered to protect us,” LaBrutta said. “They were and are the brave patriots our democracy was built on, and are the professionals who put their lives on the line for all of us.” President Denise Trauth said the university is proud of its veteran community and is glad to take time to honor them for their services. Trauth said she cannot imagine where the U.S. would be without the dedication and hard work of veterans. “Courageous men and women who have committed their lives to protect our freedoms, it’s something that we never want to take for granted,” Trauth said. Texas State is currently the school of 1,152 veterans and the university has been ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation’s most military-friendly schools, she said. Recognitions from G.I. Jobs magazine and Military Times EDGE magazine are what attract more veterans to Texas State. LaBrutta said he appreciates Texas State’s way of embracing veterans and is excited for the upcoming generation of citizens to serve the nation. “Every year another group of brave, young men and women raise their right hand and state that they will support and defend the constitution of these United States from all enemies,” LaBrutta said. “They are the next generation of our United States military and inspire us to be better Americans.” Jesse Silva, assistant director for the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, was awarded the 2015 Above and Beyond Veterans Alliance Award for his services in assisting and supporting student
See BURGLARIES, Page 2
See VETERANS, Page 2
ANTONIO REYES STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Local officers grow beards to raise cancer awareness By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe
This month, police officers across the state are adding a new accessory to their uniforms— beards. During the month of November, police officers from across the state—including those from the SMPD—will be participating in “No-Shave November” with the objective of raising money for testicular cancer research. Each year 8,430 Americans are diagnosed with testicular cancer, resulting in nearly 400 deaths annually. The National Cancer Institute is looking to change
these statistics through local outreach efforts. The foundation has partnered with the San Marcos Police Department. Called Beard Patrol, the partnership is an attempt to lessen the number of testicular cancer cases by raising funds for the institute. “Most police departments do not allow their officers to grow beards,” said Matt Ferstler, founder and CEO of the Testicular Cancer Foundation. “If an officer wants to be allowed to grow a beard, they pay a $25 donation to the Testicular Cancer Foundation.” Although every department has its own set of rules and guidelines for the dona-
tions, the general consensus for the fundraiser is $25 per officer who decides to grow facial hair, he said. Each participating officer receives a wristband that they are required to wear throughout the month. “It all started a couple years back when the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and Austin Police Department raised money by allowing officers to grow beards,” Ferstler said. After the success of that first event, TCF opened the initiative to include all of Texas. The foundation contacted hundreds of police departments, many of which are now gearing up to participate in the initiative,
Ferstler said. “It’s important for everyone to understand why we do what we do,” Ferstler said. “We are a survivor-led organization, so we’ve got a lot of passion driving what we do. One hundred percent of the money we raise rolls back into community.” The campaign extends past “No-Shave November,” Ferstler said. He hopes to expand the partnership and said TCF plans to hold another challenge next year. “People in town are not used to seeing officers in uniform wearing beards,” said Chase Stapp, chief of SMPD and participant in the fundraiser. “So I anticipate it will result in some lev-
el of conversation between the police department and the community, which will hopefully generate awareness for our cause.” Despite this being SMPD’s first year participating in the challenge, Stapp has high hopes for the program and expects the department is capable of raising around $800 for the initiative. “After the TCF reached out to us, I spoke to some people here at the department and saw a high level of interest,” he said. “We’re not a huge police department, so it’s not difficult to get an idea back from our folks.”
See BEARD, Page 2
Rash of burglaries consistent with recent trend By Erik Kiluk NEWS REPORTER @ErikKiluk
Student housing complexes across San Marcos have been the targets of a rash of burglaries since Halloween weekend. Byron Mobley, sergeant and supervisor of Property Crimes Division, said 15 burglaries occurred between Oct. 30 and Nov. 9 at The Cottages at Hillside Ranch, the Retreat and Capstone Cottages, along with other apartment complexes on Telluride Street and River Ridge Parkway. The San Marcos Police Department is still searching for an unknown number of
burglars that are entering sleeping students’ unlocked homes and stealing electronics, wallets and other valuables. “It is really frustrating that this continues to occur when it would occur less if people would just lock their doors,” Mobley said. This is not the first time that burglars have gone on a crime spree. Mobley said the past eight years have seen a spike in burglaries compared to the rest of his 33-year career with SMPD. One crew of criminals was responsible for 40-50 burglaries a few years ago, Mobley said. “Every so often we have another crew start doing it
and, when they are successful, they keep doing it until they are caught,” Mobley said. Mobley said past burglars have forced entry into apartments or sneaked into parties to take advantage of unaware or inebriated students. However, these crimes are the result of careless residents rather than crafty or persistent criminals. “I know that it occurs in other cities, but I think it is more of a phenomenon here because of the college atmosphere,” Mobley said. “I would hazard to guess that (non-students) living in an apartment complex lock their doors at all times.” While the burglars may
