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November 16, 2021 VOLUME 111 ISSUE 15 www.UniversityStar.com


H.O.M.E Center seeks assistance to aid homeless community

Students overcome obstacles in Texas State's first Korean translated play

Opinion: Texas State Men’s basketball suffers second loss of needs more hybrid the weekend classes






Volleyball enters Sun Belt Tournament on 12-match winning streak By Sumit Nagar Sport Repoter Texas State volleyball grabbed its 12th-straight victory as it defeated the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 3-0 (2624, 25-8, 25-20) on Nov. 12 and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 3-1 (24-26, 25-16, 25-14, 25-20) on Nov. 13. As they enter the Sun Belt Tournament from Nov. 18-21, the Bobcats clinched the first seed in the conference’s west

division. The Warhawks (5-26 overall, 1-15 Sun Belt) came into the contest sporting a 13-match losing streak. One of those losses was a 3-0 (25-11, 25-7, 25-15) defeat to the Bobcats on Oct. 1. Texas State went ahead early in the first set with a 5-1 lead, highlighted by two kills from senior outside hitter Kenedi Rutherford. The Warhawks put up a quick 6-2 run to tie the set 7-7. Both teams continued to trade blows

before the Bobcats went on a 5-1 run later in the set, taking a 16-12 lead. The run was highlighted by another pair of kills from Rutherford and a kill and a block assist from senior middle blocker Tyeranee Scott. Down 19-15 later in the set, the Warhawks launched a 6-1 run to finally take the lead 21-20, forcing a Texas State timeout. Three kills by senior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald put the Bobcats up 23-22.

ULM scored two points forcing set point at 24-23, but Texas State scored three straight to win the first set 26-24. Fitzgerald and Rutherford combined for 12 kills in the set. After a difficult first set, the Bobcats took over the second set to win 258. Where Rutherford and Fitzgerald took over in the first set, the pair were joined by junior outside hitter Caitlan




BFA seniors bid farewell to Texas State with choreographed routines By Marisa Nunez Life and Arts Contributor

Austin Fire Department on the scene of the fire on Oct. 31, 2021, at Congregation Beth Israel. Investigators say the fire was allegedly set by Franklin Barrett Sechriest, an 18-year-old criminal justice freshman at Texas State. PHOTO COURTESY OF AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT

Texas State student faces federal charges after allegedly setting fire to Austin synagogue By Staff Trigger warning: This article features discussion of anti-Semitic acts. A Texas State student was federally charged with arson after allegedly setting an intentional fire at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Austin, according to U.S. District Court records. Austin Fire Department Arson investigators deemed the fire was intentionally set around 9 p.m. on Oct. 31. Franklin Barrett Sechriest, the 18-year-old charged with the crime, is a criminal justice freshman at Texas State. The FBI was authorized to search and seizure Sechriest's San Marcos residence and vehicle on Nov. 10. The report states investigators found a credit card with the same account number as a card used at a sporting goods store in Buda, Texas to purchase a five-gallon VP Racing Fuel utility jug. After searching the vehicle, investigators say they recovered three glass bottles, three bottles of lighter fluid, a lighter and an orange stormproof match case with matches. Investigators also found

three anti-Semitic stickers in the vehicle. Sechriest's journal was also found with a statement “I set a synagogue on fire” under an entry dated Oct. 31, 2021. Investigators identified burn patterns consistent with the use of a liquid accelerant. Surveillance footage overlooking the synagogue's administration office reveals Sechriest wearing a face covering and carrying a container similar to a five-gallon VP Racing Fuel utility jug and a roll of toilet paper, according to court records. That same Halloween weekend, residents throughout Hays County reported receiving anti-Semitic letters in plastic bags with pebbles. Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra issued a series of tweets condemning the letters and said the behavior was not acceptable. In a statement to The University Star, Texas State said it will continue to assist the FBI and Austin Fire Department in the ongoing investigation involving Sechriest. "Our university decries this hateful act of bigotry and violence and all the anti-Semitic events perpetrated recently in Austin, San Antonio, and San Marcos. The

Texas State University community stands in solidarity with our Jewish students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who have been impacted," Texas State said in its statement. Investigators say the fire caused $25,000 worth of damages to the synagogue. The fire destroyed the synagogue's historic doors and caused damage to the building's exterior along with its stained-glass windows. No one was injured from the fire. In a public statement, Congregation Beth Israel Senior Rabbi Steve Folberg said the synagogue is grateful to the Austin Fire Department, Austin Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for investigating the incident. “It gives us some sense of relief to learn of this arrest, but we are staying vigilant. Across Central Texas and beyond, we are seeing a spike in attacks against Jews," Folberg said. "We denounce all acts of bigotry and violence, especially those motivated by blind hatred of any of the proud and distinctive communities that enrich our civic life. We will remain


