The University Star www.UniversityStar.com
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
OCTOBER 1, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 17
–COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
THEN & NOW
A look back at Texas State from Southwest Texas State Normal School to the fourth largest university in the state By Sarah Bradley ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR @sarah_bradskies
When Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903, few could have anticipated the university it would become. Michael Heintze, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said what began as a college of 303 students and only one field of study has transformed into a university with 38,739 undergraduate, graduate and
doctoral students each enrolled in one of 198 degree programs Jennifer Scharlach, assistant director of the alumni association and Texas State alumna, said the biggest change the school has seen since its inception is the number of students. Scharlach said enrollment size has continued to increase every year since she graduated, making it possible for the university to expand campus resources and fields of study. “Having gone to school here, I am familiar with the history and changes made from the
time we opened until now,” Scharlach said. “The biggest difference between then and now, however, is probably the number of students that are on campus.” Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for finance and support services planning, said increases in enrollment bring their own unique set of challenges. “We have to continue expanding because of our student growth,” Nusbaum said. “As the years have gone on, each semester has brought more students
MADISON MORRISS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
that need more space or renovations for safety purposes.” She said the university is constantly checking underground piping, solid rooftops and everything in between to keep up with current policies. Nusbaum said each section of the university has seen major improvements in key areas over the past few years. “East Campus expanded Bobcat Stadium, South Campus incorporated the Performing Arts Center, West Campus is adding residential halls, North Campus expanded parking space and various renovations have happened in the middle of campus,” Nusbaum said. “And that is just to list a few.” Juan Guerra, vice president of facilities, said university officials are currently in the process of adopting a new campus master plan—a guiding document used as a blueprint for upcoming construction projects across Texas State. Guerra said expansion and alterations to campus are constantly in progress. Guerra said he predicts the university will need to continue to grow—not only in square footage, but by maintaining, renovating and modernizing the existing spaces to keep up with student enrollment. “Once this new master plan is done, we will see where the campus needs to grow or change in order to keep
accommodating all these different expanding programs,” Guerra said. In addition to the master plan update, Nusbaum said the university recently received an increase of $15 million a year in their Higher Education Assistance Fund allocation. “With this, we will be able to tend to more projects and work even further towards the betterment of the university,” Nusbaum said. From an alumna perspective, Nusbaum said the evolution of campus is exciting. “Having gone to school here and having worked here for years, seeing how we have grown is really fantastic,” Nusbaum said. “It is an indication of students wanting to come here, knowing that they will receive an overall well-rounded education.” Scharlach said Texas State is different because it maintains an atmosphere of a small university while at the same time growing at an intense rate, and that speaks volumes. “The tagline for Texas State is ‘The Rising Star of Texas,’ and I believe that we are not only rising, but we are a force to be reckoned with,” Scharlach said. “We are the fourth-largest university in the state of Texas, and yet we still make people feel like we are a small, close-knit, Bobcat family. I am definitely proud to be a Bobcat.”
The Performing Arts Center was added to Texas State’s campus and completed in the fall of 2013.
“WE ARE THE FOURTH-LARGEST UNIVERSITY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, AND YET WE STILL MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE WE ARE A SMALL, CLOSE-KNIT, BOBCAT FAMILY.” —JENNIFER SCHARLACH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Kelsey Bradshaw, Editor-in-Chief @kbrad5 firstname.lastname@example.org
A look at the changes in our digital and print products In the ever-changing and evolving world of journalism, The University Star has decided to take the plunge into the digital sphere of storytelling. The way our readers get their news is changing and in an attempt to keep up with the times, The University Star
has cut back on publishing days and moved to becoming a daily paper online. Copies of The University Star will be printed every Monday and Thursday and consequently distributed throughout campus and San Marcos. The University Star remains dedicated to seeking
the truth and reporting it. Except now, we won’t just be reporting in a print issue. We are committed to making it easier for you. We have revamped our website with improved navigation to make it easier to use. The site is faster and more responsive, meaning you can take us with
you no matter where you are. The decision to go all-digital daily was made in an effort to keep up with the times. Literally. An endless amount of news happens throughout each day and waiting for the print product to come out will no longer work for an audience who carries their
news in their pockets—on their phones. Here at The University Star, we see this only as a positive change. The print issues will be larger and serve as a space for more in-depth coverage and stories. The website will house additional photos, videos and stories.
