This fall many students will be going to the polls for the first time to vote for a presidential candidate. But to participate, they have to be registered. College Republicans and Democrats are spreading the word on campus about early voting, and they're handing out registration cards.
Staying informed and getting involved are part of the process.
Election day is November sixth, but students can vote early from October 22nd through November second. One of the polling places in San Marcos is the L-B-J Student Center. For Bobcat Update, I'm Christina Ochoa.
STAND-UP (Buechler- As of fall 2011, Texas State is a Tobacco-Free Campus.)
The tobacco restriction includes Sewell Park, the golf course, Bobcat Stadium and all university athletic fields. The University Police say they're attempting to enforce the ban, but their capability is limited.
SOUNDBITE (Daniel Benitez, University Police Captain)
SOUNDBITE (Robert Brewer, Texas State Student)
Some students want to see greater enforcement, and they've called police to complain.
SOUNDSBITE (Daniel Benitez, University Police Captain)
SOUNDBITE (Robert Brewer, Texas State Student)
The Student Health Center provides a free smoking cessation program. Medications are also offered at a reduced price to assist students who want to quit smoking.
SOUNDITE (Karen Gordon-Sorsby, Student Health Associate Director)
STAND-UP (Buechler- Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke are associated with significant health risks. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kristen Buechler.)
Old Main has been a fixture in San Marcos for more than a century. Thousands of students and faculty have passed through its halls since the building opened.
It's difficult to see the effects of time on the century-old building from afar, but students, staff and faculty who occupy the building for classes and office space are aware of its defects. Cracks in the walls and floors can be seen on all three floors of Old Main. Water damage can be seen on the third floor of the building. As is common with older structures, temperature control is a challenge.
Old Main is on the National Register Of Historic Places, which means that any changes to the structure must be carefully planned to preserve the building's integrity as a landmark.
For all its cosmetic flaws, Old Main still stands tall over the rising star of Texas. For Bobcat Update, I'm Chris Green.
The PACE center is located on the first floor of the newly opened Undergraduate Academic Center. PACE helps students get their college experience off on the right foot.
Many freshmen have already used the resources that the PACE center offers, including advising, university seminar, career counseling and peer mentoring.
Texas State hired nearly 40 new advisers to assist freshmen students at the PACE center. More advisers may be hired later if there is sufficient demand. For Bobcat Update, I'm Matthew Boyd.
In theory at least, riding a bike ought to help students arrive at their destinations more quickly. However, the campus is lacking when it comes to bike ramps and pathways, so cyclists often have to take alternate routes.
Some students complain that it's difficult to ride bikes on campus and not much easier navigating the busy streets of San Marcos.
Not only do bicyclists face difficulties finding ways getting to and from classes, but they also have to deal with roads and intersections such as this, which have them worried. For Bobcat Update, I'm Erik Pompa.
An alarming number of pedestrian-related accidents inside the city limits has many San Marcos residents being more cautious at crosswalks. In the past month alone, three hit-and-run accidents occurred in the city, causing some of the locals to take notice, and pay more attention when crossing busy intersections.
One of the hit-and-runs occurred on the square earlier this month, when a motorist struck three people, leaving two of them seriously injured. The driver fled the scene.
City and county police are cracking down on jaywalking and other pedestrian-related offenses in an effort to reduce unnecessary tragedies. The city has also placed some electronic crosswalk signs at high-traffic intersections. The signs give visual and audio indications of when it's okay to cross the street.
Officials at Texas State say students can be assured that the campus is under constant surveillance to prevent criminal activity. Safety is a major concern at the university -- a job that is made more difficult with a higher enrollment. But when there's a threat, university officials can act quickly using a text message system called RAVE. It's a mobile system to get messages to the 11-thousand students who are signed up for the service.
(Soundbite: Robert L. Campbell, Texas State UPD Sergeant of Special Projects)
The alert system was most recently used over the weekend when two Texas State employees were attacked outside of Harris Dining Hall. An e-mail message containing information on the suspected attacker went to all students, but a similar *text* message only went out to those who had signed up to receive them.
(Soundbite: Teressa Waits, Texas State University Junior)
Texas State U-P-D said that the warnings are transmitted quickly with text messages being sent a few minutes before e-mails.
(Stand-Up: "Texas State is one of many universities in the nation implementing a service for student safety. One day, it may just save a life. For Bobcat Update, I'm Anyssa Bohanan.")
After a recent assault on campus, the University's Police Department is urging people to be more aware of their surroundings. Avoiding crime might be as simple as following a few common sense tips.
Some students are concerned about their safety and are taking precautions, especially at night.
The University Police Department wants to prevent further attacks if possible.
The police department also suggests that people avoid walking through dark areas, such as this parking lot, and to be readily available to call 9-1-1. For Bobcat Update, I'm Erik Pompa.
Prior to the fall semester, an entire row of all-zone parking at the lot on West Sessom was converted to a restricted area. The lot had been the closest one on campus containing all-zone parking spaces. Monday through Friday you can see cars circling the lot like sharks, searching for parking spaces.
Many students are unaware of the changes to the Sessom lot and have later discovered tickets on their vehicles.
The restricted passes are issued to faculty and staff. Many of the restricted spaces in the Sessom lot stay empty much of the time. A row of car-pool spots is mostly unused. With parking at a premium all over campus, it's a daily challenge for Texas State students to arrive to class on time. For Bobcat Update, I'm Chris Green.
