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THURSDAY

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 43

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UNIVERSITY

Visiting council evaluates SJMC for reaccreditation By Mariah Simank SENIOR NEWS REPORTER A five-person on-site evaluation team representing the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication visited Texas State this week to determine whether or not the university’s program should gain reaccreditation. The evaluation team visited campus Nov. 15-19 to inspect facilities and equipment, visit classes and meet with students and faculty members within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Kym Fox, School of Journalism and Mass Communication senior lecturer, said the purpose of the visit was to ensure the university meets the nine ACEJMC standards: mission, governance and administration; curriculum and instruction; diversity and inclusiveness; full-time and part-time faculty; scholarship (research, creative and professional activity); student services; resources, facilities and equipment; professional and public service and assessment of learning outcomes. Journalism faculty members prepared a comprehensive self-study in preparation for the visit, Fox said. The self-study was sent to each member of the evaluation team before they arrived. “The way accreditation starts is the university does a self-study that is basically an evaluation of ourselves based on the nine standards,” Fox said. “We send that off to the accreditation team before they come, and they read it so that they are familiar with the program, and they are essentially verifying everything that we said.” Trevor Brown, member of the ACEJMC on-site team, said in a meeting with students on Monday that the school’s submission to the accrediting council is a voluntary process. “There are more than 400 schools and departments of journalism and mass communication in the United States, and at the moment there is somewhere in the region of 114 that are accredited,” Brown said. “What that says is you don’t

See SJMC, Page 2

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

Craig Mager, senior cornerback, returns a punt Oct. 14 against Louisiana-Lafayette at Bobcat Stadium.

Bobcats prepare to face ‘explosive offense’ in must-win matchup By Mariah Medina ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @Mariahmedinaaa The next two games are critical for the Texas State football team. Coach Dennis Franchione wouldn’t want it any other way. Arkansas State is already bowl eligible. Texas State will enter tonight’s matchup fighting for an opportunity at a bowl game. Franchione said the Red Wolves, who are coming off of a 37-32 loss against Appalachian State, will see some of their players return from injury.

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The NCAA report lists three injured athletes as probable to play against Texas State, the most notable of whom is Arkansas State junior running back Michael Gordon, who has 844 rushing yards this season. Colby Targun, senior safety, says the defense is expecting a versatile opponent with three receivers who each have over 400 receiving yards. “They’re an explosive offense,” Targun said. “They’ve got some weapons. It’s not just the back end. It’s everyone on the defense doing their 1/11th. It’s the d-line getting pressure, the backers doing their thing and the secondary covering,

so it’s a whole defensive effort when they have good receivers. Everybody does their 1/11th, and we’ll take care of their receivers.” Franchione said his team has played good football in its most recent weeks of matchups. Winning, however, has proven to be a challenge late in the game for the Bobcats. The Bobcats don’t recognize moral victory. Franchione said the team had no choice but to absorb its 24-20 loss against South Alabama and prepare for Arkansas State. “You get home and get in bed at 3:30 on Saturday night and you’re back up here at eight

DAYS SINCE THE BOBCATS’ LAST HOME WIN WIN TO SECURE BOWL ELIGIBILITY GAMES REMAINING IN THE SEASON

Sunday morning,” Franchione said. “You’ve got a short week to get on the game plan, so you don’t have time to spend much time thinking about the last one.” The shorter week of preparation, Targun said, will be a test of strengths and weaknesses for both teams. “It’s good to have a quick turn-around and get back on the field and have another game pretty quick,” Targun said. “It’s hard on a team. It’s less preparation, but it’s the same for both teams. Neither team had a bye last week, so each team has two less days to prepare.” Franchione didn’t call South Alabama a must-win game, but he and Targun realize the two competitors left on the schedule warrant some concern. Last season, the Bobcats acquired their sixth win before losing the final three games. The team focuses on one game at a time, but the South Alabama loss could be the difference between a bowl game and a season that ends in November. “When you look at our schedule and see that last year we had six wins and we didn’t go to a bowl—all programs’ ultimate goal is to go to a bowl,” Targun said. “You might have to win seven games, and for us, with two games left, it might be classified as a must-win.”

CITY

Torchy’s Tacos’ opening date delayed to January By Exsar Arguello NEWS REPORTER The opening date for Torchy’s Tacos has been pushed to early next January because the building is not yet finished. The taco chain will open Jan. 22 after the original plan of opening in December in the former San Marcos Post Office. Torchy’s Tacos officials denied requests to comment. The former post office has a history of flooding, said Andy Grubbs of Hays Environmental Consulting. The back parking lot was designed lower in elevation than the structure, causing it to slope up towards the building, he said. “It’s not so much of a design flaw as it is the whole entire area hasn’t been updated in such a long time things like (flooding) are bound to happen,” Grubbs said. The flooding problems the building has had in the past are not reasons for the delay, said Trey Hatt, communications specialist for the City of San Marcos. The former post office is currently go-

ing through renovations to make way for the taco restaurant. “The building has been completely gutted and knocked down,” Grubbs said. “Besides a few brink walls it’s being completely changed — it’s a radical change.” The project is run by Sabre Commercial Inc., a construction company based out of Austin, according to a project manager who has requested to stay anonymous. The city officials of San Marcos have no hold on the building and are waiting for construction to be finished, Hatt said. “Another problem is that the grates in the parking lot are clogged with leaves and other sediments which doesn’t allow water to run through and drain causing the flooding that occurs,” Grubbs said. There is also flooding from the adjacent parking lot that also has sedimentary problems with the grates, Grubbs said. “The question to be asked is how exactly the city is going to be able to get under the surface and unclog the grates,” Grubbs said. “They just aren’t made to withstand that PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER much sediment backup.” The opening of Torchy's Tacos, located in the former San Marcos Post Office, has been postponed.


2 | The University Star | News | Thursday, November 20, 2014

UNIVERSITY

SJMC, from front have to be accredited in order to offer a journalism education in the United States.” Texas State is currently one of five schools in the state to be accredited by the ACEJMC. “(Texas State) has sought accreditation in the past and was reaccredited the last time in 2008,” Brown said. “Schools come up for reaccreditation every six years.” Fox said accreditation of SJMC is important evidence of the hard work put in by the students and faculty. “This process gives us sort of a checklist for maintaining high standards,” Fox said. “We are able to focus on the things

that make a program sound and excellent, and we can put ourselves in a class with all of these other programs that are doing a good job.” The team plans to issue its final recommendation to the university in May, Brown said. “We make a recommendation as a team as to whether or not this program should be reaccredited,” Brown said. “It goes through another two stages which combine professionals and academics, and ultimately, in May a decision is made by the council as to whether or not the program is going to be reaccredited.”

UNIVERSITY

Resourcefulness temporary solution for lack of classroom space By Jon Wilcox NEWS REPORTER Finding classroom space in the face of budgetary restrictions and record enrollment numbers is becoming an increasingly serious issue for Texas State. Provost Eugene Bourgeois, vice president of Academic Affairs, said at the Wednesday night Faculty Senate meeting the issue of diminishing classroom space had reached a “critical” level. Texas State will have to relocate academic colleges and various departments if the university’s request for government financial aid does not come through. “It’s the elephant in all of our rooms,” said Susan Day, sociology department chair. “This is the issue that comes up in almost every meeting that any of us are in—‘What are we going to do about space?’” University officials are frequently asked about space during academic program reviews, accreditation visits and department meetings, Bourgeois said. Financial assistance through state-issued Tuition Revenue Bonds (TRB) could most easily fund the construction of new classrooms. The bonds’ approval is uncertain and will not be considered until the start of the legislative session in January, Bourgeois said. Space limitations have forced the Academic Testing for Students with Disabilities (ATSD) program into a lessthan-suitable location, he said. “There is a critical problem with (the location of ATSD),” Bourgeois said. “These are students who have been granted accommodations for disabilities, and their testing is being disrupted.” The testing center is currently located in the basement of

the Commons Dining Hall, he said. Fire alarms triggered by the cooking area above often disrupt testing. “When alarms go off, it’s not just once or twice a semester,” Bourgeois said. “It can be five or ten times in a week. I don’t like it at all, and I’m very uncomfortable with what’s happening over there.” Plans are in place to relocate ATSD to the Nueces building, but final decisions cannot be made until state legislators decide how much money to give to the university. Bourgeois said he can’t do anything with the relocation proposal until more is known about the TRBs. The University Police Department would also be expected to relocate out of Nueces to make room for academic purposes “as a long-term plan,” Bourgeois said. Classroom space at Flowers Hall is also limited and will become even more so in the near future, said Michael Hennessy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “I would say space has become a critical issue,” said Dan Lochman, English chair. “Looking out three years, even with reduced rate of increase in first-year students, (Flowers Hall) will be at 100 percent usage from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.” Bourgeois said he hopes to “free up” more money to do renovations and construction this year. Bourgeois did not know exactly how the university would find the necessary space, but he is confident in the faculty’s creativity and resourcefulness in solving the problem. “Some faculty are basically installing another door into a closet and making an office out of the thing,” Bourgeois said. “I hate that that is happening, but that is what we have to do.”