Although The University Star is experiencing more changes than ever, one thing is for certain—The Star has been a staple on campus since 1911 and that won’t ever change. —Kelsey Bradshaw, Editorin-Chief
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School of Social Work celebrates 40 years of service MADISON MORRISS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Abigail Gillfillan, permit center manager, talks on Sept. 30 about the evolution of downtown San Marcos evolving at the City Council and Planning Committee Meeting.
Library offers English language classes to residents By Lesly De Leon NEWS REPORTER @leslyd28
Public library officials are encouraging San Marcos residents who want to learn English to join the Conversation Club. The club is a program where volunteers meet and speak with residents to help them practice the language. Deborah Carter,librarian for the San Marcos Public Library, said she started the program due to the large number of people in the area who are newcomers to the country or just want to “brush up” on their English language skills. “I have a big background with English language learning,” Carter said. “That was my profession before I was a librarian. So when I was hired here as a librarian, pretty fast I started an English language club.” Carter said the library has
always offered English language classes in some form. “Libraries are a natural place for adult learning and language clubs,” Carter said. Community Action, a local nonprofit, held similar classes in the library, but the program outgrew the available resources, Carter said. Since the library ran out of space to host classes in the past, the lessons are now held in various locations in San Marcos and Hays County. The club is a smaller-scale program and meets on Monday mornings from 10 to 11 at the public library, Carter said. “(The class) is more open to nontraditional students,” said Daniel Miranda, adult education graduate student and club volunteer. “It gives an opportunity for people who are not necessarily into getting a degree, but more of just wanting to practice language and learn more.” Carter said the program
benefits adults who are normally unable to attend English classes due to other commitments. Conversation Club is accessible to residents because it is not a formal class and does not require students to register or pay enrollment fees. “One of the biggest challenges for adult learners is that they have jobs and families,” Carter said. “The English language classes in town require you to attend for a certain number of hours in a certain number of weeks. A lot of people just can’t do that.” Gisell Lumbreras, adult education graduate student and club volunteer, said the program provides a more comfortable atmosphere for residents who want to practice their skills. Carter said the club is fairly new, but she hopes it will become a permanent program. “(The program is) an edu-
cational opportunity,” Carter said. “People need to increase their English language skills in order to get a job, talk to their doctor and help their children with their homework or talk to their children’s teacher.” She said the social aspect of the club is an important factor for students. “People need to feel engaged in the community,” Carter said. “So it’s an opportunity for people to make friends and increase their language skills at the same time.” Carter said there was a low turnout at the first couple of meetings, but she expects enrollment to grow. Library officials plan to expand community outreach in order to raise awareness about the
club among residents. “The room where we have the class sits 12 people, and I expect that by the end of the year we’ll have more people than we can fit,” Carter said. “It’s a natural kind of progression that it’s going to be small to start.” Carter said she plans to keep the class under 15 students, but if enrollment continues to increase she may host additional classes. “I think (Conversation Club) is great opportunity for people,” said Ghaith Al Dayhi, adult education graduate student and club volunteer. “It’s great and there is no pressure. You just sit and talk and communicate with other (people).”
By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley
As the School of Social Work’s 40th anniversary of establishment approaches, faculty and students plan to pay tribute to the program. Students, faculty and alumni are set to gather in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom Oct. 10 to celebrate the 40th birthday of the social work bachelor’s program, 20 years of the masters program and 10 years of the online program. “It’s sort of a harmonic convergence, that it came at the fall semester,” said Andrew Marks, senior clinical lecturer in the School of Social Work. “This commemoration is a great opportunity to honor both faculty and staff as well as alumni old and new in the school of social work.” Marks said 200 people have already confirmed they will attend the event and he expects the number to grow as the date approaches. “The real goal of this event is to help us connect with our alumni and we hope that this will be an annual event so we can keep that connection as we progress,” Marks said. Christie Johnson, Texas State social work alumna, said the event is a good way to
See 40 YEARS, Page 3
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By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
Hays County Jail is breaking Texas regulation by allowing the facility to run at full inmate capacity. According to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, Hays County Jail has COLLEGE SKI & BOARD WEEK
been housing 340 inmates as of Aug. 1 and currently has no more beds to accommodate new inmates. The issue has come up in the county’s justice system and has been discussed by Hays County commissioners. Texas only allows its jails and prisons to run at 90 percent capacity, said Hays
County Commissioner Ray Whisenant, Precinct 4. Due to the occupancy issue, some inmates have to be outsourced to jails in neighboring counties. County officials are trying to decide whether to renovate the current jail or to build
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Thursday, October 1, 2015 | 3 Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy firstname.lastname@example.org
40 YEARS, from page 2 commemorate the school’s 40 years of establishment and she appreciates the time the faculty takes to help their students. “I believe my time at Texas State in the School of Social work has helped me gain a better sense of self-awareness,” Johnson said. Due to the state’s high demand for social workers in the early ‘80s, social work is now a licensed and growing profession, Marks said.