have used Halloween parties to gain access to apartments over the weekend, Mobley said the majority of the break-ins are occurring between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. while students sleep. The burglars have stolen a variety of items ranging from expensive electronics and wallets to wall paintings and liquor, he said. Police have no accurate description of the suspects, but believe there are two or three burglars based on previous cases. Mobley said a few burglars have been students in the past, while many have come from Austin and San Antonio. Megan Osburn, interdisciplinary studies junior, said
Fluoride-free proposition to take effect By Lesly De Leon SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @leslyd28
As of Nov. 12, citizens will be drinking fluoride-free water from the municipal supply as the operators of the city’s water treatment plant have agreed to terminate the practice of adding the mineral to drinking water. The decision came after San Marcos citizens voted to approve Proposition 1, an amendment to the city char-
ter prohibiting the city from fluoridating the municipal water supply, in the Nov. 3 election. According to a Nov. 11 city press release, the GuadalupeBlanco River Authority is ending the practice of fluoridation and the city’s water will return to natural levels of fluoride in the next few days. The water supply won’t be 100 percent fluoridefree, said LaMarriol Smith, GBRA executive manager for strategic communications
and public affairs. There will still be naturally occurring fluoride in the water system. “From the minute they stop putting (fluoride in the water), it’s a positive effect on people because we’re no longer being poisoned by hazardous waste,” said Sam Brannon, organizer of the Fluoride-Free San Marcos Coalition. Brannon said he is ecstatic about how quickly Proposition 1 is taking effect because San Marcos will be a clean-
water city. “The city’s behavior so far has been one of resistance,” Brannon said. “To see them take this positive action based on what the people said at the polls, I think is a beautiful thing and it’s the way it ought to happen.” According to a FluorideFree San Marcos Coalition press release, Proposition 1 was placed on the ballot this August after the organization submitted a petition with more than 1,600 signatures
to the city. Before the petition, the organization’s members attempted to work with city council to remove fluoride from the water supply by asking for a public hearing on the issue, Brannon said. “We weren’t really getting anywhere,” Brannon said. “So we decided just to take it out of the city council’s hands and let the voters sign the petition.” According to the press release, the petition had
enough signatures to require an amendment to be put on the ballot for a vote, but officials did not accept it, saying it did not meet city guidelines. Activists from the organization threatened to sue the city for non-compliance with Texas law but the city individually sued the petitioners, including Brannon, according to the release. The petitioners countersued to place the amend-
See FLUORIDE, Page 2
2 | Thursday, Novemeber 12, 2015
The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy email@example.com
BEARD, from front Twenty-five officers have donated, and Stapp expects the number will be closer to 30 by next week. “I’ve had a friend impacted by testicular cancer who happens to be an officer here, and I doubt there are any of
us who doesn’t know someone who has been affected,” Stapp said. “Anything we can do to raise funds and broaden awareness—I’m all for it.” Stapp wants to know the response from the community on the success of the
fundraiser in order to access future plans with different initiatives. “We may do it again next year, but we’d like to know how this one goes first,” he said. “We tend to do a few fundraisers every year, and
VETERANS, from front
we take pride in giving back.” Connor O’Leary, chief mission officer and cancer survivor, said next year the TCF hopes to expand the Beard Patrol campaign on a nationwide scale. O’Leary said the TCF fo-
cuses on education, support and awareness, all of which are represented through these kinds of fundraising initiatives. “We saw this as an incredible way to foster awareness and to get police departments
BURGLARIES, from front
veterans. “I serve because you serve—it’s as clear as that,” Silva said. “And I think it’s our responsibility to make sure you have access to assets
like health care and education.” Silva said he happily serves veterans and believes they deserve more for putting their lives on the line for citizens
who they’ve never meet, but will happily protect. “This award is simply just a reflection and representation of what we need to offer (veterans),” Silva said.
especially on weekends. While Osburn has not personally fallen victim to these burglaries, she said a friend living at the Village on Telluride had someone enter the apartment and take her wallet. Dereion Toussaint, geographic resource and environmental studies sophomore, said he has friends who have had their cars and homes stolen from in the past. Toussaint said he was not surprised that college students’ carelessness was contributing to the crime spree,
involved,” he said. “Someone is diagnosed every hour, and testicular cancer is 99 percent curable if caught during stage one, so we really shouldn’t be seeing people dying from it. Our goal is to eradicate deaths caused by the cancer.”
COLLEGE SKI & BOARD WEEK
as some of his neighbors at the Capstone Cottages leave their doors unlocked. “I’m guilty of not locking my door, too,” Toussaint said. “We always have people coming in and out, and it is just a hassle to lock the door sometimes.” Mobley urges students to be more cautious and to record their electronics’ serial numbers to increase the chance of recovering stolen property. “You’ve got to lock your doors,” Mobley said. “You’ve got to make it harder to be burglarized.”
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LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Veteran’s Day Commemoration Ceremony attendees look on Nov. 11 at the Stallions.
