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SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

Defending the First Amendment since 1911


SPORTS | Page 6

The Main Point: City officials say a controversial roundabout will be beneficial to areas surrounding Hunter Road, but if the project is built as planned, danger could be just around the bend.

Practice report: The football team is prepping to play an efficient quarterback this Saturday.


Students arrested, released in hazing case By Taylor Tompkins News Editor

Chris Motz | Staff photographer Maria Tomasso, applied mathematics senior, is currently one of the youngest students at Texas State. Tomasso entered the university at 14 years old.

17-year-old senior skips high school, attends Texas State By Kristen Smith News Reporter


aria Tomasso is preparing to graduate from Texas State, but she never went to high school. In fact, she skipped right over it. Tomasso, a 17-year-old applied mathematics senior, went straight from eighth grade into college. While taking her middle school classes, she was simultaneously earning dual credit hours by taking college classes. “Junior high was terrible,” Tomasso said. “I was going to a small junior high, and it was really centered around sports and football, which I’m not that good at. (My school) sort of ignored academics, and I started auditing classes here when I was in seventh grade, and I really liked it.” According to Institutional Research data, in 2011 one 15-yearold student was enrolled at Texas State, and 44 students were enrolled under the age of 18. In 2012, 35 students were enrolled under the age of 18, with two of those students being 16 years of age. Beverly Woodson-Day, associate director of Undergraduate Admissions, said the application process for admitting students of high school age is similar to the one used for college-aged applicants. Woodson-Day said early admitters usually bring in dual credit hours. Students of high school age are required to provide a letter of

recommendation from a counselor or high school principal to apply for entrance into Texas State. They still have to meet SAT and ACT test score requirements and have a B average or higher in high school coursework overall, Woodson-Day said. Regular student admission requirements have to be met as well, she said. Tomasso said she devotes time to her studies but is also involved in a few organizations on campus. She is the treasurer of both the Math Club and Pi Mu Epsilon, the math honors society. Tomasso said wants to take all of these experiences with her to become a biological statistician and work with genetic data. Tomasso, who works at the Student Learning Assistance Center, is helpful to many older

“It’s like working with a baby genius, because that’s what she is.” —Cody Hernandez, bio-chemistry senior students and her co-workers, said Cody Hernandez, senior biochemistry major. “When I first started working with her, it was kind of weird because my sister is about the same age,” Hernandez said. “I guess meeting someone who is as old as your little sister who is helping older people out, and definitely help-

All 13 Texas State drum line members arrested for an alleged Sept. 1 hazing incident have been released on bond, according to jail records. The drum line members were released over the four-day period of Sept. 20 through Sept. 23, with bonds totaling $40,000 for their respective releases. The 13 members of the drum line allegedly connected to the Sept. 1 hazing incident at Copper Beech Townhomes turned themselves in to the San Marcos Police Department last weekend, said Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs. Smith said the students supplied alcohol to “rookie” drum line members and allegedly told them to “get on their hands and knees.” The “rookies” were then allegedly instructed to place their faces in the groin area of “veteran” members, Smith said. Three drum line students were arrested Sept. 23 and booked on charges of hazing, according to jail documents. All were released the same day.The three students

are Markus Bonilla, music studies junior; Cesar Gonzalez, music studies senior; and Jeremy Gonzalez, political science sophomore. Cesar Gonzalez and Jeremy Gonzalez were both charged with an additional count of furnishing alcohol to a minor, for which they each posted $6,000. All three were released after posting $2,000 for hazing charges. Jail reports indicate nine drum line members were arrested Sept. 20 for hazing. All were released the same day. Five of the nine students are music studies majors, including senior Austin Baker, sophomore Daniel Burrow, freshman Brian Lindsey and junior Luis Pereira. The other four students are John Corbitt, accounting sophomore; Nathan Donahue, communication studies sophomore; John Edds-Galindo, English junior; Caleb Garza, undeclared freshman; and Miguel Perez, electronic media sophomore. Luis Ramos, music studies sophomore, was also arrested Sept. 20 for hazing with an additional charge of giving a false report to police. He was released the same day on a $2,000 bond for each charge.


Officials discuss zoning of proposed complex By Scott Allen

Special to the Star

ing me out occasionally, is weird to get used to at first. But, it’s also awesome.” Hernandez said along with being so young, Tomasso is ambitious, excited, fearless, outgoing and willing to learn. “It’s like working with a baby genius, because that’s what she is,” Hernandez said. “I absolutely see a bright future for her. The coolest part about what she’s done and how young she is is that obviously she has time.” Tomasso is due to graduate in either December 2014 or May 2015, and is considering graduate school at either the University of Wisconsin or the University of British Columbia.

Developers of a new proposed multi-family housing complex are asking city officials to change the zoning of seven acres of land near Rio Vista Park to allow the construction of apartments near a flood plain. Mark Rankin, the builder of the apartment complex, said in a Sept. 18 Neighborhood Commission meeting the plot of land along the east side of South CM Allen Parkway should be changed from a stability/open space zoned area to a high intensity zone for the purpose of building a proposed complex called River Park. The heavily wooded area is located between Rio Vista Park and the Hopkins Street Bridge, according to maps distrib-

uted by the city at the meeting. The Planning and Zoning Commission will plan to discuss and possibly make a recommendation for the proposed zoning change during its Oct. 8 meeting. Dianne Wassenich, program director for the San Marcos River Foundation, said the city council will address the zoning changes during their Oct. 2 and 8 meetings. Charles Meeks, operator of Culligan Water Conditioning of