As their final year at Texas State comes to a close, senior dance, performance and choreography students choreographed their own piece one last time for the annual BFA performance and choreography showcase. The showcase, "The State of Human Affairs," ran from Nov. 11-14 at Evans Auditorium. Seniors in the Division of Dance were assigned to create their own topic-based piece and exhibit a sense of their own individuality for the showcase. With freedom of artistic ability, each choreographer chose a different but important topic to base their performance on that showcased all the students have learned throughout their time at Texas State. The topics selected by each choreographer were strung into the core of their dances to paint a bigger picture for the audience and show the severity of the chosen subject. Jessica Campbell, a dance performance and choreography senior, tied in her Jewish heritage to formulate a piece based on the Holocaust that relates to society today. "The purpose of my piece at the end of the day is to bring awareness. Awareness to trauma, awareness to grief and loss and inevitably trauma and events that happened in the past," Campbell said. "My piece is kind of bringing acknowledgment to a historical event that is still present today. And [it] kind of shows patterns, whether it's with racism, whether it's being outcast [or] isolated because you're a minority." Campbell did extensive research on the Holocaust to provide the most accurate information in the routine. She not only wanted to show the past and its cruelty but display how the topic is still a serious issue. Every performance in the showcase has a piece of the choreographer's identity embedded into the topic. Ilse Mascorro, a dance performance and choreography senior, wanted to do her piece on an issue she related to. Her piece focused on femicides in Mexico. "What I want to convey to the audience essentially is awareness to femicides in Mexico and the want to learn [and] the want to know if femicides also happen in [the audience members'] hometown, even if it is not in Mexico, even if it is in the U.S.," Mascorro said. Mascorro utilized Folklorico in her piece, a traditional, strict and precise Mexican style of dance. In her piece, however, she purposely choreographed her dancers to break the rules of the style as a symbol of disrespect. She did this as a rebellion against the stereotype in Mexico that women are lesser than men. The showcase also featured recorded performances. Samantha Gross, a dance performance and choreography senior, decided on a multimedia performance rather than a live performance to challenge herself. Her process was much different from the choreographers that decided on a live performance. “This is my BFA. I want to challenge myself. I can make a stage piece in my sleep, so I decided to make a video dance,” Gross said. “It’s been very interesting doing this new process learning how to make a screen dance successfully with so many moving parts. Like, I had to order lighting, and make sure that I had the right software for me to edit and picking locations and gathering my dancers to go film and scouting locations for


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The University Star


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

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief: Brianna Benitez stareditor@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 Engagement Editor: Eryka Thompson starengagement@txstate.edu

Public & Internal Relations Nadia Gonzales PIR Director starpr@txstate.edu

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 16, 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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strong and vigilant in the ongoing work of justice, safety and peace for ourselves and all our neighbors." The Congregation Beth Israel is accepting donations to assist with the damages. For more information visit, https://www. bethisrael.org/fireinfo. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health resources visit, https:// thebluedovefoundation.org/ jewishresources/. The University Star will provide updates as they become available.

A still frame from surveillance footage from Oct. 31, 2021, shows Franklin Barrett Sechriest's vehicle in the synagogue’s parking lot. Sechriest is a criminal justice freshman who has been accused of setting fire to the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Austin. PHOTO COURTESY OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

