THURSDAY OCTOBER 2, 2014 VOLUME 104 ISSUE 24
D efending the First Amendment since 1911
Homecoming Issue UNIVERSITY
Alumni to be honored at annual gala By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER The homecoming football game is a popular tradition for students, but university alumni are taking advantage of the weekend’s festivities as well. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala will be held on Friday, Oct. 3, said Kim Gannon, director of Alumni Relations. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Texas State graduates who have not only achieved prominence in their profession but have made a significant impact in their communities through service, Gannon said. “For us, it’s the highest honor that’s bestowed by the Alumni Association and the university, so it’s a very natural fit (to hold the gala on homecoming weekend),” Gannon said. This year six alumni are being honored, Gannon said. The first honoree is Lyndon B. Johnson, who went on to become president. Others include Ponce “Heloise” Cruse, who writes the popular monthly column “Heloise to the Rescue”; George Strait, who has more number one hits than any other musician in history and actor Powers Boothe, who in 2009 was inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame. “Homecoming is generally a tradition that involves people coming back to a place they once regarded as their home, so for us at the Alumni Association, it’s a natural connection,” Gannon said. “Ideally, it helps everyone feel proud about their affiliation with Texas State.” Alumni Relations is also hosting a tailgate before the homecoming football game. They expect over 1,000 alumni to join in the festivities. Food and drinks will be provided, Gannon said. “Hopefully people will reconnect with former friends or with individuals they haven’t seen in many years,” Gannon said. “It’s really meant to celebrate being on campus and to build some spirit to carry into the stadium for the football game.” The Hispanic Alumni Association will
See ALUMNI, Page 2
Connor Branach, communication studies junior, pulls a string out of his eye Oct. 1 as part of his magic trick for the Homecoming talent show at Evans Auditorium. Branach won first place in the talent show.
HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Homecoming talent show draws student performers By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR
ours before the Evans Auditorium doors even opened, hundreds of students queued up through the Quad and back up the Alkek steps to secure their seat for one of Texas State’s favorite Homecoming traditions: the talent show. Professional comedian Paul Varghese hosted the show,
presented by the Student Association for Campus Activities. Varghese, a Dallas-based comedian who has appeared on Last Comic Standing and on tour with Dave Chappelle, entertained the 500-plus-person crowd with lighthearted stories of his Indian-American upbringing and struggles as a young adult. The show consisted primarily of musical acts, with dance performers, comedians and
even a magician sprinkled in. Kicking off the talent show was Equilibrium, a musical duo who garnered much applause for its stripped-down acoustic performance of Radiohead’s iconic single “Creep.” The pair went on to place first in the musical performance category. Returning to the stage after placing in 2013’s show, dance ensemble Harambee performed a high-energy mash-up of popular throwbacks—including Ci-
ara’s “Like a Boy” and TLC’s “No Scrubs”—to the excitement of the crowd, who clapped and sang along to the music. Celeste Morales, who placed 1st in the Solo Performer category, was another crowd favorite. Morales belted out a soulful version of Bon Iver’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” She prefaced her performance with an inspirational message to the
See TALENT, Page 3
Organizations, residence halls prepare for Soap Box Derby By Mariah Simank NEWS REPORTER Bobcat Trail will be transformed into a racetrack on Friday when students compete in the 47th annual Soap Box Derby. 23 teams are currently scheduled to compete in the popular event, said Marcos Guzman, Greek Affairs graduate research assistant. Teams will compete for trophies as well as “Spark Points,” which are awarded by the Student Association for Campus Activities at Homecoming events. The team with the highest point average at the end of the week wins the Spark Award, Guzman said. “Usually, a couple hundred students and staff will come out to watch the event,” Guzman said.
