NOVEMBER 2, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 26
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Fluoride controversy makes local election ballot By Exsar Arguello ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @Exsar_Misael
With city council elections around the corner, the controversy surrounding the use of fluoride in public water systems is picking up steam as local activists push their views on the issue. Proposition 1, a city charter amendment for the upcoming Nov. 3 election, received a lot of support this week as activists for and against the controversy engulfed the LBJ mall at Texas State to engage students to vote on the issue. “I want people to know that what they are putting in our water is not dental fluoride, but industrial waste,” said Dan Lyon, citizen and activist against fluoride. “It also contains cadmium lead and all kinds of metals we don’t need in our bodies.” According to an American Dental Association, fluoridation in public water has improved the dental health of tens of millions of Americans in the past 60 years. Fluoridated water prevents tooth decay, and officials with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention have proclaimed that this is one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. The U.S. Public Health Service said the recommended optimal fluoride concentration in community water systems is .7 milligrams per liter. “When this controversy first hit the city, a lot of people didn’t really know how to react or think about the issue,” said Shane Scott, Place 6 city council incumbent. “When the issue was brought up, I suggested we stop the use of fluoride in the water until we can figure out what is best for the city.” Scott said citizens and students should educate themselves on both sides of the fluoride argument and vote according to their findings. Frank Arredondo, Place 5 candidate for city council, said he is in favor of fluoride in the water system because it brings benefits to tooth development and prevents decay. “Fluoride, I believe, is essential in most communities because it addresses the need, especially in young children, who don’t have access to health care,” Arredondo said. “This debate has been going on for years.” The opponents of fluoride say it is poisonous to the body, Arredondo said. Yet, he said, the facts state otherwise. According to fluoridealert. com, studies have shown that fluoride damages bones, thyroid, kidneys and brain tissue. The website defends its claim by stating cavity rates in nonfluoridated countries are on par with rates in fluoridated countries. Arredondo said there was a referendum in the city to abolish fluoride, but it was put down. He expects it to fail once again in this election. “The better dental health for all people, especially our children, is what is important,” Arredondo said. “Some people don’t have the luxury of owning a tooth brush and
See FLUORIDE, Page 2
HALLOWEEN WEEKEND FLOOD
San Marcos fights flood, creates safe havens for citizens By Exsar Arguello ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @Exsar_Misael
When Talitha Wall saw water rising in her driveway, she realized she wouldn’t be able to leave her neighborhood. “I couldn’t get out,” Wall, a resident of Blanco Gardens, said.
Hays County was hit with the second major f lood this year Oct. 30, only six months after the Memorial Day weekend flooding. The flood sent many residents out of their homes to seek shelter on higher ground. Many, like Wall, sought refuge at Doris Miller Middle School. The school opened
as an evacuation center after the San Marcos Activity Center experienced flooding forcing everyone out. Before arriving at the middle school, Wall was able to make it to her neighbor’s house and called 911. “The fire department got there soon after and were on a raft, fighting the water’s
current,” Wall said. “Once the fire department reached my location, I got in with them and my two dogs.” She said the firefighters were trying to row toward a dump truck, which was big enough to fight the current and would allow Wall and her dogs to be pulled to safety.
However, the firemen’s plan did not pan out. The roaring floodwaters were too much for them to combat. Wall said the firemen were eventually able to pull the raft to safety on a drier street. “I waited for the dump
See FLOOD, Page 2
HAYS COUNTY HEALTH FIRST LUTHERAN DEPARTMENT CHURCH
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SAN MARCOS HOUSING, ALLENWOOD HOMES RESIDENTS OFFICE
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Election night one day away By Anna Herod NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy
Although the time for early voting is over, those who haven’t had a chance to make it to the ballot still have an opportunity to make their voices heard tomorrow in the San Marcos city council election. San Martians can cast their votes at locations in the county including the Hays County Health Depart-
ment, the Dunbar Center, San Marcos Housing, Residents Office, Travis Elementary School, First Baptist Church, First Lutheran Church, Allenwood Homes Auditorium and PromiseLand church. Google map?
son or Frank T. Arredondo for the Place 5 seat on city council and for one of the Place 6 candidates, Shane Scott or Melissa Derrick.
WHO’S ON THE BALLOT?
