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@universitystar |

Volume 107, Issue 16


Hays County flu cases rise by 2,000 percent

Stephanie Kelley, respiratory care senior, applies hand sanitizer while working in a hospital. PHOTO BY KATIE BURRELL

By Bianca Beronio News Reporter Flu related deaths have been reported in Travis County, as well as cities like Dallas and San Antonio amidst a nation-wide flu outbreak. According to Hays County officials, the flu has seen a 2,000 percent increase before Texas State students returned from break.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 4,201 confirmed cases of the flu for the 2017-18 season, with symptoms appearing in both children and adults. The DSHS suspects the numbers could be even higher. Ian Harris, Hays County Health Department epidemiologist, reported 304 confirmed cases of the flu among Hays County residents in 2017. According to

Harris, the cases are a 2000 percent increase relative to the 15 reported cases seen during the 2016 holiday season. Harris said this year’s flu vaccine failed to provide protection for the Type A strain of the flu seen in residents now. City officials predict that the rise in flu cases will continue into February as students are returning for the spring semester. Hays County has only seen positive

reports for the Type A strain, but both Type A and B have been seen in Travis County. "This year the predominant type is Type A, and it's actually an H3N2 virus," Harris said. "That's been something that's predominant this whole year."




More businesses join Springtown Mall restoration

Task force forms to review Greek Affairs governance

By Shayan Faradineh Managing Editor Springtown Mall, a vacant shopping complex has undergone restoration since 2014. While some shops still remain vacant, restaurants and businesses are beginning to populate the area again. Springtown, located at Interstate 35 and Springtown Way, has been largely vacant since Target, Best Buy, JCPenney and Bealls left nearly 10 years ago; some chose to relocate to newer shopping centers nearby. Blaze Pizza and Summer Moon Coffee Bar opened new locations in the shopping complex. Blaze Pizza opened on Jan. 18 and Summer Moon opened on Jan. 15. This is the second Summer Moon location to appear in San Marcos, the other being under Ella Lofts, opened in September.


By Shayan Faradineh Managing Editor A committee consisting of 31 faculty, staff, advisors, alumni and students have formed to conduct the review of Greek Affairs governance, following the death of a student Nov. 13. Matt Ellis passed away in his sleep Nov. 13 off campus, following a social event hosted his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. A week prior to Ellis’ death, the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi ordered the Texas State chapter to cease its social activities due to an on-going investigation, at the time. The task force is evaluating the policies and rules of Greek Affairs when they are violated. In this circumstance, a suspended fraternity was still operating, the task force is evaluating how to prevent and strengthen the governance to ensure safety of all students. The Greek Affairs task force has 16 faculty and staff, five advisors and alumni and five students for the review. Matt Flores, university spokesperson, said the task force has had one preliminary meeting. “My understanding is that the review is ongoing and that recommendations should be forthcoming sometime around the end of February or early

President Denise Trauth suspended Greek Affairs after the death of Matt Ellis, a Phi Kappa Psi member. Ellis was found by friends Nov. 12, following a social event held by the fraternity. PHOTO BY SHAYAN FARADINEH

March,” Flores said. The San Marcos Police Department is leading the investigation into the death of Ellis. Preliminary investigation indicated that alcohol may have been a factor in this death, but authorities are awaiting

toxicology results from the autopsy. The autopsy of Ellis was ordered by Judge Maggie H. Moreno and is being conducted by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.


The University Star

2 | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Editors Editor-in-Chief: Denise Cervantes, Managing Editor: Shayan Faradineh, News Editor: Katie Burrell, Lifestyle Editor: LeeAnn Caldwell, Opinions Editor: Carrington Tatum, Sports Editor: Brooke Phillips, Copy Desk Chief: Claire Abshier, Design Editor: Vivian Medina, Multimedia Editor: Victor Rodriguez, Engagement Editor: John Lee,

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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, January 23, 2018. 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

Katie Burrell News Editor @KatieNicole96 @universitystar

FROM FRONT FLU The current flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective against the mutant strain of influenza. Officials continue to recommend that those who have yet to be inoculated be sure to do so, as the vaccine will still protect against several strains of the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 4,201 confirmed cases of the flu for the current 20172018 season. As the spring semester begins, many non-pharmaceutical interventions can be used to protect against the current outbreak. The health center is currently offering flu vaccinations to students, which health officials say is the first line of defense against infection. Eric Schnieder, Hays County epidemiologist, said those living in close quarters

A flu vaccine sits on the counter of B&J Pharmacy. Due to high demand, this is the only pharmacy in San Marcos with the flu vaccine in stock. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ

such as dorms and shared apartments should make sure to frequently wash their hands, clean communal areas and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Additionally, health officials recommend staying away from those exhibiting symptoms of the flu such as cough-

ing, sneezing or fever. The CDC said individuals should avoid contact with others as much as possible until fever symptoms have been absent for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.


