DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911 @universitystar | universitystar.com
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019
Volume 108, Issue 26
Mourners react emotionally during the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service tribute video April 11 in the LBJ Ballroom. PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON
Remembering fallen Bobcats With heavy hearts and cheerful smiles, Texas State came together during the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service on Thursday to remember faculty, staff, retirees and students who have died in the last year. By News Reporter Samantha Guerrero, Managing Editor Sawyer Click and Editor-in-Chief Carrington J. Tatum Dining hall Viking Goddess Susie Mullen, Regents' Professor Lawrence Estaville and the Iconic Village fire victims: Haley Michele Frizzell, David Ortiz, Dru Estes, James Miranda and Belinda Moats - just a few of the 40 fallen Bobcats honored at the event, hosted by the Student Foundation and the Office of the Dean of Students. On April 11, tables lined the walls of the LBJ ballroom. Sprinkled on each table was a name card, a framed photograph, a Bobcat Pause-labelled bag filled with an enamel pin dipped in the San Marcos River and heartfelt trinkets. Families and friends poured into the room to remember loved ones. Laughter filled the room as attendees shared memories of their Bobcat daughters, sons, friends and colleagues. Student Regent Leanna Mouton hovered near Estaville's table. Lined with flowers, photographs and trinkets, the memorial most prominently featured a resolution from Nov. 16, 2018, naming Estaville as a Regents' Professor that was signed by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, including Mouton. The designation is prestigious and is given to tenured full professors to award dedication to students and the university. Mouton said she hadn't known Estaville long at the time of the signing. He was fighting cancer at the time of the designation, and so the board was unsure if he could attend the ceremony. Estaville did attend the meeting in the end, and Mouton said his story
and his strength moved her to tears then, just as it did again standing beside his photograph. Estaville died Dec. 20, 2018, with his wife, Sandra, by his side. "I want to make sure his memories live on," Mouton said. "I didn't know him long, but his story was so powerful." When the viewing ended, guests were directed to a separate, larger room within the ballroom in which the service was held. Several administrators, including President Denise Trauth, and students spoke.
I want to make sure his memories live on. - Leanna Mouton "Each person connected with Texas State has made an impact," Trauth said. "They are all a part of our Bobcat family." Shortly after, each honoree's name was called by a respective member of their community. Student Government President Alison Castillo read student names; Faculty Senate Chair Alex White read faculty
names; Staff Council Representative Noel Fuller read staff names; Retired Faculty and Staff Association President Darlene Smith read retiree names. “Once a Bobcat always a Bobcat," Smith said. "Whether it be students or whether it be faculty or staff, we have literally put our heart and soul in the university. And I think that it’s important for us to recognize and acknowledge in memoriam the folks that have been a part of our community. I think it helps bring us together as a community." Upon reading the names, family, friends and colleagues stood up to receive a long-stemmed white rose, which represents remembrance and love, from Student Foundation members who lined the aisles. "We want to float the flowers we received down the river today for her," said Mari Silva, mother of Kate Silva Xavier, who was found dead Nov. 3 after being missing for over a week. "She would like that." VocaLibre, an acapella group from the School of Music, performed pieces signifying the strength needed to push through losing someone loved ones and the bonds that family and friends forge in order to have comfort. The memorial ended with VocalLibre lining the aisles to perform the Alma Mater. Following, attendees left LBJ to gather the mementos left beside each honoree's photograph, holding the roses and memories high with Bobcat pride. SEE REMEMBERING FALLEN BOBCATS PAGE 3
TPUSA to remain on campus following Student Government president veto By Samantha Guerrero & Sonia Garcia & Sawyer Click
News Reporter, News Editor, Managing Editor
President Alison Castillo vetoed legislation April 11 to ban conservative student organization Turning Point USA from campus, ending a contentious battle of free speech. The resolution was authored by Sens. Claudia Gasponi and Trevor Newman and was sponsored by Sen. Alexa Browning and Sen. Ex-Officio Jules Perrodin. The Senate passed "The Faculty and Student Resolution Act of 2019" during its April 8 regular meeting after a heated public comments section. The resolution proposed to ban Turning Point USA's Texas State University chapter from campus, citing concerns over the safety of marginalized communities and the integrity of on-campus student elections. SEE TPUSA PAGE 2
In this issue Texas State exhibition showcases the pride and skill of women ranchers SEE PAGE | 4
MAIN POINT-TPUSA has a right to free speech but not attention SEE PAGE | 6
Student Government President Allison Castillo and Vice President Keely Freund listen to students during the public forum April 8 at the Student Government meeting in the LBJ Ballroom. PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON
By land, air and Spavital SEE PAGE |10
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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, April 16, 2019. 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
2 | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Sonia Garcia | News Editor
The University Star
Cyber attacks scam students, take identities By Anika Adams News Reporter Student and faculty-targeted phishing attacks have grown at an alarming rate, in part due to the crimes evolution. In February, Kylee Nienstedt, English senior, had her Texas State email account hacked. A phishing email was sent through her own Bobcat email address to several students. The email was for a job listing as an assistant. "I had a lot of people emailing me saying they'd applied and been wondering why they hadn't heard back," Nienstedt said. "I encouraged everyone who reached out to me to contact ITAC to make sure their accounts were okay." Nienstedt’s Texas State email and identification were used to obtain other students’ information. She said she did not personally receive other students' personal information beyond their inquiries about the position. Neinstedt reported her incident to the IT Assistance Center, which said there was no further damage beyond her email being hacked. The criminals behind the phishing often target college students, since they are often in financial need. The emails are often sent to Texas State email accounts posing as job listings, services or any other way hackers can get and trade information. Eager students like Jeffrey Park, English senior, fall into the heavily-disguised trap. He almost had a significant amount of money stolen from him. Fortunately, he recognized it was a scam before it was too late. “I think it would be a good idea to implement stronger cybersecurity systems to prevent students from becoming victims to phishing and scamming,” Park said According to Texas State’s Security Information Office’s website, cybersecurity experts say phishing is an epidemic due to the increasing number of phishing attacks every year. Joel Ausanka, IT projects coordinator with Texas State's Information Security Office, said the department's goal is to reduce the number of phishing attacks against all users at Texas State and
