DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018
@universitystar | universitystar.com
Volume 107, Issue 17
Campus bookstore considers undergoing change in management By Sabrina Anderson News Reporter Employees of the University Bookstore at Texas State suspect a change in management this year that could impact prices. In an attempt to lower prices on textbooks and other supplies for students, the university is looking into bidding out the bookstore to a larger company with more experience in managing university bookstores. John Root, director of auxiliary services, said the company in management will not own the space, but
rather work on Texas State's behalf in managing the store. "The main thing we're looking for here is that we get a company that can provide the students with the most affordable textbook prices," Root said. According to Root, the goal of letting another company manage the store is to have better deals on buying supplies or shipping fees. As the majority of these companies have hundreds of stores under their management, merchandising companies are more likely to give discounted prices on bulk buys, such as textbooks or apparel items. Root also states that as of Jan. 8 the bookstore
is available to bid on by these larger companies and will end Feb.19. Through this process of bidding, Texas State’s committee reviewing team for this project will determine whether or not it wants to proceed with the new management, depending on what the bids look like and what benefits come with the companies. If the university decides to choose a company to manage the bookstore, the companies who have made a bid will then go to a review committee around Spring Break time, where it will then be decided which company will be awarded the position of managing.
After an awardee is chosen to manage the store, the award proposal must then be sent to the Board of Regents where the proposal will be considered for approval May 18-19. Lauren Williams, assistant manager of the bookstore, said that if all goes as planned, whoever is chosen to manage the bookstore will have complete control in managing by Nov. 2018.
SEE BOOKSTORE PAGE 2
Senior lecturer's classroom comedy conquers the Twittersphere SEE LECTURER PAGE 3
Sex workers are people, not objects
Students build a new wheelchair ramp for therapy program SOAR-Horseback Riding for All. PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHANIE RODRIGUEZ
SEE SEX PAGE 6
Texas State students build wheelchair ramp for local equestrian therapy program By Monique Flores News Reporter
Sophomore aims to take the game to the next level SEE BASKETBALL PAGE 8
Last fall, students volunteered after noticing a need at a local nonprofit which has reaped the benefits since. In November, students in Texas State’s Service-Learning Excellence Program and the Safe at Home initiative, an organization aimed at improving in-home accessibility to handicap individuals, crafted a wheelchair ramp for SOAR-Horseback Riding for All. The wheelchair ramp was needed to
improve accessibility for riders of all abilities and riding levels. It replaced an older, smaller installation that proved to be a nuisance over time. Joanna Norris, SOAR president and a certified therapeutic recreational specialist, developed the program with her sister, Joy Norris, vice president of SOAR. Joanna Norris said the volunteer work has made a daily difference to the organization. “We managed okay with our old ramp, but the new ramp has made a significant difference for our horses’ and riders’ accessibility levels,” Joanna
Norris said. “Every single one of our riders has noticed the difference and loves how easy it is to mount their horses and walk straight into the arena. It has made mounting (horses for) all of our clients smoother, faster and safer for everyone.” Joanna Norris said she and her sister developed the SOAR horseback riding program three years ago to provide individuals of all backgrounds and all levels the opportunity to ride and bond with horses.
SEE VOLUNTEER PAGE 2
The Honors College hires new associate dean By Sawyer Click News Reporter The new associate dean of the Honors College has completed his first week on campus after a competitive, committee-run hiring process. Peter Tschirhart comes into this position with a goal of further expanding the unique learning opportunities already offered in the Honors College. His first week on campus was spent learning new names and greeting new faces. Following months of extensive research, Texas State hired Tschirhart as the new associate dean of the honors
college. Tschirhart, a man with a passion for fitness and the arts, has coordinated with honors programs before and has research in developing sound maps. "I want to figure out how to take engagement in the honors college to the next level," Tschirhart said. "I want to find ways to incorporate activelearning strategies. Can we find ways to spread our impact on the community by engaging real-world projects?" Heather Galloway, dean of the Honors College, was involved in the hiring process.
SEE HONORS PAGE 2
Peter Tschirhart, has taken the role of associate dean of the Honors College. PHOTO BY MARINA BUSTILLO-MENDOZA
The University Star
2 | Tuesday, January 30, 2018
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Katie Burrell News Editor @KatieNicole96
FROM FRONT HONORS "Our staff is doing an excellent job in many ways but for us to grow and expand, we can't do the same old things," Galloway said. "We need to try new things and be willing to be innovative. He is a very innovative thinker but also very passionate about art and ideas." Previously, Tschirhart was the assistant dean for undergraduate scholars programs at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He worked with students to enrich learning experiences through specialized programming. He also worked as the assistant director of admission at Rice University, a lecturer at the University of Virginia, and a coordinator of studies at the University of Virginia's Hereford College. In line with his research, Tschirhart's interests revolve around the arts. An avid museum-goer, Tschirhart's latest favorite is Olafur Eliasson's "Beauty, 1993," an installation consisting of fine
mist illuminated by a beam of light, effectively producing a rainbow with its intensity dependent on the viewer's position. "I like staying on top of artists who challenge our sense of reality and our subjectivity," Tschirhart said. "I love things that ask us to change how we view the world." Toward the end of the spring of 2017, a search committee was founded to find an associate dean. Each member of the committee scored applicants individually, and then the committee discussed the top applicants. Tyler Hooks, computer science junior, was the only student on the search committee and was involved from the beginning of the search. She responded to an email from Galloway asking if she would be interested in joining the committee, which led to her involvement.
"One thing that the committee really loves about him is that he had a lot of fresh ideas," Hooks said. "He was ready to hit the ground running and change things." As a part of the selection process, the three final applicants were given a mock class to lecture as a way of identifying teaching mannerisms and student interactions. Holly Hearn, a public relations and mass communications senior in the honors college, attended Tschirhart's mock problem-solving class titled "A Little Less Noise There." "Dr. Tschirhart was really prepared. He knew what he was doing," Hearn said. "He was actively getting students involved rather than just telling us information. He was having us do exercises, which helped get the message of the lecture across."
