TUESDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2017 VOLUME 106 ISSUE 23 www.UniversityStar.com
STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENTIAL Q & A safety with ideas and opinions floating around on campus. Student should feel safe, and in the last year there has been an escalation in crime at Bobcat Village and surrounding facilities. I want students to feel safe in order to get the full collegiate experience. Clegg: I do not like to look at our campus and see the problems. I prefer to look at our campus and say “this is what our campus does great.” One thing we do really well is allowing people to voice their opinions. In order to make that better we can work with student involvement to make the process easier. If you want to go out into the Quad, you will not have to give 10 days notice.
4. What would your administration bring to Texas State that differs from other previous administrations? Russel Boyd, Student Government presidential candidate, speaks at debate.
Connor Clegg, Student Government presidential candidate, speaks at debate.
PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
1. Why did you decide to run
2. If elected, what would be for Student Government Presi- your main hopes and goals for the 2017-2018 school year? dent? Boyd: Because I realized there was a need for change in leadership. If elected, my leadership will be authentic and proactive. I will address and provide for the diverse representation of Texas State. I think Texas State is in need of a fresh type of leadership, and that is what I will be if elected. Clegg: I have been chief of staff for the last year and have the experience. I’ve seen what true change can happen and I think I am uniquely fitted to continue the progress from this past year. It feels like a natural progression.
Boyd: There is a strong need to get more students involved. That is my administration’s priority. I think more students need to be engaged. Student Government, at the college level, is a mini representation of the world beyond college. I want students to be engaged in the community and the government beyond college. Clegg: Within the first few days, if elected, we will put out a sexual assault reform for campus. That will be our top priority. It will make the entire process a lot easier for survivors. I met with legislators this past week and we talked
Students aim to create intergenerational bonds
about how Texas State can lead the way at the state level. Because this has been a divisive election, I hope that everyone would unite around me. I will be a president for everyone.
3. What would you consider the biggest problem(s) on campus, and how would you address the issue(s)? Boyd: There are many fractured relationships on campus which became prevalent after the election. People should be engaged in healthy discourse. There is a lack of relationship between the San Marcos community and the Texas State student body. I want to build a sturdy bridge between the community and our campus. Also, there is a lack of
After a Texas State University faculty member received threatening emails, members of the Faculty Senate have
PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
By Daryan Jones News reporter @DaryanJoness With a goal to integrate learning connections between diverse generations, an organization at Texas State University aims to enhance the way people think of and care for the elderly. Generation Connections was formed in 2010 and is a multidisciplinary club in which students, staff, faculty and campus groups learn about what it means to grow old and how to care for the aging population. One of the main
IMMIGRATION BAN PAGE 6 IMMIGRATION
goals is getting different generations to communicate with one another. “We are trying to eliminate ageism and prejudice against older people in America among students and provide the opportunity for different generations to dialogue, do things together and interact with the elderly,” said Dr. Christopher Johnson, faculty advisor of Generation Connections and sociology professor.
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Clegg: All of the other administrations, except the Homann administration, did not do a whole lot for the student body. We are going to be one of the most active administrations to ever take hold of this office. We are hopeful and optimistic about the future of our university. I would hope that after our year is up, people will look back and say “Wow, they got so much done.”
Faculty Senate develops Academic Freedom Committee By Katie Burrell Senior News Reporter @KatieNicole96
Amanda Couve, dementia and aging studies graduate student and vice president of Generation Connections, Opeyemi Olopade, president of Generation Connections and Dr. Christopher Johnson, faculty advisor of Generation Connections and sociology professor discuss the importance of the aging population in society.
Boyd: Authenticity and proactivity is what I am bringing to the table. My administration will be very proactive in terms of reaching out to the student body. The legislation is for students and should be geared toward students. We will be assessing students’ needs, and create things to help them. We, as the student government, need to come to students instead of expecting them to come to us.
“Some (Academic Freedom Committees) are concerned with detecting violations of or threats to academic freedom and some include mechanisms for enforcement." - Dr. Vincent Luizzi created an Academic Freedom Committee to combat academic issues on campus. The committee is meant to serve as a branch of the Faculty Senate have jurisdiction over issues of academic freedom for faculty and students. The senate appointed a work group of four members to draft the committee’s purpose and mission specifically to Texas
6 Valentine date ideas Chocolates, heart-shaped candies and oversized stuffed bears are all the makings for an average Valentine’s Day date. This year, try something different with your significant other or friends. Here are some affordable, unique ideas for a memorable Valentine’s Day with whomever you choose to spend it with.
PAGE 5 HOLIDAY
State which includes defining the issues on campus. The concept was presented at the Jan. 25 Faculty Senate meeting by Dr. Vincent Luizzi, faculty senator and philosophy professor. Luizzi offered the concept in a discussion regarding academic issues, along with fellow senate member Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor. After expressing her opinion on the Strutters’ participation in the inaugural parade last month, Bell-Metereau received threatening emails and twitter messages from students. In response, Dr. Dana Garcia, faculty senator and biology professor, said, “This might be something for the Academic Freedom Committee to consider.” Garcia said she could see the need for such a committee due to the nature of these issues, as they are not under the senate’s jurisdiction. The concept also arose during the debate over the university’s involvement with the Scholars at Risk network. The senate has discussed endorsing the institution’s involvement with a program which helps foreign students seek education in the United States. “The Academic Freedom Committee might be potentially charged with considering scholars and making recommendations,” said Dr. Shirley Ogletree, faculty senator and psychology professor.
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2 | Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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The University Star Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17
FROM FRONT ACADEMICS Opeyemi Olopade, president of Generation Connections said many young Americans today, don’t have much experience with the elderly, which is one reason why an organization like Generation Connections is essential. “A lot of students don’t even know what it means to grow old or what it means to live with elderly parents,” Olopade said. “Some people don’t even know who their grandparents are.” Many elderly people don’t have access to the best care, but members of the organization express receiving visitors can be very helpful to a senior’s health. “The elderly, especially the elderly in San Marcos, are kind of put to the side when it comes to care, but the power of love and having one-on-one relationships is very important for maintaining health, and it’s much better than just taking drugs to help with these diseases,” Olopade said. Generation Connections focuses heavily on teaching people about diseases in the elderly population such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, because it’s a common part of the aging process. “It’s just one of the things that happens when you grow old,” Olopade said. “It’s not a disease that people should run from, it’s something you can learn about and help them.” The organization wants to raise awareness about the idea of personcentered care for elderly residents and residents with dementia, which is taking the time to understand each resident as an individual and avoid stereotyping. “We are trying to look at the person first because they don’t really have an actual cure yet, so we want to work on how to help the person and let them
A brochure for a generational major is posted outside of a sociology professors office. PHOTO BY REBECCA MENDOZA | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
have some control of their lives,” said Amanda Couve, dementia and aging studies graduate student and vice president of Generation Connections. The club also organizes trips to host activities and events at elder care facilities in and around the San Marcos area. Before each visit, volunteers will learn different ways to communicate with residents. “I will be teaching them both nonverbal and verbal communication techniques specifically for people with dementia,” Christopher said.
