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Faculty discusses campus carry implementation By Darcy Sprague SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @darcy_days
When someone becomes a driver, they must use the Uber app to “go online,” which is a way for Uber to track the miles driven and routes taken by an employee, Nicks said. “When you work with Uber, you aren’t really an employee, but more of an independent contractor with the company,” Nicks said. “The only real requirement
Faculty Senate discussed concerns about campus carry implementation following a mass shooting that occurred Oct. 1 at Umpqua Community College leaving 10 people dead. President Denise Trauth created a Campus Carry Task Force to determine the safest way to implement the law on campus next fall. The task force is made up of student and faculty committees to assist in planning the future implementation of gun legislation allowing licensed individuals to carry a concealed handgun on campus. The faculty subcommittee has been tasked with gathering recommendations and reactions from faculty and staff, said Michel Conroy, faculty senate chair. “After (the mass shooting) happened last week, I think it is something (faculty) should talk about,” said Emily Payne,
See UBER, Page 2
See CAMPUS CARRY, Page 2
LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Logan Nicks, political science senior, drives his car for Uber Oct. 1 in San Marcos.
Student by day, Uber driver by night By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
Uber came to San Marcos this summer and is making it possible for residents to travel in an innovative and accessible way. According to the company’s website, Uber employees are allowed to use their own personal cars for the company’s taxi service. Logan Nicks, political sci-
ence senior and Uber driver, said he runs an Uber taxi service using his own car during the week. In the midst of school and a busy life, Nicks said he saw being an Uber driver as a way to make money while maintaining his academic schedule. “I needed some extra money and I had just gotten a new car, so becoming a driver was a pretty easy decision for me,” Nicks said. “The job has been really enjoyable
and I’ve met people from all walks of life.” Brianna Gonzales, interior design junior, said she was nervous for her safety the first time she requested an Uber ride, but ended up having an “enjoyable” experience. “All of my drivers have been really cool and there was never a point where I felt uncomfortable or scared,” Gonzales said. Nicks said he had to
send his license plate information, insurance and car registration to the company and complete a background check in order to become a driver. Only vehicles manufactured after the year 2000 are “considered adequate” for drivers to use. “If anyone is ever on the fence with Uber, I would say to just do it,” Gonzales said. “It isn’t what people make it out to be, and it is a great alternative.”
Annual city council debate brings heated discussion By Exsar Arguello & Darcy Sprague SENIOR NEWS REPORTERS @Exsar_Misael @Darcy_Days
City council candidates engaged in a lively conversation at The University Star’s annual debate Wednesday night at the LBJ Student Center. Frank Arredondo and Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidates and Melissa Derrick and Shane Scott, Place 6 city council candidates, discussed issues ranging from city development strategy to student housing and economic growth.
Candidates spoke on the controversy surrounding the development of Cape’s Camp. Cape’s Camp is a site on the northern bank of the San Marcos River. City council voted in January 2013 to sell the land to a developer to build The Woods, a resortstyle student housing complex. “I was against Cape’s Camp, and I spoke publically about it,” Gregson said. “I said we should make it a park, and 74 percent of citizens voted to make it a park. At the end of the day, we’ve made an incompatible use
of the land.” In January 2013 Daniel Guerrero, Ryan Thomason, Wayne Becak, Kim Porterfield and Shane Scott voted to allow Cape’s Camp development into an apartment complex. Gregson said if the public will had been honored, Cape’s Camp could have been transformed into the “central park of Texas.” “The Thornton family owned the property for years and it was their right to sell it,” Scott said. “The people that wanted to build the apartment complex wanted to build apartments for stu-
LESLY DE LEON STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Frank Arredondo and Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidates, Oct. 7 at the city council debate
dents.” Arredondo said he did not
support the council’s decision to turn Cape’s Camp
into a student living area instead of a park. Derrick said she believes the construction of The Woods worsened f lood damage in Blanco Gardens, a neighborhood adjacent to the site, because the drainage system of the development was not yet complete. However, Scott said hydrologists hired by the city agreed that flood damage would be the same whether or not The Woods’ drainage system was complete due to the severity of the event. “It was a natural disaster,”
See DEBATE, Page 2
San Marcos to receive award for pedestrian realm enhancement By Kasandra Garza NEWS REPORTER @KasGarza
San Martians are not the only ones to notice an enhancement of the pedestrian realm in the downtown area. The American Planning Association (APA) is set to award the city of San Marcos with this year’s Current Planning Award Oct. 9 in Galveston for the city’s Sidewalk Cafés, Parklets and Similar Special Uses of Public Rightof-Way Ordinance and Pilot program. The program, launched in August , allows for creation of new sidewalk cafés and
small parks in unused public right-of-ways. The award is given to cities with an “outstanding” ordinance program or process directed to the implementation of a plan, according to APA nomination documents. Andrea Villalobos, planning technician for the City of San Marcos, said the award for the program is well deserved because it “really activates” a pedestrian-friendly environment. “Really, it is a public-private type of partnership to allow the private side and the city to work together and to do good things downtown,” Villalobos said.
