MONDAY JULY 10, 2017 VOLUME 106 ISSUE 35
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
Financial Aid recipients at risk if courses do not align with degree plan By Shayan Faradineh Assistant News Editor @ShayanFaradineh The federal government policy requires student’s aid eligibility only to be based on courses counting toward the completion of their degree, according to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Department. To be considered a full-time student, for financial aid purposes, there is a 12 credit hour requirement as an undergraduate, or nine credit hours as a graduatecounting toward their degree plan. Christopher Murr, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said he encourages students to familiarize themselves with their degree audit. “The federal government has always had the expectation that taxpayer funds are only paying for those courses that count toward the student’s degree that’s not new,” Murr said. “However, due to our enhancements in our system, we are more able to comply with those rules.” Murr said the cause of this enforcement stems from the degree audit and financial aid systems ability to flag the system. “That interconnectivity being there, we can’t ignore it,” Murr said. “We have to make sure we complement the federal policy, now that we have the technology to do so.” Students were notified of the policy enforcment by finicial aid via email June 16. All students are recommended to reference their degree audit and course catalog as to what courses count toward their degree. Students took to Twitter to display their confusion and disagreement with the enforcement of this policy. "The enforcement of this new financial aid policy is ridiculous and will harm many stydents," Twitter user @RussellfromTXST stated. "Especially seniors." Dede Gonzales, associate director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, ensures students could still receive financial aid
even if they are not registered for 12 credit hours. “You don’t have to have 12 hours to receive financial aid," Gonzales said. "Most programs allow 6, but to get the maximum of financial aid, that’s where 12 hours comes in. Even electives count toward the degree. It’s when the student is over 120 that they do not.” Students can maximize their financial aid depending on the number of hours they decide to take. According to the Financial Aid and Scholarships website, students who take 12 hours do not require as much tuition aid as a student who may take six hours. However, they might receive the same amount for services that aren't tuition based such as room and board. “It’s a student by student situation and the best way to figure out how this might affect you is by contacting the financial aid department,” Murr said. Georgie Muñoz, marketing junior, emphasizes the importance of this policy enforcement. “As I get closer to finishing my degree, this policy will definitely have to be in the forefront of my planning,” Munoz said. “Though in special circumstances, this policy may be a major bump in the road I think it’s a great push to those students who have been taking classes they don’t need due to poor planning.” Programs that substitute certain courses are still able to receive financial aid, such as the Honors College. The Financial Aid and Scholarships website has a list of frequently asked questions, links to advisers and contacts for case by case issues dealing with this policy. “As I get closer to finishing my degree, this policy will definitely have to be in the forefront of my planning,” Munoz said. “Though in special circumstances, this policy may be a major bump in the road I think it’s a great push to those students who have been taking classes they don’t need due to poor planning.”
After various sexist, racist, Islamophobic and hateful rhetoric from the owner and staff of a bar in Austin, protests are breaking out across the area to fight the hate. Unbarlievable, located on Rainey Street, was surrounded by protesters June 30. The protestors were calling for the owner, Brandon Cash, to cut ties with the establishment after posting crude comments in response to online reviews. Christian Rodriguez, organizer of the protest, said he is determined to fight against the discriminatory language. “The protest was to bring awareness to the problem at Unbarlievable,” Rodriguez said. “When I look at the owner creating an identity around hate and bigotry, I see that he is attracting people who align with that mindset. There are consequences to your actions. This protest was the beginning of the journey, not the end.” Since January, patrons of the bar have left bad reviews of the establishment on Facebook and other rating sites, expressing their concerns regarding discriminatory acts. Cash has since responded to each review with a different answer. In January, the first problem arose when a patron gave the bar a one-star
review on Yelp. Cash responded to the review immediately. “I hope you don’t have any daughters because they are definitely gonna get grabbed by the pussy you stupid fucking ant! Anybody know this pile of shit?” Cash wrote in a comment. The second situation occurred midMarch when an Unbarlievable employee brought a table’s beer out and placed them in the shape of a swastika upon a customer’s request. Another customer, at an adjacent table, complained to management but was told nothing was going to be done about it. The customer later reviewed the bar on Facebook, where the Unbarlievable account responded to the negative experience. “All complaints should be directed to our HR department. You can reach them at getfucked@unbarlievable. com,” Unbarlievable commented. The patron who ordered the beer in the shape of a swastika, Tyler Goodson, openly admitted to the act on his Facebook page, where friends fully supported his post. “Here we have a bunch of crybabies whining (protesting) over something I did at a bar that a table next to me complained about in a review that I also responded to,” Goodson wrote on his post. “Yes I made a swastika on a table with beer. Was it right? Probably not. Do I care? Certainly not.”
OUTDOOR 101 PAGE 3 OUTDOOR
DEGREE REQUIRED COURSES ONLY
DEGREE AND NON DEGREE REQUIRED CLASSES
MORE FINANCIAL AID
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GRAPHIC BY VIVIAN MEDINA
Protest against Austin bar leads owner to apologize for offensive actions By Ashley Skinner News Editor @Ash_Marie54
FAFSA TXST FORMS
WHAT CLASSES WILL YOU TAKE?
PAGE 2 COMMUNITY
Mermaid Society festival seeks funds from city council
STAR FILE PHOTO
By Jonathan Gonzalez News Reporter @Jonny_Gonzalez_ The Mermaid Society SMTX, a nonprofit organization, successfully submitted a request to the city council to support the second annual Mermaid SPLASH festival. The source of the funds is yet to be determined. The request received four votes at the city council meeting June 27 in favor of moving forward with securing funds for the project. The festival is scheduled for Sept. 2-17. The organization hosts the festival as a way of providing a creative platform for local artists while promoting a sense of community by using the
Upcoming Basketball Season The men’s basketball team signed six athletes to the 2017-18 roster in hopes of repeating a winning season.