Creating bonds between generations allows for more learning opportunities. “We need to learn from elders because their approach to things is different than ours and because their perspective is so different than ours,” Olopade said. “We have to blend the two perspectives so we can produce a better community.” Sometime in the future, Generation Connections would like to assist Dr. Johnson with his plans for dementiafriendly airports and dementia-friendly cities.
Obama honors Texas State associate professor with prestigious award By Ashley Skinner Senior News Reporter @Ash_Marie54 A Texas State faculty member’s invention is being recognized as the possible silver bullet to solving the nation’s troublesome cyber attacks, intrusions and hacks. On Jan. 9, former President Obama named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. Oleg Komogortsev, associate professor of computer science, was one of the 19 scientists nominated for the National Science Foundation’s section of awards. The awards are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the president’s executive office. PECASE is the highest honor scientists and engineers can receive in the early stages of their careers. “Representatives from the Office of Science and Technology contacted me first,” Komogortsev said. “Two hours later, I was notified that I was awarded the PECASE.” For the last 17 years, Komogortsev has focused on eye movement and biometrics to prevent identity theft and improve health assessments. “Biometrics is very important today in the modern world,” Komogortsev said. “It is important because we have to remember passwords for everything. The goal of biometrics is to basically stand in front of a computing system and have the system recognize who you are.” A person can be identified by their fingerprints or irises in their eyes, but Komogortsev said it is very easy to fake either one of those. So, he has invented methods to assess the identity of a person through liveness detection. “A fingerprint or iris is easily spoofed by image,” Komogortsev said. “What we do is create a liveness detection capability to rule out imposters.” Liveness detection methods have “the ability to look beyond the surface of the skin and discriminate between the features of live skin and copies of those features in a fraction of a second,” according to a biometrics blog. This aspect of Komogortsev’s invention plays a unique role in cyber security because the system devises the muscular structure of the eye and brain structure. “We made our technology with existing iris recognitions devices,” Komogortsev said. “This will not only recognize a person, but tell if the person is tired, fatigued (or) sick.” Undergraduate, graduate, minority and disadvantage students have worked on the project alongside Komogortsev throughout the years. He wants students to understand that they can positively change the lives of others. “I collected all the data for the project after I applied for the position through the computer science department,” said Sarah Vazquez, computer science se-
Dr. Oleg Komogortsev, Texas State associate professor. Former president Obama recently awarded Dr. Komogortzev for his research in cyber security. PHOTO BY REBECCA MENDOZA | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
nior. “We went to a high school and let all of the students use the technology to play games with their eyes. The program allows the user to pop balloons of a certain color with specific eye movements. He definitely deserves the PECASE.” Vazquez commended Komogortsev for his invention and humble attitude toward the project. Former President Obama said the outstanding scientists and engineers awarded the PECASE are working to keep the United States on the cutting edge. In addition, he said federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand knowledge of the world and contribute to the economy. Lee Friedman, postdoctoral research associate, said he congratulates Komogortsev on the breakthrough in security and is happy to have played a key role in the success. “I brought the statistical thinking into the program—a statistically based way to rate how stable the biometric eye movement is,” Friedman said. “I’m an eye movement expert, and I created a new movement scoring program. We ended up with a much better performance after this, and his reaction was priceless. He deserves this honor.” National Science Foundation Director France Córdova said recipients of the PECASE have demonstrated talented research as dedicated mentors, role models and teachers. The organization is pleased to recognize them and looks forward to seeing their future discoveries. “The award is big deal if you look
at the other people who received it,” Komogortsev said. “It can be used as encouragement for other faculty to continue to do their excellent work with students. I was one of just 19 nominated by the NSF, and the other recipients
come from top ranked schools. This means that Texas State can do research and gain achievements of great magnitude.”
The University Star
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | 3
Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17
FROM FRONT ACADEMICS The senate concluded it was clear the committee would be useful in providing answers on academic issues in the future. “We’re just beginning to review mission statements of faculty senate Academic Freedom Committees at other universities,” Luizzi said. “I am collecting statements of purpose of Academic Freedom Committees on other campuses and at other universities that claim to be promoting academic freedom.” Luizzi was appointed chair of the committee by the senate. He was also put in charge with leading the committee with the help of fellow senate and work group members Dr. Elizabeth Bishop, history associate professor, Dr. Scott Bowman, criminal justice associate professor, and Bell-Metereau. This committee would join other universities across the state that have initiated Academic Freedom Committees including University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M. The committee at the University of Texas at Austin is comprised of members in charge of the study of issues involving academic freedom as well as advising on these issues. Texas A&M also has a committee dedicated to academic freedom with over 40 members. Stephen F. Austin University directs issues of academic freedom to their Professional Welfare committee specifically dealing with faculty and concerns. “Some (Academic Freedom Committees) are concerned with detecting violations of or threats to academic freedom and some include mechanisms for en-
A Texas State University Faculty Senate meeting Feb. 8 to discuss the new Academic Freedom committee. PHOTO BY JENNIFER CHACON | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
forcement,” Luizzi said. “I think an educational function is a must for the mission statement. Besides, Faculty Senate is already involved with hosting events about academic freedom.”
At Texas State, the exact purpose of the committee is yet to be determined. The four members responsible for continuing its creation hope to see it resolve some concerns directed toward the Fac-
ulty Senate. Hopefully, the committee can provide more specialized answers and direction.