“We are a very professional and hands-on major and have certainly made a huge impact to both the community and the university itself,” Marks said. Since the school was established, faculty members have made it a priority to provide pre-major students with volunteer opportunities, Marks said. Fifty hours of volunteer opportunities are offered to social work students from
community agencies. “These pre-major course works are extremely important because this helps students become better prepared individuals as social workers,” Marks said. He said hands-on projects continue to help students prepare to be social workers in the real world. “There has been a lot of different projects done over the years which has helped the
university have a good connection with the human services profession in both San Marcos and Austin, as well as other cities,” Marks said. Marks said the university has built a “great reputation” of producing well-trained social workers throughout its 40 years. Carla Ackerson, clinical lecturer and masters in social work program coordinator, said the program is
JAIL, from page 2 a new facility altogether, Whisenant said. “The jail has become really crowded, but we are hoping by next month our justice system will give us a final report on how we are going to fix this issue,” Whisenant said. “We’re looking at (needing) $60 million in the next 10 to 20 years in order to renovate the facility to house more inmates.” He said money for renovations would come from bonds that need to be passed by a citizen vote. “We really want to have the ability to not outsource inmates,” Whisenant said. “Last fiscal year, we had to
re-budget the jail money in order to take care of additional outsourcing expenses.” In total, Whisenant said the county spends approximately $1 million per year on transferring inmates. Whisenant said, from a business standpoint, the goal is to not lose money on the jail and avoid raising taxes on citizens. Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, Precinct 3, said the commissioners are carefully monitoring the outsourcing of inmates and working efficiently to reduce the number of transfers. Conley said some officials
favor the option of building a new facility instead of renovating the current jail. Making a decision about how to eliminate the issue of the jail’s overpopulation is the next step in solving the problem, he said. “The jail is getting really old so this whole project will be killing two birds with one stone,” Conley said. “The facility has been in operation for the past 27 years and some things just have to change.” Whisenant said he wants the jail to be renovated without knocking down the building. Adding capacity to
the building is what is most important. “We should add more capacity and renovate the building as time progresses,” Whisenant said. “The age and condition of the jail is evidentially another problem that can be addressed as capacity is added to the facility.” Whisenant said county officials will have a full plan for the jail by mid-October. Officials will structure the renovation or demolition in a way that will be costeffective and timely to Hays County, he said.
Jefferson Davis marker at Sewell may be relocated A small road marker bearing Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ name sits on University Drive, but it may not be there for much longer. Since national attention has shifted to police brutality and institutionalized racism, university officials have begun to rethink the location of a memorial plaque dedicated to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Sewell Park. Susan Weill, journalism and mass communications senator, motioned Sept. 2 to suggest to the President’s Academic Advisory Group that the plaque be removed. The motion passed with seven senators voting in favor of removing the Confederate commemoration, four senators opposing the action and two members
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cial work in the military to clinical therapy. She said the diversity among the professors helps students grow and learn from “authentic” sources. “Our students really do get a very varied base of knowledge,” Ackerson said. “These professors have real-world experiences. They aren’t just people who received a Ph.D., and I believe our students really value that.”
