Texas State has several dining halls where thousands of pounds of food would be wasted every day if it weren't for Bobcat Blend. Bobcat Blend is a program involving students who are NOT afraid to get their hands dirty. Left-over food from the dining halls are used to generate compost. Some of compost is applied in outdoor classrooms and campus landscapes, and the rest is sold to area farms and gardens.
Many students find that their eyes are bigger than their stomachs and end up putting too much food on their plates, but the leftovers are put to good use.
SB: "90-something percent of our trash can be used in some way"
Bobcat Blend recently received the Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Education. The program is a cost-effective way to improve the environment and help the campus landscapes flourish. Students can help Bobcat Blend's environmental efforts by disposing their leftovers in designated trash cans in the dining halls.
SB: (paraphrase) excited about benefits, thinks it's a great way to make campus prettier without hiking up rates for student tuition.
Standup - ....For Bobcat Update, I'm Patrice Cross.
For more than ten years the L-B-J Student Center has gone without having a director, but this semester marks something new. Jack Rahmann has been hired for the job. He's the former student union director at Boise State University. Rahmann says he plans to renovate the student center at Texas State. His first project was to let the students pick what they wanted to see updated at the center.
SB: Kameron (changes to lounge)
SB: Dominique (changes to lounge)
A survey distributed during the first weeks of the semester showed that students were interested in expanding the lounge and study areas at L-B-J. Since then, Rahmann has approved a renovation plan for the lounge areas, which will get some new furniture. Rahmann's long term goal is to expand the student center to make it more comfortable and accessible to students.
SB: Dominique (accessibility)
Before many of Rahmann's long term goals can be implemented, they must be approved by the president of Texas State and the university's board of regents.For Bobcat Update, I'm Kimberly Flores.
Since the beginning of the semester, students, faculty and staff at Texas State have received emails about Zipcar.
The service is offered at several universities including the University of Texas in Austin. It began at Texas State last month. A small membership fee provides access to cars that are parked on campus for as little as a couple of hours or as long as four days.
Some students are excited about what the Zipcar represents.
The service allows students and faculty to have a short-term option for quick errands around San Marcos. For Bobcat Update, I'm Brandon McDonald.
For many students, college is the first time they are completely on their own and making their own decisions. Health and fitness are often easy to neglect during the semester. Texas State has many opportunities for students to take advantage of to stay healthy. The university's rec center personal trainer, Brandon Galloway, says the rec center is a great asset for students who want to stay active.
Standup- To help students stay fit, the rec center offers a variety of actives from boot camps to yoga. Dance classes to marathon training, free to bobcats.
In addition to staying active, it's important to practice good eating habits. Mae Ling Strang is President of the Nutritional Organization. She says the biggest mistake many students make regarding their diet is skipping breakfast.
Although there are fast food restaurants and a lot of snack machines on campus, the dining halls such as Harris and Commons offer more nutritious items, including vegetarian options. The calorie content is even posted to make it easier to determine which selection is best.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Valerie Kilgore.
For those who live out of town and DON'T have a car, it can be a challenge to find transportation to San Marcos.
SB (Daniel Palomo, New Media Graduate Student)
Palomo's decision to attend Texas State for graduate school was partially based on the university's bus service, which had been in operation in the Alamo City since August of 2006.
The service allowed him to commute from San Antonio, where he says he has family and can find affordable housing. That is, until last semester, when word got out about commuter bus service being discontinued.
The Texas A-and-M University Transportation Institute conducted a review of Texas State's transportation services. Its campus-wide survey results concluded that only four-point-one-percent of all Bobcat Tram System riders used the commuter service.
Alternatives to the Texas State bus service include the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, or CARTS, to Austin, and Amtrak and Greyhound to San Antonio and Austin. These services are located at San Marcos Station off Guadalupe Street in San Marcos. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jordan Gass-Poore'.