provide a safe service. "Globally, there is an ever-increasing threat in phishing attacks across all sectors and industries," Ausanka said. "Because phishing targets humans instead of computer systems, it's a lot harder to systematically block all attempts." When a person responds to a phishing email, text or phone call, the goal of the cybercriminal is to try to build a file of a person’s private information such as passwords, phone, accounts and identification numbers. "The overall number of reports we have received seems to be on the rise," Ausanka said. "However, that's not necessarily attributable to an increase in attacks but likely a rising awareness in the Bobcat community and more people doing their part to help keep our campus safe." According to FireEye, a cybersecurity company, 91 percent of cybercrime starts with email and 90 percent of email attacks do not contain malware. UPD Officer Roy McKinney works in the community engagement sector. He said phishers can sell information gathered through cybercrimes on the black market, resulting in financial and identity loss. "In cases where someone is the victim of a successful scam, especially a monetary transaction we work with UPD as they are the proper authority in dealing with crimes that may occur," Ausanka said. "In other cases, we frequently communicate with external service providers such as web servers that have been taken over or even purchased by bad actors in order to disrupt and disable those services if they are illegal or illegitimate. This kind of engagement with other providers is fairly common in the cyber security industry and helps keep the internet safer for everyone." Phishers obtain email addresses, like student email addresses, in various ways. Sometimes they already have personal information from an individual. Another way would be by randomization of numbers and letters to potentially link to a possible identity. “(Anyone) can buy someone’s identification from the black market,
and along with that purchase comes email addresses, Facebook accounts, bank records,” McKinney said. In severe cases, UPD and DoIT trace back the email to the original sender as a way of identifying the culprit. “Our investigators will get involved and do their best on trying to backtrack on that email," McKinney said. "We are trying to get to the first of the emails to find out who this person is, and if in fact, we can track those people back to the very first email.” Phishing and hacking occur on social media as well. Student Government’s Twitter account was hacked April 1, with the post stating “TXST Student Government is the April Fools joke that never ends. Viva la first amendment.” Student Government President Alison Castillo said she saw the post immediately and notified the director of marketing to take down the post and change the password of the account. She does not know how the account got hacked or who did it. After taking down the post, her team did what was necessary for the situation and sent out a statement via Twitter: “Monday, April 1, 2019 someone hacked the TXSTSG social media and posted on our behalf. We apologize for any miscommunication.” Alison said she cannot state whether Student Government was directly targeted due to its influence on campus. Following the account's hacking, Student Government members have mulled over introducing a resolution fortifying cybersecurity on campus. “If the Senate's next session considers cybersecurity to be a threat on campus then I have confidence that a senator will take it upon themselves to write a piece of legislation regarding that," Castillo said. Officer McKinney urges everyone to not respond to suspicious emails, keep their information safe and secure and to change security information often and keep it updated. Students and faculty who are victims to phishing can report it to ITAC with an email attachment of the scam to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM FRONT TPUSA
The legislation states the barring of TPUSA is also rooted in an attempt to curb any future tampering in Student Government elections, which TPUSA has done across the country through the Campus Victory Project. Texas State has been listed as a “full victory” in the Campus Victory Project’s brochure, indicating a successfully influenced campaign. A University Star investigation uncovered Student Government members’ history with TPUSA. Former President Brooklyn Boreing was accused in fall 2018 of having received unreported donations from the conservative political action committee, resulting in her resignation a few weeks later. Student Government started a formal investigation but concluded with no corroborating evidence. Following the Senate's initial April 1 reading of the legislation, the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs issued a campus-wide statement via email April 4 affirming student organizations’ First Amendment rights and backing TPUSA’s stay on campus. Further, Dean of Students Margarita Arellano stated April 8 that the university will always uphold student's First Amendment rights. “In accordance with the First Amendment and university policy, recognized student organizations will not be barred from Texas State University campuses unless they are under university-imposed disciplinary sanctions,” the email stated. “I urge all students to be mindful of the First Amendment rights that each of you are guaranteed.” The resolution was doomed before the Senate passed it, making it a largely symbolic act to curb on-campus harassment tied to partisanship ideals. Texas State's student body isn't the first to clash with TPUSA. The University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign sent a letter of support April 11, published in this issue, that commends Texas State's Senate for passing the resolution. In the letter, the university's Student Government stated
Turning Point USA Texas State Chapter President Stormi Rodriguez waits in line to speak at the public forum April 8 during the Student Government meeting in the LBJ Ballroom. PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON
it's campus had experienced harassment similar to what is named in Texas Sate's resolution. The Senate's 9-8-4 vote to ban the organization from campus fumbled into confusion due to the accidental inclusion of abstentions to the total vote count. Robert's Rules of Order, Student Government's guiding document, states that abstentions are to be included in the total vote count, but Student Government's Constitution differs, stating abstentions are not included. After correcting the vote count, the legislation banning Turning Point USA from campus was passed. “Thank you to the authors of the legislation,” said Stormi Rodriguez, president of Turning Point USA’s Texas State chapter, at the April 8 meeting. “You have publicized the message of this organization more than I ever could.” After the legislation was passed, it went to President Castillo's desk for approval, upon which it would have been sent to administration. Castillo ordered a memorandum of veto April 11 in accordance with her authority as observed in Article V, Section 5, SubSection M of the Student Government's
Constitution. "My decision is neither partisan nor ideological; rather, it is one that upholds the First Amendment to the United States Constitution," stated Castillo in the veto. "The call for the immediate removal and barring of TPUSA from Texas State will set an invalid precedence that when opposing opinions arise that the solution is to bar one from organizing, thus fundamentally violating the First Amendment." The veto has prevented the bill from moving on any further. According to Castillo, the amendment will not be passed any further has been dropped. "There is no further action needed," Castillo said. "Once I put the veto out, then there is nothing else to be done." The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit focused on protecting First Amendment rights on college campuses, rated Texas State as one of the top 10 worst campuses for free speech in 2018. The group authored a statement condemning Student Government's decision and clarifying the First Amendment rights of on-campus student organizations.
