OCTOBER 19, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 22
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Students increasingly choosing Teach for America after graduation By Darcy Sprague SENIOR REPORTER @darcy_days
Teach for America, a program dedicated to sending teachers to low income school districts, is reaching for national success by recruiting select graduate students. The number of Texas State graduates in the organization is growing, said Dana Cronyn, director of recruitment communications at TFA. In the past three to five years, 65 to 80 Texas State students have applied to join the corps. “(Joining) Teach for America, on the whole, is probably one of the most important, life-changing decisions I have ever made,” said Sarah Rebollar, Texas State alumna. “I am beyond grateful for all I have gained from it.” When Rebollar was attending Texas State, she joined TFA due to her desire to serve in the field of education. “It is an experience most people don’t get to have,” Rebollar said. “It grows you personally and professionally.” TFA recruits educators to poor districts where schools do not have the funds to
See TEACH , Page 2
BEN KAILING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Wildfires in Bastrop county have consumed over 4600 acres, destroyed at least 48 structures and remains only 40% contained. What is being the Hidden Pines Fire was one in a series of fires that broke out on Tuesday October 13th. Firefighters were able to suppress the other fires but the Hidden Pines Fire proved too much for them to control. Air support vehicles, including a DC-10 Air Tanker flown in from Tennessee, have joined firefighters in their continued efforts to suppress the damage being caused.
Hidden Pines Fire brings awareness to San Marcos By Darcy Sprague SENIOR REPORTER @darcy_days
As the second catastrophic fire in recent history burns through parts of Bastrop, cities across Central Texas are taking precautions to prevent a similar situation. “The topography of San Marcos and our surrounding neighbors would make a grass/brush fire extremely difficult to combat if allowed to grow to the size of the current Bastrop fire,” said Les Stephens, San Marcos Fire Chief. Stephens said the Bas-
trop fire does not directly affect San Marcos. However, as state and local resources are sent to assist the emergency in Bastrop, there are less resources immediately available, should something happen in the surrounding area. The Bastrop fire, called Hidden Pines Fire, is 40 percent contained as of 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, said Steve Pollock from Texas A&M Forest Service, at an Oct. 17 press conference. Bollock said the fire is contained, but not controlled. He said it could take several days to get it
under control. Robert Tamble, Smithville City Manager, said 244 people, as of Saturday have registered at the evacuation shelter. Paul Pape, Bastrop County Judge, said 48 structures have been destroyed and 4,600 acres have been burned, as of Saturday. “It is what it is; we’ve done everything that we could do in the right way,” said Mike Fisher, emergency coordinator for Bastrop County. Fisher said he does not think the firefighters made any mistakes in attempting
to control the fire given the severity of the situation and the dangers of dealing with wildfires. Pape said now that fire crews have been able to draw a containment line around the fire, they will begin working on targeting hot spots. “Our crystal ball is a little cloudy in terms of telling how soon this fire will be wrapped up,” Pape said. The Hidden Pines fire was believed to have been caused by a spark from malfunctioning farm equipment, possibly a shredder. The last major fire in Bas-
trop was in 2011. There were 34,000 acres burnt in the 2011 fire. Two people1were killed and 691 houses were lost. It took 24 days to totally contain the 2011 fire. Stephens said it is possible for San Marcos to see a wildfire similar to the one in Bastrop. Fire conditions in Hays County are currently categorized as elevated. He said the city is taking precautions to try and prevent similar situations from happening in San Marcos, and has implemented
See FIRE , Page 2
Cardboard cutouts commemorate victims of domestic violence By Darcy Sprague SENIOR REPORTER @darcy_days
Hays County officials are participating in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by commemorating those who have lost their lives to abusers, including recently killed residents. Fourteen red cardboard cutouts of the human form have been placed throughout the county to memorialize
victims of domestic violence. Nine of the cutouts are equipped with purple hearts, referring to specific Hays County victims who were killed in recent years. “What bringing awareness means is changing people’s minds,” said Catherine Shellman, founder of Leaving Out Violence Everywhere . “No matter what part of advocacy you are involved in, the end result is trying to end violence by bringing awareness to the
community.” Shellman knows the effects of domestic violence firsthand. Her daughter, Tiffanie Perry, is one of the women memorialized on the cutouts. Hays County police placed the cutouts in local high schools, law enforcement agencies, the district attorney’s office and the Quad. Football teams throughout the county will wear purple ribbons on their helmets dur-
ing specific games to bring awareness to the domestic violence, said Hays County Lieutenant Jeri Skrocki. The teams’ members will read statistics about domestic abuse during the game. According to data provided by Penny Dunn, San Marcos Assistant Chief of Police, reports of domestic abuse increased by 25 percent in the past three years. Thirteen Hays County residents, including some chil-
dren, were murdered by a partner or parents between 2002 and April 2015. There were 119 women killed by their partners in Texas during 2014, according to an Oct. 1 Hays County press release. The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center served 955 victims of abuse, and of those individuals, 674 of whom are residents of Hays County. Melissa Rodriguez, director of development and community partnership at
the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, said approximately half of the victims the center serves are from San Marcos. San Marcos police responded to 316 incidents of domestic abuse situations in 2012 while officers from the University Police Department responded to eight, according to the latest statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s
See VIOLENCE , Page 2
Upcoming breast cancer awareness events to inspire community to “think pink” By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe
Central Texas Medical Center has launched its annual Think Pink initiative, a series of breast cancer awareness events hosted throughout October. Think Pink is a collaborative community event series intended to maximize the support of breast cancer awareness organizations in
Hays County, said Margie Lieck, director of women’s services at CTMC. The partnership was formed five years ago after officials of local health organizations realized they were scheduling breast cancer awareness events on the same dates, making it impossible for people to attend them all, Lieck said. “The partnership helped lead to coordinated, efficient event planning so that these
events support each other rather than compete with one another,” Lieck said. CTMC gives out 100 free mammograms to socially disadvantaged women, she said. The procedures are partially funded by Susan G. Komen, a national breast health organization. “Many women are unable to get mammograms because they have to work through clinic opening hours,” Lieck said. “So the CTMC Wom-
