VOLUME 103, ISSUE 10
SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
VIDEO | UniversityStar.com
SPORTS | Page 6
Stage Combat: The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a class that teaches believable fight sequences for plays and films while maintaining safety.
Volleyball Preview: Texas State will travel to Tulsa to compete in its third tournament of the season at the Golden Hurricane Classic.
Bobcat Village route to add student center stop
Star file photo
Overcrowding at the Speck Street Parking Garage and lot has caused Transportation Services officials to add a new bus route stop.
By Megan Carthel News Reporter
A stop at the LBJ Student Center will be added to Bobcat Village Route no. 12 Sept. 16 because of excessive traffic in the Speck Street Parking Garage. Bus route 12 runs from Bobcat Village to the Quad Bus Loop. Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, hopes adding the new stop will ease traffic in the Speck Street Parking Garage and lot. Nusbaum said she hopes students with classes on the west side of campus will be willing to park in the Mill Street Lot with the addition of the stop.
There are 974 perimeter parking spaces available in the Mill Street Lot, but Nusbaum said only about 200 are currently being used. “We believe (the Mill Street Lot) a really good solution for commuter students,” Nusbaum said. The addition of the LBJ Student Center stop will push back the frequency of buses from about every six minutes to every seven or eight. Nusbaum said the Speck Street Parking Garage and lot filled up around 10 a.m. last year. This year, however, the parking garage and lot have been filling up around 7:30 a.m. each morning.
See BUS, Page 2
Kathryn Parker | Staff photographer Naomi Narvaiz places a carnation in a flower memorial at San Marcos City Hall during a ceremony in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Ceremony honors 9/11 victims, families By Weldon McKenzie News Reporter
an Marcos officials and community members gathered in front of City Hall Wednesday for a memorial honoring those whose lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks. The service, titled “Never Forgetting Means Never Forgetting” began at 8:45 a.m., 12 years to the minute after the first
hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York. Several events during the ceremony marked the remembrance of the heroes and victims of the attacks, including a proclamation and moment of silence from Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the subsequent tolling of the historic fire bell. City Manager Jim Nuse opened the ceremony with a welcome speech and reflected on his personal connection to the tragedy.
“I had a friend who was in the World Trade Center (at the time of the attack),” Nuse said. “But through the seven degrees of separation, we all in some way know someone who has been personally touched by the attack.” In his speech, Guerrero briefly chronicled the past memorial services held at City Hall and noted the importance of the event. “Some memorials (in the past)
See 9/11, Page 2
Officials review alleged conflict of interest By James Carniero
Assistant News Editor
Carter Morris, Planning and Zoning vice chair, was issued a conflict of interest warning Wednesday evening for violating several statutes of a government ethics ordinance. The San Marcos Ethics Review Commission issued charged Morris in a five to two vote after Forrest Fulkerson, a chemist and San Marcos resident, brought the charges against Morris. Fulkerson said Morris met with City Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, at Café on the Square while the city council was deciding whether to approve a large development near Sessom Creek. Morris represented Darren Casey, the developer of the project in question, as a real estate agent at the time,
Reynaldo Leaños | Staff photographer
Reynaldo Leaños | Staff photographer
Carter Morris, Planning and Zoning vice chair, was charged with a conflict of interest and brought before the Ethics Review Commision Sept. 11 at San Marcos City Hall.
Fulkerson said. Fulkerson said Morris broke the law by discussing the development with Thomaides because city ethics regulations state persons with interest in government decisions cannot talk about projects with city officials. Fulkerson said there was something inherently questionable about Morris since he is a Planning and Zoning commissioner and also a realtor in the community. Fulkerson read from the ethics code during Morris’ hearing and pointed out what he thought were Morris’ infractions in the regulations. This began a discussion about Morris’ knowledge of ethics law, and whether he knowingly or unknowingly broke the code. Morris’ legal representative, Peter Kennedy, objected when Fulkerson brought an additional complaint concerning emails sent to the rest of the Planning and Zoning commissioners about the Casey project. “This sounds like an opportunity to take cheap shots at Morris that he hasn’t had a chance to respond
to,” Kennedy said. Fulkerson said “the lines of official and private citizen get blurred” when someone holds a position on a commission and has a private job relating to that board. Kennedy said Morris had recused himself from any conflicts of interest by removing himself from discussions the Planning and Zoning Commission held on the Casey project. Kennedy said the meeting at Café on the Square was “undisputed,” but since Morris was speaking to Thomaides as a private citizen and not a commissioner he was not violating any ethics ordinances on grounds of the code not being broad enough to categorize the situation as a violation. “There is no evidence that Morris performed any official action to make himself benefit economically,” Kennedy said. Fulkerson said Morris could “have breakfast with anyone (he) wants,” but not when that person is serving on the city council.
