TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 VOLUME 107 ISSUE 02
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
Insomnia Cookies employees strike for higher wages By Ryan Kirby News Reporter @rymanman
“Make America Free Again” caps and American flag shorts. The InfoWars representatives followed the crowd of protestors, shouting in megaphones, “These are cultists. Do you know why cultists want to silence free speech? Because they know the truth will end their cult.”
Fight for Fifteen organizers gathered on the corner of Guadalupe Street and Hopkins Street Sept. 5, in hopes for fair pay from Insomia Cookies, a late night bakery. Workers gathered downtown Sept. 2. to plan for the strike and gain community support. Insomnia Cookies' employees were accompanied by activist groups fighting for employee rights. David Simoneaux, delivery driver for Insomnia Cookies, stood across from his workplace in protest what Simoneaux also calls wage theft. “We are discussing what’s going on since Insomnia Cookies workers cannot make posts about this on social media,” Simoneaux said. “Fight For Fifteen is here to fight for low-wage workers to have a union.” According to Simoneaux, the idea of striking began with a worker fired because of ice cream theft and the events that followed. “Our worker was accused of ice cream theft,” Simoneaux said. “Our shift leader was generally okay with employees eating ice cream, cookies and using our discounts. This particular worker was fired.” Simoneaux explained what other employees endured after the workers were fired. “Workers had to sign a social media policy that said in bold, black letters that you can be fired at any time for any reason.” Simoneaux said. “You cannot be fired for just anything, right to work or not. Rights are protected in the workplace.” Since the employee contract limits social media usage, Simoneaux said the right to organize these sorts of gatherings on social media becomes infringed upon. “We had to inform groups like the San Marcos Socialist Collective and rely on word-of-mouth about our gathering because of that Social Media agreement,” Simoneaux said. “The next step is to build a union out of Insomnia Cookies.”
SEE PROTEST PAGE 2
SEE INSOMNIA PAGE 2
Chants resonated through the streets near the Texas Capitol as protestors marched Sept. 2 to defend DACA and support undocumented immigrants. PHOTO BY BRI WATKINS | MANAGING EDITOR
Protesters gather in Austin to defend DACA By Connor Brown Assistant News Editor @Connor_Brown1 Over 11 activist organizations and protesters gathered at the Texas Capitol building Sept. 2 to march in solidarity against hate and defend the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program. DACA, an immigration policy implemented by the Obama Administration in 2012, allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. President Donald Trump was given a deadline of Sept. 5 by Republican lawmakers to make a stance on DACA by either discontinuing the program altogether or allowing the Republican attorneys general to fight the program in court. On Sept. 4, Trump indicated he will be ending the DACA program, according to media reports. Cristina Tzintzun, event organizer, is the founder and executive director of Jolt, a multi-issue organization seeking to organize the Latino community as a collective voice in Texas politics. “This cause is personal to me because I am the daughter of immigrants,” Tzintzun said. “This country is our
Five traditionally dressed Quinceañeras were the frontliners leading the march of a protest Sept. 2 near the Texas Capitol to defend DACA. PHOTO BY JOHN LEE | ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
home, and it is equally ours as much as anyone else’s. We have a bigoted minority that wants to roll back the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, that wants to legalize racial discrimination once again, and I refuse to allow the sacrifices of the Civil Rights Movement to be trampled on.” Representatives of InfoWars, a rightwing syndicated news-talk radio program, attended the protest dressed in
Student organizations host drives for Houston victims By Josie Soehnge News Reporter @SoehngeJ While Hurricane Harvey did not cause extensive damage in San Marcos, it has been catastrophic for residents of Houston. The flooding and damage Harvey brought to Houston is not going unseen by student organizations at Texas State. Organizations are collecting clothes, jackets, feminine products, toiletries, blankets and other useful items. Russell Boyd, public administration senior, partnered with black student organizations and started collecting items the day Harvey hit Houston. “I extended full assistance and service to those efforts as I am former president and founder of a black student organization,” Boyd said. “The donations that I have collected are currently in Houston. Myself and some friends will be distributing them at different shelters in addition to serving as clean up volunteers.” Boyd and others are collecting dona-
tions in the office of Student Diversity and Inclusion until Sept. 9. Other Texas State student organizations are holding similar drives or fundraisers in attempts to offer aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. “We will then go about making another delivery next weekend,” Boyd said. “It has been a beautiful experience working with my fellow student leaders and receiving so much support from the university and community. I hope that we can continue the good work and provide much needed relief to south east Texas and other areas affected by Harvey.” On Labor Day, Boyd tweeted his first trip to Houston fed 550 people and gave out 327 care packages. Greek life chapters are also joining student organizations in collecting donations for victims. Carina Farinatti, Alpha Delta Pi’s Philanthropy Chair, said the sorority’s drive started because of the number of affected members. “After hearing how devastated some of our sisters were about their home-
Volunteers collect massive boxes of donations Sept. 2 at the Austin Disaster Relief Network for victims affected by Hurricane Harvey. PHOTO BY JOSH MARTINEZ | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
towns being destroyed and seeing my own high school being underwater I felt called to help this cause,” Farinatti said. “One of my sisters, Ashlie Beiter, put me in contact with Phi Kappa Psi and together we came up with the idea to do
a donation drive. We plan on collecting many different items, packaging it up in care packages and shipping it off to the Red Cross of Houston.
SEE DRIVE PAGE 2
First-year students leaving Texas State have identifiable risk areas By Ryan Kirby News Reporter @rymanman Out of a nearly 39,000 undergraduate population, 20,000 students are first generation students. After the first year, 22 percent of students decide to stop attending the universtiy.
Joseph Meyer, assistant vice president of the Office of Institutional Research, gave insight to the times students are most at risk for leaving the university. “The first year or two are the times of highest risk for the students leaving the university,” Meyer said. “Students that have made it to their third year of school are highly successful at Texas State and
unlikely to leave the university.” Fall 2017 retention numbers are reflected more accurately on the 12th day of the semester when enrollment numbers stabilize. “When we get those numbers in, we will have a better estimate of how many students are enrolled and hopefully staying through the semester,” Meyer said.
The semester before held 17,911 first generation students and that number is expected to be higher this fall semester. “While we will have a better understanding of the 2017 numbers later, looking back on the numbers we can see a trend and a risk zone,” Meyer said.
