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D efending the First Amendment since 1911



Football: Coach Dennis Franchione talks about the triple overtime win against Tulsa and the impending Homecoming game.

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Officials to use strategic growth plan with freshman Backyard gardening on rise as enrollment MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR

Over the past fifteen years, large-scale farmers have suffered from droughts, causing food prices to rise.

large-scale farming suffers By Alexa Tavarez NEWS REPORTER


any large-scale farmers located along the IH35 corridor have been increasingly affected by the ongoing drought over the past fifteen years, sometimes unable to yield their quotas during harvest season. The ongoing drought has strained farmers’ dependence on rainwater to grow crops, thus

causing food prices to rise. While the prominence of large-scale farming is diminishing, a new subculture of backyard farming is emerging in San Marcos. J.W. Ottmers, owner of Oma and Opa’s Farms, began farming in 1968 and currently grows 18 different crops on his five acres of land. “(Farming) was the only thing I knew how to do,” Ottmers said. “First I did it commercially, and then I went to the farmers market. I wasn’t happy with the


wholesale market. It’s aggravating when you’re selling jalapeños for a quarter and they turn around and sell it for a dollar.” However, water has never been an issue, Ottmers said. Ottmers uses drip-lines, small emitters with water ducts every eight inches, to irrigate his crops. “I get my water out of a well, which the state is trying to take away from me, and I told them it’s none of their business what I do with my well,” Ottmers said. The drought hasn’t affected

any crops so far, Ottmers said. However, the drought has had an effect on Ottmers’ livestock. In an effort to keep his livestock alive, Ottmers has had to buy hay and supplements. “This year has actually been a very wet year from an agricultural perspective,” said Kevin Adams, owner of Cascabel Farms. “The drought’s effects on municipalities has to do with over-pumping and overuse of treated water.”

See FARMERS, Page 2


Commissioners debating Faculty Senate discusses going campaign signage at polls digital with course evaluations By Mariah Simank NEWS REPORTER Hays County Commissioner Ray Whisenant, Precinct 4, proposed Sept. 25 the number of signs posted by candidates at county polling places be limited during the upcoming campaign season. The regulation was not passed and is currently being reviewed by a group of officials including Commissioner Whisenant, Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, Precinct 1, General Counsel for the Commissioners Court Mark Kennedy, County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan and members from all three Hays political parties. The group held its first meeting on Sept. 25 and will reconvene in November. “Without any kind of a policy, most of the time the advantage goes to the person who is not willing to follow the rules as well as someone that is,” Whisenant said. “The thing about so many of these county voting locations, like Precinct 4, is that the areas are so limited, and a lot of the land space is taken up by parking and pedestrian walkways, so we have to consider that and do what is necessary.” The regulation is currently under review, and Whisenant hopes to see it

brought back to court for consideration as soon as possible, he said. “Hopefully by the end of the year or very early in January, we will be bringing a recommendation back to the court for consideration,” Whisenant said. “I think when we do that we will have followed as many points of due process as can reasonably be considered necessary.” Some residents spoke against the regulation at the Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday, Sept. 25, because they felt the regulation would infringe upon their first amendment rights. “They swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and we have to hold them accountable to it because when they start listening to people who are established in politics, their morals start to fray, and they think they can justify new spending or new regulations such as this one,” said Will Taff, vice president of the Hays Constitutional Republicans. “Our job as informed citizens is to go to these meetings as much as possible and make sure they’re hearing our voices whenever they are trying to pass a regulation like this.” Jon Leonard, county chair for the Hays County


By Mathew Zuniga NEWS REPORTER University officials are advocating for end-of-course evaluations to be moved online. For the past five years, students have filled out the end-of-course evaluations on physical Scantrons. However, certain members of the Texas State University Faculty Senate are pushing for the biannual evaluations to be done online and no longer with pencil and paper, said Susan Weill, associate professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “I am pushing for the change in format of evaluation forms,” Weill said. “I am on the faculty senate, and I am advocating for it. I just think it’s the way of the future and we ought to do it.”

The Student Perception of Instruction, or SPI, measures a professor’s effectiveness in a given semester. The difference between this measurement and other student evaluations completed at the end of a semester is SPI's are required by state legislation and use the same five questions each time, Weill said. Most colleges within the university create and distribute their own unique evaluations with the SPI's at the end of the semester. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication has been doing its student evaluation forms online for a while now, but not the SPI's, Weill said. The school saves “thousands of dollars” by moving forms online. “There are a lot of reasons why I believe the SPI's should be taken online,” Weill said. “We'd save mon-


MADELYNNE SCALES STAR ILLUSTRATION University officials are proposing to move end-of-course evaluations online.

