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Stephanie Austin performs Sept. 6 at Veterans of Foreign Wars for the LGBTQIA Pride celebration.

San Marcos residents celebrate city’s first-ever Pride weekend “It was a vision brought together by friends and family,” Sandoval said. “Everybody wanted it, so we created it.” Four years ago, Sandoval, along with Gia de la Flor, began hosting Rainbow Night, a once-a-month Pride-themed party. Eventually, Sandoval said, they were able to create a solid foundation and connections so they could organize a Pride event. “Over the four years, we’ve endured pain, harsh words and closed doors,” de la Flor said while addressing a crowd. “Growing up as a local, there weren’t a lot of

By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER


orty-five years after the first brick was thrown at Stonewall, the first Pride celebration has finally come to the City of San Marcos. The sun beat upon on the downtown courthouse grounds Saturday as about 300 people, Texas State students and city locals alike, congregated for the first San Marcos Pride Parade. Silvia Sandoval, the coordinator of the event, said it was a long time coming.

places we felt comfortable in.” De la Flor, who is a drag performer, remembered being belittled growing up in San Marcos. “For me, as a younger person growing up here, you would get the looks,” de la Flor said. “I could handle it when I was on my own, but I think when I was with my family or with friends and someone said something to me or looked at me a certain way, it made me feel really small.” Sandoval said the Texas State

community was an integral part of the event. “I was going to plan this in June, but the students weren’t here, so we decided to work with them,” Sandoval said. “Now it’s September, and look at this. It’s beyond my expectations. I’m grateful and proud. I feel really, really happy about this.” Gabby Parker , criminal justice senior, said the Pride event in San Marcos was a positive experience for her.

See PRIDE, Page 2

School psychology program awarded $1.05 million grant By Mariah Simank NEWS REPORTER The School Psychology program has been awarded a five-year, $1.05 million grant from the United States Department of Education (USDE) for the development of Spanish-English bilingual school psychologists. The grant will support 24 fully credentialed, high-quality bilingual school psychologists in order to improve teaching and learning by attempting to remove language barriers, according to a university news release. It is part of a larger project that will add a new training and a certification track in bilingual school psychology. Jon Lasser, program coordinator for the School Psychology Program and a principal investigator for the grant, said this program will be essential in helping students in the Texas public school system thrive. “There is a great need for these types of programs,” Lasser said. “The graduates are going to develop the skills and competency to be able to help kids in schools who are having behavioral issues, and they will be able to do that in the child’s native language.”

See PSYCH, Page 2


Loop 82 overpass construction to begin January 2015 By Tayler Chambless NEWS REPORTER To improve the flow of traffic, the City of San Marcos will begin construction on a new overpass over Aquarena Springs Drive. The new Loop 82 project will begin early Jan. 2015 and take approximately two and a half years to complete, said Kelli Reyna, TxDOT public information officer. Located at the intersection of IH-35 and Aquarena Springs Drive, the project will construct a bridge over the railroad tracks to alleviate traffic congestion. The purpose of the proposed project is to increase area mobility and safety by providing a way for traffic to travel along State Highway Loop 82 within the city without the current interruptions caused by numerous train crossings, according to the city’s website. “Construction-wise, the project cost is $20.7 million,” Reyna said. “We are receiving money from San Marcos,

TxDOT and federal dollars from the (Federal) Highway Administration to fund the project.” During the two-and-a-half-years of construction, the contractors will be putting up message boards to limit the impact of the lengthy project, said Ben Engelhardt, TxDOT south Travis/ Hays area engineer. “The city and TxDOT both have accommodated a lot of events that the university has to try to keep the traffic flowing while the overpass is under construction,” said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities. According to the contract with the city, the contractor is supposed to accommodate major events, Guerra said. “During spring, they are supposed to accommodate commencement—the contractor is supposed to have two lanes of traffic in each direction—and for football games the contractor is supposed to make sure they have four

See LOOP 82, Page 2




A2 | The University Star | News | Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PRIDE, from front “It means a lot to me,” Parker said. “It’s kind of crazy to see the progress that it’s made. I’m from a small town, and it’s kind of surreal to see how many people are just like me.” De la Flor said organizing Pride events has helped to heal old wounds. “Just walking down the street now is a totally different thing,” de la Flor said. “People can say harsh words, but to me it means nothing anymore. Like, the last time someone called me a word, I actually turned around and said, ‘Is that it?’ Like, ‘I’ve heard it before, you know? Think of something new.’” De la Flor hopes to continue to be involved in the community and help youth. “I feel empowered, and I think my

journey now is to help those going through those same struggles,” de la Flor said. Austin Pride reached out to help San Marcos Pride and offer support, Sandoval said. Benny VandenAvond, former vice president of Austin Pride, was on the courthouse grounds Saturday to show his support. “I’m so excited San Marcos is having their first Pride celebration,” VandenAvond said. “Putting on Austin’s Pride, I know all the hard work and dedication that goes into it, so I wanted to come here and support what they’re doing.” VandenAvond said solidarity and participation in the LBGTQIA community is important.

“I think every place is a good place to have a Pride celebration because there are gay people everywhere in the world,” VandenAvond said. “I think it’s truly amazing to be able to gather in a community and recognize that there are people just like you, especially in a smaller town like San Marcos.” Support from San Antonio was also present at the event. Julian Tovar, board of governor elect for the San Antonio Human Rights Campaign, was impressed with San Marcos Pride and the hundreds of supporters it attracted. “I’m really surprised with the turnout,” Tovar said. “We weren’t really sure what to expect, but the turnout is probably one of the biggest turnouts

LOOP 82, from front lanes of traffic opened,” Guerra said. Although traffic will still be allowed to flow through Aquarena during the daytime, bus traffic going up and down Loop 82 is going to be affected during construction because the contractor will have lane restrictions and closures, Guerra said. “Now we may be down to one lane in each direction during some periods of time, but it’s supposed to stay open the whole duration of the project,” Guerra said. Engelhardt said TxDOT has been discussing the project with the university because it directly impacts the university students. As the university receives updates from

we’ve seen for a smaller town.” Over the past year, other smaller cities have started their first Pride events also, Tovar said. Carlos Molina , parade attendee, was also pleasantly surprised by the Pride event. Molina lived in San Marcos as a child and said he faced struggles “growing up gay, brown and effeminate in a small Texas town.” He eventually moved to New York City, where he lived for almost a decade, but later found his way back to where he grew up. “If you had told me when I was a little boy growing up on the other side of the highway in the barrio that I would be addressing an audience at the courthouse on The Square for a

Pride event in San Marcos, I would not have believed you,” Molina said. “This is truly amazing.” The event attracted a diverse crowd. Students brought dogs dressed up in rainbow apparel, and families with small children played with a bubble machine on the courthouse lawn. At one point, almost a dozen children crowded around a piñata hung high on an oak tree. The atmosphere was peaceful, in part because there were no anti-LGBTQIA protesters at San Marcos Pride, an occurrence that plagues gay pride events of other cities. “We made anti-hate posters just in case,” de la Flor said. “We honestly did expect to see something, but it’s been totally pleasant today.”

PSYCH, from front the construction contractor, students will receive traffic information on a campus bulletin, Guerra said. There will also be information on the Facilities’ construction website telling students about lane closings and changes. The project will directly impact local businesses surrounding Aquarena Springs Drive in addition to the university. “It kind of worries me because I know that it is a lot of construction all around, and I know that the business will slow down a lot when the construction is in front of the business,” said Marta Carrillo, owner of Lolita’s Cafe on Aquarena Springs. “We will slow down a little bit.”

Better than hairballs.

