TUESDAY APRIL 13, 2021 VOLUME 110 ISSUE 10
DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT SINCE 1911
Opinion: Texas State needs to fund all sports equally
The Wittliff Collections honors life of legendary Texas author, exhibit donor
Softball misses recordbreaking opportunity in series loss to South Alabama
A family affair: San Marcos food trucks dish out culture, flavor
SEE PAGE 6
SEE PAGE 2
SEE PAGE 7
SEE PAGE 4
Dogs enjoy day out in animal shelter program By Brooklyn Solis Life & Arts Reporter With wagging tails and slobbery smiles, pure excitement is filling the hearts of San Marcos Regional Shelter rescue dogs as volunteers storm in to partake in its Dog's Day Out program. The new program allows approved volunteers 18 or older to "borrow" a shelter dog for a day. Volunteers take dogs around San Marcos for walks, hikes, grabbing "puppuccinos" or car rides. The program is a way for dogs to leave the shelter after spending most of their time cooped up in kennels. Sophia Proler, San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter program coordinator, says Dog's Day Out is a great way for the community to familiarize itself with the
dogs outside of a sheltered environment. “A lot of our larger breed dogs don’t show very well at the shelter,” Proler says. “They’re in a smaller kennel, they are cooped up and you may not realize just how cute and wonderful they are until you get them out on the trail. It’s a really good opportunity to lower the stress of the dogs, to get a little exercise as a volunteer and to meet new people out on the trail or at dogfriendly restaurants and patios, so the pup can maybe find their forever home.” For some dogs, Dog's Day Out is the only way they are allowed to stretch their paws, get active and show off their friendly personalities. Dianne Witter, a San Marcos resident and firstVolunteer Jen Harris pets rescue dog Hank during Dog's Day Out, Sunday, April 11, 2021, at San Marcos time volunteer of Dog’s Day Out, spent her Easter Regional Animal Shelter. Sunday with Rainbow, a rescue dog who she says was PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN
SEE DOGS PAGE 5 VACCINE
VOLLEYBALL PREPARES TO SERVE HISTORY IN NCAA TOURNAMENT By Aidan Bea Sports Reporter Following the 2020 season, in which Texas State volleyball won its third consecutive Sun Belt tournament title and finished 30-8 overall and 15-1 in conference play, the team has its sights set on the first round of the NCAA tournament scheduled to begin on April 14. The team enters the tournament as the No. 28 seed and will match up against the Utah Valley University Wolverines. Head Coach Sean Huiet and the rest of the team are motivated and feel they are poised to make school history. “We’ve only gone to the second round one other time,” Huiet says. “This group wants to do something Texas State hasn’t done. That’s what drives [the players] and that’s what makes it fun to coach them.”
A St. David's School of Nursing student administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru vaccination clinic.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. MARLA ERBIN-ROESEMANN
The Bobcats celebrate following a kill from Texas State junior outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford (1) during the second set against TCU, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats lost 3-1. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
"THIS GROUP WANTS TO DO SOMETHING TEXAS STATE HASN’T DONE. THAT’S WHAT DRIVES [THE PLAYERS] AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT FUN TO COACH THEM." -SEAN HUIET,
HEAD COACH, TEXAS STATE VOLLEYBALL
Typically, the NCAA tournament takes place in the fall, but this season it was pushed back to accommodate teams and conferences that did not play in fall 2020 due to COVID-19. Texas State has been in-season since August with only a two-month break after the team won the conference championship on Nov. 22. Junior setter Emily DeWalt says the team placed an emphasis on mental preparation, as it knew COVID-19 would alter its operations. “We’ve obviously had to have a different mindset coming in,” DeWalt says. “Usually in the spring we train, and you don’t have to compete as much.
Nursing students, faculty assist in vaccination efforts By Ricardo Delgado News Reporter
The Bobcats celebrate sophomore outside hitter Caitlan Buettner's (10) kill to score a point against the University of Texas at Arlington, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats swept the Mavericks 3-0. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
Coming in we were super excited we had the opportunity to compete again.” The Bobcats went 6-6 in the spring portion of the schedule and played some big-name opponents, including the University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University. After starting the spring 3-1, Texas State lost five straight matches. Though the team was discouraged after the losses, Huiet says he knew the spring matchups would test his players. “We had a little bit of a lull there, but that was probably our hardest stretch. We played eight games in 14 days against Big 12 opponents,” Huiet says. “We had to work their minds a little bit and give
them some rest, but they pulled through, and we are playing really good volleyball right now.” Junior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald says the team is a “little banged up” due to the length and nature of this season, but she feels, despite the struggles, the team is in great shape heading into the tournament. “It’s nothing we can’t handle,” Fitzgerald says. “We have lots of depth on our team, and we’ve become mentally and physically stronger because of all of this. We’ve gotten a lot closer than we have been in the past.” Last year, Texas State lost to the University of California at Santa
SEE VOLLEYBALL PAGE 7
With COVID-19 vaccines becoming readily available throughout the state, nursing students and faculty from Texas State's Round Rock campus are playing an active role in administering vaccines throughout the university's surrounding areas. Partnering with Baylor Scott & White Health, nursing students and faculty at St. David's School of Nursing at Texas State - Round Rock have administered vaccines through drive-up clinics. The school's goal is to ensure many of its students are offered the opportunity to volunteer and provide vaccines to the public. The partnership came to fruition after Dr. Marla Erbin-Roesemann, director and professor at the School of Nursing, asked the chief nursing officer of Baylor Scott & White Health if nursing students in the area could volunteer at vaccination drives since students were already at risk working on the frontline. Students administering vaccines do not have to be registered nurses. However, faculty or nurses must supervise students, including when students are observing vaccine administration. Erbin-Roesemann says students who volunteered were vaccinated beforehand on behalf of the nursing school’s healthcare partners. “I'm thankful for my students
SEE VACCINE PAGE 2
The University Star
2 | Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Brianna Benitez News Editor email@example.com
EXHIBIT Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 245 - 3487
The Wittliff Collections honors life of legendary Texas author, exhibit donor
Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Jaden Edison firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Gabriella Ybarra email@example.com News Editor: Brianna Benitez firstname.lastname@example.org Life & Arts Editor: Cristela Jones email@example.com Opinion Editor: Valeria Torrealba firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor: Sumit Nagar email@example.com Design Editor: Molly Gonzales firstname.lastname@example.org Multimedia Editor: Hannah Thompson email@example.com Engagement Editor: Eryka Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org Podcast Editor: Kim Davis Jr. email@example.com
Public & Internal Relations Bianca Landry PIR Director Nadia Gonzales Assistant PIR Director
Full-Time Staff Director: Laura Krantz, firstname.lastname@example.org Student Publications Coordinator: Mayra Mejia, email@example.com
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 4,500. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 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 brought to our attention will be corrected as soon as possible. Visit The Star at universitystar.com
Scan the code above to have The Star Roundup delivered to your email every Tuesday and Thursday.