Student Government debate photo gallery
Russel Boyd, Student Government presidential candidate, speaks Feb. 13 during the debate held in the LBJ teaching theater. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Connor Clegg, Student Government presidential candidate, speaks Feb. 13 during the debate held in the LBJ teaching theater. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
BOBCAT CALENDAR February
14 15 16 17 SWIM LESSONS WHAT: Learn how to freestyle and backstroke WHEN: 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM WHERE: Student Recreation Center Natatorium COST: Free
MARKET DAY WHAT: Vendors will be selling food and other items. WHEN: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM WHERE: The Quad COST: Free
OBSERVATORY VIEWING WHAT: Star gazing WHEN: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM WHERE: Supple Science Building Roof COST: Free
GERMAN FILM SHOWING WHAT: Screening of Männer wie wir / Guys and Balls WHEN: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM WHERE: Centennial Hall G02 COST: Free
SCAVENGER HUNT WHAT: Explore campus with a challenge WHEN: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM WHERE: LBJ Student Center COST: Free
CAREER FAIR WHAT: For Mass Communication majors WHEN: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM WHERE: LBJ Student Center Ballroom COST: Free
BLIND DATE WITH A BOOK WHAT: Find a book at the Popular Reading Area WHEN: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM WHERE: Alkek Library 2nd Floor COST: Free
FRENCH FILM SHOWING WHAT: Screening of Classe tous risques WHEN: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM WHERE: Centennial Hall G02 COST: Free
For more events, go to star.txstate.edu/category/today/
4 | Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The University Star Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise
Excuses students use to get out of class By Dalia Moreno Lifestyle Reporter @dalyazmor Sometimes making up creative excuses can be easier than staying on top of assignments in the classroom. Brent Brown, biology junior, said he’s honest with his professors when he turns in unfinished assignments. “There have been some times where I would just let them know that I woke up late,” Brown said. “They didn’t give me the shot but they admired my honesty.” Texas State’s Honor Code is stressed through course syllabi warning students against plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct. However, Brown said he doesn’t believe every student takes the Honor Code seriously. Brown said his friend blamed his teacher for losing an essay that was never completed in the first place. “She gave him two weeks to do the essay again,” Brown said. “He completed the essay and got full credit. She believed that she had lost the essay and felt really bad.” Stephanie Martinez, political science sophomore, said she used her hospital visit as an excuse to get an extension for an assignment she forgot about. “I went back to the hospital and asked to have another prescription so they would write today’s date so when I showed them the excuse it showed the two days I was there and then the third day,” Stephanie Martinez said. “I was in the hospital, but I extended the little lie.” Nicholas Martinez, radiation therapy sophomore, said he has used failing technology as an excuse but finds school important. “Avoid procrastination,” Nicholas Martinez said, “College is mostly about
Students get creative when it comes to excuses for late work or missing class. PHOTO BY JENNIFER CHACON | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
priorities and if you’ve got your priorities straight, you’ll get your work done. Just make time for school first.” Dr. Alexander Savelyev, assistant geography professor, said he continuously takes points off as students turn assignments in days late. “Students basically start balancing their priorities and then they say, well that class does not have a late policy so I have to turn it in right now,” Savelyev
said. “This class does have a late policy therefore I’ll choose to lose half a percent and then instead I’ll choose to do something else right now.” Not only is grading late work a mathematical pain when formulas are involved but also adds to the grading pile, Savelyev said. “In reality that creates problems for both me and my (teaching assistants),” Savelyev said. “Grading a group of 30
people for a small written assignment probably would take easily about 20 hours of work.” Teacher assistants are typically only paid for about 20 hours of work a week, said Savelyev. When students decide to turn in late work, Savelyev said they create a rolling flux of work and TA’s cannot guarantee that they will have grades posted in a timely manner.
Is Rate My Professor actually worth it?
Christian Arenas Sandoval, industrial engineering freshman, googles Rate My Professor. PHOTO BYJAIME DORSEY | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
By Amanda Heileman Lifestyle Reporter @busybeeamanda Rate My Professor has become a must-check for students registering for classes. The site provides reviews and ratings for college professors across the nation. Students are allowed to access the website and rate professors from one to five for level of difficulty and easiness. Students can answer a variety of questions about attendance, textbook use and can give professors a ‘chili pepper’ for attractive physique. Some students and professors find the website useful, while others believe the reviews are misleading. Emily Harris, junior international studies major, said she uses Rate My Professor often when creating her schedule. "I use Rate My Professor to find the easiest professors for difficult classes," Harris said. "I use it every semester to make my schedule." Harris said she didn't know Texas State also has a reviewing system for professors. Roy Puente, electrical engineering senior, said he has avoided taking professors because of the ratings on the website. "Rate My Professor saved my life," Puente said. Texas State students can find ratings
on Texas State based off of evaluations given to students at the end of the year. The ratings can be found on the HB 2504 website. Kat Rogers, sound recording technology sophomore, said students gravitate towards Rate My Professor because of its popularity. "I do feel like the Texas State reviews can be pretty accurate as well," said Rogers. "Sometimes it's accurate; some-
“I do feel
like the Texas State reviews can be pretty accurate as well.” – Kat Rogers times it sucks." Puente said he didn’t know the ratings from Texas State evaluations was accessible to students.
"I didn't know we could see the results,” Puente said. “I thought it was always to make us feel better." Jonathan Surovell, philosophy lecturer, said some students who use Rate My Professor are not interested in learning. "It's probably accurate on how easy it is to get a good grade, so if that's your primary interest then it's probably worth using," Surovell said. On the other hand, if the student "wants to improve, wants to become more knowledgeable and wiser," then Rate My Professor might not be a reliable guide, Surovell said. Surovell found the reviews through the Texas State system to be more informative. Due to the evaluations, Surovell made the readings easier and shorter, and also included resources and class activities to help students improve their reading skills. Surovell said he pauses less while lecturing, due to the evaluations. "To me I think it's a little silly to complain about that, but it's a complaint I've gotten many times," said Surovell. Surovell said female professors will get
lower ratings even when everything is kept constant or when they do the same things as male professors. Surovell said another flaw is when students have different mindsets when they rate professors. Students who get very good grades are much more likely to give somebody very good reviews across the board, said Surovell. "What both of those things indicate to me is that these reviews are a weak indication of how good a teacher the person is," Surovell said. "The point of a university course is to learn, not to be entertained."
The University Star
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | 5
Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise
6 Valentine’s Day Ideas for any relationship status By Stacee Collins Assistant Lifestyle Editor @stvcee Chocolates, heart-shaped candies and oversized stuffed bears are all the makings for an average Valentine’s Day date. This year, try something different with your significant other or friends. Here are some affordable, unique ideas for a memorable Valentine’s Day with whomever you choose to spend it with.
1. Picnic at the park Instead of taking your date to an expensive restaurant, save some money and bring them to Rio Vista Park for a picnic. The 14-acre park includes picnic tables, BBQ grills, trails and benches. Get an old-fashioned picnic blanket and prepare a Valentine’s Day lunch for your significant other or group of friends. Heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries and pink lemonade are easy-to-make treats for picnic perfection. Rio Vista Park is located at 555 Cheatham St., right by the river dam. Bring a bathing suit for an after-lunch swim if weather isn’t too chilly.