In order to qualify for the grant, students must be admitted to the program and then selected for the grant funding based on their Spanish proficiency and their willingness to provide services to the public schools, Lasser said. “The funders of the grant require that a minimum of 65 percent, most of the money, goes toward student stipend,” Lasser said. “We are providing them with an iPad, a 3-week language immersion program in Costa Rica and many other tools in order to help them develop professional language in Spanish.” Graduates from the program will receive a 75-hour Specialist in School Psychology degree (SSP) and a certificate in bilingual school psychology,

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said Cynthia Plotts, counseling professor and a principal investigator for the grant. “These students will also be eligible for national certification and state licensure to practice in public schools,” Plotts said. Texas State was one of many schools nationwide to apply for the grant, Lasser said. “The type of grant that we applied for is very specific to us and our program, and there was competition nationwide,” Lasser said. Cailey Muller , pre-physical therapy senior, said she thinks the grant will be an excellent tool for students as they enter the professional world. “I think this grant is an exciting way to further this degree program,” Muller said. “It will

be a great resource for students pursuing majors in this type of field, and I think being able to obtain this specific degree will be an excellent tool for them as they move into the professional world.” The number of bilingual students is increasing at a rapid rate, and graduate programs like this are needed in order to provide invaluable resources to students who may be struggling, Plotts said. “There are increasing numbers of kids who speak Spanish or whose families speak Spanish, and we don’t have enough professionals to meet their needs, so what we are trying to do with our program is create an environment where students can learn to fulfill this need,” Plotts said.

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Schools must increase full major requirements


ndividual schools within Texas State should tighten their criteria on achieving full major status. All of the major programs should have requirements for students to fill to get into them. Implementing a change like this will encourage students to actively acquire the basic skills needed for their majors. Students need to be prepared for the idea that getting into college does not always equate to getting into a major. Upper-level classes should have stricter barriers. An easy way to integrate that policy is to make more prerequisite classes. Adding more prerequisites will

help ensure that students know the basics. The point of having upper-level classes is to expand on the knowledge that students have already acquired. If students have not properly mastered the basics, they will be building on an unstable foundation. In addition, the prerequisite classes need to have grade requirements. Knowing that they must achieve a letter grade of C or better helps keep students focused on paying attention in class in order to get the best grade possible. Another way that officials can raise standards across all disciplines is to start requiring basic tests for all majors that show that everyone is up to scratch. For ex-

ample, in the Mass Communications branch, most of the major programs require a grade of 70 or better on the PUG exam. The exam tests students on the basics of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students may initially gripe about the concept of adding more tests to the college experience. However, everyone should keep in mind that tightening up entrance requirements will only serve to reflect the competitive job market students are preparing to enter. Having a major isn’t enough to get you into the door nowadays. Coming from a school that places an emphasis on making sure that its students leave

as advanced and well-rounded in their skill sets as possible will be an immeasurable asset in the hunt for jobs. For example, the sound engineering program at Texas State has an impressive reputation. Because only a small amount of students are accepted into the program each year, the bar is instantly set way higher for hopefuls wanting to acquire that major. The fact of the matter is that things are taken seriously when the restrictions are higher, and majors in college are no exception. Many of the fine arts major programs do a decent job with making sure their students start

off with a solid foundation before advancing up the course ladder. Implementing a portfolio review before admission into full major status is a good way that the university can change the careless perception people have of some majors. Part of the college experience is discovering all the newfound adult freedoms available. Unfortunately, however, that means that bad adult experiences are tied in with good ones. Making it a bit harder to get a degree sounds harsh, but the reality is that the world is harsh, and at the end of the day, people appreciate the things that they have to work hard 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.



Texas State’s party school image difficult to change

Hunter Larzelere OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior


exas State has long held the infamous branding of being a party school. While the university has taken steps to get away from this image, Texas State still is, and will continue to be seen as, a party school. As a university that just received Emerging Research status from the Texas Higher Education

Coordinating Board, Texas State has the potential to become a Tier One university. However, for this to happen, the mindset of many of the students needs to change. A majority of the kids I have met in my time here at Texas State are more interested in partying and having a good time than trying to make the Dean’s List. There is not anything necessarily wrong with having a good time while in school, but partying should not reach the point where it is one of the main things a university is known for. There are some things that the university could do to help its reputation in the academic world. The acceptance rate needs to be lowered, as statistics for U.S. News indicate that both Texas Tech and UTSA—Texas State’s main competitors for Tier

One status—are more selective than Texas State. As the fifthbiggest university in Texas, I do not believe that raising the bar is an unreasonable expectation for the school. The school also needs to do a better job of seeing its students reach graduation. According to the College Board, Texas State currently only has 57% of students graduate within 6 years. The students themselves are one of the biggest obstacles the university faces on its journey to lose its party image. Our student body just does not seem to have academics as its top priority. There is not a day of the week that a party is not going on somewhere, and it always seems like when one party ends another is just getting started. Even on campus students are gearing up for a good time. There are always


Greek life beneficial to students

Laura Crick SPECIAL TO THE STAR Music education sophomore


reek life of any kind can help build a strong foundation, create better men and women and help students make connections that will last a lifetime. When I think of Greek life, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Greek chapters, or the social Greeks. These are amazing organizations and deserve recognition; however, there are more Greek organizations on campus than just those. There are fraternities and sororities also under the Multicultural Greek Council and the National PanHellenic Council as well as chapters in many of the academic departments. I think these chapters need to be more present on campus. Each Greek chapter at Texas State is committed to expanding the horizons of its members and creating opportunities through leadership, academic excellence, philanthropy and brother or sisterhood. For example, Alpha Lambda Delta, the honor society for freshmen, recognizes students with a 3.5 GPA or higher by the end of their first semester. Being invited to prestigious organizations such as this one is not only a great incentive to keep grades up but also a way Greek life shows its true values and expectations of members. Every Greek organization on campus

has GPA requirements, many of which are easily attainable but lost quickly if focus is not kept on academics. Additionally, there are fraternities and sororities that focus on fine arts like music or theatre. These groups not only keep members involved in their chosen art form but also create better performers and people. Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Kappa Psi, Mu Phi Epsilon and Tau Beta Sigma are a few from the School of Music that focus on musicianship, leadership and academic excellence. There are also many service- and Christian-based sororities, such as Sigma Phi Lambda, Chi Beta Delta and Phi Beta Chi. These organizations put emphasis on sisterhood, discipleship and community service. A stereotype that usually affects someone with any combination of Greek letters to their name is an assumption that they love partying, are not incredibly bright and only focus on social events. This is simply not the case for many of the Greek organizations on campus, including Panhellenic and IFC. Getting involved in Greek life not only broadens horizons but builds character and really allows members to make the most of their college years. There are an unlimited number of ways to get involved on campus, and Greek life is one of the largest. No matter the interest, there is a Greek organization at Texas State for it. Greek involvement is on the rise, and I think this trend should continue. Greek life is a wonderfully positive thing in so many ways, and everybody should have the opportunity to participate in it. I know I will never regret going Greek. Not only do I have a bunch of dedicated, dependable, amazing sisters, but it also inspires me to be a better, stronger person. Greek life has a place for everyone. The letters do not an organization make, but rather the people.

groups handing out flyers for upcoming parties in The Quad, and a good number of students are not shy about asking where they can find their next opportunity to get turnt up. Twitter is quickly becoming one of the go-to party locators. There are multiple Twitter accounts that strictly tweet about where to find a party, and there are a number of students who have managed to become twitter celebrities at the university for their tweets regarding parties. While it may seem like losing the party school image is an impossible task, the university has begun to try to shift the paradigm. According to an Aug. 26 University Star article, the university received a $15 million dollar grant from NASA. The Pace program helps students not only in reaching graduation but

also in obtaining a career after college. Of course, changing the name of the university from Southwest Texas State to our current title was a smart move in rebranding the university as well. The party image that Texas State currently holds will not be an easy one to lose, but the university has begun to take some steps in the right direction. I do not believe that partying is necessarily a bad thing, and I do believe that it is important for students to make the best of their time in school. Partying is part of the culture of college life, but when partying becomes a part of the university’s reputation it only hurts the reputation of every student that goes there.