The University Star
Sonia Garcia | News Editor
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 3
Remembering fallen Bobcats Students: Dru Estes Haley Frizzell Brihanna Landrum Michael Melton Erin Miller David Ortiz Aaron "Jack" Peterman Hailey Reyes Jayde Sherbert Brinkly Skinner James "Stephen" Smith Austin Tenpenny Lesly Vidales Faculty: Jorda Acosta Lawrence Estaville Maria de la Luz Valverde Staff: Twyla Burleson Mark Martinez Susan Mullen Jose Pineda II
Benjamin Archer's granddaughter standing April 11 beside his table. PHOTO BY SAWYER CLICK
Families cry tears of grief at Bobcat Pause April 11 as they watch a slideshow commemorating their lost loved ones. PHOTO BY CARRINGTON J. TATUM
Retired Faculty and Staff: Benjamin Archer Roger Bennett John Burkhardt Priscilla Crosson Robert Englert Ebaristo Esquibel Juan Garcia Henrey Guerrero Herbert Hannan Jr. David Nelson Irene Ortiz Mary Prado Marla Pullin Lee Smith Walter Stevenson Macario Suarez Mahammed Ali Toosi Mary Williams James Yeary
Haley Michele Frizzell's sibling bites the white rose given to her April 11 during the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service. PHOTO BY SAWYER CLICK
Administrators and Regents stand April 11 in the first row of the service. PHOTO BY SAWYER CLICK
LIFE & ARTS
4 | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
The University Star
Diana Furman | Life & Arts Editor
Art installation depicts the ranching industry April 12 in Strong as an Acre of Garlic exhibit in JCM. PHOTO BY ALI MUMBACH
Texas State exhibition showcases the pride and skill of women ranchers By Brianna Benitez Life & Arts Reporter The Strong as an Acre of Garlic art exhibition is spotlighting four female ranchers who are paving the way in a male-dominated industry. The exhibition is an immersive installation designed to reflect the lives of female ranchers. The goal of the exhibition is to demonstrate the shifting nature of the cattle industry. Strong as an Acre of Garlic will be on display in the Joann Cole Mitte Building until April 19. The installation functions as a captivating collection of textiles and wooden structures meant to reference ranch houses and cattle fences. Each structure contains information representing the lives of four female ranchers: Missy Bonds, Linda Galayda, Kimberly Ratcliff and Kelly Sullivan. Bryony Roberts is an award-winning artist and designer responsible for the creation of the Strong as an Acre of Garlic exhibition. Roberts attended Yale University and received her masters in architecture from Princeton. She currently operates her own studio, Bryony Roberts Studio, in New York. Roberts was invited by her colleague and friend, Margo Handwerker, to develop the exhibition at Texas State. Handwerker is currently the director of galleries in the School of Art and Design. As director, Handwerker is responsible for programming the galleries and exhibitions present. Handwerker asked Roberts to create a piece to represent the central Texas region. Strong as an Acre of Garlic is an evolution of different interests that came together over time. Roberts said she became inspired with the idea of creating art tied to ranching after spending time with a friend who grew up in a ranch in West Texas. She quickly became fascinated by female rodeo riders. Roberts said it was inspiring to see how feminine female rodeo riders appeared in their beautiful costumes while simultaneously evoking such incredible
Janelle Cole, senior business major, inspects texts about the ranching industry April 12 included in the Strong as an Acre of Garlic exhibit in JCM. PHOTO BY ALI MUMBACH
strength; she soon realized women in the ranching industry embody that same femininity and strength on a daily basis. Roberts started her project after discovering Linda Galayda, operator of 7-7 Ranch, through her blog Texas Rancher Girl. It was through Galayda Roberts was introduced to the other three women. Through interviewing the female ranchers, Roberts learned what a difficult lifestyle ranching entails. She said there are various factors that create obstacles for ranchers, such as changes in weather
and fluctuations in the cattle market. “One thing that stuck with me by working with these women was their resiliency,” Roberts said. “All of them have this incredible ability to find this peace and strength in facing their challenges.” The hardest part for Roberts in developing the women-centered exhibition was finding a way to narrow down the context of each women’s ranching experience into a single art installation. Roberts said each conversation pointed to a new one,
which explored the local and global difficulties of the ranching industry. “The challenge was figuring out how to edit it down and highlight the complexity and subtlety of these individual experiences in a way that was respectful and thoughtful,” Roberts said. Handwerker hopes the exhibition encourages and evokes an openmindedness in viewers to experiences not similar to their own. “This exhibition is an opportunity for attendees to hear about different experiences from folks in ranching and from folks who live in rural areas,” Handwerker said. Ashlyn Brosch, art freshman, said the exhibition was unlike something she would normally find herself attending. However, after exploring the exhibition and familiarizing herself with the ranching industry, she learned how under-appreciated women are in the industry. “When someone thinks about ranching, they wouldn’t normally think of women,” Brosch said. “I think it’s important people realize women are capable of getting their hands dirty.” Additionally, Brosch appreciated how encompassing the exhibition was. Unlike the majority of artwork Brosch has seen featured in the Texas State galleries, Strong as an Acre of Garlic was spread throughout the space. “Most of the time, (art in the galleries) are paintings on the walls or small sculptures on a table,” Brosch said. Brosch said she feels as if the project layout provokes visitors to be immersed within the artwork and helps describe the artist’s message, rather than leaving attendees to interpret what the artist means. Strong as an Acre of Garlic is an exhibition designed to highlight the expertise and skill women ranchers perform every day. The exhibition aims to exemplify how women in the ranching industry are changing the field in ways people might not realize. To stay up-to-date on future gallery exhibitions, follow @txstgalleries on Instagram.
