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Conservatives use LGBTQIA holiday for political agenda

Volume 107, Issue 08


By Connor Brown Assistant News Editor While LGBTQIA members and allies celebrated National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, the Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas State held a “Conservative Coming Out Day” in the Quad, complete with a door frame to symbolize the “coming out” process of publicly disclosing one’s political beliefs. In an email by YCT member Braden West, the organization encouraged conservative students to “get your picture taken as you come out of the closet and show the world how it feels to be a conservative on a college campus.” The display created a backlash on social media and arguments in the Quad throughout the duration of YCT’s political demonstration. Kristoffer Ian Celera, history junior and member of YCT, conceptualized the door demonstration to spark conversation about the struggles of being a conservative on a liberal college campus. Celera identifies as gay. “In liberal dominated environments, yes, I do believe it is harder to come out as a conservative,” Celera said. “It wasn’t meant to be inflammatory. We actually did have a good deal of conservatives who showed up and found a sense of solidarity within our community. We also had wonderful debates with respectful liberals. It’s just the minority who caused several scenes. We can’t control reactions.” Emma Brockway, English senior and communications manager of the Texas Freedom Network, publically denounced the YCT display on Twitter, calling the demonstration “classless and insulting.”


Professor researches San Marcos' poverty By Josie Soehnge News Reporter Texas State faculty member Thomas Longoria in the department of political science is currently conducting research on San Marcos’ poverty levels. According to the 2010-2015 poverty rate estimate, 37 percent of San Marcos residents were living in poverty. That estimate falls to 23 percent when students are taken out of the census data. Longoria wrote a book titled, “Understanding Poverty in San Marcos, Texas: A Comparative Perspective.” In the book, Longoria said, “In 2015, San Marcos marked a third consecutive year with the notable distinction of being the fastest growing city in the U.S. Despite this population growth, San Marcos also has the unfortunate distinction of having nearly 40 percent of the population living below the federal poverty level.” In his research, Longoria has seen that as student poverty is declining, non-student poverty continues to rise. “I’ve found that the student poverty rate is actually going down, and the non-student poverty rate is going up,” Longoria said. “We don’t know why. More research has to be done by really talking to students and non-students themselves, but there’s no speculation that the employment for non-students, part time employment, might be more favorable. And as a result, students are employing themselves out of poverty, where as non-students are still facing some structural unemployment or underemployment problems.”


Students march from Old Main to the President's House Oct. 11 for National Coming Out Day. PHOTO BY CONNOR BROWN

Bobcats and allies celebrate National Coming Out Day


By Connor Brown Assistant News Editor

everal campus organizations came together to celebrate National Coming Out Day by hosting a variety of events including a solidarity march from Old Main and a candlelight vigil hosted by the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion. National Coming Out Day is observed on Oct. 11 and was founded in 1988 by LGBTQIA activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary to commemorate the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. Rebecca Carter, psychology senior and president of Bobcat PRIDE, helped organize the week’s events with the help of other pro-LGBTQIA campus organizations including Transcend, Lambda and I Am That Girl. “I think it is a unique experience for LGBT(QIA) people, and it’s something that we all probably have to do at least once, even if it’s just to ourselves,” Carter said. “And it’s something a lot of us have to do almost every single day, you know, even just saying ‘my girlfriend and I’ or going out on a walk. Suddenly that person knows, and you never know when that’s going to be a difficult or awkward experience. So this is to encourage other people to come out and be themselves, but also saying to those who can’t be out right now, that we are here, we’re present and we support you and you have a community waiting for you when you’re ready.” The week’s events also garnered support from local politicians, including Congressional candidate Derrick Crowe and House candidate Erin Zwiener.


33 Hate-crime related homicides of LGBTQ people have occurred.

28 Deaths occurred in 2016, which has already been surpassed by 2017.

49 Victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando are not included in the above numbers

15 Of those killed in 2017 were transgender women of color.


TX2O named finalist in collegiate inventors competition By Tyler Hernandez News Reporter TX2O, a team of four Texas State University graduate students, has been selected as to be a finalist in the Collegiate Inventors Competition, where they will display their innovative solution to reduce the impact of water that is used during oil refinery. The event will take place Nov. 3 and will serve to showcase finalists products to a variety of interested parties, including thousands of United States Patent and Trade Office patent and trademark examiners, sponsors, and media, as well as the public.

The competition is nationwide and only five teams are chosen to compete so it is a big deal to be chosen.” -Gary Beall TX2O will be flying to Alexandria, Virginia for the Collegiate Inventors Competition Expo with the hopes of

This specific "media" fills TX2O'S specific canisters. The purpose of the media is to absorb oil when the canister is lowered into polluted water. PHOTO BY TYLER JACKSON

succeeding over several other teams and their products. Gary Beall, advisor to the team during the competition, said it was no small feat to be chosen for the competition. “The competition is nationwide and only five teams are chosen to compete so it is a big deal to be chosen,” Beall said. “The students have a great experience competing at the United States Patent and Trademark office and if they win they could come home with a significant cash prize.” The project that the team will be presenting promises to increase the efficiency of oil refining and reduce the impact of contaminated water that is created as a by-product. The system in-

cludes two parts. One part: TX2sorb is a cylinder casing holding TX2O’s proprietary granular absorbent. The second part: TX2gen allows the product to be used multiple times without sacrificing effectiveness for up to ten uses. This reusability is key in the products promise to reduce water treatment costs by up to 30 percent, as well as dramatically reducing the landfill waste produced by similar, less reusable products. Equally important is the product's ability to easily integrate into the market; the website calls the system a dropin product.


2 | Tuesday, October 17 , 2017

The University Star


Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh @universitystar

Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666 512- 245 - 3487

Editors Editor-in-Chief: Denise Cervantes, Managing Editor: Bri Watkins, News Editor: Shayan Faradineh,

FROM FRONT LGBTQ Zwiener, candidate for Texas House District 45 to represent Hays and Blanco counties, made an appearance at the solidarity march Wednesday morning donning a “Y'all means all” poster as she joined in the march from Old Main to the president’s house. “I’m really inspired by the activism of students here at Texas State," Zwiener said. I know when I was their age, I was too scared to come out. [If elected] I will fight for comprehensive workplace and housing non-discrimination laws.” In a recent report by Buzzfeed, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence

Programs found that as of August 2017, there have been 33 hate-crime related homicides of LGBTQIA people. These numbers surpass the 28 deaths in 2016, not including the 49 victims that were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Fifteen of those killed in 2017 were transgender women of color. Emma Bogue, communications junior and president of Transcend, said that while these numbers are certainly disappointing, as a transgender woman herself, the numbers are not surprising. “As a white person, I have a great deal of privilege, and cannot fully speak to

the experiences of those most marginalized,” Bogue said. “With that said, those numbers make me feel outraged. Outraged that the most marginalized members of our community are the ones most often at risk of violence. Outraged that their assaults and deaths often go under-reported or flat out unreported. Outraged that when they are reported, they are often misgendered and/or dead-named in articles meant to share who they were. Outraged that they are so often remembered by names that were not theirs.”

