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Volume 107, Issue 14

YEAR IN REVIEW Take a look at responses from the community regarding last week's issue SEE PAGES 6 & 7



Trump makes appearance at MAGA Welcome Celebration By Bri Watkins WASHINGTON- Flags, hats, fireworks and flashing cameras filled the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration, while well-known artists honored the event with their musical talents at the Lincoln Memorial.

Ravidrums opened the event, and following performances included Lee Greenwood, Sam Moore, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys and Toby Keith. Trump ended the celebration with a reminder about how he intends to unify the country.


Andrew Homann’s term as Student Body President is ending By Ashley Skinner With only one Student Government meeting left of the 2016-2017 school year, Student Body President Andrew Homann will finish his term with many accomplishments credited to his administration. Homann took over the presidency in August of 2016 with plans to change students’ view of the organization. “I ran because I saw a lack of leadership in Student Government,” Homann said. “I know this organization has a tremendous ability to make change on campus. I felt called to do this, and here I am.”

Connor Clegg and Colton Duncan will be the next student body president and vice president for the 2017-18 school year. As president and vice president of Student Government, Clegg and Duncan will be responsible for representing the student body concerning campus issues.


“I want to start off by saying that the Boyd-Shelvin team ran one heck of a campaign,” Clegg said. “I think we have a very bright future ahead of us.” The Clegg-Duncan executive alliance emphasizes campus safety will be one of its top priorities. The two have already begun taking measures of working with Not On My Campus to combat sexual violence at Texas State.

may Gov. Abbott signs bill to ban sanctuary cities

Offensive content toward Texas State student displayed on social media Texas State is investigating an incident involving an offensive image and vulgar language directed at a Texas State student that surfaced on social media in January, a university spokesperson said.

Student Government election results are in: Clegg-Duncan wins By Katie Burrell


By Bri Watkins


The image featured student David Hickland’s face placed onto a black and white photograph of a lynching victim. The image was tweeted by @txstfrat5645, an anonymous account. The account tagged Hickland and referred to him with racial slurs. Hickland did not respond for comment per request.

By Ashley Skinner In a video broadcasted through Facebook Live, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill May 7 to ban sanctuary cities. Abbott released a statement saying, “We all support legal immigration. It helped build America and Texas. But legal immigration is different from harboring people who have committed dangerous crimes. This law cracks down on policies like the Travis County sheriff who

declared that she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes.” The statement references Sheriff Sally Hernandez and her policy that limits when the Travis County jail cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests. The bill passed will ban policies like Hernandez’s and implement fines up to $25,000 per day on the sheriff ’s office if the policy continues to be followed.

2 | Tuesday, December 5, 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, 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,


Celebrations occur throughout National Pride Month By Shayan Faradineh Across the nation, various celebrations recognizing LGBTQIA rights and freedoms are taking place in honor and remembrance of the effort toward equality. Although equality is celebrated all year, June has been recognized as Pride month. In the United States, the last Sunday in June was celebrated and recognized as “Gay Pride Day.” According to the Library of Congress, the month of June was selected to honor the 1969

Stonewall riots in Manhattan. Those riots are credited with being the single most important event that would eventually lead to the LGBTQIA rights movement. However, in major cities across the nation, the “day” grew to a monthlong series of events. The transition from day to month stems from a history of June being the anniversary of LGBTQIA events and milestones. These milestones include moments such as the decision of the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.



Student body president launches Twitter account and deletes in less than 24 hours By Shayan Faradineh Student Body President Connor Clegg launched a new Twitter account. The handle, @POTXST, made its online presence July 10, but was deleted the next day after Clegg wrote he was too busy to maintain the account. In Clegg’s first night, he tweeted out 23 tweets. “Students can expect me to expand upon policy by talking about what we are doing and keep them up to date, mostly about student government,” Clegg said. “Expect me to have some

fun at the end of the day. We are students who are trying to find a way to get through college. Can’t all be politics, arguing and bickering. If there is misinformation out there I will do my best to inform in an accurate manner.” Clegg has used his account to discuss topics such as textbook prices and the Common Experience program. Clegg has also used the handle to publicly address individual students, announce student government meetings and post about his administration’s policy.


The implications of SB 4 in the San Marcos community

Account Executive: Folee Hall Account Executive: Cameron Goodall

Director: Laura Krantz,

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, December 5, 2017. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor-in-chief. 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

By Shayan Faradineh Harvey, both as a hurricane and tropical storm, canceled classes, interrupted resident’s power, pushed back sorority recruitment and leaked into resident halls. Harvey started as a tropical storm Friday, and continues to cause devastation in Houston and other parts of East Texas, into Louisiana. The city of San Marcos took precautionary steps by opening the emergency operations center Saturday through Monday morning. The center acted as a 24/7 staffed hotline for non-emergency disaster-related questions.

By Shayan Faradineh

Full-Time Staff

About Us


Bomb threats target Texas State

Marketing and PR Manager: Ashley Lujan

Publications Coordinator: Linda Allen,

Historic Harvey spares San Marcos


Graphic Designer: Stephanie Cloyd

Media Specialist: Dillan Thomson,



By Connor Brown When versions of Senate Bill 4 were introduced in early February of this year, the so-called “anti-sanctuary cities” bill raised may questions and fears for immigrant members of the San Marcos community. The legislation requires sheriffs and officers to comply with

University Star Classifieds

federal immigration authorities and prohibits local law enforcement from adopting policies that would impede inquiries of a person’s immigration status who is arrested or detained. Authorities who violate could face fines, a Class A misdemeanor or potential jail time. Some residents, however, fear that regardless of citizenship, SB 4 will allow local and state law enforcement to racially profile persons of color, specifically those of Hispanic decent that comprise nearly 38 percent of San Marcos citizens.