PAGE 7 BASKETBALL
mermaid as a symbol of the city’s history and culture. July Moreno, Mermaid Society SMTX founder and executive director, said her group sought the support from the city council for this year’s festival in order to foster a sense of unity throughout the community. “Like Fiesta does in San Antonio, where everyone is involved and able to profit from it, this is how I hope the festival will be able to do in San Marcos,” Moreno said. During the two weeks, there will be art exhibitions, live music and performances, film screenings and other events.
PAGE 2 MERMAID
2 | Monday, July 10 , 2017
The University Star Ashley Skinner News Editor @Ash_Marie54
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Anthropology students gain hands-on experience with real human remains
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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, July 10, 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 www.universitystar.com
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By Connor Brown News Reporter @Connor_Brown1 The Forensic Anthropology Research Facility provides anthropology students with the unique opportunity to learn about decomposition from real human remains. Additionally, students are able to reconnect families with their deceased through a program called Operation Identification. The decomposition facility, a research facility started in 2008 otherwise known as the “body farm,” exhibits real human bodies donated to science for the purpose of observing the natural stages of decomposition in an outdoor climate. Kari Helgeson, a graduate anthropology student, explains how she views her experience with human remains. “You can kind of distance yourself to a point when it’s skeletal elements rather than a full person,” Helgeson said. “It is an eye-opening experience, considering these are real people that have donated themselves to our program and without them, we essentially wouldn’t be a facility.” Students also have the opportunity
to work on Operation Identification: a project started in 2013 by Kate Spradley, a biological anthropology associate professor. Operation Identification excavates the human remains of migrants in border towns who have died due to the harsh South Texas climate. Operation Identification works with funeral homes to find the location of migrant bodies. These remains were previously picked up and buried somewhere in the cemetery near the funeral home. Oftentimes, volunteers rely on the memory recall of those who buried them, as temporary grave markers do not last long in the Texas heat. “I think everyone deserves basic human rights,” Spradley said. “There is the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that says everybody everywhere has the right to recognition before the law, and these individuals aren’t provided basic human rights when they’re found and buried and there’s no investigation, no DNA sampling and their family doesn’t know where they are. I think everyone deserves the same treatment.” Shelby Garza, biological anthropology graduate student, loves the aspect
of giving closure to families who do not know their loved one’s cause of death. “I just think it is amazing to be able to look at the remains of individuals and learn so much from it,” Garza said. “Giving closure to people who have no idea what happened to their loved ones is such a big deal that is often overlooked.” Operation Identification currently has 226 human remains, with 140 remains submitted for DNA testing. The difficulty with DNA testing, according to Spradley, is not having familial DNA samples to compare to the DNA they exhume and the added complexities of international repatriation, or sending migrants remains back to their home countries can slow the process. The program has successfully identified 26 bodies of migrants to date and has reunited 13 families with their loved one’s remains. More information about the program can be found on the Forensic Anthropology Center website. Also, a podcast developed by the program, Criminal, takes an in-depth look at the decomposition facility at Texas State.
FROM FRONT COMMUNITY
FROM FRONT MERMAID
The third problematic situation was in May when a customer left a negative review on Google Reviews. The customer said the business was “ill-conceived and poorly executed,” and the Margarita his date ordered was disgusting. The response from the owner on Google Reviews was deleted but read as follows in a screenshot taken: “Let’s be honest with each other…the only thing ill-conceived around here was your birth. And that wasn’t a margarita! Since you had a towel on your head my bartender thought you were the new busy boy and handed you some dirty dishes to wash. Side note: next time you ship in a prostitute from out of town you don’t have to take her out and buy her drinks to get laid.” Lastly, the fourth incident occurred on Cash’s Facebook page. Cash wrote he was, “Looking for a really tan/brown small human to walk around unBARlievable, tugging on people shirts while attempting to sell them chicle.” Cash added to the post, “For those of you who are offended by this post please send your complaints to getfucked@ unbarlievable.com.” Cash issued a statement to the public June 28 via his website and Facebook. He apologized for his actions and wishes to earn back the trust of the Austin community. “It is with profound humility that I issue this heartfelt apology,” Cash wrote. “To those who I have hurt and offended, I am deeply sorry. My words and actions were wrong, inappropriate and inexcusable. They certainly don’t exemplify the values of a community that I love and care deeply about and my insensitive actions do not represent those of my loyal and dedicated employees.” Cash goes on to say he knows forgiveness will not come easily, but pledges to earn it by working diligently to earn back the trust of the community. After the protest ended, Cash released another statement where he apologized again and acknowledged how his actions have impacted the citizens of Austin. “The recent community outrage has been a wake-up call for me personally,” Cash wrote. “I’ve witnessed the overwhelming anger in direct response to my deplorable conduct and I want to assure everyone that I have taken it to heart. To the Austin community embarrassed by my actions and to those individuals I have personally offended, I apologize. I will be making immediate changes to our personal conduct and interactions with our patrons.” The Goodnight, a bar Cash had part-ownership of in Austin, announced on its Facebook page an agreement to purchase the remaining ownership. In addition to Unbarlievable, Cash owns Rooftop on Sixth Streer in Austin and Rooftop on the Square in San Marcos. The TABC is now conducting an investigation over Cash and his establishment.
