DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2018
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Volume 107, Issue 21
Museum celebrates African-American history in San Marcos By Constunce Brantley Lifestyle Reporter From jailhouse to dance hall to community center, the Calaboose African American Museum celebrates the contributions of African-Americans in San Marcos. The Calaboose African American Museum was originally a jailhouse in San Marcos, established in 1873, drawing its name "calaboose" from a common term for jail during the reconstruction period. In 1943, a United Service Organization dance hall was added to the jailhouse for black soldiers because during this time segregation was strictly enforced in the south. In 1954, it was converted into a community center for those who lived in the Dunbar/
San Marcos area, according to the Calaboose Museum. Johnnie Armstead, founder of the museum, created Calaboose to bring the African American community together and to educate community members about the history of San Marcos. She led the renovations in 1990 to convert the old jailhouse and dance floor into a museum. In 1997, by an action of the San Marcos City Council, the Calaboose Museum was born. The museum houses artifacts such as washboards, processed and unprocessed cotton, slave workday attire and even a Ku Klux Klan member's hooded robe. There are newspaper clippings on the walls that describe rallies of Klan members and African American rallies.
SEE MUSEUM PAGE 3
Volunteers at the Calaboose Museum give a tour through San Marcos' African American history. PHOTO BY MARINA BUSTILLO-MENDOZA
POETRY ON THE SQUARE
City Council approves downtown plaza By Andrew Terrell News Reporter
Wade Martin, poetry graduate student, organized the first poetry reading held Feb. 24 at the San Marcos Farmer's Market. Martin said the purpose of the event was to bridge the Texas State and San Marcos communities through poetry. PHOTO BY LEEANN CARDWELL
Community awaits approval to preserve African-American cultural district By Sawyer Click Senior News Reporter In the face of gentrification, a resident-led movement to create a city district that will preserve the AfricanAmerican culture of San Marcos awaits approval from state and city officials. The proposed boundaries for the Dunbar Arts and Culture District encompass several significant landmarks for the African-American community, such as the Calaboose African-American History Museum, Eddie Durham Jazz Park, Mitchell Center, Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, amongst others, but the map has not been finalized by the city. Additionally, tentative plans for the district include the construction of a charter school
and business development center. The district aims to restore and preserve key cultural and artistic landmarks within the historically African-American Dunbar community. With a letter of intent and application currently pending acceptance from the Texas Commission on the Arts, leaders within the community have begun the early processes of creating the district. Shetay Ashford, president of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives, is spearheading the initiative. Along with authoring the letter of intent, Ashford has given presentations to city officials and gathered petitioned signatures firsthand from proponents for the creation of the district. “The creation of this district will restore the identity of AfricanAmericans in San Marcos,” Ashford
said. “This is about repowering and revitalizing the African-American culture as the city undergoes gentrification, especially in the Dunbar neighborhoods.” The effort centers around the restoration of the 112-year-old First Baptist Church at 219 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a focal point of AfricanAmerican history in San Marcos according to Ashford. With boarded windows and chipping paint, the building has been deemed unsafe since May 2009 and has narrowly escaped destruction several times throughout the years. Pending the district’s creation, the church will be transfigured into the Dunbar Heritage Center, a community center that will house gatherings.
SEE CULTURE PAGE 2
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The City of San Marcos developed and passed a plan to transform an empty lot off the Square into a public plaza including dog friendly watering fountains, extra parking and a grassy area. San Marcos community members have voiced their desire for the city to construct a parking garage to help with the lack of parking in the downtown area. The City of San Marcos does not have the downtown land space to construct a parking garage nor the funding to do so. However, the property site at 214 E. Hutchison St. is 6,000 square feet and can be renovated to operate as an outdoor hangout spot for students and residents. The minimum space to construct a parking garage requires an area of roughly 120 feet long by 80 feet wide in order to successfully park vehicles and to make turning movements possible. With these minimum requirements needed, a parking garage was never an option for the site, according to Kevin Burke, economic development and downtown administrator. Although the project has not been formally named, members of the community and members of council have referred to the project as a mobility hub. It would be a space where multiple modes of transportation could be engaged. However, a public plaza is considered a more accurate title due to what the Federal Transportation Administration considers a traditional definition of a mobility hub. The space is currently a grassy lot with red picnic tables scattered about. According to Burke, the city’s two key points are that council has approved a design for the development of the site into a public space and that the city never planned to build a site which could fit a bunch of parking spots on the desired lot.
SEE CITY PAGE 2
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FROM FRONT CULTURE The Rev. Wayne Thompson of the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ grew up attending the First Baptist Church and remembers it not for its spiritual significance but for its communal purposes. Though the formal process has just begun to create the Dunbar Arts and Culture District and to repair the church, members of the Dunbar neighborhood have asked for its restoration as far back as 2010. “The black community in San Marcos has always been close-knit because we are such a small minority,” Thompson said. “That First Baptist Church was a gathering place for every single one of us and within those walls are stories older than me. I have a vision of a district that will not only tell of the black heritage of this area but will allow for people to experience it.” Mittie Miller is the president of the Dunbar Heritage Association, an organization that sponsors the celebration of holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Juneteenth and Black History Month. Miller is an advocate and organizer for the Dunbar Arts and Culture District.
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 5,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, February 27, 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.
A mural located within the proposed boundaries for the Dunbar Arts and Culture District. PHOTO BY SAWYER CLICK
“We want to keep this area updated and well known,” Miller said. “As the president of the Dunbar Heritage Association, I am here to gather support for this movement and see that it becomes a reality.” Asking only for City Hall’s guidance in the logistics, funding for the district
will be sought through crowdsourcing and state grants. According to Interim Communications Director Kristy Stark, the city is currently in the information gathering process and will be determining how to move forward with the project at a later date.
