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Float Fest coming soon

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By Ana De Loza Lifestyle Reporter @Sami_loza95


Warmer weather marks the start of music festival season, and one of the biggest events in San Marcos each summer is Float Fest.



2 | Tuesday, April 25 , 2017

HEADLINES The University Star Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 245 - 3487

University Star Editors Editor-in-Chief: Emily Sharp,

The University Star


A tribute to Ramona Nevarez

Media Specialist: Dillan Thomson, Advertising Coordinator: A.J. Arreguin,


Lifestyle Editor: Denise Cervantes, Opinions Editor: Mikala Everett, Sports Editor: Lisette Lopez, Copy Desk Chief: Claire Abshier, Multimedia Editor: Lara Dietrich, Design Editor: Vivian Medina, Engagement Editor: Stacee Collins,

University Star Contacts Director of Media Sales: Folee Hall, Assistant Director of Media Sales: Christina Castro, Account Executive: Carina Cruz, Sales Manager: Marisa Campbell,

Publications Coordinator: Linda Allen,

University Star Information History: 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 Herald-Zeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, April 25, 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. Print Copies: The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies. Deadlines: Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication. Corrections: 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


By Bri Watkins News editor @briwatkins17 Ramona Nevarez was a dearly beloved custodial worker at Texas State University where she served for nearly a decade before her death in early February. She was assigned to the Honors College in Lampasas where she performed more than her daily duties. From the moment Nevarez started working for the university in 2006, she began to cultivate relationships with students, staff and faculty through her generosity and kindness. “It was as though she was a part of our staff,” said Diann McCabe, Honors College senior lecturer. “She was attentive; she was always smiling; she was very calm, friendly, laughed a lot and was easy to talk to and get to know.” Nevarez was diagnosed with kidney cancer which led to her retirement in 2015. Through her lively spirit, her presence positively impacted the university community. After her death, McCabe said students wrote tributes to her via social media. McCabe recalls a time when a student painted a picture for Nevarez to reflect the joy she extended to others. “When I become an old person and if I am as calm and peaceful and happy as she is, then I will believe I have led a good life,” the former student told McCabe. Those who resided in Lampasas during Nevarez’s employment said she had a compassionate and easy-going reputation that resembled a caring family member. She extended comfort toward everyone and used her smile to communicate love. “To get to know someone, you have to break a barrier and cross a boundary, but she was someone who was easy to do that with,” McCabe said. “She was shy but was quick to interact. There was a real spirit about her.” Melissa Derrick, City Council member Place 6, grew a friendship with Nevarez during her time teaching in the Honors College. “She was very soft spoken, but always upbeat and happy,” Derrick said. “She always asked how my family was doing, and we would exchange stories about my children and her grandchildren. She was really family to all of us

News Editor: Bri Watkins,

Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar

Ramona Nevarez was one of 38 university student, staff and faculty members who were remembered April 12 during the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service.

at Lampasas.” From sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms to watering the plants and conversing with students, Nevarez was always seen with a smile on her face. “She really took a lot of pride in the work that she did at the university, and she spent a lot of time talking to people and just spreading happiness,” Derrick said. A collection of memories was made between Nevarez and the community in Lampasas, but one of the most memorable moments was celebrating her birthday, Derrick said. On special occasions, such as Nevarez’ birthday and around Christmas time, money was donated for her to spend on family. “She was important to us, and we wanted to celebrate her,” Derrick said. “She was very much a family person, and her grandchildren and her family were everything to her. We knew getting her a present wasn’t going to be as good as giving her money that she could choose to do what she wanted to with her family.”

Texas State recently held its 30th Annual Bobcat Pause Memorial Service April 12 to honor community members who have died within the academic year. “We use this evening to pause and reflect for those who have left us but will never be forgotten,” said President Denise Trauth at the event. Nevarez and others were recognized for making a difference at the university. “There are so many people like her at the university,” Derrick said. “It goes to show you that when you have someone who really shines their love out on everyone that the students remember and feel the connection.” People in the Honors College said Nevarez is someone who will never be forgotten. “You encounter people who aren’t faculty or staff, who aren’t students on campus, and it’s easy to look through them… custodians, maintenance workers and so forth,” McCabe said. “It was so wonderful to get to know her.”

Taylor family files lawsuit By Katie Burrell Senior News Reporter @KatieNicole96 The family of late student Jordin Taylor has filed a lawsuit against 14 defendants for $10 million. The legal proceedings come in response to Taylor’s death which occurred at a fraternitysponsored party last semester. Taylor’s body was found under a Skyline Party Bus at Cool River Ranch Oct. 29 after the Monster Mash party hosted by Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Order and Pi Kappa Alpha. The fraternities have since been suspended for alcohol violations from Texas State University for varying amounts of time. The lawsuit was filed March 31 by the Taylor family. It names 14 defendants including the national and local chapters of Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Order and Pi Kappa Alpha, Brandon Burleson, Burleson SMTX Properties LLC, B&B Shuttles, LLC and B&B Transportation, Skyline Party Bus Company LLC, VCD San Marcos River, LLC and Gabriela Wilson. According to the plaintiff ’s petition, the fraternities planned the party without the consent of Texas State University and without adequate security. The petition states the party had as many as 3,000 attendees without authorized supervision and no ID checks. At press time, attempts to contact Jim Ewbank, attorney representing Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Tau Delta and Kappa Alpha Order has proved unsuccesful. “The Chapter at Texas State University has been suspended by the University and International Fraternity,” said Brent Philips, chief marketing officer of Pi Kappa Alpha, in an email response. “Both the chap-

ter and members had fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation. The International Fraternity does not comment on any pending litigation.” Non-Greek defendants have not been available for comment. According to the plantiff ’s petition, Brandon Burleson, defendant and owner of Burleson SMTX Properties which operates Cool River Ranch, was on the property when police officers came to the location in the morning. The petition states that the officers questioned Burleson about the activities and felt his response signaled a lack of care. Defendant Gabriela Wilson was the

bus driver responsible for driving the vehicle the victim was found underneath. Wilson works for Skyline Party Buses, also owned by Burleson. According to the petition, both parties are being sued for recklessness. The statement claims some of the party-goers were afraid of the way Wilson drove. Wilson noticed an issue with the bus the victim had been found under the day after the party. Upon noticing an issue with the bus’s running, Wilson called her boss who had her leave the bus in its place and operate another. The lawsuit is currently pending as not all parties have been served.