Lifestyle Editor: Katie Burrell, Opinions Editor: May Olvera, Sports Editor: Lisette Lopez, Copy Desk Chief: Claire Abshier, Design Editor: Vivian Medina, Multimedia Editor: Lara Dietrich, Engagement Editor: John Lee,

Advertising Staff Director of Media Sales: Christina Castro, Account Executive: Andrew Stock Account Executive: Carina Cruz, Account Executive: Folee Hall Account Executive: Cameron Goodall Graphic Designer: Stephanie Cloyd Marketing and PR Manager: Ashley Lujan


Mayor of San Marcos seeks to combat climate change By Alyssa Newsom News Reporter After President Donald Trump split from the Paris Climate Agreement in September, San Marcos has decided to take the environment into its own hands and develop a city-wide climate change plan. Mayor John Thomaides was the 210th mayor to sign on to a nationwide agreement that each city would work to reduce their greenhouse gas emission. When asked about when the city will get to see this plan take action, the mayor answered that there is no concrete timeline for this plan, though counsel and staff have been given the direction to begin the assessment process. They will begin by using internationally accepted software programs to calculate the total greenhouse gas emission of the city of San Marcos. Utility, equipment, buildings and vehicles are all components that this assessment will delve into. This software will be able to provide insight into what the actual population of San Marcos itself is producing. The policy is still deciding how much emission it will be aiming to achieve. Some cities choose for 0 percent emission, while others aim for varying amounts. After the assessment takes place, San Marcos will be able to pinpoint what percentage of emission would be best for this community. For at least twelve years, San Marcos administration has had a very strong focus on sustainability. Through this experience, they have learned that efficiency and conservation efforts aren't as expensive as they seem.

The city of San Marcos will be implementing the Climate Action Plan to reduce gas emission. PHOTO BY JOSH MENDS

“(The) interesting thing about efficiency and conservation is that there is quite a bit of payback," Thomaides said. "Plans can end up paying for themselves through conservation and sustainability." San Marcos streetlights have already been on a multi-year replacement phase. Transforming from the old environmentally abusive energy lights to new efficient LED fixtures. Mayor Thomaides seemed optimistic that this progression won't come to a halt anytime soon. “We believe that we can really have a positive impact, a lot of businesses have expressed interest in following our lead,” Thomaides said.

Thomaides notices that “this is no quick fix.” To see significant changes, he estimates that this will turn into a 5-year program. However, taking small incremental steps now will make an impact in the long run. He urges the public to show this new policy some support by coming to meetings and finding out ways to participate in government. The Climate Action Plan has San Marcos looking towards a brighter and more sustainable future. “This plan gives us a legacy to leave for our children,” Thomaides said. Thomaides first gave the presentation at the City Council meeting on Oct. 3.

women are one of the most at-risk groups in America, and for the Young Conservatives to try to equate the backlash they face to the violence trans people face is disturbing. The YCT said their event was not meant to mock our day, but to compare our struggles

and even use our Snapchat geo filter did exactly that. This is the one day of the year that recognizes the LGBTQIA community's obstacle of having to come out of the closet and the oppression that we face.”

Full-Time Staff Director: Laura Krantz, Media Specialist: Dillan Thomson, Publications Coordinator: Linda Allen,

FROM FRONT YCT “The YCT's display during Coming Out Week was distasteful and insensitive to the LGBTQIA community because it minimized the systemic oppression and emotional trauma that members of the community face on a daily basis,” Brockway said. “Trans

About Us History: The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and once 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 Tuesday, October 17, 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. 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

FROM FRONT TX20 The Collegiate Inventors Competition has been held annually since 1990 and serves as a platform for contestants to continue work on their products. While the products are showcased they will be looked over by a panel of judges that will decide who the winner of the cash prize will be. The event is a product of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in partnership with the United States Patent and Trade Office. Joseph Matal, undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, said he is proud to host the 2017 Collegiate Investors Competition. “We look forward to meeting these young innovators at this event, and encouraging their creativity and problem-solving skills to enable them to develop meaningful solutions to real-world challenges,” Matal said. Student members of the team include Archana Gujjari, doctoral student, Conor Brantley, business administration graduate student; Michael Opoku, doctoral student; and Thi Nguyen, communication disorders graduate student.

Michael Opoku and Archana Gujjari next to media canisters in Centennial Hall. This is the furthest version of their prototype yet. PHOTO BY TYLER JACKSON

The University Star


Tuesday, October 17 , 2017 | 3 Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh @universitystar


League of Women Voters hosts city council debate By Connor Brown Assistant News Editor The League of Women Voters of Hays County hosted a City Council debate Oct. 9 at the San Marcos Activity Center. Place 3 and Place 4 candidates for the City Council Election were featured in a public debate sponsored by the league and took questions from audience members. Place 3 candidates, Ed Mihalkanin and Amy Stanfield, took the stage to discuss topics including city development, flood control and job growth. Mihalkanin has over a decade of combined experience in the San Marcos City Council. Stanfield has experience serving on the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission among other committees.

Early voting starts Oct. 23 and will last through Nov. 3. Election day is Nov. 7. Stanfield said environmental and citizen safety should be taken into consideration when considering new city development. “I think with development coming in, we need to be careful about how and where we build to make sure that we’re not creating more flood zones and hurting our neighborhoods in that way,” Stanfield said. “On safety issues with flooding, I also support our police and fire department in making sure they have adequate resources to staff them and be there for us in times of need.” On the topic of stormwater management, Mihalkanin said the council plans to implement some measures by the end of this year that would protect citizens in the event of future flooding. “We’re enlarging drainage pipes in Blanco Gardens and in other neighborhoods,” Mihalkanin said. “No mat-

ter how much the City of San Marcos does to mitigate future flooding, some flooding of these larger 100-year flood events simply cannot be handled by our own budget, and so we really need to work with our federal representatives in the House and Senate for a new set of dams.” Stanfield also touched on the topic of creating new job opportunities for graduating students by encouraging mentorships with local businesses. Mihalkanin said he would also like to see more job opportunities for Texas State graduates. However, he'd like to extend that to the local population in addition to affordable childcare and GED programs for those without a high school diploma. Place 4 candidates, Jane Hughson and Joshua Simpson, tackled issues regarding economic development and affordable housing for citizens and students. Simpson is a free-market entrepreneur; Hughson is a Place 4 incumbent. Simpson said he would like to see more manufacturing jobs in San Marcos to compete with the recent property tax hike. “The property tax rate in Austin is 45 cents per every 100 dollar evaluation, and per capita income in that city has been growing," Simpson said. "Here in San Marcos, it is 61 cents per every 100 dollar evaluation on your home properties, and as far as I know, the median income in this city has not grown to that exponential rate, and that concerns me for the long term. We need to bring hard manufacturing jobs into this community and allow people to raise their families generations at a time—and that sustains growth.” Hughson said diversification of the San Marcos tax base, a $15 minimum wage and health insurance for companies seeking tax break incentives is essential for her community goals. “We must continue to use our economic toolbox to attract companies that pay good salaries with benefits,” Hughson said. “It may mean less tax income for a while, but the return on investments and jobs now, plus later tax income make it worthwhile… Our tax rate was increased this year for the first time in over 10 years because over 75 percent of the voters said ‘yes, we’re willing to pay more taxes’ to double our library, to improve and add a fire station and to improve our police department.” Early voting starts Oct. 23 and will last through Nov. 3. Election day is Nov. 7. For non-partisan voting information, see the League of Women Voters guide online or at the local library.