Community makes conservation efforts

By Sierra Holmes NEWS REPORTER

Popular environmentally friendly organizations on campus are no longer the only option for students who want to promote a “green” Texas State. Recycling Services and Grounds Operations along with other sustainable organizations like Bobcat Blend, Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), Human Environmental Animal Team (H.E.A.T) and the city of San Marcos all work together to keep the university and community environmentally responsible. A newcomer to the environmental community is a “brand” called “Bobcats Go Green,” said Jennell Rayos, interdisciplinary studies of sustainability graduate student. “Bobcats Go Green” was promoted at home football games this year as a way to get the word out to students about being eco-friendly. Rayos hopes to decrease the amount of trash left after games by putting recycling bins inside the stadium. After home football games, Rayos, along with other students, could be found cleaning around the stadium to promote the green initiative. “‘Bobcats Go Green’ was started by (Duy Ba Le) a graduate student who graduated in 2014,” Rayos said. “Duy asked the question, ‘why is recycling not offered at the stadium?’" Rayos’ plan is to further Duy’s initiative in helping the university be noticed nationally as an advocate for the environment. “‘Bobcats Go Green’ is a brand

Texas State officials are taking steps to become more green.

and Waste Management Services, said the university takes more than one approach to go green. “It is more than recycling,” Smith said. “There is a deeper initiative that each department takes to oversee the efficiency of the environment.” The part of the recycling program that deals with waste management coordinates the servicing schedules for all waste hauling of university compactors. The hauling includes dining hall compactors, residence hall dumpsters and portable dumpsters off campus. “We make an effort to divert recyclable material from the waste stream,” Garza said. The Grounds Department works as the overseer for the management of water, vegetation material and trash on campus. “Students of any kind who wish to implement an environmental project to impact the campus, must be overseen through the ESC (Environmental Service Committee),” Smith said. The Environmental Service Committee distributes money in order to provide the funding for environmental improvements at the university. The ESC offers funding for environmental education, recycling and zip car transportation, he said. “We have seen an increase of involvement from our students and sustainable organizations to promote their own environmental projects for the improvement of our campus,” Smith said. Garza expects student’s enthusiasm to bridge the university and the city toward environmental advocacy.

PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

CITY

Construction begins on new Hilton Garden Inn By Alexa Tavarez NEWS REPORTER Stone Bridge Hotels officials began construction this week on a new Hilton Garden Inn off River Ridge Parkway. The process of planning, zoning and buying the property for the new hotel began 18 months ago, said Richard Weik, director of Operations for Stone Bridge Hotels. Guests can expect to stay in the Hilton Garden Inn beginning the spring of 2016. The development is currently in the early stages of construction, Weik said. This week Stone Bridge Hotels broke ground on the property and prepared to lay a foundation and set a base material to prevent flooding of adjacent

It’s good medicine!

not an organization,” Rayos said. “More than 60 percent of students believed recycling should be offered at the stadium — I wanted to make that change.” The focal point of the initiative is to control the trash inside of the stadium, which will lead to less trash on the outside. A lot of the trash on the outside of the stadium comes from tailgates before the games. “This year, in order to expand the initiative, I now include tailgating in the west and east athletic parking lots (to the cleaning list),” Rayos said. “‘Bobcats Go Green’ has made much progress — I still see room to improve by expanding to other athletic and campus events.” Texas Recycle Day is another approach for the university and San Marcos community to become knowledgeable about going green. Mario Garza, supervisor of Recycling Services, said spring of 2015 will bring more involvement from incoming students. Current students will inform new students about the university’s green movement, he said. One way students stay informed is through the recycling team. “One big component of Recycling Services is educating our students which we see is an important factor for the community and students,” Garza said. As student population increase each year, the Recycling Department expects to see a definite increase in the amount of trash on campus. The more students there are on campus, the more the trash generated will increase, Garza said. Brad Smith, director of Grounds

space. The new Hilton Garden Inn will include 105 rooms with a full-service restaurant for breakfast and dinner, a bar, an outdoor pool, an exercise facility and 350,000 square feet of conference space, Weik said. In addition, the hotel will employ 35 to 40 full-time employees. “There is a demand in San Marcos for a higher-end lodging property,” Weik said. “The new Hilton Garden Inn will benefit tourists and provide them with another property that has an on-site restaurant and bar.” Higher-end properties will raise the standards of lodging, offering better options for those visiting San Marcos, Weik said. “I didn’t get that sense of competition,” said Councilwoman

Lisa Prewitt, Place 1, member of the city’s Convention and Visitor Bureau Board. “We really need this hotel space because we have so many people coming into San Marcos.” People notice officials are trying to make San Marcos a more progressive city, Prewitt said. Officials have made large efforts in improving outdoor spaces and trail areas, and maintaining the riverbanks to attract visitors. The baseball fields and new football stadium at San Marcos High School have been attracting many other visitors as well, Prewitt said. “As we see more people coming to visit San Marcos, I think we will see more people possibly wanting to reside in San Marcos,” Prewitt said.


The University Star | Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 3

TRENDS

UniversityStar.com

MUSIC

one day for South By Southwest, and he and Kevin ran into each other. Kevin wanted to move back, but Matty told him not to because he needed a roommate, so they lived together. And I met them through a short living situation I had with Matty. One day we realized we all sang well and played instruments well. I started to learn bass, and I mostly play bass. Matty plays occasionally.

TE: What is your creative force? What gets you going?

Tyler Jordan

BASS GUITARIST FOR THE GENTS By TheresaChristine Etim TRENDS REPORTER The Gents have cemented their status not only as one of Austin, Texas’ favorite bands but an act on the verge of national acclaim, blending smooth vocal harmonies with southern-infused folk rock. The group comprises Tyler Jordan (bass, vocals), Matty Blissard (vocals, guitar, bass), Kevin Manship (vocals, guitar) and Jon Denn (percussion) and has already cultivated a following at The 512 and beyond. Here, The Star talks with Tyler Jordan about what’s next for The Gents.

TJ: Well, there are three separate songwriters. We each write certain songs, and whoever writes the song will sing the lead vocals while the others sing backup. As far as (why we write), I can’t speak for the others, but for me it’s inspiring. I like the idea of directing people, and I think that’s only possible through songs. Growing up, I liked listening to lyrics and getting direction from them, so I hope to inspire people how I was when I listened to music. TE: So how exactly did you guys meet? TJ: Well, Matty and Kevin are from Virginia, and they met in high school. Kevin moved to Texas with another band, but that fell through. Matty came down from Virginia

TE: So it’s safe to say you all have the same roles in the band? TJ: Yes. We’re all equal. We all sing and play, and we all put in the same effort. It’s pretty diplomatic. TE: What makes you guys gel well together as a band? TJ: We were all friends first, actually. We were drinking one night, and while talking

SHOPPING

BLACK FRIDAY HOW-TO GUIDE DON’TS

By Kara Dornes TRENDS REPORTER

From clothing to electronics, nothing says “I’m thankful for my life” like cutting Thanksgiving short to elbow strangers out of the way for the latest Xbox incarnation. Though the very American ritual of Black Friday is undoubtedly stressful, shoppers can implement tips to get in, get out and score the best deals.

DOS Make a list of everything you need

One of the most known and key strategies of black Friday shopping is to have a list ready when going into a store. This is one of the most crucial parts of the Black Friday experience. “Have a list of everything you are planning on getting so that you aren’t wandering around confused,” said McKensie Brewer, nursing freshman. “That wastes time, and items sell out super fast”

Do your research

Along with making a list, research is a big part of this experience. Researching where the best deals are will save the most money. Determining the best place to get what one wants is better than wandering around buying whatever is available.

Make staying up all night a fun experience

No one ever likes pulling all-nighters, and it can be hard to stay awake, but doing things with friends and family who are taking part in the same experience can help pass the time. “I usually drink energy drinks with my family and play games all night before we go shopping,” said MacKenzie Barton, nursing freshman.

Don’t try to hide items you want

Stores are sneaky. Going into a store early and hiding items that are wanted or will sell fast won’t work well. Stores change up the floor plans before sales, so trying to hide things beforehand won’t do anything except waste time.

Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes and dress appropriately

The worst thing anyone can do while shopping or walking a lot is wearing the wrong shoes. Being comfortable in what one is wearing is important for avoiding tunnel vision while shopping. “Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes if you plan on shopping till you drop,” said Niki Helton, nursing freshman. “Also plan ahead to bring items that correlate with the weather forecast, such as an umbrella or bulky jacket to keep warm.”

 on’t leave home without D these items

The worst thing that can ever happen while Black Friday shopping is getting to the stores and having a cell phone battery die or a credit card go missing. Before going out, shoppers must check wallets and purses to make sure all coupons, cash and credit cards are in the proper place along with a fully charged cell phone. Snacks and water can deter late night-cravings and dehydration while shoppers wait in lines.

Don’t wait until the last minute

Shoppers must have everything they need set out and the entire day/night planned so that a strategy is in place and nothing goes wrong at this crazy event.

we realized we all played instruments and didn’t have a band, and I think that’s important. It comes off on stage, and you can see that we have fun. Today lots of bands meet on Craigslist, and it’s more formal, but we all met before, and I think that’s pretty cool. TE: Who is Rachel Weinkler, for whom a song is named? Is the song based on a true story? TJ: (Laughs) I wrote that song, so I’m glad you asked me that. But yes, she’s a real person and a good friend of mind from back in the day. She doesn’t do Facebook (or much Internet), and I’ve lost touch with her. It’s kind of sad because of the song’s meaning, but the last I heard she was doing better. But it is a true story. TE: What’s the difference between playing Austin

and San Marcos? TJ: We’ve played three or four times in San Marcos, and the crowd seems to be more engaged. In San Marcos, there’s a really small-town feel. Everyone knows each other. We have a great time, and we like the vibe. Everyone’s super friendly. I really dig Triple Crown. It’s small, and I like the dive bar feel to it. I like it a lot. TE: What’s next for The Gents? TJ: We’re about to demo a song for a new record. We’re not sure if it’s gonna be an EP or a full-length record, but we’re just gonna wait and see what happens. That’ll be around late spring. We’ll also be doing an East Coast tour in June, and we’ll go back in August. We’ll also be playing San Marcos more frequently and hope to do more writing.