The Mermaid Society SMTX has asked for a total of $25,000 to fund direct costs for the festival. Members of the organization have taken it upon themselves to raise additional funds for any indirect costs. Although the council has voted to support the event, no exact amount or source of the funds has been determined. Moreno, who was a member of the San Marcos Arts Commission, said she sought out $27,000 through the commission to fund last year’s festival, but chose to go to the city council this year to avoid a conflict of interest. “It wasn’t just the funding of the $25,000 that we needed,” Moreno said. “This was also about creating a partnership with the city that would involve their promotion of the event.” Moreno said the event, which coincides with Family Weekend at Texas State, is expected to draw twice as many people as the previous year’s festival, despite the fact they have requested less money. “Families visiting the city for the first time will be in for an amazing experience,” Moreno said. “They’re going to be able to attend the festival, the parade, the tailgate and Texas State football game. It’s going to bring in people to shop, eat and drink, which will bring money to the city.” The funding requested by the group will be specifically for the Mermaid Downtown Parade and Mermaid Aqua Faire events. Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt, Place 1, said she sees the opportunity as a way of bringing together people and the city’s traditions and culture. “It brings our old and new community members together in a venue that teaches about things like stewardship of the river and celebrates the arts in San Marcos,” Prewitt said. Prewitt said a potential source of funds for the project could come from the city’s hotel occupancy tax funds, which are reserved to promote events, such as the Mermaid SPLASH festival, to bring tourists to the city. “There’s no set commitment of how much or from where the money will come,” Prewitt said. “The city manager has yet to come back with any definite sources, but this could potentially come back to the city council for final approval to use funds from the HOT tax.” Once sources are found to fund the festival, the motion will be brought back to city council for final approval. Prewitt said the city will be in full support of the event as the particulars are worked out.
The University Star
Monday, July 10 , 2017 | 3 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
Taking advantage of classrooms beyond walls
Stories from Bobcat business owners By Tinu Thomas Assistant Lifestyle Editor @tinuthomas01
Texas State students can take classes through the outdoor center where they can learn skills in kayaking, backpacking and more. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
By Tinu Thomas Assistant Lifestyle Editor @tinuthomas01 Bobcats can experience learning outside of a typical classroom and explore San Marcos’ nature through special courses offered at Texas State. Students can enroll in one of 50 physical fitness and wellness courses such as underwater photography, advanced karate, backpacking or bowling for college credit. More than 1,800 students enroll in physical fitness and wellness courses each semester. These classes provide students with the opportunity to learn and participate in physical activities as part of their college curriculum. Duane Knudson, department chair of health and human performance, said PFW classes provide valuable and readily available experiences. “The evidence of the learning and health value of these classes is overwhelming and endorsed by every major medical and scientific field,” Knudson said. While PFW courses are offered through Texas State, the classes are often conducted through a third party. Many times the classes are taught offcampus at various locations. Texas Ski Ranch holds the wakeboarding and water skiing courses. Andrew Clemons, Texas State alumnus, said taking classes such as wakeboarding and waterskiing helped him grow both physically and mentally. “Action sports have a way of helping facilitate goal setting. Whether you’re already a goal setter or not, these action sports will make you strive to better or accomplish a new goal on the water,” Clemons said. “As you progress and take down these goals it gets more and
more exciting. All the while students will be getting a great full-body workout while having a great time.” Many PFW courses offered at Texas State are exclusive to the campus and only available to currently enrolled students. Bobcats can experience unique opportunities like diving in bodies of water otherwise closed to the public. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment hosts an advanced diving course which allows Texas State students to explore the Spring Lake habitat. Spring Lake is a habitat closed to non-student divers. The lake is home to endangered fish, plants and species exclusive to central Texas, according to the Meadows Center website. Stacey Herzog, co-coordinator and instructor of physical fitness and wellness courses, said PFW courses are not ordinary fitness classes. Bender said these courses allow students to discover physical activities they are passionate about while learning new skills. “Physical activity and exercise are often lumped into the same category, but they can be very different,” Herzog said. “Some of these outdoor classes may give students a newfound love, passion or hobby that provides them with adequate daily or weekly physical activity.” Through PFWs, students are taught more than the basics of adventurous outdoor activities: they are taught how to incorporate these activities into their daily lives. Bobcats who want to learn more about any of the beginner or advanced PFW courses can view detailed listings on the Texas State Department of Health and Human Performance page.
Student-alumni couple brew up new coffee shop By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
Students and locals can now add Ciao Coffee, a new family-owned cafe, to their list of favorite java joints. A close walk from campus, patrons can hear the buzzing of blenders and beats of music from decades past at the new shop. The cafe’s owners are husband and wife Ben and Shelby Zeneli, members of a popular family in San Marcos. The Zeneli family has been a part of the community for years, running local favorites such as Italian Garden and Nostimo Mediterranean Cafe. Shelby Zeneli said she envisions the shop as a late-night study space for students and community members to enjoy. The shop was meant to be a gelato place for families to enjoy after Italian Garden. However, as students themselves, the Zeneli’s took into consideration the needs of the student population and decided to serve both coffee and gelato. “I just finished my sculpture degree last semester, and Ben is still in school in his third year,” Shelby said. “We wanted to make a different atmosphere, a comfortable, bright and energetic area.” Ciao Coffee opened June 29. For less than $3, coffee connoisseurs can enjoy flavorful cups of cold brew offered in medium and large sizes. The shop offers an array of treats, from gelato to Maine root beverages to specialty coffee concoctions. The breakfast and lunch sandwich selection differs from many other shops in both price and size—at least five sandwiches are under $5. The shop employs Peyton Price, psychology sophomore, as a barista. Price said she has always wanted to learn how to make drinks and likes Ciao Coffee in particular for its vibe and homemade ingredients.