TRACS to be replaced with another system after trial run By Geoff Sloan News Reporter The Texas State Learning Management System Advisory Committee was created to assess whether TRACS needs to be replaced and if so, which system would replace it. Comparing potential TRACS replacements will be done throughout 2018 with Texas State community input and feature presentations from potential LMS providers. In 2019, preliminary pilots of one of these potential systems will be implemented and the board of regents will approve or deny that new system. By 2022, the new system will be implemented across Texas State. Assessing what the Texas State
community would like to see changed in a LMS began April 2017. Evaluating TRACS and other systems will continue through this year before any change is implemented. Because of the quick changes in technology, Texas State is looking to use an LMS that will create a better interface for students, faculty and the entire Texas State community. "Sakai (is) managed by a community that has not been able to keep up with the ever-quickening pace of advancements in online and digital learning environments," stated the LMS Advisory Committee FAQ page. The potential LMS products have been narrowed down to Blackboard, Canvas and Brightspace. These are systems
similar to TRACS that will perform the same tasks but with more customization and user-friendly interface. Updates and input can be shared by joining the Outlook email group for anyone with a current Texas State email. Texas State will host presentations from potential LMS providers to share more information about the LMS replacement process. These presentations can be attended by faculty or be live streamed by anyone in the Texas State community with an active NetID. The Blackboard presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 5. Canvas' presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. Brightspace's presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 9.
FROM FRONT CITY “The city is cognizant of the community’s desire for additional parking," Burke said. "The city is engaged in a long-term effort at creating a parking management program to address both supply and demand for parking downtown." To develop on the vacant lot, the city executed a contract Jan. 17, 2017 for design services with development consulting firm Kimley-Horn. The public plaza is expected to feature several key features focusing on public art, a pet waste dispenser, transportation and cycling amenities and various decorative landscape areas. Although the artwork has not been determined, there have been three pieces of public art proposed, which include a masonry accent wall which may be used for murals, a decorative metal screen and a sculptural installation. The site will also feature a bicycle repair station, a rain garden, a water refill station and parking spaces with the ability to accommodate two electric vehicle-charging stations. Kimley-Horn has recommended the city allocate a budget of $361,150 for the estimated project cost, and for the budget to be incorporated into the Capital Improvement Program during the 2019 budget process. As one of three sub-committee members for the project, City Council Member Lisa Prewitt has expressed continued support
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Katie Burrell News Editor @KatieNicole96
The open lot on 214 E. Hutchison St. will be a public plaza for citizens of San Marcos. PHOTO BY TYLER JACKSON
for the public plaza. “The public plaza will give members of Texas State and locals a space to interact,” Prewitt said. “The city is always looking for ways to bring our two communities together.” Carter Misch, business management freshman, said he believes the downtown area is in serious need of additional parking but is excited for the creation of a public plaza. “I spend a lot of time looking for parking downtown and cannot imagine how
residents who work downtown manage finding parking spaces on a regular basis,” Misch said. “However, the construction of a public plaza will give San Marcos residents a new area to develop connections and to interact with the community.” City Council is unable to project a completion date for the public plaza but has directed Kimley-Horn to carry out all services necessary to prepare landscape architecture construction drawings, setting forth in detail the requirements for construction of the project.
Police chiefs to engage community in decision making By Tyler Hernandez Senior News Reporter The Chiefs of Police for the San Marcos Police Department and the University Police Department will establish advisory boards to increase transparency and communication within the communities. The board for the university will consist of 12 individuals from outside of the department and will have input from both the university and local communities according to Patrick Cochran , assistant director of UPD. “The vision is that we have 12 members, three would be from the San Marcos Community, because obviously what happens at the university impacts San Marcos just like what happens in San Marcos impacts us," Cochran said. "The rest would be made up of students or staff." The panel for SMPD will be smaller, hosting nine individuals. Chief of Police Chase Stapp said the board will represent
a diverse range of San Marcos residents. “My panel will be composed of nine members: four from outside my department, four from inside my department and one who’s a university faculty member,” Stapp said. “I want them to be diverse in terms of their racial background and also the geography of where they live in the city.” While police will be on the city chief ’s board, Cochran said police were intentionally absent on the university’s board. “We already have quite a bit of dialogue with our local counterparts here,” Cochran said. "We have several meetings per month. Basically, we’re looking for a cross-section of San Marcos residents that may or may not be associated with the university.” Both Cochran and Stapp said engaging with the community was important in making departmental decisions. “Community outreach is critical these days when it comes to building strong relationships with the community,”
Stapp said. The two chiefs agreed that a more diverse pool of applicants will add to the success of the program, “any time you can get a more diverse feedback… you get a better product,” Cochran said. The community positions for both boards are open by application for the general public. Applicants for the university board will be considered equally and must pass a general background check. The city board will show a preference for applicants who have completed the Police Department's Citizen Police Academy course. “One of the prerequisites that we’ve recommended is that they have attended our Citizens Police Academy, which is a 12-week program citizens can go to to turn learn more about the department. We’ve been doing that program for over 20 years, so we’ve got literally hundreds of people who are San Marcos residents,” Stapp said. “We’ll draw our first members from that body of people.”
The University Star
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 3 LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell
FROM FRONT MUSEUM A tour of the museum takes about an hour and a half and allows attendees to visit both parts of the museum. The first part of the tour starts where the original jail was and displays Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen artifacts and newspaper articles about the military men. The second part of the tour takes attendees through the portion that was originally the USO dance hall. Elvin Holt, president of the board of directors and Texas State English professor, has been president since 2009 after Armstead died.