THEATRE

Theatre department modernizes “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” By TheresaChristine Etim TRENDS REPORTER Skateboards, tattoo sleeves and skinny jeans are three things William Shakespeare never imagined when penning his classic play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but they are all integral to Texas State’s updated telling of the fairytale. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was held at Texas State’s new Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre and quickly sold out roughly 10 minutes before starting as excited word got out about the in-demand play. The play’s theme, message and plotlines were all kept traditionally Shakespearean and reinvigorated by a modern take on the Bard’s timeless classic. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a popular candidate for present-day remakes, but the Texas State Theater Department’s superior acting performances and detailed set separates this production from others. The crowd was enthusiastically involved in the dialogue of the characters, attention held raptly thanks to the actors’ high-energy line delivery and strong stage presence. An everlasting supply of laughter was heard amongst audience members as comedic deliv-

DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR

The cast of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” practices Nov. 13 during dress rehearsal at the Performing Arts Center. ery was both well timed and expertly delivered. Roberta Ahrens, who played Helena, particularly demonstrated a knack for comedy, keeping patrons in stitches. Her energy was contagious among the audience as she dashed across the stage. Her character’s adoration of Demetrius was one of many comedic points as she ran after her lover over and over. Demetrius, played by Andrew McVay, did not share her affections at first and spendt a great deal of time time running away from her overbearing love. Nick Bottom, a character whose over-eagerness drives the comedic factor into full gear, contributed more laughs. Played by Drake Shrader, Bottom is a character who is seen as foolish

along with his other friends. Another aspect that captivated the crowd was the set design and wardrobe. The set was adorned with chandeliers, drapes and, at one point, a floating bed. The stage was beautifully decorated, perfectly invoking the dream world in which the play is set. To conclude the play, all the actors joined hands on the stage and not only engaged in a curtain call but also ended the night with a group dance on stage. As Lil Jon’s club hit “Turn Down For What” blasted through the auditorium, the actors engaged in a hip-hop dance sequence, resulting in a standing ovation.

POLITICS

Young Americans for Liberty increasing campus presence

By Ernest Macias ASSISTANT TRENDS EDITOR Some are lost in a sea of red and blue and would be surprised to hear political affiliations exist beyond the scope of Republicans or Democrats. Young Americans for Liberty, one of the most popular political organizations at Texas State, has a mission to mobilize and spread the word of its presence. The Young Americans for Liberty is the largest political organization on campus with a network larger than 100 people, said vice president Morgan Scott, management junior. “We don’t endorse politics and are not affiliated with the liberty party, “ Scott said. “We are more about teaching the libertarian philosophy on campus.” Students may have misconceptions regarding the true nature of the organization and its values. “Every week we host a round table—open-ended discussions about current events,” Scott said. “These discussions could be anything from children’s rights to the drug war and police

militarization.” The focus of this political club is to educate students about libertarian philosophy, which is typically considered socially liberal but fiscally conservative, according to treasurer, John Bernhardt, CIS junior. YL considers its philoso-

officers. “There is a wide variety of people that attend our meetings,” Scott said. “Within our group, we have everything from conservatives who consider themselves Republicans to anarchists.” YL members partici-

We don’t endorse politics... We are more about teaching the libertarian philosophy on campus.” —Morgan Scott, management junior phy to be a middle point between Democratic and Republican beliefs. “We are right in the middle of both parties, but it’s also an aside from politics,” Scott said. “We’re not trying to tell students what to think.” The organization’s members believe in a diverse and inclusive policy that welcomes everyone regardless of political affiliation, according to Bernhardt. The members of YL are not exclusively libertarian. Some students affiliate with Democratic beliefs but still attend the meetings, according to the YL

pate in philanthropy and social events in addition to spreading the school of thought. According to Bernhardt, the aim is to market the organization as a trifecta of education, philanthropy and social expansion. “After being invited to attend a meeting, what kept me around were the people in the group,” Bernhardt said. “At the end of the day, it was the social aspect behind it.” The strong push for individual freedom and rights might lead those unfamiliar with the club to make assumptions about YL,

Scott said. “We believe that individuals should be free to do what they want, but libertarianism is not about selfish people wanting to do their own thing,” Scott said. “That’s why we try to focus on philanthropy—because it’s not a belief that you should only care about yourself. It’s the fact that we think that individuals are better and more effective at solving issues.” YL at Texas State runs under the “think globally, act locally” ideology, which is why it has donated time and money to local battered women’s shelters and other charities that do not receive government funding. Joining the club is easy and very open, according to Bernhardt. Students can attend the weekly meetings on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at LBJ 3-13.1. According to Scott, the club members are not required to pay the $10 fee to join the national group, and attendance for the discussion tables is always open. “We try not to indoctrinate people,” Scott said. “We try to explain all sides of an issue, and we encourage students to think for themselves. That’s our main goal.”

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4 | The University Star | Thursday, November 20, 2014

OPINIONS

UniversityStar.com

THE MAIN POINT

Tips for making the most out of Black Friday T he editorial board has concocted a few tips to aid students in their endeavors to maximize their luck on Black Friday.

one friend on the lookout, one friend grabbing all the items and one Big Bertha to take down anyone and everyone that dares stand in the way.

Take advantage of the sales If students can make it and have nothing else to do for the day, they should just go out and appreciate the Black Friday sales. Students might as well take advantage of all the crazy discounts that all the stores are using to pander to would-be shoppers. Even people who rail against capitalism and big corporations should take a day off. The sales are at shoppers’ disposal and should be taken advantage of. No one is going to tell anyone’s super cool hipster friends. After all, it’s not like shoppers are doing anything anyway.

Choose Target, not WalMart Target is so much better than Wal-Mart. If shoppers have to choose one or the other, they should always choose Target. Wal-Mart is symbol of everything wrong with America. Even the employees do not like the store. Target for the win.Don’t be rude, be polite It should not have to be said, but being nice to everyone is important. The employees who work at these shops have it bad enough. A horde of people is already in their store yelling and fighting over the last 60-inch Apple TV. Shoppers should try not be that straw that breaks the camel’s back. They should be nice to the cashiers, baggers and fellow shoppers. As much as she might provoke others, the old lady who managed to get her hands on the last PlayStation 4 does not deserve to be tackled. Simply put, no one wants to be that person everyone vents about at the end of the day. It is unbecoming. Shoppers should remain courteous, remain polite and remain sane. Good things come to those

Make a plan & strategize Once students decide to tackle Black Friday, it is important to plan for the day. They should not go off into the jungle with no game plan. Students must assemble a group of willing compatriots, huddle up and strategize how exactly to best take advantage of the sales. Selecting stores to tackle, at what times, for how long and what items to buy are all things that need to be handled beforehand. A group can have

who wait.

Have no fear, there’s always Cyber Monday For those people who may be busy or may be one of the unfortunate souls that actually have to work the department stores, there is always Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the Monday after every Black Friday when all those people who could not be bothered running around town fighting for sweaters take to the Internet to partake in the vast sales online. Stores ranging from Wal-Mart to Barneys have exclusive deals online that everyone should take advantage of if at all possible.

Appreciate family and all that you already have Last and most importantly, students should remember to appreciate the people and things they already have in their lives and never take things for granted. Even if people cannot make it to any of the Black Friday sales or take advantage of Cyber Monday, they should not feel sad. It is perfectly ok to simply appreciate what one already has and know there is someone, somewhere who is doing worse and wants more. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and having unconditional love from ten people outweighs any

JORDAN GURLEY STAR ILLUSTRATOR

meaning that could possibly come from ten newly bought presents. Students should keep

everything in perspective and enjoy the time.

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.

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

Convicted felons deserve right to vote Brandon Sams ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR Public relations sophomore

I

t is inhumane to take away one of the core tenets of a democracy—voting. No matter the offense, suffrage should never be infringed upon. Laws preventing or restricting convicted felons from voting are unbalanced, unfair and, frankly, unjust. Whle Texas is not the best

when it comes to these things, it isn’t one of the worst either. In Texas, after serving a term of incarceration, parole, supervision and probation, felons can register to vote once again. For once, Texas is not moving backwards or sliding towards its long-held conservative tenets. While Texas’ model is not ideal, it is the most common one in America, with 19 other states applying the same system of registration for their populations of convicted felons. However, any denial of universal suffrage is an affront to democracy, egalitarianism and long-established American beliefs. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in many states ex-offenders have to apply to get their voting rights back or they simply lose their right to vote permanently. Only two states, Vermont and Maine,

do not restrict felons from voting at all. Talk about hitting a horse while it’s down. People convicted of felonious crimes not only face restrictions from government funds, access to jobs and housing and suffer from overall public shame, but also they are forced out of universal suffrage. The collateral consequences that felons face are inequitable and unjust, especially in a country that proclaims to be the “land of the free.” Stripping someone of the right to vote is not only an affront to civil liberties, but it is also a slap in the face to people who have served their time to society, or at least so they thought. Speaking of civil liberties, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, felony conviction disenfranchisement laws across the nation restrict approximately 5.85 million Americans

OP-ED

Faculty deserve transparency, fairness in tenure decisions By Elizabeth SkerpanWheeler ENGLISH PROFESSOR