“Last year, at Bobcat Trail, the crowds filled all the space on the sides, and the organizations that (were) participating came out in full force to cheer on their team.” Soap box cars are not equipped with engines, which means only gravity and driving skill will decide who finishes the race first. For Rafael Reza, criminal justice freshman, who is racing for Hornsby Hall, being the team driver creates some anxiety. “It does make me nervous that this will be my first time behind the wheel of a soapbox, but I like taking chances,” Reza said. “I’m sure I will survive.” The soap boxes span a wide range of quality and sophistication, with some teams taking a few days to put theirs together while
others spend weeks coming up with aerodynamic designs. “We started putting the car together a couple weeks in advance and put a lot of time into it in hopes of getting first place,” Reza said. “Our engineer did some research on soapbox cars to try to figure out what the best design was, and he created a durable frame that’s made out of wood, and he also did a really good job designing a braking system and the steering system.” The race is part of Homecoming Week, which is a time for current students and alumni to come together and share stories. “I think it’s a great way to unite the campus all together, especially STAR FILE PHOTO
See SOAP BOX, Page 2
Final voting begins for Homecoming court By Karen Munoz NEWS REPORTER Lions may reign supreme in the animal kingdom, but Texas State Bobcats take over during Homecoming season. One of the longest-running annual traditions at the university is the crowning of a king and queen during halftime at the Homecoming game. Homecoming court consists of a king and queen and both a female and male Gaillardian. Thirty royal hopefuls campaign weeks ahead of voting, and then at the Homecoming talent show, six
finalists are announced: three potential kings and three potential queens. To be part of Homecoming court, a student needs to prepare ahead of time to make the final cut. Zac Kruger and Breanna Burton, reigning Homecoming king and queen, have a few ideas about what it takes to hold the position. Breanna Burton, who was nominated last year by Ritmo Latino Dance Company, said a Homecoming queen should be an all-around Bobcat. “I expect them to be very proud to be a Bobcat,” Burton said. “It’s very important that
they have lots of school spirit.” A potential queen should be involved in multiple aspects of campus life whether it be through a fraternity, sorority, extracurricular activities or honors groups, she said. “Academics should also be of high importance to (candidates),” Burton said. Overall, the royal couple should represent the university well, she said. Kruger said a king should be a “voice for people that don’t normally get represented.” “Competitions like this are seen as popularity contests,” Kruger said. “A king needs to
understand that and attempt to diversify that.” Being involved on campus, knowledgeable about the university and likeable are important traits for one trying to achieve royal status. A king should be willing to “help his subjects,” whether it be with homework or something bigger, Kruger said. Texas State is a diverse campus, and Kruger thinks the king should represent that in some way. “Homecoming king should represent Texas State as a whole,” Kruger said. “We’re not all 21-year-old six-foot
white males.” All of the marketing and campaigning is done by the individual candidates, said Nikki Gilmer, who works with SACA. “To be Homecoming king or queen, you get nominated by an organization, and the rest is up to you,” Gilmer said. Nominees do everything from sending out Facebook invites, to tweeting their pleas, to posting flyers around campus in hopes of winning. The final royal court will be crowned during halftime at the Homecoming game Saturday.
2 | The University Star | News | Thursday, October 2, 2014
ALUMNI, from front
also be participating in the tailgate, said Aaron Jeffery Reyna, board member of the Hispanic Alumni Association. “It’s a really big deal and a big tradition,” Reyna said. “It is one of the most attended games by alumni. We’re excited about it every year, especially now that we’re becoming a bigger university and becoming more well-known.” The African American Alumni Association is holding events all weekend as well, according to the organization’s website. Events include an alumni mixer, campus tours, a tailgate, the homecoming football game and a farewell brunch on Sunday. Texas State has approximately 70,000 graduates throughout Texas and beyond, Gannon said. These alumni serve as a
precious resource not only through contributions but also by sharing experiences with and providing advice for current students, she said. “We’re able to provide many students with scholarships thanks to the generosity of our alumni,” Gannon said. Alumni also show current students how they can use their Texas State educations in life after college, Gannon said. “Being an advocate for Texas State beyond the campus is a wonderful role for alumni to play,” Gannon said. Alumni who are successful after college reflect well on the university, she said. “Alumni are the face of Texas State, along with the current students,” Gannon said.
SOAP BOX, from front when the alumni come back and reminisce and students get to meet them and there is a lot of networking that happens,” Guzman said. “I think Soap Box, along with the other events, is a fantastic way to bring the entire community together for something that’s really fun.” All of the cars are handmade, with teams spending anywhere from $40 to $300 on building materials depending on how much of their cars’ structure has been used in previous races, said Josh Raulerson, exploratory freshman, a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s team. “We already had the frame for our car from previous years, so we just had to buy new tires and wood to cover it, which cost about $70,” Raulerson said. “I think we’re going to give everybody a run for their money.” In a race like this, the seconds count, and having an experienced driver can make a difference. For members of The Loud Crowd, putting seasoned driver Austin Hunter behind the wheel seemed like a natural choice. “I race Sprint Go Karts all over the
United States, so this is nothing that I think I need to be too nervous about,” Hunter said. “I think my experience will help me to keep the car in a straight line, and I will have a pretty good idea of when to brake and when not to brake.” On race day three years ago, Hunter’s team learned a valuable lesson he plans to correct this year. “My freshman year when I competed with my dorm, the car broke halfway down the track, and I ended up losing to the team that won the entire event,” Hunter said. “I would say it was definitely a learning experience that year.” Underneath the need for speed and unwavering competition is the idea that this event is ultimately about bonding between students. “I’m excited and ready to be involved out there with everybody else,” Hunter said. “What’s really important to us is having fun, and we don’t care if we finish first or last. We’re just out there to have a good time.”
