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Fourth resource center opens for flood victims By Autumn Wright NEWS REPORTER @autumnwright697

SAM KING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jill Jones Nov. 6 Standing infront of what used to be By The Bridge, her antique shop in Wimberley, before it was destroyed by the 2015 Holloween floods.

Wimberley shop permanently closes doors due to recent flood By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley

What was once a quaint antique shop facing Cypress Creek in downtown Wimberley is now a vacant and destroyed building. Flash floods during Halloween weekend brought destruction to Jill Jones’ business, By the Bridge Antiques, for the second time in six months. The business was first damaged in the historical Memorial Day weekend flood when rising waters broke the record of a similar disaster in 1929. Jones plans to shut her doors after being struck by a natural disaster yet again. “This last flood was the death blow for me,” Jones said. “My entire location is ripped to shreds.” Jones said after putting many years into her business, she doesn’t have the drive or will power to start all over. She regrets the unchangeable circumstances that have caused her to shut down. “It’s almost like a phantom limb,” Jones said. “I’ve been waking up in the morn-

ing and thinking my little shop will be there, but it’s destroyed.” Jones said the Halloween flood came too soon after the Memorial Day weekend disaster, leaving her little time to prepare for another natural disaster. “It could not have been worse,” Jones said. “This is worse than the ’98 flood and the Memorial Day flood because I have never seen it do this kind of destruction.” The effects of the two floods were distinctly different from one another, Jones said. “The Memorial Day flood was an unprecedented monster,” Jones said. “However, it didn’t affect anything other than the path the river takes and its tributaries. The first flood filled up my shop, which is a few hundred yards from the river, like a bathtub—and it sank like a bathtub.” The Memorial Day weekend flood differed because Jones’ shop experienced five feet of flooding, rather than complete destruction. “The largest portion and most valuable source of my business is metal art,”

Jones said. “Because the water wasn’t rushing and the metal didn’t float, when the water went down it was exactly the way I left it, but just a little muddier.” She said the metal from the first flood saved her business because she wasn’t able to salvage some of her other antique items. “This recent flood was a different story because I had practically nothing left,” Jones said. “The raging water ran way too fast and it took out cement walls, infrastructure like fences, and it even took out the ground from under itself. It’s all gone.” Jones has owned her antique shop for 13 years. She said business was booming prior to the Memorial Day weekend flood. “2014 was a really great year for my shop,” Jones said. “The flood changed all of that.” Victoria Ferguson, manager of On a Branch Boutique in Wimberley, said her shop lost some inventory over Halloween weekend. Ferguson said a lot of business owners in town have made less because of

the Memorial Day weekend flood. “A lot of it does have to do with the media,” Ferguson said. “It seems like they portrayed this town as being wiped out the face of the planet, but that’s not true.” Jones said she believes the second flood will not help attract the attention to other local businesses in Wimberley. “It seems like the press led people to think that we were off the map, but we’re trying to stay strong,” Jones said. Jones wants to remind others that Wimberley is still alive and shoppers should continue to support local businesses. Despite the flooding, Wimberley and Hays County are currently experiencing major growth. “I had hope to be here to capitalize on this growth,” Jones said. “Although I did experience this growth with my business, another year or two would have definitely helped me out.” Ferguson said By the Bridge has been around longer than most of the other businesses in downtown Wimberley. “It’s really disappointing

to see this flood because it was her sign to let her business go,” Ferguson said. “We really are trying to get the word out that she won’t be here anymore, but her stuff is up for sale.” Don Ferguson, city administrator of Wimberley, said officials have responded quickly to help people get back on their feet. He said Wimberley has a volunteer resource center to help mitigate damages from the flood. “We’re very sorry (Jones) sustained the damage,” Don Ferguson said. “It’s a very hard time for her and our thoughts and prayers are with her.” Jones said she wants to thank all volunteers who helped her during the summer after the first flood. She said it is time to move on and the next step is moving out of her house and renting a vacation home. “I’m very touched and moved to tears by what the community is doing to help me,” Jones said. “I still have inventory I haven’t paid for and I am very thankful for those who are supporting me.”


