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Black and Latino Conference raising money to help program By Amanda Heileman Lifestyle Reporter @busybeeamanda Representatives of the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference have been spotted crowdfunding on campus to spread awareness about the annual workshop, which highlights the works of minority playwrights. The conference, which is held in the fall, features black and Latino playwrights from across the world who submit their plays while professional guest directors and artists further cultivate the productions. “We want to let people know that this is happening on campus, and we’re asking them just for a dollar. Just donate a dollar and spread the word,” said Matthew Ybarra, theatre arts senior. If BLPC members raise $25,000, they will receive a match grant for $25,000. If every enrolled Texas State student donates one dollar, the crowdfunding goal could be met. John Fleming, dean of fine arts and communication, said the all the profits from the crowdfunding campaign will go to the conference. “100 percent of every penny pledged goes to the project,” said Fleming. Fleming said the conference uses funding to help bring in theater professionals and playwrights. “We bring in nine or ten theater professionals and they get a $1,000 stipend for the week and we pay for their airfare


and hotel,” Fleming said. The theater professionals take a week off from their jobs to attend the conference, according to Fleming. “Every year we have to cobble together the money,” Fleming said. “Ultimately we need to get a permanent endowment so we’re not always chasing

Prestigious program selects Bailey Thomas as sole Texas participant By Ashley Skinner Assistant News Editor @Ash_Marie54 Hard work and determination: the two things that have pushed Bailey Thomas to do everything she can to reach her career goals of becoming a veterinarian. Bailey, agriculture animal science senior, was one of 20 undergraduate students in the nation chosen to participate in the USDA’s 93rd Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program in Arlington, VA this past week. “I didn’t realize how big a deal this

money.” Eugene Lee, artistic director of BLPC, said there aren’t many resources for playwrights to work on and develop their plays. “I know (the conference) is important by the fact that I’m getting 250 scripts every year from writers across the coun-

try who are looking for a place to develop their work,” Lee said. “This helps to level the playing field.”


A cause worth running after

Texas. Bailey is taking all the right steps to get into veterinary school and achieve her goals.” Benavides is not only Bailey’s professor and PVS sponsor, but also her go-to person. “I met Benavides my sophomore year when I got involved with the PVS,” Bailey said. “Since my first meeting with her, we have developed a plan for my future and a close relationship. She is the person I go to for everything and has become my personal mentor.” Bailey has been passionate about animals since she was seven years old. Growing up, she always had at least Volunteers of School Fuel pack lunch bags Feb. 23 for elementary school children who suffer from food insecurity. PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

“I didn’t realize how big a deal this conference was until I was awarded it.” -Bailey Thomas conference was until I was awarded it,” Bailey said. “We were told on the first day of the program that it is highly prestigious. By the end of the week, I was told that there will be internships and jobs being held for me just because I went to this event.” The application process is extensive. Dr. Elizabeth Benavides, assistant professor of agriculture, announced the program in class during the fall semester, and Bailey knew that she needed to apply for this opportunity. “Bailey is very dedicated to her goals of being a veterinarian and is eager to succeed,” Benavides said. “The participant had to be from a land-grant institution, like Texas State or A&M, and Bailey was the sole candidate from

one pet, and her maternal grandparents played a big role in the development. “My parents had many animals while I was growing up and while Bailey was growing up,” said Amanda Parker, Bailey’s mother. “Bailey was never in 4H because we lived in the city, so I believe that her passion for animals comes from the volunteer work we’ve done in Houston in part with the genetic passage from my raising animals as a young child.” According to Bailey's dad, David Thomas, she has passed every expectation he has ever had for his daughter.



By Shayan Faradineh News reporter @ShayanFaradineh Child hunger is an issue that is affecting children across the nation, according to Feeding America’s research. However, School Fuel—a local volunteer-based organization—is urging people in the San Marcos area to join the fight against this issue. There are currently 577 elementary students who are provided free and reduced meals throughout San Marcos CISD, leaving some families with little options to provide food for their children during the weekends. School Fuel has been combating child hunger since 2013 by sending elementary school children home with two meals and four snacks for each day of the weekend. For $215, School Fuel provides food for children who are at high-risk of little or no food at home during the entire school year. “We are currently in four of the Elementary Schools here in San Marcos looking to add one more this next year, and eventually the long-term goal is to be in all the SMCISD schools,” said

Anti-vaccine movement Vaccinations are one of the most important medical breakthroughs in history. They have been credited with eradicating diseases such as smallpox, and have made the regular contraction of polio, hepatitis A/B, measles, mumps, rubella and other diseases in the United States nearly impossible.