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H.O.M.E Center seeks assistance to aid homeless community By Arthur Fairchild News Repoter For Jay Adams, a home has been several things. It's been a dorm room when he was a student at Southwest Texas State, a comfortable apartment when he worked as an English teacher and, more recently, the inside of a small tent in the middle of the woods. Adams, a 67-year-old San Marcos resident, became homeless after being unable to work due to a series of health issues that accumulated in major heart surgery. He has been homeless for three years and is one of over 100 people in San Marcos without housing. Adams currently lives in a form of temporary housing in a local motel set up for him by the H.O.M.E Center, an organization that works to aid people experiencing homelessness within Inside the gymnasium of the Southside Community Center, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, Central Texas. in San Marcos. According to H.O.M.E. Center President Hannah Durrance, Southside He discovered the H.O.M.E. Center and other local shelters are overcapacity. after encountering the organization's PHOTO BY SARAH KRAJENTA president Hannah Durrance at a food donation. “I was staying in the woods for about homeless residents being turned away. tends to not directly assist the homeless a year with my tent, and [Durrance] Motels are not the only areas outside of providing a one-night resting would come by on a Sunday and bring where vacancy is scarce. According location. food to all the homeless people out to Durrance, Southside Community H.O.M.E Center is funded by there. She’s a really kind human being Center, a San Marcos-based shelter, county-issued emergency grants as well I don’t know what people would do along with various shelters throughout as private donations. Funds issued to without her,” Adams said. "I'm happy the county, has had a long history of the H.O.M.E Center don't just provide now. For a long time, I wasn't. I fought overcapacity. temporary homes to the homeless but it and I'm really happy I made it back." “Southside has had overcapacity also provide case management to assist Adams is one of many people who for years because the Southside in finding employment and educating need the H.O.M.E Center to survive. Community Center only has six rooms. the homeless on city resources. Without adequate funding, it is It's an overnight shelter,” Durrance Michelle Constantinou has been unlikely the organization will be able said. “[Southside] doesn’t do case homeless for over two years, following to fully assist people. Due to a lack of management. So, they don't really not being able to pay the bills of a costly space, "no vacancy" signs often light up connect people with resources. They car collision several years ago. She has inside the motels the H.O.M.E. Center just tell them 'well, you can try to go been living out of her damaged car with works with. Despite the organization's here you can kind of go there.'" her son and reached out to the H.O.M.E passion to assist those in need, lackluster While Southside is a valuable resource Center after several engine failures made funding and aid results in many for the few that are admitted nightly, it living in her car impossible.

Constantinou and her son now live in a form of temporary housing arranged by the H.O.M.E Center. She is working low-paying daily jobs to provide herself and her son with food. The 56-yearold mother hopes she can get more aid before the holidays. “I miss the simple things. Maybe it sounds silly, but I just want my own place where I can put up a Christmas tree or cook and because of one car crash a few years ago I can’t,” Constantinou said. Constantinou is not alone in the call for aid during the holidays. Durrance, who experienced homelessness while attending Texas State, recalls a Christmas morning when she couldn’t provide breakfast for her children. “I remember it was Christmas and my son was eight, seven months old, I think at that point. I woke up that morning, early, it was like five in the morning. I laid there for the longest time thinking this is the first morning in a very long time I'm not going to be able to cook Christmas breakfast for my kids,” Durrance said. To continue to assist the local community, the nonprofit has applied for another grant from the county. However, the H.O.M.E Center is calling for more financial assistance, fearing that once funds run out, those in temporary housing will be homeless again. “H.O.M.E Center has been doing this case management work and trying to help individuals, but without the funds needed to do it,” Durrance said. "As far as funding homelessness outreach, there's not a lot of that here in the first place.” For more information about the HOME Center and homelessness outreach, visit https://www.homecentertx.org.

4 | Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Sarah Hernandez Life & Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu

The University Star

LIFE & ARTS Alumna inspires gender equity through children's book


By Brynn Sumers Life and Arts Contributor

Chores are often seen as something for children to complain about. Ashley Kegley-Whitehead wants to help change that narrative with her new children's book, "The Checklist: CharacterBuilding Chores for a Fun, Productive Day." Kegley-Whitehead, a Texas State alumna and founder of BigHer Impact, started to have a conversation about chores with her children during the pandemic. She noticed her children started to roll their eyes at the idea of doing chores and wondered how they knew to react negatively toward that word. Her goal now is to change the stigma around lending a helping hand at home. "I really need a book about chores that helps to start building up the conversation about work ethic because we have so many books that are about dream big and shoot for the stars which I absolutely want for them," KegleyWhitehead said. "I wanted something that fulfilled the other half of the equation of the idea of big dreams and hard work are equally important." Kegley-Whitehead's book is designed to teach children how to think and manage responsibilities on their own. The main goal of "The Checklist" is to promote gender equity and empowerment. She wants to create an idea of kindness and capability for young children of all genders so that everyone can work toward becoming responsible community members. "The book really introduces the idea of responsibility and being helpful," Kegley-Whitehead said. "Right now, I am in prototype stage, working with three different manufacturers, on what I would like to call a responsibility advocate. So, it's really an elevated chore chart." With the concepts of responsibility and service colorfully displayed for readers in the book, the elevated chore chart focuses on implementation. Conversation cards have been designed to go along with the chart and to help parents start discussions centered around creativity, diversity and inclusion. The book was illustrated by Monique Aimee, a Boston-based illustrator and hand letterer who believes that "The Checklist" has an empowering mentality that can motivate children to do chores. This was Aimee's first time illustrating an entire book. Her past illustrations and projects have focused on empowerment and self-care, two themes reflected in "The Checklist." "I definitely wanted the illustrations to be very positive and happy because it is a children's book," Aimee said. "[I wanted it to be] very colorful and just generally optimistic. I mean, I do that in a lot of my illustrations. I especially wanted it to come through with this one and just be cohesive throughout." The book is part of a bigger series known as LittleLift which KegleyWhitehead hopes can inspire gender