Diana Furman | Life & Arts Editor
The University Star
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 5
Texas State highlights epilepsy awareness By Ivy Sandoval Life & Arts Contributor Texas State’s Office of Disability Services teamed up with the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South Texas on April 8 to bring epilepsy episode assistance training to campus in celebration of World Health Day. ODS welcomed students, faculty and locals to Texas State's first We Are One Initiative event. The event gave the community an opportunity to increase their awareness and knowledge of epilepsy. The We Are One Initiative is a plan ensuring all Texas State faculty, staff and students are not only trained to deal with students who experience epileptic episodes, but provide knowledge on what epilepsy entails. EFCST is a foundation that strives to help people with epilepsy define their lives not by their diagnosis and to lead active, productive lives in a supportive community. The foundation offers different programs including seizure clinics, information and referral, outreach and support services, summer youth programs and a variety of educational courses. EFCST presented a class in the LBJ Student Center over the different types and causes of epilepsy as well as instructions on dealing with an epileptic episode. Jessica Storm, programs manager for the EFCST, said she found her passion
Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South Texas giving an epilepsy training class to students, faculty, and staff of Texas State. PHOTO COURTESY OF OFFICE OF DISABILITY
for helping others with epilepsy after a close encounter with the disorder in her family. “I became involved with EFCST after my father had a seizure,” Storm said. “I love working at EFCST, where I can provide educational programs to those affected by epilepsy in Texas.” Haralan Ballard, outreach and retention coordinator for the Office of Disabilities, said the epilepsy training will be available every semester. “The way it was brought about was one student recognizing another having
an episode,” Ballard said. “This is something so important to know about; we immediately knew we had to do something about it.” Most seizures last a few minutes, and there is typically not a need to call 911 unless the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, the person is having difficulty breathing or having repeated seizures. There may be additional reasons to contact emergency services if the person is injured, pregnant, sick or does not return to their usual self. For students who may not know how
to act in the event a person is undergoing a seizure, there are six main things to remember. 1. Stay with the person and start timing the seizure. Remain calm and check for a medical ID. 2. Keep the person safe. Move or guide them away from harmful objects. 3. Turn the person onto their side and do not block their airway. Place a soft item under their head and loosen tight clothes around the neck. 4. Do not put anything in their mouth. 5. Do not restrain the person. 6. Stay with them until they are awake and alert after the seizure. Kaitlyn Gonzales, exercise and sports science senior, said she encourages others to attend and learn more about the topic. “I’m glad the epilepsy training was put on because I’ve had experience with a friend having a seizure, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done if (the friend) hadn’t told me about the condition prior,” Gonzales said. “I think it’s definitely important to have as many people as possible attend because you never know what could happen and it could save someone's life.” ODS is now planning on hosting the epilepsy training each semester and working on increasing the attendance. They plan to host the next training in Fall 2019. For information on epilepsy or the EFCST visit efcst.org.
Texas State students stand against opioid addiction By Laura Figi Assistant Life & Arts Editor The opioid crisis has remained a hot button issue nationwide, and Texas State students are taking notice and action. NOpioids is the result of a MC4320 class project in which groups of public relations students were assigned a topic to do a campaign which the main focus was to aid and spread awareness on the opioid crisis by educating students on how to best dispose of their leftover prescriptions as opposed to selling, saving or giving them away. The group spent three days on The Quad collecting pledges from students to dispose of their leftover medications responsibly; they finished their campaign by hosting a free yoga class April 5 in association with Shine On Yoga. Group members included PR majors Rachel Cooper, Chris Harris, Whitney Chiu and Ammon Bakarri-O. Other topics from the class included human trafficking and veterans’ affairs. Harris said one of the bigger problems the group found when conducting their research and talking to students on campus was how many students were unaware of the opioid crisis, or lack of knowledge on opioids.
“It definitely opened my eyes just to how big the issue is,” Harris said. “I wasn’t expecting (the results) because it seems like such a far away issue. You hear about it on the news and think ‘well that doesn’t really affect me’ but it does, especially in non-traditional students.” NOpioids created a Facebook and a Twitter page, where students are encouraged to use the hashtag #justsayNOpioids to pledge if they couldn’t make it to the booth on The Quad. Additionally, both platforms have educational graphics with facts and how to dispose of various medications. Cooper said she was surprised by how many people approached their tent and were willing to learn about opioids. “Having conversations with people was really interesting and impactful for students,” Cooper said. As of right now, NOpioids will not continue as an organization, as most of the group is set to graduate soon. However, Cooper said she thinks it would be great if someone were to pick up the campaign and turn it into something real. Shine On Yoga founder and instructor Teo Whitmore said he loves partnering with organizations on campus, and wishes they could be involved more often.
