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DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 @universitystar | universitystar.com

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

HEARTBREAK HITS TEXAS

Volume 107, Issue 11

Students homeless due to unfinished apartment complex By Erika Conover Lifestyle Reporter

A small memorial sits just outside the police crime scene tape that surrounds the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. A gunman killed 26 and injured 20 during church services Nov. 5. PHOTO BY BRI WATKINS

Bobcats affected by the Sutherland Springs shooting By May Olvera & Bri Watkins Opinions Editor & Managing Editor The morning of Nov. 5 marked the beginning of a nightmare for the close-knit community of Sutherland Springs. A town that had never sought or received national attention since its founding in 1849 will now be remembered for a tragedy that claimed 4 percent of its population. Sutherland Springs' first landmark was a post office opened in 1851 by the town’s founder, John Sutherland, Jr. Today, the post office sits directly across the street from a small white church on Old Highway 87, separated from the rest of its community by yellow crime scene tape and dozens of law enforcement vehicles. Since 1926, the First Baptist Church has been a focal point of hope and faith for residents. However, on Sunday morning a gunman claimed the lives of 26 within its walls. Today, the sidewalks on both sides of the road that separate the church and the post office look nearly identical: hundreds of journalists, their equipment and vans clutter the street while frustrated neighbors attempt to cope with the reality of

This is someone I’ve hugged and laughed and had memories growing up with. A lot of our old mutual friends are saying the same thing.” –Kelsey Huckaby

Tired of misplacing clothes, eating fast food and feeling like she overstays her welcome, one student decided to terminate her lease with Pointe Apartments. Audrey Watkins, anthropology and marketing sophomore, was supposed to move in on Aug. 15. However, the complex was unable to open because it was still under construction. Watkins looked forward to apartment life after spending a year living in Sayers Hall on campus. She chose Pointe because of its proximity and the promise that the complex would be new and fresh. Now, the complex has failed multiple inspections and cannot allow residents to move in. Pointe Apartments is refusing to pay back her lease money after she chose to terminate. “I could drive by the building and know that (students) weren’t moving in, but the lack of communication was extremely frustrating,” Watkins said. “Had I known they weren’t going to pay it all back and had I known it was going to get to this point, I would have paid to break my lease in July.” According to Watkins, Pointe owes her $6,032.14 for her lease and she has only been paid $400. She is in the process of hiring an attorney to get her money back. “Technically, the way they worded the emails and the paperwork I signed, they do owe me that money because the lease was terminated and they failed to (be ready for the) move-in... date that I signed on,” Watkins said. Watkins budgeted for cooking meals, but was unable to do so because she did not have a place to live. “I’m normally a very good student; I usually have all A's. This semester my test grades (are) a lot lower because I didn’t have somewhere to call home and study,” Watkins said. “I was living in my car.”

SEE POINTE PAGE 4

Law enforcement continues to investigate the scene of the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Nov. 6. Authorities say the gunman fired at least 450 rounds during the attack PHOTO BY BRI WATKINS

masses of strangers invading their property and their lives. The town of Sutherland Springs, where only 650 reside, has awakened to something they thought could only happen in other places. Aimee Gann, studio art senior, was surprised to hear the name of her tiny hometown uttered on national television by the president of the United States. “I was home alone, house-sitting for my parents who were out of town,” Gann said. “My dad messaged me to stay inside, and I didn’t change the TV from CNN all day. I watched the air life helicopter fly over the house, one after another, and heard the sirens blaring down the highway.” For Gann, the situation remained surreal until seeing the crime scene tape attached to a hay bale; then, reality sunk in. As the victims were named, Gann realized she knew some of the people who lost their lives.

Homecoming: a week of traditions By Sabrina Bryant News Reporter

American flags and grazing cattle lined the winding road on the Sunday morning when 26-year-old Devin Kelley made the drive to Sutherland Springs from New Braunfels. As Kelly passed the town’s post office and arrived at the First Baptist Church, he had a plan. At 11:30 a.m. he opened fire on the congregation, killing 26 and injuring more than 20. According to Freeman Martin, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Kelley’s actions were related to a “domestic situation.” “We know he had made threatening texts, and we can’t go into detail (about) that domestic situation,” Martin said. “This was not racially motivated. It wasn’t over religious beliefs.” Kelsey Huckaby, curator for the Gallery of the Common Experience at Texas State, reflected on her childhood spent with Kelley.

During last week's Homecoming celebrations, the Student Association for Campus Activities hosted the Spirit Flag Competition, a coed 4x4 volleyball game, Annual Homecoming Talent Show and the infamous Soap Box Derby. Homecoming week ended after the football game, where this year's king and queen were announced. Through the Gaillardian Award, Texas State recognized 12 finalists out of 150 outstanding and accomplished student candidates each year. Student clubs and organizations nominate their candidates. The 12 Royalty Court Gaillardian winners were Abbie Judd, Amanda Wygal, Annie Bryant, Caroline Zito, Jade Trosclair, Makaela De La Garza, Meaghan Flores, and Melissa Wegrzyn, as well as Kennedy Smith, Cody Huffman, Hugo Garcia, and Jeremiah Crespo.

SEE SHOOTING PAGE 2

SEE WEEK PAGE 2


2 | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The University Star

NEWS

Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

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

FROM FRONT SHOOTING

Editors Editor-in-Chief: Denise Cervantes, stareditor@txstate.edu Managing Editor: Bri Watkins, starmanagagingeditor@txstate.edu News Editor: Shayan Faradineh, starnews@txstate.edu Lifestyle Editor: Katie Burrell, starlifestyle@txstate.edu Opinions Editor: May Olvera, staropinion@txstate.edu Sports Editor: Lisette Lopez, starsports@txstate.edu Copy Desk Chief: Claire Abshier, starcopychief@txstate.edu Design Editor: Vivian Medina, stardesign@txstate.edu Multimedia Editor: Lara Dietrich, starmultimedia@txstate.edu Engagement Editor: John Lee, starsocial@txstate.edu

Advertising Staff Director of Media Sales: Christina Castro, christina.castro@universitystar.com Account Executive: Andrew Stock andrew.stock@universitystar.com Account Executive: Carina Cruz, carina.cruz@universitystar.com Account Executive: Folee Hall folee.hall@universitystar.com Account Executive: Cameron Goodall cameron.goodall@universitystar.com Graphic Designer: Stephanie Cloyd Marketing and PR Manager: Ashley Lujan ashley.lujan@universitystar.com