By Kiana Burks News Contributor The Wittliff Collections at Texas State and literary community are paying tribute to author and longtime exhibit donor Larry McMurtry, a Texan novelist, essayist, bookseller and screenwriter. McMurtry, the author of works such as “Lonesome Dove,” “Terms of Endearment” and “Brokeback Mountain,” died on March 25 at the age of 84. The collection honors his works and influence on Texas culture. Steve Davis, curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection in The Wittliff Collections, believes McMurtry was one of the most influential Texas writers ever. “McMurtry is somebody who really translated the idea of Texas to the larger nation, and along the way, he deromanticized a lot of the old cowboy myths and really showed the gritty harsh reality of Texas life but at the same time maintained a wonderful sense of humor,” Davis says. “Doing that really made it possible for people who were so used to being seen in mythological terms [to] seem much more human to the rest of the world.” Davis says McMurtry’s innovative writing style impacted not only his readers but also the American literary community. He says McMurtry's work liberated readers from stereotypes while encouraging other writers to do the same. McMurtry was also a strong supporter and generous donor of The Wittliff Collections as well as a longtime colleague of Bill Wittliff, the founding donor of the collections. “The Wittliff Collection is one of the great crown jewels of Texas State University, and great Texas writers like McMurtry, who had a worldwide impact, [helped] draw many scholars to the archives we have,” Davis says. “Just knowing that we have a place that inspires and nurtures creativity and talent right here on campus is so valuable.” Mark Busby, a distinguished professor emeritus and author of “Larry McMurtry and the West: An Ambivalent Relationship,” believes McMurtry was the best-known Texas writer of the 20th and 21st centuries. “Many people used to roll their eyes at Texas literature," Busby says. "But after McMurtry, everybody had an idea that he was somebody who was going to change the way that the world looked at the literature of Texas.” McMurtry's ability to write about Texas through a lens that addressed
The Wittliff Collections director, David Coleman, talks about the Edward S. Curtis exhibit, Monday, April 5, 2021, at the Wittliff Collections. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS SMITH
genuine flaws and concerns about life in the state separated him from other writers, Busby says. “I think there are a lot of people who think of him as a diehard Texan, but he's far from that,” Busby says. “He actually had a jaundiced eye about Texas in many ways, which makes it somewhat ironic that he spent a lifetime writing about Texas. Most of his books have something to do with Texas and, oftentimes, they're very critical.” Jenny Johnson, a Houston writer, discovered McMurtry when she was in high school. Prior to that, she did not think Texas was a place people would write about or "a place authors would be from." "He wrote beyond the myths of Texas to create very real characters that were extremely lovable despite having flaws," Johnson says. Johnson says McMurtry’s style of writing opened the door for a change in the way authors approached sensitive or unconventional topics. Though he wrote about "a lot of things," she says he did not write about everything, which she believes should serve as an encouragement to young people. “Lots of people's experiences aren’t represented in his books,” Johnson says. “I would challenge young people and young writers especially, to look at McMurtry’s works and ask themselves, 'What can I do to expand the story of Texas to be more representative of its society today?'” Michael Mooney, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, says McMurtry had a real impact on the ways society viewed life. He says "Brokeback Mountain," a film McMurtry co-wrote, significantly changed the way society thought about homosexuality and
The entrance to the Lonesome Dove exhibit, Monday, April 5, 2021, at The Wittliff Collections. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS SMITH
masculinity. Mooney considers McMurtry’s ability to realistically portray the world around him as a gift — considering the way social media promotes and upholds unrealistic lives and standards. “We try to make our lives look better than they are almost all the time, and that's just built into the way we communicate with each other these days,” Mooney says. “So, for him to not do that, and to truly do the opposite, to be gritty and realistic but also make it poetic, his message just launches off the page and transcends not only Texas culture but also modern American literature.” “Texas has a lot of good authors historically, but very few are as talented, and even fewer are as prolific,” Mooney adds. “There's not a single professional writer, or even aspiring professional writer, in Texas who has not been touched and changed by the work of Larry McMurtry, even if it's indirectly.” For more information about the McMurtry archive at The Wittliff Collections, visit www. thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu.