San Marcos High School alumni return for Comal Building dedication By Nicholas Laughlin NEWS REPORTER Before the Comal building was a hub for philosophy and computer science students, it was home to San Marcos High School. Over 50 years later, President Denise Trauth dedicated the newly renovated Comal Building Wednesday along with faculty, staff and San Marcos High School alums. The Comal building was built in 1918 and housed San Marcos High School (SMHS) from the 1940s to the 1950s. In 1951 SMHS moved, and the college of education occupied the building until 1977. In 1977 the psychology department occupied the space until it was gutted and transformed into the Comal Building in 2012 and opened this year. Around 30 alumni at the ceremony went to school on the university’s campus dur-
ing the 1940s and 1950s, Trauth said. Before high school, Wayne Moore, SMHS class of 1947, attended country schools, but the “country boy” had to come to town to attend school, he said. “Being here I feel like I am at home,” Moore said. “The building looks great.” The university works to conserve its iconic buildings, like the Comal building. Comal is one of the oldest buildings on campus, Trauth said. “This building is amazing,” said Andrew Gary, SMHS class of 1950. “It is just amazing.” The San Marcos Elementary School was where Evans Liberal Arts building is now, Gary said. The junior high and high school were in the Comal building. “We were renowned then, like we are today, for teacher education, and this building was a teaching laboratory,” Trauth said.
It made sense to have the San Marcos public school kids on campus, Trauth said. “We had (student teachers) come from the university, and most of them were the best good-looking women,” Gary said. The second floor of the building now belongs to the philosophy department and contains faculty and graduate assistant offices, seminar rooms, classrooms and a glass-windowed space for philosophy dialogue, but it wasn’t always like that. “It was very common for the boys to jump out of the library on the second floor to play hooky,” Gary said. In 1950, there were about 75 people in the SMHS graduating class, Gary said. He believes the biggest change since then is the amount of students in the university. “We were all small town people, and everybody knew each other back then,” Gary said.
Faculty Senate debates possible revision to Alma Mater lyrics By Benjamin Enriquez NEWS REPORTER Faculty Senate discussed proposed changes to the words to the Texas State Alma Mater, the school song, originally written in the early 1900s by one of the first faculty members, Jessie Sayers. A proposed resolution from the Department of Psychology was brought to Faculty Senate Sept. 17 by professor Shirley Ogletree. The resolution proposes that one word in a line at the end of Alma Mater be changed. This word change would possibly reflect a more current and easily understood meaning in today’s society. Ogletree read the proposed resolution in its entirety before Faculty Senate. The Department of Psychology proposes to change a phrase in the traditional Alma Mater written by Jessie Sayers from “cheering the oppressed” to “freeing the oppressed.” The university’s Common Experience theme celebrating the 50th anniversary of desegregation at Texas State provides support for the word change, Ogletree said. The proposal aims to “reaffirm Texas State’s commitment to fight oppression in all forms by strengthening a single word,” Ogletree said. Michel Conroy, School of Art and Design professor and head of Faculty Senate, started the discussion by asking the senators what they wanted to do. “So the question is if we want to support this resolution that came from the Psychology Department,” Conroy said. Augustine Agwuele, anthropology associate professor, said he is concerned about the legality of such a change.
“I have just one question,” Agwuele said. “Is this not under some kind of copyright?” There were also concerns about overall sensitivity to word changes, specifically brought up by Barbara Covington, associate professor at St. David’s School of Nursing. “I’m worried about misinterpretation because it is something that’s placed everywhere, sung and just something that we live with, and people do look at it from all sides and may misinterpret it,” Covington said. English professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau said she feels the reason for the proposal of the word change is “cheer” is used differently today than it was in the early 1900s. “I think that at the time that it was written, cheering the oppressed didn’t mean cheering them up, so that may be one of the reasons that it sounds like a very weak expression,” Bell-Metereau said. Agwuele said he sees how a word change may make sense. “We want for there to be change other than maintaining the status quo, which would be to remain oppressed,” Agwuele said. “And if we don’t want them to remain oppressed, then they have to be freed.” Geography professor Brock Brown said he wants more time to be given to this matter before any decision is made. “I think we’re gonna need to think on this,” Brown said. “I’m not gonna be able to get clear on this tonight.” Faculty Senate met again on Sept. 24 and deliberated more on the matter. The senators have not yet made a decision, and the item has been tabled until the next meeting.
HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Nicholas Juarez, photography senior, photographs his brother Xavier Juarez Sept. 27 in Sabinal using a 4x5 format camera for his studio photography class.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014 | The University Star | 3
Local business teaches American Sign Language to children By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER While social media and technological innovations have changed the way many interact, American Sign Language is still a prominent form of communication in the digital age. Amy Joines, the proprietor of The Signing Connection and a certified teacher of the Baby Signing Time program, said she has had an interest in sign language ever since she was a child. Now she has made a business out of teaching sign language to the next generation. “I was in fourth grade and I was attending a private school when a new girl started attending there,” Joines said. “She was deaf, and I was so amazed at seeing sign language because it wasn’t something that I saw too much of. It got to the point where I was frantically asking, “What’s the sign for this?” “What’s the sign for that?” Joines said, laughing. After becoming fluent in sign language, graduating from college with a degree in music therapy and working for a corporate daycare for over fifteen years, Joines was presented with the opportunity to start teaching sign language to young children. Joines had the chance to teach the curriculum for Baby Signing Time, a public access television show and learning program aimed at teaching young children ASL.