University favorites chartered orgs

Kirsten Peek OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism senior


here are over 300 student organizations at Texas State, including Greek organizations, chartered organizations and other registered student organizations. While being chartered has always provided certain perks, such as guaranteed funding from the school and priority in room reservations, recently, organizations that cannot or will not charter have been affected by increased favoritism toward chartered organizations. Administration should stop limiting registered student organizations that are not chartered. There have always been advantages and disadvantages to being chartered. Chartered organizations are defined by the Student Organization Handbook as “groups which have been organized to support ongoing interests of the university.” These organizations serve to “coordinate programs and services, or as umbrella organizations

for a large number of constituencies and are recognized as part of a university department or entity.” Chartered organizations enjoy a number of perks, including funding from the department they are affiliated with and priority while making room reservations for meetings or events. Other registered student organizations choose not to charter to maintain creative control over projects and events, as chartered organizations must receive approval from the school for all events. Chartered organizations access their funding through a bank account set up through the school and must get approval to withdraw or spend money for projects, while unchartered organizations have control of their own finances. Chartered organizations also have an 11 p.m. curfew for their events, which is a deterrent to some. Registered student organizations that are not chartered raise money through sponsors, member dues and donations. For example, vendors will pay organizations to reserve spots in The Quad for them to sell products or distribute materials. Many organizations depend on this mutually beneficial relationship to be able to fund their service projects. According to Solicitation On Campus, Issue 10, “registered student organizations are prohibited from

co-sponsoring solicitation with non-university entities.” What this means is that as of this fall, only chartered organizations, which already receive funding from the university, will be able to benefit from bringing vendors onto campus. Other organizations must sever ties with the vendors that they depend on. Boko’s Block Party is held the week before classes start and is a great opportunity for freshmen to learn about student organizations. In the past, registered student organizations, chartered or not, looked forward to using this event to recruit new members. This year, the event was switched from the LBJ bus loop area to the President’s Lawn at the last minute, and then due to space restrictions, all non-chartered organizations were uninvited rather than allocating booth space on a first-come, first-serve basis. Becoming chartered is not the right move for every organization, though all student organizations, chartered or not, add value and enrichment to the student body and campus as a whole. Administration needs to put an end to the needless favoritism of chartered organizations and instead offer support and consideration to all registered student organizations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Opinions | The University Star | A5



NFL, Ravens fail fans with response to Rice scandal

Odus Evbagharu MANAGING EDITOR Mass communications senior


isgust, shame and disgrace are words that can only begin to describe how I feel about the video that was released Monday of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his wife not once but twice in an elevator. I can hardly describe the raging disappointment that I have for our legal system and in the $9 billion industry we call the National Football League and its commissioner, Roger Goodell. The Baltimore Ravens is not and should not be absolved from blame, either. How can a legal system that is to “protect and serve” the people against crime allow such a heinous act without any substantial consequence? Rice was allowed to plead not guilty to one count of third degree aggravated assault and accepted a plea deal that allowed him to enter a diversionary program. This program could allow Rice to clear his record of the charges levied against him when he knocked his then-fiancée Janay Rice unconscious in a New Jersey casino. Rice could have almost killed his wife in that elevator. Most people who are not making millions of dollars, have multiple endorsement deals, a high-priced attorney and a name embellished in glitz and glamour would have seen jail time and would have the shameless act of domes-

tic violence permanently stamped on their record. Incidents like this make it clear where the judicial system stands when it comes to domestic violence and giving preferential treatment to athletes. Rice will get away with his actions. He will get away with them not because the court of public opinion won’t crucify him but because the legal system failed the victim once again, where it counts the most. His record will be spotless all because he can afford it. The NFL, Baltimore Ravens and Roger Goodell shouldn’t get away with their lack of appropriate actions throughout this process. Goodell and the league came out with a statement Monday that they did not see the video until it was released by TMZ Sports. The statement is contradictory to what Goodell had previously said when he came down with the heavily criticized two-game suspension he handed Rice. Goodell said the league had all of the facts and evidence it needed to give Rice the “light” consequence. If Goodell and the league had all of the facts and evidence, then Rice’s two-game suspension only illustrates a blatant disregard for the severity of abuse. Additionally, why say you had all of the facts but then come out Monday and say you’ve never seen the tape? There is no way that the NFL, that employs former federal agents to do background checks on its employees, couldn’t get the tape but TMZ did. I refuse to believe Goodell didn’t have an opportunity to see the video, and he should be ashamed of the punishment he gave Rice. Goodell should resign as commissioner of the NFL for ignoring facts and being negligent to such a sensitive issue.

He first handed an abysmal suspension to Rice, then stood by his decision and defended it. After receiving criticism from the media, fans and many former players, he later backtracked and apologized, stating that he ”got it wrong.” Yes, he did implement a strong discipline for domestic violence, but only after the fact he got it wrong. Goodell wasn’t the only person late to the party. The Ravens fell behind as well. General Manager Ozzie Smith and Coach John Harbaugh should have disciplined Rice and understood that the matter was bigger than just playing football on Sundays. By tweeting that Janay Rice regrets the “role” she played that night and supporting Rice, they failed the system, the team they represent and the millions of fans that follow the Ravens and NFL. Instead, the organization should have suspended Rice and fined him heavily. Smith and Harbaugh should resign. It is important to note that the Ravens voided Rice’s contract on Monday and on the same day the NFL suspended the running back indefinitely. Although those are the right actions taken by both, it is too late. The damage has been done, and the image is ingrained in our minds. Hopefully the legal system, the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens and most importantly Ray Rice understand the severity of domestic violence and the impact it has on society. Rice ultimately is responsible for his actions and should have absolutely known better. He will have to look at himself in the mirror every day and ask himself tough questions. Rice can only take control of his life now and learn from the stupid mistake he has made.

Beer sales at games can increase revenue, fans

Olivia Garcia OPINIONS COLUMNIST Public relations senior


ollege football is an American tradition. It brings thousands of people together, creates exciting rivalries, and puts an enormous amount of pride in student athletes. It is a very positive organization; the two things that always seem to bring it down are revenue and attendance. Selling alcohol at college football games greatly increases revenue to university athletic departments. West Virginia was one of the first pioneers to tap into beer sales at their home football games in 2011. According to a Jun. 23 USA TODAY article, West Virginia was “generating upward of $500,000 in new revenue while seeing fewer instances of rowdy behavior related to binge-drinking outside the stadium.” Let us not kid ourselves, drinking is a part of college football. Intoxicated people will stumble into the stands whether audiences like it or not because of tailgating. Many college students and alumni have poured into the fun of drinking and grilling hours before kickoff. But, would it not be better if alcohol consumption were controlled by a venue? Instead of pounding beer after beer hoping to keep their buzz throughout the game, fans can go into the game knowing their favorite duo of beer and football is allowed. Students and alumni will be enticed to stay and have a drink with friends while cheering on their school. Ticket sales will increase and beer sales, overpriced or not, will bring in a tremendous amount of revenue. There is no benefit if fans drink outside the stadium and

do not go in. For the athletes and the school it shows total disrespect that fans rather sit in a parking lot and drink than support their team. Texas State has had a history of unappealing attendance by fans at home games. I have seen first hand, when working at Texas State football games, many students and alumni leave right when kickoff starts and tailgate ends. It is very disappointing to go into a home game and see half of the stadium empty. Last year, the Texas State football team was bowl eligible. However, based on poor fan attendance, student athletes’ dreams of playing in a bowl game were shut down. These college athletes deserve much more support than what our fans are giving them. So, it is time to start figuring out what will bring in the money and fans. Now, I am not saying we should go for the Hail Mary pass and put kegs in the concession stands next home game but a few short plays for yardage will do well. Texas State should follow suit of the other colleges that sell beer and test it out prior to selling at football games. Colleges like West Virginia, Texas Tech, and The University of Texas have all tested beer sales at college sporting events like baseball and basketball. Texas State can adopt a similar rule put in by SMU where a 21-orold student will get a wristband with three pull tags only allowing for three alcohol purchases. Non-students are allowed one beer purchase per ID per visit at the concession stand. The university decides whether or not their students can handle this responsibility and go from there. This is an issue that deserves some deep consideration. No doubt there must be long discussions and regulations put forth that must be approved by the presidential board, student affairs office and student leaders. However, this could be a solution that can build student morale. Let us prove that we are not just attendees of a “party school” but rather responsible young adults enhancing our school pride.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Texas State University doesn’t have a parking problem—it has a driving problem. Too many students who are completely capable of riding a bicycle to and from campus are choosing instead to drive. Not only does this lead to crowded lots and garages (reducing the number of parking spaces for people who do need to drive to school) and excess vehicular traffic in San Marcos, the increased demand for parking will only cause the cost of parking permits to rise. Bicycles are the simple and economical solution to Texas State’s driving problem. As more and more students choose to ride bikes, traffic and parking will become non-issues. More bikes leads to safer streets, less traffic and un-crowded buses, and decreases the cost of attending college. Matt Akins Alumni Co-founder, The Bike Cave