See MORRIS, Page 2
Grants, financial aid to be prorated based on attendance By Taylor Tompkins News Editor
Students who receive certain grants will lose portions of their federal financial aid if they do not attend classes on census day at the beginning of each semester. Chris Murr, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said Pell, TEACH and Iraq and Afghanistan Service grant recipients can lose portions of their funding for not attending the 12th day of class as part of an effort to enforce federal financial aid policies. Murr said in an effort to comply with federal rules,
students who are registered but did not attend their classes on census day will have their grants prorated depending on the number of hours they are present in classes on that same day. “If a student is registered for 12 hours and we paid them a full Pell Grant based on that full-time enrollment, but really the documentation through the census data roster shows the student is only enrolled for six hours, then we have to prorate the Pell Grant accordingly,” Murr said. “Essentially (we would be) taking back half of those funds and send(ing) it back to the
Department of Education.” Murr said the university is trying to be ahead of the curve to ensure officials do not audit the institution because financial aid issues arise. There are no long-term repercussions of absenteeism, and it is merely a semester by semester prorate, Murr said. “The federal government has stated that it’s not sufficient to make those awards based on a student’s registered hours,” Murr said. “We have to be able to demonstrate that a student is actually attending those courses, meaning they step foot in the classroom and are actually there and therefore are eligible to receive those grant funds under federal regulations.” Dede Gonzales, associate director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said about 11,000 students are receiving the financial awards affected by the federal regu-
lations. Gonzales said according to preliminary numbers “a couple hundred students a semester” will have their grants reduced after the census numbers are recorded. Murr said an email was sent notifying eligible students of the change. Students had to sign the terms and conditions of their loan containing the stipulation. He said Financial Aid and Scholarships administration met with chairs and faculty in each of the colleges to explain and encourage instructors to help make students aware of the federal policy. Murr said a solid communication plan for students can help dramatically shrink the amount that will have their financial aid prorated over time. Murr said using the census numbers to determine which students are present in class was chosen because there was no blanket way to
record class attendance. Joseph Meyer, director of Institutional Research, said instructors record census numbers digitally and the registrar’s office receives a list with data. Gonzales said her department will run a query against the registrar’s data once the census numbers are in to determine who has these grants and any affected courses. Murr said this policy ensures the students who are engaged in coursework are the ones receiving tax-payer dollars. “It’s something we have to do to make sure that we don’t put in jeopardy over $300 million we receive every year for students through our office for financial aid purposes,” Murr said. “It’s really just to help protect the students who are receiving financial aid, not only this year but in future years.”
2 | The University Star | News | Thursday September 12, 2013
ON THIS DAY
9/11, continued from front we were standing here in coats and gloves and hats,” Guerrero said. “But what is important to remember about each one of those experiences is that we stood here, took time and remembered.” Following his speech, Guerrero officially proclaimed Sept. 11 as “Remembrance Day” in San Marcos to remind the community of the tragedy and resilience of American dedication to liberty and justice. “Whereas these vicious attacks claimed the lives of some 3,000 innocent people, America has responded with a commitment to protect our freedom,” Guerrero said. Jana Green, administrative coordinator for the San Marcos Fire Department, read from the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report to recap the succession of events from that day. Green said the document was important because it kept Americans from repeating errors of history. Firefighters from the SMFD raised the American flag that was flown on the day of the attacks at
half-mast before a crowd of saluting officers and community members. “It was an honor to have raised the flag on this day,” said firefighter Danny Martinez. “It’s important to not only remember the innocent victims, but also to remember those who gave their lives to help others.” The ceremony came to a close with the ringing of the commemorative fire bell placed in front of City Hall. Len Nored, assistant fire chief for the SMFD, said Sept. 11 marks an important addition to existing American ideals—the motto “never forget.” “(Never forget) reminds us as American citizens to remain ever-vigilant against any other attacks that may occur as well as to continue honoring those who lost their lives that day,” Nored said. After the service, memorial goers were invited to place an additional flower on a floral mural reading “9/11” to pay their respects. “The sacrifices made and the
1609 English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name.
1880 Journalist and critic H.L. Mencken was born in Baltimore. 1938 In a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.