FLUORIDE, from front ment on the ballot and in July, District Court Judge of the 22nd Judicial District Bruce Boyer ruled in favor of the petitioners, according to the release. The city filed an immediate notice of appeal and the case remains in the court of appeals. When city officials placed Proposition 1 on the ballot, its language was different from that of the petition,
Brannon said. “They carved out the possibility to receive fluoridated water in the future,” Brannon said. “We felt it was still worth passing.” Having a citizen-led charter amendment make it to the ballot and be approved by voters is historic, Brannon said. City officials have not yet released information
about the implementation of Proposition 2, a charter amendment passed in the Nov. 3 election. The amendment requires verification of signatures on any citizen petition to amend the city charter in order for the document to be considered valid. Brannon said city officials put Proposition 2 on the ballot because the flu-
oride-free organization was successful in its petitioning. “We’re going to have to challenge that one in court,” Brannon said. “I predict that we’d probably win fairly easily.” According to the city website, the proposition is meant to provide clarity on the process for placing citizen-initiated charter amendments on the ballot.
“The residents of San Marcos have an option to decide what they wanted,” said Lisa Prewitt, Place 1 city councilwoman. “They had time to study and evaluate the options, and they came back and told us what they wanted to do.” No other city officials were available for comment.
7th an nual INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CONFERENCE FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS Nov. 17-18
LBJ STUDENT CENTER Hosted by
The Graduate College at Texas State University
“Ensuring the Success of Latina/o Students Across the P-20 Education Pipeline” Dr. Victor B. Saenz, associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and the Center for Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
Thanks to the following sponsors:
Common Experience, College of Applied Arts, McCoy College of Business Administration, College of Education, College of Fine Arts and Communication, College of Health Professions, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering, The Graduate House, International Office, Office of Research and Federal Relations, and University Bookstore
Top Student Research Paper Award Presentation For more information, please visit the following Web page: gradcollege.txstate.edu/rsrch_conf/pgm
If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate, please contact 512.245.2581 at least 72 hours in advance of the event.
The University Star
Thursday, November 12, 2015 | 3
Mariah Simank, Lifestyle Editor @MariahSimank firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Discoveries: Say What You Will By Taylor Thompson LIFESTYLE REPORTER @taylormegon
Book Discoveries is a new, weekly column reviewing literature from around the world. Opinions on various works of fiction and nonfiction can be found here each week. In the world of literature, there is a genre to suit just about everyone. Romance is a popular theme among young adults, and the subject of long-lasting love is prevalent in many of today’s contemporary novels as a result. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern began as a story about a girl named Amy and a boy named Matthew, but it ended up being so much more than I ever could have expected. Amy was born with cerebral palsy, which keeps her from speaking and walking. As a result, she must use a computer to communicate with her peers. When we meet Matthew, he has a slight case of obsessive-compulsive disorder
that is slowly getting worse. The two come together in an extremely unconventional way when Amy asks Matthew to help her make friends with their peers, and he gladly accepts. Matthew helps Amy in an obvious way—carrying her books, opening doors and everyday things the girl cannot do herself. In a weird way, the two begin helping each other out. A girl who has always needed aid from everybody around her finally finds a way to give back. She is dead-set on helping Matthew, so she gives him tasks she knows will fight against his OCD. Admittedly, the two have a strange friendship from the beginning. Their conversations are awkward because Amy has to type her responses and Matthew is always jittery. The story progresses in a fantastic way because it does not just end when they finish high school, like most novels. It delves into the characters’ personal struggles with college and work and determining their future, which is
something that most people can relate to. The novel also makes commonly known disorders easier to understand. People can usually say what both cerebral palsy and OCD look like, but the disorders are still difficult to personally understand. It is evident that McGovern did her research. She carefully explains the conditions from the point of view of people who suffer from them. McGovern writes beautiful inner dialogue with absolutely breathtaking style. Each sentence allows the reader to connect with the characters’ struggles. McGovern’s writing truly embodies Amy’s voice and thought process. Although the subject matter of the book may seem gloomy, the novel itself has many laugh-out-loud moments, which are always important in a novel with serious themes. What makes the reader fall in love with this book is the complex character development. The characters have many quirks and flaws, but McGovern is quick to show imperfections do not consume
TAYLOR THOMPSON LIFESTYLE REPORTER
them or determine self-worth. McGovern dives into many themes throughout the novel, but I think the most important one is self-discovery—that moment when a small light bulb
pops over your head and you know what is meant to happen. It’s an odd thought, but self-discovery and acceptance go hand-in-hand, and both themes appear all through-
out the words of Say What You Will. Coming from a harsh judge, the novel deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Division of Dance to host choreographers showcase
STAR FILE PHOTO
By Erin O’Donnell LIFESTYLE REPORTER @1erino
Student dancers and choreographers will have their work featured at the biannual Division of Dance Choreographers’ Showcase Nov. 12 and13 at Jowers Dance Studio. LeAnne Smith, director of dance, said the show will feature original pieces composed by students in the advanced choreography class. “All but one piece is student-choreographed, and it is all student-performed,” Smith said. Smith said the show has been highlighting Texas State’s most talented dance students once a semester since she started teaching here in 1983. She said the showcase will feature a variety of choreography styles students have learned during the semester. “You’ll see some dances with a balletic flavor, you’ll see some incorporate jazz styles and contemporary styles, so it’s very diverse,” Smith said. Smith said her favorite part of the showcase is seeing how students have grown in her class. “I find that very fulfilling for them,” she said. “I’m just delighted to see them find their own voice and express themselves through movement and choreography.” Smith said she looks forward to seeing the audience take part in the emotional journey. “It is an expressive art form that touches a part of