en’s Center for Breast Health has expanded its hours.” Pink Hearts Savings, a Think Pink fundraiser, will donate a percentage of the money raised through the purchase of local business gift cards to CTMC, Lieck said. She said it’s important to keep the effort local. “Oftentimes, when people give money to United Way or other large nationwide health centers, donors see very little of the money affect people
they know,” Lieck said. “But these events stay in the county, so the money stays in our area, where we can see and measure the benefits.” A portion of the funds raised do not go into paying for cancer treatment, but into additional financial support for patients, Lieck said. “Some cancer patients spend up to $7,000 a month on treatment alone, so they require extra money to be able to pay their rent and
feed their families,” Lieck said. “Our fundraising gives patients a little extra money to live on.” Bras for a Cause, a premier event held annually in Comal County—just south of San Marcos—donated $57,000 last year to help patients in need. Thirty-eight patients were able to receive financial support from the money that came from that event alone,
See THINK PINK , Page 2
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New ITS vice president plans to innovate By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
A career in technology wasn’t always the plan for Carlos Solís. Carlos Solís, native of Guatemala, was hired to be a new associate vice president this summer by the Instructional Technologies Support,department. Solís said accepting the vice president position of ITS at Texas State was a “no-brainer” for him. The department aims to enhance students’ learning experiences through the use of electronic resources. Solís said the field of technology was not what he
wanted to pursue at a young age. He studied biology at a small school in Guatemala with the intention of working with wildlife. Solís continued his education at Rice University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in biology with an emphasis in evolutionary biology. Lack of access to technology in Guatemala contributed to Solís’ late start in the field, he said. “Throughout my whole life, I’ve been really interested in computers and what they can do,” Solís said. “But growing up in Guatemala gave me pretty much no opportunity to work with computers.” Solís said his technological interest was converted into
talent by the help of mentors. He applied the learned skills to biology research, allowing the two interests to “work cohesively.” After completing graduate school, Solís decided to apply his knowledge of computing to education. “For a long time, I had really admired what Texas State has been doing with incorporating technology into their curriculum,” Solís said. The opportunity to move the university’s ITS program forward by improving the relationship between education and technology through conceptual thinking is what made the job attractive, he said. “The classroom that is set
FIRE, from front a burn ban. Kristi Wyatt, communication director for San Marcos, said the city has been circulating wildfire warnings to residents through social media. Those warnings include not throwing cigarette butts out, and removing brush from around homes. Bastrop County officials
that will build a stronger connection between students and faculty. Kevin Huffaker, director of classroom technologies for ITS, said he works with Solís to make technological advancements at Texas State. Huffaker said students’ use of smartphones and laptops can facilitate learning. “The goal is working with that technology in the classroom in order to allow students to turn in projects and do homework in and out of the class,” Huffaker said. “The goal is to incorporate technology in a way that allows professors and students to excel in the classroom.” Solís said he has received a warm welcoming from fellow
faculty and students since coming to the university. “I have been so tremendously welcomed here and working with everyone has been a phenomenal experience,” Solís said. “We want to all work at one goal which is top level education for all of our students and bring the university to light as a research institution.” Higher education will continue to enhance through the use of technology, he said. “I don’t believe technology does stuff for you, but rather enables you to access in your work life, research and learning,” Solís said. “I love the way technology allows us to collaborate in ways we weren’t able to do before.”
adequately teach students, Cronyn said. “Inequity in education is a fundamental flaw in the fabric of American society,” Cronyn said. “It’s a foundational error that is still persistent today.” Low-income students do not always have available resources compared to those from a more privileged background, Cronyn said. For example, many students from low-income families do not grow up with books in their homes, often leading to a lower reading level. “A big part of our theory is that teachers didn’t create inequality in education,” Cronyn said. “But teachers are a big part in fighting systemic inequality.” In the United States, more than 16 million children grow up in poverty, according to TFA’s website. One in three of those students will not graduate. Of the students that do graduate, only 18 percent go on to attend a university. Teach For America’s mission statement indicates statistics are not a reflection of the potential of the nation’s children. Instead, the statistics reflect “systemic lack
of equity” for low-income students. In San Antonio, corps members work at inner-city schools, according to data provided by TFA officials. In some of these schools, 93 percent of students are considered economically disadvantaged. “Teaching and working with students that have been counted against—the ones larger society thinks they won’t be able to achieve at the same level—is incredibly rewarding,” Cronyn said. “Teachers who work with these students across the country have the opportunity to give these students hope and a chance.” There are currently 16 Texas State alumnus corps members actively teaching for the program, according to data provided by Cronyn. An additional 30 retired corps members from Texas State are still working in the field of education. “Texas State University has a population of students that are focused on social justice,” said Carly Chitin, director of recruitment at TFA. Chitin said the diversification of Texas State’s student
body is reflected in the rising number of Teach for America recruits. “We recognize the importance of having teachers who share the same racial, social or economic background as their students,” Chitin said. “Students deserve to have a teacher and mentor who they can relate to.” Chitin said 49 percent of corps members are minorities and the number continues to increase. “Their time with us is often the most impactful two years of our corps members’ lives,” Chitin said. “They get to see what it is like to make a positive difference.” Chitin said 70 percent of corps members go on to fight systemic inequality. Many remain teachers, become principals or go on to work for a nonprofit organization. “This will be one of the most rewarding moments of a person’s life,” Cronyn said. “Whatever you pay into students—lesson plans, late nights, parent teacher conferences—comes back tenfold when you see how much that student wants to learn and what they can achieve.”
TEACH, from front are concerned with additional fires starting. Pickering said Oct. 16 that despite all the warnings, there have been six burn violations in the county. Governor Greg Abbott declared Bastrop County as being in a state of disaster on Oct. 15, meaning they can now receive federal aid. "As severe wildfires
continue to impact Bastrop County, I strongly urge Texans in that area to take all possible precautions to ensure their safety," Abbott said. "By declaring a state of disaster in Bastrop County, the state of Texas is activating resources to help affected communities as efficiently and as effectively as possible.”