(TOP) Jane Hughson, place 4 candidate, responds to the moderator at the League of Women Voters debate on Oct. 9 held at the San Marcos Activity Center. Hughson has been a member of city council since 2014. (LEFT) Ed Mihalkanin, place 3 candidate, answers a question from the moderator at the League of Women Voters debate on Oct. 9 held at the San Marcos Activity Center. Mihalkanin is an associate professor for the department of political science. (RIGHT) Amy Stansfield, place 3 candidate, addresses the crowd during the League of Women Voters on Oct. 9 at the San Marcos Activity Center. Stansfield is also a self-employed cookie artist. (BOTTOM) Joshua Simpson, Texas State graduate, makes his opening statements during the League of Women Voters debate held on Oct. 9 at the San Marcos Activity Center. Simpson will be running for the City Council against Jane Hughson for the Place 4 position. PHOTOS BY KIRBY CRUMPLER

FROM FRONT POVERTY While Longoria writes that, “In general, the poverty rate in a college town is often ‘discounted’ because students are included in the US Census calculation of the poverty rate. Student poverty is indeed different from non-student poverty because college student poverty is viewed as a voluntary and temporary condition and is therefore not a public policy problem but rather a condition of the individual’s student status,” he still believes that student poverty is an issue that he would like to research further. According to Longoria, “national evidence that hunger and homelessness among college students is a growing problem.” “The issues of student poverty are really important,” Longoria said. “Student poverty is still poverty. A number of cities have begun to wrestle with the challenge of college student poverty. There are issues with students that are going to food banks or seeking public assistance because, while they’re students, they’re still dealing with housing instability and food insecurity.” The distinction of this high poverty rate has a chain effect on the economic climate of San Marcos. “These stories in part shape perceptions of San Marcos and these perceptions influence decisions on business relocation and retention, real estate development, and the decisions of individuals and families seeking a new community in a fast-growing region,” Longoria stated in his research. As more people migrate to San Marcos, the poverty estimates statistics continue to change. “One of the things that I’ve found which I thought is quite interesting is that the poverty in San Marcos seems to be shifting a little bit from certain neigh-

Frank, a homeless man in San Marcos, who chose not to give his last name, shops around at the local Goodwill. "I've only been living on the streets for about 6 months. We are trying to buy a truck and get back in control of our life. My vehicle blew up about eight months ago, and life has been tough ever since," Frank said. PHOTO BY FELIPE GOMEZ

borhoods to other neighborhoods,” Longoria said. “As people come to live in the community, they bring with them certain packages of employment and family structure and things like that that make it less likely for them to be in poverty, so we do have this general sense that there are people moving into San Marcos, and where they move and their income is going to affect the poverty rates on the sub-city level. So there is definitely some change going on in the

city on that basis.” Longoria believes that this flow of people into San Marcos could be due to unaffordable housing in Austin. “My speculation is that people in the city of Austin are getting priced out of affordable housing, which is pretty obvious to be quite honest,” Longoria said. “A lot of them might be moving to San Marcos due to a supply of affordable housing for sale or for rent. So, San Marcos is going to be an attractive place for people to move when they’re escap-

ing higher costs of housing in Austin.” “The picture is not all doom and gloom,” Longoria said. “I think that the city of San Marcos did a pretty good job holding poverty rates stable over that period of time (during economic crisis of early 2000’s), because there were definitely some economic attractions during that period. So that is positive.” Longoria presented his research to City Council on Oct. 3 to educate council members and begin to discuss a plan for combating poverty in San Marcos.

4 | Tuesday, October 17 , 2017


The University Star Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar


“Being able to unify students on campus is going to allow for the impact and change they want to see actually come to fruition.”

Student activist initiates challenge to end poverty

-Robert Garcia

Brittlin Richardson, Oxfam treasurer, poses for a photo Oct. 13 as she recruits students to sign her petition. The purpose of the petition is to allow more refugees to enter the U.S. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

By Leeann Cardwell Lifestyle Reporter A group of students are forming a new organization called the Oxfam Club, to make a lasting change in pursuit of their goal to end world poverty. One student in particular is pioneering the efforts on campus on behalf of the group's national chapter. Oxfam Club at Texas State, is a chapter of the national Oxfam America organization. Oxfam works on many types of global advocacy campaigns such as human rights, world hunger and poverty relief, climate change, access to clean drinking water and empowering women and girls. Kele Isibor, international relations junior and Oxfam Club president, was in the third grade when her family moved from Nigeria. After immigrating there from South Africa, her family moved to the United States on a diversity immigrant visa. Grateful for the opportunities and resources she has acquired since relocating, Isibor said she also felt a sense of identity crisis growing up. “I know exactly what it is like to not see yourself out there or to feel like there is not a way to get your voice out there,” Isibor said. “I have known that feeling from a young age and I have known what it is like to be

treated unfairly.” After deciding to get involved in the process of furthering justice for all, Isibor spent a week in Boston, Massachusetts this summer at the Oxfam Change Initiative training program where she learned how to bring Oxfam’s mission back to Texas State. The campus chapter will focus on specific campaigns to bring greater awareness to the issues of inequality and poverty in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Currently, the organization’s main campaign on campus is to advocate for the global refugee crisis. The club plans to hold tabling events to acquire signatures on a petition that will demand the United States to allow at least 75,000 refugees to resettle. The national Oxfam organization will collect the signatures from numerous college campuses to send in mass to the current administration. “I understand what it is like to have to leave what you know as home and what you know as true,” Isibor said. “I think if we were to band together our voice would be more powerful and we could really do a lot and really be heard.” The main goal for the Oxfam Club to provide a platform for change and the bobcat practice of recognizing and supporting underrepresented communities. Robert Garcia, staff advisor for Oxfam

BEHIND THE BARS After 18 years of false imprisonment speaker thanks religion

and LBGTQIA coordinator for the office of student diversity and inclusion, said that he believes the Oxfam Club is a perfect fit for the Texas State community. “Being able to unify students on cam-

pus is going to allow for the impact and change they want to see actually come to fruition,” Garcia said. “My hope for them is that they are able to fill the responsibility of empowering themselves to be able to empower others.” Other students who are also passionate about human rights have been recruited to join the club. Dezerae Reyes, sociology senior and vice president of the Oxfam Club, said she joined the club after noticing injustices in things out of her direct control but wanted to take a step towards correcting these wrongdoings. “As world citizens, we are all responsible for contributing to these problems,” Reyes said. “I feel a responsibility to use the voice I have to defend the rights that people fight for everyday.” Leaders of the Oxfam Club said they intend to host other campaigns this year as well, such as a hunger banquet to simulate the differing levels of food shortages for varying levels of income and Oxfam Jams to raise awareness of the organization’s mission between talent showcases.