The show offered classes mirroring what was shown on TV, and Joines quickly joined as a teacher. Joines said after she earned her certification to teach the classes, she launched her own business, The Signing Connection. The Signing Connection specializes in weekly classes, birthday parties, playgroups and public appearances throughout the Austin and San Marcos area, Joines said. “I named my business The Signing Connection because that is what I am teaching people to do: connect,” Joines said. “I am teaching parents to connect with their kids and kids to connect with their parents and, on a larger level, how to connect with the deaf community in the area.” Even though the students in her classes range from a few months in age to 5 years, it doesn’t limit their learning or retention rates, Joines said. “Sometimes you think that they aren’t paying attention, but at the next class their parents will share with me something that their child signed to them,” Joines said, adding that the children are more attentive than adults give them credit for. A rewarding moment in Joines’ career as a teacher came when one of her students used signing in order to communicate what was wrong to his doctor. “He kept signing the word hurt over his ankle, but the doctor kept
DENISE CATHEY ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Jaime Hilbert and her daughter Madison, and Crystal Dixon and her daughter Elizabeth participate in The Signing Connection’s baby sign language program Oct.1 at The San Marcos Activity Center. asking him if he was hurt in other places,” Joines said. “The boy kept signing hurt over his ankle, and it turns out that his ankle was fractured.” While the classes are geared at keeping the children’s attention with songs, story time, crafts and activities, parents can learn how to sign alongside their kids. Local mothers Crystal Dixon
and Jamie Hilbert both have daughters in class and enjoy the chance to learn alongside their children. “It’s helping us bond, and we really enjoy the class,” Dixon said, her daughter Elizabeth at her side. While younger students aren’t ready to start signing just yet, it is seen as a better educational outlet than TV.
True to her company’s name, Joines’ is helping to create a connection between the deaf and the hearing. “We love class, and I actually have a sister that is deaf, and one day I hope that Maddie can sign well enough to talk to her,” Hilbert said.
TALENT, from front crowd to love and accept themselves as they are. The evening’s Overall award went to magician Connor Branach, who kept the audience both amazed and in stitches with his humorous and unique take on classic sleight-of-hand tricks. Branach made it a point to engage with the audience throughout his performance. His final trick consisted of pulling a string he had swallowed through his eye. Audience members laughed and screamed as he jogged up and down the aisles, showing off the trick
up close. Punctuating the performances was a presentation of the 2014 Homecoming Court. Dukes and Duchesses from residence halls, Gallardian nominees and winners and King and Queen nominees all took the stage to accept certificates, sashes and a handshake from President Trauth. Homecoming King and Queen winners will be announced at the Texas State v. Idaho game, which kicks off Saturday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.
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HARON SAENZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Harambee performs Oct. 1 at the Homecoming talent show at Evans Auditorium.
4 | The University Star | Thursday, October 2, 2014
Celebrities need to be let down from their pedestals
elebrity idolization has reached an all-time high in today’s society and must be curbed. The development of highquality technology has led to celebrities being more accessible than ever. It can often seem like fans have access to intimate details of their favorite celebrities’ everyday lives right in their hands. However, although some celebrities have successfully branded themselves on being “authentic” on social media, zealous fans should remember that these are the same people that travel with glam teams and have professional cameras for their Instagram pics. The nature of the celebrity phenomenon incites obsession. Similarly, the nature of human beings is that we build people up into heroes just to watch them fall. The accessibility of social media is a double-edged sword. Being witness to the affluence and wealth of celebrities contributes to how people treat them like they are not real people. Just like some “stans” take their fan worship too far, critics of celebrities can often take it too far. It is easy to operate on the sentiment that celebrities asked to be famous, so they shouldn’t be upset with paparazzi or crazy
fans, but that does not negate that celebrities are humans with real emotions and a right to privacy. Additionally, just because someone is talented does not mean that they asked to be famous. Musicians and actors that are good at their craft are faced with the harsh reality that being popular also comes with its share of trials. Part of the celebrity problem society has is that fans seem to have this perception of constant glitz and glamour, which is not always the truth. The more power and attention fans give celebrities, the more power that they have. Another part of the issue with the celebrity idolization dynamic is that the power often seems to be misplaced. This sensation is evident in the case of people like Justin Beiber, who went from America’s most tolerated sweetheart to a flat-out disliked public figure and still has millions of Beliebers willing to put up with his sagging leather pants. Cases like Justin’s make it clear that society is idolizing the wrong people. Everyday heroes worthy of mass love and admiration, like teachers and doctors, fall by the wayside next to the glaring spotlight of celebrity. It is easy to get caught up in the
tweets, gossip magazines and celebrity baby names, but when people know more about celebrity happenings than current events and politics then it is time to tone it down. Society as a whole needs to take a step back from celebrity
obsession and get some more perspective. There is nothing wrong with keeping tabs on a favorite musician, actor or model, but if that becomes the only topic ever discussed, it is too much. At the end of the day, many celebrities do depend on their fans for
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.
much of their income in one way or another. However, dedicating hours upon hours to being a number-one fan doesn’t generally get anyone anything except a very narrow hobby and maybe a follow back on Twitter.