Full-Time Staff Director: Laura Krantz, Lek46@txstate.edu Media Specialist: Dillan Thomson, djt48@txstate.edu Publications Coordinator: Linda Allen, la06@txstate.edu

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, November 7, 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 universitystar.com

In a town without a single stoplight, the addition of a Dollar General was big news until the actions of a lone gunman brought international attention. PHOTO BY BRI WATKINS

Huckaby began to form her friend group in 7th grade at New Braunfels Middle School. This is the year she met Kelley who was a year older and dating one of her good friends. She admired the affection Kelley and his girlfriend shared with one another. The group began building memories at movie theaters and church youth groups. When Kelley went on to high school, Huckaby would see him in the hallways, but they eventually lost touch. According to the Air Force Times, Kelley joined in 2010. He married Tessa K. Kelley, a woman who lived above Huckaby’s apartment along with her son. “I thought it would be good for her to have someone seemingly solid like that taking care of her and her baby,” Huckaby said. Years later, Huckaby found out that the woman had filed a restraining order against Kelley. Texas officials reported that Kelley was dishonorably discharged after being court-martialed in 2012 for the assaults on his wife and step-child. Huckabee said since then, she had not interacted with Kelley until earlier this year when she was searching for a place

to live. He messaged her privately, offering his trailer as a place where Huckaby and her boyfriend could live. “Knowing some things from his past, it struck me as odd right off the bat. Then he proceded to say if I would give him a hand-job for five minutes twice a week, he’d let me stay there for free ‘if (my boyfriend) was cool with it,” Huckaby said. “I stopped responding, and he went on to say his wife or girlfriend were in an open relationship, and I just blocked him after that and never heard of him again until the shooting.” NBC News interviewed a source who experienced similar sexual harassment from Kelley when she was 13 and he was 18. This past weekend, Huckaby’s boyfriend showed her a picture of the gunman who opened fire on the church, and Huckaby quickly remembered Devin Kelley. “In a strange way, the way things led up through his life, it’s almost not surprising,” Huckaby said. “Simultaneously, this is someone I’ve hugged and laughed and had memories growing up with. A lot of our old mutual friends are saying the same thing.” This year’s Common Experience

theme is justice, which outlines how the court system and criminal justice intertwine. This experience gives her a different understanding of Kelley’s actions as part of a bigger picture. “I’m beyond angry he did this, but it also seems like there (are) some missing pieces that caused him to break somewhere down the line,” Huckaby said. “Maybe if his behavior was better punished or resolved in the past, this wouldn’t have happened… Or maybe it would have just built the fire, who knows.” Back in Sutherland Springs, a makeshift memorial with flowers and a teddy bear sits just outside the crime scene tape that surrounds the First Baptist Church. "There are quite a few fundraisers set up on GoFundMe and within the community. I encourage anyone who can help to please donate for funeral and medical expenses," Grann said. "Please keep this little town in your thoughts while we recover from this tragedy." Flags across the state have been lowered to half-staff. Seven miles away, in La Vernia, the Immanuel Lutheran Church displays a sign that says, "Our prayers are with Sutherland Springs."

FROM FRONT WEEK The Talent Show took place Nov. 1 in Evans Auditorium where it hosted acts performed by the student body. The Best Overall and People's Choice winner was the Kidz Nxt Door Dance Crew. Also announced at the Talent Show were the top four candidates for Homecoming King and Queen. King finalists were Andrew Kennedy, David Hickland, Lalo Escovar Jr. and Russell Boyd II. Queen finalists were Tasia Irvin, Kali Jones, Mar Copeland, and Leanna Mouton. The 50th annual Soap Box Derby took place Nov. 3 near the Recreation Center. There were multiple winners in distinct categories of the race, but the Best Overall and Best Amongst Registered Organizations winner was CFFA (Collegiate Future Farmers of America). Best Amongst Greek winner was the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and the Best Amongst Residence Hall winner was awarded to Jackson Hall. The Homecoming football game was Nov. 4 and the Bobcats fought hard against New Mexico State's Aggies. Throughout the game, the two teams were neck and neck with each other, both scoring touchdowns in every quarter. However, while the Bobcats went in with the determination of winning the Homecoming game, they ended up drawing the short straw with an end score of 45-35. As the Homecoming football game made its way into half-time, Andrew Kennedy, communication studies junior, won the title of 2017's Homecoming King and Tasia Irvin, health and fitness management senior, became the Homecoming Queen. Kennedy is the current Chaplain of Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity and organizes the bi-weekly Greek Bible Study. Irvin is a University Ambassador, as well as a Bobcat Belle. She said she was very honored and emotional to have won the title of Homecoming Queen, making a dream come true for her. "My favorite thing about Texas State is, and has always been, our diversity. I've always felt right at home on this campus," Irvin said. Besides Homecoming traditions, SACA puts on other campus activities during the school year. For more activities hosted by the SACA organization, visit the website.

The newly crowned Homecoming King and Queen, Andrew Kennedy (Left) and Tasia Irvin (Middle) with President Denise Trauth (Right) pose for photos Nov. 4 during this year's Homecoming game. PHOTO BY JOSH MENDS

Local band Scissor Kick closes the show in style Nov. 1 during the Homecoming Talent Show. PHOTO BY JOSH MENDS

The drivers from Jackson and Tower Halls are neck and neck as they begin the race Nov. 3 during the Homecoming Soap Box Derby. PHOTO BY TYLER JACKSON


The University Star

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 3

NEWS

Shayan Faradineh News Editor @shayanfaradineh

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

CITY

Mayor Thomaides reflects on first year By Sandra Sadek News Reporter Mayor John Thomaides was voted into office a year ago. With one year left, Thomaides looks back on the first half of his term while setting the city up for success. The first task Thomaides was entrusted with was finding a replacement for the position of city manager, one of the most important jobs in the council. The nationwide search lasted eight months. The newly employed manager was Bert Lumbreras, a Texas State alumnus who interned with the City Council while attending school. Second on the agenda was the establishment of a budget, a lengthy process done each March. In the last five years, San Marcos has been chosen three times as the fastest-growing city in the country. The fiscal budget operates from September through October. "This year, we had a flat budget, which was difficult since we are a growing city. But after hard discussion, we were able to balance the budget and set ourselves up for an easier year. I am very proud of that," Thomaides said. The local development of the community was attended to with a new master plan for housing, as the current one was behind by many years. Thomaides was also able to pass a new bond, some-