Dave Fekpe (Left), nursing sophomore, watches as Osvaldo Marquez Rubio (Middle), applied mathematics senior, signs the petition for Brittlin Richardson (Right), Oxfam treasurer, Oct. 13 in the LBJ Hub. The purpose of the petition is to allow more refugees to enter the U.S.. PHOTO BY LARA DIETRICH | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

By Lauren Rexroad Lifestyle Reporter Anthony Graves, also known as Death Row Exoneree 138, visited Texas State Oct. 10. Graves shared his story behind being wrongly convicted and spent 18 years in prison, 12 of which he spent on death row, and motivated students to take their frustrations by going to vote. Graves’ visit to campus was a part of the 2017-18 Common Experience theme: The Search for Justice. Graves shared his story in the lecture held in Evans Auditorium. He explained the process of being falsely accused to the moment he called his mom when he was released. “At the most, I thought maybe I have a traffic ticket I forgot to pay," Graves said. “I never shot a gun in my life.” Graves was charged with capital murder for the death of six people in Somerville, in 1992. He waited two years for trial, where 11 white jurors and 1 black juror convicted him of the crime. Two execution dates later,

he was released in 2010. Although Graves explained the effects media, racism and injustice had on his trial, he kept pointing to the importance of going to the ballot box and holding public officials accountable. “We have a voice in this thing,” Graves said. “You got to use it, and you got to use it at the ballot box. You got to know who your nominees running for office are, what they stand for. We are at a place in our country where it is so important to take your voice to the ballot box.” During the Q&A segment following Graves’ testimony, one attendee asked Graves how people can change the criminal justice system. Graves responded, “Find an organization and donate your time." Nathan Pino, a professor of sociology, said that Graves’ story doesn’t just tell a testimony, but it humanizes the larger issue.


The University Star


Tuesday, October 17 , 2017 | 5 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar


Alumnus plans to bring international travelers to San Marcos through housing venture By Lauren Rexroad Lifestyle Reporter A Texas State alumnus plans to attract international and bicycling tourists to San Marcos with the opening of the Yellow House Hostel in the spring of 2018. Matt Akins, alumnus, and co-owner of the Bike Cave on campus is opening a hostel in San Marcos. The hostel, located at 704 W Hopkins St., will be the first of its kind in the city and will be within walking distance to the San Marcos Square and Texas State. Akins developed the idea to open the hostel from his travels around the world. Hostels are supposed to function as cheaper alternatives to hotels and usually house a smaller amount of people. Akins has traveled to places all over Central and South America as well as Canada and said he believes a hostel would be a resource for international travelers wanting to see the best San Marcos has to offer. “I want travelers from all over the world to experience San Marcos and jump in the river and go downtown and experience our art and our music and our food and our culture,” Akins said. "I want small local businesses to benefit from the tourism that comes through San Marcos. I think that we have a lot to offer the world.” Akins also wants the hostel to be a place for bicycle tourist to stay. Andy Howard, owner of The Hub bicycle shop, a friend of Akins for 13 years, said his location would be a resource for the bicyclists staying in the Yellow House Hostel because they are so close. The Hub

Located at 704 W Hopkins St, the vibrant Yellow Hostel House provides students with a unique experience to stay and have the opportunity to travel as well as meet other students. PHOTO BY HANNAH FELSKE

could provide repairs for the bikes at affordable prices as well as supplies for the bicyclists. “It’s just kind of a good way to get to know San Marcos in a lot of regards

because we are here every day, we are on the square and we are kind of in the middle of it all,” Howard said. Akins had a choice between several different properties in San Marcos, but

“I want travelers from all over the world to experience San Marcos and jump in the river and go downtown and experience our art and our music and our food and our culture.”

-Matt Akins

the property had to be properly zoned to hold a hostel. He wanted his location to have adequate parking, be close to downtown, be sizable enough to hold at least 10 to 20 people and be affordable. According to the Yellow House Hostel’s Indiegogo site, the house Akins chose is over 100 years old. The house was in bad shape when Akins bought it in 2015. Atkins is restoring the old yellow home to its original state. When finished, the Yellow House Hostel will have 6 bedrooms and bathrooms. Two of those bedrooms will be in the style of a dorm with multiple beds, while the other four will be private. Akins is currently fundraising to afford supplies for the hostel. His Indiegogo site is collecting funds throughout the month of October and is having a fundraising concert at Tantra Oct. 20.

FROM PAGE 4 RELIGION “Graves puts a human face on important issues in the criminal justice system, and he can provide his personal experience with something that is usually discussed in the abstract in the classroom,” Pino said. “His story can show students how one can work to make things better and to never give up on working toward a better future. Graves’ story vocalized the injustices behind the criminal justice system. Graves said unless someone makes more than $150,000 they are not exempt from the death penalty, even if innocent. Shannon Fitzpatrick, an attorney for students, said that students need to familiarize themselves with our criminal justice system and act from there. "We choose to execute people that do bad things, but more often than people would like to believe, we get it wrong,” Fitzpatrick said. “That is a huge risk, and it is pretty well understood that we have actually executed innocent people. Students need to understand the system that we have in place and either support it or try to change it for the better, but don’t just sit back and say ‘those are all bad people’ because as Anthony Graves (and hundreds of others) so clearly demonstrates, they are not all bad.” Common Experience has events planned throughout the academic year, including more guest speakers and exhibits to emphasize justice.

“For some reason, I just tossed and turned thinking about what they did to me. Something said to me ‘pick up that Bible’ and I methodically got up and walked over and picked the Bible up.”

- Anthony Graves (TOP) Anthony Graves speaks to a capacity crowd on October 10 in Evans Auditorium. (LEFT) Anthony Graves points towards a video showing the moment he was told he was being charged with capital murder on October 10 in Evans Auditorium. PHOTOS BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ | ASSISTANT MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

6 | Tuesday, October 17 , 2017

The University Star


Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar


New yoga studio stretches its way into San Marcos By John Lee Engagement Editor On the far side of N. LBJ Drive sits a new orange-colored yoga studio. The space smells of burning incense, and is filled with barefoot people stretching their bodies in all directions. This shop is where Jason Lobo, coowner of Namarupa Yoga, teaches and practices yoga alongside his wife and other teachers. When Lobo took his first yoga class, he was impressed with the instructor’s ability to help him do things with his body he did not think was possible. He has practiced yoga ever since and started teaching 11 years ago. “I started practicing and it was fun and I fell in love,” Lobo said. “It gave me a lot of sanity and stress relief and an ability to handle life much more easily with a sense of stability and empowerment.” Namarupa Yoga opened its doors in May and is unique from other yoga studios in San Marcos as it offers a donation based payment system allowing yoga practicians to pay what they are able to afford. Lobo said this model of payment was very important to him, especially being near a university where students might not have the resources available to pay for high-cost yoga classes. “We wanted to make it accessible so if you’re stressed out and you only have five bucks, you can still come take a class,” Lobo said. “We didn’t want to leave anybody out because of accessibility. Yoga also has a heavy community aspect, especially in the small-town mindset of San Marcos. Namarupa Yoga operators plan to be more than just a studio and are looking into getting involved with the community through their practice. They have been reaching out by hosting local bands at the studio, talk-

Trendy yoga clothes are on display in the window of Namarupa Yoga, a new studio located on N. LBJ Drive. PHOTO BY JOHN LEE | ENGAGEMENT EDITOR

ing with the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District and visiting residence halls at Texas State to get the community more involved through yoga. “My vision of the place has always been more than just a yoga studio,” Lobo said. “But someplace that is a community hub and a place where people can come to have conversation, with the body, with the heart, with the mind and with the world.” Yoga performed well provides many benefits including better circulation,

stress relief, an improved metabolism and an increase in sleep quality. Shannon Barthelemy, microbiology senior, said she frequently practices yoga and enjoys the benefits as well as the community aspect. “It’s better than medicine, in my opinion,” Barthelemy said. “Each practice is unique to each person, so there’s not this stress of being a bad yogi or a beginner. The community is very welcoming.” However, according to Taylor Lobo, co-owner of Namarupa and yoga in-

structor, these are the side effects of practicing yoga well. The overall message of yoga is not just focusing on this aspect. It provides practices’ with the ability to connect with themselves and becoming more capable of dealing with the world. “The practice itself will destress you, but were not kind of giving the message of disconnecting,” Taylor Lobo said. Namarupa Yoga will continue to serve as a yoga studio for mental and physical healing, but will also be a social hub for the San Marcos community.