readers on an adventure of working through daily tasks that builds mindsets like teamwork and patience. The book is meant to inspire young children to be healthier, happier people through the act of doing chores. "For me, it's teaching children how to think, not what to do," KegleyWhitehead said. "And that, honestly, is the crux of how I believe BigHer Impact is reimagining responsibility." BigHer Impact is a company that believes nurturing a growth mindset in children early on can have a longlasting impact. Its mission is to inspire young children to do household chores as it will help benefit them academically, emotionally and professionally. BigHer Impact is a conduit to character building because it is working to teach children how to become responsible and An interior page of "The Checklist," a children's book by Texas State alumna Ashley self-sufficient. Kegley-Whitehead. The book aims to teach children about work ethic through the act of Kegley-Whitehead partnered chores. with Girls Empowerment Network PHOTO COURTESY OF ASHLEY KEGLEY-WHITEHEAD and Ripple Reads, two nonprofit organizations based in Austin, to inspire parents to have meaningful conversations with their children. Girls Empowerment Network focuses on teaching young girls about their own ability and success while Ripple Reads' goal is to educate children about race. "I've partnered with two nonprofits here in town to hopefully pair with them their curriculum specialists, lift up their voices so that together we're all collaborating to put out some of these prompts into the world," KegleyWhitehead said. "[This is all] so that parents can sit down and really have some meaningful conversations with their kids." Sean Whitehead, alumnus and Kegley-Whitehead's husband, helps her with the book's website and online sales of the product. Whitehead believes his wife's passion for this project is unlike anything he's ever seen before. He commends her ability to emotionally invest in this project because its purpose is to keep families engaged. "Getting families the opportunity to engage on a topic that everyone's into and can initiate meaningful conversations [can] ultimately lead to that big lofty goal," Whitehead said. "I'm a really big believer in incremental baby steps to seeing something bigger. I think the opportunity to actually see that in real time play out whenever we start to get things moving, I think that's the big goal." Kegley-Whitehead plans to create more collections connected to this project that will help tie back to a healthy and responsible child. "For me, it's not really about chores. Chores are the conduit to what really matters," Kegley-Whitehead said. "And to me, that's character building." Texas State alumna Ashley Kegley-Whitehead smiles for a photo Thursday, Aug. 5, For more information about BigHer 2021. Kegley-Whitehead is the author of "The Checklist," a children's book focused on responsibility and work ethic. Impact and "The Checklist" visit, https:// www.bigherimpact.com/, and @littlelift. PHOTO COURTESY OF ASHLEY KEGLEY-WHITEHEAD bigimpact on Instagram. equity and empowerment. The series The main idea of the LittleLift series is designed to create healthy habits is to motivate young children and teach for children in three steps: introduce, them skills that will help them further implement and engage. down the road. "The Checklist" takes

Notice of Application for a Sand and Gravel Permit The City of San Marcos, Engineering and Capital Improvements Department has applied to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for an Individual Permit pursuant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Code chapter 86 to remove or disturb 200 cubic yards of sedimentary material within the Blanco River in Hays County. The purpose is to construct berms, flood walls, bank stabilization, and a relief channel to provide flood protection for homes, businesses, and city facilities along River Road and in Blanco Gardens. The location is approximately 175 feet downstream of the Old Martindale Road crossing and approximately 3.7 miles upstream of the Old Bastrop Road crossing. Notice is being published and mailed pursuant to Title 31 Texas Administrative Code section 69.105(b). Within 30 days of the receipt of an administratively complete application, TPWD will publish notice of a public comment hearing regarding the application in the Texas Register at least 20 days prior to the date of the public comment hearing. The hearing is not a contested case hearing under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act. Oral and written public comment will be accepted at the hearing. Written comments may also be submitted directly to TPWD and must be received no later than 30 days after the date of newspaper publication of this notice or the Texas Register notice publication, whichever is later. Submit written comments, questions, or requests to review the application to: Tom Heger, TPWD, by mail: 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744; fax 512-389-4405; or e-mail tom.heger@tpwd.texas.gov.