JORDAN GURLEY STAR ILLUSTRATOR
Too-early tech releases waste everyone’s time Hunter Larzelere OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior
n this technology-driven world, it should not be acceptable for companies to release products that are unfinished. I am sick and tired of buying new products that always end up having some kind of glitch or
malfunction. Back when I used to be on Team iPhone, I would constantly search for the release of the newest version, and when the phone was finally released, I would kick myself for not having it. Flash-forward to a couple weeks later, and the reports of all the various bugs and glitches would have me glad that I did not rush off to purchase the new phone. Apple has been doing this for years, and nobody seems to bat an eye. It is sad that consumers have accepted such mediocrity. While it is great for companies to be constantly trying to improve on old products or innovate technology, I don’t think it’s crazy to simply ask that these products and innovations actually work.
I do not want to suffer through a week of frustration with a new device before the saving grace of a software update comes along. So many people were excited for the recent iOS update for the iPhone. However, consumers were forced to clear a massive amount of space on their phones to install this new update. Upon doing so, some quickly found their phones’ Touch ID functions to be inoperable, and they could not even make a phone call—the one thing a phone is supposed to do. This was not the worst part of the update, either. The update automatically put the new U2 album in the phone, and nobody wants that garbage. Now, I am not just picking on Apple. At the risk of sounding
like a total video game nerd, I have recently grown extremely tired of the constant problems console games are experiencing. I can still remember the massive disappointment of the “Grand Theft Auto V” online launch last year, when it took over four days for the patches to be released that allowed players to actually connect to the servers. Suddenly it has gotten very popular for games to require you to be online the entire time for the game to work, which is just a recipe for disaster. I recently began playing the video game “Destiny,” and half the time I was kicked out of the game with a message displayed across the screen saying there were connectivity issues. Of course, a week
Reusable bags logical step for San Marcos
OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior
lastic bags are a major source of litter and can take hundreds of years to decompose. It is estimated that United States retailers give out 38 billion singleuse bags each year. In an effort to preserve the environment, San Marcos should follow in the footsteps of Austin and ban single-use plastic bags. Single-use plastic bags were banned at all retailers in Austin as of March 2013. Customers may instead bring their own reusable bags, or they can purchase one from the retailer at checkout. According to Bring It Austin, a reusable shopping bag has the potential to replace close to 600 single-use plastic bags over the course of its lifetime. San Marcos already has many environmen-
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tally friendly practices, including the Texas State campus ban on Styrofoam and heavy promotion of recycling throughout San Marcos as well as river preservation efforts. It would make sense to for San Marcos to take the next step in becoming a true ecological paradise city by banning plastic bags. In addition to the large-scale environmental benefits of reducing waste, banning single-use bags could affect San Marcos on a local and noticeable level. The San Marcos and Texas State community put forth great effort to keep the river in pristine condition. Plastic bags tend to fly away and often ultimately land in the river, adding to the degradation of this delicate habitat and causing harm to wildlife that may mistake bags for food. Removing plastic bags from the equation would be a simple and effective step in helping the community to preserve the river. In many ways, Texas State is an excellent example of an environmentally friendly campus, and it is evident that continuing to move in that direction is important to the
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student body as a whole. A student organization, H.E.A.T., was responsible for the campus Styrofoam ban that went into effect earlier this year. The members of another Texas State student organization called Bobcats Go Green collaborate with Keep San Marcos Beautiful and spend their game days volunteering to collect and sort recyclables at tailgate and during the game. Most retailers in San Marcos and on campus distribute or sell reusable bags, including the University Bookstore and HEB. Based on the progressive nature of San Marcos, I believe it is inevitable that San Marcos will eventually join the many cities that have already banned single-use bags. In the meantime, environmentally conscious Texas State students and residents of San Marcos can make small changes to reduce the amount of waste they produce, such as stocking up on reusable bags and storing them in the car. While a citywide ban would be most effective, it’s never too early for people to decide for themselves to make a difference.
later the game went through an update, and the problem has not happened since. It just would have made more sense for the company to release the game without these issues, even if it delayed the release of the game. I would much rather wait a little longer to receive the product than to receive an unfinished product. Maybe I am living in a fantasy world and simply asking too much from the big tech companies. I understand technology is innately imperfect, but I will continue to rage when my phone glitches or when a video game will not play until I update it.