Student competes at Sacred Springs Powwow By Leeann Cardwell Lifestyle Reporter A Texas State student competed in an annual Native American festival honoring her culture and celebrating the country amid a community of indigenous people. The annual Sacred Springs Powwow was held Oct. 14-15 by the Indigenous Cultures Institute off the shores of the sacred springs of San Marcos, also known as Spring Lake at the Meadows Center. Daniella Dakota Rodriguez, exercise and sports science sophomore, competed in the dance contest at the Sacred Springs Powwow. Rodriguez, a member of the Lipan Apache tribe in McAllen, Texas, said she has danced since she was 2. When she was a child, Rodriguez said her father would get out his drum so she and her siblings could practice traditional dances in their garage. Rodriguez is a fancy shawl dancer, a style mimicking the flight of a butterfly. During the dance, she wears a shawl around her shoulders while dancing on beat with the music, spinning and jumping often. In competition, dancers have to ensure they keep up with the beat of the drum by starting and stomping on time. Rodriguez said she competes and dances for her ancestors that have passed away and as a sign of respect for the veterans who have fought for the American flag. Rodriguez and her family have traveled across Texas and to other states to attend and compete in powwows. “A powwow means all tribes coming together as one, enjoying each other’s company, having a good time and dancing for others,” Rodriguez said. “It’s an honor to be a Native American.” According to the Indigenous Cultures Institute, the Sacred Springs Powwow celebrates Native American heritage and brings visibility to

the indigenous people who have lived in Central Texas for over 13,000 years. The sacred springs of San Marcos are considered to be the origination site of the Coahuiltecan people as told by their creation story, documented by a 4,000-year-old rock painting near Comstock, Texas. Maria Rocha, executive director for the Indigenous Cultures Institute, said one group within the target audience for the powwow is the indigenous-Hispanic student population at Texas State. “We hope they may learn to embrace their indigenous identity and value the heritage that is unique to them," Rocha said. Rodriguez was not the only Bobcat to attend the event, the powwow was co-sponsored by four student organizations including the Hispanic Business Student Association, Hombres Unidos, Sigma Lambda Beta and Sigma Lambda Gamma. Nallely Sanchez, parliamentarian for HBSA and exercise and sports science senior, volunteered in a vendor tent at the powwow. “You can feel the pride within the whole event, everyone from the volunteers to the dancers, because it exemplifies the meaning of our heritage and how we all come together to celebrate,” Sanchez said. Rodriguez said that she is glad there is a powwow held in San Marcos because students have the chance to learn more about Native American culture and history. “Having a powwow in San Marcos, something that is such a big part of my identity, makes attending Texas State feel more like home,” Rodriguez said. “It makes me very happy because everyone is here together and having a good time.” This was the first time Rodriguez participated in the Sacred Springs Powwow. She said that she was competing for her father who was unable to attend the event. Rodriguez placed second in the fancy shawl dance on Oct. 15.

Daniella Rodriguez, antropology sophomore (left), participates in an inter-tribal dance. PHOTO BY LEEANN CARDWELL

Daniella Rodriguez, antropology sophomore, is seen October 15, dancing in the fancy shawl competition in the same category she's been competing in for years now. PHOTO BY LEXI ALTSHUL | ENGAGEMENT EDITOR

The University Star


Tuesday, October 17 , 2017 | 7 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill @universitystar


Oppressed communities deserve the right to armed self-defense ILLUSTRATION BY KENNEDY SWIFT

Please, let Tillerson negotiate By Benjamin Salinas Opinions Columnist Over the past few weeks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been attempting to negotiate with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Since a ceasefire was signed between North and South Korea, the United States has never openly negotiated with the rogue nation. Only recently has our state department opened up a direct line of communication with North Korea. Tillerson has been actively communicating with North Korea to deescalate tensions and try to prevent a nuclear war. In response to the news that Tillerson was directly communicating with North Korea, President Donald Trump tweeted his disagreement with the diplomatic actions. While our secretary of state is trying to prevent nuclear war, the child sitting in the oval office types up tweets that escalate the situation. It is time to put serious people in office, because Trump may not understand how dangerous it is to casually and recklessly challenge the supreme leader of North Korea. Time and time again, Trump has proven he has little understanding of a wide range of important issues. It is possible Trump does not fully grasp the severity of this situation, or maybe he just does not care. After all, Republicans have rarely been opposed to war. However, it is especially reckless when North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of striking Japan, South Korea and several U.S. territories in the region. American lives and the lives of our closest allies are at stake. We should encourage the secretary of state to keep negotiating to find a solution to the North Korea crisis. Meanwhile, our president should, at the very least, begin acting maturely, suppressing knee-jerk reactions. There are too many lives at stake to pretend like the North Korean threat is not serious. Republicans in the House and Senate should apply pressure to the White House. While they have voiced their disappointment with the administration, it is officially time to oppose this White House’s foreign policy agenda. If congressional Republicans cannot move Trump to be rational, then maybe his base can. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about the North Korean situation should voice their support for the appointed representative, Tillerson. Trump could learn from the previous Secretary of State John Kerry, who successfully negotiated a deal which prevented Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Amazing things can be accomplished if we come together as a nation to defend democracy and diplomacy around the world. Although it was not popular to negotiate during the Cold War, presidents ranging from John F. Kennedy to George Bush Sr. put politics aside to successfully negotiate and prevent a nuclear war. Diplomacy works. Trump, for the love of God, let Tillerson negotiate.


By Brad Waldraff Opinions Columnist In Brad Anderson’s "The Machinist", the insomnia-ridden protagonist experiences a series of increasingly violent paranoid delusions. At the end of the film, we learn that his pitiable state is the result of a crime he himself had committed a year before. He attempts to repress his guilt by externalizing it, subconsciously projecting it onto hallucinations, which in turn, come to haunt him until he must face himself in horrible lucidity. One wonders when liberals will finally have such an epiphany. As another mass shooting fades from the public conscious, it is perhaps tempting to accept calls for stricter gun control as actual responses to gun violence. The mainstream political discourse can somehow say everything without saying anything, giving us little choice. In truth, gun regulation in a white supremacist, patriarchal, police state such as our own is nothing more than a cynical bait-and-switch; a meaningless gesture toward vulnerable communities that obscures the structural origins of mass shootings as well as the other, more or less subtle, forms of violence that these communities must face every day. The great political scholar and activist Angela Davis once remarked in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that she is in favor of “removing guns not only from citizens but also from the police.” Here, I am with her wholeheartedly, with the small