Long night against procrastination comes to Alkek By Darcy Sprague SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @darcy_days

For many, November signals the approach of Thanksgiving, family and feasts, but for other college students, the holiday break marks the beginning of a 72-hour period to begin working on final projects. In an attempt to change the tradition of frantically finishing projects at the lastminute, Alkek Library will be hosting Long Night @ Alkek Nov. 17 to encourage students to complete their work before the holiday break. The night will officially kick off at 5 p.m. and end at 2 a.m. featuring an interactive presentation from Brilliant Bobcats at 7 p.m. “The night will help students get some work out of the way so that they can celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Sarah Naper, director of research and learning services. “That way they won’t have to eat turkey and cram for finals.” The presentation will teach students about procrastination and help them identify their study problems, said

LESLY DE LEON STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Naya Sipas, a nursing sophomore, studies in the 4th floor of Alkek Library on Nov 17.

Katie Palmer, office of retention and management and planning coordinator. “We want students to learn a little bit more about what procrastination is, so they that can identify those behaviors in themselves,” Palmer said. Students participating in the night will receive a wristband, and will be asked to write their goals on a large sheet of paper displayed on the first floor, Naper said. Participating Bobcats will be asked to check in throughout the night. At the end of the night there will be prizes for students who have

reached their goal. Patricia Boucher, learning commons assistant, said there are going to be study breaks throughout the night to help students destress. When students walk in, they will receive Bubble Wrap to pop as a de-stresser. The major event will be a Bubble Wrap stomp on the first floor. “The great part is that students can participate in as little or as much as they want,” Naper said. Students from the department of Residential Life and Housing will host a game of Silent Library, as seen on MTV, where participants will

compete in teams to do outrageous things without making a sound, Boucher said. Some of the other study breaks include yoga and Tai Chi, Boucher said. Palmer said many students have problems with procrastination. She said students have found the Brilliant Bobcats’ presentation to be helpful in the past. She said the interactive goal-setting is very important. Boucher said there will be more to the night than just fun study breaks. An increased number of personal tutors will be available to help the students. This includes library assistants and Student Learning Assistance Center writing tutors. “Nine a.m. the next morning is going to be an interesting time for us,” Boucher said. Additionally, Room 105 will be open and staffed for students who need access to a computer lab. That means an additional 30-40 computers will be available for student use, Naper said. Naper said she loves having so many students use the library during finals, but she is hoping this event will cut down on the number of stu-

dents cramming last minute. “We are excited people feel comfortable here,” Naper said. “Late-night studying is part of the college experience.” The library can hold 14,000 people at a time and there are 2,990 seats, Boucher said. The library is used by 12,000-14,000 students a day. Every floor of the library is full during finals week, Naper said. “My first year here I came in one morning and had to step across two sleeping kids to get to my door,” Naper said. She said finals week normally includes students camping out in the library and sleeping on floors or tables. While Naper is happy to see students working so hard, she hopes this event will allow them more free time over the break. The idea behind the event came from a university in Germany, Naper said. Boucher said the idea has been spreading globally and is popular in Canada. “We are sort of the forefront of libraries bringing this idea in the United States,” Boucher said.

A fourth Volunteer Resource Center has been opened by the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team to accommodate citizens in the Buda-Kyle area who suffered major property damages from the Oct. 30 flash flood. BR3T is a nonprofit organization established in May as a response to widespread damage and loss of property from the Memorial Day weekend floods in Central Texas. The organization has created resource centers in San Marcos, Wimberley, Martindale and now Buda. Courtney Goss, volunteer coordinator for the San Marcos VRC, said the organization added another center to increase convenience for flood victims in the area. “It’s just easier for them,” Goss said. “That way, people in those affected areas won’t have to travel as far to seek help.” Goss said not every town was affected the same way during the Halloween weekend floods, and each one has unique needs. Donations can be made to BR3T through PayPal or the organization’s website. “It’s just different needs,” Goss said. “In Wimberley, it was a lot of homes that were taken off their slabs, whereas here in San Marcos it was a lot of rising water.” Elizabeth Wills, volunteer at the San Marcos VRC, has worked with other organizations like the Red Cross. She volunteered with BR3T before the Halloween weekend floods struck the area. She said volunteers help move debris off properties and give owners referrals to apply for temporary housing, along with more case-specific services. “Many of the people who come for assistance have also been affected by the floods back in May,” Wills said. “We talk to them to find out their needs and match them up with other volunteer groups to help them with any specific problem.” Ron Rodriguez, citizen of San Marcos, said he and his family evacuated immediately after receiving a flood warning on Oct. 30. “After we evacuated that Friday morning, we stayed at the public library till 4 (p.m.) and then spent the night at the nearest shelter,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez and his family were able to go back to their house the next day. Volunteer organizations helped move debris from the family’s home and gave them information on how to rebuild and repair their property. “We had a lot of different organizations come by,” Rodriguez said. “The Red Cross came and gave everyone a hot meal and breakfast.” Rodriguez said the flood caused him and his family to lose most of their furniture and belongings. “We threw out a lot of basic furniture like sofas, shelves and bookcases, stuff that’s going to warp out,” Rodriguez said. This was the second time this year that Rodriguez and his family had their home damaged by a flood, but they are now more knowledgeable about what to do in an emergency. “We have clothes packed in the car, food and portable chargers in case there is another storm,” Rodriguez said.