All it takes is a quick look around campus to notice the many illegally parked bicycles. Many students have resorted to parking their bicycles on hand rails, building signs and other areas that are not intended for bicycles. Many times the reason is the bike racks are full. Some claim Texas State is NOT a bicycle-friendly campus.
SB: Michael Cortez says it is hard to maneuver and find spots around campus.
Other students have not encountered any issues when finding a spot to lock up their bicycles.
SB: Marcus Johnston says Texas State is a bicycle friendly campus and never has any issues.
The University Police Department encourages students to use the designated bike racks on campus. Using the designated racks helps to ease the flow of traffic in the quad and makes it easier for people with mobility issues to use ramps.
SB: Officer Sue Taylor, says they encourage students to park their bikes in the designated areas.
STANDUP: Texas State is rapidly growing and the amount of parking spots is steadily decreasing. This means that students must find other means of transportation. As you can see, more and more students are riding their bicycles to and from school, but have to be creative in finding places to lock them up when bike racks are full. For Bobcat Update, I'm Danielle Rucker.
Texas State recently implemented a new policy that will require all organizations that give or sell food on campus to have at least one member complete a food safety training session. The reason for the new policy is to prevent food poisoning. Riley Songer likes the new policy but says it could be damaging to some organizations that do not sell cooked food.
SB: Riley Songer
The food handling classes provide information about food preparation, sanitation and food poisoning. Samaria Rattley is pleased with the policy.
SB: Samaria Rattley
Blake McClinton is owner of The Munch Box. He says he's always taken measures to insure his food is safe. He says the policy will benefit every organization selling food.
SB: Blake Mc Clinton
So far more than 100 people have been trained, and more training sessions are scheduled. Two will be held this fall, and they'll be available next spring. The new policy went into effect October 1st. For Bobcat Update, I'm Adam Oriti.
Beginning next August, Veolia (ve-oh-lee-uh) Transportation will be the new service provider for the Bobcat Shuttle system. University administrator Nancy Nusbaum (noos-bom) says Texas State is working with the manufacturer to build 43 new buses to replace all of the existing ones. She says the new buses will have passenger counters in them and will use the NextBus system. NextBus allows students to go online or use their smartphone app to determine when the next bus will arrive. Nusbaum says merging the two systems should help students because they will know what to expect when they're trying to catch a bus.
SB (Nusbaum … 14 sec … percent full)
But those aren't the only improvements. Nusbaum says there will be a new bus maintenance facility. Construction of it will start in November. The university's new contract with Veolia is for more than 38 (m) million dollars over seven years. For Bobcat Update, I'm John Rodriguez.
The bill relates to false alarms or reports, which will now be treated as felonies. Such offenses had been regarded as Class A misdemeanors. An e-mail sent to Texas State faculty and students says the change was a response to bomb threats at universities across the state. Texas State sophomore Dominick Reed says he thinks the change is a step in the right direction:
Last April, a Houston man was accused of sending three separate e-mails threatening to bomb the Admissions Office. Reed says the university, in his opinion, didn't respond appropriately to the threat:
Senior Kiko Morlock was also surprised by the calm:
Morlock says he believes the harsher punishment could help:
For Bobcat Update, I'm Glen Purvis.
The bus system is the most popular means of getting to campus. Thousands of students use the system daily. The buses have convenient routes for students assuming they can get on board.
SB: Taking bus to class. (Name and major on video)
Many people also drive to class and park in one of the many garages dedicated to students. But parking permits are expensive and they offer no assurance of a convenient parking space. The students' other options are walking, riding bikes, using scooters or skateboarding.
SB: Walking to class. (Name and major on video)
Some students say they like biking because it's more convenient than riding the bus or walking long distances.
SB: Riding a bike (Name and major on video)
Stand Up: Taylor Wilborn
San Marcos Police have arrested Cedrick Lamont Samuel who is suspected of several armed robberies -- some of which may have occurred on campus.
Texas State police officer Christine Ames says students shouldn't be too worried when walking on or around campus at night. She says crime rates aren't necessarily up, even though there is a heightened awareness because of the robberies.