2. Romantic movie marathon Netflix and chill has never been more appropriate. If you and your Valentine’s Day date prefer staying in, prepare the most epic movie marathon ever. Gather all the covers you have and build a blanket fort with your date or friends. Decorate it with strings of lights, fluffy pillows and entirely too much popcorn. “Meet my Valentine,” “The Wedding Planner” and “Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special” should be queued on your Netflix account. For those who have Hulu, “Pretty in Pink” and “When Harry Met Sally” can be streamed.
3. Paint with your sweetheart Channel your inner artist and paint with your sweetheart at Cafe Monet in downtown San Marcos. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, the local studio invites couples and friends to paint their own pottery, mosaic or wooden
plaques. On Tuesday, pottery will be sold for $2 less than normal at Cafe Monet—a bang for your buck. Whether you create a loveable masterpiece or hideous disaster, the memories made creating something with a loved one will remain. The studio is located at 145 E Hopkins St.
4. Treat yourself For those who will be spending Valentine’s Day alone, it is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself. For the ladies, get a manicure and pedicure done at Bobcat Nail and Spa or treat yourself to a massage at Pure Bliss Massage. For the guys, get a professional haircut at the San Marcos Barber Shop. If you can’t afford to get professionally pampered, take a well-deserved bubble bath and call it a night.
5. Become a professional baker for a night
We all know Valentine’s Day is mainly about all of the delicious heart-shaped treats. Turn on some Frank Sinatra and become professional bakers for the night. Visit H-E-B and get all of the baking essentials: eggs, flour, icing, sprinkles, milk and more. Google how to make Cupid-themed cookies, love bug cupcakes or anything else your heart might desire. After you and your significant other are covered in flour, devour the treats and fall into a food coma.
6. Adventure through the Square Some of us aren’t the best planners, and when we try to make plans it ends with, “I don’t care—wherever you want to go!” For those of us who are the worst at planning dates, take your significant other to the Square and go from there. Downtown San Marcos is full of nightlife, food and fun. Anything can happen. Stroll through the streets of the Square, and walk into the first place that looks interesting. Continue doing this throughout the night until your feet get too tired. Excitement and spontaneity will make your Valentine’s Day date one to remember.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Bobcats! Wishing you all a g�eat day! Swing by The Universit� Star for a Valentine’s Day giﬅ!
Be sure to follow us on social media for special announcements.
And remember, you’re all stars in our eyes.
6 | Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The University Star Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise
How Texas State students are affected by the immigration ban or are there and can’t come back.” Rinaudo said some of her family friends who had plans to visit Syria cannot leave the U.S. even though they are green card holders. “It fed into how there is still a side of America that still fears all Muslims are terrorists,” Rinaudo said. “Even though I was born and raised here, it still feels like I’m being isolated as a Muslim.” Rinaudo said improving screening processes would have been a better alternative to banning seven Muslim-majority countries from entrance into the U.S. The ban generalizes all Middle Eastern people when only a small percentage has been radical. Some of Rinaudo’s friends have chosen not to cover up with hijabs on campus in fear that they will be targeted. “We always have to take an extra step and be cautious just because of our religion,” Rinaudo said. Those who are afraid of Muslims on campus should get to know those students and realize they are essentially the same, Rinaudo said. Stereotypes and
fear could be forgotten if Islamophobic people sit down and have a conversation with a Muslim. “I felt like with Obama’s administration, we were actually progressing as a society,” Rinaudo said. “With Trump, I feel like we will take a couple steps back.” MSA typically holds meetings at the San Marcos Masjid, a house that has been converted into a mosque. “We all feel safe because it’s like our house away from our house,” Rinaudo said. “Even though our Muslim population is very diverse, we all feel like brothers and sisters.” Clay Smith, manager of the San Marcos Masjid, said he felt obligated to purchase fire insurance for the masjid because of the recent mosque fires in Victoria and Lake Travis. “If there’s one thing I’d like people to know about Muslims, it’s that the Muslim is a person whose neighbor does not fear harm from him,” Smith said.
“ If Trump con-
Protest signs made by the Muslim Student Association of Texas State in response to the immigration ban. PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
By Stacee Collins Assistant Lifestyle Editor @stvcee President Donald Trump’s immigration ban directly affects numerous people around the world—and 22 of them are right here at Texas State University. The travel ban, originally signed into order Jan. 27, suspended entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries and halted admission of all Syrian refugees into the U.S. for 120 days. However, a federal judge blocked President Trump’s immigration ban and the State Department reversed the cancellations of 60,000 previously revoked visas. This led the Department of Homeland Security to suspend all implementations of the order and resume standard inspection of travelers. The Trump Administration and the Department of Justice filed an appeal to restore the immigration order, but the appeal court denied the request. However, the future of immigrants is still uncertain. In response to the travel ban, Texas State University President Denise Trauth released a statement Jan. 31. She announced that 18 students, two visiting scholars and two faculty members have been directly affected by the policy. The International Office at Texas State personally reached out to those affected at the university. Staff members organized a tea and discussion event Feb. 8 to support the international students. “We will continue to support all of our international students from around the world,” said Ryan Buck, assistant vice president of International Affairs. “Our university is a very special place
as we remain steadfastly committed to diversity as one of our core institutional values.” Fatima Al-Dahi, PACE Peer Mentor and applied sociology senior, said some of her family members moved from Iraq to America to escape the Gulf War in the ‘90s. Al-Dahi has family from all over the world; she and her parents had to call around after the ban was announced to see who was safe. Her uncle, green card holder, is currently in Baghdad and cannot return back to America because of the policy. “He has been working on getting his citizenship for so long, and now that’s being halted,” Al-Dhahi said. Some of Al-Dahi’s family members from California had plans to fly over to the Middle East to visit family they haven’t seen in years, but the immigration order forced them to cancel plane tickets. Al-Dahi said she was concerned that history is repeating itself with the immigration ban. She related some of Trump’s executive decisions to those of Nazi Germany. “I feel like it is going to increase division in our country,” Al-Dahi said. “If Trump continues to push so much and the government supports him in that, it’s going to blow up into World War III.” Dana Rinaudo, biology junior, said she is the vice president of the Muslim Student Association at Texas State. MSA hosted a protest against President Trump’s travel ban Feb. 2 in the Quad. “A lot of our members are from those Arab countries,” Rinaudo said. “We have a lot of friends and family members that are either here and can’t leave
tinues to push so much and the government supports him in that, it’s going to blow up into World War III.” – Fatima Al-Dahi
Dana Rinaudo, biology junior and vice president of the Muslim Student Association of Texas State. PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