The University Star


Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 3 Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar


Bobcat Believers show their style at the Kohl’s Invitational By Felipe Partida News reporter Four Texas State students, known as the Bobcat Believers, traveled to Kohl’s corporate office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to present their case study in the 2017 Kohl’s Invitational. The team consisted of TraumAnh Nguyen, marketing senior; Saige Ramirez, fashion merchandizing senior; Elijah Diaz, fashion merchandizing sophomore; and Maloree Malone, fashion merchandizing senior. The team

prepared for months with the help of their adviser Kasia Romo, a fashionmerchandise professor. Bobcat Believers was one of the 12 teams selected out of 220 across the nation to advance to Kohl’s corporate as a finalist from a preliminary round. The group advanced to Wisconsin, but didn’t make it to the final round. They represented Texas State University during a paid trip to Wisconsin along with many networking opportunities. “We had prototypes, had pamphlets, great energy, and we did super well,”

Nguyen said. “This opened up so many doors for us; we talked to so many people who were willing to help us get a career. It was great.” In the preliminary round, the Bobcat Believers created a video with their innovative solution to the challenge of ‘How to get Kohl’s consumers back into brick and mortar shopping rather than shopping online.’ The Bobcat Believers found out they were among the 12 finalists in late February and only had a month to prepare. “We worked on business plans, teaser

videos, presentations and all the inner workings of the project through spring break,” Nguyen said. The Bobcat Believers visited the nearest Kohl’s frequently in order to do research, observe and make videos. The team also worked vigorously and received feedback through web seminars from Kohl’s sponsors. “We had to go to Kyle three times a week and the managers were nice enough to let us video there. We even talked to a lot of the workers there,” Nguyen said.


Local businesses take part in benefitting the women’s center PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY

Ella Lofts and other business in San Marcos are raising money for Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center.

By Jonathan Gonzalez News Reporter @Jonny_Gonzalez_ April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and local San Marcos businesses organized a variety of events to raise money for the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center. Stonewall Warehouse, Kiva Lounge and Bar and Tantra Coffeehouse hosted

free music nights to raise awareness for sexual assault victims and money for the HCWC. Both Stonewall Warehouse and Kiva Lounge and Bar were sites for an event called Fem Fest, a musical community fundraiser that took place from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. April 15. The event featured eight different bands playing at each venue. The event was organized by Texas State alumna Kayleigh Soukup.

Soukup said the opportunity to use her passion for music to support a good cause propelled her to organize the shows. “I’ve always wanted to do something with music to help my community and to help people,” Soukup said. “So to be able to do that and get people to come out was a good feeling.” Soukup had prior experience on a similar project. She raised money through music for the Bobcat Pride Scholarship Fund in 2014, but said the the size of this event was different. “This year I wanted to get more people involved, so a bunch of different bands and solo artists and I recorded an album and this was the release party for it. All proceeds went to the women’s center,” Soukup said. Tantra held its own benefit, Live and Local: A Nigh Benefiting Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, April 8 to raise money for the HCWC as part of a project put together by Texas State students and the owners of the coffeehouse. “It’s something that was easy to support, something that we would do anyways, but it’s a cause that was dear to these artists, and it’s something that we believe in,” said Adam Lilley, Tantra coowner. Lilley said part of his motivation for hosting the event is how “underfunded and over utilized” the women’s center is. The coffeehouse hosted a night of

music with four bands and a raffle. The proceeds were donated to the HCWC. The HCWC also had volunteers set up a table at Tantra the night of the event to collect donations and pass out educational pamphlets to those interested in learning about the work the center

“It’s something that we believe in." –Adam Lilley does for victims of abuse. Leighann Gardner, Texas State alumna and employee at Tantra Coffeehouse, helped organize the event with her friends. “We’ve been trying to host more events at Tantra,” Gardner said. “Being able to help my bosses with that responsibility was something I was fine with, especially because it was for a good cause.” The HCWC is a nonprofit organization that serves victims of abuse in the area by providing shelter, counseling, crisis intervention and educational services. For more information on the HCWC, visit the site at or call 512-396-4357.

4 | Tuesday, April 25 , 2017


The University Star Bri Watkins Headlines Editor @briwatkins17 @universitystar


University increases lighting and police presence on campus PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH

After safety concerns due to poor lighting conditions on campus, Texas State has made the decision to invest in a better lighting system for the upcoming year.

By Katie Burrell Senior News Reporter @KatieNicole96 The Texas State administration allocated over $3 million to improve safety conditions on campus. The initiative started this semester and will continue over the next three years. The safety improvements involve upgrades in campus lighting and landscap-

ing, the Rave Mobile Guardian app and the addition of three full-time police officers. “We’ve already begun upgrades and replacements of a lot of lights around campus,” said Eric Algoe, vice president for finance and support services. “The project involves a number of people around campus (including) the campus facilities group, student affairs (and) the university police department.”

Algoe said a third of the project’s allocated funding was spent on locks, lighting and UPD upgrades. The initiative was a result of concerns from President Denise Trauth and her cabinet for the 2016 academic year. The president and her cabinet met with Student Government and various organizations to survey community members’ perspectives on campus safety. Algoe met with members of the Texas State administration and faculty senate to present the incoming changes and hear their concerns. The changes included the addition of foot and bike patrols by UPD along with an increase in officers. These patrols would take place within the interior campus. The addition of nighttime security guards is a part of the project and has already been implemented. During his presentation, Algoe provided details for the project and how facilities will be affected. The university will install 100 new lighting fixtures and replace more than 150. The university’s Campus Lighting Committee surveyed the campus with students and a thirdparty company of lighting specialists, E3 Entegral. The company tested various areas on campus for opportunities to increase lighting for safety and the perception of safety. The lighting project is estimated to cost $1 million.

“We were looking for things we could do to improve actual safety and security, but also just people’s feelings and perception of safety and security,” Algoe said. Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for finance and support services planning, said some areas of campus are underlit and others are overlit, which causes a skewed perception for some as to what amount of lighting is necessary. Nusbaum works closely with Algoe and Trauth on the Campus Master Plan to improve and grow the Texas State campus every 10 years. Nusbaum has been a part of completing three master plans during her time at the university. Algoe said he hopes students will begin to feel safe on campus. He believes the addition of more police officers will be the most impactful improvement for students, but is looking forward to enhancing the campus facilities and lighting. “We’re using a clear, bright-light LED fixture these days. That’s what you’ll see on the Bobcat Trail, the new area of campus,” Algoe said. “As opposed to if you go on the Quad, you’ll see the older style of lighting that we’re gradually replacing.” The addition of installed lighting will aim to provide a vibrant, inviting atmosphere and sustain campus safety.