us that nothing else can,” she said. “It is that kinetic sensibility that awakens and enlightens.” Laura Rohloff, dance senior, said this is her second year performing in the showcase. It is her first year choreographing her own piece for an ensemble of five dancers. She has been working on her piece for the show since the middle of September and is excited to see how the audience will react. “It’s pretty much our senior showcase,” Rohloff said. “We’re doing this as a learning experience more so than choreographing just to choreograph.” She said each choreographer works as the director for his or her portion of the show and has complete control over how the piece will look and sound. “We pick our cast and we pick our lights. It’s pretty much all student-based,” Rohloff said. She said getting to choreograph her own piece for the show helped her come out of her shell, a process that has
been extremely rewarding. “There is a whole different mentality with it,” Rohloff said. “I had to tone back and get back to the core.” She said the community can expect to get a behindthe-scenes look at how the students have developed in the last few months. “It’s all very studentbased. It’s not somebody else coming in and setting a piece,” Rohloff said. “Viewers can expect excitement and getting to know us a little bit better.” Jonahira Cordero, dance senior, said her piece is a mixture of modern style and non-traditional jazz performed by four dancers. Cordero said she has had the idea for her piece since last December, based on a picture she painted. “I love it. It is definitely different from high school,” Cordero said. “It’s more artistic, and I have been really able to find out my aesthetics and my artistic individuality.” Cordero’s favorite aspect of the showcase is being able to share her love of dance
and seeing fellow performers share their own visions. “We get to be a supportive dance community with each other,” she said. “We get to give peer evaluations and see what’s coming out of their minds.” Cordero said it’s important for students and members of the community to surround themselves with art. “I believe art is something very important and should be emphasis in our community,” Cordero said. “We are human beings, and dance is an art form based on human movement in space and expressing different energies throughout time.”
4 | Thursday, November 12, 2015
The University Star Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
The fallacy of American tipping culture T
ipping is an American staple, but the history and pervasion of the gratuity culture is not all apple pies and baseball. The modern tipping culture is historically rooted in postantebellum America, where railway workers and restaurateurs decided to adopt the practice due to their largely African-American workforce. Operators and owners resented paying their black employees, for obvious reasons, so they opted for a decreased minimum wage because tipping would be a legitimate alternative. The practice of tipping was reserved for “negroes” and seen to be below that of any self-respecting white person. The tipping culture has a dark history that, while not as pervasive on racial terms, permeates on the socio-economically disenfranchised. Seven of the 10 lowest-paid occupations in the United States are relegated to the service and hospitality industry of tipped workers. Servers are three times more likely to be paid below the poverty line and twice as likely to need food stamps compared to the general American public. Aside from being economically disadvantaged, it’s no secret waiting for patrons does not exactly foster a positive self-image. Too often customers take their rage out
ISRAEL GONZALES STAR ILLUSTRATOR
on the servers, oblivious to the fact that the fault varies. From the kitchen staff and disorderly patrons to the managerial system, the fish rots from the head down. If food is cold or comes out later than expected, the fault often lies on the kitchen—not on the person taking the order. However, the kitchen staff is paid at least minimum wage while the servers have to work hard to receive just as much.
In the American capitalist system, people seem to direct their anger toward the workers instead of targeting their frustration where it matters. The target of their ire should be the multi-national corporations that purposely depress wages in order to further concentrate wealth. The sooner society moves away from this system, the better. As a patron, no one should be actively paying a company’s employees. The
tipped minimum wage is set at $2.13—well below the national average of $7.25. While tips are nice, they fail to account for the small business and slow days. Consider a dead day where business is slow—it’s quite possible that servers are not being tipped as often as their wage would suggest, leaving them in the proverbial ditch. According to an online poll, approximately 60 percent of Americans said they tip less
than 20 percent, while 10 percent claim to tip nothing at all. This means seven of every 10 people that walk into a restaurant are either tipping minimally or not at all. Servers cannot reasonably make up that deficit. When tips do not equate or exceed the federal minimum wage, restaurants and corporations are supposed to make up the difference. However, many servers have noted that this is not the case. Some-
times, these corporations even stiff the servers out of the tips they do make. Better, more productive systems need to be set up in order to safeguard service workers who just so happen to be the most vulnerable members of society: women and minorities. Given the racial history of tipping, it’s unsurprising that race negatively affects the tips given. If these systems are put in place to protect workers, then the quick turnover rate of the service industry would consequently reduce. Employees do not want to align themselves with a company that does not have their best interest at heart. According to a 2014 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover, 66.3 percent of workers in the restaurants and accommodations sector left the industry that year—a surprisingly low number. Prior to the economic recession, the turnover rate for the industry averaged at about 80 percent. Clearly there’s something amiss with the industry when over half of the workers are leaving within a given year. Tipping is outdated, and it’s time corporations took the integral responsibility of paying their employees instead of leaving it entirely up to their customers.