“Tiramisu for Two” gets a unique distribution in San Marcos By Paola Esquivel-Oliveros Lifestyle Reporter @paolaoliveros The City of San Marcos starred in the first Texan Italian cult film, “Tiramisu for Two”. “Tiramisu for Two” follows the story of Giorgio (Bobby Olson), an Italian man on a quest to find the woman he loves, a Central Texan named Hope (Melody Chase), who he met in Italy 30 years ago. On his journey to find his long lost love, he comes across a few bumps on the road and is taken on the wildest ride of his life. The film is a San Marcos story directed and produced specifically for the local audience. Vanessa Hernandez, music junior, said she was drawn to “Tiramisu for Two” because it was filmed in San Marcos. “If it was filmed somewhere else I probably would not be as intrigued by it as I am,” Hernandez said. “After seeing the trailer, I was left with so many questions which has me even more curious to know what happens.” Romina Olson, producer, said San Marcos was a crucial part of the film as a whole. “The city is a character in the movie,” Olson said. “Not only is it filmed in San Marcos, but also mentioned and talked about by the actors.” Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, director, said the film was created to be true to a region. “San Marcos is a very unique little city it is very alive there is no place like it,” said Carvajal-Leoni. “This film is like a tribute to this city.” The film further exemplifies some of
Texas-based EVO Entertainment Group has paired with filmmakers to shoot a film in Rome, Italy and San Marcos. PHOTO BY BRANDON VALENCIA | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
“San Marcos is a very unique
little city; it is very alive, there is no place like it.” –Carvajal-Leoni San Marcos characteristics by having some of the city’s locals play a part in the film. “One of the executive producers who
is an active member of the San Marcos community had a role in the film,” Olson said. Two San Marcos police officers also
took part in the film. “Both officers did a very good job,” Olson said. “They were spontaneous, natural and looked great on camera.” An idea for one of the characters in the movie was born from and named after Valentino’s Pizza which is located in the heart of downtown San Marcos. “Tiramisu for Two” is partly filmed in Rome, Italy as well. Olson said in films Italians have a stereotype of either being ruthless gangsters or ‘happy-go-lucky’ pizzeria chiefs and this film strayed away from that. “We do joke around a little with that stereotype through Valentino’s character but the film is not centered on that,” Olson said. “Italians are like kids, very imaginative, fun and lively,” Carvajal-Leoni said. “We wanted to make a film that celebrates that.” Carvajal-Leoni said the film has a lot of heart to it. “I want the audience to know that this film is about telling a story that allows people to connect with each other and their city,” Carvajal-Leoni said. “That is the real call of this film.” Olson said the “Tiramisu for Two” took a unique production route. The distribution was built on a collaboration between “Tiramisu for Two” filmmakers and Evo Entertainment Group and was showcased Feb. 6 – 12 at The Spot. “What we are doing is no way following a traditional route we have been working in films for more than ten years and I have never seen something like this,” Olson said. “In a way we are beginning to break a wall.”
8 | Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella
The Professor Watchlist: a contemporary Hollywood Blacklist The Hollywood Blacklist of the mid-20th century and the Professor Watchlist currently circling the web have much in common—right down to the rhyme scheme. The Hollywood Blacklist prevented the employment of members in the entertainment industry accused of having Communist ties or sympathies. While the Professor Watchlist does not prevent the employment of a group of people based in belief, it does monitor professors across the country accused of liberal conviction. These professors are often unwittingly added to the list in order to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” Professors should not spew propaganda or try to indoctrinate their students—no matter which side of the political spectrum they fall on. However, the idea of a list of professors based on political beliefs with much of their information listed is not only unnecessary but dangerous. These educators can become targets for those who do not agree with their belief systems and can be subjected to violence and discrimination, much like the members of “red Hollywood.” Professors, faculty, students and people of all professions in this country should not have to face the threat
of discrimination or fear based on political belief. What is arguably the most problematic about this “watchlist” is the fact that some professors are added
those who spout “propaganda” in the classroom. Last we checked, marching in the streets and engaging in protest on the weekends does not include the classroom.
"What is arguably the most problematic about this 'watchlist' is the fact that some professors are added because of actions and activities they take part in on their own time." because of actions and activities they take part in on their own time. The moderators of the list claim to expose
Professors fighting for what they believe in and exercising their freedom of speech most likely understand the
importance of providing students with information and allowing them to form their own conclusions. In this chain of events, students are armed with knowledge that will allow them to form their own opinions and in turn exercise the First Amendment if they choose to. Bold professors across the nation have asked to be added to the list in order to take a stance and fight for what they believe in. At The University Star, we support our professors and educators and their right to hold political ideas and practice academic freedom. Colleges and universities are supposed to be the bastion of democracy, debate and education. Once individuals start “watching” those who engage in debate and the inspiring nature of the college system, history is bound to repeat itself in the most tragic ways. Many people lost jobs and means of providing for their families because of a group’s fear of something as unsubstantial as someone else’s belief system. It may be easier to provide evidence of someone’s beliefs in the age of the internet but it does not mean it should be done. Professors, university faculty and students should be able to enjoy their lives without being monitored by political groups—the government already has that covered.
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.
This is my president and yours By Jakob Rodriguez Opinions Columnist @JakobRyRod As protests and hashtags develop across the country and on social media in response to President Trump’s actions in office thus far, the U.S. military and federal government employees continue to salute their president regardless of personal opinion or political ideology. “This is not my president” chants rang out over the course of the inauguration week and throughout President Trump’s first weeks in office. However, the army of first-time protestors’ livelihoods do not depend on the commander-in-chief fulfilling his duties under the Constitution. Regardless of how they may feel personally, military and government employees are going about their duty. Trump is their president. The military and federal government have a vested interest in the president’s success. Our military and federal employees depend on the commander in chief to make sound decisions regarding foreign and domestic policy. The Trump and Pence presidential campaign ran a heavy emphasis on strengthening the military and getting tough on domestic policy by replacing a Muslim ban with an extreme vetting of Muslim immigrants. According to a poll from the Military Times, of the 2,790 active-duty troops surveyed, 51 percent said they supported Trump. The same poll also said that among active-duty troops, one in four service members worries Trump may issue orders that violate military rules or traditions. While President Trump inspired many first-time protestors to action, there was little doubt the commander in chief ’s traditional standing military would back him. Even after attacking a Gold Star family by insulting the Khans or attacking John McCain, Trump’s approval ratings among military personnel didn’t seem to falter. The Trump and Pence campaign announced the support from 88 retired generals and admirals, which paled in comparison to the 500 that backed Mitt Romney in 2012, but they stand with him nonetheless, reports the Atlantic.