(Left) Daisey Shelley stretches out while taking an online test April 15 at Sewell Park. (Middle) Texas State student Jared Smith throws a football with friends April 15 at Sewell Park. (Right) San Marcos native Frisbee Dan tries out a new frisbee trick April 15 at Sewell Park. PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON
Students sign their commitment to refuse opioids, Wednesday Apr. 3, in the Quad. COURTESY PHOTO BY NOPIOIDS
“(Opioids) are an issue facing not only adults, but teenagers and students as well,” Whitmore said. “It’s one of those unseen problems, so raising awareness is really beneficial. The fact they’re helping to educate students and take a stand on that issue and move forward is great.” Unused medication can be turned in to a police station or collection center
at any time. However, the next National Drug Take Back Day will occur April 27, and there will be centers across the country to collect unused drugs. More information can be found by visiting @txstNOpioids on Twitter, on Facebook at facebook.com/ txstNOpioids or takebackday.dea.gov.
6 | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Carissa Liz Castillo | Opinions Editor
The University Star
TPUSA has a right to free speech but not attention Turning Point USA is a nuisance to our campus community and only upholds a few of the university’s values. National outlets, as well as The University Star, have documented that TPUSA has a mission to interfere with Student Government elections with no regard for fairness or integrity. The group regularly shows its incongruence with Texas State’s values. Events such as “Come Out as Conservative” interrupts National Coming Out Day which should be a day of support for queer Bobcats. By trivializing centuries of shame and violence against LGBTQIA+ communities, TPUSA demonstrates how little respect it has for the uncontrollable identities of its fellow Bobcats. But, somehow, the organization has an expectation of support when the legitimacy of its members’ chosen beliefs is threatened. However, even in its hypocrisy, TPUSA members deserve to freely express their ideas. Now, Turning Point is defending its right to free speech from Student Government— even though a few semesters ago their positions on the First Amendment were reversed. TPUSA was one of many conservative groups that backed
deposed Student Government President Connor Clegg when he demonstrated his disdain for the First Amendment by calling for the defunding of The University Star, based on an opinions column that offended him. Student Government's resolution to ban TPUSA cites its core concern as safety, a sound sentiment. However, to make that argument is to say that Turning Point’s speech is linked to a hostile environment. Therefore, in order to make the campus environment less hostile for marginalized students, you must remove its speech. But constitutional values demand the free exchange of ideas, even if they’re hostile. Turning Point largely disseminates misinformation, a practice learned from its Director of Communications Candace Owens. She recently told Congress the Republican Party never used racism to draw votes away from southern Democrats in the 1960s, contending with decades of work by historians. But until TPUSA calls for immediate lawless action, it cannot be banned for its speech. It’s better argued that university administrators should investigate claims of harassment
and threats to the spirit of academic freedom for professors placed on TPUSA's watchlist, as well as former Student Government President Brooklyn Boreing's campaign violations. The U.S. Supreme Court has historically made it a priority to keep the exchange of ideas and information as free as possible, likely because freedom of thought is the foundation of U.S. democracy. Turning Point mostly contributes refuse to the on-campus conversation, but it has a right to do so. Student Government President Allison Castillo recognized this with a rightful veto of the legislation, but the Senate should recognize this as well. With this in mind, it’s also worth noting the First Amendment guarantees protections of speech specifically from governmental bodies. Turning Point USA has no expectation of an audience from student activists. Citizen’s decide what platforms are worthy of an audience and consequently, a right to be heard. Student organizers should be careful of the methods by which they combat the rhetoric of TPUSA. Deplatforming can silence a group, but it costs the same protections that defend
the platforms for civil rights activists. Additionally, accosting members with profanity and pejoratives against their physical appearances are the tools of the intolerant and only helps them paint themselves as victims. The middle road is to never amplify TPUSA's rhetoric by bringing it to a larger platform than their own. And when their misinformation does make it to the ecosystem, never let it be published uncontested without counter information and context. Furthermore, we usually only report on conflicts between Student Government and student groups, but The University Star’s motto is, “Defending the First Amendment since 1911." We, as an editorial board, would not be holding true to our purpose if we stayed silent on this subject. We welcome letters to the editor from members of our community in response to this editorial and the state of the campus. As a campus community, Texas State should learn from the mistakes of the previous semesters, which starts with understanding and internalizing all parts of the First Amendment indiscriminately.
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.