Alumna creates amputee foundation after accident By Sandra Sadek News Reporter After 25 years, the Texas State alumna is hoping to help other amputees rebuild their lives through her organization, the San Antonio Amputee Foundation. When Mona Patel was hit by a drunk driver in 1990 and had one of her legs amputated, she knew her life would never be the same again. It was in the early afternoon of March 1, 1990, that Patel was hit twice by a car. She was thrown 12 feet upwards and six feet across before being pinned between the vehicle and a metal railing. The accident caused her leg to shatter from compound fractures on her tibia and fibula bones, leaving all muscle tendons exposed. "I noticed a man sitting in a car parked along the right side of the service road," Patel said. "I remember making full eye contact with him before going behind his car and walking along the right side of the road. Next, I was sitting up on the road with my books and other school supplies scattered everywhere." Patel was given two options by the hospital that admitted her: she could either salvage her limb, or undergo amputation. Being a minor at the time, her parents decided to salvage her limb. Patel then suffered gangrene, which resulted in a partial foot amputation four weeks into her hospitalization. "Shock protected me from the physical pain but I still had a calm demeanor,"

Patel said. Over the next seven years following the accident, Patel underwent a total of 20 surgeries in order to save her injured limb. As she was preparing for another surgery, she knew she needed something different and sought a support group. She said her biggest concern was towards pregnancy and motherhood, something she worried would not be possible as an amputee. "I was tired of the chronic pain, the limited endurance, ... subsequently losing strength and starting over in rehab," Patel said. "I did not find a support group but (I) did find an amputee who was also a mother. She answered all my questions and put strength and comfort in my heart .... I elected to have my leg amputated and vowed that ... I’d start a support group in the San Antonio area." The San Antonio Amputee Foundation started 20 years ago as part of a group project in one of Patel's graduate social work classes at Texas State, known then as Southwest Texas State University. She created the support group to fill the service voids in her community with the belief that there must be other people in need. Her foundation also created a team called Cloud Walkers who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 feet. In 2015, she put together a team of nine amputees and a medical crew to climb the mountain; proving that anyone can climb any mountain in their

Mona Patel, Texas State alumna is the founder of the San Antonio Amputee Foundation. PHOTO COUTESY OF MONA PATEL

own lives. "I was not going to allow anyone else to make me feel 'less than' or 'damaged' or like a 'cripple'," Patel said. Patel plans to continue building membership and awareness for her foundation. She wants to create an amputee youth program to support children with limb loss and their parents. Patel will continue exposing her members to opportunities for healthy lifestyles.

FROM FRONT BUSINESS The restaurant and the coffee bar now join recent developments in the area like The Spot and Chuys. Chuys and The Spot opened its doors in September and October, respectively, 2016. The departures left behind about 200,000 square feet of empty space. The vacancies were related to the area being owned by four different land owners. Endeavor Real Estate Group completed its purchase of the Springtown shopping center in November 2014 and is continuing to utilize the square feet left behind. On Aug. 23, 2016, the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the real estate group to rezone 6.57 acres from General Commercial to Vertical Mixed-use. The zoning change allowed the developer to build a mixed-use project featuring a mix of retail and student housing.

The Lyndon apartment complex is under construction and is estimated to open in 2019. PHOTO BY TYLER JACKSON

FROM FRONT GREEK Kristi Stark, interim communications director for the City of San Marcos, said SMPD has not received the toxicology reports of Ellis. Following the death, President Denise Trauth sent an email regarding the tragedy. In her email, Trauth stated she has suspended all activities of fraternities and sororities until a review is completed. “As a result of this tragedy, I have suspended activities of all Greek fraternity

and sorority chapters at Texas State,” Trauth stated. “These chapters are prohibited from holding new-member events, chapter meetings, social functions and philanthropic activities until a thorough review of the Greek Affairs system is completed.” Trauth has asked Joanne Smith, vice president of Greek Affairs, to immediately “review and propose recommendations for reinstating fraternity and sorority chapters that demonstrate

a commitment to the core values of Texas State and the ideals established by their respective national organizations.” Smith is leading the task force. Greek Affairs has been suspended since Nov. 14. Formals, date parties and spring recruitment are temporarily banned while the review is ongoing. The task force includes the Interfraternity Council president as well as Panhellenic Council president.

The University Star

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 3


LeeAnn Caldwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell @universitystar





Michael Burns stands inside an Olympic ring at the 2016 Rio Olympics summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL BURNS

Students, professor to represent Texas State at Winter Olympics By LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Editor A professor will lead two students to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea as they embark on the internship of a lifetime. John Lee, marketing sophomore and The University Star engagement editor, and Eun Jeong Lee, master’s student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will serve as runners for NBC’s Today Show at the Olympics. Michael Burns, senior lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, will work alongside the two students as the lead runner of the internship program, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 28. Burns said the runner position with NBC News at the Olympics is the coveted position with the network due to the sheer amount of opportunity and experience runners are exposed to. Run-

ners help with a variety of tasks including arriving before the games begin to help set up a functioning news bureau and studio, exploring the city, timing the distance between locations, transporting guests to the studio, translating and working with the creative team on preparing content for the show. In 2006 while working on his master’s degree, Burns attended his first Olympic games in Torino, Italy as a runner for NBCs’ Today Show. This will be Burns’ fifth Olympic games. In addition to his freelance work with NBC’s Today Show on their Olympic coverage, Burns also oversees the internship program and serves as the lead runner. “I’ve been literally in their shoes before and now I am kind of leading the pack in it,” Burns said. “What I like about it is that because I am a professor I have a unique skill set that allows me to really make sure the students get the most out of their experiences.”