Shelby Hebert, School Fuel volunteer coordinator. Over 75 percent of elementary school age children are already on reduced or free meals at school. The teachers and school administrators play an instrumental role in selecting the students who will be without food over the weekend. With many kids in need for food, School Fuel provides various opportunities for the community to help the organization help students. Although donating financially, volunteering to pack food and sponsoring fundraisers are yearlong options, School fuel is hosting a unique event in March. This year, School Fuel has organized its first 5k benefit run, Fill the Sack. Beginning at 8 a.m. on March 25, runners will gather at Country Estate’s Pool for a 5k and kids race. “This will hopefully be the first of many,” said Jenny Mangrum, director for School Fuel. “This is another way of providing funds for the organization to buy more food.”


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2 | Tuesday, March 7, 2017


The University Star Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar


The University Star

The Meadows Center celebrates its 15th anniversary

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The School Fuel organization prepares lunch bags for 557 elementary school children who suffer from food insecurity. PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHETERO | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Children have no way of controlling whether food is coming into their home or not, and the organization hopes that the citizens of San Marcos will make the choice and support the fight against childhood hunger. Children have no way of controlling whether food is coming into their home or not, and the organization hopes that the citizens of San Marcos will make the choice and support the fight against childhood hunger. Generally, the organization relies on generous donations and funds acquired through the annual banquet and silent auction that is scheduled for May 16. However, with a goal of adding on 60 kids, the budget for the 2017-18 school year has been set at $140,000. Registration for the 5k is open now and members of School Fuel encourage participation to fight against childhood hunger. More information for registration details and deadlines can be found on the organizations website: http://

Spring Lake lays behind the Meadows Center’s for Water and the Environment. The Meadows Center celebrated its 15th anniversary this February. PHOTO BY BRANDON VALENCIA | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

By Katie Burrell Senior News Reporter @KatieNicole96 The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment will celebrate 15 years of service and dedication to the Texas State and San Marcos community this year. Anna Huff, community relations specialist, is coordinating a series of events for The Meadows Center such as the Spring Lake Art Showcase on April 9. Submitted art will be auctioned off, and proceeds will be split between the artist and The Meadows Center’s education program. “We’re asking local artists to come and paint their own interpretation, whatever style they want to do, whatever scene they want to paint,” Huff said. “We’re going to have a showcase to display everybody’s different style and feel of what this place is to them and kind of bring all that love for Spring Lake all together in one room.” As the center celebrates its anniversary, staff members reflect on the accomplishments in research, preservation and community involvement. The Meadows Center conducts environmental research and conservation initiatives in San Marcos and Central Texas. In addition to aquatic research, the center provides educational tours of Spring Lake and 30-minute glassbottom boat tours. Over 500,000 students have visited Spring Lake since the center started offering tours. The center also hosts AquaCorps, a team of trained divers who volunteer to help maintain Spring Lake and its inhabitants. These divers are qualified to assist in managing and monitoring the lake. The lake is inhabited by endangered species which can only be found within the waters and in a research lab, said Taylor Heard, Spring Lake diving coordinator. “We try to keep the lake an optimal habitat for its endangered species,” Heard said. The Meadows Center invites volunteers to assist in maintaining one of the world’s largest aquifer-driven spring systems. According to records provided by the center, there have been 705 volunteer divers who help to maintain the lake over the years. Through their efforts, the population of the endangered Texas wild-rice has increased by 55 percent. Heard said Spring Lake is his favorite place to dive because the water is consistently around 72 degrees Fahrenheit and “clear like the Caribbean.” Heard first learned to scuba dive during his last semester as an undergraduate at Texas State. He later took a job at The Meadows Center in 2010. Heard said Spring Lake is special because its water is constantly pumped into it from an aquifer. The lake then feeds into the San Marcos river where locals can swim and fish. Those activities are prohibited in Spring Lake. Heard said his favorite part of the job is building a relationship between the lake and the San Marcos community. “I work in the outreach and community involvement,” Heard said. “I think it’s very important that people are able to interact with something that is special because that is how they care about it.”