Ames says students should use a buddy system when they walk at night and take self-defense classes if they can.
Texas State P-R major Mindy Green says she believes Texas State police are doing all they can to keep students safe, but she'll continue to carry pepper spray just in case.
[THIS STATEMENT MUST HAVE ATTRIBUTION. WHERE DID THESE FACTS COME FROM? HOW DO YOU AS A REPORTER KNOW THIS? HAVE YOU SEEN HIS PRISON RECORD?] ---> Samuel served four years in prison for a 2009 conviction of armed robbery and is being held at Hays County jail on a 30-thousand-dollar bond. For Bobcat Update, I'm Patrice Cross.
It can be a challenge for many students to handle the pressures associated with college living. There are jobs, schoolwork and perhaps a social life to juggle. Texas State freshman Megan Hussey says time management is something she struggles with.
Stress affects students in many ways, whether you're doing last minute studying, trying to catch the bus, or just waiting in line for a bite to eat.
The Texas State counseling center is offering free workshops to help students combat stress in their daily lives. Dr. Joanne Salas says the workshops can help students fight stress by addressing negative thought processes and finding effective ways to deal with them.
On campus, students can take breaks between classes to relieve their stress at places like Starbucks. Or, if they need a nap, they can catch some Z's at Boko's.
Mu Sigma Nu member Anthony Ezell says he de-stresses by playing music.
If you're struggling with stress, you can attend one of the counseling center's workshops in L-B-J. For more information, visit counseling-dot-t-x-state-dot-edu. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kali Conley.
Christopher Durang and John Augustine are going to be playwrights in residence at Texas State for the 2013-2014 academic year as part of the Bowman guest artist series.
Durnag won the 2013 Tony Award for best play, and Augustine is a well known playwright. They are going to be on campus sharing their expertise with students and the community.
SO: Dr. Flemming's interview about what their residency will include
Students are looking forward to their arrival and to be getting hands on experience on how to improve their talents.
SO: Cameron McKnight on how they take their embryo play that the students write and help it grow.
Mike and Dianne Bowman started the Bowman Guest Artist Series and have made generous contributions to the Theatre and Dance Department.
SO: Dr. Flemming about the Bowmans.
It was a lucky coincidence that Christopher Durang was one of the guests this year.
STAND UP: The Theater Department will be producing Durang's musical, Adrift in Macao next month. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jade Skaggs.
Earlier this month the San Marcos City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would prohibit smoking on all city-owned property, including public parks and indoor workplaces. Members of the council say the ban is an effort to reduce secondhand smoke. San Marcos resident Dylan Stowers, who smokes, says he doesn't see how the ban will promote better health.
SB: (San Marcos smoker Dylan Stowers)
The ban's biggest impact could be felt by local bars and restaurants. Many of these local establishments cater to a smoking clientele. Jenny Powell works at a restaurant-bar. She says a smoking ban, if applied to them, would affect business.
SB: (Waitress Jenny Powell)
A final vote on the ordinance will be taken at the Council's October 1st meeting. If approved, the ban will go into effect on June 1st of next year. For Bobcat Update, I'm Daniel Shoemaker.
More than five-thousand freshmen are enrolled in classes this fall. PACE offers freshmen academic advising, career counseling and peer mentoring.
Victoria Black is the assistant director of PACE mentoring. She says the program can be an essential part of any student's first-year experience:
Peer mentors are available to students inside and outside the classroom to make sure the transition from home to campus is a smooth one. The mentoring program is focused on ensuring that no one gets lost in the shuffle, which, in turn, helps the university retain students.
Freshmen are not the only ones benefiting from the program. Peer mentor Danielle Word says she enjoys helping others reach their goals:
Since its pilot semester last fall, PACE has more than quadrupled its mentoring staff. More than 17-hundred students have been served so far. For Bobcat Update, I'm Bria Lott.