FROM FRONT VACCINE and my faculty who stepped up, answered the call to volunteer and also for our partners that have been willing to actually allow us to have the vaccine,” Erbin-Roesemann says. “So, we feel that our students and faculty are protected.” Mariana Jacobo, a nursing junior, volunteered at a vaccine distribution clinic after she received her own vaccine provided by the nursing school. Jacobo says the environment in which she volunteered excited her and her fellow healthcare workers. “When I volunteered, I got vaccinated, but other people didn't [volunteer],” Jacobo says. “It wasn't a requirement to volunteer, I just was like, 'Well, might as well give my time to this good cause.'” COVID-19 may be a daunting time for a budding nurse to start their career, but Jacobo did not second guess her path once it hit. Instead, she embraced the difficulties frontline healthcare workers face during health crises. “I thought that it was like the best way to serve people,” Jacobo says. “And I think there's many ways in which it's not attractive, because we kind of have to be there for the people in their lowest points, and we have to help them with the most basic things that they cannot do anymore. A lot of people, they might not be attracted to that.” According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS),
over 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the state and over 5 million Texans have been fully vaccinated. With progress made in the state's efforts to tackle the virus, faculty members such as Monica Hughes, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Nursing, also acknowledge the efforts of nursing students who adapted to curriculum changes this past year. “This semester, these students, these seniors, are surprisingly resilient. I think because of being thrust into it so quickly in March, and then being forced to make a huge [change],” Hughes says. “Our whole program is face-to-face, and [the nursing program] didn't offer any online courses in our undergraduate program before this. I think they've done a remarkable job, actually.” Hughes herself has transitioned to online classes as she works to receive a doctorate of nurse practice in a Chicago-based institute program. She identifies with many of the difficulties students have faced during COVID-19. When doses of the COVID-19 vaccine began to roll out, Hughes says it was difficult to control her emotions. She witnessed a nurse receive a vaccine for the first time, recalling the emotional turmoil many of her colleagues went through before a solution to the global health crisis arrived.
“On the day that we saw the first nurse receive her vaccine, it was a pretty emotional feeling...To have seen this pandemic roll out, and then to see something happening that was finally going to make a difference,” Hughes says. “You see so much loss and so much trauma for our caregivers and for the nurses who are in the [intensive care units] in particular, just what they're living through is just truly unprecedented.” The demand health care workers across the nation have faced during the pandemic solidified Hughes' belief in the need for more assistance in public health, given the reality of how many hospitals exceeded their capacity limits. “I have felt an even more pressing urgency that we can't keep going down this road; we have to do something different," Hughes says. "It's time to invest in our public health infrastructure; it's time to invest in our public health, training and workforce; it's time to make this a priority for our country.” Texas State nursing students and faculty will continue to assist in local vaccination efforts and are expected to volunteer at the university's upcoming vaccination drives from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. on April 13-16 at the LBJ Student Center.
The University Star
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 3
Brianna Benitez News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The door and outside sitting area of the Family Justice Center, Monday, April 12, 2021, at the Village Main Campus. PHOTO BY HANNAH THOMPSON
Hays County hires new coordinator to assist Family Justice Center By Timia Cobb Assistant News Editor Editor's Note: The University Star spoke to the Family Justice Center once for this story and attempted to reach out again to speak to the new victim services coordinator. The Star has yet to receive a response. After the Hays County Commissioners Court authorized a $55,000 grant for the Family Justice Center (FJC), approved by the Office of the Texas Governor, the center and Victims Services Department have partnered in hiring a new coordinator to work with both facilities. The coordinator was recently hired and is expected to begin working in July. Until then, the individual will remain in training. The FJC functions as a location where victims of domestic violence or violent crimes can discuss advocacy and safety plans, meet with a police officer or prosecutor and gather information on the shelter, as well as receive help with food, transportation and medical assistance. The victim services division, on the other hand, provides services such as courtroom accompaniment and education on the criminal justice system. Hays County Criminal District Attorney Wes Mau says the assistance coordinator will work as a middle person for victim services and the FJC to lessen the number of stops or protocols a victim goes through when in need of services. “The grants are designed for specific things, one of them is victim services," Mau says. "Of course, I already have a victim services department, which has a number of employees we call victim assistance coordinators, and this would be to add one victim assistance coordinator to that group for a particular purpose, that being the local Family Justice Center.” Mau says the victim services staff have consistent work and "serve hundreds of victims every year." Hiring a coordinator to assist the FJC will allow staff to spread out their work, he adds. Maggie Avalos, the victim assistance lead coordinator for the Hays County Victim Services Department, has noticed a change in the number of residents that utilize the department's services since the beginning of 2020 but says the department continues to communicate with clients no matter the size of the staff. “You could say compared to other counties, you know, like I know San Antonio has like 40 victim assistance coordinators...They have their own protective [organization]; we don't have that. So, I think you can say that we are [smaller] compared to others," Avalos says. The FJC opened in early 2020 but closed its doors shortly after due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The center has since operated through pre-made appointments. However, it does accept walk-ins for anyone in need of assistance. Cynthia Fowler, the board president for the FJC, says while the center partners with local agencies and organizations such as the Hays County Women’s Center, the Hays County Sheriff's Department, the Hays County District Attorney’s Office and the San Marcos, Buda and Kyle police departments, it is independent and provides an open and comforting facility to victims who need help. “We are not a law enforcement
agency," Fowler says. "We partner with law enforcement agencies and their victim services coordinators. The whole idea behind the [Family] Justice Center is to offer services for victims of any type of violence, family violence, dating violence, sexual assault, you name it, and it's a one-stop-shop where we are kind of a coordinator to help them, obtain an order of protection or file a criminal complaint. We can help arrange for shelter, food assistance and utility assistance, even some training, job training.”