Those who cast their votes on election day will not only have the chance to influence the city council election, but they will have the chance to vote on seven amendments
Residents who are registered in Hays County can vote for either Scott Greg-
Campus carry supporters voice their opinions By Darcy Sprague SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @darcy_days
Concerns vocalized by people who do not support the campus carry bill have recently drawn media attention. However, not everyone opposes the new law allowing those with a concealed handgun license to carry on university campuses across the state come next fall. Senate Bill 11 was passed in the most recent legislative year. The bill made it legal for concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapon onto any public university. The law goes into effect in August 2016 and, in the meantime, public universities around the state are drafting policies to deal with implementing the new legislation. Many of those who support campus carry are CHL holders themselves. Supporters argue that allowing handguns on campus will make the university safer. “There have bee too many tragedies around the country committed by people who are not permit holders at universities,” said Robert Habingreither, interim dean of the college of science and engineering. “It’s only a matter of time till it happens here…I’m a big believer of being able to protect oneself.” A lot of the concerns vocalized by faculty are coming from those who do not have any experience with fire-
arms, Habingreither said. “It is a God-given right to bear arms,” said Naomi Narvaiz, president of the San Marcos Area Republican Texans Group. “I believe in enforcing the Second Amendment because once a right is taken away from us, it is hard to restore.” Andy Batey, department chair of engineering technology, said people who are afraid of campus carry are afraid of the wrong people. “A concealed handgun license holder is not a source of carnage, but a source of safety,” Batey said. Habingreither said he supports campus carry because he believes in always rendering aid, even during an extreme situation like a school shooting. “I don’t believe in letting people take advantage of other people,” Habingreither said. “I wouldn’t stand there and let someone shoot someone else.” A concealed handgun holder would provide resistance against a shooter if a police officer was not in the room, Batey said. Even if a concealed handgun holder could not kill the criminal assailant, they would at least slow them down, potentially saving lives. “Police are not paid to protect, they are paid to enforce the law,” Habingreither said. “When you think about that, that sheds a whole new light on campus carry.”
See SB11, Page 2
THE TEXAS CON STITUTION
to the Texas Constitution and two propositions to amend the city charter. The seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution cover issues from tax exemptions, road work in small cities and hunting rules for protected wildlife to whether or not state legislators should be required to live in Austin. Proposition 1 would prohibit the city from adding fluoride to the municipal water supply and on Proposition
2 which would change the processing of petitions can also be voted on. The second proposition would require the verification of signatures on any petition paper in order for the document to be considered valid. According to the Hays County website, all residents who wish to participate in the election must be registered to vote in the county and must provide valid photo identification.
Animals find families through Home 4 the Holidays event By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley
Stray animals will find new homes this season as the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter takes part in their annual Home 4 the
for nine years, and it’s cool to see people are still interested in giving these precious animals a new home.” The adoption drive runs from Oct. 1 to Jan. 4 with a new discount each month for those interested in participating, McCann said.
“There is such a high percentage of homeless pets all across the nation and adopting one decreases those numbers.” —ERIN MCCANN, REGIONAL ANIMAL SHELTER SUPERVISOR
Holidays event. The shelter joins thousands of other animal organizations around the globe to bring families the perfect pet by partnering with Blue Buffalo, Home 4 the Holidays founder, said Erin McCann, Regional Animal Shelter supervisor. “Adopting a pet is extremely important, and it is just so awesome to see all of the encouragement we have got from citizens here,” McCann said. “We’ve done this
According to Blue Buffalo’s website, the event is the highest pet adoption campaign on record and has saved over 9 million pets’ lives since its creation 16 years ago. The animal shelter receives an average of 520535 adoptions per year, McCann said. Every dog at the animal shelter for the month of October will cost $20, rather than the average $90 rate, McCann said. The animals
available for adoption are healthy, sterilized and upto-date on vaccinations and shots. “The holiday season is normally our slowest time of the year, and that is why we really try to push this holiday sale,” McCann said. The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter experiences the highest pet intake during spring and early summer, McCann said. “Many people in the fall seem to think that we won’t have as many puppies and kittens here, but we usually have plenty,” McCann said. “We actually have a bunch of (animals) that are under six months old right now.” Samantha Sutter, interdisciplinary studies sophomore, went to the shelter a few days ago hoping to adopt a pet but was not allowed to because huskies are not available for apartment residents. “It makes sense that I wasn’t approved for this because huskies do need that space to roam free,” Sutter said. “I’m not upset or anything—I am glad the shelter looks at those kinds of things.” McCann recommends giving a pet to someone as a gift during the holiday season only if it was previously discussed and planned. “Many people don’t understand that having a pet is a huge responsibility,” McCann said. “Giving a pet as a gift to someone randomly is like basically adopting a child for them.”