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The University Star


Sarah Hernandez Life & Arts Editor starlifeandarts@txstate.edu


Students overcome obstacles in Texas State's first Korean-translated play By Ava Domenichelli Life and Arts Contributor

A blood-stained stairway, boardedup windows and yellow dust filled the Theatre Center Mainstage as actors crawled out from underneath to start the production of "Yellow Inn." Credited as the first Korean-translated production at Texas State, "Yellow Inn," was directed by professor Yong-Suk Yoo. The play ran from Oct. 26-31 and demonstrated themes of generational differences such as rich versus poor and the delicate balance of life through dark comedic language. In "Yellow Inn," Yoo blended Asian theater with a western touch to diversify American culture. In the three-act play, three sisters own and manage a dangerous and deathly hotel, the Yellow Inn, where guests spend the last night of their lives. "I want to describe myself a transdisciplinary director, but my main goal has been stage directing. I hope to integrate Korean performance with western," Yoo said. "Introducing a Korean or Asian cast to an American audience with something like 'Yellow Inn.'" Yoo's artistic career spans worldwide; he's created theater companies from Korea to California. His vision as an artist is to create something completely unique and impactful to what the world calls "theater." Yoo’s past productions at Texas State include "The Other Shore" and "Oedipus." "The Other Shore" was canceled just weeks before its opening performance at the end of March 2020. "Oedipus," scheduled for February 2021, was filmed without an audience and its rehearsal time was cut short due to the unprecedented Winter Storm Uri. “Nature really kind of wanted to block my way, but nature did fail,” Yoo said. With this determination and stride, he managed to conduct the cast of "Yellow Inn" in front of a live audience, bringing faculty, students and families together to appreciate the art of live

production feeling incredibly ill and immobile, an incident she described as a "bad dream." “I was totally gonna yack on stage if I [continued],” Baker said. It was these circumstances that marked the beginning of Esther Oh’s career at Texas State as she was the understudy for the role. “During the end of the first act, I felt a tap near my back, and it was dark so I couldn’t see anyone so I thought it was just a cast member but then I realized it was the assistant stage manager,” Oh, an acting freshman, said. “At that moment, my heart started pounding.” She took on the performance without hesitation. Oh was not so much nervous about how she would do in her performance, but she mainly feared for Baker's condition and safety. She muscled up the courage and brought a determination to the role with little to no warning, as her castmates uplifted her with Baker as her biggest cheerleader. “Esther rushed out like a spring,” Yoo said. “Esther is a freshman and could get scared and start freaking out to get into the show without even getting noticed. But wow, I was beyond impressed. It was the most terrifying and most beautiful moment in my artistic career. She really pulled through and I'm proud of her." With this support behind her, Oh said she is glad she could have the experience and be there for her peers. "I just remember it being so much fun," Oh said. "This is the first play I've ever been in, and I was like, 'I did it, but Left to right: acting juniors Parker Dial, Ava Baker and Wallis Brown. I did it because it was my job.' I was PHOTO COURTESY OF LAUREN JURGEMEYER the understudy. I just did my job.'" Despite the roadblocks and unforeseeable incidents, the environment that Yoo created was theater. myself a lot more now, and I trust my one where teamwork could successfully For Ava Baker, an acting junior, fellow performers and actors, with a thrive. Yoo said he has a deep "Yellow Inn" marked her first sense of self-trust and knowing it's okay appreciation for the cast and crew of performance since high school, which to ask for help." "Yellow Inn" for their teamwork and was over three years ago. She played The show ran smoothly up until strong support of one another. the unnamed character Third Sister and the final performance, the matinee “If you are a good team, you can learned a lot from being a cast member show on Halloween. Moments before get through anything,” Yoo said. “You in the play. intermission ended, Baker found cannot make it through alone, but you "It was amazing," Baker said. "I trust herself backstage in the middle of the can get through it together."