FROM FRONT BOOKSTORE Following the control in management after Nov. 2018 will be a renovation of the store which could entail new flooring and shelving. The company will not be moving any supplies out of the store, but it may be organizing the products in a different fashion than what is currently present. However, renovations won't happen until an extended break period occurs, which may be spring break of 2019 or the following summer. "All of these things will continue kindof-almost invisible to the students," Root said. ''It won't look any different to them. Their books are still going to be on the shelves." Moreover, the employees have not been officially briefed on the situation, as managers are still discussing the process in which this is going to take place, and many have stated that they know little to nothing about whether or not they will be able to keep their jobs. As for staff changes, it is more than likely that the current employees of the bookstore will remain in their positions due to a specific request put on the bidding sheet by the university. However, the company in who will potentially be in charge of managing is free to hire whomever they like. Max Gamble, general studies senior and bookstore employee, said this change could bring in more jurisdiction over the textbook floor than it currently
Bobcats wait in line to purchase spring semester essentials. PHOTO BY LYNDI COCHRAN
has. "It could possibly be more efficient for us directly because right now we don't have a manager for... the textbook floor," Gamble said. During this process, if the university
or any other committees decide they do not want to be outsourced by another company, the changes will not take place. A final decision will be reached by the Board of Regents during their meetings from May 24-25.
The student volunteers spent two days building the new ramp with the hope of improving the experiences of riders seeking equestrian therapy and for the horses aiding in that therapy. The ramp now serves a wider range of riders, including those with paralysis and other disabilities. Joy Norris said she and her staff saw passion in the students who volunteered. “The Texas State volunteers were truly amazing,” Joy Norris said. “They all seemed invested and interested in our program. We could really see their
passion for helping the community, and all of us at SOAR are overwhelmed by the generosity of all who were involved in building the project.” The program continues to search for new ways to rebuild and change the farm to improve its accessibility, safety and services and in doing so the team strives to make the Norris farm feel welcoming for the riders, their parents and the volunteers. According to Joy Norris, the program is currently developing a few big ideas they plan to accomplish in the coming years.
FROM FRONT VOLUNTEER The program offers recreational therapies through horseback riding, so making the riding arena accessible to people of all abilities was their top priority. Joy Norris said she recognized the farm’s need for the upgraded ramp. “We had a ramp in the barn area that worked, but it was often too small for most of our horses and clients,” Joy Norris said. “The ramp was too far away from the arena, and this caused some issues with the horses’ feet because they had to walk over rocky ground with the riders mounted.”
Campus to host public hearing on free speech By John Hernandez Special to the Star The Texas Senate’s Committee on State Affairs will hold a public hearing on campus free speech at Texas State to assess restrictions on First Amendment rights at Texas colleges. “Some college campuses across the nation have subjected their students to harsh penalties, free speech zones and other infringements of their right,” said state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, at an April 2017 public hearing on her campus free speech bill, SB 1151, during the last legislative session. According to the state’s notice, the goal of the hearing at Texas State, scheduled for 10 a.m Jan. 31 in the LBJ Student Center ballroom, is to determine what restrictions on freedom of expression, press, religion or assembly college students in Texas are encountering on campus. Written testimony can also be provided to the committee clerk at the hearing or ahead of time by contacting the clerk’s office. When bringing written testimony to the hearing, the public notice requests that 15 copies be made
The Texas Senate's Committee on State Affairs will hold a public hearing in the LBJ Ballroom Jan. 31. STAR FILE PHOTO
for distribution. Brooks said she has no indication if another hearing on this topic will occur at Texas State or at other college campuses. According to Brooks, the committee will typically only hold one hearing per interim charge but the chair of the
committee, state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, can hold other hearings at her discretion. Huffman’s chief of staff, Wroe Jackson, declined to comment on why Texas State was chosen as a venue or whether there would be any other hearings on the matter.
The University Star
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 3
LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell
Inaugural Horn Festival features critically acclaimed musician By Alyssa Weinstein Lifestyle Reporter
Unsworth is a former student of Steiger, which is how he came to be invited to play at the festival. “She’s doing something similar to what I do at Michigan," Unsworth said. "We’re teaching people not only how to play the horn and to enjoy music, but we’re also cultivating a community of musicians." The first day of the festival began with Unsworth’s recital at the Performing Arts Center where he played songs by Alec Wilder, Luigi Cherubini, Evan Chambers and more. On the second day of the festival, Unsworth and Steiger co-taught two classes at the Performing Arts Center that included both college and high school students. The jazz and classical classes brought together approximately 20 Texas State students with a mix of University of Texas and high school students from the local area. The students performed their own recital, playing several songs they practiced earlier that day. The student presentation was followed by a performance from both Steiger and Unsworth. “I hope the students can take what they’ve learned from my performance and get inspired musically,” Unsworth said.
Texas State hosted the innagural Horn Festival Jan. 19-20 that featured critically-acclaimed musician, Adam Unsworth. Unsworth is currently a professor of horn at the University of Michigan. He has performed in the Detroit Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra in his professional music career. Unworth said he began playing the horn in elementary school and has dedicated his life to the instrument ever since. “I was interested in the horn because of the sound and because it’s a uniquelooking instrument," Unsworth said. "As a kid, that was very attractive for me.” Caroline Steiger, organizer of the Horn Festival and director of the Texas State horn ensemble, said the festival gathered French horn players from campus and the local area to bond over their appreciation of the French horn. “Many music majors, faculty and some local students attended the recital and the Horn Festival," Steiger said. "Another aspect of the Horn Festival is outreach and recruitment for the School of Music.”
At the Texas State Performing Arts Center, Adam Unsworth, horn player, and Ezra Bartz, pianist, begin the Horn Festival with a recital Jan. 19. PHOTO BY ALYSSA WEINSTEIN
For Maximilien Hein, sound recording technology sophomore, that was exactly what happened after he attended both days of the festival. "After the Horn Festival, I came away with inspiration for future compositions (particularly for horn) and with a much greater exposure to horn in a jazz context," Hein said. Unsworth said he plans to continue
teaching at the University of Michigan in the years to come while also finding creative outlets to record music and play recitals. “It’s the kind of thing that is your calling and I can’t imagine not doing it," Unsworth said. "You dedicate so much time towards (something), it becomes who you are. It becomes your identity and the love never goes away.”
