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Kara Brookbank, communications studies junior, and Jesus Rangel, political science junior, lead a tour of campus to prospective students and parents. Photo by Lara Dietrich.

Explore Texas State's hidden gems By Paola Esquivel-Oliveros Lifestyle Reporter @paolaoliveros Along with the well-known buildings new students see during their visit, Texas State has lesser known spots around adding to the university’s one-of-a-kind quality. The ‘hidden hammocks’, located near the Hines building are an example of

some of the hidden gems found on campus. Students are told to keep quiet of the hammocks’ location. The picnic tables behind the agriculture building is another concealed area where students can take a break, eat or study. The tables are surrounded by palm trees and gardens, making it an ideal place to relax and hang out. There is also a chalk board where students can doodle and be creative.

Pride and Traditions of Bobcats By Jonathan Gonzalez News Reporter @Jonny_Gonzalez_ Every year, Texas State takes in thousands of new students from across the country and across the seas to be introduced into Bobcat culture through its various traditions. These traditions preserve the history of the campus, which lives on through the members of the Bobcat community that walk its streets every day. Since Texas State first opened its doors in 1903, the university has expanded exponentially from a small teaching institution house in Old Main to a large multi-complex university that rivals the largest in Texas. Originally known as Southwest Texas State Normal School, the university would go through multiple name changes before being designated the present-day Texas State name in 2013. For the newest members of the Bobcat community, the university offers several ways of getting familiar with campus. Programs such as the New Student Orientation (NSO) and Cat Camp allow incoming freshman and transfer students to see what Texas State is all about. Randy Gaytan, NSO Student Coordinator, said making the incoming students feel welcome allows the campus to grow into more of a “familyoriented” place. “It makes them become a bit more emotionally invested in campus in

the sense that they’ll say, ‘this is my home,'" Gaytan said. “Instead of it being an ‘I’ thing, it becomes more of a ‘we."" During the orientations, Gaytan said he enjoys highlighting landmarks around campus, such as the Bobcat statue and the Lyndon B. Johnson statue on the Quad as a way of showing how much the campus has changed over the years. “Students respond to the stories behind these buildings and the history that’s attached to the statues to where it becomes something that resonates with them,” Rangel said. “But we also want to show them where the campus is heading. It’s a living, breathing thing. It’s not stagnating. Texas State is becoming more of a powerhouse in post-secondary education.” For those who are not incoming students, the university offers tours through the Welcome Center inside of the LBJ Student Center, which introduces guests to Texas State traditions. Jesus Rangel, a tour guide for the Welcome Center, that the tours offered are made all the more special by the amiable, engaging experience given to those visiting campus. “All the tour guides here are students, so they have that personal experience and that’s how we do our tour through those experiences and our knowledge of the buildings,” Rangel said.


If students are looking for a scenic area on campus, the courtyard inside the Taylor Murphy building is the place to go. The courtyard is surrounded by colorful tiles which create a unique look for the building. Tour guides talk about some of the major highlights and share personal experiences. Tasia Irvin, campus tour guide and health and fitness management senior,

said she enjoys highlighting the advancements and innovations the university goes through when giving tours. “Our tours are constantly improving and changing as we get new facts and information,” Irvin said. “San Marcos is growing, Texas State is growing and we want our students to have the best of the best.”


Students receive awards from National Science Foundation for graduate research By Shayan Faradineh Assistant News Editor @ShayanFaradineh Two Bobcats were chosen by The National Science Foundation as this year’s recipients of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The GRFP provides three years of financial support to graduate study, including $34,000 as an annual stipend and a $12,000 allowance for the costof-education. These funds are given to students who are working toward a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields. The program is unique, as it has nurtured economic innovation and leadership in the U.S. continuously since 1952, according to Jim Lewis, NSF acting assistant director for education and human resources. “These talented individuals have gone on to make important discoveries, win Nobel Prizes, train many generations of American scientists and engineers and create inventions that improve our lives,” Lewis said. The Texas State recipients, Jared Coplin and Kristi Belcher, are among 2,000 awardees of the 13,000 that applied for the program. Coplin is a graduate student, currently seeking his master’s in the computer science department at Texas State. “My research is geared towards reducing both the fiscal and environmental cost of computing without sacrificing performance, designing new highly

efficient data processing algorithms, and increasing the data return of spacebased scientific instruments,” Coplin said. Belcher recently graduated with a degree in computer science and will begin her graduate studies at the University of Oregon in the fall. “In fall 2015 and spring 2016, I took an Undergraduate Research course,” Belcher said. “After I took the class, I discovered that I wanted to explore research in GPUs more in depth because they really excited me, and I knew there was a lot more to learn in that area.” NSF has funded over 50,000 Graduate Research Fellowships in the past 65 years. As of 2017, 42 members of the Fellowship have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.   According to the NSF Graduate Research Program website, “NSF Fellows are anticipated to become experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.” Martin Burtscher, a professor in the Department of Computer Science, acted as an adviser to both Coplin and Belcher.