Dear Ms. Warren—I’d like to comment about one of the editorials concerning Sewell Park in your Sept. 3 issue of the Star. Perhaps Ms. Peek should have thought a little further about the subject before writing her column. She states that because her and students’ tuition pay for the use of Sewell Park, it entitles them to use it as a private place just for them. I beg your pardon, but she didn’t consider, and neither did Rivers Wright, that countless other alumni over the years, including I, my mother and father, aunt and grandparents, through OUR tuitions, paid for her and the students to have Sewell Park today. I was fortunate to grow up in San Marcos and swim at the park. I still live here and go there occasionally, although I don’t have any sort of alumni ID to get in if it were required. I imagine other alumni bring their families to see the river through Sewell Park during Homecoming, graduation and other events. It would be a shame to deny them entrance because they’re not “students and faculty.” After all, they paid for the privilege, too. I agree that this is an issue the university needs to address, and I’m glad that the two columnists brought up the subject. But I don’t know the answer to the possible security problems that have arisen and will probably come up in the future, but surely something can be worked out so that Ms. Peek won’t have to suffer with someone else “killing the vibe” for her. Thanks for allowing me to comment. I appreciate it. Paula T. Phillips Class of 1974

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The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

Editor-in-Chief............................................Lesley Warren, Managing Editor....................Odus Evbagharu, News Editor............................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Trends Editor.............................................Amanda Ross, Opinions Editor.....................................Imani McGarrell, Photo Editor........................................Madelynne Scales, Sports Editor......................................... Quixem Ramirez, Copy Desk Chief.................................Sam Hankins, Design Editor...........................................Lauren Huston,

Multimedia Editor............................Liann Shannon, Assistant News Editor........................Nicole Barrios, Account Executive..................................Stephanie Macke, Account Executive.................................Morgan Knowles, Account Executive.....................................Jamie Beckham, Media Specialist............................................ Chris Salazar, Advertising Coordinator..............................Kelsey Nuckolls, Publications Coordinator.......................................Linda Allen, Publications Director...........................Bob Bajackson,

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Tuesday, September 9, 2014. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Greek | The University Star | A7

New recruitment process aims to diversify By Mathew Zuniga NEWS REPORTER Fraternities are now undertaking a new, year-round 365 Recruitment process to promote increased diversity. The newly implemented recruitment process gives students rushing fraternities the chance to develop a better relationship with members and ultimately join, said Robert Dudolski, assistant Dean of Students. Diversity of recruitment and overall numbers will improve through the new system, he said. “We have a fairly large diversity population (outside the multicultural fraternities),” Dudolski said. “Texas State has all kinds of students, and

I think we reflect that with men of all races and different makeups and backgrounds. You don't have to be Hispanic or African American to join the multicultural fraternities, and the same goes with the other fraternities.” Latino and African American students join all kinds of fraternities, not just the multicultural ones, Dudolski said. “The names (of the fraternities) are really just historical and don't represent the diversity today,” Dudolski said. “There are no race requirements. It's all based on friendship and relationship building.” Fraternities do not deliberately try to diversify their membership, he said. “We hope the fraternities are look-

ing for men who put academics first, men who wish to further their leadership skills (and) involvement in the community,” Dudolski said. “Nothing is based upon race.” Brandon Royal, an African American, non-Greek nursing freshman, said he does not think fraternities are diverse. “For the most part, there are white frats and black frats,” Royal said. “I think most frats on campus are white frats, but I see blacks representing a good portion of the fraternity community.” Royal said he wants to join the fraternity his father was once a member of. “I would join a multicultural frat

because I don't think I would feel entirely comfortable with joining a predominately white frat,” Royal said. More students than ever are showing interest in joining fraternities, Dudolski said. “We have more men who have expressed interest in joining fraternities this fall than previous years, and the fraternities have expressed to us that they are meeting more men and they are excited about the men they are meeting,” Dudolski said. Dudolski said he believes 365 Recruitment creates a more open environment for men interested in joining a fraternity and gives students more access to fraternities. “They should be able to not feel like

there is any pressure of paying a fee or going through certain events to just not join in the end,” Dudolski said. “It's more of a friendship-level basis of them meeting men in fraternities to create that personal relationship.” Christian Luna, Hispanic finance freshman, said fraternities do not fit the stereotypes in most people’s minds. “For example, there are Latin-based fraternities that you will see black guys and white guys in,” Luna said. “They are very diverse. Most people view the classic frat as a group of stuck-up guys that have their parents pay for everything. In reality, it’s just a bunch of guys who want to get together and make something better of themselves.”

Tour of Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Zeta houses By Karen Munoz NEWS REPORTER Pi Kappa Alpha’s old house on Belvin Street is somewhat of a San Marcos legend. After the house burned down in 2007, the fraternity members had to find a new place to call home. After moving around, the fraternity has taken root on Hutchinson Street with a two-year lease. In addition to the main house where eight members reside, the fraternity has a second property for partying, called “the party house,” located behind the backyard parking lot.

“We’re lucky to have what we have,” said Joe Liska, PIKE brother. PIKE’s house is “like a big duplex” and features a living room, kitchen, granite countertops, “TVs all over the place,” study areas, futons and common areas, Liska said. After studying in the main house, members can let loose in the “party house” that is equipped with dance and bar rooms. The fraternity’s letters can be found in the bar room along with a space to play bar games, Liska said. About 14 members live on the property. “Nothing is better than living with 13 of your best friends,” Liska said. “There’s always someone in the

living room to hang out with, and they always want to do what you want to do.” In between class and partying, members can rinse off in a granite shower while watching TV, said Derrick Stavinoha, PIKE brother. The TV is located on the wall opposite the shower. One street over, members of Delta Zeta (DZ) sorority have a much different Greek housing experience. With one house, 20 DZ sisters come home to a chef, housekeeper and house mom. The house features a formal meeting room, a TV room, a “president’s room,” two kitchens, a dining room and eight bedrooms upstairs, said Marcia Williams, Delta

Zeta house mom. When walking through the Delta Zeta front door, members are sent back in time. Williams said the house was built in 1907, bought in 1981 and had an upstairs dormitory added to it in 1984. Members and national advisors have worked to keep “the essence” of the house alive and continue the DZ legacy, Williams said. The quaint feel of the house has not been disregarded when making renovations and adding modern features. The “president’s room” is located downstairs, and seniority determines who lives in the room, Williams said. The executive board is not required to live in the house.

“(Our oldest member) gets the privilege of the president’s room, and she has a private bath with her roommate,” Williams said. DZ sisters have access to the kitchen and can make their own meals, but a chef provides breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday. The housekeeper comes to the house Monday through Friday to clean the common areas, Williams said. A new batch of girls come in every fall and live in the eight upstairs bedrooms, she said. “They have a good time,” Williams said. “You know, you live with 20 girls, and a lot of them become friends for life.”