Senior lecturer's classroom comedy conquers the Twittersphere
Student blogs to fame
By Diana Furman Lifestyle Reporter Scrolling through Twitter, the last thing a student would expect to see is a tweet from a professor asking for gluten-free, vegan tide pod recipes in the wake of syllabus week. Brian Cooper, geography senior lecturer, challenges those norms with his joke-packed, student-friendly Twitter account, @BrianCooperGeo. After graduating from Clemson University, Cooper attended graduate school at Texas State. He began teaching at Texas State in the summer of 2003 as a graduate assistant and within three years was hired as a fulltime lecturer. Going on his 11th year as a senior lecturer at Texas State, Cooper has made a habit of spiking student interest with his uncommonly hilarious and lively classroom settings. In 2016, Cooper created his Twitter account after becoming disgruntled with Facebook. It quickly became his preferred social media outlet and a place where he gets news updates and can take out his “mental garbage.” Cooper said his humorous tweets are to satiate his odd, comical thoughts. Twitter has become an outlet for him to share his imaginative jokes in a casual manner. Cooper said he has carried a strong sense of humor with him throughout his life. His mother even wrote in a high school graduation letter to him that she hoped he would never lose his ability to find the humor in life, even in his toughest times. He said laughter is especially important to him in the classroom. “If it made you laugh, chances are you’re probably going to remember it,” Cooper said. Laughter creates a gripping atmosphere and receptiveness in students. Cooper said he finds once
By Ashley Brown Lifestyle Reporter
Brian Cooper, geography senior lecturer, talked about why he loves twitter, Jan. 25. PHOTO BY LEXI ALTSHUL
he gets students laughing, the more likely they are to relax and enjoy the material. Nicole Dodge, international studies junior, was in Cooper’s class last semester and chose to enroll with him again. Dodge woke up at 8:00 a.m. on registration day solely to secure a seat in his class. “Coming to his class lightens my day,” Dodge said. “His humor keeps you on your feet and it helps me retain so much information.” Dodge said despite Cooper's large lecture classes, within the first two weeks he knows all of his students by name. Last spring, a few of his students discovered his hilarious Twitter account. After that, his profile blew up with hundreds of retweets on his funniest posts and a large student following. Cooper's Twitter became a way for him to bridge the gap between students and professors. “I honestly can’t think of two things I care less about than whether Kylie Jenner is pregnant or if the Jonas
Brothers are getting back together,” Cooper said. “But that’s why I love Twitter. It helps me relate to students, understand where they’re coming from and what interests them right now.” Mollie Price, public relations junior, said she always feels treated as an individual and important in Cooper’s classroom setting. Price said his Twitter lends to how Cooper gets to know his students and following him has made her feel like she can relate to him. Price said she feels more comfortable in his classroom because Cooper knows who she is and vice versa. “He wished me happy birthday on Twitter,” Price said. “It was pretty funny and cool to have a professor do that.” Cooper said he has a strict follow back policy. He doesn't think what he has to say is any more or less important than the thoughts of his students. "The way I see it, if you're interested in what I have to say, then I'm interested in what you have to say," Cooper said. "I've found so much value in what my students have to tweet as well."
From Texas to Brazil, one student is documenting his time abroad through his online blog. Alfredo Ramirez is a Texas State graduate student studying Portuguese in Brazil for the 2017-2018 school year as a Boren Fellowship recipient. The Boren Fellowship provides funding opportunities to U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, according to their official website. In 2017, Texas State had its first two Boren Fellows, Ramirez and Kathryn Burns. Ramirez said the fellowship is rather competitive due to the opportunities it provides and tends to favor students from colleges known for their foreign policy programs. "It was not something I was necessarily expecting," Ramirez said. "It's worrisome because you don't really come up on their radar as much." Ramirez's perspective changed when he received news in April 2017 that he was being considered for the fellowship. "You had to have these different plans to for what you were going to do with that six to 12 months of your life, and when they let you know you have to move ahead really quickly," Ramirez said. Ramirez worked closely with Andrea Hilkovitz, research coordinator in the graduate college, and Jeremy Peña, coordinator in the international studies program, to draft a strong application.
SEE ABROAD PAGE 2
HUMANS OF SAN MARCOS
"This year I've been to Santa Fe, New York, Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and Enchanted Rock. I try to travel at least once a month to see something different. I save up and I can go to a destination and ride my bike so it's pretty cheap in the end. If we want to do something during the day, we can be like 'let's go on a five hour bike ride,' instead of shopping and blowing money for five hours. (Destinations) within 12 hours we drive and if not we fly. I want to go to Santa Fe again this year. It's the coolest little town,
there's the largest organic open air market in the United States held every Saturday at 8 a.m. just south of the main plaza. In town the neighborhoods are on massive hills and they're not paved it's just gravel roads; the aesthetic of the town, stucco, cactus, and southwestern vibes are real there. I can see a future where I live in Santa Fe." – David Ross, shop mechanic and Texas State alumnus
David Ross, shop mechanic and Texas State alumnus, works on bikes in the The Hub to save for his travel destinations. PHOTO BY SONIA GARCIA
4 | Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The University Star LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell
A home-style taste of Chicago By Sonia Garcia Lifestyle Reporter Two bobcats have teamed up to keep a tasty family recipe alive by selling food to their college community out of their home in San Marcos. Charles Rivers, business management junior, and Arianna Richards, exercise and sports science junior, have brought the Rivers family secret fried-chicken recipe to their college town. Ordering from BB's Chicken is as simple as sending in an order on Twitter and picking it up at the couple's home. Currently there is only one meal available for purchase consisting of a basket of wings and fries served with a special mild sauce. The origins of the flavors go back approximately nine years when the Rivers family owned a restaurant and created their own recipes for the Chicago-style foods they sold. The Houston-based restaurant, BB's Chicago Style Foods, lasted about two years until they transitioned to a food trailer to save on expenses. Once the Rivers family decided to adopt a food truck model later on, they closed shop for three years while building the ideal food truck for the company.