and perhaps unnecessary addition that I would see guns stripped from the imperialist military as well. That said, we should not kid ourselves as to what this would require. When heavily armed and armored police forces are being employed against largely unarmed civilians in the streets, it is obvious whose guns we should take away first. In truth, without a profound structural upheaval, all gun control will accomplish is to render oppressed classes more vulnerable to the oppressor. One merely has to look at the shape of most gun control discourse for this to become clear. For example, while the specter of “mental illness” always takes center stage after mass shootings, few in the mainstream stop to consider how horrifically ableist and factually empty such rhetoric is. As many as one in five Americans are diagnosably mentally ill, while as little as one in twenty gun crimes are committed by this same population. Liberal gun control discourse, which consistently throws the neurodivergent under the bus, is thus as false as it is disgusting. There is also, unsurprisingly, a classist element to such discourse. Gun regulations set in place by Obama prohibit gun sales not, as one may assume, to those who are labeled mentally ill, but to those that the Social Security Administration determine to be “financially unstable.” Given that the Obama administration’s aggressive neoliberal policy significantly furthered financial instability in the first

place, such irony might be comical if it wasn’t so violently tragic. Finally, gun control in America is heavily tainted with racism in both the past and the present. The National Rifle Association, which today is largely synonymous with the rabid right-wing's stance on unmitigated gun access for the privileged. This stance played a significant role in restricting this same access to black communities in the '60s. Today, one only has to look at the drastically different response by police toward armed communities of color as opposed to armed whites to realize that this racist history is alive and well. Fortunately, despite Democrats’ incessant attempts to convince us otherwise, oppressed communities are far too intelligent to be taken in by the liberal gun control farce. Organizations such as the John Brown Gun Club and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club are keeping the tradition of armed community defense alive and well, and deserve the support of any who purport themselves to be on the side of the people against state oppression. White supremacist, patriarchal violence will not end until the white supremacist, patriarchal state does. Until that day, leftists everywhere should see through the impotent gun control rhetoric of the liberal establishment. Supporting the empowerment of the oppressed is meaningless without supporting their right to defend themselves. –Brad Waldraff is a philosophy senior


Solange pushes the limits of black artistry in Marfa By Tafari Robertson Opinions Columnist As people flocked to Austin for the annual Austin City Limits music festival, Solange departed to Marfa, Texas to perform "Scales" amongst the Donald Judd site-specific art installation, 15 untitled works. While "Scales" includes songs from her latest album, "A Seat at the Table," it offers a more intimate look into Solange’s relationship to art than a standard concert performance generally allows.



8 | Tuesday, October 17, 2017


The University Star May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill @universitystar

FROM PAGE 7 MUSIC She explains via Instagram, “(Donald) Judd’s philosophy that the art takes on the space it exists in, has resonated with me to the core, and his radical practices of building your own institution is what has pulled me back to make the pilgrimage to Marfa for 7 years.” A pilgrimage is exactly what it was. Upon arriving in Marfa, donning my most stylish full black outfit, we received the memo that all-white attire was required to attend the free show. However, no sense of exclusivity or diva-esque control ever occurred to me, it was as if we were a part of her art direction. We happily obliged and scrambled for new clothes to gain access to a once-in-a-lifetime event. This was only one of a few specific instructions shared with attendees. Solange’s presence extended to the whole weekend, though she was only performing

on Sunday evening. The day of the show we woke up early to watch the sunrise at the Chinati Foundation, an old military base turned art museum in 1979. Judd’s large concrete installations captured the incoming light, sharp shadows cutting across the square façades as we walked through the outdoor exhibit. One artist in residence explained to me that the elevation in Marfa, at around 4,600 ft. above sea level, combined with the vast, even terrain allowed for unique natural lighting that attracted so many artists to the foundation over the years. Solange would be performing in the adjacent field that evening. The performance was set to start at 6 p.m. but lines began forming two hours prior. Hundreds of students, art aficionados, families, locals, and donors dressed in all white lined the fence toward the trail we’d be walking down.

“It’s a part of the performance,” a volunteer told us as we waited in suspense. Once allowed in, the all-white processional marched past Judd’s 15 untitled works to a small hill in front of the stage where the performance would take place. At dusk, an electronic siren cued by a drummer and synth player, the only members of the band on stage at this point, signaled to a second group, dressed fully in hot pink, to make their way to the stage and begin the show. At multiples points throughout, Solange, along with the full ensemble accompanying her on stage, burst into soulful fits of movements as if suddenly freed. She screamed into the mic after proclaiming the hook from her song "Mad," “You–ouuuu have the right to be mad.” Perhaps most powerfully, she

traversed the predominantly white, affluent art crowd while performing "F.U.B.U" stopping to sing specifically to black audience members, “All my n*ggas in the whole wide world/ Made this song to make it all y'all's turn/ For us, this sh*t is for us.” With "Scales," Solange challenges notions within all of us that question any limit on Black artistry. She has allowed herself total control of her artistic expression and made her own spaces to showcase it. In a talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, she explained, “there is a tonality in certain spaces and institutions that as a black artist you should just be happy to be here… I’m not interested in that conversation.” Me neither, Solange. - Tafari Robertson is a Public Relations Senior.


The global struggle for democracy By Katelyn Moriarty Opinions Columnist Throughout history, people have taken action into their own hands, waging war against their government and fighting for what they believe is right. This is currently happening in Catalonia, Spain. Catalonia is a small area in the North Eastern part of Spain that has been

People within these countries should continue to revolt against those in power to ensure their future because, for many, it is starting to look darker every day. fighting for its independence since 1714. For this campaign to still be going on is despicable. Each region or state should have the option to secede from whatever nation they belong to, though in this case they are not allowed to, therefore these citizens are having a war waged against them by the government for their independence. The people in Catalonia see themselves as Catalans, not Spaniards. This

People hold the flags of Spain (left) and Catalonia (right) as they celebrate a holiday known as Dia de la Hispanidad. COURTESY OF MANU FERNANDEZ FROM ASSOCIATE PRESS

region is also highly industrialized and makes up about 20 percent of the national economy, but only holds about 16 percent of the population. Therefore, one could see why the Spanish government does not want them to secede, but this should not be the deciding factor. Despite government crackdown, the referendum for independence was set forth for Oct. 1, 2017. Before the referendum had even gone up for a vote, however, citizens were already having to stand their ground against the Spanish government. Thousands of police reinforcements were sent to stop people from voting and were ordered to prevent the use of public buildings, which would keep people from being able to vote. Public response was to camp out at places like schools so when they would arrive for voting, the school would not be closed and they would be able to vote on the referendum. The day of the actual referendum over 840 people needed some sort of medical attention due to the violent

clash between police and the people. The referendum was declared illegal by the Spanish courts and the government of Madrid, promising that no such thing would take place. Before the vote was even put into place, the government already resisted what the people wanted. Instances similar to this have been seen in Turkey when they experienced a failed coup last year in 2016 when groups such as the Turkish Armed Forces felt their government was working with terrorist organizations. 300 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured. Venezuela also comes to mind. To this day, Venezuelans are still fighting for their lives due to food shortages that came about when the government decided they would control the prices of goods to make them more affordable, resulting in corporations withholding their products. The result has been a starving country with months of dreadful rioting against the government. As of June 12, there have been thousands arrested and at least 66

deaths relating to run-ins with the police, not including those of who were killed by thieves and looters. According to a survey done by one of the nation’s top universities, it was found that on average people lost 9 kilograms, or about 20 pounds in weight due to the scarcity of food. Along with that, only 1 out of 10 homes can cover the cost of food to ensure their whole family eats. This is what happens when politicians implement bad policies and the economy backfires. People within these countries should continue to revolt against these countries as to ensure their future because, for many, it is starting to look darker every day. Though the U.N. could step into these types of situations, it seems only more chaos would be created by this intervention. We must find a way to reprimand governments that choose to abuse the power endowed to them by the citizens who put them in power. -Katelyn Moriarty is a political science sophomore

PUBLIC HEARING Public hearing for the campus community to comment on the proposed tuition increase for academic year 2018-2019

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 4:00 PM LBJ Student Center Room 3-15.1 All members of the university community are invited to participate in this discussion with Provost Gene Bourgeois and other members of the President’s Cabinet.