"WE ARE NOT A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. WE PARTNER WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND THEIR VICTIM SERVICES COORDINATORS. THE WHOLE IDEA BEHIND THE [FAMILY] JUSTICE CENTER IS TO OFFER SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF ANY TYPE OF VIOLENCE, FAMILY VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, YOU NAME IT, AND IT'S A ONE-STOP-SHOP WHERE WE ARE KIND OF A COORDINATOR TO HELP THEM, OBTAIN AN ORDER OF PROTECTION OR FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT. WE CAN HELP ARRANGE FOR SHELTER, FOOD ASSISTANCE AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE, EVEN SOME TRAINING, JOB TRAINING." -CYNTHIA FOWLER,
A moth clings to a blade of grass, Friday, April 2, 2021, at Spring Lake Natural Area. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS SMITH
Texas State communication disorders graduate students Brittany Matt (left) and Grace Van De Hoef blow bubbles while they wait for their friend to arrive to take graduation pictures, Friday, April 9, 2021, near the Theatre Center. PHOTO BY LILIANA PEREZ
Texas State journalism and mass communication senior Daniella Carrera edits a video for her video journalism class, Thursday, April 8, 2021, at Alkek One. PHOTO BY JEFFREY HALFEN
A chicken turtle pauses in the water and vegetation, Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Texas State Theatre Center. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS SMITH
BOARD PRESIDENT, FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER The center is victim-centered, Fowler says, and also provides an understanding atmosphere, one that hopes to stop traumatizing life experiences from repeating. “The idea behind the [Family] Justice Center is [it's somewhere] you can go and only have to tell your story once," Fowler says. "Because normally if you're really making a plan to get out of a dangerous situation and you need some sort of assistance, it’s really traumatizing to the victim. They have to tell their story over and over again. So, we try to streamline it to where they only have to tell the story once and then we get them the services they need from there on.”
Wittliff Collections Director David Coleman examines a guitar in the Asleep at the Wheel exhibit, Monday, April 5, 2021, at the Wittliff Collections. PHOTO BY DOUGLAS SMITH
The University Star
4 | Tuesday, April 13, 2021
LIFE & ARTS
Cristela Jones Life & Arts Editor email@example.com
Soulful Creations chef and co-owner Willie Adams roasts a brisket in the back of a Ay, Chihuahua! Tacos food truck owner and chef Sean Albert cooks up a "Big Mamma" from the menu, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in San Marcos. trailer, Friday, April 2, 2021, in San Marcos. PHOTO BY VANESSA BUENTELLO
PHOTO BY VANESSA BUENTELLO
Soulful Creations serves up a shrimp po' boy and sweet potato fries, Friday, April 2, 2021, in San Marcos
Ay, Chihuahua! Tacos opens for daily business, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in San Marcos
PHOTO BY VANESSA BUENTELLO
PHOTO BY VANESSA BUENTELLO
A FAMILY AFFAIR
San Marcos food trucks dish out culture, flavor By Vanessa Buentello Life & Arts Contributor A short drive from Austin, a city recognized as “The Food Truck Capital of Texas,” San Marcos has its own food truck scene where street vendors pull from their cultural traditions to introduce new flavors to the community. Sean and Venus Albert, co-owners of Ay, Chihuahua! Tacos, jumpstarted their food truck business five years ago after the couple decided to leave their 9-5 jobs to pursue their dream of serving authentic Mexican food. Sean Albert says he grew tired of not having a place to eat at that offered Mexican food from Mexico City, where he and his wife are from. “It’s funny, though, because I’m a web designer,” Sean Albert says. “I had nothing to do with food or cooking, but I was so tired of nobody cooking [Mexican] food the right way.” When Sean Albert was 2 years old, his grandparents owned a lonchería in Mexico, a Spanish snack bar with tortas and tacos. Sean Albert says the flavors were embedded “into his DNA” and were what led him to transform Ay! Chihuahua! into what it is today. While he never imagined cooking himself, he was always interested in studying it. He would eventually refine his techniques to cook on a food truck flat top to create the best dishes for his customers. Ay! Chihuahua’s menu consists of original recipes, with tacos like the "Campechano" made with beef, chorizo and grilled onions and quesadillas — like the “Big Mama," made with mozzarella, guacamole, pico de gallo, bell pepper, onions and a choice of chicken or beef. The food truck also offers vegetarian options like the “Cactus Jack,” made with tender cactus, grilled onions and cotija cheese. “What we do is try to be a little more innovative, instead of going with the same [food] that everybody else has,” Sean Albert says. “Overall, we’re trying to bring more of the flavor from Mexico City.” Originally based in San Antonio, Ay! Chihuahua! made the move to the Red Bus Food Park on Chestnut Street
at the end of March. After COVID-19 hit, the Alberts felt like the city was getting too crowded. With less than 30 food trucks stationed in San Marcos, the Alberts decided they wanted a change of environment. “The idea is to be here permanently,” Venus Albert says. “We like the place. We like the owners. We like everything here. So, hopefully, it’s a good thing for us.” Ramika and Willie Adams, owners of Soulful Creations, say they spent a year and a half jumping around San Marcos until they found their permanent home at Wonder World Park two years ago. In business for five years, Soulful Creations, the first soul food truck in San Marcos, originally served catering and pop-up events. However, after receiving positive encouragement from customers, the owners decided to purchase a trailer to allow Soulful Creations to expand and serve the community on a more routine basis. “Before then, we just had a little pit that [Willie] would pull up with his pickup truck, and we would put up a tent to cook outdoors,” Ramika Adams says. “But now that we have a trailer, we're able to do more food. Especially now that we have a great location, we're really able to do more events.” When the Adams couple was working on their menu and operating pop-ups and catering, they began experimenting with barbecue and soulful sides. However, with a permanent location, they realized they could expand and turn the sides into entrees. “Me being from New Orleans and my husband being from Mississippi, it just made sense to incorporate the things that we grew up on,” Ramika Adams says. “Once we had a location where we could settle down, we realized we really wanted to invite San Marcos to our culture.” Soulful Creations has a set menu that consists of po-boys with shrimp, oyster, catfish and brisket. However, sides, like gumbo, are constantly rotated in to introduce San Marcos residents to different versions of soul food. When someone walks up to Soulful Creations, the Adams couple likes to create a welcoming atmosphere with soulful music playing in the background,
families reuniting outside and Willie Adams on the microphone urging customers to pick up food. “It's like a community type of environment,” Ramika Adams says. “So when people come, I would love for them to experience our culture, hospitality and more importantly, our heart...then our food.”