Letters to the editor
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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign commends TPUSA Legislation Dear Editor, Student Government recently received a letter from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Student Body President, Vice President, and Cheif of Staff. I am sharing it with the Student Body of Texas State because I would like to reemphasize that the legislation Senator Newman and I wrote is not at all about free speech, or taking the rights of students to speak or assemble. The legislation that we wrote and endured harassment for, that was passed in the Senate only to be vetoed by SBP Allison Castillo, is about the safety of our students, staff, and faculty. The framing of this legislation as "an attack on free speech" is a tool used by far-right conservative voices to distract from the real reason students, staff, and faculty across the country want Turning Point USA banned from their campus: TPUSA's commitment to harassing students & faculty, their consistent corruption of student government electoral politics, and their connections to violent white supremacists. There are several national and local news articles detailing TPUSA's corruption on our campus but if you're unfamiliar, I recommend reading Michael Vasquez's "5 Takeaways from Turning Point's Plan to 'Commandeer' Campus Elections" in the Chronicle of Higher Education as a starting place for learning about this well documented national issue. The San Marcos Daily Record and The Chronicle of Higher Education have both recently published articles detailing some of the harassment our students and faculty to
endure at TPUSA's hand. I'd like to focus on the issue of TPUSA's connection to violent white supremacists because I feel that hasn't been fairly acknowledged by the Star, Eric Algoe, Govorner Abbott or Dr. Trauth. On Wednesday, April 10th, dangerous white supremacists were sighted in San Marcos and on our campus—namely Chris Ritchie, a well-known violent and unstable member of the far right, and members of the "Proud Boys," another welldocumented violent group. The Proud Boys were also seen during the Student Government meeting where we voted on the Faculty and Student Safety Resolution of 2019. I can't emphasize enough how scary that was for many students, especially those of us that spoke up against TPUSA. Their presence on our campus is directly tied to Turning Point USA's social media. I should not have to explain why it is dangerous for violent white supremacists on our campus. Violent people who want to do genocide are very simply bad. Keeping Turning Point around when they refuse to distance themselves from violent racists is a very stupid and unsafe thing for Texas State to do. I am unspeakably disappointed by SBP Castillo's decision to veto the Faculty and Student Safety Resolution because it demonstrates that she, similarly to Dr. Trauth, have chosen to fall into the free-speech distraction. It demonstrates that she, similarly to President Trauth and her cabinet, care more about financial donors being startled by reactionary "save free speech" rhetoric than about the actual
safety of our student body. I am sharing this letter with you in hopes that even when the Texas State administration chooses to act foolishly, the rest of us will see and be committed to the truth. -Claudia Gasponi - general studies senior, Senator for University College Below is the letter we received from University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign: To the Student Government of Texas State, We, the undersigned members of the Illinois Student Government at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, offer our thanks and support for your recently passed Faculty and Student Safety Resolution “calling for the immediate removal and barring of Turning Point USA from Texas State University and suggesting protecting minority and marginalized populations from their negative campus influence.” Turning Point USA has a long history of harassment on campuses around the country. Specifically at the University of Illinois, they have publicly distributed the personal information of undocumented students, repeatedly harassed both fellow students as well as professors, built a wall on our main quad as part of a racist statement against Hispanic and Latinx individuals, and most recently held a “Hate speech is Free speech” event the same day as the Christchurch Mosque shooting. Turning Point USA’s coordinated
attempts to influence campus elections through outside funding represents an existential threat to the fundamental tenets of student government. We applaud your organization for recognizing the threat that Turning Point USA’s national actions pose to the very idea of students having a say in how their schools are governed, and we hope that student governments around the nation take action to keep their elections free, fair, and undisturbed by outside actors. Like your organization, we are gravely concerned about Turning Point USA’s Professor Watchlist. We believe that free speech is an important and inalienable right, afforded to all those who call the United States of America home. Turning Point USA’s Professor Watchlist, a directory of professors deemed to be insufficiently rightwing is a chilling example of Turning Point USA’s opposition to the most fundamentally American value of free speech. We believe that students and professors alike, especially those from minority and marginalized populations, are entitled to their opinions, and we must all stand against McCarthy-esque attempts to harass those who dare to have their voices heard. We would like to extend our thanks for your actions in leading the effort in protecting our fellow students. Sincerely, - Walter Lindwall, Student Body President Vikram Sardana, Student Body Vice President Susan Zhou, Chief of Staff
The University Star
Carissa Liz Castillo | Opinions Editor
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 7
Student Government representatives are harming their own organization Dear Editor, Yet again, Student Government has found itself at the center of vitriol and rancor. From impeachments to resignations, the organization has become both a lightning rod and a regular eyesore for students - as well as the University more broadly. Earlier in April, a proposed resolution was introduced in the Student Senate which calls “for the immediate removal and barring of Turning Point USA from Texas State University.” Turning Point USA is a conservative organization with a student chapter at Texas State. Opponents of the TPUSA allege that it promotes intolerance. Supporters of the group say that they’re being unfairly targeted because of their conservative beliefs. It’s important to emphasize that the Senate proposal is a resolution. A resolution merely “represent[s] the interests of the students to the administration.” That’s it. A resolution is just a wish list. As a non-binding document, it compels neither students nor university officials
to do anything. The University further confirmed this limited power in part of a statement it released: “Student Government, on its own, does not have the authority to bar a recognized student organization at Texas State.” In fact, Student Government doesn’t have much authority at all on campus. At some universities, their student government is tasked with overseeing the entire budget generated from student service fees. At other universities like Texas State, student government is trusted with only a small fraction of that money while university officials handle the bulk of it. Some of the largest student government budgets exceed millions of dollars. By contrast, Texas State’s manages a paltry $77,000. Being trusted with more control over the budget improves the stature and authority of student government. This was an issue that past leaders of the Texas State Student Government were working to change. I joined Student Government in 2013 and served as a Senator, Cabinet Executive, Supreme Court Justice, and a Student Rep. on multiple university committees. During my first year,
Student Government hired a consulting firm to study how we functioned and to offer suggestions for improvement. The result was a comprehensive report that initiated a sweeping overhaul of the organization. This meant expanding marketing, administration initiatives, and student outreach. We succeeded in revamping the structure when our new constitution was ratified by a university-wide student vote. We then passed the proverbial baton on to the next generation of student representatives to build on what we started. It seems that all our good work was squandered. This time last year, Student Body President Connor Clegg was impeached when racially insensitive social media posts surfaced. Shortly thereafter, allegations of unreported campaign donations by TPUSA ultimately led to the resignation of a Student Body President Brooklyn Boreing. The tumult has not gone unnoticed off-campus either. Headlines of “racism,” “under-the-table election money,” and “impeachment” capture the attention of readers across the state.