Homecoming court useless, strictly popularity contest
Brandon Sams ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR Public relations sophomore
omecoming week has fallen upon the Texas State campus as it does every year. Homecoming, while one of Texas State’s oldest annual celebrations and traditions, has become an excuse for most students to get messy and drunk. Opposite of the inebriated revelers are the people who crave attention to prove just how popular they are by running for homecoming court. Self-important people are flooding the quad fawning for attention, campaigning for crowns and scepters and just all-around madness. However, are these things of any importance? Are they anything other than a pseudo-popularity contest? More importantly, who cares? Now, not too many people actually care about homecoming court or even care to vote. In fact, for me personally, I never even know any of the people. I vote based on whether or not I like the sound of their names, or I just never vote at all because I have better things to do. Granted, I am not a good representation for the average student. Homecoming is not anything I particularly look forward to or generally participate in. However,
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for those less inclined to side-eye mass school festivities, homecoming can be a merry occasion. Students should, of course, have a fabulous time on these excursions that the university puts together to bring everyone a little fun in the midst of school and work. Homecoming is a festive week of joy and harmony. The parties nearly every night of the weekend don’t hurt either. The whole homecoming royalty thing just needs to calm down a tad bit. Messaging me on Facebook is not going to ensure my vote. Coming up to me while I am eating in a food court is certainly not going to endear me to your cause. I do not mean to degrade or bemoan the people who choose to run for these innocuous court positions. If students like it, I love it. It just seems redundant and unimportant to me. I suspect not too many people even remember who was on homecoming court just a year ago. I suppose it can be a great title to have for some people, but for most involved, the next day it will be just another blackedout yet somehow memorable night. Homecoming court is cute, yet these court campaigns do not bear any functional or productive weight for future endeavors. They are just a popularity contest. I don’t think that I am alone in the sentiment of not giving two shakes about who is on the homecoming court. I am sure serving on homecoming court is a wondrous memory for those involved, but those involved should also take care to not act as though they are actual queens and dukes. After all, the one and only rightful queen on this campus is me.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014 | The University Star | 5
Team prepares for Homecoming game By Kirk Jones ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @KIRK_JONES11 The Texas State football team opens homecoming weekend with the teams’ first Sun Belt Conference team this season against the Idaho Vandals. The Bobcats are facing a third straight top 30 passing offense this week. “We are going to try and stop them with our four man front,” Coach Dennis Franchione said. “Coach Thompson will bring pressure when he needs to and disguises it well, but the biggest thing is winning our on-on-ones.” Freshman quarterback Matt Linehan has thrown for a season total of 1278 yards that ranks second in the Sun Belt. Linehan is second among all freshman in total passing yards and 17th in the nation in that category Despite starting the season 0-4 in back to back seasons, Idaho has increased their scoring output from 25 points per game to 13 last season. Senior wide receiver Joshua McCain has been one of the
big differences for the Vandals with 443 receiving yards and six touchdowns “They are a much better team,” Franchione said. “All their games have been close. The quarterback has been throwing well and we are going to have to get some pressure on him and hold them from making big plays.” Defensively, the team is allowing 27.8 points per game, the sixth-best mark in the conference “I’m just working on the little techniques,” senior defensive lineman Michael Odiari said. “I trying to focus on their weaknesses and finding my strengths to attack them at the line.” Idaho senior linebacker Quayshawne Buckley is on his way to another impressive season after finishing last years with seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Buckley has two sacks and five tackles for loss through four games. While the punter often goes unnoticed, Vandals sophomore punter Austin Rehkow was an All-American last year. Rehkow, winner of the Ray Guy National Punter of the Week, averaged 49.8 yards on six punts against
South Alabama. Texas State defeated Idaho last year, 37-21, after Terrance Franks, senior running back, caught a 64-yard touchdown from Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, to put the game out of reach with eight minutes left. The Bobcats have attributed their success this season to their turnover prevention. Texas State is second in the conference in turnover margin at plus two, behind Georgia Southern. “We wouldn’t be where we are if that number wasn’t like that,” Franchione said. “We haven’t got a lot of takeaways I would have hoped. We would have gotten more to this point but we are taking good care of the football.” Texas State’s up-tempo offense this season has worked well for Jones, who is completing 70.4 percent of his passes this year. “There is no comparison from last year to this year,” said Franchione. “Last year he was a true freshman but now he is much farther along and understands the playbook. We have to remember that this will be his 11th start we sometimes think of him as a veteran.”