2 | Monday, Novemeber 16, 2015

The University Star


Mariah Simank, Lifestyle Editor @MariahSimank @universitystar


History behind San Marcos’ Chief Placido statue By Lauren Friesenhahn LIFESTYLE REPORTER @laurenf1122

A Tonkawa statue of Chief Plácido has been residing in San Marcos for the past eight years, holding stories most San Martians have never heard. In 2007, Leadership San Marcos revealed the statue to the public, holding a ceremony that left a lasting impact on the community. Rodney van Oudekerke, member of the Leadership San Marcos class of 2007, said he was one of the individuals who originally pitched the idea. Van Oudekerke said the statue was part of a class project. The goal of the assignment was to bring community awareness to the impact Plácido and the Tonkawa tribe have on San Marcos. “It takes about a year or so to complete and what you do is look around and see what are the needs of the city that are not getting met and then you make that happen,” van Oudekerke said. Van Oudekerke said past classes focused more on social services, but he wanted to try something a little different. Once the idea was approved, van Oudekerke began to research the Tonkawa in addition to searching for an artist capable of successfully portraying Plácido. Eric Slocombe, local artist, said he was chosen to sculpt the statue because of his experience creating Southwesternstyle artwork. Slocombe said he thought

this would be a great opportunity to educate the community on the Tonkawa. “I’ve done a lot of Native American pieces, but that piece kind of set a new standard for me,” Slocombe said. In order for van Oudekerke and Slocombe to learn more about Plácido and his successes, van Oudekerke said the duo traveled to Oklahoma to visit the Tonkawa. There, the men met Don Patterson, current president of the tribe. “After we gained (Patterson’s) trust, we were invited to his home—and I’m literally sitting on the floor of this man’s house, like a kid, listening to all these great stories about the Tonkawa,” van Oudekerke said. After hearing Patterson speak, Slocombe said he decided to try to incorporate historical markers on the statue for visitors who do not know about the history of the Tonkawa. “It’s amazing the things I learned that they didn’t teach me in school,” Slocombe said. Slocombe said they had to use photos of Native Americans that resembled Plácido’s appearance to create the sculpture because there were no real photos of the leader. “I compiled different parts of these different people and it worked out pretty well,” Slocombe said. Van Oudekerke said it was extremely important for the group to ensure the accuracy of the statue so a Tonkawa tribe member could come to San Marcos and recognize it as a representation of one of their

ANTONIO REYES STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Chief Placido of the Tonkawa Tibe honored with this statue and plaque near Plaza Park.

ancestors. Slocombe said he paid attention to little details practiced by the Tonkawa and incorporated them into the statue itself. “There’s a little medicine pouch around his neck, and when we were molding that statue with clay, we took wolf hair and actually put that inside it, like the Tonkawa would carry inside their medicine bag,” van Oudekerke said. Van Oudekerke said one of the most challenging parts of

the project was perfecting the peace pipe in Plácido’s hand. Van Oudekerke learned from Patterson that the pipe Plácido carried is sacred and can only be seen by special members of the tribe. To respect the tribe’s wishes, van Oudekerke said they designed the pipe based on a picture of the original except for one minor tweak used to differentiate it from the real piece. “(Slocombe) did one little

thing that we’ll never tell,” van Oudekerke said. “No one will even know what the difference is, out of respect of the tribe.” The day before the statue reveal ceremony, van Oudekerke said a group from the Tonkawa tribe came and blessed the statue. They even found gifts like roses and sage bundles placed around it. Slocombe said the statue’s unveiling was a magical moment. “Behind me, up in the sky,

the clouds even looked like a big eagle,” Slocombe said. “The whole thing was very special.” Slocombe said the group was worried about vandalism when the statue was first introduced to the community, but quickly realized the exact opposite was happening. “It’s amazing how people have taken care of that thing and watched over it,” Slocombe said. “As an artist, that’s what you strive for.”