Stephanie Bryant, member of the downtown design committee, said a parklet is “great” because it serves as public space for residents to interact with one another. “It’s a way to show the community that (downtown businesses are) involved and they’re for the citizens,” Bryant said. “It will be a really good way to branch between the private businesses and the rest of the community.” Villalobos said the program is a “beautification outreach” that members of city council have been promoting since its adoption in August. “(The program) really did
come from trying to make the best use of our downtown, and working together with business owners to allow them to prosper from that,” Villalobos said. “I think it also works with trying to create a pedestrian-oriented environment downtown.” Bryant said the ordinance works as a private-public relationship between businesses owners and their customers. “This is like a private business owner choosing to help beautify downtown and help really make an investment for the public,” Bryant said. “Private business owners will be able to use the public realm to improve the space
for their patrons as well as city residents and visitors.” Bryant said a “huge variety” of businesses already occupy public space through the program. The sidewalk cafes and parklets welcome more visitors to the downtown area. “This is kind of just a great way to encourage more businesses,” Bryant said. “Anywhere that you see people coming and going frequently. Any business could benefit from expanding into the public space.” Bryant said the program is an opportunity for growth among new businesses. “(The ordinance) is some-
thing that the design committee supports in the sense that it’ll give businesses a greater economic impact as well as serving the community around them,” Bryant said. Villalobos said she believes the program allows downtown to have “character and walkability” so more pedestrians feel comfortable visiting businesses in the area. “It goes without saying that all the people that visit downtown will really benefit from this as well,” Bryant said. “I think it’s a win-win situation for the businesses and the citizens alike.”
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UBER, from page 2 is that you go online at least once a month.” Nicks said he typically checks the app to find customers looking for a ride in the area after he finishes school for the day. He said the business in San Marcos has been “pretty good.” “I’ve seen some crazy stuff with this job, but it has been a blast,” Nicks said. “During freshman orientation in the summer, I got a request to go pick someone up at the school bus loop, which was already weird, but I did it anyways.” When Nicks arrived at the bus loop, he was greeted by six incoming freshmen who “piled in” the back of his car,
“eager to explore” San Marcos for the first time. Nicks said there are a large amount of customers before and after football games and tailgates. He said the riders are normally “pretty intoxicated” and looking for a safe way to get home. “I’ve even been tipped with two beers before, but I made sure to drink them when I got home and not on the job,” Nicks said. The Memorial Day weekend flooding created navigation difficulties for Nicks while driving. “The GPS on Uber isn’t always up to date, so there were a few times I ran into dead ends, especially after
the flooding hit,” Nicks said. He said the clientele in San Marcos is more preferable than in Austin and the traffic is usually less hectic. “Locally, you get a bunch of college kids, so the conversations and stories are always interesting,” Nicks said. “When you go to Austin you get a range of regular people and businessmen, so it can get boring at times.” Gonzales said the addition of Uber to San Marcos is useful in her daily life. “I don’t have a car so when I really need to get somewhere, I’ll call an Uber,” Gonzales said.