One way the community and tourists are involved with the lake is through the center’s daily glass-bottom boat tours. Passengers are able to board a boat with a tour guide and view the lake trough a two-inch glass bottom. The tour guides inform passengers of the fish, turtles and bubbling sand along the bottom of the lake. The bubbling sand spots are actually springs feeding water into the lake. Each spring has a name—the largest spring is called Cream of Wheat because it looks like bubbling oatmeal. “I actually like to call the springs the Whataburgers of this lake,” said Austin Cowan, education tour guide. “Every once in a while, food comes out, and it’s like fast food for the fish. Like Whataburger, this is mainly only in Texas.” Thousands of students, researchers and volunteers have worked with The

Meadows Center throughout the years. Currently, the center has over 90 partners in its initiative worldwide and has collected over 30 million dollars in research grants since 2002. Additionally, it has helped support the education of over 500 students at Texas State University through research-based projects. Through the dedication of its scientists and staff, The Meadows Center has published 26 books and has actively monitored 429 sites across Texas for water quality. These sites are monitored by the Stream Team, which is a group of trained divers, data collectors and volunteers who test water temperature and monitor wild life and plant life.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | 3 Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar



Texas State partners with SMCISD to provide students with social services By Jonathan Gonzalez News reporter @Jonny_boy_01 Texas State has partnered up with San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District to provide students with social work services from interns on campuses across the district. The SMCISD board of trustees unanimously approved the internship program in its Feb. 20 meeting. The program will offer undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Social Work to engage with younger students. “The focus would provide support for students with chronic absenteeism in all grade levels, offering support to families and providing group student sessions on academic success and post secondary opportunities,” said Monica Ruiz-Mills, assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and assessments. Twenty-four college students will be assigned as interns across 12 SMCISD campuses. The interns will be assigned to one pre-K, six elementary, two middle, one high school and two alternative learning campuses. The role of the interns is to increase resources for students in need of social work services. “Before this new initiative, SMCISD had only one official social worker for the entire district,” said Willie Watson, assistant superintendent of human resources. “Currently, SMCISD has a parent liaison shared between each of the two elementary campuses, and one parents at each middle school and the high school.” The interns will visit their respective campuses Monday through Thursday for the entirety of the school day and will complete their coursework on Fridays. “This benefits our students as anoth-

er avenue for support with a focus on social and emotional well being, and it assists the university as students must fulfill internship requirements as part of their graduate recruitment,” RuizMills said. Officials of the School of Social work have discussed the program since October 2016, Ruiz-Mills said. “As the new director for the School of Social Work, one of my initial goals was to increase the school’s partnership with our community and what a better place to begin than with the school district where our students can have a direct and positive impact,” said Dr. Jose Coll, director of School of Social Work. As part of their student practicum, social work students are required to complete 500 hours of service for undergraduate coursework and 540 hours for graduate coursework. The interns will not only be earning course credit at the university upon completion of these hours, but they can earn a stipend of $2500 per semester through the program. The estimated cost for the program during the 2017-2018 school year will be $120,000. “The university does not pay for a student to conduct an internship --it’s a course where a grade is earned,” Coll said. “However, our partnership with the San Marcos School District and other agencies allows students to receive a stipend during their final field experience. In order to become interns, social work students need to register for a social work school elective and also participate in training required by the school district, Coll said. While the program is set to start next fall, the school district anticipates the partnership will be beneficial in the long-run.


“As a parent, you wonder if the things you told your children rolled in one ear and out the other, but in this case I know she paid attention,” David said. “I couldn’t be more proud or impressed with everything she has done and everything she continues to do.” Bailey Thomas said her dad, mother and stepfather were the most influential role models in her life, and credits them for the person she is today. “The family on my mom and my dad’s side both taught me this love and cherishment for animals,” Bailey said. “My mom and my step dad are in the medical field, and being raised in that environment exposed me to the terminology. All of my parents have always been there and supported me.” Bailey is the president of the PVS. This organization coordinates speakers and events within the community to prepare the members of the society for vet school. “My favorite project is seeing all of our work come together,” said Sydney Lyon, agriculture animal science senior

and vice president of PVS. “Watching each other grow as leaders and individuals is my favorite part of the society. Bailey is going to be a great leader and will accomplish many great things in life.” Bailey feels that the outlook forum has given her an amazing opportunity for her ideal future plans of being a veterinarian for an exotic habitat. “Getting my name out there and conversing with people from the USDA, House Agriculture Committee and the Office of Advocacy and Outreach gave me a feel for all of the different aspects of being in the veterinary field,” Bailey said. “I would love to work at a sanctuary or a breeding program in a zoo, but I also have an interest in working with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. There’s a lot of options that I have been exposed to with this conference, and I met so many important people that I could potentially work for one day.”


