DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 @universitystar | universitystar.com
LIFE & ARTS Alumnus assists artistic growth |PAGE 4|
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2018
Volume 108, Issue 02
Allegations against President Boreing reveal Student Government trend of TPUSA affiliations
BB's Chicago Cuisine fries up success |PAGE 5|
This student body is not for sale |PAGE 6|
We must save the Land and Water Conservation Fund |PAGE 7|
SPORTS Rugby: not just a gentleman's sport |PAGE 8| Former Student Government President Andrew Homann in TPUSA's Campus Victory Project brochure.
Soccer coach sets goals for 19th year
PHOTO BY JAKOB RODRIGUEZ
Greek Life numbers continue to grow under new regulations By Triston Giesie News Reporter
By Kaiti Evans and Sawyer Click News Reporter and Managing Editor Former Sen. Elijah Miller alleged during the Aug. 27 Student Government meeting that President Brooklyn Boreing took an under-the-table campaign donation during the spring 2018 election. The allegations uncovered a long-standing relationship between Student Government and partisan politics. During the public forum portion of Student Government's first meeting of the academic year, former Sen. Elijah Miller said President Boreing received an undocumented $2,800 and 25 iPads from
Texas State listed as a university with a targeted student leadership race in TPUSA's Campus Victory Project brochure. PHOTO BY JAKOB RODRIGUEZ
Turning Point USA, a national conservative organization founded by Charlie Kirk to educate students on conservatism, during her spring election campaign. Miller also alleged Boreing's campaign team vandalized their own campaign signs during the election season. "Are we supposed to look at her in the eyes and think that she is any different than Connor Clegg? Absolutely not," Miller said. Miller alleged the donations came through TPUSA's subsidiary group, the Campus Leadership Project, which aims to get conservative students into influential Student Government and Greek life
positions across the nation. Boreing's former chief of staff, Collin Pruett, currently works as a leadership representative for CPL, according to Pruett's LinkedIn account. Miller said Turning Point USA has been involved not only in Boreing's election but former presidents Andrew Homann and Connor Clegg's elections as well. A previous Campus Victory Project brochure lists Homann under the field and office staff for the organization. Pages later, Texas State is listed as a university with a targeted student leadership race.
SEE ALLEGATIONS PAGE 2
Fire department to implement yearly building inspections
With new regulations and policies in place, Greek life on campus is poised to hit another year of growth. New recruitment policies require all students to attend an orientation session before becoming eligible for a bid, which students have up to a year to accept. Though freshman are encouraged to participate throughout the semester-long rush process, they cannot be given bids until the spring semester. Only sophomores and upperclassmen will be able to join an organization and pay dues in fall 2018.
SEE GREEK LIFE PAGE 2
By Christopher Green Assistant News Editor
San Marcos fure department searches Iconic Village Apartments July 31 following the deadly fire.
The San Marcos Fire Department will begin doing yearly building inspections following the recent fires at Iconic Village and Vintage Pad apartments that claimed the lives of five individuals and displaced more than 200. The plan to begin yearly building inspections by the San Marcos Fire Department was already in place but has become more of a priority for the fire department after the most recent apartment fires. The fire department will begin sending out inspection crews to local businesses who are up for inspection and others who have requested to have their locations inspected. According to San Marcos Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner, there is no set date on federal law or state regulation for how often a building needs to be inspected, but is based on a list of requirements imposed by the building.
PHOTO BY CAMERON HUBBARD
SEE INSPECTION PAGE 2
Equity and Access reports uptick of discrimination complaints, no sanctions By Brittlin Richardson and Geoff Sloan News Reporters Despite a spike in discrimination complaints alleging racist and derogatory remarks supposedly made by faculty members, no sanctions have been made in cases during the last three years. As of yet, none of the 11 complaints filed to the Office of Equity and Access between August 2015 and May 2018 have been found in violation of university policy. Eight of the 11
were filed in the 2017-18 school year, marking a significant uptick from the previous school year. According to the Office of Equity and Access, five are still ongoing investigations with no final resolution to date, one was determined to be unsubstantiated, one case was placed on hold and four were found to have insufficient evidence to support an investigation. No completed investigations have been found in violation of the university's police, which forbids discrimination
and harassment under Section 02.01b of the Affirmative Action/Recruitment Plan: "Identify and eliminate employment practices and institutional policies that illegally discriminate against persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, veteransâ€™ status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Equal employment opportunities (EEO) shall include: personnel transactions of recruitment, employment, training, upgrading, promotion, demotion,
layoffs (reduction in force), termination, and salary." Sabrina Chapa, environmental and resource management senior, filed their case Jan. 28 after a professor allegedly made discriminatory remarks while pointing to minority students during class.
SEE COMPLAINTS PAGE 3
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About Us History: The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday of the spring and fall and once a month in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 5,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, September 4, 2018. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor-in-chief. Deadlines: Letters to the Editor or any contributed articles are due on Monday the week prior to publication. Corrections: Any errors that are in the pages of The University Star and are brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible. Visit The Star at universitystar.com
Sandra Sadek News Editor @sandra_sadek19
University to post job description for new police chief in early September By Jakob Rodriguez News Reporter Following the abrupt resignation of the University Police Department's chief last spring, the university will begin a nationwide search to fill the vacancy in early September. University Police Department Director Jose Bañales resigned May 15 with no clear reason cited for his resignation or replacement. During Bañales' time as director, UPD faced white supremacist activity, student protests and subsequent arrests, and bomb threats on campus. Captain Ricky Lattie was named as the interim director of the department after the resignation, a spot he held after the last police chief's resignation. Following Bañales' exit, the department underwent a comprehensive review conducted by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. University administrators had planned for the review
to take place with or without Bañales, but decided to push up the review to receive recommendations prior to hiring a new department director. The results of the comprehensive study will be used to assist university administrators in the hiring process by attempting to tailor the applicants going through the interview and hiring process to suit the university and department's needs. With the results of the review, university administrators will update the job description for the search and will organize a search committee within the next month. Vice President for Student Affairs Joanne Smith said one area administrators will focus on specifically will be accreditation. "Basically when you are talking about accreditation, you are demonstrating that you are doing the best practices when policing," Smith said. "Some police departments in the country are
accredited through the organization, people are moving more towards that so we're looking at what we need to do to prepare for accreditation and also what we need to do to enhance safety even more on campus." Smith said the search will be conducted nationally and in an open forum with several key groups on campus, including students. In the past, candidates gave presentations on campus with a topic provided by university administrators. In the open forum style interview process, students and faculty are able to sit in on these presentations and provide feedback to presenters.