This year marks the first in 12 years that Texas State has had students intern with NBC at the Olympics. “I think Texas State students are uniquely prepared just because of the type of culture we have here at Texas State,” Burns said. “Students here are pretty hard working and they are pretty motivated. I always say Texas State students are kind of scrappy, like we’re willing to do anything and we’ll try really hard, it’s just a different culture.” This year’s runner program sought students fluent in Korean, a language not offered on campus. Burns said he was only able to find a handful of students at Texas State who met this requirement, but was pleased to offer them the opportunity to use their unique skill set as a way to be a part of an invaluable experience. John Lee said he thinks this experience is especially unique because it is in the country where his family is from

and where he culturally identifies. “I grew up watching the Olympics, so just to say that I was there physically but also to say I was a part of the Olympics in some aspect is exciting,” John Lee said. “If it was in a different country it would still be really special, but because it is in Korea it is even more special.” Eun Jeong Lee is an international student from Korea and said she is very excited to be representing Texas State at one of the biggest global events. “As a South Korean, I am very happy that South Korea and North Korea will march together under one flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony,” Eun Jeong Lee said. The trio will be sending back pictures to Texas State as well as periodically taking over the university’s Snapchat so students can live through their experience working at the Olympics.


Student balances freshman year with modeling dreams By Marissa Martinez Special to the Star A fashion merchandising freshman spends her time out of school perusing a successful career in modeling. Nina Ann Monzon, fashion merchandising freshman, said the modeling industry is constantly changing and she spends hours every day after class finding new modeling jobs and bookings to stay prominent in the fashion world. Her talent agency, Exposure Models and Talent, contacts her regularly with upcoming fashion gigs in order to build her portfolio.

Nina Monzon, fashion merchandising freshman, discusses her life as a model and student. Monzon began her modeling career at age 14. PHOTO BY LEXI ALTSHUL

Monzon has walked in Kansas City Fashion Week for eight consecutive seasons, walking in over 30 shows for Project Runway designer, Althea Harper and Michael Drummond, Windsor the clothing store, infamous Natalia Meyers and numerous others. She has also worked for magazines such as HERLIFE, VintageKC, EA Bride and Vogue Italia. “I have worked with her for so many years and am still in awe of the way she is able to tell a story through her work,” Career Images model, Lexy Covinsky, said. At 14, Monzon became a model after several years of people persuading her into the industry. “The modeling world is always being ridiculed, misjudged and perceived in a negative light,” Monzon said. “Modeling is a commitment, a stressful and hard job. This job has tough requirements that involve a certain height, weight and age. I have been fat-shamed or asked to lose 10 pounds. I have been underpaid. It is a demanding, but rewarding industry.” Monzon said people believe it is easy money, but fail to realize the long hours that models have to stay for an editorial photo shoot and the body-shaming comments that they receive. After spending years in the modeling industry, Monzon said she has had to grew a tough layer of skin to handle body criticism from respected designers and false accusations towards models. “The modeling world is my safe haven, and my tribe,” Monzon said. “This industry is inclusive and accepting of me. My job as a model is to show people

that it is okay to be themselves. I get to work with creative, unique models and designers that love what they do. I have made lifetime friendships. Modeling is my everything.”

“The modeling world is always being ridiculed, misjudged and perceived in a negative light.” -Nina Monzon Nina Monzon, fashion merchandising freshman, has worked for magazines such as Vogue Italia and HERLIFE.

Monzon said that when she came to San Marcos from Kansas-City she was nervous about her career, but ended up booking shoots with Austin photographers through her ambition and strong work ethic. “Nina is a rising star in the modeling world,” Exposure Model and Talent model, Abigal Schiff said. “Nina has over a thousand followers on Instagram and is continuing to grow through her


hard-work ethic and ongoing persistence to become one of the best.” Monzon said she wants to continue working in the fashion industry for the rest of her life and her ultimate goal is to be a big-time model and an eminent fashion icon in New York City. Nina Monzon is a name you will remember.


Professor's musical experiences influence teaching philosophy By Ashley Brown Lifestyle Reporter From traveling the world and performing for audiences to being nominated for, and winning, several awards, Todd Oxford has stepped away from the limelight to help young musicians at Texas State rise to success. Though Oxford still performs, he now spends most of his time coaching young musicians as the assistant profes-

sor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at the School of Music. In his biography, Oxford is described as a world-class touring performer, recording artist and educator. He has made appearances in several countries including Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Canada. Oxford grew up in a home where he was constantly exposed to music. Going to school, many of his friends in classes ahead of him played insturments which

had an impact on him. Before Oxford involved himself in the middle school band, some of the students from the band went to perform to his class, which was one of the driving points for him to become involved. Oxford completed all of his collegelevel studies at The University of Texas finishing with his doctoral in musical arts. This is where he made close bonds with his professors and colleagues. He said he still stays in contact with some

of his college professors to this day. These bonds had an influence on both him and his later to be teaching philosophy. "As a college student, I developed some very close relationships with my professors," Oxford said. "As I began to teach on my own, I wanted to kind of carry on that idea, that relationship between professor and student."


4 | Tuesday, January 23, 2018


The University Star LeeAnn Caldwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell @universitystar


5 ways By Ashley Brown Lifestyle Reporter It is no secret that many college students struggle with money. The average income of most students will fall between $4,000 and $11,000 dollars a year according to In a 2014 study, seven out of 10 seniors who graduated from a public university had an average student loan debt of about $30,000. After some math, there is not much money left for essential needs like toiletries, groceries or fun activities. Here are five ways students can save money this spring.

MEAL PREPPING FOR CONVENIENCE Eating out may not seem like an expensive habit in the moment, but after a while those meals can add up. One Fuego taco is about $4. If one student gets two tacos from Fuego on every visit, and revisits for both lunch and dinner daily, that adds up to more than $100 a week in Fuego tacos. Meal prepping can help avoid this

students can budget successfully this semester

kind of disposable spending. Buying ingredients that can be put together to make a variety of different meals will give a student different food options throughout the week. This can decrease the amount of money spent at restaurants like Fuego or Whataburger.