The successes of alumni can be seen all throughout the Hill Country, whether it be in business, art, film or music. Many alumni have set up shop in San Marcos. Rio Rodriguez, owner of San Marvelous, said he spent most of his college career partying at popular San Marcos hotspots before becoming a successful business owner. “I had a really epic college experience,” Rodriguez said. “We were always playing volleyball, floating the river and at Sewell Park as many times of the week as we could.” Rodriguez said his lively college experience turned into an opportunity to network within the community when building his first company, which was later traded in to pursue retail. “I was so successful at throwing huge parties that I started my first business (Rockstar Productions),” Rodriguez said. “We started to do big events with local bars, apartments, restaurants and stuff like that.” The partying business proved to earn little monetary value, an issue which led Rodriguez to consider other options. Rod Keller, the partner at Odgers Berndtson, an executive search firm, and former president of Segway, the company known for selling self-balancing personal transporters, had a similar experience. Keller said he spent his two years at Texas State as a regular party-goer. “I was not very responsible,” Keller said. “I was immature. I was in a fraternity. I spent way too much time having fun the first year and a half.” Keller realized he couldn’t party away his education. After a life changing experience working offshore prior to his junior year of college, Keller said he made a complete turn-around. “I was like two different students from the first two years to the last two,” Keller said. “I went to work offshore halfway through college, and I realized I could either do something like that for the rest of my life, being offshore seven days at a time, or I could come
back and get my degree and build a different life.” Susan Angell-Gonzalez, CEO of ShowMakers of America and founder of American Dance Company, is another successful alumna, but with a different story when it comes to her education. She said her typical school day at Texas State started at 8 a.m. and was packed with campus activities and academics. “In addition to academics and attending classes, I was a Texas State Strutter for four years and captain for two of the years,” Angell-Gonzalez said. “Classes usually began at 8 a.m. followed by afternoon Strutter practices and evening sorority meetings.” Angell-Gonzalez learned the value of a dollar while attending Texas State. She worked hard to stay on budget and saved all her summer earnings to pay tuition. As successful alumni, Rodriguez, Keller and Angell-Gonzalez said they all agree the only certain experience on the road to success is failure. Another resounding theme of success all three former Bobcats stressed is the importance of balancing interests and activities. Angell-Gonzalez said she learned how to prioritize her goals not just with school activities, but with her personal life. “At one time, I owned and operated three businesses under my corporate umbrella,” Angella-Gonzalez said. “It got to the point where my health was affected and that is where the wake-up call hit me.” Rodriguez struggled to choose between his interests. To succeed he had to choose his passion and master his craft. “What I ended up doing was I picked the top four things that I loved and was excited about doing—photography, fashion, marketing and branding—and I combined those things together,” Rodriguez said. These successful alumni agreed Texas State was an integral part of their success in business.
HIRING kickoff party
Paige Whitis, mass communication senior, makes drinks July 9 at Ciao coffee shop in San Marcos. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
“The thing I like best about Ciao is some of the things that they make,” Price said. “Some of the things they put in the drinks, the owner makes himself, like the lavender syrup—it goes in the Lavish Lavender. I think it’s going to be a hit here.” The store provides both indoor and outdoor seating, hot and cold drinks and snacks and pastries. Ciao Coffee creates a unique atmosphere, decorated with a modern flair, not typical to San Marcos. Shelby and Ben Zeneli can sometimes be found at the shop, greeting customers and making sure everything is running smoothly. Since opening, the shop’s customers have been a mixture of student patrons and San Marcos locals. The shop is to remain open until 11 p.m. starting the fall semester for latenight study sessions. Currently, the store is open from 6 - 12 a.m. Shelby Hulshof, animal science senior, said she is happy to see yet another shop pop up in town so close to campus. “I live off coffee, and I got the caramel cinnamon iced latte, I thought it was really good,” Hulshof said. “I think they have lots of other interesting drinks. There is some stuff on the menu that is creative—stuff I wouldn’t have thought of.” The owners will be getting punch cards so their customers can enjoy special deals, and intend to start offering student specials.
Amazon is bringing the San Marcos community and local organizations together for these special family fun and hiring events. We will provide food, entertainment, and on-the-spot job offers! Bring your family and friends and help us kick off summer!
Are You Ready to Jumpstart Your Future with a Job at Amazon?
Saturday, July 15th 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Greg Clark Park 1231-1301 W Center St., Kyle, TX
Learn more or start your application online at amazon.com/sanmarcosjobs Amazon is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer-Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation
The University Star
4 | Monday, July 10 , 2017
May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
Make San Marcos great again: Protect our immigrants
The summer of 2017 has tested San Marcos residents in more ways than just the nearly-insufferable heat. As we settle into the first year of the new administration, as well as the end of the 85th Texas legislature, our community faces questions of justice and inclusiveness. On May 6th, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4. This bill requires local law enforcement agencies to act as an extension of federal immigration authorities. Police chiefs from across the state have come out in opposition to the bill, stating that it would only make Texas less safe and daily policing more difficult. Last weekend, a Dripping Springs father of five was arrested for driving without a license. Despite having lived in Texas for 30 years, Martin Guerrero, a masonry business owner and faithful church-goer was jailed and due to enter deportation proceedings Sunday morning. However, after hundreds of protestors came to demand his release, he was reunited with his family. While Sheriff Cutler exercised his
The silver lining in this terrible situation is it has brought individual members of the community and local businesses together to take a moral stand against the bill and call for our city council to join them.