New construction projects are underway. The student population at Texas State is soaring. And the number of parking spaces is dwindling. What these facts amount to is a growing sense of frustration for many, especially when they see parking fees going up. And those who don't buy a permit know there's a price to pay for their reluctance.
The residence hall permits are now 245-dollars, up 35-dollars from previous semesters. The restricted faculty and staff parking pass has increased by 40-dollars. And the restricted 7a.m. to 7 p.m. parking pass for administrators went up 45-dollars. Perimeter parking -- aimed at commuters -- went up ten-dollars and those permits now set a student back 105-dollars for the academic year..
If you try to park without a permit, the fines can range from ten to 150-dollars per violation. Some violation notices include "improper display of permit", "parking out-of-zone", and "blocking a sidewalk". Though no one likes to be fined, there is an understanding of why it's necessary.
Appeals can be made at the Parking Services building within ten working days of the issued ticket. For Bobcat Update, I'm Aerin Carreno.
Colder weather is approaching, which means students will be spending more time indoors. When that happens, the chances of coming down with a cold or flu increase. Many students and faculty recognize the need for prevention if they want to stay healthy.
SB 1 (Student)
Flu vaccinations are offered at several locations in San Marcos, but some students doubt whether the vaccine is effective..
SB 2 (Karen Gordon-Sosby)
Student Health Center officials say Texas State students will have access to a new type of flu vaccine beginning in October.
SB3 (Karen Gordon-Sosby)
Other preventative measures that students can take to stay healthy are to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouths when coughing and get plenty of sleep. For Bobcat Update, I'm Price Newell.
Please don't write SLUG on your copy. Just type the script.
Texas State is an entity, a body, an institution -- It is singular. Pronouns referring to it should be singular. You used "their."
You made students possessive when you inserted an apostrophe. The word is not possessive in this case.
You're better off sticking to a basic Subject-Verb-Object structure. You tend to use too many introductory phrases and clauses.
The Student Recreation Center offers a wide variety of activities including personal training, group exercise and intramural sports. Although activities can be found for almost any level of fitness, the center decided to create even greater opportunities by adding three specialty classes -- T-R-X, yoga and hip-hop.
SB (Alison Smith, fitness and wellness graduate assistant)
Many students are looking forward to attending these new classes.
SB (Ashley Combs, Texas State student)
The instructors who teach these courses are all qualified.
SB (Jake Howard, T-R-X instructor)
All students interested are encouraged to sign up for these specialty classes at the front desk of the Recreation Center. During the intro week, there will be no charge. Registration closes after the first week.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Kristen Buechler.
The stadium's 33-million dollar expansion has resulted in more seats, restrooms, locker rooms and retail space. Many Bobcat fans are excited about the improvements that took more than a year to construct.
The opening game was a sellout, even though ticket prices have been raised. The Bobcats played their first home game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Five more home games are scheduled this season.
Texas State is now part of the Western Athletic Conference as an F-B-S competitor. Next year the Bobcats will join the Sun Belt Conference. For Bobcat Update, I'm Alexis LaFosse.
Many complaints are made by students as they are forced to wait longer at the bus stop due to an already crowded bus. Some students are late to class because too few buses are being used on each route. One problem is that the bus system doesn't have enough drivers.
Many bus drivers are working overtime to be able to make up for the shortage. One driver said he worked a 12-hour shift to make sure the students were being served.
While many students blame the transportation department on being disorganized, it is actually a need for more drivers. Officials of the bus system say they hope to create new routes to better serve the students even though there aren't enough drivers.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Chrisdyann Uribe.
It is apparent just by peeking in a lecture at Texas State that more and more students are using technology in classrooms. Many students bring their laptops, tablets and smart phones into the classroom.
SB1 (Student, Chaunce Blake)
Some students use technology to help with their schoolwork, but others are engaging in non-class related material. To their classmates, using technology in such a way can be annoying.
SB2 (student, Lauren Cox)
Students aren't the only ones with mixed feelings about technology in the classroom. Professors have differing opinions as well.
SB3 (professor, Kate Peirce)
SB4 (professor, Becky Jackson)
Whether professors try to ban the use of technology in the classroom or embrace it, there's no doubt that such devices play a major role in students' lives. For Bobcat Update, I'm Matthew Boyd.
The comprehensive master plan covers many of the city's development needs, including transportation. City officials have been meeting with area residents to talk about traffic issues, including pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Input from the community has led the city to take a closer look at coordinating bus service with the university as well as the Lone Star Rail District. Another idea to come from the meetings is to offer free bicycles to students who agree to leave their cars at home.
Texas State University has been involved in the planning. City officials say that from the very beginning it has been a joint effort to help alleviate traffic congestion and expand transportation options.
Residents and students can expect more details about the plan later this week. If the City Council adopts the plan, implementation may begin as early as next year.
Reporting for Bobcat Update, I'm Daisy Saenz.
As the student body grows each semester, campus expansion becomes a central focus. First time Texas State students and veterans alike will find it hard to ignore the many different construction projects taking place during the semester. Often times students will have to set aside extra time in the mornings or afternoons in order to get to class on time. First Sound bite (Grant) Because several construction projects take place on the Texas State campus, detours are created to safely navigate students and faculty to their destinations. Sidewalks are often blocked and fences are raised to prohibit students from moving through construction zones. Though some detours work just fine, many students find them to be a longer and more inconvenient alternative. Second Sound bite (Matt) Whether you are able to easily adjust to Texas State's campus construction or have a difficult time with it, most people enjoy seeing the final product. For Bobcat Update, I'm William Bolling.