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Journalists share insight of crisis coverage

On the last day of the university’s Mass Communication Week, students were able to watch a panel of both professional and student journalists give insight into crisis coverage.

The panel, titled ‘Crisis Coverage: Fort Hood’ served to educate students on how they worked to cover the April 2014 Fort Hood shooting, and how the resulting news played out.

“Fort Hood was a new experience for me,” said Kelsey Bradshaw, University Star news editor. “It was the first breaking news I’d ever done.”

It’s important to be sensitive and mindful of the event you’re covering, especially if it is one in which people lost their lives, said Jordan Gass-Poore, KTSW web content manager.

Abortion signs attract counter-protest, spark debate

Tensions rose on the quad Thursday afternoon as members of opposing sides of the abortion debate congregated near the Stallions in the university’s free speech zone.

Representatives of Bobcats for Life, a pro-life organization, had planned to hand out cupcakes on the Quad Thursday in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. They call this event they call “Cupcakes for Life,” said Ashlyn Rathburn, Bobcats for Life president.

“We’re celebrating the lives of the unborn,” Rathburn said. “We were trying to make a voice for those babies who are aborted due to disabilities.”

University health representatives aim to secure funding for new faculty wellness program

Total Wellness, Human Resources and other officials are developing a comprehensive program to improve the health of Texas State faculty and staff.

The program is comprised of three components, including education, behavior and social support and exercise, said Lisa Lloyd, Total Wellness director. The components work together harmoniously to help employees achieve fitness goals.

A year ago, Human Resources officials approached representatives from Total Wellness to combine efforts in creating a program with more options and opportunities to maintain a healthier lifestyle, Lloyd said.

The program’s creators aim to offering more opportunities to fitness novices, overweight people and older individuals, she said.

Mayoral candidate addresses citizens while drinking his favorite coffee

Jonathan Sorenson, a 27-year-old business manager at San Marcos Rehabilitation and Healthcare, held an open forum at Wake The Dead Coffeehouse to discuss citizens’ concerns and campaign for the role of mayor.

Mayoral candidate Sorenson has built his platform around common sense and the idea of rebuilding trust in the community, he said.

“There has been a disconnect between the elected officials and the citizens,” Sorenson said. “The citizens want someone who will actually lead.”

Sorenson believes the current mayor is not listening to citizens and may be developing into a “career politician.”

“We have to rebuild trust,” Sorenson said. “If you don’t have the trust of the community, you can’t do it.”

Media professionals discuss LGBTQIA challenges and advantages

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More than a hundred students gathered Wednesday to hear firsthand perspectives from LGBTQIA media professionals about their career experiences in the journalism world.  

Michael Barnes, columnist and reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, and Ernest Macias, journalism senior and Terry Scholar, spoke to students for Mass Comm Week on the challenges faced by LGBTQIA media professionals.

The discussion covered a variety of topics from how to confront prejudice to the effects of television programs on LGBTQIA culture to Macias’ recent experiences at the National Lesbian Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA).

Media professional shares success stories

Ana Cantu, social media manager for Google, shared lessons she has learned through her career and life with Texas State and high school students Wednesday during Mass Comm Week.

In her presentation, "From The Rio Grand Valley to Google: A Career in Media Journalism and Media Content," Cantu detailed her most valued experiences throughout her career as a media professional. Gilbert Martinez, senior lecturer and assistant director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, introduced Cantu as a personal friend who has worked with his wife and is doing very interesting things in the field of journalism and mass communication.  

City extends invitation to rewrite neighborhood development code

City officials are seeking input from San Marcos residents to help create a new land development code.

“Code SMTX is an effort to rewrite our land development code,” said Abigail Gillfillan, project and permit manager. “We want to get the community’s input on what makes San Marcos important and special and how we can make sure to preserve those elements.”

The land development code outlines rules and regulations for development in the city, Gillfillan said. It governs the location of land usage, placement of buildings and site design. Ultimately, it dictates the look and “feel” of the city, according to Code SMTX’s website.

CNN correspondent offers advice for journalism, storytelling

Polo Sandoval, CNN correspondent, took the stage in Old Main Wednesday afternoon, to share his experiences on life after graduating from Texas State as part of Mass Comm Week.

Polo Sandoval graduated at Texas State with a bachelor’s degree in electronic media and a minor in Spanish. Since then, Sandoval has been the bureau chief for the Hidalgo County Border Bureau for KRGV-ABC in South Texas. In 2014, he was hired by CNN as a national correspondent based out of Washington, D.C. Sandoval has reported from Republican and Democratic national conventions in 2008 and 2012 and covered the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion last year.

During his presentation, Sandoval emphasized storytelling and adding “the human element” into journalism.

Texas voter ID law stands as midterm elections approach

The Supreme Court ruled Oct. 18 that Texas is allowed to use the new voter identification law for the Nov. 4 midterm election.

Early voting in Texas began Monday. Individuals casting their votes were asked to present one of seven forms of approved identification.

Opinions of the new law are split, often along party lines.

Amanda Guillen, president of the Texas State College Democrats, said her organization sees it as a way to disenfranchise Texas voters.

“It’s definitely targeted towards minorities and the transgender community across the state,” Guillen said. “People who don’t have the resources, time or money to go and get one of the approved forms of identification will definitely be hurt by this.”

Competition between online and local bookstores complicates textbook market

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Math students are finding themselves caught in the crossfire between long-standing local booksellers and a burgeoning online market.

The Internet market for college textbooks is expanding. The resulting competition with the Texas State University Bookstore and other local booksellers makes finding materials harder for math students, said Alex White, associate professor of mathematics.

Alex Rasche, mathematics graduate student and teaching assistant, said he remembers many instances when his students suffered from not being able to find textbooks in time for class.

Rasche said specialized workbooks published by the university were required when he was teaching a developmental math course. Local bookstores did not have enough copies for students.

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