See SHELTER, Page 2
2 | Monday, Novemeber 2, 2015
The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy email@example.com
FLOOD, from front truck to come pick us up,” Wall said. “When it arrived, I climbed the ladder, and once I was safe at the top, one of the firefighters handed me my dog. The last firefighter climbed the ladder holding my other dog in one hand.” The truck was tall and strong enough to push through the current that had limited Wall’s ability to leave her neighborhood. “I was worried when I got to the school that they wouldn’t have an inside area for dogs, and it’s nice that they opened up the small gym for people with dogs,” Wall said. As time passed, buses dropped off flood victims with increasing frequency at the middle school. DerryAnn Krupinsky, assistant director of community services with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, was in charge of running operations
at the shelter. “This morning I couldn’t get to work or get my girls to school, so I got stuck trying to avoid the tornado that hit,” Krupinsky said. “I was called back here whenever the city announced the school would be used as a shelter.” Krupinsky made sure every individual at the school was taken care of and given food, water and shelter. Those running the shelter brought in supplies like clothing and baby items for those in need. Andrea Windmeyer, Texas State alumna, drove from her home in Austin, Texas, to help out the community she grew to love as a student. “I was at work at a luncheon and the workers were going to throw away all the food when I decided to take it to my boyfriend down in San Marcos,” Windmeyer said. Windmeyer said she was listening to KTSW 89.9 driv-
ing to San Marcos while listening to KTSW 89.9, Texas State’s student-run radio station, when broadcasters announced the shelter was open to volunteers. “I figured the people need this food more than my boyfriend does, so I brought it here and looked for ways to help out,” Windmeyer said. Windmeyer was one of the many citizens forced to evacuate her home during the Memorial Day weekend flooding back in May. “I’ve been through this before,” Windmeyer said. “It’s difficult to cope and keep yourself calm in these situations so I hope to help these people find peace while they are here.” Kristi Wyatt, director of communications and intergovernmental relations for the city of San Marcos, said officials are still in rescue mode and continuing to respond to any emergencies
FLUORIDE, from front tooth paste and we need to be aware of that.” Lyon said there are no studies showing positive affects of fluoride on teeth. Dental fluoride in toothbrushes should be the only quantities people receive on a day-to-day basis, he said. While early voting takes place at the LBJ Student Center, Lyon said he is at the university to advocate
EXSAR ARGUELLO ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Volunteers work to aid flood victims at Doris Miller Middle School Oct. 30.
that may occur. “At this point, we aren’t worried about statistics and
the amount of rain that has fallen,” Wyatt said. “We just really want our people to be
safe throughout the night and through these tough times.”
more danger in not having a CHL holder there, he said. Batey said CHL holders are not walking safety risks. A holder would only take out their gun if their life was in danger. Both Habingreither and Batey said gun-free zones designated by the university, called carve-out zones, pose potential problems for the university. Batey said he would agree to make the child development center a gun-free zone, but only if the university posted an armed guard there at all times. “No one was there to defend the students at Newtown,” Batey said. “If the university doesn’t protect the childhood development center, it’s just another Newtown waiting to happen.” He said any zone Texas State chooses to carve out would become the university’s responsibility to protect.
“I think a lot of the arguments that support carveout zones are fictitious and contrived to prevent people from being able to carry,” Batey said. Habingreither said the issue boils down to trust. He said the university needs to trust that those with a CHL are responsible enough to carry a weapon around campus. Narvaiz said concealed carry is important on campus, because it gives women a way to protect themselves from rape or assault, should the situation arise. A CHL holder herself, Narvaiz feels safer with her gun. She said people carry concealed all over Texas and rarely cause problems. “I think there is a good amount of support for it,” Narvaiz said. “People just don’t speak up because of the stigma that adults that carry are dangerous.”