The University Star


Tuesday, October 17 , 2017 | 9 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill @universitystar


US TOO On Oct. 5, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a story in The New York Times that would go on to spark profoundly painful and significant conversations throughout the country. In what is only the latest account of its kind in the entertainment industry, the two journalists revealed multiple accounts of sexual harassment involving powerful film executive, Harvey Weinstein. Although there may be those who are surprised by Hollywood’s apparent sexual violence problem, we are not. As a college newsroom largely dominated by female editors, how could we possibly be surprised? This is not a problem specific to Hollywood. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. The number of college sexual assault victims is likely much higher in actuality; more than 90 percent of sexual assault survivors on college campuses do not report their assault. Sadly, this is not surprising. Our society shames and blames victims, tells men they can’t be raped and glorifies sexually aggressive

behavior. Texas State is certainly not an exception to these statistics or the attitudes that perpetuate them. In fact, it’s not only students who engage in such

men rather than beings with their own agency is telling. Women are expected to be selfless and every action is sometimes seen as a desperate attempt to appeal to others.

Thousands of people have taken to social media to share stories of sexual assault or even just add to the painful conversation with a simple “me too.” rhetoric. There are professors on this campus who find it acceptable to excuse rapists and instead place blame on the victim, citing their choice of clothing as “too provocative” to deserve safety and respect. The mentality that women function only as a source of objectification to

Such appalling attitudes should also be insulting to men in that it paints them as viscously aggressive animals with no self-control or basic understanding of civility. Normalizing violent and repulsive behaviors as fundamental to what it means to be a man is inherently wrong. Men are, in

fact, capable of controlling themselves. Rapists choose not to. The conversations that have emerged from this horrific scandal are tragic in every imaginable way, but even more so when it becomes so blatantly apparent that this kind of abuse is a foundational characteristic of America. Thousands of people have taken to social media to share stories of sexual assault or even just add to the painful conversation with a simple “me too.” Despite feeling like the entire world is speaking up, the number of survivors is still higher than that. After all, it’s not easy to publicly re-visit your abuse and that’s not something that can be asked of anyone. We can, however, demand better. We can be better. This kind of change begins with individual growth. We call on every student and professor to look within themselves and think of the destructive attitudes they personally perpetuate or excuse. Although it won’t be easy, if we can spare future generations from tragedy, shouldn’t we?


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.



10 | Tuesday, October 17, 2017


The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Transfer student making an impact on the team By Brooke Phillips Assistant Sports Editor Transferring schools is never easy, especially for college athletes, which to them means having to continue studies while adjusting to a new court or field. Deris Duncan, senior guard, is an Indiana native who has played basketball since the age of 9. Although he has played basketball ever since he stepped onto a court, he was more serious about football for most of his high school career. However, an injury to his ankle during his junior year of high school left him realizing that basketball was truly the sport he was meant to play. While Duncan had been heavily recruited for football right out of high school, he decided to attend Weatherford College-a junior college. After his two years at Weatherford, Duncan knew he wanted to continue to grow in basketball and play at a higher level. “I came on my visit and really enjoyed it,” Duncan said. “I liked the campus and the area. I had some Division II schools interested, but Texas State was my only Division I offer at the time.” Although Duncan always knew he wanted to play basketball at the Division I level some day, the transition from a junior college was not as easy as he hoped for. “Weatherford was more condensed and everybody knew each other,” Duncan said. “Here at Texas State, you’re kind of on your own. The transition was tough. There was a lot more free time at Weatherford than here. You really have to stay focused.” Staying focused is exactly what Duncan did as he started acclimating toward the basketball program at Texas State. His first season as a Bobcat proved that his dedication to growing as a player was worth it while he played in 21 games in the 2016-17 season. “It was surreal,” Duncan said. “Growing up the dream is to play Division I, and it was just different. I really had to adjust and it took me a while, to be

Deris Duncan, senior guard, drives for a lay up. STAR FILE PHOTO

honest.” Adjusting to the college level was something Duncan did not accomplish all on his own. His coaches and teammates were there with him every step of the way going through repetitions with him. “Now this year I’m a lot more confident with what the coach wants and what the team expectations are,” Duncan said. “The experience going through it made me more confident. Going through dozens and dozens of practices and being corrected by coaches and being out there on the floor learning as you go.” Duncan’s confidence not only made him better as a player, but it also helped him earn the honor of being named into the 2016-17 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court. The NABC recognized student-athletes who excel in their academic studies. “That meant a lot,” Duncan said.

“Growing up, my mom was always on me about grades and it meant a lot that I could make them proud and take advantage of the scholarship that I received and make use of it.” As a psychology major, doing well in school was never an option for Duncan, but a necessity. Striving in the classroom and on the court at the same time allowed Duncan to finish the 2016-17 school year with a cumulative 3.92 GPA. His high GPA earned him another honor, The Oak Farms Dairy “Cream of the Crop” recipient. “When it’s time for basketball, I put it all in basketball,” Duncan said. “When it’s time for school work, I make sure I do my best in that area.” Along with a couple of collegiate athletic honors on his resume, his time at Texas State has been irreplaceable. “My favorite part about playing basketball at Texas State is just being able to learn more about the game and building

relationships with the players and the coaches and reaching a common goal with them,” Duncan said. “You kind of become family. At first, I had to learn, but I got used to it with time and grew really close with them.” The 2017-18 season is quickly approaching, and Duncan has big plans for making this season his best one yet. “I’m looking forward most to topping what we did last year,” Duncan said. “I think last year was a great milestone for the program, and I want to do the same and more with this group of guys.” Duncan is a senior so the upcoming season will be his last, he wants to end his college basketball career being a role model for those to come. “I want to say I gave my best, I learned my best and I was able to be the best teammate that I can be,” Duncan said. “Leading by example and helping the younger guys coming up with problems that I might have faced last year.”