See ZONING, Page 2

Star file photo


Athletes perform well in academics By Minerva Hernandez-Garcia News Reporter

Eight of 16 Texas State athletic teams made perfect single-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for the 2011-12 school year. The National Collegiate Athletic Association implemented APR scores during the 200405 school year to hold Division-I schools academically accountable, according to its website. APR scores are based from student athletes who receive athletic scholarships. Kelsey Solis, NCAA athletics compliance officer, said APR scores are based on multiyear rates. The 2011-12 official results include averages of all APR scores for the past four academic years calculated by officials through a designated equation. Solis said men’s cross country, men’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s and women’s golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball were


General deposit to be cleared from students’ biannual fees By Rebecca Banks News Reporter

Star file photo

the eight teams to make perfect APR scores out of 1,000 possible points for the 2011-12 academic year alone. The women’s golf and tennis teams had perfect scores of 1,000 for each APR evaluation period over the past four academic

years. Solis said the Texas State teams did very well with APR scores and compare to the top schools in Texas.

See APR, Page 2

Texas State students will no longer be required to pay a $50 general property deposit fee starting in the fall 2014 semester. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said the deposit fee was originally established to ensure any damages made on campus would have adequate repair funding. Texas State administrators were granted permission to end the general property deposit fee after presenting data to the President’s Cabinet, said Treasurer Valarie Van Vlack. Cindy Kruckemeyer, director of Student Business Services, said students currently receive a $50 deposit fee refund once they graduate, withdraw from the university or no longer attend classes for an

extended amount of time. “Last year we discovered that Texas State was one of the few universities out of 36 public universities in Texas that still collected it,” Nance said. According to data collected by Finance and Support Services and Student Business Services, around 64 percent of the general property deposit was refunded to students between January 2011 and July 2013. About 15 percent of the deposits were donated to the Alumni Association, and 17 percent were forfeited to the scholarship fund. “When we analyzed the fee it seemed like most of the students were automatically getting it back anyway,” Van Vlack said. Kruckemeyer said many students who had invalid mailing ad-

See DEPOSIT, Page 2

2 | The University Star | Wednesday September 25, 2013


ZONING, continued from front development at the Neighborhood Commission meeting. “At the rate the city’s growing, we need more apartments,” Muns said. “But that doesn’t mean we should choose controversial spots to build them.” Muns said he agrees with Wassenich because the lot should be bought by the city and turned into parkland for the community. “It’s surrounded by parkland, so (the area) should be parkland,” Muns said. “We need places for kids to play rather than a place to live.” Sherwood Bishop, a member of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Board, said he is concerned with how quiet the process has been for the proposed zoning change. “The problem with a lot of us here tonight and a lot of us in the community is that we’ve never heard about it,” Bishop said. “It was never brought to the Parks Board or the Greenbelt Alliance. We had no idea that any such offer had been made.” Bishop said he thinks the community can group together and save the land from development, as they did with the Spring Lake Natural Area around 10 years ago. “This should be used as parkland, and as a community, we can find a way to make it parkland just as we did with Spring Lake Reserve in 2004,” Bishop said.

APR, continued from front Tracy Shoemake, associate athletics director for Student Affairs, said Texas State team scores are benchmarked against others in the same athletic conference. “We look to see how we did against the other WAC teams and Sunbelt teams,” Shoemake said. Solis said the men’s basketball team received the lowest single-year score with 933 out of 1,000. The minimum acceptable score a team can get to avoid penalties is 930, Solis said. If a team comes close the falling below the benchmark, they receive a warning from NCAA officials. If they do not meet the minimum score, the team receives penalties. “There are penalties that include post-season bans,” Solis said. “It depends if it’s your first year to fall under. If it happens multiple times, then there are more stringent penalties.” Out of 425 student athletes, 280 are on athletic scholarships at Texas State and are the ones factored into APR scores. Shoemake said each student athlete receives up to two

points per semester that contribute to the team’s overall 1,000-point score. One retention point is gained when the student moves onto the next semester, and one point is gained if a student remains eligible to play. “Each student athlete who has an athletic scholarship has a potential to earn four points (per academic year),” Shoemake said. “You would always come out at 1,000 if everyone is eligible and retained.” Solis said students on athletic scholarships become eligible to play depending on their classification on the team and if they meet a certain percentage of degree progress. Freshmen must have a 1.8 GPA, juniors and seniors need a 2.0 GPA, and team members must pass six hours of classes per semester to be eligible, Solis said. Solis said APR scores are reported once a year, but the minimum points needed to meet a particular benchmark set by the NCAA is calculated beforehand. “We know if there’s going to be an issue at the end of the

year,” Solis said. “We tell our coaches what scores they have to get. We do all that math at the beginning of the year.” Laurie Hindson, Athletic Academic Center director, said she and her staff work with coaches to make sure they know when students are struggling. “We talk to the coaches, and they’ll hold (students) back from practice or traveling to make sure they’ll be meeting the grade for eligibility points,” Hindson said. Hindson said the center officials work with student athletes to make sure they understand NCAA rules and eligibility requirements. Hindson said officials help handle student athletes’ academic needs and works closely with professors to map their progress and correct any issues that may arise. “Our APR is getting higher and higher every year,” Hindson said. “Our graduation rates keep going up each year. I’d like to think we’re doing a good job.”