Evita actress follows dreams By Denise Cervantes ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @cervantesdenise

One Texas State theater student is following in the footsteps of Patti LuPone and Madonna. Michaela Boissonneault, musical theater junior, is living her dream role by playing Argentinian first lady Eva Perón in the Department of Theatre and Dance’s upcoming production of Evita. While jumping between four different shows this past summer, Boissonneault said any free time was spent perfecting her audition for Evita. “When I was not working on a show or on the stage, I was drilling Evita music,” Boissonneault said. “There were fifteen sides for the callbacks. I was working on it all summer.” J. Robert Moore, Evita director and theater graduate student, said he was looking for somebody to fill the strength behind the character during the casting process. “For her, we needed someone who could not only sing the role, but also have an intensity,” Moore said. “I think (Boissonneault) has a lot of passion in her and we ended up seeing that on stage, and that’s what we needed.” Boissonneault said seeing

her name next to Evita Perón on the cast list posting was an emotional experience. “I gasped and I started crying,” Boissonneault said. “I looked at it for two seconds, saw that I made it and immediately called my mom.” Boissonneault said she has been passionate about theater since she began taking dance lessons when she was 4. She said she began taking voice lessons at the age of 6 and experienced her first time on stage when she was 11. “In fifth grade, I knew musical theater was something that I wanted to do,” Boissonneault said. “I immediately asked when I could go to theater school.” Although he saw multiple great auditions, Moore said Boissonneault best performed the role. “There were a lot of girls who could have played the role, in honesty,” Moore said. “I was hoping that Michaela would be the one who would battle it out and come out on top, and she did.” Boissonneault said she was a part of an Evita production as a freshman in high school. At the time, she was playing the role of the mistress. However, Boissonneault said her classmates predicated a larger role in the future. “My classmates back then

used to say, ‘You’ll play Evita Perón one day,” Boissonneault said. “Back then, I didn’t really think about it, but now I have this opportunity and it is a dream come true.” Michael Burrell, musical theater junior who plays Juan Perón, said he was equally excited for Boissonneault and himself upon seeing the cast list. Burrell said the acting duo has been friends for more than five years. “We’re very good friends— almost like brother and sister,” Burrell said. “I was almost happier for her than I was for me because I knew how hard she had worked for it.” Boissonneault said the role is very demanding, and as the premiere approaches, nerves have started to set in. “It’s a huge undertaking,” Boissonneault said. “It’s probably the biggest role of my life.” Boissonneault said playing such a strong and powerful woman is extremely rewarding. “It’s challenging, but so great,” Boissonneault said.

“My cast and family are very supportive of everything I’m doing so far.” She said the musical will take place Nov. 17-22 in the

Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre. Boissonneault said she can’t imagine doing anything else.

“I can’t do anything else and I don’t want to do anything else,” Boissonneault said. “I’ve been told my eyes sparkle on stage.”

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Univ Star 11-16-15.indd 1

10/29/15 3:02 PM

The University Star


Monday, November 16, 2015 | 3 Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IAmLivengood @universitystar



Not many people have the drive, passion and positive attitude to succeed more than Texas State women’s golf junior, Millie Saroha. At only 19 years old, this small, modest girl from India has had some of the biggest accomplishments throughout her 11 years of playing golf. While her father, who has played the sport his entire life, has been someone Saroha looks up to, it was through her own determination to continue playing that ultimately allowed her to fall in love with the game. Like any first-year college student, Saroha was nervous as a freshman in the spring of 2013. However, after playing in her first tournament, she became more comfortable. “Something I look forward to each new season is getting better, getting stronger and hit-

ting longer,” Saroha said. As Saroha is now in her third year of being a Bobcat, not only has her passion for golf grown, but her scores have equally increased. “Over the past summer, she worked very hard, and this year she’s our No. 2 player,” said Coach Mike Akers. “She went from a 77 scoring average last year, to a 74 average this year. I’m extremely happy with the way she showed up this fall.” While Saroha is having what appears to be her best season yet, her gameplay has caught attention from the people who practice with her every day: her teammates. “Millie is a hard worker on and off the golf course,” said Lora Assad, women’s golf senior. “She’s good at debating, but not arguing, and getting her reason out.” New Delhi, India, is the place Saroha calls home. She started her golf career there and eventually built up an impressive golf