THINK PINK, from front
DARYL ONTIVEROS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Lieck said. “There’s nothing more meaningful than people out there seeing what the project does for people they know personally,” Lieck said. “When we started the project, we were only seeing four to six patients a day, but after hiring a navigator who started going out into the community, we now serve
up has to be conducive to conversation that happens between faculty and the students,” Solís said. “Space is an important thing and technology can also facilitate a collaborative process along the way.” Solís said seating arrangement in a classroom could affect the focus of students. “There have been studies that look at how we arrange the seating in the classroom differently to facilitate a conversation,” Solís said. “Data has indicated that teams of three people sitting around the table seems to produce better dialogue.” He said conceptual thinking drives him to implement technology in the classroom
double the amount of patients per day.” To contribute to the cause, Texas State is hosting Be The Match, a benefit concert to be held in Sewell Park Nov. 20, said Ronnie Lozano, program chair of the university’s radiation therapy program and acting sponsor for the event. The event is primarily focused
on spreading awareness and will offer information on a number of different cancers and how to detect and avoid them. Attendees will also have an opportunity to enter the nationwide cancer registry in order to facilitate future bone marrow donation, said Samuel Hillhouse, Be the Match representative and Texas State alumni.
For patients with blood cancers or severe blood disorders like leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia, the only foreseeable shot at a cure is bone marrow donation, Hillhouse said. “You could be called on to donate bone marrow three months after registering, or 30 years after registering,” Hillhouse said.
The program hosts a marrow registry drive on campus every spring. These drives are typically some of largest in nation. Last year’s event signed over 1,500 students into the registry, with over 20 Texas State students going on to donate to a patient, Hillhouse said. However, the program has never held a benefit concert before.
“I joined the registry in 2008, and was told in 2011 that I was a match for a leukemia patient,” Hillhouse said. “A year after I donated, I was told the patient was cancer-free, and I got to meet her. A woman in Chicago is alive today because I took 10 minutes out of my day to get registered.”
on the FBI’s report,” Dun said. “It’s hard because the categories they use make it hard to account for domestic abuse.” Dun said inaccurate statistics make it harder to bring awareness to domestic violence. “Domestic abuse gets kicked under a rock and silenced,” Shellman said. “This is detrimental to victims who already feel isolated.” Shellman believes creating dialogue about domestic violence is the best way to bring awareness to the issue, stop victim shaming and move toward the end of abuse. At a Sept. 28 Hays County
press conference, Wes Mau, district attorney, said victims often do not believe there has been a crime committed against them. “(Some victims) have been raised to believe that’s the way things are—that they don’t deserve anything better,” Mau said. “They haven’t been taught that there is a better way.” Mau said education is essential to ending the cycle of abuse. “Until we bring awareness to these crimes we will be fighting an uphill battle,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said one in three women and one in
20 men will be assaulted in their lifetimes. This means that abuse is significantly underreported, especially for men. Both Perry and Hailey Nicholas, the most recent victims killed in a domestic abuse situation, were Texas State students. Chase Stapp, San Marcos chief of police, said the large student population in San Marcos creates a “perfect storm” for dating abuse. Up to 43 percent of women dating in college report experiencing an abusive relationship, according to statistics provided by the National Domestic Vio-
lence Hotline. Seventy-three percent of women who have been raped experienced this trauma before they were 25 years old. “Awareness leads to women making the choice to report their attackers,” said Jane Heffelfinger, local activist. “Higher level of reports could lead to more rapist and abusers ending up in jail.” Skrocki said Domestic Violence Awareness Month is being recognized on a county level at the request of Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center. “As law enforcement officers, what we are practic-
ing is homicide prevention,” Dunn said. “What we know is that we pull over drunk drivers because they will kill. Batterers will kill too.”
VIOLENCE, from front Uniform Crime Report, Dunn warns these statistics underrepresent the frequency of domestic violence. She said the FBI’s formula for classification of cases is flawed. “It’s like they’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole,” Dunn said. Dunn said incidents of aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault are not filed under domestic abuse. Other crimes such as harassment, stalking and forcing victims to commit crimes are not included under the domestic abuse either. “It is really hard to find the domestic abuse statistics
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Texas Tribune Festival hosts politically driven discussions By Anna Herod NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy
National, state and local officials traveled from all across the country to Austin this weekend to speak on issues ranging from gun legislation and homeland security to the Memorial Day weekend floods. The Texas Tribune hosted their fifth annual Texas Tribune Festival at the University of Texas at Austin over the weekend. The mayors of Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi kicked the festival off Saturday by speaking about the challenges that face big cities. Ivy Taylor, mayor of San Antonio, spoke about the socioeconomic battle threatening her city. “The biggest challenge that I think about in relation to the future of (San Antonio) is that we don’t grow into two cities based on economics: the haves and the have-nots,” Taylor said. “My goal as mayor is to connect all San Antonions to the prosperity that we have.” Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, and Annise Parker, mayor of Houston, both said infrastructure is an issue in their cities. Adler said more and more planning challenges have presented themselves when it comes to ensuring smooth transportation in the city of Austin. When asked about the Black Lives Matter movement, the mayors took the chance to talk about issues of race and accountability in their respective cities. Taylor, the first African American woman to serve as mayor of San Antonio, said she understands the sentiment behind the movement’s slogan, given recent incidents of police brutality across the nation. “What we focus on is accountability,” Taylor said. “(We need) better training for the police to ensure they are handling issues in the most sensitive manner possible, but we can’t just focus on
the law enforcement space— though that is important in many incidents.” Steve Thurber, mayor of Wimberley, Sarah Eckhardt, Travis County judge, and Clay Jenkins, Dallas County judge, reflected Saturday on lessons they learned from the floods that ravaged Central Texas in May. “The thing I learned from this particular flood is don't ever be surprised by the kindness of people,” said Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “You should never have to go through a disaster alone and we have to expect the unexpected.” Eckhardt said city officials should be cautious when responding politically to natural disasters. “After these events we often talk about large infrastructure plans like dams,” Eckhardt said. “But when you start talking about these large infrastructure responses, you are fighting the last disaster and disasters never occur the same way twice.” There has been conversation for multiple years about the possibility of constructing a dam on the Blanco River. The Memorial Day weekend flooding brought the discussion back to the forefront of people’s minds, Thurber said. “We have to determine if a dam on the Blanco River will help solve our problems,” Thurber said. “There’s a lot of information on both sides, so I don’t think there is a political discussion there. The scientists have to tell us if that’s the right thing to do.” Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, served as the national keynote speaker Saturday. She presented her perspective on congressional issues. Pelosi said Republicans should act with a sense of urgency and timeliness to find someone to replace Speaker of the House John Boehner after he announced his resignation earlier this month. “The speaker is stepping
JEFFREY BRADSHAW ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR
Julian Castro speaks Oct. 18 at the 5th annual Texas Tribune Festival.