"There were many workshops as well as mayors from big and small cities. It was wonderful and I learned a lot. It was very interesting," Thomaides said. For the remainder of his time in office, economic development will be a primary focus. Amazon and Best Buy Internet System have already set up offices and a call center in San Marcos, bringing in hundreds of jobs. Urban Mining, a recycling firm, is expected to come to town in 2018 and bring more opportunities for the people of San Marcos. "(It's) an interesting, rare recycling firm that is relocating to San Marcos from Austin. Currently, 97 percent of the company's work is done in China and now, 3 percent will take place right here (in San Marcos)," Thomaides said. As Thomaides enters his last year in office, he is most thankful for all of the experience and service he had already earned prior to this job, which comfortMayor, John Thomaides, speaks during a mayoral debate before his election. ed him as he approached the daunting Thomaides is now halfway thorugh his term. STAR FILE PHOTO task of being entrusted with the entire city. Despite the challenges that he and the council might have faced, every mothing that has not been done since 2005, Thomaides said. focused on public safety. The proposiThomaides also attended several con- ment was enjoyable and unforgettable. "I would run again for office," Thomtion received 78 percent approval. ferences in the last year such as the U.S. aides said. "This is the highest honor I "The bond will allow for the expan- Conference of Mayors and an intercity sion of the fire station, the police sta- conference in Colorado with the Austin have ever had in my life. I know I am tion and the library. The police station City Commerce Chamber, both from not perfect, but I am still learning and I will also receive renovations, which which he was able to bring back several take this job very seriously." hasn't been done since the 1990s," innovative projects for the city.

UNIVERSITY

University faces state budget cuts By Alyssa Newsom News Reporter The budget for the state of Texas received a large cut in the 85th legislative session. This budget cut has affected several universities across the state, including Texas State. “Our total appropriation from the State of Texas that we can spend for the ongoing operations of the university was cut by about $4.4 million over the biennium,” said President Denise Trauth. The formal announcement about the new budget came out to staff across campus during the summer. With the reduction in the amount of money coming into higher education and a deficit in this year’s enrollment, Texas State had to compensate for this lack of income. The university virtually took the whole budget cut out of the merit poolbringing it from three percent to one. The merit pool is a group of staff and faculty among all of the departments that are chosen to receive raises. Along with a smaller pool of people, the cuts have also imposed a smaller sum of money being allotted to this group. Typically these merit raises will go into effect at the beginning of the school year

but now those raises will go into effect in February 2018. Joan Heath, associate vice president and university librarian, has seen the effect of the budget cuts. “It’s a disappointment... for staff but I think people recognize what the university is having to cope with,” Heath said. The Texas School of Safety Center received the greatest blow with a 33 percent budget cut. Some employees of the center had to be fired in order to maintain budgetary quota. With the merit pool becoming impacted by these cuts, students will not be affected. However, enrollment has been low recently which is why the university is receiving less spending. Alexander White, head of Faculty Senate and associate professor in the mathematics department, noticed that this drop in enrollment is impacting just as much as the state legislator cuts. “The enrollment outlook for next year is going to be a little bit complicated,” White said. “The number of students that could transfer from a community college to Texas State is shrinking.” White noted that though the university has found extreme success in graduating many students, the class size of seniors is not increasing.

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Students walk to and from class Nov. 3 near the UAC arch. Texas State is one of the several universities affected by the budget cut. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ

The next budget will begin next spring. Enrollment is expected to be flat for the upcoming year, although a bud-

get is built before official enrollment is proclaimed on Sept. 1.


4 | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The University Star

LIFESTYLE

Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

FROM FRONT POINTE Watkins called Pointe in late September to ask for her move-in date. Watkins said she was told the apartment would be receiving furniture by the following week and that things were going smoothly. Almost a month later, residents received an email stating that furniture had only been approved for one floor. “My first impression with apartments has not been very positive,” Watkins said. “The manager had lied to me and was rude.” Watkins is looking to rent a house with a landlord instead of renting with apartment companies. Davis Range, finance freshman,also signed with Pointe and said he is tired of not knowing when he will move in. “(The company) obviously knew we weren’t moving in Aug.15, and I wish they would’ve told us,” Range said. Pointe has residents temporarily staying in hotels and accommodated them with a shuttle service from the hotels to the university. However, it is unreliable and does not have a set schedule according to Trenton Baker, marketing junior. Baker said he was looking forward to being able to walk home each day from campus and get homework done right away. “Now, I get out of class and have to wait around to see if I can even get a ride from the shuttle,” Baker said. “Most of the time I just hang out with friends and don’t get my work done because I don’t want to wait on the shuttle for a couple of hours.” Pointe residents must pay out of pocket for laundry while staying in a

Students are displaced or living in hotels waiting for the completion of the Pointe apartment complex. The original move-in date was scheduled for Aug 15. PHOTO BY LEXI ALTSCHUL

hotel and depending on where they are staying, the price can range from $3 to $4 a load according to Baker. Student attorneys will look over lease contracts for free and Watkins said she

highly recommends it. Baker said if a complex is not built, students should not sign a lease. “It’s one of those things that you just have to stay optimistic about or it’s go-

ing to mess with you,” Baker said. “It’s already messing with your social life and grades, don’t let it mess with your emotional life too.”

QUOTE

HUMANS OF SAN MARCOS "I moved to San Marcos in August of 2015. I'm kind of new to the area. My dad has always lived in Texas though. I've always lived with my mom in Wichita (Kansas). The best thing that's happened to me since moving here has been the personal growth that I've made. I think 99 percent of the time, I'm a very happy-golucky person. I think when you're around that kind of energy it's hard not to pick up on that and not be happy as well. I think I bring happiness and I'm just someone you can go to and know I'm going to be there for you. It's so cliche, but you don't know what people are going through, so I think you should be open and nice to everyone you come across regardless of what they believe in."