Texas State participates in the pilot sale of ArtStartArt PHOTO BY MELISSA UECKERT

By Bri Watkins News Editor @briwatkins17 Texas State is one of three institutions participating in the pilot sale of ArtStartArt—an online service, which helps university-level students market their artwork. Erik Culver, a graduate from University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, initiated the platform after realizing the challenging obstacles art students face after college. “I think universities are a great source of some of the best artwork, and I think there’s very little opportunity for students to put their work out there and sell it,” Culver said. The idea for ArtStartArt stemmed from the talented work Culver saw his friends create that didn’t get to be recognized or celebrated for its originality. He combined the passion to display high quality artwork with the determination to educate students on how to be practicing professionals. “You spend most of your time trying to figure out how to make your work, how to refine your craft and how to figure out your voice as an artist,” Culver said. “But art, like everything else, if you want to continue to practice it, you’ve got to figure out how to make a living doing it.” ArtStartArt curators review submitted artwork from students. Selected pieces will go live so university alumni, art enthusiasts and others can make purchases. A percentage of each sale will go

back to the artist and the participating university as a donation for its fine arts program. “For example, with Texas State, if we were to sell $20,000 worth of artwork across 100 different students, we would donate $1,000 of that back to Texas State’s fine arts program,” Culver said. “But, the students get the largest commission of the work.” A student whose work is purchased will receive 60 percent of the commission. Most galleries offer students 50 percent at best, Culver said. The platform aims to help students navigate the concept of marketing through understanding how to connect their art with the audience and determining how to price authentic work. “Not only are we trying to help students, but we are trying to help them learn components of the professional practice,” Culver said. “Our curators actually give students a suggested price range, but students are allowed to price their own work within limits.” This process aligns with the importance of building relationships between student artists and patrons, Culver said. Culver was a former student of Jessica Mallios, assistant professor of Art and Design. He said Mallios was the driving force who helped him connect with Texas State students and faculty. “I felt this was such a great idea and opportunity for our students in The School of Art and Design,” Mallios said. “We had a great turnout of interested Texas State students.” The curator chose 38 students for

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Marcia Fox, exercise and sports science post baccalaureate, sits in the Joann Cole Mitte Building practicing still-life drawings.

the platform’s first online sale, which launched April 10. Marlene Nunez, photography senior, was one of the students whose work was purchased from a buyer. “I’ve never had anyone buy a piece of mine before,” Nunez said. “It felt as if someone was not only funding my wallet for more art in the future, but they were also funding my dream.” Nunez believes ArtStartArt reveals some of the processes professionals go through, especially during the packages process while giving artists confidence in their work and creativity. “The biggest impact is that our students have real professional experience in a fine arts context— selling their artwork as well as the exposure to be seen

by professional curators,” Mallios said. “This is something I think is very rare in any undergraduate fine arts program.” Culver said he hopes ArtStartArt gives students a sense of pride when showing off their talent. He ultimately wants the platform to fuel a student’s creative experience and encourage artists to continue to make work even in times where creativity lacks prolificacy. “Recognize that it is going to be hard, but continue to hustle and continue to put yourself out there,” Culver said. “If being a practicing artist is something you want to continue to pursue, it’s always going to be a challenge. Try to focus on harnessing that energy to encourage you and to motivate you.” The first live sale for ArtStartArt ends May 1.

The University Star

Tuesday, April 25 , 2017 | 5


Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


5 Tips for graduating seniors


By Amanda Heileman Lifestyle Reporter @busybeeamanda Graduation is fast approaching and many seniors are feeling nostalgic and reflective of their time at Texas State. Some seniors shared tips and advice for incoming students or those finishing their degrees.

1. Manage Time Madison Bridges, biology senior, wishes she had managed her time better. “I wish I would have made time for school before anything else,” Bridges said. “I do regret that a little bit.” Bridges said she didn’t prioritize her schoolwork, and suggests students sit at the front of all their classes. “Definitely go to class,” Bridges said. “I learned that maybe three semesters ago, and going to class really helps.”

Graduation is around the corner, are you ready? Congratulations to the Texas State University class of 2017.

have gotten organization down at the beginning.” Bridges said saving notes from classes related to an individual’s career choice may help them with their job.

2.Get Organized Starting an organizational system early on is one way to raise grades and keep useful information together for future use. “I take all my notes on my computer through One Note and it keeps everything together,” Bridges said. “I feel like I just threw everything out when I was done with the class, and I wish I would

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Elizabeth Berecin, public administration senior, said she is starting law school in the fall and wishes she had focused more on her grade point average. “I have okay grades,” Berecin said. “A good enough GPA to get me in, but if I had a higher GPA it would have helped me so much.” Destiny Moreno, psychology senior, recommended students go to professors’ office hours and utilize tutoring offered by graduate students. “Put your head in the books, because you don’t realize how important a GPA is until it’s too late,” Moreno said.

4. Get Involved Most majors have a career development organization dedicated to getting students the experience they need to enter the work force. “A lot of jobs want you to have some sort of experience, maybe one or two years,” Bridges said. “And if you’re in an organization that has you prepping more then you’ll have more things to put on your resume and you’re more likely to get a job.” Student organizations can also help students find internships and networking opportunities. “I wish I would have gotten involved with more organizations and done more internships,” Moreno said. “I didn’t realize how important networking is.”

5. Try new things Ernest Luna, history senior, said he has learned to speak his mind while in college. “Don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid,” Luna said. “I know it’s cliché, but broaden your horizons.” Luna said Texas State has the feeling of a small town and the diverse mentality of old Austin. “My favorite part about Texas State is how inclusive it is,” Luna said. “The university really promotes diversity, and I think there’s a lot of opportunities for minorities, LGBTQIA and others.” Berecin said she also enjoyed the atmosphere of Texas State. “It’s so open and diverse and it really teaches you that regardless of your opinion, that everyone can still come together and be family,” Berecin said. “At the end of the day were all still here for each other.”

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The University Star

Tuesday, April 25 , 2017 | 7


Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


Student creates event to promote body positivity PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY

Julie Kelly, exercise and sports science graduate assistant, held an event at the Rec promoting body positivity.

By Paola Esquivel-Oliveros Lifestyle Reporter @paolaoliveros One Bobcat has started a body positivity program in hopes of being a voice of guidance for students who are struggling with body image. Julie Kelly, exercise and sports science graduate assistant, is helping peers develop self-confidence by sharing her story. “I went through six or seven years of my life where I was super underweight and I didn’t know how to exercise or eat right, and I was so self-conscious of ev-

erything I did,” Kelly said. Kelly said it is important to spread her message, because other people can be going through the same issues she did. “I think that struggling with that for so long was such a huge part of my life and it really influenced my vision on overall body image and what it means to be confident,” Kelly said. “My journey has made me want others to realize the same thing I did, to be happy in our own skin, and accept and own our flaws.” Christian Lofton, English education sophomore, said it is important for fitness instructors to help show others

