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Defending the First Amendment since 1911

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013


SPORTS | Page 6

In the Moment: Daniel Aguilar and Miraida GutierrezColon are creating an improv club at Texas State in hopes of providing a fun and creative outlet for students.

Soccer breaks even: The Texas State soccer team snapped a three-game winless streak Friday by beating Sam Houston State.


Officials move forward with box initiative despite financial loss By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter

Chris Motz | Staff photographer Ling Shenghua, deputy director general of the Xishuangbanna Education Bureau, shakes hands with Washington García, assistant director of the School of Music, after signing a memorandum of agreement Sept. 13 at Flowers Hall.

Chartwells officials have seen a loss in profits since selling reusable takeout containers in lieu of offering Styrofoam containers at Jones Dining Hall as part of a move to be more environmentally friendly. Jones’ Eco To-Go Box was introduced last spring. If a student chooses not to purchase one of the reusable take-out boxes, they must use a Styrofoam tray that does not close if they want to take food from the dining hall to-go. Abel Valencia, Chartwells marketing manager, said officials purchase the containers at $4.62 plus tax, which totals more than the onetime $5 fee students pay for the box. Additionally, Valencia said a lack of advertisement led to low sales for

Exchange program negotiated with Chinese city By Weldon McKenzie News Reporter


tudying at Texas State will now be an option for some Chinese students after administrators and government delegates from the city of Xishuangbanna exacted plans for a student and faculty exchange program Friday. Following a discussion, representatives from Texas State and delegates from the city of Xishuangbanna signed a memorandum of agreement, a document that states an academic partnership between the school and the foreign city. Rosario Davis, learning specialist for the Intensive English Program, said through the signing of

the memorandum of agreement, high school graduates in Xishuangbanna are permitted to participate in programs at Texas State including the Intensive English Program and the School of Music. She said the academic requirements for exchange would be identical to standard requirements. “Texas State is equipped with many programs designed to provide a nice transition for students to ensure academic and social success,” Davis said. Washington García, assistant director of the School of Music and co-coordinator of the exchange program, said the relationship sparked when he accompanied a Chinese delegation from Austin on a trip in April. García said in his position as cultural ambassador of the delegation, he traveled to several

cities and performed concerts. “(In Xishuangbanna), I had the opportunity to meet with the governor of the city,” García said. “In our meeting, there was a mutual interest in a possible exchange program, and I’m happy to see that coming to fruition.” Tang Jiahua, vice governor of Xishuangbanna, said through a translator that Texas State’s proximity to its sister city, Austin, played a significant role in choosing the school for an exchange program. “Austin is very rich in culture and music,” Jiahua said. “Our students can learn much from Texas.” García said Texas State officials recently hosted a visit for students in Xishuangbanna, and they have already extended an offer for some to study in San Marcos.

“They must’ve gone back with a good review,” García said. “Shortly after (the students visited) we arranged a visit from the government of Xishuangbanna to sign the memorandum of understanding.” Debbie Thorne, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, said the entire university is looking forward to hosting exchange students from Xishuangbanna in programs across the university in the future. “We are all very excited about a fruitful partnership (with Xishuangbanna),” Thorne said. García said exchange student programs will start as soon as possible. He is planning to return to the Chinese city in December to meet with students and conduct auditions to find candidates for the programs.

Reynaldo Leaños | Staff photographer the boxes. He said 1,440 of the ecofriendly containers have been sold since their introduction. Chin-Hong Chua, Chartwells resident district manager, said in addition to the profit loss on each container, Jones officials must stock at least two clean boxes for every one sold. This is because the boxes are cleaned on site upon their return. Chua said Chartwells decided to move forward with the project despite the financial loss because the containers are eco-friendly. Valencia said the eco-friendly containers are manufactured by G.E.T. Enterprises. According to the G.E.T. Enterprises website, the containers

See JONES, Page 2


Chartered status means permanent funding for Veterans Alliance By Nicole Barrios News Reporter

John Casares | Staff photographer A roundabout scheduled to begin construction next year is drawing controversy from local businesses and homeowners in the area near San Antonio Street and Hunter Road.


Roundabout plan receives mixed community feedback By Kristen Smith News Reporter

City officials anticipate a roundabout proposed to begin construction next year will ease traffic, but some local business and homeowners are worried about the effects of the addition. A roundabout near San Antonio Street and Hunter Road is expected to break ground March 2014, according to the project proposal on the city’s website. The project will add a left turn lane in the cen-

ter of the two-way Hunter Road from Wonder World Drive to Bishop Street, according to the proposal. Dixon Street will be moved to align with San Antonio Street and the roundabout will be built where the streets intersect with Hunter Road, also known as FM 2439. Construction on the roundabout is projected to be complete by September 2014, according to the project’s webpage. “That intersection, the way


The Veterans Alliance at Texas State (VATS) is now a chartered student organization at the university with secured office space and permanent funding. Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs, said VATS was officially chartered last spring and is now under the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. “(Being chartered is) really a higher level of responsibility for the organization,” Smith said. “But also, a chartered organization means that the organization becomes a function of an office at the university.” There are few chartered student organizations at Texas State, Smith said. The university has more than 350 organizations, but currently there are only 17 chartered student organizations, according to the Campus Activities and Student Organizations website. “The granting of chartered status represents a partnership between the university and the chartered organization’s executive body,” said Corey Benson, the organization’s advisor. “The student organization becomes

