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Texas State students can push emergency buttoms in case of emergency. PHOTO BY EMILY SHARP | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Bobcat Guardian app tackles campus crime By Andrew Turner News Reporter @AndrewTurner27 The administration at Texas State University, in conjunction with student government and the University Police Department, has launched the Bobcat (Rave) Guardian app—a system designed to enhance safety on campus by using virtual safety network. The GPS-driven device allows users to set up personal profiles, quickly send anonymous tips to safety personnel and contains various features to ensure campus safety. Users can set a safety timer feature that will immediately alert designated guardians if the timer is not deactivated by the user within the set time frame. One use for this feature is for a student walking home through campus after dark. The student would turn off the timer when he or she arrived home safely. “If you’re in emergency or in distress, use the call button,” said Sgt. Rolando Belmares with University Police Department. “All you have to do is push one button and it will automatically send a signal to our dispatch center and it’ll give us a GPS signal of your location, so we can immediately dispatch officers to that location.” Texas State is one of 1,400 universities that offer the Rave Guardian Technologies’ services to its students in order to improve campus security.


Faculty Senate begins search for new ombudsman By Katie Burrell Senior News Reporter @KatieNicole96 Texas State University currently employs two ombudsmen who offer informal mediation for students and faculty. The faculty-designated ombudsman’s three-year term is ending in 2017. The Faculty Senate is on the search for a new, suitable candidate who will be appointed by the president. Dr. Patricia Pattison, finance and economics professor, was appointed as ombudsman for faculty in 2014 by President Denise Trauth. Since her appointment, Pattison has offered collegial mediation for faculty members with a variety of issues. Pattison visited the Faculty Senate to discuss her experience as ombudsman. She made recommendations as to what to look for when nominating the next person. Pattison, as part of her duties, must maintain anonymity when discussing past mediations. Pattison said her preferred method of conflict resolution is mediation because allowing both parties the chance to speak can solve a lot of the conflict itself. However, Pattison said she has resolved issues where faculty members have felt bullied by each other or by their dean. She has dealt with faculty members accusing each other of biases. She has also mediated situations where one faculty member felt he/she were being reviewed harder and more


Dr. Patricia Pattison, Texas State’s current ombudsman, poses for a photo Feb. 20 in her office. PHOTO BY BRANDON VALENCIA | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

frequently than others. All of these issues, Pattison said, have been resolved because she was able to speak with both parties individually and together, while supervising the dialogue. Pattison recommended the Faculty Senate the next person to take over as ombudsman would do well to have a legal background and a mild temperament. Although the ombudsman is appointed by the president, the Faculty

Fighting war on drugs The darknet is home to illegal forms of pornography, stolen credit card information, commercial hacking services and more. But if the darknet is doing anything right, it is the commercial selling of drugs— and the United States government should take note.


Senate is charged with searching for a replacement and making an informed recommendation. According to Michel Conroy, art and design professor and faculty senator, the ombudsman is neutral, and is not an advocate to either employee or management.


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HEADLINES The University Star

The University Star Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar


Editor-in-Chief...............................Emily Sharp, News Editor.......................................Bri Watkins, Sports Editor................................Lisette Lopez, Lifestyle Editor...................Denise Cervantes, Opinions Editor......................Mikala Everett, Multimedia Editor...............Lara Dietrich, Copy Desk Chief..................Claire Abshier, Design Editor............................Vivian Medina, Engagement Editor...................Stacee Collins, Director of Media Sales.......Folee Hall, Account Executive..Anthony Woods, Account Executive...Christina Castro, Account Executive....Kassidy Watson, Marketing Manager.........Britney Cox, Sales Manager....Marisa Campbell, Media Specialist..............................Dillan Thomson, Advertising Coordinator..................A.J. Arreguin, Publications Coordinator.........................Linda Allen, Publications Director......................Richard Parker,

CONTACT PHONE NUMBER: (512) 245 - 3487 E-MAIL: ADDRESS: Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666


The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday 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 HeraldZeitung.


Copyright Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. 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.

Taxes State students now have the opportunity to utilize the Bobcat Guardian app, which is intended to improve safety on campus. PHOTO BY ABDUL QASEM | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Rave Security Technologies’ aims to make security software products for a variety of uses in the healthcare industry and in education and allows university communities to actively participate in safety initiatives for all members. “(The app) is just not for campus,” said Lt. Alex Villalobos. “It could be where ever you’re at across the United States.” The app is offered to anyone affiliated with the university, but members of the university community can select individuals outside of campus as guardians. The app operates with a combi-

nation of GPS tracking technology, mobile communication timing and partners with police departments on college campuses. The desire for additional safety features that led the university to adopt the Rave Guardian system came from a combination of student concern and a push by student government, as well as UPD and the administration. “This was in the works long before I got here, but I can tell that student government led the way in doing it because we heard from students that safety was a concern of theirs,” said Connor Clegg, political science junior

and student government chief of staff. “So it’s big with UPD and it’s big with the administration, and those two kind of worked together to make it happen.” Clegg said he wants to include a presentation of the app at student orientation to highlight the university safety measures being taken on campus. “I think from an institutional standpoint, Texas State is aggressive when it comes to safety,” Villalobos said. “The app is just another level of resource that we offer to our university community, among many.”


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) 2453487 to purchase additional copies.


Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication.


Any errors that are in the pages of The University Star and are brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible. Visit The Star at

FROM FRONT FACULTY “We want to promote people that have these mediation skills,” said Janet Bezner, physical therapy professor and faculty senator. Pattison will continue to offer mediation until the next ombudsman is appointed. The university also offers an ombudsman for students. The student

“We want to promote people that have these mediation skills." -Janet Bezner ombudsman is responsible for mediating and resolving issues students may have with faculty or staff. Additionally, the ombudsman can deal with any university-related issues a student may be experiencing. The student ombudsman can be found on the fifth floor of the LBJ Student Center in the Dean of Students Office. Before visiting the office, Bobcats must fill out an intake form and are recommended to reference the student handbook. While students and faculty at the university have ombudsmen to mediate issues, the staff lacks an official. However, the Faculty Senate is considering to hire a permanent position for staff members. “There is no ombudsman for staff,” said Selene Hinojosa, Alkek librarian. “There is one for students and there is one for faculty. For staff, I think there’s a web page that says if you have an issue, to contact your supervisor.” Pattison said while there is no official staff ombudsman, there is one appointed on a case-by-case basis. Other universities in the state, like the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas offer ombudsman services to staff.