membership over the past five years across all of the IFC fraternities,” Dudolski said. According to the Dudolski, Greek organizations had 1,956 active students in 2012. That number is now at 2,485. Even with the ousting of four large fraternities in fall 2016 and Kappa Sigma's summer 2018 withdrawal, the overall Greek community has grown over 27 percent. Compared to Texas State’s 14 percent growth rate as the student population raised from 34,225 students to nearly 39,000 in the same time span, the student population rate of growth is close to half of Greek life's rate of growth. Based on student attendance of the Greek Affairs' Aug. 22 Pizza and Ice Cream Social, this year's interest from students seems to fall in line with previous years' growth. “It was an amazing success,” Dudolski said. “We had hundreds of people show up. Even though we ran out of pizza around 7:30 p.m., people stayed to chat with the different fraternities and sororities until we had to close up at 9:00 p.m.” Texas State's new Fraternity and Sorority Life coordinator Adam Joiner, formerly a residential director at Arkansas Tech University, said he believes the extended fraternity and sorority semester-long recruitment policy for freshmen is a great opportunity to show students what it means to be a part of the Greek community.
“It gives students the ability to truly get to know the organizations before joining," Joiner said. "The goal of having an extended recruitment policy is for the student to be friends with the organization before joining." Negvesky said he has faith the organizations will continue to grow under the new policies and restrictions. "I am very confident that our IFC community is going to thrive under our new system of recruitment,” Negvesky said. “It is a big change from what we have done in the past, but our chapters decided that a big change was needed to move our community in the right direction.” Negvesky said since these organizations forge life-long commitments, he hopes the environment is conducive to helping prospective new members become wellinformed consumers, and is asking chapters to take the opportunity to truly get to know prospective members. “Students are at Texas State University first and foremost to get a degree,” Negvesky said. “We as a community want to make sure that the students who join are going to be able to successfully balance their school and extracurricular life before extending an invitation for membership in one of our chapters.” The Interfraternity Council offices can be found on the fourth floor of the LBJ Student Center.
allegations, specifically citing the underthe-table campaign donation by TPUSA. “I mean obviously these are allegations at this point still, but you know we had suspected pretty far back that she was corrupt and that there was talk about Turning Point USA money pretty early on and it’s something that I had talked about," Nieves said. "Same thing with the vandalization of the signs. If it’s true I’m really disappointed it's actually true.” According to the Financial Disclosure segment of Student Government's Election Code, all donations must be reported. "Each candidate must keep accurate and up-to-date records of all campaign income and expenditures and submit a report even if they have no income or expenses. Donations shall include any and all discounts not available to the student population at large. Documentation should include but is not limited to: (a) Printed receipts proving income and expenditures. (b) Market value for all items purchased or detonated. (c) Any fines applied by the Election Board." Boreing and Becerra's financial disclosure records do not reflect the donation of the iPads or the $2,800. Boreing's records indicate $3,841.17 was
donated, primarily by students, senators and family of Becerra and Boreing. If Boreing did receive an unreported campaign donation of $2,800, there would be a violation for not reporting the donation as well as crossing the $4,000 budget threshold. Dean of Students Margarita Arellano, faculty advisor for Student Government, said the punishment for the alleged unreported donation is up to the students and could include impeachment. Arellano also said the university can only be consulted and cannot interfere directly. "Student Government is a self-governing organization, so my suggestion is that the senators and student address (the allegations)," Arellano said. "The students are the ones who need to enforce governing documents and ask those questions. I cannot intervene or tell (the students) what to do. It's Student Government that needs to do that, it's not the university." According to Miller, he will release evidence supporting his claims to The University Star if Boreing does not admit to the accusations. The University Star will continue to update this story as more information comes along.
of staff. San Marcos Fire Chief Les Stephens said he has been working toward having yearly inspections for nine years. “Before, I didn’t have authority to implement yearly inspections, but it was something we’ve been working towards,” Stephens said. “We’re not aware of what exactly the conditions are on some businesses because we don’t have enough people in our fire marshal’s office, so we are gonna use our operations guys to and do surveys on what needs to be inspected.” Some of the local businesses in San Marcos differ in fire code inspection requirements. Blaine Morgan, manager at Connoisseur Smoke Shop, said the shop
gets inspected three or four times a year. "Every quarter or so, the Fire Marshal's office comes out to check the fire extinguishers and lighting to make sure everything is up to code," Morgan said. Martin Mojica, general manager at Aqua Brew Restaurant and Brewery, said they have been inspected for their fire exits and suppression systems and would be willing to participate in yearly inspections. "We have had the Fire Department come out to make sure we have enough exits and fire sprinklers and that we are up to code," Mojica said. "We also take steps to make sure to prevent something from happening."
The Star will continue to follow this story and provide details as a timeline for hiring a new police chief is established and details surrounding Bañales’ resignation become available.
FROM FRONT GREEK LIFE Jake Negvesky, Interfraternity Council president, said he does not expect this change to bring about any financial damages to fraternities or sororities on campus. In spite of the numerous Greek-related incidents in the last two years, active-member numbers suggest Greek life on campus has grown and the community is running strong. “In the past, fall classes were always larger and comprised of mainly freshmen while spring classes were smaller and mainly upperclassmen," Negvesky said. "The new recruitment system will just reverse that trend." With the voluntary moratorium and eventual suspension of Greek Life, only 23 new members joined fraternities throughout the IFC. Negvesky said he expects upperclassmen and freshman to receive the same number of bids in the fall semester. “Chapters had raised some concerns early on about potential financial issues, but after explaining (the new bidding system), a lot of their concerns were alleviated.” Negvesky said. “Additionally, I have heard feedback from chapter presidents that there are a lot of upperclassmen participating in recruitment this semester.” Greek Affairs' assistant Dean of Students Bob Dudolski said the new policies would not cause any harm to Greek life on campus. “We have seen between a 10 to 13 percent increase overall in fraternity
FROM FRONT ALLEGATIONS “Most (Student Government Associations) have been controlled by the left for decades, institutionalizing campus messaging and earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars of student fees to intentionally push a coordinated radical progressive agenda which has dramatically increased since the year 2000," states the brochure. In the same brochure, Robert Meyer is listed next to Texas State. University officials confirmed no one by the name Robert Meyer has ever been a student at Texas State University. Boreing had no response to Miller's allegations. "I’ll definitely come out and talk about [the allegations], but I want to formulate my thoughts first," Boreing said. During the spring 2018 election season, Boreing and Vice President Ruben Becerra Jr. were tried and found not guilty on charges of bribery after then-Student Government Presidential Candidate Preston Nieves and Vice Presidential Candidate Christian Sears filed a case with the Student Government Election Board. Nieves and Sears' alleged Boreing's thenChief of Staff Collin Pruett bribed Sears with a position on Boreing's cabinet if Sears dropped out of the race. Nieves, now a senator-at-large, said he suspected corruption akin to Miller's
News reporter Jakob Rodriguez contributed to this story.
