Naomi Lovato

Texas State to implement Cats’ Caravan for university promotion

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Texas State will roll out a new initiative for road promotions at the end of April with a tour of major Texas cities called Cats’ Caravan.

Cats’ Caravan is a university-wide marketing and recruitment activity planned for the spring, said Barbara Breier, vice president of University Advancement.

In each city, the “caravan” will highlight the accomplishments and achievements of Texas State, she said. The “caravan” is a collaboration between Texas State Athletics and University Advancement with partners from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Career Services, the Office of University Marketing and the Division of Student Affairs. The initiative will present a coordinated message about the university.

Bat population helps ecosystem but presents health, safety hazard

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Hays County has the third-largest bat population in Texas, and evidence of this can be found in the Alkek parking garage at Texas State.

Mexican free-tailed bats inhabit the Alkek parking garage along with barn swallows, said Elsie Romano, environmental health and safety specialist. Bats can also be found in Bobcat Stadium and Jowers Center, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services.

The Alkek garage has cave-like characteristics, making it a popular area for bats, Nance said. The bat population on campus is in the thousands, but is hard to count because many can squeeze into small spaces, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities.

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.

Budding virologists study illnesses, work with samples

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Experimenting with viruses and learning about their differences are things students in the virology class do on any given class day.

The class, in which participants study viruses and diseases, is taught by lecturer Kelly Woytek with a lab run by the instructor’s assistants. Students experiment with illnesses like the influenza virus. Students diluted a sample of influenza until they could determine the concentration of the substance.

“The instructor assistant told us to be careful not to mess with the aerosol (of the virus),” said Jorge Pescador, chemistry senior. “We were not wearing masks, and while I was pipetting, I guess my face was too close, and I breathed in the aerosol and got sick from that.”

Chartwells offers healthier foods

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Chartwells officials are tastefully incorporating more healthy eating options and information into dining hall menus.

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, a Mongolian grill and full salad bars are newly available to customers. Harris Dining Hall now offers a special vegan dish every night, said Chin-Hong Chua, resident district manager of Chartwells. Mr. B’s Grinders in Jones Food Court now serves grilled vegetables, and vegetarian and vegan wraps are available in the deli case.

“I know that this semester we have a lot of vegan and vegetarian questions,” Chua said. “We have been doing this for a while, but we are becoming more aggressive with it moving forward.”

Some university workers not required to wear identification

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University employees are not always required to wear badges identifying themselves, which has led to some confusion on campus.

The university does not require staff to wear badges or IDs clarifying they are university employees, said Kyle Estes, associate director of Housing and Residential Life. Those who work in recycling, postal services, maintenance, information technology, environmental health, safety and risk management as well as vending machine operators who enter residence halls are not required to have formal identification or badges.

Vehicular burglaries rising on, near Texas State campus

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Texas State is experiencing an increase in vehicle burglaries on and near campus. However, the police say they are doing all they can to keep up with this rising number.

A few weeks ago, sophomore Francesca Neely-Dickey received a call from the San Marcos police asking about her whereabouts the night before. Neely-Dickey’s car had been involved in a string of incidents the night before, and she was considered a suspect. Neely-Dickey had left her car at the mechanic shop off of Guadalupe Street for about a month, and because of a key misplacement, the car door was left unlocked overnight.

Officials to use strategic growth plan with freshman enrollment

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Although university officials will not cap total undergraduate enrollment, they will use strategic growth to control the number of incoming students.

The goal is to grow while still managing the influx, said Eugene Bourgeois, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. No actual enrollment number targets exist, but there is an ideal, Bourgeois said. The university must continue to provide resources equally to every student.

Fewer students were admitted this year than last according to the quality of completed applications because the university is growing nearer to capacity and the applicant pool continues to rise, said Michael Heintze, associate vice president for Enrollment Management.

University generates 2,000 pounds of waste per month

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Texas State is doing its part to reduce the university’s waste footprint through the disposal of food, sewage and hazardous waste.

The university is considered a large generator of waste, creating about 2,000 pounds per month, said Elizabeth Arceneaux, environmental health and safety specialist.

There are multiple ways of sanitizing around campus, from disposing of dining hall food refuse to the special care of hazardous waste and efforts to clean the river, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities.

Residence halls to be renovated, replaced as part of 10-year plan

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A 10-year plan is in place to renovate existing residence halls or possibly replace them with a different style.

The Department of Housing and Residential Life hired a consultant to study the university’s growth patterns and projections. The consultant looked at the conditions of the halls, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services.

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