Chris Motz | Staff photographer Alejandro Jaramillo, general studies junior, Jordan Diedrich, undeclared freshman, and Austin Walker, agriculture business and management freshman, talk about the benefits of the Veterans Alliance at Texas State. chartered when the group and a university department—and it can be an academic department or a department in student affairs— share similar missions and goals, and the two agree to work together to achieve those goals.” Smith said becoming a chartered student organization is the highest level an organization can achieve. “Our main goal here is to help students, to retain our veterans

and help them graduate,” Smith said. “That’s always the bottom line.” Miles Nelson, president of VATS, served in the Marines before coming to Texas State. Nelson said the alliance has access to “an actual budget from the university” now that the organization is chartered, which will help the group accomplish its set goals.

See VETERANS, Page 2



2 | The University Star | News | Tuesday September 17, 2013

JONES, continued from front are made of Polypropylene, are 100 percent BPA-free and are certified by NSF International, which develops standards and tests food, water and consumer products. “We might not see the reward right away, but in the long term it is a good thing to have,” Chua said. “Sometimes we do things not necessarily for profit.” Valencia said the eco-friendly containers are a part of Chartwells’ sustainability program. Vanessa Cortez, Associated Student Government president, said she was approached with the idea of reusable take-out containers by a Texas State student, who found a similar program, eco2go, on the University of Texas website. Cortez said she thought it was a great idea and brought it to Valencia. “We as students use Styrofoam a lot, and it is very hard to recycle,” Cortez said. “We want to reduce the amount we use, and this is a really good way to reduce it.” Cortez says she encourages students to buy the containers. “Hopefully we will see a lot more students using them this year,” Cortez said. Noelle Brooks, art education senior, said she uses the eco-friendly container on her daily visits to Jones because, even though she

recycles, she feels it is not enough. “This helps me reduce my use of plates,” Brooks said. “I can use it over and over.” Brooks said she wishes more people would use the containers and were more aware of the program. “I saw another person using it the other day for the first time, and I thought, ‘I’m not the only one,’” Brooks said. Brandon O’Hara, management freshman, said he was not aware of Jones’ Eco To-Go Box. O’Hara said he uses the Styrofoam take-out trays and has never seen anyone use the ecofriendly containers. Valencia said he would “love” for Chartwells to expand the program across campus, calling the reusable boxes sturdier, easier to use and more environmentally friendly than its Styrofoam counterparts. Chua said Chartwells must look at the viability of expanding the program. He said it would not be possible at places like The Den because of “operational challenges.” Valencia said using the eco-friendly containers at places like Harris and Commons dining halls would not make sense. “If you want to look at other locations, we need to see if it’s feasible or convenient for students,” Chua said.

ROUNDABOUT, continued from front it is right now, is very dangerous,” said Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1. “It’s not working. And so I think the idea of the roundabout came along as the city’s engineers and planning staff looked at different solutions for that intersection.” Porterfield said the roundabout will be a “traffic calmer.” She said it will help with congestion near Hunter Road and improve mobility for cars and pedestrians alike. However, local business owner Bill Taylor, owner of Bill’s Trading Place, said the intersection will be an obstacle.Taylor said he is concerned the roundabout will create traffic on Hopkins Street, backing cars up from the roundabout to Wonder World and on the northern side of the intersection. “I think we’re going to see a lot of back-ups,” Taylor said. “They talk about a roundabout as being a ‘traffic calming’ solution. My problem with that is we don’t really need ‘traffic calming’ when we have a road that’s getting 1,300 cars a day. What we need to do is expedite those cars through the center section, not slow them down.” One of the biggest disputes concerning the roundabout’s construction stems from a local family and their land. In a Sept. 4 University Star article, land owner Catalina Lara said her family originally agreed to let the city use some of their land for an intersection. They were surprised to learn the city was going to be

using 10,380-square-feet of their land for the roundabout, according to the same article. The additional land required to build a roundabout instead of a four-way intersection will demolish historic pecan trees that are about 150 years old, according to the article. Porterfield said a new tree will be planted for every one removed from the site “It’s not the same as having a 100-year-old tree, but you’re replacing it,” Porterfield said. “The deal is that the trees would be affected whether it was a roundabout or not.” Lara’s family has decided they do not want to sell the land where the trees are rooted to the city, but councilmembers could decide to acquire it under eminent domain. Porterfield said eminent domain, the ability to take private property for public use while paying market price, would only be used because the project is for the good of the community. “We are hoping to come to some kind of resolution,” Lara said. “If we don’t have to sell, we don’t want to.” The construction of the roundabout will include a new bridge to help with future flooding of the road. It will provide a path beneath it for pedestrians to safely cross, according to the plans. The city will negotiate a settlement with the landowners, and they will be paid market value for the land, Porterfield said.