Student death under investigation By Shayan Faradineh

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LBJ Student Center and Jones Dining Hall were temporarily closed, Oct. 26, as law enforcement investigated bomb threats made on Texas State’s San Marcos campus. Around 1:20 p.m., The Lair was temporarily closed and evacuated. Nearly 15 minutes later, the fire alarms rang and the student center was evacuated. At 2:02 p.m., University News Service issued the first of four emails sent to students, faculty and staff. The alert read, “UPD was notified of a bomb threat to the LBJ Student Center on Texas State San Marcos Campus. We are investigating. Officers are sweeping the building searching for any possible threat.” At 2:59 p.m., the police expanded the investigation to include Jones Dinning Hall. LBJ Student Center was given an all clear at 4:14 p.m while police continued to sweep Jones.


The death of Matt Ellis, a business sophomore transfer student from Humble, Texas is under investigation. Matt Flores, university spokesperson, confirmed the death of Ellis on Nov. 14. Ellis passed away in his sleep Nov. 13 off campus, following his fraternity’s initiation. Ellis was a new member of Phi Kappa Psi. Members of Phi Kappa Psi declined a request to comment. Flores said the University Police Department is assisting the San Marcos Police Department in the investigation and the fraternity will be reviewed.

The University Star


Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 3 Katie Burrell Lifestyle Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar

JAN Transgender and civil rights advocates to speak on campus By Stacee Collins Activists Angela Davis and Janet Mock will visit Texas State this spring to speak to students. The announcements came from

Black Lives Movement: San Marcos on Jan. 9. The organization’s tweet informing students of Angela Davis’ visit gained more than 200 retweets and over 300 likes. “Dr. Angela Davis will make a monu-

FEB The Texas State Avengers

save the day at Sewell

mental campus visit to Texas State University on March 31, 2017,” the tweet reads. The organization added that her speaking on campus would be a “phenomenal experience for all to be a part of.” Angela Davis is a civil rights activ-

Scholarship program MAR serves LGBTQIA students By Stacee Collins The Bobcat Pride Scholarship Fund is the first private fund to exclusively support members of the Texas State LBGTQIA community, according to its website. The organization has raised over $40,000 for around 37 students over the past six years. The BPSF was initiated in 2010 to support students of all minority gender identities and sexual preferences


By Stacee Collins On a day that will never be forgotten, four of San Marcos’ mightiest heroes—Frisbee Dan, the Bubble Believer, RipStik Guy and Big Neechi—came together Feb. 19 at Sewell Park to form the Texas State “Avengers.” Frisbee Dan gave the other icons tips on how to throw disks, the Bubble Be-


Father-daughter team win film race

By Katie Burrell Local filmmakers and movie enthusiasts huddled around picnic tables, beer and nachos at Buzzmill San Marcos on May 18, to kick off their 72-hour film race. The creative spirits planned their short films with a surprise prompt and a secret plot twist. Days later, the crews presented their finished products downtown to a surprising turnout. The competition was stacked of sev-


Students at Texas State are working with organizations to raise awareness about undocumented students. One student, in particular, stands out. Yunuen Alvarado, mass communication sophomore, is working to make a difference for undocumented students.

Alvarado is an outspoken undocumented student, who serves as the president of the Underrepresented Student Advisory Council, vice president of the Student Community of Progressive Empowerment and works closely with the immigrant community in Austin.

From Lolita’s to Loli’s: local business thrives amid adversity

By Katie Burrell One of San Marcos’ favorite breakfast taco joints continues to thrive within the community despite legal battles over its name. Loli’s Café, previously named Lolita’s, is a blue and red breakfast taco hut responsible for serving handcrafted tacos to the community. The shop is owned by Marta Carillo, mother, business owner and resident of San Marcos


en teams made up of aspiring actors, amateur film producers and cinema fanatics. The San Marcos Cinema club organized the competition to help San Marcos’ thriving and active art community. “We want to get people to work, mingle about and to inspire people to get involved with new projects,” said Jackie Lynn, San Marcos Cinema Club board member and event co-coordinator.

through financial assistance and representation. The program’s mission is to support a culturally diverse community, assist scholarship recipients with educational goals and promote leadership. The organization offers three different scholarships for LGBTQIA students: Academic Achievement, Leadership Development and the Jeremy O. Torres Emergency Stabilization Fund.

APR Women needed in STEM

despite gender inequality

By Ana De Loza Women have made remarkable strides in the fight for equality, but continue to be overwhelmingly outnumbered by men in science, technology, engineering and math career fields. Women make up 48 percent of the total workforce in the United States,


according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, yet lag behind in STEMfield jobs. For example, according to the National Girl Collaborative Project, females make up 11.1 percent of physicists and astronomers, 7.9 percent of mechanical engineers and 10.7 percent of computer hardware or electrical engineers.

Graduating senior awarded for leadership, research efforts

Undocumented student takes action on immigration

By Tinu Thomas


liever shared his bubble-blowing skills, RipStik Guy taught the “Avengers” how to ride his board and Big Neechi gave the group workout and social media advice. San Martians couldn’t believe their eyes. Those swimming or picnicking at the park were surprised to see all four Texas State icons together.

ist and author, according to biography. com. She was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she faced racial prejudice and discrimination.

all her life. Carillo began working at Loli’s when she was 21 years old and the location operated as a chili dog stand under another name. Carillo worked at the stand for 10 years before becoming the owner and transforming it into a breakfast and lunch stop that pours out tacos from egg and cheese to family recipes like the carne guisada and the barbacoa lunch tacos.

Student by day, drag queen by night

By Ashley Brown Face contouring, stunning outfits and performing on multiple stages only begins describing one particular student’s extracurricular activities. Jacob Immel is a theater sophomore who performs and competes locally as a drag queen named Mars. After class on Wednesdays, Mars rushes home and uses the next four hours to get into her hair and makeup. When she finishes, she is on the road to Austin to compete in Drag Survivor.