The San Marcos community grows with new yoga studio By Daryan Jones News reporter @DaryanJoness

A new yoga studio dedicated to community outreach services is opening this spring in downtown San Marcos. Shine on Yoga will be a studio aiming to include all aspects of the community and personalize yoga for each individual. “We will have yoga taught in sign language, and yoga classes that are specific for people living with PTSD or any type of anxiety or depression,” said General Manager Kathryn Zollars. Owner Taylor Whitmore said many yoga studios cater to a specific age demographic, but yoga is something people of all ages can benefit from. “The primary income for most studios falls between the ages of 18 and 40, but we are trying to break down those barriers, because yoga can be really beneficial to kids and adolescents,” Whitmore said. “It’s extremely beneficial to those over the age of 45 and those who are nearing 60, 70 and 80.” Yoga can improve one’s physical and mental health, Whitmore said. “Yoga can lower stress response levels and it gives us more conscious control over our emotions, reactions and responses to life in general and the world at large, so we can start to approach life calmer, more centered and with personal responsibility,” Whitmore said. The studio will give Texas State students the option of using Bobcat Bucks to pay for yoga classes. “We fully intend to have Bobcat Bucks available,” Whitmore said. “We’ll be offering student discounts because we really want to make it accessible to the Texas State students.” Allison Davis, licensed professional counselor at Expressive Hearts Counseling, specializes in PTSD. She said students with stress could benefit from the long term practice of yoga. “Regular yoga practice can increase the connection with the breath and enable to brain to become less aroused so it allows relaxation to begin,” Davis said. “Many times, people live in a hyper aroused state and their nervous system is constantly in fight or flight, so yoga can rebuild the mind-body connection and just give students the ability to regain their sense of control and ownership over their body and experience.” Shine On Yoga plans to reduce the monthly price of classes for people who attend regularly to encourage a healthy

lifestyle. “The more you practice, the less you pay,” Whitmore said. “We have a payment scale that goes down the more you come. After a certain number of classes, you could be paying just $30 a month for unlimited yoga.” The studio aims to connect with the community by hosting local events. “We’ll be using our studio as sort of a hub or central location to spread this community awareness and to spread this yoga-based community action,” Whitmore said. “We’ll be teaming up with different groups to sponsor free events in public schools for children and local clean-up efforts for the green spaces and rivers around the San Marcos area.” Due to the large Hispanic population

in Texas and in San Marcos, Shine On Yoga is hoping to offer yoga classes in Spanish. “We are seeking out people who want to be certified to teach yoga in Spanish because of the large Hispanic demographic in Texas and because they are a very under-served population; not many people teach yoga in Spanish,” Whitmore said. The new location has two studios; the first floor studio can hold around 60 people, and the second floor studio holds around 25-30 people. Shine On Yoga is scheduled to open by mid-April and will be located at 300 University Drive.



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Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | 5 Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar



The BLPC was fortunate enough to receive two National Endowment for the Arts grants and a National Foundation for the Humanities matching grant which will match dollar for dollar all

funds raised. Ruthi Caldwell, the researcher who wrote the NEA grant, said any additional funds will help bring in more support staff and some year-round program-

ming. “The funds will pay for a part-time staff member to help create a searchable database (or) catalogue of black and Latino plays,” Caldwell said. “And coordi-

nate humanities aspects of the program throughout the year including quarterly webinars with guest speakers.”Lee said the BLPC can have a lifetime effect on how a person views and understands another culture. “It’s interesting to watch that process unfold for everybody,” Lee said. “The students always say that it’s life changing to get that sort of insight to how plays happen.”Every night there will be rehearsals, and the playwrights will write all day to create new pages, new lines and even new characters, Lee said. “They’re by, for and about Black and Latino people, and that makes them authentic,” Lee said. “I think it’s important that white people see these plays, because then they have some understandings of those cultures, and if they understand something they can’t hate it.” Ybarra said the conference helped him and others understand their cultures. “I grew up in a Mexican family, in a culture of assimilation,” Ybarra said. “I had to get with the American values, and so for me it made me really proud to be a Latino. It helped me embrace my culture.”