SB11, from front the true affects of fluoride to the body. The Fluoride-Free San Marcos Coalition has strived to educate people on what they believe shouldn’t be in the pubic water system. The coalition has represented itself on Facebook, at Texas State and in the League of Women Voters of Hays County city council debate held Oct. 13 at the San Marcos
Activity Center. “If you want to make the changes you want to see in politics, you as a student and a citizen can make a difference at the local level,” Lyon said. “That’s why I’m out here trying to spread the word—because I know at the local level, every vote counts.”
Your friendly neighborhood watchdog.
Batey said one of the main concerns he’s heard is from faculty members who are afraid to interact with students. Batey said CHL holders are not violent people. He said the campus carry law is not going to inspire violence against faculty members. “If you hand a police officer your concealed carry permit when you hand them your license, they would let out a sigh of relief,” Habingreither said. “They will know you’re a law abiding citizen.” Habingreither said one of the most ridiculous things he has heard is the argument that gunpowder in a firearm could catch on fire just by being near chemicals in a lab situation. Batey said the only danger would be if someone shot their gun at a criminal assailant and hit a compressed air tank. In an active shooter situation, there would be
SHELTER, from front She said there seems to be a high intake of dogs at the shelter after the holiday season due to people giving pets as gifts without recognizing the time commitment one would require. “People will get a puppy for Christmas and, come February, it is not the cute little fluff ball they thought it was,”
McCann said. “Instead, it is a rolling terror of teething and destruction and many people are not prepared for that.” McCann would rather see people adopt a pet instead of purchase one. “There is such a high percentage of homeless pets all across the nation and adopting one decreases those num-
bers,” McCann said. Andres Barrientos, clerk dispatcher for the shelter, loves getting to work with the public and helping people find the right kind of animal to fit their lifestyle. “Everyone is different, and it’s such an honor to help assist people in finding the right animal for them,” Bar-
rientos said. Most of the animals that come into the San Marcos shelter are strays, Barrientos said. The shelter does have volunteers who help get the animals started on the pottytraining process. “A lot of the dogs that come in are surprisingly well behaved, but we do everything
we can to help get the animals adjusted accordingly,” Barrientos said. Some pets at the shelter are not accustomed to the love and care they deserve, and adoption will show these animals a new way of life, McCann said. McCann said adopting from a shelter is a “winwin” situation because pets
in need find a home, while clearing space for new adoptable animals. “I would rather adopt a pet that is already in need rather than buy a pet,” said Sutter. “I feel like some of the places where the animals are kept in a cage just for the purpose of selling them is just greed-driven.”
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#BobcatsGiveBack Want a FREE pair of Texas State Sunglasses? Donate your spare change! The Alumni Association is giving away Boko Banks - paw shaped piggy banks - so you can collect and donate spare change to Emergency Grants for Students. Your donation will help your fellow Bobcats when they’re in a bind. Stop by the Alumni tent, make your donation and get a FREE pair of sunglasses while supplies last! Two Event Dates:
THURSDAY TUESDAY NOV. 5 NOV. 10 11AM - 1PM 12 - 3PM THE QUAD THE LBJ MALL Rain Location: LBJSC Patio
The University Star
Monday, November 2, 2015 | 3
Mariah Simank, Lifestyle Editor @MariahSimank firstname.lastname@example.org
New lipstick trend hits campus By Sarah Bradley SPECIAL TO THE STAR @sarah_bradskies
The colorfully bold lipstick fad is making its way from the 1990s’ graveyard to the hearts of many college students, becoming the new trend of the fall season. Samantha Kowalski, Bare Minerals key holder, said she is a huge fan of the look. “I absolutely love the colorful lipstick trend that’s happening right now,” Kowalski said. “Whichever color it may be: purple, blue, dark red and so on.” Kowalski loved this trend from the beginning because it is another way for people to express themselves. She said fashion is all about
self-expression, and bolder options mean more unique looks. “Women are starting to express themselves more colorfully, and this lipstick trend is a great representation of that,” Kowalski said. “You’ve always had the classic red lip, but now we’re starting to see every color out there for every type of personality.” Kowalski said this trend allows individuals to explore and show off different aspects of themselves. “I’m happy to see people are diving into the bolder makeup, because it’s as if they’re saying they’re not afraid to show the world who they are or certain edgier aspects of themselves,” Kowalski said.