Most recently even the Governor of Texas himself has tweeted about the latest fiasco. Drawing the ire of the most powerful government official in Texas is not what we had in mind when we envisioned a stronger Student Government. Is it any wonder then why university officials have made no movement to trust the organization with increased responsibilities? Students across the political spectrum should bemoan the continuous embarrassment of Student Government. Student Government representatives are only harming the organization by publicly fighting over resolutions that will ultimately have no effect anyway. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether this TPUSA resolution eventually succeeds or fails. Left or right, conservative or liberal, win or lose - the damage is done. By weakening Student Government, we have all already lost Hunter D. Schuler, post-baccalaureate applied math senior
TPUSA ban was not an attempt to censor free speech Dear Editor, I was one of the senators who voted in favor of banning Turning Point USA from campus. I owe it to my student constituents to understand why. When the piece was first introduced, I took my time to read it and to understand what message, what goal the authors intended with the piece. I then made time to hear from students. I am currently taking 15 credit hours, I have two jobs and am an officer for two of the three organizations I am in. I sat in Jones Dining Hall for hours after posting various times on Twitter that I was open to listening to concerns about the piece. I began to investigate to do my due diligence so that I would be prepared when the time came to cast a vote. The deeper I got into research about Turning Point USA and its involvement on other college campuses across the country, the more I found. Turning Point USA has an ongoing campaign that actively puts
conservative students into positions of power within Student Governments at colleges and universities across the country. It already happened at Texas State with the now-defunct BoreingBecerra administration, and even before that with previous executive alliances. In an investigation conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, it found that Turning Point USA has had involvement with dozens of student government elections. Turning Point USA’s “Campus Victory Project” is described as a detailed, multi-phase plan to “commandeer the top office of Student Body President at each of the most recognizable and influential American universities.” No, and I repeat, no organization should have this kind of power to influence and corrupt our postsecondary institutions this way. This country preaches about the value of democracy, and yet we have organizations like this, working their way into our senate chambers,
attempting to control where your student fees go. It is because of this information, and even hearing and speaking to conservatives, that I made my choice to vote in favor of the ban. As long as Turning Point USA has a chapter on campus, as unimpressive as its Texas State chapter membership and social media presence is, it will always have a gateway in. This resolution wasn’t about the First Amendment as much as it has spun this way. It is about stopping further corruption of our institution with seemingly unlimited funds. A national spotlight has been shone on Texas State. Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, has repeatedly blasted our university and called for us to be defunded. Governor Greg Abbott also questioned whether tax-payer money should fund our school. Governor, this message now goes directly to you. Our taxes do not fund ideological battlegrounds. They fund
innovation, research and scholars. This year alone, our university will be introducing five new degree programs, one of which is the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program. A program that will feature a holistic emphasis on technology-enhanced infrastructure and will be the first of its kind in Texas. I listened and watched as Student Government was belittled and attacked. All of our good work went down the drain. I and other senators have written and passed legislation that will be forgotten because of all of this. I can only hope that the university administration will look beyond the claims of attacks on the First Amendment and open their eyes to what Turning Point USA does. I hope the administration will work to keep our students, faculty and staff safe from Turning Point USA's toxic influence. Monica Mendez is a public relations and mass communication senior
TPUSA Legislation foreshadows further free speech censorship Hello, I would like to submit this letter to the editor in response to the TPUSA legislation. It is a sad reflection on the state of free speech on our college campuses when groups like College Democrats and the Student Government are trying to remove a conservative student group from campus instead of engaging with them in a debate. Ironically, because the national Turning Point USA has
a searchable database that catalogs publicly available information on professors who did things like denying the Holocaust, joke about shooting students, and compared Trump to Hitler (how original!), the local student group is being discriminated against. As someone who has spent the better part of four years, including as a student, working to protect the free-speech rights of all students, this resolution is seriously troubling. Today, we think it will just be the
Turning Point USA chapter that is deemed hateful or unfit to be on campus, but who do you think they will come for next? I understand that for the student Senators there is a sense that this is the most important time in their life and that they are being thought leaders and warriors for justice, but I do believe there will be a day when they realize the errors of their ways. As a former staff member of Turning Point USA and current Director of Communications for
Students for Life of America, I worry for who will be targeted next in these attacks on free-speech. Sincerely, Matt Lamb - Director of Communications Students for Life of America, Former Turning Point USA Heartland Regional Director, Manager of Professor Watchlist
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SPORTS Baseball goes 2-1 at Georgia Southern
10 | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Jakob Rodriguez | Sports Editor
The University Star
By Cade Andrews Sports Reporter The Texas State baseball (2313, 9-6 Sun Belt) team defeated Georgia Southern Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium in seven innings by a score of 14-4. Despite the Bobcats going down 2-0 in the first, they quickly bounced back. With the bases loaded, John Wuthrich hit a single to send to runs to the plate to tie it up. The Bobcats continued to hit well and scored 11 runs in the third and fourth inning. Connor Reich only gave up four runs on nine hits after going 6.1 innings. Reich improved to 5-1 on the season. Dalton Shuffield went a perfect 4-for-4 on the day at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Jaylen Hubbard and Felipe Rodriguez also added three hits apiece, scored twice and drove in two runs. The Bobcats return home Tuesday at 6 p.m. to take on Houston Baptist University. It is the first of five consecutive home games for the team.
Junior Kordell Rodgers celebrates April 18 after the defense blocks an offensive pass. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
By land, air and Spavital The Bobcats ring in the Spavital era with glimpses of offensive firepower. By Sean Anchondo Sports Reporter
Senior pitcher Connor Reich.
COURTESY IMAGE BY TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS.