“I do it because I knew Ms. Armstead very well,” Holt said. “We were good friends and I don’t want to see her vision and her legacy lost or I don’t want to see the museum closed.” Ramika Adams, treasurer for the board, said she is proud to be part of preserving history in San Marcos and had been looking for a chance to make change within her community. The Calaboose Museum has given her this opportunity. Adams said she never had the chance to meet Armstead, but is certain her
legacy stands strong in the museum. “She was unstoppable, a fierce force who proudly stood firm in her convictions to be the change,” Adams said. Admission to the museum is free. Since there is not a steady flow of funding coming in, the museum relies heavily on volunteers. Jerrilyn Roberson, therapeutic recreation senior, president of Black Student Alliance and board member at the museum, had the opportunity to volunteer at the museum when it
held a fundraiser to celebrate its 20th anniversary on Feb. 10. Roberson said serving on the board at the museum has made a big impact on her life upon moving to San Marcos. “The museum gave me the opportunity to get in touch with the black culture of San Marcos and even helped me find my place here,” Roberson said. The Calaboose African American Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and is located at 200 Martin Luther King Drive.
Recreation students gain hands on experience By Sonia Garcia Lifestyle Reporter Middle schoolers in San Marcos are trading time with technology to have active fun with a group of Texas State students. Miller Middle School welcomed back an after-school program, Partnered Out of School Time, for its fifth year on Feb. 20. Simultaneously, the afterschool program Spring Lake Outdoor Education Program kicked off at Goodnight Middle School for its second semester. Both programs are hosted by San Marcos in collaboration with Texas State’s recreational administration students and the Department of Health and Human Performance at no cost to the participants. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, middle schoolers can attend their respective after-school program from 4-6 p.m. for eight weeks each semester. The first 30 minutes of the programs are dedicated to having a snack and working on homework. Afterwards, Texas State students take over and provide games and activities for the students. P.O.S.T. students stay on campus at Miller Middle School, but SLOEP middle schoolers are taken to the Meadows Center where they can participate in more outdoors activities, such as canoeing.
Texas State recreation students lead Miller Middle School students through activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the P.O.S.T after school program. PHOTO BY SONIA GARCIA
Katelyn Brazell, youth service specialist for the city of San Marcos, said parents told her their children would probably be playing video games or watching TV if not for the afterschool program. “It is a recreational, physical activity;
HUMANS OF SAN MARCOS "My favorite thing to do has been style, I love styling. I started sewing my own stuff. I started really getting to know vintage (clothing) and that's where I really started to get down to the nitty-gritty of vintage. So now I can take a piece and I can date it back to its country of origin or if it was made in a time of war. Every garment has a story and I can take it down to the decade. You know, there is a reason why there was only a certain amount of fabric put into this garment because maybe there was scarcity or maybe it’s a certain
length because there was war or some regulations. I think that’s really me, that’s the coolest thing that I have developed. Because now I have a passion for it and I have gone and really studied a lot of garments and studied how to preserve them and date them back.” – Alejandra Guerrero is a stylist, designer, independent vintage retailer and manager at Monkies Vintage in San Marcos.
we are trying to promote physical wellness, so we don’t allow electronics in the program,” Brazell said. “We want to teach them teamwork and respecting one another.” Sarah Walter, health and human performance lecturer, supervises the
Alejandra Guerrero, manager at Monkies Vintage, poses at the check out counter. PHOTO BY CONSTUNCE BRANTLEY
Texas State students at the programs and said she likes the different activities they do for both programs. “For a lot of the (Texas State) students it is their first opportunity to take some sort of leadership role, at least in the context of the recreation profession,” Walter said. Walter said both P.O.S.T. and SLOEP are fun and engaging ways to get middle schoolers to be active and interact with positive role models. The Texas State students who help run the programs are completing course work for their classes: leadership in recreation and leisure services. They gain adequate experience by completing this kind of coursework by planning the activities they will present to the middle schoolers and practicing their skills in the classroom. Lauren Segovia, therapeutic recreation freshman, said this opportunity will help her in her dream to work with camps dealing with mentally ill children. “(The class) is basically how to become a leader,” Segovia said. “We have to have a game, conduct it and it gets us out of our comfort zone.” Each semester contains new Texas State students who are given the opportunity to grow in character and get one step closer to working the job they want most. As long as middle schoolers keep attending, Texas State students will continue to gain leadership experience and skills to take forth into the future.
4 | Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The University Star LeeAnn Cardwell Lifestyle Editor @leeanncardwell
Female Purple Heart recipient walks among us By Alyssa Weinstein Lifestyle Reporter Although it may not be widely known to many at Texas State, one the few servicewomen to have ever received a Purple Heart walks on campus among us. Marlene Rodriguez, recreational therapy senior, is a 39-year-old nontraditional student at Texas State and is one of approximately 500 women to receive the Purple Heart. Rodriguez joined the Army in 2003 and spent 38 months serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rodriguez said as a child, one of her goals was to enlist and serve her country. She accomplished her goal but her military career was abruptly cut short when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the vehicle she was traveling in. Rodriguez suffered serious injuries in the attack, while her close friend, Cpl. Kevin McRay Jones was killed. “I sustained a severe traumatic brain injury," Rodriguez said. "I was placed in a medically induced coma and when they brought me out, I developed a seizure disorder.” Until her permanent retirement in 2013, Rodriguez attempted to maintain her military career. However, due to the severity of her injury, she had no other choice but to leave the Army. "I was on medical recovery leave and I was placed on a temporary retirement to see if I would recover and be fit for duty," Rodriguez said. "However, I was not deemed fit so I was placed on permanent retirement and was released from my enlistment." Prior to her retirement, Rodriguez earned her Purple Heart in 2007 due to this life-changing event. “It’s an honor to me," Rodriguez said.
Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson awarded Marlene Rodriguez, recreational therapy senior, army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, the Ford go Further award along with a 2018 Mustang for her admirable work in the veteran community. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARLENE RODRIGUEZ
"When I first received it, I was one of 85, but the war has been so crazy, I am now one in over 500. However, it’s something I am not happy for receiving, I got it, but I also lost someone in the process.” Rodriguez now lives in San Antonio and commutes to Texas State. She is working toward her graduation in December 2018. Rodriguez said in the future she plans to create her own nonprofit to support and assist veterans suffering from PTSD. Along with her pursuit to help fellow
veterans, she is also striving to be the first female Purple Heart recipient to climb the seven summits, starting with Mount Kilimanjaro in April. “To prepare for this climb, I train daily, hike four to six miles with about 35-pound pack on my back, or I go on the treadmill with max incline for a few hours,” Rodriguez said. Jessica Burke, recreation administration internship coordinator, has known Rodriguez since she enrolled in the program in 2016. Burke said she is proud of Marlene's efforts and
accomplishments. “She has overcome incredible obstacles to be here where she is today and I can’t say I was surprised when she told me she was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro," Burke said. In addition to her studies and training, Rodriguez also works with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, an organization that helps wounded veterans by, among other things, granting them mortgage-free homes. She has also been involved with other nonprofits to bring awareness about veteran suicide. More than 20 veterans take their lives every day, according to Mission 22,. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson recognized her admirable work in the veteran community and granted her a special honor along with a 2018 Ford Mustang. “Mr. Johnson and Ford Motor Company saw how much I have done for the veteran community and they awarded me with the Ford Go Further award because they believe I have shown exemplary service for my brothers and sisters in arms,” Rodriguez said. Chris Martinez, a fellow veteran, met Rodriguez two years ago through Fairways for Warriors, a mental and physical rehabilitation for veterans through golf. Martinez said he admires Rodriguez's determination to help others and to see the bigger picture in life. “With everything given to her, she never feels deserving of any of it and she will always mention the driver that died in the IED attack," Martinez said. "I believe not a day goes by that she doesn't think of him and she will continue to 'carry the load' as we call it to push herself to the fullest because he can't.”
Student YouTuber rises to fame By Diana Furman Lifestyle Reporter Beauty, lifestyle and fashion vloggers are blowing up the internet with their life hacks and style tips. YouTube has given these creators a space to connect with a large audience and profit from videos. Trista Castillo, electronic media junior, vlogger and former Star employee, has recently had a taste of YouTube success. With millions of views and 60,000 subscribers, she has begun to reap the benefits of her success. Castillo has been interested in filming and editing videos since she was a child and it became a creative outlet for her growing up. However, the responsibilities and stress of college forced her to put down the camera and focus more on school.
“When I stopped making videos I felt like I lost something,” Castillo said. In spring 2016, Castillo realized how much she missed filming and uploaded her first video on YouTube. Castillo reviewed Fit Tea and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of a weight loss tea. Within a few months, it had 3,000 views and Castillo decided to run with her success. Castillo's grandmother noted her passion for creating videos and gifted her a small vlogging camera. Vlogs and fashion videos then became regular installments on her YouTube channel. “I realized I had a platform and I wanted to help people with their creativity,” Castillo said. With an attentive eye to trending topics and pop culture, Castillo decided to start posting “challenges”. She got inspiration from a video where another
Trista Castillo, electronic media junior, copies Kylie Jenner's outfits and poses for instagram. PHOTO COURTESY OF TRISTA CASTILLO
YouTuber dressed like Kylie Jenner for a week and decided to try it for herself. Castillo recreated some of Kylie Jenner’s most popular Instagram photos and vlogged the entire adventure. She shopped locally on a college budget to find similar outfits and after a week of meticulous detail, her hard work paid off. The video seemed to blow up overnight, and currently has over 2 million views. Since making the Kylie Jenner video, Castillo has created similar challenges where she copies other celebrities’ Instagram photos. Stephanie Mora, Castillo's childhood friend, has watched her create videos over the years. Mora often helps Castillo with her hair, makeup and positioning of photographs while they film. Mora said filming is not only a creative outlet for Castillo, but something fun that allows them to hang out and spend quality time together. “She knows what her audience wants and she gives it to them,” Mora said. Joshua Ruiz, Castillo's boyfriend and finance junior at The University of Texas, often helps with her videos as well and said he is not surprised by her success. “It definitely takes a certain personality to be successful on that platform,” Ruiz
said. “She’s really fun and bubbly and a joy to watch.” Castillo said the strength of her support system is inspiring. She was raised by a single mother who taught her the importance of independence. Her grandparents even started a restaurant in their hometown in the '70s. “Everyone in my family is super selfmotivated and that’s definitely what motivated me to do something for myself,” Castillo said. Castillo said at times it can be embarrassing to speak about her YouTube channel, but remembers that she does it for herself, not anyone else. “Every day it’s a new mean comment,” Castillo said. “But I remind myself it’s because I’m doing something different from everyone else and I just have to shake it off.” Castillo said she views YouTube as a potential career path and plans to continue posting videos regularly. She purchased a new camera and equipment with money made from her videos and plans to make more financial investments in the future. “I still have a lot to learn,” Castillo said. “But I love it and I know this is what I’ve always wanted to do. If you love something, go for it and don’t settle for less.”