FROM FRONT INSPECTION Kistner said the fire department has to figure out where the properties are and determine which ones require inspections. “We have to look at all the different properties and figure out which ones will be at a higher risk for fire, so we do a risk analysis and that’s where we start the inspections at,” Kistner said. “The process will include doing an inspection to apply the fire code to a particular property and making sure the property is staying or remaining compliant.” The San Marcos Fire Department has been working to begin the yearly inspections but still has to put together teams to conduct surveys and give the information to the fire marshal’s office, but sometimes lack the proper number
The University Star
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 3
Sandra Sadek News Editor @sandra_sadek19
FROM FRONT COMPLAINTS Chapa was taking a capstone course in spring 2018 when geography professor Richard Earl allegedly said multiple racist statements in class. Earl declined to comment to The University Star, but the report states Earl acknowledges he made a comment on incarcerating employers of undocumented immigrants in a "discussion about the hypocrisy of many people in thinking about immigration." "Anyone who hires undocumented people should be incarcerated if you ask me. I think the President of this university, Trauth, needs to be incarcerated," Earl said, according to Chapa's recantation in the report. An unnamed witness in the report confirms Earl made statements on race, height and immigration but was not concerned beyond the fact that Earl would, at times, make statements irrelevant to class. The report includes two additional quotes Chapa alleges Earl made: "Mexicans in Mexico eat unhealthy diets and they are shorter because of lack of nutrients," the report states. "I can tell what workers are undocumented because Hispanics who were born here and have their documents, residents, are taller because we have healthier diets here. That's a fact." After confronting Earl about the issue in person after class, Earl responded to Chapa via email and told them that their views are not reflected by the campus majority. "I thought that I pretty clearly stated that I was talking about sensitive issues," Earl stated in the email to Chapa. "And, as you know, the immigration issues is a volatile and complex matter. You may find this hard to believe, but there probably are people in this class who 100% support Trump on that matter. I hope you realize that your strong feelings about that issue are not held by a large segment of the student population. If you knew my background, you would realize that I am very sensitive about racial mattersâ€”I am human and I do make mistakes, but long ago, my thinking on racial matters has been shaped by the reality that no one chose
Texas State's J.C. Kellam administration building May 30, which houses the Office of Equity and Access. PHOTO BY GEOFF SLOAN
what they were born, where they were born or when they were born." Chapa proceeded to file a discrimination complaint with the Office of Equity and Access and a copy was sent to Earl. Chapa continued to attend Earl's class after filing the report and said they were uncomfortable because of Earl's knowledge of the allegations. Two weeks before the end of the spring semester, 87 days after their report was filed, the Office of Equity and Access completed the investigation and found no evidence discrimination had occurred. The investigator, Ronda Brown, who no longer works at the university, told Chapa there was no evidence substantiating differential
treatment in the case that would put students at a disadvantage. "Investigator explained to Complainant that the standard for determining discriminatory conduct is whether one person has treated another person in a different way so as to disadvantage that person because of their membership in a protected class," the report stated. Alberto Giordano, geography department chair, declined to comment to The University Star. Giordano cited no knowledge of the situation past Equity and Access' findings, despite being named an expert witness in the investigation report. Upon submission of a discrimination
complaint and evaluation of violations of the university's policy, the director of the Office of Equity and Access assigns the case to one of two primary investigators employed at the university. At the time of Chapa's investigation, Vincent Luizzi was the interim director. Now, Ameerah McBride has been hired as the full time chief diversity office and director of the Office of Equity and Access. If the case is more than 50 percent likely to have happened, sanctions are to be placed. These sanctions imposed by a supervisor can range anywhere from a verbal warning to termination, dismissal or cancellation of contract. "What individuals think is discrimination is not necessarily discrimination by university policy," McBride said. "If a formal complaint is filed, the person is probably going to be found not in violation of the policy. It would probably be more beneficial to go through informal resolution (such as mediation) to come to a mutual agreement." "I feel as if Texas State did not (take my complaint) seriously," Chapa said. "Anything to do with pro-whiteness, (the university) acts as if time will heal it. Anything anti-white is a big deal and has harsher punishments. It shows there is definitely a double-standard when it comes to race at Texas State." Retaliation is forbidden against any person who files a discrimination complaint, participates in an investigation or opposes discrimination. McBride said if an individual is experiencing retaliation as a result of a report being filed, Equity and Access should be notified of the adverse action. "I started at the university May 23, so all the new changes (we are implementing) came with me," McBride said. "I can't speak to what happened before I arrived here, but the new way we are processing complaints is after Ameerah." Discrimination complaints can be filed with the Office of Equity and Access.
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The University Star Diana Furman Life & Arts Editor @Dianna9696
LIFE & ARTS
Alumnus assists artistic growth By Sonia Garcia Life & Arts Reporter One Texas State alumnus is helping locals reveal their inner artists by leading workshops at the Price Center. The Price Center is a community events center with a focus on visual, performing and cultural arts. It offers an array of fun events that are low priced or free, ranging from quilting to dancing. The Price Center and Lifelong Learning, non-profit organizations, hosted two workshops over the summer taught by five-time published poetry writer and Texas State alumnus, Michael Hannon. After Michael Hannon conducted two workshops with the Price Center over calligraphy and illumination early summer, he was brought back to share more of his artistic abilities. “Having a chance to share my interest, knowledge and experience in the artistic field is very nice,” Hannon said.
“Having a chance to share my interest, knowledge, and experience in the artistic field is very nice.” -Michael Hannon The two workshops held this summer allowed community members to engage with a new art form. Paper engineering and poetry take practice, but with instruction from Hannon, the students left with new skills.