how to love their body and teach their students how to accomplish fitness goals in a healthy way. “Until this semester, I was constantly worried about how my body looked, and it consumed so much of my joy and energy,” Lofton said. “So, when Julie told me about the body image panel, I just had to participate.” Kelly started a weeklong event called “beYOUtiful Bobcats” at the student recreation center. The event took place April 17-21. The project aims to raise awareness and help spark the conversation for people who are struggling with body image or confidence. Kelly started a similar project while getting her undergraduate in New Jersey and decided to bring the idea to Texas State. She introduced this project last year when she made it a goal to expand the wellness program on campus. One component to the weeklong project is a body image fit talk. “There is going to be a panel of group exercise instructors that are going to be asked questions about their personal struggles and successes with body image,” Kelly said. “This is a really great opportunity for the instructors to show participants and students that everyone has flaws and everyone has something that they are insecure about.” Sarah Jimenez, health and fitness management junior, spoke at the event’s panel for the second year in a row. “I decided to be a speaker again, because I feel this is a conversation that needs to be ongoing and become more normalized,” Jimenez said. “This isn’t a one and done event for me.” Kelly believes spreading this message among college students is especially im-

portant because of societal and media influences. “Students have a lot on their minds and there are also a bunch of insecurities that come along with all of that,” Kelly said. “I think there are all these images on students’ minds of what they are supposed to look like and supposed to be doing, so I think they are prime targets to hit with good messages.” Jimenez said she wants everyone to feel comfortable sharing emotional and physical journeys in regards to body image. “Social media and TV screens are consistently filled with messages that a perfect body is one size, and health is consuming as few calories as you can, but that is all false,” Jimenez said. “Health is fueling your body and mind with respect and nourishment.” Kelly said if students develop good thoughts and confidence while in college, they will carry that with them throughout their entire life. “Ultimately this programs message is to forget about the mirror and what society expects you to be and just feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, and recognizing your flaws as beauty,” Kelly said. “Even if it just means that the one day they were in a group exercise class they thought something good about their body, then I’ll feel that our program was a success.” After years of struggling with her own body image, Kelly said she has finally found a way to be happy with her body and help others going through the same issues she once did. “I have finally found this talent of being happy and healthy and I can now say that I love the skin I am in right now, including my flaws,” Kelly said.

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8 | Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The University Star Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


‘Birks’ and two-pieces dominate this summer season PHOTO BY MELISSA UECKERT

By McKenzie Cunningham Lifestyle Reporter @kenz_you_not_ Texas State is a walking runway show for 2017 summer trends. From Chaco sandals, to out-of-state jerseys, a good way to scout what’s in style can be found by walking along the Square or tubing down the San Marcos River.

BACKPACKS FOR PURSES Purses are being traded in for backpacks this summer. Rachel Ramsower, River Rose Boutique sales associate, said she has noticed more shoppers carrying backpacks. “More and more girls will come into our store and have a cute backpack on instead and using that as their purse,” said Ramsower. Small backpacks are also trending for summer festivals. Having a small backpack can be more spacious than a purse, with room for all the essentials.

past few summers. These slip-on sandals were a necessity when heading to the river or the beach on a summer day. Yet, Birkenstocks, similar to jandals slip on style, are making a comeback and can be seen on college students feet this summer. Although jandals are inexpensive, Birks last longer and have a wide variety of colors and styles. Nothing says summer like wind through the straps of an open-toed shoe. Time to go back to the basics.

TWO-PIECE OUTFITS The two-piece outfit, or ‘playsuit,’ consists of two different pieces that match in either pattern or color. The top is usually a crop top and the bottom is usually high-wasted. The exact name of this style has remained up in the air, and nothing specific has stuck. These two-pieces are an easier way to match on the go or put together an entire outfit. Some playsuits have spaghetti strapped tops, while others have long flow sleeves. Others have shorts or a skirt for matching bottoms or long ‘gaucho’ pants.

BACK TO THE BIRKENSTOCK SLIP DRESSES BASICS Jandals made a huge appearance a few seasons back and have lasted over the AND TEXTURES

This summer’s hottest trends include slip dresses. The sheath silhouette shows off the length of the body, and can be found in solids and patterns.

Slips used to primarily be a piece of clothing underneath someone’s dress but are now being used as the outfit itself. Tori Morgan, nursing junior, has seen a lot of people sport ‘slips’ as dresses. “Slip dresses really don’t have a design to them, they usually are just one very flat and plain color and are complete silk,” Morgan said. “A lot more people

are wearing those and a lot less of anything polyester or cotton.” Combining textures made an appearance this school year and is likely to remain throughout the summer. “Fuzzy, velvet, fluffy sandals or heels are in,” Morgan said. “People are into the texture of things on the town and not under the sun, t and less into all of the chaotic patterns.”

The University Star


Tuesday, April 25 , 2017 | 9 Denise Cervantes Lifestyle Editor @cervantesdenise @universitystar


The Stallions: A free speech staple PHOTO BY NATHALIE COHERTERO

By Stacee Collins Assistant Lifestyle Editor @stvcee Whether students are protesting, preachers are giving sermons or critical conversations are taking place, the Fighting Stallions statue on the Quad has remained a designated free speech area at Texas State. After the video of a Texas State student knocking down anti-abortion posters went viral, the status of the Stallions as a free speech area came into question. Matt Flores, university spokesman, said rules are outlined in the campus policy requiring permission from the office of Student Involvement ahead of time in order to speak through a megaphone or set up exhibits. “The individual who requested that area to set up his posters had done that through the office of Student Involvement,” Flores said. “That individual had permission to be on our campus and show those posters.” Flores said as long as demonstrators are abiding by campus rules, it is acceptable to set up exhibits and express opinions at the statue. “It is intended to be an area for individuals who want to peacefully demonstrate and hold up signs, exhibits or banners,” Flores said. “It requires space to do those things. So that’s why that area is designated for putting things up on display.” Flores said students are more than welcome to share their opinions near the stallions, but he wants them to know they can exercise their First Amendment rights anywhere on campus. Connor Clegg, student body presi-

The Fighting Stallions is a 17-foot-high statue located on the west end on the Quad. The area surrounding the Stallions is the university's designated free speech area.

sary to have a designated free speech area, when in reality, you can practice free speech wherever you’d like,” Clegg said. “That’s the beauty of the First Amendment.”