SEE RISK PAGE 2
2 | Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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As the fall 2017 recruitment rush draws to a close, many students may wonder how much it costs to “go Greek” at Texas State. There are four councils that govern all social Greek organizations at Texas State; the Interfraternity Council that oversees most fraternity chapters, the Multicultural Greek Council that oversees culturally based sororities and fraternities, the National Pan-Hellenic Council that governs historically African-American sororities and fraternities, and the Panhellenic Council that oversees most sororities. In 2013, Texas State’s Panhellenic Council began providing consolidated Financial Disclosure Statements for average semester costs of each sorority chapter. Each chapter’s costs vary depending on the chapter’s national and local dues, new member fees and the activities each chapter decides to host or participate in. According to Lindsey Trione, the Greek Affairs Coordinator for Texas State, new member fees are a one-time expense that can range from $300-$600
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FROM FRONT DRIVE
FROM FRONT INSOMNIA Thomas Diaz de Leon, an ally of Insomnia Cookies striking, said that Fight for Fifteen gatherings encompasses unionizing rights. “In Austin, Sept. 4 there will be a grand unveiling of a new union," deLeon said. "This is important because the success or failure of this union will determine what happens next with the movement.” The unveiling of the new union was held at 6 a.m., Sept. 4 at a McDonalds in Austin, located at 5516 N. Lamar St. According to Simoneaux the strike and David Simoneaux, Insomnia Cookies protest are because management has yet driver, led a march Sept. 2 through the to respond. San Marcos Square. Protestors could be “Management doesn’t respond,” heard chanting in support of raising the Simoneaux said. “They didn’t respond minimum wage to $15/hr. to cut hours, the ice cream theft or PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR any of our issues, and that’s why we’re doing this. Management doesn’t respond.” “You’re not at home," Visco said. Adrian Visco at Market Days sold "You’re somewhere working. You need cookies made by We Knead Dough, to be able to support your family.” across from the Insomnia CookiesIn May, Wendy’s employees on East Fight for Fifteen gathering. Visco over- Hopkins went on strike demanding heard the gathering as protestors took higher wages. Workers did not receive to Hopkins in marching around sections the $15 an hour wage increase they adof The Square. vocated for.
Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Psi are hosting a donation drive, Sept. 9. “Our goal is to help as many people as we can during this hard time," Farinatti said. “We are accepting any and all donation items on Sept. 9, at 428 N. Comanche St. We are sending all our thoughts and prayers to those affected and hope we can make a positive impact.” Matt Flores, university spokesperson, said Bobcats are quick to serve each other. “I am not surprised at all that so many students, faculty and staff have gotten together to help,” Flores said. “That’s what being a Bobcat is all about. Year after year, Bobcats have shown community mindedness and spirit.” While the total extent of the damage caused by Harvey is still unknown, 60 deaths have been reported in Texas due to Harvey and its aftermath. Houston authorities have received between 60,000 and 70,000 calls for help.
FROM FRONT RISK Of those give-or-take 6,000 freshmen, 92.4 percent can be expected to stay in school after their first semester and 77.4 percent after their first full year, according to numbers from last year. Going into their second year of school, students are retained at a rate of 67.2 percent, where student retention stabilizes after the risk zone has passed. That zone of uncertainty makes freshmen particularly vulnerable to the risk of droping out. To combat academic pressures, The Center of Student Retention offers aid to locate student resources, organizations and mentors that help the student work through specific issues. The Center of Student Retention helps students pair up with campus organizations and collaborates with students on academic probation to get them compliant with student academic progress. The Student Retention works with groups that statistical data shows retention lags behind average. Along with the center providing academic redirection, Student Retention works with freshmen commuters as data shows those students are at particular risk at the moment for non-retention.
Iojema Nzekwe, exercise and sports science senior, is a student worker in Student Retention and said students can benefit from student retention centers. “Because of that risk area, freshmaen especially can benefit from student retention services,” Nzekwe said. Jennifer Beck, director of the Center of Student Retention, assists students to gain access to resources by advising individually specific programs to students. Most of the referrals are free on-campus study programs like SLAC, PACE, Lab of Modern Languages and other “The Center of Student Retention focuses on multi-leveled support services for student success initiatives,” Beck said. “From first year, all the way through the graduate level, our job is helping to create connections for students that don’t know how to navigate our campus of 39,000.” The Center of Student Retention works with students academic and other relating issues. “If you get into a roadblock, we don’t want people to get so frustrated that they leave the school," Beck said. “We say, here’s the roadblock and here’s some ways other students have navigated particular problems in the past.”
One room in the Center of Student Retention is set up as a café, for students seeking solicitude. The Student Retention building is LBJ’s former dormitory and remains both an operable historical building and one of the oldest buildings on campus. The building is inside on the corner of University Drive, across from Superfly’s and Subway. Other organizations such as New Student Orientation (NSO) and Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) also assist in keeping freshmen retained with informative events, social group encouragement, and providing study spaces, lounges, and important event gatherings specific to freshman students. PACE offers first-year programs that help students become further focused on the services that may help them complete their degrees. NSO offers many different degree designs after the student has been admitted to Texas State, but continues to offer services for returning students and other parts of the student populous. “It is very important for students to utilize the on-campus resources, that could be the deciding factor of staying in school or not,” Nzekwe said.
migrants as well as African Americans,” Cameron said. “I believe our strength is in our diversity, and it’s time for people of privilege to stop hiding behind their privilege and realize that we will only survive if we all come together.” Protestors not affiliated with activist organizations attended the march as well, including Ana Maria Rea, a former undocumented immigrant. “I was an undocumented immi-
grant in this country for 15 years,” Rea said. “I have a lot of friends and family members that are still very much in that boat and it is very difficult. We contribute to this nation, and I’ve dedicated my life to the betterment of our communities for everybody. I just want us to be recognized too.”