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By Naomi Lovato NEWS REPORTER Although university officials will not cap total undergraduate enrollment, they will use strategic growth to control the number of incoming students. The goal is to grow while still managing the influx, said Eugene Bourgeois, provost and vice president of academic affairs. No actual enrollment number targets exist, but there is an ideal, Bourgeois said. The university must continue to provide resources equally to every student. Fewer students were admitted this year than last according to the quality of completed applications because the university is growing nearer to capacity and the applicant pool continues to rise, said Michael Heintze, associate vice president for enrollment management. “It’s a matter of managing enrollment,” Bourgeois said. “That way, we can continue to offer all the educational experience for all our students, especially for our freshmen.” According to the Admissions office, 24,217 people applied to Texas State in 2014. Of those, 13,423 were admitted and 5,365 enrolled at the university. Although the university admitted fewer people, the school still experienced a 3.6% increase in enrollment. “There are a lot of freshmen, and it’s kind of obnoxious,” said Manda Wheeler, psychology freshman. “I don’t think it would be such a bad idea if they capped it. If there’s too many freshmen running around, they’re not going to have enough things to take care of us. We’re the future of the university.” Bourgeois said enrollment numbers affect the school. There are teachers who teach undergraduate and graduate classes, so keeping an eye on both of those numbers is important, he said. “I think in general, the freshmen class is just one part of our overall enrollment management plan,” Bourgeois said. “We also have to look at the projected size or target for our new transfer student cohort.” In 2014, 3,850 transfer students enrolled at the university, according to the Admissions office. The transfer student numbers have increased slightly, but they stay steady overall, Heintze said. University officials are trying to implement the Pathway Program, Heintze said. A portion of freshmen study parttime at Texas State and part-time at Austin Community College through the program. Students can live on campus at Texas State and take one three-hour course and the University Seminar class. Most of their classes are at ACC. Pathway students must complete their core courses and have a 2.25 GPA before they can transition into full-time status at Texas State. “A&M and others have had great success with this program, and we wanted to experiment with it to see if it would


Come by 101 Trinity and fill out an app. All majors welcome!

2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Council to make final decision regarding downtown meters By Liz Barrera NEWS REPORTER Those who frequent downtown San Marcos may see new parking meters pop up after a final decision comes from city council in the coming months. Officials introduced the proposal for parking meters on Nov. 6, 2013 after discussing current issues with downtown parking. The proposal was since updated in July of this year. Councilmembers are waiting on a deal from the planning staff behind the new meters before making a final decision. Costs for the meters and the project have yet to be determined. More conversation needs to take place in order to develop a more strategic plan and see what the oversight committee has to say about the parking management

district, said Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt, Place 1. Students often park downtown and then head to class, leaving their cars all day, Prewitt said. Temporarily, employers used the lot at the old Justice Center on MLK Drive between Guadalupe Drive and LBJ Drive and came to an agreement to accommodate the lack of parking for their employees and staff. “Once a plan is brought to council, we will of course discuss it, and there will be public hearings so that anybody in town can come, and a huge part of this is the businesses because it’s going to affect them the most of anybody,” Prewitt said. “I think it’s a good time for this conversation as the city is growing. As long as the businesses are on board and they’ve put in their input, I think that parking meters will make

downtown more accessible, more convenient and more competitive for businesses.” Jordan Kasinger, a resident of Sanctuary Lofts near downtown, said she did not like the idea of parking meters downtown. “To me, it just represents a nice small town turning into a big city of constant urbanization, kind of like what’s happening to Austin, but of course on a much lower scale,” Kasinger said. “I just feel like it could kind of take away from the historical authenticity that this town has to offer, not to mention charging people just to park somewhere when they’re already most likely going to spend money in the area anyways.” Many changes are headed to San Marcos and can be difficult for some people to adapt to, Prewitt said. However, the meters will be advantageous to the clien-

tele, businesses and community of shoppers downtown. “The sentiment of this proposal is that by having paid parking downtown and having a lot where the employees can park, the businesses could have parking spaces more available for downtown,” Prewitt said. “A lot of businesses don’t have their own parking lot, so by doing this, it would make the industry better, and we can keep up with it.” Although Arbnore Haliti, mass communication sophomore, does not look forward to the new meters downtown, she understands why such measures are being taken, she said. “I’m not going to lie,” Haliti said. “Sometimes when I can’t find parking on campus, I park downtown when I’m in a hurry to class. Downtown is just so close and convenient to campus, so

it’s tempting for students to park there, but I get why they’re thinking of resorting to parking meters because it’s hard to find parking all of the time, and I’m sure the employees get pretty frustrated when they can’t park for work.” Kasinger and Haliti agree that parking will be more available downtown after the meters are implemented because students won’t want to pay to park while attending class, they said. The parking meters are necessary to support local businesses, Kasinger said. “If it supports businesses, especially local ones, then I guess the meters are inevitable to keep money and customers coming in,” Kasinger said. “Maybe the parking meters will turn out for the better for our downtown.”