“While sometimes it makes it a little harder to squeeze through and get to class, I think that’s a small price to pay for the rights we’ve been afforded by the Constitution.” -Connor Clegg dent, said more students should take advantage of their free speech everywhere on campus. “I think it’s redundant and unneces-

As student body president, Clegg said he doesn’t want to stop free speech at the Stallions—just expand it to other areas. “Colton Duncan, I and a few others

have been in conversation about changing what the university describes as a free speech zone,” Clegg said. “I don’t believe that type of designation should be limited to a few square feet around a statue.” Clegg doesn’t want any incoming freshmen to have the misconception the Stallions are the only area where they can exercise free speech on campus. The protests that occur near the Stallions showcase Texas State students who are willingly practicing their right to assembly and speech, Clegg said. “While sometimes it makes it a little harder to squeeze through and get to class, I think that’s a small price to pay for the rights we’ve been afforded by the Constitution,” Clegg said. Samantha Smothermon, applied sociology junior, said it’s important to have a place where students can have uninhibited conversations about current issues. “Protests are an exhibition of what college should be about—finding yourself, discovering your values and sharing them with the world,” Smothermon said. “The Stallions are a perfect place for those kinds of events because they

are in the middle of campus, and anyone passing by can observe or join.” Dr. Sherri Benn, director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, said free speech areas provide a means for peaceful demonstration, opposing expressions and the open exchange of differing and complex ideologies.   “Since Texas State is a public institution, we should encourage, support and create opportunities for our students to be actively engaged in all aspects of democracy and the continuing development of their roles as active and involved citizens,” Benn said. Benn said she wants students to understand some dialogue will create discomfort because diversity comes along with differing ideas, beliefs, values, cultures, identities, backgrounds and experiences. “Now more than ever before, it is important we all learn, practice and commit  to engage in difficult conversations with respect, civility, open minds and sincere intentions so that we might better understand, regard and respect each other,” Benn said. “We don’t have to always agree, but we should always make an earnest attempt to be agreeable.”


Tube through concerts at Float Fest Float Fest is a two-day festival July 2223, where attendees can float near Cool River Ranch in the daytime and enjoy live concerts in the evening. The lineup this year includes Zedd, Cage The Elephant, MGMT, Passion Pit, Mac Miller and many more. Marcus Federman, Float Fest founder, said the festival attracts people from all over the state. “We actually have bus shuttles planned to pick people up and bring them in from big cities,” Federman said. “We will have multiple pick-up locations in Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.” Attendees also have the option of camping overnight, which will allow them to stay on site and avoid the worry of driving to and from the festival. Darreane Valles, electronic media sophomore, plans to camp out if she attends Float Fest. “Not many people like to sleep out in a tent, and I am not a huge fan either,” Valles said. “But, I think that it will be an experience and I do not get to camp a lot. Also, this will guarantee that I am already there to start my day off on time.” Federman said festival coordinators have made camping easier for attendees this year. “I think the biggest addition to this year that will help campers is the early camping load on Friday the 21st,” Federman said. “This will allow some of

“I think that it is a fun way to watch some of these groups and artists, just floating and then going over to the concert will be a lot of fun.

-Khiari Benson the campers to set up early so the wait to get into the venue on Saturday is alleviated.” Students have been raving about the Float Fest lineup on social media, and many have already purchased wristbands to watch the artists live.

Khiari Benson, San Marcos resident, is excited to watch some of his favorite artists. “I think it is a fun way to watch some of these groups and artists—just floating and then going over to the concert

will be a lot of fun,” Benson said. “I think I am most excited to watch Cage the Elephant because they have been on my bucket list for a while.” Benson said he has attended Float Fest in the past, but is excited to see what the festival will bring this year. Federman said coordinators are adding aspects many attendees will appreciate. “We have added something called the ‘Frigid Float Lounge’, which is basically a lounge with air conditioning and WiFi.” Federman said. “We have also added more bathrooms and showers to the camping site this year.” In previous years, Benson has had to wait in line to receive his wristband, which cut into his time on the day of the festival. However, Float Fest coordinators have worked to eliminate this issue. Federman said there are now a few ways wristband buyers can receive their passes. “We will be adding pop-up office locations in Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas to allow wristband buyers to receive their bands ahead of time,” Federman said. “We are also going to be adding a mailing option this year so that people can receive their wristbands through the mail.” To purchase tickets and find more information on Float Fest, visit the festival website.

10 | Tuesday, April 25 , 2017


The University Star Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar


Sympathy for North Koreans is heading south By John Lee Opinions Columnist @ leeeeyonce Growing up as a Korean-American it was not uncommon for people to ask me, “Are you from North or South Korea?” I grew to expect this in grade school, middle school and high school, but I never thought this ignorant question would follow me throughout my college career. It is common knowledge the North Korean regime is oppressive and has continually violated the human rights of its citizens. For several years, the North Korean government has treated its people with immense inhumanity with no end in sight. Yet, even after knowing this information, the amount of times this question has been poised to me is exceedingly high. It almost seems as if the interrogators were mocking me, intentionally asking me a question they knew the answer to. I came to understand the mentality and perception of North Korea affects Americans in general. When speaking about human rights violations throughout history, such as the Rwandan genocide or chemical weapon attacks in Syria, there is immense sensitivity and for good reason. The horrible actions done to those victims are unimaginable and therefore are treated with respect. However, the same amount of sensitivity is not extended to the people of North Korea. According to the Human Rights Watch, North Korea’s humanitarian violations include murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, other sexual violence and

constituted crimes against humanity. The citizens are put into prison camps without any formal charges, no trial by jury and the punishment can extend up to three generations of the same family. Yet, despite this, films such as “The Interview” are being produced that mock the Korean people. The film depicts two Americans who are tasked with killing Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, while several scenes demean North Koreans in general. As a reoccurring joke, the film depicts punchlines about North Koreans

I never thought this ignorant question would follow me throughout my college career. eating dogs. This dull joke would be acceptable if the citizens were not starving and dying of hunger. Granted, the film was a satire and made purposely to be a comedy that specifically targeted the leader of North Korea, not its people. However, it still sheds a comedic light on something that should be taken more seriously. The citizens of North Korea being raped, tortured and enslaved is no laughing matter. “I heard Americans know little about North Korea,” said Kim Joo-il, a North Korean defector for an article


in Dazed. “North Koreans are always portrayed as obedient robots. So with all the vulgar words, it’s like there is a subtext which demeans Korean people. In this movie it looks like we are too stupid to realize our government is bad.” Ultimately, the situation in North Korea is just one of the many inhumane acts happening around the world today. However, we should and can

restrain from poking fun at something people are living through. Just because something does not affect you directly, does not mean it does not matter— North Korea included. Before you ask someone if they are from North or South Korea, think about the context in which you are asking that question. -John Lee is a marketing freshman


Allies should know their role


By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable The foundation of being an ally is recognizing that your experience in life is different and possibly easier than that of a member of a minority group. Therefore, it is important that allies study the plight of minorities to better assist their fight for equality and never mistake themselves as being members

of that struggle. “Allies” are people who recognize the various disparities that exist in our society and who are not necessarily affected by such injustices but are dedicated to supporting the individuals who are. Alliances provide much needed refuge and acceptance for the oftenostracized groups, as well as providing the presence and engagement needed for concrete change like legislation. From the beginning of the fight

for the liberation of African Americans in the United States, there have been white people there supporting the movement every step of the way. Abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown or politicians like President Lyndon B. Johnson and President John F. Kennedy were not affected by the issues of Jim Crow or slavery but they gave their assistance to the movement regardless. It is undeniable that support from white allies played a role in the success of the many milestones of the black plight. The multicultural support of the black movement proves that the value of civil rights extends far beyond something as trivial as race but instead an extension of the human condition. However, as an ally, it is paramount that you not only study the history and intricacies of whatever form of oppression you seek to assist the fight against, but more importantly listen and be receptive of the perspective of the person that is affected. A part of ostracism is not validating the feelings of the person who is affected. Making them feel irrational or wrong is the very tactic that does the most to alienate oppressed people in the first place. Therefore, as an ally this should be something you never do even if you disagree with the person you are trying to be an ally to. Let intercultural debate stay among members of that culture. Your job as an ally is not to discuss which aspects of the minority experience are harmful enough to be taken serious. Your job is to help with whatever aspects the minority group deems pertinent.