By Rae Glassford NEWS REPORTER @rae_maybe
successful because of how “student-focused” Texas State is. “One of the things I love about Texas State is that even though we are a large school, we still have that small-town sort of feeling,” Ackerson said. “We are growing in size, but our staff really does put the students first.” Ackerson said the school’s faculty members have experience ranging from so-
abstaining. Rebecca BellMetereau, English senator, said Faculty Senate intends to recommend the memorial marker be removed at the Oct. 7 President’s Academic Advisory Group meeting. “We will ask President Trauth to advise us on how to proceed,” Bell-Metereau said. She said future actions will likely entail administrative changes in university policy and the creation of a task force to determine the marker’s fate. Although the plaque is a road marker, the Texas Department of Transportation does not have jurisdiction over the memorial since it is on university property, Bell-Metereau said. Weill said it is likely the marker will be relocated rather than removed and destroyed. “I believe that monuments to the Confederacy should be placed in museums
where their meaning can be explained in historical context,” Weill said. Bell-Metereau said removing the plaque will eliminate any offense the marker may be causing by being on university property. She said the removal initiative is not propelled by the intention of erasing American history, but rather ensuring that Confederate monuments are contextualized by placement in an educational setting. “Students are encouraged to think of this process as an educational exercise which not everyone will agree with,” Bell-Metereau said. She said the existence of a Confederate commemoration on campus without educational context could “negatively impact” the university’s reputation. “Some might find the monument’s presence questionable, as it might give the impression that the univer-
sity is glorifying the Confederacy,” Bell-Metereau said. Opinions on the fate of the marker vary among students as well as the Faculty Senate. “I think removing the plaque will cause more disruption than leaving it there,” said Kylie Fruge, exploratory professional freshman. “I go to Sewell Park, but I didn’t even notice it was there until people started talking about removing it.” Some students have proposed alternate suggestions for dealing with the memorial. “I’m not sure complete removal is necessary,” said Oceana Hart-Pontejos, microbiology and anthropology freshman. “Simply adding a disclaimer to the sign, stating that the university does not endorse Confederate values, would be a good solution.” Bell-Metereau said a relocation site for the marker has not yet been proposed.
University officials make changes to service animal policy By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @claytonkelley
Texas State’s Office of Disability Services notified faculty and staff by email Tuesday that the previous policy regarding service animals was amended. The original policy required professors to request certification documents in order to allow a disabled student to be accommodated by a service animal. The change came after Jeremy Kennard, social work senior and veteran, was asked by a professor to
provide documents proving that his dog was a service animal. The email stated that service animals are protected and regulated by the American Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the law, faculty and staff are only allowed to ask if an animal is a service animal and what it is trained to do. The email stated that service animals are responsible for following the same code of conduct as students and an animal may not be allowed in class if it behaves disruptively.
Faculty Senate questions custodial outsourcing policy By Darcy Sprague SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @darcy_days
Texas State Faculty Senate discussed the university’s practice of outsourcing custodial service with Eric Algoe, the new vice president of finance and support services, Wednesday afternoon. The senators voiced concerns about the school’s policy of contracting custodians from a third party company rather than hiring full-time employees through the university. Algoe said the university adopted an outsourcing policy four years ago and that 60 percent of the custodial staff is currently outsourced. None of the custodians originally hired by the university were terminated, but all new custodial personnel are contracted through a third-party company. In the past four years, the university has contracted custodians from three different companies, Aloge said. Michel Conroy, Faculty Senate chair, said the group has been concerned about the practice of outsourcing since it began. The senators are asking that the policy be reconsidered. “I wouldn’t pretend to defend the human aspect of this,” Algoe said. “This is a very difficult decision. (Outsourced custodians) do suffer from this arrangement.” Algoe said the university can help improve the conditions of subcontracted workers by requiring fair working wages, health care benefits and opportunities for full-time employment in the contract. “(The outsourced custodians) are probably getting lesser benefits,” Algoe said. “Some of them are being kept under 30 hours so that they are not full-time employees. We can set up requirements in the contract with the company for some of those hu-
man aspects.” Conroy said the large employee turnover rate is an indication custodians are not being treated fairly. “My other concern is that we are being told by these companies that they will have nothing to do with recycling,” said Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor and senator. Barbra Covington, health professions associate professor and senator, said the Round Rock campus’ recycling bins have not been utilized by custodians. “If there are soda cans sitting around, (the subcontracted custodians) won’t pick them up and put them in the recycling,” Bell-Metereau said. Algoe said the issue of recycling is another limitation of the contract because it does not require custodial staff to recycle. Conroy said the senate feels the quality of service from custodians has decreased since the policy was implemented. There are two full-time custodians in charge of monitoring the quality of sanitation being provided on campus by their coworkers, Algoe said. The university is cleaner than it was before the outsourcing policy was adopted, Algoe said. A third-party organization rates the university on a cleanliness scale of one to four—one being equal to hospital-grade cleanliness. The university’s contract with the third party requires the campus’ cleanliness average to remain at a two, he said. Before subcontracting began, full-time custodians were only maintaining a cleanliness average of three. Currently, the cleanliness level of the university is at 2.5, Algoe said. “I wasn’t here when the contract was put together,” Algoe said. “But I will be here when it will be revised.”