5 spring break trips on a budget By Paola Esquivel-Oliveros Lifestyle Reporter @paolaoliveros

1 Visit the Texas capital

The Texas capital is a nearby day trip students can take without denting their wallets. Austin is best known for its outdoor scenery, trendsetting bars, food, fine arts and vanguard music. Jasmin Nunez, interdisciplinary studies sophomore, said Austin offers affordable attractions and activities. “During spring break, South By Southwest is going on, so there are a lot of free events happening all week long,” Nunez said. “Last year, I went to a Hispanic festival where they had a lot of arts and crafts.” South by Southwest, a conference and festival for film, music and technology, will be held from March 10-19. Students can spend the day tasting food, hiking at the River Place Nature Trail or swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

2 Spend a weekend in Dallas

Dallas invites all art lovers and food aficionados to visit on a budget. Only a 3 1/2-hour drive from San Marcos, Dallas offers Deep Ellum’s neighborhood nightlife to dinner in the prestigious uptown. Jamela Mavrakis, exercise and sports science sophomore, said Dallas is filled with unique restaurants and live music. The city offers endless one-of-a kind food options and sites to see, Mavrakis said. “Another cool spot to see in Dallas is the Klyde Warren Park,” Mavrakis said. “It is a real nice park that was built on top of a highway.”

Cameron Hancock, freshman Computer Science, loads up his car in preparation for the upcoming spring break on March 1. PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

3 Hike at

Enchanted Rock Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is the hiking hub for nature lovers. The park is home to an enormous pink granite dome that rises above Central Texas. The daily rate is only $7. Visitors can take part in backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, camping, stargazing and geocaching. The park includes nearly 11 miles of hiking trails for students to walk along. Gabriela Cepeda, political science sophomore, said the view at the top of the rock is worth the hike. “I don’t like climbing or hiking, but once I got to the top and saw how beautiful the view was, it made it all worth it,” Cepeda said.

4 Take a day trip to Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, which is only an hour and a half away from San Marcos, offers a laidback visit for family and friends. The German town thrives itself on

A Message to the Campus Community at Texas State University Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity has withdrawn the charter of its chapter at Texas State University. The chapter is no longer recognized by the Fraternity or by the university. Any individuals or group of individuals currently representing themselves as “Delta Tau Delta” or “Delts” are not authorized to do so. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity is prepared to take any reasonable action to protect against unauthorized use of its name, logo or inference to ΔΤΔ. If you are aware of any individuals currently operating or condoning operation of a group on campus using the Delta Tau Delta name, please share this information with the Delta Tau Delta Central Office and Greek and campus community immediately. Delta Tau Delta hopes to return to Texas State University at a future date as recognized by the university, operating within the guidelines of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity and with the support of its alumni. Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity

keeping the historical beauty alive. Students can spend the day visiting museums, vineyards, landmarks and locallyowned stores. Cepeda walked around and stopped at small shops when she visited. “I went to try authentic German food, which was really good,” Cepeda said. “I also went to a vineyard, which was really pretty.”

5 Pitch a tent at

University Camp University Camp, located in Wimberley, is t he 126-acre hideaway camp along the

Blanco River. As a part of the Student Recreation Center at Texas State, the camp allows students to hike, mountain bike, swim, rent out cabins for the weekend and more. University Camp is available for Texas State students, staff, faculty and members of the Alumni Association. Renting out a cabin with a big group of people can help save money, Cepeda said. “I went with a group of friends and we only spent $20 dollars each, which covered food we bought for the weekend as well,” Cepeda said. Students can enjoy a variety of activities while at University Camp, Cepeda said. “Students can play volleyball, go hike and experience nature without spending a lot of money,” Cepeda said.