Thousands participate in “No Ban, No Wall” rally at the Texas State Capitol By Rebecca Stone Special to the Star AUSTIN, Texas – Thousands of people showed up Feb. 25 at the steps of the Texas State Capitol to protest President Donald Trump’s actions on immigration and the border wall, as well as the travel ban on seven Middle Eastern countries. The “No Ban, No Wall” rally, which ran from 2-5 p.m., consisted of numerous speakers and guests, such as Joaquín Castro, U.S. Representative; Samer Khalaf, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and undocumented immigrants and refugees who spoke about their experiences. “This is the time to resist fear and paranoia,” said Castro as he addressed the cheering crowd. “There is a better way out there America. You are making a difference.” Many speakers focused on how Trump’s executive actions affected children throughout the nation, such as the youngest speaker at the event, Lila, a nine-year-old Syrian refugee who arrived with her family to the United States 60 days ago. She spoke about living in a wartorn country and missing school due to fleeing her country. She held hopes about coming to America in search of sanctuary and free education. Her short speech left her, her father and many in the crowd crying and chanting “No ban! No wall!” “I know what it is like to feel cold. I know what it is like to feel heat,” said Lila. “I now know how much little kids…how they suffer under the war.” The speakers talked about a range of topics, from the ICE raids to the LGBTQIA community, protestors booing and cheering when certain subjects were brought up, ending each speech with a new chant almost every time. “Undocumented! Unafraid!” “All walls must go! From Palestine to Mexico!” “No ban! No ICE! We demand our human rights,” were chants they yelled as drums played in the background. “They can push us, but they can’t destroy us. They will never destroy us,” said Pastor Joaquín Figueroa. “No to deport! No to raids! No to the wall of shame!” The rally was organized and publicized on Facebook with the name “No Ban, No Wall Rally at Texas State Capitol” by University of Texas-Austin

graduate student Omar Rodríguez-Ortiz.

“They can push us, but they can’t destroy us. They will never destroy us. No to deport! No to raids! No to the wall of shame!” -Pastor Joaquín Figueroa After the travel ban was issued in January, Rodriguez-Ortiz started the Facebook page, which grew in popularity.

“I created the Facebook page the same day the ban was announced, thinking ‘well maybe I can get 100 people; anything small can help,’” said Rodriguez-Ortiz. “Then I see that over a thousand people are interested in the rally, then 10 thousand. Students, professors and whole families are attending. We will have engineers, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. We all are just trying to chip in however we can in this situation.” Rodriguez-Ortiz hopes to plan more rallies, creating a whole page for just “No Ban, No Wall at Texas” for people to support the cause, with over 2,700 followers currently, where people can plan events such as the rally or publicize future events. “If you want to get involved, go to rallies and go to marches,” said Rodriguez-Ortiz. “Call your representatives and senators, and if that doesn’t work, then send them hand-written letters. Just get involved somehow because it shows and it is making a difference.”

The University Star


Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 3 Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


Quad Fashion Finds: Spring Edition By Paola Esquivel-Oliveros Lifestyle Reporter @paolaoliveros The weather is beginning to warm up again and Bobcats are welcoming the spring season by trading in boots and coats for T-shirts and shorts. Light layers were seen on the Quad this week as students said goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

Victoria Stetson Victoria Stetson, advertising sophomore, said her style inspiration comes from the 90s. “I like my high-waisted jeans with a shirt tucked in or a crop top,” Stetson said. Stetson said she looks to Pinterest or other sites for ideas and inspiration on how to style her outfits. “I sometimes see stuff from Urban Outfitters which can be expensive,” Stetson said. “I try to find stuff that looks similar but cost less.”

Megan Odia Megan Odia, sociology freshman, describes her style as comfortable and alternative. “Through my style I am able to express myself in a colorful way,” Odia said. Odia said she channels a lot of her outfit inspiration from the musicians she listens to. A$AP Rocky, Harlem artist, is one of the rappers Odia follows in fashion. “During New York fashion week I really liked what Young Thug and Fetty Wap wore,” Odia said. Odia said her current favorite fashion pieces are cutoff T-shirts, tights, tennis shoes, and caps. Abdiel Rivas, mathematics sophomore, said he also looks to his favorite musicians for fashion ideas. “I like to discover new music which is the reason why I like to discover new stuff in fashion as well,” Rivas said. Rivas said the as the temperature begins to warm up he is going to start styling his clothes for campus differently. “Now that it is getting hotter,” Rivas said, “I am going to wear more nude, lighter and muted colors.” TOP LEFT: Matthew Barnes, freshman economics, wears long sleeves to stay warm while walking in the Quad on Feb 16. TOP RIGHT: Haley Norriss, psychology sophomore, walks to class in the Quad Feb 16. BOTTOM LEFT: Christina Leicht, public relations junior, wears comfortable clothes while in the Quad Feb 16. BOTTEM RIGHT: Eileen

Hernandez, electronic media sophomore, wears clothes for cooler weather while walking through campus Feb 16. PHOTOS BY JAMIE DORSEY | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Eileen Hernandez

sophomore, said she likes to pair heels with her outfits. “I think wearing heels makes you feel more feminine,” Hernandez said. “When you’re walking and strutting in your heels I feel that it empowers you a little bit.” Hernandez looks to Pinterest when she doesn’t know how to style an outfit. “If I don’t know how to throw something together, I’ll just check out Pinterest and see what styles they put with what,” Hernandez said. “I think that shoes are the main thing that make an outfit.” Hernandez said due to the fluctuating Texas weather she layers her clothing. “I usually throw something on top that I can easily take off when it gets warmer,” Hernandez said.

Christine Leicht Christina Leicht, public relations junior, said she finds inspiration through beauty and fashion bloggers. Leicht’s favorite go-to fashion piece is leggings. “My style is very relaxed and comfortable,” Leicht said. “I mostly like athleisure wear.”

Haley Norriss Haley Norriss, psychology sophomore, said her style is a mixture of schoolgirl and old-fashioned clothes. “Nothing in particular influences my style,” Norriss said. “If I like it, I wear (it), if not, I don’t.” Norriss said she doesn’t take the weather in consideration when dressing for school. “I don’t take the weather into account,” Norriss said. “Whatever I feel like wearing (is what) I put on.”