-NAJAI HILL

Najal Hill discusses movie line-ups for the night at The Spot between running food. PHOTO BY ASHLEY BROWN


The University Star

LIFESTYLE

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 5 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

VETERAN

Alumnus' war experience fosters fiction novel By Diana Furman Lifestyle Reporter Texas State alumnus Brandon Caro found himself inspired to join the Navy, later to use his experiences to make a living in novel writing. Caro graduated from Texas State in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in English before enlisting in the Navy to become a combat medic. Caro has published a fiction novel about themes of war based on his experiences and visited campus on Oct. 25 to share his story.

“Someone described my work as ‘dirt under the fingernails.’ It’s pretty unglamorous and it’s an indictment of leadership and their decisions to go to war and their narratives and the people who fight those wars.” -Brandon Caro Caro's experiences, however, began before he enlisted or went to college. Caro was 19 when he felt his life truly changed. This moment was on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Caro said he woke up at his friend’s house thinking another world war had begun. His friend told him to watch the tele-

vision and they saw the World Trade Center collapse on the news. Caro and his friend both had fathers who worked in the Twin Towers for Cantor Fitzgerald, the company that suffered the largest number of casualties during 9/11. Caro’s father had not worked that morning, but his friend's dad did. “It absolutely destroyed my friend,” Caro said. “And having that kind of front-seat view to that personal side of tragedy changed my life in a huge way.” Caro said this tragedy cost him his innocence and changed the way he views war and life. As a direct result, Caro enlisted in the Navy, serving for five years. In 2007, he was deployed to Afghanistan for one year as a combat medic. It was his time at war that drove him to write and share his beliefs. “I had really good material and subject matter. I’d seen things that people just wouldn’t believe,” Caro said. “I realized I could write things that people would be interested in reading.” His novel, "Old Silk Road," is a fictional account of his experiences at war. The story centers around a combat medic who is deeply addicted to the morphine he must administer to severely-injured patients. The central theme of the novel is the ambiguity of truth. Caro said the idea is there is no way of knowing what goes on in the minds of those who wield power and control narratives. Caro said the government is shrouded in secrecy and it is almost impossible for the general public to know the whole truth about what goes on behind closed doors. “Someone described my work as ‘dirt under the fingernails,’” Caro said. “It’s pretty unglamorous and it’s an indictment of leadership and their decisions to go to war and their narratives and the people who fight those wars.”

RANCH

The Freeman Center gives students hands-on learning with farm animals By Ashley Brown Lifestyle Reporter The Freeman Center is a vast, grassy ranch located in San Marcos providing students the ability to experience visual, hands-on learning while still attaining class credit. Freeman Ranch originated in 1941 when the Freeman brothers bought a portion of the land it encompasses today. In 1981, Harry Freeman gave over 3,000 acres of land as a trust to Texas State which became the official manager of the land in 1985 when Harry Freeman died. Joe Freeman's part of the ranch is managed by Frost National Bank, according to the Freeman Center website. The Freeman brothers were passionate about the education of children and helping others. Now their legacy lives on as Texas State students use the facilities for farming, ranching, game management, educational, and experimental purposes. Th ranch has a classroom building with rooms dedicated to students and their experiences. The typical class that use the space are the agricultural, biology, forensic anthropology and geography departments, as well as the Air Force ROTC and the Army ROTC. Students studying at the ranch study the wildlife and its habitats. Many

courses use the ranch to identify different types of animals. Christopher Thomas, the facilities manager, said Texas State is one of the only universities that has this kind of resource so close to campus. "Something that we offer here is the hands-on experience. A lot of other schools don't have this type of resource 15 miles away from campus. If they do have this resource, it's typically a couple hours away." Thomas said. The ranch provides an area for conducting research, but during hunting season, there are specific hours for when hunters can be on the property and when researchers can be on the property. Ivan Castro-Arellano, assistant professor of biology at Texas State, said in some classes that visit the ranch, students get split up into groups, gather data and update reports. "Since this is for a class, each professor has their own permit to go on (the property)," Castro-Arellano said. "(The students) just trap (the animal) and see what it is and release them. We don't kill anything." In some cases, there are graduate students who work closely with professors for research. There is much still unknown about wildlife that the student researchers of Texas State strive to figure out. The Freeman Center is located at 2101 Freeman Ranch Road.

Cows at the Freeman Center come out for lunch Nov. 2. Various organizations use the Freeman Center to practice hands-on skills. PHOTO BY ASHLEY BROWN

Brandon Caro, Texas State alumnus, poses for a photo. Caro is the author of the novel "Old Silk Road." COURTESY PHOTO OF BOYAN PENKOV

Laura Alaniz, English senior, said she has read Caro’s work and was impressed by his blend of personal experiences with fictional circumstances. “A good writer is the sum of your experiences, and he’s definitely a good example of that,” Alaniz said. Caro’s other work includes short stories featured in The New York Times, The Daily Beast and White Hot Magazine. He has contributed to the anthology "A Road Ahead, a collection of 24 veterans' stories. Caro also co-wrote the book "Enemies Foreign and Domestic:

A SEAL's Story". The book illustrates the experiences of Carl Higbie, a member of the Navy Seal team who was falsely accused of prisoner abuse after capturing the Butcher of Fallujah. Caro said he owes much of his success in writing and in life to the professors who guided his writing journey. “Brandon Caro is an excellent example of a Texas State English (alumni using his) degree to achieve great success in publishing,” Allan Chavkin, English professor, said.


6 | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

LIFESTYLE

The University Star Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

WURSTFEST

A tradition for all found at

WURSTFEST Wurstfest was created in 1961 by Ed Grist, New Braunfels meat inspector at the time, in order to honor sausage. The annual festival is still thriving, 57 years later. PHOTO BY KIRBY CRUMPLER

By Leeann Cardwell Lifestyle Reporter From bratwurst and schnitzel to bread pudding and lebkuchen, there is plenty of German fare to go around and surely a pitcher of hoppy amber beer waiting to be found at this year's annual Wurstfest. The 10-day salute to sausage has finally arrived as Wurstfest celebrates its 50th year at Landa Park in New Braunfels. The annual festival is Nov. 3-12. The Bavarian bash has become a tradition for many Central Texas families. Kim Widtfeldt attended the festival with her husband, daughter, son-inlaw and grandson. All were dressed from head-to-toe in matching blue and white lederhosen and dirndls as they celebrated their fifth year participating in the festivities. “We come (to) the opening day every year,” Widtfeldt said. “Plus it is al-

ways around our anniversary, so this is how we celebrate.” Wurstfest offers families a taste of German cuisine and beer while they enjoy face painting and shopping through different art installations and German stores. Two Texas State alumnae, Lois Spomer and Macy Bucek, attended Wurstfest for the seventh year together. The friends first attended the festival while they were students at Texas State and are continuing the tradition now that they live in New Braunfels. “It’s the best time of the year,” Bucek said. “Every year we try to come every single day of the whole festival.” Wurstfest fashion is about as abundant as the taps of beer, making it a beloved tradition of frequent attendees. Spomer and Bucek were not the only partygoers dressed in dirndls, hair braided into pigtails and ears of corn painted on their cheeks. “I don’t dress up for Halloween, but