Sun Belt Conference preview By Quixem Ramirez SPORTS EDITOR @QUIXEM
ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES Last year’s record: 8-5 Current record: 2-2 Point differential per game: -0.5 Percent chance of winning the conference: 16.4 percent Matchup against TXST: Nov. 20, ESPNU ANALYSIS: Analysis: Arkansas State’s running game took a hit when junior running back Michael Gordon injured his ribs. Gordon accounted for 28 percent of the Red Wolves’ conference-leading 2674 rushing yards last year. He hasn’t been healthy, and the offense has nosedived to 88th in total yards per game. The offense is also grappling with a quarterback change. Junior quarterback Fredi Knighten has struggled to replicate the production of Adam Kennedy, who completed 69 percent of his passes and finished with 2887 total yards. Arkansas State won’t be chopped liver, but the team likely won’t be as good as last year.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES Last year’s record: 7-4 Current record: 3-2 Point differential per game: +22.2 Percent chance of winning the conference: 83.1 percent Matchup against TXST: Nov. 8 ANALYSIS: Georgia Southern, with the nation’s top-ranked rushing attack, is the favorite to win the conference through five weeks. Eagles sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison and sophomore running back Matt Breida average 211.6 rushing yards per game, indicative of the success of their run-heavy offense. Texas State has struggled plugging run gaps and that needs to be addressed prior to their matchup Nov. 8.
GEORGIA STATE PANTHERS STAR FILE PHOTO
Last year’s record: 0-12 Current record: 1-3 Point differential per game: -10.8 Percent chance of winning the conference: 0 percent Matchup against TXST: Nov. 29 ANALYSIS: Georgia State averaged a paltry 102.3 rushing yards per game last year, the 11th-lowest mark in the country. With a new quarterback and running back this year, the Panthers are on the way to respectability.
IDAHO VANDALS Last year’s record: 1-11 Current record: 0-4 Point differential per game: -13.8 Percent chance of winning the conference: 0 percent Matchup against TXST: Oct. 4, ESPN3 ANALYSIS: Idaho’s only win was a twopoint victory against Temple. Otherwise, the Vandals were beat by double-digits in 10 of their 11 losses last year. Inserting freshman quarterback Matt Linehan has reinvingorated the passing offense, which ranks 20th in Division I. The Vandals struggle to generate anything from their running backs, making the combination of Linehan and All-American sophomore punter Austin Rehkow crucial to their success. Idaho has a low margin for error. Creating and maintaining field position will be their make-or-break.
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Last year’s record: 9-4 Current record: 1-3 Point differential per game: -13.8 Percent chance of winning the conference: 14.8 percent Matchup against TXST: Oct. 14, ESPN 2
record is perhaps the biggest surprise of the conference. The games haven’t been particularly close either. The Ragin’ Cajuns have lost by an average of 31.3 points per game. In all likelihood, they’ve already hit rock bottom and are due for some progression to the mean. Louisiana-Lafayette will still be a dangerous threat, especially if senior quarterback Terrance Broadway returns to last year’s form, when he led the conference in quarterback rating. Broadway’s No. 1 receiver, senior Jamal Robinson, missed time with a knee injury, and the team was hamstrung by an inconsistent defense.
LOUISIANA-MONROE WARHAWKS Last year’s record: 6-6 Current record: 3-1 Point differential per game: -3.8 Percent chance of winning the conference: 4.5 percent Matchup against TXST: Oct. 25 ANALYSIS: Only 20 teams are allowing fewer yards per game than the Warhawks this year. Louisiana-Monroe is generating pressure on the quarterback, a key element for any legitimate defense, and swallowing up the running game. Those two developments alone disguise Louisiana-Monroe’s 118th ranked running offense. If the Warhawks can continue this defensive pace, they’ll be in enough games to make a dent in the conference standings.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES Last year’s record: 2-10 Current record: 2-3 Point differential per game: -11.2 Percent chance of winning the conference: 0.3 percent Matchup against TXST: Nov. 1 ANALYSIS: New Mexico State has already matched last year’s win total in five weeks. The Aggies have trailed for the majority of their games, putting opponents in a position to capitalize on New Mexico State’s defense. The team is allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards per game while allowing a NCAA-worst 312 rushing yards per game. New Mexico State has three players with 50 or more tackles, indicative of the offense’s inability to stay on the field. If the trend continues, the Aggies won’t be a threat in the conference.
SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS Last year’s record: 6-6 Current record: 2-2 Point differential per game: -5.0 Percent chance of winning the conference: 4 percent Matchup against TXST: Nov. 15 ANALYSIS: South Alabama split their first four games, with wins over Kent State and Idaho. The Jaguars, taking advantage of a couple of soft matchups, have not beaten a top-flight team. Their schedule gets dramatically more difficult in November when they play LouisianaLafayette, Arkansas State, Texas State, South Carolina and Navy in a five-game stretch that will be a better barometer for their ability.
TEXAS STATE BOBCATS Last year’s record: 6-6 Current record: 2-2 Point differential per game: +11.8 Percent chance of winning the conference: 15 percent ANALYSIS Following a 6-6 finish last year, the Bobcats made a few adjustments on offense and defense. The team added defensive coordinator John Thompson, whose frenetic aggressiveness mucks up the quarterbacks’ play progressions. Coach Dennis Franchione installed a new offense, designed to utilize the mobility of Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, and his deep pocket of receivers. The offense is gelling, while the defense lags behind. Texas State, with some fortuitous bounces, could finish anywhere from first in the conference to the middle tier, where they were last season.