FROM FRONT PROTEST Representatives did not elaborate on what “truth” they may have been referring to. Lee Ann Cameron, a Caucasian protestor carrying a “Black Lives Matter” sign, said she brought the sign to show her solidarity with people of color including Latinos and African Americans. “I wanted to make it clear that I stand with all people of color including im-
The University Star
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 | 3 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
HALL OF FAME
City of San Marcos searches for annual addition to Women’s Hall of Fame By Sophia Vargas Lifestyle Reporter @ssophiavargas Since 1984, San Marcos has upheld a tradition of honoring women who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of the city. Bobcat alumni have dominated as recipients of the Women’s Hall of Fame award. The Women’s Hall of Fame is a celebration of inspiring women in San Marcos who have shown love for their community through volunteer work and leadership. The annual award continues this year as the city of San Marcos seeks nominees by Sept. 8. The number of women awarded varies every year. The award ceremony will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the San Marcos Activity Center. There are 133 people in the Women’s Hall of Fame, including Texas State graduates. The same woman cannot win twice. Diane Insley, 1987 graduate, Women’s Hall of Fame member and director of the San Marcos Public Library, nominated someone special this year and reflected on her own experience. “I always thought this would happen
after I retired,” Insley said. “I’m not done yet; I’m still very involved. I was definitely surprised but very honored to be a part of this great group of women.” Julie Hollar, Bobcat alumna and Director at San Marcos Youth Service Bureau, was a 2016 Hall of Fame recipient. Hollar was nominated by her former intern, Tanya Thornhill. “I was happy to find out there were other women being honored,” Hollar said. “It was kind of odd for me, but it was super nice. I try to position myself in a job (in which) I have the freedom to volunteer. I’m lucky and privileged to be nominated with all the other women who’ve won the award.” Tammy Cook, deputy city clerk, has a hand in selecting people to be in the Hall of Fame. Cook said a committee reviews the applications submitted. “Once the committee makes a selection, the clerk’s office reaches out to those that have been selected. We will get a list of invites from each inductee, send out formal invitations and hold a ceremony to induct the women into the Hall of Fame,” Cook said. After the ceremony is concluded, the inductees receive a plaque and bricks are purchased by the Main Street Program
The names of past recipients of the San Marcos Women's Hall of Fame award are imprinted on bricks at the Northwest corner of North LBJ Drive and East Hopkins Street. PHOTO BY HANNAH FELSKE | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
to honor those inducted. The bricks are located at the Northwest corner of North LBJ Drive and East Hopkins
Street, in front of Cafe Monet. The bricks are updated every five years.
High school students benefit from Bobcat volunteers' advice
Student chosen to work for congress in Latino leadership program
By Lauren Rexroad Lifestyle Reporter @Laurenrexroad96 Texas State students mentor high school students, encouraging them to graduate and go to college. The Upward Bound Program is designed to help low-income high
hosts. The three programs are called TRIO, and helps students in different ways. The TRIO programs were all created by the Higher Education Act 1965 signed by Lyndon B. Johnson. Megan Rockwood, grant specialist at Upward Bound, oversees the program at San Marcos, Lehman and Seguin high schools. She explained how the
“The Upward Bound program is an early academic intervention and college preparatory program. What Upward Bound is designed to do is to provide academic assistance and intervention for high school students and then assistance in enrollment in post-secondary institutions." - Ray Cordero, grant director of Upward Bound school students prepare for college. The program provides several ways for students to prepare. It provides after school academic sessions, a summer residential program and visits to different colleges in the state. Ray Cordero, grant director of Upward Bound, worked with high school students in the program for years. He explained the history of the program and how it impacts high school students. “The Upward Bound program is an early academic intervention and college preparatory program,” Cordero said. “What Upward Bound is designed to do is to provide academic assistance and intervention for high school students and then assistance in enrollment in post-secondary institutions. It’s an amazing experience for them because of the amount of growth it provides. It’s an enjoyable experience for everybody.” Cordero said the Upward Bound Program is one of three the university
Upward Bound program impacted her and the students lives. “I think they get a well-rounded experience to the program,” Rockwood said. “Not only are they getting college prep, but they are getting exposure to other high schools in the area with students that are similar in background and academic need. It’s deepened my passion; I started here as an intern and now I work here full time. I come from a psychology background so I get to use that a lot.” Carolina Benavides, Upward Bound’s grant senior secretary, said the project leaves a lasting impact on students from both sides. “I think it helps them realize their goals are actually attainable and that there is help in the higher education system that can get them there,” Benavides said. “Upward Bound is like a family to some of (the students) and it helps them feel included,” Benavides said.
By LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Reporter @leeanncardwell The Congressional Hispanic Caucas Institute: Congressional Internship Program has accepted a third Texas State student into the program. John Espinosa, political science senior, is one of 20 students selected for the nationally competitive fall 2017 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Congressional Internship Program in the District of Columbia. Espinosa is the third Bobcat to participate in the CHCI Congressional Internship Program, making previous participants proud. “Together we can make a difference because we are stronger together,” said Javier Carmona, Texas State alumnus and spring 2010 intern. “Knowing that John was accepted to the program made me feel proud, proud to know that Texas State was sending another Bobcat to the Hill.” This 12-week program is specifically designed to promote the presence of Latinos in government sectors. CHCI operates under four pillars of leadership: civic engagement, social responsibility, self-empowerment and promoting community and Hispanic culture. Interns have the opportunity to work with a member of Congress from their home state and perform tasks such as writing policy briefs, conducting legislative research and attending congressional hearings. Additionally, interns will engage in a policy class on Fridays, complete community service on the weekends and attend various networking events including a gala throughout the program. Espinosa took the fall semester off to focus on working on Capitol Hill. “I hope to go to a joint law school and graduate school to obtain my J.D. and Masters in Public Policy,” Espinosa said. “Ultimately, I would like to run for office one day.” Espinosa said President John F. Kennedy’s call to civic action inspired him to become involved in his country and his government. Espinosa’s passions in the realm of government include international relations, immigration and civil rights. The political science department sent Espinosa an email highlighting the
internship program his freshman year. Initially, he dismissed it due to its highly competitive nature. It wasn’t until he progressed through his college career when Espinosa seriously considered the opportunity. Jennifer Devine, associate professor of geography, described Espinosa’s motivation to intern with CHCI as admirable. Together they strategized how to prepare for his internship candidacy a year in advance by thinking about what to get involved in at Texas State and in the larger community. Between their political geography class together in spring 2016, Espinosa involved himself in the Model OAS, served as a PACE peer mentor, interned at the Texas Civil Rights Project, engaged in Jolt Texas and served as a gallery attendant at the LBJ library and museum. Through these mediums, Espinosa was able to assist his communities in self-empowerment, voter registration and rights and Latino advocacy. “John is one of the most serious students I have ever worked with,” Devine said. “He is 100 percent passionate about politics and about his future career. His sense of purpose is what motivates him.” After being denied an internship with another prestigious program nearly a year ago, Espinosa said he felt lost and defeated. Rather than letting the bad news get the best of him, Espinosa worked to get more involved to strengthen his resume. His hard work paid off and he said he is now even more grateful for this internship opportunity. “It taught me not to be comfortable in your current position and to always try a little bit harder the next time,” Espinosa said. “Never give up and always keep trying.” Espinosa is thankful for the sacrifices his family has made and the lessons they taught him so he could be here today. He hopes to pay this gift back to them and to his community. “I think that is one of the greatest things a person can do for someone to mold them into who they are supposed to be,” Espinosa said.