As long as the businesses are on board and they’ve put in their input, I think that parking meters will make downtown more accessible, more convenient and more competitive for businesses.” —Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt, Place 1

ENROLLMENT, from front help us as well,” Heintze said. “It provides for these students the opportunity to be Texas State students, but at the same time they have to earn their way in.” “It is crowded, and my classes are huge as it is,” Wheeler said. “Classes that have to do with my major I’d prefer to be smaller.” Ever y student needs equal opportunities to learn, so the university can only handle so many people, Heintze said. Texas

FARMERS, from front State officials also have to ensure that the requisite number of class sections are available for the general education core curriculum, Bourgeois said. “(Capping enrollment) wouldn’t be bad,” Wheeler said. “It might piss off some (high school) seniors who had already planned on getting in here on what they have right now.” The admissions office tr ies to approach the numbers as scientifically

as possible, but the process is ever-changing and not always easy, Heintze said. “It is still a human business, and I can’t read 13,000 people’s mind,” Heintze said. “Unless there’s something really striking that’s happening in the environment, like the recession, it can always be different. It’s not a perfect system, but I think we are meeting our goals this year.”

regulation on top of a state law that pretty much covers the subject?’” Whisenant hopes to amend the regulation so the public feels more informed. “The need to pass it very quickly to me is not nearly important as getting it done right the first time,” Whisenant said. “The majority of the people that spoke talked blatantly in regard to their first amendment rights, which I don’t feel like the state statute infringes upon and our effort absolutely did not intend to infringe upon.” The group will meet again Nov. 10 to identify problems,

which in turn would allow for a new regulation. “Passage is something that needs to be considered by the members of the court, and they should make that decision based on the facts and the feelings of the public,” Whisenant said. “Most of the time you don’t have to worry about the people that follow the law, but if someone really decides to take the initiative to not follow the law and the procedures and statutes don’t line up with state statutes and the authority of the institution, then there is very little ability to actually enforce.”

REGULATION, from front Democratic Party and one of the individuals reviewing the regulation, is unsure if anything will come out of the process. “At this point, nobody has convinced me that there is any need for these regulations, and they appear to be a solution in search of a problem,” Leonard said. “It’s still possible that when we get through this process, we may say there is nothing here we have to do anything about because there is already a state law that covers electioneering behavior, which means the question is, ‘Do we need another layer of

This has been a successful year for many farmers, Adams said. However, for some, the timing of the rain made things difficult, and crops rotted. “In terms of the weather, that’s the challenge,” Adams said. “That’s the craft of agriculture, especially at a small scale. Whether it’s a drought or a flood, you’re prepared for both. Where you apply your craft, your experience (and) your skill is in growing high-quality produce no matter what the world throws at you.” Many large-scale farmers have found the land more profitable to sell for the development of subdivisions and apartments, said Richard Parrish, Jr., county extension agent for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “The farmers are hurting,” Parrish said. “Here in the United States we’ve become accustomed to a fairly inexpensive food supply. In those times when we have bad weather and the farmer cannot produce a crop, the supply is not there.”

Even though farmers are being subsidized, the prices of food will go up, Parrish said. Large-scale farmers don’t have the luxury of collecting rainwater for their crops, Parrish said. Farmers will have to decide whether it will be more profitable to sell their land and leave agriculture altogether. “As we encourage those small farmers to help them become successful, I think that is going to be essential in helping San Marcos to continue to be a prosperous city,” Parrish said. More people are gardening than before, Adams said. The community and backyard gardens in town create a subculture of people who understand seasonal realities, he said. “It’s the sort of thing you discover, and it dawns on you that you value your craft,” Adams said. “It certainly isn’t a way to get rich, but it can supply a modest livelihood if you’re a modest person. I don’t know that anyone can stick with agriculture unless it’s a lifestyle.”


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EVALUATIONS, from front ey on Scantrons, save time, and something people don't think about is staff spends a lot of time on the evaluations.” Some faculty senators are against the switch because they fear not as many students will take part in the evaluation if they are not in a classroom environment when told to do so, Weill said. “I don't want them ever to be online,” said Steve Wilson, associate chair of the English department. Students should be encouraged to be responsible enough to fill out the evaluations on their own, Weill said. Filling the evaluations out goes along with of being part of the university’s community.

“The incentive ought to be (that) the students want a good university,” Weill said. Every year since the university started using the evaluations, someone has brought up the question of doing the surveys online, Wilson said. “We want to make sure our professors and lecturers are doing their job in the best way possible,” Wilson said. “If somebody can come up with a good plan for how to get people to do it, then by all means go on right ahead, but as it is, if you do it in class, everybody does it, and if you don't you won't get the same participation.” Eventually, Wilson thinks the evaluations will make the digital switch. “It's inevitable,” Wilson

said. “Money will be the reason behind these changes.” Students aren’t too keen on the idea either. Skyler Miller, public relations junior, said going online isn’t the “best option.” “Without an incentive or good reason, students won't complete the evaluations,” Miller said. COLLEGE SKI & BOARD WEEK Search NSA to Download br e c k e n r i dge


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | The University Star | 3


Homecoming events offer opportunities for celebration By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR Across campus and San Marcos, preparations are already underway for Homecoming 2014, one of Texas State’s longest-running and most beloved traditions. Days of team activities and spirited events all lead up to the long-anticipated game this Saturday, making this week one for the books—and the Facebook newsfeeds.