6 | Tuesday, March 7, 2017


The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar



Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is dangerous to democracy Main Point President Donald Trump’s battle with “fake media” and “alternative facts” has always seemed facetious and somewhat laughable, but it is becoming increasingly similar to President Nixon’s campaign in the late 60’s to rid himself of the government’s fourth member of the checks and balances system—the press. The framers of the constitution were pressed to ensure certain rights for citizens: to practice religion, assemble, petition, speech and press. In framing our government in this manner the Founding Fathers ensured a check on governmental powers that was not in fact a government entity. The press or media, has for the most part, taken this role seriously and has been responsible for exposing problematic government behaviors and informing the American people on the things that matter to them. As our country grew more industrialized, capitalism and monopolization became facets of our everyday lives. A few companies hold transportation, our money is in the hands of octopus-like banks with tentacles reaching in every direction and our news is being fed to us by media conglomerates—and if this was Trump’s true problem with the media then he would be worth listening to. However, that is not the case. Dur-

ing his campaign, Trump used the media’s obsession with sensationalism to catapult him into the Republican primaries, then to the actual election and eventually into the presidency. Media was, and always has been, Trump’s friend, and instead of acknowledging

Whenever Trump wishes to distract people from his apparent inadequacies in office he calls CNN “fake news.” his success that was capable because of media—both liberal and conservative—Trump now uses it as his scapegoat. Whenever Trump wishes to distract people from his apparent inadequacies in office he calls CNN “fake news.” When Trump has made another blatantly incorrect statement that is

then fact checked by a news outlet he blubbers, “alternative facts.” Surely, if we were constantly messing up our job on the daily, we wouldn’t want it broadcasted to the world. However, when an individual steps into an elected office their screw-ups become America’s problems. The people have the right to know the country has problems and what they are. Distrust of the media is not a new sensation but it is disturbing when the president’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, is not allowing different news outlets access to White House information. It is disheartening when the president favors politically biased news organizations that lean in his favor and slams those that do not. The United States is a country bound by the ideals of free speech and equality. It is dangerous when the president discredits the media and declares it an “enemy of the people.” We need the media to hold our officials, and ourselves accountable. At The University Star, we will retain and respect our position as a “watchdog” and we shall be reporting whether or not people like what has to be said. Our job is to inform you on the issues and matters that will affect you. Trump cannot take away our First Amendment right, and he will not take yours.

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.


The anti-vaccine movement is plaguing our country


By John Lee Opinions Columnist @ leeeeyonce Vaccinations are one of the most important medical breakthroughs in history. They have been credited with eradicating diseases such as smallpox, and have made the regular contraction of polio, hepatitis A/B, measles, mumps, rubella and other diseases in the United States nearly impossible. Making sure your children are vaccinated is arguably one of the safest and smartest things you can do for them. However, a group of people have come out to fight against this medical treasure: the anti-vaccine movement. The modern anti-vaccine movement began with Andrew Wakefield, a medical researcher and former gastroenterologist who published a research

study in the Lancet, a well-respected medical journal. His study found a link between the measles, mumps, the rubella vaccine and autism. This is where the idea that “vaccines cause autism,” originates and that anti-vaccine followers frequently cite. “It’s one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors, but in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data,” said Fiona Godlee, British Medical Journal’s editor-in-chief, for a column in CNN. Wakefield was found falsifying his data, stripped of his medical license and his study was retracted from the medical journal.

The issue with the anti-vaccine movement is that it puts at risk the very people they want to protect— their children. By spreading this false fear, children have died from preventable diseases and more will continue to die. These people preach for the use of safer vaccinations and less rigorous vaccine schedules, but do not actually have science to prove their arguments. As a result, they end up just becoming a hazard and danger to the general population. According to the CDC, early, quick and multiple vaccinations are recommended for infants and small children. The sooner they are vaccinated, the sooner they are protected from life threatening diseases. The idea that the infant’s immune system can be “overloaded,” with vaccines is not based on fact. Infants and children are exposed to hundreds of foreign substances daily. Both the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that the current immunization schedule is safe and effective. These problems will just continue to get bigger, especially with skepticism from President Donald Trump. Recently, Trump had a meeting with a well know anti-vaccine advocate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and there is something gravely unnerving about the president discussing public health issues with someone who is known to be against vaccinations. Although the president has yet to act on this, the consequences of not agreeing with the facts could be at the expense of the health of the public. Vaccinations are not something that should be viewed as optional or debatable for children. Science and facts do not lie and the research continually shows that vaccines are safe and lifesaving. Anyone who thinks otherwise should actually listen the medical professionals we rely on every day and not aimlessly spew damaging and harmful propaganda that has and will kill more children. -John Lee is a marketing sophomore