The food truck was ready for operation in 2015 and operated in Houston until Rivers' family moved back to their hometown of Chicago in late 2016. With Rivers’ family living in Chicago, it was up to him to keep the business running. Last year Rivers brought Richards on as co-owner as she had previous experience working with the family business. Then started their story of making chicken and fries from their college home while both attending classes and studying. "After the Annual Chicago Picnic, we had food leftover, and since we brought it here we started selling from our home," Rivers said. From restaurant to home business, the couple decided to continue using the name BB's as a representation of Rivers' family. His youngest sister Breanna created the name BB’s because their mom’s name is Brenda and their other sister's name is Brenesha. Within the next month the duo hopes to earn enough funds to bring the actual food truck to San Marcos. “We're trying to build stability by bringing the food truck, working to support ourselves is a challenge, but it has paid off," Richards said.
Arianna Richards, exercise and sports science, and junior Charles Rivers, business management junior, are owners of BB's Chicago Style Foods. Currently they sell fried chicken wings and fries with their own special mild sauce. PHOTO BY SONIA GARCIA
Rivers and Richards said taking on the business on their own has not been easy, but they have taken advantage of the resources that Texas State provides its students. They utilized Copy Cats to print their business cards, which served as their first step in getting their name out by distributing the cards to students in the Quad. Within the first two weeks of BB’s operating in San Marcos, Zeneyda Jackson, communication studies senior, got their business card while walking on campus. She confessed she now buys their food sometimes up to three times per week. “They are very professional, you
can get fried chicken anywhere, but it’s their effort that keeps me going and there’s something different about (their chicken),” Jackson said. Rivers and Richards said they are looking forward to a bright future with their business. Once they bring their food truck to town they will be able to offer a full menu with other Chicagostyle foods such as hot dogs and pizza puffs. BB's is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings while weekend operations vary. To stay up to date and order BB’s Chicago Style Foods, check out their twitter account @BB_Beef.
FROM FRONT ABROAD Peña was responsible for helping Ramirez remain a Texas State student while abroad. Creating a blog was the way Ramirez decided to document his time and experience in Brazil. Peña said this allowed Ramirez to remain a student at Texas State because he would essentially be serving as an ambassador for the Center of International Studies while on the program. "Alfredo comes from the tech world, so his idea was to create this kind of ongoing walk," Peña said. "He would kind of create this connection to really kind of show what it is to be a Boren Fellow, what it is to be a student in another country, how that would manifest itself and that's kind of where he decided to do this blog." Ramirez is now strictly studying Portuguese, but took classes to learn more about the Brazilian culture, history, music and foods his first
semester abroad. These first courses were not required for Ramirez to take, but he thought it would be beneficial to know more about the place he would be living for the next nine months. "I really like the way the Brazilians go about their lives," Ramirez said. "If you have time on the corner or waiting for the bus, or in an Uber or whatever with somebody and you're not talking, then you're wasting time. They're constantly interacting with each other and I think in our American lives we get in these little bubbles trying not to interact with people. I'm going to work harder to informally interact with others more." Ramirez will return to Texas State in March and will hold a series of talks for students regarding his trip and being a Boren Fellow. To follow Ramirez's adventure, read his blog at txstate2brazil.com.
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Alfredo Ramirez, graduate student and Boren Fellow, poses for a picture in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALFREDO RAMIREZ
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The University Star
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 5 Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington
Greatest threat to free speech is ourselves Following controversy around a racially charged bake sale put on by The Young Conservatives of Texas at The University of Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ordered that the Senate Committee on State Affairs conduct a study of free speech on college campuses. With our own campus being no stranger to 1st Amendment conflicts, that committee is now scheduled to arrive at Texas State and hold a hearing in the LBJ Ballroom at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. The committee will allot 2 minutes for anyone on campus that cares to weigh in on the issue of free speech on our campus. The first amendment which includes the freedoms of religion, assembly, petition, press and particularly speech is a civil liberty that is the center of ire and reverence across the country and on the Texas State campus. The same students and administrators that organize behind its credence, will work
to violate it themselves. However, while the first amendment only prevents the government from infringing on our right to free speech, it is paramount that we uphold the freedom of speech among each other as well. When the framers wrote the Bill of Rights solidifying the freedom of speech into American government, they were inspired by the autocratic monarchs of Europe. And to this day, North Korea, China and Russia are among the many countries where journalists and citizens are punished for sharing unauthorized information and or critiques of the government according to the world press freedom index. Citizens of these countries may suffer at the hands of oppressive governments with no claim to any protection regarding the exchange of ideas -- the precursor to liberation. Additionally, on our own campus, there have been attempts to scare free speech into nullification sanctioned
by the complicit silence of prominent administrators. Furthermore, student organizers have lead the charge in selecting who they think ought to exercise free speech. While it is true that the first amendment only protects citizens from the government; whether it comes from the government, university administration or a simple majority, any attack on free speech must be defended at all costs. Even hate speech is protected by the first amendment as illustrated in the Brandenburg v. Ohio case of 1968. In the case, a Ku Klux Klan member is jailed for a speech that threatened the U.S. government with, "revengance" should they continue to, "oppress the Caucasian race." This idea also being undoubtedly surrounded with slurs and hateful rhetoric directed at AfricanAmericans. The sentiment that the Klansman shared, is unequivocally disgusting and unfounded. But his right is to be
protected, because it would be that same right that allowed abolitionists and later civil rights activists to drive him and his white supremacist message underground. These men and women used their right to free speech to advocate for equality during a time when it was a radical ideal. Free speech is what keeps our society evolving and allows our civilization to stand the test of time. The government may not be encroaching on our rights to free speech, but we are diminishing the use of that right among ourselves by pressuring opinions that we find inconvenient for our biases. This observation adds to the gravity of the upcoming hearing, and The University Star editorial board hopes it will allow our university to find a common ground concerning one of the greatest rights we all share as American citizens.
