October 29, 2019

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DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: Community honors the dead through Día de los Muertos festivities

A calavera sits on display Oct. 28 at the Día de los Muertos community altar in Lampasas Hall. PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON

and personal memorabilia are typically placed on the altar. Additionally, altars may include candles A gold calavera (left) sits next to a candle (right) Oct. 28 at the Día de symbolizing a los Muertos community altar in Lampasas Hall. family's love for PHOTO BY JADEN EDISON their deceased relatives, incense By Brianna Benitez to purify souls of the dead and colorful Life and Arts Reporter tissue paper to represent the union of life and death. The San Marcos and Texas State There will be several locations around communities honor the lives of passed campus—including Lampasas, Nueces, loved ones in celebration of Día de Los Centennial and Commons Dining Muertos. Hall—where students, faculty and staff Also known as Day of the Dead, the are invited to celebrate late loved ones by traditional Mexican holiday aims to placing a picture of them on the altars. reunite the living and deceased. The Karla Hernandez-Swift is the student holiday begins midnight, Nov. 1, and development specialist for Project continues until noon Nov. 2. Maestros, a program assisting Hispanic Those who celebrate the holiday students pursuing teacher certifications. create an "oferenda": an altar displaying Hernandez-Swift said there will be offerings to deceased loved ones. Altars several campus events for students and are made with either two, three or seven staff to celebrate and attend to learn levels. more about Día de Los Muertos. The division between the earth and A showing of the Disney Pixar movie sky is represented by two-tiered altars. "Coco," a film about a young boy's Oferendas with three levels represent the journey to the land of the dead on Día sky, earth and underworld; seven levels de Los Muertos, will be held 5:30-8 p.m represent pillars a soul must reach before Oct. 30 in Evans 118. There will be a arriving in heaven or hell. discussion about the film and significance Each altar contains offerings unique to of the holiday after the showing. the deceased individual. Pictures of the Students, faculty and staff are invited loved one, dishes of their favorite foods to learn more about Día de Los Muertos

and connect with community resources at the Pan Dulce Para El Alma event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 in LBJ 3-13.1. Hernandez-Swift said events serve to educate students on the significance of the holiday and provide a sense of comfort to those unable to celebrate with their families. "I really encourage students to participate and admire what Día de Los Muertos entails," Hernandez-Swift said. "These events are not just to celebrate our loved ones but unify all students." The 2019 Día de Los Muertos Representation of Death in Literature Around the World event will be held from 7-9 p.m., Nov. 4, in Centennial 157. Gloria Velasquez, senior Spanish lecturer, is one of the event organizers. Velasquez said the activity will address the ways death is represented in literature and how those representations shape cultural identity. The event will include speakers from multiple backgrounds discussing how death is represented in their cultures. Each presentation will focus on a specific form of literature like poems, fairytales or novels. "We invite presenters from multiple backgrounds to show the student body we can all be together in one room and showcase our differences and similarities," Velasquez said. Celia Rosales is the director for the

San Marcos Día de Los Muertos 5K Run. The Rosales family established the competition to honor the life of her son, Johnnie Rosales, who passed away after getting hit by a drunk driver. Rosales said all proceeds from the race are donated to Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos and the Johnnie T. Rosales Memorial Scholarship. The fund is awarded every year to graduating seniors from San Marcos High School. Rosales said she hopes the contest





Bobcats bring out the claws for two close wins

Research to save bats from wind turbines By Michael Garcia News Reporter

Bats are being saved from the dangers of wind turbines thanks to research conducted in the Texas State biology department. Texas State assistant biology professor Sarah Fritts and Texas A&M University at San Antonio lecturer of biology Sara Weaver collaborated with energy companies and institutions to prevent bat fatalities caused by wind turbines. Fritts and Weaver have partnered with NextEra Energy, Bat Conservation International, the National Renewable Energy Lab and NRG Systems to study bat behaviors when introduced to an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent. The UAD, developed by NRG Systems, produces high and low frequencies, preventing bats from running into wind turbines.

Wind energy has become a growing industry in the U.S., providing environmental benefits like reducing carbon emissions and saving billions of gallons of water a year. In a 2019 Texas State graduate student Brittany Stamps press release, the American Wind attempts to make the Myotis velifer, also known Energy Association declared Texas as the "cave bat," smile. to be the leading producer of wind PHOTO BY MICHAEL GARCIA energy in 2018. Wind turbines pose a threat to migratory bat species. A study published in Biological Conservation showed the Hoary bat, most frequently killed by wind turbines, could decline in population by 90% in the next 50 years. Graduate student Brittany Stamps, along with Texas State graduates Melissa Moreno, Rob Tyler and Kaileigh Smith, have assisted Fritts and Weaver in constructing the largest Texas State graduate student Brittany Stamps open-air flight cage in the U.S. extends the wing of the Myotis velifer, also known The bat cage is located at the Texas as the "cave bat". State Freeman Center.