Proposed rail line plans move forward with environmental, engineering impact studies By Juliette Moak News Reporter

The possibility of a commuter rail connecting the AustinSan Antonio corridor is one step closer to becoming a reality after federal approval was granted to conduct preliminary engineering and environmental impact studies. The project, known as the Lone Star Rail (LSTAR), received funding from the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the state for required impact studies in the region where the rail will be constructed. Lone Star Rail District board member and City Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said the impact studies are the final step to gaining federal approval for the project and potentially procuring federal funds. “The fact that we got funding from Capital Area Metropolitan Planning and the State of Texas to do the impact studies is very significant in determining that (the rail) is real,” Porterfield said. The LSTAR would extend 118 miles from Georgetown to south San Antonio, and run up to 32 trains a day with stops in Round Rock, Austin, Kyle, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Schertz and San Antonio, according to LSTAR’s proposed station guide. The rail is expected to run parallel to Interstate Highway 35 on the tracks currently owned by Union Pacific to transport freight trains through the region, said Alison Schulze, senior planner for Lone Star Rail District. The majority of the Union Pacific trains are proposed to be rerouted east of IH35, she said. Local trains are expected to operate on the same tracks on a schedule that will allow LSTAR to complete its stops, Schulze said. Porterfield said advantages

VETERANS, continued from front Benson said VATS receives eran. However, they typically only $1,000, and veteran programs have count those who have signed up a shared budget of about $2,500 on the TRACS site as members. through the Underrepresented Nelson said there are currently Student Advisory Council 265 members on TRACS with (USAC). He said the student or- about 50 to 75 members active on ganization did not have a “line a regular basis. item” in the USAC budget and Every fall semester VATS hosts had to apply for funds before the a Veterans Day 5K fundraising alliance was chartered. event for charity, Nelson said. Benson said VATS now has a VATS have also been working “veterans resource room” located closely with the local on the fourth floor of the LBJ Veterans of Foreign Student Center that will serve as Wars post and the a lounge and study room for stu- Wounded Warrior dent veterans. Benson said the Project. Nelson said space will serve as the office for each spring the orgathe alliance. nization holds a golf The office was previously a tournament and hosts storage space and is in the pro- veteran graduation recess of being renovated before a ceptions. grand opening of the room in the Nelson said this coming weeks, Benson said. year the organiza“(The Veterans Alliance is) tion is planning a here to help service members “Warrior Olympics” with their transition into and and hosting a movie then eventually through college,” series. Nelson said. “The idea is to help them be successful Bobcats and to make the most out of their college years.” Nelson said helping the transition includes “continuing the sense of camaraderie” they had in the service and helping them become aware of available resources. Gallery Sales Position Available Students qualify as members of the alliance if they Send Résumés to have served at least 180 days of active duty and are 512-393-3316 honorably discharged from the military, or are currently serving their honorable contract as a reservist or in the National Guard, GAMES Nelson said. There are “no FOOD& fees, no dues, no mandatory anything” to be a part of the PRIZES alliance, Nelson said. Visit the URL below for event details Nelson said by the VATS and register to play Capture the Flag. constitution, membership is automatically granted LBJ Student Center Ballroom to any student, faculty or OCTOBER 8, 2013 10 a.m.-3 p.m. staff member who is a vet-


of the rail include reduced congestion on IH35 and a relatively brief 75-minute commute between Austin and San Antonio. Porterfield said there is a great deal of support for the project within the San Marcos community. “San Marcos has been involved from the beginning,” Porterfield said. “The location of the university and geography of San Marcos were both major factors in deciding to add stops here.” University President Denise Trauth said Texas State administrators have been engaged in conversations with the Lone Star Rail District for about 10 years and are happy the project is nearing completion. “Without a doubt, the rail will have multiple impacts, all of which I see as being positive,” Trauth said. “What will probably occur is that the rail stop will be within walking distance to the university. It will give more options to students and will bring predictability to their commutes.” City officials purchased approximately 2 acres of land from Union Pacific last month, which is the proposed site for the downtown station, Porterfield said. She said councilmembers intend to use it as one of the city’s LSTAR stops, though there has been no official vote on the usage of the land. There are plans to add a second station near the San Marcos outlet mall, she said. Officials in each city with a station on the rail line will be responsible for the maintenance and operation costs of their respective stops, according to the proposal by Lone Star Rail District. San Marcos officials are considering a funding plan being looked at by Austin and Kyle representatives, which would create “taxing districts.” These districts are proposed to collect revenue from the increased

property value of areas within a quarter- to half-mile radius of the stations, Porterfield said. “In theory, the rail would attract developers, who would want to cash in on the traffic from the station,” Porterfield said. “The taxes from the rise in property value would go into a fund used to pay for maintenance and operation expenses, rather than going to the city fund. They are also considering a paid park-and-ride lot to help fund the station.” San Marcos officials could have approximately $1 to 1.5 million annually in maintenance and operations expenses under current proposals for the LSTAR, Porterfield said. City councilmembers have approved a resolution to draft a local funding agreement by the end of the year, according to city records. Lone Star Rail District officials will be seeking private investors and federal funds for capital expenses, the amount of which are still being determined, Schulze said. The possibility of private funding for the LSTAR is contingent upon the completion of the studies, she said. “There has been a lot of interest from local as well as international investors,” Schulze said. “People are beating down the door.” The projected completion time for the impact studies is three years, although the date is not set in stone, Schulze said. Once they have been finalized, construction is allowed to begin, a process which is estimated to take three more years, Schulze said. “We have to go through a very prescribed process with the federal government, so the exact date of completion is out of our control,” Schulze said. “Our best guess right now is that LSTAR will become available in 2019.”