Mathew Barnes Mathew Barnes, economics freshman, said he tries to stand out and express his personality through clothing. “I would say my style is unique,” Barnes said. Barnes said he uses peers and fellow Bobcats for fashion tips and outfit inspiration. “If I see someone wear something cool, I try my own spin on it,” Barnes said. Currently, Barnes favorite things to wear are long sleeves and jeans.

Eileen Hernandez, electronic media


Celebrating Black History Month at Texas State By Dalia Moreno Special to the Star @dalyazmor Black History Month is a time to reflect and learn about the many achievements and progress within the African-American community, and some students celebrated by taking advantage of the university’s various events and initiatives. “When you learn about other cultures, you can empathize with them. You’ll understand why they feel the way they do,” said Bryson Williams, studio art senior. “If you’re not open for discussion, you narrow yourself for the opportunity to learn.” Caleb Maxwell, exercise and sports science freshman, said celebrating Black History Month at Texas State is important so students can learn more about a culture that often goes unnoticed. “It’s important to learn the history of it all because we know so much history about other races, and I feel like it’s important because it gets overlooked all the time,” Maxwell said. “You get to learn the culture and the meaning of where we came from.” At Texas State, Black History Month was celebrated early with the reenactment of the different marches held during the civil rights movement. The 32nd Annual MLK Commemoration Celebration, put on by the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, began at Old Main and ended at the LBJ Student Center Ballroom Jan. 17. Kianna Udenze, international relations sophomore, was on the committee that organized the MLK Commemoration and Celebration program. Aside from honoring Dr. King, she enjoyed the diversity of the ceremony. “Even though it was cold and rainy, a good amount of people came out to the march and supported Martin Luther King,” Udenze said. “It was just nice that people wanted to come out and honor his legacy. It was inclusive, which is what we need on campus.” Williams designed the shirt for this year’s event. He said he wanted to make

sure the design was inclusive of all groups and fused them together as one. “We’re all just people. That’s one thing that we can’t

Men United and the Black Student Alliance, said he learned more about local black history when he visited the Calaboose AfricanAmerican Museum in San

Deanna Spearman, psychology senior and vice president of Texas State’s NAACP, and Bryson Williams, studio art senior and communications coordinator for Black Students Alliance, proudly wear their “I Stand, We Stand” and “Black Men United” shirts to show solidary throughout campus. PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

forget,” Williams said. “Yeah you’re Asian, they’re Hispanic (and) I’m black—but we’re all human beings at the end of the day.” The Black Student Alliance had a spin-off game of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” Feb. 7 that included questions to inform students about lesserknown civil rights leaders and their accomplishments. Williams, who is a member of Black

Marcos. “I got to learn about the black history here in San Marcos that I would have never known had I gone anywhere else,” Williams said. “I learned about some of the great historic figures that came through, like Lucious Jackson.” As a student in San Marcos, Lucious “Luke” Jackson was not allowed to play basketball at his school because of his skin color. However, he became a pro-

fessional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers and an Olympic champion. Udenze said she became more appreciative of this time of year as she got older and began to learn more about what African-Americans endured in order to advance. “When I was younger, I never really had appreciation for it until I learned all the struggles that African-Americans go through in life,” Udenze said. “I feel like it’s such a great month because in history books, African-American studies aren’t really known.” The university officially kicked off Black History Month with Mama’s Kitchen Feb. 8 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Texas State is using this month to spread awareness on issues. The NAACP has a petition linked on its Twitter page to start an African-American Studies program on campus. The Black Student Alliance held its annual Desegregation Picnic Feb. 24 at Sewell Park. The event included music, food and prizes and aimed to bring the Texas State and San Marcos communities together.

4 | Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The University Star

SEXUAL VIOLENCE @universitystar

Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17


Anti-Rape activist brings awareness of sexual violence to campus By Ashley Skinner Assistant News Editor @Ash_Marie54 The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted during her time at the university. Anti-Rape Activist Stephanie Gilmore hosted a series of presentations on campus, covering topics like “Confronting a Rape Culture” and “Interrogating Sexual Violence on Campus” to create an atmosphere of dialogue around the subject of rape. “I always start with saying ‘I believe you’ to the victims I’m speaking with,” Gilmore said. “Instead of being questioned, a person needs to know that he or she is trusted.” Jeff Helgeson, associate professor of history, heard of Gilmore on multiple occasions and jointly decided to bring her in for the Interrogating Violence Dialogue series. “I think that the week has jump started important conversations that need to be had,” Helgeson said. “Her name came up in many conversations of mine and it felt like a good fit.” Gilmore studied Women and Gender at The Ohio State University and went on to teach in higher education. During this time, Gilmore was considered a mandatory reporter for rape and sexual assault; if a student confides in her about dealing with sexual violence, Gilmore was obligated to report it to the university. However, her instincts told her to remain loyal to the students. “There is an emotional uncompensated labor that is evolved with academia,” Gilmore said. “It was more important to have the confidentiality of my students than to report. I do not regret that decision at all.” Gilmore took action to become a speaker and activist after seeing how institutions left students in a position to be re-victimized time after time. “I couldn’t take that any longer,” Gilmore said. “I decided to not be complicit. I have spoken at more than 40 colleges across the country starting with the University of Illinois.” During Gilmore’s presentations, she shares her personal life story to build trust with attendees and explains the definition of rape culture in society. “Rape culture is the culture we are always in,” Gilmore said. “We are in a society where violence is sexy and sex is violent. It normalizes this idea. It says

