Kristen Lefebvre

City Christmas tradition continues

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Offering a classic and engaging take on the holiday season, Sights and Sounds of Christmas is a local tradition for residents and students to experience this winter.

Held Dec. 4 through Dec. 7 at San Marcos Plaza Park, the four-day event is packed with family-friendly activities perfect for visiting parents and friends. In true Texas fashion, the festival features fried food to tempt even the healthiest patrons. Fried fish, turkey legs, chicken tenders, Manske rolls and funnel cakes are consistently popular options. All food vendors are from either local or non-profit organizations.

Hidden Gems of The Square

Stellar Café

Tucked away on North LBJ Street, Stellar Café is a coffee shop opened by owner Michaela Kovaric about seven months ago.

“(Kovaric) was inspired by 1920s European cafes,” said Jake Buckholz, barista at Stellar Café. “She loved coffee and wanted to fill a void in San Marcos.”

Antiques and artwork adorn the walls, and the rustic interior is scattered with various pieces of interesting furniture. The cafe serves a variety of coffees and teas.

“The Peppermint Mocha Latte is the most popular right now,” Buckholz said.

The cafe is currently open each night until 11 p.m., offering the Texas State community a cozy and quiet environment in which to study for finals.

Hays Co Outfitters

New apartment complex being built at corner of Craddock, FM 12

A new apartment complex with an estimated August 2014 completion date will bring student living to what is previously a predominantly single-family area in San Marcos.

Construction is underway on the Capstone Cottages apartment complex at the corner of Craddock Avenue and FM 12. The new complex will accommodate 899 residents, said Jen Wilson, vice president of sales for Capstone Cottages. Many leases for the complex have already been signed, Wilson said.

There is currently no Texas State tram running to the area. Capstone Cottages will not be using the university tram services or bus loops, according to Steve Herrera, manager of the Texas State shuttle service.

Texas State Student Foundation holds annual Veterans Day ceremony

Students, veterans, active military and San Marcos residents came together Monday morning in The Quad to observe the Student Foundation’s Annual Veterans Day ceremony.

The ceremony featured Texas State alumnus Brig. Gen. Mark Kelly as the keynote speaker. Kelly is the commander of the 354th fighter wing at the Eielson Air Force Base and has 27 years of experience in the military.

According to Kelly, Veterans Day is “a day unlike any other kind of day.”

“Whereas on July 4th we celebrate a national birthday and on Memorial Day we celebrate national sacrifice, on Veterans Day, we gather to recognize national service and national courage—to remember the men and women who survived and solved our nation’s greatest challenges,” Kelly said.

H.E.A.T. hosts underwear run

Students stood together in front of Harris Dining Hall Friday, took off their clothes and proceeded to run through campus.

Hit the Floor Running was the name of a “littlewear benefit run” hosted by the Human Environmental Animal Team. Participants made the trek across campus from the dining hall to Sewell Park in outfits that left little to the imagination. The runners paid a $15 entrance fee that will go toward installing a tile floor in the Khwawa Secondary School in Malawi, Africa. The shed clothing was donated at the starting line to benefit two orphanages, one in Haiti and the other in San Marcos. According to the Texas State H.E.A.T. Facebook page, one of the organization’s focuses is humanitarian work, much like Friday’s run.

New organization aims to inspire students

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Some students have taken the stage to express their passions and share ideas through a new student organization.

The organization, Student Theory, had its first event Thursday night in the Centennial Teaching Theater. 

“It’s an organization of the students, by the students and for the students,” said George Walden, founder of Student Theory. 

His idea behind Student Theory is to create a forum similar to T.E.D. Talks for student speakers. Students speak about their passions with the intent to inspire and motivate others. 

Professor researches, creates robots for dangerous tasks

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Harold Stern, director of the Ingram School of Engineering, is often terrified when Heping Chen’s $100,000 hunk of steel roams the halls of Roy F. Mitte’s fifth floor.

Chen, assistant professor at the Ingram School of Engineering, has worked with robotics for more than 15 years. He spends approximately 20 hours each week researching and assembling them. With the help of Hongtai Cheng, postdoctoral research associate from China, Chen has manufactured one semi-automotive and two stationary robots. All three robots are designed to make tasks easier.

“Robots can release people from some tedious, dangerous or hazardous work,” Chen said.

Sand ceremony symbolizes destruction, renewal

 

After four days of hard work and painstaking attention to detail, Tibetan Monks on Texas State’s campus finished colorful artwork made entirely of sand that spanned about 2 feet in diameter. 

Then on Friday, they destroyed it. 

The artwork, a traditional Buddhist mandala, is a symbol of the universe. The monks are from Drepung Loseling Monastery near Atlanta, Ga. and created the mandala as part of this year’s Common Experience program. Lobsang Dhondup, one of the visiting monks, explained the ceremonial destruction of the symbol to a crowd of more than 100 people in the LBJ Student Center.

Tibetan monks perform Buddhist ritual in weeklong event

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Men in maroon and gold robes worked diligently on an intricate drawing Tuesday, carefully tapping colored sand through metal tubes onto an outline. The artwork was starting to take shape but will be destroyed soon after it is finished Friday. 

The Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery near Atlanta, Ga. kicked off their weeklong visit to Texas State Monday at the LBJ Student Center. They started the creation of the artwork, a traditional Buddhist sand mandala.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle,” and the work of art is used to bless certain regions with compassion, understanding and wisdom.

Lobsang Dhondup, one of the visiting monks, began the ceremonies with a short speech explaining the nature of Buddhism and the purpose of the mandala. 

January brings spike in rec attendance

January brings an increase in students to the Student Recreation Center interested in fulfilling their fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions.

According to Ryan McAfee, assistant director of informal recreation, the center sees about 3,000 more students than usual per week in January, or about 500 more per day. Though the number of students visiting the recreation center spikes in January, their attendance decreases in the following months.

McAfee said an average of 8,370 students visited the recreation center each week in January 2012. The number fell to 7,844 students per week in February 2012 and 6,147 per week in March 2012.

McAfee said September is the busiest month of the year, when students are returning to school, followed by January.

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