"IT'S LIKE A COMMUNITY TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT. SO WHEN PEOPLE COME, I WOULD LOVE FOR THEM TO EXPERIENCE OUR CULTURE, HOSPITALITY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR HEART...THEN OUR FOOD." -RAMIKA ADAMS,
CO-OWNER OF SOULFUL CREATIONS Along with the food, Soulful Creations and its owners have made involvement with the community a number one priority. The Adams couple feeds the homeless, battered women and shutin individuals regularly. They also host fundraising and catering events for the San Marcos and Texas State communities. “A lot of those kids are from other places,” Ramika Adams says. “We have always wanted to be mentors for the college campus community, because we want people to know, especially the parents, ‘Hey, even though your kids are away from home, there's people here who care about them.’” Ruben Garcia, owner of Texas Crab Co. on Aquarena Springs, also says the community has helped his food truck grow since opening in May 2020. As a walk-up-only entity, Texas Crab
Co. experienced success after opening during the pandemic. It allowed more people to get their seafood fix on the go instead of sitting inside a restaurant. "This food truck trend took off where all the neighborhoods wanted food trucks there every week," Garcia says. Garcia, a former general manager at multiple San Marcos eateries, has been in the restaurant business most of his life. As a family-owned business, Garcia and his son serve as the primary chefs at Texas Crab Co. Together, they serve up a menu that goes beyond crab food, selling various seafood options, such as shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, fish, crawfish and po-boys. “I just saw that seafood was just taking off,” Garcia says. “I had other buddies of mine that were selling seafood, but a different style. So I just started experimenting, trying it out and it went great. We never looked back.” With Garcia's background in marketing, Texas Crab Co. has utilized social media to gain clientele. Since the food truck's opening, its Instagram has gained nearly 1,300 followers and its Facebook page has over 7,000 likes. “We like to do a lot of giveaways for our social media following,” Garcia says. “Our customers are always down for us when we go back. We make sure we’re always promoting the times we’ll be out there.” Texas Crab Co. has since expanded to serve cities like Lockhart, Seguin and Floresville. “We have a second trailer that's coming out hopefully next month. Our goal is to have three locations by the summertime,” Garcia says. Running a business was always a dream for Garcia. He wanted to utilize his own experience in and passion for the food industry to serve the San Marcos community. "We got an awesome crew, and it's just a fun place," Garcia says. "Going on business for almost a year, we’ve never had to look back. We've really been blessed." For more information about Ay, Chihuahua! Tacos, Soulful Creations and Texas Crab Co., visit their social media pages.
The University Star
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 5
LIFE & ARTS FROM FRONT DOGS
Cristela Jones Life & Arts Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Maximo stands beside a mural of Frida Kahlo on Nov. 18, 2020, at Los Reyes Mexican restaurant, San Antonio. Rescue dog Rainbow sits in Witter's car on her Dog's Day Out trip, Sunday, April 4, 2021, in San Marcos. PHOTO COURTESY OF DIANNE WITTER
mesmerized by the simple things in life. “She really enjoyed it. We went and sat by the river and walked around the park,” Witter says. “She had been a street dog her whole life; she never had a person before and the things we were doing were a first for her, so it was really cool seeing her experience it for the first time. She rolled on her back in the grass, got up on a picnic table and just enjoyed being out in the world.” As someone with three cats in a one-bedroom home, Witter enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Rainbow without the full commitment of taking her back home.
"[DOG’S DAY OUT] IS A GREAT LOW COMMITMENT WAY TO HELP OUT THE SHELTER AND HELP OUT THE DOGS WITHOUT HAVING TO PUT A LOT OF TIME, EFFORT AND RESOURCES INTO IT. IT’S A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR THE DOGS; THEY’RE COOPED IN THE KENNEL...IT [GIVES] THEM MORE SOCIALIZATION AND GETS THEM OUT AND ABOUT." -DIANNE WITTER,
SAN MARCOS RESIDENT, DOG'S DAY OUT VOLUNTEER “[Dog’s Day Out] is a great low commitment way to help out the shelter and help out the dogs without having to put a lot of time, effort and resources into it,” Witter says. “It’s a great experience for the dogs; they’re cooped in the kennel...It [gives] them more socialization and gets them out and about.” Although dogs are treated with love and care at the shelter, being inside kennels for a long period of time can take a toll on a dog's mental health as unfamiliar noises and faces are introduced to them daily. “The shelter environment is a constant stimulus,” says Jen Harris, an active volunteer at the shelter. “They’ll catch a new smell, or they’ll catch a new noise or there will be a different pitch in somebody's bark that could potentially be signaling that they’re in stress, and then it’s sending stress out essentially into the shelter.” Hank, a rescue dog who has resided at the shelter since November, has begun to feel the distress of excessive noises in his confined space. Hoping to relieve Hank from his anxiety, Harris, who has grown fond of the 70-pound Staffordshire terrier cross, volunteers to take him out. “[Pit bulls] are typically high energy dogs, they are very athletic, very smart and staying in a kennel for a long period of time is really stressful,” Harris says. “Hank is definitely feeling the effects of that. Typically a lot of our dogs that are under stress end up losing some weight, even though the food schedule isn’t any different as if they were at home, but it’s just the stress of being alone [and] staying at the shelter; it tends to take a toll on their body.” With approximately four to five thousand animals entering the shelter’s doors each year, there is an urgent need for volunteers and potential adopters to lend their time and hearts to the rescue dogs. Harris encourages dog lovers to take a look at rescue dogs within their local shelters rather than bred puppies on websites like Craigslist. “'Adopt don’t shop' is always kind of the best motto,” Harris says. “Why go buy a new puppy from a breeder when there’s a perfectly deserving dog at a shelter waiting for a home just like yours?” Volunteers can take dogs out for up to three hours on any Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. To volunteer for Dog’s Day Out fill out an application. For more information on the program or how to adopt, visit the San Marcos Regional Animal shelter’s website and Facebook page.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER MAXIMO