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hanks to his Oct. 16 University Star article, “Faculty senate reviews policy regarding explanations of denied tenure,” Houston M. York has done a major service to both students and faculty. In his article, York clearly explains to students the process by which faculty members earn tenure, a procedure that requires meeting high standards for teaching, scholarship and service and submitting to regular review by senior faculty on and off campus. He also alerts faculty to a significant issue that is challenging tenure-track faculty across the country: the question of whether a candidate has the right to know the reasons why he or she was denied tenure. I can confirm as true what Cynthia Opheim, Debra Feakes and Michel Conroy said in the article about tenure review at Texas State. Faculty members going up for tenure should have a reasonable idea of what the outcome may be. However, this situation may change. As Texas State increases its stature and reputation as an emerging research institution, our tenure-track faculty may find themselves confronting an issue that is appearing at other universities across the country: denial of tenure for reasons other than quality

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of performance. For example, according to Inside Higher Ed, despite “some 28 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, $1.4 million in research funding and strong evaluations along the way,” a professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia was refused tenure. He believes the action was retaliation “for blowing the whistle on alleged misuses of federal research funds in his department,” but he has no way of knowing for certain because he cannot know the official reasons for the denial. Mysterious reasons are also finding their way into the post-tenure review process in Texas. Tenured faculty are reviewed annually to assess whether we are maintaining university standards in teaching, scholarship and research. Negative reviews can ultimately lead to dismissal. This year a University of Texas associate professor in the College of Education received a negative review after testifying at the state capitol about his research involving standardized testing, which is critical of Pearson Education (which contributes substantial funds to the College) and other players in the testing industry. No official explanation of the review was offered. These and other examples may be isolated incidents, or they may be signs of things to come as public support of universities continues to decline and universities must turn elsewhere

Editor-in-Chief............................................Lesley Warren, stareditor@txstate.edu Managing Editor....................Odus Evbagharu,starmanagingeditor@txstate.edu Letters...........................................................................universitystar@txstate.edu News Editor............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, starnews@txstate.edu Trends Editor.............................................Amanda Ross, startrends@txstate.edu Opinions Editor.....................................Imani McGarrell, staropinion@txstate.edu Photo Editor........................................Madelynne Scales, starphoto@txstate.edu Sports Editor......................................... Quixem Ramirez, starsports@txstate.edu Copy Desk Chief.................................Sam Hankins, starcopychief@txstate.edu

for funding. If a trend is developing, both faculty and students should be seriously concerned. One principle that has made American higher education a world leader is our commitment to academic freedom—the idea that professors should be free to pursue their research to its conclusion and to teach according to their best judgment. This is what tenure is meant to protect. While no principle can guarantee excellent research or teaching, academic freedom allows for the free inquiry that is the essence of creative, intellectual advancement. In today’s political and cultural climate, when universities are not required to provide official reasons for denial or revocation of tenure, faculty members may feel pressured to avoid any research or teaching that someone, somewhere, may find objectionable, and thus convert their open inquiry into a safe, predictable package. This situation may be suitable for “competencybased” education (a term finding increasing favor with our state legislature), but destructive to academic excellence. We should all be wary. Faculty should look for a forthcoming announcement of the opening of a blog on issues affecting higher education in Texas, to be sponsored and maintained by the campus chapter of the Texas Faculty Association. Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston, stardesign@txstate.edu Assistant News Editor........................Nicole Barrios, starasstnews@txstate.edu Account Executive..................................Hanna Katz, starad2@txstate.edu Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, starad4@txstate.edu Account Executive.....................................Jamie Beckham, starad5@txstate.edu Media Specialist............................................ Chris Salazar, c.salazar@txstate.edu Advertising Coordinator..............................Kelsey Nuckolls, kjn16@txstate.edu Publications Coordinator.......................................Linda Allen, la06@txstate.edu Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson, stardirector@txstate.edu

from voting. That is equivalent to about 2.5 percent of the voting population. Of course, as with all things having to do with the unbalanced beams of the United States’ justice system, these felony conviction laws disproportionately restrict the rights of African-Americans. According to the Sentencing Project, 7.7 percent of African-Americans are disenfranchised by these laws compared to only 1.8 percent of the general population. In the three states with the harshest laws, the statistics regarding the African-American population are even more disheartening. Over 20 percent of the African-American populations of Florida, Virginia and Kentucky have their voting rights permanently stripped away from them. It is extremely inaccurate to

tell people that if they do the crime, then they must do the time when the system currently in place seeks to marginalize and disenfranchise them for the rest of their lives. Even once felons pay their debt to society, they are constantly bombarded with obstacles to prevent them from getting back their “inalienable rights” to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America is proclaimed to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Yet, I wonder—free for whom? A country cannot truly be deemed free when there are over 5 million residents who have served their penance to society and are still being subjugated, suppressed and penalized. This land is not free for them and it will not be until these undue laws have been reformed.

THANKSGIVING

‘Black Thursday’ threatens Thanksgiving tradition

Hannah Foster OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior

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he time of year formally known as Thanksgiving is filled with turkey, football and family. Or at least that is how it should be. In recent years, the meaning of Thanksgiving has become misconstrued by the capitalist agenda. Thanksgiving no longer feels like the day-long celebration of family and giving thanks but is instead just another excuse for businesses to make more money. I know that this seems like a rather large claim, but I say this due to the overwhelming increase in establishments opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day in order to begin their Black Friday sales. Not only are these businesses drawing customers away from their holiday festivities, but are also keeping their employees from celebrating with their families. This phenomenon happens every year. Stores open their doors earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day in order to compete with others and boost Black Friday revenue. According to a Nov. 4 Time article, Macy’s announced that it would be beginning its Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Shortly after, Kohl’s and Sears followed suit and stated that they, too, were going to be opening at 6 p.m. In order to keep up with the competition, JCPenney

announced a 5 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving Day, when just two years ago they closed their stores on this holiday. These are just a few of the many examples. Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys R Us all have reputations of opening earlier and earlier each year, with Wal-Mart generally utilizing its usual 24 hours of operation. Meanwhile, Kmart has now announced it will be opening its doors at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and then remaining open for a solid 42 hours. It is clear that these businesses are more concerned abouttheir profits than their employees or customer satisfaction. According to Time, about 45 percent of consumers say that they will shop, to some degree, on Thanksgiving day or evening. However, roughly six in ten Americans say that they dislike stores being open on Thanksgiving, while about a total of 12 percent claim that they actually like it. Furthermore, the Facebook page Boycott Black Thursday has roughly 97,000 likes. This page advises consumers to avoid shopping at businesses that open on Thanksgiving and to instead spend their money at retailers that remain closed on this holiday. I, for one, completely agree with the distaste for “Black Thursday.” I would even argue that the overwhelming consensus is most Americans dislike retailers opening their doors on this otherwise familyoriented holiday. It takes the focus away from family and shifts it onto corporate America. The problem is that when these businesses open their doors, they are taking their employees away from their loved ones. They are influencing others to leave their families in order to “get the best sales.” They are agenda-setting for the capitalist regime while diminishing the holiday’s true purpose of uniting family.

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday 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 20, 2014. 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 | Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 5

SPORTS

UniversityStar.com

FOOTBALL

STORYLINES TO WATCH: TEXAS STATE VS. ARKANSAS STATE By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem Coach Dennis Franchione, the fourth winningest active Division I coach, said he hasn’t been a part of a season like this. Two games remain, and this season is teetering on the brink.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL

Colby Targun, senior safety, and defensive coordinator John Thompson echoed the same sentiment: this team excels in adverse situations. Targun called it “playing with our backs against the wall.” The mentality, Targun says, is a credit to Thompson’s coaching staff. TARGUN’S TAKE: “It’s a little chip on our shoulder, a little edge that we have. We don’t like our offense to have any turnovers, but if they do, we pride ourselves on getting turnovers. It’s kind of a mindset that John Thompson and his staff has instilled in us, and we’ve ran

with that.”

to South Alabama.

SHORT WEEK

TUTTLE’S TAKE: “If we had another Saturday game, it would give us another day to dwell on the loss. We already started getting back to work. We didn’t have time to pout and hang our heads.”

A 12-game football season is an exercise in attrition, with each successive game wearing the body down. The week of preparation isn’t solely to prepare for the opposition but also to rehabilitate the mind and body. A short week, meanwhile, complicates that objective. Coach Dennis Franchione has to cram a week’s worth of practice and tape study into a truncated four-day slate. Quality takes precedence over quantity during this time. Arkansas State faces the same challenges, with travel also factoring into its equation. As such, there is more volatility in a midweek game. Arkansas State, winner of seven of its last nine midweek games, thrives in this setting. Texas State lost 34-10 to Louisiana-Lafayette in its only midweek game this season. Charlie Will Tuttle, senior offensive lineman, says the good news is the short week prevents the team from over analyzing the 24-20 loss

OFFENSIVE LINE

Texas State’s offensive line has allowed 25 sacks this season, the seventh-highest mark in the conference. Part of that total can be attributed to Tyler Jones’ sophomore quarterback, and his tendency to jump into defenders before plays develop. There’s an ideal give-and-take between the offensive line and the quarterback, which Texas State doesn’t have. When the offensive line isn’t breaking down, Jones is torpedoing a play by over-extending himself. That can’t happen against Arkansas State, a blitz-heavy team with 32 sacks in 10 games. Thompson coached the defense last year. The scheme is tinkered, but the personnel is largely the same.

TUTTLE’S TAKE: “The defensive line they have is strong and fast. Maintaining our blocks and picking up the blitzes are going to be important because they are a big blitz team.”

TOO MUCH PASSING?