Protesting: America’s new favorite pastime By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable Protesting has become less about pressuring the government to make a change and more about individual gratification. With the election of president Trump, there has been a drastic increase in the number of “protests” taking place across the country. These protests feature different factions such as Feminists, LGBTQIA, and people generally dissatisfied with the Trump administration. We have even seen more protests here on campus both big and small. It seems that if President Trump has begun new and unfavorable legislation or made another distasteful comment towards a minority group; there is bound to be a protest on campus to express disapproval of his actions. I am all in favor of civic engagement and open dialogue among students about these issues; but I question the effectiveness and motivations of these protests. When Donald Trump became the president-elect, there was a protest in the Quad that was hard to miss if you are in any way active on campus. Many students at the protest claimed that they were doing their part in making change in our country. Some likening the protest to those of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. However, I find this comparison misplaced as the protests of the Civil Rights Movement were consistent and focused efforts organized by concrete figures like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The movement also implemented civil disobedience which at the time meant breaking laws that they viewed as unfair. For which they were persecuted through incarceration and brutality. That meant when you participated in a protest you were risking injury, jail time, or ultimately death. Today’s protests are much more comfortable, featuring social hour at the Stallions if with security from UPD. Once you’re done putting in a long day of chanting while holding your cutely decorated sign, and maybe arguing with the occasional passerby that expresses disagreement; you can return to your home and sleep peacefully just before you go back to your regular class schedule feeling proud that you are helping disrupt the corrupt powers that be. With any productive protest, whether it be the Civil Rights Movement, the Boston Tea Party, the Labor Movement, or Women’s Suffrage; there is a significant hazard to engaging in this form of political discourse. The drastic lack of risk involved with today’s protests compared to that of former movements, signifies a lack of the conviction needed for a protest to evoke some sort of change from the government. Take note that many modern protests also fall flat because they fail to follow through with legislation and the formal engagement needed for actual change once the gathering is over. Many of the people protesting Trump’s election are some of the millions who didn’t vote at all seeing that voter turnout was down from 2008 in what was supposed to be an even more divisive election. Perhaps these protests are Millennials longing to be iconic in our youth like the Hippies of Generation X or the Freedom Fighters of the Baby Boomers. Being “a part of history” now seems like an opportunity to be as revered as the historical figures we read about in our history classes rather than being so committed to change that we are willing to sacrifice our comfort. But if we continue to protest for every move that President Trump makes with no further pressure past chanting, then we will devalue the method of protest. Protesting will become common place and in the eyes of the government we will become the boys and girls who cry wolf. - Carrington Tatum is a business management freshman

The University Star


Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | 7 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Nijal Pearson redefines freshman athlete

Nijal Pearson went to Central High School in Beaumont. Pearson helped lead his team to a 28-7 overall record and a co-district championship. He averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and nine assists as a senior. He received All-State honors, and was named 22-5A co-district MVP his senior year. Pearson graduated Magna Cum Laude in high school and is now pursuing a business management degree. PHOTO BY MELISSA UECKERT | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Student Publications Board at the Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication will conduct a campus-wide petition process to select a student as editor-in-chief of The University Star. The term will begin one week following the final issue of 2017 spring semester publication schedule. Applicants must be available to serve the entire term. Each applicant is asked to complete a written petition, which is subsequently screened by members of the Student Publications Board. The board will interview qualified candidates for the position. The board consists of the director and assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the journalism sequence coordinator and a member of the professional news medium. The director of student publications and the current editor-in-chief will serve as ex-officio members for the committee.