The University Star
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 5
Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington
Dear Student Government The Boreing-Becerra campaign was elected as the next president and vice president of Student Government. The University Star is hopeful the election of a new president will be the end of a tumultuous relationship between Student Government and student media. Three students ran campaigns for the seat of Student Government president. These campaigns clashed on some issues and found common ground on others. But regardless of if the outcome of the election was different, The Star's message of optimism and accountability would have been the same. Within the last year, The Star has defended First Amendment rights from excessive attacks begun and encouraged from the seat of the Student Government president. The issue of defunding student media is only the opportunistic culmination
of an ongoing effort to obstruct a working relationship between student representatives and student journalists. This mirrors the national climate of media and politics with President Donald Trump making a concerted effort to discredit many media outlets, particularly the ones he disagrees with by calling them, "fake news." Just because national politics and media are dysfunctional, it does not mean Texas State has to emulate those same attitudes. The Star is hopeful the election of a new president will mark the beginning of a new era in our relationship with Student Government. A functional relationship between Student Government and student media is an achievable reality and a necessary one. There is no reason why the two organizations cannot find a common ground in our roles, as we are both beholden to the same authority figure
-- the student body. Student Government is meant to present and implement changes for the betterment of the student experience. Likewise, The Star is meant to report the happenings of the Texas State and San Marcos community that are for their benefit and at their expense. If both organizations presumably have the same goal of serving the interests of the student body, then there is no reason why a healthy relationship between the two cannot exist. If two of the most important student-run estates are working against each other, then not only do we minimize the good we can do in our community, but we fail the people who have entrusted us with our respective platforms. However, a working relationship does not mean that The Star will not do its job of informing the student body and holding student representatives
accountable without external influence. Accountability and transparency are critical to a productive government, therefore, The Star will continue to report on both the good, bad, and ugly of Student Government. But we do so not out of spite, but of a responsibility to our readership which is also the constituency of Student Government. Just as we expect representatives to adhere to their code of representing the interests of all students, likewise we will hold steadfast to our journalistic ethics of reporting the truth. The Star editorial board hopes the BoreingBecerra administration will share in our sentiments by representing all students, keeping their campaign promises and defending first amendment rights on campus even when it may be inconvenient. We look forward to a productive year with the Boreing administration.
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.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Texas State does not care about black history By Tafari Robertson Special to the Star Black History Month is a time of the year dedicated to the appreciation and education of black history in the United States. While most public educational institutions are relatively unbothered to choke out more than one community event lauding the respectability of Martin Luther King Jr., Texas State should be less proud to so neatly follow suit. Despite student's calls for a black studies program at Texas State dating back to 1971, as found in the University Pedagog archives, our university has made minimal progress towards the development of any such program, only recently initiating the formation of a minor. Texas State's continued reluctance to institutionalize Black history deserves special attention during Black History Month and all other days of the year that Texas State ignores the needs of its students. Originally conceived in the second week of February 1926 as “Negro History Week” by Carter G. Woodson, this celebration was later expanded to the full month by Black students at Kent State in 1970 at the height of the Black Studies Movement. In fact, Black History Month cannot be separated from a practiced institutionalization of black history and culture, especially in educational institutions. In his most popular book, "The Miseducation of the Negro", Woodson writes, “The same educational process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought that he is everything and has accomplished everything worthwhile, depresses and
crushes at the same time the spark of genius in the Negro by making him feel that his race does not amount to much and never will measure up to the standards of other peoples.” This illustrates a pervasive issue at any school without black studies where most students are allowed to graduate and enter professional spaces while maintaining an often-unconscious notion that black people are inferior simply because they’ve never been confronted with any counter narratives. Though well-intentioned, professors or administrators may make a point to emphasize various black icons during Black History Month, with no larger framework to challenge the absence of the black experience from our curriculum at large. These fleeting lessons cannot be expected to truly benefit students. For black students, we must understand that our educational needs are not separate from the needs of any other demographic that arrives at college to grow into well-rounded people with an understanding of ourselves and our place in the world around us. This is the goal iterated in the Texas State mission statement, but one must question how can we hope to achieve this while neglecting our own experiences, history, and culture throughout our education. In demanding black studies, we are not asking for special treatment or isolation, but rather for the acknowledgment of the academic necessity these programs can achieve. Caribbean-American scholar and poet, June Jordan, states in her essay titled "Black Studies: Bringing Back The Person," "Black American
ILLUSTRATION BY ERICKA VERVYNCKT
history prepares black students to seize possibilities of power even while they tremble about purpose.” She later asserts that not only must we demand Black studies, we must also demand that it be controlled by black faculty, “…not that we believe only black people can understand the black experience. It is rather that we acknowledge the difference between criticism and reality…” Now is a pivotal moment for
students to take control of education and perhaps an even more pivotal moment for faculty and staff to listen and fight with us. Not only for black studies but against the unaddressed racism that our university is complicit in ushering into the world, we must all play a role in challenging this institution to do better. - Tafari Robertson is a public relations senior
CARTOON OF THE WEEK
CARTOON BY STEPHANIE CLOYD | GRAPHIC DESIGNER
6 | Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The University Star Carrington Tatum Opinions Editor @mogulcarrington
Hostile architecture is ineffective and unethical By Zach Ienatsch Assistant Opinions Editor Examples of hostile architecture are all over urban areas; benches with dividers indicating where individuals should sit, front stoops with arrays of metallic spikes, even places for sitting replaced by inclined surfaces for leaning instead. This architecture exists in our parks, sidewalks and transportation terminals and serve a dark, questionable purpose. What they all have in common is the passive implication that people can only use public spaces in certain ways under threat of pain or discomfort. The presence of hostile architecture is to deter the homeless population from existing in public spaces. In theory, a person cannot sleep on a park bench if there are physical barriers. Hostile architecture is a step further from sit and lie ordinances, which are selectively enforced against homeless people and essentially criminalize homelessness. But where law enforcement fail in actively policing the homeless, hostile architecture makes the act impossible, or at least very uncomfortable. This architecture style does not address the root of the problem. What causes homelessness? It’s a complex issue involving multiple factors, such as health, education, socioeconomic upbringing, race, substance abuse and sometimes plain bad luck. However, no one chooses to not be homeless because the flat surfaces of a city have spikes or intrusive ridges.
