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November 1, 2021

VOLUME 111 ISSUE 13 www.UniversityStar.com


Austin Film Festival leaves Texas State Film students inspired

Star Snaps Photo Gallery

Opinion: Texas State Film Production should provide admission to ­Austin Film Festival

UFCU and Texas State Athletics partner to giveaway $100,000 in scholarships






Texas bill hindering transgender student athletes’ participation sparks concern By Timia Cobb News Editor starnews@txstate.edu The Texas Senate passed House Bill 25, which restricts children's ability to participate in interscholastic athletic competitions unless they compete with children of the same biological sex. The passing of the bill has sparked a commotion of worry among the LGBTQ community and its allies for

the mental health and equal rights of transgender student athletes. The bill passed on Oct. 25, almost a year after its introduction, and intends to be a piece of legislation that supports young women who participate in K-12 athletic competitions. The bill starts with pointing out the “disparity” of participation in athletics between “students who are girls and students who are boys” and claims the bill can be a way to confront the discrimination

girls encounter in sports competitions. Zwiener is saddened that the bill State Rep. Erin Zwiener, who has passed. She explained that as represents Hays County, has protested representatives, they should be making the bill since its initiation. She believes policies that help and accept their the bill is false, stating it is attempting citizens, but instead they are doing the to solve a problem that does not exist. opposite. “It's been dressed up in this narrative “[Transgender] people exist in the about fairness and protecting girls, but world,” Zwiener said. “The choice we that narrative is just a shield from the have is whether or not to build a society truth and the truth is they're trying to make trans kids feel less safe,” Zwiener SEE HOUSE BILL 25 PAGE 5 said.



Hays County General Election 2021 voting guide By Staff

The General Election (constitutional amendment and local jurisdictions) is on Nov. 2. The University Star has compiled a guide for everything you'll need to know before heading to the polls on Election Day in Hays County.

Voting locations Día de los Muertos altar celebrates passed loved ones, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in the Student Recreation Center. PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN

Texas State celebrates loved ones, Latinx culture with Día de los Muertos By Sarah Hernandez Life and Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu Colorful flowers, intricate papel picado, sugar skulls and picture frames are taking up space on altars across the Texas State campus as offices celebrate Día de los Muertos to honor loved ones who have gone before them. In years past, the number of ofrendas (altars) and Día de los Muertos celebrations on campus has been small. This year, there are 18 altars on campus, from the Student Recreation Center to the annual Honors College ofrenda in Lampasas Hall. The tradition of setting up altars at Texas State began in the early 2000s when Michelle Sotolongo, Honors College advisor, and a friend set up an altar on campus as undergraduate students. Using their own decorations, they created a spot on campus to honor their loved ones and celebrate their Latinx heritage. Now, with more celebrations and ofrendas popping up on campus each year, Sotolongo, who is also the coordinator of the Lampasas Hall ofrenda, said she is happy to continue creating welcoming spaces where the campus community is strengthened. "There's always new people; there's freshmen, there's new faculty and staff, there's transfer students and so there's always a new opportunity to expose somebody to something that they never heard about before," Sotolongo said. "Especially being on a college campus ... there's a nice layer to all the opportunities of learning outside the classroom and interacting with things that you may not be familiar with. And, in turn, that can sometimes help students learn more about themselves or just spark some other kind of curiosity." Last year, the Honors College ofrenda was dedicated to Black and brown lives lost at the hands of police violence. This year, the altar honors Native children who were removed from their families and sent to residential schools and the Indigenous children whose remains were found at a school site in British Columbia,