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.
The economic era of Trump By Katelyn Moriarty Opinions Columnist On Dec. 20 of 2017, congress passed the GOP tax plan led by President Donald. The tax plan held promises of lowering corporate taxes, raising wages and boosting the economy overall. Not only has the economy seen a great push upward since this bill was passed but also since President Trump has stepped into office. The Dow Jones industrial average (DOW) has increased by 31 percent over the course of this presidency. The job market and unemployment numbers have also been performing incredibly well under President Trump. This plan has brought forth a new sense of optimism to the American people and credit should be given where its deserved. Over the first year of President Trump's presidency, the economy had continuously grown, repeatedly beating expectations that economists and others had predicted. As the unemployment rate continues to fall and now sits at 4.1 percent there is an even greater advance within minority employment rates. Unemployment for African Americans now sits at a low of 6.8 percent. Additionally, according to the Washington Post, 58 percent
of Americans are now looking to the economy with more optimism and hope for the future. However, a poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post showed that 50 percent of Americans give more credit to former President Barack Obama rather than President Trump. It is important for Americans to realize that not every change in the economy is a direct result of the president in office. However, the president's choices are a substantial influence toward the economy. While it is true that President Obama left office with a healthy economy, the economic boom that the United States has experienced as of late could not have been predicted. A flourishing economy is something both consumers and businesses alike can celebrate. Due to lower tax rates companies are now able to award their employees with bonuses and raises. AT&T, the mass cell phone and technology corporation, gave $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 of their employees. American and Southwest Airlines were two companies that decided to give bonuses to their employees as well, while Wal-Mart has chosen to raise the wages for their workers. President Trump has proven well with this tax plan and seeing how
ILLUSTRATION BY KENNEDY SWIFT
these companies have given back to their employees only proves that it will motivate companies to stay located in the United States rather than of moving out of the country. We should continue to advocate for lower taxes and more consumer spending just as President Trump advises so that citizens can reap the benefits of a booming economy. Even President Trump's biggest
critics must admit that the world is not falling apart the way they initially thought -- at least not yet. It is paramount for Americans to support American businesses and President Trump so that the country can continue to move forward. - Katelyn Moriarty is a political science sophomore
Cities are putting Amazon before their residents By Zach Ienatsch Opinions Columnist Last September, Amazon announced that they are planning to open a second headquarters in an undecided city. The new headquarters would be similar to the facility in Seattle, historically the major hub for the online retail titan, and would employ nearly 50,000 employees and invest $5 billion in infrastructure. Since the announcement, 238 regions and cities across North America have applied to be the lucky recipient of the coveted “Amazon HQ2”. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is keeping the competition very secretive and selective. To qualify for the HQ2, a city applicant must meet specific criteria, such as a minimum population of 1 million, public transportation, proximity to an airport, and a business-friendly environment, among other things. A shortlist of 20 finalists was released Jan. 18., including Dallas and Austin. In the scramble to curry favor with Bezos and Amazon, local city
governments are neglecting the wellbeing of their residents and are willing to pay a high price at the cost of the greater good of their communities. Some proposals are odd, such as Kansas City Mayor Sly James posting 1,000 five-star reviews to the site. Surely beneath the office of such an official, but this is relatively benign and far from the worst lengths applicants are reaching for. In their proposal, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and the state legislature announced they would be prepared to offer Amazon $7 billion in tax incentives over the course of a decade if Newark was selected for HQ2. Moreover, California governor Jerry Brown offered a similar tax break if a Californian city won the bid. Even more insidious, Chicago’s bid explicitly allows Amazon to pocket the taxes paid by the workers. Instead of HQ2’s workers’ taxes going to public schools, infrastructure, and public transportation, it would go directly back into Bezos’ pocket. Even entertaining the thought of Amazon directly taking tax revenue from the
American people should make any local government official’s blood boil. Elected officials suggesting tax breaks and tax revenue offerings for the richest man in the world are embarrassing the people who put them there. Additionally, in doing so they set a dangerous precedent in which the titans of industry are allowed to do to the people, to a degree unparalleled since the Gilded Age. Some finalists such as Denver and Toronto are playing it cool, opting to play up the inherent attractive qualities of their cities. Attempting to snag HQ2 by using the already evident qualities of one’s city is the better route for applicants. Instead of desperately debasing the community by giving Amazon nearly free-reign over its own taxes, city governments should stand confidently with their residents and affirm their worth independent of what Amazon can milk from them. And should Amazon select their community, local governments have an obligation to protect their constituents from predatory practices of multibillion dollar companies, especially
if they were invited to the city with their cards on the table. No amount of private sector job creation is worth selling city governments, its most vulnerable residents and its soul to the highest bidder. Of the 238 applying cities and regions, only two have voluntarily withdrawn their bids for the HQ2: San Antonio and Little Rock. While other mayors and city councils resort to desperate tactics to catch Bezos’ eye, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg made it clear he would not subject the city to the rat race. In a joint letter with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Nirenberg declared "we have a competitive toolkit of incentives, but blindly giving away the farm isn't our style”. Other cities might take care to follow San Antonio’s example. As for the city who eventually beats out the rest of the competition, hopefully it was worth the price -- for the residents’ sake. - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior
6 | Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The University Star Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington
Sex workers are people, not objects By Zach Ienatsch Opinions columnist In December, adult film actress August Ames committed suicide following backlash from fellow pornstars after she stated she did not want to work with male actors who previously worked in gay porn. Ames’ concern stemmed from the routine testing adult actors are submitted to for STD’s, particularly HIV and AIDS. In gay porn, however, the industry is more lax on the enforcement of this testing, according to Ames. Her comment was interpreted as homophobic and criticized before and after she took her own life. This particular case highlights a common dynamic in not just adult film stars, but encompasses sex workers as a whole. Ames was not refusing to work with gay porn actors because they were engaging in homosexual acts, but because she was concerned for her own safety based on legitimate precedents. Perhaps her comment was rooted in homophobia to a degree, but Ames’ ability to provide or withhold consent to sexual activity was ultimately her decision. Despite being a sex worker, Ames was not under obligation to engage in sexual activity she did not want to consent to. This is not to imply that the rules of consent are different for sex workers, but to highlight the common misconception that they are. Too many people wrongly assume that being in a line of work that includes sex means the sex worker does not have any non-negotiable lines drawn on what they will and will not do. A sex worker is not in a constant state of consent just because of their job title. A professional cook is not under obligation to cook for anyone who happens to be hungry. The same logic