San Marcos, is the owner of the seven acres of land and is attempting to sell it. Meeks said his family has owned the land since the 1920s. If Rankin’s preferred map amendments and zoning changes are approved, the project will take up approximately two and a half of the seven acres. The rest of the land will be donated as parkland and open space, according to plans for the project. Preliminary plans show the apartment complex is expected to hold about 100 to 150 units. Wassenich said she does not agree with the decision of city officials to consider the zoning change proposal. “We (the community) would like to see the city buy this area as parkland,” Wassenich said. “It’s not an ideal place for an apartment complex and flooding is going to be a big issue.” Wassenich said since the proposed area is near a flood plain, it will not be a safe place for families to live. She said the construction will also have an impact on the surrounding environment. “This is a very sensitive area where lots of wild rice grows on the banks of the river,” Wassenich said. “The construction of this apartment could potentially harm and destroy the plant life alongside the bank.” Some students, including undeclared junior Shelton Muns, spoke out against the proposed

DEPOSIT, continued from front dresses forfeited their refunds to a scholarship fund if they could not be contacted afterward. “We would just send out the checks (refunds) and then the students were not at that location anymore, so we would get the checks back,” Van Vlack said. “Then, we would have to try and find them.” Kruckemeyer said since the deposit will end fall 2014, university officials will now focus on refunding previous students

that paid the fee when they first came to Texas State. She added graduates are able to donate the $50 to the Alumni Association during their graduation application process. “We have to continue to run that process at the end of every term to refund (students who withdraw) or (donate the deposits of graduates),” said Cindy Allen, assistant director of Student Business Services. “That will continue until the fund is cleared.”

CRIME BLOTTER September 17, 12:44 p.m. 1011 Wonderworld Dr. Collision-hit and run September 17, 1:09 p.m. 301 Foxtail Run Assault-misdemeanor

Christen Motz | Staff photographer James Martin, computer science senior, takes advantage of free pool Sept. 23 at George’s in the LBJ Student Center basement.

On this day in history... 1493

Christopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere.


Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama to reach the Pacific Ocean.


American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal. The first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)

September 17, 2:09 p.m. 2830 S IH-35 Forgery


September 17, 2:34 p.m. 345 Champions Blvd. Criminal trespass


Mormon president Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto formally renouncing the practice of polygamy.


Author William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Miss.

September 17, 4:10 p.m. 2300 S IH-35 Assault-misdemeanor September 17, 5:11 p.m. 205 S C M Allen Pkwy. Burglary-vehicle September 17, 6:51 p.m. 1505 Franklin Dr. Burglary-habitation September 17, 8:27 p.m. 1301 Highway 123 Burglary-vehicle


President Woodrow Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles.


The first trans-Atlantic telephone cable went into service.


Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, 32, choked to death on his own vomit after a drinking binge.


Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.


Saudi Arabia cut its relations with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban.


Two American hikers, held for more than two years in an Iranian prison, returned to the United States.

—Courtesy of the New York Times

Amy Lea S.J. Akers Attorney at Law P.O. Box 578 San Marcos, TX 78667

(512) 897-5708 **AkersLaw

LEARN TO DEFEND YOURSELF GAMES FOOD& PRIZES Visit the URL below for event details and register to play Capture the Flag.

LBJ Student Center Ballroom OCTOBER 8, 2013 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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The University Star | News | Wednesday September 25, 2013 | 3

Drum line arrests

The following students were arrested on charges of hazing in connection to a Sept. 1 incident at Copper Beech Townhomes. John Corbitt

Cesar Gonzalez

John Edds-Galindo

Luis Ramos

Luis Pereira

Markus Bonilla

Nathan Donahue

Miguel Perez

Austin Baker

Daniel Burow

Brian Lindsey

Jeremy Gonzalez

Caleb Garza

4 | The University Star | Wednesday September 25, 2013



Roundabout not suitable plan for San Marcos


lthough some city officials say a controversial roundabout will be beneficial to areas surrounding Hunter Road, if the project is built as planned, danger could be just around the bend. According to the plans, city officials are expected to begin construction on the roundabout March 2014 at the intersection of Hunter Road and Dixon Street that will be realigned with San Antonio Street. According to a Sept. 17 University Star article, Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said the roundabout will be more efficient for traffic and pedestrian mobility. Although councilmembers believe traffic will be calmer with the roundabout, businesses in the area will more than likely experience congestion getting into and out of their properties. Some businesses may lose customers as a result of the roundabout as well. The last thing San Marcos needs is another construction project on a busy road. The construction, while temporary, will cause extreme back up in the area. It could have a similar negative financial effect as the downtown construction has had on businesses near The Square. Although roundabouts are an effective roadway feature in northern states, Texas drivers have more than likely never learned how to properly use one. Roundabout navigating procedures are not taught in typical driving school curriculum in Texas. City officials should offer courses to educate residents and students about navigating a busy intersection of this type. San Marcos drivers already have enough trouble navigating one-way roads, strange turn lanes and nearly constant construction without the added stress of a busy roundabout. New Braunfels is a prime example of a similar roundabout in a traffic-heavy area. The roundabout in the center of New Braunfels’ historic downtown is a terrifying, near death-trap for many drivers. The twolane roundabout in New Braunfels does not create traffic, but it does create danger.