By Cade Andrews Sports Reporter


After a two-game road trip and a five-set nailbiter that almost cost them their chance to finish at the top of the Sun Belt Conference, Texas State volleyball escaped with two victories over the weekend. The team fought through a 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina on Friday and stayed in the Carolinas to weather a 3-2 victory over Appalachian State on Sunday. The Bobcats improved to 18-7 and 10-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. In by far their biggest comeback of the season, Texas State defeated Appalachian State 3-2 (16-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-11, 16-14) on Sunday. After a slow start in the first and second set, the Bobcats turned the tide in the third set, winning 25-16 and 25-11 before taking the win in a



The University Star

2 | Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Sonia Garcia News Editor starnews@txstate.edu

HEALTH Senior biology major Brynna Zander stocks up on flu season essentials Oct. 14 at Walgreens. PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY

Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 245 - 3487

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Jakob Rodriguez stareditor@txstate.edu Managing Editor: Bayley Bogus starmanagingeditor@txstate.edu

Flu vaccine distribution delayed

News Editor: Sonia Garcia, starnews@txstate.edu Life & Arts Editor: Laura Figi starlifeandarts@txstate.edu

By Daniel Weeks News Reporter

with the flu virus with a vaccine from the center’s limited stock. Conditions include asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, weakened immune systems and pregnancy. In recent years, there has been a noticeable decrease in participants recieving influenza vaccinations across the country. In 2017, the CDC found the coverage of flu vaccinations dropped significantly from previous year in all age groups, decreasing from 43% coverage to 37%. The 6% drop signifies 2017 as the country’s lowest participation rate within the past seven flu seasons. Beth Bernstein, Spanish lecturer and mother of two, said it is important for her to provide her children with the vaccine because of how quickly sickness can spread among young kids. "The flu shot is very important because my kids are around other kids all day, and little kids are always touching each other, wiping their noses and hugging their friends," Bernstein said. "Everything gets spread all over the place; the flu could really spread quickly, so I want to ensure my kids are as healthy as can be. Even though the shot is not 100% effective, at least it gives me a little peace of mind I've done all I can do to protect them." People aged 65 and older and children younger than five are at higher risk of developing serious complications with the flu. Amber Lamp, English sophomore, said a decrease in flu vaccine participation in recent years may relate to misinformation widely available on the internet. “I think it largely has to do with the confirmation bias social media creates and how easy it is for misinformation to spread,” Lamp said. “Fear-mongering has a lot to do with it too. It is easy to make people believe you if they feel like it directly affects their safety.” Student unable to attend a flu outreach can make an appointment with the health center by calling 512-245-2161 or visiting the location for a walk-in appointment before 4 p.m.

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A delay in the manufacturing of the influenza virus forced the Student Health Center to postpone the large scale distribution to the student body until early November 2019. The Student Health Center planned to hold a flu outreach program during the first week of October. However, the program was temporarily canceled and rescheduled for Nov. 12 in the LBJ Ballroom from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Emilio Carranco, director of the Student Health Center, said he believes the delay may be the result of a late alteration in the targeted strains of the vaccine. “Typically, there are three or four strains being covered by the vaccine, and one of those components was changed at the last minute based on patterns the World Health Organization saw around the world,” Carranco said. “They look at a certain part of the globe and see what activity is occurring there and anticipate those strains might circulate in other parts of the world, since flu seasons are different globally.” According to Carranco, the Texas flu season usually begins late November and can persist until April of the following year. He does not believe there will be an outbreak on campus during peak flu season. “It's important not to get vaccinated too early in the season because the protection provided by the vaccine starts to wane while we are still in the middle of the flu season,” Carranco said. “It is not necessarily a bad thing that we have not been able to vaccinate everybody in early October. Late October or early November is a better time for vaccination because it is more likely you will be protected throughout the entire flu season.” During the waiting period, the health center staff made efforts to provide students with health issues that may increase the likelihood of complications

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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 4,500. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.

Play to win in new dorm lottery

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By Chelsea Mumy News Reporter Rather than the previous first-comefirst-serve approach to upperclassmen on-campus housing, the Department of Housing and Residential Life is implementing a new lottery system. For the approaching fall 2020 housing registration, DHRL is requiring upperclassmen students seeking oncampus housing to sign up through the housing and residential life portal online to receive a number. The students who receive numbers are then emailed at random to fill open housing spots in a fairer fashion, according to DHRL Director Roseanne Proite. Prior to the change, if an upperclassman applied to live on campus, they would have to submit their interest via the housing portal to secure a spot for next year. Housing capacity was often filled in 30 minutes of availability. Students will be allowed to add their names to the lottery Oct. 28-Nov. 1 through the portal. A number will be randomly assigned Nov. 6 to each applicant. The students with the lowest numbers in value will be able to sign a housing contract first and choose which residence hall they would like to live in. The lottery will allow students a spot until all spaces have been filled. “For me and our staff, it really was about fairness," Proite said. "If you have classes or work on the weekend, we wanted to give everybody an ample opportunity to participate.” According to Proite, there are 400

spots for upperclassmen on campus for fall 2020, not including the 200 spots allocated for resident assistants. Approximately 140 men and 260 women are able to live on campus as a sophomore or higher classification. As of fall 2019, the Texas State student body is comprised of about 59% female and 41% male. Maintaining this ratio on campus is the goal for implementing the lottery system. Proite assures the lottery process will respect the Texas State demographic and not split housing between both men and women. The system is set to ensure the ratio represents the actual student body. “We cannot accommodate everyone right now; we just want to be fair,” Proite said. Abbey Wagner, marketing sophomore, is applying for the RA job to avoid the lottery. She believes the new process is unfair to students who wish to secure oncampus housing and sees the RA position as an advantage for upperclassmen housing. "I think living on campus would benefit me as an upperclassman because I can focus more on my studies as my classes advance, rather than stressing about paying rent or buying groceries," Wagner said. This is the first time DHRL is trying the lottery system. Upperclassmen students have until Nov. 1 to add their names to the online portal. More information about on-campus housing can be found on the DHRL website at https://www.reslife.txstate.edu/.