Alumnus transforms boxing lessons into knock-out murals By Sofia Psolka Life & Arts Contributor After years of testing his endurance and toughness in sweat-generating sparring matches as an amateur boxer, Texas State alumnus Roger Maximo Gonzales has unlaced his gloves to create artwork inspired by childhood cartoons and celebrity legends. After graduating from Texas State with a BFA in studio art, Gonzales went on to paint murals in cities across Texas, including San Marcos, depicting symbolic individuals like Frida Kahlo, Sid Vicious and George Floyd. His artistic journey began while drawing on the walls of his childhood home with crayons. "I was like five, but I drew Batman with crayons. It [didn't] look like Batman, but at the time it did," Gonzales says. "Anime stuff really got me into art. They're pushing boundaries, more like dimensional cartoons." Gonzales' father would bring home canvases, sketchbooks and paint knowing they would provide Gonzales the opportunity to create artwork and keep him out of trouble. "My family encouraged me, and I think that's been a huge thing because there's been times when I felt like I had no support," Gonzales says. "My dad's a big believer in me. That's always helped me." Gonzales' mother, who passed away when he was 13, routinely bought him art books, pushing him to pursue the craft. He tries to paint women figures in memory of his mom, "a real strong woman" he holds close to his heart. Gonzales' old fraternity brothers from Texas State witnessed him develop his love for painting. Eric Doe met the artist during his time in military school at Fort Sam Houston. Doe was nearly 10 years older than Gonzales and was intimidated by young Gonzales' success. "[Gonzales] was all over the place with the things he wanted to do and the places he wanted to go," Doe says. "Roger's also an accomplished boxer pugilist, so he was a Golden Gloves boxer. I was completely inspired by that because it takes a lot to be a successful amateur boxer. He's got more talent in his little finger than I probably have in my entire life." Doe would often critique Gonzales' artwork, making suggestions for improvement. He found himself impressed with Gonzales' ability to paint across different mediums. "He can draw with just paper and pencil, he can draw using darks and lights, charcoal and he can paint with spray paint," Doe says. "That's not a talent that everybody just has. A lot of artists don't transition to other mediums the way that he does." Martin "Marty" Velíz, another longtime friend and fraternity brother of Gonzales, says Gonzales' willingness to perform tasks, such as art, out of genuine care for others helped him grow as an individual. "[Gonzales] had everything figured out a little bit early, and he does a lot of these things out of the kindness of his heart because artists are not there to make money," Velíz says. "Maximo is out there with the kindest heart. He is there to make a change and to make happiness." Velíz believes Gonzales' ability to translate the art of boxing into the world of painting is second to none. "I, first-hand watched, his attention to detail in art," Velíz says. "I feel like that's the coolest thing — he translated his martial art to the canvas. Roger's not a violent guy or anything like that,
Roger Maximo boxes for San Fernando Boxing Club in 2014 at the age of 24. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER MAXIMO
Roger Maximo finishes a mural, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, of Corey Taylor, lead singer of Slipknot.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGER MAXIMO
but, you know, it is an art, and he translates that directly into a painting every time." Albert Fuentes, owner of The Gym in Del Rio, Texas, met Gonzales at a paint store when he was in the process of freshening up the outside walls of his business. After learning of Gonzales' talent, he hired him to paint a mural of Michael Jordan to go with the gym's fitness theme. "Everybody knows Michael Jordan; my kids play basketball, and they love watching basketball, so we thought let's do a Jordan wall," Fuentes says. "It turned out really nice and we have a lot of compliments with the painting; a lot of people go back there to take pictures with it." Gonzales plans to create a new mural in San Marcos inspired by films, like "Dazed and Confused", that captured the essence of laid-back college youth. Viewing the world as his canvas, Gonzales wants to continue expressing himself through art, painting for his own livelihood and for the individuals who do not have a platform to speak up for themselves. "I try to make things colorful, precise and representative of how I feel at that moment in time," Gonzales says. "The goal is to reach as many people as I can with my messages. I'm here to just paint more and more." To see more of Roger Maximo's art and keep up with his latest projects, visit his Instagram @mxmo.
The University Star
6 | Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Valeria Torrealba Opinion Editor email@example.com
Opinions in The University Star are not necessarily those of our entire publication, Texas State University’s administration, Board of Regents, School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Student Publications Board.
EYES OF TEXAS
We all have a stake in UT's Eyes of Texas controversy By Toni Mac Crossan Opinion Columnist The Austin area has battled through the recent controversy over the University of Texas at Austin's alma mater, "The Eyes of Texas." Concerns regarding its racist formation and debate as to whether it should still be sung at school events have been raised, and verbal battles have cropped up between alumni, donors, university administrators and students over the roots of the song and what it truly symbolizes. However, the true issue with "The Eyes of Texas" does not simply lie in how racist the song really is — it is that students are not being listened to by an administration in place to serve students. All students — especially studentathletes — should be concerned about how UT has handled this controversy. UT made clear it cared more about its donors' opinions — many of which included blatantly racist language, including asking Black students to 'move on to another state where everything is in their favor' — than their students' comfort representing their university. Despite UT Austin football players and other student-athletes bringing their university hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually, the university's administrators have denied them a seat at the table in determining their own working conditions. A committee formed to analyze the history of "The Eyes of Texas" said it could neither absolve nor vindicate the song or its roots and admitted that the cultural
or not. Many athletes and other Black students have made their feelings clear. They have been acknowledged by UT administrators, and those administrators then turned around and ignored them. Student-athletes are already restricted in what compensation they can gain from their work at their universities, such as no salary or sponsorships, and it adds insult to injury to then disregard their concerns as UT has. Imagine a Texas State men's basketball team if players' concerns about former head coach Danny Kaspar had not been investigated — a move which placed players in a position from which they required significant healing. If athletes had instead faced calls to just deal with being in an environment in which they felt uncomfortable, how much more would the team have suffered? Student-athletes must all stand together in protecting their stake in university athletics programs. They must be included in decisions like what songs are played at games, what names are placed on stadiums and what to do when athletics officials abuse their positions. UT's treatment of its studentathletes sets a dangerous precedent for universities around the country, and ILLUSTRATION BY MOLLY GONZALES Texas State athletes need to pay attention and advocate for their neighboring background of its writing was steeped in — and they have been treated like they student-athletes. racism. But the committee also said the do not deserve to weigh in on an issue song is not "overtly" racist. that affects them the most directly. - Toni Mac Crossan is a biology At the end of the day, the committee's Athletes told The Texas Tribune graduate student decision on how racist "The Eyes of that athletics officials told them they Texas" is does not matter. What matters had to stand and listen to the alma is how student-athletes have been treated mater singalong, whether they sang