resume. India’s golf program is different than that of the U.S. In India, golf is more of an individual sport rather than a team effort. However, being solo did not stop Saroha from competing in tournament after tournament, and she wanted each and every one of them to be a challenge. “My favorite part about competing in tournaments is putting myself under pressure and just seeing how good I can be,” Saroha said. “I come from a country where there aren’t a lot of female golfers, and that gave me the opportunity to shine and compete at so many different tournaments. More experiences make you a better player.” Pressure is exactly what many athletes face when competing. With pressure, Saroha believes it is essential to keep a positive attitude. “I love getting happy with good results and shrugging off the bad ones,” Saroha said. “I

could be in a low for five years, but one day I will come out of it because I know it has to happen. You just have to keep working and never give up.” Not only does Saroha put hard work onto the course, but in the classroom too. Akers said Saroha is a 4.0 student and has helped raise the team’s overall GPA. Although her academic skills are just as strong as her golf career, Saroha admits she is focused solely on the sport. “I have no dreams or goals right now except for golf, and I want to go pro,” Saroha said. “I think that’s a good thing because if I don’t have a backup plan, that’s just one more push for myself.” Saroha’s focus has allowed her to set a specific ambition with intentions of fully reaching it. “My father told me, ‘If you have your feet in two boats, you’re going to drown,’” Saroha said. “But if you keep your feet


in one boat—which is golf for me—you’re going to succeed. I’m not thinking negatively, though.” Akers said Saroha has what it takes to go pro. “I think she knows that it takes a lot of hard work, hours and repetition and confidence to become a pro golfer,” Akers said. “This year she has much more confidence, and she’s more of a leader.” Despite being busy with classes and practice, the golfer

still finds time for her favorite hobbies. “I love music and I love working out,” Saroha said. “I try to do some sort of physical activity every day. I’ve also been to concerts and festivals like (Austin City Limits) and Hoodie Allen.” Even through music, Saroha’s determination shines. “I’ve been playing guitar for six years now, off and on,” Saroha said. “I self-taught myself, and I like listening (to) and learning different raps.” As evidenced by past experiences, the athlete’s present focus on skill improvement and her confidence in what the future holds, Saroha is a prime example of the results of determination. Having a passion for golf has taught Saroha to work hard so she will eventually have the power to become as big as her dreams.



Senior Katy Collins is taking on a leadership role for the Texas State tennis team this year. Collins, a fourth-year veteran, has a huge task to manage this season. Not only is the athlete the team’s lone senior, but she’s leading a group with four new freshmen. However, this is a challenge Collins is not afraid of because she will be able to use her experience to her advantage. “(Seniors) helped a lot when I was a freshman—I was the only one on the team,” Collins said. “So I looked up a lot to the seniors and how they did

things.” With the help of her leaders four years ago, Collins was better able to transition her game to the collegiate level. She wants to do the same thing for her new teammates this year. “I’m trying to translate that, but we have a lot of freshmen. So it’s kind of opposite of what I went through, but I really enjoy leading and it has been fun,” Collins said. Entering her senior year, Collins does not want to waste any opportunity she gets. Every time she steps on the court, Collins’ demeanor changes in an instant. “Now that I’m a senior, I’m at the point where I want to go out there and enjoy every mo-

ment I have,” Collins said. “So it has been very motivating for me to go out and have a good time and it has been working really well.” First impressions are everything, and watching Collins play can be misleading because she admits to flipping a switch during competition. “I heard people don’t think I’m very nice when they see me playing tennis. I’m a completely different person on and off the court,” Collins said. “I’m always competitive, but I’m a lot friendlier off the court.” This is Collins’ fourth year with Coach Tory Plunkett, and each year their chemistry has grown. Collins’ father was a factor

in making playing tennis in San Marcos much easier. “(My father) was my coach growing up and Coach Plunkett coaches the same style as he did, so it has been a very cool transition for me,” Collins said. Collins’ father has been a very influential person in her life. He not only played tennis in college, but is a major reason Collins is a Division I athlete today. “When I was 14, my dad sat me down and he said, ‘You need to figure out what you want to do right here,’” Collins said. “That is the time you start working hard or not work as hard and you don’t have to go as high up.” Collins’ career began when