should be applied to the sex industry. As the August Ames case shows us, this misconception is not limited to individuals unfamiliar with the business, as the backlash she received came mostly from other adult actors. This is even more dangerous to sex workers because if they can not have a universal guideline established in their own industry or feel they can rely on their peers when faced with a dilemma as Ames was, their chances of being assaulted, harassed or abused are significantly higher, while their faith in seeking support among peers after the fact is lowered. Ames herself had a history of mental illness and the negative consequences of her condition were amplified by the toxic environment she worked in. Her comment was not criticized in an appropriate fashion or medium. Instead of an opportunity for her cohorts to educate her, or at the very least express their disagreement, she was publicly shamed and vilified. Even after her death, other adult actors explicitly expressed no remorse in the events that transpired. For other adult actors dealing with depression or other mental health issues, it can be challenging to consider their industry as a viable safety net or support system in the wake of this tragedy. When most people think of sex workers, they picture big-name pornstars or seedy prostitutes in a red light district. This is not the reality for the majority of sex workers. In fact, a study conducted by Widener University found that ten percent of college students admit knowing of another student who has engaged in sex work to provide for themselves financially. Additionally, 16.5 percent of students admitted they would be willing to engage in sex work to pay for their education. These are not just strangers;
ILLUSTRATION BY KENNEDY SWIFT
they are your neighbors, classmates and friends. Sex workers are not objects; they are people. They deserve access to the same services and resources traditional workers are entitled to. They deserve the same consideration for their wellbeing, feelings and personhood we universally agree other workers deserve. They should not be deprived of their basic human autonomy just because the public has prejudices about their line of work. The safety and validity of their existence is a crucial part
of intersectional feminism and as such, should be supported by anyone claiming to champion the causes of the downtrodden. Sex work is “history’s oldest profession.” It is beyond time we stop looking at these women and men with sideways glances and instead directly include them in our community as valued individuals and give them the same respect we ask for ourselves. - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior
PSA to intro to fine arts students By Zach Ienatsch Assistant Opinions Editor As part of Texas State's general education, every student must take intro to fine arts and every intro to fine arts student must write critiques over works of art, including music and theatrical performances. This leads to many students who have little interest in artistic activities attending said events to write about them for their final grade. The exposure to arts students receive in these classes is a critical part of their education, on par with education in the sciences and history. In 2007, researchers in the Harvard Graduate School of Education found students who studied art were more likely to develop visual analysis skills, learn from mistakes, be creative and make better critical judgments. The critique process is exceptionally important because it teaches students to not just appreciate art, but also look at it holistically and make judgments about works based on informed criteria. Unfortunately, the way the critique project plays out in reality has historically had a few issues.
Audience members who leave early not only distract performers but also disrespect the event itself. The most egregious byproduct of intro to fine arts students attending these events are the attendees who show up to collect what they need and leave before the show even begins, or worse, in the middle of the show. This is problematic because audience members who do not actually attend the event are taking a seat away from other potential viewers, such as family members of the artist, who are much more interested in watching the performance for the art. Furthermore, audience members who leave early not only distract performers but also disrespect the event itself. Actors, musicians, technical crew, directors, everyone involved in a concert, play or musical has put in countless hours to put on a show for
their audience and when you leave early, with exception to legitimate emergencies, you are telling the performers they are not worth your time and that can be very disheartening to people who put their lifeblood into art. Another issue with audience members leaving early is reflected in their critique itself. If a student is writing at length about a concert or play, it is very difficult for them to write an authentic, informed opinion on the work in question if they have literally not witnessed it. If a student could really not care any less about how actors and musicians feel, they should at least stay for the duration of the event for their own grade’s sake. Intro to fine arts professors are experts
in the fields the students are critiquing and can easily identify a student who is unfamiliar with the work they are critiquing. Therefore, there is no chance to fool the grader. Most professors require the student attending an artistic event to collect a program or take a selfie of themselves and the empty stage before the event starts. The selfie rules are specifically prescribed so audience members do not take photos during performances because it is distracting to the artists and pulls the other audience members out of the moment, especially when flash is involved. However, even with these rules enumerated, it stills happens from time to time. Some students even talk or text during shows, which is a cardinal sin in audience etiquette. When professors harp on explicit instructions for audience members, students should heed this advice and avoid inappropriate behavior when attending these shows. Experiencing art is an important facet of the human condition and who knows, the experience might actually be enjoyable. - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior
CARTOON OF THE WEEK
CARTOON BY STEPHANIE CLOYD | GRAPHIC DESIGNER
The University Star
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 7 Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_
One last season in the diamond for senior catcher By Region Kinden Sports Reporter For one senior catcher, the upcoming softball season also means one last time on the Bobcat field. Sara Rupp played volleyball as a high school freshman but chose to pursue softball instead. Making that switch led her to a few collegiate choices during her high school career. “Volleyball season had just ended that year,” Rupp said. “When softball came around, I just felt that it could take me to a higher level.” During her signing day, Rupp chose to follow the footsteps of a close friend and become a Bobcat. “My sister and I knew a friend that played here before,” Rupp said. “It was awesome getting to see them play and cheer them on. I always thought it was a great program and a nice place to live .” The softball team has improved to a better record each season and Rupp has been a huge part of that success. She has been the eyes of the field and knows that communication is the biggest factor. “It is the major part for our success,” Rupp said. “Each season we grow and get better at it. (Me) being the catcher and my sister being the pitcher, it starts with us. We’ve had problems in the past and our team gets worried, but we depend on each other.” Rupp had big plans to turn the program around when she enrolled into Texas State as a freshman in 2014. “It was rough,” Rupp said. “We didn’t have a winning season before, but the seniors that were here showed us the ropes and how to change the program.” Rupp started 47 of 48 games and recorded 20 RBIs in her first season. She threw out 13 baserunners behind the plate while hitting 19 balls, three
Sara Rupp, senior catcher, is at bat on the plate during a game in a previous season. STAR FILE PHOTO
doubles and one triple. She was ranked second in the freshmen class and fifth on the team with five home runs. Rupp increased her batting average and hit some career highs the following season. She was selected for the 2017 SBC All-Tournament Team and helped lead the Bobcats in major victories last season. Rupp has grasped the education behind the sport and plans to use it to
her advantage this upcoming season. The three-year veteran has found success on the field in the past and knows how to help the team succeed. “We just need to play one game at a time,” Rupp said. “We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves or things will go south. Of course a chance to make it to the Regional conference would be great, even winning it would be awesome.” Rupp realized how important the
sport is to her and how much it helped prepare for life outside of the diamond after returning from surgery on her shoulder. “I was devastated,” Rupp said. “This injury slowed me down and (had) me realizing what more there was outside of playing softball. It’s my last season, and I want to end it well. I am going to go all out."