Texas State needs to fund all sports equally By Lindsey Salisbury Opinion Columnist Editor's Note: The University Star attempted to reach the Texas State athletic department for this column and did not receive a timely response. Texas State follows the “a revenue earned is revenue spent” method for funding each of its sports. In other words, the amount of money acquired by ticket sales, concessions and donors is the amount of money spent on the program. This seems like a fair deal, but it negates women's sports and others that may not be as popular in the U.S. The popularity of a sport should not determine the worth of an athlete. It is a common misconception that laws like Title XI protect female sports from this fiscal inequality. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, “Title IX does not require equal expenditure of funds on male and female athletes.” America loves football. It is a part of America's cultural identity, the heart and soul of Saturdays and Sundays. Football is the most profitable sport, with a net profit of $13 billion. It is no surprise that football benefits the most from this financial structure. "It makes sense. We live in Texas where people love to watch football even if we don’t always win, so obviously, they are going to have more revenue… [However] other sports should not be penalized for not having fans. We get a decent number of fans,” says Tessa Marshall, a sophomore middle blocker for the volleyball team. “But we are a female sport, to get people to come we had to advertise our games on social media a week in advance.” The Texas State volleyball team won a conference championship in the 2020 season, its third consecutive. Football won a total of two games this season. Yet, volleyball receives less funding. Sports that have free admissions like soccer, tennis, track and golf suffer even more from this structure. Emily DeWalt, a junior setter for volleyball, feels that not all sports "receive the credit they deserve." "It is free to get into those games, so they are not making the money to support their program. I feel like the money could be better allocated," DeWalt says. Less popular sports get less equipment, fewer opportunities and worse facilities and accommodations. Chacadyah Lewis, a sophomore tennis player, says her team is "often forgotten," and that the Texas State Athletics social media "will post about losses [from other sports], but when we win we hear nothing.” “Ultimately, other sports have more than they need; we have the basics,” Lewis says. Men’s basketball typically gets new pairs of shoes every season, whereas tennis athletes “have holes in their shoes,” even for the majority of their fall tournament season, Lewis says. Despite the coach's efforts to equip players accordingly, other sports are prioritized. This is
ILLUSTRATION BY MOLLY GONZALES
not okay. Favoritism was especially felt in this year’s COVID-19 season. Like a mother saving her baby from a fire, the Texas State Athletics administration came to the aid of its most beloved child: Football. Money was prioritized to keep football players safe above all others. Football had to take multiple COVID-19 tests each week, every week. Molly Damiani, a junior outfielder on the softball team, says while offseason sports did not have to take any, if they wanted to take a test, they had to do it on their own. There were also differences this year when it came to traveling. Football traveled via private plane for away games, while other in-season sports traveled on a bus for long and tedious rides up to “14 hours,” Kiara Gonzales, a sophomore forward/midfielder on the soccer team, says. This was not only terrible for people who were not used to sitting for long periods of time, but it also meant athletes missed more classes and
opportunities to decompress because they had to block off three or more days for a travel weekend. Nevertheless, popular men’s sports are a pivotal part of this program. Football revenue funds a lot of the spring sports. However, by implementing a system where there is equal funding for all sports, there is a guarantee for a season and equal treatment for everyone. Texas State houses over 300 student-athletes, all of whom have dedicated their lives and forfeited a normal college experience, such as networking, internships and other opportunities to perfect their sport and perform at a D1 collegiate level. As a student-athlete, I can say that we have all put in the work and effort to compete here. All we ask is for the administration to respect all sports and acknowledge all of Texas State athletes' efforts. - Lindsey Salisbury is an English sophomore
The University Star
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 7
Sumit Nagar Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Softball misses record-breaking opportunity in series loss to South Alabama
game-leading three hits from sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Brasher. A single pitcher managed the entire game for South Alabama once again, this time a seven-strikeout performance
from freshman pitcher Olivia Lackie. Texas State’s senior pitcher Meagan King earned nine strikeouts in her six and one-third innings, while senior pitcher Dalilah Barrera hit a Jaguar for a walk with the bases loaded to get the only run of the game in the one-third inning she pitched before being relieved. Needing to recover from their first consecutive losses of the season, the Bobcats sought to liven up their hitting to rescue a positive from the weekend. While the bats did wake up for Texas State, eclipsing its opponent's nine hits to eight, the Jaguars’ hitting also made up for lost time on the series’ last game and led South Alabama to a 7-4 win and the series sweep. Cronan singled up the middle for two runs in the top of the first to sour the game early for the Bobcats, but a homer from Bell to right-center in the bottom of the second brought Bell and Oltmann in to draw level 2-2. The top of the third saw South Alabama explode offensively at the expense of Texas State sophomore pitcher Tori McCann, who allowed all of the Jaguars' eight hits and seven runs in two and two-thirds innings and 50 pitches. South Alabama senior infielder Abby Krzywiecki sent one past the left wall to bring Brasher, who led the game with two hits, and herself home for a 4-2 lead. Senior utility player Kamdyn Kvistad drove in three more runs with a home run down the left-field line, creating a scoring chasm for the trailing Bobcats at 7-2 and forcing Woodward to pull McCann for Mullins. Texas State senior outfielder Marisa Cruz started the attempted comeback as the first batter in the bottom of the third with a home run to left field. Oltmann singled to center field for a run to make it 7-4, but the Bobcats only managed three more hits for the rest of the game. Mullins and King kept the rest of the game clean with no hits or runs. Texas State batted .188 (13-69) on the series, while South Alabama hit for .313 (26-83). Offensive struggles were not the only issue, but the barren batting numbers did more than enough damage to sink the Bobcats and their recordsetting aspirations. “I just feel like they pitched better than us,” Woodward says. “They hit better than us. They got the job done in the slapping game, the short game. They did a better job in every aspect of the game tonight.” A single game against Baylor University (21-8 overall, 3-0 Big 12) on April 14 in Waco will serve as a bounceback opportunity for the Bobcats before they take on the No. 14 University of Louisiana at Lafayette on April 16. Baylor also enters the game on the wrong end of a series sweep, a three-game road trip to Brigham Young University that ended on April 2. Two of Baylor’s subsequent series, a doubleheader against Abilene Christian University and a full three games versus the No. 1 University of Oklahoma, were postponed. The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m. on April 14 at Getterman Stadium in Waco, broadcasted on ESPN+.