You may give insight and add to the dissection of the issues but autonomous assistance can easily become control and subjugation thus diminishing the amount of “help” you are actually giving. What makes an oppressor bad is not the idea that they push a person to feel. It is the fact that they think they have

It is undeniable that support from white allies played a role in the success of the many milestones of the black plight. the authority to tell people how to feel. So as an ally you should never question or argue the validity of the experience of an affected person. Since they live the life and you do not, their interpretation of an issue will always be more credible than yours. If you deny or attempt to control any part of the way the oppressed individual feels, you are no different from the oppressor who attempts to control the people by denying the problem altogether. Partial liberation is not liberation at all. Only when all freedoms are achieved is when someone is truly free. -Carrington Tatum is an electronic media freshman


Revelations of a graduating senior By Kelsey Webster Special to the Star @kelsey_kaye_w

The end is in sight for me. I have spent four years of my life pursuing my undergraduate degree, and 12 years prior working towards graduating from high school. Sixteen years of my life have mostly taken place inside a classroom, and I don’t remember much about the scant few years that took place before grade school started. I also had to cope with the necessity of a 2 to 6 more years of schooling in order to get a decent job in the career field of my choice. The harsh reality of the world we live in is that you can work your ass off and it just might be enough. We all know this going into college, and strictly speaking, we have the choice to not go. After all, college isn’t for everyone. Even with knowing all of this, most

people would say it’s worth it. The classes prepare us and provide us with knowledge that will help us succeed in the future. While striving for a bachelor’s degree, we learn to problem solve and argue, as well as how to be responsible and work with others. Depending on your degree, you learn advanced math or science, or learn how to write a critical essay. These are all great things and they could come in handy depending on what field we go into. As I get ready to walk across the stage to receive my $40,000 piece of paper, I’m reminded of one thing I learned during university—how to obey. The dozens of classes I took varied in subject and level, but the common note is the professor who ultimately determines my fate. He or she can pass or fail me with a swish of the pen or a few clicks on a keyboard. There are tricks to getting better

grades in classes of course. Make sure to introduce yourself to the professor early in the semester, no matter the size of the class, because if you are on the fence between two grades then they are more likely to push you up if they know who you are. Sitting at the front of your classes is helpful, because they see your beautiful, smiling face every day. It also helps to nod appreciatively at lectures, even if you aren’t that interested because professors feel like they are getting something through to you. Ask questions and talk when there is the opportunity. All of these things will help you, along with knowing the information for the class, but sometimes it doesn’t have the desired outcome. The professor’s opinion might be different than yours and this can affect your grades. This is how I learned to obey whatever they told me. When their way of doing something is dif-

ferent than mine, I learned to quickly abandon my way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned more during my time at university. This is just the lesson that will stick with me, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Throughout life I will have to work under different types of people, and the skill of obeying will definitely come in handy. It might not seem fair, but I’m going to have to bite my lip and do what I’m told, even if I don’t agree. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to attend a university, and despite my debt, I’m thankful for the prospects my degree will get me. But I think the most insightful thing I have learned how to do is keep my eyes open to reality. Life might not be just, but if you understand the injustice you can succeed. -Kelsey Webster is an English senior

The University Star


Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 11 Mikala Everett Opinions Editor @mikala_maquella @universitystar


Memes: The millennials’ call to arms By May Olvera Opinions Columnist @yungfollowill

In the age of the absurd and hyperreal, cultural and intellectual diffusion will not be left up to mundane literature or philosophical posturing. Millennials have reached a level of self-awareness and skepticism that has drawn us to a different kind of revolutionary tool: Internet memes. Although the term “meme” was coined in the 1970’s as a way to define cultural evolution and natural selection of ideas, we have shifted it’s meaning to something different and built a whole new culture out of it. The meme has taken on a life of its own and we are currently living in a golden era of viral phenomenon thanks to the Internet age. What makes today’s meme culture revolutionary is that, for the most part, it is highly democratic and a bottomup form of diffusion. Most of the time, rather than being created by an elite group of people or an advertising agency, the things that go viral are created by and voted on by average people in a grassroots manner. Our generation is drawn away from

norms as formed by conventional news outlets, which philosophers such as Søren Kierkegaard have credited with completely manufacturing massive public opinion. Instead, people are given the ability to essentially vote on what they agree with through semi-organic dispersion. Memes are an art form of the people. Anyone with access to the Internet can upload a picture or video, create a hashtag or send out a tweet that ends up going viral in some fashion. Many memes are politically or socially centric, and they allow for people to express their views on what is going on in the world today, creating a popular opinion. We recently saw this with Kendall Jenner’s infamous Pepsi commercial which many people believed to be tone-deaf and exploitative of true struggle. In the commercial, Jenner joins a vaguely liberal protest that is met with the least intimidating police presence I have ever seen at a demonstration. The protestors stand ready to face these strangely tame, non-confrontational officers and Jenner saves the day—and her fellow protestors—by offering one of the cops a can of Pepsi. Immediately, the Internet responded.


Pictures of civil rights activists who once faced the true brutalities of being a political dissident started to circulate. Attached was text implying that if only they had offered the police a Pepsi then perhaps things would have ended better for them. Pepsi was forced to issue a mediocre apology and pull their ad. In this sense, the Internet backlash served as pushback against corporate interest attempting to appropriate bold resistance. The danger that comes with this tool

is that people will begin to think that a viral image is enough to foster change, when it is only enough to create conversations. The process of cultural diffusion becomes ego-driven when it is based on a numerical amount of Internet capital; however, the power of the meme is evidently groundbreaking and, when used correctly can be a great component of resistance. - May Olvera is a journalism junior


