Many students have jobs that demand between 15 and 30 hours a week while going to school.
Stand up: Texas State students will have to plan ahead and communicate well with their managers in order to balance both their schedules.
Stand Up: Midterms are right around the corner and students will have to plan around their work schedules in order to have ample amount of time to study.
A useful resource offered by the university that helps them with their
studies is the SLAC lab, located on the fourth floor of Alkek library. Tutors there can provide guidance and motivation to stay on track. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kaitlin Moore.
As the weather gets warmer students are indulging in the recreational areas of the Texas State campus. Sunbathing near the river and beach volleyball are just two signs that students are in a springtime mood. In less than two weeks, students will be taking time off from their studies and heading to their Spring Break destinations. Some students say they'll travel out-of-state.
Other students will vacation locally.
(Standup: Traditionally, students have looked at Spring Break as a week-long vacation filled with spending time with friends, water sports and maybe even a little partying; but some Bobcats are opting to spend their Spring Break helping those in need.)
Bobcat Break is a five-day long alternative Spring Break program for Texas State students. This year, participants will work with Habitat for Humanity to demolish structures and build new affordable housing in the Houston area.
Eight students were selected to take part in the program. They will depart March 11th and return on March 15th. For Bobcat Update, I'm Adelina Valdez.
They can be found all around campus. Emergency kiosks that, with a touch of a button, can signal emergency dispatch. But when emergencies occur, do students know what to do and where to go?
Lives can be saved.
Text messages and e-mails are part of the university's warning system. And cameras have been installed in buildings to make it easier to identify potential suspects.
Although this campus has not experienced a school shooting, Texas State is taking the necessary precautions to keep the campus safe and hoping students will not have to hear the sound of chaos. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kristina Coble.
It's the last week of February, which means campus intramurals are in full swing. The basketball season is halfway through while the softball season is just now getting underway. Campus Recreation is reporting a record number of participants.
(Daniel Balderrama- Intramural Supervisor)
(Standup) Intramurals offer Texas State students an opportunity to compete in a safe and competitive environment against a level of competition they might not be used to, or, if they prefer, they can simply meet up with friends and play.
(Adrian Zalesnika- Sophomore Finance Major)
In addition to being a fun way to spend time with friends, intramurals can be a great source of exercise and a way to meet new people. For Bobcat Update, I'm Lane Lewis.
Graffiti has appeared on dumpsters, signs and sidewalks near the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and Holland Street. The main targets have been the Sac N Pac gas station, Chepo's Mexican restaurant and a State Farm insurance building. Nobody is sure who is doing the tagging, but some have their suspicions.
Some people don't see it as an issue, but as free expression.
So far, owners of the affected businesses haven't had much luck finding anyone who can remove the graffiti.
Finding something weird to do in San Marcos is no sweat, but finding something interesting to do – now that's a different story. The University Galleries -- located in the School of Art & Design -- has much to offer. The galleries provide more than three-thousand square feet of museum-quality exhibition space. The twin galleries are used in tandem for combined exhibitions and separately for individual exhibitions. Gallery One now houses a gargantuan installation by Beili Liu…
Meanwhile, Gallery Two is filled with the ceramic art of ten North American artists whose work is quite cerebral.
Unfortunately, these exhibitions will only be around for one more week. So, you better find your way to the Joan Cole Mitte Building ASAP. Here's a hint -- check the corner of Sessom and Comanche Street. If you need more info about the University Galleries, visit T-X-galleries-dot-org. For Bobcat Update, I'm Hady Mawajdeh.
Renovations are now complete at the Aquarena Center, located next to the Texas State Golf Course. Old buildings that contained toxic chemicals were removed and replaced with natural vegetation. Remnants from the old theme park that had inhabit the area for decades were also taken down.
Walking trails were installed, picnic tables were placed near the spring waters, and the wetlands boardwalk was reopened.
[gaynier sound bite about what the wetlands are]
The wetlands boardwalk was closed during the renovations, which left some visitors disappointed.