and 12-4 in conference play. The team is led by the Western Athletic Player of the Year, junior outside hitter Kazna Tanuvasa. “Utah Valley is a really good team; we are not overlooking them at all,” Huiet says. “They play in the [Western Athletic Conference], which is a tough conference. We are going to be prepared for them and then we are excited to go give Nebraska our best shot. We want to take care of business that first night and then have a shot to play and go to the Sweet 16.” Huiet says the team has talked a lot about how "we are all in this together." Approaching the tournament, he believes togetherness is key. “We don’t want any excuses; we knew this was coming once we won the Sun Belt tournament," Huiet says. "[The players’] goals are the same as [the coaches']. We know this group is special.” The Bobcats will face the Wolverines at 2:30 p.m. on April 14 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Texas State freshman setter Ryann Torres (14) sets the ball across the court to an incoming hitter during the game against TCU, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats lost 3-1.
By Ricardo Delgado Sports Reporter No. 23 Texas State softball fell short of a record-breaking 19-game win streak April 9-11 after suffering its first series sweep to the University of South Alabama Jaguars. The Bobcats went into the series with 18 consecutive victories, tied for first in school history. They entered the series 14-2 against South Alabama. A tense 7-6 win against Texas A&M University on April 6 off a walk-off double from sophomore infielder Sara Vanderford added even more momentum for a historic Bobcat series. The momentum withered once the first pitch flew on April 9. However, South Alabama junior outfielder Caroline Nichols started the game with a base hit and a stolen base, putting her in scoring position at third. A wild pitch from freshman right-handed pitcher Jessica Mullins allowed Nichols to dash to home plate, putting the Jaguars up early. Texas State never seemed to get into a rhythm after the score, earning no hits until the bottom of the third when freshman infielder Baylee Lemons doubled to start the inning but ended the inning stranded on base. From then on, the bats remained quiet for the rest of the game. A solo home run blasted past the left wall by junior infielder Belle Wolfenden in the top of the fifth doubled the Jaguar lead to 2-0. Junior catcher Caitlyn Rogers responded with a single just to the right of second base, while two Bobcat batters earned walks after being hit by pitches. Vanderford earned her 30th RBI of the season with the bases loaded after grounding one to second when senior outfielder ArieAnn Bell converted from third base to close the gap to 2-1. The inning ended anticlimactically when senior outfielder Tara Oltmann’s pop fly left the bases loaded and the deficit intact. Junior infielder Kennedy Cronan immediately responded for South Alabama with an RBI double to move ahead 3-1. The Bobcats mustered only one more hit from then on, a double from junior catcher Cat Crenek in the bottom of the sixth. The seventh ended with three straight ground outs from the Bobcats, the program record intact. Texas State ended up with three hits to South Alabama’s nine, three of which came from Nichols. Mullins pitched nearly six innings but managed eight strikeouts compared to South Alabama senior pitcher Allie Hughen’s two, although Hughen remained at the mound all seven innings and threw 110 pitches. The Bobcats' Head Coach Ricci Woodward did not want to speculate if the weight of expectation or possible complacency factored into the loss. Her players’ behavior did not indicate any mental slip-ups, she says, pinning the loss on South Alabama's superior performance. The second game of the series the following day, a 1-0 loss for Texas State,
Texas State players and staff cheer from the dugout as the Bobcats score their only run of the game against South Alabama, Friday, April 9, 2021, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The Bobcats lost 3-1. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
Texas State freshman infielder Baylee Lemons (24) slides to second base during a game against South Alabama, Friday, April 9, 2021, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The Bobcats lost 3-1. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
Texas State junior catcher Cat Crenek (0) prepares for an incoming pitch, Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The Bobcats lost 1-0. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
proved just as offensively limited with only two Bobcat hits, one from Crenek and one from senior outfielder Kylie George. South Alabama totaled eight hits — Nichols with two, second to a
FROM FRONT VOLLEYBALL
Texas State sophomore defensive specialist Michelle Foster (21) approaches to serve the ball over to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock during the second set, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, at Strahan Arena. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
Barbara in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott says she and her teammates are capable of going much further. “[Last year's tournament loss] didn’t feel good but, of course, we are using it as motivation,” Scott says. “We really want to go to the Sweet 16 this year; that’s been our goal since August.” As the team prepares to take on Utah Valley, the Bobcats are using their lateseason practices to hone their skills and get their minds and bodies prepared for what they hope will be a long tournament run. “The last couple of weeks we have been keeping [practices] short and sweet, trying to keep their mind in it and engaged,” Huiet says. “[We have been] serving and passing every day because that’s what we need to win. Even at the highest level, serving and passing is very critical. We’ve been saying, ‘Let’s get in here and be locked in, keep it short and sweet and then get some more rest.’” Utah Valley finished its season 14-5
PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS
8 | Tuesday, April 13, 2021
The University Star