The student talent show is a campus favorite. Every year, organizations, teams, clubs and talented individuals face off in the Evans Liberal Arts auditorium for an evening of singing, dances, monologues and jokes. The show kicks off at 7 p.m., but arriving early is advisable as the auditorium typically meets its quota rather quickly due to the high number of supporters that show up.


SPIRIT FESTI-MALL From 2-7 p.m. this Thursday, the LBJSC Amphitheater will be a sea of maroon and gold as Bobcat supporters turn out in droves to celebrate and rally for a Texas State victory on Saturday. Competing organizations will battle it out to see who has the most Bobcat pride, with the winner securing possession of the muchlauded Spirit Stick.


SOAP BOX DERBY Aimed at bringing together every competing organization for some classic American fun, this Order of Omega-sponsored event always draws a huge crowd. Spectators may watch volunteers from each organization race down the hill by the Family-Consumer Science building at 3 p.m. in homemade soapbox derby cars.

While the activity itself is a classic nod to yesteryear, the winner’s celebrations are usually wild, crazy and anything but.


some new ones in the process. Tee time is 8:30 a.m. sharp at the Texas State golf course. Registration is open until 5 p.m. Wednesday, so there is still time to get in on the action.


FOOTBALL GAME The crown jewel of homecoming activities, what’s sure to be a Texas State victory against Idaho kicks off at 6 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. Based on attendance records from earlier this season, the

stadium is expected to be packed with students, faculty, alumni and fans starting at around 4:30 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to wear their official Homecoming 2014 T-shirts or any maroon Bobcat garb.

Considered to be the Great Bobcat Pastime, tailgate will reach new levels with a no-holds-barred prehomecoming celebration. Organizations and groups from all over campus as well as droves of spirited alumni plan to pack Bobcat Alley for what’s sure to be the greatest pre-game party of all time, kicking off at 9 a.m.

HOMECOMING GOLF TOURNAMENT Bringing together both present and former Bobcats in a two-person, 18-hole scramble, the traditional homecoming golf tournament is a perfect way to reunite friends and make STAR FILE PHOTO

EATING WELL FOR LESS IN SAN MARCOS By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR While college is a time of abundance in terms of new friends, social events and “send-me-thereview-please” emails, many university students find themselves falling short when it comes to finances and meal options. The magic of swipes—informally known as a Chick-fil-A gift card—starts to fade for underclassmen living in residence halls after the first few months, as Panda Express can only sustain a 19-year-old through so many philosophy exams. The idea of boiling a pot of spaghetti yet again seems like the literal worst thing in the world (aside from riding the tram) for older students

living in apartments, but meager bank accounts relegate them to another night of lukewarm pasta. Fortunately, a variety of local restaurants in San Marcos offers a wide selection of discounted, special and plain inexpensive meals all week long, allowing students to dine out without overdrafting their accounts—again.

MONDAY Valentino’s Pizza has long been a post-Square favorite for the 21plus crowd on campus, but the restaurant’s nightly specials make it affordable and convenient enough for an entire residence hall floor to get in on the action. Valentino’s two 14-inch one-topping pizzas for

just $15.99 are inexpensive and delicious enough to bridge the gap between Monday doldrums and the almost-Thursday excitement of Wednesday.

TUESDAY 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. 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.

WEDNESDAY For those looking to expand their palate’s sophistication without blowing this month’s rent money, the ticket to a worldly meal can be found in a parking lot. Offering variations on the traditional falafel, St. Pita’s food truck located at The Hitch has a selection of meals available, none of which crack the $7 ceiling. The Holy Avocado option is particularly heavenly.

THURSDAY For the proverbial poor college student, any meal nicer than ramen noodles can be considered a luxury. Grin’s Restaurant, located on LBJ, puts an affordable twist

on everyone’s favorite carnivorous indulgence with its Student Steak Special. A hearty sirloin served with thick-cut French fries and green salad falls just above the $10 price point, making it the ideal weekday pick-me-up or date spot.

FRIDAY The historic Gil’s Broiler takes TGIF to a new level with its “Finally Friday” special designed to ring in the weekend right. With a juicy burger, fries and a beverage for less than $4, Friday dining at Gil’s is five-star flavor at dollar menu pricing.