I dress up for Wurstfest,” Spomer said. One Wurstfest attendee, Andy Burge, wore lederhosen like many others, but his pristinely twisted mustache and moving, stuffed chicken, Brunhilda, are what caught the attention of many passersby. Burge said he developed an appreciation for German culture after living in Germany for over five years while serving in the military. Burge, known to visiting children as Mr. Whiskers, first attended the bash in 1970 and acquired Brunhilda a few years later. She has accompanied him to the festival ever since, bringing wonder and laughs to her onlookers. “The people are my favorite thing about the festival,” Burge said. “They are fun to watch because everyone is having such a good time.” Spinning carnival rides mesmerize the strong-stomached while other attendees sing and dance to the performances of German bands, orchestras and yodelers. Elderly couples can be

found attempting the polka or waltz as others join conga lines or clap to the beat of the music. Wurstfest is situated on the banks of the Comal River in New Braunfels, creating an enchanting atmosphere for people to take a break from the music and dancing. Guests can be found dangling their feet over the edge of the river or laying on the hillside stargazing. Jenny Hall and her date sat near the river exchanging laughs as they shared a sausage on a stick and a turkey leg. They had driven down to Wurstfest from Austin for a fun and unique night out. “I have always wanted to go to Oktoberfest in Germany and I think Wurstfest is the closest way to experience that,” Hall said. Celebrating the rich roots of German culture in New Braunfels through craft beer, food and live music is a beloved tradition for all.

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The University Star

OPINIONS

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 7 May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING

Elected officials can stop this, our words can't. Sen. John Cornyn: 202 - 224 - 2934 Sen. Ted Cruz: 202 - 224 - 5922

TECHNOLOGY

Automation systems and the dangers they bring By Katelyn Moriarty Opinions Columnist The technological innovations and advancements of the future are regarded with both excitement and fear. Artificial intelligence and automation in both personal and professional life is a large source of anxiety for people. Billionaires and inventors have continued to speak out against the advancement of this field. Automation is already costing people their jobs, and there should be laws and provisions that prohibit machines from replacing people in our economy. Intellectual figures such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have warned the public about the possibilities of losing control of AI and the dangers it could bring to light. According to Apple Co-founder, Steve Wozniak, "if we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they'll think faster than us and they'll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently." Though it may seem as if Wozniak is trying to instill fear in people, there is something to be said when many other scientists and people are saying the same thing. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., suggests once humans are less suitable for work compared to robots, a basic income will be required for each household to sustain itself, arguably creating a stagnant economy and declining initiative. Forcing unemployment or early retirement on people such as factory workers puts a great burden on the economy. Though paying for automated systems may be cheaper overall for businesses, the unemployed worker reaps the cost of this transformation. Unfortunately,

ILLUSTRATION BY HALEY PRIETO

the damage of AI doesn't just stop at factory workers. At-home caregivers for the sick and elderly are also being replaced by smaller robots that are able to update and send the patients health information to the doctor. Because robots are replacing humans, it devalues the cost of human labor, actively hurting our country's economy. Overall, the government will have an extremely hard time keeping up with the

acceleration of technology and should do its best to draw a line in the sand and take measures against the advancement of these machines in the workplace. While some jobs will be created from technological advances, some will also be lost. Though it may increase productivity, it will displace many workers. As of now, there is not much policy within the United States addressing AI within the workforce, mostly due to the fact

people are widely unsure of its overall effect. Our government should be proactive in the spread of AI and create policies that prohibit the use of robots in jobs where so many people are employed or human interaction is crucial, otherwise our economy will eventually fail. - Katelyn Moriarty is a political science sophomore

SOCIETY

Political Correctness: where is the line drawn? By Kaiti Evans Opinions Columnist Lately, it appears that a person cannot say or do anything without being seen as politically incorrect, and it is a ridiculous notion. I do believe there are certain instances where political correctness is needed, but the majority of the time it has become overkill. Political correctness, according to Google dictionary, is "the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." When I think about political correctness I am immediately drawn to thinking about racial slurs, which are absolutely unacceptable. Political correctness is, in fact, necessary and useful in those circumstances. On the other hand, telling mothers

they cannot dress up their daughters as Moana, a Polynesian Disney princess, if they do not look like her while also telling them not to let their daughters look like Elsa because she exemplifies white supremacy is outrageous. While people attempt to paint everything as having to do with race, it does not have to be that way. At some point, we have to draw the line between calling random things racist or not politically correct and actually targeting the actions that are detrimental to people and ideas in our society. If we want a better community, we do not need to censor each other, but rather figure out where each of us needs further education and understanding. By understanding each other's cultures, things that are actually politically incorrect can be identified and changed. However, claiming racism in places where it does not exist, like in a Moana costume, does not do anyone justice. ILLUSTRATION BY CHANCE BROWN