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The University Star Ashley Skinner News Editor @Ash_Marie54 @universitystar

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

Editors Editor-in-Chief: Denise Cervantes, Managing Editor: Bri Watkins, News Editor: Ashley Skinner, Lifestyle Editor: Katie Burrell, Opinions Editor: May Olvera, Sports Editor: Lisette Lopez, Copy Desk Chief: Claire Abshier, Design Editor: Vivian Medina, Multimedia Editor: Lara Dietrich, Engagement Editor: John Lee,

Advertising Staff Director of Media Sales: Christina Castro, Account Executive: Marisa Campbell, Account Executive: Carina Cruz, Account Executive: Folee Hall Account Executive: Matthew Harrington Graphic Designer: Stephanie Cloyd Marketing and PR Manager: Ashley Lujan

Full-Time Staff Interim Director: Gilbert D. Martinez, Media Specialist: Dillan Thomson, Advertising Coordinator: A.J. Arreguin, Publications Coordinator: Linda Allen,

Information History: The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and one a month 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 Monday, June 5, 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. 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


Parking on campus? Get a permit By Ashley Skinner News Editor @Ash_Marie54 Parking Services maintains over 100 permit parking and pay-to-park garages, lots, and multiple pay-and-display permit stations. There are more than 9000 vehicles that park on campus each semester. Parking officers patrol the areas every day and issue tickets to those who do not display a Texas State permit of the right color for the area the vehicle is parked in. The university offers eight parking passes for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Residence Hall Pass The green parking permit is for residence hall access. Most dorms have

parking garages connected or next to the hall, and students with this pass are allowed to park in the garage. The pass costs $485 for fall to summer access and $323 for spring to summer access.

Mill Street, Commuter and Motorcycle pass

The gold permit allows students who live on campus to park at Mill Street during the week but in the residence hall garages and lots on the weekends. The purple permit allows commuters, students who live off campus, to park in the designated areas and walk to campus. Students who wish to choose this parking plan will pay $115 for fall to summer

access and $77 for spring to summer access. Those who drive a motorcycle may also purchase a pass for the same price.

Restricted Permit The red permits are for restricted areas such as garages in the middle of campus for teachers and staff. Faculty and staff can purchase a regular red permit for $325, but restricted red permits are $825. Every parking area has a sign located at the entrance to show what permits are allowed in the lot. If a vehicle with the wrong color permit is found in the wrong garage, it will be ticketed, towed.


Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion pushes for federal grant program to aid underrepresented students By Jonathan Gonzalez News Reporter @Jonny_Gonzalez_ Last month, university officials revealed an effort to bring to campus the McNair Scholars Program, a federal initiative that assists underrepresented students seeking doctorate degrees. The primary writer of the application for the grant was Cheryl McWilliams, director of Student Support Services, with assistance from Jonnie Wilson, assistant director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, and Russ Hodges and Emily Payne, both faculty from Curriculum and Instruction. “The McNair grant is important because it will help minority students prepare for doctorate degrees in the STEM fields,” Wilson said. “Which are lacking people of color at this time.” The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a discretionary, competitive grant which offers advancement through research and other scholarly opportunities geared toward earning a doctorate degree. Wilson said efforts for putting together the proposal started in the fall and expects to hear back on their application in August or September. The McNair program is part of the federal TRIO programs designed and supported by the United States Department of Education. The McNair program is designed to encourage growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematic fields. However, it may be open to other fields,

depending on the format of an institution’s proposal submitted to the Department of Education. Currently, the McNair Program serves 18 higher learning institutions across Texas including the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University. Sonia Briseno, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program at St. Edward’s, said the university obtained the program in 2004. Since then, the university has served over 183 students through the program, which Briseno believes has been helpful to low-income, first-generation college students. “For many of them, they don’t know what a graduate degree means for them and what they need to do to set themselves up for those opportunities,” Briseno said. Participants who are underrepresented must be low-income, first-generation college students with an emphasis on recruiting Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native American and Pacific Islanders, according to the language of the Higher Education Act of 1965 from which the TRIO programs derive. “I am part Native Hawaiian, but I grew up in West Texas, and I never really felt connected to my roots,” said Amy Ontai, St. Edward’s McNair scholar. “I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to give back to the Native Hawaiian community by allowing a greater representation of Native Hawaiians in doctoral degrees.” Access to McNair funds is not limited to only those born in the United States;

the program is also available to citizens, permanent residents and anyone in the United States for reasons that prove intent to become permanent residents. Other criteria considered for the program include a review of the student’s academic background, faculty recommendations and a personal statement written by the student outlining his or her research goals. Although the program only helps students throughout their undergraduate years, those involved in the program keep connected with the McNair faculty that helped guide them through their academic careers. “They continue to check up on me and provide me help with applications,” Isavannah Reyes, a McNair scholar at St. Edward’s said. “Without their help, I am not sure I would be as motivated or prepared to apply to graduate school.” Grants are awarded in five-year cycles with annual performance reviews. Over $40 million will be allotted for the 2017 yearly budget for the McNair Program at the national level. There are an estimated 164 institutions that will be awarded funds for the McNair program during the 2017-18 school year, averaging an estimated $226,600 award per institution. Depending on the size of the cohort admitted at each institution, the average award for each recipient of the McNair scholars comes out to $9,064. Editor’s Note: This article is being republished to correct inaccuracies in the article published on April 23, 2017. The University Star apologizes for the errors.


LBJ resources dedicated to student success By Ashley Skinner News Editor @Ash_Marie54 The LBJ Student Center is home to one of the three dining centers oncampus, a Wells Fargo, the University Bookstore and various departments developed to make each student’s college experience a smooth ride. The fifth floor of LBJ houses the offices of the Attorney for Students, Career Services, Counseling Center, Student Diversity and Inclusion and Dean of Students.

Behind every Bobcat The Attorney for Students office provides specified legal advice, counseling and education in criminal, renting, family, consumer, employment and insurance law. Students can book appointments individually or in a group, as the AFS provides group presentations on a wide variety of legal topics. The office’s online presence is extensive, as students can book appointments, access legal handbooks and resources and watch information videos pertaining to each section of law the office covers. The AFS is free for all students currently enrolled at Texas State and can be reached at 512.245.2370.