She said the trend could have been started based on celebrity influences. “Everyone wants the blue Kylie Jenner lip or something similar to that,” Kowalski said. Although celebrity inspiration is likely how the trend got off the ground, Kowalski thinks people are starting to take it into their own hands. Regardless of what made colorful lips so popular, Kowalski said it seems the fashion fad came at the perfect time of year. “With it being fall, and colder weather slowly occurring, lipstick colors like the purples, blues and deep reds are a great accessory to your fall outfits,” she said. Ruth Tinch, Bare Minerals
assistant manager, said the trend is invigorating. “It takes a powerful and confident woman to want to wear the bold lipstick colors, so I love seeing people wearing it,” Tinch said. “It’s refreshing to see women being outspoken in their makeup choices.” Tinch said this bold style could have something to do with how women’s views of their bodies have changed over the years. “Women being able to be more courageous in their lipstick is, potentially, a reflection of how women are growing to love themselves more and becoming more outspoken in real-world situations,” Tinch said. Although many custom-
ers love the colorful lipstick trend, Tinch said not everyone is fond of it. “Different people express themselves and their individuality in different ways,” Tinch said. “Some people despise the style, some people like it but think they can’t pull it off and others just go for it.” Regardless of what one’s opinion of bold lipstick may be, individuals should feel free to express themselves however they see fit, Kowalski said. “Some people may hate it, and others may love it,” Kowalski said. “ Whichever you prefer is awesome. It just goes back to individuality and self-expression.” Kirby Johnson, electronic
media and mass communications junior, said people’s reactions to her colorful lipstick choices tend to vary. “I wear bold lips all the time,” Johnson said. “Sometimes I get compliments, and sometimes I get dirty looks of disapproval.” Johnson said she wears bold lipstick to feel empowered and doesn’t care if others aren’t fond of it. “I love how it looks,” Johnson said. “I love how I feel with it on, but not everyone does or will. You have to be wearing the lipstick—or whatever it is you’re wearing, really—for yourself and nobody else.”
Fashion Finds: Thrift Store Junkie By Sarah Bradley Special to the Star @sarah_bradskies Whether you wear designer clothes or sweatpants, everyone is a part of the fashion cycle in some way. However, taking part in
fashion is not always easy. The majority of clothing stores and brands have fairly high-priced merchandise that only seem to increase with time. This is one of the many reasons why staying stylish may be a challenge for many
college students on a budget. Luckily, there is a simple solution to this problem. Kendall Kessel, dance freshman, said purchasing clothes from thrift stores is the perfect way to maintain a cute style without sacrificing your cash.
Kessel was spotted in the breezeway next to Alkek library wearing black skinny jeans, black Vans and a graphic quarter-sleeve with a denim shirt as overlay. Her hair was also lightly straightened underneath a pink beanie. “My friends always tell me I look like Avril Lavigne,” Kessel said. “I really just kind of go for the laid back, punk, skater, hobo look. It’s a mixture of a lot of styles really.” Kessel said she purchased most of her outfit from thrift stores. “I honestly got everything but the pants from thrift stores,” Kessel said. “It makes shopping more of an adventure and also saves you money.” Kessel said various social
media trends, celebrities and fellow Bobcats inspire her style. “My inspiration for this look, and really any look I put together, is from online media like Tumblr, celebrities or people walking around campus,” Kessel said. “There are so many fashion-forward students here.” She said when she becomes inspired from an outfit off of Tumblr she goes straight to the thrift stores in hopes of duplicating it. “If I see something I like online I go to a thrift store and look for items to recreate it, and it doesn’t cost me more than $30 usually,” Kessel said. Kessel said she recommends thrift shopping to all Texas State students.
“Some people are afraid of shopping in thrift stores, especially Goodwill for whatever reason, but I promise you can find great items for great deals,” Kessel said.
WHY IT WORKS Not only does Kessel’s outfit rock because she saved money, the colors she selected flowed together effortlessly. A huge portion of the outfit is black and white with the denim shirt and light pink hat serving as accents of color. The laid back nature of the overall look in her outfit is perfect for any fall day around campus.
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4 | Monday, November 2, 2015
The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
Five things that inevitably happen when the weather goes below 65 degrees in Texas E ven though we all enjoy doing these things, Bobcats have to admit: it is a little silly. Here’s a list of the five things that inevitably happen when the weather drops below 65 degrees in Texas.
for everything, and Texas autumn, or lack thereof, is neither the time nor the place for riding boots, fleece lined leggings and a Balmain pea coat. Bobcats, it’s 65 degrees outside, not 10 below zero. While cute and totally fashionable, this is Texas, not Aspen. Put away the mittens, muffs and fashion scarves. Save them for another day.