The University Star | Tuesday September 17, 2013 | 3



Staying informed of current events worthwhile for young adults

Alex Pernice Opinions Columnist Mass communication junior

t is imperative students make themselves aware Iignorant of global issues instead of remaining blissfully of important international affairs.

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Pet ownership requires responsibility


cross the country, millions of cats and dogs sit in cages waiting for someone to adopt them and give them a home—however, only a portion of these animals will ever get one. The rest will be euthanized. While the idea of adopting an animal as a college student is exciting, Bobcats should think long and hard before deciding to become pet parents. A pet can eat up a lot of time and money, two things college students are notorious for being short on. Adopting a pet is a commitment that lasts for the rest of the animal’s life, not just for the next four years. All too often, animals are adopted for the novelty, with owners only later realizing the cost, time and responsibility that comes along with being a caregiver for a living creature. If a student does make the decision to become a pet owner, adopting from an animal shelter should always be the first option. Many shelters give away spayed and neutered animals for free, saving the adopter veterinary and recovery fees. To some, purebred pets are the only option, but breeders can be costly and sometimes harmful. Depending on the demand for the breed, a purebred dog can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Purebred animals are also predisposed to a variety of health problems specific to their breed. According to the Humane Society of the United States website, Labrador Retrievers, consistently ranked as one of the most popular breeds, potentially face up to 50 different inherited health problems. The demand for “pure” animals leads breeders to dramatically increase animal turnout. What might have been a relatively small window for inbreeding and health problems expands as the animals are forced to give birth at a rate much greater than the recommended one litter per year.

However, if a student truly has his or her heart set on a specific breed, the Humane Society estimates that around 25 percent of relinquished animals are full or mostly purebred. It is estimated by the Humane Society that nearly 3 to 4 million animals at shelters are put to death because of facility overcrowding. Aside from increasing adoption rates, euthanasia numbers can be brought down by animal owners making the responsible choice to spay or neuter their pets. Unfixed animals always run the risk of impregnating another pet or becoming pregnant themselves. The owner is then faced with the responsibility of finding homes for the litter. Often, babies are simply abandoned at a shelter, increasing the impoundment quota even more. It is a misconception that spaying or neutering an animal will change its personality. While it is true some animals may become slightly more docile, it is rarely noticeable. Most cities sponsor low-cost altering options, most of which include vaccinations and GPS microchip insertion. Too many pets are abandoned and left without a home because students refuse to take responsibility for their animal’s life. Students should take time to consider if they are fiscally secure and responsible enough to take on an animal. When the time for pet ownership does come, always consider saving a life through shelter adoption.

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.

Staying informed is extremely important, especially for students within the typical college age range. Many young adults unfortunately do not realize staying informed is important for a variety of reasons. Reading the news is not something only parents or older folks do—this is something every person, regardless of age, is responsible for. It is not difficult to keep yourself in the know with all of the technology available today. With Internet, television and radio access so widespread, there is no excuse for students to be ignorant of world issues. News is not only extremely accessible, but it is also everywhere. Just walking down the street, you are bombarded by information you did not even actively seek out. Staying informed can be as simple as peeking into a newsstand and skimming over the day’s headlines or watching the local news on a restaurant television. As college students, it is easy to stay informed. Universities are bustling hubs of information. The campus library for example is a great place to gather information, whether by computer, newspaper or through other sources the school provides. The Texas State campus is positively littered with computer labs where students can relax and browse through the news online. One of the best tools on a university campus can be an enthusiastic professor who enjoys staying up-to-date with current events. Even other students can be a valuable resource. Many students on campus are news fiends and would be more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Furthermore, there are many political clubs on campus that pride themselves on knowing the news and debating its relevance. Joining one of these clubs can be a great way to not only keep yourself accountable for gathering your own knowledge, but challenging it and helping it grow. Despite all of this, universities are ample sources for misinformation. This is where a commitment to keeping oneself on top of the news comes into play. By regularly reading the news, students can gain an upper hand in raking through questionable sources. Skepticism is healthy, especially when it comes to news and the opinions of others. Students should not blindly trust everything said, written or broadcasted—even if it comes from the mouth of a professor. Everything comes with bias attached, and only informed students have the tools to effectively recognize this. All in all, staying informed not only keeps a person up-to-date on the world, but it helps them stay studious and mentally active. Take that iPad outside, and go read the newspaper. Major information sources like CNN and Fox News have applications for iPhones and Androids so viewers can keep their issues on the go, and there is a website for every news outlet imaginable. Students have no excuse to remain uninformed. Reading the news keeps student minds sharp and gives them a critical lens with which to examine what they are learning in class. Students should find topics in the news that interest them and stay on top of them, whether through university or outside outlets.