Career Resources From resume critiques, mock job interviews and major exploration, the Career Services office helps students with their job hunt and provides career counseling to help provide direction and advice for students. The department also runs Jobs4Cats,

a job site where students can set up their profiles and allows employers to seek Bobcats as employees. Another resource the office has is their Career Closet, where currently enrolled students can rent business attire at no cost, as long as the clothes are returned dry cleaned. The PACE center was developed by the department to encourage freshmen to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to assess their interests, abilities and goals to find a career suited for them. Additionally, Career Services hosts various events and job fairs each semester to expand students’ knowledge about the different career paths they can take and help land them a job in their chosen field.

Mental Health Resources The Counseling Center provides individual, couple and group counseling, consultation and crisis response and workshops geared toward mental and emotional health. The department focuses on short term goals in support of personal adjustment, development and student retention. The center provides various educational outreach programs about suicide, coping with stress, crisis information and much more. These services are free of charge to students and always kept confidential by the trained professionals.

No Exclusions Providing innovative co-curricular support to a diverse student body, the

Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion is committed to providing cuttingedge knowledge and skills to prepare students for leadership in a culturally diverse society. The department has three main goals. The first is to provide culturally sensitive, holistic co-curricular support services to underrepresented students. The department hosts events for Black History Month, Native American symposiums and Con Dolores Y César: ¡Si, Se Puede! for underrepresented migrant families. The second goal is to develop and coordinate programs and services to retain underrepresented students through degree completion/success through retention initiatives. The department hosts special graduation ceremonies before the official one to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Intersexed and Ally students, as well as multicultural and veteran students. The third is to provide opportunities for underrepresented students to acquire skills needed to thrive in a culturally diverse and global society. Nine cultural international programs are hosted by the office to ensure this goal is met.

By students, for students The Dean of Students office strives to set standards of excellence in the delivery of student services and to foster a welcoming environment that is inclusive, safe and conducive to learning. This office directs 11 different organizational groups such as Greek Affairs and Student Government and ensures that students have plenty of ways to get involved.

The University Star

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Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar

FROM FRONT TOUR When deciding what days to take a tour of campus, Irvin suggests visiting during the fall or spring semesters when campus is busy. Irvin said visiting during the academic year will allow perspective students to see what campus looks like with other students. “Campus is a lot livelier and (visitors) can get a good feel of what it is like to be a Texas State student when they come during this time,” Irvin said.

“During the summer, campus is very dead so they don’t really get a feel of the diversity that we offer.” Irvin said if visitors decide to do a self-guided tour, they can always stop by the Welcome Center during operation hours for questions and help. Jesus Rangel, campus tour guide and political science senior, said Alkek library, the McCoy building and the Quad are some of the highlights while giving

tours. For perspective students who decide to take a tour alone, Rangel suggests visiting the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website first. The website offers a self-guided packet visitors can find useful. However, the packet does not cover any unique places students have suggested on campus. Brooke Cardwell, orientation leader and former resident assistant, recom-

mends incoming students take advantage of the campus’ unique geographic location as well as the resources the university has to offer. “The university’s geographic location is unique in itself because it is in the middle of Austin and San Antonio and there is always so much going on in the general area, plus we have the river,” Cardwell said.


Cultural center brings students and locals together

Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos is located on Lee Street in San Marcos. Photo by Lara Dietrich.

By Ana De Loza Lifestyle Reporter @Sami_loza95 Black and white photographs fill the walls of two halls stretching throughout the Centro Cultural Hispano De San Marcos. These photographs show the lives of prior Hispanic Hays County residents from field workers to newlyweds. The Centro Cultural Hispano, a Hispanic cultural center, is dedicated to uplifting Hispanics in San Marcos and bringing their culture to the community. Rebecca Manzanares, executive direc-

tor for the Centro Cultural Hispano, said the center focuses on moving on from its past while still remembering its roots. “Today we are a vibrant center that is still is a familiar place, but we have a new outlook and different vibration through the building that is welcoming and healing the past with new memories and experiences,” Manzanares said. “We don’t want to forget our heritage so we preserve and promote our culture and celebrate it every day.” The center brings out the beauty of Hispanic culture through various fine arts classes. San Marcos residents can

enjoy folklorico dancing, piano, accordion and art classes. One of the highest attended programs is the art space, which provides free art classes to children according to Linda Jones, Board of Directors member and art teacher, said the center’s art space aims to teach children much more than just art skills. “We really try to focus on encouraging exploration through art, as well as self-expression,” Jones said. “Along with that, we want to be multi-cultural with our students and teach them about the world. We do this, also, by focusing on being multidisciplinary and connect-

ing art to science, math, social causes, so that the children can feel like they’re connected to the world.” Many of the volunteers for the art space and other programs are Texas State students who donate their time to either gain hands-on knowledge in their field of study or to give back and learn from a culturally rich community. Isha Rosemond, English senior, said as a volunteer she feels like she has learned much more about the art community in San Marcos. “Working in the art space has impacted me plenty, because of art space. I learned that there are so many kids in San Marcos, and that there are people in San Marcos teaching cultural art,” Rosemond said. “It’s really cool because there are not only classes for children, but for adults with learning disabilities. There are so many people wanting to learn about art and San Marcos history, and the Hispanic cultural center ties them together.” Aside from the classes centered around the arts, the center also provides San Marcos locals with other programs. There are English classes, where nonEnglish speakers can learn to master the language. Another class offered is principles of peace, where children learn about universal virtues and can grow in their character. The Centro Cultural Hispano provides all of its classes at no charge and is registered as a non-profit organization which pays employees through fundraising and donations. San Marcos residents are able to view their class and program schedule online.