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The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
Voting in local elections important for Bobcats C ity council elections are coming up this November and students should get out and rock the vote! San Marcos is home for many students attending Texas State—at least for the time being. As inhabitants of this beautiful town, everyone should be interested in local politics, which will inevitably affect the lives of students and permanent residents alike. Many city council candidates attempt to cater their campaign specifically to the plight of students of Texas State. San Marcos has a population of over 58,000 residents, meanwhile Texas State boasts almost 37,000 students. While not all Bobcats live in San Marcos, a sizeable chunk do and it is safe to say a large number of the town’s population are students. Many students may not be here in the coming years, but no one ever wants to leave a place worse than when they found it. This year, we all have the potential to effect change in San Marcos and be the city on a hill—a shining example for surrounding areas to look up to. Local politics affect residents much more than the topics on the national stage. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders may captivate the media’s attention, for better or worse, but local elections
remain the most influential and pertinent to individual interactions and possibilities. National politics affect more people, but local politics affect constituents more intimately. While what happens on the national stage can stretch from San Marcos to San Francisco, the ordinances passed by city officials will affect the daily lives of those falling within their jurisdiction, from regulating sugary drink cup sizes to smoking bans. Perhaps if more students were involved in the democratic process, then the Oct. 2, 2013 citywide ban on smoking would not have taken effect. Congress has rarely passed laws within the past few years regulating consumer liberty, but local governments can and readily have. If people refuse to exercise their right to vote, then they cannot complain about ordinances passed by the local government they rejected due to being “too boring” or unimportant. Local government is the rogue Goliath of politics—it is the unsung hero who does the most, but remains largely unaccredited for all of its accomplishments. Getting involved in politics and educating oneself on future representatives is not as difficult as some may think. It all comes down to having the proper medium and conduit for enlightenment. Thank-
fully, The University Star is hosting a city council debate from 7-9 pm on Oct. 7 in the LBJ Student Center 3-14.1. The Star will be hosting Place 5 candidates Frank Arredondo and Scott Gregson as well as Place 6 incumbent Shane Scott and candidate Melissa Derrick. We hope to elicit a lively political discussion with the city council debate. We also hope to hold the potential elected officials accountable not only to the student body, but the entire San Marcos community. As an institution, we think it is important to give students an easy way into the local political system and provide a relatively familiar location for students to come and go as they please. Less than 21 percent of eligible voters voted in local elections in 2011—even worse, the electorate is never representative of the community. The electorate in municipal elections tends to be whiter, more affluent and older than the general population they represent. Having all the voices of those that make up the fabric of the San Marcos community embodied in the local representatives should be a priority. If students want to stay up-to-date they can follow the election and issue coverage offered by The University Star and come to the ballot box on Nov. 3 as an informed citizen.