that men, or masculine people, are dominant, and women, or more feminine people, are victimized.” Gilmore said resources are needed on campuses to prevent sexual assault, but instead, most campuses have postproblematic resources such as counseling centers to deal with the emotional aftermath, and places to purchase rape kits. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that programs intended to educate faculty, staff and students on the matter of sexual violence can reduce rape and assault by nearly 50 percent. However, programs that aim to prevent sexual assault, such as “Bringing in the Bystander” which has been installed in many college campuses in the nation, tend to cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per year. “(Universities need) programs to teach students and faculty not to rape,” Gilmore said. “Bringing in other speakers would also be useful. I just got out of a meeting here at Texas State about this, and I was told it would be too expensive for this university. I do not agree with that.” According to Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Equity and Access Gilda Garcia, the programs Gilmore suggested will be taken into consideration, and the department would like more details surrounding her suggested programs. “Her perspective was very valuable,” Garcia said. “It can create insight for the university and we will be taking her words into consideration as we move forward. We just need more information about the resources.” Rachel Brown, modern U.S. History graduate student, found Gilmore’s words guiding and inspiring. “I’ve been struggling to decide my future career path, and she makes me want to keep working for a non-profit, like planned parenthood or another women’s health care facility,” Brown said. “I think students can help defeat the rape culture by holding their friends accountable to sexist and violent jokes and actions; they can become educators.” Organizations on campus that center around the prevention of sexual violence through education include Men Against Violence and Not On My Campus. Men Against Violence accepts all students, and educates students through resources and presentations on prevent-


ing violence. “It would be good if we could have more open-dialogues on the campus,” said Abby Mellencamp, nursing junior and vice president of Men Against Violence. “This would ensure that students, faculty and staff will have more knowledge on the tough subject.” Brooklyn Boreing, public relations and mass communication sophomore started Not On My Campus last year at Texas State. The goal of the organization is to increase awareness about sexual assault and violence through social media efforts and partnerships with organizations such as Student Government and Greek life. “Our social media effort is usually done by people taking a picture of their hand with the words ‘Not On My Campus’ to get people talking about it,” Boreing said. “We also have a pledge that can be signed online which states that they do not support sexual violence and will not stand for it in any way. Currently, I am working with Student Government to get a reform going regard-

ing sexual violence.” Gilmore said organizations like these can reduce the number of sexual-related incidents on campus. She encourages coalitions that are determined to make a difference by speaking out on these matters. One idea Gilmore suggested for increasing campus involvement was for universities to offer an office dedicated to gender violence. “Prevention must be our educational goal, not just our response,” Gilmore said. University leaders on campus, such as Helgeson, Dr. Jessica Pliley, associate professor of history and Dr. Gilda Garcia, chief diversity officer and director of equity and access, organize dialogue events with people like Gilmore to show the importance of prevention. “Ending sexual violence is my passion,” Gilmore said. “If we can create communities where violence is marginalized instead of normalized, I would consider that a success.”


Film and panel fostered discussion about dating violence

Dr. Stephanie Gilmore speaks at the presentation about interrogating sexual violence on campus Feb 16. PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By Stacee Collins Assistant Lifestyle Editor @stvcee Students, faculty members and locals gathered on campus Feb. 22 to shed light on dating violence—an issue that led to the murder of a former Texas State student. Tiffanie Perry attended Texas State in 2010, and was about to graduate with a business management degree until a violent ex-boyfriend took her life. Perry’s mother, Catherine Shellman, produced the film “Not Enough Time” to bring awareness to dating violence and to prevent incidents similar to her daughter’s. The film was screened at 6 p.m. at the LBJ Student Center Teaching Theatre, then a panel full of dating violence experts answered audience questions. “Not Enough Time” told the story of Tiffanie Perry’s life and death. After the breakup, Perry’s abusive ex-boyfriend shot her and turned the gun on himself. Through film interviews from friends and family, viewers got an inclusive perspective of how dating violence can impact victims and their loved ones. Shellman gave her first presentation at the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center, and has since traveled across Texas to speak to high schools, shelters and college campuses. “Anyone and everyone would benefit from information on dating violence, how to recognize it early on and how to get out safely,” Shellman said. During the panel, the university Title IX coordinator Dr. Gilda Garcia said

those who have experienced sexual assault or an abusive relationship should seek counseling. “If you’ve noticed some red flags and then hear an argument, right then is when you intervene to make people safe,” Garcia said. The Title IX web line is open 24/7 for students to report any cases of sexual misconduct. Garcia can be reached at 512-245-2539. Jemm Corona-Morris, prevention educator at the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center, wants to help others notice red flags of abuse through his own experience as a survivor of dating violence. Some red flags could be the ex sending constant messages after the breakup, pressuring for conversation or trying to persuade the other person to meet up. The HCWC offers free and confidential services for residents such as the 24hour hotline, counseling and community education. The center can be reached at 512-396-4357. Dr. Hillary Jones, senior psychologist at the Texas State Counseling Center, said students should take advantage of the free services offered on campus. “I hope all students know they have access to free counseling,” Jones said. “It’s all confidential. It’s a good resource to go if you’re not sure where to turn to.” Jones said the abusive boyfriend’s emotional attachment to Perry stood out. “If you feel like one person is your entire sense of self, that’s probably a good indication that the relationship is a little unhealthy,” Jones said. “Maybe seek out

some help to determine if something in the relationship needs to change.” The Counseling Center can be reached at 512-245-2208. Whitney Bliss, licensed private practitioner in San Marcos, said those trying to get out of an abusive relationship should bring multiple people or have a police officer on the scene when they retrieve items from the abuser’s house. In addition, they should avoid posting locations on social media. “Being aware of safety plans, talking to professionals, not hesitating to talk to law enforcement, talking on campus with Title IX and more can help so you don’t have to do it all by yourself,” Bliss said. A peer educator for Men Against Violence said abuse thrives in silence— which is why friends and family should speak up if they notice signs of abuse. Men Against Violence meets at 5 p.m. every Monday on the second floor of the Student Health Center. Students are

welcome to visit for information, resources and assistance. If students need a safety escort on campus, they can call the Bobcat Bobbies at 512-245-SAFE. In addition, they can call the Texas State University Police or the San Marcos Police Department. Ranisha Dokes, criminal justice junior, said the event was beneficial because she learned about community resources. “The panel could have been an eyeopener for students who didn’t know what that type of situation looked like,” Dokes said. “I learned about resources so people know what to do if they ever find themselves or a friend in that situation.” The film and panel hit home for Dokes because of her mother’s experience with domestic violence. “I’m glad they’re making domestic violence more aware to people so they know how to handle it,” Dokes said.