FROM FRONT RESEARCH "As far as an open-air flight cage specifically designed for bat research goes, it is the largest any of us have ever heard of," Fritts said. Fritts said reasoning for the cage size is due to the team wanting to ensure bats can move comfortably and naturally inside the cage and mimic the width of a wind turbine blade. "Places are building turbines longer now," Fritts said. "We put it in a location where we can build for future testing." Weaver partnered with NRG Systems, Texas Wind Energy, Duke Energy and Texas Parks & Wildlife to conduct a study in 2017 and once more in 2018 to see if the deterrent technology would be successful in reducing bat fatalities. "I wanted to do something where we could look at and potentially reduce impacts to bat species," Weaver said. The research team saw an average reduction of 50% for all bat species, 54% for the Brazilian Free-Tail bat and 78% for the Hoary bat. The study indicated no reductions for the Northern Yellow bat. Weaver realized she would need an open-air flight cage to study and understand the various responses of each individual species when introduced to a deterrent. Stamps and the three technicians began testing in October 2019. The team collects bats on private property near the Freeman Center. The animals are then transported to the openair flight cage, where individual bats are tested with low and high frequencies to see if the mammals will flock to the opposite side from the obstacle. The deterrent is not harmful to the bats. "The deterrent works by annoying the bats and in a sense, masking the bats' ability to see," Stamps said. "They would not be able to find food in the area the sound emitted, so they would leave." WNS disrupts bats in hibernation, making the creatures more active than usual and burning fat they need to survive during winter. Once the team is finished observing and reporting, the bats are then transported back to the private property. The number of bat fatalities is increasing due to wind-power facilities as well as threatened by a disease known as white-nose syndrome. WNS is responsible for the deaths of 90-99% of specific species. Twelve bat species have been found with WNS disease symptoms, including two federally endangered species: the Gray and Indiana bat. "From 2006 to 2012, it was estimated 5.6 million bats had died in those six years," Stamps said. In a press release Bat Conservation International issued May 2019, Pseudogymnoascus destructans—a fungus causing WNS—has been spotted in Texas. While there is no cure for the syndrome, reducing bat fatalities caused by wind turbines can aid in the population decline. Bats have a greater economic impact on the world than what is understood. According to a report from Science Magazine in 2011, bats' estimated worth is $3.7 billion annually in reduced crop damage and pest control. "Bats save farmers millions of dollars annually in Texas, throughout the U.S. and billions throughout the world in pest control," Fritts said. "This saves consumers from having chemicals put into food." NextEra Energy is funding the project for 2019. Fritts and Weaver have a pending contract with the Department of Energy that will fund the research for the next two years. The team's goal is to obtain 30 of each bat species to see if there is variability in behavior when introduced to the deterrent between 2019-2020.

The University Star

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 3


Laura Figi Life & Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu


San Marcos hosts first Food Truck Festival By Madyson Sanchez Life and Arts Reporter According to The Economist, the Austin area holds the title for fastest-growing food truck industry and second-most food trucks per capita in the United States. San Marcos hosted its first Food Truck Festival from 3-7 p.m., Oct. 20, at the Railyard Bar and Grill Lot off of S. Edward Gary Street. Tickets for the event were sold at general admission and VIP level prices, ranging from $5 to $12 each. Texas State students were offered an admission rate at $5. ATX Food Truck Festival Founder David Poku said he was excited to bring the community together on a Sunday afternoon for the festival. “Food trucks give people the ability to experience various cultures through food, without having to buy a plane ticket,” Poku said. “It provides the ability to come together and celebrate food at a very costeffective means.” Festival organizers aimed to offer something for everyone: Austin and San Marcos food vendors, local business booths, a cocktail bar and a live DJ. Vendor staffs made sure to accommodate for the festival attendees' dietary choices with several vegetarian and vegan-friendly options available for purchase. Poku said the festival was intended to be a celebration of food, family and fun for everyone. “The great thing about the food truck festival is it does not really matter who you are; there is something for everyone,” Poku said. Constant lines could be seen at vendors like Mr. Catfish, Pineapple Ninjaz and San Marcos' own Big Daddy's Tacos. To get families in the loop, festival organizers made

sure to include activities for children to enjoy, like a pop-up petting experience from Fry's Fun Farm and a bounce house. Greater Austin Comic Con was at the event and provided photo opportunities with superheroes available for adults and children alike. "I did not really know what to expect since this is the city's first food truck festival," attendee and San Marcos local Laurie West said. "I was impressed by everything offered and I cannot wait for the next one." Arash Saberi, festival organizer and Railyard Bar and Grill owner, said the city seemed excited about the event and the timing felt right. “We figured San Marcos needs this because we were looking around and did not see any food truck festivals yet,” Saberi said. In addition to the fest happening all of Sunday afternoon, an afterparty included in the ticket price was held at Railyard Bar and Grill. According to festival organizers, earmarked funds from ticket sales went toward organizations like Heroes for Children, a nonprofit providing financial and social support to local families with a child battling cancer. The San Marcos Food Festival allocated funds toward milestone celebration events for families and children affected by cancer. "It felt good to support my community and state by eating delicious food with my friends," attendee and San Marcos local Ruben Gonzalez said. "I hope we can bring more events like this to San Marcos." Next month, ATX Food Truck Festival will be at Haute Mess Fest Nov. 9-10 and at Barton Creek Square Nov. 29 hosting the Black Friday International Food Truck Festival. For more information, visit their Facebook page or http://www.austinspartyscene.com.