4 | The University Star | Wednesday, October 1, 2014



Block scheduling bad idea for freshmen P roposed block scheduling is a bad idea that seeks to coddle freshmen and restrict the opportunities and uniqueness of the college experience. This proposal should be not be adopted . PACE officials are currently considering block scheduling for freshmen in order to increase freshman class attendance as well as ease them into the college experience. However, this block scheduling is a complete slap in the face to programs such as Freshman Orientation and Bobcat Preview. One of the main points of orientation and Bobcat Preview is to introduce freshman students to college life. These programs inform them of need-to-know college information including class attendance, scheduling and proper study habits. Orientation and Bobcat Preview also seek to acquaint freshmen with advisers to come up with plans for their scheduling. The job of advisers is to tell students what classes are required for them to take and what they should take for their major. Upon informing students it is the choice of the students, as adults, whether to listen to the advisers or not. They are called advisers, not dictators. One of the great beauties of the college experience is living as an adult free to make one’s own decisions. Forcing freshmen into block scheduling throws them back into high school and shows just how little faith officials have in them to make adult decisions. Very few college students want to have consecutive classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., which are some of the blocks officials are considering. Having spaced-out classes and time to breath, eat, hang out and just do whatever is one of the many things that people enjoy about college. This proposed block scheduling also alienates freshmen from upperclassmen. Exposure to older and more seasoned college students who know the ropes and can inform freshman is a valuable experience for dewy-eyed students. One important component officials may not be considering is that many students do in fact work to support themselves. Not everyone has willing or able guardians to support their education or their college partying and late night rendezvous. Block schedules allow for little to no flexibility in hours, therefore, disenfranchising the working student. Spacing between class and allowing schedules to be individualized and completely customizable is a great benefit to working students. Forcing freshman into blocks because the powers that be do not trust them hurts more than it helps. College provides freedom, and with more freedom, rightfully, comes more responsibility. While college may seem like high school at times due to cliques and rampant cattiness, it is not. Every person on this campus, aside from some brave overachievers, is a legal adult. Officials need to treat freshmen as the adults they are and not restrict them from the proper college experience.

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.



Male birth control worth consideration Jenna Coleman OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior


ale birth control should be considered by all because of the long-term protection and non-hormonal alternative it offers from female forms such as the pill. A male birth control injection called Vasalgel is expected to be released by 2017. The injection would virtually block sperm from being transmitted altogether. According to a Sept. 18 Huffington Post Live interview, currently 19,000 men are waitlisted for the trial of this injection, showing how open men are to the idea of a new form of birth control. Many men face the problem of being an ‘inbetweener,’ so to speak. These men are in a committed relationship where condoms are not favored but do not want kids for years to come, so vasectomy is out of the question. Condoms and vasectomy are currently

the only two forms of male birth control on the market. The Vasalgel injection will change this and solve the ‘in-betweener’ problem. Vasalgel is fully reversible but also intended to be a long-term contraceptive method. A second injection reverses the blockage of sperm. This dose can be administered whenever the man requests, but this method of birth control can last up to 10 years if the man desires. Vasalgel is also non-hormonal. It is simply an injection of a gel-like substance, which in turn avoids the negative side effects, such as aggression, caused by hormone-derived methods. Women can sympathize with this. Most female birth control methods are hormonal, causing weight gain, mood change, soreness and other unpleasant side effects. With one injection, men could save their significant other the unhappiness that the pill often causes women. Other methods for women, such as IUDs, are invasive and painful when inserted and can cause horrible pain and discomfort for months after insertion. Again, Vasalgel is the solution to this problem. For decades, women have been

the ones who were expected to worry about and maintain birth control. It is time that men help carry that burden. The largest concern coming from the male birth control discussion is the spread of STDs that may occur if men no longer feel compelled to wear condoms. Men and women should understand that condoms are the only way to prevent the spread of STDs during intercourse. Responsibility can only be engrained in people’s minds by sex education. Vasalgel may have some concerned about STDs, which is absolutely legitimate, but the overall benefits are too compelling for this method to be completely overlooked. Male birth control should not be held to a different standard than female forms, which also do not protect against STDs. All men should consider Vasalgel because it is reversible, non-invasive, nonhormonal and will prevent their significant others from having to deal with the very unpleasant side effects that female methods cause, all while preventing unwanted pregnancies. Overall, male birth control injections would be beneficial to both men and women.

Republicans’ stance on Ted Cruz’s United States citizenship hypocritical

Jeffrey Bradshaw OPINIONS COLUMNIST Political science sophomore

Ted Cruz is the junior senator from Texas, the Tea Party poster child and possibly the next president. To many people, including myself until recently, it might seem that the Constitution bans him from holding our nation’s highest office. The Constitution has several requirements to be eligible for president, including being a natural-born citizen. Senator Cruz was born in Canada, but seeing as his mother was a US citizen, he, too, was born a citizen of the US. Many people have interpreted the natural-born citizen requirement as meaning that you must be born in the United Sates. Cruz was not, and there lies the problem. On the other hand, many people have interpreted this requirement as meaning that when you were born, you were a US citizen, which Cruz was. The most recent case of this second interpretation was in 2008 when Senator John McCain ran for president. He was born at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone. This was not the US, but seeing as at least one of his parents was a US Citizen, so was he when he was born.