The University Star

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 5

SEXUAL VIOLENCE @universitystar

Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17


Sexual assault case reports increase on Texas State campus By Bri Watkins News Editor @briwatkins17 The number of reported sexual misconduct cases at Texas State may be on the rise in recent years, according to university records. However, some members of the university are concerned not all cases are being reported. The University Police Department received seven reported cases of sexual assaults for the 2016 calendar year, marking the highest in two decades. The Office of Equity and Access received 56 reported sexual assaults for the 2016 calendar year. One in five female undergraduates are victims of sexual assault, according to a campus survey conducted by the Association of American Universities. Dr. Jessica Pliley, history associate professor, said she is concerned about the low reports of sexual-related incidents at Texas State, considering nearly 60 percent of 38,808 students are female. Whether reports have not been posted publicly or victims are not thinking to report, Pliley said it is important to hear these stories and educate students about sexual violence. Melissa Rodriguez, director of development and community partnerships at the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center, said there are probably low numbers because some students are not reporting. “When you look at sexual assault

traumatizing.” Rodriguez said the center receives some clients who will not seek effective services in order to recover because they are in denial. “I could see that there are more that go underreported because, sometimes, the reason people do not report could be related to cultural or religious issues, or some people may feel that there could be some sort of stigma attached to it if they do report it,” said Sgt. Alexander Villalobos of the University Police Department. The Clery Act, which applies to institutions of higher education, is confined to crime-related occurrences on campus and off campus when associated with the institution. Through this act, universities are mandated to publicly release all crime-related reports, including sexual assaults from the police department on campus. Title IX is a law developed to support, advise and take action against gender-based violence and harassment, said Title IX coordinator Dr. Gilda Garcia. Title IX undertakes a civil process, while UPD goes through a criminal process. Garcia said Title IX investigators are not mandated to report cases to the police or post them online. “As a matter of fact, I’m prevented from reporting to the police,” Garcia said. “I can strongly encourage a person to go to the police, but I can’t make the report myself because it didn’t happen to me and I am not a witness.”


statistics, it is one of the most underreported crimes. Most don’t ever go through the reporting process,” Rodriguez said. “The process itself is pretty

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act was created in 1972. However, Garcia said Texas State officials wrote the university’s own misconduct


policy in 2014 which included sexual harassment, and the Title IX process became centralized. The centralized structure encompasses reports that range from sexual assault, harassment, exploitation, intimidation, stalking, domestic and intimate partner violence. This policy distinguishes itself from other institutions established including the University of Texas, Garcia said. Garcia said this policy distinguishes itself from misconduct policies of other institutions, including the University of Texas. In 2016, the Office of Equity and Access received 161 reports of sexual misconduct violations. Of those 161 reports, 56 were sexual assault; 41 sexual harassments; 20 were dating violence; 19 were unknown; 10 were sexual intimidation; eight were sexual exploitation; four were stalking and three were domestic violence. “We might have had (161) reports, but they weren’t all sexual assault,” Garcia said. “I think the centralized structure that we use helps us get a better handle of the behavior that we know about. The big unknown is we don’t actually know how much of this behavior is actually going on.” If Title IX were to apply the Associated American Universities 1-in-4 method, Garcia said it would be “frightening” to know there were that many violations. In 2014, the Obama Administration launched the “It’s On Us” initiative to prevent sexual assault by distributing campus climate surveys, encouraging engagement with men for sexual assault awareness and holding universities accountable in reports to provide more transparency. “One aspect of (the campus climate survey) is if more people reported and the university took action, we would eliminate this kind of behavior and we

would start to change the culture,” Garcia said. Texas State is in the process of creating a comprehensive climate survey that will consist of Title IX issues and other on-campus experiences. Garcia said it should be released sometime in the spring, and she hopes a high percentage of students participate so the university can receive accurate results. “I want engagement with (the survey). I want focus on it. I want people to be paying attention to it because this is how we make change occur,” Garcia said. “I would like everyone to be aware on how we need to be with each other—to be respectful and to be supportive so that we can make this a safe campus. Can you imagine if all 40,000 people were engaged in that?” Villalobos said there are various ways to encourage victims to report, and he believes a climate survey would benefit the university. “I think (the climate survey) is going to get us the keys of addressing the overall need of our university community because we are distinctly different from the universities in our region in regards to how we respond to things at Texas State,” Villalobos said. “We are very proactive, and we want to get those conversations out. Villalobos said he believes there is always additional training that could be incorporated to increase campus safety, and he encourages student engagement. “We, as a police department, we like to provide information within our organization like coffee with cops or chat with the chief; where we provide information about some of our programs with self-defense and our safety apps and prevention initiatives that we put on for all types of prevention, not just sexual assault,” Villalobos said. “So that’s the best way for us to help change behavior.”

6 | Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Tomi Lahren is America’s newest sweetheart By Rachael Shah Opinion Columnist @Rachael Shah If you have never heard of the riveting national media-star, Tomi Lahren, then I am in disbelief. Tomi Lahren is a 24-year-old American television host who acquired her own show straight out of college with One America News Network. After a year of hosting her own segment, On Point with Tomi Lahren, she decided to leave the show to join the TheBlaze, a web show that offers “a platform for a new generation of authentic and unfiltered voices.” Since joining TheBlaze in November 2015, Lahren has become widely respected for her three-minute segments where she expresses her innovative “final thoughts” on political, economic and social issues. Normally, I would be skeptical in regards to Lahren obtaining a successful career at such a young age. However, after watching a few of her segments, I was deeply moved by her ability to captivate an audience through sharing her struggles as a white, middle-class citizen. Lahren has bravely taken on the responsibility of representing the white minority. She does not tiptoe around controversial issues and is so educated that she does not even need facts to back up her opinions. In July of last summer, Lahren used her controversial platform to compare the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan. “Meet the new KKK, they call themselves ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but make no mistake their goal is far from equality,” Lahren tweeted. Although the tweet was later deleted, it did not go unnoticed. Many people became furious that Lahren equated the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan. However, I believe that Lahren’s tweet was simply misinterpreted. Maybe Lahren acquired inside information that the Ku Klux Klan had a change of heart and teamed up with the Black Lives Matter movement in order to promote racial pride, rather than just equality. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what Lahren actually meant by her tweet because the media viciously attacked her. A petition on called for the removal of her web show. The petition received over 56,000 signatures, but Lahren did not let the bullies get to her. In fact, she bravely defended her tweet by claiming it was her “opinion.” “Everybody else is just so damn scared to be honest and I’m not,” Lahren said in an interview with The Blaze’s Las Colinas Office. “Whether or not you agree with what I’m saying, you’re watching, you’re listening. Either way, I’m an obsession.” What a national hero! Lahren stood her ground and showed America that she will never change who she is, regardless of how many people beg her to stop talking. In a recent segment, Lahren accused people of color getting a “free pass to say whatever the hell they want.” “Please tell me in what way black Americans are not equal,” Lahren stated. “Black people do not need special treatments or gold stars for existing.” At just 24 years old, Lahren seems to be wise beyond her years. She chooses to fight racial injustices by pretending they don’t exist. She even dismisses years of slavery by pretending it never happened and believes everyone should “just move on.” Although controversial and slightly racist herself, Lahren’s disregard for anyone beside herself is exactly the kind of mindset that will make America great, once again. -Rachael Shah is an electronic media junior