Pop-ups and origami have been part of Hannon’s artistic career for more than 20 years. The workshop is two hours long and is held every Monday until Sept. 22. When the paper engineering class began, Hannon introduced the idea of having something pop up. He started with simple projects like greeting cards. Over the course of six weeks, he has introduced more advanced pop-ups and techniques with paper. Ten community members attended the event, including recently retired Texas State professor Patricia Pattison. “It is sometimes frustrating because I haven’t had much contact with the arts, but I’m really enjoying his class,” Pattison said. “Each week he introduces a new idea, and it is very interactive.” The second workshop focuses on poetry, which may not be everyone’s forte. However, Hannon works with attendees to build writing skills. The workshop is two hours long and held every Tuesday until Sept. 23. Both experienced and new poets are welcome to attend the workshop. Hannon said poetry is all about practice, so every week he guides students through experimenting with different forms. He discusses different themes, line lengths and how to convey certain emotions through poetry. Because the class is small, the students share their poetry aloud with fellow students. He also works individually with students on their poetry. As the workshops wrap up, participants will walk away with a new set of skills and techniques. Clay DeStefano, executive director of the Price Center, said the center has many more art classes in store. “I really want to make sure (the Price Center) is lifting up local performers and artist as much as possible,” DeStefano said. Each person has an artist in them, and the Price Center presents variants of opportunities to unleash the creative self. To stay up to date with the Price Center visit its Facebook page at Price Center and Tea Room San Marcos.
Paper Engineering student crafts a paper dragon.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAY DESTEFANO
Community members also learn paper engineering as part of the workshop series. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAY DESTEFANO
Career Services ensures bright futures By Diana Furman Life & Arts Editor As a new college student, ensuring a future career is a heavy burden. However, Texas State’s Career Services is available to students as a tool to lessen the worrisome load. Career services aims to strengthen students’ professional marketability and career success after graduation. It offers various resources to assist students in obtaining professional jobs and internships. The services offer liaisons specified for the different colleges on campus. Career counselors are licensed counselors who help students with the exploratory phase of their career. From there, students are introduced to a career advisor. Together, students and career advisors work to strengthen students’ professional resume. Career advisor Madison Tabersmith said it is not mandatory to meet with a liaison from a student's specific college. She also said . it's a common misconception that only business majors can utilize the program. “We have employers that are traditional accounting firms who are looking for people who are able to think creatively and critically,” Tabersmith said. “Some actually search for liberal arts majors specifically.” Career Services also offers a Career Closet which is stocked with all sizes of professional attire. Students can rent a suit or dress free of charge. The only requirement is the clothes must be drycleaned before return. Career Services also hosts 20-30 career fairs each year. The fairs feature a mall of hiring employers. They offer
Employers converse with students Aug. 24 at part-time job fair.
PHOTO BY ELZA TAURINS
“It pays off to talk to your future employer and figure out what they want.” -Madison Tabersmith
students an opportunity to meet with future employers and gain networking experience. Some employers will interview on the spot so students are encouraged to attend in professional attire with resume in hand. Tabersmith said attending the fairs as a freshman can help students get ahead of the curve. “It pays off to talk to your future employer and figure out what they want,” Tabersmith said. Christina Montez, nursing junior, recently attended her first career fair and said it was extremely helpful. “I would encourage other students to go because there’s really something out there for everyone,” Montez said. Career Fair Plus, an app for career fairs, helps students navigate the chaos of a career fair and offers a full list of upcoming events. It features a list of employers in attendance, an interactive floorplan, announcements and fair tips. Career advisor Emily Trepanier said Career Services only wants to see students succeed after graduation. If a student has been active with Career Services throughout their college years but finds themselves unemployed after graduation, Career Services will work alongside alumni to assist them in securing a job. “Most of the people in our office are Texas State alumni, so it’s kind of just helping other alumni in need,” Trepanier said. “Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.” Career Services is located on the fifth floor of LBJ Student Center. It is open to all students, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The University Star
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 5
Diana Furman Life & Arts Editor @Dianna9696
LIFE & ARTS
Cancer survivor receives grant to educate and empower women By May Olvera Life & Arts Reporter A cancer-surviving Texas State student has been awarded a prestigious grant from a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women through advocacy, education and research. Amanda Castro, 37, is a social work student, a mother of two and a breast cancer survivor. This semester she also became the recipient of a Career Development Grant from the American Association of University Women. This grant is awarded to women who have a bachelor’s degree and plan on changing careers or re-entering the workforce. When she applied for the grant, Castro knew very little about the organization itself; still, she fit the criteria necessary to apply. “I was looking for funding because I’m a parent and I worked in probation and parole for years," Castro said. "I just thought I can’t afford school. Basically, I looked up scholarships and found this one. I just went for it. I applied. I didn’t know that it was so prestigious until afterward.” Travis Raphael, director for the Bachelor of Social Work program, said he noticed Castro’s passion for being a change agent and her willingness to grow from critique. “We are excited about the many potential lives that Amanda may impact,” Raphael said. “We look forward to seeing her grow as a student and as a professional.” Castro first graduated from Texas State with a criminal justice degree in 2006. She spent seven years as a probation officer and two as a parole officer. At the end of her second year as a parole officer, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and later epilepsy. Throughout her medical battle, Castro noticed problems within the healthcare system and her goal became to alleviate those issues for other women. This encouraged her toward social work. She submitted her scholarship application and a five-page essay detailing her
Amanda Castro sits outside of Encino Hall Aug. 30 with time to spare between two of her four social work classes of the day. PHOTO BY MAY OLVERA
experiences to the AAUW. Castro found the first lump in her breasts when she was 21, an age people do not typically associate with health complications. Castro said the doctors
the time she turned 32, she found the doctors' misconception to be untrue and Castro was formally diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I knew I needed to teach other women to do self-breast exams and help them realize that you’re never too young to be hit with such a big disease." -Amanda Castro she interacted with supported the misconception, constantly telling her it was impossible for her to be at risk of breast cancer at such a young age. By
“At that point, being affected by so many illnesses at such a young age, I felt like this was my time,” Castro said. “I knew I needed to teach other women
to do self-breast exams and help them realize that you’re never too young to be hit with such a big disease. That’s why I decided to become a social worker.” With the intention of shattering the misconception, Castro began talking to women of all ages and teaching them how to conduct breast exams. Last October, Castro gave a presentation to San Marcos High School’s volleyball team. “I told my story and then I opened it up for questions, and I just saw that they wanted to know more,” Castro said. “Now they know it could happen to them and what to look for, but why aren’t young girls told about this earlier? That’s a big problem.” Castro also works with Community Action, a non-profit organization in Central Texas that provides people with a range of services including health and adult education programs. She helps patients register for free mammograms through the Pink Bus, a vehicle equipped with machines to conduct free screenings and teach people how to do self-breast exams. Castro said she would like to see similar initiatives at Texas State in the future. Karen Muñoz, Texas State alumna and former digital educator for the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, said it takes a certain kind of strength to dedicate one’s life to helping women in difficult situations. “However, the rewarding parts of social work make it all worth it,” Muñoz said. “Some of the people that HCWC and Community Action help are in tough places, whether they are dealing with abuse or cancer. Being part of an organization that helps them heal is incredibly rewarding.” With the AAUW Career Development Grant, Castro will be able to continue the work she is passionate about, use her education and experiences to empower women of all ages and get closer to her goal of becoming a counselor for women who have had breast cancer.