4 | Tuesday, September 5, 2017
The University Star Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96
Playwrights conference brings opportunity to minority actors By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 Southwest Texas State had a handful of black students in 1974, including graduating actor and playwright, Eugene Lee. Lee was one of the few black actors to grace the university’s stage, one of the founding members of the Ebony Players, a student theater group, and one of the first actors to take initiative and change theater at Texas State for minority students. This year marks the 15th annual Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, a project founded, organized and led by Lee since 2002. The initiative started when Richard Sodders, retired theatre professor and director, asked Lee to direct a play on campus for Black History Month. Lee was unable to cast the play because there were not enough black students to act in the lead rolls. Inspired but frustrated, Lee decided there needed to be a change in the theater department. “I pitched a fit, you know. Things hadn’t changed since I was here 30 or 40 years prior. When I was here there were two black people in the department,” Lee said. Less than 30 percent of speaking parts in Hollywood are played by black and African American actors, the majority of which are not leading roles, according to a 2016 statistical study by USC Annenburg School for Communication and Journalism. In an effort to increase the number of black actors, Lee developed the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference. Since it’s conception, the conference is available for all students to participate in some way. Students can audition to act, to direct and attend panel discussions. “These Latino and these African American students get to see themselves on stage celebrated,” Lee said. “That’s something they don’t get all the time. The stories don’t get told in America, but that’s how it is and we’re working to
Students participating at the 2016 Black and Latino Playwrights Conference.
change that.” The conference has changed and grown throughout the years. When the conference was in its third year, Lee added Latino to the title, as it had previ-
institution. Later, Lee added panel discussions throughout the event to educate students through working actors and playwrights. In the last three years, he added a playwriting workshop.
“These Latino and these African American students get to see themselves on stage, celebrated. That’s something they don’t get all the time. The stories don’t get told in America, but that’s how it is and we’re working to change that.” -Eugene Lee, artist in residence ously been the Black Playwrights Conference. Lee said he added the change as Texas State became a Hispanic-serving
This year, the conference will span from Sept. 4-10. The students participating will complete two plays, audition
PHOTO BY VIVIAN MEDINA | DESIGN EDITOR
for all positions including director and learn how a play is written and performed. The event is open to the public every night starting at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center until the final day, Sept. 10. Deb Alley, theater professor and department chair, facilitates funding and operations for the conference with Lee and has done so for four years as well as attending the event each year. Alley said she hopes for more diversity among actors and actresses both at the university level and beyond. “Particularly right now, in the political climate, diversity is important and allowing diverse voices to speak is important,” Alley said. “Its really obvious that it’s (white people) that are the main characters, the writers, the directors and the voices that we hear.” Alley said her department is focused on adding more diverse students, actors and professors to the predominantly white group.
Senior year at Texas State leaves lasting impact on student turned lecturer By Katie Burrell Lifestyle Reporter @KatieNicole96 For one communication studies lecturer, Texas State was her dream school. As a freshman in high school, Marsha Burney watched her mother earn a graduate degree in Strahan Coliseum. She walked through Sewell Park and met her mother’s professors who seemed endearingly supportive. Since then, Burney decided she would find her home as a Bobcat. A year after her mother graduated, Burney and her family moved to a bustling city in South Korea where she would act in theatre, go to school and learn about Korean culture and customs. However, she held on to her father’s promise about returning to San Antonio after their military stay in the country. Burney returned and started her freshman year at Texas State where she decided to double major in psychology and communication studies. Years passed and Burney found herself as a second-year senior. Many of her friends graduated, and her family relocated once again to Alabama then once more to Georgia. Burney suffered a knee injury and a car accident her senior year. Nevertheless, she prevailed. Burney made new friends, she coped with the struggles of moving and made it to every class despite her temporary handicap. Although Burney’s story is uniquely her own, the lecturer said she sees her struggles in the seniors she teaches each and every semester. “(Seniors) have a life outside of school,” Burney said. “There are people who have had deaths in families, there are people who are coping with addiction and alcoholism. There’s a lot of stuff going on like stress and anxiety. I’m like ‘wow, you are dealing with this and you still have the courage to get up and go to class.’ We’ve got some brave Bobcats. I remember that when I teach.” Texas State offers a multitude of resources for students going through the trials of life. These resources range from the Assessment and Counseling Clinic and the Counseling Center to the Attorney for Students and beyond. Burney said she wishes to have reached out for help, and advises seniors to take initiative and responsibility for their lives so close to the finish line of their degrees. “I saw that in Korea, people were concerned about being alive,” Burney
said. “Here you have this privilege to focus on school. Why then would students not go to school?” Burney said the best place for struggling seniors to go to if they are missing classes or feeling they may not complete the year is wherever they feel most comfortable getting help, such as a professor’s office or an advisor. “If you’re on the race and on the course, keep up and keep going,” Burney said. Sue Stewart, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies, has been with Texas State for 16 years. Stewart teaches classes in leadership and professional communication. “Enjoy it,” Stewart said. “Take every opportunity you can to learn about successfully moving from college to your career. There is a lot of work that goes into finding a job, so the earlier you start by way of internships or research or doing information interviews, the better you are.” Another Bobcat alumnus and employee at Texas State is Sam Heimbach. Heimbach is a career advisor for Career Services and spends much of her time on campus counseling students. She puts an emphasis on making the most of senior year. Attending classes, join-
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Marsha Burney, lecturer, poses with her degree in Communication Studies Sept. 1 near Centennial Hall. Burney is a Texas State alumna who has stayed here to teach for nearly ten years now. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMED EDITOR
ing organizations and seeking assistance are all ways to finish strong. “If you are going into your senior year and you haven’t joined a student organization yet, there is still time to do it," Heimbach said. "If there is a pro-
fessor you have always wanted to connect with or wanted to learn more about their professional background, reach out to them.”
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017 | 5 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
We stand with undocumented students For many students, Sept. 3 marked the end of their American dream and the beginning of a dreadful nightmare. This past weekend, the Trump administration decided it would do away with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. According to the American Immigration Council, there are approximately 298,133 students in Texas who are considered DACA beneficiaries, many of them college students. DACA beneficiaries, known as “Dreamers,” are undocumented individuals who immigrated to the United States before they reached the age of 16 and were not older than 30 when the policy was enacted in 2012. The measure allows them to come out of the shadows and contribute to the progression of American society in a safe, open way by allowing them to
enroll in college and work jobs legally for two years, after which they can apply to defer deportation for two more years; however, it does not give these individuals a path to US citizenship or permanent residency, putting Dreamers in a confusing and taxing position. Chances are that most Texas State students have crossed paths or been enrolled in classes with Dreamers; they are students who worked hard to obtain an education like every other documented student enrolled in college; they are students that contribute to the intellectual growth of our own university and provide a vital perspective on what it means to function within a country that has given them paramount opportunities and at the same time degrades and exploits them; above everything else, they are individuals who are here to improve the
quality of life for themselves and their families. Although the notion of an “American dream” has largely been proven to be nothing more than a fantasy, Dreamers are the embodiment of any truth that ever existed in the term. No one wants to leave behind the country, people and culture that they love, but Dreamers forced to come to America by their parents in their attempt for a better life have done it for the chance to work tirelessly for a better future while simultaneously helping shape and improve the United States. Without Dreamers, we will lose invaluable voices in our classrooms like that of educator, Fidencio Fifield-Perez who, after being told “people like (him) don’t go to college,” was accepted to seven different schools with the help of DACA and went on to earn an
MFA from the University of Iowa. We will lose brilliant researchers like Yuriana Aguilar who is making huge strides in cardiovascular studies and pushing America forward in leading medical research. Dreamers give this country the potential to be great; without them, it’s unlikely it ever could be. Our editorial board vows to continue to serve every student at this university, documented or otherwise. We stand with those who will be wrongfully endangered by the Trump administration, and we thank them for what they do to enrich the lives of other students at Texas State. Dreamers, we will not let you be pushed into the shadows. We will stand by you and do what is in our power as journalists and fellow students to protect you. This university is yours just as much as it is ours.