By Tinu Thomas Texas State awarded the Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman Award at this year’s graduation ceremony to a prominent undergraduate focused on advancing medical science. Recent Texas State alumna, Erica Osta, graduated last month with several honors including The Sallie Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman Award. This Texas State award is presented to


Students can view the final meals of 700 former death row inmates

By LeeAnn Cardwell July 8, 1999, Oklahoma: six tacos, six doughnuts and a cherry Coke. Julie Green, painter and art professor at Oregon State University, read this last meal request in a local newspaper almost 20 years ago. After seeing it, Green was inspired to begin a project illustrating the last meal re-

quests of inmates on death row. Seven hundred inmates’ last meals are painted on white and blue ceramic plates lining the walls of the gallery. The plates are ordered first by state name, then chronologically. The ambience is enhanced by a video on loop of Green showing individual plates while reading off that inmate’s meal request and date of execution.

Exonerated member of the San NOV Antonio Four shares her story at Lost River Film Festival By Katie Burrell


one female graduate who displays exemplary leadership, scholarship, character, potential and loyalty. University President Denise M. Trauth presented Osta the award for Osta’s four years as an excellent student, mentor, tutor and researcher. Osta graduated with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and spent her undergraduate career researching cost effective methods of disease detection under Shannon Weigum.

The Texas Court of Appeals declared the San Antonio Four innocent over a year ago; now the four women share their story through the film that helped to exonerate them. Anna Vasquez, a member of the San Antonio Four attended the last screening scheduled for the inaugural Lost River Film Festival on Nov. 5.

The movie “Southwest of Salem” was shown to an audience of over 30 on the second floor of the LBJ Museum and gave Vasquez time for a Q&A. Viewers watched Vasquez and her friend’s story unfold on a projector while tears and anger filled the room and everyone learned how the four were falsely accused of gang raping two little girls.

4 | Tuesday, December 5, 2017


The University Star



College Athletes should get more benefits By Jakob Rodriguez Student-athletes put in too many work hours to receive zero compensation from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Adding a capped stipend and progressive health care coverage not only protects the amateur assets the NCAA is rightfully liable for but also helps student-athletes in areas where the “full ride” does not cover such as meal plans and

school supplies. Additionally, if we start to study problems associated with sports like football and the concussion crisis, we might be able to begin to solve or come up with technology and preventative measures before those same issues go pro. The only alternative is for us is to walk away from the games as losers. - At the time of publication, Jakob Rodriguez was a journalism freshman


De este lado también hay sueños (there are dreams on this side of the border too) By Jakob Rodriguez Immigration to America will continue to be one of the hardest journeys an individual can take due to the dangers and trials migrants experience on their journey: from navigating the “new age underground railroad” of border towns and avoiding the horrors of human trafficking, to parents sacrificing their own livelihoods for their children.

May Olvera Opinions Editor @yungfollowill @universitystar

Being an American is not an easy or cheap process, and most immigrants know this reality. My grandmother, and others like her, took jobs when and where she could find them to support her family. The road to citizenship and family prosperity is long, arduous and filled with pot-holes. - At the time of publication, Jakob Rodriguez was a journalism freshman


A suspended fraternity does not compare to the end of a life By Rachael Shah Jordin Taylor was a 20-year-old member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Her carefree independence attracted people toward her, and her memory will forever have an impact on everyone who was lucky enough to know her. I know how important your fraternity is to you because I am also a member of the Greek community. I love my sorority very much and it’s hard to imagine it being taken away from me. However, just because you lost your letters doesn’t mean you lost each other. Focus on what really matters. The loss of your fraternity isn’t the biggest loss to come out of all of this.


- At the time of publication, Rachael Shah was an electronic media junior


Moonlight and Get Out provide more than entertainment By John Lee The films Moonlight and Get Out are phenomenal pieces of art; both contain depth in terms of storylines, character development and symbolism. They have been recognized and praised by the academy or by reviews from various film critics. However, what makes these films exceptional is not the recognition they have received, but the representation and imagery they provide to a minority community. Moonlight provides representation to homosexual African-American men, while Get Out’s symbolism and imagery speak volumes about racism in America. These stories are worth more than just a watch and provide a deeper meaning translating far beyond the movie screen. Representation is important be-


cause it provides visibility and validation to people who do not see themselves in the characters they watch. - At the time of publication, John Lee was a marketing freshman



Grunge is dead and so are all my heroes, but I’m not romanticizing it anymore

Christophobia is Islamophobia

By May Olvera Chris Cornell’s death came as an absolute shock to the world. The former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman was not the poster child of recklessness other grunge musicians have often been. He was a loving husband and father, and a quiet public figure who stayed far from controversy—much like the 121 Americans who take their

lives daily. Suicide and depression are not glamorous, artistic or beautiful. They are also not rare and do not make victims abnormal or lesser in any way. Depression is a common yet brutal battle that can be won with the right resources and support, but not if it continues to be sold as desirable. - May Olvera is a journalism junior

JULY Happy Birthday, Ida B Wells: How the erasure of black women activists will doom us all By Tafari Robertson Ida B. Wells is an American icon, journalistic pioneer and one of the most effective radical leaders of the civil rights movements of the early 20th century, working alongside the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass. She was one of only two black women who arrived to help form what would later become known as the NAACP; however, she was ex-

cluded as a founding member. Wells’ erasure is not a matter of an unspoken era or white supremacy in history; it was a deliberate effort on the part of her colleagues. Her erasure from the canon of American civil rights offers a muchneeded insight into the way progressive communities often treat black womanhood even today. - Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior

SEPTEMBER Letter to the editor: We demand environmental justice By Oriya Villarreal In light of current events, the #PrayForTexas hashtag has grown in popularity on a variety of social media platforms, aiming to comfort over seven million Texans recovering from the emotional and physical wounds inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. Although we have witnessed solidarity across the nation for residents who have fallen victim

to this natural disaster, we can no longer dismiss the influence climate change has on weather and socioeconomic issues. Addressing the connection between the severity of Hurricane Harvey and climate change is critical in order to prevent loss of life and billions of dollars when another natural disaster occurs. - Oriya Villarreal is a geography water resources junior

By Carrington Tatum With Christianity being the most common religion in the world, it can be tempting to want to reject Christianity as a whole. However, just as it is wrong to lump radical Islam with peaceful Muslim-Americans, it is just as much a fallacy to do the same to Christians. The left takes much pride in being the protector and watchdog for Muslims against the harsh and cruel tyranny of Christians. However, they fail to

see the hypocrisy in defending a person who believes in God by telling the aggressors they are stupid for believing in God. Whether a person chooses to believe in your beliefs, their beliefs or none at all, all are ways of explaining the world that requires some level of faith. To discriminate against one is to discriminate against them all. - Carrington Tatum is an electronic media sophomore


Democrats have made it clear they are dedicated to losing By May Olvera The Democratic Party has taken blow after blow in recent national elections. Although some may accredit the losses to Russian intervention, there needs to be a moment of self-criticism within the party. Although it is undeniable they did what they could to help Donald Trump, there is little concrete evidence at the moment that the Kremlin’s sophisticated tactics determined the 2016 election. However, the grotesque

split between Clintonians and Berniecrats undoubtedly weakened the electoral left. Perhaps a change in strategy is in order, rather than continuing to offer voters more of the same type of candidates. For a party that literally references “democracy” in their name, they seem to have a weak grasp on what it means to serve an unsatisfied electorate. - May Olvera is a journalism junior

OCTOBER Vegas Shooting: When is enough, enough? By Denise Cervantes It happened again. The nation woke up to another mass shooting on Oct. 2. This time in Las Vegas, during the Route 91 Harvest Festival where over 22,000 people filled the outdoor arena. Rather than shout over the ambulance sirens, and step over their injured bodies to confront our opponents, we need to collect blood donations and understand the problem before we can

fix anything. This is not the time to shy away from each other but instead, unite in solidarity. Our initial reaction to these mass shootings should not be to argue anymore because until we reject the numbness and definitively deem these events as unacceptable in our country, these arguments will be a placeholder for useful change. - Denise Cervantes is a journalism senior

The University Star

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 5


Lisette Lopez Sports Editor @lisette_1023 @universitystar



Women’s basketball gets fourth straight win

Texas State welcomes 25 new Bobcats By Melea Polk Following a 2-10 season, Head Football Coach, Everett Withers, and his staff welcomed 25 new Bobcats on Feb. 1 for National Signing Day. Although most of the studentathletes were high school seniors, the

staff did not stray away from signing players with college football experience. There were three athletes with college football experience. One was a senior transfer from Mississippi State and two were junior college transfers. PHOTO BY MADISON MORRISS


By Lisette Lopez The women’s basketball team earned its fourth straight win against Appalachian State on Jan. 26. The Bobcats beat the Mountaineers 53-37 in North Carolina. The team now improves to 10-9 in the season and 5-3 in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State earned its lead in the first 10 minutes of the game with 9-6.


Sports Op-Ed By Danny Kaspar Head Men's Basketball Coach The men’s basketball team had a good season this year. There are a lot of reasons for our success, and I’d like to publicly acknowledge those individuals and groups that are very responsible. First and foremost, the leadership and dedication shown by our senior captains was excellent. Ojai Black, Kavin GilderTilbury and Bobby Conley displayed great effort, focus and commitment to the goals of our men’s basketball team from the start of fall practices through the very last game we played. In addition to their leadership and work ethic, all three of the seniors worked hard to improve themselves as basketball players—and the end results of our team’s efforts distinctively showed that.


Texas State takes down National Champions By Lisette Lopez The baseball team took a 2-1 win in the three-game home series against defending NCAA National Champions Coastal Carolina. The Bobcats opened the Sun Belt Conference season March 17 against the Chanticleers. The game went into 14 innings before Ryan Newman, sophomore infielder, had a walk-off home run to win the game 5-4. This was the second time in the 2017 season that the Bobcats defeated a ranked opponent. Texas State beat Oklahoma State 12-11 on Feb. 27.




Bobcats down the Longhorns 2-1 in 12 inning defensive showdown

Hardy and Decoud represent Texas State at USATF Outdoor Championships By Brooke Phillips

By Anthony Flores The No. 2 Texas State Bobcats beat the No. 3 Texas Longhorns 2-1 in the 2017 NCAA College Station Regional on May 19 in College Station. Texas State and Texas have faced each other twice this season, with the Bobcats picking up two 2-1 victories over the Longhorns. The Bobcats were awarded the second seed due to a combination of their 41-15 overall record, RPI ranking and their strength of schedule. The No. 2 seed is the best in Texas State’s history of competing in the event.

Two Texas State track and field athletes were represented at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships June 23-25 in Sacramento, California. Redshirt-sophomore sprinter Tramesha Hardy competed in the women’s 200-meter dash and junior high jumper Chelsie Decoud competed in the women’s high jump at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. Both Hardy and Decoud were also the two out of three Texas State athletes to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.



Texas State athletic events canceled due to Hurricane Harvey

The end of a journey

By Lisette Lopez

By Anthony Flores

Texas State has canceled all sports events this weekend due to category 3 Hurricane Harvey. President Denise Trauth sent an email Aug. 24 to all Texas State staff, faculty and students announcing all programs after 5 p.m. were canceled. The women’s soccer event against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was moved to 7 p.m. Aug. 31.