Canada, earlier this year. By dedicating the altar each year, Sotolongo said she hopes to showcase the human and storytelling element of Día de los Muertos and share the stories of communities that are often overlooked. "I think it's a way of highlighting that we're all tied together in different ways," Sotolongo said. "There are a lot of communities that are not visible or they're, you know, under-recognized. If there's any way that we can contribute to highlighting their challenges and experiences and their needs, I know that we're always looking for ways to do that." Taking a different approach to celebrating the holiday this year is the Office of Institutional Inclusive Excellence-Student Initiatives (IIE-SI) whose faculty and staff created a virtual ofrenda. The office invited students, faculty and staff to submit photos of their loved ones to be displayed in the virtual altar. Sydney Rodriguez, a graduate assistant for IIE-SI, created a video of all the photo and name submissions for the IIE-SI website. She said she hopes the virtual format is something that happens every year so the ofrenda can be shared with anyone in the community. "The whole objective that I personally have ... is honoring those that loved us and honoring those who have made an impact or honoring those who just simply existed but [who] meant the world to us," Rodriguez said. "I want to see that extended to all of Texas State and to the San Marcos community but also turn it into maybe even an opportunity where people can share stories." The goal of Día de los Muertos celebrations on campus is for Hispanic and Latinx students to feel a sense of belonging by seeing a beloved piece of their culture celebrated at school. For Rodriguez, seeing ofrendas on campus and the initiative to create a virtual one shows the importance of making campus a safe space for students of all cultures.


All polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. San Marcos • Brookdale San Marcos North, 1720 Old Ranch Road 12 • Calvary Baptist Church, 1906 N Interstate 35 Frontage Road • Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, 211 Lee St. • Dunbar Center, 801 Martin Luther King Drive • First Baptist Church San Marcos, 325 W McCarty Lane • Hays County Government Center, 712 South Stagecoach Trail • Live Oak Health Partners Community Clinic, 401 Broadway Street #A • PromiseLand Church, 1650 Lime Kiln Road • San Marcos Fire Station #5, 100 Carlson Circle • San Marcos Housing Authority/CM Allen Homes, 820 Sturgeon Drive • San Marcos Public Library, 625 E Hopkins St. • Sinai Pentecostal Church, 208 Laredo St. • South Hays Fire Department Station 12, 8301 Ranch Road 12 • Texas State University, LBJ Student Center, 601 University Drive Kyle and Uhland • Hays County Development Service, 2171 Yarrington Road (Kyle) • Hays County Precinct 2 Office, 5458 FM2770 (Kyle) • HCISD Admin —Arnold Transportation Building, 21003 Interstate 35 Frontage Road (Kyle) • HCISD Transportation, 2385 High Road (Uhland) • Kyle City Hall, 100 W Center St. (Kyle) • Live Oak Academy High School, 4820 Jack C. Hays Traill (Kyle) • Simon Middle School (HCISD Clothes Closet), 3839 B East FM 150 (Kyle) • Tobias Elementary School, 1005 E, FM150 W (Kyle) • Wallace Middle School, 1500 W Center St. (Kyle) SEE ELECTION GUIDE 2021 PAGE 2

2 | Tuesday, November 1, 2021

The University Star


Sarah Hernandez Life & Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu

FROM FRONT DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Trinity Building 203 Pleasant St. San Marcos, TX 78666 (512) 245 - 3487

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Brianna Benitez stareditor@txstate.edu News Editor: Timia Cobb starnews@txstate.edu Life & Arts Editor: Sarah Hernandez starlifeandarts@txstate.edu Opinion Editor: Hannah Thompson staropinion@txstate.edu Design Editor: Viviana Faz stardesign@txstate.edu Multimedia Editor: Natalie Ryan starmultimedia@txstate.edu

"To tell you from a student lens, I feel like when students are in college, whether that be undergrad, doctoral or graduate, the focus has always been on academics, right?" Rodriguez said. "You're trying to be this proactive, dedicated student and worker, but then you're ... not able to take as much time as you normally would to maybe celebrate these traditions and aspects of various cultures. And so, Texas State doing ofrendas ... it's more of just like, we all have our own backgrounds, and we all have people who have influenced us or have loved us. And it's unfortunate they're not here anymore but this is now an opportunity and a space to remember them and share that." Rodriguez said one of the best parts of seeing an ofrenda come together is that, despite not knowing anyone in the photos, each person featured has a story and each one had an impact on someone in some way. One of her goals for future ofrendas is to find a way to incorporate stories and personal anecdotes with the photos since storytelling is a big part of Día