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Many federal employees worry they may lose their jobs or money in the event of a government shutdown, and this has possibly affected their view of Trump’s administration. Since 1976, if Congress could not agree on a budget by the end of the fiscal year, the government would “shut down” leaving many employees without jobs, or those with jobs with retroactive pay. ABC reports as many as 800,000 non-essential federal employees were affected by the last government shutdown. Active duty personnel are not affected by potential government shutdowns in the form of furloughing all non-essential government employees. The military remains loyal in its oath to serve and protect America and its
citizens. "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God,” reads the oath of enlistment. Federal law enforcement and some personnel also take a similar oath that binds them to the president’s words and actions. Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, in the commander in chief clause, states “the President shall be
commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.” The clause includes any service man or woman who was pro or anti-Trump, whatever the commander in chief says goes, be it added deployments or enforcing the Muslim-ban. As updated pictures of the military’s new chain of command are put on display across the nation with the new administration in place, veterans and current service men and women are among those with the most to lose and yet they are still saying, “This is my President.” - Jakob R. Rodriguez is a journalism freshman
The University Star
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | 9 Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella
EPA, Donald Trump and the media By John Lee Opinions Columnist @leeeeyonce Donald Trump’s words of “America first” not only apply to other countries, but to the environment as well. His marginalization of a worldwide issue and his disconnect with the media contribute to America’s growing distrust in his administration. These issues can no longer be ignored and must be recognized by Trump and his administration. Climate change has continued to be a frivolous subject to President Trump. Although extensive studies have been conducted to prove climate change exists, Trump’s cabinet pick for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency disagrees. “That debate is far from settled,” wrote Trump’s EPA pick Scott Pruitt
"With a press secretary who believes in “alternative facts” and Trump’s refusal to take questions from certain news organizations, it has become obvious that America cannot function this way." in the National Review. “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged—in
ILLUSTRATION BY FLOR BARAJAS
classrooms, public forums and the halls of Congress.” Pruitt’s doubts about climate change go further than just global warming. The former Oklahoma attorney general doubted the harmful effects of mercury in the environment and sued the EPA to exclude regulations. He also closed the environmental unit in his office when elected in 2010, and has ties to the oil industry. Through Trump’s nomination and the actions Pruitt has taken, it is clear that both men have no real concern for the environment. This was further inflamed with the silencing of the EPA and other departments. The media reported that President Trump issued a “gag order” to halt all communication from the EPA and national park social media accounts, but some say it was a sensationalized headline produced out of fear.
“I don’t think it’s fair to call it a gag order,” a senior EPA official told The New York Times. “This is standard practice. And the move with regard to the grants, when a new administration comes in, you run things by them before you update the website.” The overstated headline is almost justified when considering actions the president has taken so far, along with his hostile relationship with the media. The same actions were taken during the transition between Bush and Obama. However, the significant difference was that Obama was clear on his support to fight climate change. Trump’s possible plans to move the White House press corps have created tension between the media and White House. The press corps is located in the West Wing of the White House—a place of accountability for past presi-
dents by the media. The relocation of this iconic area would raise flags as to how transparent Trump’s administration will be. With a press secretary who believes in “alternative facts” and Trump’s refusal to take questions from certain news organizations, it has become obvious that America cannot function this way. There is real, rational fear concerning Trump and his administration. Whether the subject is climate change or gag orders, it will be imperative that the media and the president come to an understanding. What the American people need right now is transparency—not more sensational articles or “alternative facts.” -John Lee is a marketing freshman
Ajit Pai is a threat to net neutrality
ILLUSTRATION BY FLOR BARAJAS
By Joe Grist Opinions Columnist @joegrst Net neutrality has been a vital issue since Tim Wu coined the term back in 2003. Net neutrality has made the internet what it is today. It is the doctrine of allowing equal access to content and applications to all, generally known as Title II. The net neutrality argument falls on whether governments and private companies should regulate the internet or if it should remain an open, free market. On June 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied challenges against the Obama Administration’s rules for net neutrality, which ensured equal access to all consumers. This was an important victory for proponents of an unregulated internet, but now that the Trump Administration is in place, net neutrality is threatened again. On Jan. 23, President Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai, a known opponent of net neutrality, to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Aware of the fact that some staff
members in the FCC were concerned with him being appointed to the position, Pai decided to address their worries head on. "One of the most significant things that I’ve seen during my time here is that there is a digital divide in this country—between those who can use cutting-edge communications services and those who do not,” Pai said. “I believe one of our core priorities going forward should be to close that divide." When queried by reporters during a press conference, Pai made his intentions clear. “I favor a free and open internet and I oppose Title II,” Pai said. On Feb. 26, 2015, the FCC passed an Open Internet Order through a 3-2 decision that reclassified broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. This gave the FCC the ability to create blanket rules that prohibit problematic acts of discrimination. For example, it prohibits companies from purposefully slowing internet speeds and blocking content based on how much customers pay for internet connection. The second subsection of Title II of
the Communications Act, established in 1934, states that common carriers cannot make any “unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities or services.” This exposes the truth about Pai’s view of a “free and open internet.” Without Title II, internet service providers would have too much power in controlling access to content that better serves their business interests. It could lead to monopolies, as some companies might strike deals with ISPs that allow its users to have certain benefits competitors would not. There is also a concern that some websites or applications could be throttled or even blocked because they report information about certain corporations. To be fair, some people who oppose net neutrality have a few strong arguments. Some say the act gives the government too much reach or that charging certain services with more bandwidth a little extra would bring a new source of revenue for investment in building and creating faster networks. The biggest problem overshadowing these arguments is oversight. A lack of safeguards would allow the system to be easily manipulated. In the digital age that we live in, it has become necessary to adjust and improve past regulations. What worked in 1934 doesn’t work today, and that is the price you pay for technological progress. Pai claims to want “a free and open internet” and wishes to close the digital divide, but his Feb. 3 decision to prevent nine companies from providing federally subsidized internet to the poor conveys his desire to do the exact opposite. Pai increased the digital divide when he refused to allow these companies to participate in the Lifeline program, which provides registered households a $9.25-a-month credit so that they can afford internet. For Kajeet Inc., this news is especially worrisome.