After a rocky start, Jaliyah Bolden, senior middle blocker for the volleyball team, has finally reached the home stretch of her four-year journey. The daughter of James and Monica Bolden, Jaliyah Bolden was born in MisSTAR FILE PHOTO


September Bobcats open the season with 20-11 win over Houston Baptist By Melea Polk


The football team topped the Houston Baptist Huskies 20-11 in the season opener at Bobcat Stadium on Sept. 2. Texas State trailed 9-0 to the Huskies, before a 25-yard field goal and a touchdown in the second quarter to put the Bobcats on top going into the locker room. The Bobcat defense allowed two points in the fourth, while the offense scored 10 in the second half.


Soccer gains success after losing 2016 season By Andrew Zimmel The Texas State women’s soccer team has been one of the most successful Bobcat teams this season. After a rough start of the pre-season and regular season, the Bobcats capitalized when the Sun Belt Conference

sissippi, then raised in Dallas alongside her younger siblings Jaylon and Jhayla Bolden. Jaliyah Bolden’s passion for the sport of volleyball began to manifest itself when she was in the third grade. Her passion has continued to grow each year.

games rolled around, winning eight of their 10 conference games. That 8-2 record not only was able to secure the Bobcats the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, but it was also a big step from the 3-5-2 record from last season–a season that many players on this year’s team will not forget.

Correlation between fan support and team performance: An empty stadium’s impact By Brooke Phillips At Texas State, it is no secret that every Saturday when cleats run across the turf and helmets knock against pads at Bobcat Stadium, rows of bleachers in the stands noticeably reflect the sun. Bobcat Stadium has the capacity to

hold a little more than 30,000 people, but attendance rarely ever reaches 20,000. With a 2-10 overall record and losing every conference game last season, the Texas State football team entered this year with positivity and hope for a better season.

December Bobcats win first postseason game in school history over Rice University By Orlando Williams The Bobcats won their first postseason game in school history after sweeping Rice University 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20) Nov. 30 inside Strahan Coliseum in the first round of the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship. The first period was very tightly contested. The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but a 2-0 run by Rice would tie the game up, that would happen nine more times. There was a total of 10 ties in the first period. With a


score of 21-22 the Bobcats went on a 3-0 run to end the first period of the game. The second period was back and forth as well, but not as much as the first period. The Bobcats started the period off on a 4-1 run and led half of the period when Rice went on their own run and tied the game up 12-12.

6 | Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The University Star

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR @universitystar

Our community speaks out EDITOR'S NOTE: As a result of the recently published column "Your DNA is an abomination," we have chosen to dedicate these two pages to letters submitted by our readers. Due to the volume of letters we received, we will be publishing a sampling of the letters in print and more online. We value your comments and your feedback. Thank you to those who have submitted letters. Those interested in submitting a letter can email or visit our website at

Dear Ms. Cervantes, I read Mr. Martinez's column and do have a request. Mr. Martinez is making a specific claim: namely that there is evil in white people's DNA. As this is a university I believe he should put his thesis to an honest test. I would like to ask that a doubleblind test be created to see if this is an accurate assessment or not. He can be shown 20 people's DNA sequences. Neither he nor the person showing him the sequences will know who they belong to. From these sequences, he will select the "evil" gene sections of their DNA. He will then write the life story attached to each set of DNA sequences. At the end of these two actions, a third party will reveal the actual life story of each person who contributed a specific DNA sequence. The point will be to see if his written life story matches the actual lifestory. Most importantly he should be able to show the set of DNA

which accounts for evil. This is a university. He has made a claim. Now he can back it up. He should not be afraid to perform this experiment because I am certain he is only seeking truth and justice. He should want to know if his theories are correct. He should want to share his discovery of the "evil" gene sequence should he find it. Every person that holds prejudice towards another group claims that prejudice is somehow justified by the group's blood or genes. If this is so, prove it. I would ask this of a Klan member and I will ask it of Mr. Martinez. I fully support the right of any person to speak. However, it is imperative that rationality be applied to speech. That is the case for any person's speech. There is a test which could be performed to prove Mr. Martinez correct or incorrect. Will he be honest enough to take that test?

To the Editor of the University Star: As faculty members, we are committed to protecting students engaged in the “free exchange of ideas,” an endeavor heralded among the University’s core values. On November 29, the President of the University publicly denounced the content of a November 28 student opinion piece in the University Star as a “racist opinion column,” “abhorrent,” and “contrary to the core values of inclusion and unity.” We are deeply troubled by several aspects of President Trauth’s response to the column. On August 25, 2017, President Trauth opened the semester by confirming her commitment to making Texas State “a place where ideas are expressed and debated; where minds are changed; [and] where an opinion some consider offensive is protected.” Where, we wonder, has this spirit of debate gone? By denouncing “the column’s central theme” as “racist,” without identifying or engaging the theme, this response has, in effect, shut down the conversation, while also further fueling the chronic appearance of white supremacist hatred on campus. There is much to debate in the November 28 piece. The column’s central theme, as we read it, is the “liberation of

One Person Does Not Speak for Us All Recently the University Star published an opinion column whose sole purpose was to be “edgy” and “savage” but it only proved to be divisive and disgusting to say the least. We, as a community, have a right to be outraged when racism in any form rears its head from the gutter it so rightfully belongs in. How ironic that DNA is mentioned in a previous article by a “writer” Rudy Martinez, who is against “proto-fascists”; does he forget how Eugenics played a role to drive a false belief of racial superiority in the first half of the 20th century? No one should be shamed for who or what they are. Racism is something our most notable alumnus President Lyndon Banes

From The University Star website comment section: As parents of a freshman, whose DNA was questioned, the emotions we felt were very deep after reading the article. We questioned if we had made the right decision sending our student to Texas State. Can she feel comfort-