TRACKING WITH A JOURNAL Writing down how much money one spends can help students realize how much they are spending. Every time a card is swiped or cash is exchanged, writing what was bought and how much of it was bought can help students create a spending-log. Sierra Gonzalez, Texas State alumna, said she feels like the first step in taking control of finances is knowing where the money is going. "Start keeping a journal of your spending if you use cash. It's easy if you use debit, primarily because most cards can show you your statement," Gonzalez said. "Once you know where your money is actually going, you can see where you can save."


SAN MARCOS “Growing up my grandma and mom always told me ‘you’re not better than anybody and you’re just as good as everybody. Nobody is better than you. You’re not better than anybody. Everyone is on the same playing field.’ But, coming here and looking around in some classes and you’re like one of five (students of color) or one of two. In one of my classes this semester everyone else is of Caucasian ethnicity and it

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF FREE OPPORTUNITIES Maybe weekend trips to the Square and Sixth Street are getting a little costly, both in gas and at the bar. Dollar Dos Tuesdays are not enough to save students from the intensity of the bar tabs. Replacing some of these weekly activities with free ones can help save a little bit more. Mary Kate Tischler, public relations graduate student, said she adopted some self-care regimens that took up her free time so she would not spend as much money. "I would meditate, go for a hike, take a bubble bath, give myself an at home facial, have girl’s night in, have Game of Thrones marathons at my house," Tischler said. Carlos Salinas, psychology senior, said he tries to avoid using his debit card. “I always try to have a little cash on me," Salinas said. "Enough to enjoy my time out but nothing less that could cause me to use my card.”

ADOPTING THE 25 PERCENT RULE Saving money sounds great, but learning how much to save and how often can be tricky. The 25 Percent Rule can help portion out finances. Each time money is received, take 25 percent of it and put it away and do not touch it again until the time has come. Jasminh Abor, Spanish senior, said this tactic helps her stay on top of bills. "Pay bills first and pay your savings first. Then use the extra money for whatever," Abor said. Alli Robinson, interdisciplinary studies sophomore, said she stores money in her savings for a month and then allows herself to use it the next month. "This is the plan I have been using since the start of my freshman year and if I continue with this plan of mine, I will graduate debt free with some extra (cash)," Robinson said. Even if financial stability seems difficult, it can be achieved through careful yet realistic planning and persistence. and following through.

JaVaun Butler stands outside of the theatre building and discusses his journey with self confidence. PHOTO KATIE BURRELL

is only I and a coworker of mine (who are not). That whole fear thing tried to come back, I didn’t think I was strong enough for that. I thought that my opportunities would be limited but I’ve started paying attention to other successful black people, and I feel more confident now. “ – JaVaun Butler, Theatre sophomore

FROM PAGE 3 MUSIC John Henrick, music studies senior, said it is those types of bonds with his music professors and close-knit family feel within the music school that made him want to come back to Texas State for a graduate degree in music. "All of the faculty I've interacted with in the School of Music have given off that family vibe," Henrick said. "Texas State is the only place I applied because of the way the music building feels. It feels like a second home. All of the faculty feels very personal." Oxford took an opportunity in 2002

to step in as a one-year replacement for Texas State's saxophone professor at the time. This was Oxford's first fulltime college-level teaching position. "I absolutely fell in love with it, I just enjoyed working with the young people so much," Oxford said. "Teaching really helps you think about what you're doing as a performer and how to explain that to other people." From there, Oxford was hired as an adjunct professor. Over the years through gaining experience and building his own saxophone studio, Oxford

Want to see your name in print?

became a senior lecturer. "One of the most important things he teaches us is a combination of time management and how to be professional," Henrick said. "Oxford always gives a very big emphasis on contacting people quickly in a professional manner. We learn to be professional not just as musicians but (just in general) how to manage ourselves." The opportunity to perform is still present for Oxford. He continues to do so as an artist and an endorser with the Eastman Saxophones. Oxford said being able to perform helps him bring back experiences to share with his students. It also helps him find new ways to teach. "I can bring those experiences and re-

late them back to a student that might be in a very similar situation," Oxford said. "I have a number of undergraduate students that go out and enter competitions themselves, or once they graduate, audition for professional organizations." Oxford's teaching philosophy revolves around his relationships with his students and helping them find a healthy balance of technical craft with an instrument and the love for music itself. "The technical means and the craftsmanship of playing an instrument need to be intertwined with the heart of playing, it all has to go together," Oxford said. "It all has to go together to make a beautiful picture."

Come find out how to get your name in print! Our student editors will go over how student media is run and how to plug in. Whether you are interested in




or PUBLIC RELATIONS, The Star has a place for you!

Come to Star Training!