So it is pretty much settled, then. Ted Cruz can and probably will run for president. There is another problem, however. Also in 2008, Senator Barack Obama ran for president and obviously won. Pretty much as soon as he announced his candidacy, attacks from the right criticized him for being born in Kenya and therefore not being a natural-born citizen even though when he was born, no matter where in the world he was, he was born a citizen of the United States because of his mother’s citizenship. He released his birth certificate that says he was born in Hawaii, but that also doesn’t matter because he was born a citizen of the US. You never heard any attacks against McCain’s eligibility, and I doubt that you’ll hear any attacks against Ted Cruz’s. This is very hypocritical. It not only shows that Republicans apparently don’t care about looking dumb, it borders on racism. I am not usually one to point the racism finger, but it’s hard to deny it when you attack the black guy and not the white guy. Another thing Republicans attacked Obama on was the fact that he did not have a lot of experience when he ran because he did not even finish out his first term as senator. Guess who else won’t finish out their first term as senator if elected? That’s right—Ted Cruz. I am not attacking Ted Cruz’s policy, even though I could. I am attacking the fact that he and President Obama share many of the same circumstances and, unlike in 2008 with Obama, the right is not concerned at all. The hypocrisy is obvious, and I urge Republicans to at least be consistent with their criticisms.


Financial aid application process unnecessarily complicated

Xzaviar Allen OPINIONS COLUMNIST Electronic media junior


inancial aid should be easier for students to obtain. Millions of dollars are poured into student aid funds every year, but receiving just the right amount proves to be one of the most difficult tasks. After all,

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each student applying for aid is literally racing against thousands of other students who also need aid. If the application process were a bit simpler, receiving financial aid would be a lot less trouble. Any student who has applied for aid before should know there are many 10-foot flaming hoops to jump through. Before anyone can actually apply, they must first create user accounts on several different “.gov” websites. These sites usually require deeply personal information, such as social security numbers. Each site may also ask for information about both parents, which may not be readily available to the student. The document requirements

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are just as sketchy. During my experience at Texas State, I have found that the appropriate documentation lacks specificity. Some form of a tax return is an obvious necessity, but there are several different forms with which citizens may file their taxes. If the student turns in the wrong form, they are forced to retrace their steps and produce the correct document. I made that mistake myself once and was not so much as notified of the error by the financial aid office. There is also much confusion as to what each document looks like, and a visual would definitely make the search easier. Additionally, providing parental information should be

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unnecessary for independent students. Updating or transferring tax information for application purposes usually requires the parents to have a login and password to one of the previously mentioned government websites. Retrieving parental information of this caliber can only be done so by the parents themselves, making tax documents more difficult to obtain. The student is required to submit tax records themselves but cannot proceed with the application without their parents’ information. The need for parental information should be solely based on the average amount of money provided for the students’ college funding. If the parents are not assisting the

student, their tax information is irrelevant. The actual service in the Texas State financial aid office makes matters a lot more stressful. The office is frequently unresponsive or moving at a slow crawl. Usually only one of the five help desks is occupied at a time, essentially stopping the flow of students to a gradual drip. Obtaining financial aid should not be this difficult. The various login accounts and parental information requirements are not necessary, and the service in the financial aid office should also be improved. If the government wants students to beg for money, they should at least have the courtesy to pass out the tin cups first.

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 Wednesday, October 1, 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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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | The University Star | 5



Shelby Vas Matt

By Maria Medina SPORTS REPORTER @MARIAMEDINAAA Shelby Vas Matt, sophomore outside hitter, has never held a gun. She doesn’t hunt, and her first pair of cowboy boots weren’t purchased until she arrived in Texas from her hometown of Portland, Oregon. Vas Matt is what she calls “the opposite of Texan.” “(It was strange) adjusting to southern culture,” Vas Matt said. “When someone opens the door for me that much, it’s like they’re hitting on me.” While Vas Matt’s saving grace is her love for Mexican food; it stops where her love for Hawaiian food begins. The northwest in her is something that hasn’t left Vas Matt’s personality since she made a home in Texas. “I miss the culture of home—the culture of the northwest—because that’s where I grew up,” Vas Matt said. “It’s really weird to be in southern culture. It’s a really great experience, but it’s just really different.” Vas Matt found a family over 2,000 miles away from home in the Texas State volleyball team. After getting to know her teammates, she quickly

sophomore outside hitter found she shared more than the court with them. “Coming in as 8freshmen, Shelby and I were automatically best friends,” said Kelsey Weynand, sophomore outside hitter. “We’re both outside hitters, but not only that, we just both liked the same things. I always tell her we’re the same person because we’re the same height, the same position, the same athleticism—we’ve just always been the same.” Vas Matt’s relationship with her family and friends also improved upon moving away from home. The distance called for more communication. “You really have to talk to (your parents and friends) every day,” Vas Matt said. “You don’t just get to be in their presence. You actually have to talk.” Vas Matt admits to having “bad days” since arriving in Texas, but her transition from Portland to San Marcos was seemingly smooth. Finding a best friend in Weynand made the bad days fewer as time went on. “I’ve helped her through lots of difficult times—being so far away, talking her through it,” Weynand said. “I know she misses home, but she’s been really good about making this her new home, and she has done