Texas State experiences record-breaking year for Greek registration By Mariah Simank NEWS REPORTER The LBJ Ballroom was crowded the evening of Sept. 3 with current and prospective sorority members, signaling continued growth for Texas State’s Greek community. Texas State has had a record-breaking year for sorority registration, with a projected fall semester membership of 530 students in 7 different chapters, said Lindsey Trione, coordinator for Greek Affairs and fraternity and sorority life. The increase in new members has been a challenge to keep up with at times, with chapter sizes growing considerably over the past two years, Trione said. “Our chapter sizes are well over 200 members at this point, whereas when I started two years ago, the chapters were at around 160,” Trione said. “Overseeing a community that’s growing that fast and trying to run an organization with that many new people is daunting, and it takes a lot of time, but there is a huge reward that comes with it.” The growth of the Greek community is directly related to the professional staff’s assistance in laying down a healthy sorority and fraternity community foundation for members to build upon, Trione said. In 2012, the president and vice president of Student Affairs arranged a reassessment of the Greek community at Texas State with the help of

the Coalition Assessment Project, an outside entity designed to suggest improvements to the Greek system, Trione said. These national representatives interviewed Greek students, faculty and staff and made recommendations on what the university needed to do in order to better support the Greek system, she said. The board’s biggest recommendation was to move Greek Affairs from the Student Involvement department to the Dean of Students office and hire a staff fully devoted to overseeing the Greek community, Trione said. “With that change, we have been developing leadership opportunities and working with the students to help them understand policies that have been in place for their national organizations for years that—just for some reason here—they either didn’t learn or they learned a long time ago and forgot,” Trione said. As a result of the changes, Trione said more students began taking interest in the recruitment process. “We’re helping get (sororities) back on track in order to fulfill the values that they’re supposed to be doing, which is a lot of leadership developments, service, academics, and I think a lot of people at Texas State are starting to notice that and actually want to join us,” Trione said. Texas State’s admissions trends are also a contributing factor for the increase in Greek recruitment, said Allie Bassine, vice president

of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council. “The increase in women wanting to join sororities has gone up a little bit every year, and this year we had the most there has ever been going through sorority formal recruitment,” Bassine said. “I think some of it has to do with the fact that Texas State has a larger freshman class coming in every year.” Some sorority leaders said they saw more upperclassmen and transfer students enroll this year than in years past. Sarah Sutton, public relations senior and Panhellenic president, said while the majority of girls rushing are usually freshmen, more non-freshmen also took part in the process this year. “I think we see older students because they get on campus and they think it might not be for them or that they want to balance out their school schedule and kind of figure out the college lifestyle before jumping into it,” Sutton said. “It isn’t rare for us to see upperclassman.” Sutton said she hopes to continue to see the program grow in the coming years. “Through my sorority, I have become more involved on campus and in the community, and I definitely don’t think I would have had that opportunity had I not joined and gained the support of my sisters, the Greek community and the Greek Affairs staff,” Sutton said. “I think that every experience is what you make of it, and I have definitely made the most out of mine.”

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and then decided to go into academia, so I went ahead and did my Ph.D., and I finished it this summer. When I was looking for positions, Texas State had an opening and quickly responded to set up an interview, so, long story short, now I’m here.

Stefanie Ramirez FASHION MERCHANDISING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR By Caitlin Rodriguez SENIOR TRENDS REPORTER New to San Marcos as of three weeks ago, Stefanie Ramirez is a fashion merchandising assistant professor at Texas State. An LSU graduate with a double-concentration Ph.D. in design and merchandising, she likes to bridge the business and creative sides of fashion. With her lively personality and brightly colored top to match, she sat down with The University Star and spoke about her teaching experience, love for fashion and how her designs ended up at New York Fashion Week. CR: What brought you to teach here at Texas State? SR: : I got hired. I went to school in Louisiana. I got my undergrad at Tulane University in New Orleans, and then Katrina happened and I wanted to go back, so I went back and ended up at LSU in Baton Rouge because they had a fashion program. So I got my master’s

CR: What was your previous teaching experience? SR: I’ve been a graduate student since 2008, so I’ve been a T.A. since then. It started out kind of slow, just aiding a professor, grading things, doing research, covering her class if she was ever absent. Then I went to being a Graduate Assistant who taught a small lab class of 17 people to then teaching a required course that had 92 people in it. It was a safe environment, though, so I was able to make mistakes and learn from them. Then in my last year at LSU, one of our longterm instructors retired, and I applied for the one-year position to replace her, so this last year before coming here, I actually had all the responsibilities that an instructor has. My class at Texas State is 150 students, so if I hadn’t had all the prior experience, I think things would be a lot more daunting. CR: Have you ever had trouble gaining students’ respect because you are so close in age to them? SR: As a graduate student, you live in this grey area because you’re not a quite a professor yet, and you’re their teacher, but at the same time you’re still in school. But at the same time, the students I taught at LSU were all

from the one design program we had, so they were familiar with me from the beginning. At Texas State it’s not that big of an issue because I have the title of doctor now, so that makes a significant difference. But I do tend to blend in with the students and get mistaken for being younger, possibly because I dress less traditionally. That’s where fashion merchandising plays a significant role, because I’m a little more colorful, which would normally be attributed to students. CR: So I heard that pieces of yours were featured on Project Runway? SR: I want to clarify. My work wasn’t necessarily on the show. An old student of mine, Anthony Ryan Auld, was on Project Runway and Project Runway All-Stars. During his time on Project Runway, he showed a collection in the New York Fashion Week show that Project Runway participants are featured in. At the time, my major professor knew that my best friend Ryan and I were starting to develop a jewelry line and mentioned to Anthony that if he needed to find shoes or accessories for the show he should contact me. He ended up commissioning Ryan and I, and then, next thing I know, our pieces end up on the runway at MercedesBenz Fashion Week. It’s so surreal to see something that you made end up at one of the biggest fashion events in the world, as well as, which, anybody in fashion or familiar with fashion knows that is huge. CR: Have you been making jewelry for a long time?

SR: I have been doing it since I was a child, but it was mainly something then I did because it kept my attention. I would mostly work with beads, and it was something creative that would keep me entertained and, frankly, out of my parents’ hair. Then, last Christmas, my major professor bought me something at LSU called a leisure course, which is a course that usually teaches something creative that’s available to the community for less than the normal price of tuition. She bought me one for a metalworking jewelry class, and that’s how I got back into it. CR: Can you describe to me the process of your jewelry making? SR: Most of my research is on sustainable fashion, and in his last year in graduate school, my best friend Ryan became really interested in eco-friendly jewelry, and he found this eco-friendly corn resin and asked if I wanted to get back into jewelry with him. At first we focused on going to estate sales and finding old jewelry, and then shedding it into a resin, and then putting into a square mold. I’m more of a statement necklace person, and Ryan always loved the fact that I always wore big pieces, so it was a great thing to collaborate on. I don’t talk about it much, but it’s cool when people ask. CR: Why don’t you like talking about it much? SR: I’m not the kind of person to talk about myself. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person.

Black and Latino Playwrights Conference returns to Texas State By Andrea Hurell TRENDS REPORTER First started in 2002, Texas State’s annual Black and Latino Playwrights Conference is more than a method of showcasing the talent of playwrights and actors of Black and Latino descent. It is also a learning experience for students and the public at large. Three staged readings will be featured this year: “Sweet,” written by Harrison David Rivers and directed by David Mendizábal; “Contribution,” written by Ted Shine and directed by Nadine Mozon; and “On The 5:31,” written by Mando Alvarado and directed by

Ruben Gonzalez, which will close out the weeklong schedule of events. While a majority of the performers and directors involved are Texas State students or faculty, the conference has never shied away from welcoming guest artists to perform in and direct the selected works. Past guests include Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino, and Melissa Maxwell, an awardwinning playwright. The reading of “On the 5:31” will feature guest artist Bernardo Cubria in the role of Benny Maldonado. Cubria’s past working relationship with playwright Mando Alvarado was one of the things that made him excited to be a part of

the conference. “We did a play in New York together a few years ago, and he is an amazing playwright and a wonderful actor—I would move to Alaska if he asked me to,” Cubria said with a laugh. As a performer of Latin descent, Cubria was not always certain about his future within theatre and the performing arts. “I was one of those kids that wrote and directed, and I would make my cousins put on a play at Christmas, but when it came to acting as a career, I was never made to think that it was something that a man does”, Cubria said. After rediscovering his love for


Monet's 'Impressionism' birth dated by Texas State's 'Celestial Sleuth' The Impressionist movement of the late 19th century takes its name from French artist Claude Monet’s moody, dreamlike painting Impression, Soleil Levant (Impression, Sunrise). Now, Texas State University astronomer and physics professor Donald Olson has applied his distinctive brand of celestial sleuthing to Monet’s masterpiece, uncovering new details about the painting’s origins and resolving some long-standing controversies over what the canvas depicts and when it was painted. Olson’s findings have been published by the Musée Marmottan Monet of Paris, France, in Monet’s Impression Sunrise: The Biography of a Painting, the catalog of the museum’s major Monet exhibition running Sept. 18, 2014 to Jan. 18, 2015. Based on Olson’s research, Monet most probably painted Impression, Soleil Levant from his hotel room in Le Havre, France, on Nov. 13, 1872, at 7:35 a.m. local mean time.