The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar


The new student body president must represent the entire student body Main Point

After a torrid campaign rivaling the likes of last year’s national election, Connor Clegg and Colton Duncan will be the student body president and vice president for the 2017-18 school year. Hopefully, the pair will uphold campaign promises and tackle the diversity and communication issues our university is facing. Voter turnout for Student Government positions is typically pretty low. Students are concerned with classes, family and their day-to-day life and don’t spend much time concerned with Student Government’s affairs and elections. However, this campaign cycle captured the attention of student’s far and wide because of the intrigue of alleged early-campaigning and the popularity of Black Lives Movement San Marcos leader Russell Boyd. Boyd was disqualified early in the campaign season after a complaint was filed by Clegg. The Clegg-Duncan team claimed Boyd had participated in early campaigning, citing a tweet he made referring to how Boyd believed he would be a good president. In keeping with the fact that most students saw through this political ploy, the student Supreme Court overturned the decision and Boyd was allowed to run. Throughout the campaigns both candidates offered appealing campaign promises with Boyd offering solutions to bridge the diversity gaps on campus and Clegg declaring that he would improve campus security. Some students felt that both candidates’ campaign promises fell flat after witnessing the petty bickering and jabs about outfits and tweets that the contenders made on the night of the debate. We hope that Clegg will be a student body pres-

Connor Clegg, Student Government presidential candidate, speaks at debate. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

ident that is able to put aside trivial differences and comments in an effort to work towards a greater good—a unified student body. Students deserve a president and vice president that will fight for their issues, listen to their struggles and enact legislation to improve the lives

of all Bobcats. Hopefully Clegg and Duncan will come through on their promises and leave office having improved the university and community. We wish Clegg and Duncan the best of luck and look forward to the good their administration can bring to the university.

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.


Milo Yiannopoulos had to be shut down


By May Olvera Opinions Columnist @yungfollowill In early Feburary, Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart senior editor and alt-right darling, was run out of the University of California at Berkeley by a group of students and members of the community who did not want him at the campus, and rightfully so. If Yiannopoulos were to come to Texas State, I hope our students would do the same. The conversation surrounding the protests has become one of whether violence and the destruction of property is a justifiable form of action

against the far right or not. While not all forms of violence are acceptable, self-defense is. According to Yiannopoulos’ own publication, Breitbart, the goal of his countrywide college tour was to push back against sanctuary campuses that protect undocumented immigrants. Yiannopoulos was to kick off his tour at Berkeley, and prior to the event, university officials warned some students might be targeted by Yiannopoulos and put in danger. “We are deeply concerned for all students’ safety and ability to pursue their education here at Cal beyond Milo’s speech,” the university’s office of student affairs said in a letter to the

school’s College Republicans organization, hosts of the event. “Milo’s event may be used to target individuals, either in the audience or by using their personal information in a way that causes them to become human targets to serve a political agenda.” At that point, the protest became a matter of defense, and black bloc tactics of violence became justified. Not only is it likely a peaceful protest would not have stopped the event from happening, it would have been nearly impossible to halt without physical forcefulness. Yiannopoulos’s mind will not be changed with dialogue or love, but his heinous actions may be physically stopped—and they were. Following his stop at Berkeley, the rest of his tour was cancelled when other universities began to withdraw. To be clear, Yiannopoulos’s first amendment was not violated. The first amendment protects individuals from government retaliation for their speech, but it does not protect them from ordinary citizens shutting down events—and that is the way that it should be. It would be wrong to expect, or even hope, for our government to infringe on any kind of speech. Rather, it is up to us to push this rhetoric back into the shadows and make it socially unacceptable and dangerous to amplify white-supremacist ideas. The “tolerant left” has never been, or claimed to be, tolerant of bigoted individuals putting people in danger of being deported. In fact, I would ask anyone who claims the label of a “leftist” and finds tolerance for these actions to resign that label altogether. Luckily, Yiannopoulos’ tour and book deal has been cancelled due to a released video of him condoning pedophilia, and we do not have to worry about his presence on our campus. Yiannopoulos had to be shut down in order to protect the students he was putting in danger, and I hope we as a university care enough about each other to do the same if needed. - May Olvera is a journalism junior

The University Star


Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 7 Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar


The U.S. needs a “trap house” to fight the war on drugs By Jakob Rodriguez Opinions Columnist @JakobRyRod The darknet is home to illegal forms of pornography, stolen credit card information, commercial hacking services and more. But if the darknet is doing anything right, it is the commercial selling of drugs—and the United States government should take note. Online dispensaries are not new, but imagine a site that would create an online market for people who don’t want to go through shady doctors or street corners for recreational cannabis and medical prescriptions. When Gallup first polled Americans about marijuana legalization in 1969, 12 percent surveyed said it should be legalized. Now, approximately 58 percent of Americans surveyed are in support of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, suggesting that we are only a “stoner’s throw” away from state-to-state legalization. Buying online from the darknet is a safer way to purchase drugs, and eliminates most risks associated with buying on the streets. People are often unknowingly sold synthetic drugs, which sent 11,000 people to emergency rooms across the country in 2010. Consumers skip the middleman when they buy online, ensuring their product is as pure as the dealer says it is. Drugs like “spice” or “K2” are literally weeded out, along with other substances that are chemically or synthetically laced. Most site users and dealers use pseudo names but often build a reputation for quality and consistency by way of positive customer service and reviews. The darknet is a good alternative for unsatisfied Amazon customers because every email is answered, shipping times are fast and drugs are cheap. Constant competition among vendors results in a certain level of purity


and consistency, which is vital to individuals who take drugs. “Fake stuff ” does not usually come in when you order drugs on the darknet, because in order to survive, sites and dealers have to be great or risk their consumers clicking on another page. All of this is possible because the darknet is known as a Tor. Tor began as a naval intelligence project for the military and then became open to the public. The network aims to conceal user identities and online activity from surveillance and traffic analysis. It is

an implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and randomly bounces communications through a network of relays run by volunteers around the globe. Instead of fighting drugs, the government should take on the spirit of a “trap house.” Traditionally, trap houses sell dope to support up-and-coming rappers. However, the “trap house online” would add a cannabis tax that would add revenue to America’s net gross domestic product. The money could also be

used for drug education programs and to assist the Trump Administration’s plans to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic. We can’t win the drug war, but we can apply what is working on the darknet to control it. The U.S. can open its own market for legal drugs on the surface web, then regulate the drug industry in America. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em and win at the drug dealer’s own game. - Jakob R. Rodriguez is a journalism freshman