Engagement Editor: Eryka Thompson starengagement@txstate.edu

Día de los Muertos altar celebrates passed loved ones, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in the Student Recreation Center. The display is one of 18 altars on campus this year. PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN


Podcast Editor: Rasika Gasti starpodcast@txstate.edu


Public & Internal Relations


Nadia Gonzales PIR Director starpr@txstate.edu


Día de los Muertos altar celebrates passed loved ones, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in the Student Recreation Center.The altar honors recereation center faculty, staff and students who have passed on. PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN


Full-Time Staff Director: Laura Krantz, laurakrantz@txstate.edu


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 3,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung. Copyright: Copyright Tuesday, November 2, 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

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Día de los Muertos altar deocrated with sugar skulls and food celebrates passed loved ones, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in the Student Recreation Center. PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN

-SYDNEY RODRIGUEZ, GRADUATE ASSISTANT FOR IIE-SI de los Muertos and Latinx culture. Sylvia Gonzales, director for Project Maestros and HSI STEM Impact and vice president of the Hispanic Policy Network, said she is glad to see more celebrations on campus this year. "We're really trying to get participation from several departments on campus to join us in this and not just, you know, be one department or the departments that are affiliated with HSI [Hispanic Serving Institution] programming," Gonzales said. "We want it to be everyone because we're all HSI, not just the HSI department or the IIE offices ... the entire university is considered an HSI and so we invite everybody across campus to join us in this celebration." Gonzales said it is important for all members of the community to join the celebration, especially since the experience of losing a loved one and conversations about death have loomed over everyone throughout the pandemic. "You come to a point where you embrace that and you realize that, 'hey, you know, there is no guarantee for any of us ... life is short ... there's always gonna be those ups and downs in life,'" Gonzales said. "And it being okay that we acknowledge those people that came before us and celebrate the lives of our ancestors. It's important to keep their spirits alive. I think this

Día de los Muertos altar celebrates passed loved ones, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in the Student Recreation Center. PHOTO BY NATALIE RYAN

is important for me to see these altars on campus and to see so many people participating because of that personal connection to it." Gonzales said she hopes students who partake in this year's Día de los Muertos celebrations can feel a sense of belonging and that those who may not celebrate gain a new appreciation for the holiday and culture behind it. "[Ofrendas are] just kind of like a physical representation of [home]. There's the food on there, there's the flowers, there's the picture to kind of remind you these are the people that really give you that sense of family and

connection and community," Gonzales said. "[What we hope to] accomplish is not only bring that awareness and opportunity to do that for those that celebrate this holiday, but also that those that don't know about it, those that don't celebrate it can understand the significance of those ties and connections that we do have to our familia." For more information on Día de los Muertos and to see a map of altars on campus, visit https://hsi.txstate.edu/ddlm. html.

Tuesday, November 1, 2021 |3

The University Star


Sarah Hernandez Life & Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu


Austin Film Festival leaves Texas State film students inspired By Kim Davis Jr. Life and Arts Reporter