discretion to honor Guerrero’s 4th amendment rights and not let a traffic infraction result in the shattering of a local family, come Sept. 1, Senate Bill 4 will thwart Sheriff Cutler from doing so. Immediately following the signing of SB4, the city of El Cenizo and Maverick County valiantly sued the state of Texas, saying the bill violated both the Texas and U.S. constitutions. Major cities like Dallas and Houston, and our neighbors San Antonio and Austin quickly joined the lawsuit as well. Even historically conservative cities like Arlington and Ft. Worth, but not San Marcos. In what appears to be an effort by our city council members to remain unbiased, they have been largely unresponsive to calls to action to defend the community’s most vulnerable members; however, they understand you cannot be neutral on a moving train, and lack of political action is still a political stance, especially in the face of an impending human rights crisis. Up to this point, they have consciously
chosen to support SB4. The silver lining in this terrible situation is it has brought individual members of the community and local businesses together to take a moral stand against the bill and call for our city council to join them. Nearly three dozen businesses have publicly signed on to such a petition, including Root Cellar Café, Tantra Coffeehouse, Rhea's Ice Cream, Wake the Dead Coffeehouse, Jo’s Café and Vagabond to name a few. The majority of the editorial board of this great city's student newspaper is offcially signing on in solidarity as well. It would simply be immoral for us students—many of us afforded a wealth of privileges—to let our fellow San Martians face the dangers of the most ruthless and vicious anti-immigrant bill this country has ever seen. If police chiefs all over our state can take a stand, it is imperative that student leaders, the future of this nation, do as well.
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.
Black Panther fights crime and white supremacy By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable Back before Antifa was punching Nazis in the name of Captain America, T’Challa debuted in 1966 to wage his own war on white supremacy, both symbolically and literally. As Black Panther confronts the KKK in the United States during his adventures in Jungle Action Issue #19 we start to see the role the African monarch will fill in the mainstream media. In the beginning of mainstream media and film, African-Americans were depicted as unintelligent, cowardly, lazy, criminal and savage. As time has moved on and it has become unacceptable for overtly racist stereotypes to be portrayed in film, the black man has been relegated to certain archetypes of criminal or the comic relief often present only to reinforce a white protagonist. Upon the rare chance a black man is allowed to carry his own film outside of these archetypes, it can usually only
To understand Black Panther’s impact, you also have to understand comic book characters are a reflection of the culture they are born in, and at their core, are based on ideals. be a story in which he is subservient in some way. Take 2013 for example, 469 feature films were released. 21 featured single black protagonists. Seventeen were stories of a racist United States or depicted African Americans in the aforementioned archetypes. The four movies that were original black stories made just under 13 million dollars combined and won no awards, but “12 Years A Slave” grossed $36 million alone and won an Oscar and a Golden Globe. That means four percent of Hollywood movies were black stories while African Americans make up about 13 percent of all tickets sold. It is clear some remnants of white supremacy linger around Hollywood, but Black Panther marks a new milestone for the industry. To understand Black Panther’s
ILLUSTRATION BY FLOR BARAJAS
impact, you also have to understand comic book characters are a reflection of the culture they are born in, and at their core, are based on ideals. Superman, the most iconic hero of all time, was what “every” man wishes he could be. By “every,” I mean the only people who were considered important at the time, middle to upperclass white men. In the 1930s, the qualities the dominant culture valued most are reflected in Superman: tall and wide stature, a maxed-out muscle capacity, patriot of the United States, with dark hair, a hard jaw and charm. His super strength, super speed, fatal attacks like heat vision and ice breath and invulnerability are perfect for the post-WWII society he was created in. His power set represents the patriarchy’s obsession with physical dominance and power. Superman is well known as the most powerful character in comics, but none of his powers are centered around his
intellect, strategy or the mystical powers of his culture. That is what makes Black Panther so important. He was arguably the first and one of the few black characters that depict African Americans as full characters higher than the stereotypes often pushed in media. He is the antithesis of the narrative of African Americans white supremacy would like to perpetuate. Black Panther is Captain America’s equal physically and his superior in hand to hand combat as he knows more fighting styles and has had more training than the Captain. He is the 7th most intelligent person in the Marvel Universe while being king of the most technologically advanced country in the world, outfitted with a women-only elite fighting team as his special ops unit. Not only does ruling a country put his pockets deeper than Tony Stark and Batman, his country is the only place to get more of the metal that
Captain America’s shield is made of, so the rest of the world is constantly conspiring to steal technology from the country. Black Panther represents more than muscles in black spandex—he takes the demeaning image of African Americans and stuffs it back into the faces of those who believe in it. The idea of a black man having the power and control the white supremacist obsesses over and using it to foster the prosperity of his own people is an image that can be triggering for much of America, and I am here to support it. Black Panther is the personified black middle finger that I would like to give to every racist institution in America, and I am glad he is finally making his debut on the big screen in 2018. -Carrington Tatum is an Electronic Media sophomore
The University Star
Monday, July 10 , 2017 | 5 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
Happy Birthday, Ida B. Wells: How the erasure of black women activists will doom us all By Tafari Robertson Opinions Columnist @blacboijoi Ida B. Wells is an American icon, journalistic pioneer and one of the most effective radical leaders of the civil rights movements of the early 20th century, working alongside the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass. Despite her major contributions to American history, for most, she is an obscure figure often forgotten or only loosely associated with the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Her erasure from the canon of American civil rights offers a muchneeded insight into the way progressive communities treat black womanhood even today. Born July 16, 1862, Wells was born into slavery several months before Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves across the South. After losing both parents and one sibling to a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, she began teaching when she was 16 years old to support her six remaining siblings. In her adult life, Wells used her investigative journalism to debunk the myth southern mob violence and lynching was a justified response to a trend of black men raping white women. She reveal trends of lynching correlated more with economic competition between racial groups than sexual violence to the rage of her white audience, she pointed out a good portion of the relationships between black men and white women were likely consensual. Wells published her findings in a pamphlet called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases” (1892) and a book titled “The Red Record” (1895). Wells further utilized her journalism to mobilize the Black population of Memphis—which at the time made up 50 percent of the overall population—to leave the town that refused to protect them from such