really well for the team.” Vas Matt believes the northwest may never leave her personality. However, she agrees that southern qualities have rubbed off on her. “I say ‘y’all’ all of the time and ‘yes ma’am, no ma’am,’” Vas Matt said. “I’ve adopted the language. Every time I go home, everyone is always like ‘ha, y’all,’ They’ll make fun of me.” Weynand, a Texas native, believes she and the team have had more influence on her best friend than Vas Matt will ever let on. “She’s getting used to our country side—the team’s countrified self,” Weynand said. “I actually live with her, and we have deer heads on the wall. We have antlers, too. She’s getting really exposed to Texan culture.” Vas Matt’s college experience is the farthest and the longest she has ever been away from home. Vas Matt has more to learn about Texan culture with two more years of eligibility. “I don’t think she’ll ever admit it, but I think she’s starting to like Texas more than Oregon,” Weynand said. “She is opposite of Texas, I’ll admit that, but she definitely embraces everything here. By her senior year, we’ll have her sold.”


Practice Report: Texas State preparing for Homecoming game against Idaho after overtime win By Kirk Jones ASSISTAN SPORTS EDITOR @KIRK_JONES11 The Texas State football team is preparing for another high-octane passing attack for the third consecutive week. The 0-4 Idaho Vandals, led by freshman quarterback Matt Linehan, rank 20th in passing yards per game. Following a triple-overtime victory against Tulsa, the Bobcats have to shift gears into conference season. “Every day is somewhere for improvement,” secondary coach Jason Washington said. “That was a good win, but we have to put it behind us and concentrate on Idaho. We have to come out and perform. It won’t be easy.” Linehan is 17th in the nation in total passing yards. His 1,297 yards are the second-highest among freshmen behind Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon. “Idaho’s quarterback throws for a ton of yards,” Coach Dennis Franchione said. “They’re explosive, and they move the ball around with all of their receivers.” The Bobcat secondary will face top-20 senior wide receiver Joshua McCain, who holds 443 total receiving yards. “(Linehan) plays hard,” Washington said. “They have some skilled playmakers at wide out. They move him around. Their passing concepts are good. They pose some mismatches with their tight end, and their quarterback does a good job.” McCain has caught six of Linehan’s nine touchdowns, putting him third in the nation in receiving touchdowns. Texas State and Idaho have allowed 898 rushing yards through four games. “These past weeks have been tough,” Washington said. “This gives us an opportunity to step up against

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another good quarterback who can throw the ball around. We have to be on top of our game at corner and safety. We can’t make false steps. We have to be in position to make plays.” Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, is flourishing week to week as he continues to progress in practice and transfer his play to the game. “Tyler is much different than last year,” Franchione said. “No matter what we do as coaches, players have to make plays, and Tyler’s making a lot of plays right now.” Jones is the most efficient passer in the Sun Belt Conference, with two interceptions and 11 passing touchdowns this season. The Bobcats have limited the turnovers in four games, with three heading into Saturday’s game against Idaho. “We have played four football games and, knock on wood, given up three turnovers,” Franchione said. “That is a real credit to all the offensive players and the offensive coaches, especially to Tyler (Jones).” The Bobcats have faced two top passers in the country in the last two weeks. In the two contests, they allowed 42 and 34 points, with both teams totaling more than 400 yards. Texas State has been in close battles this season, losing by fewer than two touchdowns in each non-conference loss. “We have fought out tail off all season,


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and we will continue to all season,” Franchione said. “We are at a place in our program where every play matters. We are going to have to fight our tails off. I do not know if we are good enough to drive the spike into teams yet.” This is the first conference matchup of the season for the Bobcats as Idaho arrives in San Marcos with a 0-2 conference record. Texas State won 37-21 in their last matchup. “This is a much-improved team since we last played them,” Franchione said. “We played them last year and beat them but didn’t play all that well. We will have to bring this time around.”




Whether the Texas State football team sinks or floats is contingent on the performance of Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback. The Stephenville native does not like the spotlight. After the Bobcats scored the gamewinning touchdown in triple overtime against Tulsa, Jones met the opposing quarterback, Dane Evans, in the middle of the field. Then he headed to the sidelines while his team celebrated the victory. Calm. Cool. Collected. Jones, reticent by nature, masks his emotions on the field. His play does his talking. “I’m showing more emotion than he is,” Coach Dennis Franchione said. “They know he’s Cool Hand Luke. They know that he’s serious and focused and makes plays. They have a lot of confidence in him, and they have his back. It’s fun watching his growth right now.” Franchione has opened up the playbook this season, installing an up-tempo offense catered to the mobility of his quarterback. The Bobcats are throwing on 41.7 percent of their plays this season, up from 38.9 percent last season. The offense is stretching the field vertically, a testament to Jones’ rapid progression. Jones, with the keys to Franchione’s engine, has created magic with his legs when his offensive line breaks down. He rushed for a season-high 20 times in the win against Tulsa, and he’s accounted for a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games. “He’s much different from last year,” Franchione said. “Eventually, no matter what we do as coaches, players have to make plays. Tyler is making a lot of plays right now. We are gaining the confidence, and Tyler and throwing more and more and more.” Jones is more comfortable throwing the ball to multiple receivers this year. His offense has a versatile tight end as a safety valve, along with several competent receivers. His running backs are also capable