[gaynier quote about people being excited for it being opened]
The renovations have helped restore and protect the area to its more natural state.
San Marcos resident Laurel Piersol says protecting the ecosystem is important to her.
[Piersol Sound bite about ecosystem.] "it's easier to enjoy the environment now and not worry that it's not being protected."
Piersol says the boardwalk is a terrific place to take photos of the great blue herons and snowy egrets that are attracted to the wetlands.
Renovations started in the Fall of 2011 and were just finished a couple of weeks ago. Gaynier says there will be more changes if funding can be secured.
[Stand up closing] "With the new renovations and the newly reopened boardwalk, San Marcos visitors, residents and students have another natural beauty to enjoy. For Bobcat Update - I'm Matt Wood."
The Big Belly is a solar compactor system. The university just finished a test run, and results from the trial will be used to determine whether more funding is needed to expand the system. The idea is to make recycling easier for student participation. Many students are aware that waste management is important.
Government reports show that Americans recycle about one-third of the waste they generate each year.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Marissa Lewis.
Confession Number 737: "I had a girl ask me if I've seen the Texas State Confessions site, I said yes. Then she told me about this funny one she read the other day. The one I had posted."
It seems that the passing faces you see in the quad may have more in common than you think.
Students are professing their secrets and admirations online on a Facebook page titled "Texas State Confessions". These 'confessions' range from Bobcat Bobby crushes to students revealing that they have cancer or are transgender.
Most of the posts, however, are humorous in nature.
SOUND BITE 1
Students seem to feel relief after posting their embarrassing moments anonymously for all to see.
SOUND BITE 2
These "confession" style pages have become popular at many universities across the nation. Social media allows for students to join university-affiliated groups outside of campus.
SOUND BITE 3
Texas State students are already known for having a strong, comical web presence. Both the "At Texas State" Tumblr blog and the Texas State Memes Facebook have a large following.
Whether this PostSecret-style web dialogue is a passing fad is too soon to tell, but one thing is certain, our curiosity for a good story will never fade.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Alexa Perez.
Many students constantly check their social media accounts, news articles and even their bank accounts while online, but they have reason to be concerned. Some wonder if their online information is safe.
Hackers this month breached the security of Apple, Facebook and Twitter and retrieved the personal information of hundreds of thousands of users. Some students are feeling uneasy.
Others aren't as worried.
Many students have been hacked before.
But it's not always fun and games.
The bill aims to lower the penalty of being caught with one ounce of marijuana to a class C misdemeanor and a 500 dollar fine. Currently, if someone is caught with two ounces or less, he or she faces a class B misdemeanor charge and a potential of 180 days in jail. Lessening the penalty could be beneficial to taxpayers.
The Alcohol and Drugs Services Center at Texas State offers help for students battling marijuana abuse, but students can also be disciplined by the Dean of Students.
The Texas State student organization, NORML, has been trying to meet with the University Police Department to talk about the enforcement of marijuana laws.
The bill is being reviewed by Texas lawmakers. For Bobcat Update, I'm Taylor Henderson.
Many students live off-campus, or they would like to soon. That means they'll have to sign apartment leases and enter an agreement that is legally binding. Sometimes the students are charged excessive fees. Occasionally, they're scammed. That's when the campus attorney's office can help. Attorneys who work in the office can provide free, legal advice.
Students are advised on the appropriate steps to help them win their case. The staff consists of three attorneys who can help in criminal matters, labor law and landlord-tenant disputes
The campus attorneys are not allowed to represent students in court. Their office is located on the fifth floor of the L-B-J Student Center. Students seeking legal help must schedule an appointment.
Congress passed Title Nine in June of 1972. It's a law that provides equal rights for women to play collegiate sports. Before Title Nine, athletic scholarships for women were virtually non-existent. Today, women make up nearly 50 percent of all participants in student-athletics, and the scholarships provide opportunities for competition and educational advancement.
Some women say gender should NOT play a role when it comes to competing.
Texas State University offers more than 100 scholarships to female athletes.