“I’m most concerned about the children we serve,” Kajeet founder Daniel Neal told the Washington Post. “We partner with school districts in 41 states and the District of Columbia to provide educational broadband so that poor kids can do their homework.” It’s hard to keep up with all the changes happening in our government, but we must do our best to make sure that people in charge, like Ajit Pai, are held accountable. The technology industry will be a major part of our future as a country, and everyone deserves the chance to be technologically literate—regardless of income. -Joe Grist is an English sophomore
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10 | Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella
Greek organizations are becoming outdated
A suspended fraternity does not compare to the end of a life
By May Olvera Opinions Columnist @yungfollowill Texas State has gained national attention for the suspension of four fraternities as a result of a Halloween party that left one young woman dead. As with all tragedies, there is a responsibility to evaluate how we got to this point and if we should continue to accept an outdated tradition.
discriminate against people of color. On the other hand, black fraternities and sororities, have been admitting white members for decades. A study published in 2010 concluded that out of eight white Greek chapters on three East Coast campuses, only 3.8 percent of members were non-white. Obviously we live in an extremely racist society, but it continues to baffle me that white people remain so insecure about their place in the world
the biggest problems amongst fraternities is rape. A study done in 2007 found that fraternity men are three times more likely to commit rape than other men on college campuses." It would be irresponsible to paint every Greek organization with the same brush, because plenty of good has been done throughout generations of members. However, it is undeniable that behaviors, objectives, emotions and beliefs sustained over a long period of time become part of culture, and much of Greek culture has become undeniably toxic. One of the biggest problems among fraternities is rape. A study done in 2007 found that fraternity men are three times more likely to commit rape than other men on college campuses. These results are consistent with at least two more studies, and Texas State is unfortunately no exception to the ever-growing rape culture emitted by fraternities. That statistic itself should be enough to dismantle fraternities as an institution. Women are not objects guaranteed to men and rapists should not be welcome in any fraternity. However, ridding a fraternity of rapists may cause it to lose many of the members. Another issue common throughout Greek organizations is extensive discrimination. Until the late 1960s, many Greek organizations had whites-only clauses that allowed them to openly
that they simply cannot handle witnessing black and Hispanic excellence. University officials all over the country are notorious for doing very little to address these problems until someone ends up hurt, perhaps even dead. Much of this is due to the amount of money that Greek alumni donate to their alma maters, but I would rather have a respectable student body rid of rapists and racists than a flashy new student center bought with their money. Universities should stand as a reflection of what we want our world to look like. Unity is an extremely valuable asset in society, but aggression and discrimination are not. I am all in for the positive aspects of Greek life, but in order to respect and honor those who have been harmed—or even killed—because of an increasingly negative culture, it is our responsibility to see where Greek organizations are going wrong and how we can shape them into more positive communities. Turning a blind eye to these problems will only enable abusers and create more victims. - May Olvera is a journalism junior
By Rachael Shah Opinion columnist @rachaelshah Halloween weekend will forever have a different meaning for Jordin Taylor’s loved ones. On Oct. 29, 2016, Taylor attended a fraternity party held at Cool River Ranch tubing and music venue. The party was registered through Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Tau Omega. Two other fraternities, Delta Tau Delta and Kappa Alpha Order, could not register due to pending suspensions for previous incidents. However, they continued to fund and contribute to the party. Natalie Aylett, radiation therapy sophomore, said the last time she saw her best friend was around 10:45 p.m. at the party. “There was a concert and Jordin wanted to get closer to the stage. We got separated in the crowd,” Aylett said. “I texted her, but she didn’t reply. She knew everyone there, so when she didn’t come home that night I thought maybe she had gone home with one of her sisters.” Unfortunately, that was not the
trying to move on. “There is obvious frustration and regret about everything that’s happened, but it doesn’t have anything to do with getting kicked off,” said Noah Spradlin, former Alpha Tau Omega member and psychology sophomore. “We are having a hard time accepting that many years of traditions are coming to an end. It’s like a chapter in our book that’s ending.” Spradlin said Taylor’s death has affected him on a personal level. “I think about Taylor everyday. She had a soul that latched onto you, and now that she’s gone, it’s hard for me to comprehend,” Spradlin said. “Losing Taylor was like an epiphany for a lot of people. My friend even changed his major to psychology because of her death.” Although Spradlin accepted the suspension, many other members of the Greek community are refusing to acknowledge their punishment by pretending they are still active. Certain fraternities involved are continuing to hold parties and events, although none are recognized or registered with the university.
“I think its sad more people are interested that their frat got kicked off instead of the fact Taylor lost her life. I don’t want to say no one cares, but it seems like people care more about their frat, which shouldn’t be the case.” - Natalie Aylett case. The following morning, Aylett learned her best friend had died during the party. Taylor’s body was found under a bus that was being used to transport students to and from the party. Although it is still unclear as to how Taylor came into contact with the bus, her autopsy revealed her cause of death was consistent with being struck and dragged. Taylor’s death shocked the entire Texas State community. “Everyone liked her. She was that person you wanted to be friends with,” Aylett said. “She was the most comforting person ever. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her. I still think about her all the time. She was my best friend.” Taylor was a 20-year-old member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and had many friends on campus. She was known for her ability to light up a room, and was pursuing a degree in respiratory care. Taylor’s carefree independence attracted people toward her, and her memory will forever have an impact on everyone who was lucky enough to know her. Since the accident, all four fraternities that participated in the party have been suspended for different amounts of time. Alpha Tau Omega, Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Tau Delta, and Kappa Alpha Order are no longer active for various reasons. The fraternities’ suspensions have caused mixed emotions throughout campus. Several students have expressed their disdain for the suspensions on Twitter, while others have accepted their punishment and are
“I think its sad more people are upset that their frat got kicked off instead of the fact (that) Taylor lost her life,” Aylett said. “I don’t want to say no one cares, but it seems like people care more about their frat— which shouldn’t be the case. To all of those who are angry with their fraternity being kicked off of campus, I’d like to put things into perspective for you: You will wake up, go to class and eventually get your degree. Jordin Taylor will never get those opportunities because she was killed at a party that your fraternity contributed to. Although the party was registered and safety measures were implemented, a life was ultimately lost. You cannot change the past, but you can control how you react. Accept the punishment with grace and dignity. Honor Taylor and her loved ones by implementing your fraternities’ suspension. Greek life already has a bad name throughout the country, and how we handle this will speak volumes about our character and morals. I know how important your fraternity is to you because I am also a member of the Greek community. I love my sorority very much and it’s hard to imagine it being taken away from me. However, just because you lost your letters doesn’t mean you lost each other. Focus on what really matters. The loss of your fraternity isn’t the biggest loss to come out of all of this. -Rachael Shah is an electronic media junior
The University Star
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | 11 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Bailey and Brooke Holle: Dynamic duo of differences By Brooke Phillips Sports Reporter @brookephillips_ Ask any athlete, and they’ll say there is nothing better than playing the sport they love. However, for two Texas State athletes, the one thing that makes any game better is being able to play beside their best friend. Bailey Holle and Brooke Holle, freshman guards, have shared the court for as long as they can remember. Although people recognize the duo as twins playing the same sport, the players have distinct differences. “I think the biggest challenge is getting compared to each other,” Bailey Holle said. “We don’t like to be compared to each other because we think that we’re good at different things.” The Holle sisters have always played the same sports growing up, like volleyball, soccer, track and basketball. However, it was during their freshman year of high school when they realized basketball was their favorite. When the opportunity came along to continue their basketball careers beyond high school, the Holles decided to take it. “We thought it would be weird if we went to different schools because we always just grew up playing together,” Brooke Holle said. “Just being a twin is such a big part of us that if we went to different schools no one would ever know that we were a twin.” Although college basketball was a whole new level for the sisters, playing side by side was nothing unfamiliar. “For me, playing in college with Brooke isn’t that different because I’ve done it my whole life,” Bailey Holle said. “From other people’s perspective, it’s cool because that’s someone who knows you really well and knows what you do and your tendencies. It’s fun to be on the court at the same time as her.” Not only are the Holles the only twins on the team, they are the only freshmen. “Playing college basketball together has definitely made the transition a lot easier,” Brooke Holle said. “Us being the only freshmen, no one really relates to that on the team because they’ve either been here a year or they’re older. Having my twin, it just makes it easier knowing that someone is going through the exact same thing.” While playing different positions allows them each to stand out in their own way, they enjoy different aspects of each other’s game as well.