BB's Chicago Cuisine fries up success By Sonia Garcia Life & Arts Reporter Two Texas State students are using chicken and fries to bring their business, relationship and education to the next level. BB’s Chicago Cuisine found a home at the food truck park at 128 Guadalupeupe St. Owners Charles Rivers, business management junior, and Ariana Richards, health and fitness junior, brought the Rivers family recipe to San Marcos almost a year ago. This summer, the couple got their mobile food establishment permit and are now offering a full menu of affordable eats.
They help people understand you can follow your dreams while getting an education." -Ericka May
BB's Chicago Cuisine began nine years ago in Houston. The restaurant was owned by Rivers' parents and its menu paid homage to their Chicago roots. When Rivers' parents moved back to Chicago in late 2016 and closed shop, he chose to keep the business alive. With Richards' previous experience working with the family business, she joined Rivers as a co-owner. Rivers and Richards began selling BB's Chicago Cuisine to San Marcos residents in 2017. The couple's rendition of the Rivers family recipe became a fan favorite. With success in hand, the couple set their sights on operating a food truck for their business, like Rivers' family once had. Rivers and Richards drove by the food truck park for over a year and imagined the day they would put BB’s in the lot. This summer they breathed life into the dream by obtaining the appropriate permit and readying the BB's Chicago Cuisine food truck. The food trucks Aug. 24 grand opening was packed with entertainment by DJ Drew and free food for customers that showed up early. “I (feel) like I’m looking from the outside in,” Richards said. “(Getting our food truck in the food truck park) is like looking at one of your dreams come true, and I think I’m still in disbelief to this day.” Richards and Rivers said their flavors and vibes are not normally found in San Marcos. BB’s menu features the full menu the Rivers family had when they ran the food truck. There are seven permanent food items, including the fan-favorite wings, as well as a seasonal option. All their food is shipped from Chicago to provide the essence of the Chicago experience in every bite. “I want (students) to have a good time, want the food quality to always be an A and definitely affordable,” Rivers said. “We want to make it somewhere students would want to come and hang out.” They also offer catering services for all occasions. Ericka May, Texas State
Arianna Richards takes the order of David Garza Aug. 31. PHOTO BY SONIA GARCIA
alumna, pushed her Basketball Coach to get BB’s catering to celebrate the end of the 2018 spring semester. The coaches made it happen and BB’s catered for the Women’s Basketball team. “The fact that it’s two college students grinding (and) following their passion while getting an education makes it special,” May said. “They help people understand you can follow your dreams while getting an education.” The duo said BB’s has more in store for its future. Rivers and Richards want to be a sponsor of Texas State. Eventually, they want to be able to work from a business standpoint rather than in the food truck. Rivers and Richards both said it is difficult to balance school, business and their relationship, but they make it work.
The couple said it is a lot for them to handle on their own and they are looking at hiring interns in the near future. They said they hope to help students gain work experience while they receive the help they need for BB’s. Possible internship positions include an accountant, marketer and social media coordinator. This dynamic couple is not letting anything get in the way of their success. They know what the college student wants and are delivering excellence. BB’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., as well as Friday and Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. To stay up to date with BB’s Chicago Cuisine, check out their Twitter: @ bchicagocuisine.
6 | Tuesday, September 4, 2018 UniversityStar.com @universitystar
The University Star
Zach Ienatsch Opinions Editor @zachnatch
This student body is not for sale Though a summer has passed, Bobcats' old wounds from last semester's barrage of Student Government debacles have yet to heal. If recent allegations prove true, the wound will only grow deeper. A long-winded, poetic song and dance about the place of Student Government, elected leaders and the pillars of democracy would be the obvious lecture, but the topic has grown stale with each reiteration and no student, faculty member or reader can be blamed for being turned off to the repetitive plea that students elected by students should serve student interests. Before the syllabi were even passed out, new and returning students were reminded of the allegations asserting Student Government President
Brooklyn Boreing received resources outside of the purview and necessity of a Student Government campaign for the purpose of securing a very specific governing body to pass a very specific agenda to benefit a very specific circle of benefactors who have never and will never give a thoughtful care to the success of this university or Bobcats who do not directly serve them. The attention and infamy Boreing's benefactors crave is not deserving of recognition in this address nor should it exclusively apply to this case, but rather serve as a warning to all imitators. A university is a hotbed for research, dialogue and the free exercise of ideas. How amazing would it be to implement this standard across all facets of society? Young minds come to
Texas State to grow and achieve their dreams. They are not here to be the pawns of puppet masters, sociopaths, and ambitious narcissists. Their tuition should appropriately reflect this as well. Any money coming into this institution, either by way of grant, donation or endowment, should only serve the purpose of education, student wellness and school pride for all Bobcats. Any attempt to hijack this university or its people for the benefit of an external organization should not be tolerated by the student body and certainly not by Student Government. Can students count on their elected officials not to sell them out for money, fame or power? The last three years have been a resounding not likely. And make no mistake: the student senators
and officials of today's San Marcos will become elected officials in Austin and Washington in the future. Their interests will remain the same and who benefits and who suffers will only change in scope and magnitude. The free facilitation of students to attend university without this malicious influence should not be a partisan issue either. No matter the mask or banner, student subjugation is always nefarious and no legitimate excuse can be made by any offender which claims to be an exception. We have the rest of our lives to curtail our activities and selfinterest to benefit employers and the government. Let's not give up these few impressionable years to stoke the ego of the same machine.
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.