Kali Reyna, Kaylee Woest and Arielle Mathis practice at dress rehearsal for the "State of Human Affairs" showcase, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at Evans Auditorium. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIC ACUNA

me to go film at.” Gross' piece is based on an experience she recently encountered. The dance consists of four parts, telling a story of a dream sequence that depicts the importance of connecting with others, living authentically and ignoring the societal standards that people grow up with every day. She touches on how people live off of ideas that are given to them instead of making connections with others. The three seniors have choreographed routines throughout all their years at Texas State, some even prior to attending. They all agree creating pieces for the showcase differed vastly from previous choreographed routines, whether it was from the pressure they felt from deadlines or the fear of not displaying their message in a meaningful way. Choreographers underwent a multitude of tasks, from research to choreography, so their inner creations could become vivid realities. Each piece was solely their own — from the theme, music choice and choreography down to the dancers, lights and costumes. Each choreographer had several obstacles they had to overcome in order for them to create their final product. Some obstacles were choreography-based such as having to come up with new choreography when a vision didn't play out correctly.

Others were based on mechanics such as trying to find a dance location or the perfect costume to go along with their piece. Campbell said she overcame the obstacles by trying new things and remaining open-minded. "There was a time when I had this idea, and it was horrible. I hated it, and I was like in a rage of 'what the hell am I going to do?' because my one idea didn't work," Campbell said. "If one of my ideas doesn't work I can't see anything else. And [my dancers] were like 'just let us try, we are gonna try something,' ... their idea allowed me to see something different ... now that part of the piece is probably one of my favorites." Despite the obstacles, the choreographers were able to emerge from the experience with a sense of pride for their accomplishments and a feeling of excitement to end their time at Texas State. "This is it. This is my last [piece]," Campbell said. "I think for seniors, being a senior, this is our big last moment, and there was a lot of pressure to be the best. I'm definitely happy and proud. I never thought I would do anything like this. I'm excited, sad, scared, nervous, anxious, gonna throw up, could be like crying, so excited. It's like all this work and now it's like 'here it is,' and now I get to share it."

6 |Tuesday, November 16, 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 needs more hybrid classes By Dillon Strine Opinion Contributor To reach my classes four days out of the week as a commuter student, I first have to find a parking spot at Speck. After an additional commute on the bus and a walk to my class, I listen and take notes on a lecture that may have all easily been taken in from home. Once class is dismissed, I end up wondering if being physically present on campus was completely necessary. While there are times when I needed to be present in class to ask a specific question, participate in an activity or take an exam, the times when a physical presence isn't needed is time wasted. In order for students to have a more productive lifestyle, Texas State should implement more hybrid-based courses. Hybrid classes are a blend of inperson learning and online learning. They are beneficial, because there is still that personability of being taught face to face. That sense of personability is due to the fact that we are still seeing that professor and fellow students at least once a week in person. Not having to travel an extra day out of the week can also save time and avoid the risk of an accident on the road. My commute from New Braunfels to San Marcos takes about 20 minutes. However, there is construction along Interstate-35, the roadway I spend the most miles on to get to San Marcos, that will last until 2023. This adds the constant threat of delays to get to class, along with the consistent possibility of an accident. In a two-week stretch alone between Aug. 17- 31, there were five accidents on I-35, with one of the accidents resulting in a fatality.

Hybrid classes also present the opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with current technology and software. Studies show one in four Americans are working remotely in 2021. Similar statistics estimate that 22% of the U.S. workforce will work remotely by 2025. Even though students may not see a future career being fully remote, 62% of employees ages 22 to 65 work remotely at least occasionally. Additionally, the pandemic familiarized students with Zoom, which even though some have mixed feelings about, is functional. "I think Zoom is a fantastic tool when you need it, but ideally, I prefer being in in-person classes because it's just a lot easier," Cheyanne Clagett, an English, history and Spanish senior, said. Although I also prefer being in person, it is not always easy to be present every class due to busy schedules or any other unforeseen circumstance on a commute. Hybrid classes can be a great tool for students to learn at their own pace in the event they happen to miss a class. It is usually with about a month of the semester left to go that I feel burnt out. With the ability to go over a lecture that may be recorded or with the materials all being online for me, this helps in learning at my own pace and to not feel overwhelmed. Hybrid classes also present the familiarity of in-person classes, with the convenience of online as well. I do not always thrive in classes that are fully online for a variety of reasons. But one of them may be that I cannot put a face to it and may forget to check an online calendar as often as I would if I were reminded in person once a week. I struggled in my first few online


classes, because it is easier to fall behind in an online class and it was just completely new to me. I had never learned like that immediately out of high school. Hybrid classes can be great for transitioning new college students to eventually take a class that is fully online. I have grown fonder of taking hybrid classes recently and look for hybrid classes to enroll in, but there seems to not be enough. From my experience, online and hybrid classes tend to be the ones that fill up the fastest. The high demand for hybrid classes indicates more and more students are seeking the flexibility that comes with them.