Many people consider the heart of the city to be the San Marcos River. Conservation and preservation efforts are critical to protect the river's crystal clear waters and lush natural habitat, Texas State University and the City of San Marcos are sponsoring a design contest for storm drain manhole covers. The idea is to heighten awareness about water quality issues and the impact pollutants have on the San Marcos River.
The contest is part of a joint education effort to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act. This initiative is a unique way to engage and educate the community.
The contest is open to people who live, work, or attend school in San Marcos, including Texas State students.
The submission deadline is November 1st. The winning artist will see his or her design become the standard to be used on all new City storm drain manhole covers.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Reyna Caraveo.
The university is hoping that a new commuter parking lot behind Bobcat Village will help alleviate the problem.
The lot has added 974 spots with bus service to the quad loop. But spaces there often go unfilled -- possibly because many students are apparently unaware of their availability.
Some students say they're glad the lot has opened, especially if it leads to less traffic on campus.
Four buses will run during peak hours, which means a ride will be possible every 7-8 minutes depending on the traffic on Aquarena Springs and Sessom Drive. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jason Wright
Standup: Here on campus, it's not unusual to see students use social media sites like Facebook and twitter. But for many, privacy has become a contentious issue that affects the way these sites are used.
You see people constantly checking their messages. They're staring into their phones while waiting for a bus or while having a lunch break. The content of their messages will vary depending on which site is being used. It could be a quick status update or a tweet. And there are settings available that can limit who receives certain messages. Users of social media can post messages for everyone to see, or, if they choose, only close friends and family. Sophomore Blew Byrom says he isn't particularly concerned about maintaining privacy.
BlewByromSOT :10 ...If you don't want people to see it, don't post it on facebook...
But then there are those who don't trust social media companies to keep their content safe from hackers or government agencies. Junior Ryan Zucker says some people use social media reluctantly:
RyanZuckerSOT :10 ...I use Facebook only because a professor made us do it...
Bridge: With hacking becoming more sophisticated and privacy becoming less secure, officials here at the University are urging students to use social media more carefully.
SueTaylorSOT :10 ...It's important to not post personal information like your location...
Standup: Despite the issues surrounding privacy, the use of social media is steady. Understanding what we publish could affect is in the long run is just the first step in adapting to this changing technology. For Bobcat Update, I'm Carlos Garcia.
For the past several years, the official name of this institution has been Texas State University - San Marcos. But starting this month, the name is simply Texas State University. The two words, San Marcos, have been dropped from the title to clear up confusion because the university has a branch campus in Round Rock.
Some people haven't even noticed the name change.
Other students say the name change is beneficial.
This is the seventh name change since the university opened in 1899. About 10 years ago the state legislature dropped the double-directional Southwest from the university's name, making it Texas State University-San Marcos. Other universities within the system had the option of using Texas State University in their names well -- followed by their home city -- but the other schools decided against changing their identities. University officials say the transition may take several months to complete. Until then, you're apt to see the old title for a while. For Bobcat Update, I'm Max Anderson.
For the first three weeks of school, students without parking permits were allowed to park in the commuter parking lots without receiving a ticket. Now, any student wanting to park anywhere on campus must have a parking permit. The permits can be bought in the Parking Services building, where there are also many pamphlets explaining rules and regulations of campus parking. To save time, the permits may also be purchased online.
SB: Marketing Major Haley Edwards
The Parking Services division has begun handing out tickets to drivers who illegally park. Freshman Tyler Agnello says students should be held accountable if they haven't already bought their permits by now.
SB: Freshman Tyler Agnello
If you get a parking ticket, it'll set you back about 40 dollars. Contact Parking Services if you have any questions or concerns about parking on campus. For Bobcat Update, I'm Zachary Covey.
While San Marcos may be considered a nice, small college town, dangers can lurk anywhere, even here. With a recent rash of robberies on campus, some students may be wondering what they can do to stay safe.
Crime prevention doesn't have to be scary. Sometimes a few small preventive measures are all that's needed to protect one's self.