Texas State’s personnel isn’t equipped for a pass-heavy offense. At times, the offense has stretched to its physical limits to compensate. When Jones throws fewer than 35 times in a game, the Bobcats are 5-1. The teams record dips to 0-4 when Jones exceeds 35 throws. Play calling varies and is contingent on context and opponent, but Co-Offensive Coordinator Mike Schultz said the ideal ratio is a 50-50 split between passes and rushes. COACH SCHULTZ’ TAKE: “We are still good when we can run the football. We threw a bunch in the second half. We wish we could have ran the ball a little bit better. I don’t think you can overanalyze that.

We’d like to be balanced. When you look at the year, we aren’t far from that. It’s our goal to be as balanced as we can.”

SENIOR NIGHT

The 2014 senior class has seen it all—three conferences, bowl eligibility, national television exposure. Senior night is the last impression for a class that includes Targun, Will Tuttle, David Mayo, Michael Odiari and Craig Mager. The opportunity to secure bowl eligibility in the final home game of the season is theirs for the taking. TARGUN’S TAKE: “It’s crazy how fast it’s gone. It’s a great environment at Bobcat Stadium—great people, great supporting staff throughout the entire organization. It means a lot to get a win and go out the right way and get that sixth win, which means a lot.”

PREDICTION

Arkansas State 38, Texas State 31.

VOLLEYBALL

Bobcats enter last road trip before tournament By Kirk Jones SPORTS REPORTER @kirk_jones11 The final road trip of the Texas State volleyball team’s season begins with a bid to the Sun Belt tournament already punched. Texas State is aiming to secure the second seed in the bracket. “For what we have been through this season, I’m so proud of our team,” Coach Karen Chisum said. “From all the injuries to the

senior graduating last year, to place second—that is an accomplishment.” The Bobcats take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers, who they defeated at home earlier in the season. Appalachian State has also clinched a bid in the Sun Belt Conference. “I think the fact that we played at home the last two weeks really helped us,” said Jordan Kohl, freshman right side. “It’s prepared us for this last week and getting us ready for the tournament.”

Chisum reached the 800 win threshold, the sixth highest among active Division I coaches, with two victories last week. “I’m just glad its over,” Chisum said. “I’m happy for the players that were involved, and what a tribute to all the Texas State players that have come through. It has been an honor to coach them with the help of my assistant coaches, but right now I just want 801.” The Mountaineers began the season with a 13-game winning streak. Now the team is in a

season-high three-game losing streak. “I’m looking forward to playing them,” said Caylin Mahoney, senior setter. “I didn’t get to play them last match, and I haven’t played a lot this season, so I’m just ready to get on the court.” Mountaineers junior outside hitter Emily Corrigan leads the team with 450 kills on the season. Corrigan averages 4.37 kills per set and is second in the Sun Belt. Junior outside hitter Jess Keller and senior middle blocker Lauren

Gray each have over 300 kills, ranking Appalachian State one place behind the Bobcats. Texas State swept the Mountaineers last matchup in straight sets with a career high in kills from Kelsey Weynand, sophomore outside hitter. “They did not play well against us last matchup,” Chisum said. “They have great outside hitters. I try not to worry about the other team. I’m just worried about my team.”

because his hometown of Luling is 20 minutes away. The proximity of the university allows Craig to attend Courtney’s basketball games and go home when needed. “To this day Craig will give his opinion on situations that arise with his sister,” Cindy said. “I call him and let him know everything that’s going on with her, and she listens to him. That’s her brother. He’s been in the home this whole time, so she values his opinion.” Craig can’t help but smile when reflecting on his mother’s involvement in his life. He remembers one specific instance—freshman football. “We were at a little high school game, and I got tackled pretty hard,” Craig said. “She jumped

over the fence, freaking out just because a boy tackled me hard. I was like, ‘Mom, I’m good. You

a reason we’ll never understand. God never puts you in a place he can’t take you out of.”

FOOTBALL

BEYOND

CROSS COUNTRY

THE GAME

!

CRAIG MAGER SENIOR CORNERBACK By Mariah Medina ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @Mariahmedinaaa Cindy Mager’s phone rang early one Friday morning. On the other end of the line was her frantic 15-year-old nephew, Craig Mager, now a senior cornerback. Craig’s mother wasn’t waking up. Cindy said she could hear Craig punch the wall in a panic. His mother, who had visited the emergency room with a severe headache a day before, was unresponsive. Just two days after Craig turned 15, plans for his birthday party quickly turned into plans for a funeral. With two younger sisters, Craig was in a position that called for his maturity well before it was due. Adversity is the foundation of Craig’s character. “It helped mold me into the person I am today,” Craig said. “I probably wouldn’t be the same without going through it.” Four years later, a malpractice lawsuit concluded the hospital was responsible for his mother’s death. Mager’s mother had unintention-

ally overdosed with the Fentanyl patch that had been prescribed to treat her headache. “He’s got the question of ‘why?’” Cindy said. “He’s got the question of ‘Why did they kill my mom?’ and I’m going to put it in those terms, but his questions are ‘Why? I don’t understand how they could do that’ because his mom was a nurse, and it was kind of as if she chose a career that was almost like—her destiny.” Craig had already accepted the role as the man of the house with a father absent from his life. He hadn’t expected to assume the dual-parental role over his younger sisters when they moved in with their grandma. The pressure was on Craig when the woman responsible for making him the man he is today could no longer offer his younger sister’s guidance. “He kind of served as my mom and my dad,” Craig’s younger sister Courtney Mager-Sayles said. “He would go to my games, make sure I was at practice, make sure I listened to my coaches and kept my grades up.” When college offers came, Craig chose Texas State. He said liking the San Marcos area is easy

The person that raised you, that had you, is gone now. You think, ‘Dang, who really cares now?’” -Craig Mager, senior cornerback don’t have to worry about it.’ That always laid on my mind.” At the time, Craig said he was a little embarrassed at his mother’s reaction. Today, he just wishes he could see her again. “The person that raised you, that had you, is gone now,” Craig said. “You think, ‘Dang, who really cares now?’” Cindy doesn’t have answers for Craig, but she consoles his questions with simple logic. “Everything happens for a reason,” Cindy said. “God called her home for In the Mercantile Building

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Cindy said she admires her nephew’s determination to lead a life his younger sisters could be proud of despite all the adversity he has faced. Craig lost his mother and football coach around the same time, but he doesn’t look at his mentors’ deaths as a negative. Instead, he sees them as overseers of Bobcat football. “I think there’s a lot of people that I feel like help us out in certain situations,” Craig said. “David Gish, you know, he’s been here for a long time, so I think they definitely have a say in how the Texas State ball bounces every now and then.”

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The University Star | Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 6

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Bobcats win home-opener against Lamar Cardinals By Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER @SabrinaFloresTX The Texas State men’s basketball team has opened the season 2-0 against Division I opponents for the first time since 1998. The Bobcats led the entire game in their 65-55 victory against the Lamar Cardinals. Lamar was within seven points of a tie with five minutes left in the game. “I think Lamar is a good team,” Coach Danny Kaspar said. “I don’t think they are as good as Seattle, and there we go beating Seattle on their floor. Last year we seemed to play better away than we did at home. I hope that’s not (the) case, because then we have a very immature team.” Lamar came out attacking in the second half. The Cardinals, bolstered by their full-court press defense, went on a 7-2 run against the Bobcats’ defense. MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Lamar scored 19 points Wes Davis, senior guard, attemps a layup Nov. 19 at Strahan on Texas State’s 23 turn- Coliseum where Texas State defeated Lamar University 65-55. overs. JaMarcus Weatherspoon, junior guard, points in the second half. in the win. Gant recorded and Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, D.J. Brown, senior guard, a double-double on 83.3 sophomore forward, com- led the team with five as- percent shooting. bined for 11 turnovers. sists. “I thought Emani had “I give us a C,” said “I want to affect the a great game—four steals, Emani Gant, junior for- game in a positive way,” two blocks, even three asward. “We had way too Brown said. “One of our as- sists, 14 points,” Kaspar many turnovers. We got sistants takes stats of how said. “If there’s an MVP of to do a better job handling much we impact the game, the game, it’s him.” pressure. We have to come and my aim is to be at the Texas State shot 50 perout the second half a lot highest on that list. I don’t cent from the field and better. We just have to fin- have to score to do well or 82.6 percent from the free ish games better.” for us to win.” throw line for the game. Weatherspoon scored Kaspar recognized The Bobcats face UTSA 15 of his team-high 19 Gant for his performance Nov. 22 in San Antonio.

0


presents...

SAN MARCOS STARS San Marcos Stars is an annual survey voted on by the community to honor the best the city has to offer.