Festival attendees could enjoy pineapple bowls Oct. 20 at the San Marcos Food Truck Festival PHOTO COURTESY PINEAPPLE NINJAZ

Younger festival attendees enjoy a pop-up petting experience Oct. 20 at the San Marcos Food Truck Festival. PHOTO BY MADYSON SANCHEZ


Pet Fest brings 'Barks' to San Marcos the group goes to neighboring shelters to fix all the animals brought in, and holds weekly adoptions at the Petco in Kyle, Texas. Nancy Justafson, foster and adoption coordinator for PALS, said without the organization, there would be more homeless animals throughout the city. Neighboring county shelters would not take in all creatures due to space issues. “All of our collaborations with neighboring organizations allow people to learn about the importance of fixing their animals and adopting pets who are older and without a home,” Justafson said. The festival was meant to promote responsible pet ownership, shelter pet adoptions, local rescue groups and emphasize the importance of getting pets spayed and neutered. The event provided live music, K-9 unit demonstration, dog races, raffles and vendors who donated. Amanda Beaver, sports and exercise science junior, attended the festival with her dog, Dakota. The pair enjoyed the vendors selling dog toys, treats and the free fall-themed backdrop for pictures. “I loved taking Dakota to the festival because she was able to play with dogs, get her energy out and even pick a few news toys that helped an amazing cause,” Beaver said. By attending the event, people throughout the community and struggling college students gutsy enough to get a puppy can learn about a great organization helping fix and care for pets at an affordable price. For more information on PALS and how to get involved in its generous work, visit its website at https://preventalitter.com/.

By Mia Estrada Life and Arts Reporter The 17th annual Pet Fest took place Oct. 19 in San Marcos Plaza Park to promote Pet Prevent a Litter of Central Texas, known as PALS. The annual festival relies on the community's generous service by only accepting volunteer work with no paid positions. The festival aimed to promote PALS and the work it does for the community. Though the organization is not an official animal shelter, it applies for and receives grants to help people get their pets spayed and neutered to decrease the number of stray animals in San Marcos. President of PALS Dale Nave said the organization serves animals and their owners through its generous work. “Since the main concern for people is the ability to afford pets, we like to think we serve the public by helping improve their way of life by having a pet to call their own,” Nave said. PALS helps people in the community acquire grants to fix their animals and has a trap-neuter-return program. PAWS Shelter of Central Texas staff helps people catch, fix and return wild cats. If the animals cannot be domesticated once fixed, they are transferred to the barn program, which allows wild cats to live on a farm. Owners have been trained on how to properly take care of the cats and keep them contained. The felines have a month to properly adjust before they can call the barn their forever home. Additionally, PALS teams up with local animal shelters throughout the city to help fix animals and spread awareness about the organization. Once a month,

Festive dogs dress up as mermaids for the annual Pet Fest competition Oct. 19 in the midst of 'The Mermaid City.' PHOTO BY MIA ESTRADA

FROM FRONT CULTURE A Día de los Muertos community altar sits Oct. 28 in Lampasas Hall. PHOTO BY BRIANNA BENITEZ

encourages the community to celebrate life, their loved ones and each another. "Life is very short, but it is also very beautiful," Rosales said. "One of the things Day of the Dead does is reminds us to appreciate life." The race will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and begins at Hernandez Elementary School. Elsie Romano is a coordinator for the Día de Los Muertos 5K Run and has been working the event since it started in 2013. Romano said she hopes the race enables the San Marcos community to become more aware of what

Día de Los Muertos entails. "People tend to associate Día de Los Muertos with Halloween, but it is a unique cultural holiday intended to celebrate someone who has passed on," Romano said. "We don't want it to be misunderstood, but celebrated as a time to rejoice." For more information on community and campus Día de Los Muertos festivities, visit https://www.ucollege. txstate.edu/strategic-initiatives/hsi-stem-impact/dia-delos-muertos.html.

The University Star

4 | Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Jordan Drake Opinions Editor staropinion@txstate.edu

Opinions expressed in The University Star are not necessarily those of Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, or Student Publications Board.

Student Government should know better than to get involved By Jordan Drake Opinions Editor On National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, controversy was stirred by the Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas State. A day normally dedicated to members of the LGBTQ+ community was used for a political demonstration. YCT members set up a makeshift door on The Quad and “came out as conservative," implying identifying as conservative on campus is just as dangerous as being a member of the queer community. The usage of the door led to backlash, including an official condemnation from Student Government for “affecting other students in an offensive manner.” The actions by YCT members on that day are not great for a persuasive argument. The political measure was better at creating shock than changing hearts and minds. That being said, there are grievous concerns being raised through the response to the "coming out as conservative" door. First and foremost, holding this charade has been labeled homophobic, a buzzword used whenever someone does anything even remotely offensive toward the LGBTQ+ community. However, homophobia does not apply here. Offensive and mocking are all better ways to say YCT actions were not right. By using the term homophobic, it shifts the narrative to form an anti-gay cloud over the entire argument. Using "homophobia" for the makeshift door weakens the word and cheapens the meaning for real homophobic moments. To say conservatives have no reason to feel attacked is laughable. It was not so long ago Student Government tried to remove a conservative group from campus and protests occurred, leading to four arrests after a student's "Make America Great Again" hat was snatched from his head. Across the U.S., mainstream conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro have been run off college campuses by protestors, activists and have been assaulted. Professors and students preaching conservative ideals have been targeted for harassment. These issues are not just in conservatives’ heads; attacks are documented in newspapers and over

the internet. Student Government members have proven they cannot be independent arbiters in anything related to conservatives on campus. While hosting a "coming out as conservative" door is done in poor taste, there are free speech concerns to consider. Throw a stick in any direction on campus and it will likely hit someone who is perpetually outraged over everything. If cancel culture has taught society anything, it is that everything can be viewed as offensive to someone. It is illogical to engage with events like the door since such occurrences have been happening for years. The 2019 "coming out as conservative" door is no worse than last year or the year before. Student Government members are apparently too ignorant to realize this is exactly the response and press Young Conservatives wanted. Congratulations student senators and house members, another example was made of an on-campus group attacking a mainstream conservative organization, proving their point and adding another lens to the optics war. Ignoring and giving no attention to YCT members would have caused the event to end, but every year an outraged crowd guarantees its return. If people could actually learn to ignore something instead of acting sensitive toward it, offensive acts might cease to exist. There are valid concerns for conservative students. Anyone who says otherwise is either part of the problem or has their head buried in the sand. While the YCT door may piss people off and hurt feelings, it is within the political organization's free speech rights to do as they please in accordance with the law. Student Government should know better than to get dragged into another battle over ideology. Neither political side is free from mocking, immaturity and downright nastiness. Student Government members are above decisions they have made and should allow for more diversity of thought, even if it results in a demonstration people may disagree with.. -Jordan Drake is a communication studies senior