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.
The death penalty benefits society
The death penalty is inhumane, should be illegal Madison Teague SENIOR OPINIONS COLUMNIST @maddiebell_bell
o one should hold the right to take another person’s life. The death penalty is a barbaric practice that does nothing but seek vengeance against one person to appease the feelings of another. It is not justice. Deciding the fate of another human being by taking their life makes one no better than the criminal they are condemning. A major defense of the death penalty is that it is okay because it is legal. Legality does not equal morality, and the law does not define what is right. Besides, the death penalty is only legal in 31 states, which shows how abhorrent 19 states believe the death penalty to be. The opposition would assert the death penalty is a better option than life in prison because it saves citizen tax dollars. This statement is simply untrue. In California, keeping each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than an inmate in general population. This wouldn’t seem like too much of a problem if the execution happened in a timely manner. However, that is not the case. According to a 2011 New York Times article, the typical prisoner on death row has spent 13 years in prison. Because of this long stay on death row, more than one-fourth of all inmates sentenced to death died of a cause other than execution from 2000 to 2013. Do those who die awaiting their execution escape justice? Not only is it cheaper to house regular inmates, but also giving the offender the option of pleading guilty in exchange for life without parole saves taxpayers millions in court fees.
It is ridiculous to claim a person who has been caught and held in the custody of the law is somehow a great threat to anyone. We have the ability to contain criminals so they are no longer a threat. Death is not necessary. All human beings possess the right to life, but not the right to take life away. To claim it is justifiable to revoke someone’s natural-born right to life simply because it would make the victim or their family feel better is asinine. Humans make errors. For every 10 people executed on death row, one has been exonerated and set free. If there is even a chance an innocent life could be taken by the death penalty, it should not be seen as a good or moral practice. Innocent people should not be put to death to pacify the masses. I have seen firsthand how murder can tear apart a family, but what continues to torture the victims of a crime is not the misconduct itself but the inability to forgive. I do not want to be a part of a society that does not believe in forgiveness. Forgiveness should not be seen as a novelty one can turn to if they wish, but as a necessity. Killing the assailant will do nothing to help a family heal after the murder or attack of a loved one. The only way those family members, and society as a whole, can move on is if they make peace with what happened. Death allows a criminal to escape the reality of what they have done. It is a far better punishment to force a person to acknowledge the wrong they have inflicted on another and live with the consequences of their actions. The death penalty is an expensive, inhumane and immoral practice that should be illegal in not just part, but all of the United States.
OUT DEATH PENATLY
—Madison Teague is an English junior
The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, email@example.com Letters................................................................................firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, email@example.com Sports Editor..............................................Paul Livengood, firstname.lastname@example.org Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, email@example.com Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, firstname.lastname@example.org Multimedia Editor..............................Daryl Ontiveros, email@example.com Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Davies SPECIAL TO THE STAR @el_shannon12
he death sentence has been used by most societies for centuries. While it is not a new concept, the ways people are put to death are far less gruesome than they have been in years past. Granted, the American justice system is highly flawed. The death penalty should not be taken lightly and just handed out to anyone who commits a crime. Imposing stipulations on the practice is a necessity to ensure no mismanagement. However, enforcing the death penalty nationwide remains up to each state. In each case, the crime must fit the punishment and the jury must be sure of their sentencing. According to data from the Vera Institute of Justice, taxpayers pay an average of $31,286 per inmate in order to provide shelter, medical care and food for the incarcerated. Relegating the money of citizens to the housing and bedding of someone who has committed murder or rape is not something society should stand for. Detractors often assert that the death penalty does not serve as a real deterrent, but this kind of thinking could be applied to any law on the books. Fining motorists for texting while driving does not deter them from committing the offense. People still routinely text and drive, but the thought of a pretty hefty fine probably prevents some from doing it. Minimization is all we can aspire to when attempting to resolve criminal activity.