Star file photo

Rangel said that the tours make it a point to cover different traditions, such as the Alma Mater and the Bobcat Hand Signs as a way of introducing guests to the Texas State culture, which he said made him want to attend the university. “Some of these students are from very small towns and that’s what I was from. My tour experience when I first visited campus was what sold me on it and that’s what sold my parents on it,” Rangel said. “It’s what made me want to work for the Welcome Center; to help bridge that gap for new students coming in and feeling a little bit scared.”

FROM FRONT GRADUATE “The Department of Computer Science and Texas State are very proud to be producing such strong researchers and future leaders, on par with students graduating from much higher ranked institutions,” Burtscher said. “Having our students honored in this way helps us attract top students, increases our visibility with potential employers of our alumni and reflects our commitment to student success and to becoming a Research one university.” According to the Institutional Research breakdown of the university, over 12,000 of 38,808 students are enrolled in a STEM program. A full list of STEM opportunities can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions’ Star file photo website.

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The University Star Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar


Graduating senior awarded for unprecedented leadership, research efforts By Tinu Thomas Lifestyle Reporter @tinuthomas01 Texas State awarded the Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman Award at this year’s graduation ceremony to a prominent undergraduate focused on advancing medical science. Recent Texas State alumna, Erica Osta, graduated last month with several honors including The Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman Award. The award is presented to one female graduate who displays exemplary leadership, scholarship, character, potential and loyalty. University President Denise Trauth presented Osta the award for Osta’s four years as an excellent student, mentor, tutor and researcher. Osta graduated with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and spent her undergraduate career researching cost effective methods of disease detection under Shannon Weigum, assistant professor of biology. Osta began working with Weigum during her second year at Texas State and their research has been well received by the scientific community. Osta’s research has been presented at multiple conferences including two national research conferences in recent years. Weigum described Osta as a rare undergraduate who truly grasped the importance and holistic intent of their study.  In May, Texas State created a video highlighting Osta’s study and her venture to be a pioneer of science. Osta said research is important to her on a personal level. While disease detection is a broad field, Osta’s research is geared towards countries with healthcare deficits like her home country of Venezuela. Although a figure of academic excellence today, Osta said her educational journey had a rocky start. Having immigrated to the United States at the age of 15, Osta said she initially felt a lot of resistance in certain aspects of American culture. “I remember being in high school once, and some kid heard me speak in Spanish and he said: ‘Go back to Mexico! Cross the border, go back to where you came from,’” Osta said. Rather than becoming discouraged, moments like this solidified Osta’s determination to excel.   Megan Krou, a first-year doctoral student, worked alongside Osta at Texas State’s Student Learning Assistance Center. Krou said Osta worked as a constant encourager to students who came for tutoring. “She is always concerned with making sure the students walk away feeling empowered,” Krou said. Themes of perseverance and resil-

Photo Courtesy of Chandler Prude

ience are apparent throughout Osta’s education. “I took the SAT three times and the ACT once, and I was just met with failure by these standardized tests and the education system,” Osta said. After immigrating to the United States, Osta said she had to work twice as hard in class compared to her previous school due to the language barrier and other cultural changes. “I remember being a straight-A student back home, but here—I failed my first Algebra test," Osta said. "I failed it because I did not know what the word ’slope’ translated to.” Despite setbacks, Osta felt a sense of social responsibility in her educational pursuit, she knew she had a rare opportunity to strive for excellence. Osta said she believes women and minorities face heightened adversity in professional fields, and she hopes her story can inspire others to do the same despite challenges. “We are at a standardized disadvantage, unfortunately, and in order for our work to be noticed, to be acknowledged and respected, we may have to do and put in an extra amount of work,” Osta said. Osta shared a particular incident of experiencing prejudice at a research initiative at Duke University. “There were four men in this project, white men, and I was not only the youngest one, I was the immigrant and

I was the girl,” Osta said. Osta experienced lab partners who wanted to take over, working in labs as the only woman and instances where she felt almost powerless, but she continued to prove her capabilities each and every time. Despite being underestimated by her peers, Osta took the opportunity to redefine preconceived notions. Toward the end of Osta’s research at Duke, she taught a doctoral student and two peers in the lab how to carry out a protocol

she made, one of her proudest moments. Erica Osta continues to strive for excellence. During Osta’s undergraduate application process, Texas State was the only university to accept her. Osta is one of only five applicants to be admitted into the rigorous UT Health Science Center in San Antonio’s Doctorate of Medicine and Philosophy Program. There, Osta will continue breaking glass ceilings and researching life-saving methods.

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Schulz


Texas State named best employer by Forbes By Amanda Heileman Lifestyle Reporter @busybeeamanda

Texas State is one of the best midsize employers in the United States, according to Forbes. Some employees at Texas State agree with the ranking and have found careers on campus. Forbes ranked Texas State 139 out of 309 employers, higher than Yelp and Chick-Fil-A. Texas State employs more than 1,300 full-time faculties and more than 3,000 full-time staff.   Rosario Rodriguez, exercise and

“It feels really good, it feels like I am a leader. With all this knowledge I can give students resources and help them with their studies.” - Rosario Rodriguez sports science junior, is a librarian assistant at the Albert B. Alkek Library and enjoys working for the school. “I really love it, it’s super fun,” Rodriguez said. “I meet a lot of people who come here and check out books.” Rodriguez has worked for the library since Aug. 2016. She said her job has benefitted her not only financially, but emotionally.   “It feels really good, it feels like I am a leader,” Rodriguez said. “With all this knowledge I can give students resources and help them with their studies.” Melissa Yip-Santellana, career counselor for the University College and