01/26/2018 11:00am - 12:30pm Old Main Room 201

Todd Oxford, Grammy nominated saxophonist and associate professor stands with his saxophone in front of the Performing Arts Center. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIQUEZ | MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

The University Star


Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 5 Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington @universitystar

Ignore the distractor-in-chief "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending (its) best...They're rapists and some I would assume are good people." These lines were some of the first to make headlines for thenpresidential candidate Donald Trump. "I just start kissing them...I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it...Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." This is the quote that was sure to expose then-candidate Trump and eliminate him from the presidential race but only strengthened his core. The same man that is now president of the United States, has continued a trend of making headlines for the things he says, "despite the constant negative covfefe." Most recently the Washington Post broke the news that in meetings concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals President Donald Trump is quoted questioning, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Temporarily disregarding the clearly racist sentiment that lies at the core of that question, there is a greater concern

with the way journalists and citizens react to the perpetual excrement that comes from the president whether by mouth or by tweet. If Einstein's definition of insanity, doing the same task over and over expecting different results is to be believed, then American journalists have surely gone off the deep end. When President Trump was able to place the hand that, "grabbed pussies" on the Bible and give an inaugural address with the same mouth that dejected minorities throughout his campaign, the Trump base appeared tolerant of discriminatory rhetoric so long as they believed they were the beneficiaries of President Trump's divisive behavior. Therefore, the people who would have a change of heart concerning President Trump based on their own values of inclusivity and equality as a result of something he said would have already done it by now. This means that the media only clogs important channels for education and empowerment by continuing to dedicate headlines to the continuous foul words of the president.

The people benefit from attention to their cause much more than attention to the character of President Trump. There are dreamers whose futures are uncertain, there are veterans who are homeless and or troubled by war, there are families with their healthcare at risk. Net Neutrality is gone, and offshore drilling will be expanded. All of these changes come while the

congressional government manages to be greatly dysfunctional. Rather than muster up a phony reaction of surprise when the president says something belligerent, lets double down on the issues he attempts to distract from. The people benefit from attention to their cause much more than attention to the character of President Trump. The seat of the presidency currently does not mean what it used to mean. So until someone is elected who will respect the office let's move away from reporting his words and report on his actions. What better way to weaken the reach of an egotistical demagogue than to treat his words as that of a child. Every morning President Trump feeds the blue bird over a cup of coffee and we rush to embed the bluebird's droppings into articles and dedicate air time to President Trump's next foul comment. However, it is crucial that we remember that our obligation to educate and empower is better served by focusing on the implications of policy. Giving too much attention to the wrong words only exacerbates the divide we face in our country.

The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University.


Marvel movie crossovers are not worth a Disney monopoly By Zach Ienatsch Opinions Columnist When it comes to putting people in seats at the movies, no company is more successful than Disney. The media conglomerate’s blockbuster arsenal includes Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar and live action remakes of its own classic intellectual properties. In addition to its film assets, Disney also owns ABC and its affiliates, ESPN, amusement theme parks and a long list of other properties in all forms of media.Considering how many hands Disney has in every cookie jar, it’s almost an understatement to say “Disney owns your childhood.” In December, Disney’s control grew even wider, with the acquisition of assets from 20th Century Fox at the cost of $52.4 billion. The deal included specific Marvel properties owned by Fox from well before Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Studios in 2012 from Paramount. Fans of the Marvel cinematic universe may delight in the reunion of Marvel properties under one distributor, allowing endless crossovers between superheroes previously segregated by distributors. After seventeen films, ten television shows, and occasional one-shots, wouldn’t it be incredible for the Avengers and X-Men to finally share the screen together? The short answer is no. It’s not worth it. To understand the danger of Disney’s reach, one must first understand the ownership of American media and entertainment first. In 1983, 50 companies owned approximately 90 percent of all media in the United States. By 2011, only six companies constituted

the same share of the market. Chances are every time you watch a movie or TV show, read a newspaper or magazine, watch any sort of cable news, or listen to music, the product you are enjoying is owned by one of these six companies. In 2015, prior to Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s assets, Disney was the second largest media corporation, after Comcast. Current estimates about Disney’s net worth are not reliable enough to reevaluate its rank in relation to Comcast, but the important aspect of the merger is one company continues to grow larger and swallow a larger piece of the pie, while the other shrinks in size and influence. The unfortunate effects of the deal are not meant to inspire pity for Fox executives, but rather consumers. While our favorite superheroes join forces to fight the evil powers that be, our news media outlets will do the same but to enable said villains. With fewer companies controlling nearly all forms of mass media, the message dispersed to the masses is restricted to serve the agenda of the few. It’s near impossible for a visible media platform to reach a wide audience successfully in this environment. Platforms that do are usually bought up by larger companies and join the vast holdings of one of the big six. This leads to a lack of diversity of opinion, such as the coverage of the FCC’s controversial repeal of net neutrality provisions. Discussion on the topic was largely unseen on cable news networks and late night talk shows. The media owners setting the agenda for their programming benefitted from the largely unpopular decision and contributed immense monetary support to


see the repeal’s success. It was in their best interest to use their stranglehold on media to prevent organized, widespread dissemination of information in opposition of the measure. For folks who still think an Avengers/X-Men crossover is worth the consequences, the 2012 comic series Avengers vs. X-Men is available for purchase online and in stores. Sure,

it’s not a motion picture and doesn’t feature the handsomely unproblematic presences of Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo, but the price American viewers have to pay is simply a step too far and endangers the integrity of entertainment, news and quality information. - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior


We must hold problematic family accountable By Zach Ienatsch Opinions Columnist For those who make a habit of visiting extended family for the holidays, chances are there is one uncle or cousin that you dread interacting with because you know without a semblance of doubt they will bring up a controversial topic followed by their equally distasteful opinion. In fact, if you do not have an un-problematic family member

making Thanksgiving dinner awkward, you may be in the minority. Unfortunately, this dynamic has been accepted as the natural price to pay to spend time with family members. Your grandparents will likely excuse some of their son’s inflammatory behavior so the family, as a whole, can “keep the peace” because the last thing they want to see is their bloodline fragmented into opposing factions on what could be their last Christmas. But surely a

tense yuletide celebration is not how one would want to ring in the new year? The problematic uncle does not have to work up the courage to come over and see his radical, egalitarian niece so why should you cower in fear at your own family? The true solution to your problematic family members is to use their own tactics to your advantage. They already get to say whatever racist, homophobic or sexist remarks come to mind and get

away with it year after year. We don’t even show the same consideration to your aunt’s lukewarm attempt at Asian gift exchange. No, when you walk into your grandparents’ house, you must hold no quarter and take your problematic family members to the cleaners for their bad opinions.