National Coming Out Day should be respected By Amira Van Leeuwen Assistant Opinions Editor The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas State have demonstrated year after year how difficult their lives are on a liberal campus by "coming out" as conservative during National Coming Out Day, which is significant for people within the LGBTQ+ community. Despite the fact this is an annual occurrence, it continues to make dramatic ripples on campus. The "coming out as conservative," door is homophobic, transphobic and downright disrespectful. It undermines how difficult it may be for the LGBTQ+ community to come out in society. Recent action was taken by the Texas State Student Government Association by denouncing the YCT chapter. Members of the political organization responded in a statement, “To take such a serious matter and arbitrarily blame organizations, which most of the Student Government refuses to talk to, is negligent and dangerous.” There are several things wrong with the statement produced by Sebastian Quaid, YCT Texas State Chapter Chairman. Students will not speak with the conservative group because they do not believe or care to believe what the organization thinks. It is not dangerous for Student Government to take initiative when an action performed by a student organization belittles a person or group. Quaid, a voice for conservatives on campus, said how conservative students are afraid to discuss their political beliefs. However, the only reason Republican students might feel “oppressed” or “attacked” is because they come from a background that commends them for such views. Being on a college campus, especially a predominately liberal one, conservative students may struggle to admit their ideologies and actions mommy and daddy told them are okay when in reality, might not be. The YCT organization claims it has suffered violence and harassment when the only persecution noted is people trolling behind Twitter handles. In 2019, a student’s precious MAGA hat was taken off his head by another student and thrown to the ground. The severity of the harmless action meant a lot more to police and the conservative student it happened

to more than anyone else. As a result, four people were arrested after protests ensued. While Quaid and the rest of his yesmen continue cries of “oppression,” there are numerous members of the LGBTQ+ community negatively affected by coming out for how they identify. According to Postsecondary National Policy Institutes, in Texas alone, 20% of LGBTQ+ college students fear for their physical safety, and 31% of LGBTQ+ students of color reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, or hostile conduct. Texas is a redvoting state, which is why identifying as any minority group alone can be threatening. In this case, conservatives are not, nor will ever, fight that battle. The action taken by the Student Government was completely appropriate. YCT members at Texas State acted immaturely in creating a door to "come out as conservative," showing further ignorance within their political party. Student Government is committed to taking action with a lasting positive impact on the community and university. Additionally, Student Government members aim to uphold the betterment of Texas State for all students through honest, truthful and ethical actions. Nothing about mocking the LGBTQ+ community is moral or ethical, nor did the demonstration have a positive impact on the university body. YCT members need to realize not everyone is going to agree with their political ideologies. Conservative students will never face the same discrimination as members of the queer community. The only pushback in “fostering any diversity of thought,” is the undermining of the significance of coming out. The YCT chapter does not need to make a situation out of something members have brought upon themselves. The demonstration in itself was unnecessary and unneeded. The fact this occurs every year with no repercussions is deplorable. Student Government was right to condemn such smalled-mindedness. After all, Texas State is known best for its diversity and inclusion. Quaid and his minions can throw a pity party for someone who actually cares. -Amira Van Leeuwen is a journalism freshman

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. To make a submission, email stareditor@txstate.edu.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR To The Editor: According to President Trump and the national conservative news media, someone who supports a federal government social program that helps people like Social Security and Medicare is a "crazy socialist." If we go by that definition, that would make Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon "crazy socialists" because they both signed new federal government

social programs helping people into law/ existence, and both supported Social Security. In fact, Ike wrote a letter to his brother in which he stated any Republican who wants to abolish Social Security is "stupid." It appears conservativeRepublicans have become more conservative and "stupid" since around 1980 because we sure do have a lot of them nowadays who want to abolish

Social Security and move our country toward "Survival-of-the-Fittest" Social Darwinism. I recently saw President Trump's "Acting Chief of Staff" and "Budget Director" Mick Mulvaney on television. When he was a Congressman, he was a favorite of "The Tea Party" and was well-known for stating Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme," that it is "unconstitutional," and should be

abolished. More and more, the national Republican Party today stealthily advocates for a crazy, cold-hearted and creeping "Survival-of-the-Fittest" Social Darwinism. Sincerely, Stewart B. Epstein -Stewart B. Epstein is a retired college professor of Sociology, Social Work and Psychology

The University Star

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 5


Jordan Drake Opinions Editor staropinion@txstate.edu

Opinions expressed in The University Star are not necessarily those of Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, or Student Publications Board.


Paranoia from thrill-entertainment By Elisabeth Harper Opinion Columnist Spooky season is well underway as October creeps to an end. Witches, goblins, and monsters will emerge to the streets in a matter of days as crowds of friends snicker and beam in their costumes, despite heebie-geebies they feel. Hidden behind that which enthralls us with Halloween is a fixation with bad-happenings—and it makes people excessively paranoid. For all of October, people obsess over the thrill of fear; the season warrants such. The impressive collection of scary movies on Netflix is concentrated with paranormal activity and disfigured villains, leaving students clutching their blankie in dorm rooms…for fun. The pervasive thoughts seem to wiggle around logical thinking, even as the young adult viewers murmur, “it is not real, it is not real” under their breath. However, even when the orange, purple and black fade from decorations, humanity still crawls willingly in the cold, clammy, crippled palm of thriller entertainment. Fictionalized paranormal films or the characters in a haunted house whose innocence is temporarily covered by a