pass catchers, adding another dimension to the offense. “This is the greatest leadership role we’ve had at this position since I’ve been here,” Franchione said. “I think right now with the spirit our offense has around Tyler, it’s taken a long time to get to this point. He’s still very young, so it’s exciting to think about what’s ahead for him.” For a program finding its stride, having a trustworthy quarterback makes all the difference. The team, Franchione says, is not good enough to dominate opponents on a weekly basis. Instead, the Bobcats have to slug it out in close contests. Jones’ demeanor is his strongest leadership trait. When his team needs a response, there’s Jones. When his team needed a conversion on fourth down, Jones dialed up two pinpoint perfect throws to Bradley Miller, senior tight end, and Jafus Gaines, senior wide receiver. When the team was backed up after a penalty, Jones followed with a 35-yard touchdown to Ben Ijah, senior wide receiver. Jones set up the game-winning touchdown with a high degree of difficulty throw to Miller on the left side of the field. His only blemish this season was an interception against Illinois, and even then, he put his team in a position to win after he led a touchdown drive in 89 seconds. Jones doesn’t shy away from the moment. He thrives in the moment. The Bobcats will need their silent leader to perform as they head into conference play. The conference dynamic is upside down this year, with several new teams and Louisiana-Lafayette, last year’s No. 1 team, falling to 1-3 in nonconference play. It’s a wide-open conference that is the Bobcats’ for the taking. “It’s hard to get your hands around the conference,” Franchione said. “It looks like a league with a pretty fine line of difference. That’s hard for me to say because, quite frankly, we were not up at the top of the league. We just weren’t there. Hopefully we are closer this year.”



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6 | The University Star | Sports | Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Go fetch!


Jose Angel Gonzalez freshman runner


By Brittnie Curtis SPORTS REPORTER @BRITTNIEENICOLE Jose Angel Gonzalez, freshman crosscountry runner, hasn’t always been passionate about running. Gonzalez hated it until sixth grade, when he asked for help from his father, Joe, in order to win a girl’s heart. “I liked this girl that was on the track team, and I said, ‘Hey! My dad’s a cross country and track coach,” Jose said. “‘I can totally whip butt. I can win the meet, and she’ll fall in love with me.’” Joe was the track and cross-country coach at the high school Jose would eventually attend. He was more than willing to help his son on his mission. “You know how little boys go crazy for little girls,” Joe said. “He showed up one day saying, ‘I’m going to run, and I need shoes.’” Jose finished second-to-last in both of his races. He didn’t win the young girl’s heart, but his passion for running was born. “The girl didn’t like me, but I said, ‘You know what, I’ll just keep running to stay in shape,’” Jose said. “So that’s my story. That’s how I started running.” Jose continued to participate on the track team throughout junior high school. His father became his trainer, though they bumped heads a little at the beginning. “Coaching your son is very difficult,” Joe said. “Like any teenager, he thought his parents didn’t know anything. I’d tell him to drink some water, and he’d just say, ‘Oh it’s okay, I’ll be fine.’ He was really more into his friends until things got serious and he started not placing. He realized maybe he should start listening to me.” By the end of junior high, Jose had made his way up the ranks. He was district champion at the eighth grade

level in the two-mile race. Then his performance skyrocketed. He began training with his dad and the high school cross-country team the summer before his ninth-grade year. During high school, he was awarded first-team All-District and first-team AllValley, as well as Most Valuable Player for the cross country and track team in his senior season. “He broke several school records and meet records his junior year,” Joe said. “I graduated from the same high school, and he broke the record that I had set. It was pretty cool. There’s a board on the wall, and he got to take my name down and replace it with his.” Jose broke his dad’s record in the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:25:74. Then he broke his own record with a 9:24:70 time his senior year. Now at Texas State, Jose has already set a high bar for himself. The Mission, Texas native placed in the top three for the Bobcats in all of this season’s meets. He has been able to come up with a routine before the race to relieve some of the stress. “There’s definitely more pressure now since I’m doing so well,” Jose said. “What I do is write in my journal. I’ll write all my thoughts and feelings about the race. During the runs I’ll visualize what it’s going to look like, how hard it’s going to be. I imagine the athletes that are going to be there. I imagine what I’m going to eat that day. Everything’s very visual.” Jose credits his religion, parents and team and Coach Bryan Jackson for being his support system. “I’m really religious, and I go to (Our Lady of) Wisdom (University Parish) on campus,” Jose said. “They’re the best people ever. They had given me advice on how to pray before a race. I pray every day before I go to bed and before I run.”



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