PACE Counseling Services said she, enjoys working for Texas State and finds the professional development opportunities in her job helpful. Yip-Santellana started working at her alma mater, Midwestern State University, in a grant funded program. The grant funds were soft monies, so she had to find a different job when the monies ran out. “I ended up working for DARS, the Department of Assistive Rehabilitation Services, and then I went back to MSU for a grant funded position,” Yip-Santellana said. “And then I worked for the prison because I needed to stick with the state.” Working for a variety of companies and schools has made Yip-Santellana grateful for her position at Texas State. She said working for a bigger school such as Texas State can provide more professional opportunities for students and employees compared to smaller universities. “It’s so good here, it’s really great,” Yip-Santellana said. “People’s hearts and their missions are in the right place - I really like that.” Yip-Santellana especially enjoys collaborating with her coworkers. “My coworkers are all helpful, they will come to aid when you are in need,” Yip-Santellana said. “There have been a couple of times when I’ve told some of my coworkers who are younger, and this is their first job in a career services type capacity, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are’.” Wendy Lemus, fashion merchandising senior, said she appreciates the university hiring a lot of students and giving them the opportunity to earn money

and gain experience. Lemus worked as a group exercise instructor at the Rec Center. “I worked for six months, and stayed because I wanted to grow in the fitness department in both knowledge and physical ability,” Lemus said.

Lemus said she learned a lot in her time working for the University. Many employees of Texas State say they feel both their employer and coworkers care for them and the school.

The University Star


Monday, June 5, 2017 | 5 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill @universitystar


College: improve yourself, improve the world If you were ever told that high school would hold the best years of your life, you were lied to. Attending Texas State will not be the pinnacle of your existence either, but this is where it all begins. In the next few years, you will grow immensely as an individual; this is where you find the ways in which you will go forth and change the world. Incoming Bobcats have a lot to learn, but knowledge is not only to be found in textbooks or the confines of lecture halls. You will learn what it is like to live with people who are not your family, and maybe not even your friends; what it is like to have to set your own schedule every day and find balance

between school, work, extracurricular activities and your social life; you will find yourself interacting with a lot of people who think nothing like you do, and in turn learn something about yourself; the traditions of this university will become yours, and hopefully at some point you will learn that you love to call San Marcos home. It is important to remember that your GPA is not everything. When asked why you came to college the answer appears to be obvious: you came here to obtain a degree—but what for? I would like to think that most of us came to college to find ways in which we can shape the world for the better. In our current political and social

climate, it is necessary that we do everything possible not only to become specialized in a field that can truly help people, but to also take this time to understand the individuals around us. The biggest tip that I could give to new students is to not only get involved on campus but to immerse yourself in what is the beautiful and bizarre San Marcos community. From concerts at one of the town’s many venues to house shows or block parties, to comedy showcases or open mic nights, floating the river or finding networks of activists that care about the same issues you do—San Marcos has something for everyone and all of it is guaranteed to enrich your life

tremendously. No matter who you are now, you will not leave this university the same person. Our ever-growing college town will certainly be the backdrop to some of the most memorable scenes of your life, and as you shape San Marcos it is bound to shape who you are, too. Do your best, and do not sweat the small stuff. Learn what you can in and out of academia, about yourself and about what it means to live. Everything you experience here can be used to make this world a little brighter, and in the words of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the noblest search is the search for excellence.

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.



Freedom of speech Texas State should is for white people not want to be a sanctuary campus By Tafari Robertson Opinions Columnist @blacboijoi

In the past few years it has become a growing trend for individuals who feel the need to adamantly defend their constitutional right to free speech to usually be vehemently racist or otherwise problematic white people. Whether it is Kim Davis, the county clerk who infamously defied the ruling of U.S. Supreme Court and refused to grant same-sex couples in Kentucky their marriage licenses, or Richard Spencer, a bold-faced white supremacist who advocates for “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” the first amendment has become a key rallying point for a growing conservative movement against a culture of “political correctness.” This particular view in a battle of principles is usually attributed to an honest and holistic respect for the American constitution as it is written. However, if this is the case, why do we rarely see these proud defendants of free speech when it comes to the frequent silencing of activists and people of color who choose to stand their ground? A video from Texas State went viral this past semester after a student flew into a fit of rage toward a religious group that had fabricated images to persuade people to be pro-life concerning abortions. In the video, the student sets aside a balloon and bouquet of flowers to proceed through an audibly emotional tirade, kicking and punching various signs displaying graphic “abortion imagery” as an older gentleman attempts to calm him down. Even many who supported his stance against anti-abortion rhetoric were eager to point out how his actions were “ignorant”, “immature” and a general disgrace to Texas State’s falsely proclaimed “Free

Speech Zone.” Texas State is a public university and there is no specifically designated free speech zone, but the point to which students are willing to defend fabricated information that is obscene, hateful and potentially damaging to the mental health of many of their peers indicates a larger issue that perhaps is not tied to the sanctity of an organization’s right to display poster boards. Considering all of these are factors that should fall under the limits the free speech as defined by the Supreme Court cases Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc. and Miller v. California, it becomes clear that students’ objections to this display of political rage are less rooted in concern for the preservation of constitutional rights, but rather fit a familiar rhetoric that desperately wishes only for peaceful, unobtrusive protests that allow the normalization of violent systems of oppression. Whether you agree with this student’s actions or not, it is a silly notion to insist that he instead try talking to the organizers of the antichoice display as if they themselves travel from university to university with the intention of having meaningful discourse and understanding. They purposefully produce hateful imagery and count on our loose understanding of constitutional free speech and need for normalcy as a buffer to spread their falsified information to vulnerable audiences. The more we find the courage to break out of these imagined rules on how to respectfully engage with perpetrators that are rarely held to the same standard respect, the more we can utilize the full range of options at hand when it comes to the dismantling of hateful institutions. -Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior

By Nellie Perry Opinions Columnist @nellie_perry The recent passing of Senate Bill 4 in Texas puts a ban on all sanctuary cities within the state. The debate is no longer whether Texas State should be a sanctuary campus, but if we should want it to be. The issue of sanctuaries has become nationally recognized with those who support it being humanitarians and those who oppose it being racist bigots. However, looking at the bigger picture, sanctuary campuses – especially on campuses like Texas State – do not work. The term “sanctuary campus” used in this column is described as a campus that harbors undocumented immigrants from law enforcement, as well as provides food and shelter to those immigrants. That being said, the economics of a public university such as ours could not support it for significant reasons. A public university is just that because it receives money from local and federal governments to help support it. Gov. Greg Abbott has made it apparent that any city, or campus, that becomes a sanctuary would lose state funding, and President Trump would most likely follow suit. If the campus lost this funding, the only way it would be able to offset those costs is by raising tuition. Of course the humanitarian in us says “then we’ll pay the higher tuition,” which is great in theory, except many students are currently only able to attend this school due to government scholarships, grants or loans – myself included. These students would no longer be able to use financial aid to pay tuition, which means

less students and an even higher increase in tuition for the students that are able to stay. Some argue that it is downright inhumane to leave undocumented immigrants—especially elders and families—to fend for themselves for things like shelter, food and safe harbor from law enforcement. Not everyone has this thought process. Rather than calling those who disagree “racist bigots,” we need to stop asking the government to force them to pay for a stranger’s livelihood, as well as their own—which is exactly what becoming a sanctuary campus would cause them to do. By making Texas State a sanctuary campus, we would be forcing students to pay for someone else, even if they do not agree to that. That is the same concept as sanctuary cities, which would raise taxes for all residents, including those in disagreement. Instead of forcing those who oppose sanctuary campuses to pay, students who feel passionate about helping these people may do so in a more constructive way. For instance, use the money you would spend on higher tuition and donate to a local organization that has the same cause, house these immigrants yourself or help them find access to a nearby shelter. In September, Senate Bill 4 will be enforced and rather than having students feel frustrated about why Texas State is unable to be a sanctuary campus, I urge them to realize the high price that would accompany being a sanctuary, and instead focus on productive solutions that will benefit the entire Texas State University campus. - Nellie Perry is a journalism sophomore


If you refuse to watch “Dear White People” you might be the problem By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable It is highly beneficial that members of the Texas State community watch Netflix’s new hit show, “Dear White People,” because it highlights the racial misconduct that students of color often face on college campuses. It is the people who refuse to watch it that need the perspective the most. Netflix recently premiered the new original series, which is based on the 2014 film of the same title. The series lends itself to the perspective of a few black students that attend the most prestigious, predominantly white institution (PWI) in the United States: Winchester University. As with any piece of media that is considered “too black,” there are plenty who refuse to watch the show under the belief that the series endorses the only threat to mankind more dangerous than climate change—“reverse racism.” It does not need to be explained why “Dear White People” is not reverse

racism since the show cannot be something that simply does not exist. More importantly, to the show’s credit, it is not an opportunity to celebrate white apologism—something anyone who has seen the film can tell you. The series can stand its own ground in the arguments it makes for the way we conduct ourselves regarding people’s cultures that are not our own. Being the great self-aware satire that it is, “Dear White People” already has answers for the predictable questions that would arise from the show’s trailer like, “what if white people made a show called, ‘Dear Black People?” Therefore, there is no need for this column to address any arguments over race in academia. Instead, the purpose of this column is to draw a parallel between the way one shuts out the Netflix series and the way they likely also shut out the cultural and philosophical ideas that do not appear to condone their current actions. “Dear White People” is a dynamic body of work that captures eyes and ears with its beautifully composed

frames and scoring. Through clever screenwriting and compelling characters with relatable flaws, the series develops a personality with its own unspoken dialogue that is bound to pull out a guilty laugh from you regardless of whether you agree with the subject matter or not. “Dear White People” manages to be an aesthetically pleasing piece of work from a filmmaking standpoint while unwaveringly tackling serious conversations around race. Contrary to popular belief the show is well balanced in its critique on society as it denounces all cultural infractions and divides—even when they do not work in favor of the black student at a white institution. However, many people will never know how layered the series is, because the moment they see the title “Dear White People”, they assume that it is just 90 minutes reminding white viewers why they are evil. Likewise, they are likely individuals who would never know that their black co-worker is actually a great person who shares plenty of similarities with them. They would likely never take the

chance to learn that they both share an interest in comic books, guitars and working on cars—or that they both like Black Sabbath and have a dad who is a police officer. They would never know that because once they see a black man in a Black Lives Matter shirt, they assume he is someone they could not get along with even though they have more things in common than not. Just as many people miss out on an entertaining experience by dismissing “Dear White People” based on its title, they also miss out on potential relationships with great people because they dismissed them based on their appearance. It is never a good idea to judge a book or a show by its cover. It is even more dangerous to judge a person by their cover—but you are far more inclined to do so if you make a habit of disagreeing with ideas before you have even heard them. -Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore

6 | Monday, June 5 , 2017


The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


A look back at a successful year in athletics By Lisette Lopez Sports Editor Lisette_1023 The Texas State athletic program is given little credit; however, the 2016-17 year came with success from numerous sports. Each sport at Texas State had a successful aspect, whether it came from the season or individual success. The beginning of the 2016-17 year was off to a rough start in regards to the football program, but came out of the season with new insight in hopes for a better 2017 season. So far, the football program is off to a better start. Texas State had the No. 1 recruiting class in the Sun Belt Confer-