A room with a view “For several other Monet paintings from Le Havre, we can be certain that the artist depicted the topography of the port accurately,” Olson said. “Impression, Soleil Levant likewise appears to be an accurate representation of a sparkling glitter path extending across the waters of the harbor, beneath a solar disk seen through the mist accompanying a late fall or winter sunrise.” Monet dated his signature with a “72” on the painting, but some catalogs dismiss that number and date the painting to 1873, assuming that Monet had worked in Le Havre during the spring of

that year. The hazy nature of the image further confused the issue, with various sources disagreeing regarding the season of the year depicted and the direction of Monet’s view. Several influential art historians even insisted that the canvas depicted a sunset, not a sunrise. Monet himself helped to resolve some of the uncertainty in an interview from 1898: “I had submitted something done in Le Havre, from my window, the sun in the mist and a few masts of ships in the foreground… They asked me the title for the catalog; it could not really pass for a view of Le Havre, so I replied: ‘Put Impression.’ From that came ‘Impressionism,’ and the jokes proliferated.” Olson began his work by consulting 19th-century maps and collecting more than 400 vintage photographs of Le Havre. One especially clear and detailed photograph made it possible to identify the precise hotel room from which Monet worked. Olson confirmed the view from the room to the southeast matched that of the painting and subsequently calculated the sun’s position over the harbor: roughly 20 to 30 minutes after sunrise. To further narrow the possible dates, Olson then consulted the tides. Since the large sailing ships could only enter and exit the shallow outer harbor during a few hours near the time of high tide, he used computer algorithms to calculate the tides of that era. The result was 19 possible dates in late January and mid-November of 1872 and 1873 when the sun and tides corresponded with the painting.

What's the

weather like? Weather reports were the next clue in Olson’s detective work. “Meteorological observations allow us to reject some of the proposed dates because of the bad weather common on the Normandy coast during the late fall and winter months,” Olson explained. “Weather archives also can identify some dates when the sky conditions match the appearance in Impression, Soleil Levant.” Six dates remained after eliminating those with stormy, rainy or windy weather and heavy seas. To narrow the field even further, Olson examined the smoke columns rising over the harbor on the left side of the painting. The smoke appears to be blowing to the right, which would indicate a wind from the east. Two remaining dates record an east wind: Nov. 13, 1872, and Jan. 25, 1873. An essay by art historian Géraldine Lefebvre in the exhibition catalog gives reasons for preferring the year 1872—matching the original date “72” painted by Monet next to his signature on the canvas—and the combined analysis points to Nov. 13, 1872 as the definitive date when Monet created Impression, Soleil Levant. “It is pretty clear that Monet started from observations from his hotel window during this visit to Le Havre, but then he showed his artistic genius by expressing emotional content that goes beyond literal depictions,” Olson said. “Knowing the details of the harbor scene in this painting only increases our admiration of the artist’s skill in depicting this sunrise.” ­—Courtesy of University News Service

theatre during his college years, Cubria re-entered the performing world. Since then he has been in over 50 stage productions in New York City and is a member of InViolet Repertory Theater. When asked what made him want to be a part of the conference, Curbia said, “I love what the conference is and what it represents, and I am honored to be a part of it.” The conference will begin with rehearsals that are open to students and the public so they can observe each play being staged and see the creative process work. Among the staged readings, a tribute to Ted Shine is planned that is to be followed by a Q.A. as well as a show-

case of scenes from his various works. For a true learning experience ,every performance will be followed by a talk-back session with the performers and the director. Since growing from including one play to three, The Black and Latino Playwrights Conference has expanded exponentially in the past twelve years. The event begins on Monday, Sept. 8 and will continue through Sunday, Sept. 14. Tickets are available online as well as at the box office in the theatre building. Tickets for individual events as well as tickets for the entire conference may be purchased.


The Wittliff Collections—Alkek Library Seventh Floor Cost: Free

MARY ELLEN MARK—MAN AND BEAST | Photographs from Mexico and India 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

The Wittliff Collections—Alkek Library Seventh Floor Cost: Free

COMING TO LIGHT | New Acquisitions 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

The Wittliff Collections—Alkek Library Seventh Floor Cost: Free

CORMAC McCARTHY | Unveiling a Literary Legend 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

The Wittliff Collections—Alkek Library Seventh Floor Cost: FREE

Gallery Exhibition | Selections From The Studio Museum in Harlem's Bearden Project 9 A.M. – 10 P.M.

Joann Cole Mitte Art Building—The University Galleries I and II Cost: Free

B2 | The University Star | Greek | Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sororities make notable philanthropic efforts By Amanda Ross TRENDS EDITOR

patronized by Chi Omega chapters nationally.

Beyond their matching t-shirts, letters and booths on the Quad, Greek Life at Texas State has set a precedent for giving back and serving the community. Chapter members of the Texas State councils each sponsor a unique cause, dedicating their time and money to furthering the organization’s cause.

Delta Gamma Focused on protecting the gift of sight, members of Delta Gamma work year-round to give money, raise awareness and donate their time to Service for Sight. Texas State DGs host and participate in Anchor Splash, an interactive philanthropy event hosted by other Delta Gamma chapters across the country. The event not only raises money for their cause, but engages other chapters and organizations to participate and “do good”—Delta Gamma’s motto.

PanhellenicCouncil Alpha Delta Pi Recognized as the first utilizers of the term “sorority,” the members of Alpha Delta Pi, known as ADPi, focus their charitable time and efforts toward supporting the Ronald McDonald House, which aids children and families in need. ADPi women host a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, including a puppy fun run, and work directly with the local Ronald McDonald chapter to assist workers and see firsthand the difference their members make. Alpha Xi Delta According to the Center for Disease Control, one in 68 children falls on the Autism spectrum, making Alpha Xi Delta’s work with Autism Speaks something for which many people are grateful. In addition to participating in and assisting with the Austin-Round Rock area Walk for Autism Speaks, Alpha Xi members host several sport-themed fundraisers aimed at getting several student organizations involved with the charity. Chi Omega Patrons of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, members of Chi Omega help make the dreams of terminally ill children and their families come true through charitable contributions, compassion and the hard work of nearly 200 members. To assist with the charitable organization’s costs associated with granting wishes, Chi O runs an annual golf tournament with proceeds going directly to the program. Nationally, Make-A-Wish is one of the most prominent philanthropies,

It’s good medicine!

Delta Zeta Serving hearing organizations through their wildly popular Turtle Tug event, Delta Zeta simultaneously supports their philanthropy on a local and national level. A tugof-war event that brings together different sororities and fraternities on campus, Turtle Tug is actually hosted by Delta Zeta chapters across the country. In addition to bringing the groups together for a day of fun and Greek unity, the event raises both money and awareness for their cause. Gamma Phi Beta The newest sorority on Texas State’s campus, Gamma Phi Beta wasted no time making their philanthropic mark thanks to over a year of dedicated service to their national philanthropy, Building Strong Girls. Dedicated to supplying young girls with smart, successful mentors to foster a lifetime of accomplishment and development, Gamma Phi Beta chapters support their cause through individualized philanthropy events, known as Crescent Classics. Zeta Tau Alpha Dedicated to providing funds and research for breast cancer and families touched by the illness, Zeta Tau Alpha paints the campus pink every fall with their Pink Out football game, a favorite of many students. The pink cause went national thanks to a partnership with the NFL, raising millions of dollars for research.