Venues need more musical diversity on The Square ars and clubs on The Square should B cater to a wider variety of musical tastes and styles.

The Square on a Friday night does not offer much diversity in the way of music. Most bars rely on screeching pop, airy dance tracks and bumpin’ bass to get Ashley Trumps their patrons Opinions Columnist hot-blooded Mass communication senior and purchasing more drinks. Admittedly, a few exceptions to this rule do exist. Black Rabbit Saloon, for instance, opts to play grungy 90s throwbacks. Generally, however, weekends on The Square cater mainly to drunken 20-somethings who prefer to jump up

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and down rather than actually groove. Many students long for a hangout that accommodates different musical tastes in San Marcos—myself included. San Marcos bars and clubs currently focus mainly on Top 40 material, barely scraping the surface of the diverse tastes present in town. While heel-wearing, fake-tanned babes and their polo-sporting boy-toys deserve a place that satisfies their tastes, not every bar on The Square should blare vapid dubstep remixes of MTV music. Country, dance, dubstep, mainstream rap and hip-hop are the default styles in San Marcos. Live, local music is available through shows at tiny bars such as Triple Crown, but could definitely benefit from more aggressive exposure to interested college students. Very little diverse music exists in San Marcos outside of these established spheres, and it is high time this is changed. San Marcos needs a venue that focuses on golden-age hip-hop and its roots while showcasing the talents of

Editor in Chief................................................Caitlin Clark, Managing Editor..........................Liza Winkler, News Editor............................................Taylor Tompkins, Trends Editor...............................Amanda Ross, Opinions Editor..................................Savannah Wingo, Photo Editor.......................................Austin Humphreys, Sports Editor.......................................Odus Evbagharu, Copy Desk Chief................................Lesley Warren, Video Editor...................................Alex Peña,

local DJs and rap and hip-hop artists. It needs a lounge for salsa, jazz, blues and world music. It needs clubs and bars with relaxed, low-key atmospheres that offer “grown-folk” music. There should be places where students and residents can meet with friends and have a drink without having to shout over shrieking drunks. A few of the latter do exist, but the primary style is country music, and grizzly old boozers are not the only people who would enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Admittedly, San Marcos is too small right now to sustain a different club for every genre of music. If more local venues would consider hosting nights or weekends devoted to different styles, however, it could make a big difference. There is definitely a market for more specialized music venues within San Marcos, especially ones that tailor to several different genres. Clubbers can go just about anywhere to dance to Skrillex. Those who desire a different experience will feel more attached to a place that

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caters to their craving. A solid, reliable client base could be easily built and sustained for spots offering a unique variety of music. The Coffee Pot was the one place on The Square that offered a good study atmosphere while playing music inside for anyone to hear when it was open. It was exactly what I wanted. Since nowhere else offered that kind of atmosphere, I was more loyal to The Coffee Pot than any other business in town. I bought a drink there nearly every time I passed by, even if I was not particularly thirsty. That is the kind of loyalty businesses stand to potentially garner if they offer something unique to San Marcos residents. Texas State students love to party, but there is more than one way to throw down. Business owners on The Square should offer partiers a chance to relax and groove rather than just stomp around until they pass out.

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 17, 2013. 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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4 | The University Star | Tuesday September 17, 2013



Peer group promotes campus wellness, violence prevention By Ernest Macias Trends Reporter

Julie Eckert, assistant director of the Student Health Center, encountered a peer program at a conference more than 10 years ago that focused on a specific issue she had never seen addressed in such a way before at Texas State. Even though violent incidents were not a huge problem, Eckert knew it existed among Texas State students. Violence prevention peer groups were available before 1997 but were not specifically aimed at the university’s male population.

male and female relationships in an equitable manner, to resolve conflicts effectively, to develop meaningful friendships with other men and appropriately manage anger and fear,” according to the same mission statement. Membership is open to all students. Although it is a male-oriented organization, women are welcome. Eckert said the female perspective is needed in the lessons the group teaches. “I joined because I always had it in me to do something, but I didn’t know how to,” said Sean Quinones, MAV vice president. “In MAV, I finally found my opportunity to do something.”

and psychological violence.” The affiliates offer several campus activities throughout the year aimed toward violence prevention and campus wellness. Some of the activities include sexual assault awareness month, petitions, poetry slams, DeStress Fest, Safer Spring Break and campus-wide speakers. “Men Against Violence continues to be an important part of my life,” said Christopher Sean Watson, former national MAV president and co-founder. “While in the organization, I switched my major from education and have spent the last 12 years working to end

“I joined because I always had it in me to do something, but I didn’t know how to.” —Sean Quinones, MAV vice president

In 1997, Eckert put a team together to bring Men Against Violence (MAV) to campus. “The idea behind targeting men is that women have traditionally done violence prevention this entire time,” Eckert said. “Men haven’t had much of an active voice or role. In fact, men will probably be more effective with other men.” The purpose of the group is to “break the link which exists between traditional norms—the ways men and women are taught to behave—and violence,” according to the MAV mission statement on the Texas State website. MAV seeks to challenge “young men to redefine