1943 German paratroopers rescued former Italian dictator
Kathryn Parker | Staff photographer Mayor Daniel Guerrero addresses the crowd outside San Marcos City Hall Sept. 11.
Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he was being held prisoner by his own government.
1944 U.S. Army troops entered Germany for the first time
lives lost following that tragedy stand as a reminder that freedom doesn’t come free,” Guerrero said.
during World War II, near Trier.
1953 Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Newport, R.I.
1954 “Lassie” made its TV debut on CBS.
MORRIS, continued from front The commission members held differing views on the case. The two dissenting votes in the warning motion were from commissioners Pam Gravis and John McGlothlin. McGlothlin said Morris “acted boldly,” knowing what the ordi-
nance was but had not knowingly broken any laws. Commissioner Toby Hooper said Morris should have known the “bounds and limits” of the code. “I believe the complaint is legitimate, and Fulkerson brought facts
1959 “Bonanza” premiered on NBC.
to us,” Hooper said. Commission Chair Kathleen Dial said a “minor infraction” had occurred, and made a motion that an official letter of notification be sent to Morris as a warning.
1977 South African black student leader Stephen Biko died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.
2000 Dutch lawmakers gave same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.
2002 President George W. Bush told the United Nations to
BUS, continued from front Nusbaum credits the heavier traffic to the higher parking permit prices and a larger amount of 8 a.m. classes. Residential permits were recently raised to $485, but students living on campus had the choice to buy perimeter permits instead. There are nearly 500 residential parking spots that are currently unused, Nusbaum said. Transportation Services officials have sold 10,251 perimeter permits to date this semester
compared to 2,331 residential permits. Nusbaum said 12,273 perimeter permits and 2,932 residential permits were sold last year by Oct. 18, 2012. Nusbaum expects to sell “quite a few more” perimeter permits within the next month. She said students who park in the Speck lot or garage are more than likely attending a class in the Supple Science Building, the Health Professions Building, Family and Consumer Sciences
confront the “grave and gathering danger” of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or stand aside as the United States acted.
Building, the two Mitte buildings or McCoy Hall. Between those six buildings, there are around 3,300 classroom seats for students. “It didn’t make sense not to use a stop we already have that’s closer to the classrooms,” Nusbaum said. She said peak times from 9 to 10 a.m. can be extremely crowded on bus route 12, especially since Speck is one of the only perimeter lots on west campus.
2003 Country musician Johnny Cash died at age 71. 2008 A commuter train engineer ran a red light while text messaging on his cell phone and struck a freight train head-on in Los Angeles, killing himself and 24 other people. —Courtesy of the New York Times
WILD ART Ernesto Wallace, communication studies sophomore, hones his boxing skills Sept. 11 at the Student Recreation Center.
John Casares | Staff photographer
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The University Star | Thursday September 12, 2013 | 3
Home decor on a college budget By Mark Rodriguez Special to the Star
For many students, finally getting a room of their own is one of the most exciting aspects of college life. Though free of parental input, students off- and on-campus face the challenge of decorating their new digs in a way that is mindful of both money and space. There are many ways for students to maximize space without spending any money, said Diana Cruz, assistant community director for Townwood apartments.
students have a variety of inexpensive options including Craigslist, thrift stores and yard sales. Cruz said Townwood offers furniture for sale at a discounted rate available to residents of any complex, a practice several apartments have adopted. San Marcos residents have the added advantage of the outlet mall located just miles from campus. The mall features stores like Pottery Barn, Kirklands and Williams-Sonoma, all boasting brand-name housewares and furniture at discounted prices.