Unity is even more important this Black History Month


By Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella The end of Black History Month is drawing near and it is important that we think about unity between, not only members of the black community, but

other minorities as the Trump administration and alt-right supremacists target them. For most of our time in this country black Americans have faced paramount struggles and hardships at the hands of systemic racism. We are still fighting for equality, but not in the same manner our forerunners have. In-

stead of legalized and apparent slavery and segregation, we are fighting the effects systemic racism has left on our communities and neighborhoods: police brutality, mass incarceration and “subtle” discrimination and racism. Because we, and many other minorities who have felt the cruel blade of racism in this country, have been

through hell and back as a people, it is highly important that we stand with those who feel like they cannot fight for themselves and aid those who can. President Donald Trump’s administration has targeted Muslims, “illegal” immigrants, Mexicans and many others in the name of “making America great again.” America has never been great for anyone who was not a heterosexual, white male and it is important we do not forget and allow the validation of white supremacist ideas to continue. We need to stand with our Muslim friends and let the government know that we will not tolerate Islamophobia. We must protect immigrants who came to this country looking for a better life and contributed to the culture and economy in ways that the District of Columbia is not willing to recognize. We should be yelling as loudly as our Mexican brothers and sisters to discount the harmful and dangerous rhetoric spewed by Trump and his supporters. We know what it feels like to be told we do not belong, that we should “go back” to where we came from and to be criminalized based solely on appearance and stereotypes. No one is more qualified to help those in need than us, because our community knows what discrimination is like and we can just as easily be in the same boat our elders were 60 years ago. It is also important to not forget the allies during our fight for civil rights and equality—white and nonwhite. Our movement and cause was only strengthened by the support of others and it is now our time to help. However, let us not forget that we are still black and therefore not in the clear. Do not confuse your current privilege with the belief that you are safe or have no need to help others. Just as we have begun the climb out of darkness, we can easily fall into descent. Become proactive in the community and aid those in need. We must help and fight for each other because we are fighting for something bigger than ourselves—we are fighting for equality, justice and our country. -Mikala Everett is a digital media innovation senior

8 | Tuesday, February 28, 2017


The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Joe Powell: “Memories on the field, future in the classroom”


By Brooke Phillips Sports Reporter @brookephillips_ The biggest difference between professional and college athletes is one plays as a career while the other plays for a school. For one Texas State baseball player, being a student is his favorite part. Joe Powell, senior right-handed pitcher, started playing baseball at the age of three and stuck with it throughout his life. While this is Powell’s fourth year at Texas State, he is classified as a fifth year senior after transferring from Saint Louis University between his freshman and sophomore year. Baseball was always a sport Powell enjoyed playing and watching. Raised in Dallas, Powell grew to love the Texas Rangers by watching them on TV and attending games. Although Powell is a transfer student, his vision for striving in school has remained the same. Being an accountable student is important to Powell, and to focus on do-

ing well academically is one of his top priorities. Powell majors in both applied mathematics and engineering technology, and while he thoroughly enjoys mathematics, it has not always been easy. “Although I love it, it has certainly had its challenges,” Powell said. “I’ve had times when I’ve been like ‘why did I do this to myself,’ but I think it’s that I love challenges and I love trying to push myself to my limits.” The challenge of being a student and an athlete at the same time is something Powell is very familiar with. “It’s really tough balancing school and baseball at the same time,” Powell said. “I’m a very serious student, and sometimes it’s really tough to try and fit all the studying in and making sure you’re getting to classes while having to get out here for practice and be a part of the team.” However, while Powell likes learning as a student, he has also learned from playing on the field. “I don’t know what I would fill my time with if I didn’t play baseball every single day,” Powell said. “It’s what mo-

tivates me to get up in the morning; it’s what motivates me to not just compete on the field, but it also gives me the desire to compete in every aspect of my life, including the classroom.” Powell knows he can succeed in this balancing act because of his sister, Shay. Shay Powell was also a college athlete while she attended The University of Nebraska playing soccer. “I had such a good role model in my sister,” Powell said. “She did it pretty seamlessly and was a great student as well. I’m lucky I had a great role model to base myself off of.” One of the ways Powell helps himself in baseball and in the classroom is by staying consistent. “I schedule it out: I’m in bed at the same time every night and I get up at the same time every morning,” Powell said. “You’ve got to get a routine or else this kind of schedule—playing 56 games a year—is going to wear on you. I’ve really stuck to a routine and it’s worked wonders for me.” Powell enjoys baseball, engineering and mathematics equally. “Baseball is honestly a passion and a

hobby,” Powell said. “I don’t see myself as a baseball player; I see myself as a student who loves to play this game.” Powell thinks of the future often because this is his last season as a Bobcat. Although playing at the professional level is not something he has considered often, Powell has shown interest in a different path: serving our country. Powell is named after his grandfather, who once had a career in the Air Force. “I know that I would love to entertain the possibility of having at least some experience in the military in my early twenties,” Powell said. “I’d like to get out and travel and I’d like to serve. I’d like to learn a few more lessons.” Powell has tried to prepare himself for either path—the military or the start of a career—by thinking ahead. For a year and a half, Powell worked in the engineering building as an assistant lab technician, a lab teacher’s assistant and an undergraduate researcher. These hands-on experiences have added to his learning and resume. However, the future has not yet arrived for Powell, and he is currently very content with living in the present. “I’ve put a lot of work into the classroom so I’m definitely hoping that pays off in the future,” Powell said. “But right now, getting to play college baseball at Texas State in front of a great crowd on this beautiful field—I couldn’t ask for anything more. Right now I’m living the dream.” When Powell gets overwhelmed with school and baseball life, he tries to remember a simple quote. “The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten regarding having to balance the crazy academic schedule as well as the rigorous athletic schedule at the same time came from my dad,” Powell said. “When we moved my sister into her freshman dorm at The University of Nebraska, he looked at my sister and said, ‘Shay, remember, you make your memories on the field, but you make your future in the classroom.’ Right when he said that, it just struck a chord with me.” After this school year is over, whether he truly made memories on the field or built his future in the classroom, Powell will be able to look back appreciate his dedication as an athlete, a student and forever, a Bobcat.