Softball falls 2-1 to Coastal Carolina By Anthony Flores Sports Reporter Texas State softball was unable to keep up their momentum against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, losing 7-4 Saturday in Conway, South Carolina. The Bobcats got on the board first, loading the bases in the top of the second inning. Senior outfielder Kennedy Cline (1-2) was walked to bring in junior infielder Hailey MacKay (1-3). The next batter, senior outfielder Mari Cranek (03), grounded out to shortstop to score sophomore infielder ArieAnn Bell (0-1). Carolina answered back in the bottom of the third inning with a homer to center field. After giving up a home run and four runs on three hits, starting pitcher Dalilah Barrera (6-4) was relieved by senior Krista Jacobs (25) in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Chanticleers did not allow the Bobcats a hit in four innings but continued to score insurance runs. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Carolina scored two runs on a homer to left field. Texas State looked to come back in the top of the seventh. Junior infielder Bailee Carter (1-4) hit an RBI-double to score Cline and junior outfielder Christiana McDowell (1-4), but it wasn’t enough to bring down Carolina. Texas State is now 22-18 overall and 10-6 in conference play. The Bobcats look to clinch the series against Coastal Carolina on April 14 at 11 a.m. from South Carolina.
Junior pitcher Dalilah Barrera.
COURTESY IMAGE BY TEXAS STATE ATHLETICS.
The Bobcats' spring game, a peek into the year's upcoming team, was held Sunday, making it Jake Spavital's first game as head coach. The forthcoming team and staff displayed a mixture of deep passes and creativity. Despite fighting the elements of 30-mile-per-hour winds, the offense was able to demonstrate what it can eventually become: an offensive power. While no score was recorded, the format of the game included untimed kickoffs, first-team offense versus second-team defense and timed twominute drills. Fullerton college transfer Gresch Jenson looks to be the front-runner for the starting quarterback. Displaying his strong arm and knowledge of offensive coordinator Bob Stitt's offense, Jenson made some encouraging plays including a 72-yard bomb to Mason Hays. Jenson finished the game completing 11-21 for 130 yards and two touchdowns. True sophomore Tyler Vitt struggled at times during the spring game completing 6-18 for 32 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Jaylen Gipson played a solid game, completing 7-11 for 69 yards and a touchdown. Spavital said he was proud of the quarterback group but there is always room for improvement. "We’ve still got a long ways to go, still building continuity,” Spavital said. "We got out there and we ran around for a little bit and they actually put drives together… I want to see these guys sustain drives and convert first downs and that’s what they did today.” Senior running back Anthony D. Taylor shined as he ran for 72 yards on nine carries while averaging seven yards a carry. A mixture of Taylor, Jaylin Nelson, and Alec Harris combined for 169 yards on 44 attempts. The Bobcats were ranked last in the Sunbelt in rushing last year, but Spavital said he was proud to see where the unit has come from. “The most rewarding thing for me is seeing us run the ball more efficiently than we’ve been doing,” Spavital said. “But those running backs jump off the tape a little bit. I thought that was pretty good to see from my vantage point.”
On the defense side of the ball, the usual suspects stood out. Despite playing limited time, Bryan London led the team with seven tackles. Malik Alley, Jalen Smith, and Jaquel Pierce finished with six tackles apiece. Kieston Roach had the lone interception in the endzone, picking off Jaylen Gipson. The defense recorded three sacks for the game. London said he was excited to see healthy competition come out of the game. “Defense, we were able to make plays for the most part,” London said. “On offense, they showed life, which is always good. Granted, we’re practicing, we’re only going against each other, not able to hit other guys, it’s good to see both sides do good because it takes both of us to win games. I like to see the healthy competition.” The Bobcats conclude their spring practice with encouragement going into the 2019 season. Some of the questions going into the spring with new coaches and scheme may be quelled for the moment. The Bobcats open the 2019 season at Kyle Field in College Station Aug. 29 against Texas A&M University.
Bobcat Basketball is quick on its paws, but still can't dance By Andrew Zimmel Sports Reporter After an 87-81 loss to the Florida International Panthers, the Bobcat’s season came to a disappointing close March 23. Despite the loss, the Bobcats had one of the best seasons in school history, staying hot with the second 20win season in three years and having two players make the All-conference team. There was a lot for Bobcat fans to be happy about this season. For starters, the team didn’t lose a starter three games into conference play like they did last year when Marlin Davis went down with an ACL tear head coach of the Bobcats Danny Kaspar said. “Even though (Davis) didn’t miss a ton of games, he missed maybe seven or eight games, Nedja (Prijovic) was virtually not the same player,” Kaspar said. “You lose Marlin and you lose Nedja off a team with a lot of inexperience coming back it’s going to hurt you.” Team leader Nijal Pearson continued to grow, making first-team All-Sun
Belt Conference and turning into a threat from behind the arc. The 201819 season saw Pearson take more threes at a higher shooting percentage and increase his points per game for the second straight season. In the Sun Belt Tournament, Pearson struggled shooting 2-18 in the Bobcats' final three games, however, he did not play in the FIU game due to an injury sustained during practice. At this point in Pearson’s career, it is known that he is the Bobcats’ leading player on both sides of the ball. Another player who was successful offensively and defensively was senior Alex Peacock, who averaged 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game all while starting every game he played in for his last season in San Marcos. The other senior graduating from this year’s team is Tre'Larenz Nottingham, who found a role as the scoring twoguard instead of running the point guard duties of last season. While Nottingham was rarely the best player on the court, he did receive Sun Belt honors and was named to the third team in his final season at Texas
State. In Texas State’s final three door-die games, Nottingham stepped up, averaging 19.6 points per game in games where everything was on the line Kaspar said. “I think last year was unfair to Tre,” Kaspar said. “We had asked Tre to run the point and he’s not a point, he’s a pretty decent ball handling two-guard. I think this year with him playing the two, you saw a better player.” In the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals, the team took care of business against South Alabama, winning 79-67 and scoring the most points since February 14. The Bobcats finished their season against FIU, losing 87-81 in a game that seemed to be already over before it began. The team is only losing two players to graduation, Nottingham and Peacock, and may lose junior Jaylen Shead to the transfer pool. However, the rest of the roster feels set for another run as Sun Belt Champion and NCAA tournament hopefuls next season.