Some people may be frightened to walk on campus at night, but there are ways to make the journey safer.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Tori Valles.
It's hard to find a student who doesn't face some difficult adjustments during their first semester of college. Everyone feels a little lost in the beginning. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for new students to get involved and make new friends. Student organizations are braving the heat with the hopes of recruiting new members.
SB (Marriah Lewis, Microbiology Junior)
Freshman year is a time of discovery. Life is different on a college campus compared with what most students experienced during their high school years. For example, finding one's way to class can be a chore, including, in some cases, long walks.
SB (Debonair Murray, Electronic Media Freshman)
While many of these changes can be tough for students to get used to, the new found independence can be an exciting change of pace.
SB (Emily Hernandez, Nutrition Freshman)
Campus organizations have tents set up in the Quad everyday to encourage new students to get involved. For Bobcat Update, I'm Rachel High.
Twelve complaints in four years. That may not seem to be an earth-shattering number -- especially when you consider the size of Texas State University. With more than 34-thousand students, Texas State is the fifth largest university in the state. Its student body is diverse, which may be a reason that few complaints are filed.
SB (Monica Solis, Electronic Media Junior)
Monica Solis is a junior in Electronic Media. She says she's never experienced what she calls blatant acts of racial discrimination on campus, but she says there probably are some people who make assumptions based on the color of one's skin.
SB (Monica Solis, Electronic Media Junior)
Racial discrimination can take many forms. Chances are, you're more likely to sense it when you find yourself in the minority, whatever the situation:
SB (Garrett Martin, Urban Planning Senior)
Anyone who feels he or she has been discriminated against may file a complaint with the university's Equity and Access office or with the Dean of Students. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jordan Gass-Poore.
Stand Up: Taylor Wilborn
The new I-phone 5C will be available in green, pink, blue, yellow and white. The 5-C phone is recommended for the younger generation because it will be plastic and more durable. It will have most of the features of existing models with a few minor updates. The I-phone 5-S will be available in gold, gray and silver. The 5-S will be have new features that will make it more expensive. Some students are eager for the new I-phones to be available. Felicia Fernandez says she wants a pink one.
SB: Exercise and Sports Science Major Felicia Fernandez
The I-phone 5-S will have a higher quality camera and fingerprint scanning, which will allow higher security options for I-phone owners. Heath Harper says these features are cool but unnecessary.
SB: Texas State student, Heath Harper
The Droid and Galaxy are the I-phone's biggest competitors. Samantha Rutledge says she is NOT an Apple person.
SB: Anthropology major, Samantha Rutledge
Apple has not set a release date for the new models yet, except to say they'll be out later this month. For Bobcat Update, I'm Taylor Wilborn.
Education officials say Texas State ranked fourth statewide in college applications this fall. According to the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 24-thousand applications were submitted, and only U-T Austin, Texas A-and-M and the University of Houston had more
So what's attracting students to Texas State? Freshman Mattie ______ says that after a campus visit she knew this was the right choice for her.
But having more students also means crowding.
The university is working on solutions to accommodate the growth. For example, a new residence hall is being built on the west side of campus. University officials say it should be finished next fall.
Montreal's stand up:"The U-A-C building is one of the university's newest completed building with more renovations on the way. For Bobcat Update, I'm Montreal Williams."
Stand Up: MC student Danielle Rucker
Millennium Tours is a travel company located in Austin with offices in London and other locations throughout the world. Students participating in the program have the opportunity to receive college credit. The director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Judy Oskam, says she hopes students become energized about what they will learn while on the trip.
SB: Dr. Judy Oskam
The trip will have several destinations within Great Britain such as, London, Cardiff and Scotland. Mass Communication students are excited about the new opportunity. Paige Vaughn says she would love to go on a study abroad trip.
SB: MC student Paige Vaughn
Other Mass Communication students say that going on a study abroad trip would benefit their future careers.
SB: MC student Juliana Darner
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is making plans for the study-abroad program for June of next year. For Bobcat Update, I'm Danielle Rucker.