The “true crime” media form retells horrific real-life stories as a dramatized plotline. The scenarios are dipped in an itcould-happen-to-you mentality, leaving viewers weary and on-edge. Unlike the spooky, fictionalized entertainment, these stories cannot be dismissed as the dark corners of a creative film writer’s mind but constructed out of reality. The biggest issue with this set-up is these movies and shows, though based in reality, add an extra element of artificiality through their presentation style. The soundtracks are made up of sudden and dissonant crescendos, diminuendos and shrill violins. The music alone gives rise to the hairs on someone's neck. The stories are told in a remarkably cinematic manner, as actors take viewers through the scene, omnisciently. The stories are cherry-picked to include fearfactors when really, such scenarios are extraordinarily rare. Trigger phrases like “cold-blooded” and “dark, dirty van” are utilized by narrators to reveal unnerving details of the story that, in themselves, ILLUSTRATION BY JADEN EDISON have little significance. In addition to exaggerated details benign plastic mask are secondary to and backdrop, the stories are often other fear-based entertainment: true told from one side. The criminals are crime. depicted in a completely dehumanizing

way and beyond a reversible degree. With no chance of redemption—a snapshot of offenders as the vulnerable and impressionable child every human being was at one point—viewers are left expecting a population of actual monsters living in their world. These characters are born evil, live evil and die evil. The rarity of homicidal and violent crime is skewed by these entertainment forms. Habitual observers may be convinced the frequency of their view time correlates to the frequency of crime. Even stranger, immediately after exposure to a violent crime program, an individual could feel that somehow, their safety has been compromised since before viewing. These programs are stuffed full of strategically placed images and soundtracks that intend to give audiences the willies. Films and shows are all fun Halloween shenanigans until it causes actual shifts in world view. Excessive paranoia has and will affect viewer decisions as a result. Viewers of violent, thriller programming should practice deliberation when exposing themselves to similar media. –Elisabeth Harper is a wildlife biology sophomore


Only black people are allowed to say the n-word By Laura Nunez Opinion Columnist The ability to withhold from being racist, insensitive and plain ignorant should be self-explanatory, but unfortunately, racism is ever-prevalent in 2019. The n-word continues to be used by non-black people, which is unacceptable. The word's usage has never been encouraged, but obviously a refresher course is necessary to remind society of this. The meaning behind the n-word is very literal and impossible to confuse. Derived from Latin and Spanish words meaning "black," the n-word began as an ethnic slur predominantly used by rich, white slave owners. An example of how unambiguously insulting the n-word was designed to be when directed at slaves can be found in the novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. The classic American novel was banned from various high school English curriculums in hopes of limiting the exposure of such negative language to youth. Although it is impossible to completely ban or eliminate such a divisive English word, the efforts have and continue to move in the right direction.

A recent scandal with a high profile celebrity, Gina Rodriguez, brought back awareness regarding the overtly casual usage of the n-word. Rodriguez posted a video on social media of her singing along to a popular song with the aforementioned word in the lyrics; she used it without hesitation. The scandal brought questions about the sensitivity people have with the n-word and whether singing along to songs using the word should be deemed appropriate or not. The answer is no, singing along to songs containing the n-word is not acceptable if one is not black. Youth and college students today are in the prime age of listening to prominent rap and pop culture music. Students are known for walking around with AirPods, or more affordable ones with wires, stuffed deep in their eardrums. It is safe to assume people are not all listening to Kanye’s new gospel album. However, having easy access to hearing or reading the n-word is not an invitation for anyone to use it. Being any person of color does not justify casually using the n-word. White people having a black friend does not allow usage of the n-word by association. Receiving "permission" or not told

verbally to stop does not warrant the use of the blatantly disrespectful word. Common sense is not hard to acquire and maintain, hence the keyword "common." Society needs to start thinking about their actions because such behavior is embarrassing. Although ignorant individuals might say this reaction to saying the n-word is too sensitive, the reality is it creates an uncomfortable disturbance when used by a person who is not black. As Christopher Darden, the prosecutor in O.J. Simpson’s murder case, once said, “it is the filthiest, dirtiest, nastiest word in the English language.” It is more than a word; it is an attack. At the University of Connecticut, two white students were arrested Oct. 21 after protests arose due to a video showing the men standing outside an apartment complex shouting the n-word. The two students were arrested for violating the student code of conduct and charged with ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race. The First Amendment allows freedom of speech, so by law, people can say whatever they want. They can scream insults and hold up signs with nasty slurs, but make no mistake, these actions are

not okay. Acting like a racist expressivist might be protected by law, but it is never going to be morally acceptable, and the consequences will be unpleasant. Out of respect for an entire race, avoiding the use of a vile, degrading word in any sort of context should come easy. White people will never look cool or have the same intentions when saying it. The racial majority does not have the same experiences as black people and never will. In fact, no other race will. To be absolutely clear, hearing black people use the n-word does not make it okay for anyone and everyone to use it. The n-word was created in a derogatory manner with the goal of degrading the African-American race. Black people say the n-word because they can. The term comes from a place of shared, oppressive history. After decades of being belittled, black people deserve to claim the word as their own. The black and African-American race is the only race allowed to use the n-word. Everyone else can say it in their head if they so intensely desire, but verbalizing it is not acceptable; it never was and never will be. -Laura Nunez is an advertising junior

4 | Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The University Star

The University Star

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 7


Claire Partain Sports Editor starsports@txstate.edu


Soccer qualifies for championship tournament on Senior Day By Claire Partain Sports Editor

