Students expecting to graduate in the coming months must take advantage of the university’s resources to prepare for the competitive job market and work hard to stand out among other alumni.
Although unemployment rates have fluctuated between 3.2 and 7.1 percent over the past decade in the Austin metropolitan area, it is difficult for some recent graduates to find a job with reasonable pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is the 16th best state to find a job in, with a seasonally adjusted Dec. 2012 unemployment rate of 6.1 percent. In 2010, the average unemployment rate for the San Marcos, Austin and Round Rock areas was 7.1 percent compared to an estimated 5.76 percent in 2012, according to the same statistics.
San Marcos residents and students need to back the San Marcos City Council’s vote to allow a student housing complex on the recently acquired Cape’s Camp property.
According to a Jan. 15 University Star article, city council voted 5-2 to allow developers to build a student housing complex called The Woodlands of San Marcos. The complex will be built on part of the land tract known as Cape’s Camp.
Many residents believe the entirety of the riverfront location should be acquired by the city as parkland and should not become the new site for a student housing complex. The decision has been seen as controversial within the community because of environmental and tax reasons. The protests against the zoning changes and the construction of the riverfront property have the city of San Marcos torn between development and opposition from residents.
With the fresh start of the spring semester, it is important for students to find a way to dive right back into classwork.
After all the stress from fall finals and the flurry of the holiday season, it may be difficult for some students to transition into the new semester. By starting off the spring organized, prepared and ready to learn, students will have a better chance of ending the semester strongly.
When the cold weather leaves and spring comes around, students may find it easy to skip class and soak up the sun in Sewell Park. While lying out on Bikini Hill and getting a tan may be tempting, it will not help your GPA. Students must understand that attending class is not enough, however. It is just as important to be alert during lectures. A better semester will be possible if students make a resolution to take care of their minds and health, especially during one of the worst flu seasons on record.
The new tenure standards will be vital to ensuring faculty members are adequately teaching and serving their students.
Faculty members at Texas State are currently able to reach tenure at six years. Beginning next fall, the requirements for achieving tenure will expand.
Texas State administrators recently altered the tenure policy. According to a Nov. 6 University Star article, faculty members will be required to wait the full six years before applying for tenure in addition to receiving reviews by outside professionals. This change in the method should provide students with the best possible set of faculty members.
According to a May 20, 2011 University News Service press release, Texas State granted 40 faculty members tenure in the spring of that year. According to a July 11 University Star article, 34 additional faculty members were granted tenure for the fall 2012 semester.
University officials should respond more quickly and efficiently to future emergency situations as a result of lessons learned from the Oct. 18 bomb threat.
According to a Nov. 6 University Star article, former student Brittany Nicole Henderson was arrested Oct. 23 and put in the Brazos County Jail. According to an Oct. 22 University Star article, she sent the bomb threat via email to a Texas State admissions counselor who works from her home in Houston. Henderson, who is facing charges for the bomb threat, was recently transported to the Hays County Law Enforcement Center.
According to the same Oct. 22 article, the bomb threat regarding the Undergraduate Admissions Center was sent at 7:21 a.m., but was not transferred to the University Police Department until approximately 8:50 a.m. Students on campus were not made aware of the potential danger until almost two and a half hours after the threat was sent.
Texas State needs to counter the recent drop in the freshman yield rate with a variety of academic and marketing tactics.
According to an Oct. 3 University Star article, 4,251 freshmen are enrolled for the fall 2012 semester. However, the number of admitted students at Texas State this semester is more than twice the current freshman class size.
According to the same article, the university experienced a -4.4 percent difference in the freshman yield rate from fall 2011 to fall 2012. There is a drastic difference between the number of freshmen accepted and the total amount of freshmen who actually attend Texas State. This difference may be due to prospective students who apply to several schools when searching for a university that fits their needs.
Students should take advantage of graduating early or earning their diplomas on time to receive monetary rebate benefits offered at Texas State.
There are extra incentives to graduating within four years or fewer. Aside from being able to get a professional job earlier than some peers, students are now rewarded financially for completing coursework faster than projected six-year graduation rates.
The Tuition Rebate Program was initiated in March 2011. The program rewards students financially for making an early decision about their major and minimizing the number of unnecessary courses taken. Reducing unnecessary coursework does not only save students’ money. The university and the state save money this way by reducing staff, faculty and other additional costs students may require while taking more than four years to complete their degrees.
Student parking has become increasingly scarce. However, students without permits should never infringe on the rights of the disabled to park in handicapped spaces.
The abuse and misuse of handicapped spots has even led the Hays County Commissioners Court to consider alternative ways to handle parking violators.
According to a Sept. 12 University Star article, the commissioners court may enforce and fine those who park illegally in handicapped spaces, with the help of non-profit organization Access Improvement. The court has also suggested a program, much like defensive driving, to make the public aware of why people should not park in handicapped spaces without necessity.
If $800,000 is going to be spent to replace the bridge on Cape Road, it should be beautiful, structurally sound and convenient for residents and tourists.
The fate of the bridge has been a topic of discussion with the Texas Department of Transportation for more than a year. The bridge is located in John J. Stokes City Park near Thompson’s Island. TxDOT and city officials are now on board to replace the bridge, which provides a path for residents and visitors over the San Marcos River.
According to an Aug. 30 University Star article, construction is set to begin Sept. 10, and the project is supposed to last no longer than four months. The $800,000 bridge update may seem costly, but it will benefit the community overall.
It is important that the bridge is replaced due to its age and condition, according to the agenda from a June 19 city council meeting. In addition, the completed project will widen and raise the bridge for improved safety and mobility.
Although the university spent millions renovating Bobcat Stadium and proposed a million-dollar renovation for Alkek Library, significant funding should still be devoted to renovating dorm rooms that may cause health issues for students.
Historically, many edifices were constructed with asbestos prior to the 1980s. It is not uncommon for some campus buildings to have contained the fibrous material, which has been linked to serious health concerns like mesothelioma.
According to an April 19, 2011 University Star article, the Office of Planning, Design and Construction followed state-regulated procedures to remove asbestos from Falls Hall before it was demolished. A new performing arts center will be located at the former site of the dorm rooms.
Although the university followed safety procedures during the building deconstruction, that does not make up for the number of students who may have had health issues during their time at Falls Hall.
My name is Ariella I’m from Georgetown, Texas. I am an English major, Journalism minor. I am currently a junior. I’m allergic to everything, literally - gluten, shellfish, bananas, and anything else normal people can eat. When I graduate I hope to become an editor or publisher, maybe even write my own novel.