Texas State's Career Services helps students prepare for the workforce. Many students use this resource for resume critiques and job shadowing opportunities.
However, the annual sign-up for winter job shadowing is no longer in service.
Soundbite (Miguel Guerro)
Career Services is hoping that the change pushes students to take more of an initiative to job shadow.
Soundbite (Allison Birk)
Soundbite (Staffon Adams)
Standup (In the past, Bobcats used to search through a binder to find a potential job shadowing opportunity. Now, students just have to walk in these doors and let the front desk know that they're interested.)
Soundbite (Marjea Wheaton)
Soundbite (Taylor Campbell)
Some, though, have noticed a decline in the number of students reaching out through Texas State to gain work experience
Soundbite (Allison Birk)
If interested in job shadowing, you can make an appointment with the Career Advisor Liaison for your college. More information can be found by searching Career Services at the Texas State homepage.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Halie Davis.
According to U-S-A Today, the nation is training twice as many elementary school teachers as needed each year. Texas State is encouraging students to consider majoring in higher levels of education.
About 650 students are enrolled this semester in elementary education. Curriculum and Instruction Chair Patrice Werner says the department is aware of how difficult it is for graduates to find work.
Students also know they'll face a challenge after graduation. Junior Noelle Brooks says she plans to get as much experience as possible to better her chances.
The education department offers several student organizations to encourage professional growth and networking possibilities. For Bobcat Update, I'm Haley Parmer.
When students first go to college, some are frightened by the idea of living with a stranger. Whether living in a dorm, or off-campus in an apartment, roommates have to work together to get along. Often, students find similar qualities in their roommate, which makes living together enjoyable.
Standup: Although some roommates remain friends after college, others aren't quite as lucky.
It isn't always easy for roommates to coordinate chores. Sharing common areas can be a challenge.
Finding the right match can be difficult, but roommates are a big part of the college experience. For Bobcat Update, I'm Lindsay Powell.
The Child Development Center in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences offers childcare at the university for faculty, students and staff.
Some faculty members have taken full advantage of the services at the Child Development Center. For some, having the center was one reason they chose to work at Texas State.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children recently renewed its accreditation of the Child Development Center for meeting specific standards. To start the process for enrolling in the Center, you can visit its website. For Bobcat Update, I'm John Beck.
Around noon every day, students line up inside of one of dining halls on campus to choose what to eat, but some students find this to be a difficult decision.
While Commons and Harris dining halls are closed, the options are more limited, especially for vegetarians.
Chartwells manages food services on campus, and its website says Jones Dining Hall has several vegetarian options. However, some students say Chartwells is not exactly meeting their needs.
Chartwells has in recent weeks expanded its options.
You can learn more about which vegetarian foods Chartwells offers by logging onto its website.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Morgan Wilson.
Federico Subervi (su-ber-v), who is director of the center, says the conference offers an opportunity for the Latino population to be more involved. And one way to be involved is through social media.
Subervi says he's excited that conference speakers will include academics, grad students and professionals in the media industry. He says some are coming from as far away as Barcelona. Co-Chair Sindy Chapa says attending the conference will be beneficial.
She says students are welcome at the conference..
Among the topics to be addressed at the conference will be Latino media in politics, news literacy and the Spanish language media in Europe. The convention starts Thursday the 21st. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Center for the Study of Latino Media at Texas State.
For Bobcat Update I'm Greg Burnam
If you've eaten at a dining hall, then you've bought your food from Chartwells. Chartwells manages the food services on campus. And the prices seem to be higher.
Here's an example -- a small pack of peanuts on campus will cost you a dollar-49 while at a local gas station you can get more for 99 cents. Similarly, a single banana costs 89 cents at Paws N Go but costs only 16 cents at H-E-B. To some people, those prices are reasonable.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Jenny Schmerber.
A normal day on campus is filled with students on their way to class. They'll encounter booths. They'll meet friends. They might even enjoy live entertainment. What they hope they'll never encounter is violence. There's an ongoing debate about how to address violence on campus, more particularly how to address gun restrictions. Some students say they want to be able to carry their guns to protect themselves in crisis situations.