aside because he refused to shut down (the) government,” Pelosi said. “It is a very big deal. I wish he had not. We don't agree on many issues, but we do agree on the governance of our country. We have the work of the people to do.” Pelosi served as the first female speaker of the House in the history of American government. She said among 435 members of the House, there were only 23 women holding congressional seats when she was elected into office. “We have to do more to get more (women),” Pelosi said. “If you increase the level of civility and reduce the role of money (in Congress), you will have more women in office.” Political reporters for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and the head of news for Snapchat focused their discussion on candidates in the presidential primary race Sunday during the “Make 2016 Great Again” panel.
It’s a winner!
Ryan Lizza, reporter for The New Yorker, said Hillary Clinton is proving to be the strongest Democratic front-runner of the modern era for a non-incumbent in the primary race. “Hillary Clinton obviously has more of the power centers behind her in the Democratic party (than Bernie Sanders),” Lizza said. “Having said all of that, she has two incredible vulnerabilities in Ohio and Iowa.” The panel unanimously agreed it would be unlikely for Bernie Sanders, senator of Vermont, to get the Democratic presidential nomination. “He has huge momentum among young people,” said Amy Chozick, political reporter for the New York Times. “He has really
mobilized the social media army. I don’t really see a path (to getting the Democratic presidential nomination) if he can’t win minorities— even with all of the support he has on college campuses.” The festival concluded with Evan Smith, editor-inchief, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune, interviewing Julián Castro, U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development. As the interview shifted to the topic of gun legislation, Castro said he believes representatives of the National Rifle Association have misled the American people. “This false narrative has been set up by the NRA about good guys with guns and bad guys with guns,” Castro said. “They say the only way to keep yourself
safe is to have a gun to protect yourself. They don't think about the element of surprise.” An audience member asked Castro about his feelings on open and campus carry legislation in Texas. The HUD secretary said he believes the recently passed gun legislation allowing citizens to openly carry their weapons in public may harm the prospects of the hospitality industry in the state. “I think what you see in the business community these days in regard to open and campus carry are deep concerns about how this legislation is going to be implemented in Texas,” Castro said. “There is a deep and growing feeling among some that the legislation went too far.”
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Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
A warning against cultural appropriation
ultural appropriation has been on the tongue of every media outlet and social media blog around the country, but what exactly does it mean? Don’t fret Bobcats—The University Star is here to explain. Cultural appropriation—is the adoption of cultural elements in a colonial, often imperial, context. Unlike exchange, assimilation or acculturation, appropriation is not a relatively mutual interaction. Appropriation is a forceful commandeering of a minority culture’s elements, often outside of their original context and always against the expressed wishes of the representatives. Appropriation consists of annexing customs and expressions, bastardizing them, claiming them and then repackaging them for the consumption of the dominant culture. Culturally appropriating a culture should not be confused with appreciation. Bastardization is never a compliment or something a minority group would find complimentary or endearing—especially when it comes to repackaging these cultural elements as “edgy” counterculture for majority, white consumption. An important concept to recognize in discourses regarding cultural appropriation is the ever-present double standards. When a white woman wears dreads or braids in order to seem cool and “edgy,” she is praised and heralded as a fashion icon. But when black women wear these styles, made specifically for the upkeep of their afro-textured hair, they are often met with negative stereotypes and even employment discrimination. Many black women and men, have been fired or
denied jobs simply because of the natural composition of their hair. This is not to be confused with something that can be altered, like bright colors or cuts. Instead, discrimination occurs due to the way their hair naturally grows out of their head—or, in the case of braids and locs, cultural styles with the expressed purpose of tidy upkeep. These hairstyles have been taken out of their original context by the dominant culture and are only seen as “distracting” styles of counterculture. The appropriators have not only annexed the expression out of its original framework, but orchestrated an adoption that leads to gratuitous, ignorant stereotypes. Thus, the people who actually benefit from the protective style are left to endure the end result. Much like in imperialism, the dominators come into the fray, take what they want, and then leave the victimized to deal with the shattered pieces. The opposition will hilariously point to some black women choosing to straighten or relax their hair or resort to wigs and weaves that resemble less coily hair textures. While a nice attempt, this confuses assimilation with appropriation. Throughout western history, black women have been told their hair is undesirable. Many black women have assimilated to the dominant culture’s Eurocentric standards out of necessity and survival. If they do not bend to the whims of the dominant culture, they will be denied employment, badgered or, in the case of one 12-year-old child, threatened with expulsion for her natural, afro-textured hair. Other detractors attempt
ISRAEL GONZALES STAR ILLUSTRATOR
to poke holes in the logic of cultural appropriation opponents by saying that eating the food or listening to the music of a different culture is “appropriative.” These people simply have a fundamental misunderstanding of the term. Cultural appropriation isn’t simply “using something from another culture.” It is far more sinister. Cultural appropriation means taking something from a culture, claiming it as one’s own and then subsequently removing all of its meaning. People can eat all the tacos and curry they want—they just should not claim and then proceed to teach that these things are
white innovations. Students should not feel discouraged from exploring different avenues and broadening their horizons— quite the contrary. They should instead explore every possible avenue while being careful to educate themselves prior to accidentally hijacking a cultural expression out of context. However, there is one caveat. People often place the onus of education on the minority culture experiencing the colonization of their customs. Not only can that be an act of violence against the culture, but it also hearkens back to the trauma of histori-
cal and contemporary transgressions. People of color have consistently been forced to legitimize and explain their experience and hurt for the convenience of the dominant culture administering their pain. So instead of looking to someone to educate them, students should do their own research. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice—and a bad one at that. The entire encyclopedia of the world is literally in the palm of everyone’s hands. There are no excuses for not knowing or being ignorant to certain concepts or ideas. Therefore, appropriating is not negotiable. There is
no conversation or back-andforth to be had. If representatives of a minority culture take issue with an expression of their customs and background, the conversation ends there. A person outside of the context of the culture, history and lived experiences of another should never feel entitled to tell someone about their culture. People should think twice before engaging in these conversations. Detraction can often evoke imperialist narratives of old. At this point in time, everyone should understand that pretention and pomposity are not admirable traits. Education and understanding are key.