With hopes of learning how to refine their skills and start their careers, Texas State filmmakers attended the 28th annual Austin Film Festival from Oct. 21-28. Since 1994, Austin has hosted the annual film festival and largest writers conference in the world. This year, the event featured producers, directors and various film and television writers. It also included a variety of panels, roundtables, competitions and film screenings for filmmakers to grow and connect with one another. Texas State film students and faculty were among some of the filmmakers in attendance. On Oct. 22, "Taking Note: How Our Lives Inspire Us," was an exclusive panel held for Texas State students. The event was hosted by Johnny McAllister, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the head of film production at Texas State. The panel featured professional screenwriter William Screenwriters Lorna Clarke Osunsanmi Broyles Jr., also known as Bill Broyles. (left) and Jameel Saleem (right) answer Broyles is originally from Houston and audience questions during the "Navigating has been screenwriting for decades. His the Writers Room" panel, Sunday, Oct. work includes “Apollo 13,” “The Polar 24, 2021, at The Austin Club. Express” and “Castaway.” PHOTO BY KIM DAVIS JR. Robert Morris, a film production senior and Texas State Film Club president, attended the panel and said professional screenwriters she could he enjoyed the unique experience of relate to. getting to hear about one of his favorite “I got to meet so many writers, films from the screenwriter himself. especially Black writers who look like “Bill Broyles definitely had his own me and think like me,” Ware said. “Just unique story,” Morris said. “Definitely it have that overall sense of connection was a cool insight into one of my favorite with them and just learn how they, as films of all time, which was ‘Castaway’. people of color, have made it in the [I] got to ask a question about my industry.” favorite scene and hear something from The Austin Film Festival provides him that I hadn’t heard anywhere.” many opportunities to network with Broyles and McAllister met in August other artists who travel from all around at a writers' retreat hosted by the Austin the country to attend the event. Ware Film Festival at Ghost Ranch in New said she was able to capitalize on Mexico. After getting to know each the networking opportunities and other at the retreat, McAllister wanted get personal advice from industry Broyles to speak to his students at the professionals. festival. “They talked to me, you know, on a “He talked about inspiration when we personal level,” Ware said. “Like ‘okay, were at Ghost Ranch,” McAllister said. here’s how I’m gonna tell you what you “It was a message about just how events need to do as somebody in this industry in our lives just sort of resonate in ways who’s a person of color and how to we may not be aware of and works its navigate that.’ It felt like just a personal way into our writing. It was a message connection with them; like getting that resonated for me, and it was a kind to connect with these people and just of message that I thought would be learning about the TV shows that I used really valuable for other writers at Texas to watch or that I still watch today.” State and the film program to hear.” The film festival included other Outside of the exclusive Texas State panels for other types of new media and event, students also took advantage storytelling such as animation and short of the festival's panels where writers filmmaking. shared with audience members their On Oct. 24, a panel called “The experiences in the entertainment Animation Process” featured Ashley industry followed by Q&A sessions. Miller, a writer and producer who has Jade Ware, a film production senior written a multitude of films including and Texas State Film Club secretary, “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class.” Most attended panels throughout the festival recently, Miller has been the executive and said she enjoyed learning from producer on Netflix's “Dota: Dragon’s

Screenwriter William Broyles Jr. speaks to Texas State students, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Driskill Hotel in Austin. PHOTO BY KIM DAVIS JR.

Blood.” In the animation panel, Miller detailed the animation process behind “Dota: Dragon’s Blood” and how it differs from live-action productions. Andrew Hodge, a creative writing and communication studies junior, was in the audience during Miller’s panel. After hearing him break down the animation process, Hodge was reminded about his passion for the craft. “He broke down the process from beginning to end and it reminded me of why I love animation so much and why I want to go into that industry,” Hodge said. “I was absolutely blown away by it and I left wanting more than ever to work in that field.” The student badge for the Austin Film Festival cost $225, a deal compared to the $425 conference badge and the $650 producer badge. Yet, not all students can afford the price of the

student badge. In the future, McAllister hopes all Texas State film students can attend the festival for free so they can gain a unique experience and participate in networking opportunities. “It’s such a wonderful resource that I’d certainly want all the film students to get one,” McAllister said. “It’s probably something we need to find through a donor at this point. There’s going to be a lot of costs moving to [Live Oak Hall] but definitely at some point down the road.” To learn more about the Austin Film Festival, visit austinfilmfestival.com.