Texas State had the No. 1 recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference, and look to start the 2017 season fresh with new talent. ence, and look to start the 2017 season fresh with new talent. The start of the season begins with a home opener at Bobcat Stadium against Houston Baptist on Sept. 2. The volleyball program made it to the semifinal round of the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Championship, before los-

ing 3-1 to newcomers Coastal Carolina. During their season, the Bobcats had a nine-game winning streak and beat the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Champions, Arkansas State. The Bobcats finished second in the western division of the Sun Belt Conference, and third overall. The volleyball team starts its 2017 season competing in the Texas A&M Invitational with the first game held on Aug. 25 against Sam Houston State University. The soccer team ended with a difficult season, as they finished ninth overall and did not compete in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Despite the tough ending to the season, the team welcomed Assistant Coach Alex Totilo in January 2017. Totilo served as a coach at St. Edwards University, and has assisted student-athletes to the best of his abilities. The women’s soccer team begin the 2017 season Aug. 11 with an exhibition match against UTSA in San Antonio. The men’s cross country team had a historical season, ranking seventh in the South Central Region. It was the highest ranking the team received in 11 years. Along with the highest ranking, the men’s team finished third as a team in the Sun Belt Conference Championships. Placing third, gave them an automatic bid to the NCAA South Central Regional. The men’s basketball team finished runner-up in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, and were one win away from the NCAA Basketball Tournament. For the first time since 1997, the Bobcats were invited to a postseason tournament. Texas State competed in the Tournament, and had its first postseason victory against Lamar for the first time since 1980.

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The Bobcats ended their season with a close loss to Saint Peter’s in the quarterfinal round of the postseason tournament. Texas State loses out on three seniors who were a critical part of the successful season. However, with the key returning players and fresh talent, the basketball program looks forward to another successful season. The spring sports such as track and field, softball and baseball, all had successful seasons. The track and field women’s team took home the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championship titles for the first time since 2013. The men’s team were runner-up in both indoor and outdoor championships. There were 20 Bobcats sent to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, and the women’s team swept the individual honors at the outdoor championship. Director of Track and Field/ Cross

Country Jody Stewart was also awarded Coach of the Year. It was a successful season for the track and field team, with the Bobcats working for another successful season. There was Texas State history made for the softball team this season. Junior Ariel Ortiz collected her 30th career home run, and topped the all-time list. Junior Randi Rupp is now the second Bobcat in Texas State history to surpass 900 strikeouts. The Bobcats fell short to the Texas Longhorns in the NCAA College Station Regional, but finished second overall in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State athletics had success in all aspects, with each team successful during its season. The Bobcats conquered to be the best, and with the hard work and dedication that the student-athletes put in, it was a successful 2016-17 year.


Women’s track and field: hard work pays off By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae The Texas State women’s track and field team has proved that hard work and teamwork does pay off by winning the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championship title. The Bobcats won the SBC Indoor Championship in February after racking up 166 points during the meet in Birmingham, Alabama. In May, Texas State totaled 154.5 points to win the SBC Outdoor Championship in Arlington, Texas. This is the fifth time in school history that the women’s team has won the conference title in both indoor and outdoor in the same year. The last time this happened was in 2013 when Texas State participated in the Western Athletic Conference. Expectations were set high by athletes like sophomore Tramesha Hardy going into the track season. Hardy planned to work hard so she could be a key player for the team, while trying to break a record along the way. Although she was unable to break a record, Hardy was satisfied with the outcome of the season. Hardy won two gold medals in both indoor and outdoor, for the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. “Although I did not break a school record this season, I did come out with a lot of gold,” Hardy said. “I did not think that was possible, but it was because I did everything right; my workouts were based on me running rounds.” Junior DeAijha Hicks-Boyce transferred last fall from Tarleton University to be a part of the Texas State women’s track and field team. Hicks-Boyce noted that she was happy to be a part of a team that dominated the way they did. “It feels great to be a part of a team that can come together for each other and dominate the way we did back to back,” Hicks-Boyce said. “As a first-year transfer student, I could not have asked for a better team to be a part of.” Hicks-Boyce participated in the 200-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay with Hardy. Hardy credits the entire team for the win. The dynamic of the women’s team is very tight knit. According to Hardy, they constantly depend on each other to get the job done. “We were able to depend on one another to get the job done,” Hardy said. “I love my team and I am glad to be a part of a team that works so hard. None of this would have been possible without the help of fellow teammates.” The women’s team collected a myriad

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of honors during the track season. Most recently, the Bobcats swept the SBC’s outdoor individual honors. Hardy was named Most Outstanding Track Athlete, senior Julie Lange was named Most Outstanding Field Athlete and freshman Devina Schneider was the Freshman and Newcomer of the Year. Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Jody Stewart was named Coach of the Year as well. Although Hicks-Boyce’s season has come to an end, she still supports her teammates and hopes they will get a chance to compete at the NCAA National Championships. “As my season has come to an end, I expect my teammates that are still competing to do exceptional things,” Hicks-Boyce said. “I know I will be seeing them on television at the NCAA National Championships.” It has been a long season for the women’s track and field team. The women accomplished two championship titles, swept the SBC outdoor individual honors and sent eight to the NCAA West Preliminary Round. “This season we have had our ups and downs, but when it all counts we come together and make it happen,” Hardy said. “It feels good knowing that we were able to pull off two championships.”