When picking a major, students should consider geography By Cutter W. González Guest Columnist One of the most important decisions faced by college students is choosing a major or minor area of study, which invites another level of intense debate and professional discernment. From the testimony of a recent alumnus, gainfully employed, undergraduates should consider geography. At Texas State, students can select from almost 100 bachelor degree programs and around 75 minors. So why does geography stand out? First, students should know what geography actually is. It is not states and capitals (though they are important) or mapmaking (though geographers do love maps). According to the American Association of Geographers, the leading professional organization of geographers in North America, geographers are concerned with everything from “the spatial aspects of human existence” to “patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils and water.” Second, we should address what every undergraduate student is increasingly worried about: jobs. The Houston Chronicle listed professionalism, good communication, interpersonal and teamwork abilities and ethics among its list of positive characteristics for a job interview. Geography provides comprehensive training in all of these areas. As spatial thinkers, geographers are keenly aware of networks of theory and practice, embedding teamwork (or, perhaps better, community) within the core of our discipline. Our involvement in human progress necessarily concerns us with ethics. As the purveyors of spatial analysis, we are on the frontlines of communication as we synthesize spatial information and analyses into easily digestible visual and textual exposés. As we navigate between sub-disciplines and beyond the halls of our own department, geographers work closely with more senior cohorts to gain important professional experience. But jobs aren’t everything. Undoubtedly, some students attend the university to have a strong resume item for their professional careers. Others attend simply for the joy of learning—to understand more about the world in which we live and to contribute to the important research that guides decision-making at all levels. Geography is equally helpful in this regard. As previously mentioned, geography
ILLUSTRATION BY CAMERON HUBBARD
bridges the gap between other areas of study. Human geography involves understandings of political science, sociology, human psychology, economics and philosophy. Physical geography requires its practitioners to be familiar with biology, ecology, geology, chemistry and physics. These categories aren’t exclusive, however. Geography’s subfields, such as political ecology, synthesize important earth science concepts with human implications and social processes. This provides the budding academic a breadth of knowledge not known to all fields, opening many doors to advanced study within and outside of the formal academic institution. Approaching this impressive discipline can seem daunting. Speaking from experience, however, Texas State’s geography department and its faculty do an excellent job. Undergraduates are introduced to the topic in a way that is engaging and doable, while not losing the invitation to do more. Certainly, as coursework progresses, it becomes less of an invitation and more of a requirement but one that the geographer is ready for after prerequisites. A major or minor in geography can supplement a resume as easily and effectively as a curriculum vitae. Employers are looking for applicants with diverse skillsets and impressive functional knowledge. As college graduates flood the market of potential employees, choose geography to stand out above the rest—take it from an employed recent graduate - Cutter W. González earned his Bachelor of Science in Geography from Texas State University in 2017 and is now a policy analyst at the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The modern university can recover its Humanism By Patrick Tchakounte Opinions Columnist The modern university is commendable for fostering an atmosphere of learning, research and education. Texas State University supports this with the Albert B. Alkek Library, a collection of more than 1.5 million printed volumes, 99,700 electronic journals and 625 databases. Furthermore, it is an open space that favors the promotion of learning and research. Evidently, the purpose of seeking a university education is to develop a career and to secure eventual employment. In a universe that seems to dedicate attention on the economic question, that is, the gross production of wealth, it appears that the human person is at the mercy of a system in which the competition for gainful employment is impersonal and unforgiving. In the end, it is a question of economics and the human element disappears behind numbers. Humanism forms the tradition of the modern university and traces its origin to the Renaissance during the 14th century in Italy. Humanism is an intellectual movement that focuses on the re-discovery of humane letters from the classical Greeks and Romans, giving way for a rebirth of the classical patrimony of Europe after centuries of absence during the Middle Ages. The vision of humanism was founded on an educational movement to teach people the elegance of diction and of writing. The Renaissance marked a progression from the studium generale of the Middle Ages with its emphasis on law, medicine and theology to the studia humanitatis, the humanities as known today of grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and moral philosophy. Petrarch is regarded as the father of humanism and coined the phrase, “It is better to will the good than to know the truth." Secular higher education is an efficient mechanism that serves to educate the minds of thousands
of students yearly. It distributes its limitless opportunity in the provision of a curriculum that focuses on the liberal arts of arts, philosophy, religion, social science, mathematics and natural science. There exists, in fact, a simply utilitarian pressure driven by the economic need to educate as many impressionable minds on the cusp of adulthood seeking to contribute to society as possible. The matter to be resolved is whether as a result of the democratization of education, higher education actually succeeds in its humanism. Indeed, it is certain the contemporary concern of higher education is eminently focused on the performance of knowledge as a response to the standardization of tests, as opposed to fostering habits that teach the human person to think logically, speak well, write beautifully and develop civic virtues that contribute to the common good and to social life. Universities offer four-year programs with a degree rewarded upon the verification of passing grades, with a greater emphasis from the university for efficiency and an elicited need for performance. This creates an environment of stress and an atmosphere of competition, as opposed to enhancing a setting that serves for mastery of the subject matter and the fostering of virtues of humanity and well-being. A university education ought to promote the cause of humanism: a tradition that formed the patrimony of Europe for centuries, and created common ways of doing and thinking. It is a common intellectual culture, rich in meaning and powerful in symbolism. The modern library serves as a reminder of that cultural achievement, for a book is a cultural artifact sowing the seeds of knowledge in the mind that is inquisitive and receptive to its reward. - Patrick Tchakounte is a biochemistry junior
ILLUSTRATION BY CAROLINE JANES
The University Star UniversityStar.com @universitystar
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 7
Zach Ienatsch Opinions Editor @zachnatch
Letters to the Editor The University Star welcomes letters from our readers. Letters must be 500 words or fewer to be considered for publication. Please include your full name, mailing address, major and academic year designation, phone number and e-mail address when submitting a letter. Submissions that do not include this information cannot be published. This information is seen only by the editors and is not used for any commercial purpose. Letters become the property of The Star and may be republished in any format. The letter may be edited for length and clarity. You will be contacted if your letter is a candidate for publication. We will not run letters that are potentially libelous, discriminatory, obscene, threatening or promotional in nature.