she played in her first ever tennis tournament at 8 years old. Collins said she competed in the 12-year-old division even though they were much bigger than her. Despite the big age difference, Collins still did well in the tournament. That was the moment she fell in love with the sport because she was just having fun on the court. Collins cannot imagine a life without tennis, but if forced to do something else, she still sees herself being a very busy person. “I would be very involved in the programs here because I just can’t not do anything. I have to be a part of something—that’s why I love sports,”


Collins said. “It’s something I have worked for my whole life.” One thing that will not change about Collins, even after life here at Texas State, is her competitiveness. “My whole life I have been competitive, and I don’t think it will ever change,” she said.


Thursday Texas State vs. UL Monroe 8:30 PM BOBCAT STADIUM Played Live On

4 | Monday, November 16, 2015

The University Star


Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams @universitystar



Don’t get caught up in puppy fever, pet responsibly Pets are adorable, but they’re better loved than neglected. Too many college students search for measured pet companionship instead of the reality of a full–time commitment. Caring for an animal is a commitment, and many college students do not consider the tremendous responsibility it entails. From shots and food to check-ups and regular exercise, pets are no small obligation. Just like taking care of yourself or a child, animals require time, commitment and resources. Being a young college student is no excuse for an impulse buy

of this magnitude. Miscalculating the cost analysis of raising and housing an animal companion can leave students in a financial strain. According to a report by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, new pet-owners can spend between $1,070 to $1,270 in the first year alone. So be sure to do extensive research. After all, research is key to any adoption—including those of the furry variety. Collectively, there are over 200 cat and dog breeds. Breeds do not just differ in distinctive characteristics, but also in necessities.

Caring for a Sphynx cat is different from a Persian one. While a Sphynx cat needs to be groomed to remove oil, a Persian feline should be groomed to prevent its long hair from matting. Meanwhile, a Bengal may enjoy the outdoors and exploring the streets, but a Sphynx cat can easily get sunburned or freeze to death on a cold day due its minimal fur. Different breeds, different needs. Students should think before making a definitive decision. Little feline or canine companions will benefit most from an informed adopter. Restricting a Great Dane to a tiny

two-bedroom apartment while the owner is off studying for a biochemistry exam all day does not take the best interest of the animal into account. Animals do not exist to coddle the egos and sentiments of their owners. Pets are sentient beings and deserve just as much of a life as any other creature. If residents cannot provide for one, they should give the animals to someone who can. Remember this one simple rule, Bobcats: if waking up for a 2 p.m. class proves difficult, then perhaps investing in another life is not the best decision to make.

Pets are sometimes smelly, often loud and always in need of attention. Many students cannot even clean their apartments frequently, so maintaining the life of another living being may not be in their cards, and that’s OK. There are still ways to get that unconditional, adorable love fix for those trying to fight off puppy fever. Volunteering at shelters and seeing firsthand what goes into caring for pets can cure or worsen the desire for a pet. Whatever the result, the experience is beneficial. Shelters provide great opportunities for those who love animals, and student

volunteers can provide additional time and resources for ownerless pets. This is college, and sometimes students underestimate how busy their lives are while overestimating the amount of time they reasonably have. Pets require attention, that’s the fact of the matter. If people cannot regulate time and resources to an animal’s existence, they should spare it the misfortune. Most animals don’t have the privilege of a long lifespan—don’t waste their lives trying to fill a void in yours.

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.



Let the games begin, Anonymity breeds cuffing season has arrived animosity on the Internet

Mikala Everett OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mikala_maquella

