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Development site may contain ancient burial ground artifacts

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A new apartment complex development has some San Marcos residents upset because they believe the construction and excavation will likely destroy archaeological artifacts and sites.

Many citizens believe an ancient Native American burial site is located at the Woodlands development area, said Lisa Marie Coppoletta, self-described community organizer, environmental activist and San Marcos resident. Archaeologists cannot yet confirm the existence of human burials, but experts believe the Woodlands property, formerly known as Cape’s Camp, on River Road between the IH-35 access road and Cape Road likely contains a significant number of artifacts, Coppoletta said.

New credential system will allow media to easily park on campus

Texas State officials have come up with a plan to make campus more accessible by creating official media credentials for the press.

Officials are currently in the process of contacting local and national media outlets to begin the process of mailing parking credentials to specific reporters covering events on campus. Members of the media will be able to park on any surface lot without fear of being ticketed.

Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said the media problem was the last issue to be considered after a year of reviewing all of the parking policies.

Tuition increase needed for technology, library expansion Increase in tuition for new faculty, repurposing

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University officials announced tuition increases and responded to questions from students Wednesday evening at an open hearing.

Undergraduate and graduate tuition will increase next year from $188.68 to $201.21 per credit hour. This inflation will occur in library, computer and student fees, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services.

Despite “robust” Wi-Fi and wired networks, an increase in the computer service fee is necessary to further increase strength and coverage across campus, said Carl Van Wyatt, vice president of Information Technology.

Library fees have not increased in five years, Van Wyatt said. The new revenue will go toward major renovations and changes as part of a long-term repurposing plan.

Campus Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats debate party platforms

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Campus political organizations debated national, state and local policy Wednesday night at this year’s Campus Political Organizations Debate hosted by the University Star.

Just in time for election week, the College Democrats, Young Americans for Liberty and College Republicans discussed a variety of topics ranging from the economy, national security and social issues.

Kicking off the debate, participants voiced their opinions on immigration and education.

The College Democrats support the Dream Act and equal opportunities for all children, said member Jaime Thomas.

High enrollment numbers push Texas State into fourth in Texas university size

Texas State has become the fourth largest university in Texas due to a continued increase in enrollment.

The certified preliminary enrollment numbers of all the state’s universities were released at the Oct. 23 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) meeting in Austin. This is the 17th consecutive year of record enrollment for Texas State. The university has moved into the fourth spot, and The University of North Texas now stands at fifth due to the change.

Student Government proposes legislation to wristband drinkers at tailgate

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Student Government has proposed a wristband concept to help the University Police Department differentiate between underage drinkers and those who are over 21 at football tailgates.

Tyler Burton, Student Government senator, brought forth the idea. The plan has not been formalized with legislation, and it is still in the research stage, Burton said. Student Government will pursue the initiative next season, and the plan will not be fully implemented anytime soon, although something might be brought out for the last home game of this season.

Officials warn against dangers of excessive drinking

Drinking is a staple of college culture, but city and university officials say the issue of alcohol abuse is not one to be taken lightly.

Alcohol consumption is a fueling factor in many of the calls the San Marcos Police Department responds to on weekend nights, said SMPD Chief Chase Stapp.

“After a certain time in the evening, probably about 95 percent or more of our calls involve alcohol,” said policeman Vincent Fischer. “Everyone we’re going to run into after around 11:30 or 12 has consumed alcohol, especially the students.”

Many of the calls are situations that are “blown out of proportion” when one or both parties are extremely intoxicated, Fischer said last Saturday night while on patrol duty.

Body found near North LBJ Drive construction

A dead body was found in the 800 block of Chestnut Street Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. in a wooded area near a construction project.

The San Marcos Police Department is currently investigating the suspicious death, according to city officials. Police responded to a welfare check at 11:30 a.m. and the body was found at 11:45 a.m.

Police are treating the area as a crime scene as an SMPD standard operating procedure when investigating unattended deaths.

No further information is available at this time, according to city officials. The city is asking the public to stay away from the scene because of the ongoing investigation.

 

FROM ‘SADDAM’S CITY’ TO SAN MARCOS

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A young Iraqi boy watched the bombing of Baghdad on March 19, 2003 at the start of the Iraq War from the steps of his home in Al-Thawra, Iraq, also known as “Saddam’s City.”

Milad Jawad, the youngest of five boys, was born and raised in Al-Thawra, a public housing district in Baghdad. Jawad said he was 14 when the invasion of Iraq began. He can recall feeling a mixture of excitement and uncertainty as the conflict began. As a child, he dreamed of moving to America to run his own business but did not think he would see the day Iraq would be free of Saddam Hussein’s “oppressive dictatorship.” Little did Jawad know, he would one day be a business owner in San Marcos, Texas.

Alumni involvement on increase

University Advancement is experiencing a growth in activity, involvement and gifting from recently graduated alumni.

Annual reports have shown the alumni gift increase, said Barbara Breier, director of University Advancement. More than 70 percent of all donors in the 2014 family campaign were alumni. The majority of alumni contributed $25,000 to $50,000.

Fifty-five percent of faculty and staff gave to the family campaign, she said. This campaign’s percentage was the highest ever.

“Our largest single gift was $8 million from Patti Harrison for Texas State’s Performing Arts Center,” Breier said.

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