LARA DIETRICH STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Logan Nicks, political science senior, drives his car for Uber Oct. 1 in San Marcos
DEBATE, from page 2 Scott said. “It is very sad that it happened, but the city jumped in and provided food and shelter. Don’t use (the flood) to run for election.” Arredondo said he wants to stop development on the banks of the San Marcos River in order to preserve the environment. “Developments don’t go away,” Arredondo said. “Once they are here, they are on the ground for generations. It’s important that we protect our environment and our past council did not do that.” Derrick said she wants the opportunity to fight “prodevelopment at any cost.” She is concerned that city officials are running sewage lines over the aquifer’s recharge zone in order to accommodate development. Derrick was asked by an audience member where she felt student housing should be built. Derrick said she wants city council to only place student
housing in compatible locations. She said single-family residential neighborhoods are not compatible with student housing. “We tried to add two more stories to a (student apartment complex), but they threw a fit about that,” Scott said. “Derrick doesn’t want to live next to students. I firmly support student housing.” Scott said he had to move to Austin after graduating from Southwest Texas State due to the lack of jobs in San Marcos. If re-elected, Scott plans to “keep the ball rolling” when it comes to bringing new businesses to the city so students can stay in San Marcos after they graduate. “What we need is jobs— good, paying jobs,” Arredondo said. “More jobs mean more homes, more sales in the community and we need to have more affordable housing.” Arredondo said the fact that companies like Amazon and EPIC Piping have agreed
to come to San Marcos will improve the quality of life for residents. “We have a job to get you a job—a good-paying job,” Gregson said. “Not one that just pays a living wage, but one that pays more. We owe it to you.” Gregson said companies can bring some relief to the poverty level in San Marcos, but building out of the city to accommodate population growth will stretch the budget beyond its means. Scott said he has received a significant amount of funding from business owners who are afraid Derrick will put an end to growth. “All the developers give him money and all my money comes from the citizens,” Derrick said. At a recent College Democrats meeting, Derrick said she wanted to implement a $10 fee on tourists who wish to use the river. She said the fee would “attract the right kind of people.”
At the debate, Derrick said the reporter covering the College Democrats meeting misinformed readers and that she did not say everyone should pay $10 to use the river. Derrick said the quotes were taken out of context and that the article had been retracted. The Sept. 16 University Star article remains on the website, according the site’s archives. The corrections made in the article had to do with a comment LESLY DE LEON STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER about gentrification. The article includes a Melissa Derrick and Shane Scott, Place 6 city council candidates, Oct. 7 at quote from Derrick saying, the city council debate. “We need to attract the right He said, although Derrick kind of people than just a like to attract the right kind of people, we don’t just want said the people using the free-for-all.” to get the overflow from New river are just college stuDerrick said she wasn’t aware a reporter was in the Braunfels where, ya know dents who want to drink, room and said they took they have the can ban, but the people who are on the people can sit in the river river drinking are families things out of context. with their children. “I merely said I heard talk here.” “It’s free to everybody and The debate ended after a at the city of people saying maybe we should charge a it should always stay free,” heated back and forth sestourist fee,” Derrick said ref- Scott said. “I’ve never heard sion from Derrick and Scott. erencing a group called the about people charging to use Early voting begins Oct. 23 Eyes of San Marcos.“We’d God’s river.” and election night is Nov. 3.
Garcia, biology senator. “He didn’t conceal…that many guns.” Payne said events like the mass shooting in Oregon still cause panic even though they may not be directly involved with campus carry legislation. Conroy said 350 faculty members at the University of Texas signed a petition stating they will not allow guns in their classrooms or offices. “There are two types of people: those who are not that concerned, and those who are
panicking,” Garcia said. “I fall in to the first category, but maybe we are both wrong.” Lynn Ledbetter, College of Fine Arts senator, said it is important for faculty to focus on constructive solutions to smoothly implement campus carry instead of only reacting to the fact the legislation was passed. The legislation allows universities to designate certain buildings where guns can be banned, Conroy said. The task force has been asked to
make recommendations as to which areas should have gun restrictions. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English senator, said she has received multiple questions regarding the possibility of designating professors’ offices as gun-free zones. Some faculty members are afraid to be alone in their offices with a student who is carrying a gun. “They are not dealing with pissed off students,” said Susan Weill, journalism and mass communication senator.