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.
Make America Great Again: Lighten up By Carrington Tatum Opinions Columnist @th3unt0uchable
Social media has provided a platform to anyone who desires it, regardless of their merit or aesthetic. At no other time in history has a person’s job security rested so heavily in the hands of the masses. While this is normally the case for fast food and retail workers who slander their companies, many are calling for the firings of media personalities they deem “problematic.” Media figures from Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and Charlamagne Tha God to comedians such as Louie C.K and Dave Chapelle have all had calls for their removal due to insensitive jokes or comments they have made. However, I think there is value in the problematic rhetoric of these individuals because it is offensive people like them who foster conversations around the observations we are often too afraid to express. In countries such as North Korea, they are not afforded the freedom of speech we benefit from. Critiques of their government often land people in concentration camps. We also know firsthand that a society oppressed by its monarchs is the tyranny that spurred this country’s birth. Tyranny from one crown in Europe is no different to the tyranny of a million smaller ones in America. One of the greatest facets of democ-
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racy is decentralized thought. Therefore, we need individuals who challenge what is considered appropriate to prevent us from submitting to groupthink and becoming our own tyrants. However, there is a distinction between someone being offensive and someone being dangerous through their rhetoric. Any speech that calls for the abuse of a group or perpetuates a violent and threatening narrative against a population is unacceptable and should not be permitted. For examples of endangerment through speech, we can turn to the textbook of dangerous rhetoric: Presi-
dent Donald Trump. In a recent speech, he delivered a “joke” in which he encouraged police officers to be rougher with the people they arrest. This is dangerous because it was made during a high point of police brutality, an issue proven to be especially detrimental to the health of black and Hispanic men and women. In contrast, Colin Moriarty, a YouTuber, was the focus of a Twitter outrage for tweeting, “Ah. Peace and quiet. #ADayWithoutAWoman.” This is an example of good, offensive comedy, not because it evoked the greatest laugh, but because it was in pure comedic intent. While you could argue it was
at the expense of women, it was not to their detriment. You do not have to find the joke funny. In fact, you can be offended, but placing pressure on his employer, Kinda Funny, to fire him is a reckless form of censorship. It was not a rally cry to abuse women, and a narrative of women as noisy is not one likely to attract danger to their lives. There is not ample reason to take away his platform. As a country, we need to reconsider how we focus our energy when it comes to policing the rhetoric of our peers. We need to focus on limiting the access to platforms the Donald Trumps of the world receive and increasing the number of Charlamagne Tha God’s, because one adds danger to the lives of marginalized groups while the other keeps us honest. The key is the ability to discern offensive speech from dangerous speech. America needs to lighten up in this era of vitriol, because nothing is more offensive than the trials of life. If you censor anything potentially funny because it is offensive, then you lose an opportunity for a bit of joy and you will continue to deal with the problematic instances of life. Sometimes it is good to have our feelings hurt because a little pain is a great reminder of what reality is. -Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore
Ask your media professors about Insecure
No one is above having a job
By Tafari Robertson Opinions columnist @blacboijoi As summer comes to an end, so comes the final episodes of many of our summer TV favorites. Among the most watched shows of this season are "Game of Thrones" and "Insecure," two HBO powerhouses that share a Sunday evening block. Though the crossover audience is something to be applauded considering one is a gore-ridden fantasy drama and the other follows the comedic misadventures of a black woman protagonist and her friends, the audiences discussing each show tend to be somewhat segregated. Over the past year and a half, a healthy variety of shows featuring black protagonists and diverse casts have surged on popular television platforms and streaming sites. Shows such as "Atlanta," "Dear White People," "Power," "Chewing Gum" and the aforementioned "Insecure" have played a huge role in creating new dialogues in response to the overwhelming lack of diversity in network television. However, the question arises as to who is having these conversations. Despite the critical acclaim of these diverse shows, coverage across major press outlets seems reserved for their whiter counterparts. In fact, much of the in-depth coverage of shows featuring black protagonists can only be found on sites that exclusively focus on diversity such as Huffpost Black Voices, NPR Code Switch, or The Root. Meanwhile the entertainment and culture sections of sites such as Time magazine, Rolling Stone or the New York Times have run no less than 5 stories on "Game of Thrones" just in the past 15 days. Undoubtedly, for those of us in
mass communications or journalism, taking classes that explore the impact of media on the real world, television shows such as "Game of Thrones" will be a professor’s favorite go-to for their updated pop culture references and PowerPoint gifs. As a black student who has gone to predominantly white institutions my whole life, the demand to understand and see the humor in every white pop-culture reference that teachers and peers use to connect on an innocently human level is nothing new. Be it an oversaturation of canonized memes from The Office or insisting that Friends is a good show, it never seems to occur to my white peers that I might not relate to so easily to shows and references that are almost entirely white. However, as I have matured and representation has improved, I have decided on a new approach besides the practiced half smile or forced laugh. No longer will I wait until I am with black friends or keep my hand to myself when professors ask for examples in pop culture. It is time to start expecting more from those who call themselves media professionals. By speaking openly about shows that represent us, we can force our peers to confront the reality that they just don’t consider shows featuring protagonists of color as ‘must-watch’. Simply by treating shows like Insecure, Power, and Atlanta as deserving of the same everyday integration afforded to the likes of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad, we can establish a vocal canon that protects them from the erasing forces of white supremacy in media. - Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior.