If you don’t vote, you can’t complain
Political parties have made voting obsolete
Michael Meier SPECIAL TO THE STAR
lthough voting is considered by many to be the essence of a democracy, the votes of the people don’t even matter due to the political parties established in America. It is no secret the presidential election is coming up next year, and with every candidate starting his or her campaign, everyone is beginning to form a decision on whom to vote for. Yet the question as to just how effective our votes are has been raised. Well, the answer is quite simple—the votes of the populace do not matter at all. Although many would disagree with this claim, the reasoning lies in the way the American government was made and how drastically it has changed since 1787, when the Constitution was written. The American government was created with the Electoral College system. This process is made up of state-elected officials who vote accumulatively on behalf of their state or district. This concept is simple enough, yet the problem lies in the fact that when this system was made, political parties did not exist. There is a reason why candidates aim their sights at states like New Mexico and Oregon, compared to larger areas like California or New
York. The candidates are simply after the electoral votes of smaller states. Presidential hopefuls do not care about winning over the opinion of Americans—they care about getting the electoral votes of a given state. The rule of voting says a candidate only needs the majority of electoral votes to win. Not only that, but if a certain party wins the majority of the electoral votes, they win the entire state—with the exception of a few states who offer proportional votes. The reason the framers made the Electoral College in the first place was to make sure one candidate did not win the “hearts of the people,” leading people to think illogically about their vote. Now it’s been completely transformed into some game of risk the candidates play to become president. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but don’t be fooled by the nonsense or supposed connections to your community. Candidates might seem like they’re there for you, however, like each motion, there is an ulterior motive such as donations. Putting all this political jargon together may seem rather complex, but the bottom line is all this bickering and arguing from the parties has left the voting system in a corrupt deadlock. This may sound rather redundant at first, but living in a society where people are practically forced to choose a side can be rather intimidating. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and analyze the situation in the raw to see what’s right. But, hey, it’s politics. Is anything really true?
Cristian Rivera OPINIONS COLUMNIST
—Michael Meier is a biochemistry freshman
The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, email@example.com Letters................................................................................firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, email@example.com Sports Editor.............................................Quixem Ramirez, firstname.lastname@example.org Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, email@example.com Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, firstname.lastname@example.org Multimedia Editor......................................Preslie Cox, email@example.com Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org
AZALIE MILLER STAR ILLUSTRATOR
n any democratic or republic form of government, the most important thing people can do is vote to make their voices heard. In a constitutional republic such as the United States, the importance of voting is strongly encouraged by politicians and even celebrities, yet it remains widely ignored. This apathy toward voting and our governing system is alarming and should be addressed. Voting is the only way to have your voice heard by the people making policies, and it is immensely important to do in order for the government to truly stand for all its citizens. According to the Center for Voting and Democracy, roughly 60 percent of qualified voters actually vote in presidential elections. Worse, only 40 percent vote in midterm elections and as little as 20 percent in local elections. Other developed countries have a turnout rate of about 70 percent, and the American numbers are startlingly low in comparison. The majority moves along like sheep while the minority decides the fate of the rest of the population. The Electoral College system is the reason many qualified voters are apathetic. They feel this system makes ordinary citizens’ votes essentially useless because someone else will decide the winners. This mentality is entirely false. To begin with, the Electoral College is only used to elect the
president—nothing else. Congressional members and local representatives are elected into office by popular vote. This in itself shows how important it is for people to vote. Everyone’s votes have weight in deciding what kind of people will be representing them in the lawmaking process. With the Electoral College, the president is not chosen by the popular vote of the people, but by electors from each state who vote in accordance with the majorities from their respective states. The problem some voters have with this is they are not actually voting for a presidential candidate, but rather for what they want their elector to say. In addition, some people worry that an elector can fully ignore the popular vote and simply vote however he or she pleases. However, this is not how the system actually works. The Constitution says nothing about it, but some states have laws requiring electors to vote according to how the people in their states did. If electors do not vote by the popular vote, they are removed, fined and replaced. These electors are not just randomly chosen either. In most states they are chosen by popular vote, so the assertion that electors invalidate the regular citizen’s vote is baseless. Voting for representatives is a civic duty, and should be treated as a priority. Being informed and having a voice in how the country is run is the best a citizen can do to satisfy his or her needs. By not participating in the voting process, people give up their rights to complain about how things are run, because they consciously chose not to concern themselves with who is in office when they refused to vote. It is the duty of the people to keep the government accountable, and voting is the best way to do that. —Cristian Rivera is a music freshman