THE WINNERS 2014

RESTAURANTS - PAGE 2

MISCELLANEOUS - PAGE 3

BURGER: Taproom Pub & Grub PIZZA: Pie Society SANDWICH: Alvin Ord’s BREAKFAST TACOS: Lolita’s Cafe DESSERT: Marble Slab Creamery

BOUTIQUE: Centerpoint Station BEAUTY SHOP: Monroe Hair Studio AUTO REPAIR: Ernie’s Paint and Body SPECIALTY STORE: Yellow Store

NIGHTLIFE PAGE 4 LIQUOR STORE: Twin Liquors HAPPY HOUR: Chimy’s TATTOO PARLOR: Classic Tattoo NIGHTLIFE: Harper’s MUSIC VENUE: Cheatham Street Warehouse

RESTAURANTS PAGE 5

RESTAURANTS PAGE 6

COFFESHOP: Mochas and Javas DATE SPOT: Root Cellar MEXICAN: Garcia’s

ASIAN: Asian Garden BBQ: Hays Co. BBQ ITALIAN: Italian Garden TRAILOR DINING: Big Kahuna


2 | The University Star | San Marcos Stars | Thursday, November 20, 2014

RESTAURANTS

BEST PIZZA: Pie Society By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR One of the few places in town selling pizza-by-the-slice, Pie Society has become the ultimate gathering spot for students in between classes. Located in the LBJ shopping center, Pie Society offers huge San Marcos-themed pizza slices from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and again from 5-8 p.m. daily. Area and illuminati-themed pizza slices are as delicious as their names are clever. The Holy Grail is a popular pie selection, featuring pepperonis and mushrooms embedded

in gooey cheese for a traditional pizza experience. The Pyramid takes a departure from the ordinary to roll out goat cheese, spinach and mozzarella for a slice that tastes both flavorful and artisanal. Though the restaurant has a wide selection of topping choices, straight shooters can, of course, take solace with a traditional slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza. Long community-style tables and a well-stocked bar make it as much of a social staple as it is a pizza-lover’s paradise. One of the restaurant’s most overlooked perks is their selection of local, artisan sodas serviced by the Main Root Beverage Company.

BEST TACOS: Lolita’s Cafe

By Kelsey Bradshaw NEWS EDITOR A line of cars can be found every morning heading into Lolita’s Tacos where citizens and students create traffic all in the name of breakfast tacos. Owner Marta Carrillo is coming up on her 10-year anniversary of being in the taco business. Carrillo attributes her shop’s success to the family atmosphere the business provides. “I’m really bad with names, but I remember every single regular’s order,” Carrillo said. Lolita’s is named after Carrillo’s daughter who still works at the shop when she is home from school. The family atmosphere continues

despite Carrillo’s daughter being away at school. “Oh yeah, it’s definitely like a family,” Carrillo said. The taco hut’s success has also carried over to other parts of San Marcos, specifically Jo On the Go. The coffee shop used to sell Lolita’s Tacos although they now make and sell their own, said Liz Rio, owner of Jo On the Go. Rio and Carillo have a working relationship making them “very close,” she said. “(Carrillo) is a great person,” Rio said. “She makes a great product.” Jo On the Go picked up the tacos because of the quality and taste, Rio said. Carrillo has been working hard for years to keep her business going, she said. “It wasn’t easy (to achieve success),” Rio said.

Lolita’s is located off Aquarena Springs Drive in a small building adjacent to the business’ car wash. Carrillo does not have any current plans to expand, although she would like to. “I really like this corner,” Carrillo said. As Texas State’s numbers have risen year after year, so has the business at Lolita’s. Every year the business is “growing and growing” with the influx of students and San Marcos residents, Carrillo said. Although Carrillo’s job is tough, she says she can’t see herself doing anything else. “For me, it’s not a job,” Carrillo said. “It’s part of my life, and I really enjoy it.

DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR

BEST BURGER: Taproom Pub & Grub By Mariah Simank SENIOR NEWS REPORTER There are burgers, and then there are Taproom Pub & Grub burgers. Located just 10 minutes from the Texas State campus, Taproom opened its doors in 1994 with one objective— “to serve the best food and beer around,” according to their website. It features a rustic feel designed to appeal to locals and those just passing through. General Manager David Alexander has worked at the restaurant for seven years and said it’s great to have San Marcos residents show their support. “Its not the first award we’ve received, but its always a huge honor when people nominate us,” Alexander said. “As long as people continue loving what we do, we will continue the

tradition of serving great burgers.” Amanda Garcia, psychology senior, had her first Taproom burger when she was 12 years old. “I first heard of the restaurant about ten years ago when my brother was going to Texas State, and he was always saying that they had the best burgers in town,” Garcia said. “My favorite is the Queso Guacamole Burger.” Garcia said she enjoys every item on the menu, so the award is no surprise. “Taproom is probably my favorite place in San Marcos,” Garcia said. “I eat there at least once a week, so believe me when I say it deserves this award because the burgers are the best.” The Taproom Pub & Grub features a variety of weekly meal specials and weekend events to spice up nightlife on the square. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST DESSERT: Marble Slab Creamery By John Gonzales SPORTS REPORTER @Swimmerboy_15 Marble Slab gives a customer plenty of options to choose from and the chance to create their perfect ice cream. Manager Jake Wiggins takes pride in the award. “It shows that all our employees really care about the product,” Wiggins said. “That we produce not only make it a good product, but also have fun while serving it and having a good atmosphere.”

Customers are greeted by hellos and smiles as part of the positive atmosphere that is noticeable as soon as you enter the building. With so many options to choice from, there is almost no “most popular” dish on the menu since a customer can build their own ice cream, Wiggins said. Among the many flavors available, Wiggins pointed out two flavors in particular. “Cookie and cream shake is really good and the ice cream cakes have gotten really good reviews,” Wiggins said. For having just opened in the

beginning of June, Marble Slab is already competitive with other local desert businesses. Wiggins believes there are three things that makes Marble Slab stand out from the rest. “One—high quality product,” Wiggins said. “Two—good customer service. Three—our employees really care about the product and care about what they do.” Senior Nicole Ornelas loves the little things about Marble Slab. “I like how much ice cream they give you for such a small cup,” Ornelas said.

PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST SANDWICH: Alvin Ord’s By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER Alvin Ord’s Sandwich Shop, a close-to-campus spot, features fresh, flavorful sandwiches and a mural-like wall decorated by current and longgraduated Bobcats. Sandwiches shops in small towns seem to be a dime a dozen, but Alvin Ord’s fresh ingredients imported from local farms and a dedicated to both San Marcos and the Texas State community set it apart from sandwich chains in the area. First opened in the early 1980s, the shop has been a fixture in San Marcos ever since, drawing Texas State alumni and few fans in with its laid-back atmosphere and—of course—prime location. The fact that the restaurant has thrived

for nearly 40 years amidst several corporate giants in the area is a testament to both the shop’s product and the loyalty of its fanbase. The shop offers options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, with the pulled pork sandwich ranking among its most popular items. The restaurant’s proximity to campus makes it a popular eatery for on-campus residents, a close and inexpensive alternative to typical meal plan fare. All sandwiches made at Alvin Ord’s are crafted with fresh, artisan bread and crisp produce, making for a flavorful experience. In addition to their sandwiches, Alvin Ord’s offers stuffed and whole jalapenos, cookies and a variety of salads. “The food is cheap and pretty massive,” said Olivia Trevino, Alvin Ord’s manager. “We are open during most campus hours.”

1290 Wonder World Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 667-6832


The University Star | San Marcos Stars | Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 3

MISCELLANEOUS BEST BOUTIQUE: Centerpoint Station By Benjamin Enriquez NEWS REPORTER Centerpoint Station opened 20 years ago as a restaurant, but has now been in the clothing business for 13 years. The store has always offered jewelry and personal accessories, but not always clothing, said owner Cheryl Warren Cuppetilli. “We’re not your typical strip center feel or variety,” Cuppetilli said. “You could shop, eat, then shop some more.” She said none of their clothing is “serious,” and they want everything to be thrown back to denim. “We try to keep up with the latest trends in denim for sure,” Cuppetilli said. “Our denim selection is pretty awesome for San Marcos.” Cuppetilli said her store caters to college student styles as well as residents. “We offer college clothing lines such as Black Swan, Ya, Flying Tomato, Blu Pepper and all

at price points that are amazing—$40 dresses, can’t beat that,” Cuppetilli said. Lezli Zbranek, sales associate and exercise sports science senior, said Centerpoint Station also offers collegiate discounts. “Texas State employees and students get 15 percent off boutique purchases every Thursday,” Zbranek said. She said people come in for all kinds of things, but clothing is their best seller. “We can clothe college age up to grandmothers,” said Jana Major, buyer for Centerpoint Station and former auxiliary services administrative assistant. “We offer one on one customer service, and our selection is so varied.” Janet Knox, repeat customer, said she loves the uniqueness of the store. “There’s one of a kind things you’re gonna find here,” Knox said. Cuppetilli said Centerpoint Station is really like an old general store. “Back then they sold everything, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Cuppetilli said.

PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST BEAUTY: Monroe Hair Studio

the salon to enjoy its success. In addition to their charitable efforts, the salon is also a sponsor of the Miss Texas United States pageant and has styled Miss Texas pageant participants. While the salon specializes in haircuts, styles and coloring it also offers a host of other services such as waxing, hair extensions and on-site styling for special occasions. The shop has recently expanded their selection of hair accessories and apparel such as headbands beanies and other items to accessorize a hairdo. Caroline Robertson, senior mass communications major, says the shop is the only salon in San Marcos to correctly color her blonde hair. Though Monroe Hair Studio possesses a wide clientele, Dietz says its most satisfied customers are those that crave a rich, blonde finish. The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Dietz said walk-ins are welcome.