4 |Tuesday, November 1, 2021

The University Star


Timia Cobb News Editor starnews@txstate.edu

FROM FRONT HOUSE BILL 25 and a state who are affirming and welcoming for every Texan, whether they're cisgender or transgender, or to have a state that is hostile toward people who are fair, and if we have a state that is hostile to people who are [transgender].” Zwiener mentioned how it's important to monitor the mental health of transgender children after the bill goes into effect. Not only because of the bill itself but how it will permit schools to question students' genders and out children who have always identified as a certain gender. “Bills, like HB 25, can have the effect of basically force outing students who are trans and whose classmates have only ever seen them as the gender they identify as," Zwiener said. Transcend, the first transgenderspecific student organization at Texas State, issued a statement to The University Star, proclaiming its opposition against the bill and any previous or future government efforts to suppress the identities of trans and nonbinary persons. The organization also asks for allies to the transgender and nonbinary community to show their distaste for the bill by contacting local representatives, attending local protests or by spreading awareness. The bill states a student may not compete in an interscholastic athletic competition opposite to their biological sex, a female student is allowed to compete in a "male-designated sport" if the school does not provide a female version. The bill deems sex displayed on a birth certificate, or any other government form if a birth certificate is unattainable, as the only acceptable proof. The bill vaguely references changes in a birth certificate, stating the sex is only correct if "entered at or near the time of the student's birth" and the only change to a birth certificate that is valid is if it was to correct a "clerical error in the student's biological sex." According to a 2019 study by JAMA Pediatrics, children who participated in team sports grow up to have better mental health as sports allow them to interact and engage in childhood experiences. Zwiener believes stopping children from having athletic outlets prevents them from developing beneficial life skills and hurts their mental health. “Athletics are part of our educational model because students learn from them,” Zwiener said. “Students are more successful in their academic pursuits


“IT'S BEEN DRESSED UP IN THIS NARRATIVE ABOUT FAIRNESS AND PROTECTING GIRLS, BUT THAT NARRATIVE IS JUST A SHIELD FROM THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH IS THEY'RE TRYING TO MAKE TRANS KIDS FEEL LESS SAFE,” -STATE REP. ERIN ZWIENER when they're also engaged in athletic pursuits. They learn teamwork, they learn persistence, they learn toughness, they learn leadership. I want all of our students to have access to that, including our trans students and we're slamming the door in their face right now.” Local organizations such as San Marcos' PFLAG chapter fought against the bill for months, hoping to stop it from passing. PFLAG is a national organization for LGBTQ members, allies and family members to support the LGBTQ community. "We have, like so many community members, did our best to stop this bill from becoming law,” Michael Casey, founding board member and current secretary for San Marcos' PFLAG

chapter, said. “There are a number of stages at which the bill could have been killed and we were unsuccessful. I can tell you that we worked in concert with a number of other organizations across the state to mobilize people to call and go testify at the statehouse and we were not successful.” A problem Casey foresees is an increase in students who feel othered by the bill and called out on the gender they identify as. “It is effectively telling our transgender students in our public schools across the state, you must compete in the sports that match the gender on your birth certificate, even if that gender is not correct, and I can imagine that's going to cause a lot of mental problems for

a lot of our young students across the state,” Casey said. A huge part of PFLAG is helping parents support their children who have decided to come out as gay, transgender or as any part of the LGBTQ community. The local chapter has been in San Marcos for several years and meets virtually at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Its next meeting will be on Nov. 9. Casey suspects in the next few months, more parents will come to the organization seeking help. The bill goes into effect in January 2022. Zwiener believes the bill will cause harm and is far from a gift of fair treatment to girls due to any girl who is more athletic than another now having the possibility of her sex questioned. “The purpose of this bill is to make trans kids feel othered, that is the sole purpose,” Zwiener said. “It can be dressed up in all sorts of ways, but there’s nothing feminist about excluding [transgender] people.” Those in need of LGBTQ mental health support can call the Trevor Project's 24/7 toll-free support line at 866-488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800-273-8255 or by texting 741741.

Tuesday, November 1, 2021 | 5

The University Star


Timia Cobb News Editor starnews@txstate.edu



Buda • Buda City Hall (Multipurpose Room #1034), 405 East Loop St, Building 100 • Hays Hills Baptist Church, 1401 N Farm to Market 1626 • Southern Hills Church of Christ, 3740 FM 967 • Sunfield Station, 2610 Main St. • McCormick Middle School, 5700 Dacy Lane Wimberley • Cypress Creek Church, 211 Stillwater Road • Scudder Primary School, 400 Green Acres Dr. • VFW Post #6441, 401 Jacobs Well Road • Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12 Austin and Dripping Springs • Belterra Centre, 151 [688] Trinity Hills Drive (Austin) • Dripping Springs United Methodist Church, 28900 Ranch Road 12 (Dripping Springs) • Hays County Precinct 4 Office, 195 Roger Hanks Parkway (Dripping Springs) • North Hays County Fire Rescue Station #2 — Driftwood Battalion, 15850 FM 1826 (Austin)