The University Star


Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | 11 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar


Runner finishing out the season on top By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter

Underestimated due to his smaller size, Joseph Meade, redshirt junior for the cross country team, is the embodiment of the underdog story. “I love comeback stories and underdog stories,” Meade said. “Because I feel like I was the underdog at one point in that everybody was always like 'Hey, he’s a small guy. He’s not gonna do anything.' And now I’m at a DI school, competing.” Raised in a non-athletic household, Meade stood out as the sole athlete of the family. However, Meade’s parents fully support him. “They definitely support me,” Meade said. “They don’t understand it as much because they’re not very big sports people, but I try to explain it to them as best I can. But they’re there for me. They do what they have to do to get me to the next level.” Running didn’t become a part of Meade’s life until his junior year of high school. It was a difficult and required adjustment, but Meade eventually settled in. “I started a little late actually, started my junior year,” Meade said. “I ended up falling in love with it. It took me a while to get used to it. It’s a crazy different sport.” Meade’s interest in sports stretches beyond cross country. In his younger

Joseph Meade edges past the other runners during a cross country meet. PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIE JANER

years he even played football, but, at the end of the day, running was the athlete's passion. “I started in football because everyone in Texas has to play football when they’re younger,” Meade said. “I keep up with other sports. I watch a lot of football and things like that, but running is definitely my main passion.” Meade’s passion for running has brought him success, which is still hard for the Bobcat to wrap his head around. “Honestly, it’s crazy. I came in, and I didn’t know that running was going to blow up this big,” Meade said. “Finishing in the top 10, I mean it’s very unreal


and I’m blessed to say I’ve come this far.” Admittedly, Texas State was not the runner’s first choice for school. However, after realizing he didn't fit into the environment of his previous school, he visited San Marcos and Meade was made a Bobcat for life. “It wasn’t my first choice, I had actually signed to another school,” Meade said. “The area just wasn’t for me and I came here and it felt a lot like home.” Beyond the environment, Meade’s almost immediate connection with the team played another large factor in his decision to attend Texas State.

“Once me and the team kind of bonded, we meshed instantly,” Meade said. “These are my brothers, and they definitely helped.” Cross country is a mix of both a team and individual sport. While part of a team, each individual runner still looks out for themselves. Meade fully understands this and chooses to motivate his fellow teammates to give their all while also forcing the best from himself. “I don’t really look at it from an individual perspective," Meade said. "I do the best I can in cross country for the team. I want to win a conference title, and I have to be the best.” Meade is earning his degree in business management, a solid backup plan in his eyes. His number one goal is to take his running to the next level. “My number one goal is to try to go pro. That’s definitely what I want, what I see,” Meade said. Meade credits his confidence and his competitive edge to the experiences he’s had while running cross country. It provides him with a stage to prove his skeptics wrong. “I was always kind of pushed around,” Meade said. “Now I just want to make a name for myself, and every time I race I think of how I used to be versus now. Now I’m someone different. I can stand up for myself and show people what I’ve got. It’s just a fire burning, and it’s been burning since I first started running.”


Senior players look forward to new season By Andrew Zimmel Sports Reporter Last year, the Texas State women's basketball team exceeded expectations, going 16-15 before an upset in the Sun Belt Conference tournament by Louisiana in a game that went down to the wire. Now, the Bobcats look to rebound and continue to improve from last season with many returning players and the addition of some new faces. Coming back, seniors Ericka May and Zandra Emanuel know that the expectations for their team will be high. "I feel like we’re working our hard-

“I feel like we're reaching our expectations and stepping up to the bar and accomplishing a lot." -Zandra Emanuel est that we’ve done in a long time," May said. "I feel like everyone is on the same page and I think everyone has bought in because everyone wants to win." Emanuel agreed with her teammate, saying that they're ready for the season to begin. “I feel like we're reaching our expectations and stepping up to the bar and accomplishing a lot," Emanuel said. "We're all in on one another to get the job done. Whether it’s in practice, the weight room or in the classroom. We're

ready for any challenge that comes our way." May set the bar high for the team as the Bobcats' leading rebounder last season, but Emanuel has her sight set on one goal. "I feel like as a team, what we want to get out of this season is to cut the net down and basically go to the NCAA tournament (after) being the Sun Belt Conference champions," Emanuel said. The women's basketball team also had plenty of close games and real battles both in pre-conference and in Sun Belt Conference play. While winning is fun, that's not the only fun the Bobcats look to have this season. Like many other teams on campus, they have a few hobbies of their own. "Whenever we all hang out, we have fun together," May said. "For fun, I mean we go out together sometimes, play Uno a lot, watch 'Love and Hip Hop,' that’s our show." Emanuel elaborated more on what the team likes to do for fun, like cooking dinners, hanging out and discussing future plans. Altogether, the team is ready to shock everyone this season. “I’m just excited to see the outcomes we get when we see our opponents look on their faces, they're not going to be ready for it," Emanuel said. "When we step on the floor, we're going to shock everyone.” Both May and Emanuel are playing in their last year of eligibility and are looking to leave an impression on the program and the season. However, May is also playing for a different reason. “I want to have fun," May said. "I haven’t had fun in a long time in basketball, so I just want to have fun."

The women's basketball team stands together on the court before a game. STAR FILE PHOTO

Jordan Mittie, sophomore defensive tackle, jumps up to swat the ball. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ | ASSISTANT MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

Defensive tackle steps up this fall season By Melea Polk Sports Reporter A defensive tackle is redefining stereotypes about football players by seeking to take on the world of finance. Jordan Mittie, redshirt sophomore defensive tackle, came to Texas State by way of the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island in 2015. Originally, Mittie made plans to attend the Naval Academy after graduating from Aledo High School, but one shoulder injury changed his course. “That was the school I originally signed with because I was planning on going to the Naval Academy,” Mittie said. “I had shoulder surgery and ended up at the prep school.” While at prep school, Mittie decided that the Navy was not the route he wanted to take. Texas State offered him a position, and Mittie decided to come back home to Texas. “I just decided that I didn’t want to do that for the next 10 years of my life,” Mittie said. "I grew up in Fort Worth and was excited to come home. I thought it was pretty cool to play three hours away from home.” Since high school, he always had an interest in finance. "Since high school, I was always interested in stock markets and investments,” Mittie said. “Finance is all about that, so I like it.” With his interest in finance, Mittie does have his share of stocks. The Aledo, Texas native purchased stocks in a few companies using an app he recently downloaded on his phone and has come to like it. “I have a few stocks right now, but it isn’t much,” Mittie said. “It's fun to keep up with though. I have stocks in Under Armour, Finish Line, Snapchat, Twitter and a few more. It works out really well for me.” Being an athlete with a major that deals with a lot of numbers isn’t always

easy. Mittie is one of the few finance majors on the team. “It's tough,” Mittie said. “I think it's about three or four of us on the team. It's very hard managing both football and our degree, but we are making it.” The teammates stick together through the work load by studying together and receiving advice from one another about classes. “We all get together in groups and just help each other out,” Mittie said. “It makes my schedule a lot easier when I have other people helping me out that are dealing with the same situation.” With Mittie graduating in the upcoming spring semester, he is finishing up all of his upper-level courses to graduate. When you tie that into football, Mittie claims that this is his toughest season yet, but he is handling it quite well. “I graduate in this upcoming spring,” Mittie said. “With that being said, I am taking my upper-level classes this semester. This is one of the toughest schedules I have ever had, but it's all good.” Mittie handles his schedule by executing the art of time management. He learned how to use his time wisely and stay on a schedule when he was taking his lower level courses his first year at Texas State. “One thing you learn while being a student-athlete your first year here is time management,” Mittie said. “After I went through my lower level courses, I got used to being on a schedule. After I'm done with practice, I go to study hall or something like that. I'm used to my everyday schedule at this point.” After graduation in May, Mittie plans to continue his education by pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas State. Mittie will also finish his last two years of eligibility as a Bobcat.

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October 17, 2017  
October 17, 2017