violence. This kind of action is an early example of leveraging black economic worth against southern towns that would later become the cornerstone of much of the civil rights movements of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Wells continued to fight into the 20th century as the leading voice against lynching across America. In 1909, she was one of only two African-American women who responded to the call to help form what would later become known as the NAACP. Though many assumed her position on the board of founding members was all but guaranteed due to her more than two decades of poignant anti-lynching activism, her name was excluded from said list. The decision, made by Dubois himself—though not in a vacuum, given he was the only African-American on the selection committee—marks a pivotal moment in the growing efforts to suppress Wells’ influence and legacy. In subsequent years, the NAACP would play a major role in the co-opting of Wells’ anti-lynching messaging and strategies, particularly by high ranking white women in the organization. Ida B. Wells’ erasure is not a matter of an unspoken era or the usual effect of white supremacy on history; it was a deliberate, passive-aggressive effort on the part of her colleagues. Furthermore, her experience reverberates throughout a consistent history of some of the most powerful black women activists conveniently missing from mainstream progressive narratives: Ella Baker, Claudia Jones, and Kathleen Cleaver are just a few that come to mind. Many radical activists are happy to hear of the accomplishments black women make and utilize said accomplishments, but minimize the amount of time they spend actually working with or for black women and their issues. Too often, people who are eager to take up radical causes for humanity are willfully ignorant to the absence
ILLUSTRATION BY HALEY PRIETO
of black women’s voices. If we who claim to strive for a just world continue to tolerate the erasure of the work black women do and ignore their unique experiences, we have doomed ourselves to a repetitive fate that will continue to limit our progress.
-Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior
The Grenfell Tower tragedy is a case of political murder By Rudy Martinez Opinions Columnist @_laszlokovacs The latest tragedy to befall the United Kingdom, a country often in headlines last year, concerns a fire that consumed Grenfell Tower. The building consisted of public housing flats, and the disaster claimed 80 lives, with the number set to rise. The flames themselves are symbolic
This disaster has brought to light inequality in the United Kingdom, which is only worsened through austerity measures, subcontracting construction jobs, and ignorant politicians. of the hellish potentialities of late capitalism and rampant privatization. These individuals—among them working class Brits, asylum seekers and people of color—did not have to die. Instead, they are tragic victims of their government and the monstrous economic policies adopted in the last several decades. Public housing, reserved for those most in need, isn’t something to be left in the hands of private companies. I can hear the age-old capitalistic counterargument now: “leaving public housing in the hands of companies creates competition, hence better conditions for those seeking shelters.” Wrong.
In the months leading up to the fire, residents of the flats were insistent on the “dangerous living conditions” they faced, which included only having one escape route, the odd placement of boilers and gas pipes and the lack of a building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system. The Grenfell Action Group, an organization dedicated to housing rights, were quoted back in November as saying only a “catastrophic event” could expose the ineptitude of the Kensington and Chelsea Management Organization, the landlord of residents at Grenfell Tower. The GFA, formed in 2010, maintains a blog in which it documents the ongoing struggle of “mostly working class, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic” residents. Robert Black—the recently resigned chief executive of the KCTMO—and other high-ranking KCTMO officials should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Not heeding the concerns of their clients, many of whom can no longer speak for themselves, is a gross negligence of housing and human rights. This disaster has brought to light inequality in the United Kingdom, which is only worsened through austerity measures, subcontracting construction jobs, and ignorant politicians. If the KCTMO was removed from the hands of murderous landlords and put under the auspices of resident committees elected by residents themselves, safety concerns and everrising rents can be responded to. The Grenfell Fire, though without much precedent in the West, is an inevitable reality as density and privatization continues to rise in city centers. When you think of late capitalism and where it is dragging us, picture the 6-month-old infant found dead in her mother’s arms in the hell that was London on June 14. - Rudy Martinez is a philosophy senior
Letter to the editor:
I am a racist
I am a racist. I do not mean to be, I just am. I do not overtly hate anyone. I do not belong to any “alt-right”, extremist groups, otherwise known as a white nationalist movement. However, I was recently hit in the face by my own racism. There is a store I often visit on a daily basis and there is a young black lady who works in this store. We talk frequently, just casual conversation you have at a register, and the topic of raising kids came up. She told me she had three, all of them about a year apart. Sadly, I made some immediate assumptions. She had made poor choices having three kids at a young age. She was obviously poor and trying to make ends meet working as a cashier. I even caught myself wondering if the father was involved. As we talked more, I found the truth. She wasn’t as young as I thought. She was 31. I assumed she was 22 or 23. Her husband had a very good job, but she had worked with this company so long she had garnered good benefits. She also mentioned she didn’t mind having the extra money. In an instant, my vision of this young lady was shattered. For all intents and purposes, this lady had the 1950s version of the nuclear family. The only difference was skin tone. Oddly, my original thoughts had no malice. I would think to myself about helping this young lady out. I would wish there was