Ryan Jeanes | Star illustrator

This roundabout will not be similar to successful roundabouts in neighborhoods near CM Allen Parkway in San Marcos. The flow of traffic in that area is significantly less than along Hunter Road, and it is already a low-speed residential zone. Another concerning facet of this project is the city council’s blatant disregard for constituents’ complaints. Local business and landowners have spoken against the councilmembers’ decision to build the roundabout nearly every step of the way. City officials are threatening to use eminent domain to take land from a local family for the construction of the roundabout. Although the family is expected to be paid market value for the land, eminent domain


Although university officials need to find new ways to increase attendance at football games, selling alcohol at Bobcat Stadium is not the solution. Intoxicated sports fans are notoriously Molly Block rowdy and chaOpinions Columnist otic, and families Journalism senior watching the game do not want to be disrupted by drunken antics. Many Bobcat fans tailgate before the game and drink large quantities of alcohol. Although tailgating is a time for fellow Bobcat fans to interact with one another and have a good time before the game, for many people, it is an opportunity to get drunk before the game starts. It would be a catastrophe if already intoxicated individuals could consume even more alcohol after entering the stadium. People who have had too much to drink have a tendency to become violent, clumsy and all around disruptive. A stadium full of drunken students and fans is a recipe for disaster. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website, more than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 have been assaulted by another student who has been drinking. According to the same website, 599,000 students within the same age range have been unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol. This kind of thing unfortunately happens all the time across the country, and the Texas State campus is no different. Things could very easily

The roundabout will be a source of tension between the city, local residents and business owners. It will not only create an unnecessarily dangerous environment but will cause financial trouble for local businesses and have the ability to frustrate drivers along the Hunter Road gateway into the Texas Hill Country. 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.


Alcohol not viable solution for increasing game attendance

niversity officials should keep the staU dium alcohol-free to make sure Bobcat athletic events remain family friendly.

should only be used for public benefit. If meetings concerning the roundabout are any indication, the public is against the roundabout plan. The current landowners are concerned about the roundabout causing 150-year-old trees on the property to be demolished. City officials have said a new tree will be planted for every tree cut down, but a sapling is a far cry from a century-old tree. The family members were willing to sell their property for a four-way stop, which could take up less land and possibly be more favorable among residents. It is concerning councilmembers are quick to take residents’ land and cut down the natural beauty of the city for a road project.

Online textbook access codes unnecessary expense for students

become out of control if alcohol was available during football games. In addition to violence, underage drinking could be another problem university officials would have to contend with if alcohol was sold at athletic events. Many freshmen, sophomores and juniors are under the age of 21. This means a huge percentage of Texas State students, the main audience at Bobcat athletic events, are underage. In the chaos of a big sports event, many underage drinkers could slip through the cracks and get ahold of alcohol. Whether by using fake IDs, buttering up alcohol vendors or even by getting a friend to purchase it for them, there are many ways underage students could potentially get alcohol at games despite strict regulation. Texas State officials should not want to be seen as promoters of underage drinking, especially considering the party reputation the campus already has in some circles. Another reason alcohol should not be sold at the stadium is because underage drinking would likely happen at games even under the university’s watch. If Texas State officials want to increase game attendance at Bobcat Stadium, a more practical solution should be found. There are many students and San Marcos residents who never attend football games. University officials should be finding ways to reach out to these individuals instead of simply trying to appeal to the drunken student demographic. By utilizing social media, creating more advertisements and optimizing the Bobcat athletics web page, more tickets could potentially be sold. University athletics officials should keep alcohol out of Bobcat Stadium—the risks significantly outweigh the benefits. Unless Texas State officials want to deal with negative consequences that will come with it, selling alcohol should not be an option at football games.

rofessors should stop requiring P students to purchase unnecessary online access codes in addition to already pricey textbooks.

Let’s face it—college is expensive. Between tuition, meal plans and room and board, student pockets are pretty empty. But since college is an Alexis Aguirre investment, Opinions Columnist students suck Journalism freshman it up and shell out the extra $500 for books and supplies and try to save where students can by buying used, renting or buying from I am usually one to buy my textbooks online at cheaper costs and later sell them to a local bookstore, but this semester that idea has gone out the window for one reason—online access codes. Access codes can be bought separately or in a bundle with the textbook it accompanies, but buying them separately is often just as, if not more, expensive. Access codes usually unlock a group website on which students can complete homework and quizzes. I am taking thirteen hours this semester, and I was required to purchase nine books, five of which required access codes. Access codes must be bought new at full price. Even reselling textbooks becomes nearly impossible since next semester’s students need to redeem the codes and will likely opt for a brand-new book and code bundle. Access codes are completely worth-

less. Students should not have to waste money buying the codes and taking quizzes that should have been included with tuition. Students use a website that could accomplish all these goals—TRACS. While some professors require this, it does not make sense to require students to purchase access codes for quizzes, and doing so only puts them more into debt. Some professors record grades on TRACS from what students do on separate sites using the textbook access codes. Access codes are unnecessary since professors could use TRACS to offer online quizzes and exams instead. Furthermore, while many professors list textbooks and access codes as required, many times they are not used in class. Professors should make buying access codes optional if they truly do not plan on using them in class. Students who need further help in certain subjects could buy the extra materials if they so wish, but books and materials should not be listed as required on syllabi unless they truly are. Professors should take student budgets into account when assigning textbooks and other materials. While books are often necessary for many classes and there is no way around that, students should not be limited in buying affordable textbooks because some professors require the purchase of new, expensive and little-used online access codes. Professors should lose the notion that expensive online access codes are needed and instead use TRACS for supplemental material, quizzes and other assignments.


Students must be more aware of surroundings on campus

should unplug their devices while Sawaretudents walking around campus in order to be of the surroundings and avoid injuring themselves and others. When walking in The Quad, it is easy to bump into somebody because of all the bodies and varying movement speeds. The chance of injury goes up when a student is walking with their head down and headphones in. There have been several occasions when I have had to move out of the way to avoid knocking over someone James Soto who is closed off Opinions Columnist from the world English senior and tuned into music.