Hostile architecture does not solve homelessness, but pushes it into the gutters away from our field of vision, while turning ledges and surfaces into unappealing eyesores. Although certainly ugly, the fundamental evil of hostile architecture is it makes citiscapes unlivable for the most vulnerable. Hostile architecture does not just affect homeless people. Uncomfortable benches and chairs are challenging to use or inaccessible to people with disabilities, the elderly and children. Another reason hostile architecture is implemented is to prevent using the
public seating, but also did not want these public areas to become “hangout spots” for the homeless, rowdy youth or anyone seen as disruptive. The Camden Bench allows people to sit, but not for very long; it’s not terribly enjoyable but still serves its limited purpose for the agenda of the city. The officials and planners signing off on these installations are admitting public spaces are not as public as we were led to believe. People are expected to give up some accessibility in public spaces for the sake of appearances for the policymakers. But if a stoop needs spikes to keep people from sleeping on it, there’s probably a larger, untreated illness of this broken society that spikes are not equipped to address. Poverty is why the homeless are the primary victims of hostile architecture. If homelessness is criminalized but ILLUSTRATION BY KENNEDY SWIFT do nothing to remedy the root cause, it’s a slippery slope to criminalizing poverty. And when socioeconomic space for skateboarding. However, the circumstances are made illegal, it gives need for accessible surroundings is law enforcement and city planners more important than the desire to not unrestricted ability to make public see skateboarders in the community. spaces and services less accessible to The damage skateboarders inflict on public spaces is also not serious enough the have-nots. It’s not just about spikes on to warrant restricting the space for this windowsills, it’s a symptom of a larger reason. issue. The worst solutions are being Pieces such as “the Camden Bench” implemented without pause as to which is a misshapen block with who really wins in the end. Hostile random slants, hard edges, and no back architecture is not a necessary evil support were designed with the explicit or a brilliant alternative; it is only an purpose of not promoting “anti-social unempathetic inconveniece for an behavior” or in other words, anything already burdened population. but sitting for a few minutes. The city of London could not remove all - Zach Ienatsch is a journalism senior
Knowledge does not come from tweets alone By Joshua Kayo Opinions Columnist The novel "Fahrenheit 451" is Ray Bradbury's, magnum opus that paints a dystopian picture where tangible knowledge is actively destroyed and replaced with attractive, technologically advanced placeholders to distract and control the general public. We, as a society, are obviously very far from literal book burning; however, we are not too far off from flooding ourselves with shallow information to distract ourselves from the divisive times that we are in. Each and every member of Generations Y and Z has been guilty of this self-sedation, regardless of the format in which they decide to digest it. Across the board, people who reside within the age group of 18-34 check their phones on an average of 157 times per day, according to Michelle Klein, Facebook's Head of Marketing. Although the reach of the internet expands farther than the eye can see,
and is an excellent resource for scholarly, informative knowledge, the allure of the easily digestible information that all forms of social media feed us is not easily avoided. The shallow knowledge that fills our minds is almost addicting and gives us the same satisfaction as filling our brain with topics not so shallow. This self-satisfaction is becoming a crutch. We have become desensitized to mass shootings just by the frequency of which they occur. That desensitization, once mixed with the sedation of superficial information, becomes a toxic witch's brew. Catastrophe and dissatisfaction become normalized. Sedation to gain satisfaction becomes commonplace. Acceptance of what should not leave one content becomes reality. This is the exact mindset that leaves the general public existing in "Fahrenheit 451" to navigate a world where even the slightest individuality is punishable by exile, or worse. What makes our situation more detrimental is that what we are doing
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ILLUSTRATION BY ERICKA VERVYNCKT
is worse than what takes place in "Fahrenheit 451." Nobody is burning our books. Nobody is going to great lengths to take away our substantial, multi-interpreted information because we are actively rejecting it out of fear, laziness or lack of interest. If we do not take an active interest in how we are informed, what kind of source is informing us, and how this information affects us, then we could possibly lose the choice to even discuss the matter. Another parallel to be considered from "Fahrenheit 451" should be Granger and the collective of book learners. They are social outcasts who have had to flee from their homes for the sole task of memorizing parts of books to document when the society around them inevitably crumbles. This knowledge is like gold to them; the most valuable thing the world needs once the abusive patriarchy in "Fahrenheit 451"
fails. Our world is not set to crumble anytime soon, but that does not diminish the worth of retained, practical knowledge. Challenging topics, multifaceted opinions, and lessons learned from fiction are invaluable for the sake of introspection; and therefore invaluable to the world. The moment we reach a consensus by force on a topic that should always remain open to opinion is the moment we lose any sway over the outcome of what's going on around us. Feel your feelings, read and discuss to turn those feelings into concrete opinions, argue and discuss those opinions. If we sedate that within ourselves, then we sedate an inherent part of our humanity that should stay alive, at any cost. - Joshua Kayo is an English junior
The University Star
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 7 Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_
Texas State rugby club bouncing back in 2018
Senior point guard's dedication pays off
By Region Kinden Sports Reporter Although the Texas State Renegade Rugby Football Club just finished its fall 2017 season, it is starting early this spring to prepare the team for the next season. This year, the RFC is hoping to head back to the top. After ending last season 3-1 and losing some players, the club is looking to move forward with a new set of recruits. The RFC had a 3-1 record in conference for the fall 2016 season after defeating University of Houston twice and splitting wins with the University of North Texas. Out of conference, they tied with Arkansas’ A team and defeated Arkansas’ B team. Texas State rugby defeated The University of Texas at Dallas, followed by a couple of losses to The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Angelo State University. Angelo State won the conference championship last year. During the fall 2017 season, the RFC ended on a 4-6 record, beating the University of Texas at Dallas, Stephen F. Austin University, IH-35 rival the University of Texas at San Antonio and the defending champions of Angelo State University. The Rugby club ended as last seed in the playoffs this year but is heading back again and is hoping to shock everyone with how the team comes out. Many players like Onassis Gyimah, Junior 8 man for the rugby team, believe they have a strong shot. “We can play with anyone,” Gyimah said. Over the past two years, the team members have come to trust each other. Carpooling with one another, hanging out and pushing each other on and off of the field helps bond the team together. Taylor De La Mothe, senior fullback, enjoys the brotherhood they have. “We might butt heads (with) each other,” De La Mothe said. “But it’s all out of love.” Tane Jericevich, coach of the rugby team, has helped turn the club around upon his arrival. Since he has been here, the club has won the Southwest Conference. Jericevich said the growth of this year’s team and the adversity they have overcome. “We had a bit of a turnover (this year with a lot of our seniors graduating,” Jericevich said. “It’s been a development year for us, but we are in the playoffs.” The rugby club has a lot of inexperienced players, but they have stepped up to the challenge this year. Jericevich said the older team members have stepped in to help teach the younger players the game of rugby. He said they have worked really well to help lead and guide them.
