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The University Star

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 3


Denise Cervantes, Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


Texas State student hauled massive umbrella to keep students dry By Stacee Collins Assistant Lifestyle Editor @stvcee While campus and surrounding San Marcos areas were flooding, a Texas State student took it upon himself to keep his fellow Bobcats dry—with a massive patio umbrella. Colby Dawson, psychology senior, used one of the patio umbrellas at the LBJ Student Center hoping to help students stay out of the pouring rain that covered San Marcos Monday morning. Sewell Park, Aquarena Springs, Sessom and other locations in San Marcos flooded, which made getting to campus difficult and almost impossible. Some who

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made it to the university forgot umbrellas or ponchos. However, Dawson came up with a solution. After getting out of class at around 9:30 a.m., Dawson began sheltering students with his waterproof trench coat. However, he wanted to help more people and the coat would not do the trick. “I saw the umbrellas, and I thought they were probably not locked down,” Dawson said. “I figured I’d take one of those, so that’s what I did.” Dawson took the liberty of asking drenched students if they needed to hitch a ride to class under the massive umbrella. Many Bobcats took his offer. He said many students were appreciative of him, and one even gave him $5. Dawson would ask them how their days were going, and most were mannerly and nice. “Whoever said something

first—that’s where I’d go,” Dawson said. “If anyone else needed to go, I would shout out where I was going if anyone wanted to come with me. Then, there was a group of people huddled around. Occasionally I could get someone to carry it for me so I could give my arms a rest—the thing was heavy.” David Althans, international business junior, said he saw Dawson carrying the umbrella on campus and couldn’t believe his eyes. “He’s a nice guy carrying around this massive umbrella, and there were about three or four people under it,” Althans said. “I happened to get under it by Alkek.” Although the campus was nearly flooded, Althans said Dawson lifted everyone’s spirits. “There was a lot of gloomy people, and generally grey weather brings people down,” he said. “It was

Colby Dawson, psychology senior, holds up umbrella to sheild students from the rain on September 26. PHOTO BY TYLER DUMAS | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

nice to see this guy with a giant umbrella making sure people were staying warm and covered. He brought a lot of happiness to people.” Dawson was upset about


Kratom users outraged By JeriLynn Thorpe Senior News Reporter @jerilynnthorpe

The chemicals found in Kratom, a plant from Southeast Asia, will soon be classified as Schedule I substances and effectively illegal on Sept. 30. The DEA defines Schedule I drugs, substances or chemicals as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and marijuana. The DEA plans to ban Kratom for two years, while it conducts more research and finds the proper regulatory

classification for it. Kratom has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia and has gained popularity in the U.S. for its many beneficial uses, but namely for managing pain as an alternative to opioid painkillers. “Kratom is a natural plant indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia and some of those areas; same family as the coffee tree,” said John C., sales associate at Marvelous Smoke. “It appeals to the same opioid receptor in the brain (as Vicodin). So it’s in the same classification

the university’s delay to cancel classes, but he made the most of it. “We pay all of this money to be here, but water is a danger, especially in a place that has a river (running) through it,” he said. “Parking lots are flooded and you’re putting people’s lives in danger, and I don’t really jive with that. They probably should have cancelled classes around 10 a.m. when

the rain started getting bad and Sewell started flooding.” Dawson said he was happy to help fellow students. However, he probably won’t have the chance to carry the patio umbrella around campus again because officials made him return it. “I didn’t get in any real trouble, but I probably won’t be able to get away with it twice,” he said.

as opioids, but in my experience, it doesn’t have a lot of the crash that goes along with it. In a nutshell, the negative effects aren’t there. It’s a very natural supplement to some of the other stuff that is available.” Grace Colgan, a San Marcos resident, injured her lower lumbar when she was 15-years-old and has experienced back pain ever since, but found no solace in pharmaceuticals. “Because of my age, no doctor wants to take the risk of doing pain manage-

ment with me and helping me manage my pain with prescription pain pills,” said Colgan. “So basically what I’ve been told is, you get to live with pain until your old enough for us to not have such a liability to prescribing pain medicine to a young person. That’s when I started using (Kratom),as I need it for my back pain.” Kratom has been referred to as an “herbal supplement,” by its consumers and the stores carrying it. Stephen Wells, sales associate at Marvelous Smoke, said the ban will affect hundreds of customers. “One of the guys who comes in here on a regular basis to buy Kratom is prescribed fentanyl patches for his pain,” said Wells. “The problem with that is he can’t go to work, he can’t drive, he can’t really do much of anything while on the fentanyl. So he started using Kratom and in lieu of it, was able to get a job. And now that Kratom is going away, the only other thing that he has to go back to the fentanyl patches which means no more job and no more driving. It really is saving people’s lives and giving them a life back.” Kyle Blackmor, Texas State alumnus and San Marcos resident, has used Kratom to manage his back pain for more than three years, and said he will be heartbroken come Sept. 30. “When I found (Kratom) I was like, ‘this is from the gods, this is the answer to all of my prayers,’” said Blackmor. “I think the biggest problem is that if (the DEA) makes it a Schedule I, then they consider it as harmful and as terrible as heroine or LSD or crack cocaine. It’s just a shame because the truth is that it’s medicinal. I think perhaps a wise thing for them to do is to regulate it.” When Kratom is banned, consumers will have to look elsewhere for pain relief. Blackmor said this presents a huge concern for people who are without health care or are reluctant to be prescribed a physically addictive medication. “I really hate to have to go back to hydrocodone,” Blackmor said. So what does the future hold for this herbal supplement that many have praised as a magical cure-all? John C. said there was a petition going around to gain the attention of the White House in hopes of ending the banning of Kratom. The petition needed to get 100,000 signatures in 30 days. It reached the goal in eight days, but even the petitioners are doubtful of a happy ending. “I think we will never see it again. (The DEA) is going to wait for a bunch of things to happen and sweep it under the rug and it will be gone forever,” John C. said.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016  
Tuesday, September 27, 2016