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

I understand the need for music in the mornings. Sometimes only a combination of coffee and loud music can wake students up enough to get to their morning classes across campus. Additionally, it is understandable to want to block out the students screeching from their various booths and trying desperately to garner time or money from passersby. But please, use caution when you are walking around campus. Nobody wants to be the dude who knocked over a 90-pound girl while cruising through The Quad. No one wants to be the girl who eats pavement because she was not paying attention either. Try not to get caught staring intently at your phone while walking. Just assuming oncoming students will step aside may work out some of the time, but everyone’s luck runs out eventually. Safety is especially important when it comes to crosswalks and intersections. It is true drivers need to be aware of pedestrians,

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,

but safety is a two-way street—pun semi-intended. Pedestrians need to be aware of traffic, and having both ears and eyes averted is asking for an accident to happen. People say there are crazy drivers in San Marcos, but the city has crazy walkers too. Being aware of the surroundings is not just about courtesy or avoiding an accident— it is about taking in the sounds and sights the school and town offer. It is sometimes nice to just listen and watch what is going on when walking. If students are feeling bummed, the sound of laughter or the sight of something cheerful can help lift their mood. Some of the funniest things I have ever heard were pieces of conversation taken out of context. It sounds corny, but little things like that can really pep a person up. Those with functioning eyes will notice there is no shortage of attractive people at Texas State. By just walking around with their heads raised and ears open for once, students can run the possibility of catching

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the eye of a cute co-ed. At the very least, the sight of eye-candy can do wonders for student morale. It is hard to be upset when you are surrounded by hotties. Students who walk around plugged in and zoning out miss opportunities to connect with their interesting, funny and attractive peers. Music, Facebook and Twitter are important and useful innovations, but students should try not to use them all at the same time while walking. Students should be aware of their surroundings at all times in order to avoid embarrassing or fatal spills. Students should make sure to indulge in the sights and sounds Texas State and San Marcos have to offer. It is possible to make the most of your eyes and ears while saving on battery life. Simply unplugging occasionally can provide students with a more dynamic and safe college experience.

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 Wednesday, September 25, 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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The University Star | Wednesday September 25, 2013 | 5


Bobcats use social media to connect, discuss interests Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr provide Texas State-centered outlets

Book club fosters interest in paranormal, fantasy genres By Lindsey Bedford

By Ernest Macias Trends Reporter

n active presence in the social meA dia world is one way many students are able to foster a particular interest

and create a sense of belonging at Texas State. There are several social media websites and accounts that cater specifically to Bobcats. The variety is eclectic in taste and range but is often anonymous to allow for more honest dialogue. These online forums serve as an escape, hosted and created by students. They can serve as examples for students in the form of a guide or a burn book for all things Texas State. From Facebook to Tumblr, Bobcats have found their niche to express feelings, desires and dark confessions. Perhaps the most well known account is Texas State Confessions, which boasts approximately 13,900 likes on Facebook. The webpage is a place where students and faculty can post truths anonymously about their everyday lives on campus. The posts range from the innocuous: “I love coming home after a long day from school and laying down on my bed in the nude,” to the outlandish: “ I’m Hispanic, and I hope one day I find a guy who calls me his sexy quesadilla.” Matthew Rochester, English and Spanish senior, said the posts can be “pretty mean-spirited,” but anonymity and a large audience provide for another way to pass time on the bus. Twitter is another host to some accounts that play into the theatrics of common Bobcat stereotypes.

The owner of the Twitter page BlackedOutBoko, who wished to remain anonymous, said the focus of some accounts is to highlight the party stigma some associate with Texas State. On the more light-hearted end of the spectrum, Texas State-themed Reddit boards divulge secrets of the campus in a user-friendly format. “I really wanted (the Texas State Reddit) to be the kind of place you could come to and find any type of information,” said Kevin Grigsby, creator of the Reddit board “Bobcat Aliens.” “(It is) essentially a place to come and find secrets of the school you wouldn’t easily come across.”

“I’m Hispanic, and I hope one day I find a guy who calls me his sexy quesadilla.” —Texas State Confessions Offering different kinds of information, Bobcat Gossip is a Tumblr controlled by a 20-year-old student who insists on maintaining anonymity. The blog features reader-submitted gossip about classmates, humorous photos depicting life on campus and advice administered by the blog’s owner. “There is a common experience here at Texas State. It is simply that we are Bobcats,” said Daniel Mikiten, “Bobcat Aliens” moderator and freshman. “If people chose to be more than just Bobcats, then we can turn to social media. It is where we can ask for help, find roommates, meet new people and get help.”