6 | Tuesday, January 23, 2018


The University Star Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington @universitystar

FROM PAGE 5 FAMILY When your grandmother refers to protesting NFL players by names you know are racially insensitive, you tell her that sort of speech is unacceptable. When your older male cousin says feminism is ruining Star Wars, you let him know he is complicit in the injustices women are fighting against. Even your parents are not safe from getting put on blast in front of the rest of the family for off-color remarks about trans individuals trying to use the restroom. You stand firm and pro-active in your convictions. It does not matter how old they are or if they are “stuck in their ways”

because even the late Senator Robert Byrd recanted his ties to the Klan and opposition to the 1964 Civil RIghts Act from earlier in his career before his death. The time to educate and hold your family members accountable is now. Do not entertain your parents’ pleas to wait “until you have your own family” or “after they pass away” because every Thanksgiving you listen to hate speech at the dinner table and say nothing is another tacit consent to let systematic violence and oppression flourish. Imagine if your black friends, gay friends, trans friends, etc. could sit in

on your family gatherings undetected. What do you want them to see? Do you want them to see you stick up for their well-being and existence by using your privilege to educate your family? Or are you content with them witnessing your silence and complicity? More importantly, you must stand up for the people you claim to support especially when they are not there. Even if your family is not terribly problematic in their speech, it does not necessarily mean there is not room for improvement. Your relatives do not have to recite slurs for you to feel obliged to step in and voice your

disapproval. The dialogue should not end with bare minimum low-hanging fruit such as hate speech, but extend to include topics even agreeable family members fall short on, such as recognizing one's place within systematic injustice. Being the loud-mouthed social justice warrior at family gatherings may not always be the easiest route, but holding the people closest to us accountable for their uneducated ramblings is always the ethical obligation for the grandchildren, nieces and nephews of privilege. - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior


Universities need conservative voices By Hunter Mabee Opinions Columnist Countless times it has been said that one of the main goals of college is to expose students to innovative ideas challenging what the students think. Texas State's mission statement even reinforces the notion in the line “embrace a diversity of people and ideas.” However, this idea of diversity is a lie. Universities across America lack diversity in ideas including Texas State. From the professor to the student, a difference in beliefs is in short supply. Look at the staff of universities around the nation, because this is the epicenter for the shortcomings of different ideas. The Washington Post reports that 50 percent of professors identify as Democrats while only 13 percent of professors are Republicans. The article also said that 87 percent of professors see themselves as liberal, while only 13 percent saw themselves as conservatives. This means that universities largely have people who share common beliefs while having few to challenge their beliefs. It must be stated that this difference could be for numerous reasons, like more republicans choosing to go to the

private sector instead of education, but the fact remains that one side of the country's beliefs are being left out of dialogues on university campuses.

ful to the students in that it seems as though students cannot even handle when a speaker comes to their school with whom they do not agree with, like

Let the record show it is not being suggested that all professors are bad at their jobs, there are many wonderful professors around campus who are truly great, but different thinking is desperately needed on campus. When he came to Texas State last semester, James R. Stoner, director of the political science department at Louisiana State, lectured about the need to have more conservative voices on campus, because it would lead to more ideas being exchanged. Let the record show it is not being suggested that liberal professors are bad at their jobs, there are many wonderful professors around campus who are truly great, but diverse thinking is desperately needed on campus. This shortage of ideas is also harm-

Ben Shapiro, James Comey, or Ann Coulter. The students feel the need to protest and do anything they can to stop the guest from speaking even if that means violence, as was seen at Berkeley over Milo Yiannopoulos. These actions run contrary to the value of embracing different ideas which is a core tenet of the purpose of universities. But one can not embrace a different idea if they can not even handle the notion of hearing something they disagree with. Rather than continue to make schools a place where

people only hear what they want to hear, the university should inject more perspectives in an attempt to expose students to a wider variety of views. If the universities truly are institutions for student success, then preparing them to enter a world that is increasingly diverse in ideas should be a top priority. Sadly, this does not look like the course that will be taken by university administrations. In the universities' failing to add conflicting voices, the Justice Department has taken up this issue. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has echoed all the concerns raised here saying colleges have turned “into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought.” This raises the question of whether or not colleges stifle the first amendment. And if so, this could cause a domino effect in that free speech will disappear in other places if it is allowed to disappear from college campuses. It is a sad day in America when one of the pillars this country was founded on is in question. Maybe it's time students and faculty start disagreeing. - Hunter Mabee is a philosophy senior



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The University Star


Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 7 Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_ @universitystar


A high jumper from the women's track and field team vaults herself over the pole at a meet from a past season. STAR FILE PHOTO