Letter to the Editor: About President Boreing By Jacob Cleveland I was sitting in on today’s Texas State University Senate meeting during the Public Forum portion of the meeting. During this allotted time, a young man took to the podium and volleyed some serious accusations towards President Brooklyn Boreing. He accused Boreing of receiving $2,800
and 25 iPads, entirely under the table, from Turning Point USA. After the gentleman’s speech was over, he left the room, and President Boreing said absolutely nothing in response to these accusations. I found President Boreing’s response, or lack thereof in this case, very troubling. Perhaps The University Star already knows of this. After all, the gentleman did say he
has further evidence he is willing to turn over to The University Star. So if I’m wasting your time, I apologize, but I refuse to sit idly by and allow for potential corruption to go by unchecked. I wasn’t sure who to talk to about this but then I thought, who better to keep power in check than the press? I know Student Government has been through a lot lately, but I thought
I’d just voice my concern in hopes of keeping our Student Government here on campus accountable and transparent. - Jacob Cleveland is a member of Freshman Council
Letter to the Editor: Tarnished integrity By Monica Mendez and Cassidy Wright In a July 2018 study published by the Center for American Progress, young adults between the ages of 1829 were among the lowest reported demographic for voter turnout. With those numbers in mind, we were honored when we were asked to join a task force through the Dean of Students Office with the goal of getting more college-age students registered to vote. We were incredibly excited to begin working. As president of the Underrepresented Student Advisory Council, Cassidy Wright proposed hosting a competition to organizations under the USAC umbrella to see who could get the most people registered to vote. But another opportunity came up first. We would see a high volume of incoming students at Bobcats Care. I
staffed tables at the event and helped register 205 incoming Bobcats. Cassidy handed out voter registration cards to anyone who came up to the USAC table. We were off to a good start. But Cassidy and I are not the only students who are sitting on the Voter Registration Task Force. Brooklyn Boreing and Ruben Becerra, Student Government president and vice president, both sit on the task force. They have thus far provided limited assistance and input. Brooklyn was not at Bobcats Care, maybe she had a reason, maybe not. Ruben was there for a short period before vanishing without saying a word, leaving Monica to work the tables alone. We are not complaining, nor are we forgetting that other members of the Student Government assisted, but we held both Brooklyn and Ruben to a higher standard. They are both
members of the initiative and as such should have been there to set a good example. We were shocked when we saw the charges leveled by former senator Elijah Miller against both Brooklyn and Ruben of voter rigging, secret funding, collusion, vandalism and other allegations. What kind of example could we hope to impress upon those attempting to involve themselves in their local communities if two of the student-leaders on the task force did not conduct themselves with integrity? There is enough corruption in the outside world that needs to be changed through the voting process without having to witness it first-hand. We call on both Brooklyn and Ruben to step down from the Voter Registration Task Force and allow ethical candidates to represent Student Government. Last year we saw what happens when
injustice is ignored. Whether these allegations prove to be true or not, neither of these two individuals have any place on this task force. Our job of getting young people to use their constitutionally given right to vote is hard enough without having corrupt student-leaders in our ranks. No one will take us seriously if we continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of unethical behavior. We cannot and will not allow for this to happen. Brooklyn, Ruben, do the right thing. Show us that you are willing to accept your wrongdoings and allow our work to continue untainted. Step down. -Monica Mendez is a public relations senior -Cassidy Wright is a social work senior
We must save the Land and Water Conservation Fund By Toni Mac Crossan Opinions Columnist Many young people only have a peripheral awareness of environmental issues in the U.S.: massive protests like the one opposing Dakota Access Pipeline, for example. One piece of bipartisan legislation from Congress has been quietly working to set out parcels of land for wildlife conservation since President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law in 1965: the Land and Water Conservation Fund. There are five LWCF projects in Hays County alone, using almost $3 million in federal funding. The fund went toward building the famous Wimberley Blue Hole Park, as well as the muchbeloved Five Mile Dam. LWCF funding has contributed to the preservation of the San Marcos Springs, around which Texas State has built a world-class aquatic biology research program to study and conserve the endangered species living in Hays County. The fund has provided funding to the nearby Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. The San Marcos Springs is an incredibly important component of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler's limited nesting habitat. The LWCF has been described as a "slush fund" and a "land grab" by Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. In reality, the LWCF is an extremely important tool to set aside public lands for careful management and recreational purposes. The fund is set to expire in September. The LWCF is an ideal diversion of offshore gas exploration fees to environmental preservation efforts. It multiplies the money deposited into it, feeding local economies who depend on the tourism industry. According to the Trust for Public Land, for each dollar spent on the LWCF, four dollars go back to the local
ILLUSTRATION BY CAROLINE JANES
community. No taxpayer money goes into it, just the fees from offshore oil and gas leasing. Americans only stand to gain from the fund. Supposedly, up to $900 million collected every year from oil and gas companies goes toward balancing Americans' resource usage. It is not just scenic Yellowstone that gets the funding either. Historical parks at the sites of Civil War battles, Japanese internment camps and other historical sites across the country have been funded by the LWCF. Even lands belonging to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park were procured using funds from the LWCF. These are important interpretive sites and have added incredible value to their local communities. History is kept alive not only for tourists, but schoolchildren brought on field trips to see the stories they learn in class come to life. As for accusations of "land grabbing" from politicians like Bishop, it is important to mention the role of the
LWCF in procuring "inholdings" from willing sellers. Public lands often contain privately owned tracts surrounded by public land more easily bought with LWCF funds. This avoids using taxpayer funds from the Department of the Interior. The fund is important not only for wildlife but for the management of public lands to be contiguous. Expenditures of taxpayer money would increase to fill this purpose if the LWCF were to be dissolved. The people who will suffer the most if the LWCF disappears are all Americans who enjoy the outdoors. Sure, the LWCF has funded legendary scenic areas like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, but it goes toward city parks in Kyle, Buda and other cities in every single county in the United States. These LWCF-funded natural areas are not just for hiking and taking pictures. People are able to hunt and fish on these lands, contrary to the House
Committee on Natural Resources' claim: lands are for "national special interests" and are taken over "at the expense of recreational access for local communities." Well-regulated hunting and fishing are great for the American economy. These activities produce more than $25 billion in retail revenues from sporting goods stores. The LWCF has recently faced cuts like never before, as control has been partially given to Ryan Zinke, the new Secretary of the Interior. His department's 2019 budget decimates LWCF funding, from the projected $356 million to $97 million. This appears to have been done for no real reason—offshore oil and gas exploration is not slowing or stopping. Since no taxpayer money goes into the LWCF, there is not even a fiscally conservative reason to cut the fund this much. In fact, it would seem perhaps more in line with Zinke's supposed conservatism to raise the LWCF to its maximum spending capacity while cutting programs funded by taxpayers. Residents of every area of the U.S., especially San Marcos, have seen the positive impact of the LWCF. We must take action and let our representatives in Congress know that letting the fund die on Sept. 30, 2018, is a bad move. Louie Gohmert is the only Texan on the House Committee on Natural Resources, but all Congress members can do something to protect the LWCF. The Audubon Society, a conservation group focused on birds, has mobilized to help Americans contact their legislators with a form letter on their website. By entering your home ZIP code into the Find Your Representative tool on the House of Representatives' website, house.gov, you can find contact information. The future of public lands and endangered species depends on our action now to preserve our great American landscape. - Toni Mac Crossan is a biology senior
The University Star
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 8
John Paul Mason II Sports Editor @therealjpmason
Rugby: not just a gentleman's sport By Mattison Ditter Sports Reporter With a younger team than last season, a successful spring semester, and a closeknit bond, the Texas State women’s rugby team is ready for their upcoming season, which starts Sept. 8. The women’s team is a member of the Texas Rugby Union and competes nationwide against Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Rice University and Sam Houston University. If team president Taylor Welch and vice president Katie Harris have their way, the girls will be even more aggressive and intense this year, especially against rivals Texas A&M. “The spring season was good for such a new team,” Welch said. “We play in individual tournaments, and we lost pretty bad to Texas A&M in the fall, but come spring, we defeated them to go into tournament playoffs.” The women are gearing up for their upcoming 2018-19 season and are always looking for new members. To be apart of the team, there is a $100 fee and members are expected to attend weekly practices. Practices are Monday from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m and Thursday 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Welch emphasizes no
Rugby team after tournament in San Antonio. PHOTO COURTESY OF CIERA CABERA
experience is necessary, and everyone will get playing time. As Welch said, the real goal for the women’s team is to
build a bond like no other. “Aside from winning, we want to focus on team unity, and being one,”
Welch said. “You have to trust that your teammate is going to be that person, and it creates a super strong bond between everyone that steps on the field together, even if they are not friends off of the field.” Welch said the sport demands aggression and grit, which is contradictory to women' social norms. Most women are taught to not do these things, which Welch said can cause timidness in beginning players. “It takes a special type of person to play rugby because of the nature of the sport,” Welch said. “That is one of the things I love most about rugby… once you are on the field, you know the person next to you has your back because there’s no other way to have it.” Harris said even though this is just her second year playing rugby, her teammates have built her up to be reliable and fearless. “You have to push fear out of the way in this sport,” Harris said. “This sport can be dangerous…Every one of my teammates has my back and pushes me beyond what I thought was physically possible for me. We know each other’s limits, and have each other’s backs on, and off, the field.” The season opener takes place on Sept. 8 in New Mexico.