In a match that concluded regular season play, honored six seniors and clinched their spot in the Sun Belt ConferenceTournament, Bobcat soccer proved they were up for the occasion with a 3-0 home victory over Georgia Southern on Sunday. The midday match put the ‘Cats at 9-7-2 overall and gave them a winning conference record for the first time since their most recent two losses. The team is currently slotted as the fourth seed in the Sun Belt Championship Tournament and will kick off the tournament in that position depending on the outcome of current sixth seed Arkansas State’s Tuesday match against Little Rock. Just ten minutes into play, senior forward Kaylee Davis showed her extra motivation on Senior Day with a shot into the right corner to net the Bobcats’ first goal of the match. The goal was soon followed by senior goalie Heather Martin’s first save of the game as she shouldered two shot attempts by Georgia Southern to keep the match at shutout status. Junior Ally Kewish widened the lead ten minutes later, sending in a highflyer from behind the box that sailed smoothly over the Eagle goalie's head for the 2-0 lead. In the second half, Davis proved she wasn’t finished yet and capitalized on a

penalty kick for the final 3-0 game score. Martin took off the gloves for the final time at home and passed them on to senior goalie Kathryn Budde, who subbed in the 70th minute for her first career Sun Belt action. Budde played for 20 minutes against Sun Belt foes and kept the shutout alive with a save, while Martin logged in three saves in the game. The game concluded with flowers, speeches and celebration for the team’s six seniors, each of whom have been key players throughout their time as Bobcats. The seniors include Davis, who leads the team in goals this season, Martin, who kicked off the season as the Sun Belt’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and Budde, who secured the shutout in their final regular season matchup. Other seniors include midfielder Jordan Kondikoff, the team’s "quarterback" and on-field coach who holds down the center line, forward Kalen Sanderford, who weathered through an injury in the 2017 season and was rewarded the Texas State Perseverance Award, and defender Genesis Turman, who leads the back line and received her first Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week award this season. Conner said that this group of seniors are special on and off the field, and they will be sorely missed as they move on to the rest of their lives. “It’s hard to say goodbye to such a great class,” Conner said. “They’re not just great players, they’re great people. I don’t ever have to motivate them.


They’re passionate, driven people and you’re going to see them be successful even after their careers here.” Kondikoff said that playing on their home field for the last time was a difficult moment. “It’s tough,” Kondikoff said. “It kind of makes you sick to your stomach. These four years have completely flown by but it’s honestly an honor to play for this team. We’re a really tight knit group and I’m just really grateful that I got the opportunity to do this today for us.” The senior bond is especially tight for Davis, who has been playing with Turman and Sanderford since their time at Allen High School. “They’re two of my best friends,” Davis said. “Our families have been traveling together for soccer games for years now so that’s awesome.” The victory came after a 1-0 overtime loss at home to Troy on Friday. Conner said that the team still played well in the game and is not disappointed in the loss. “What you saw today and what you saw at Troy, that’s us,” Conner said. “(We’re) passing and moving, making our triangles, trying to get in behind, stepping up, denying others the space they want, and that’s what we’re here to do. That’s our style, and that’s Bobcat soccer.” This weekend was the best the team has played all season, a feat that puts them closer to their goal of NCAA tournament qualification at the Sun Belt

Sophomore midfielder/forward Ally Kewish jumps for the ball against Georgia Southern Oct. 27 at Bobcat Soccer Complex. PHOTO BY JAMIE DORSEY

Conference Championship, Kondikoff said. “The end (goal) is to win the whole thing, to go to the big dance (NCAA tournament), but we just want to go and make a statement about who we are,” Kondikoff said. “We want teams to fear playing us and we want to go say we are the Bobcats, we might not have had the conference we wanted but we’re here to win.” Next up for the ‘Cats is a week of preparation before the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in Foley, Ala.


Editor's note: The University Star sports and editorial staff, as well as a guest picker each week, predict the outcomes for the coming week of the college football schedule. This week goes as follows: Texas State @ Louisiana-Lafayette 4:00 P.M. Nov. 2 at Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA. SMU @ Memphis 6:30 P.M. Nov. 2 at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee. Georgia @ Florida 2:30 P.M. Nov. 2 at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL.


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Louisiana-Lafayette SMU

(Left to right) Kayla Granado and Emily Dewalt celebrate after Bobcats score a point against Troy Oct. 18 at Strahan Arena. PHOTO BY KATELYN LESTER



SPORTS EDITOR Louisiana-Lafayette SMU Florida COLTON MCWILLIAMS (17-10)

SPORTS REPORTER Louisiana-Lafayette SMU Georgia


SPORTS REPORTER Texas State Memphis Georgia

GUEST PICKER: LACHELLE SMITH, Sports Editor, The Vermillion Guest picker record: last set by Sonia Garcia, news editor of The University Star (14-10) Louisiana-Lafayette SMU Georgia Last Week's scores: 38-14 Arkansas State | 38-7 Ohio State | 23-20 LSU