Studies about the deterrence are inconclusive. Not killing gruesome murderers could result in a total lack of deterrence, so instead of weighing the odds, it is better to use the death penalty for whatever small benefit it provides. Without it, who knows the number of innocent targets who could be victimized? During less modern times, being put to death used to range from actions like hanging or a firing squad, which are all very cruel ways to die. Lethal injection is basically dosing the criminal with a combination of drugs to give them a fairly simple death. The three-shot system includes sodium thiopental, which is meant to put the inmate to sleep. The inmate is then injected with pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes the entire muscle system and stops the inmate’s breathing, and the process finishes with potassium chloride to still the heart. Compared to the deaths of their victims, most perpetrators get off fairly easily. While violence is never the answer, there needs to be some kind of system in place to keep the offenders at bay. While states try to figure out what they want to do about having the death penalty, the people who are currently waiting on death row will be met with a relatively painless death. Criminals who commit capital offenses will always be around, and what to do with them punishment-wise will always be up for debate. Until the death penalty has its own fate decided, I’m all for it. —Shannon Davies is a public relations sophomore
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, November 12, 2015. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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The University Star
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Mariah Simank, Lifestyle Editor @MariahSimank firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas State welcomes new symphony director By Denise Cervantes ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @cervantesdenise
A transformation is underway within the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. Carolyn Watson, director of orchestral studies, was recently appointed as the new director of the ensemble. Watson said she has conducted all over the world, including time in the Sydney Symphony and the Scottish Chamber and North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Watson said she was excited upon seeing the opening for the conductor position in the Texas State symphony. “There was a national ad for the new orchestra director,” Watson said. “Something told me to apply, and now here I am.” Liz Valvano, music performance senior, said the dynamics of the Texas State symphony have seen a positive transition since Watson arrived on campus in the fall. “She really pushes us to play the most accurate music that we can,” Valvano said. “She’s really
revived the orchestra, which we haven’t seen in years. It’s very refreshing, and we’re lucky to have her.” Josue Martinez, music studies senior, said Watson has established a family-like community among orchestra students since her arrival. “She’s gotten everyone to create one product,” Martinez said. “In the past it was like, ‘Okay, we got the music together, now let’s all go home.’ Now we will go out to dinner together.” Watson said one of her main focuses while conducting is working on the rhythm of the music and the way the progression of the compositions will be divided among members of the orchestra. “I think I’m big on a lot of things,” Watson said. “But I do focus on rhythm, just to see how the music will work in different ways.” Valvano said Watson has used a variety of techniques to help the Texas State symphony rise to its full potential. “She has a lot of focus,” Valvano said. “The rhythmic integrity she pushes us to achieve
has been really eye-opening, and has just built this habit of playing correctly the first time.” Watson said she has been playing the violin since age 5, but unintentionally fell into conducting while teaching music. “I was a high school violin teacher and ensemble conductor and I just kind of thought it was something I would like to do better,” Watson said. “I didn’t have any intention to pursue it as a degree, but one thing just led to another.” Watson said some of the credit for her music career carries back to her mother, who always wanted to play the violin. “My mom wanted to play the violin, but never had the chance to,” Watson said. “I guess it really does come down to her. She’s probably the reason why my brother is a violinist as well.” Watson said the job comes with a lot of pressure, but working with students at Texas State is both thrilling and exciting. “The pressure and nerves are there,” Watson said. “You know because you’re front and center and you don’t want to be the one who gets it wrong, but it’s always just so rewarding at
ANTONIO REYES STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Carolyn Watson, director of the Texas State University Symphony Orchestra, coducts the syphony orchestra Nov. 9 at Music Building.
the end of the day.” Watson said a big part of conducting has to do with the way a conductor chooses to communicate to their orchestra and audience. “It’s communicating the music,” Watson said. “Communicating that to the musicians so we can collaboratively communicate that interpretation to the audience effectively.” Martinez said the personal
relationship Watson builds with individual orchestra members has helped the symphony flourish. “Each individual has had a joke with her, or a serious talk,” Martinez said. “We get a lot of one-on-one time with her. Everyone cares more, so we try harder because we like her and don’t want to disappoint her.” Valvno said the Texas State
orchestra has always had the talent, but Watson has been able to help students perform to the best of their abilities. “The encouragement she has given all the players to work hard has just made the orchestra really special,” Valvano said. “There are a lot of talented players in the orchestra and she has recognized their talent and helped us come to life.”
Evita cast promises ‘inspiring’ performance By Juliana Adame LIFESTYLE REPORTER @kate_monster04
The first Mainstage musical of the Texas State season is just around the corner. Evita, which tells the story of real-life Argentinian First Lady and socialite Eva Perón, opens Nov. 17 at the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre. The show is almost completely sung and features a small cast, including Eva herself, her husband Juan Perón and the infamous Ché Guevara. Ryne Nardecchia, musical theatre junior, is taking on the challenge of portraying Guevara, the iconic revolutionary. Nardecchia said it has been exciting to try to accurately
portray the real voice of his character. “You have to realize that he, like any famous person, was a real person,” Nardecchia said. “He had real thoughts and a story that needs to be told, but I also find that it’s important to find things that are personally relatable in what he had to say.” Nardecchia said he was given a lot of artistic freedom to figure out his character’s perspective. “There’s been a lot of delving into point of view,” Nardecchia said. “This character gives everything forward. He’s kind of the emphasis for the whole show.” J. Robert Moore, director and theater graduate student, said this particular version of
Perón’s story is told from two perspectives: the glitter and glory of Evita herself, and the ordinary, struggling lives of the people of Argentina, as told by Guevara. “I think every production is different because everybody has their view on the piece, and the piece itself is about two different viewpoints on the same woman, on the same story,” Moore said. Ty Taylor, musical theater junior and associate choreographer, said the song and dance of Perón’s time in the Argentinean government becomes a literal song and dance in this musical. Taylor said dance is an important element in the production. “It’s always a heightened,
dream-state of Eva,” Taylor said. “Everything becomes more of a grandiose image in her mind, and then it breaks into dance, which is like another enhanced form of storytelling.” Nardecchia said Eva is a very two-sided character, yet, when she was alive and in power, she was loved by millions. Even now, as a musical theater icon, Moore said she is still revered. “It is inspiring to me, in a way, because I think that the woman herself was so huge in her own right,” Moore said. “So, we get this chance, I think, to bring her back to life onstage in front of all these people.” It’s a big task. Moore said the show itself is still a crowd favorite for its iconic music,
acting and downright spectacle. “I’ve loved this show since I was a kid, so I was so thrilled when I was able to do this show,” Moore said. “I saw the movie when I was just a little kid, and it was just such a huge experience for me.” Taylor said the entire team promises a dazzling show. “It’s crazy getting to do a show on the (Patti Strickel) Harrison stage, and getting to see big formations and having all the set to play with, and props,” Taylor said. “This is huge, big scale, Broadwaycaliber production.” Moore said the experience of working on this big of a production as a graduate student has been both educational and exciting.