MAV officers are currently recruiting new members, looking for a tagline and rebranding the whole organization. The organization’s affiliates use four presentations to educate MAV members and peers. Each is unique in its message and targets a violence-related theme consisting of sexual assault, alcohol intervention, hate crime prevention and intimate partner violence prevention. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered scenarios are also included. “I think that promoting the idea of redefining gender roles is innovative and progressive,” said Valerie GonzalezVega, public relations senior. “Norm(al) gender roles are totally linked to verbal

A member of the Mojave and Pima Native American tribes of the southwest, award-winning poet Natalie Diaz expresses the struggles and successes of her culture through her work. Diaz spoke about her writings Sept. 12 at the Wittliff Collections in Alkek Library.

domestic and sexual violence.” Breaking the links that associate men with cultural norms of masculinity is one of the organization’s goals. These norms include being strong, unemotional, being the “breadwinner” and being sexually promiscuous are possible links to violence against each other and toward women, to the MAV website. “I believe it’s really important to redefine masculinity and femininity in our time,” Quinones said. “We are a more tolerant generation. I feel we are the generation that can make a change. What we do is spread awareness, and we like to shed light on the fact that stereotypes are not reality.”

Reynaldo Leaños | Staff photographer Xavier Reveles, social work junior and president of Men Against Violence, conducts a meeting to plan for upcoming events.

By Abel Melghem

Special to the Star

Natalie Diaz Native American Poet

AM: What inspired you to write poetry? ND: I grew up with four brothers and sisters in my house. Growing up, my family always told stories about the world around us, and for me that started my interest in poetry. After I hurt my knee playing basketball, I started to focus more on my writing and that eventually led me to becoming a poet.

Photo courtesy of Copper County Press

ND: Not for me it wasn’t. I was lucky because the people who knew me when I played basketball also knew me as a writer. My fans on the court became the fans of my writing. Eventually I got my poems published in a journal and a distinguished poet asked to see my work. I compiled them into a collection, and he helped me get it published. The process, however, did involve a lot of writing, so it was hard work.

AM: As a poet, was it difficult to find someone to sponsor your work?

AM: How would you describe your poems to someone who has never read them? ND: Majestic and surreal. Hill Country MHDD Centers They sometimes explore the darker experiences of CSA III / In New Braunfels life on the reservation, but Must have HS diploma/GED; be able to work flexible hours. with some humor and lightExperience working with individuals diagnosed with developmental heartedness mixed in. The disabilities. Experience providing residential services. Available to imagery sort of takes you work weekends and evenings. $9.02/hr. back to what it was like for Paid Medical, excellent benefits, vacation, sick, retirement, etc. a family like ours growing up in not-so-great condiCSA III / In New Braunfels – 3 PRN Openings Must have HS diploma/GED; work 16 – 18 hours a week. Experience tions.

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AM: Would you say your heritage is reflected in your poems? ND: I would say it is reflected in not just my poems, but in everything I do. My family is always inspiring me and where I come from, my background and such, influences me to write about what it was like. I would say that my heritage is the main reason I write poetry. AM: Have you ever considered writing novels or short stories, or are you content with writing poetry? ND: I actually have written short stories that have been published along with my collections. Writing novels is something I don’t think I could do though. AM: What advice would you give college and high school students who want to become poets? ND: Reading is the most important thing a young poet can do because it gives them the opportunity to explore the world around them, so read often. Also, write down everything that comes to mind on a typical day that might inspire you to write a poem about. Everyday life is filled with opportunities of inspiration. Reading and writing are two of the easiest things any young poet should do.

The University Star | Tuesday September 17, 2013 | 5



Bobcat runners show improvement in Rice Invitational By Josh Zigrang Sports Reporter @JoshZigrang

The Texas State men’s and women’s cross-country teams showed improvements from last year’s performance, despite having members on the bench at the Rice Invitational Friday. “We are definitely better,” Coach Bryan Jackson said. “It’s just how much better (are we going to be) at the end of the year.” Senior distance runner Michelle Jones finished with a time of 15:59 in her 4-kilometer run Friday, just over a minute slower than her personal best of 14:48 finishing 27th out of 132 runners. Jones, in her final year of cross-country with the Bobcats, has tried to instill confidence amongst her team. “(The other runners) are better than they think they are,” Jones said. “If they have a bad workout or a bad race, it is not

the end of the world.” Freshman Keila Rodriguez finished 31st with a time of 16:03. Junior Kelly Trevino placed with a time of 16:25, and freshman Gabriela Ortegon clocked in at 16:46. The two finished within 21 seconds of each other, placing 48th and 60th. “I thought (Ortegon) did a great job,” Jackson said. “She had a rough middle part of the race, but she busted something out to have a great finish.” Junior Briana Sharp and sophomore Haley Pilcher did not race Friday. Jackson replaced the two veteran runners with sophomore Chelsea Thompson and freshman Destilynn Lindberg, who finished 89th and 110th, respectively. “I probably had two of my top six (women’s runners) on the bench for ankle issues,” Jackson said. “We had to sit out (Sharp) and (Pilcher), but they will be healthy and fine come conference time.” Sophomore distance runner Joseph