a way to give to her and her children and make their lives a little better. But she is doing better than I am. At this point, I had to reset and examine why I had thought the things I had. First, the media, the entertainment industry and our peers have driven this narrative down our throats. When constantly bombarded with this negative stereotype, we begin to think it is the norm. It becomes part of our society and we never question it. Second, I had bought into the narrative. I had stopped questioning what I was told and accepted it. I had forgotten a lesson taught to me by my mother we all have heard: never judge a book by its cover. I had lost my belief that we are all individuals and have a story to tell. I wholeheartedly believe in speaking out against oppression of any kind. Social commentary, protests and outright intervention against these things are paramount to our growth as a society. However, I want all of you reading this to do as I had to and look within yourselves. Find those bits of injustices living within you and clear them out. Remember what Gandhi said so eloquently, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do." -Jason Johnson is a San Marcos resident
6 | Monday, July 10 , 2017
The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Erin Hoppe and Jaliyah Bolden: Time for a ring By Brooke Phillips Sports Reporter @brookephillips_ The women’s volleyball team finished third in the conference last season but is ready to take home the championship title. The 2017 fall season will begin August 25 at the Texas A&M Invitational.“Right now we are making a huge emphasis— and huge strides might I add—on team chemistry,” Erin Hoppe, senior setter, said. “We know in order to get things done on the court, we need to all be on the same wavelength both inside and outside the gym. It’s so much fun to play with somebody that you know always has your back.” The Bobcats are scheduled to compete in 33 regular season matches. Of the 33 matches, Texas State is scheduled for 12 home and away matches, and nine on neutral ground. “I am most looking forward to playing in this program for another season,” Jaliyah Bolden, senior middle blocker, said. “There is nowhere else I’d rather be and the fact that I get to finish my collegiate career here is amazing.” The Bobcats’ competitors include both conference and non-conference teams. They will compete in at least 16 Sun Belt Conference matchups and teams outside the conference like TCU, A&M and Baylor. “Everyone on our schedule will be good competitors,” Bolden said. “As far as conference, again, everyone is good but I think our toughest competitors will be Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina and probably UTA. They have some strong returning players, and I’m sure the girls they have coming in are just as strong, but so do we, so these will be good matches for sure.” The volleyball team will kick off their regular season competing in the Texas A&M Invitational at College Station Aug. 25-26. At this tournament,
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the Bobcats will compete against Sam Houston State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Texas A&M University. The Bobcats will then compete in another away tournament before the first home game of the season. The Creeds and Crests Classic tournament will be the first home tournament for Texas State Sept. 8. The teams and competitors are still to be determined. While the Bobcats will compete against many Sun Belt Conference teams, there are notable non-conference teams Texas State will compete against. These teams include Baylor, the University of Texas-San Antonio, Texas
Christian University and others. All regular season games will lead up to the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament on Nov. 17-19 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. “We want the championship ring,” Hoppe said. “I’ve been a part of this program for three years now chasing that ring, and we want it bad. I hope to accomplish little goals as a team throughout the season, building that fire and confidence—don’t forget skill—to take us to the top.” During the 2016 season, the Bobcats finished with an overall record of 21-12 and finished third place in the Sun Belt
Conference. There is a new roster of athletes for the upcoming season. This season’s roster will include five freshmen, six sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. “As a team, I hope to get a ring by winning the conference outright by playing well together and respecting our competition,” Bolden said. “Overall, I really just want to enjoy my last year playing beside these girls and under this coaching staff. I have a great senior partner in Erin Hoppe and I want to play my best for her.”
The end of a long journey said. “To find a job there in the corporate world.” When volleyball and school aren’t taking up her time, Jaliyah Bolden enjoys taking advantage of all the city of San Marcos has to offer. “I love to cook, watch movies and just hang out with friends,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I love floating and trying different places to eat because there are so many places now.” Jaliyah Bolden looks at her time at Texas State as a learning experience and credits the volleyball team as a large factor in shaping the person she is today. “I’ve learned a lot of lessons, like how to be on a team, how to work with people I don’t necessarily care for or who don’t care for me,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “There are so many things, and I feel like I wouldn’t be half the person I am without collegiate volleyball.” Despite her collegiate career coming to an end, volleyball will still be a part of Jaliyah Bolden’s life. STAR FILE PHOTO
By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter @BornToRun_19 After a rocky start, Jaliyah Bolden, senior middle blocker for the volleyball team, has finally reached the home stretch of her four-year journey. The daughter of James and Monica Bolden, Jaliyah Bolden was born in Mississippi, then raised in Dallas alongside her younger siblings Jaylon and Jhayla Bolden. Jaliyah Bolden’s passion for volleyball began to manifest itself when she was in the third grade. Her passion has continued to grow each year. “I started playing volleyball in third grade,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I’ve been playing for a while but I didn’t start taking it seriously until about high school when I started playing club volleyball.” Prior to her career as a Texas State Bobcat, Jaliyah Bolden attended Colorado State for two seasons redshirting as a freshman in 2013 and taking the court in 2014. While at Colorado State, the athlete was part of a team that took part in the NCAA Championship twice, making it as far as the Round of 16 in 2014. Due to differences with the coaching staff, Jaliyah Bolden felt the need for a
new start, transferring to Texas State in 2015. “At Colorado State, I loved my team, but didn’t get along with the coaches,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I kind of just played because I had to.” After arriving at Texas State, Jaliyah Bolden started in nine matches throughout her sophomore season. The volleyball player was off to a better record her junior season, where she played in all 33 matches while making 28 starts. The senior’s performance in the 2016 Sun Belt Conference tournament earned her the honor of being named to the SBC All-Tournament Team. Jaliyah Bolden credits much of her renewed love of the game and improvement to the Texas State coaching staff. “The coaches here are just nice people,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I go and talk to them all the time. They care about us as individuals and about our families. At Colorado State, I didn’t really get that.” Majoring in Applied Arts and Sciences, Jaliyah Bolden plans to move back home after graduation. “I plan to move back to Dallas to be close to my family,” Jaliyah Bolden