STAR FILE PHOTO.
“I like when Brooke makes super athletic plays that people don’t expect her to make,” Bailey Holle said. “She’ll run out and dive for the ball or something and I just like watching her make those plays.” Likewise, Brooke Holle also cheers on her sister. “I like to watch Bailey on defense,” Brooke Holle said. “She has a really good feel for defense and has a great instinct. She always knows when to apply pressure and she’s just great on defense.” For the Holles, having a twin on the court at the same time benefits not only their individual game, but it serves the team as a whole. “I feel like we have a good connection on the court,” Brooke Holle said. “We know that if she gets a steal, I’ll be able to run and she can pass it to me. If I sprint ahead and she’s coming down the court, then I know she’ll look for me. Stuff like that. Although running up one’s stats is always a goal for many athletes, being selfless and focusing on the overall team are what the Holle sisters like to do best. “I hope to make the basketball program better,” Bailey Holle said. “I want to do well in school and earn good
grades, but I also want people to be like ‘oh it looks like it would be fun to go and play basketball at Texas State.’ Having good energy on the court is one way to do that.” While basketball takes up most of their time, the Holles enjoy spending time outside of the court with each other. “We hang out a lot because we have a lot of the same friends too,” Bailey Holle said. “We swim at the river or go to a movie with friends. Brooke and I are always together.” Being together so often, the Holles share some of the same qualities. “In common, we are both pretty outgoing,” Brooke Holle said. “We both like to meet new people and hang out with friends. We both have the same sense of humor and like to joke around.” Along with a shared like of various hobbies, the Holles are both very focused on school and working hard to get their degrees. Another difference between the sisters comes from the majors they each chose—Bailey is a business major while Brooke is majoring in exercise and sports science. They both strive for different career paths, but ultimately have the same pas-
sion. Throughout their time here at Texas State, the Holles hope for the best for each other and want to encourage each other every single day. When asked what advice they would give to each other, their answers were similar. “One piece of advice I would give Brooke is to stay positive,” Bailey Holle said. “Obviously basketball gets hard and life is hard, but just staying positive and not getting too negative over aspects you can’t control.” Positivity is clearly what motivates the Holle twins to be the best athletes and people they can be. “One piece of advice I would give to Bailey is that whatever is going on to just find the positives in it,” Brooke Holle said. “Sometimes with basketball and school, it seems like we’re so busy and it’s so hard. But just remember to find the positives in whatever you’re doing.” No matter which path life takes them beyond being college teammates, Bailey and Brooke Holle will always be sisters, twins and most importantly, best friends.
Bobby Conley: Behind the jersey
STAR FILE PHOTO.
By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae From Massillon, Ohio, this Texas State basketball player is more than happy to call San Marcos his new home. Bobby Conley, senior guard, traveled from Ohio to Florida on a basketball scholarship from Palm Beach State. He played at Palm Beach State for two years before he was offered a scholarship from Texas State. He considers his move to Texas State as the best decision
he has made. Between the school spirt and scenery, he knew he would be happy in San Marcos. “I feel like this is the best choice for me,” Conley said, “I like the environment and I love the school spirit. Everything about this school, I like.” Leaving his family behind in Ohio to pursue his dream was a little harder than expected. Luckily for him his mother, Lynn Van Epps, moved closer and has attended all of Bobby’s home games. Although his mom is close to him,
he still misses his three younger brothers, Braylon, Torez and Jaxon, who are still in Ohio. However, with technology they are just a phone call or text message away. To Conley, basketball is life. If he is not out on the court, he is either in class, studying or sleeping. “Honestly if I am not playing basketball or doing homework, I am taking a nap,” Conley said. In order to be the best, you have to have someone to model yourself after. For Conley, that someone is Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
Conley believes that Westbrook is a leader and has his own sense of style— both on and off the court. “I just love the way he plays and with how much emotion he plays,” Conley said. “He doesn’t care what anybody thinks about him.” Conley chose his Texas State jersey number, 0, to match his favorite athlete. Westbrook might be his favorite athlete, but the Cleveland Cavaliers will always be his favorite team. “It is just the home team, I got to rock out with the home team,” Conley said. Surprisingly, basketball was not always Conley’s top sport. In his junior year of high school, he played soccer. He was named most valuable player with over 23 goals in one season. If his basketball career had not taken off, he would have continued playing soccer. If those two sports had not worked out, he would have become a professional singer. “Yeah, I can sing a little bit,” Conley said. “I sing some classic Chris Brown stuff.” When it comes to hobbies, Conley is an avid reader. Although he reads from the Bible daily, his favorite book is “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom. “I read the Bible every night, like bits and pieces,” Conley said. “But, my favorite book is something that I read in high school, but I re-read it sometimes.” Conley is in his senior year of eligibility, which means this will be his last semester playing basketball for the Bobcats. However, this will not be his last semester in San Marcos. Conley will graduate from Texas State University in December of 2017.
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