CAMPUS CARRY, from page 2 curriculum and instruction senator. Conroy said she thinks forums among faculty provide an opportunity to talk about campus carry and become more educated on the legislation. Conroy said she noticed a lot of misunderstanding about the legislation after reading the results from a campus carry survey sent to faculty. “What happened in Oregon didn’t have to do with concealed carry,” said Dana
Payne said she has been asked what faculty members should do if they see a student with a gun once the campus carry legislation goes into effect next fall. Conroy said the faculty member can ask to see the person’s concealed carry license, but the students do not have to present them. “I think there is the concern that people will carry illegally,” Garcia said. “I think there are people who already carry illegally.”
Conroy said the task force’s faculty committee has discussed the possibility of educating students about concealed carry on campus during new student orientation. She said Campus Carry Task Force members cannot reveal how the university is going to enforce campus carry at the moment, but all levels are discussing the safest way to implement the legislation in daily campus life.
Loop 82 construction begins, officials work to lower congestion By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
Construction to build an overpass in front of Bobcat Stadium broke ground in September and is expected to be finished at least two years. The construction of Loop 82, a $20.7 million traffic project, intended to give drivers the option of bypassing the railroad tracks on Aquarena Springs and is set to be completed in March 2018. San Martians may encounter the construction of Loop 82 along Aquarena Springs between West Laurel Street and Post Road as well as over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Bobcat Stadium. Chris Bishop, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) district public information officer, said the goal of the project is to build a bridge over the railroad tracks and widen lanes in order to “steady the flow of traffic” to and from Texas COLLEGE SKI & BOARD WEEK breckenridge
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State. Two 12-foot lanes will be added in each direction of the road along with a six-foot sidewalk, Bishop said. Drivers, motorists and cyclists will have the option to use the underpass rather than the bridge, he said. If drivers choose to take this alternate route, they will still face the possibility of being stopped at the railroad tracks if a train is passing. “This will be one of the biggest projects the city has ever done,” said Joe Alexandre, construction coordinator at Texas State. “A big part of this project is staying on time and working with the university on upcoming events that can be problematic with construction.” As December approaches,
TxDOT must work around the university’s busy graduation schedule due to the influxes of traffic brought on by the ceremonies, Bishop said. TxDOT is currently installing utility lines throughout Loop 82, Bishop said. The current phase of the operation does not impede or redirect the flow of traffic, and all utility lines will be replaced before commencement. Once the ceremony is over, drivers will experience detours as construction progresses, Bishop said. “TxDOT is very aware of our major events and they are working with us to avoid any confrontation,” Alexandre said. “The construction is mapped out to be worked on in sections at a time for this intended purpose.”
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TxDOT workers are moving water and wastewater sewage utility lines along the end of the right-of-way on Aquarena Springs, Bishop said. Completing this phase of the construction will take some time. From 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Oct. 11-16, Warden Lane and Mill Street will be closed along Loop 82 as workers move the utility lines, Bishop said. TxDOT is working hard to minimize the amount of detours that will have to be implemented throughout the
construction process, Bishop said. “We don’t want congestion on Loop 82, but in the future detours may be inevitable,” Bishop said. “When that time comes, we will inform the city and residents in the future.” Mayor Daniel Guerrero said updating infrastructure is important for the city. “We just finished the construction on North LBJ, and bigger projects are on the way,” Guerrero said. “In order for us to keep up with the alarming growth of the city, our infrastructure needs to
be of high quality.” Guerrero said multiple city projects have been in the works since the early 2000s, but the 2008 economic recession set back the stability and financial measures needed to make the proposed construction projects a reality. “We’re back on our feet, and now is a great time to get the ball rolling with these projects,” Guerrero said. “We have much more in store for the city, and with the growth we are experiencing, construction infrastructure is a high priority.”
The University Star
Thursday, October 8, 2015 | 3
Mariah Simank, Lifestyle Editor @MariahSimank firstname.lastname@example.org
Five best places to study on campus By Erin O’Donnell LIFESTYLE REPORTER @1erino
Whether you enjoy studying outdoors or taking a quick nap between library visits, Texas State offers a variety of unique places on campus to fit every student’s learning needs. Gone are the days of locking yourself up in your dorm room to finish an English paper. Instead, here are the five places on campus that make studying feel like less of a chore.