8 | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

OPINIONS

The University Star May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

DEATH PENALTY

Let's kill the death penalty By Michael Clarke Opinions Columnist Given the fact that since 1973 nearly 156 innocent individuals have been exonerated from death row, how can we, in blind faith, have certainty that every individual sentenced to death was guilty? The history of wrongful death row convictions exposes the reality of the American criminal justice system as one with systemic racial discrimination and bias that has permeated throughout the system from its very inception to present day. This is most notably on display in cases of overzealous white prosecutors trying to bolster their chances for reelection by using whatever means necessary to get a death penalty conviction of a person of color, regardless of the legal, ethical or constitutional implications. If the values and principles this nation was founded on are to mean something beyond just scribblings on parchment, we cannot allow the death penalty for any such case going forward. Additionally, although certain heinous acts, such as crimes against children or terrorism may appeal to our emotional sense to use the death penalty, given the impossibility of the uniform application of the death penalty free of unconscious biases and human error, we cannot allow it to persist. In the 2014 case of Glossip v. Gross, the Supreme Court ruled that the first drug, midazolam, in a threedrug cocktail being used by Okla-

homa to render inmates to an unconscious state preceding death was constitutional. Though the majority opinion of the court is the law of the land, the discussion certainly doesn't end there. In a dissenting opinion in the case, Justice Stephen Breyer laid out some key objections as to why the practice of using the death penalty should be ended. The late Justice Antonin Scalia in his rebuttal to part of Breyer's dissent stated that the death penalty does not violate the 4th amendment's ban on cruel or unusual punishments, contrary to the viewpoints of that of Breyer. According to Scalia, it is convictions by the criminal justice system and not the punishment(s) of the death penalty that the 4th amendment's language references that is potentially unreliable. Astonishingly, Justice Scalia seemed to pass over the fact that many punishments in the form of the death penalty during the past decade have been botched, subjecting prisoners to unnecessary pain before leaving this world, a textbook example of what violates the 4th amendment's ban on the state afflicting cruel and unusual punishments on prisoners. This is often the result of the state's attempt at pseudoscience in mixing hazardous drug cocktails necessary in order to carry out death sentences. To prove the hypocrisy of the members joining the court's majority opinion in the Glossip case, examine the cautionary note which the court included following its upholding of Kentucky's

use of a three-drug cocktail for executions in 2008. In the plurality opinion, the court stated that the first drug in the threedrug cocktail being used for execution purposes must ensure that the individual is in a state of complete unconsciousness or there is, according to the court, a "substantial, constitutionally unacceptable risk" that the individual will experience pain and convulsions as has occurred in the many botched executions over the past decade. Justice Breyer's dissent in Glossip additionally examined the great pressure on prosecutors and jurors to secure a conviction in a death penalty case to which Scalia refuted this claim by stating that "same pressure would exist, and the same risk of wrongful convictions if horrendous death-penalty cases were converted into equally horrendous life-without-parole cases." The difference though is that a wrongful conviction for a person sentenced to life in prison had the chance for review and reversal years down the line given the discovery of new exonerating evidence. This is not the truth in the case of the death penalty given its finality and irreversibility once it has been carried out. Justice Scalia should have instead taken the opportunity in the Glossip opinion to note the critical need for the legislative branch to take up the task of reforming our broken criminal justice system. We must never forget the 156 individuals sentenced under the Ameri-

can criminal justice system to death only to be later exonerated, in addition to those whose lives were taken at the hands of the state only to find

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. –Martin Luther King, Jr. out they were later innocent. The quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks to an unwavering commitment to reforming our broken criminal justice system with the steadfast belief that one person wrongfully convicted and deprived of their liberty and possibly their life should always be considered one too many.

PROFESSOR

Marginalized students speak out By Tafari Robertson Opinions Columnist The occasional isolation or alienation one can expect to experience in college is something many students become familiar with as freshmen. Departed from families and friends, the first few months on a new campus can be rough for those less socially inclined. The unseen and often unspoken experiences of marginalized students at a predominantly white institution are similar, but so vastly different at the same time. “Whether it’s said or not, sometimes I do feel invisible when I’m walking through the hallways,” said Darius Mundy, construction science and management senior. He speaks with a certain tone of disbelief and describes his experience with care as to not wrongfully incriminate anyone, even when recounting his own experiences. “I have to make a conscious effort to make friends and talk to people so that they can approach me and we can have a conversation…,” Mundy said. “I feel like I’m the only person there who looks like me.” As a black student studying an industry that is currently only 5.8 percent black, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mundy seems less surprised by his experience but more disappointed. He became interested in the construction industry after being displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. “(It was tough for me) coming from that devastation and seeing the city I was born in never go back to what it was," Mundy said. "I always wonder how can I give back and what can I do that can help the city.” He transferred to Texas State from University of Texas-San Antonio in 2016 after changing his major from mechanical engineering but still commutes from San Antonio. Despite his dedication to his major, he explained that it can be harder to make the drive because of the isolation he faces. While the major is very diverse in terms of international professors, there are currently no black faculty members and there are few black students. “I don’t feel like there’s anyone that I can really relate to what I have going on because of most of my teachers don’t look like me. To me, (it's) important to have at least someone.” “I think it’s important to have people that look like you because you can have something to strive for or somebody to

ILLUSTRATION BY ISRAEL GONZALEZ

look to, a mentor; somebody who can help you and coach you,” Mundy said. The role professors play in a student’s experience cannot be simply boiled down to increased test scores or a diversity statistic. Having a black professor to talk to can help students like Mundy work through some of the inherent frustration that comes with being a black student in a predominantly white industry or school. “I’ve been to three career fairs since I’ve been at Texas State…” Mundy said. “My first career fair, I got two or three interviews but I could not get a job. I found it odd that over 60 to 70 companies could come, but I just couldn’t seem to land an internship when guys who were younger than me, who had less experience than me were.”

He explains humbly that even though he wishes he could do more on campus, he is a part of Construction Students Association and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity in San Antonio. “I had some experience in construction but I was still getting the ‘Oh, you don’t have enough experience,’ ‘Oh, we need somebody with a little more experience,'" Mundy said. “I started to doubt myself. Did I make the right decision? Should I have stayed at UTSA? Should I have stayed in the engineering program? This is all just self-doubt that came from not finding (an internship).” After two more unsuccessful career fair attempts, he was able to find an internship on his own. His experience, however, is not unique. Students of color have demanded

universities across the U.S. work more proactively to hire diverse faculty. At Texas State, black faculty and staff make up only 5 percent of the employees. However the black student population is now nearly 11 percent of the student body. “I don’t really want to be there because I feel so out of place," Mundy said. "I know I shouldn’t feel that way, because I do belong and I do great work and make great grades...” The effect this disparity can have on students of color is not easy for some to articulate but it is important that we recognize the stories of those who do speak up and understand this is a reality that deserves to be addressed. - Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior


The University Star

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 9

OPINIONS

May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

CARTOON OF THE WEEK

CARTOON BY STEPHANIE CLOYD | GRAPHIC DESIGNER

FROM PAGE 7 SOCIETY This country has developed lazy views on what is really right or wrong. Political correctness has gone so far beyond being constructive that, if we were to be honest with ourselves, it has become a tool to use when someone simply does not like what another person does.