Weekend Soccer coach sets goals for 19th year Recap: By Anthony Flores Assistant Sports Editor
By John Paul Mason II Sports Editor The Texas State Bobcats kicked off the fall sports season this weekend with the first home volleyball tournament of the cycle, while the football team traveled to New Jersey for game one of the season.
Bobcat volleyball wins first tournament in new arena
The women volleyball team played a perfect 4-0 weekend at the newly renovated Strahan Arena, taking home the Creeds and Crests Classic trophy. The volleyball team started off the Aug. 30 tournament by beating rival UTSA 4-1 in match games. The Bobcats defeated James Madison on day two of the contest with another 4-1 record in match games. After a 3-0 sweep against Incarnate Word University, Texas State was crowned the champion of the tournament. The Bobcats topped off the weekend with a 3-0 sweep over Abilene Christian University, making Texas State undefeated in its new arena. Emily DeWalt, exercise and sports science freshman, was named as the 2018 Creeds and Crests Classic MVP. In the clinching game, DeWalt paced the offense with 44 assists, 13 digs, five kills, three blocks and three aces. The volleyball team will travel to Houston Sept. 4 to face the Rice Owls.
Bobcat football takes a crosscountry loss
The Texas State football team kicked off their season against Rutgers University's Scarlet Knights and faced a 7-35 defeat against the New Jersey-based university. The Bobcat offense started out slow with sophomore quarterback Willie Jones III's first collegiate start. Jones finished 6-19 with 79 yards through the air and an interception, along with 33 rushing yards in 14 attempts. The offense was not able to find the end zone all day, with defense clutching the lone score for the 'Cats with a pick six in the third quarter. Throughout the game, the team was able to record three total pick sixes, the first game since 2016 that the team had done so. It was also the first time since 2016 the Bobcats had an interception return for touchdown. The team will host Texas Southern University Sept. 8 for the first home game of the season.
Cultivating and nurturing an athletic program into a perennial championship contender is a tough task, but head coach Kat Conner has spent almost 19 years perfecting the formula. Heading into her 19th year, Conner has built the Bobcats women's soccer program into a success. Conner first came to Texas State in 1999 after working as an assistant coach for the Texas A&M Aggies from 1993-98, and for Pacific Lutheran University from 1991-92. In 2015, Conner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which forced her to take a less physical coaching role. Conner said her battle with cancer has been trying, but she credits her players’ passion and energy for galvanizing her. “After going through the cancer and battling through cancer, sometimes it wears me down,” said Conner. “When I go out there sometimes I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I have this anymore,’ and then I see their passion and I see their fire and suddenly I got it. Their energy and passion ignite me.” The first challenge Conner faced upon arriving at Texas State 19 years ago was putting together a team with the potential to be competitive. Conner looked to the club teams for the talent she needed to begin building what would become the foundation of the soccer program Bobcats see today. “When I first got here, we didn’t have anybody to tell you the truth,” Conner said. “I just went to the club team. I had heard they had a great history of winning, even winning a club national
championship. We pulled out I think about four or five of them and they really helped to bring that foundation.” As a rookie head coach with a rookie program, it was hard for Conner to envision the future of the program. She knew one thing though: she was going to give her all to the girls she had brought together. “I didn’t have any ideas of what we were going to do,” Conner admitted. “I had no vision other than I wanted to give my best to the program. Those young women just picked up and carried along with it and we accomplished a lot of great things.” In their first year together, the thenSouthwest Texas State women’s soccer team found immediate success as they made it to the first round of NCAA tournament. Conner places much of the credit for the team's strong first year on the lack of expectations and the raw hunger for success the team had. “I think that was the beauty of it," Conner said. "We didn’t have any expectations. We didn’t have any guidelines. We knew nothing really. We just knew that we were energetic and passionate, and we wanted to win." Since then, Coach Conner has notched 11 10-win seasons and is entering the 2018 season with a 195-159-27 record. Conner has led the Bobcats to four regular season conference championships, five conference tournaments and five NCAA tournament appearances. The 2017 season saw the Bobcats continue their success, finishing the season 10-6-1 overall, with a conference record of 8-2-0. Despite a successful
regular season, the Bobcats were eliminated in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament by Coastal Carolina in a double overtime showdown. Armed with a coaching staff of fresh faces, Conner and company are focusing on remembering and learning from their past mistakes. “I do think the coach has done a good job of reminding us that we don’t want to have that feeling of losing again and then preparing us each practice," said Jordan Kondikoff, junior midfielder. "Kind of shaping our practices around what we can do to beat the team that week.” To reach their goal, Conner demands the best from her athletes on and off the field and continually challenges them. “She definitely challenges us every day and wants to see you do your best," said Kelly Barbalias, senior midfielder. "She wants us to play well together but also play to the best of our abilities, so she definitely challenges us in that aspect.” Despite a slow start to the 2018 campaign, Conner has full confidence in her team, aiming to get them ready for when momentum really counts. “I don’t want this team to peak now, I don’t even want them to peak at the end of September,” Conner said. “I want them to be gaining speed each weekend and improving so by the end of October, we are peaking and we’re improving and we’re firing on all cylinders.” The Bobcats will host their home games at the Recreation Soccer Fields, located between Speck street and the campus Rec center.