But others believe that having guns on campus increases the danger.
University officials say that handling a gunman should be left to professionals.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Adelina Valdez.
After a long break, the Bobcats are preparing to take the field. Since last season, the team has brought in 15 new players and the facilities have been renovated. The team will be facing some big-name programs this year, but the players are confident and ready for the challenge.
The baseball field has a new look. The foul poles were upgraded and painted yellow, and the center field wall was changed. In left field, renovations were made to the wall so spectators can watch baseball and softball games from between the fields. For fans, the most exciting addition might be a recently installed screen on top of the scoreboard. It's the same screen that had been used at the football stadium.
The Western Athletic Conference's Preseason Coaches' Poll predicts that Texas State will finish in second place this year. It will be the Bobcats first and only season in the WAC.
Standup (signoff in standup)
Orange cones… traffic detours... and "For Lease" signs. Construction is booming in San Marcos, but some businesses are not, especially those located on North L-B-J. They're losing customers because of the construction and the lack of parking.
SB – root cellar
Dan's Discount Books closed this month -- unable to continue because of decreasing revenues.
The stores that have managed to survive the economic challenges are making extra efforts to stay open. The construction project won't wrap up until sometime next year.
SB – root cellar
SB – smoothie factory
As the city of San Marcos plans for its future, businesses must do the same in order to flourish.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Chelsea Kelley.
As if school and work were not enough to balance -- you'll also find some people driven by their passion, a passion for music. San Marcos has several venues for talented students to find an outlet for their creative energies.
San Marcos and Texas State provide a platform for these young musicians to be heard.
The Student Association for Campus Activities has booked Morphus Minds to play on campus.
The attention the band members are getting has started to pay off. Their hard work and networking have connected them with a recording studio in Austin.
The life of a musician, who also happens to be a student, can be challenging, but these students don't seem to mind because they're pursuing their passion.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Jessica MacCall.
The Bobcat Tram offers a cheap and convenient way for students living off campus to get to their classes, but the cost of riding the bus may be going up soon. The Transportation Services Department has proposed a fee increase from 78 dollars to 95 dollars.
(Standup)Although the bus fee increase has not yet been implemented, students all over campus are already forming their opinions.
Transportation Services is also proposing a new Mill Street route. Some students say they wouldn't mind paying more if the increase results in an improved bus system.
If approved, the higher fees will go into effect in fall 2014.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Lindsay Powell.
Health officials say this has been one of the worst flu seasons in America. The Centers for Disease Control says 41 states have experienced higher numbers of flu cases this winter.
The Texas State University Health Center has administered hundreds of flu shots this year.
Although the best way to fight the flu is have a flu shot, other precautions should be taken.
Health officials say it's a good idea to get plenty of rest, take vitamins, wash your hands regularly and eat with proper nutrition in mind.
The Texas State Health Center urges students who have not been vaccinated to make an appointment as soon as possible.It's not too to avoid the flu. For Bobcat Update, I'm Marissa Lewis.
The average price for a gallon of gas in Texas is three dollars and 36 cents. That's 21 cents more than just over a a week ago. Economists say the increase is due to oil prices going up and refineries closing. Some Texas State students say they have to limit their driving time to save on gas.
A lot of students have been using public transportation or walking more to avoid driving. Stand-Up: Some students are riding their bikes to save on gas.
In some parts of the country, the price of gasoline has reached an average of five dollars a gallon. It's getting so high that drivers have little choice but to try to be more fuel efficient. For Bobcat Update, I'm Scott Panther.
Stand up: They call it Cedar Fever. This spring season allergies are at an all-time high and students are paying the costs. They are finding themselves stuck at home or here, at the Texas State Health Center.
The student health center has seen a rapid increase in appointments and medication needs this spring. One specific allergen, Cedar, is affecting a lot of people in Central Texas. Sophomore Micheal Averty says his classroom environment is being compromised.