The rugby team poses for photo on the west campus fields. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMERON DOUGLAS
By Anthony Flores Senior Sports Reporter The phrase "hard work pays off" is a cliché concept preached by coaches to athletes for decades for one reason: It motivates and draws out a player’s potential. Taeler Deer, senior guard, is an example that hard work does pay off. Deer is in her fourth season with the Bobcats and has developed into one of Texas State's important players. Deer began her sports career at a young age, being encouraged by her father and naturally curious about sports. “I’ve been playing basketball since the age of six, (With) my dad and seeing a lot of little league signs around, I got interested.” Deer said. Deer played multiple sports in her teens but inevitably decided to commit to one sport during her time in high school. “My freshman year in high school I played volleyball and basketball,” Deer said. “But I liked basketball more than volleyball.” The senior guard, now at the end of her college career, is playing the best basketball of her life. The increased quality of her game can be attributed to a motivation to make her senior season count. “I’m more focused, thinking about the program, plays and keeping the team together,” Deer said. Being a senior has brought a different way of looking at and playing the game to Deer. “It’s a different approach; when you’re a freshman you’re just coming in playing free,” Deer said. “But as a senior, you take things more seriously. You’re more focused on detail.” Deer has also become a more mature individual, on and off the court. She has learned how to accept criticism from coaches and teammates alike. “My coaches are always getting on me because they believe in me and my teammates get on me because they believe in me,” Deer said. “I used to not take criticism well.” Along with being able to take criticism constructively, basketball has taught Deer several other lessons. “I got better with how I react to things, my time management, with being a better teammate on and off the court and I became a better leader,”
PHOTO BY JOSH MENDS
Deer said. Deer's roommate for the last four years, Ti'Aria Pitts, senior forward, has seen the change Deer has gone through, experiencing it first hand. "She's definitely become more mature," Pitts said. "Not only as a person but on the basketball court too. She's definitely grown since our freshman year." With considerable experience under her belt, Deer takes pride in her role as a team veteran. “Keep them encouraged, keep them focused, pick them up and always try to keep them included,” Deer said. “Let them know I was in the same position just a couple years ago, not playing or barely playing to full-time starter.” According to Pitts, Deer takes the position of being a silent leader who prefers to lead by example. "We both like to make sure we lead the team in the right ways," Pitts said. "I'm more of a vocal leader than Tae is but she leads from the point guard position, telling them what they need to know." Deer’s main job as point guard is ball distribution and being able to run the offense on the court. The senior guard enjoys everything that comes with playing the position.
“My favorite thing about playing point is that I control the game, I control the tempo,” Deer said. “Passing to my teammates and them making buckets is my favorite thing.” Pitts gives much of the credit for her own success to Deer and her ability to play point. "She's literally the reason I score 80 percent of the time," Pitts said. With records broken, victories accumulated and memories made, Deer has accomplished a lot in her time at Texas State. However, the one thing that has eluded her is a championship. The senior believes this year’s team can change that. “I’m very confident," Deer said. "We put the work in, stay focused through everything, stay together through everything. I love our team chemistry and know what we can do so I’m very confident in our ability to compete for a championship.” Deer hopes to become a pro after college and continue to play the sport she loves. “I hope to continue playing professionally wherever I go, overseas maybe,” Deer said. “Wherever life takes me I really do want to continue to play cause I love this game and I’m not ready to give it up yet.”
Texas State hockey club looking to make itself known among student body By John Paul Mason II Sports Reporter At Texas State, the club hockey team is not very well-known throughout campus, but this year's team wants to prove it is worth watching. Luis Lopez, senior defender, has always enjoyed the sport and had a passion for the game. “I’m from Laredo, and they had a pro team about 10 years ago and that’s how I got into it,” Lopez said. “I started playing in a youth league there and found out Texas State has a team and that’s how I got going here.” Lopez has been able to master some of the hardest aspects of hockey that many might not think about when critiquing the sport. “The hardest part of playing hockey is definitely the skating,” Lopez said. “You have to get that down and it's obviously very important. It’s a physical and very demanding game on the body.” Hockey also has a mental side that is
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almost as hard as the skating. “Mentally, since it's fast paced, you don’t have much time to think,” Lopez said. “And if you’re nervous you might get hurt if you take an extra second to think.” Playing hockey for the Bobcats has not always been easy for Lopez. “We had kind of a rough season this year, and it’s hard to keep guys interested when that happens,” Lopez said. “I just try to tell the guys to have fun with it." Lopez enjoys being a part of something bigger than himself, a member of the team. “My favorite part is definitely playing with the team," Lopez said. "We have a great group of guys and it’s a good team to be a part of. We are getting better every year and always looking for new players.” Stephen Hagtis, head coach of the team, is also a huge factor in why Lopez has stayed committed to the team. "He does a lot of extra stuff that he doesn’t need too, like providing us with extra supplies, gear and drinks," Lopez said. "He gives us some structure, but doesn’t get mad at us if we try something new on the ice and gives us a lot of extra freedom.” The team is not able to practice on campus like many other sports, so the Bobcats have found their own place to practice in Austin. "My first year, we practiced in San Antonio where we played our home games," Lopez said. "This past year, we played in Austin (at a place) called 'The Pond.' It's actually a pretty nice rink, for sure a better set up than we had in San Antonio. The travel is kind of hard but the team carpools to make it easier." The team has countered the challenge of getting the student body's at-
Luis Lopez, senior defender, finished his last hockey season at Texas State at the end of January. PHOTO BY JOHN PAUL MASON II
tention with entertaining solutions. “The drive is tough on the players, so I can imagine it being tough on the students that want to go support us, but we do occasionally get a lot of people that go," Lopez said. "Sometimes we will even have party buses that run from San Marcos to Austin maybe twice a year and get a decent turnout. We even have a fraternity that comes out and hosts us. Everyone that I talk to says that they enjoy it whether we win or lose; they say it’s a fun game.” The club hockey team is one of the lesser-known teams at Texas State, but the players want to show their skills in front of the student body.