People are becoming afraid to share their opinion because of censorship. We continue to silence discussions that need to be had and that is not the American way. People are becoming afraid to share their opinions because of censorship. We continue to silence discussions that need to be had, and that is not the American way. No one has the right to

censor someone else because they do not agree with their stance on a certain subject. Political correctness needs to be separate from opinion. Not everything someone says is filled with hateful undertones. Some people differ in opinion, but that does not mean they should be cast aside as racist, politically incorrect jerks. If that mindset continues, we as human beings are not giving others the same rights to speech that we desire. There are more than one non-politically correct persons in America. That is an inherent truth. What we need to start targeting is not the people, but the ideas and words. Our community must begin to educate instead of censor. If America censored every "politically incorrect" person, those people would only turn around and work toward censoring us as well. At the end of the day, being politically correct is important. However, censoring or making someone out to be racist is not right. By reigning-in the idea of becoming politically correct we could actually make a worthwhile difference, rather than just calling everything we do not like "non-PC." At some point, we have to decide if it is really worth our time to debate a child's costume or if we should focus on the real issues.

The Department of Housing and Residential Life will be sending an email survey to randomly selected residents. If you receive the survey invite, please share your thoughts regarding your on-campus living experience. Four names will be randomly selected each day from completed surveys to receive a $25 University Bookstore Giftcard. The earlier you complete your survey, the more chances you have to be selected for one of the prizes.

- Kaitlin Evans is a journalism major

RECYCLE THE

Begins: Nov. 6, 2017 Ends: Nov. 13, 2017

512.245.4663 | reslife@txstate.edu

UNIVERSITY STAR


10 | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SPORTS

The University Star Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

VOLLEYBALL

Junior middle blocker feels right at home in a new town By Melea Polk Sports Reporter Although this middle blocker transferred from a junior college this summer, the feeling of being a newbie has been short-lived for this junior making Texas State her new home. Halee Brewer made the move to NCAA Division I volleyball at Texas State University this summer when she transferred from Tyler Junior College. Brewer began her collegiate career as a middle blocker for the Apaches. In Brewer’s two seasons, she was named to the NJCAA Region XIV First Team and the 2016 NJCAA AllAmerican Second Team. The blocker also received the honor of being the 2015 NJCAA Region XIV Newcomer of the Year. Brewer competed in 65 matches which included an NJCAA Region XIV Championship and a trip to the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championship tournament. The Longview, Texas native totaled 816 kills, 221 blocks, 116 digs and 19 aces with a .360 hitting percentage. After two successful years in Tyler, Brewer decided to take her talent to San Marcos instead of the out-ofstate offers. “I love it here so far,” Brewer said. “I had other offers coming out of Tyler, but they were mostly out of state I wanted to go somewhere where I could have a school life and personal life. I love the area, the atmosphere and just being a part of a new team that is fun to be around. It’s the perfect home for me.” As soon as the electronic media major stepped into Bobcat Country, she was quickly welcomed by one of the three upperclassmen on the team, middle blocker Jaliyah Bolden. “Jaliyah was the first person to come up to me when I got here,” Brewer said. “She told me exactly how it was down here without sugar-coating it or making it seem like something more than it actually was. That was super important to me.” The volleyball player gives credit to her sisters on the team and the new friends she made off the team. “I found a way to have friends that are good for me that don’t play sports,” Brewer said. “My team comes first because they are my sisters, but I love having other people around that want me to be a better player and person. It is just good to have friends on and off the court.”

The women's volleyball team huddles on the side of the court to celebrate a win. The team currently holds a 20-8 overall record. PHOTO BY HANNAH FELSKE

Playing for the Bobcats means playing for head coach Karen Chisum who has led the Bobcats for the past 38 seasons. Brewer has a great amount of respect and love for her coach even though she can be tough sometimes. “She is a hard case,” Brewer said. “She is so sweet off the court but when we are on the court she gets on us. There are things she wants done a certain way and we must do it just right.” With Sun Belt Conference play coming to an end, the Bobcats are headed to the SBC Championship tournament on the right foot. Brewer’s expectations before joining the team were very high for the Bobcats, and she feels they have exceeded those. “Coming from a junior college, my expectations were really high because the girls were so much better,” Brewer said. “The level and the pace of the game increased, and I knew everyone on the team was super talented. I feel like the spot we are in right now is where we are supposed to be. I never had a doubt in my mind about this team.” Halee Brewer, junior middle blocker (left), stands on the court with her teammates. PHOTO BY HANNAH FELSKE

SUNBELT

The No. 2 seed in the conference ends its season By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter The Texas State Bobcats held the No. 2 seed in their conference and boasted a 10-6-1 season record heading into the Sun Belt Conference tournament Nov. 1. At the end of the second overtime period against Coastal Carolina in the quarterfinal, the season was over. It was a game-winning goal from the Chanticleers in double overtime that ended the women’s soccer team championship hopes. Despite suffering a bitter defeat, the Bobcats have much to be proud of following their 2017 campaign. Over the season the Bobcats posted a home record of 5-3-1, an away record of 4-2 and went 1-1 on neutral ground. In Sun Belt Conference play, the Bobcats were 8-2 overall with identical records of 4-1 in both home and away games. Success for the team didn’t come immediately, but after getting off to a bumpy start with an under .500 record of 3-4-1 in their first eight games, the Bobcats managed to turn their bad luck around. From Sept. 22 to Oct. 20, Texas State won every game on their schedule. The seven-game win streak was highlighted by aggressive offensive play and strong stout defense. For senior Alyssa Phelan, the team's turn around felt almost surreal. “It felt like a dream you know, we started off tying and losing,” Phelan said. “Once conference started we really

Alyssa Phelan, senior midfielder, takes a shot down the field. Phelan has scored two goals this season. PHOTO BY KIRBY CRUMPLER

stepped it up, and played together as a team - playing together and knowing each other’s roles.” During their seven-game win streak, the Bobcats outscored their opponents 19-4 and outscored opponents 33-19 over the entire season. Their dominant defensive play forced five straight shutouts for the team - three against Sun Belt Conference rivals. Texas State averaged 14.1 shots per game while holding their opponents to an average of 11.6 per game and outshot opponents 239-198.