1. Boko’s Living Room Boko’s Living Room, which is located in the basement of the LBJ Student Center, offers a studying experience unlike any other. Students can choose to set up their notebook or computer at one of the couches, chairs, or work desks around the room. James DiFalco, criminal justice freshman, said he enjoys a more comfortable approach to studying. “It is very quiet, so there are not many distractions,” DiFalco said. “I also love the couches.” DiFalco said what makes Boko’s Living Room unique is its proximity to services such as the Click’s Cyber Café for students’ printing needs. DiFalco said Starbucks is located across the floor for late-night study sessions. “If I was studying in my dorm there would be way too many distractions for me to be able to focus properly,” DiFalco said.
DiFalco said the lounge allows students to borrow pillows and blankets and offers plenty of couches for students in need of a quick snooze.
2. Pleasant Street Garden Hidden Hammocks Nestled between the Agriculture and Hines buildings lies one of the university’s best-kept secrets. Pleasant Street Garden, also known as “the hidden hammocks,” offers students a space to study away from the rest of the world. Victoria Leon, finance freshmen, said she learned of the study spot from another student during orientation. “I found out about the hammock during new student orientation,” Leon said. “But I found the location on my own.” This secluded space offers two comfortable hammocks, each hanging under trees on the side of a garden. Leon said she visits the spot to ease school-related stress, and the area is the perfect place to go for students looking to surround themselves with nature. “I go there to relax,” Leon said. “Sometimes it's too relaxing to do anything but sit there and maybe talk to others that spend their time there as well.”
3. Sewell Park Students can be seen scattered across Sewell Park during any given season, studying and enjoying the views
BEN KAILING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Robert Corkren, management senior, and Kaitlin Davis and Jenna Griffin, management juniors, collaborate on a group project Oct. 5 at the SLAC lab.
before their next classes. The park’s lush hills provide the perfect spot for students to read while dipping their feet in the San Marcos River. Marcus Escobedo, exercise and sport science sophomore, said it is easy for him to focus at the park despite the large amount of people. “There are not too many distractions,” Escobedo said. “Being there helps me focus more. I kind of keep going instead of taking so many breaks.”
phy History Building
that create a tranquil studying environment perfect for any studious Bobcat.
Hidden in the TaylorMurphy History Building is a studying oasis unlike any other. The building has its own indoor courtyard offering students the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature while waiting for their history classes. The studying venue, which is located across from the Evans Liberal Arts Building, is styled like a classical Roman atrium with tile backsplashes
5. Student Learning Assist a n c e C e nt e r (SLAC) The Student Learning Assistance Center is a great study place for students looking to get help with their homework. SLAC provides individual, group and online tutoring services to assist students with many of their courses. Jessica Braun, exploratory
freshman, said it is a relief knowing she can visit the workshops for subjects such as math, writing, science and business free of charge. “I can ask for help at any time for anything,” Braun said. Since SLAC is conveniently located in Alkek Library, students should have no trouble seeking help while they are studying. Braun said SLAC has helped changed her outlook on preparing for tests and quizzes in each of her classes. “I am not as hesitant in hitting the books,” Braun said.
BEN KAILING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Matthew Olson, agriculture business and management junior, relaxes in the hammocks Oct. 4 outside the agriculture building.
BEN KAILING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Brent Hearne, performance and production freshman, enjoys a quiet moment of studying Oct. 5 in the courtyard of the Taylor-Murphy building.
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CEO of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, non-partisan digital news organization based in Austin. SJMC grad student, Becky Larson, will interview Smith about his uniquely Texas news organization. The Tribune's coverage of Texas politics can be found at texastribune.org
Connecting students with professionals to discuss trends, ideas and issues affecting contemporary media.
Thursday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m.
Kick Off Your Career! @TXSTATEMCWEEK | #TXSTMCWEEK | #MCWEEK www.txstatemcweek.com
4 | Thursday, October 8, 2015
The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
America has a gun problem
America, we have a problem and its name is guns. Guns are a problem and it is time this country addressed that problem properly. On Oct. 1 another mass shooting struck America— this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The shooter killed 10, including himself, and injured an additional nine people. Oregon is one of the eight states that allows concealed carry on college campuses, but this incident proves in times of crisis and mass chaos that a random citizen is, in fact, not James Bond. Armed veteran John Parker Jr., a student from
the college, explained to MSNBC why he did not get involved. Parker noted he could have been killed by the shooter amid the confusion and chaos, and the police could have mistaken him for the perpetrator and opened fire on him as well. Parker effectively topples the “good guy with a gun” narrative pro-gun advocates like to tout out in response to mass shootings. These individuals ironically have a tendency to claim the addition of more guns to the equation would result in less death. As of Oct. 2 there were 275 days in 2015, and 297 mass shootings according to the Mass Shooting Tracker.