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.
Smartphones shed new light Vaping, hookah use dangerous to students’ health on depression
Allison Chavez OPINIONS COLUMNIST @AllisonChaveZ21
he answer to the question, “Do you even vape?” should be a resounding, “No.” Students need to know the cons far outweigh the pros of using smoking alternatives like e-cigarettes and hookah, as they are not as safe as people are led to believe. Students should stop and consider what constitutes the smog they are sucking into their bodies before making the decision to turn on a vape pen or inhale some flavored smoke at the local hookah lounge. Some claim e-cigarettes are “better” alternatives to conventional cigarettes because they are merely inhaling nicotine instead of tar-filled smoke, but there is a whole lot more in e-cigarette vapor and hookah smoke than one might think. According to a Jan. 21
study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, when people smoke the nicotine-filled vapor from e-cigarettes, they are also inhaling the dangerous toxin formaldehyde. When e-cigarettes or vape pens are turned up higher than a certain voltage, large amounts of formaldehyde are excreted into the vapor. Yes, the same carcinogenic chemical used to embalm dead bodies could be floating down into your lungs along with all that tasty nicotine. E-cigarettes are still too new for researchers to be certain of how they affect users, but the New England Journal of Medicine study showed a shocking revelation. The amount of formaldehyde a person inhales through an e-cigarette could be up to 15 times higher than the amount taken in through usual cigarette use. This unsettling new discovery is a problem. Users are being misled to believe e-cigarette use is actually healthier than smoking a normal cigarette. Marketing campaigns claim e-cigarettes are healthier than usual cigarettes because the user is only inhaling water vapor, hence the colloquial term “vaping.” As if inhaling a known carcinogen is not bad enough, formaldehyde is not all that is lurking with-
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in the murk of e-cigarette smoke. Chemicals are the veiled ingredients that make consumers keep coming back, including other carcinogens and diethylene glycol, a harmful substance also found in antifreeze. Hookah use is fast becoming the new trend for young adults in addition to sucking down chemical-laden vapor from e-cigarettes and vape pens. According to a July 2014 Pediatrics study, the majority of young adults who use hookah wrongly assume that it is a safe activity. It is another common assumption that the water used in hookah filters out any unhealthy chemicals. In reality, the water vapor people are inhaling through hookah contains so much tar that an hour of puffing on the pipe equates to the amount of tar in an entire pack of cigarettes. If you value the use of your lungs, stay away from smoking alternatives like e-cigarettes, vape pens and hookah pipes. These seemingly harmless new trends can be just as hazardous as puffing down a whole pack of smokes. So please, when asked the question, “Hey, do you even vape?” let the answer be, “Hell no.” —Allison Chavez is a journalism freshman
Autumn Sprabary OPINIONS COLUMNIST @AutumnSprabary
f you’re sad and you know it, check your phone. The medical research team at Northwestern University has created a new smartphone app to detect whether or not the user is depressed. Before the skepticism begins, let me explain. The app, referred to as Purple Robot, uses behavioral markers to analyze different points of use in your phone. These different points include GPS history, search history and movement. Based on the information collected, Purple Robot can determine a person’s risk of depression, ranging from mild to severe. This still may sound a little far-fetched, but results prove Purple Robot knows its stuff. In the research testing, subjects answered a questionnaire called PHQ-9 that is also
used to determine depression risk. The results of the questionnaire were compared to the findings of the app, and Purple Robot proved to have 87 percent accuracy when detecting depression risks in users. This app can only have a positive effect on people. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 16 million adults in the U.S. have had at least one depressive episode in the last year. Purple Robot may not prevent those episodes, but it can detect them and alert the person to seek help. Because this is an app, there are limitations to whom it could help. For instance, in the trial with Purple Robot, 40 volunteers were chosen from Craigslist and only 28 had enough data on their phone for the app to analyze. That being said, this app works most effectively for people who are on their phones regularly, and college students are on them all the time. The incessant smartphone use paired with high-stress schedules gives college students the golden ticket to use this app. For students, it is easy to fall into the non-stop routine of juggling work, school, bills, friends and becoming an adult—not to mention for the students who are several hours from home. It can be a lot to
deal with. The National Institute of Mental Health website says that many people experience their first symptoms of depression in college. The problem with this is students who have depression symptoms may not realize it or do not know how to get help. Purple Robot offers early detection, which is the best way to relieve depression symptoms and prevent reoccurrence. It is important for students to understand that being aware of your depression is not going to make it go away. This app is a fantastic discovery because it alerts people of their depression risk. However, it does not treat the depression—that is the responsibility of the user. The Texas State Counseling Center offers mental illness screenings, so the next step for students with a high-risk result should be an examination to receive an official diagnosis. Purple Robot, like anything else in life, is only a step toward the end goal. This app can detect depression, but it is up to the user to seek help. So, take the step—get screened, get treated and get better. Because without action, this is just another app claiming to make a change. –Autumn Sprabary is a electronic media senior 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666
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Local band credits San Marcos for its success By Taylor Thompson LIFESTYLE REPORTER @tthompson437