The University Star


Monday, June 5, 2017 | 7 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Courville, Powell, Atwood: From rookies to Bobcat alumni By Brooke Phillips Sports Reporter @brookephillips_ Every year, spring graduation means, a new chapter in life and a farewell to team members. The baseball team will not only be losing three seniors, but the team will also be losing three right-handed pitchers. While Brandon Courville, Joe Powell and Quinn Atwood will now be considered Bobcat alumni, they will always be remembered for their accomplishments on the baseball team. Although these three players share the same love for pitching, the path in which they all took the Texas State mound was different. Courville was not always a Bobcat, and it was not until the 2016 season that he started wearing maroon and gold. After graduating high school in Flower Mound, Courville competed for two seasons at Midland College where he was named team pitcher of the year and helped lead his team to the JUCO World Series. From Midland, Courville transferred to Kansas State University and made 11 appearances in the one year he was there. Courville was then considered a red-shirt senior for Texas State the following year before he could play in the 2017 season. Like Courville, Powell also did not begin his college career right away at Texas State. Moving from Dallas, to Saint Louis, Missouri, Powell became a part of the Billikens as he stepped on the mound at Saint Louis University. He was there for one year before transferring to Collin College, but did not compete with the Cougars. It was in 2015 when Powell became a Bobcat and made 16 appearances in his first year. Since then, he decided to finish out his college career at Texas State. Unlike his other two senior teammates, Atwood started and ended his collegiate baseball career at Texas State. Coming from Katy, Atwood’s rookie

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year consisted of a 54.00 earned run average. Atwood improved from then on out as his sophomore year he reached a season high of innings pitched and pitches thrown against Sam Houston State University. Junior year, Atwood made 18 relief appearances and registered 10 strikeouts. No matter how long or short their time was at Texas State, the team allowed them to share a bond. “My favorite part has been being a part of this team,” Powell said. “A pitcher is only as good as the defense that is supporting him. The opportunity to be a part of this team has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than just myself.”

Along with being baseball players, Courville, Powell and Atwood all managed to be student-athletes as well. Courville majored in social sciences, Powell double majored in engineering technology and applied mathematics and Atwood majored in business management. While it was not easy for them to balance out school and baseball, the amount of work they put into their studies—as well as their performance on the field—was well worth it. “Perseverance and consistency is key,” Powell said. “Succeeding in the classroom is equally as important to me as succeeding on the field. I have learned that you can succeed in both, as long as you are willing to persevere and stay

consistent to your schedule.” Although many college athletes obtain a degree, there is also the question of playing professionally after graduation. For Powell, he is choosing to leave his baseball glove behind and move on to a new chapter in his life. “I have always felt the desire to serve our country,” Powell said. “This summer, while finishing up my internship, I will be training to qualify for a spot at BUDS and the Navy Seals. I would love to get out and travel, and I would like to serve.” No matter what path these newly Texas State alumni choose, they will always have the opportunity to come back to Bobcat Ballpark and meet on the field where it all began.


Bobcats put together excellent season despite post-season losses By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter @BornToRun_19 The softball team ended its 2017 season at the NCAA College Station Regional with a 6-3 loss against the Texas Longhorns. The Bobcats finished their campaign with an overall record of 42-17, and a Sun Belt Conference record of 18-8. Texas State finished second overall in conference rankings, behind the 47-8 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The Bobcats strung together six streaks of four or more consecutive wins, including streaks of five and six games. Texas State’s most impressive streak of the season was a 10-game win streak that lasted from March 8-25. The Bobcats won six of their nine conference series. Texas State swept its opponents in four of the six series wins. Texas State began its season with an 1-0 loss to Abilene Christian, before going on a four-game win streak. Throughout the season the Bobcats showed that they could win games by being an offensive powerhouse or simply squashing their opponents with overwhelming defense. On April 29, Texas State put on its most impressive offensive performance, scoring 12 runs, and shutting out the Troy Trojans with stellar pitching. In the post season, Texas State earned the second seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament; the Bobcats made it to the championship, but were defeated 12-0 by Louisiana. Following their SBC Championship loss, Texas State took part in the NCAA College Station Regional. The team picked up its first win in the event, edging the Longhorns 2-1, in a 12-inning defensive showdown. The Bobcats fell to the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies, before being eliminated from contention by Texas in the following game. Leading the Bobcat’s lineup in home runs this season was junior Ariel Ortiz

with 15 homers. Beyond home runs, Ortiz also led Texas State in several other key statistical categories including total hits (62), RBIs (47), slugging percentage (.702), doubles (10) and at bat appearances (181). Ortiz, also finished the season with a .343 overall batting average. Freshman Christiana McDowell led the team in runs scored (35), followed by Ortiz (34). McDowell also led in stolen bases (5) and ranked second behind Ortiz in hits (44) and at bats (175). Junior Taylor Webb led Texas State in walks (47); the junior ranked second on the team in total RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.605) and home runs (13). Finishing in the top three in several statistical categories was junior Jaelyn Young. Young finished the season ranked third in hits (39) and RBIs (33). Throughout the entirety of the Bobcat’s season, the excellence of junior Randi Rupp was almost always a guarantee. The 2017 season saw Texas State’s star ace finish with a 28-10 overall record, Rupp put up a career best 1.22 ERA and allowing a career best 73 runs on 201 hits. For players like Ortiz and Rupp, the 2017 season was also a record setting one. In an April 8 victory over the South Alabama Jaguars, Ortiz scored her 30th home run and cemented herself as Texas State’s all-time career home run leader. On April 30, Rupp earned her place next to all-time career strikeout leader Nicole Neuerburg, as one of only two Bobcats in Texas State history to reach the 900-strikeout mark. The junior pitcher finished the season with 325 strikeouts this season, and finds herself just 66 away from the record held by Neurerburg (1,019). Texas State loses six Bobcats this season, however the influx of new talent as well as the return of several key players should make for an interesting 2018 season.

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