“Blacks and reds can make you feel worried or fearful. Bright yellow, blues and greens—these can help set a good mood for those long nights of studying.” —Taylor Deppisch, communication design senior Lofting beds, both in a dorm and an apartment, instantly opens up extra floor space and creates room for desks, dressers and minifridges, Cruz said. There are several options for the money-minded student to make a new dorm or empty apartment truly feel like home. Taylor Deppisch, communication design senior, said she loves do-it-yourself projects because they are inexpensive and give a sense of accomplishment when completed. “I repainted my desk from home and turned it into a vanity,” Deppisch said. “I mounted a circular mirror above the desk to create a little stool, and it was cute.” Deppisch said she recommends students shop at Target if they are not artistically inclined. “I also like vintage and thrift stores because they have pieces you wouldn’t typically find in most department and general stores,” she said. For unfurnished apartments,
Deppisch said something as simple as changing the color of a room’s walls can completely alter the appearance of the dwelling and the student’s mood. “Blacks and reds can make you feel worried or fearful,” Deppisch said. “Bright yellow, blues and greens—these can help set a good mood for those long nights of studying.” Deppisch said her own room is yellow with a splash of turquoise to brighten her mood and lift her spirits. While most students relish the idea of leaving their childhood homes, some see the convenience and comforts of staying with their parents. Abigail Rogers, interior design freshman, said she decided to stay at home to avoid the expensive cost of residence halls and save her family some money. “Staying home is great because I get to be closer to my family and friends,” Rogers said. “I want to save money to buy a new car for school next year.”
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4 | The University Star | Thursday September 12, 2013
THE MAIN POINT
Docking financial aid based on attendance makes for unfair policy
Lara Shine | Star illustrator
he implementation of a new policy regulating financial aid based on attendance is illogical and could result in unfair reductions to student grant money. According to a Sept. 12 University Star article, Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and TEACH Grant recipients who do not attend classes they are enrolled in and receiving aid for may have their grants docked accordingly. If students are recorded as “absent” in a course on the 12th class day, they will now be assumed to have not attended class at all, and will have aid partially withdrawn. Chris Murr, director of Financial Aid and Scholarship, said this is not a new regulation, but one the university will now follow in an effort to comply with federal rules. While it is commendable the uni-
versity is now following federal rules—and somewhat concerning that they weren’t being followed in the first place—this regulation is unreasonable. The problem is the new policy only monitors attendance one day out of an entire semester. Students aware of the policy can easily mark their calendars and set plans to attend the one class day that matters, completely circumventing the policy’s point. Conversely, if grant-receiving students have no choice but to miss the 12th day because of injury or illness, it could result in unfair deductions or at the very least create unnecessary struggles for those attempting to explain their absence. If federal officials want to regulate aid disbursement based on attendance, the least they could do is dock aid based on class attendance policies over the course of an entire semester instead of the arbi-
trary method currently in place. As long as students stay within course guidelines for attendance, their aid should not be reduced. However, good attendance is not a guarantee students will do well in a class. Students may be more likely to do well in a class if they have attended a few lectures, but not necessarily. Many core-level classes are basically common sense and require no more than a small degree of life experience and intellect to pass. Because some students are able to do well in a class without attending, aid should not be dependent upon just showing up. Instead, federal agencies and officials should consider a policy where aid is conditional upon the grade a student earns. If students fail their classes, then aid is docked—simple as that. Many of the students who receive these grants depend upon them to continue
attending college. The aid they receive should therefore not be cut without good reason. As long as students are passing classes in a timely fashion, they are moving towards a degree. Attendance record is irrelevant. There are dozens of other ways federal aid can be more effectively regulated. The implementation of a policy based around attendance is inane and unfair, and should be reconsidered in order to create a more logical and efficient system to monitor aid money. 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.
My tuition, my choice
Just go to class
It is not the job of university professors and administrators to monitor students with attendance policies as if they are precocious toddlers. Students are more than capable of making their own decisions on whether to attend classes or not. Threats of reducing financial aid, grades or other consequences in response to poor attendance are ridiculous and unnecessary. The choice to not attend class will likely result in failure for many students, and if it does not—more power to them. Beside the fact many classes can be passed without a single day of attendance, a large percentage of students pay for their own tuition. Students pay for classes, and they deserve to choose how they use that money. If they want to attend class and make sure they secure a good grade, that is their decision. If they want to never attend class and therefore heighten their odds of failure, that is also their decision. The only thing students’ grades should be dependent upon is their performance. If they write awesome essays, turn in all their work, do stellar on their tests—that is all that matters. Furthermore, financial aid reduction should only be a consequence in cases of class failure. As long as the student is making progress on their degree, why does it matter how often they showed up to class? Professor, departmental and governmentalissued consequences for poor attendance are absurd. Professors and administrators should focus on what matters when it comes to academics—achievement.