Minimum Qualifications

By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae Usually, freshmen tend to redshirt or rarely get playing time during games. Nijal Pearson, freshman guard, was quite different. Before his first scrimmage, Pearson was named a starter and continued to grow into a force to be reckoned with for the men’s basketball team. Pearson was first introduced to basketball by his older brother, Nicholas, who was his role model and helped him mature. Tragically, Nicholas passed away when Pearson was in the seventh grade. “He was my father figure,” Pearson said. “I modeled myself after him with mannerisms and the way I play, but he was the one who put the ball in my hands first.” Coming from Central High School in Beaumont, Pearson helped lead his team to a 28-7 overall record and a codistrict championship. He averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and nine assists as a senior. He received AllState honors, and was named 22-5A co-district MVP his senior year. Pearson graduated Magna Cum Laude in high school and is now pursuing a business management degree. “I like numbers. I don’t really mind playing with numbers and thought it would be fun to have a career in that,” Pearson said. “It would be something challenging.” Pearson’s transition from high school to college basketball very different. There was more competition, and of course, practices became more intense.

“The biggest change would be that everybody is good, and in high school there are a few stragglers,” Pearson said. “You actually have to prepare, mentally and physically, for the other team now.” One of the only similarities of the transition is that his favorite fans are always in the crowd. His mother, Stephanie, and his brother Elijah, attend as many home games as possible. “I think my mom missed like two home games the whole year, and Elijah only misses them when he has to work,” Pearson said. As a newbie on the team, Pearson was taken under the wing of senior guard Ojai Black. “Ojai and I kind of clicked the most,” Pearson said. “We hang out a lot.” Pearson’s hard work and dedication in practice showed when he was named to the starting five list before his first scrimmage of his college career. He had pre-game jitters, but he knew he had to step up for the team. “I was nervous, but I had to sit back and think that I could not be nervous; there was a reason I was starting,” Pearson said. “I had to make sure I did my part for the team.” Being a starter carries a lot of weight. Pearson understands his spot can be taken at any time, so slacking is not an option. He has managed to consistently be the Bobcats’ top scorer. “My focus is everything,” Pearson said. “But I just play as well as I can and the ball just seems to find its way in the goal.”

I like numbers. I don’t really mind playing ‘with numbers and thought it would be fun

to have a career in that,” Pearson said. “It would be something challenging. --Nijal Pearson Freshman Guard Pearson Stats:

Point Average 18.5 per game


20 point games this season

Sun Belt

player of the week


To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester during the term office. Students graduating in spring 2018 may be enrolled in fewer hours as long as they meet graduation requirements. Applicants must have worked in a professional editorial environment or served as a section editor at a university newspaper. Students of all majors and classifications, including graduate students, may petition for the position. Applicants must be in good academic standing with the university when submitting an application. Applicants must maintain a 2.5 semester and overall grade point average during their time of appointment. A student who falls below the 2.5 grade point average for a semester will forfeit the office although he or she maintains an overall 2.5 grade point average.

The University Star Mission

The editor-in-chief is the primary student editorial administrator for the University Star, has authority concerning all personnel matters and makes the final decision regarding news, sports, feature, photo, web and opinion content. The editor-in-chief determines daily operation guidelines, is a role model for professional behavior, delegates operational authority and fulfills policies and procedures as determined by the Student Publications Board and faculty adviser. The editor-in-chief oversees meeting, handles personnel problems and evaluates all copy and artwork for the print and online product. The editor-in-chief is responsible for hiring, properly training and supervising all members of the editorial board. The editor-in-chief promotes relations between the publication, the community and campus organizations. The editor-in-chief is also the voice of the publication within the community.

Terms of Office

Term of office begins following the final publication of the spring 2017 semester and runs through the spring 2018 semester. Applicants must be able to serve the entire term of office in order to be considered for the position. A salary is paid during the office term.

Petitioning Process

Applicants must complete a written petition. The petition consists of questions to determine an applicant’s qualifications in journalism, academics and management. A letter of interest must be included with the formal application. The letter should include personal characteristics with reasons why the applicant is qualified for the position. Applicants will be interviewed by the Student Publications Board once they are certified as qualified.

Petitioning Deadlines

Applicants for the position will be due by 12 p.m. April 10 to the director of student publications in the Trinity Building, Room 106. People interested in petitioning should sign a candidacy list in Trinity, Room 106 and acquire an information package. Qualified applicants will be notified, and interviews will be scheduled beginning April 20. Selection of the editor-in-chief will be made shortly after interviews are completed. Formal assumption of duties will begin one week after the final newspaper of the spring semester is published.

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March 7, 2017  
March 7, 2017