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The University Star
Monday, July 10, 2017 | 7 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Women’s soccer seeks redemption in fall semester “As a senior on the team, this is my last season, and ultimately, my last chance to win a championship,” Grout said. “This is my motivation and what drives me. I want more than anything to win a championship with this team, and I believe this is the year to do it.” Texas State went into overtime seven times last season and came out with the win twice. The Bobcats fell in double overtime play against Stephen F. Austin last season. In the final minutes of the game, SFA scored a goal taking a 3-2 win at the Bobcat Soccer Complex. This season the Bobcats travel to Nacogdoches Sept. 3 for redemption. The Sun Belt Conference Tournament
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By Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @Lisette_1023 The women’s soccer team starts its 2017 season in August, and is ready to get back on the field. The Bobcats will start the season Aug. 11 with an exhibition match against UTSA. The team finished ninth in the 2016 Sun Belt Conference. They were one team away from an automatic bid to the SBC Championship Tournament. Texas State ended the season with an overall record of 6-9-3 and a conference record of 3-5-2. The first matchup of the Sun Belt Conference for the Bobcats will take place Sept. 15 in Georgia where they will play against Georgia State. Two days later, the team will travel to North Carolina Sept. 17 to take on Coastal Carolina. Rachel Grout, senior midfielder, said
the team is looking forward to winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament this year. Texas State lost five conference games last season against Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, Arkansas State, South Alabama and Troy. The Bobcats collected a four-game losing streak toward the end of the 2016 season. Redemption is key to the team, especially for the seniors. There are seven seniors this season and they all have the same passion and drive to make their last season as Bobcats count. Whether they win or lose as a team this season, Grout said she is looking forward to everything. “Being my last season, I am really going to take every moment in because I know it is going to fly by,” Grout said. “I am looking forward to the practices, Friday night home games, travel weekends,
team dinners, spending almost every minute of every day with my teammates and winning a championship.” Grout said it’s the best part about being in the group. “All of the seniors on this team are looked upon as leaders,” Grout said. “We have a big class, and we are all impact players. We all play different roles on the field, but all contribute leadership qualities to this team. I am looking forward to making the most out of our last season together.” There are 10 games to be played at the Bobcat Soccer Complex, five of which are conference matchups. The Bobcats will begin their season Aug. 18 at home against Northern Arizona and will play the next three games at home as well. Grout will play her last season as a Bobcat this fall and is giving everything to be an impact player.
“As a senior on the team, this is my last season, and ultimately, my last chance to win a championship,” Grout said. “This is my motivation and what drives me. I want more than anything to win a championship with this team, and I believe this is the year to do it.” -Rachel Grout will be held Nov. 1-5 in Foley, Alabama. The top eight spots in the conference get an automatic bid to the tournament. The Bobcats finished ninth last season and did not participate in the tournament. However, this is a new season with key returning players and new talent. “The best part about being on the field is getting to play the game I love with all of my teammates,” Grout said. “When we step on the field, we know that this is the moment that we have worked so hard for. It is exciting to get out there and make something of it.”
FROM FRONT BASKETBALL
Men’s basketball preps for the upcoming season By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae Players signing their National Letter of Intent with Texas State this spring were Isaiah Gurley, junior guard, Petar Radojicic and Alex Peacock, junior forwards, and Shelby Adams and Reggie Miller, freshman guards. Gurley transferred from McLennan Community College to Texas State with two years of eligibility. The Brooklyn native averaged 17.5 points per game while shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 34.7 percent from the three-point line and a teamhigh 81.3 percent at the free throw line. Gurley received many accolades for his performance including National Junior College Athletic Association AllRegion V and North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year. Radojicic attended Lamar State College-Port Arthur before Texas State. During his final season, Radojicic averaged 16.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Serbian native shot 61.5 percent from the field while scraping up 305 total boards last season. Radojicic’s hard work last season landed him All-Region XIV Second Team honors. From Iowa Western Community College, Peacock heads to San Marcos with two years of eligibility left. The forward helped lead his team to a season record of 25-7 by averaging 10.5 points per game. Peacock averaged 48.6 percent from the field and 75.5 percent from the free-throw line. Converse Judson High School graduate Shelby Adams will start his collegiate career with Texas State this season. Adams helped lead the Rockets to the UIL 6A Quarterfinals and was named to the first team TABC 6A All-Region IV and All-District 25-6A First Team. The guard averaged 21.4 points per game and 2.8 assists. In his three varsity years,
Adams totaled 1,537 points. Miller graduated from Klein Forest High School where he received a No.1 team ranking in Texas and made an appearance in the UIL 6A State Semifinals. Miller was named to the TABC 6A All-Region First Team, All-District 156A First Team and was the District 156A Defensive MVP. Completing the class of 2017-2018 signees is Tre’Larenz Nottingham, junior guard. Nottingham was the first to sign his National Letter of Intent with Texas State back in November. Nottingham will transfer to San Marcos from Mt. San Jacinto College. The California native averaged 20.0 points a game and received two tournament MVP titles. Nottingham was also named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North Division Player of the Year last season. Head Coach Danny Kaspar took this recruiting process seriously due to some of the key playmakers on the team not returning. Kavin Gilder-Tilbury, forward, and Bobby Conley and Ojai Black, guards, were three of the five starters not returning this season. Once recruiting was over, Kaspar was satisfied with the outcome. “We filled some big needs for next season,” Kaspar said. “I am very happy with our recruiting effort.” The six recruits join seven returners, including Nijal Pearson, sophomore guard, and Nedeljko Prijovic, sophomore forward. “We think we have a very good group of young men to add to the seven players coming back,” Kaspar said. “I am excited about this class and working with them.”
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