Machismo is a factor in the retention of Latino college men


By Jakob Rodriguez Opinions Columnist @JakobRyRod Texas State University was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) on March 24, 2011. One of the things that this HSI or any others across the nation fail to research is the hidden cultural factors that affect LatinX enrollment and graduation—namely, Machismo. “Machismo” or being tough and masculine has been a part of the LatinX culture since the very beginning. From the Aztecs, Tejanos to the contemporary LatinX male, the stigma remains that men provide or defend while the women support the men. Even if you manage to leave the nest as an adult there remains an expectation – especially for the eldest male—that you help support the family. This tradition of Machismo is in large part due to LatinX cultures being historically labeled as working-class and low income. And while high school enrollment and graduation rates are on par with those of other minorities and non-Hispanic whites, collegiate enrollment and degree attainment fall short, especially for men. The question is not of manhood but why we as a culture and communities continue to practice “nit-picky patriarchy” and traditional LatinX cultural beliefs of what a man should look like,

talk like and be like. Growing up in South Texas, specifically the Rio Grande Valley, I have friends that instead of pursuing a 4-year degree opted for some sort of certificate program to get a job and help support their family. This “support the family out of necessity” mentality is not only practical when comparing the cost of a degree, but the work –mostly manual labor in nature— is directly linked to the man’s own sense of masculinity and in turn sense of self-worth. However, this necessity-driven mentality is dangerous in college and higher education. And LatinX male students who grow up knowing the machismo tradition are less likely to ask for help when they need it regarding grades or otherwise. Often, these same students cannot focus or cannot adjust to the culture that is college in a new town because of the vast differences in culture. “Given the ongoing demographic shifts that point to a younger more Latino labor supply, this population represents the fastest growing employment pool yet the most underutilized talent pool,” said Dr. Victor B. Saenz and Dr. Luis PonJuan in the duo’s article to the journal of Hispanic Higher Education: “The Vanishing Latino male in Higher Education.” In an economy that is increasingly requiring some sort of college credential, having a large percentage of this demographic continue to enter the workforce prior to attaining a post-secondary degree will create a long term socio-economic catastrophe. “Boys (generally) are not keeping space with girls when it comes to educational attainment, and that is true for every racial ethnic group and across any socio-economic status,” said Dr. Saenz. And this is what most of the research boils down to. However, in the machismo tradition, traits like overthinking, analyzation, reading and learning are all feminine, working with your hands or on your feet is what a

man does. For the LatinX males, there has existed a growing “gender gap” for educational attainment going back to the early 90s, and it is only getting worse. As the LatinX males continue to “provide for the family” in many cases forgoing a post-secondary education, their female counterparts continue to foster the same feminine traits that many machismo males refute and prosper at the post-secondary institutions while the males “vanished.” As the country continues to turn brown as non-white-minorities become the largest demographic by 2020, we

are losing a large percentage of the population without crucial education or further training in their field. While Texas State as a HSI has set up programs like the Minority Male initiative program and even as racial/ethnic professional organizations for communications and business as well as others exist. Research at the collegiate level –especially at HSIs—should be done to ensure not only an educated populous but understand why this phenomenon is happening and what we can do or continue to do to minimize it. - Jakob R. Rodriguez is a journalism freshman



12 | Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Ariel Ortiz: A team of sisterhood


By Brooke Phillips Sports Reporter @brookephillips_ While there are over 38,000 students at Texas State University, one Bobcat has found sisterhood through softball. Ariel Ortiz, shortstop junior, tried out basketball, volleyball and track in junior high, but she’s been playing softball ever since her T-ball years. Once Ortiz decided to play softball in college, it was time to leave her hometown of Waxahachie and choose a college.

“Texas State is about three hours away from home, and I’m very close with my family,” Ortiz said. “I fell in love with the campus and everything about it when I came down here. My family comes to pretty much every home game and a couple of away tournaments.” Upon arriving to Texas State, Ortiz was automatically placed within a group of women who would ultimately become her best friends. “We would come to summer camps and stay in the dorms and stuff,” Ortiz said. “That’s how our recruiting class— us as juniors now—got to know each other more and hang out.”

Being the only female in the family with two brothers, the softball team has given her something she has never had before. “We’re like a family and we’re all sisters,” Ortiz said. “It’s a different bond than I had with my brothers. It’s something different and something I’ve never experienced but can through softball.” Another difference is traveling with her teammates to games. “My favorite part about playing college softball is getting to travel to all the different places,” Ortiz said. “Whether you’re playing summer ball or in college, softball really does take you everywhere and you get to see so many new places.” Ortiz said traveling to new places with her teammates is a lot more fun than alone. “My favorite place was when we went to was Las Vegas,” Ortiz said. “I had been there before but it was something different that I got to experience with my team and we got to do that together.” However, the pressure of being a college athlete can be stressful. “Something that’s challenging about being a college athlete is not letting softball affect my whole life,” Ortiz said. “It is a big part of my life, but it shouldn’t dictate my whole day.” Whenever Ortiz feels stressed, all she has to do is look to her teammates for comfort. “My teammates motivate me,” Ortiz

said. Not only are the athlete’s teammates her motivating factors, but Ortiz also looks up to the people behind the scenes helping her through every step. “Our coaching staff will talk us through anything that we need,” Ortiz said. “They’ll keep us in the present moment and staying positive with what we’re doing at this present time.” When they are not practicing or playing in games, Ortiz and her teammates like to be with each other outside of the field. “We’ll go see movies or we’ll go watch the basketball and baseball games and things like that,” Ortiz said. “It’s something we do to get out and do differently.” Although the current season is nearly over, Ortiz is making every game count. “I’m looking forward to post-season play,” Ortiz said. “I strongly believe that we’ll get into the tournament and hopefully get a regional.” Ortiz said one thing is certain—she will not make it there on her own. “It would mean a lot to go to regionals because we want to make this program better than it’s ever been,” Ortiz said. “The farther that we go the more that’s expected of the softball program next year.” Whether Ortiz is making personal records or game wins, she will be making the most out of her college softball career with the team right by her side.


Ana Perez: Taking Chances By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter @BornToRun19 Successfully navigating through life requires the will to take chances and the ability to adapt to different situations— and sophomore tennis player Ana Perez has mastered the two. The 19 year old was born in Quito, Ecuador, over 2,000 miles away from San Marcos. Perez is the youngest of her family, with two older siblings. Growing up in a traditional Ecuadorian home, Perez was close with her immediate and extended family. Leaving behind the people she loved was a difficult choice, but Perez understood she had to move to America in order to improve herself. “I lived with all of my family. We live very close to each other,” Perez said.