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Bobcats 2-2 in Delta Zeta Classic By Derrick Holland SPORTS REPORTER @DHOLLAND23 The Texas State volleyball team finished the Delta Zeta Classic with a 2-2 record, with wins against Abilene Christian and UTSA. Kelsey Weynand, sophomore outside hitter, contributed 43 kills and 48.5 points, and Lauren Kirch, freshman middle blocker, contributed 43 kills and 50.5 points. Coach Karen Chisum said she is very impressed with how the team responded to adversity. “I like our team’s guts,” Chisum said. “The last two games we got down by seven points, and we fought back. This team is not going to quit. That’s what I like about them. They have guts.” The Bobcats lost the first game of the tournament against the Wichita State Shockers in five sets. Texas State won the second and third sets but lost the fifth set 15-9. Chisum said the team must play in sync in order to win close matches. “We don’t have one big, dominating player,” Chisum said. “We’ve got to have a full rotation and focus on ball control and play as a strong defensive team. The more we focus on defense, the more games we’ll win this year.” The Bobcats lost the first set in each loss in the tournament. Weynand knows that the team must get off to a good start in order to have a chance to win against quality opponents. “Starting stronger is something we definitely need to work on,” Weynand said. “We can’t give teams the ability to get ahead on us and get five and seven points up on us right away. We need to start off strong and not give them that lead at the beginning because we are only finishing two or three points behind, so if we didn’t give the opponent that head start, we would be much better off.” Texas State defeated the UTSA Roadrun-

ners in the second game of the tournament. The Bobcats recorded 59 kills and won the fourth set by two points. Jordan Moore, sophomore setter, recorded a team-high 41 assists along with one kill and one service ace. “We knew that we wanted to win, and we were determined not to lose to UTSA,” Moore said. “We just pushed through at the end and got the win. Our mentality is that we don’t give up. We don’t ever give up. We really showed that tonight, and we never backed down. At first we started a little slow, but then we picked it up. I’m really proud of our team.” Chisum also recognizes the importance of the I-35 rivalry with UTSA. “We talk about the fact that if there is one team on our schedule who we want to beat, it’s UTSA,” Chisum said. “You don’t really have to pump the players up for this game because they are ready to play.” The Bobcats defeated the Abilene Christian Wildcats in three sets in the third game of the tournament. The Wildcats were winless entering the match, but Chisum said winless teams are not always easy to play. “It was a tough game because we let it be,” Chisum said. “Sometimes it’s hard to play a team that is looking for their first win. We played down to their level, but they were scrappy. Give them credit. They didn’t quit, and they’re going to win some ball games pretty quick.” Texas State lost its last game of the tournament to North Texas by a total of six points in three sets. Chisum says the Delta Zeta Classic has given the team things to work on in practice. “We are going to work a lot on our defense, blocking and our setting,” Chisum said. “We’ve still got a long way to go, but I can say that since our first practice we have come a long way. I’m proud of our team. They are gutsy. They are going to stay in and fight every game.” Texas State’s next game is Sept. 9 against Prairie View A&M.


Texas State to host Prarie View A&M Tuesday at Strahan


By Derrick Holland SPORTS REPORTER @DHOLLAND23 The Texas State volleyball team hosts the Prairie View A&M Panthers Tuesday. The Bobcats are 6-0 all-time against the Panthers and have yet to lose a set against the team in a series that dates back to 1985. Coach Karen Chisum knows that the Panthers can play above the team’s current record. “Prairie View A&M is an opponent that can surprise some people,” Chisum said. “They have very good athletes. They don’t have great volleyball skills, but if we commit a lot of errors they are a team that can get on a roll and cause some problems.” The Bobcats are coming off of a tournament in which they lost two matches by narrow margins. Texas State lost to

Wichita State in five sets and dropped the match against North Texas by a combined six points. Chisum said Prairie View A&M is not a stereotypical volleyball team and the Bobcats must play their own style if they want to get a win. “The Panthers may not be the traditional pass, set and hit team, but you have to be ready for anything,” Chisum said. “My concern is always, ‘Let’s play our style, let’s play our fast volleyball.’ I’m more concerned about what we do on our side than what they do.” After the Delta Zeta Classic, Chisum stressed defense and blocking in practices leading up to the game against the Panthers. The Bobcats’ emphasis on defense allows the team to become more consistent at the net. “We really did great today in practice while working on defense,” Chisum said. “We really focused on digging the hard-driven ball. Today was mostly a defensive practice, and we look for that to show in the game.” Brooke Smith, junior middle blocker, finished the game against North Texas with 10 kills and 10.5 points. Smith’s goal against Prairie View A&M is to continue build upon her previous numbers. “My goal going into the North Texas match was to get 10 kills, and I did that,” Smith said. “My next goal is to get 15 kills. I want to keep setting personal goals for myself and meet those goals. Hopefully achieving those goals can bring a positive aura to the team.” Chisum knows this could possibly be a trap game for the team and the Bobcats must remain disciplined to avoid playing down to the Panthers’ level. “We need to stay disciplined if we want to win,” Chisum said. “I want good ball control and a minimal amount of errors. If we can do those things, it will make it much easier on our team.”

Go fetch!

MADELYNNE SCALES PHOTO EDITOR Texas State volleyball celebrates its four-set victory Sept. 5 against UTSA.


Team continues win streak against Lamar


By Devin Tyler SPORTS REPORTER @DEVINNOONECARES The Texas State soccer team extended its winning streak to four games with a 3-0 shutout against Lamar University. The Bobcats are 4-0-1 through five games for the first time in Coach Kat Conner’s 16-year tenure with Texas State. Kassi Hormuth, freshman forward, put the Bobcats ahead with a goal in the 13th minute. Hormuth has scored three goals in five games this season. “Coming into the game we were just focused on getting another win,” Hormuth said. “It feels awesome to be off to this start.” Landry Lowe, junior midfielder, scored her first goal of the season, assisted by Rachel Grout, freshman midfielder, in the 43rd minute. Lynsey Curry, junior forward, added three shots with two on the goal in the first half along with Lowe and Hormuth’s two shots heading into the second half. “We want to be thinking about the game faster than just reacting,” Conner said. Lauren Prater, sophomore forward, scored the goal that sealed the 3-0 shutout in the 81st minute. Ali Jones, sophomore defender, assisted Prater’s first goal of the season. The Bobcats carried their momentum into the second half. Caitlynn Rinehart, junior goalkeeper, posted five saves with

four in the second half. Rinehart has only allowed one goal this season. Along with her assist, Grout had two shots in 58 minutes. Brooke Ramsey, freshman midfielder, recorded three shots in 46 minutes while teammate Tori Hale, senior forward, attempted two shots. “Being on the road, I know it can be hard to keep our mental focus, so I just wanted to make sure we played a physical and mental game,” Conner said. “I thought we came out playing physically, but we played one pass ahead. At the half, I challenged the team to play two passes ahead instead, and they did.” “Right now I have 27 talented players,” Conner said. “I can go that far into my bench, and they get it. I have a vision, and they bring it to life every time they step on the field. This team is hardworking, committed and dedicated to being number one.” The Bobcats’ next game will be at home Sept. 12 against TCU. Hale is two assists away from having the most in program history. She is tied with Hormuth for a team-leading three goals after recording zero last year. Hale, originally recruited by TCU before transferring to Texas State, will play against her former school for the first time in her career. “I know Tori has probably circled that match on her calendar, and she is going to be ready to rock and roll,” Conner said. “I hope she has the game of her life.



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Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Sports | The University Star | B5


Ben Ijah

senior wide receiver By Sabrina Flores SPORTS REPORTER @SABRINAFLORESTX When Ben Ijah, senior wide receiver, is asked about the source of his inspiration, he quickly names Earl Simmons, his grandfather. Simmons, a Brooklyn native, was born in the 1930s, when Jim Crow laws were alive and well. Aside from being a veteran of three wars, he overcame the odds when he earned a doctorate from Howard University and became a practicing plastic surgeon. Simmons, a New York Golden Glove winner, passed the athletic gene to his grandsons. Ijah and his younger brother, Solomon, both received full athletic scholarships. Simmons passed away six years ago, but his inspiration and memory are still strong with Ijah. Ijah has a tattoo on his chest with his grandfather’s initials, ‘EMS.’ Ijah started playing football

around age five with the fellow neighborhood kids in his hometown of San Diego, California. Ijah’s parents, Mekiel Ijah and Elissa Simmons, expected him to attend college but could not afford it. Ijah was forced to work hard on the field and in the classroom. Before coming to Texas State, Ijah attended Southwestern College, a community school in Chula Vista, California, where he realized the importance of hard work and maintaining a strong work ethic. “I’m here all day, every day, for the most part,” Ijah said. “If I’m not in class or asleep, I’m pretty much at the stadium watching film.” Ijah was a starting wide receiver and punt returner for Southwestern College. He recorded 26 catches for 212 yards during his time there. Ijah began his career at Texas State in 2011 prior to the new stadium renovations. “When you run out on the field, it’s something special,” Ijah said. “It’s so much more than high school


or junior college.” Texas State allowed Ijah to experience life outside of California. Ijah left his parents and three younger siblings behind in California and made the journey to be a wide receiver for the Bobcats. Ijah had a setback when he underwent shoulder surgery, but he did not let that stop him from making the extra effort to regain his strength and get back on the field. After recovery Ijah was listed as a member of the 100 percent club during spring workouts. The 100 percent club is a way of recognizing players who have perfect attendance and work hard during spring practices. The dedication Ijah has to football has cost him time with his family. Ijah has not been home since January 2014 and will not be able to go until January 2015. Fortunately, Ijah has developed a family-like atmosphere here at Texas State and what he described as a “brotherhood” with his teammates