Sincerely, Jill Berkana

Editor, First of all, hats off to you as the editor of your publication for defending the First Amendment and what it stands for: we are free to express our thoughts and ideals in accordance with our constitution, so long as we are also willing to accept the consequences of what we say and do. Many years ago, as a student at the University of Houston, I, too, was an opinion columnist and had an editorial staff that occasionally had to stand up for me when I drifted towards the controversial in my own columns. I am white and took up a staunchly conservative viewpoint in a paper generally full of opposing views during a time of great cultural upheaval in our country: the time between 9/11 and George W. Bush’s initiation and prosecution of the Iraq War. In the article referenced above, a great many statements made by the author mirror so many of the publications which appeared long ago in the propaganda machine of Nazi Germany. Jews, Slavs, the Romani, the mentally challenged and the physically disabled were labeled by a political movement as

“life unworthy of life.” Statements like “I hate you because you shouldn’t exist” and “White death means liberation for us all,” require only minimal changes to be made to reflect ideals which have been regarded as revolting and inhuman for generations. The dangers of enslaving, segregating, persecuting or exterminating human beings on the basis of their race have been well-explored throughout history and inevitably creates as much suffering and unhappiness for the offenders as the victims. After reading the article several times through, I gather the author misunderstands the solution to the problem he sees. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the color of one’s skin does not define the content of one’s character. Calling for the obliteration of a culture based on nothing more than skin color, or language, or one’s religion harkens back to the sins of the past. Advocating this belief is the opposite of progress. Best Regards, Matthew Caster University of Houston Class of 2003

all” through the “ideological struggle” against the social construct of “whiteness.” This argument, even when clearly made, is challenging for the vast majority of people who are not familiar with critical racial theory and history. The student did not help his cause. His title raises the specter of the longdebunked notion that there are biological racial differences that make one “race” inferior or superior to another. We wish the article had not referred to “DNA” without being clear that it was being used metaphorically, as Kendrick Lamar does in the song to which the title is referring. In addition, though we do not question the student’s claims to have been treated badly by “white” people, his expression of “hate” in the column is troubling on its face and further obscured his meaning. Of course, the student has the Constitutionally-protected right to express this feeling in the space of a free press, but we feel it was unwise and unproductive to do so. Intentionally or not, he joined in the expression of “hate” that we hope we all agree, as the president put it, should “have no place at Texas State.” Again, there was much to question in the column, but rather than engaging in debate, the University has essential-

ly shunned the student, when, it must be emphasized, the student attempted (however ineffectually) to challenge the forces of bigotry and racism that the President denounced at the beginning of the semester. Perhaps most troubling is that by so quickly singling out the author of this column—in a way that the University has not identified or denounced the perpetrators of previous, unambiguous expressions of racist hatred—and without acknowledging the larger context, the University has unintentionally validated attacks on the student. The author reports that he, his friends, and his loved ones have been harassed on social media, that he has been suspended from his employment, and that he has received death threats. The column, as it was written, was sure to spark a backlash. But perhaps the attacks on one of our Bobcats could have been moderated if we had sought to clarify his anti-racist message, and if we had supported him in a public reckoning with the problematic nature of his expression of hatred. Given the tenor of our times, we think the call for “unity” at Texas State may be premature. As Martin Luther King, Jr, noted, any unity arrived at too early, risks masking underlying ten-

sions and settling for "a negative peace which is the absence of tension" rather than committing to do the difficult, and sometimes contentious, work of striving for "a substantive and positive peace, in which all [people] will respect the dignity and worth of human personality." To strive for that positive peace would require engaging, rather than summarily dismissing the column and excluding a student from the University’s “spirit of inclusion” and its protection of First Amendment rights. Finally, Texas State University is under attack; we see funds being cut for public universities and the abandonment of public education as a shared goal, as well as self-proclaimed white supremacists and fascists regularly targeting our campus community with their hate speech and violent threats. A student opinion piece responding to these threats, however imperfectly, is not the real threat to the University.

Johnson fought against. Another irony is that of Johnson having once been the Editor of the newspaper that is now the University Star. The publication of the racist opinion piece by Martinez should not be compared to the other disgusting acts that took place on our campus in the Fall 2017 semester; like, when cowards use anonymous flyers and banners to be divisive, outrage is difficult to direct as there is no clear individual responsible. Simply because people do not outright express anger for such anonymous divisive events, it does not mean that they are complicit. It means we will not take the bait. When someone has the gall to put their name to their racism then outrage has a clear target. For too long

the Star has published yellow journalism with inflammatory opinion titles like “Why People Over the Age of 65 Should not be Allowed to Vote”, “Black People Cannot be Racist and Here is Why” and “The Wealthy Should not be Allowed to Reproduce”. With all due respect to Student Body President Clegg, I disagree with his call for the Star to be defunded. Are we to become a major Texas University without a student-run newspaper? I’m sure he will work with the administration to find compromise and a true solution to this issue. As for the Pan African Action Committee, it is a shame that they do not disavow the very same racism they strive to eradicate. When we say, “protect all bobcats” we mean every student

population. My disgust for racism does not discriminate. I hope this organization will also come to the table and help build a better community for all Bobcats. Both their responses to this issue were gung-ho and had little to no scope of ramifications for the community or image of Texas State University. I am excited about the steps the School of Mass Communication and Journalism is taking to improve the University Star and eager to see the results.

able on campus? We want our daughter to be exposed to different people and ideas but not attacked for who she is or what she believes. Colleges across the nation are losing sight of constructive conversations. By allowing this article to be published, which was a conscious decision on the editorial staff ’s part, you became part of the problem in shutting

down constructive conversations and complicit in promoting hate speech. I was a journalism major. We were taught we are there to report all sides of a story with an unbiased approach so that the reader could decide what they agreed on. Although this was an op-ed, the newspaper still has an ethical responsibility. Your first response fell very short.