“I think positive and I look at different strategies, so if something doesn’t work I see what I can do to adjust.” -Ana Perez “I was looking to study in the United States, and I got a great opportunity.” Other than earning a good education, Perez was looking for a place to expand

her skills on the tennis court, and Texas State happened to meet all of her criteria. “I wanted to keep playing tennis and get a degree,” Perez said. “When I got a scholarship offer here, I accepted it.” The sophomore began playing tennis at age 12, but the passion she now has for the game wasn’t there in the beginning. “I started playing when I was 12 years old,” Perez said. “Before that, I didn’t enjoy tennis much.” At the time, Perez disliked the game because she was competitive. “I didn’t like it because you lose more than you win, and I’m a very competitive person,” Perez said. “I don’t like losing.” Perez gave tennis a chance after a bit of a push from her father. “My dad told me I had to do something over the summer and he said pick between piano and tennis,” Perez said. “I enjoy music, but not playing piano; so I chose tennis.” In addition, Perez’s father influenced the way she plays the game. “My dad used to play really, really well and he loved doubles, so he taught me since I was a kid how to play and strategize,” Perez said. The lessons her father instilled in her still resonate in how Perez prepares for competition. “The night before, I start thinking about my strategies,” Perez said. “I think ‘what are my weaknesses? What are my strengths?’” Perez is aware of just how important luck is in sports, and she accepts no one has control over such factors. She prepares by being as ready as possible to


adapt to the unpredictable. “You can’t rely on everything going well every single day,” Perez said. “I think positive and I look at different strategies so if something doesn’t work, I see what I can do to adjust.” Once she had a taste for the sport, there was no turning back. Before becoming a Bobcat, Perez was ranked No. 2 among 18-and-under Ecuadorian players. What began as distaste turned into strong passion by the time Perez arrived at Texas State. Perez ultimately hopes to transition into playing tennis professionally, but understands how difficult achieving this goal can be. “After I graduate, I plan on trying for at least a year,” Perez said. “If I can get

a sponsor, I’ll try maybe for one year or two.” If the plan to go pro doesn’t work out, Perez will put her finance degree to use. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just continue with my career,” Perez said. “I can do something with finance. I’m really good with numbers and I really enjoy it, so I’ll probably work at a company or maybe even start my own business.” Whether Perez ends up as a professional tennis player or business owner, she will succeed. With a good head on her shoulders, an abundance of confidence and a robust competitive spirit, Perez is ready to take on all of the challenges the world throws her way.

The University Star

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 13


Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


No pressure for Randi Rupp By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae With over 800 collegiate strikeouts and an earned run average of around 1.00, junior pitcher Randi Rupp refuses to feel any pressure while on the mound. When pitching, Rupp tries to have a clear mind, focus on each pitch and let everything fall into place. “I don’t feel like I am under pressure at all,” Rupp said. “I try not to think too much out there. I just focus and go right at them by making quality pitches.” Rupp knows she is in full control of the ball and the pace of the game. “I know I have the ball every pitch of the game,” Rupp said. “I try not to make the game bigger than it really is.” Rupp’s favorite part of the game is when the team is in a tough situation. She would rather play with bases loaded than not having anyone on base with no outs. “(Tough situations) make the game fun and keeps everyone on their toes,” Rupp said. “The situations are a little more intense and that is what the game is all about.” The Mont Belvieu native’s performance during intense situations was shown when she placed the ball in the

perfect spot to send No. 12 Baylor down with a loss. At one point in the game, there were runners on second and third base with one out. Rupp struckout the next two batters to end the Baylor scoring threat. “The type of mindset I had that night was that ‘we got this’ and that ‘we can get out of this situation,’” Rupp said. “I just took one pitch at a time and just rolled with it. We just had fun with it.” Rupp has not always been very keen of those types of situations. She realized she grew into a better pitcher and can now do anything. “I have definitely grown a lot since freshman year,” Rupp said. “I was in the intense situations quite often and I don’t know if I got out of most of them. Now, I have learned and grown a lot as a pitcher. I know now that defensively, we can get out of them.” Other than the fans believing in the team’s work on the field, Rupp is her defense’s biggest fan. She believes in herself as a pitcher, and also in her teammates. In turn, they do the same for her. “The biggest thing is to believe in myself and my teammates,” Rupp said. “For me to believe in my teammates, they will most likely do the same for me. To have a defense that believes in you and your pitches is really important


because I am the one who has the ball most of the time as a pitcher.” If Rupp could describe her play on the mound, she would say it is big, confident and composed. “I think I would choose the words big, confident and composed to describe my work in the circle,” Rupp said. “It is vital for me to just stay big out there and stay confident. I always try to stay composed when pitching.” Rupp’s confidence and ability to handle the pressures of being a pitcher has earned her multiple accolades at Texas State.

Rupp has received the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week award more than five times. In addition, she earned the title of ESPNW National Player of the Week. She has also found herself in the top five of the Texas State’s softball most career strikeouts list. “That is just something that comes with the game,” Rupp said. “Personally, I don’t try and go out there to strike people out. It is just part of the game. If you would have told me I would play this way freshman year, I would have called you crazy.”

discipline and motivation. Trainer Bley Martinez, strength coach Leo Seitz and their student assistants also deserve mention for their efforts and hard work on behalf of our program. Our student managers should also be commended for their efforts as well. Third, the Strutters, band members associated with men’s basketball games and cheerleaders all showed great support throughout the season. Your presence at our games gave it a great atmosphere and added significantly to the show. Overall attendance at the men’s basketball games improved greatly, and student attendance was especially encouraging. Our coaching staff and players are very grateful to everyone who attended our home games and cheered us on. You motivated us more than you realize. Finally, administration from the ath-

letic department and President’s office showed great support to our players and coaches. We are very thankful. It takes a lot of effort, support and commitment from a lot of people, groups and departments to achieve great success. I feel like that happened this year with the men’s basketball program, and the results were pretty good. Our men’s basketball program will continue to work hard to represent Texas State University in a very positive and successful manner. I’d like to extend a big thank you to all of the aforementioned groups and individuals that helped create an exciting and successful season for the men’s basketball team. You are appreciated.

OP-ED LETTER TO THE MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM The men’s basketball team had a good season this year. There a lot of reasons for our success, and I’d like to publicly acknowledge those individuals and groups that are very responsible. First and foremost, the leadership and dedication shown by our senior captains was excellent. Ojai Black, Kavin GilderTilbury and Bobby Conley displayed great effort, focus and commitment to the goals of our men’s basketball team from the start of fall practices through the very last game we played. In addition to their leadership and work ethic, all three of the seniors worked hard to improve themselves as basketball players—and the end results of our team’s efforts distinctively showed that. I would also like to commend the efforts and commitment of the rest of

our players. They get no time off for Thanksgiving and Spring Break, and only three days off for Christmas. However, they don’t let this lack of “down time” bother them because they love basketball and commit themselves to the success of our program. It was a great group of young men to work with—one of the finest I have had the pleasure to coach in my 26-year head coaching career. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge the efforts, dedication and commitment of my coaching staff. Jim Shaw, Terrence Johnson, Robert Guster, Alex Hausladen and Cody San Miguel worked tirelessly throughout the year to bring the first winning season (22-14) to Texas State’s men’s basketball in 14 years. In addition, it was the first season to have over 20 wins since 1997. These coaches often put in 60 to 70 hours a week from October to March. That kind of dedication requires great

Sincerely, Danny Kaspar Head Coach Texas State Men’s Basketball      

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April 25, 2017  
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