ANALYSIS: Louisiana-Lafayette’s 1-3
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6 | The University Star | Sports | Thursday, October 2, 2014
Texas State to take on undefeated Mountaineers
Bobcats look to extend win streak against Ragin’ Cajuns
By Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER @SABRINAFLORESTX The Texas State soccer team will play against the Appalachian State Mountaineers Oct. 5 in a game between two of the four undefeated teams in conference play. Appalachian State, in its first year in the Sun Belt, snapped the Arkansas-Little Rock’s nine-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory. The Mountaineers finished their road trip with a 1-0 victory over Arkansas State. The Mountaineers were a wellbalanced team this past weekend, with two shutouts and seven different players accounting for either a goal or an assist. Appalachian State attempted 28 shots against Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State, with 15 on goal. Appalachian State is running a 4-3-3 formation that can expose the Bobcats if their defense isn’t fundamentally sound. The Mountaineers play with four defenders, excluding their goalkeeper. The three midfielders and three forwards have the opportunity to attack the Bobcat defense and Caitlynn Rinehart, junior goalkeeper. Rinehart has 36 saves for the season and has only allowed nine
goals from opponents. Coach Kat Conner has laid out a strategy for her team to remain disciplined in the midfield. “We need to know the runners that can go into the attack and the runners that need to stay,” Coach Conner said. “[It] requires a lot of work ethic, and it requires a lot of discipline in the attacks to do it so we do not become one-dimensional.” The Bobcats are averaging 17 shots per conference game and totaled 17 on goal in the past two matchups. “I like how many shots we got off and how many we got on goal,” Conner said. “The trick is that we need to be there in front of the goal to finish these opportunities.” Lynsey Curry, junior forward, was named Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week for her performances against Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock. Curry led the Bobcats with three of the team’s four goals. Texas State is currently fifth in the conference with 7-3-1 overall. Appalachian State is eighth with 5-6 overall. “I think our confidence level has risen a lot,” Curry said. “I know we’re starting to play a lot better as a team, as a unit.”
STAR FILE PHOTO
By Derrick Holland SPORTS REPORTER @DHOLLAND23 The Texas State volleyball team will play the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Oct. 4 in an attempt to e xtend its conference win streak to six games. Texas State (10-7, 5-0) is currently in first place in the Sun Belt Conference standings, while Louisiana-Lafayette (123, 2-3) sits in seventh. Sierra Smith, junior libero, said she is very excited about the Bobcats’ beginning of conference play. “The coaches brought it to our attention that they couldn’t remember the last time their team started 5-0 in conference play,” Smith said. “In the preseason the whole team had this drive to win. I think the great win against UT-Arlington really gave us a kick start and helped us start out 5-0 in conference.” Coach Karen Chisum knows Louisiana-Lafayette is entering the game with confidence. “Louisiana-Lafayette is a good team,” Chisum said. “They’re feeling really good now after they beat Appalachian State, and I think that really gave them a lot of confidence.” The Bobcats defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns three times last year, including a 3-1 victory in the Sunbelt Conference tournament. In the three times meeting last year, Texas State lost one of 10 sets. Smith said the Bobcats know Louisiana-Lafayette is not the same team. “The next part of our schedule is going to be pretty tough,” Smith said. “Louisiana-Lafayette is a team that just beat Appalachian State, which was undefeated in conference play. I’m really excited about this next half of the season because there’s going to be a lot more competition, and our team is ready.” The Bobcats will face a team that defends well and does not give up many kills. Texas State
STAR FILE PHOTO has 980 kills this season, but Louisiana-Lafayette has only allowed 551 through its first 13 games. Although the Bobcats have been strongest on offense this season, Smith said the team has been focusing on defense in the practices leading up to the matchup with LouisianaLafayette. “Our defense has really picked up a lot,” Smith said. “We haven’t been the strongest blocking team in conference so far this season, but our defense has really worked hard in practice and games to get better.” Chisum also stressed how important it is to iron out the kinks in the defense. “The main thing we emphasized this week was blocking and defense,” Chisum said. “We are leading the conference in kills and digs, but we are dead last in blocks. We are
doing some things right with blocks because our opponents are hitting around our blocks, but we are able to dig them. We are definitely working on setting our block and then closing.” With every conference win, Texas State improves its chances at clinching a high seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Chisum is optimistic about what this team can accomplish as the second half of the season begins. “As a coach, this 5-0 start makes me so proud of this group of players,” Chisum said “We have talent, but we are really young. We have two freshman starting and plenty of sophomores and juniors playing. These players are just gutsy. They have worked really well together and found a way to win.”
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