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, October 1, 2015. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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The University Star
Quixem Ramirez, Sports Editor @quixem firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTEBOOK: DEFENSIVE CHANGES BRING IN ENERGY, OPTIMISM By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @quixem There’s a new defensive coordinator in town—at least for the time being. In the wake of defensive coordinator John Thompson’s resignation Sunday, Texas State has entered a transitional phase. The change starts with Brad Franchione, who will transition from special teams coordinator and linebackers coach to a more prominent role—the interim defensive coordinator. “I feel like he’s the guy most ready to orchestrate the things that we want to do and the subtle changes that we’ll make,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “We have a good rapport. He and I are on the same page on some of the things that need the courage to be fixed.” Brad Franchione spent the last five seasons at Texas State leading the linebacker and special teams units. Now, four weeks into the season, Brad Franchione is taking over a defensive unit ranked last in the country in scoring defense and 126th in total defense. In four games, the Bobcats are allowing 49.5 points and 585 yards per game. Those numbers are down from last year when the defense gave up 27.7 points and 445 yards per game. “Let me just say this, all right?” Brad Franchione said. “At 18 years, this is the dream that I had. Am I ready? Yeah, I’m ready.” There’s quite a bit of work to do in the meantime. Texas State’s next game is Oct. 10 against Louisiana-Lafayette, which outscored the team 8234 in the last two meetings. To compensate, Dennis Franchione believes it isn’t
a matter of simplifying the entire defense. Instead, the defense will clarify the schemes and eliminate the gray area from the sidelines. There were times during the game when the defense would lag behind while listening to Thompson’s play call. That split second of hesitation would put the defense at the mercy of the opposition— which totaled 1,302 yards in the last two games. Dennis Franchione wants to eliminate any indecision so his players will be faster and play with less doubt. “You can’t make dramatic changes,” Dennis Franchione said. “Fortunately, our system is flexible enough that we can make some subtle changes to evaluate our players and find out how we can best put them in a position to have success.” Through two practices under Brad Franchione, the motto is energy and no excuses. Brad Franchione wants accountability in the face of a 1-3 start. Texas State isn’t shying away from the numbers. The defense hasn’t played well. But with eight games left in the season, it isn’t time to give up on the process either. “We’ve had a lot of energy at practice,” Dennis Franchione said. “We are working on ourselves. It takes a lot of concentration to make the improvements that we need to make.” “We’ve had two good days. They’ve worked hard. They wanna do better, they wanna do better. That’s a big part of the battle when they come out with that kind of attitude,” Dennis Franchione said. The coaching staff has realigned their positions to compensate for Brad Franchione’s increased workload.
STAR FILE PHOTO
Ashley Ambrose is now coaching the safeties as well as the cornerbacks. “It’s exciting, but, at the same time, it’s exhausting,” Brad Franchione said. “Our coaches on defense and our head coach and everybody has been supportive. They’ve made it as easy as a transition as they could and they’ve done a good job staying together. We all have to stay together if we are going to improve.” Dennis Franchione said time is the only variable that will define the team’s defensive improvement or lack thereof. There are still two months left in the season to turn the
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ship around. “It’s hard on everybody— hard on our fans, hard on the players, hard on the coaches,” Dennis Franchione said. “It hasn’t been easy for anybody. The players are better than what they’ve played for whatever reason. We all believe and know that they are better.”
INJURY UPDATE : Texas State entered its game against Houston without its three defensive tackles. Then Mershad Dillon, senior defensive tackle, exited in the first quarter, leaving the Bobcats’ defensive line even more depleted. “I don’t know many college
programs—and I’m not trying to make any excuses here— but we have to get healthy,” Dennis Franchione said. “There’s not many programs that can leave their top two teams at defensive tackle and hang in there.” Now the injury total has increased to seven players on the defensive side this week. With two weeks before Louisiana-Lafayette, Dennis Franchione expects the majority of his defensive rotation to be back at full health by next week. “There’s a good chance we’ll have them all back for the game against Lafayette,” Dennis Franchione said. “I really think by next Tuesday
they’ll return to practice.”
DEFENDING THE QUARTERBACK: Among Texas State’s
defensive struggles is containing the quarterback. The last two quarterbacks to face Texas State’s defense— Houston’s Greg Ward Jr. and Southern Mississippi’s Nick Mullens—didn’t have much resistance in the passing or running game. Ward Jr. and Mullens averaged 346 total yards, five touchdowns and 11.5 yards per play against the Bobcats. Containing the quarterback—or at least making his job more difficult than it has been—will go a long way toward improving the defense.
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David Brindley is currently the managing editor of National Geographic magazine with 20 years of experience as an editor, writer, researcher and strategic planner. Becky Hale/National Geographic
Trisha Espinoza is an alumna
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