6’ 3” 36 Ben Ijah’s height

and coaches. Ijah’s devotion to the game was noticed by his teammates when they elected him to the Leadership Council. Being in a leadership role is nothing new to Ijah, as he was also a team captain for his Murietta Valley High School football team. In 2013, Ijah had 16 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown. His 51-yard reception on 4th and 24-play set up a game-winning field goal against South Alabama. In this year’s season opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Ijah added three receptions for 20 yards in the 65-0 victory. When asked about life beyond Division I football, Ijah mentions playing football for his hometown NFL team, the San Diego Chargers. “I will play for whoever picks me up,” Ijah said. “Coming out of San Diego, that would be a dream come true, to have the family able to come out to the games.”

359 receiving yards 9.97 yards per reception receptions


Jafus Gaines

junior wide receiver


By Mariah Medina SPORTS REPORTER @MARIAHMEDINAAA Vacations are for people who want to get away, but Jafus Gaines, junior wide receiver, just wanted to come back. Gaines worked tirelessly to return to the field after incurring back-to-back injuries last year. His goals finally came about when he finished his first game as a starting wide receiver with 119 yards, two touchdowns and 29.8 yards per reception in Texas State’s 65-0 victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. His feat, however, was not possible without trekking the road to recovery. “I knew sooner or later it was going to be my time,” Gaines said. “I knew for a fact that this couldn’t last forever. Nothing lasts forever.” Having spent most of his time conditioning, observing and teaching the back-up wide receiver his routes, Gaines says his experience did not stifle his on field progress. “This is what helped me become a better person,” Gaines said. “Basically, it made me love football more because I was on the sideline and I wasn’t playing. I was watching everybody else. It actually helped me learn the playbook better because I was telling other people and helping other people do what they needed to do to get better.” Preparing his back-up for success was a role Gaines took without hesi-

tation. Gaines constantly stresses the importance of team over “self.” Gaines’ brother, freshman wide receiver Demun Mercer, believes he and others have learned from his brother’s selflessness. “Honestly, Jafus is the most humble guy you’ll ever meet,” Mercer said. “He’s quiet. He gets the job done. He’s always leading someone, making sure they know what they’re doing—sometimes even before he knows what he’s doing himself.” Gaines worked on strengthening himself with every opportunity he had. Blake Cundiff, strength and conditioning coach, worked with Gaines throughout his injury rehabilitation. Gaines stretched three times per day: before practice, prior to warm ups and then with the team to prevent re-injury. Cundiff uses bands and harnesses to simulate resistance scenarios, helping athletes to build up strength in their bodies. He says Gaines is a prime example of recovery. “Jafus’ big deal is that he’s had more than one injury that he’s dealt with, but he knows that the process works,” Cundiff said. “He’s probably one of the guys that is easiest to work with when it comes to something like this because he has experience in it and he has the will and the want to be back on the field, so he’s got that going for him as he faces this kind of stuff.” Cundiff works with injured athletes to bring their baseline strength to a level that will allow them to re-

turn to peak physical performance. Cundiff believes athletes’ physical conditioning prior to the injury determines recovery time. He credits Gaines’ physical condition for his quick recovery. “I thought I was going to be out for the entire season, but because of the rehab I did with coach Cundiff, I came back in half of the time,” Gaines said. “I came back three games after conference.” Entering the game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Gaines feared he wouldn’t match his previous athletic capabilities. “The hardest part was sitting on the sideline watching, wondering if I would come back the same,” Gaines said. “That’s always in the mind of athletes when they get hurt.” While Gaines is relieved to return to the field, he credits his team for his positive mentality. His family and his friends provided positive thoughts and encouraged him endlessly, but his family on the field kept him motivated. He’s playing with a greater appreciation of the game than before. “It’s always about the team,” Gaines said. “With football, it’s not a one-man show. You can be the best athlete, but if the line decides they don’t want to block for you, you’re not gonna get those yards. If the quarterback decides he doesn’t want to throw to you, you’re not going to score your touchdowns, so it’s always the team first and me second.”

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B6 | The University Star | Sports | Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Michelle Bucy senior defender



From the moment Michelle Bucy, senior defender, stepped foot on campus during her junior year in high school, she knew that Texas State was her future. She competed in gymnastics, softball, basketball and soccer in high school. The aggressiveness and pace of soccer established her passion for the game. “I love the game and the competition,” Bucy said. “I love getting tackles and being aggressive. In basketball I always fouled out, gymnastics wasn’t for me and softball was not my pace. I just feel I found my calling in soccer.” Bucy’s father, Christopher, noticed when his daughter was young that she ran away from the ball instead of going towards it. “My dad told me I would run away from the ball, not even run near it, so I guess at first I didn’t quite understand it,” Bucy said. “Then, eventually, it just clicked.” Years later, Bucy made the transition from playing recreational soccer to club soccer leagues. While Bucy played for FC Dallas 93, Bruno Ferretti, former Brazilian national soccer player, pushed her to hone her soccer skills.

“Bruno coached me during my developmental stages and was very encouraging,” Bucy said. “He told me I could go far and do better. He placed me on higher-level teams and helped get me onto FC Dallas, which eventually led me to Texas State.” When scouting Bucy, Coach Kat Conner noticed her defensive timing. Bucy could step in front of an opponent, take the ball and make a tackle without being called for a foul. “She has great tenacity and is always driven and determined,” Conner said. “As a defender she just has unreal timing. That is something you can’t teach. It is just innate skill. That’s why I had to have her on the team.” When Bucy is not practicing or playing soccer with her teammates, she is busy hitting the books as a pre-med student majoring in biology. Along with her passion for soccer, she has a love of science and English that was sparked by her biology teacher at McKinney High School during her freshman year. “My biology teacher, Mrs. Haid, was a fantastic teacher,” Bucy said. “Her teachings really brought me so much interest in biology. She was my biggest influence in choosing biology because I love science and English.” Aside from soccer and school, Bucy enjoys participating in charity donations and reading. Fiction is Bucy’s preferred book genre because

she enjoys the journey of the reading. “I like to read fantasy books,” Bucy said. “I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I like fantasy books because they allow your mind to take a journey from reality.” During Bucy’s freshman season, she started 18 games as defender, helping the team to allow only four goals during conference play. Her performance earned her a spot on the All-Southland Conference Second Team. She missed eight consecutive games as a junior due to a concussion in Texas State’s 2-1 victory against Sam Houston. With 10 incoming freshman added to the roster and after adapting to Conner’s new formation this season, Bucy feels the team has came together as unit on and off the field. “When we have it together, it is amazing,” Bucy said. “Our new class of freshman has so much talent. Everyone works hard, has a great work ethic, plus everyone’s willing to put in that extra effort to make it work.” Coach Conner believes Bucy can be a pivotal leader for the team and help the new members this season. “Bucy really gives her heart and soul to her teammates as an unbelievable leader,” Conner said. “Our offense hasn’t been doing what we need it to do. We are still progressing. We are off to a great start, and they are starting to see the bigger picture.”

The soccer team’s 4-0-1 record is the best start through five games in Coach Kat Conner’s 16-year tenure with Texas State.

Navy has rushed for 857 yards in two games, the most yards in Division I football. The Midshipmen are averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.

The volleyball team has allowed 418 kills in eight games, with a 22.6 opponents hitting percentage, the third-highest in the Sun Belt Conference.



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Sept 9 2014  
Sept 9 2014