So it’s official—there have been more mass shootings this year than days thus far. Seems guns are the problem, not the solution. The argument that “good guys with guns” are needed in order to combat the slew of “bad guys with guns” ignores two important notes: nuance and reality. First, it is important to recognize nuance in every situation. Crime, like most things, is not black and white. There are no “good guys with guns” to distinguish from their bad counterparts—at least not as explicitly. People are not wholly good or entirely bad. This kind of binary system of crime and offenders does
not exist. Offenders are not simply running around—at least not with the regularity detractors would suggest— seeking people to victimize. Of the 13,636 people murdered in 2009, only 1,676 victims were strangers to the offender. That’s little more than 12 percent of victims. Most murders are crimes of passion, in the sense that they are executed by someone a victim knows due to anger, revenge, jealousy, or hate. They are not committed by these imaginary, pure evil boogeymen postulated by the opposition—absent of any redeeming qualities. Nothing is that explicit in classification. Second, it is important to consider reality. About 34 percent of American households own at least one firearm, and the U.S. has the most guns per capita than any other country in the world. There are plenty of “good guys with a gun,” yet nothing seems to stop the bad ones. If guns truly did make everyone safer, then America would be the safest among developed nations since it has the highest gun rate. However, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, the U.S. has the most gun-related homicide deaths per capita of any developed nation. Even when taking the U.S. out of the equation, HICRC still finds that more availability of guns in a country directly correlates with a greater occurrence of homi-
cide—particularly firearm homicide. This gun negligence does not just affect citizens, but also negatively impacts those sworn to serve and protect. According to a recent study by David Swedler of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, which looked at FBI data from 1996-2010, per capita police officers are three times more likely to be murdered in high gun ownership states compared to states with low gun ownership. Apparently, more “good guys with guns” not only equals more dead citizens, but also more dead cops. Meanwhile, passing common-sense gun legislation such as background checks for all handgun sales—barring criminals from buying firearms at gun shows and online—there are 48 percent fewer cops killed by handguns. The talking point that criminals will just find a way to obtain firearms breaks the first of these two rules—it lacks nuance. Criminals are not a single-minded group of people simply out to burn the country down. If society makes it harder for these people to do harm, the numbers will assuredly follow suit. The statistics prove it. After Australia passed guns regulations in 19961997, firearm homicide dropped by 46 percent. While the country experienced 13 gun massacres occurred in the 18 years
before the legislation, zero have occurred in the 14 years since its implementation. Unsurprisingly, gun regulation works and it is time America curbed its bad habit. People cannot afford to have this unwieldy beast not confined to a cage. While the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment to encompass private citizens in their 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, they did not invalidate the founders’ point on regulation. The founders were not infallible. If people are bent on claiming otherwise, then they should hang on every word—not just the convenient ones. The founders specifically noted those obtaining firearms needed to be “wellregulated,” not unadulterated. Imposing common sense regulations is not “infringing” on the public’s right to own and commandeer firearms. What it is doing is what all anti-crime legislation seeks to do: minimize the problem. Naturally, laws will not eradicate social problems, so they choose the next best option: reducing them. Imposing stricter regulations on guns will not end mass shooting, nor will it reduce homicides to zero, but it will be a step in the right direction to curtail the problem. It is time to rein in the beast and lead it back into its cage.—America has let it play long enough.
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.