Pena was not impressed with his 37th place finish out of 168 runners after crossing the line at 17:47. “As a runner I am never satisfied,” Pena said. “I have a winner’s mentality, so I always want to finish first, because ‘if you’re not first you’re last.’ I did beat a lot of people that I did not expect to beat, so that was a good turnout.” Pena and sophomore distance runner Weston O’Donnell finished eight seconds behind one another in Houston. O’Donnell used Pena to drive him to finish 47th on Friday. “It was definitely my drive to (run) with (Pena),” O’Donnell said. “I wanted to be with the front runner and help out the team. I just wanted to take that number one spot away from (Pena).” Junior Joseph Rodriguez finished 18:23 and placed 75th at the invitational. Last year, Rodriguez finished 89th with a run time of 18:41. Jackson was without two runners from the men’s team. The Bobcats’ coach sat



Sierra Smith, sophomore defensive specialist/libero By Carlos Marquez III Sports Reporter @PandahBearSwag

Standing as the shortest player on the Texas State volleyball team, sophomore defensive specialist/libero Sierra Smith finds her place on the court and outside on the hunting fields. Smith is one of two players that is 5 feet 2 inches tall on the team and has been playing volleyball since seventh grade. Smith attended Granbury High School where she played under Coach Tammy Clark and was a threeyear letter winner. Smith was named district defensive MVP and earned a spot on the alldistrict team. She holds the school record for career digs and for the most digs in a season. “I’m here to tell you that Sierra (Smith) may be small, but her heart is about as big as they get,” Clark said. “(Smith’s) desire and her competitiveness made her essential on our floor. (Smith) was an amazing athlete, and size didn’t matter to her.” Smith played different positions in high school, and she worked hard in every one. Clark praised Smith on being hardworking and committed to succeeding in volleyball although she was smaller than most players. Smith played club volleyball for the Texas Advantage team. She played alongside current Texas State junior setter Caylin Mahoney. Smith is already a starter in her sophomore year and is an energizing player for the Bobcats. She played in every game her freshman year and collected 200 digs and 33 assists. She led the team with nine digs against SMU and recorded a career high 12 digs against Texas-Arlington. Smith is one of the shortest players on the team, but she makes many Bobcat fans proud. She constantly has fans approach her after the games and praise her for exceeding expectations and proving any doubters wrong. The Granbury-native has proved game after game that she can be just as valuable to the team as the taller players.

out sophomore Tyrone Jackson and junior Brian Tasson and is leaning on Pena and O’Donnell until their return. “Once we get them all together we will be fine,” Jackson said. “I am very encouraged by Joseph Pena and Weston O’Donnell.” The Bobcats men’s team ended the day placing 10th in the invitational while the women’s team placed seventh. The women’s team finished ahead of TCU, Houston, McNeese State and four other schools. The men’s team finished in front of Sam Houston State, Texas A&M International, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Texas Southern. Last year at the Rice Invitational, the Bobcats finished 10th in the women’s and 12th in the men’s. “To be better at Rice this year than we were last year is definitely a good sign,” Jackson said. “You always want to be better than where you were last year.”

Courtesy of Texas State Athletics

“(Smith) is feisty, a competitor, and she doesn’t like to lose,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “She gets back in there and fights—I like Sierra out on the floor. She’s an Energizer Bunny.” Aside from the volleyball courts, fans can find the sophomore defensive specialist on the hunting grounds. Smith and her family get together for a reunion every year to hunt doves in late September and go on another trip over winter break. “I love to hunt,” Smith said. “My favorite thing to do is definitely bow hunting. It’s a challenge, and it kind of relates to the volleyball court.” Whether it is on the volleyball courts or the hunting grounds, Smith strives to be the best she can be, regardless of her size. She has learned to be active and to have precision and patience when going for a dig or a kill.

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junior running back By Gabby Tropea Sports Reporter @gabbytropea

GT: If you could be on any NFL team, which would it be and why? CB: The Cowboys. They’re America’s team, I love the stadium and they’re in Dallas. GT: Who do you want to see in the upcoming Super Bowl? CB: The Dirty Birds. The Falcons—I’m from Atlanta so I’d love to see them there. GT: Who would be on your ideal fantasy team? CB: I’ve got to say Adrian Peterson. He’s my favorite running back.




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Chris Motz | Staff photographer forward to facing this season? CB: Actually, all of them. It’s my first year in college and I’m just here for the experience.

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GT: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions? CB: Not really. I just pray.

GT: Who is the best dancer on the football team? CB: Michael Odiari. That guy has got some moves.

GT: What is your favorite part about Texas State? CB: The school, the parties and the football facility.

GT: Who is the most listened to artist on your iPod right now? CB: This southern rapper, “Gucci Mane.”