By Nellie Perry Opinion Column @nellie_perry The promise made when we were still in our elementary and secondary schooling was simple: after college, you are guaranteed a job. Yet the unemployment rate for college graduates is currently 5.6 percent. It’s not hard to find someone on campus complaining they have no money or need a job. Yet, often if you ask these same students where they’ve applied for jobs, it is places that either
"What I am saying is simple: if you sincerely need money and were only hired as a cashier at a fast food restaurant, accept it." require experience, or positions of greater importance. The age-old argument is, “I’m a college student; I should be the manager, not the cook.” The problem with this argument is clear: a person cannot obtain certain positions without experience, and rightfully so. If a person started working at Chick-Fil-A at the age of 16 as a cashier, they have the potential to be a manager by 18 with good work ethic and trustworthiness. If a 20-year-old who has never had a job then applies as the manager thinking their age and education would override the 18-year-old’s experience, they are mistaken. There is nothing wrong with applying for these positions of course, you might get one. However, it is wrong to decide to not work at all if that particular position falls through. There
is no honest, legal job an unemployed person is above having. If a person is comfortable with being unemployed and does not need the money that comes with having a job, then by all means let them be couch potatoes. The second the unemployed person who decided they were above being a cashier at Chick-fil-A begins to complain about being unable to find a job, however, their argument’s validity is lost. Ultimately, a major problem with being told college guarantees jobs is we were given the idea our job should always pertain to our major, we should be above the people who do not have as sophisticated degrees as us (even if they’ve been there longer and have proven their worth) and we should not have to settle for jobs that also employ high school students. This way of thinking is completely incorrect. It is important for readers to understand I am not saying nobody is worthy of a managing position or they should not apply for the careers they actually wish to pursue. What I am saying is simple: if you sincerely need money and were only hired as a cashier at a fast food restaurant, accept it. Nobody is above entrance-level jobs. I urge readers to not only understand this concept, but take advantage of it. If you get the job as a cashier, commit and do it well enough your manager makes you their assistant manager. Use the small jobs which help us pay bills through college as an opportunity to learn, grow and gain experiences that will help upon graduation. -Nellie is a journalism sophomore.
6 | Tuesday, September 5, 2017
The University Star May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill
CARTOON CARTOON BY STEPHANIE CLOYD | GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Embrace the meme: TXST vs UTSA By Jakob R. Rodriguez Opinions Columnist It is not just athletes who have something to gain when their teams triumph. Whether we are competing on a field or court, we are competing head-on with another institution. Any accomplishments made by either school could be easily set back with a viral meme or chants reminding the other team of their 2-10 losing year. Dating back to the early 1990s and the Southland conference, even before The University of Texas at San Antonio had a football team, there has always been something about competition between the two universities. Call it proximity, as the two universities are separated only by a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 35, or shared interest in being the next Texas university to make a big splash in athletics or academics. The two universities will compete in what has now been dubbed the “H-E-B I-35 Showdown.” Our Bobcats will play host to the Roadrunners in what every collegiate sports fan
south of Austin believes will be what separates the men from the boys. Under coach Everett Withers, the culture of Texas State is changing, and the culture of Texas State athletics in and of itself has changed a lot since last year, which is evident through social media. The players and coaches look like they had a productive and sometimes entertaining camp. However, “Rowdy,” (Big bird with a Napoleon complex) from UTSA also had a summer of stunts on social media. In a video posted late July, Rowdy had a field trip to Texas State in which he waved a flag at bobcat stadium, teepeed the stallions statue with blue and orange ribbons and proceeded to float the river, flashing his school’s “birds up” sign. The video describes Texas State as “that school up the road” reminiscent to the type of rhetoric heard between the Ohio State and Michigan games. Should Texas State and UTSA miss the opportunity to market this game as
"If we buy into this culture, maybe we can escape what plagues all Texas State students: The age old “isn’t that a party school” questions and accusations at family functions." if it were that big, both schools might flounder perpetually. The contemporary “Michigan and Ohio state” that has become the I-35 corridor rivalry as well as the fan base behind it, have the potential to lift both schools out of the “party school” or “third choice” category. When the two teams face off later this football season, it should not just be the players and coaching staff that need to “buy-in” to the concept or culture of a winning tradition and spirit. Not only does this game give our football team and coach Withers an op-
portunity to prove themselves, but our university has a lot to prove, as well. If we buy into this culture, maybe we can escape what plagues all Texas State students: The age old “isn’t that a party school” questions and accusations at family functions. For whatever reason regardless of student and professor achievements as a research institution, Texas State is still gaffed off as a party school. We work hard and play harder. Biology, mass communications, theatre and dance, liberal arts; name any subject, Texas State probably has an award for it. Our student base is also expanding at an alarming rate, with each freshmen class bigger than the last. This season let us win the tailgate and the game. Win or lose, however, Texas State fans are fortunate in that even if we don’t win, at least the game is held at our Bobcat stadium instead of the biggest pit stop off of I-35. - Jakob R. Rodriguez is a journalism sophomore
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
We demand environmental justice By Oriya Villarreal In light of current events, the #PrayForTexas hashtag has grown in popularity on a variety of social media platforms, aiming to comfort over seven million Texans recovering from the emotional and physical wounds inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. Although we have witnessed solidarity across the nation for residents who have fallen victim to this natural disaster, we can no longer dismiss the influence climate change has on weather and socioeconomic issues. Addressing the connection between the severity of Hurricane Harvey and climate change is critical in order to prevent loss of life and billions of dollars when another natural disaster occurs. Prior to Harvey wreaking havoc on the state of Texas, the Gulf of Mexico was four degrees higher than usual. An increase in temperature
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means an increase in energy, which causes a substantial increase in water evaporation. As a result of high temperatures in the Gulf, Hurricane Harvey caused more damage than it should have, leaving thousands of Texans displaced and devastated. Texas is experiencing an increase in extreme rainfall, and each summer for the past 3 years has been the hottest summer on record. Extreme shifts in weather will continue to impact the state of Texas if we do not begin demanding environmental justice. Climate change is arguably the most pressing issue of our time. It creates an unequal burden by putting poverty stricken areas at greater risk of property damage and sickness. Frontline communities suffer the most from extreme weather, which is what we recently witnessed in Houston and in Louisiana back in 2005. The Trump Administration openly denies human-caused climate change