The weather is waxing cooler and the desire to spend weekends cuddled up is growing stronger. It is time to prepare for battle, ladies and gents— cuffing season is upon us. Cuffing season is the epitome of dating as a youth in America. Most youngsters remain single from early spring to late summer. However, once the leaves begin to change color they search for a mate to shield them from the bitter, cruel, winter winds. Plus, having a bae from Halloween to Valentine’s Day means gifts for all the major holidays and functions, which is a definite win. Cuffing season allows for all the cuddling, snuggling and spooning needs to be filled in the months these acts are most necessary. There is nothing worse than silently sob-

bing into a pillow while rubbing your freezing cold feet together, bemoaning the fact that you are, as usual, alone. The cuffing experts begin planning and picking out potential baes as early as July. In these early stages the professionals begin picking out potential warm bodies to keep them company. Therefore, if playing the vulture is not one’s scene, it is wise to start picking now. Many positives exist while engaging in cuffing season festivities. There will be someone to laugh at all of your jokes. When one needs an emergency make-out session or someone to change a flat tire, there is a person to call. Also, the crushing weight of being alone on Valentine’s Day, once again, for the 19th year in a row, will not apply because there will be no need to examine selfworth and self-esteem. The task of trying to convince oneself that a significant other is not a necessity will vanish. No, a boyfriend is not needed, but it would be nice, Mom. While the positives truly outweigh the bad, it is important to keep in mind the negatives. For instance, sexually trans-

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, Sports Editor..............................................Paul Livengood, Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor..............................Daryl Ontiveros, Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall,

mitted diseases happen, so yeah—there’s that. Additionally, having a significant other means there is another individual besides your mom to whom you’ll be forced to explain that you didn’t answer the phone because you were stuck under a desk trying to plug in a charger. Then again, technically it is their fault for not texting—no one calls these days. The lack of interest in cuffing season in these instances is understandable, however they are not excuses for not putting in some effort. There is no fault in choosing not to take part in cuffing season antics. I suppose some of us just have our priorities in order and are more concerned about making sure we don’t die alone, but to each their own. Ultimately, the decision to take part in cuffing season is entirely up to the predator. Keep in mind, the more players in the game, the greater chance of success. So if you don’t want to spend this winter alone again, put yourself out there, Bobcats. You got this. —Mikala Everett is a marketing sophomore

Madison Teague SENIOR OPINIONS COLUMNIST @maddiebell_bell

People on the Internet are jerks and it’s becoming a real problem. The Internet can be a wonderful tool for sharing information and ideas across the world. Unfortunately, it has become a medium for everyday people to act like massive assholes under the guise of “freedom of speech.” Death threats do not fall under the right to freedom of speech. The point of freedom of speech is to open discussion and debate between people of all types. Disagreements do happen, but that is the beauty of free and open discourse. If a person resorts to violent threats of death, rape or bodily harm, they are not practicing their right to free speech. The anonymity of the Internet was designed to let

people browse in comfort and have open conversations without the fear of judgement. However, it has turned into a shield that online harassers cling to in order to threaten and berate other Internet users. A study conducted by University of Houston assistant professor Arthur D. Santana reported that 53.3 percent of the anonymous comments had an uncivil or threatening tone compared to 28.7 percent in non-anonymous comments. Computer screens offer a degree of separation from the users on the other side. People would not go up to another in public, for the world to see, and tell someone to kill himself or herself, but somehow on the web they do. The interaction is no more secret just because it happened online, yet people feel much more comfortable threatening others when they feel there will be no real-world consequences. Hiding behind the anonymous button does not make Internet trolls any safer while posting threats. IP addresses can be tracked very easily, whether by the police or private services. Nothing that happens on the web is truly anonymous. People misguidedly be-

lieve a threat is not viable just because it was posted on the web. If the threat causes fear and anxiety in others, the poster can face severe legal repercussions. Before you threaten your ex-wife with a gruesome death on Facebook, ask yourself if you’d be willing to face 4 years in prison. The laws regarding Internet harassment and stalking are still not at a point where online threats are prosecuted in a timely manner. If a person is threatened on the Internet, they should keep record of all harassment in order to make the process move quickly and be taken seriously. The Internet has grown exponentially in the last few years, however the arm of the law does not move so quickly. It is up to users to stay safe—report threats when necessary and don’t disclose personal information. Don’t be a jerk on the Internet. If you wouldn’t threaten someone with death or bodily harm in person, don’t do it over the web. If you would threaten them, I implore you to take a long look at your life and seek therapy. —Madison Teague is an English junior

601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666

Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, Web Editor........................................................Emily Sharp, Account Executive............................................Hanna Katz, Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, Account Executive..........................Angelica M. Espinoza, Media Specialist.............................................Dillan Thomson, Advertising Coordinator...............................Kelsey Nuckolls, Publications Coordinator........................................Linda Allen, Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson,

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Monday, November 16, 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.

Visit The Star at

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