The hunt for a second title for women's track and field By Melea Polk Sports Reporter Texas State women’s indoor track and field team sets their sight on improving before an upcoming Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championship meet in Birmingham, Alabama Feb. 19. The Bobcats’ dominating performance last year earned them the 2017 SBC Indoor title with 166 points and seven gold medals. Returning for this season is senior sprinter Tramesha Hardy who earned Women’s Top Scorer with 32.5 points. She was also named Women’s Indoor Track Most Outstanding Performer of the year. Competing for another season is junior Devina Schneider who scored in all three of her events in the SBC Championship last season. Schneider competed in the mile run, 3000-meter and 5000-meter competitions. She has finished with a personal best and the second-fastest time in school history in the 3000-meter race

with a time of 9:54.91. Senior high-jumper Chelsie Decoud has returned after winning her third straight indoor gold medal in the high jump. Other Bobcats returning for this season include junior hurdlers Kaylee Krenek and Kylah Smith , who finished in second and third place in the women’s 60-meter hurdles races, respectively. The Bobcats started their season at the Purple Tiger Invitational track meet at the Carl Maddox Field House in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Texas State competed against other teams like Lousiana State, Texas Southern University, Tulane and the University of Louisiana. Decoud took second place after clearing the 1.70-meter mark. The team swept the triple jump with sophomore triple-jumpers Taydria Nickerson (11.64-meter) and Labryae Jackson (11.29-meter). Texas State continued the season at the Ted Nelson Invitational meet in College Station, TX Jan. 12-13.

“Early in this season, we competed well as a team," said Jody Stewart, director of track and field/cross country . "We had challenges, but our athletes responded well, competed tough and will continue to learn from these ex-

line at 55.19 and Schneider crossed in the mile at 5:00.97. The women’s 1600 m relay ended with junior sprinter Dawnshae Evans , and Hardy finishing ahead of all other SBC teams with a time of 3:46.14.

"We had challenges, but our athletes responded well, competed tough and will continue to learn from these experiences. As a team, we had some strong performances, but we still have work to do." -Jody Stewart periences. As a team, we had some strong performances, but we still have work to do." Hardy and Schneider recorded leading SBC times at the meet. Hardy crossed the 400-meter finish

Women's track and field will continue the season before the SBC Championship, at the New Mexico Invitational in Albuquerque Jan. 27 and the Jaguar Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama Feb. 4.


Preparation for upcoming SBC Indoor Championships for men's track and field By Melea Polk Sports Reporter The Texas State men’s indoor track and field team is hard at work in preparation for upcoming Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships after falling short of first place last season. The Bobcats finished in second place behind the University of Texas – Arlington. Texas State took home five first-place medals on the final day of the meet in Birmingham, Alabama. Returning for the Bobcats this season are 400-meter co-gold medalists senior sprinter De’Marcus Porter and junior sprinter Lincoln Warren. The duo crossed the finish line in a photo finish at 47.804 to take two gold medals home for the Bobcats. Senior sprinter Kelson Pierre who helped sweep the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.95. Senior distance runner Joseph Meade will also run his final season as a Bobcat. Meade took home the 5000-meter title last season after setting a new personal best and the second-fastest time in school history. Meade’s winning time was 14:30.7. The men’s 1600-meter relay will have to regroup after losing two members of the gold medal team. Pierre and Warren are the final two left. Junior thrower T’Mond Johnson has returned to the Bobcats on the field side of the team. Johnson’s 18.23-meter toss won him a gold medal and the third best throw in program history. Texas State seniors this season include mid-distance runner Noe Belmares Jr., jumper Alvin Chikaeze, sprinter Aaron George, distance runner Jose Angel Gonzalez, hurdler Christopher Green, mid-distance runner Jordan Janer, mid-distance runner Logan Pittdman, Meade, Pierre and Porter. The Bobcats began their season Jan.

Jordan Huckaby, thrower, throws shot put at a track meet from a past season. STAR FILE PHOTO

5 in Baton Rouge at the Purple Tiger Invitational. The freshmen on the team showed why they belong after claiming three of the six gold medals Texas State took home. Freshman sprinter Jaylen Allen claimed the 200-meter dash title with a time of 22.13. Freshman sprinter Kobe Daniels stood at the top of the podium after winning the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.24. Freshman sprinter Tyrell Valentine took home the silver and freshman sprinter Matthew Parker took third. Freshman mid-distance runner Joe Austin also took first place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.97.

Chikaeze won the triple jump with a jump of 14.83-meter. Johnson also won the shot-put event with a throw of 18.50-meter. The Bobcats continued their season at the Ted Nelson Invitational in College Station. Texas State recorded 31 performances that ranked in the top ten in the Sun Belt Conference. Chikaeze took home the triple jump title with a leap of 15.16-meter. Chikaeze’s jump placed him on the top ten list in school history. Freshman jumper Ronnie Briscoe received the bronze medal with a leap of 14.29-meter. Johnson’s shot-put toss of 18.95-me-

ter was the second-best toss in shot put in school history. Other team members who had SBC top ten finishes were Pittdman (3000-meter run), Janer (mile), Pierre (400-meter dash) and the 1600-meter relay squad of sophomore hurdler Christian Jackson, Green, Briscoe and Pierre. Next for the Bobcats is the New Mexico Team Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico Jan. 27 and the Jaguar Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama Feb. 4. Texas State has two more meets before the SBC Indoor Championship meet in Birmingham, Alabama Feb. 1920. 20.