Trends Reporter

Debating and discussing topics such as fantasy, magic and postapocalyptic worlds, the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Book Club uses resources in this world to explore another. The club members gather on the first Monday of every month at the San Marcos Public Library to talk about different book subjects. Heather Coble is the coordinator of the book club. Coble said she founded the club because she read through fantasy novels quickly and was constantly searching for new ones to begin. Recommendations from friends lead to Coble launching her own group for discussions and suggestions, bringing in more people and books. Coble said the men of her club talk about different books than the women. She said the dynamic of the group changes every week when the male-to-female ratio fluctuates. “The meetings have a different vibe every time,” Coble said. Coble said she strongly encourages anyone to come to the meetings to get a different perspective on the genre. “Urban Fantasy” is a genre defined by Barnes & Noble booksellers as a subsection of the fantasy genre that takes place primarily in a city. The novel may feature historical, futuristic or modern plotlines and characters set on an urban plane. The book club typically sticks to science fiction and fantasy genres, but is open to related topics includ-

ing books on fairies, technological advances and strategy. The members of the club give personal reviews of books they have read and swap suggestions of interesting finds amongst each other. New releases and upcoming literature announcements are typical conversation points during meetings. Members seek out new, upand-coming authors to share with each other and discuss what their favorites are currently writing and releasing. Books are not the only things discussed in the club’s meetings. Debates and dissections of TV shows and movies in the fantasy and paranormal genre play a major role in the meetings. “I think that (the book club) would be an interest to students who enjoy science fiction and also those that enjoy role playing and gaming,” said Robin Wood, librarian at the San Marcos Public Library. Group members share a mutual passion for the genre and literature. At the meeting, an argument was made for physical books over e-readers because of their tactile, comforting aspects. The reading group does not assign any particular books in order to foster better, more open dialogue, Coble said. The club is open to all residents and students of San Marcos, even those who are apprehensive or may not have a lot of experience with fantasy books, Coble said. “I would be scared and interested (to go to the book club) at the same time,” said Valerie Gonzalez, mass communication senior.



Meadows Center to host third annual Sacred Springs Powwow

Texas State Relay for Life scheduled for April 11

A thirty-two-foot tepee, earth ovens and Comanche Nation dancers will be highlighted at the 2013 Sacred Springs Powwow that celebrates the Native American culture that has been part of the San Marcos area for thousands of years. The powwow is set for Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, 921 Aquarena Springs Drive, San Marcos, Texas, and is co-sponsored by Texas State University. A powwow is a festival celebrating Native American culture with drums, dancers dressed in regalia and native foods, arts and crafts. San Marcos first experienced a powwow in 1995 when the Lucky Tomblin family brought Kiowa and other indigenous people to the area. The Powwow is in its third year of production and is sponsored by local, nonprofit Indigenous Cultures Institute. The event is funded by the San Marcos Arts Commission, the Tomblin Family Foundation, Hays County Commissioner of Precinct 1 Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Texas State University, Austin Friends of Folk Art, and Humanities Texas. This year, the Institute is featuring new additions to the powwow, one of which is an artifacts exhibit and presentations inside a thirty-two-foot tepee. Gary Perez, the Institute’s director of Sacred Sites programs, will lecture on the ancient “White Shaman” rock art painting that depicts the creation story of the Coahuiltecan people who believe the San Marcos springs is their origination site. “The Coahuiltecans were ancestors of many Texans that identify as Mexican American,” said Dr. Mario Garza, Institute board chair. “The 4,000-year-old White Shaman panel tells the story of how we traveled through the underworld to emerge here in Spring Lake, through our Sacred Springs.” Another new addition is a series of earth oven demonstrations sponsored by the Texas State

A birthday is a special day on the calendar for just about anybody, but it’s a particularly meaningful milestone to cancer survivors, their families and caregivers. The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at Texas State University offers survivors and their loved ones a chance to celebrate the additional candles on their cakes since diagnosis. The annual, overnight event will be held April 11, 2014 at the Student Recreation Center. The event is a way for the campus community to honor and celebrate the lives of local cancer survivors. The relay reminds us that cancer doesn’t sleep, and neither will we until a cure is found. The relay opens with a ceremony and continues as cancer survivors of all ages walk around the track for the first lap. This emotional time sets the stage for the importance of each participant’s contribution. A festive atmosphere develops as teams join the American Cancer So-

University Center for Archaeological Studies and the Experimental Archaeology Club. By 10,000 years ago, people cooked with fire-heated stones and earth ovens to process insulin-rich geophytes like camas and wild onions. But these age-old cooking techniques are poorly understood and experimental demonstrations help scholars to reconstruct cooking-related activities of the ancients. The public is invited to view the students as they uncover food that has cooked overnight. More than one hundred Native American dancers and arts vendors are expected at the powwow this year. Indigenous food booths will also be available with fry bread, buffalo tacos, turkey legs and other native foods. The powwow will open at 10 a.m. with the traditional blessing by the Sacred Springs conducted by Native American elders. The Institute hopes to make the Powwow one of the “signature events of San Marcos,” in honor of the Spring Lake area which is recognized as one the oldest, continuously inhabited sites in North America and a sacred site to many Native Americans.

ciety’s efforts to help people get and stay well, find cures and fight back. Highlighting the evening is the luminaria ceremony, a vigil held at nightfall to honor survivors and remember those lost to cancer. Luminarias line the track and remain lit throughout the night as a reminder to participants the importance of their involvement in the event. Last year’s event raised more than $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. We’re in need of everyone’s support to help reach and surpass our goal in 2013. To find out more about the Relay For Life of Texas State, contact Kirstin Casteel at or (210) 3152191, and visit to sign up your teams. —Courtesy of Storm Tyler, Relay for Life media chair


—Courtesy of Texas State University

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6 | The University Star | Wednesday September 25, 2013




Franchione, Bobcats prepare for Wyoming quarterback Texas State football is preparing for this weekend's matchup at home against Wyoming after its loss to Texas Tech Sept. 21 in Lubbock.