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and has almost completely eradicated all progress toward a more “green” future. Just ten days before the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, President Donald Trump signed an executive order promising the elimination of riskmanagement standards for building infrastructure in flood zones or areas affected by climate change. We are seeing a presidential order grounded in ignorance and disregard of overwhelming scientific data proving the effects of climate change. Donald Trump continues to carry out a selfish agenda by dedicating himself to climate inaction and disregard for the American people. Rather than normalizing Trump’s denial of climate change, we need to condemn any executive order that puts the health and safety of current and future U.S. citizens at risk. We cannot allow extreme weather to become the norm, and we must use our voices to speak out against this
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possibility. We have the power to resist ignorance by using our knowledge of climate change to educate one another and demand change. Climate change is more than just a fact—it impacts our communities and personal lives. It is time to start accepting environmental justice as the starting point for all justice—including social, civil and economic. If we do not begin taking a dramatic approach toward combating climate change, we will continue to see how it affects climate migration, the global economy and vulnerable communities. As students, we are in a unique position to work locally with a global perspective—we can organize and advocate for a more sustainable future. - Oriya Villarreal is a geography water resources junior
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017 | 7 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Gabe Schrade: Two-year captain leaves it all on the field By Brooke Phillips Assistant Sports Editor @brookephillips_
Senior year is the time to make a lasting impression. For one football player, stepping on the field for his fourth season and being a team captain for the second year in a row are only a couple of ways he is leaving his mark. Football captain Gabe Schrade, senior tight end, has a family background in the sport. Having a father from Canton, Ohio and being able to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame growing up is what first inspired him to want to put on a helmet. Although Schrade played baseball once, he always knew his sport was football. “I love a couple of things about it,” Schrade said. “Number one, I was born into it. Two, I think tough guys play football, and that’s something I’ve always wanted to be a part of. I’ve got a really strong competitive spirit in me, and I only want to be the best. They say that only 3.2 percent of high school athletes get to play Division I college football, so I’m in that category and I just want to keep going up.” Playing Division I football is exactly what Schrade has done since becoming a Bobcat. Schrade joined the team in the spring of 2014 after signing with Texas State in February of that year. From the moment he stepped on the field, Schrade was determined to meet his collegiate football career goals. “I took a visit out here,” Schrade said. “I fell in love with the opportunity to build my own legacy here; to be a part of the first team to win a bowl game. That’s the mission I’ve been on and that’s the mission I’m hoping to fulfill this fall.” Schrade’s competitive nature allowed him to grow each year as a football player, but the desire to be challenged led him to one of the top positions on the team in back-toback years. “Being the team captain is the high-
Gabe Schrade, senior tight end, lines up in the first home game of the season against the Houston Baptist Huskies. The Bobcats ended the game with a ninepoint victory. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
est honor of my life,” Schrade said. “It’s something that will probably be the highest honor of my life, and for the rest of my life, I’m going on to do other things after football, but I’m so proud of that. It’s also an awesome opportunity to serve the guys that I love around here: my teammates.” One quality that proves Schrade’s leadership role is his compassion for the players he stands by every day. “Being on a football team where guys are all tough, there’s a different dynamic,” Schrade said. “When you get to develop relationships with them and see the love there and break through the shell, I think that’s so cool. Having a mindset of thinking about them first is the most important thing.” With the football team being made up of mostly freshmen this season, being a senior on the team, Schrade knows his team captain role goes beyond the field. “I’d like to leave an impact on the
young guys,” Schrade said. “I’d like to have my example (followed) after I’ve left. I’d like to say that I have it all while I had the chance and I think that I’m in a good position to say that. The first thing I would tell the freshmen is you were brought here to play. If you’re a Division I football player, then this is what you do.” Looking ahead to his final season, Schrade is ready for Saturday nights under the lights and the effects the games might have. “My favorite thing about playing football at Texas State is going to be this fall because we’re going to win a bowl game,” Schrade said. “I’m really looking forward to singing the fight song after wins in the locker room. That’s one of my favorite things ever. I’m looking forward to walking around the stadium after wins and giving the fans high fives and my mom a kiss. I’m excited to put a ring on our fingers and a figurative one for the university.”
Although the new season has not begun, Schrade hopes to clear the team’s record from last year and win more games. He is, however, familiar with taking losses, but his attitude about what happens stays positive. “I have a life principle and we have it here: it’s discipline over default,” Schrade said. “So whenever there’s an event that’s thrown at you, you have two options: you can respond with discipline which is intentional and rational. Or you can react—that’s basically the default. So whenever those things come, I try to (act) in the best way.” Schrade learned lessons on and off the field. “I’ve learned to appreciate winning,” Schrade said. “I’ve learned how delicate that is. I’ve also learned healthy habits you can maintain that can weather you through storms.” Being a college athlete can be busy, and Schrade makes sure not to let his days be filled with negativity. While school and academics tend to sometimes get in the way of his vision of the future, Schrade lives by advice his father has given that has stuck with him ever since. “Work now, play later,” Schrade said. “There are always things that you want in the immediate sense, but those things are usually fleeting and you will want them again. But there are also things that are permanent that leave legacies and matter and change people’s lives. That’s what my dad is all about, and that’s what I’m all about, and I’m striving to serve that purpose.” Coming into his last season, Schrade will continue to lead his team and better himself. Being a leader of a team can be challenging, but that’s the challenge Schrade loves. “I’m following other people,” Schrade said. “That’s what coach preaches; that’s what my parents have preached. My uncle told me that the cream rises to the top, and that’s something that I believe, and I’m willing to take the chance to prove them right.”