Attendance policies are a necessary evil to keep students on track. Underclassmen are already rampant enough with irresponsibility. Without the extra incentive attendance policies offer, students are more apt to skip out on the classes they already paid for, resulting in a massive waste of time and money. A common reason given for blowing off classes is the course is easy and does not require attending a lecture to pass. If it is so easy, however, then students should just go to the scheduled meeting time. Students often need not study as long as they go to class. Time spent in the classroom can be seen as studying time with a professional tutor. Simply showing up for a lecture can free up time outside of class, enabling students to have fun instead of cramming for missed material. The decision to cut funding to grant-receiving students with low attendance is a wise one. College education is expensive, and money should not be wasted on those who cannot do something as simple as show up for class. Financial aid is extended in good faith. There is enough room for students to make mistakes in college without adding the possibility of throwing away borrowed or gifted money by failing classes. For every student granted financial awards, another is denied. If a recipient of thousands of dollars of financial aid cannot commit to attending their classes, those funds should be revoked and transferred to somebody who actually cares. College is challenging and expensive. For some it is a full-time job, and for others it may be a trifle. Either way, educational funds are a scarce resource in Texas at the moment. Attendance policies help students get their priorities straight. Without these policies, the likelihood of students failing classes or lowering their GPA would rise, as would the potential for wasted aid money.
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6 | The University Star | Thursday September 12, 2013
Golden Hurricane Classic next for Texas State By Bert Santibanez Sports Reporter @BertSantibanez
The Texas State volleyball team will travel to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in its third tournament for the season at the Golden Hurricane Classic. The Bobcats will face three opponents during the classic, with the first challenge coming from Northern Colorado. The Bears are currently 4-3 in the season, losing three out of four previous games. Northern Colorado ranks second to last in the Big Sky Conference in team hitting percentage, averaging .149 despite the Bears ranking first in digs in the conference. Senior middle-blocker Ashlee Hilbun discussed some of the necessary improvements the team must make moving forward into the season, preparing for upcoming matchups. “We definitely have to work on finishing matches,” Hilbun said. “We start sets strong but also let our opponent creep back in the game. We have to both start and finish strong. Also, working on taking care of the ball in critical times is important for us. Other than that, I think we’ve been playing well.” Texas State ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference in opponent hitting percentage, holding competitors to an average of .121. The Bobcats placed second in serving aces reaching 1.61 per game. Hilbun leads the team with 12 aces on the season. Senior middle-blocker Molly Ahrens is second in blocks in the conference, averaging 1.32 per game. Ahrens adds 39 blocking assists for the season. During the loss against North Texas, Ahrens recorded six blocking assists, which accounted for her second highest number in a single game this year. “One of the biggest things we’re going to continue to work on is serving,” said senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff. “The two teams that were able to beat us this season really took us out with serving. To compete with the top two teams in our conference, we’re really going to have to put more emphasis on serving.” The next opponent Texas State will battle after Northern Colorado is tournament host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes are 6-2 on the year and are coming off a loss to Kanas State. Tulsa ranks third in Conference USA in assists, with 412 on the season.
classifieds Star file photo
Texas State volleyball will hit the road to play in the Golden Hurricane Classic in Tulsa, Okla. The Bobcats will play in three games against Northern Colorado, Tulsa and Arkansas. Junior setter Bailey Clampitt leads the team in assists, with an average of 6.81 per game. The final opponent the Bobcats will encounter is Arkansas. The Razorbacks come into the tournament with a 4-2 record, beating Kansas in their previous match. Junior outsidehitter Meredith Hays leads the team in kills totaling 99 on the season. In Arkansas’ previous two games against Kansas, Hays recorded a combined
44 kills. Hays had 22 kills in both games against the Jayhawks, which is a season-high for the year. “It’s going to be a tough stretch of matches coming up,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “Both Northern Colorado and Tulsa have both beaten Baylor in three sets, and Arkansas is no slouch. We’re going to be (facing) three really good teams. This will be by far the toughest weekend the team has had all year.”
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