2. Shuttle buses turn to insulated saunas
1. People start dressing like it’s the winter solstice Texans have an ungodly obsession with improper fashion. If it’s not cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat in the spring, then it’s a bubble jacket in the fall. While all in good faith, it doesn’t quite make sense. There’s a time and a place
Everyone knows Texas State shuttle buses can be a nightmare. Between inconsistent schedules and the apparent “sardine method” of seating, most students know the horror of the bus experience, and it can be hell. Not only figuratively speaking, but as the temperatures take
a slight dip the buses can literally feel like hell. To any reasonable person, a 10-degree drop in temperature warrants a light sweater and a switch from shorts to pants, but for the Texas State bus operators it requires the full capacity of an internal heater. One day everyone’s sandwiched between each other on the bus, and the next they’re baking like a fresh November pie. Rest and relaxation is something all college students need, but turning a crowded shuttle bus into the latest incarnation of a Finnish sauna is no one’s idea of a good time. Even when it is legitimately cold outside, there’s enough collective body heat to spark a midnight campfire. Blasting hellfire from the vents because the temperature dropped from 74 to 64 degrees is not helping anyone. We’re college students, not baked goods.
3. The switch: from cold to hot beverages Pumpkin spice season is officially here and with it comes the change from a cold latte to the soothing sizzles of a hot-brewed drink. While some have
winter. We wait so long to bring out the scarves of fall fashions that any semblance of a cool breeze will
their staples year-round, others accessorize their drinks for the weather. In Texas, this can have some dangerous conclusions. Wait until the weather actually changes. Of course, everyone can enjoy drinks whenever they choose. However, if a choice causes profuse sweating as the drink heats up an already sun-blazed body, then perhaps a change is in order.
bring out the UGG boots and Northface jackets. Then, as the temperature inevitably heats up, people are stuck in their hats as their face begins to take the form of a wet cloth and beads of sweat line its frame. It is almost like a rain dance. People don their best winter gear in the hope that Mother Nature will take notice and bless Texas with a palpable fall experience, but she never does. Unfortunately, no amount of riding boots and furry vests will change this inconvenient truth.
4. Fall fever, with ghastly symptoms to match After the heat of summer starts to dispel and the cooling airs start to breeze, Texans get anxious for fall. It is understandable. After all, there is no fall here. Texas just seems to meander between a blazing summer and a chilly
5. Christmas time is here? Who doesn’t love that
Christmas time of year? Perhaps Halloween and Thanksgiving since she comes crashing their party every year. Christmas seems to creep closer and closer each passing year. Taking over November, then October and creeping into September’s territory. However, it’s not Christmas. It is not even cold outside. People should be able to enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving before being bombarded with Santa Clause and baby Jesus laying in a manger.
The temperature may have gotten a little cooler and Christmas may be encroaching, but it is not quite here. No decorations or caroling, at least not any time soon. AZALIE MILLER STAR ILLUSTRATOR
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.
It’s the great pumpkin Turn-up and turnout spice, Charlie Brown Tuesday for Election Day
By Rivers Wright OPINIONS COLUMNIST @MonsieurRivers
ear Starbucks, I would like to personally blame you for the pumpkin spice craze. Ever since the “basic bitch” trend became popular, fashion has seen an increase in sales of UGG boots, black tights and pumpkin spice lattes. Probably. These fashion choices are not the problem. The three-headed autumn monster that has stemmed from the “official drink of autumn” is. Since Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte was released, fall seems to get here sooner and sooner. Along with this premature arrival, there is a large wave of unnecessary pumpkin-flavored or scented items that have no business being so. Take simple gum for example. A sweet, innocent
assistant to bad breath has been glamorized and can now be purchased in a pumpkin spice flavor at Target. No thanks, I do not want my breath to smell like a candle from Bath & Body Works right after eating. Cat litter is the next victim of the pumpkin spice craze. Yes, cat litter. The grey, grainy filler for a cat restroom comes in a pumpkin spiced scent. That is too far. No one needs to smell pumpkinspiced poop. This madness needs to end. If there is not an ad for the actual drink, there is an ad for something that has fallen victim to being orange-washed to appeal to the ever-trendy Forever 21 crowd. Also, no one cares about pumpkin spice latte Instagram pictures with Valencia filters and an obscene amount of hashtags. As soon as fall hits, it is orange-colored, pumpkinflavored madness. This fad has crossed the line and entered into dangerous territory. Advertising has latched onto it and is forcing venti-sized pumpkins down consumers’ throats. The pumpkin spice craze needs to be given a rest.