Discrimination against metalheads is unwarranted
Cristian Rivera OPINIONS COLUMNIST
etal is seen as the strange and violent little brother of the music world, and as a result leads to discrimination and undue generalizations by the majority who just don’t understand. Discrimination is a sad truth society has consistently lived with throughout history. Though laws and societal philosophy slowly push out these prejudices, many still exist today. This discrimination runs rampant, even in an art form such as music, which is lauded as the world’s “universal language” that breaks borders and tramples boundaries. The negative connotations put on metal music are often subtle such as as always having heavy metal playing when a murder scene occurs in a movie or TV show. It furthers the generalization that people who listen to this kind of music are violent in nature, which is not true. I can almost guarantee your family will not be harmed by anyone in the metal community. One place that often antagonizes the genre is religion. As early as the 1950s, when Elvis Presley was first starting to grow
as an artist, religion was denouncing rock music as evil and against all moral well-being. This quickly escalated as artists started experimenting and evolving their lyrical content to include more racy themes. A prominent example of this is “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. In 1982 a televangelist named Paul Crouch claimed that if you played the record backward you could hear satanic messages such as, “Here’s to my sweet Satan.” This is not a reason with enough substance to decide whether or not an entire genre is evil. Any lyrics when listened to backwards are ambiguous and not well-defined. In spite of this faulty reasoning, this “proof” has been one of the biggest reasons the entire metal and rock genre has been tied to a reputation of Satanism. The negative generalizations placed on metal music have even led to the convictions of innocent men. Three young boys were found dead in a ditch. Three outcast teenagers, known as the West Memphis Three, enjoyed listening to metal music and were the obvious scapegoat. One prosecutor even used one of the teen’s Metallica shirts as evidence for conviction. The community was convinced these troubled, metal-loving teens were killers because they were different from the norm. Consequently, the evidence that proved the teens’ innocence was ignored. It took 18 years for the trio to be released from prison, and now they lead normal lives. It’s a shame that this idea even permeates to
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venues where music is celebrated—or supposed to be celebrated. Over the summer I went to the Boys of Zummer Tour, with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa, and entered the venue pretty smoothly. However, two weeks later I returned to the same venue for a slightly different kind of concert that hosted heavy metal bands such as Slipknot and Lamb of God. This time the process to get in was quite different. In addition to waiting in line, I had employees screaming at the patrons to stay put and empty their pockets and bags completely. When we reached the front, our bags and person were subjected to a search, and then we were finally let through. There were also banned items this time around, such as selfie sticks and, surprisingly, blankets. None of these regulations were required when a rap artist was playing, but with the “dangerous” metal crowd you had to be sure they could not use blankets to sit on. The metal community has continually been subjected to prejudices and discrimination for baseless reasons. Just as discrimination for color or gender need to stop, so too does the discrimination for someone’s taste in music. We are all people, and we all enjoy art of many different varieties. Treat differences in people with the same respect similarities expect. Metalheads are just as peaceful as mainstream pop lovers—it’s all a matter of perspective. —Cristian Rivera is a music freshman
BuzzFeed video displays watered down version of Christianity
Madison Teague OPINIONS COLUMNIST
’m a Christian, but I’m going to stereotype and condemn the rest of Christianity, while conveniently leaving myself out. I’m a Christian but I serve the world, and its opinion of me, before God. BuzzFeed’s recent video “I am a Christian but I’m Not…” has caused a stirring among Christian communities. Many Christians are shocked by the video’s disregard for Jesus, the “Christ” part of the word Christianity and the Son of God around whom the entire religion is based. It is completely backwards to try and teach people about Christians and Christianity without mentioning what they actually stand for—Jesus. Christianity is a religion of hard truths, mercy, forgiveness and undying love. BuzzFeed took a belief with meat and substance, and
twisted it to instead give the world a tepid mix of pleasantries that’s easy to stomach. The video brought up values such as openmindedness and acceptance. Yes, Christians can be open-minded and accepting. Those aspects can be good, however they are not necessarily the foundation of Christianity. Instead of preaching tolerance and acceptance of sin, the Bible teaches mercy and forgiveness. A Christian in no way has to accept another person’s life or the choices they make in order to love and walk with them in pursuit of God. “I’m a Christian but I’m Not...” even tries, without a touch of irony, to claim humility. One speaker claims to not “hold (herself) up on a pedestal” as she takes part in a video designed to not only set her apart from other Christians, but also exalt her above them. By setting up a list of things these Christians are and are not, these individuals serve as an example of what the video would assert is a “good Christian.” Apparently, one aspect of a good Christian is not adhering to conservative views. Therefore, conservative Christians are bad by default. I understand the cre-