By Mariah Medina ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @Mariahmedinaaa

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

In her year and a half of employment with Monroe Hair Studio, stylist Katelin Dietz isn’t surprised that the establishment won a San Marcos Star award. “We’re enthusiastic at the salon,” Dietz said. “We like giving everyone a fun experience. It’s quality hair and a great time.” What sets the stylish shop apart from others in the San Marcos area, Dietz says, is the diverse clientele they cater to. Since opening it’s doors in 2009, Monroe Hair Studios owner Lanna Welch has strived to serve the community beyond the confinement of her East Hopkins street shop. For over five years, Welch and her team of stylists have volunteered with United Way, adopted families to give gifts to during the holidays and have held clothing drives for under privileged children in the community. Dietz says the goal is to give back to the community that has allowed

BEST AUTO REPAIR: Ernie’s Paint & Body Shop By Frank Campos NEWS REPORTER

Open since 1983, Ernie’s Paint & Body Shop is a staple for San Marcos residents. The shop that has come to be known as “Ernie’s” has achieved a reputation as an honest and fair body shop with a standing for good business. General manager Ernie Valdez has seen his father build the body shop from a small two-car garage to a five-acre lot filled with vehicles waiting to be serviced. “My father built this company from the ground up,” Valdez said. “We pride ourselves in knowing we are who we are today because of the high demand for my father’s services from the residents of San Marcos.” Valdez is confident the shop can compete with big name body shops that get their business

automatically from insurance companies despite being a local business. “We don’t consider our customers just profit for our business,” Valdez said. “We build a relationship of trust and hope it leads to good word of mouth about their experience with us.” San Marcos resident Macky Anderson is a repeat customer who only trusts Ernie’s to work on his classic car. “I have an AC Cobra I wouldn’t take any where else but Ernie’s, “Anderson said. “They are the most courteous, professional and reliable body shop I have ever been too.” Macky tells as many people as he can about Ernie’s and is glad to see an honest business receive recognition. “Ernie’s deserves the award they received because they work hard to make every customer feel like they are in good hands,” Anderson said.

HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Yellow Store is more than just a gas station. It’s a place where students congregate, kick off a night downtown Regarded as one of downtown San and can find just about anything they Marcos’ most iconic establishments, could need within the store’s bright yellow confines. A s i d e from selling just about everything a college student could ever need from snacks to drinks to the alli mp o r t a n t koozie, The Yellow Store’s greatest feaDENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR ture is its By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR

drive-thru window through which ofage patrons can purchase a variety of items including beer. The beer selection at The Yellow Store is unparalleled, even by liquor store standards. Serving up local, craft, microbrew and imported beer from across the country and beyond, The Yellow Store is a literal one-stop show for brew aficionados in and around town. The store is also the perfect pre-party supply stop off as the locale offers a variety of bulk goods including cases of otherwise hard-to-find beers and malts and inexpensive kegs of several beers. One of the best aspects of The Yellow Store and its management is their community outreach and engagement. Sponsoring pumpkin carving contests and a variety of other bonding activities throughout the year, The Yellow Store has become a true fixture on the downtown San Marcos scene.

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1301 Wonder World Drive San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 754-JAVA (5282)


NIGHT LIFE

4 | The University Star | San Marcos Stars | Thursday, November 20, 2014

BEST LIQUOR STORE: Twin Liquors By Michael McCarthy SPORTS REPORTER @Michael39589279 Twin Liquors, an Austin-based company since 1937, has now expanded with 75 stores to all over Central Texas. When it is recognized at the local level, the award means that their outreach into the local communities makes a difference, said said Sandra Spalding, director of marketing. "Twin Liquors is always about giving back at the local level,” Spalding said. “We feel strongly about staying active with the Chamber of Commerce, local charities, and philanthropic organizations.” Margaret Jabour, executive vice president and co-owner of Twin Liquors, spoke to the University of Texas at Austin McMADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

Combs School of Business a few years ago about the business. It is this kind of involvement that keeps them active in the community, Spalding said. "As director of marketing simply doing my job accomplishes this fact,” Spalding said. “The question we always ask ourselves when doing anything is ‘what is best for the customer and the community?’ With that mindset everything else falls into place.” The four Twin Liquors located in San Marcos are run by 15 employees, including managers. The three locations closest to Texas State see the most traffic when it comes to customers. ”I have experienced predominantly good customer service, especially when it comes to recommending a certain brand and flavor or liquor,” Roshaun Valentine said.

BEST HAPPY HOUR: Chimy’s Cervecceria By Paul Livengood SPORTS REPORTER @IamLivengood Chimy’s Cerveceria is a bar on East Hopkins Street right outside The Square that Texas State students and San Marcos locals love to stop by for a drink or two or three. Chimy’s daily happy hour specials are $0.99 beef tacos, $1.50 drafts, $2.50 double wells and $4.50 margaritas. The bar is breaking in some new deals. Chimy’s employee Charlotte Sargent broke down the new happy hour specials. “We usually run our happy hour during the week from three to seven, but we are now doing our Mondays and Tuesdays basically all day from 2 p.m. to close, including a new happy hour special—$3 domestic drafts,” Sargent said. “On Wednesday’s

our happy hour includes $1 wells, $1.75 domestic bottles, $3.50 house margaritas and any burgers (purchased) with a domestic draft are $8. This is a new thing we are doing with the food and drink special.” Alex Garbelotti, marketing senior, says he loves the atmosphere at Chimy’s. “I try to go to Chimy’s happy hour at least once a week,” Garbelotti said. “If I’m lucky and don’t have much school work, I may go a couple times a week. I love Chimy’s environment during happy hour. Everyone is there for a good time. My favorite special to get for happy hour is the refreshing margarita. They’re pretty big and really help you relax after a long day in the books.” Chimy’s award winning-happy hour specials are Monday and Tuesday from 2 p.m. until midnight and Wednesday through Friday 4-7 p.m. The hours extend to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

ANDRES RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST TATTOO PARLOR: Classic Tattoo MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

BEST NIGHTLIFE: Harper’s Public House By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR In a downtown known for its electric nightlife and huge variety of bars, Harper’s Public House manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to a friendly atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and—of course—their infamous $4 pitchers. Arguable the most popular bar in the town for this reason, students and town residents flock to the pub every night for the week to get in on pitchers of Bud and

Miller Lite for less than a five spot. Harper’s is nothing if not a fun bar, filled with nostalgia-inducing arcade games and even a photo booth, perfect for capturing wild night memories. The music played by management is often cited as another favorite aspect, with everything from 2002-throwback hip-hop to Blink-182 pumping through the speakers on any given night. Once the night starts winding down, guests can grab a slice of fresh, handmade brick oven pizza—the latest fixture at Harper’s—on their way out the door.

By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR When it comes time to make a decision regarding who should apply a permanent fixture to one’s body, it’s clear that a true artist is needed. The tattoo artists at San Marcos’ Classic Tattoo set an example of both artistry and professionalism, making the team an obvious pick for best in town. Founded in 2003, the seven tattoo artists and two piercers that make up the Classic team are well-trained and talented artists who love to create both in and out of the shop. Each artist focuses on their specialty, creating beautiful murals of everything from floral arrangements to beloved family members to permanently

BEST MUSIC VENUE: Cheatham Street Warehouse By Donavan Jackson SPORTS REPORTER Hopeful songwriters meet up at Kent Finlay’s Cheatham Street Warehouse every Wednesday night, and there’s only question on everyone’s mind: Is the list out yet? The list is a weekly signup sheet that is available for the Songwriters Circle. Finlay is known for opening Wednesday evenings by singing a song of his own before giving the floor to the performers for the night. “I feel like a culture has been established at Cheatham Street,” Drake Howard said. “A lot of songwriters don’t have the opportunity to showcase their music to a group of people who are pursing the same dream.” In June 1974, Finlay and Jim Cunningham, a columnist for the San Marcos Daily Record, leased an old warehouse on Cheatham Street. One year later the band now called Ace In the Hole debuted at Cheatham Street featuring a man who would become arguably Texas’ most popular country artist: George Strait.

ALEXANDRA WHITE STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The King of Country getting his start at Cheatham Street will always be a recognized part of the venue’s history. Cheatham Street remains popular among the country crowd today. Cheatham Street hosts weekly musical performances and other regularly scheduled in addition to offering happy hour specials every weekday. The venue has booked a few shows in the upcoming weeks, including Randy Rogers, Whiskey Myers and Joe Ely. A calendar of events and tickets for each show is available online two months in advance.

$575.00

adorn the bodies of both San Marcos residents and Texas State students. In addition to mastery of their craft, the team at Classic Tattoos is professional and dedicated to customer service, offering lengthy client consultations and highgrade tattoo cover-ups for bad work done by shops of a lesser quality. Though the team can work with clients to craft a masterful, one-of-a-kind piece, the shop also takes walk-in customers on a first-come, first-serve basis with a variety of in-house works available for same-day tattoo. Aside from tattooing, two members of the team specialize in piercings of all types. Whatever a customer’s body modification preference, the Classic Tattoos team can do it, and do it in style.


The University Star | San Marcos Stars | Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 5

RESTAURANTS MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

BEST DATE SPOT: Root Cellar Cafe By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER Root Cellar Café, a restaurant located in downtown San Marcos, has been open since 2005 and is a favorite of both locals and students alike. “We are really proud of everything we serve,” said Kyle Myliuf, owner. “We have fantastic food and fantastic beer we brew here in town.” The restaurant emphasizes using local produce, and has a local seasonal menu. “We try to be a place for the entire community, whether that be students or professionals,” Myliuf said. “We try to make sure to offer something for everybody and be a place where everybody can feel comfortable.” Myliuf said Root Cellar Café offers a wide range of options for many different appetites.

“We have stuff that vegetarians like, but we also have great steak,” Myliuf said. “(All kinds of people) can enjoy our food. That’s our goal.” Kaley Blask, interior design senior, loves the variety of choices at Root Cellar Café. “I’m a pescatarian, so a vegetarian plus seafood,” Blask said. “There are always a lot options for me at Root Cellar, instead of just one or two like at other places.” Blask, who is interested in designing restaurant interiors, loves the feel of the café. “It’s very cozy,” Blask said. “It’s a good place for people to go for Sunday brunch or lunch after church. It’s one of the best places to eat in town.” The “comfortable atmosphere” of Root Cellar Café mirrors the community, Myliuf said. “We really try to put people at ease,” Myliuf said. “I think the ambience is very relaxed, which fits San Marcos.”