Therefore, they should be accessible for more students to enroll in. The University Star reached out to The Office of Distance and Extended Learning to comment on how many of the university's classes are hybrid and how is it decided for a class to be hybrid but we did not receive a response. - Dillon Strine is a journalism junior. 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 freshman cheerleaders Garrett Simmons and Hadley Brooks practice a lift while Gabrielle Geer observes, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, at Sewell Park. PHOTO BY LILIANA PEREZ

Texas State's Bobcat Update team shoots a show for broadcast, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, at Alkek Library's broadcast studio. PHOTO BY JEFFREY HALFEN

San Marcos poet Derrick gives away free original poems composed on the spot using his typewriter while smoking a cigarette, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at the Farmers Market. PHOTO BY STEVEN PHIPPS

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The University Star


Texas State freshman guard Dylan Dawson (0) looks for an open Bobcat to pass the ball to, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 52-43.

Texas State senior forward Isiah Small (1) goes up for the tip-off against St. Mary's University, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, at Strahan Arena. Bobcats won 52-43.

Men’s basketball suffers second loss of the weekend PHOTO BY VANESSA BUENTELLO

By Xavier Zamarron Sports Contributor

The Bobcats put up a tough fight Sunday night in Nashville but were once again unable to pull through, losing to the Vanderbilt University Commodores 79-60. Texas State started the first half strong with a pair of triples from senior guards Mason Harrell and Caleb Asberry. Harrell added a mid-range jump shot to give Texas State a 10-2 lead to open the game. Vanderbilt’s junior guard Jordan Wright responded by scoring five straight points. He then stole the ball and pushed it up to junior guard Scottie Pippen Jr., who drew the shooting foul and connected on both free throws closing the gap to 10-9. Later, sophomore forward Myles Stute drained back-to-back three-point jumpers, giving Vanderbilt a 15-12 lead. Junior guard Drue Drinnon fired back for Texas State with six straight points of his own, including an and-one layup, bringing the score to 18-15. Stute’s three-pointer at 13:37 in the first half would be the last field goal Vanderbilt would make for the next nine

minutes. However, the team was able to keep pace with the Bobcats due to their ability to get to the line. Vanderbilt finished the first half with nine made free throws to Texas State’s one. Vanderbilt sophomore forward Terren Frank hit on a corner three with 4:31 left in the first to tie the game at 23 apiece. Harrell and senior forward Isiah Small added a couple of mid-range buckets, but Wright responded with a wild before the buzzer three-pointer that gave Vanderbilt a 32-27 halftime lead. Vanderbilt’s aggressive defense had Texas State's offense struggling in the half-court, but the Bobcats were able to make up for that in the first half by winning the battle on the boards. They collected 19 first-half rebounds to Vanderbilt’s 15. Four of those were offensive rebounds that resulted in second-chance points. However, Vanderbilt came out of halftime hot, going on an 11-0 run that was powered by points off turnovers. The run was halted by a pair of made free throws from junior forward Tyrel Morgan, making the score 43-29. Harrell would go on to knock down two freebies, dish out a dime on a feed


to sophomore forward Nate Martin inside, and tossed another to Morgan for an open three. Vanderbilt traded back a few of its own buckets, including a jumper from Pippen Jr. that brought its lead up 50-36. The Bobcats had no quit in them as they began to pick up the intensity on defense and pressured the ball in a similar manner to what Vanderbilt had been doing to them all game. The Bobcats were also finally able to find their way to the line when they went on a 13-3 run with seven made free throws and two nice makes from three-point land courtesy of Asberry and Harrell. The run brought the game to the closest it ever was in the second half at 53-49. That’s about when Vanderbilt started to put its foot on the gas. Pippen Jr. took over with a 5-0 run of his own and an assist on a three-pointer a few possessions later. That three from sophomore guard Trey Thomas gave the Commodores a double-digit lead once more at 61-51. Harrell and Morgan made a couple more mid-range jumpers to bring it back to 63-55, but Vanderbilt retorted with three straight triples, essentially sealing the game at 72-55 with 2:36 left

in the second half. The Bobcats weren’t able to keep their advantage on the boards, finishing the game with 35 rebounds to Vanderbilt’s 33. They also lost the turnover battle with 14 to the Commodores' eight. An inability to consistently penetrate the defense and get good looks at the basket really hurt the ‘Cats as they shot a wretched 34% from the field. Harrell led the ‘Cats in scoring with 16 points, Asberry finished second with 11 points but only made 33% of his shots. Martin led the team with nine rebounds, and also added in six points of his own. Pippen Jr. was the game’s top scorer with 30 points including four made threes. Wright and Stute were the Commodores' other two double-digit scorers adding 16 and 12 respectively. Next up, the Bobcats head to California to compete in the CSUN Good Sam Empire Classic. They’ll open up the first round against the Dixie State Trailblazers at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Matadome. The Bobcats will face either CSUN or Eastern Washington at 2 p.m. or 10 p.m. (CT).