When two friends from high school parted ways for college, they never thought they would come together again to make a name for themselves in the music industry. Blue Water Highway is an Americana band based in Kyle, Texas, formed by Zack Kibodeaux and Greg Essington. Two years later, the band is comprised of six members, four of which are Texas State alumni. The band originally started out with just Kibodeaux and Essington. However, the pair decided they wanted more members to bring their own unique sound to the stage. Kibodeaux said he looked to a group of former Texas State students to fill the roster. “When we wanted to start a band, I grabbed some friends I had made in the music program at Texas State and that’s how we were formed,” Kibodeaux said. Essington said the band members have a very special place in their hearts for San Marcos. “One special thing about performing in San Marcos
is Cheatham Street Warehouse,” Essington said. “We got our start there.” Essington said the band was given a performance slot every Tuesday night, which allowed the group to make a name for itself. The same slot was given to George Strait when he first began playing, Essington said. “It’s a place with a ton of history, so when we get to go back, it’s really special because we kind of got our start playing in San Marcos,” Essington said. Essington said the band’s newest album, Things We Carry, was inspired by a few songs the group held onto for a long time but never got around to recording. “It’s about the joys and the struggles and things people just deal with in life,” Essington said. Kibodeaux said he and Essington first bonded over their mutual love for Ryan Adams but also look up to artists such as Guy Clark and The Killers. “If we were able to go on tour with a variety of artists, I think we would fit in perfectly,” Kibodeaux said. “We like a mixture of music.” Essington said the band’s goal is for fans to feel a variety of emotions while listening
CASSIE ALVARADO STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The Blue Water Highway Band performs Sept. 12 at Cheatham Street Warehouse.
at their concerts. “We try to mix it up,” Essington said. “You can go to our show and kind of connect with a song that might have to do with heartbreak, but you can also have fun moments where you can dance and appreciate people dancing.”
Essington said the members are very diverse in the music they play and listen to. This helped the group find its own unique sound. “We pride ourselves on having a big mix,” Essington said. Kibodeaux said there are
many incredible aspects of performing, but his favorite part of going on tour is getting to share his music with the band’s fans. “There is something specifically about performing your own music that is an especially fulfilling aspect
of performing,” Kibodeaux said. Essington said music could impact people in a variety of ways. “I think the best thing about music is the ability to connect with people,” Essington said.
Wittliff Collection showcases Texas films the collections within the last year that inspired the exhibit. “We thought about this new material that we got, in addition to knowing that we already have a really rich repository of film archives,” Davis said. “(We thought) it’d be beautiful to showcase this material.” The works of Severo Perez’s, who shot a film based on the common experience novel And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Robert Benton, Academy Awardwinning director, are the two newest additions to the collection, Davis said. “These are huge, important acquisitions,” Davis said. “It seemed like a really good time to showcase these tremendous film archives.” Davis said many of the film archive donations came through the involvement of Bill and Sally Wittliff, founders the Wittliff Collections. MADISON MORRISS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER “Bill Wittliff is a phoThe Witliff Collections recently added the new collection on August 17. The new collection is called Places In The tographer, book publisher, Heart: Texas Cinescapes. and also a filmmaker,” Dathe Wittliff Collections on and is designed to showcase vis said. “He’s made many By Taylor Thompson campus. screenplays, props and other friends and convinced a lot LIFESTYLE REPORTER Steve Davis, curator at film materials from movies of those friends to donate @tthompson437 the Wittliff Collections, shot in or based on the Lone their archives to Texas State Films based on or shot in said Places in the Heart: Star State. University.” Texas are getting their chance Texas Cinescapes, will run Davis said two very imporDavis said the exhibit to shine in a new exhibit at Aug. 17 through July 3, 2016 tant archives were donated to would make any film buff’s
day. “The film materials are just so visually interesting,” Davis said. Caitlyn Durkee, music studies freshman, said it was exciting to see how Texas has shaped film. “Everybody watches movies and there is no getting around that,” Durkee said. “It was cool to see movies made in the places you’ve been to before.” Durkee said seeing what goes into making many of the movies was eye-opening. “I think it’s so much fun to see all of the great behind-thescenes photographs,” Davis said. Davis said one of her favorite parts of the exhibit was the Foto Escurra, a threedimensional photograph used in And the Earth Did Not Devour Him. “It was a central prop in the film,” Davis said. “Just to have that in a case and have the rest of the film revolve around it, it’s kind of a neat thing to have.” Davis said the collections are a great resource for students looking to work in the film industry after college. “Robert Benton won an
Academy Award for Places in the Heart, and we have his director’s notebook,” Davis said. “For anybody that wants to be a filmmaker, they have a great opportunity to see how these other filmmakers created these masterpieces.” Davis said many of the archives were picked based on the awards the films had won. Exhibit organizers did their best to make sure the display included everything, he said. Davis said he was surprised to see how many Texas films had received recognition. “I hadn’t realized how many of the films (made in Texas) had won significant awards,” Davis said. Davis said any exhibit attendees would be able to find something that fits their taste in movies. Davis noticed a lot of the awards the films received featured similar characters. “The outlawed country singer, the helpless mother who gains strength, they continue to win awards over and over,” Davis said. “We were sure to showcase all the interesting things we could.”