Leading the Bobcats high scoring offense were seniors Kassi Hormuth and Rachel Grout and sophomore Kaylee Davis. The trio combined for more than half of the goals scored this season, 23 out of 33. Grout and Hormuth led the team in individual goals scored tying for the lead spot with eight goals a piece. Davis followed just one goal behind, scoring seven on the season. Doing her part in making the team a success, sophomore goalkeeper Heather Martin had 60 saves on the season,

raising her career total from 120 to 121, placing her at sixth overall in school history. In the moments when the games mattered most, Hormuth stepped up to the plate, leading the team with three gamewinning goals. Grout, Davis and Phelan weren’t far behind, firing off two gamewinning goals each. Throughout the season, Hormuth played with a fire in her belly. Her driving force is the need to make her last season a meaningful one. “I give it my all in every game, but especially this year because it's the very end,” Hormuth said. Talents like Davis give hope for the future, but with the 2017 season over, the Bobcats are preparing for the exit of its seven senior players. For many, it’s the last time they’ll play the sport at a high level. After years of playing senior Brooke Ramsey is one of those players. “I think after college I’m hanging up the cleats, I think that’s as far as it goes,” Ramsey said. “My body is tired and I think it’s just the perfect way to end it, at my school.” Though Ramsey, Hormuth and others may be leaving, they’ll take the lessons they’ve learned with them to the next phase of their lives. “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.”


The University Star

SPORTS

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 11 Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023

UniversityStar.com @universitystar

SOCCER

Goalkeeper saves the day By Orlando Williams Sports Reporter It didn’t take long for Heather Martin, sophomore goalkeeper, to realize that soccer was the sport for her, but she made sure she had a taste of every sport before she committed to the one. Martin tried basketball, volleyball and softball. Lastly, she tried soccer, and knew she found what she was looking for since the beginning. Martin attended Midlothian High School where she led her team to a 222-1 record and District 8-6A Championship her junior year. She was also selected to All-District 8-6A Second Team.

"We all don’t see ourselves as teammates, we see ourselves as family." -Heather Martin In 2016, Martin's senior year, she was named to first team All-Region and selected to the All-District 8-6A First Team and was named co-goalkeeper District MVP. However, like most soccer players, Martin didn’t get noticed by Texas State or any other universities through high school. It was on her club soccer team,

SE Dallas 98 ECNL, where her skills were noticed. "They reached out to me after they saw me in an ECNL tournament," Martin said. "I really loved the family vibe I got from the coaching staff and all the girls that were there helping with the camp that actually played on the team. They were so nice it was just a really good environment." On Aug. 19, 2016, Heather started in her first Texas State game where she and the Bobcats traveled to Beaumont, Texas, to face the Lamar University Cardinals. "It was so nerve-wracking, I remember coming in and being a freshman, I had to step up and show out for my team," Martin said. "It was really nervewracking, but at the end of it I was so pumped and I was just ready to see where it goes." Martin ended her freshman year with 15 starts, 61 saves and a 0.79 save percentage while surrendering only 16 goals. She came into her sophomore year as the team's starting goalkeeper, and she didn’t disappoint. Halfway through the 2017 season, Martin had 20 saves and finished the season 10-6-1 and 8-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. Martin ended the season with a total of 54 saves after a 10 save loss against South Alabama. During the regular season, Martin felt the team treated each other as more than just teammates which contributed to the chemistry and overall success of the team. Martin and the Bobcats reached the

Heather Martin, sophomore goalkeeper, clears the ball away from the goal. Martin has 115 career saves. PHOTO BY KIRBY CRUMPLER

end of their season after a 2-1 loss to Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Martin collected six more saves in the game, upping her season total to 60 and her career total to 121.

"We all don’t see ourselves as teammates, we see ourselves as family," Martin said. "I just really think we stepped up and came together as a team more than ever, so it's really exciting."

SOFTBALL

Athlete inspired to play softball from father's legacy

Bailee Carter, sophomore infielder, escapes the catcher of the Rajin' Cajuns during a previous game. Carter has 35 career hits. PHOTO COURTESY OF PETER VIVES

By Brooke Phillips Assistant Sports Editor Playing softball at the college level has always been a dream for one Texas State athlete, and after a successful first year in the books, she continues to find inspiration for the game through her family. Bailee Carter, sophomore infielder, made her debut as a Bobcat in the 201617 school year. Her desire to want to play softball began from wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps. Michael Carter, Bailee’s father, played baseball at Henderson State. While he no longer plays baseball, her father coached Carter in her beginning years of playing the game. “Since he played I thought it would be cool for me to go play too since it was in the family,” Carter said. “He helps me out a lot and he’s part of the reason why I’m here.” However, it is her mother who coached her throughout her life. “Both of my parents are my biggest role models,” Carter said. “Their drive and ambition and they’re both really successful and I hope to be like that.” Carter’s parents guided her throughout her life to prepare her for softball at the college level. After starting the recruiting process in the eighth grade, Carter made her dreams come true once she decided to become a Bobcat. “To play at the college level means a lot,” Carter said. “It was a lot of hard work to get here and right now it’s just paying off, all of that hard work we did for so many years.”

While Carter had to leave her family in Azle, Texas, behind, she was welcomed by a new family right away. “My favorite part about playing softball at Texas State would be the group of girls that you get to come into when you first get here,” Carter said. “You automatically have all these friends that are basically like your family.” Although Carter started at second base in all 57 games she played in and ranked second on the team with a .259 batting average during her freshman year, there was still a lot Carter learned. “I thought I knew a lot about softball until I got here and I felt like I learned more in one year than I did my whole life,” Carter said. “I learned a lot about the game like situations, strategies and I had a lot of fun learning more stuff about the game that I didn’t even know existed.” With her new Texas State family supporting her, Carter’s parents and younger brother are still her number one fans—attending all of her home games and even some of the away games. “They always remind me to have fun and don’t stress too much about softball,” Carter said. “They always support me no matter what.” Whether Carter is playing the game for her parents, her Bobcat family or even herself, she finds comfort in knowing that Texas State is where she belongs. “I really enjoy getting to be a Bobcat,” Carter said. “Texas State is really coming up and rising and we want to help that with what we do with the softball program. That means a lot to be a part of Texas State and be on the upcoming.”

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