Senior pitcher looks to make an impact in final year By John Paul Mason Sports Reporter While one baseball player was a senior in high school, he factored in one of the most important aspects of his life before committing to a university for the next four years -- his family. “Honestly, I live like an hour away… I loved the campus a lot, and it was close to... my family so that was a big reason,” Senior pitcher Braden Pearson said. Pearson’s father was also one of the main factors that drove him to pick up the sport at a young age. “I mean my dad… he’s played college ball, and he actually coaches professionally here at round rock, and he’s been a big factor in it,” Pearson said. “He played at the University of Cincinnati where he got drafted, then he played with the Phillies and Rangers for a bit before he hurt his arm pitching.” In the 2016-2017 season, Pearson was only able to pitch nine innings, due to a serious injury.
“Last year I suffered a big injury,” Pearson said. “I pitched nine innings and woke up from a nap one day and I couldn’t see out of my left eye; my cornea ruptured. I tried pitching a few games after that, and it went well, it was just tough for me, so I decided to get my medical redshirt.” But Pearson is not going to allow the setback from last year affect the way he is looking for the upcoming season. “I’m really wanting to get a lot of innings this year, and hopefully get drafted,” Pearson said. “I just want to play hard, be a good teammate and win some games. I’ll probably be out of the bullpen this year, so I want to keep my ERA down as low as possible and attack the hitters.” Pearson is also very confident in what the team can do this season, pointing to the batters as one of the biggest strengths of the squad. “I think our offense, our hitters, they’re definitely going to put up some numbers for us,” Pearson said. “For
pitching, if we can get some guys out and attack the strike zone, we can do that (put up numbers) too.” Chemistry is one of the biggest aspects that many successful teams of all levels have, and Pearson points out that is one thing the Bobcats should be strong in this season. “I think honestly, we have a good brotherhood going on and we’ve been putting in lots of work in the weight room; we're hitting it hard,” Pearson said. “I think we got a good chance this season.” Texas State usually gets a chance to go against some of the bigger instate schools, such as Texas and Rice this season just to name a couple. But Pearson and the Bobcats are not intimidated one bit. “They’re the same as us," Pearson said. "They wake up the same way as we do, it's just the name on the chest (that’s different). They think they’re bigger than us, but we’ve shown 'em we can beat them. It’s just another game.”
Pitching at the collegiate level requires a huge amount of confidence, and Pearson is not lacking for any. It is no secret that playing at Texas State, sometimes the sports teams are forgotten, so whenever the Bobcats get a chance to remind the ‘big dogs’ of Texas who they are, they definitely look forward to it and rise to the occasion. Despite going 29-30 in the 2017 season, Pearson is confident the Bobcats can change that number for the better this year. “I just think you got to take it gameby-game, and focus and work on our mistakes that we had last year,” Pearson said. “If our pitching is better, I believe we can definitely flip that number around.” Pearson wants to end his Bobcat career on a stronger note than the team did last year, and by the sound of it, he and the team might do just that.
Support the free press. www.universitystar.com Braden Pearson, senior pictcher, hangs out with his teammates in the bullpen during a game against Nevada last season. STAR FILE PHOTO
The University Star
Tuesday, January 30, 2017 | 8 Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_
Sophomore aims to take the game to the next level By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter Athletic success relies heavily on various factors, but the key is to be very committed in order to improve. Sophomore guard Nijal Pearson exemplifies his commitment to excellence. Pearson has been playing basketball since a young age. The sport runs deep in his family; his mother and two older brothers played basketball while they were in high school. Basketball was an inescapable truth for Pearson, the sport being part of the culture he was raised in. “I’ve been playing ever since I can remember, probably like three or four,” Pearson said. “My mom played basketball in high school, my brothers played, and everyone I knew in my hometown played basketball.” Pearson played other sports growing up, but it was ultimately basketball that won his heart. “I made friends through it,” Pearson said. “I was having fun playing and I just fell in love with it and it just stuck.” The Beaumont native joined the Bobcat family in 2016. His chemistry with the team and coaching staff helped him feel at home in San Marcos. "I made a good relationship with the players during my time,” Pearson said. “The coaches, I feel they really believed in me, and the city felt just like home. I feel safe and comfortable here.” Upon his arrival, the sophomore immediately made his presence known, putting together an 18-point, fourrebound and three-steal performance in the first game of his collegiate career against Florida Atlantic. Pearson played and started in all 36 games of the 2016-17 season and was a Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team selection.