Theater student makes directorial debut By Juliana Adame LIFESTYLE REPORTER @kate_monster04
One Texas State theater student is getting the opportunity some could only dream of. Taylor Pasche, theater senior, said she will direct the upcoming musical Ordinary Days Dec. 3 in the Texas State Theatre Center Studio. Pasche said she was given the chance to do the show as part of an independent study class. Pasche is excited to get some directing experience under her belt before she graduates in December. “My goal when I get out of college is to direct for musical theater,” Pasche said. The production features music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, original composer for Ordinary Days, Pasche said. Instead of a spoken script, Pasche said the entire performance will be sung by cast members. Pasche said the show features four 20- and 30-year-olds
and explores their seemingly everyday lives in New York City. “The big theme of the musical is finding beauty in the ordinary,” Pasche said. Pasche said she chose the project because of a personal connection. She said problems the musical addresses are relatable for most college-age students. The musical aims to explore how people can get caught up chasing perfection, Pasche said. “We don’t stop and smell the roses, because we see them every day—even though they’re ordinary, it is important to realize that they are beautiful,” Pasche said. “I think that is a big message that I needed at this point in my life and I know that a lot of college students need that.” Pasche said a project like this wouldn’t be successful without a strong support system. She said the theater program’s strong technical team has helped the production
flourish. Corbin Paulino, freelance stage manager with the production, said he has been working with Pasche for years. “We have become like a partnership,” Paulino said. “We know when to wear our relationship hats, and when to wear our professional hats.” Paulino said working on the play has helped him perfect his skills as a stage manager. “I’m really interested in creating a show from the ground up,” Paulino said. “That’s why this show is so important.” Paulino said Pasche has worked hard to bring the play to life. “This is her baby,” said Paulino. “It’s been a baby that she’s been thinking about for years.” Pasche said each objective the pair hit has brought them one step closer to making the musical a reality. “We have hit hundreds of her goals,” Paulino said. “She’s great to work with, so intelligent, and her methods of how she works with actors
is super unique.” Josh Iverson, freelance company manager with the production, said he has been working on the play for almost a month. “She has been trying to get this project going for six months,” Iverson said. Pasche said one of the best aspects of the show and its process is the unconventional areas students are allowed to work. The company manager position is not normally given to college students, but due to support from the theater administration allowed Pasche to expand student responsibilities. She said there is room for students interested in learning more about the positions to shadow each worker. Though the show has been cast, Pasche said official rehearsals wouldn’t formally begin until next month. “This turned into a great learning experience for a lot of different areas,” Pasche said.
MADISON MORRISS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Taylor Pasche, senior theatre major, is directing the musical Ordinary Days, written by Adam Gwon, which will premiere in December.
6 | Monday, October 19, 2015
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THE MADDIE NICHOLS WAY: IF IT’S EASY, IT’S NOT WORTH IT
STAR FILE PHOTO By Garrett Caywood SPORTS REPORTER @polo__garre
From walk-on to the most valuable player, the path to success wasn’t easy for Maddie Nichols, junior midfielder. Assistant Coach Link Scoggins said Nichols is the epitome of what they want in a player. “She is stepping up and being a huge leader on the field,” Scoggins said. “Whether it’s through her actions, verbal or however you want to say it. She is definitely becoming a leader for this program.” As a walk-on, Nichols started her freshman season with cautious optimism. She knew soccer could be a great
opportunity. Eventually, it turned out to be the opportunity she always wanted. Nichols was awarded Texas State’s Most Improved Player in 2013. “I didn’t really know what to expect at the college level,” Nichols said. “Once I got here, it’s a huge difference from high school—the pace is a lot faster.” Nichols adjusted to the pace quickly and gained the trust of her coaches. In 2013, Nichols led her class with over 1,400 minutes played. “After freshman year, you kind of get some experience under your belt,” Nichols said. “I gained more confidence.” Nichols established herself as a centerpiece in Coach Kat
Conner’s program. Although she was excited, Nichols said it was a difficult time in her life because she had to prove herself. “It was definitely something I had to overcome because I feel like I had to especially prove myself,” Nichols said. “Coming freshman year and starting preseason was a hard time. Not knowing what to expect and having to go through fitness testing.” If being a walk-on wasn’t enough, another obstacle Nichols had to overcome was a change in playing style. Scoggins said Nichols wasn’t being fully utilized while playing for her club team. Before Nichols arrived at Texas State she primarily sat back and protected pos-
session. “With us, she is there to break up plays defensively and to start possession,” Scoggins said. “But she can also score goals and she can assist. She can be a goal scoring threat as well.” As a versatile player, Nichols is expected to play most minutes while facilitating the ball. Through 13 games this season, Nichols is first on the team in minutes (1134). Eventually, all of Nichols’ hard work culminated in a scholarship. The confidence of playing as a walk-on can’t be quantified for Nichols. “That’s our idea for a program—is that you earn everything you get,” Scoggins said. “Once money was available we were able to give
it to somebody like Maddie Nichols.” With a large sophomore class, Scoggins knows how important Nichols is—and not just as a player. “We have a big sophomore group that has worked their way into the starting lineup,” Scoggins said. “To us, sophomores are still young too. And to have the leadership of Maddie (Nichols) is very important.” An inspirational leader for the younger players, Nichols sets an example of how to play the game. As one of the most reliable Bobcat players, Nichols has amassed over 2,700 career minutes. “She’s a player I think that sometimes gets overlooked, but to tell you the truth, she is
one of the players that makes our engine go,” Conner said. Nichols said playing heavy minutes is a role she relishes. But it does come with its challenges, especially because she remains mentally engaged for each game. She’s rarely on the bench to relax. “(It’s) definitely physically exhausting, it’s pretty hard when you have a Friday game and a day to recover,” Nichols said. “Then you have to do the same thing on Sunday.” The road hasn’t been easy for Nichols ,but if it’s easy, it’s not worth it. And if it’s worth it, it won’t be easy. That’s the Maddie Nichols way.
Curry, Bobcats spoil Louisiana-Monroe’s senior day with 1-0 victory By Garrett Caywood SPORTS REPORTER @polo__garre
It was senior day for the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks, but it was a Texas State senior who stole the show. Lynsey Curry, senior forward, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and the Bobcats never looked back with a 1-0 victory over the Warhawks. “We were a bit tired from all the minutes that we played
Friday night,” said Link Scoggins, assistant coach. “It was a bit of a slow start, but we finally got into it and started moving the ball a little bit better and creating more chances.” The goal from Curry was her third of the weekend and ninth of the season. “Again, Lynsey Curry buried a goal in the first half that kind of crushed ULM’s hopes because they’re out statistically from the tournament,” Scoggins said.