ators of the video are trying to fight stereotypes associated with Christians, but the only way to properly fight them is to prove they are incorrect. Simply saying, “That’s not true” to a stereotype does not disprove it. Had the video used scripture to back up its claims about Christianity, it would have added some credibility to the speakers’ beliefs as far as the religion dictates. But as it stands, “I am a Christian but I’m Not…” is just an arbitrary list of what some people believe Christianity is, without any mention of fundamental aspects such as its holy word or savior. The people in the video may have had good intentions, but if a Christian video made by Christians was not created to spread the salvation of Christ, then it is of no purpose other than to glorify the people in the video. How about this instead: I am a Christian because I follow God’s word. I am a Christian because Christ taught me to love my neighbors. I am a Christian because I serve Jesus, and by serving and loving His children I become more like Him. —Madison Teague is an English junior 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday 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 8, 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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Quixem Ramirez, Sports Editor @quixem firstname.lastname@example.org
BOBCATS BRACE THEMSELVES FOR RAGIN’ CAJUNS By Paul Livengood ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @IamLivengood
Saturday marks the start of conference play for the Texas State football team after a bye week. It couldn’t have come at a better time. “It’s given us a chance to work on a lot of different things, to get a little bit healthier, to get some rest physically and emotionally, and mentally,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “We’ve tried to fix as many things as we could fix within the structure of things.” The team was beaten once again due to an alreadystruggling defense and the absences of three of the Bobcats’ top four defensive tackles in the game against Houston. The defensive performance by Houston tipped the iceberg and led to the resignation of defensive coordinator John Thompson, who was only in his second year with the Bobcats. During the open week, Texas State named Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione, as the interim defensive coordinator. A week without a football game assisted the transition. “It’s just like an injury,” Dennis Franchione said. “Next man up. I considered hiring Brad when I hired John. We just kept going. (The defensive players) like
what Brad is giving them. So I was a bit more prepared for it to be bumpier than it was, but it wasn’t.” Brad Franchione, Dennis Franchione’s son, has a background in defense, serving as the Bobcats’ linebackers coach since arriving at Texas State in 2011. Brad Franchione has taken over a defense that is 126th in total defense and 128th in scoring defense. With numbers like those, Texas State is back to the defensive drawing board. This will consist of altering the tackling technique, changing preparation and eliminating the gray areas that persisted under Thompson. “With John, we weren’t concept teaching,” Dennis Franchione said. “We were memory teaching. And Brad has moved on to the concept teaching.” With concept teaching, you can take different ideas from different facets of offense and defense like protections, routes and coverage and combine them in different ways. It simplifies the learning for the players. The example Dennis Franchione gave was code names for protections that employed the titles of car dealerships like Ford or Chevy while combining the names with a route concept like “mesh.” For example, the call could be Ford mesh or Chevy mesh. The difference between all of them would be the type
STAR FILE PHOTO
of protection the offense is giving the quarterback. This allows the team to efficiently mix different plays. Even with a new look, and essentially a clean slate heading into conference play, Texas State will go up against the Ragin’ Cajuns first with their new defense. In the past two meetings, the Ragin’ Cajuns have
beaten the Bobcats with a combined score of 82-34 over the past two years. Both teams are currently 1-3 overall. The difference lies in the level of competition. The combined record of Texas State’s opponents is 13-4 compared to 9-11 for Louisiana-Lafayette’s opponents. Don’t let that stat fool you
though—the overall scoring margin favors the Ragin’ Cajuns. Texas State has been outscored by 55 points, while Louisiana-Lafayette has only been outscored by 30 points. Going off the statistics, Texas State seems to be closing the gap on Louisiana-Lafayette, but still has to prove it on the scoreboard. “I think we are closer,”
Dennis Franchione said. “From watching the film I think we feel that way. The score may not have shown that sometimes. When you look at the Arkansas State win last year, who has also been one of those teams, it kind of showed that we are closing the gap. We just aren’t closing it against Lafayette, head-to-head.”
“WITH JOHN, WE WEREN’T JUST CONCEPT TEACHING. WE WERE MEMORY TEACHING. AND BRAD HAS MOVED ON TO THE CONCEPT TEACHING.” —COACH DENNIS FRANCHIONE
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