Madelynne Scales | Photo Editor

Faculty Senate discusses going digital with course evaluations

University officials are advocating for end-of-course evaluations to be moved online.

For the past five years, students have filled out the end-of-course evaluations on physical Scantrons. However, certain members of the Texas State University Faculty Senate are pushing for the biannual evaluations to be done online and no longer with pencil and paper, said Susan Weill, associate professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“I am pushing for the change in format of evaluation forms,” Weill said. “I am on the faculty senate, and I am advocating for it. I just think it’s the way of the future and we ought to do it.”

Backyard gardening on rise as large-scale farming suffers

Many large-scale farmers located along the IH-35 corridor have been increasingly affected by the ongoing drought over the past fifteen years, sometimes unable to yield their quotas during harvest season.

The ongoing drought has strained farmers’ dependence on rainwater to grow crops, thus causing food prices to rise. While the prominence of large-scale farming is diminishing, a new subculture of backyard farming is emerging in San Marcos.

J.W. Ottmers, owner of Oma and Opa’s Farms, began farming in 1968 and currently grows 18 different crops on his five acres of land.

San Marcos officials aiming to create jobs as city grows

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Because San Marcos is America’s fastest growing city, officials are looking to expand the job industry to accommodate the rapid growth and influx of people moving from surrounding areas.

Many people think students are contributing to the economic growth as the university hits record numbers of enrollment, but data show students are not the main cause, said Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.

The average person moving to San Marcos is 31 years old, Cruz said. Most newcomers are from Travis County.

Beyond the Game: Michelle Bucy

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From the moment Michelle Bucy, senior defender, stepped foot on campus during her junior year in high school, she knew that Texas State was her future.

She competed in gymnastics, softball, basketball and soccer in high school. The aggressiveness and pace of soccer established her passion for the game.

“I love the game and the competition,” Bucy said. “I love getting tackles and being aggressive. In basketball I always fouled out, gymnastics wasn’t for me and softball was not my pace. I just feel I found my calling in soccer.”

Bucy’s father, Christopher, noticed when his daughter was young that she ran away from the ball instead of going towards it.

Tour of Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Zeta houses

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Pi Kappa Alpha’s old house on Belvin Street is somewhat of a San Marcos legend.

After the house burned down in 2007, the fraternity members had to find a new place to call home. After moving around, the fraternity has taken root on Hutchinson Street with a two-year lease.

In addition to the main house where eight members reside, the fraternity has a second property for partying, called “the party house,” located behind the backyard parking lot.

“We’re lucky to have what we have,” said Joe Liska, PIKE brother.

PIKE’s house is “like a big duplex” and features a living room, kitchen, granite countertops, “TVs all over the place,” study areas, futons and common areas, Liska said.

STAR Park to expand with 20-acre addition by 2016

The Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park will expand by 20 acres after receiving approval from the Texas State University System Board of Regents to acquire an adjacent tract of land.

The expansion project was authorized at the Board of Regents meeting in Austin Aug. 29, and the land purchase is estimated to cost $1,768,000, according to a university news release. The 38-acre site dedicated to research and commercialization efforts will expand the site to 58.28 acres.

Bobcat Marching Band to perform at Dallas Cowboys halftime

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The Bobcat Marching Band will perform during the halftime show Sept. 28 at the New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys football game in Arlington.

On the way home from the Texas State vs. University of Tulsa game, the marching band will make a pit stop at the AT&T Stadium to perform one of the two halftime shows they’ve prepared this season. Kyle Glaser, associate director of bands, said he emailed the Dallas Cowboys’ general information email address explaining the Bobcat Marching Band was interested in performing during halftime at a game.

Glaser said he did not think he would get a response from the Cowboys, but five days later the Cowboys’ head of marketing and special operations contacted him to say they would love to have the marching band perform.

Construction Update: Projects continue in attempt to accommodate growing population

This semester will bring no relief in the continued construction taking place both on and off campus as students, faculty and staff begin another school year.

Texas State and the City of San Marcos are implementing construction projects to keep up with the growing student population as well as outdated infrastructure, said Michael Petty, director of facilities planning, design and construction. Although construction projects may make things difficult for students and residents, they will make the campus a better place, he said.

Bobcat Trail

The renovation of Bobcat Trail began with updating old underground utilities and also creating a “wonderful green space for students,” Petty said.

Fun Fall Events

Most Texas State students are plagued by one of two event scheduling problems: either they’re faced with the possibility of so many seemingly-fun activities that it’s impossible to fit it all unto their Bookstore-issued planner, or they’re so bored on a Thursday night that attending an extra credit lecture session is actually starting to sound appealing. To avoid the stress that accompanies either situation, The University Star has sifted through sites and pared it down to the top four events no one should miss.

•          Texas State Talent Show tryouts

Head of Google Fiber in Austin speaks in San Marcos

Google Fiber

Mark Strama, the current head of Google Fiber in Austin and former member of the Texas House of Representatives, gave the keynote address at the 2014 Greater San Marcos Economic Outlook convention on May 22.

Google Fiber is Google’s latest endeavor, providing broadband Internet and television to a small but growing number of locations via a fiber-to-the-premise service, according to the Google Fiber website. In April 2013, it was announced that Austin would become a “Google Fiber City,” and that residents would be among the first to have access to the service, according to Google’s blog.

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