What's on the ballot:

The following local and state elections will be featured on ballots in San Marcos. For a view of the sample master ballot listing all races in Hays County, visit https:// hayscountytx.com/departments/elections/. City of San Marcos, City Council, Place 5 (General Election) • Mark Gleason (Incumbent) • Zach Sambrano City of San Marcos, City Council, Place 6 (Special Election) • Jude Prather • Mark Rockeymoore City of San Marcos, Proposition A (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 1.03 of the City Charter (Statement of Goals) to replace the current section with a new statement of goals of city government that is organized by the categories of people, place, environment, economy, and public services. City of San Marcos, Proposition B (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 3.01(c) of the City Charter (City Council -Number, Selection, and Term) to establish term limits for council members by providing that a council member elected at the regular election held in November of 2022 or at any regular election held thereafter shall be ineligible to run for any city council position, other than mayor, for two years after serving three consecutive terms of office. City of San Marcos, Proposition C (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 3.01(c) of the City Charter (City Council -Number, Selection and Term) to establish term limits for the position of mayor by providing that a person elected as mayor at the regular election held in November of 2024 or at any regular election held thereafter shall be ineligible to run again for mayor for a period of two years after serving four consecutive terms in that position. City of San Marcos, Proposition D (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 3.09 (Meetings of the City Council) to require all regular city council meeting agendas to include "Citizen Comment Period" and "Question and Answer Session with Press and Public" as agenda items. City of San Marcos, Proposition E (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.01(b) of the City Charter (City Manager -Term and Salary) to allow the removal of city manager by a vote of four members of the entire city council instead of five members, as currently required. City of San Marcos, Proposition F (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.01(c)(2) of the City Charter (City Manager -- Duties of the City Manager) to remove the requirement for city council approval of the city manager's appointment of assistant city managers. City of San Marcos, Proposition G (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.02 of the City Charter (City Clerk) to remove the requirement for city council approval of the city clerk's appointment of assistant city clerks. City of San Marcos, Proposition H (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.02 of the City Charter (City Clerk) to change the residency requirement for the position of city clerk to allow the person appointed to that position to reside in either the city limits, as currently required, or within Hays County or within the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

City of San Marcos, Proposition I (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.03(b) of the City Charter (Municipal Court) to remove the requirement for city council approval of the presiding judge's appointment of a municipal court clerk and assistant clerks. City of San Marcos, Proposition J (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.03(b) of the City Charter (Municipal Court) to remove the residency requirement for appointment of the presiding judge. City of San Marcos, Proposition K (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 4.04 of the City Charter (City Attorney) to remove the requirement for city council approval of the city attorney's appointment of assistant city attorneys.vote for or against) City of San Marcos, Proposition L (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 7.01(a) of the City Charter (Planning and Zoning Commission) to add a provision stating that no action of the planning and zoning commission shall have any force or effect unless it is adopted by a vote of five or more of its members. City of San Marcos, Proposition M (vote for or against) • The amendment of Section 12.12(a)(4) of the City Charter (Charter Review Commission) to require the charter review commission to make a final report of its recommendations and require that the chair or a designated member of the commission present the report to the city council.

Statewide Propositions Proposition One (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women's Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues." Proposition Two (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county." Proposition Three (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations." Proposition Four (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge." Proposition Five (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office." Proposition Six (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation." Proposition Seven (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person's death." Proposition Eight (vote for or against) • "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty."

Voter eligibility In order to vote in Hays County residents must: • be a U.S. citizen; • be a resident of Hays County; • be at least 18 years old by Election Day; • not be a convicted felon; • not be declared mentally incapacitated by final judgment of a court. For more information on the Nov. 2 election visit https://hayscountytx.com/ departments/elections/ or contact the Hays County Government Center at (512) 3937310.