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Two early shots from Louisiana Monroe hit the post but were deflected. These were a joint wake-up call for the Bobcats. “Before the goal we were playing very individual and direct,” Scoggins said. “Once that happened it kind of woke us up. We were like, ‘Okay, we cannot let this team into the game,’ so we started moving the ball better and creating more chances.” Scoggins said it’s important to get the win, but the
Bobcats have room for improvement. “Instead of trying to attack, attack, attack,” Scoggins said. “We could have built a little bit better. As in, get more members around the ball and get more options forward instead of trying to hit a forward and go oneon-one versus the backline.” Although impatient, the Bobcats’ offense was connected and efficient. The Bobcats took 12 shots, with 10 shots on goal. Curry man-
aged four shots while Kassi Hormuth, sophomore forward, attempted two. The game could have been quite different if it wasn’t for Brooke-Lynn Scroggins, Warhawks freshman goalkeeper, who had nine saves. After a three-game losing streak in the Sun Belt Conference, the Bobcats needed a win. The importance of this victory goes without saying. The wins on Friday and Sunday put the Bobcats in the mix for a berth in the playoff
tournament. With two games remaining, the Bobcats are tied for fourth. The Bobcats return home after a five-game road stretch in which the team went 2-3. Texas State’s final two games will likely impact seeding in the conference. “We got to have a good start,” Scoggins said. “We are playing for seeding in the tournament and we want to go as high as possible. So if we can come out of there with two wins, that’s our goal.”
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Zapalac adds production to injury By Donavan Jackson SPORTS REPORTER @djack_02
Kira Zapalac, sophomore midfielder, was a senior in high school playing for the Space City Football Club when she tore her ACL. After months of rehab, she continued her pursuit of collegiate soccer with a commitment to Texas State. “I would say the worst thing for an athlete is to be taken out of their sport,” Zapalac said. “Having the support of my family and friends telling me to work my butt off and telling me everything will be fine helped out so much.” The support of her family and friend’s would be vital following her freshman season. Zapalac was forced to have surgery for the second time during the offseason in January. What was originally supposed to be a 3-4 month timetable for bone spurs turned into a half-year recovery because of a microfracture in her ankle. “We had every class together in the spring,” said Kassi Hormuth, sophomore forward. “It was a difficult situation, but she got through
it. I’m glad I was able to be there with her to walk up and down every ramp with her until she got rid of that scooter.” Hormuth said Zapalac is a light-hearted, down-to-earth person and had the determination to get back to where she needed to be. The most important aspect of the recovery process from assistant coach Link Scoggins’ point of view was how she stayed borderline religious with the rehab to avoid setbacks. “It’s always been hard on us as the family to see her go through these injuries,” said Ryan Zapalac, her older brother. “Unfortunately, these past couple years it’s always just been that one game that puts her out for a couple months.” Ryan Zapalac lives in Austin, while the rest of the family resides in Houston. He saw firsthand what Kira Zapalac went through, both physically and mentally. As an older brother, he admires his younger sister because of her ability to bounce back and work twice as hard. The rehab process was initially supposed to take about eight months. Kira Zapalac was back within six months. She had the opportunity to
STAR FILE PHOTO
compete for a starting role at the beginning of her sophomore season. “The situation as a whole was pretty tough at times,” Kira Zapalac said. “I had dealt with the ACL before so I kind of knew the process.”
Kira Zapalac felt fortunate that the injury was in the spring because it was the offseason and she received support from her teammates. Twelve games into this season and Kira Zapalac has played 571 minutes, scored
two goals and recorded an assist. Kira Zapalac is proud of coming back from the rehab to be productive and seeing the rewards of her hard work pay off. “She’s been playing soccer
for a very long time now,” Ryan Zapalac said. “It’s no exaggeration to say soccer is her world. As long as I can remember, it’s just something she’s always had a passion for and it’s going to continue to be a huge part of her life.”
Rubio transitioning to life in San Marcos By Thomas Mejia SPORTS REPORTER @ThomasMejia79
Leaving home for college can be an adjustment, but especially when home is 900 miles away. But Yadira “Yad” Rubio, freshman tennis player, is thriving in her game. Home for Rubio is Mexico City, Mexico. “It’s a huge city. If you want to go anywhere, you
have to anticipate that you are going to drive an hour or an hour and a half to get there,” Rubio said. Rubio went from a city of 21.1 million people to San Marcos, TX—a city with a population of 44,894. “It has been a big change,” Rubio said. “I’m getting used to the language, and the teaching part has been a struggle and I miss the food at home.” Despite those hassles, Ru-
bio loves being at Texas State and does not regret her decision to move to San Marcos. Rubio has been a natural competitor and athlete her whole life. “Since I was little, I have played a lot of sports and I never liked losing,” Rubio said. Other sports she played growing up included gymnastics, swimming and dancing. When she was 14-yearsold, Rubio had to make a de-
cision that would ultimately change her life. Growing up, she had a love for music, sports and she played the violin in an orchestra. However, Rubio soon realized she did not have time for all of her favorite hobbies and had to choose one over the other. “I decided to play tennis,” Rubio said. “I couldn’t see myself not having fun on the court.” After making the decision,
she started to completely focus on taking her talents to the collegiate level. Rubio’s love for tennis is unlike any other. Whenever she steps onto a court, a feeling grows within her that cannot be explained. “It was different,” Rubio said. “Not everyone did it, and I really enjoy being out in the court by myself and just trying to figure it out.” Rubio was ready for a quick start in her new journey at
the university. Before leaving, her parents gave some last minute advice as she started her new adventure. “They told me it’s not going to be easy and I was the one to decide if the move will be worth it,” Rubio said. “Everything takes time, so I have to be patient and the results will come.” And her time at Texas State is just beginning.
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