Sarah White: the new golfer on the block By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae Sarah White, sophomore golfer, transferred from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and quickly fit in at Texas State. Transferring from a school that was 45 minutes away from her home to a school that is substantially further could not have been any easier for White. “It is not that hard being away from my family,” White said. “I really like it down here. I am not that homesick, so I’ll be fine.” Coming to Texas State was a choice White and her former head coach at Western Michigan made together.

Because her coach took a new position at Ohio State University as an assistant coach, she suggested Texas State was a great place for White to attend. The new head coach Lisa Strom and assistant coach Jenny Gleason were part of the reason. “My coach got connected with coach Lisa because she is taking her position at Ohio State, and then I got connected with coach Lisa through my old coach,” White said. “I came on a visit down here, met coach Jenny, and I was like, ‘I just want to be here.’” Coach Strom coached at Ohio State University before coming to Texas State, and traveled on the LPGA tour for ten years. Coach Gleason finished her LPGA



and Symetra tour after ten years before coming to Texas State. The coaches’ experience is what got White to commit. “It was more of herself (Coach Strom) and Coach Jenny’s experience in the LPGA that kind of sold me, just because I really want to go to the LPGA one day,” White said. “They incorporate a lot of the LPGA aspects in our practices to get me to the next level.” Signing to a team with a very large presence in the conference is no easy task. There is a lot of pressure committing to a team in the middle of the season, but White’s experience and dedication as a golfer helped her fit right in. “I knew that I had to work really hard to get a spot in the line-up,” White said. “I really like the competitiveness of the team, and I really think I could help win another Sun Belt Conference title.” Prior to Texas State, White competed in 21 rounds with a 76.48 scoring average. She recorded three top-15 finishes, and has a season-best score of 72. While attending East Kentwood High School, White received All-State honors and was named a MHSAA Division 1 State Champion. With her new team, White has set

goals in order to better herself on and off the course during this spring semester. “I want to get better grades, and just get better in my mental game,” White said. “I don’t have a lot of expectations, but I know what I can achieve and if I am a little short of that, I work really hard to get to where I want to be. I just have to learn that it is okay to make mistakes.” White is constantly working on herself in order to achieve her goals. She led the team in scoring at the Texas State Invitational Feb. 13-14 at The Bandit Golf Course in New Braunfels. White finished in seventh place out of 93 with a score of 222 and the Bobcats finished in second place overall. “I knew I was playing well, I just didn’t know how well,” White said. “I was just trying to stay grounded, trying not to get too high or too low and just keep plugging away and hitting good shots.” The Texas State women’s golf team will continue its road back to the Sun Belt Conference title Feb. 27-28 when The University of Houston hosts The Dickson tournament at The Woodlands Country Club.

The University Star


Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 11 @universitystar


Possible closure of San Marcos’ only record store

Superfly Lone Star Music Emporium, founded five years ago, might not renew its lease. This would be the first time in 35 years that San Marcos has not had a record store. PHOTO BY MELISSA UECKERT | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By Amanda Heileman Lifestyle Reporter @busybeeamanda Superfly’s Lone Star Music Emporium is the only record store in San Marcos and it may be closing its doors permanently. Due to parking and construction issues, Superfly’s isn’t making enough profit to renew its lease. Zach Jennings, owner of Superfly’s, said he would hate to lose something so special to him. Jennings worked in telecommunications for AT&T before moving into

“What makes our store so special is that it gives a lot of the artsier, more musically inclined folks in San Marcos a place to go to listen to great music." -Zach Jennings the fields of government relations and business advisory, but at that time Jennings didn’t feel he was a part of an ethical motive. “I came home one day, and my wife and I had a discussion,” Jennings said. “We had two daughters who were very little, and I said to her that if my daughters asked me what I do for a living, I’d be ashamed to tell them the truth.” Jennings decided to make a change and create a business he would be proud to tell his children about.

“What makes our store so special is that it gives a lot of the artsier, more musically inclined folks in San Marcos a place to go to listen to great music,” Jennings said. “And to have conversations about great music with people who know music.” Jennings believes there are two main factors to have hindered sales at Superfly’s. “The towing situation and the Nelson Center is out of hand and it has been for years,” Jennings said. “They have spotters there who are waiting and watching every single customer that pulls into that lot.” Jennings said construction is the second factor to hurt Superfly’s business. “I believe we happen to be leasing the building at the exact wrong time,” Jennings said. “Construction started and it was supposed to be an eight to 12 month project. It took four years.” Despite the construction, Superfly’s is a place many Bobcats who know about it like to go. Isha Rosemond, English junior, said she is able to find record vinyls at a low cost at Superfly’s. “I just go straight to the vinyls and (Superfly’s has) $1 crates,” Rosemond said. “There are like four or five crates just filled with green dot vinyls.” Rosemond said she understands the lack of business Superfly’s may be experiencing. “People aren’t into vinyls as much they claim,” Rosemond said. “A record store is nice to have, but I can see how they could lose money here.”Superfly’s employee Chisum Burnett, also known as the record store dude, said he wishes the store would stay open due to its atmosphere. “It’s very laid back,” Burnett said. “It doesn’t feel like work and it’s rewarding. I get to be around good music all day long and then kids come in and I can recommend them stuff.”A previous record store, Sundance, also had to shut down a few years ago before Superfly’s established its business. When Sundance went under, locals and students did not have a place to buy records until Superfly’s moved in. “We’re looking to further foster and cultivate a symbiotic relationship with the community,” Burnett said. Superfly’s will be posting updates about the store and any future closeout sales on its Facebook page.



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February 28, 2017