6 |Tuesday, November 1, 2021

The University Star


Hannah Thompson Opinion Editor staropinion@txstate.edu

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.


Texas State film production should provide admission to Austin Film Festival By Payton Russell Opinion Contributor This past weekend, I attended the Austin Film Festival at 600 Congress Ave. At my side, 20 other theater students had passes to attend. Throughout the four-day writer’s conference and eight days of screenings, I met numerous literary agents and managers, spoke with acclaimed screenwriters and heard firsthand accounts of working in the entertainment industry. It was a learning and networking experience unlike any I’ve experienced in my four years at Texas State, and it is a crucial event for film students. As the B.F.A. film production major enters its third-year next fall, the annual Austin Film Festival should be added to the major’s curriculum. One of the toprated festivals in the U.S. is so close to home, and the Department of Theatre and Dance should work to provide travel and ticket funding for B.F.A. film production students. With student tickets at $225 a pop, entrance to the festival is not cheap. Nick Muller, a film production junior, purchased a ticket for this year’s festival and said it was an incredible opportunity. "I think I did more networking at AFF than I have in my entire professional career,” Muller said. As an up-and-coming filmmaker, this networking opportunity was important for Muller, who hopes to graduate in three semesters and begin a filmmaking career. Jazz Neal, a performance and production junior, also shared this amazing networking experience. She had never attended a professional festival, conference or networking event, and the panels gave her renewed career inspiration. "I learned at AFF the fact that you really can start from nothing, and you can make your way through the industry, like, forge your own path,"

Neal said. Neal got a lucky free ticket this year, since Texas State's Film Club offered an application for 20 free student tickets, donated by the Chief Executive Officer of the Austin Film Festival, Barbara Morgan. Had these tickets not been up for raffle, Neal would have been unable to attend. Muller, on the other hand, had enough money set aside this year to pay for a ticket, but he said he'll have to save up for next year's festival. The 20 free tickets currently offered are a great start to getting film students to the festival, however, the program can do more. With 48 students in the film production major and 115 in Film Club, department heads should band together to raise money for more tickets or ask the university for help so that no students miss out on the opportunity. "I know a lot of people that really would have liked to go," Neal said. "I think that given the opportunity, people really would take it." In addition to ticket funding, Texas State could provide transportation to take students to Austin. Weeks before, Muller set up a GroupMe to flesh out carpools, and this student-driven system worked great. However, with the long festival days and alcohol-filled parties, a trained driver who could ensure safe travel back to campus would be a better option. In 2019, Texas saw 3,623 deaths in automobile crashes. Of those, only two were from school buses and 19 from passenger buses, versus 1,749 from passenger cars. Nationwide, on Saturday nights (when the festival holds its biggest party), 2,346 people lost their lives between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. This increase in evening crashes could be due to tired driving, alcohol consumption or impaired vision at night. With a trained bus driver, these accidents could be avoided. Not only would a bus be a safer option, but it might be more cost efficient. A week’s worth of gas on a

Texas State exercise and sports science junior Grace Vitali paints a pumpkin during the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's fall festival, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, on the lawn outside the Education building. PHOTO BY LILIANA PEREZ


normal car ranges around $36, plus $70-210 for the week of parking also rakes in a hefty tab. Although students this year carpooled to split the cost, a typical 56-seater bus could fit the whole program inside and ensure students could stay the entire event. "I really want people to enjoy the whole conference," Johnny McAllister, head of the film production area, said. "There were some folks who were only able to go a day or half a day, but you really should go the full time." According to McAllister, this ticket and transit funding could be possible. "We'd have to raise money for it through some sort of fundraiser," McAllister said. "Or we could probably approach a donor, and they'd have to subsidize additional badges for the student filmmakers." McAllister plans to create a class for graduating seniors to prepare for the industry, where students will create a website, build their portfolio, and,

possibly, he said, attend the Austin Film Festival. He said this festival seems to be in high demand, and he's open to suggestions on how to make it happen. McAllister wants as many student filmmakers as possible to attend and many students who missed it to attend next fall. So, to Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance: take steps to find a donor for funding. Students: start saving money to attend. Wealthy local donors: support up-and-coming filmmakers to learn, network and continue Texas State's legacy at this festival. - Payton Russell is an acting senior The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