close 16-14 victory. Head coach Karen Chisum said the final set was surprisingly nervewracking for her. "I don't get nervous too much anymore, but when we were 13-13 in the fifth set, let me tell you I was nervous," Chisum said. "But you know, we've swept a lot of people 3-0 this season and we knew that's all we needed to do then." The Bobcats led the Mountaineers in kills (64-46), assists (60-43), and digs (6149). Each team had seven aces and the Mountaineers recorded one more block than the Bobcats (15-14). Following her dominant performance on Friday, sophomore Janell Fitzgerald once again led the Bobcats in kills with 18 on .282 hitting percentage alongside five blocks. Junior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott also came up big with 14 kills on a .429 hitting percentage and led the team with seven blocks. Senior outside hitter Cheyenne Huskey finished with 14 kills followed by freshman outside Lauren Teske's 11. Sophomore setter Emily DeWalt recorded 44 assists to go with her two aces. The last-second victory came dow to the character of each Bobcat teammate, Chisum said. "We were on the bench just before the third set, and I told them, 'we've talked about character all year long,'" Chisum said. "'You've got character, you've got guts, you're winners, you're confident. Let's just move forward from here.'" Earlier in the weekend, Texas State beat the previously-undefeated Coastal Carolina 3-1 (25-23, 27-29, 25-23, 25-18) Friday night at the HTC Center. This moved the Bobcats into first place in the Sun Belt as they gave the Chanticleers their first conference loss. Texas State outhit the Chants .286-.212. They also led in kills (61-51), assists (5650), digs (55-45), and aces (6-4). Fitzgerald led the way for the Bobcats with 17 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Huskey recorded her third consecutive double-double with 14 kills and a team high 13 digs. Teske registered a career-high 14 kills while Scott added 10 kills. DeWalt had a season-high 50 assists which marked her fifth 50-plus assists performance in her career, finishing with five digs, two kills, and two blocks. Junior libero Brooke Johnson also finished with double-digit digs with 10. Despite a strong Coastal hitter who recorded 26 kills in the match, Chisum said the 'Cats could overcome the team due to their depth of field. "Here's the key: they had two good players, but we had six on the court at all times," Chisum said. "We were able to distribute the ball to various people and we could key in on their top two hitters. I think we're a much better all-around team and we proved that on Friday." The successful weekend paid off for the Bobcats, and both Teske and DeWalt earned Sun Belt weekly awards. DeWalt received Setter of the Week for the second week in a row after her 94 assists this weekend, and Teske earned her first Sun Belt accolade with the Freshman of the Week award after her career-setting 14 kills against Coastal Carolina. Texas State will travel to Louisiana next weekend to take on ULM on Friday and Lafayette on Sunday to conclude their four-match road trip. Stay updated on everything Texas State volleyball by following the team on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.

The University Star

8 | Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Claire Partain Sports Editor starsports@txstate.edu



By Dedrick Johnson Sports Reporter LAST SEASON The Bobcats finished the season with the highest win total since 1994, an overall record of 24-10 and went 12-6 in conference play. However, the 'Cats' dreams of making the NCAA tournament were crushed with a tough loss to #1 seed Georgia State in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championship Tournament.

past years and he is a very hard worker and a team leader,” Kasper said. “A lot of our success over the past three years is because of him.”

WHAT'S TO COME The Bobcats will look to jump out to a start similar to last year, but this will be a bit tougher considering their tougher opponents before conference play. Texas State will be tested by last year's NCAA tournament competitors including Baylor, Houston, Prairie View A&M, and Abilene Christian. CONSISTENCY The Bobcats have Head Coach Danny Kaspar, who is also lost three of entering his 7th season at Texas State, last year's starting said he has one goal, the same goal, players including with this year's team. (G) Jaylen Shead, “Our goal is always (G) Tre Nottingham to win the conference and (F) Alex Peacock. title and get to the All hope is not lost, NCAA tournament,” however, and Kaspar said Kaspar said. he sees promise in The 'Cats will also new players who can have last year's star potentially fill these Nijal Pearson, who powerhouses' shoes. starts his senior year off Some up and comers include of a phenomenal 2018 Caleb Asberry, Deshawn Davidson, run. As a junior, he was freshman Drew Tennial and potential selected on the All-Sun starter Isaiah Small, Kaspar said. Belt First team and “Several young men can have a big was the very first impact quick," Kaspar said. "I believe Bobcat to make the Isaiah Small Is a strong candidate to NABC All-District start.". First Team. Pearson averaged 16.4 points BIGGER STAGE a game and currently In February of 2020, Texas State will sits at No. 5 all-time have the spotlight on them as they play in points scored in rival UTA on a nationally-televised program history. stage for the first time (ESPN2). The team will look to get this “Nijal has year started with a win in their first been great game against Cameron at 7 p.m. on for us these November 1st at. Strahan Arena.

By Andrew Zimmel Sports Reporter

Holle, who was a vocal leader on last year’s squad, has become the de facto leader of this roster. Holle made her mark last season by being the secondleading scorer on the team behind Leavitt. “This incoming sophomore class, they’ve really matured.” Holle said. “I feel like they should be juniors. I think that having everyone back for a year, and the newcomers fitting in really helps.”

LAST SEASON Coming off a season last year that ended with a 68-67 loss to South Alabama in the second round of the Sun Belt tournament, the Bobcats come back reloaded and ready to play ball with a squad that mixes old faces with new ones. A season ago, the brand of basketball Coach Zenarae Antoine and the Bobcats cultivated looked like their NEW GOALS bread and butter for many fans. The For Holle and for the team as a team implemented a mix of screens whole, the goal is balance. Last season, to get shooters open and put out the Bobcats took over 600 threes. breakneck movement on offense and Expect that number to drop as the defense that left opposing teams Bobcats work on their insidegasping for air. The system got out game with junior forward both Taeler Deer and Toshua Jaylen Johnson and sophomore Leavitt professional contracts Da’Nasia Hood. and the ‘Cats in a position to win the Sun Belt every year. WHAT'S TO COME Sophomore point guard BIG CHANGES Kennedy Taylor is the This year will be a little player fans should be different. With only looking out for. After last five upperclassmen season, fans can expect on the roster with Taylor to run the offense only Brooke Holle and be a dark horse to getting starting possibly make an Allminutes last season, Conference team. this is a completely “I think we have the talent different team than (and) the components to be the one that won 23 able to win a championship.” games two seasons ago. Holle said. “My expectations “We’re really young.” for sure are to go out and play Coach Antoine every game like we should said. “We had five win." newcomers last year The 'Cats' season begins and we have five at 5:30 p.m. on November newcomers again 5th against Texas Lutheran at (this year).” Strahan Arena.




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