This response is a first step to repairing the trust, but far from the last step that must be taken. Our family sacrifices greatly for the benefit of our daughter and Texas State. We will only continue this investment in Texas State as long as we know our daughter is safe.

Signed, Dr. Jeffrey Helgeson Associate Professor of History Texas State University Dr. Jessica Pliley Associate Professor of History Texas State University

Sincerely, A still proud Bobcat, Albert Aguilera

Christine Kjosa

The University Star

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 7

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Greetings Editor of The University Star, I am writing to you as a concerned Texan, in response to the article published in the Texas State University Star, titled "Whiteness: Your DNA is an abomination". In an age of repeating news cycles about attacks on civil society, such as the church shooting in Sutherland Springs Texas, the massacre in Las Vegas, and etc, articles of this nature, with suggestions of death to white people, are a real danger and threat, not only to racial conciliation, but to the lives of citizens. It should be a real concern to you, that your university and the Star, have become a platform to express such

Dear Ms. Cervantes, As a graduate of (Texas State), an educator, and current member of the (Texas State) Alumni Association, I am embarrassed and disappointed by the opinion piece regarding race that the

Ad astra per aspera Rudy Martinez’s recent op-ed for The University Star, titled “Whiteness,” recently garnered national media attention and instigated a backlash in the comment threads of various social media outlets. Those who voiced their outrage by calling for the closure of our University’s newspaper reminded me of a 1995 episode of "The Simpsons," titled “Bart’s Comet.” After a large comet is discovered to be hurtling toward Springfield, the denizens become discomposed, then descend into hysteria, panic, and chaos. Later, after the disaster is averted, Moe the bartender stands at the head of an angry mob and shouts, “Let's go burn down the observatory so this will never happen again!” Of course, there is a great deal to find objectionable with Mr. Martinez’s inflammatory editorial. His opening assertion that white people are not generally “decent,” based on his limited personal experience, is an ungainly amalgamation of different fallacies: straw man argument, hasty generalization, and motivated reasoning. Many have pointed out the irony of his apparent lack of self-awareness, while decrying genocide, in using the same style of rhetoric as Nazi propagandists. Martinez describes white people as an “aberration,” and states, “I hate you because you shouldn’t exist.” Later attempts by some to downplay Martinez’s sentiment as being primarily about white culture in general, and not white people specifically, are hard to take seriously when the giant subtitle in the print edition was “Your DNA is an abomination.” However, far more troubling than one, heavy-handed and broadly offensive editorial have been those responding calls to gut the paper’s staff, or even to de-fund the Star by eliminating the student fee that supports it. This is Moe Szyslak calling for the destruction of the observatory in order to protect Springfield from meteorites. This is unplugging your seismometer because earthquakes are scary. Or removing your weather vane, because you didn’t like which way the wind was blowing that one day in November. Let’s be honest: in an age of smartphones, Twitter, and email, we no longer need a campus newspaper in order to stay informed about our community. However, we do require this venue for ideas and notions that are incompatible with our current appetite for the facile forms most rhetoric now takes—what journalists and marketers

Dear Editor, I was disturbed this morning to discover that my beloved Alma Mater had gained International notoriety for a disgusting article in the university newspaper by Rudy Martinez. The article is racist and bigoted in the extreme and has no place in a publication that represents @universitystar

open racist attacks, that do nothing to promote civil discourse. A university should be the bastion of debate, discourse, and people from all walks of life coming together and learning together. I don't see debate or civil discourse in: • "Your DNA is an abomination" (a thing that causes disgust or hatred) • "White Death" • "I see white people as an aberration" (a freak, a quirk, a mistake) • "Remember this: I hate you because you shouldn't exist" Universities tend to lecture, and well you do! Lecturing us (the public) on issues of racism and more.

This article removes the university from the discussion because, with that view, there can be no legitimacy of a claim to non-bias, (nor does the article leave room for debate). Imagine this article written if it targeted people of color, Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, or any of the other wonderful people who share our 'common' DNA? The outrage would be on every news channel. As one article put it, "Dr. Venter and scientists at the National Institutes of Health recently announced that they had put together a draft of the entire sequence of the human genome, and the researchers had unanimously declared, there is only one race -- the human race"

(Source: NYTimes "Do Race's Differ? Not Really, Genes Show"). Declaring one races DNA an abomination is an attack on humanity as a whole.... likewise, an attack on any racial demographic is an attack on us all. I can't even imagine this article being real, but yet here it is. I was almost speechless but hopefully managed to cobble together enough words to express my protest and outrage at this article's expression of racism in its purest form.

University Star chose to publish. The tripe expressed in the piece does not start "conversation," it simply compounds confrontation. I was honored to deliver the commencement speech for my graduating class (Dec. '88). I spoke of the importance of diversity and ac-

ceptance and how the university afforded me the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all races and cultural backgrounds. It was a lesson that has enriched my life. If in fact Mr. Martinez has only encountered a handful of "decent" white people in his life,

perhaps the issue is with him and not an entire race of people. I hope maturity will bring reflection and wisdom to Mr. Martinez.