Texas State animal science sophomore Hannah Martin (left) and human development and family sciences freshman Brittney Ta (right) paint pumpkins during the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's fall festival, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, at the lawn outside the Education building. PHOTO BY LILIANA PEREZ

Texas State elementary education seniors Kylie Hilton (left) and Logan McMahan (right) play a game of giant Jenga during the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's fall festival, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, on the lawn outside the Education building. PHOTO BY LILIANA PEREZ

Texas State nutrition freshman Emily Curtis hands out pink ribbons to promote breast cancer awareness, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, on the Quad. PHOTO BY JEFFREY HALFEN

Tuesday, November 1, 2021 | 7

The University Star


UFCU and Texas State Athletics partner to giveaway $100,000 in scholarships By Destany Fuller Sports Contributor Texas State Athletics and the University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) have partnered to create a program to fund student scholarships. The program, Score for Scholarships, contributes up to $1,000 to student-eligible scholarship funds. The scholarship initiative is funded by UFCU, which is granting Texas State $100,000 to give away in scholarships. So far, the program has raised $30,000 of its $100,000 goal. Different amounts of money are added to the fund depending on the sport. For each Bobcat touchdown, $1,000 is added and $100 is added for each 3-pointer in men's and women's basketball, ace in volleyball and home run in baseball and softball. Rhonda Summerbell, vice president of relationship management for UFCU, said Score for Scholarships is a good way to build excitement around Texas State sports while also helping out students financially. "The motivation behind the program was to partner with the athletics team and [do] something fun and unique and exciting that students and everybody can rally around," Summerbell said. "Having something that everybody could be excited about [like] supporting the athletic teams, and then also through that also raising funds for scholarships ... whenever the Bobcats score, everybody wins, students win." Summerbell hopes the program creates a closer community by unifying the Texas State community and its athletic teams. "Sports have a way of creating community," Summerbell said. "The program hopes to unite the Texas State campus community around that common goal, in this case [with] touchdowns, aces, home runs and more and really feel Bobcat fans love for all things related to Texas State and grow scholarships. Scholarships are our key to education for a lot of students ... so this was a way of trying something fun scholarships." Eddie Rivas, a senior offensive lineman for the Texas State football team, said it feels good to contribute to the university community after all the football program has done for him and his team. "I think [Score for Scholarships] is cool ... anything

Texas State senior hitter Janell Fitzgerald (16) and setter Emily DeWalt (17) high five after the team scores a point over UTA, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS

we can do to help," Rivas said. "We get so much so it feels good to give back. As a lineman I just block people, so I'm not really scoring touchdowns, but I help the guys that do so I'm gonna do my best to help make sure they do." Students who receive a scholarship are selected by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. There isn't a specific application students need to fill out to qualify for the funds from the program. Instead, all the candidates consist of students who have applied to Texas State's general scholarship. The scholarships will be awarded during fall and spring financial aid disbursements. Tony Alebesun, an electrical engineering junior, is supportive of the program and thinks it is a positive thing for students and athletes while also giving students who need financial aid more opportunities to apply for it. "A lot of the time you have scholarships that are

targeted toward certain people only," Alebesun said. "Because of that, people don't even tend to apply for them. Knowing this one is for everybody and doesn't just pertain to one group makes it greater." Alebesun also said that this program is a good way for athletes to help out their fellow students while also working hard to score and win. "To be able to give back with something that's happening in the community is a good idea," Alebesun said. "Not only are [the athletes] helping out their team, they're also helping others. I think that's gonna make them want to play harder and be more competitive because they know at the end of the day 'if I score this touchdown this is gonna impact somebody.'" For more information on the Score For Scholarships program or to check the current total for the fund visit https://www.ufcu.org/seg/score-for-scholars. Timia Cobb contributed to this story.

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The University Star

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