FROM FRONT VOLLEYBALL Buettner in the second as all three combined for 13 kills. The Warhawks came back to form in the third set as they kept up with Texas State early in the game down 5-4. The Bobcats began to separate themselves with a 5-1 run to go up 105. They later launched an 8-2 run to extend their lead 18-9. The Bobcats stayed ahead with a set point at 24-17, but ULM scored three straight points to bring the score to 24-20. Fitzgerald’s final kill ended the set 25-20 and gave the Bobcats a 3-0 victory. Texas State dominated ULM particularly offensively as it had a .416 hitting percentage compared to the Warhawks’ .202 hitting percentage. Although neither team committed many total errors, ULM’s 25 versus Texas State’s 11 was a stark enough difference. Fitzgerald led the way with team-highs in kills (16), hitting percentage (.533) and digs (10). Rutherford followed up with 11 kills (.526). "You have to give a lot of credit to ULM as that team played a really clean game and pushed us to work really hard off the ball,” Head Coach Sean Huiet said. “We were kind of sluggish to start, but I thought [Rutherford] and [Fitzgerald]'s offense gave us the spark we needed tonight.” Senior setter Emily DeWalt tied for the match-high in assists (26) followed by sophomore setter Ryann Torres (12). DeWalt also led the match with three total blocks. The second contest of the weekend was a rematch against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The previous match was one the Bobcats lost 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23). It was Texas State’s last loss before the team went on its current win streak. Louisiana went ahead early 4-1 but the Bobcats answered back with a 6-1 run, capped off with kills from Rutherford

points of the set to win the game 25-16 and tie the match 1-1. The Bobcats continued forward with a 14-3 run to start the third set, where Louisiana committed seven errors. Later in the set, Texas State went on a 4-0 run, where Fitzgerald had three kills, to go up 20-7. The Ragin’ Cajuns went on a 7-3 run late in the set, but the Bobcats scored the final two points to win the set 25-14 and go up 2-1 in the match. In the fourth set, the Bobcats took another early lead 9-3. Soon after, Louisiana cut into the deficit winning five straight points, bringing the score to 13-11. Three straight kills by Fitzgerald and Texas State senior outside hitter Janell Fitzgerald (16), senior middle blocker Tyeranee junior middle blocker Tessa Marshall Scott (3) and junior outside hitter Caitlan Buettner (10) jump to block the ULM extended the Maroon and Gold lead hitter, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 3-0. 16-11. PHOTO BY KATE CONNORS Late in the set, down 23-18, Louisiana scored four of the next five points to Texas State bring the score within two, 24-22, but graduate a kill by Rutherford won the set 25-22 student outside and the match 3-1. hitter Jada Fitzgerald led again with a matchGardner (4) high 17 kills (.233), followed by spikes against Coastal Rutherford with 12 kills (.308) Carolina and Gardner with nine kills (.280). University, Marshall and Scott had eight kills Friday, Oct. apiece. 22, 2021, at DeWalt led with 48 assists along Strahan Arena. with 13 digs. Senior libero Kayla The Bobcats Granado had a match-high 18 digs won 3-0 followed by Fitzgerald (14). PHOTO BY The Bobcats will receive a firstLAUREN round bye in the tournament. They will face the winner between the Troy LIGUEZ Trojans and the Little Rock Trojans in and Fitzgerald to take the lead 7-5. second set sparked by a the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. The set continued to go back and 4-0 run, which included a pair of kills 19 at the Foley Event Center in Foley, forth to the point where Texas State was from Rutherford. The Bobcats increased Alabama. All 11 matches of the Sun ahead 20-18. A 5-2 run by the Ragin’ the distance as they went up 11-6. A 5-3 Belt Tournament will air on ESPN+ Cajuns allowed them to take a 23-22 run, capped off by a kill from graduate from Nov. 18-21. lead. Although Texas State brought the outside hitter Jada Gardner, extended score to 24-24, two straight kills won Texas State’s lead 15-9. the set for Louisiana 26-24. Both teams continued to trade blows Texas State bounced back in the but Texas State won 10 of the final 17

8 |Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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