Star file photo

By Samuel Rubbelke

Assistant Sports Editor @SamuelRubbelke

The Texas State football team is prepping to face off against an efficient opposing quarterback this Saturday, a familiar foe from 2011. Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith set a Cowboy’s single-game record by gaining 511 yards of total offense against Air Force last week. Josh Wallwork previously set the single-game record for Wyoming in 1996 with 482 yards of total offense. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s 562 yards against Alabama ranks higher in total offense during a single game this year in the FBS. The 511 yards gained by Smith ranks fourth most in a single game in Mountain West history. “He’s just a great quarterback,” said senior safety Justin Iwuji. “He makes a lot of great plays. He’s that guy that really makes their offense go. In 2011 he was a great athlete, now he’s learned over the years and become better.” Smith was awarded the Co-Nation-

al Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards and was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Completing 85.4 percent of his passes, Smith had a personal best and finished the evening against the Air Force Falcons with four touchdowns and 373 yards. The consistent Cowboys ended with a pass efficiency rating of 193.98. Smith additionally ran for 138 yards and scored a touchdown. “They put 600 yards on the board twice this year,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “Their quarterback is really good. We caught him two years ago as a freshman. I thought he played more like a sophomore or a junior, and now he’s playing like a sixth-year guy. He’s certainly the catalyst that makes them go. This is a good offensive football team.” Smith’s 138 rushing yards is the second most this season in the Mountain West for a single game. As a freshman, Smith ran for two touchdowns against Texas State including one from 29 yards out. “It’s huge to try and keep the quarterback in the pocket,” Iwuji said.

“As defensive backs, we don’t have to cover as long (when a quarterback is stationary in the pocket). Once a quarterback starts scrambling, receivers start going every which way, and it becomes difficult to stay on them. I know our (defensive) line is going to do a good job this week of keeping him in the pocket.” Last week against the Red Raiders, the Bobcat secondary stepped in front of two passes for interceptions. Senior cornerback Xavier Daniels returned one to the Texas Tech 38-yard line, and Iwuji picked the second interception of the game and returned it deep into Raider territory to the 11-yard line. “We had three takeaways, no defensive penalties, two fourth down stops and forced four field goals in seven red zone attempts,” Franchione said. “I thought we handled the no huddle stuff very well.” Texas State remains top five in the nation for rush defense and turnover margin. After three games, the Bobcats have held opposing rushers to 62 yards collectively. The ball club still holds a turnover margin of two, tying them for third in the FBS.

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The University Star | Sports | Wednesday September 25, 2013 | 7

INSIDE THE LINES Clarissa Leon, freshman forward By Quixem Ramirez Sports Reporter @quixem Freshman forward Clarissa Leon was named the District 29-5A Offensive MVP for four consecutive seasons and totaled 225 goals in her career at Del Rio High School. Only eight other females in the United States have amassed 200 or more goals in high school. Leon broke her high school’s alltime goal record prior to her sophomore year. “Players like Clarissa are hard to find,” said Del Rio Coach Ernesto Martinez. “She was a born leader—everyone looked up to her. She did what was expected, she worked harder and she set the example for the other players. She did everything for us.” Del Rio finished 89-9-1 in Leon’s tenure, including three bidistrict championships and two trips to the regional semifinals. Churchill High School, Del Rio’s opponent, limited Leon to two shots on goal in last year’s regional semifinals. Texas State Coach Kat Conner, in attendance, met with Leon and her mother following Del Rio’s 4-1 loss. “We could tell that she has the mobility and skill that you look for in a soccer player,” Conner said. “She’s got an unbelievable strike of the ball. We thought it was worth giving her a shot.” Leon received an offer from Angelo State, a Division II college. The Del Rio native struggled to gain exposure, despite her high

school scoring totals. She participated in Lamar and Stephen F. Austin’s training camps but did not leave impressed. “I was a little discouraged,” Leon said. “I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t like how they play, and I didn’t think I could live there for four years.” Instead, Texas State proved to be a better environment for Leon. The program, community and campus life swayed Leon to play for the Bobcats. “When Coach Conner asked me to play, it was an automatic yes,” Leon said. “I am very blessed. I just have to stay humble, because I didn’t expect to be at Division I school. I was actually thinking about going to other schools, because I didn’t think I was ever going to play soccer at a Division I school.” Leon opened her collegiate career with two goals in Texas State’s 3-2 exhibition victory over Houston Baptist, including the game-winning penalty kick in overtime. “I was very nervous,” Leon said. “I’m nervous before every game. It was a good learning experience because I started putting each puzzle piece together.” Leon missed two weeks of play with a high-ankle sprain, which limited her progress. “It really hurt her development,” Conner said. “You need freshmen to get game experience. That’s the only way you can learn and get better. You could tell she was tender for a while, but then

she started moving better. I knew then that she was ready to go.” Leon was gradually reinserted into the rotation. The freshman forward said she prefers to learn from the sidelines, because she can learn from everything on the field. Texas State trailed against Sam Houston State Sept. 13 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Leon, replacing sophomore midfielder Lynsey Curry, notched the game-tying goal two minutes and 31 seconds later. She tallied season highs in minutes and shots on goal in the Bobcats’ 2-1 victory over the Bearkats. “I think she has come in more appreciative,” Conner said. “She’s been ready to give extra effort and work harder. It’s fun to work with her because she knows it’s not a given, that this is a great opportunity, and she wants to make the most of it.” Martinez said Leon left a lasting impression at Del Rio, whether she was putting the finishing touches on a seven-goal performance or spurring a five-goal comeback victory. “Clarissa ranks at the very top,” Martinez said. “Her accomplishments will never be matched. I’ve had good players in the past, but Clarissa has outshined every player I’ve ever coached. She left her mark in Del Rio, and I will never see an athlete like Clarissa. Coach Conner made an excellent choice.”