The University Star
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 8
Brooke Phillips Sports Editor @BrookePhillips_
Residents renew their love for sports By Daisy Colon Sports Reporter
Ericka May, senior forward, takes control of the ball in a game against University of Houston Nov. 28, 2017 at Strahan Coliseum. PHOTO BY VICTOR RODRIGUEZ
Senior forward makes the ultimate transition By Michelle Joseph Sports Reporter For one player, this season means a homestretch in the game of basketball. Ericka May, senior forward, from Allen, Texas, initially did not take any interest in the sport until watching a life-changing game of basketball. “I actually played tennis growing up before I went to my cousin’s basketball game, it seemed like it was so exciting and fun,” May said. “My parents put me in a recreational basketball program in fifth grade and soon after that I really started to enjoy it.” Basketball has not only been a strong commitment of the athlete for many years, but a way to appreciate diversity. “I am on the team with different personalities and people from various places of the country,” May said. “I always knew that we all were different, but basketball really shows how we are like a melting pot and I’m glad I got that experience for the real world.” Basketball has taught May life lessons she has applied to her upcoming future. “Basketball has shown me a lot about myself," May said. "It’s taught me how to be patient and to be an effective communicator. I’ve learned from the past four years to speak twice and think once.” May has much respect for Texas State because of all the support for women athletics, and she likes representing something that is bigger than herself; the basketball program. “I get to stay active doing the thing I
love for my college,” May said. “I like how much the university supports our team, and the Bobcat pride everyone has for us to be the best.” Although May is ending her basketball career at Texas State after this season, she is ready for her new journey. “I have plans to get my masters or MBA in finance,” May said. “The ball has to stop bouncing for everyone and I’m ready to experience what life is about outside of basketball.” Throughout her four years on the team, May has learned to trust and value her support system. “There are moments when I want to give up, but my parents always keep me grounded,” May said. “They worked so hard to pay for AAU basketball and other expenses, so showing them that they didn’t waste their money means a lot to me.” When she is not practicing or studying, May enjoys going on trips. “I really love to travel," May said. "I try to go somewhere twice a year by myself or with some friends. We take a family vacation every year outside the country. I’ve been to Mexico quite a few times and we go to California at least once a year.” It will be a fresh start to a new path for May, despite her basketball journey coming to an end. “It’s more of a mental game because when you care about your life you learn to just push through anything,” May said. “This will be my ultimate transition. I haven't left athletics since sixth grade so it’s going to be weird at first, but I’m ready.”
The chance to compete does not end after high school as students are given the opportunity to play intramural sports. Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult for students and often comes with new challenges and drastic lifestyle changes. Many students lose the sense of competition and physical activity they had while playing a sport in high school. Each week, residents from Smith and Arnold Hall search for a one-ofa-kind feeling they can only get under the lights at the Intramural Fields across from Strahan Coliseum by playing softball. Ethan Hunt, team coach and captain, said participating in an intramural sport has a number of advantages. “It benefits the residents because it brings them together," Hunt said. "Even if someone doesn't have experience in the sport, it’s a great way to make friends. Especially coming into freshman year and not knowing anyone, it allows them to expand their circle.” As the Smith Hall resident assistant, Hunt has multiple responsibilities to ensure his players get the most out of their experience. “This is my first season, and I organize all intramurals as the RA for my hall," Hunt said. "I organize all the games, practices and all that. I'm responsible for the roster, batting lineup and other game plan technicalities. Above all, I make sure people are having fun.” Triana Kennedy, marketing freshman and Smith resident, appreciates the opportunity to play the sport she has loved her whole life. “I think it’s important that my dorm created a team because it allows someone like me to get out of my room and make friends all while playing my favorite sport," Kennedy said. "Also, in a way you kind of want to be the best dorm and win all the games.”
If it were not for Hunt and the team he organized, Kennedy would not play softball at all. “I don't think I would be a part of another team if it wasn't my dorm, just because I wouldn't want to play with people I don't know and I also don't know how I'd hear about joining another team,” Kennedy said. “I wouldn't want to play with anyone else because practices are fun, and I feel we might do really well.” Mario Gonzalez, biology freshman and Smith resident, compares softball to baseball as she has competed in both throughout her life. “I played baseball all of high school and I just love the game," Gonzalez said. "I miss playing so much and it’s the closest thing to the real thing, so I had to play. In high school I pitched most of the time but when I wasn’t, I played third. The softball field is smaller, so it makes it even easier to play on.” Gonzalez regrets not taking advantage of other intramurals in the fall but values the opportunity softball gives him to come out of his shell. “It’s really nice because I’m such a shy person but when I’m on the field I really feel like I can be myself," Gonzalez said. "I’m planning on playing basketball and dodgeball (too). I would go watch our hall play and I’d wish I was playing too but it was too late, if could go back I would’ve joined.” Gonzalez is optimistic for the upcoming season and believes his team will do well. “I really think we will be good," Gonzalez said. "Everyone understands the game, which is extremely important… We’re pretty solid hitting and fielding wise.” Intramural sports allow students to take a break from academics. Smith and Arnold Hall’s team, Smarnold, gives the residents an opportunity to connect with one another through a shared passion. Smarnold's next game is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10 p.m.
(left to right)Triana Kennedy, marketing freshman, Ethan Hunt, team coach and captain and Mario Gonzalez, biology freshman, are a part of the Smith and Arnold Hall intramural softball team. PHOTO BY DAISY COLON
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