BEST MEXICAN FOOD: Garcia’s By Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER Garcia’s has been familyowned and operated since 1988 when Curtis Garcia opened the well-known LBJ location. “To me it’s an honor to receive that award,” said Salena Ybarra, owner of Garcia’s since 2009. “It means a lot to me. We never did think it was going to take off like this.” The Garcia’s staff takes pride on having repeat customers and low prices to appease to Texas State students. Ybarra personally likes to make sure all seven of the locations are clean and presentable. “Customer service is my number-one thing,” Ybarra said. “It is important that they (servers) are trained properly to service my customers.” Garcia’s has two locations in San Marcos. The chain has spread throughout Central Texas in Buda, Kyle, Lockhart, Shertz and Seguin. “I love Garcia’s,” said Ariana Navarro, psychology sophomore. “Me and my friends always go there. I usually get Los Tres Garcia’s plate. It’s so good. You can tell it is made fresh.” The Garcia’s chicken fried chicken is a local favorite. The menu provides a variety of Tex-Mex cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

Thank you for supporting us for so many years

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BEST COFFEE SHOP: Mochas and Javas By Nicole Barrios ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR San Marcos residents and Texas State students voted Mochas and Javas as their favorite place for coffee, tea and treats in San Marcos. Owner Kevin Carswell said he thinks his shop won because of its involvement in the community. “It’s exciting, fantastic—it’s always great to win,” Carswell said. Personable staff and customer service help coffee drinkers feel comfortable to sit and stay awhile at Mochas and Javas. “We like to make this place like (customers’) second home,” Carswell said. “We try to educate our customers about our products and not pressure them into buying our products from us.” Candice Brusuelas, Mochas and Javas customer and San Marcos resident, said the shop’s customer service and friendliness stand out among others in San Marcos. “I think they go the extra mile for their customers,” Brusuelas said. “They’re always so friendly and if you’re there for a while you get a refill it’s no problem, and they’re always attentive and willing to suggest new flavors.” Mochas and Javas offers something

extra to customers by adding a free additional shot of espresso in all espresso drinks that customers love, Carswell said. “They’re always very friendly and they have a wide selection of flavors,” Brusuelas said. “They have very good food—I really love their food there.” Brusuelas enjoys drinking Mochas and Javas dark roast coffee and often adds a dash of pumpkin or hazelnut flavoring for a customized touch. She said her favorite food at the coffee shop is any of their sandwiches that feature turkey and a basil pesto sauce. Candy bar flavored drinks at Mochas and Javas’ North LBJ Drive location have recently been very popular as well as the seasonal pumpkin flavored drinks, Carswell said. Mochas and Javas has three shops located on North LBJ Drive, Wonder World Drive and in the main lobby of the Central Texas Medical Center off Wonder World Drive. The first location opened on North LBJ in 2003 and the other locations followed soon after. The location of Mochas and Javas on North LBJ Drive is very accessible to the community, Brusuelas said. “I know we really strive diligently to bring the best quality coffee, tea and food items to our customers every single day,” Carswell said.


6 | The University Star | San Marcos Stars | Thursday, November 20, 2014

RESTAURANTS Asian and Mongolian style recipes that have been “Americanized.” Zheng said most of the recipes are his and his father’s. “Personally, I love to cook and watch people enjoy the food I made for them,” Zheng said. “My favorite is lo mein or noodles but one of our most popular dishes is sesame chicken, which is very Americanized.” Alex Buschman, former delivery driver and current patron, said he has been eating at Asian Garden JOHNEL ACOSTA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER for over four years. “I keep coming back because there are very few Asian restaurants in town and the cooks are really flexible,” Buschman said. “You can pretty much ask for anyBy Houston M. York thing you want, any way you want it.” NEWS REPORTER Buschman said he normally orders someAsian Garden has a contemporary setting thing different each time he visits Asian Garbut still advocates a small town vibe. Owner den but does have a favorite dish. “My ‘go-to’ is the house special rice nooJohn Zheng said the restaurant opened in 2007 with a menu that focuses on traditional dles because it has a little bit of everything

BEST ASIAN: Asian Garden

PRESLIE COX STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST BBQ: Hays Co. BBQ By Jake Goodman NEWS REPORTER

Hays Co. B-B-Que and Catering has been featured on best barbecue in Texas lists such as Texas Monthly’s top 50 barbecues in the state among others. “We really enjoy serving good traditional barbecue and making people happy,” said manager Jesse Miranda. Aaron Hernández, pit-master at the restaurant, said the four pillars of the restaurant are customer service, quality, cleanliness and consistency. “Good folks treat everyone right, that’s great, but good barbecue is good barbecue,” said customer Mike Mangum. There is additional covered seating outside, a playground, a bar made from an old school bus and a stage for live music built in the bed of an old truck at the restaurant. Owner Michael Hernández said the scenery was designed to feel like a typical Texas backyard. “The owners just come up with cool stuff to put out here,” said pit-master Omar Serna. Aaron Hernández said all the food is made without preservatives and only natural ingredients. He said most restaurants use canned meats in beans, but Hays Co. B-BQue and Catering uses sliced brisket in their beans, giving theirs better taste and quality. Serna said the brisket served is slowcooked for 18-24 hours on post-oak logs. He said the logs give the barbecue a unique flavor. The pits don’t have temperature gauges and wood is added until the temperature is right, the old-fashioned way, Serna said. “We like to keep it simple and our motto is preserving central Texas tradition,” Hernández said.

BEST ITALIAN: Italian Garden

By Brittnie Curtis SPORTS REPORTER @BrittnieeNicole

With a wide variety of menu items and prices that are appealing to even the cheapest of college students, Italian Garden has earned recognition as the best Italian restaurant in San Marcos. Founded in 2000 with aims to keep customers happy at a lower price, Italian Garden is still following those ideals today. By ensuring servers stay on top of customers though constant check-ups and a great attitude, they have been able to keep a positive image in the San Marcos community. Recent Texas State graduate Fatima Johnson said that out of the many restaurants in San Marcos, Italian Garden is one she misses the most. “My favorite meal to get was the baked lasagna,” Johnson said. “I’d always be on campus for long hours and since Italian Garden stayed open until 10 p.m. it was the perfect place to stop before leaving campus. And not to mention the great prices.” Italian Garden can satisfy the taste buds of almost any family. Their menu boasts tasteful salads, pastas, subs, pizzas and more. It’s the perfect place for a cheap family outing or friendly get together.

BEST TRAILER FOOD: Big Kahuna By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER The Big Kahuna brings a diverse array of ingredients to the San Marcos melting pot, and it’s hard not to fall in love. The food truck features genuine Hawaiian food from its location at The Hitch less than a half-mile from central campus. Owner Mark Jacobson said the food truck is the only authentic Hawaiian eatery in the entire 512 area code. The food truck utilizes Jakobsen’s family recipes from their restaurants in Maui. One of the food truck’s most popular items is The Big Kahuna burger, served with beef, pork and cabbage on a Hawaiian bun. The pork is braised with banana leaves and steamed in imu for an authentic Hawaiian flavor popular with both San Marcos residents and Texas State Students. Even though The Big Kahuna is in touch with its Hawaiian roots, the food truck’s owners make an effort to be progressive in customer service by offering both vegetar-

in it,” Buschman said. “It is real tasty if you order it spicy and is also pretty inexpensive.” As more Asian restaurants open in San Marcos, there are still big differences between his restaurant and the new ones, Zheng said. “We use better ingredients and prepare our food as fast and fresh as possible,” Zheng said. “Also, we do our best to deliver orders as quick as possible.” Zheng said it is good that San Marcos is rapidly growing. “As a small business we create jobs and are thankful for all the students that support us,” Zheng said. “But construction and trains can sometimes slow down delivery.” In China, his father owned an Asian restaurant in Fuzhou, Fujian where his family is from, and Asian Garden in San Marcos is the sixth restaurant he has opened. “When I was 16 my family came to New York and opened a restaurant called Poli’s Kitchen that served food similar to Asian Garden,” Zheng said. “I have owned restaurants in places like Chicago, Kalamazoo and several other cities.”

JOHNEL ACOSTA STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

We would like to say thank you to the Texas State Community for voting Ernie’s

"BEST AUTO REPAIR" ANDRES RODRIGUEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

ian and gluten-free meal options as well as a variety of fish-centered fare for those who avoid red meat. Blackened tilapia tacos braised papaya salsa is a favorite option, as is the Mahi Mahi, which Jakobsen marinates for a full 24 hours before cooking.

www.ernies.us 512-396-8972 The Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL) would like to sincerely thank each and every resident who shared their thoughts regarding the on-campus living experience in the EBI survey. Kudos to the following winners of the $50 University Bookstore Gift Card: Amy Biscamp Denise Cervantes Sydney Chapman Reese Davis Sydney Doolittle Eileen Garcia Sanchez Emily Gray Jerry Groves Malaika Hall Trevor Hall Chase Harrison Carrie Ingram

Taylor Kurbad Skyler Loosmore Marit Manning Hector Mendez Dominique Morales Noemie Mwanzuzi Samantha Rojas Salazar Yesenia Sauceda Sarah Shoultz Kaitlin Stone Courtney Winter Colette Wray

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