People involved in the performance have been given the opportunity to put their own unique flair on the show, Moore said. “I’m so blessed that we have such a talented cast, and so much support from the university,” Moore said. “We wouldn't be able to do this show this way any place else.” Moore said those in attendance can expect an exciting ride from start to finish. “I think they can expect a Broadway musical with lots of costumes and splash and spectacle but they can also expect to see some actors who are really committing, and to hear some music that’s really timeless,” Moore said. “I hope that we offer them a magical moment or two.”
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CAMILLE BOEFFARD: DIFFERENT COUNTRY, SAME PASSION By Brooke Phillips SPORTS REPORTER @brookephillips_
When some people think of a different country, they often have in mind a vacation or an opportunity to study abroad. However, for freshman golfer Camille Boeffard, when she thinks of a different country, she calls it home. Boeffard has made her journey to Texas State all the way from Nantes, France. What made this young 19-year-old want to attend college so far away from home was her passion to pursue what she loves: golf. Boeffard was first introduced to the game when her grandfather gifted her with a golf set at the age of 10. She has been playing for nine years now, and what started off as an activity for the entire family turned into the beginning of her career. After graduating high school, Boeffard spent a year in France and continued to practice golf. “We don’t have college in France,” Boeffard said. “We can’t do sports and study at the same time, so you have to choose. Here in the states it’s really exciting being able to do both.” Head Coach Mike Akers was first informed of Boeffard’s existence thanks to an email sent from a man in France. After the long process of researching Boef-
fard, checking her grades and getting to know her, Akers wanted her to be a part of the team. It was Boeffard’s turn to make a decision. “I chose Texas State because of all of the places here. The river, the university and all of the pictures were kind of awesome,” Boeffard said. “Coach was also nice when we emailed him and really understanding about the fact that I wasn’t fluent in English. I knew he could help me.” The language difference between France and the United States meant Boeffard had to adapt quickly. “I have to translate everything kind of in my head,” Boeffard said. “This is hard for me because I really like talking. I learned some of my English by watching movies, too.” The change in language was not the only obstacle Boeffard faced when she came to Texas. Although she practiced often back home, the concept of working out was entirely new to her. “I’d never worked out in my entire life before I came here because we didn’t do workouts in France,” Boeffard said. “We work out twice a week here, and this is harder for me because I’ve never done it before so I’m starting from scratch.” Along with becoming accustomed to all of the new changes, living in another
country meant not being with her family in France. Thankfully, Boeffard was able to turn to her teammates. “The fact that we’re all so far apart from our families, we created something else here,” Boeffard said. “Once my family left me here, the team became my family. We hang out together very often, and on the weekends when we don’t have tournaments, we all spend Saturday night together at someone’s house.” Having teammates is another transition Boeffard has gotten used to. In France, golf is an individual sport without any teams, she said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a team,” she said. Boeffard has gotten close with one of her coaches, who has become one of her greatest friends. “I started off with Cam and I really get her because she reminds me of myself when I was that age,” said Assistant Coach Jessica Salazar. “The things we talk about on the golf course, that’s my favorite part about her. It’s her personality on the golf course that I really enjoy.” Salazar is not the only one to notice the way Boeffard presents herself both on the course and off. “She always has a smile on her face,” Akers said. “When she enters the room, you just notice her. She’s just one of those people that have energy
about them.” Although Boeffard stays busy with practice six days a week and studying, she still finds time to participate in another passion: baking. “I like to bake cake that is special to where I live so I can share my culture,” Boeffard said. “I really like baking whenever I have time, and the nicest thing about baking is sharing with others.” Boeffard not only shares her delicious creations with her friends and teammates, but also makes sure to bring her athletic trainers a treat whenever she can. “She’s always thinking about other people,” Akers said. “She’s busy—she has studies and golf, but she still finds time to bake things for other people.” Currently studying premed, Boeffard plans on moving back home to France after college and hopes to one day become an oral surgeon. Although becoming a professional golf player is not something she wants to pursue, college is the perfect opportunity for her to achieve some of her shortterm goals. “I want to continue to play tournaments after college, but just not as a pro,” Boeffard said. “I want to continue playing as an amateur as long as I can and hopefully I can be one of the best European players.” As a well-rounded athlete,
COURTESY OF TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS
student and friend, it is clear Boeffard has already made an impact on the people she surrounds herself with. “A word that describes her well is joy,” Salazar said. “She brings happiness to this at-
mosphere that we’re at, and she’s very positive.” Though France is where she is from and calls her home, Boeffard is now able to proudly call herself a Bobcat.