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The original drink, the candles and the occasional baked good will suffice. Autumn is a great time of year, but do not get carried away. It is time to show other fall-related items some love. There are tons of other staples to choose from. Take the poor, sad and pushed aside salted caramel mocha for example. It is equally as tasty and definitely looks good in a filtered Instagram picture, so try that on for size. Take a break from the norm and send your taste buds on a new and exciting autumn adventure for once. The pumpkins will thank you. Now, before anyone starts throwing pumpkins at me, this is all in good fun and just a friendly public service announcement. No one needs to get his or her pumpkin-spiced underwear in a bunch. While pumpkins are an autumn staple, let us all just stick to carving and eating them in pies. Leave the drinks and cat litter for something else. Down with pumpkin spice. —Rivers Wright is a communication studies and mass communications senior
By Jeffrey Bradshaw ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR @jeffbrad12
nly in America can we have a holiday for a genocidal explorer and not have one to vote. Election Day should be a national holiday in order to give people ample opportunity to exercise their ever-important right to vote. According to a Washington Post article, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was an abysmal 36 percent. This country prides itself on being a beacon of freedom and a bastion for democracy, yet nowhere near 50 percent of its people vote in elections. This needs to change and fast. There are many other steps to increase voter turnout like same day voter registration and reformed voter identification laws. These steps are both very partisan and controversial, but one very easy way to increase turnout is by making Election Day a
national holiday. Texas is even worse at the voting game. The Texas Tribune stated in a July 27 article that only 4.7 million Texans voted in the 2014 elections. Texas has an eligible voter population of almost 19 million, that only 4.7 million people turn out means an overwhelming majority had no say in who got elected. A national holiday for voting could change this. The United States is an extremely important country and needs the input of its citizens to elect people to steer the nation down the right path. Our elections do not just affect the people in the United States; they tend to affect the entire world. Americans should be proud of this responsibility and take pride in voting. Making Election Day a national holiday would give otherwise uninterested or busy voters the opportunity to go to the polls without having to miss work. Many people who do not vote say time restrictions are a main reason for not getting to the polls. With a day off from work, American voters can vote with relative leisure. Provided Election Day was declared a holiday, Americans could celebrate democracy in
an easy setting. Given the opportunity, this could lead to long lasting traditions resulting in a better democracy, a far better outcome than just the hangovers we see from other holidays. If Americans can do one thing right, it’s celebrating. So why not combine the two great American traditions of getting drunk on a Tuesday and voting? People will use any excuse to rejoice with libation but if one more person votes because of the holiday, then it is a success. Of course just having a free day to vote is not a cure to the voter turnout problem, but it is a good step. Last fall, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced S.1969, a senate bill designating Democracy Day as a national holiday. This means the bill is in the process of becoming law and citizens now need to urge their congressional representatives to pass the Democracy Day act. Election Day should be a national holiday so we can celebrate our democracy by voting. Giving a whole new definition to “turn-up” Tuesday. —Jeffrey Bradshaw is a political science junior
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The University Star
Paul Livengood, Sports Editor @IamLivengood firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME: ALEX SILVER By Jose Campos SPORTS REPORTER @josewithaj
Sophomore libero Alex Silver fell in love with volleyball when she was playing at the rec center and still trying to decide whether or not to stick with soccer. Silver realized all she wanted to do was play volleyball that day during a championship rec game, and soccer slowly faded out of the picture. Silver was a captain for her high school volleyball team, the Coppell Cowgirls. Silver led the team to the 2012 Texas State 5A Championship, earning All-State honorable mention honors along the way. The transition was easy for Silver when she joined the Bobcats last season. Silver described Coppell as a tight-knit community where everyone watches out for each other.