Chris Motz | Staff Photographer


Women’s golf team places sixth in University of Minnesota Invitational By Josh Zigrang Sports Reporter @JoshZigrang

The women’s golf team took five players to face 12 teams in Minneapolis, Minn. Sept. 15 through 17 and had one member finish in the top five of the University of Minnesota Invitational. The team began looking for a new leader on the course after Krista Puisite, alumna and former member of the golf team, graduated in May and headed to the Ladies Professional Golf Association qualifiers. Last week, junior Lejan Lewthwaite drove in the best score of the Texas State players at the Minnesota competition. “We struggled in the morning rounds,” said Coach Mike Akers. “(We) lost to teams we are normally able to beat.” Lewthwaite (80-72-72) went eight over par in her first round, ending

the day with a total of five bogeys and one double-bogey. On day two of the competition, she was able to sink a total of five birdies, three bogeys and one double-bogey, finishing even for the day. The South African native was able to finish the tournament Sept. 17 with four birdies, two bogeys and one double-bogey, ending even on the course. Lewthwaite found herself finishing tied for fourth at the end of the tournament. “(Lewthwaite) had a great freshman year,” Akers said. “(She) struggled last year for us. She really stepped it up (last week).” Senior Mara Puisite (79-73-79), battling an injury, was unable to score even on the par 72 course and ended her first day with no birdies and seven bogeys. Puisite then improved and sunk four birdies and five bogeys to lead her into the last day of the invitational. She was able to sink two birdies, seven bogeys and one double bogey on the last day. Puisite finished the tournament tied for 18th with four other players and had the team’s second-best score. Freshman Ali Cowan (8374-78) sunk four birdies, 16 bogeys and three doublebogeys during

the tournament. Cowan scored four bogeys and three double-bogeys in the first round. She was able to score three birdies and five bogeys in the second round. In the third round, the freshman knocked in one birdie and seven bogeys to end her first collegiate golf tournament. Sophomore Lora Assad (81-8184) had her best days Sept. 15 and 17 when she went nine and 12 over par. Assad was able to get the most birdies for the team on the first day of the tournament with three. She sunk six bogeys and had three double-bogeys on the final day of competition. On the second day of the invitational Sept. 16, Assad marked one birdie, eight bogeys and one double-bogey. She ended her round Sept. 17 with one birdie, six bogeys and three double-bogeys. Assad totaled five birdies, 20 bogeys and seven double-bogeys during the tournament. “(Assad) did really well in qualifying (for the invitational),” Akers said. “(But) if she continues to struggle (as she did in Minnesota), we have a very capable freshman who stayed home (in Texas during the competition).” The team ended the first day with 316 strokes, the second with 299 and 310 on the third. The team totaled 925 placing them at sixth at the Minikahda Çlub course. Coach Akers and his team plays at home in Texas Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in their next tournament, the Challenge at Onion Creek in Austin.

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8 | The University Star | Sports | Wednesday September 25, 2013

INSIDE THE LINES Michelle Jones, senior distance runner By Josh Zigrang Sports Reporter @JoshZigrang

On an early morning as the sun rises above the horizon, the Texas State cross-country team runs over the dewcovered ground. Leading the group is senior distance runner Michelle Jones. Jones begins the pace nice and slow, getting everyone’s lungs used to the humidity. The sound of the team’s soles beat the pavement in unison. Jones looks back to see some stragglers in the group and slows down, knowing the uncomfortable feelings starting to come upon them. “(I grew into that type of leader) because I was a freshman too,” Jones said. “They are better than they think, but I don’t know if they know that yet.” A native of Castroville and a Medina Valley High School graduate, Jones never saw herself becoming a runner. She joined the seventh grade cross-country team with a friend as a way to socialize. “In the beginning of middle school, I am pretty sure I walked more than half of the course,” Jones said. “Then my coach told me ‘you can be good,’ so I tried, and I was pretty good.” Jones’ competitive edge has helped her fight against the physical pain she endures every race. The senior knows the run will end, and the faster she runs, the faster the pain from her injuries will be over. “I have the worst shins on planet Earth,” Jones said. “All (I) have to do is run so hard for 18 minutes.” The senior displays a competitive edge that overpowers the mind, unwilling to concentrate on anything but beating the next runner in front of her. “I can’t over-think (beating the next person),” Jones said. “I can’t get into my own head. It is always that person in front of me.” Jones said coaching has been a large contributor to her improved running skills. Mark Wolfshohl, Jones’ high school cross-country coach, was able to inspire Jones to be the runner he saw in her.

Reynaldo Leaños | Staff photographer Jones was named Most Valuable Runner from 2006 to 2010 and was the highest point scorer from 2006 to 2009 at the end of her high school career. “(Coach Wolfshohl) can convince you to do anything,” Jones said. “My sophomore year (Wolfshohl) planted it in my head that I was going to be good.” Texas State cross-country coach Bryan Jackson said he will miss his senior leader next year since Jones will be graduating. Jackson said he would be glad to have her back on his staff next year as she continues her education in Texas State’s graduate program. “(Jones) will be sorely missed,” Jackson said. “She is not the type of leader that needs to be vocal. She leads by example because everyone wants what she has.” Jones broke Texas State’s record in the 1,500-meter run as a sophomore and was a half-second away from tying the one-mile run record. In 2012, Jones was able to claim three team bests in the twomile run, the 3,800-meter run and the 5,000-meter run. “I am really happy with those times,” Jones said. “I think I am better than those. There is always room for improvement.”


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September 25 2013  
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