8 | Tuesday, September 5, 2017
The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023
Brooke Ramsey: Passion for the Pitch
Brooke Ramsey, senior midfielder, fights for the ball during a previous game against the University of Texas at El Paso at the Bobcat Soccer Complex. STAR FILE PHOTO
By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter @BornToRun_19 For many people, it takes years to find their passions. However, that was not the case for Brooke Ramsey, senior midfielder. Ramsey was raised in a traditional sports-oriented family. Her parents and two older brothers have all participated in athletics: her brothers chose ice hockey; her father chose baseball; and her mother chose track. Ramsey, after trying multiple sports, found an interest in soccer, enjoying the fast pace and free flowing nature of the sport. “Growing up I played a little bit of softball, but it was too slow,” Ramsey said. “I did volleyball and track in middle school, and going into high school I just did soccer.” The senior’s love for the sport was apparent early on. “I’ve been playing since I was about four,” Ramsey said. “I’ve played it my entire life—17 years.” Beyond the speed of the sport, Ramsey enjoys the mental challenges the game presents her. “I think it’s so fast-paced and it’s truly a thinking game,” Ramsey said. “You don’t go in having certain set plays or something to follow. It’s super free-flowing, and you can be creative.” Ramsey began her career as a Bobcat in 2014 after a successful high school career that saw her named All-District First-Team in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. When the time came, choosing to attend Texas State University wasn’t a hard decision for Ramsey. “I loved it,” Ramsey said. “I think it was such a cool atmosphere when I came here. It was close enough to home, but it didn’t feel like Texas.” The midfielder also sees the value in both trying to excel as an individual, as well as being a good teammate in the sport. “It’s not individualistic,” Ramsey said. “I mean you do have to work by yourself, but not completely because it’s a team sport.” Although Ramsey doesn’t believe to be a very superstitious person, she sticks to her same pregame ritual before every game. “Normally I’m too anxious to take a nap, so I just pace around my room listening to music,” Ramsey said. “I listen to hardcore rap or something really intense.” Team chemistry plays a major part in the game, and with seven seniors on the team—Ramsey included—there’s been ample time for bonding. “A lot of us live together,” Ramsey said. “I’m still with my same four roommates. We’re all super close.” While most young athletes look up to professionals, Ramsey doesn’t. Instead she draws motivation and drive from herself and from her family. “I think it’s more self-aspiration,” Ramsey said. “I think I get my motivation intrinsically, and I think I get it externally from my family.” The Bobcat’s love for the sport runs deep, but she fully understands that 17 years of playing a sport takes a toll on the body. “I think after college I’m hanging up the cleats,” Ramsey said. “I think that’s as far as it goes. My body is tired, and I think it’s just the perfect way to end my career.” Ramsey is majoring in business marketing with a concentration in sales. Although she’s not quite sure what her career path after college is, she’s confident she’ll figure things out. “I know for a fact I want to end up back in Dallas, but I’m not sure exactly where I go from there,” Ramsey said. “I’m hoping this year will shed some light on things.” With both her athletic and academic collegiate careers reaching their ends, Ramsey feels fully prepared entering the real world and gives a great amount of credit to soccer for her level of preparedness. “Honestly soccer has made me so ready for the real world,” Ramsey said. “Not just job wise, but interacting with people. It taught me time management and that you must be competitive. What you put into something is what you’re going to get out of it.”
COURTESY PHOTO FROM TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS
Men’s cross country team fighting for a comeback season By Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @Lisette_1023 With a new school year comes a new season, and the men’s cross country team members are showing a greater commitment to one another. The men’s team had a historic 2016 season all around. At the beginning of the season, the team reached its highest region ranking from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 11 years. In the South Central Region, the men’s team started in eighth, but soon moved up to seventh on the list. Kyle Denomme, junior, said even with the success the team had last season, there’s no pressure for the upcoming year. “We’re not going too far ahead, just going day by day,” Denomme said. “I’d say we’re an underdog with potential for great success.” Finishing the season strong is what was expected from the team, and they achieved just that. At the 2016 Sun Belt Conference Championships, the men finished third as a team. It was the best finish in the program’s history since joining the conference in 2012. Along with placing as a team, three Bobcats finished in the top 10, including sophomore Joseph Meade. Meade said he has worked hard all summer to be at his best
when the season starts. “I’ve been pretty dedicated this summer,” Meade said. “Not missing a mile and making sure my diet is strong to be the best I can be this season.” Along with working together as a team, Meade has personal goals of his own to reach this season. Meade said his commitment to the team has helped him become a better individual. “My biggest individual goal is to make it to the national level,” Meade said. “I feel I have the talent and coaching to get me there.” Eating healthy and running every day is what the team did all summer, but Denomme practiced other ways to become mentally stronger. “I believed,” Denomme said. “The mentality coach Muntefering set out for us this season was to believe in ourselves each and every day. If you can believe that your everyday training will be a success, this year will unfold just the way we all want it to.” There are 12 individuals who make up the men’s cross country team. The men’s team members have considered themselves a family for years. Without a strong commitment to one another, the connection falls apart. “We put a huge emphasis on family and being a close-knit team,” Denomme said. “We all hangout 24/7 and know every-
thing about one another. The way to have the most success is to be able to know your teammates as best as possible because if you know them well, it makes it easier to communicate.” Being a family is important to everyone, and they’ve each grown together in their own ways. Meade said being together has pushed everyone to be at their best every day. “Most of the group came in together and we’ve all grown together,” Meade said. “We have each other’s back and there’s nothing else that would mean more than to win a title together.” Placing third in the Sun Belt Conference Championship landed them a spot in the NCAA South Central Regional meet. To end the season, the Bobcats placed eighth to match the program’s best finish in the regional meet since 2005. The team members are dedicated in giving it their all this season, and finishing every race better than the last. Improvement is key, and they will not stop pushing to succeed. “This is the best team Texas State has ever had without a doubt,” Denomme said. “I’ve never seen so many dedicated, hardworking individuals all working for the same goal. This year will be our year. We will be back at the NCAA Regionals, and will be ready to improve on our eighthplace finish.”
Madison Daigle: setting goals for the new year By Melea Polk Sports Reporter @meleadenae From the neighboring state of Louisiana, junior middle blocker Madison Daigle has set new goals set for herself as she continues her volleyball career at Texas State. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Daigle began her athletic career at a young age. Although she tried out many sports, volleyball was the only one that she stuck with. “As a kid I grew up playing and trying out many different sports, and eventually I would get sick of them or not be very good,” Daigle said. Daigle began her volleyball career at the age of 6, and joined a volleyball club team at the age of 9. Eventually, she began to fall in love with the sport. “I decided to play volleyball honestly because all my friends were doing it,” Daigle said. “I began to go to camps and joined a club team and I realized that even though I wasn’t the best at it then, I still loved the game.” Daigle decided to make Texas State her home after a seven-hour trip and meeting a lot of friendly faces. The middle blocker knew she wanted to attend school out of state, but was not sure where. Her choice was made final after meeting the coaches and players, but she also fell in love with the town. “I choose Texas State because I knew it was the place for me,” Daigle said. “On my visit I knew it was the one. I loved the campus, coaches, players and the town and area in general.” There were some changes in the food and a different language Daigle had to learn after the move.
Kelsey Weynand, former outside hitter and Madison Daigle, junior middle blocker, guard the net in a previous game against Baylor. STAR FILE PHOTO
However, the team does give her a hard time about certain words she uses. “The food is different with there not being as much Cajun food around here,” Daigle said. “The only things that really sticks out to me is that in Louisiana we say book sack and over here it is backpack. I always get hate from my teammates for that one.” Daigle is expecting a lot out of her teamamtes this season. She is one of four upperclassmen, but is not letting that worry her. She trusts her team and tries to get them to understand that their hard work will pay off. “Age does not matter on our team and everyone knows that,” Daigle
said. “I have a lot of trust in this group of girls, and I know we can go far with a lot of hard work. We have the capability to achieve many things this season.” On a more personal level, Daigle plans to step up for her team as a leader. She knows that the underclassmen are looking up to her and wants to be good role model for them. “Something different that I am going to do this season is become more of a leader,” Daigle said. “Being an upperclassman I know I am looked upon and want to always give my best to everyone on the team.”