The University Star


Tuesday, January 23, 2017 | 8 Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_ @universitystar


Ace softball pitcher looks to end college career on top By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter Becoming an elite player in sports requires a certain level of passion and willingness to dedicate one’s life to their sport completely. Those traits shine brightly in Texas State star pitcher Randi Rupp. What began as an attempt by Rupp’s mother to help her daughter be more social ended up spurring a love of softball. “My twin and I were very shy when we were little so my mom just kind of threw us out there and we tried a bunch of things, but softball is what stuck,” Rupp said. Rupp made a big difference for the softball team at Texas State from the start, earning First Team All-Sun Belt Conference in her first season. She accomplished this feat the following two seasons as well, and was named the 2017 Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year. Calm and collected, Rupp enjoys the pressure that comes with her role as the Bobcat’s ace. “The competition and adversity that comes along with it, being out there with bases loaded, no outs and trying to get out of that," Rupp said. "That’s probably what I enjoy the most." Rupp, now in her senior year, has achieved tremendous success as the Bobcat’s ace in the circle and ranks second all-time in wins (82) and strikeouts (953) at Texas State. The right-handed ace also sits at third place all-time with a 1.84 career ERA and 33 shutouts pitched. Despite having an already large list of accomplishments, the senior pitcher has a few more to add. Reaching regionals twice and coming up short has left Rupp itching for the chance to advance

to Super Regionals. “I’m very blessed to be able to say that we’ve been there two years in a row so now I’m ready to move on and try and get to Supers,” Rupp said. “I’ve been there to regionals and I just want to continue to move forward.” Suffering heartbreak at the 2017 regionals has only hardened Rupp’s resolve to end her career with a ring. Her mentality has rubbed off on younger players, giving Rupp confidence that this will be her year. “We have the potential to win a conference championship this year and I want a ring before I get out of here,” Rupp said. “I think us upperclassmen have that mentality and I don’t think anything is going to stand in our way, we can handle adversity well.” As a veteran on her way out the door, Rupp takes the role of teaching up-andcoming players the ins and outs of the sport very seriously. The star pitcher believes the key to helping other players is open and frequent communication. “Keep communicating, I think back when I was an underclassman I was quiet. I didn’t say stuff when it needed to be said,” Rupp said. “That’s probably another thing I’ve learned over the past three and a half years, to speak up and communicate and not just be a ' watch me' role model.” Looking back on her time at Texas State, Rupp is grateful for the opportunity to have played softball alongside her twin sister Sara Rupp, crediting the sport for helping to strengthen their relationship. “We kind of found who we really are,” Rupp said. “Just playing with one another we’ve seen the good and bad of each other and it’s brought us closer, it’s created a bond that’s just indescribable, something I will cherish and hold on to

Randi Rupp, senior pitcher, stands at bat during a game from a previous season. Rupp is entering her final year on the softball team. STAR FILE PHOTO

forever.” Rupp has no intentions of ending her softball career and plans to pursue the sport after her time at Texas State comes to an end. “I’m definitely not ready to hang it

up, I’m not ready to quit playing," Rupp said. "I’m going to enlist in the draft in April. Softball has been my way of life for 19 years and I’m excited to see where it takes me.”


Junior infielder aims for champion success By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter With the beginning of the new year, a new season of college baseball follows closely behind. For Texas State, the upcoming season is another opportunity to improve on the season prior. For past several seasons, the Bobcats have hovered around a .500 record. The 2017 season saw the team continue the trend, posting a record of 29-30. Although they finished with a losing record, the Bobcats were able to earn a spot in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament. Overcoming the odds, the Bobcats downed both Little Rock, in the play-in round, and #1 seed Coastal Carolina, in the first round. The team's run ended with an 11-5 loss to Georgia Southern in the semifinals, just one game short of the conference championship game. The Bobcats open the 2018 season Feb. 16, with a three-game series against Oklahoma State at Bobcat Ballpark. Texas State was 1-2 against the Cowboys in 2017, the one victory being a 12-11 thriller. Sun Belt Conference play starts March 16 with a three-game home series against the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Texas State outscored the Mountaineers 15-7 in 2017, and swept them 3-0 for the season. Like the softball team, the baseball team is set to take on the Texas Longhorns multiple times this season. The 2017 season saw the Bobcats go 1-2 against the Longhorns. The highlight of

the three match-ups was the first meeting, an 11-10 extra innings victory for the Bobcats at home. The Bobcats will look to improve their performance in both away games and conference play in 2018. In 2017, the Bobcats were 7-17 in away games and 13-17 in conference play, a significant downgrade from their 20-13 home record. Returning for the Bobcats this season, are junior infielders Jonathan Ortega, Jaylen Hubbard and Derek Scheible, senior outfielder. These three could be the keys to putting together a potent offense. During the 2017 campaign, Ortega led the team in runs with 54, was second on the team in hits with 81 in 239 atbats, second in batting average at .339 and second in RBIs with 45. The criminal justice major is set to be one of the primary offensive weapons for the Bobcats. Hubbard followed closely behind Ortega as one of the 2017 season’s key players, posting a total of 67 hits and 43 RBIs, both good for third overall among the team. The Missouri City native also added 39 runs and boasted a .296 batting average. Scheible was close behind Hubbard, totaling 65 hits in 235 plate appearances. Scheible finished third on the team in total runs with 51 and added 32 RBIs. For the team to make an impact in the Sun Belt Conference and improve its record, it is clear that the trio of Ortega, Hubbard and Scheible must be effective this season.

Jonathan Ortega, junior infielder, winds up his throw to first base during a game from a previous season. Ortega is entering his third year on the baseball team. STAR FILE PHOTO


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January 23, 2018  
January 23, 2018