Students are using campus services, such as the PAWS Center at the L-B-J Student Center, for some of their medication needs.
The Texas State Health Center is available for appointments Monday though Friday. Pharmacist Lucinda Mendoza says many medications are available at the Health Center, suitable for a college-student budget.
Stand up: So, if you're starting to feel a bit under the weather, take the proper precautions. Drink a lot of water, take medications, and make an appointment with the Health Center if needed. For Bobcat Update, i'm Alixandra Papa.
The famed statue represents a free speech zone on campus. Students -- and, for that matter, non-students -- can use the area for free expression and even protests. Maybe so. But not everyone is pleased when certain views are espoused. The quad is a high traffic area, so speakers get a lot of attention and often a large audience. Some students accept it:
SB (Nathan Shackelford- Junior Mass Comm major)
(Standup) While some students defend others' right to publicly talk about religion in the quad, others feel like it has no place on campus.
SB (Ariel Basnight- Junior French major)
The university, however, makes no attempt to quiet or force out people who want their messages heard. If you want to speak out on campus, you can do so. You just can't expect everyone to like it.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Lane Lewis.
The Texas State Tram is the primary mode of transportation for students who need to get to campus. However, with all of the construction on or near the university, many students are frustrated with the tram service.
Much of the street construction directly affects one of the tram's major routes -- Sessom Drive.
Many students are having to leave earlier than they're accustomed to just to make it to class on time.
Students are left to bear the burden of local traffic congestion and can only hope that the university tram system gets better soon. For Bobcat Update, I'm Marco Enriquez.
Students have been swarming in and out of the rec center. Access to the facility is easy -- just a simple card swipe or scanning of one's palm will do it -- and the students have been lining up in record numbers. They're taking advantage of the basketball courts, free weights, cardio workouts and more. The place is so busy that some students find that they have to wait just to get a workout, and regulars are finding it difficult to complete their everyday routines.
Students say they've noticed how much busier the Rec Center is this semester.
Parking on campus is expensive, and next fall it will be even more so. Residential and campus apartment parking is expected to increase by 330 dollars, which is more than double what students pay now.
All-permit lots offer many students the chance to park near campus, but those lots fill up quickly. The lots get so full that students turn into vultures as they circle around waiting for a spot to open up so they can swoop in and grab it.
Permit prices have become so prohibitive that some students are planning to move off campus to avoid emptying their pockets for a sticker that doesn't even guarantee them a spot.
As parking availability on campus continues to decline, permit pricing is on the rise, leaving students with empty pockets and nowhere to park. For Bobcat Update, I'm Stephen Munson.
This is the last semester you'll see the blinking "Austin" and "San Antonio" signs on the Bobcat Trams.
At the request of the university, an assessment was conducted in November regarding the effectiveness of the Texas State transit service. Included in the study was the Bobcat Tram Inter-urban Service, also known as the B-T-I, which connects San Marcos to Austin and San Antonio.
The study's findings have prompted university officials to cancel the B-T-I service. The service is apparently costing too much to provide.
University officials say students who relied on the service will have to find other ways to get to campus.
Also discovered in the review is that many students believe the tram system has been unreliable.
STAND-IN: Without the Interurban Tram Services, more students will be forced to fill the commuter lots.
The last day for B-T-I services to Austin and San Antonio is August 23rd, 2-thousand-13.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Alexa Perez.
According to campus police, during the fall semester several late-night attacks occurred at Texas State, and statistics show there were more than 20 on-campus assaults in 2011. Students feel especially vulnerable at night when it's dark and fewer people are around, and some would like to see campus security improved.
The university police say they've been working on ways to improve campus safety.
University officials say they hope they'll soon be able to increase patrols at night. For Bobcat Update, I'm Taylor Henderson.
Many students are being forced to find new routes to their classrooms. They have to because of barricades that have been put up for construction. Several streets are also being worked on, which affects pedestrians and drivers alike. Crossing the street can be hazardous, especially at busy intersections.
Jay walking is never a good idea when there's a lot of traffic.