alike call “snackable content.” Because some of the things we need to think about aren’t fun and simple. They’re going to upset our stomachs or leave a bad taste in our mouths. And that’s okay. With the decline of print journalism in America, the erosion of tenure protections, and the looming end of net neutrality, we ought to be very careful about snuffing out the few remaining fonts of information which are not explicitly designed to be found agreeable by minds that are exposed to increasingly less variety. It is beyond me how some can scoff at syllabus trigger warnings and politically correct language, and then turn around and call for a newspaper to be shuttered over an offensive article. College is a place where students are challenged, but occasionally some of these challenges will be poorly executed. Mr. Martinez’s mistake was not in speaking his mind, or even in believing those ideas which he espoused, but rather in not being willing or able to balance a burning issue with his journalistic responsibility to benefit his readership. In this sense, it’s fair to say that his reach far exceeded his grasp. Rudy Martinez’s work will no longer be published in the Star, but neither he nor his editors should be dismissed as a punitive measure. This is a learning environment, and making errors is a part of that. If they are stripped of their megaphone, and the editorial responsibility this privilege requires, fine—but the emphasis of this action ought to be on making space for a new group of students who are equally enthusiastic to inform and challenge. Students who will make new, better, and more interesting mistakes. Systemic racism, the specter of white supremacy, and historical inequalities are all relevant topics of discussion. And we cannot expect that these topics can or even should be divorced from the fury, pain, and bitterness they quite naturally engender. Let’s embrace these difficult subjects in a spirit of openness and accountability. Because Mr. Martinez is right about at least one thing: we are in a pivotal age of reckoning. There’s no ignoring that. And just because a telescope cannot protect us from a comet doesn’t mean it’s not worth the trouble to know what’s hurtling toward us, even now. Ben Reed, Lecturer, English Department Texas State University

the university. Is this what Texas State has become? The school I remember was a place admired for its freedom of thought, racial diversity, and acceptance of all kinds of people. If Mr. Martinez' article is indicative of our school today, then it has undoubtedly devolved into nothing more than a tool of the totalitarian left.

A response to the recently published article: Your DNA is an abomination Here at Texas State, we are not divided by our differences, we are unified and united, even in times of adversity. There is no place here for hate or intolerance; at a University home to so many different walks of life. I and others will not be silent after reading the article titled: “Your DNA is an abomination”. This is because silence in the face of bigotry is bigotry. Not standing up to intolerance is standing for it. I and so many others stand together with the knowledge that any one of us can make a difference and that an individual’s intolerant thoughts and actions say more about the person they come from than the person they are directed towards. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal’ pursue and refer to this when your paper ignorantly suggests anything else. Our

Don’t Close Your Eyes Last week the Bobcat community was visibly disturbed by an opinion column in our student newspaper, The University Star. We witnessed firsthand that non-white people cannot criticize ‘whiteness’ too loudly. In our studies, our English professors teach us to read critically, read for facts, and read for understanding. Still, several hundred students did their English professors a disservice last week. One particularly misrepresented point is Mr. Martinez’s definition of ‘whiteness.’ Many readers took ‘whiteness’ to mean a person with white skin, despite the definition provided. At first, it is easy to assume that the subject of discussion is people with white skin. That is the lazy option. That is the ‘failure to read for comprehension’ option. Reading the column through the proper lens of ‘whiteness’ as a social construct will liberate you from the fear that Mr. Martinez is calling for “white genocide.” The bending of his words by large entertainment outlets like Fox News served to distract from the legitimate points he made. Mr. Martinez, a student of philosophy, does write in a mildly pretentious way. That said, we are all capable of understanding his work and taking it for what it is - an opinion. Students, alumni, and donors alike shared in the fun of twisting Martinez’s words and condemned his supposed call for ‘death to white people.’ Are these col-

Racism and bigotry should not be given license in a publication that should be dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness. While I stand behind Mr. Martinez' right to believe whatever he wants and to say it if he wants, I do not think he should be able to say it in a publication that represents our university. If he wants a platform to spew his hate,

Sincerely, Chris Bankard

Pastor of North Orange Pentecostal Church Orange, Texas

Thank you, Joe Eliaz

ethnicity is a shared one, we are all humans, we all share the same land and breathe the same air. All lives matter, because no life and no ethnicity is inferior to any other life or ethnicity. My DNA is not an abomination because I know that my skin color has nothing to do with the person that I am, just as yours does not generalize who you are. The best way to stop intolerance of a skin color is to simply stop intolerance of skin color; not by glorifying it in a University newspaper. Please hold your paper to higher standards or simply employ students who do not sport bigotry and intolerance. There is no need to respond to this message. Instead, fulfill the duties and obligations of your position by not promoting any more hateful articles. Kindly, Nicholas Funari Graduate Student: MPA

lege-educated adults incapable of reading at a college level? Rather than choosing empathy and asking, “Is there truth in his words?”, ‘whiteness’ chose to use its power to silence those who oppose them. With uncharacteristic speed, our university President Dr. Trauth used her power to publicly call Martinez’s opinion “racist.” Similarly, the student body president used his position to threaten the defunding of our school’s newspaper. Writers at the Washington Examiner, Breitbart, Turning Point USA, and Fox News all publicly shamed Martinez. ‘Whiteness’ works by silencing critics who speak too loudly. When he chose to address a social issue and try to make this country a better place, Martinez spoke too loudly. He lost his job at the University Star as well as his job at a local small business. The exercise of someone’s First Amendment right should not be met with punishment in a free country like ours. Our forefathers roll over in their graves. ‘Whiteness’ works by delegitimizing legitimate grievances and silencing critics who are given too loud of a voice. Our school personally witnessed both elements of that. If we want to grow from this, I implore you: When ‘whiteness’ bears its true, ugly colors right in your face, don’t close your eyes. David Coby Management senior

then there are many outlets that could be suggested. Sincerely, Robert Tuuk BA Communications Class of 1988

LETTERS POLICY: The University Star welcomes letters from our readers. Letters must be 300 words or fewer to be considered for publication. Please include your full name, mailing address, major and academic year designation, phone number and e-mail address when submitting a letter. Submissions that do not include this information cannot be published. This information is seen only by the editors and is not used for any commercial purpose. Letters become the property of The Star and may be republished in any format. The letter may be edited for length and clarity. You will be contacted if your letter is a candidate for publication. We will not run letters that are potentially libelous, discriminatory, obscene, threatening or promotional in nature. Email:




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December 5, 2017  
December 5, 2017