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6 | The University Star | Sports | Tuesday September 17, 2013


Bobcats break even at home against non-conference teams By Kirk Jones

Sports Reporter @kirk_jones11

The Texas State soccer team snapped a three-game winless streak Friday by beating Sam Houston State, but came up short Sunday to Texas-El Paso. “We started off a little shaky,” said Coach Kat Conner. “We came out trying to do some different things and didn’t stick to the game plan. I’m really proud of the Bobcats on how they responded in the second half. We kept our composure and even got a little mad.” The Bobcats shot 59 percent on goal compared to the Bearkats who shot 37 percent on goal. The team shot the ball 10 times in the first half and 12 times in the second. The ball club had the advantage on corner kicks, 11-4. “We really were better at our flank play—that’s what we knew was our best bet to get in the net,” said junior midfielder Jourdan Brown. “Since I am an outside mid(fielder) it was exciting to see some opportunities.”

Brown had one shot on goal and an assist to sophomore forward Lynsey Curry. The Bobcats’ defense gave up three shots in the second half with zero on goal. “The girl (from SHSU) got a great shot,” Conner said. “Natalie (Gardini) came up big time with a great save. (Gardini) has been working really hard, and I’m really proud of her.” Freshman forward Clarissa Leon came off the bench and scored her first goal of the season. Senior forward Gabbi Cottee was credited with an assist to give the Bobcats a 1-1 tie in the 33rd minute. Curry came off the bench in the second half and scored her teamleading fourth goal of the season. The Bobcats grabbed the lead and the victory, 2-1. “(In the) second half we came ready to match Sam Houston’s intensity,” Conner said. “We knew they would come out ready to go. (Curry) came in, turned on a ball and got another great shot.” Texas State tried to use the intensity it brought out against SHSU and the momentum of a win at

home into the match with UTEP on Sunday. The first half remained scoreless. It was not until the 86th minute of the second half the Miners scored the first goal of the game to take the lead and eventually take the victory, 1-0. Midfielder Aleah Davis received a pass from forward Jade Babcock to score the first goal for UTEP. “The goal happened off a defender allowing her to cut back,” Conner said. “(If) you leave your spot, you cannot allow her to go back where you left. Our defender didn’t and opened up and allowed them to score.” UTEP outshot the Bobcats 13-3. The Miners had five of those shots on goal compared to Texas State’s two. Senior midfielder Sydney Curry got a shot on goal within the first two minutes of the second half. Texas State got in one more attempt to tie the game, but UTEP won in the closing minutes. “The heart was there for us,” Conner said. “The physical play was there, what was not there was the mental game.”

Madelynne Scales | Staff photographer Lauren Prater, freshman forward, fights for the ball against UTEP Sept. 15 at Bobcat Soccer Complex. Texas State lost 0–1.


Texas State drops two in Golden Hurricane Classic By Carlos Marquez III Sports Reporter @PandahBearSwag

The Texas State volleyball team started the Golden Hurricane Classic Sept. 13 and 14 with two straight losses to Northern Colorado and Tulsa, but bounced back to sweep Arkansas in three sets. The Bobcats came out strong and confident in their game plan against Arkansas Sept. 14. They led by as many as seven points and eventually took the first set with a score of 25–21. The ball

club strung together 11–1 and 7–1 runs in the second set to erase the early 2–0 lead the Razorbacks held. In the third set, Arkansas rallied to keep its chances alive, but the Bobcats retained the lead and won the set, 25–22. The Bobcats forced 27 Arkansas errors on the attack. “(The win against Arkansas) was a total team effort,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “We did a much better job tonight, serving the ball and passing. Alexandra Simms really stepped up, Amari Deardorff (did as well), and it was good to have Ashlee (Hilbun) back in the lineup. This was an

overall team effort.” Junior outside hitter Alexandra Simms came up with 36 kills over the course of the tournament. Simms finished off the opening set with a kill. Simms had 25 digs, which was third most on the team. “We just wanted to go in there playing strong,” Simms said. “We talked to each other and helped each other get through the game. We knew what our game plan was. We just stayed confident in ourselves and went out there and won.” Junior setter Caylin Mahoney collected 100 assists in the tournament. Mahoney had the second

most digs on the team with 26. “We try not to focus on the score too much,” Mahoney said. “ (We) play point for point, and we ended up doing well and not making a ton of errors. Arkansas made a ton of errors which helped us.” The Bobcats opened the tournament with a loss to Northern Colorado, 3–1. The Bears took the first set by a 10-point lead. Simms finished off the third set for Texas State with a kill, making the score 2–1, but made errors in the fourth causing the team to lose, 25–23. Texas State out-blocked Tulsa 19–10 but was unable to pull out the victory. Tulsa took the first

set in a close battle, 25–23. The Bobcats came back to claim the second set, 25–21. In the third and the fourth set, Tulsa won by as many as eight points, taking the third and fourth sets. “We passed a lot better (against Arkansas),” Mahoney said. “We played defense really well, and we kept the balls off the floor.” The Bobcats left the tournament with an overall record of 9–4. The ball club has not been beaten in straight sets this season and will try to continue the trend when it competes against Texas Tech at Strahan Coliseum Tuesday.










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University Star - September 17 2013  
University Star - September 17 2013