The adjustment from high school to college wasn't difficult at all for Silver. The sophomore libero still has people back home ask her how she is doing, adding a "family-town aspect" to Silver’s move to Texas State. Texas State shares that same tight-knit aspect Silver is accustomed to in Coppell. "I'm close to everyone that I meet, and the program is very big on family so that was very similar." Silver said. Silver played in seven matches during her freshman season, posting a then career-high of eight digs in a 3-1 loss against Wake Forest. Silver had only one objective for her sophomore season—to be on the court more. Silver said the team would work out with weights every morning in order to be become stronger for the season. Toward the end of summer, a club team visited Texas State to hold training camps. Silver participated in the camp to
improve herself as a collegiate volleyball player. The camp paid off for Silver. She has played in 19 of 24 games and set a new career-high of 24 digs when she started against UT-Arlington in a 3-2 win. "That was exciting because it was my first conference game that I started, so that was a cool experience," Silver said. "It was kind of nervewracking, but once the game started I settled down a little bit more." Silver hasn’t grown only as a player, but as a person as well. Her mother, Linda Silver, noticed a big change in her daughter since attending Texas State. Alex Silver went from being shy to more vocal during her freshman year. "Growing up she used to look at me if people would ask her questions for me to answer for her," Linda Silver said. "She was very shy—now she is a completely different
STAR FILE PHOTO
person." Her mother was glad to see Alex Silver move out of her comfort zone and form lasting friendships with fel-
low teammates. Linda Silver knows her daughter will always give 100 percent on the court and strive to get noticed for
working hard. Alex Silver's overall goal with the Bobcats is to get a ring at the conference tournament.
ONE DREAM GAINED, ONE DREAM LOST By Matt Gurevitz SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER @Matt_Gurevitz
Junior setter Emily Shelton chose to play volleyball in college, but the decision has forced her to put other passions aside. Shelton grew up in Longview, Texas, where she attended East Texas Christian School on weekdays and church on Sundays. She joined the church choir and developed a strong Christian faith. choir, singing and general music became passions of Shelton’s. Singing became part of Shelton’s identity. “She would sing around the house and everywhere we’d go,” said Tina Shelton, Emily Shelton’s mother. “She has a beautiful voice, so I loved it.” The family thought the young singer would get more out of her love for music at another school, so they moved to the Pine Tree Independent School District. There, Emily
Shelton immediately joined the choir and started playing trumpet in the band. “I really loved music, and I wanted it to be a part of my life,” she said. “All of my friends were in it too, and none of them really played sports.” Unlike her friends, Emily Shelton did have an interest in sports, so she decided to give it a try. Shon Shelton, her father, played college baseball. Like her dad, Emily Shelton started out playing softball. Waiting around during games and having long moments of inaction were not what she had expected. The athlete said it was too slow, so she switched to a fasterpaced sport: soccer. Emily Shelton started playing club soccer in seventh grade, and fell in love with it right away. She still wanted to participate in the choir and band, but it was difficult to find the time. All three activities require large chunks of time, so Em-
ily Shelton had to let one go. She had only been playing in the band for a couple years and didn’t like the idea of marching. Burned out, Emily Shelton quit band. Choir and soccer were Emily Shelton’s life, until volleyball caught her attention in eighth grade. The athlete made the team with ease, but she was faced with another tough decision. Choir had been a big influence on Emily Shelton’s life since she was little. However, it wasn’t going to get in the way of soccer. She quit choir and turned her focus to athletics. After a successful eighth grade year, Emily Shelton started high school, where she made the varsity soccer team and junior varsity volleyball team as a freshman. The consensus around her family was Emily Shelton would eventually go on to play collegiate soccer. The athlete made varsity volleyball in her sophomore year. Emily Shelton quickly
made strides on her team as she saw that picking volleyball was a good decision in her life. Her senior year rolled around, which meant it was time to talk to colleges. Soccer and volleyball were both options after high school graduation. The family would have to wait to see which offers were on the table. Tyler Junior College was the first school to knock on the door. She was offered a spot on the volleyball team, but not the soccer team. “Picking which college was a big moment in my life,” Emily Shelton said. “I talked to Dallas Baptist (University) a little about soccer, but nothing really prospered from it.” Therefore, Emily Shelton decided to stick with volleyball and enroll at Tyler Junior College. There, the athlete played
for two years and became good friends with Morgan Lewis, junior middle blocker. They lived together in Tyler and both transferred to Texas State last year. The two are
still roommates. Emily Shelton is happy with the decisions she made in her life, but still has a love for music and soccer.
STAR FILE PHOTO
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