TEXAS STATE LOOKS TO MAKE A STATEMENT By Jose Campos SPORTS REPORTER @josewithaj
The last time the Texas State volleyball team played South Alabama, the Jaguars took the match 3-2 (25-16, 20-25,
25-19, 13-25, 15-13). While the Sun Belt Conference Tournament is only two weeks away, Coach Karen Chisum has the team only looking at South Alabama, rather than the tournament. Texas State will take on South
Alabama Friday at Strahan Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. However, this may not be the last time the Bobcats see South Alabama. Currently, Texas State is the three seed in the Sun Belt, while the Jaguars are the six seed. If
the standings hold, the two will meet in the in first round of the Sun Belt tournament. Chisum said the team needs to prove the Jaguars’ win was a fluke by winning the match and crushing South Alabama.
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"So that when we get to the conference tournament, they're like, ‘Oh crud, we've got to play Texas State again,’" Chisum said. Chisum said the Bobcats will need to play at a much quicker pace in order to keep up if they end up playing against Appalachian State or Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. She said the Bobcats are peaking at the right time and feels comfortable knowing players like Jaliyah Bolden, redshirt sophomore middle blocker, and Lauren Kirch, sophomore middle blocker, are coming back from injuries. "Earlier on, if we needed to make a sub, we weren't nearly as strong with our subs. We're pretty darn strong right now," Chisum said. "I've got about nine or 10 6-foot-3 kids that I think could go onto the court and be just as strong as the first six." The errors hurt Texas State in their last game against the Jaguars after committing 29
errors for the match, their second-highest total this season. She said Mechell Daniel, Jaguars junior opposite side hitter, who had a game-high 14 kills in the match, will need to be shut down during the game. Chisum said the team will need to pass well and make sure the middle blockers make their presence felt. Madison Daigle, freshman middle blocker, who was recently named freshman of the week for the second time, will need to repeat her performance of a career-high 13 kills. "When we have that middle attack, it's good, plus it opens up our outsides," Chisum said. "We've got three viable hitters on the front at all times." Aside from this match being the last one of the regular season, it is also senior night. The team will honor Sierra Smith, senior libero, and Ali Hubicsak, senior defensive specialist, before the match.
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BOBCATS HEAD TO COLLEGE STATIONFORSEASONTIP-OFF By Autumn Anderson SPORTS REPORTER @aaautumn_
The Texas State Women’s Basketball team tips off their season in College Station Friday against the Aggies. The Bobcats will play at 6 p.m. in College Station. The game will be airing on the SEC Network. Texas A&M is a NCAA Top 25 team, according to the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll. Last season, the Aggies averaged 66.7 points per game and 40.5 rebounds per game. They finished the season with a field goal percentage of 43.6 along with a 3-point percentage of 29.6. Moving over to the Bobcats, last season’s stats don’t seem too distant from the Aggies. Texas State averaged 62.2 points per game, 40.4 rebounds per game and shot 36.3 percent from the field. Impressively, the Bobcats had a 3-point percentage of 34.1, finishing above A&M
in this category. The Bobcats will be facing Texas A&M’s two impact players, senior guard Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams. Williams averaged 14.8 points per game last season, while Walker averaged 14.3. Both players have continued to play big roles with the Aggies. Now that sophomore guard Kaitlin Walla is returning for the Bobcats, she will be a competitive player to utilize when facing the Aggies and their star players. Including Walla, the Bobcats have a team stacked full of versatile players willing to play all-around. “It’s the most versatile team we’ve ever had, Kaitlin Walla—she’s a kid who can play a two, three or four,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “Ericka May (freshman guard) obviously can f loat between the three and the four, and Whitney Apari (freshman forward) is a growing kid for us. A lot of our fours are kids who can
face up and put the ball on the floor as well as defend guards.” Playing an SEC team like Texas A&M will be helpful for the Bobcats, win or lose. Antoine said nonconference teams are scheduled for a good reason—to prepare for conference play. “You know, I think everyone is our biggest competitor. I think each game I go into it with that understanding, so for right now for us the next step is Texas A&M,” Antoine said. “We also have the toughest schedule to this point of my time here at Texas State, and this was done by design.” To Antoine, the result of the game isn't all that matters. Being able to better her team as a whole is the ultimate goal. “My goal as a coach this season is to make sure that we get better every game,” Antoine said. “If we get better every game, only good things are going to come at the end of the season.”
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