The sophomore earned Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week and had played a team-high and Texas State single-season record 1,182 minutes during his freshman year. Taking the game to the next level from what it was a year ago is always on Pearson’s mind. Developing an allaround game and becoming a complete player is his goal. “I just made my game more wellrounded,” Pearson said. “It’s not just one specific thing I key on, I want to become a better defender, better ball-handler, better shooter, better at rebounding, better at everything. I want to be a complete basketball player.” When on the court, Pearson believes in following the coaching staff ’s system, doing what he needs to do either individually or with teammates. “I just try to play in the system,” Pearson said. “If I have an opportunity to score, I’ll score, if not, I'd try to make a play for somebody else." There’s no doubt that Pearson can score in a game but that is not the sophomore’s goal when on the court. He prefers to go with the flow of the game, doing what he feels the situation calls for. “I never fall into scoring, being the leading scorer, or scoring a lot of points,” Pearson said. “I like to play in the rhythm of the game.” During his first year as a Bobcat, Pearson and the 2016-17 team made it all the way to the Sun Belt Conference Championship game where they fell to Troy 59-53. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the sophomore does not shy away from his goal of making it back to the championship game and winning it in 2018. “The goal is to win a conference championship,” Pearson said. “That’s the main goal right now.”
Nijal Pearson, sophomore guard, shoots a basket during the game against Arkansas State last year. STAR FILE PHOTO
Junior pushes through a career-ending injury By Melea Polk Sports Reporter After suffering what was thought to be a career-ending injury, one Texas State athlete has made a remarkable recovery to get back in the pit and defend the conference title. Lauren Brogger, junior multis participant, began her Texas State journey in the fall of 2015. “Texas State was my second visit my senior year and I immediately fell in love with the campus and the facilities,” Brogger said. “Once I was on my visit there wasn't a doubt that this was the place for me.” Brogger injured her ankle at her first collegiate meet. “I continued to compete on it throughout the season even though the pain was horrible," Brogger said. "The training staff did what they could to relieve as much pain as possible, but it continued to hurt.”
“I just want to keep improving. I want to get better so I can help the team defend our title and finish the season with a conference win at home.” -Lauren Brogger Going into her sophomore season, Brogger had high hopes that the injury would work itself out. “Through the summer and my sophomore offseason, the medical staff and I were hoping that it would just heal on its own, but the pain just continued to get worse,” Brogger said. Eventually, Brogger went in for tests and found she had osteochondritis dissecans in her left ankle, a joint
condition that causes surrounding cartilage and bone to crack and loosen. “I went and got tests done right before Christmas break, and they came back worse than we thought,” Brogger said. “I came back from break and was going to try to compete still because the surgeon said I wouldn't have 100 percent recovery.” Coming from the break, Brogger realized that the pain was not going anywhere and that surgery was the best option. Brogger had the surgery in March and underwent physical therapy throughout the summer. “We didn't know if I would get to ever compete again after the injury because this was my jumping ankle,” Brogger said. “The pain eventually got so bad my coach and I decided surgery was the best option." Although it took some time, Brogger was able to compete in the first meet of the 2018 season. At the Purple Tiger Invitational Track Meet, Brogger
recorded a top ten Sun Belt Conference jump in the long jump. Brogger competes for the Bobcats in the Pentathlon during the indoor season and the Heptathlon during the outdoor season. “During the indoor season, I do the Pentathlon which consists of 60-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put and the 800-meter run,” Brogger said. “For the outdoor season, I compete in the Heptathlon which consists of the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put, 200-meter, 800-meter and javelin.” Brogger is excited to be back with her teammates and ready to compete and help defend the women’s Indoor and Outdoor Sun Belt Conference title. “I am surprised at how far I've come,” Brogger said. “I just want to keep improving. I want to get better so I can help the team defend our title and finish the season with a conference win at home.”
“Coming from where I was I had to adjust because America is different and where I was from was rough," Pierre said. "I tended to be too outspoken and I always said what was on my mind. I was always upset and had a bit of a temper issue as well.” After two years at Wayland Baptist University, Pierre decided to take his talent to San Marcos. He wanted more from a university than a degree. He wanted the full D-1 experience and the feel of college culture. The studentathlete gives credit to his coaches for helping him adjust quickly. “The coaches told me the hard-cruel realities of the world; nobody really cares about who you are, where you’re from, learn to take responsibility for your actions,” Pierre said. “I have had some bumps in the road, but Coach Steward mentored me and made the man I am now.” Pierre enjoys being a part of the track team, and not only is he satisfied with funding and scholarship for school, but the things he has learned is what will follow him forever. “Instead of winging everything, I had to master time management,” Pierre said. "Everything is a domino effect, if I do not sleep, the next morning I will be exhausted and will not perform my best as well as if I don’t prepare for a test.” When he is not at practice, at a meet or on the road, Pierre spends down time
creating beats and sounds of electronic dance music. He recently decided to take a break from music to focus more on his career. He also likes to read books on real estate, or any books by Gary Keller. “Although I don’t typically like reading books like novels, it is a lot more fascinating to read with purpose,” Pierre said. “Reading business strategies allows new ideas to roll in my head.” Running for the track team means a lot to Pierre because he has a great amount of respect and love for the coaching staff who never gave up on him. “I appreciate the coaches so much here because they care about your life," Pierre said. "They are more concerned about academics rather than the actual sport. Some coaches treat athletes like chess when they fail, they push them to the side like they aren’t good anymore, but they aren’t like that. When you fall they fall with you." Athletics is very important to Pierre but it is not everything. After graduation, he plans to move to Germany to pursue a master degree in economics. “Coaches never pressure me to go Pro, they encouraged me to choose my own route," Pierre said. "They tell me if you want to be a doctor, you can, anything you want to be in life go after it and it is yours.”
TRACK & FIELD
Sprinter makes his own track By Michelle Joseph Sports Reporter Transferring to a new university can be intimidating, but for one track and field runner, he takes full advantage of the Texas State atmosphere. Kelson Pierre, senior sprinter, has embarked a new journey in his past two years on the Texas State track and field team. As a child, Pierre was teased for being small and had to out-run older cousins who would chase after him, evidently
leading him to his future passion. Although he tried every sport in high school, he never pictured himself running in college. “I chose track and field because I always sort of knew I had a gift for it,” Pierre said. Pierre is from the Bahamas and always knew he wanted to attend college, but options were limited due to poverty. However, he did not let these circumstances stop him from pursuing a degree, so he began his collegiate career at Wayland Baptist University.