Midterm Story Final: Hayden Bach


by Hayden Bach

Want to attend SXSW but can’t afford a music badge? SXSW offers plenty of free shows all across Austin. This year a music badge to SXSW cost just under $1,000, but someone without a music badge could potentially see the same number of shows as someone with a music badge and pay zero.

On March 12, The Rustic Tap, on West Sixth Street, offered a full day of live music shows for free. The acts included The Jonny Gray Band starting off the day, Origami Ghosts performing in the afternoon, and Jane N The Jungle wrapping up the performances in the evening.

Jane N The Jungle performing their song "Walking Cleopatra".

“I’ve lived in Austin for five years now and I’ve never purchased a SXSW music badge,” said Corey Burnett while watching The Jonny Gray Band perform. “I am not interested in the big name artist that require a badge, the free performances are just fine with me.”

He is correct, if you are interested in seeing any of the big name performers, like Wiz Khalifa, Garth Brooks, or Kehlani, for example, you will need the music badge, but if you’re just at SXSW for the music and do not care who is performing, then the free shows are your best bet. Some people tend to buy a badge and attend the free shows anyway.

Origami Ghosts is an always changing band made up of Seattle natives John Paul Scesniak and whoever he decides to bring along.

“I buy a badge every year because I know there is always going to be someone I want to see where I will need the badge to get in, but I almost always go to more free shows where I don’t even need it,” said Marcus Garcia, another attendee of The Rustic Tap shows. Marcus is an Austin native who now owns and operates a graphic design business in Houston. “Besides, the big shows are insane most of the time, I really like being able to go to a show and relax and not worry about someone hitting or kicking me.”

This is also true for most free shows. You will very rarely see a free show where a line to get in is a block down the sidewalk or attendance is at the venue’s full capacity, but shows still see a good crowd with The Rustic Tap hosting around 200 people during The Jonny Gray Band’s performance.

“We love getting to play shows at SXSW,” said Jonny Gray, lead singer for The Jonny Gray Band. “The bars do not pay us a lot, but it’s more about attracting new fans for us. The more fans we attract, the longer we get to play music and SXSW is one of the best places to do so.”

The Jonny Gray Band covering Blink-182's "I Miss You" with Jonny Gray pictured on the far right.

So next year, if you’re running a little tight on money, but still want to enjoy the SXSW festivities, just take a stroll downtown and there is a good chance you will find a bar with live music and a band who would love you to come see them play.

Midterm Story Final

“We need to educate people that it’s Poison”
That is what APD detective Lonnie Gall had to say about the recent outbreaks of K2 spice.

With the prohibition of any substance comes cheap alternatives, however relaying the effects to public knowledge should be the biggest concern.

It’s only been a year since Texas legislature scheduled synthetic marijuana as a level I drug, thus making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess, and sell within the state. However it seems within the past few months cases of overdose have spiked.

According to APD detective Lonnie Gall, who’s worked on force for eighteen years, the recent spikes are the fallout of the newly enacted law.

APD must take extensive measures when making an apprehension, as most arrests are already pre-warranted, as the testing for K2 cannot be performed as readily as other narcotics. So often times APD must return after they’ve conducted test.

To get the full summary K2 from detective Gall, click below.

While the distributors usually look to prey on the homeless and vulnerable, there have been instances of students purchasing K2 in the belief that it substitutes the effects of Marijuana. With that, last August Austin Texas CMS reported 27 cases of K2 overdoses within a 24-hour period alone.

In reality K2 is often merely just an mixture of herbs sprayed with a chemicals with the intent of mimicking the psychoactive effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). The only knowledge of the effects are often left with the distributor alone. The side effects can be drastic, or even fatal, possibly leading to seizures, loss of consciousness,vomiting, hallucinations, and paranoia.

According to reports released by APD, the majority of K2 dealers have actually been youth. With that, about 40% of overdoses from the drug have also been from persons under twenty. However the largest toll rests on Austin’s transient population.

APD has had its plate full when it comes to controlling the substances movement, especially during the heavy traffic of South by Southwest. Long lines, unruly tourists, and plenty of tight space can all produce the perfect climate for an inexpensive new substance to prosper.

Remember to call attention to public awareness of the substance, as a well informed community is a well prepared one.

If you/or someone you know comes in contact with K2 please dial poison control at (800) 222-1222

Midterm Final Ibarra

CABRA: SEU Students bring Art to Campus with No Funding

Learn about CABRA’s beginning and where the magazine is planned to go:

CABRA is a student-led fashion magazine founded by St. Edward’s University students in 2015. The aptly named magazine (cabra means goat in Spanish, Portuguese, and Galacian) features fashion articles written by St. Edward’s students. However, unlike other student publications on campus, like Hilltop Views, CABRA is not housed in the School of Humanities; it is housed in Student Life.

“At the time of our formation we were formed as a student organization, so it’s just the same as any other common interest group,” Ethan Cummins, Editor-in-Chief of CABRA, said. “Like if we were going to put together a puppy club we’re on the same par as the puppy club,” Cummins continued.

CABRA’s status as a student organization means it relies on Student Life for funding. If they were housed in the School of the Humanities,  they would receive funding from the school. Because of the lack of funding coming from Student Life, CABRA has pop-up shops and other fundraisers to fund its print-runs. Of the three issues CABRA has created, only the first went to print.

“I can assure you all the money flowing into our account came from us,” Cummins said.

Like other student-led publications, CABRA publishes their magazine on Issuu.  Issuu allows for free online publications. Magazine editors and writers can create documents on Adobe Suite and import it to the site. However, Cummins and other CABRA members would like to see the magazine in print.

“Our ultimate goal is to distribute it physically to the community. It’s made by students for students. It’s so much more meaningful when you can hold it in your hands and flip through the pages,” Cummins said. “It’s really important for me philosophically for a fashion magazine to be printed.”

It takes at least a whole semester for an issue to come to fruition.

“From the end of the release of the last issue to the release of the new issue, it’s down to the wire,” Cummins said.

CABRA is one of the only arts publications on campus, joining Literati and Sorin Oak Review. At a liberal arts university like St. Edward’s, it’s surprising that there isn’t more funding for student-led art publications. CABRA editors and staff weren’t aware that they could be housed out of student life, and are now seeking a place where they can receive funding.

For CABRA’s future, Cummins says we can expect to see political issues covered–they didn’t cover the election this past year–because “it’s something [CABRA] can no longer ignore.”

CABRA’s latest issue:

Midterm Almost Final- Ana Flores

*Link to my draft on Medium*


The Music Within

Science and Spirituality

Its hard to describe a religious experience. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the actual definition of the religious experience is “vague, and the multiplicity of kinds of experiences that fall under it makes it difficult to capture in any general account.”

It feels like…


A spiritual connection is often linked directly to the musical ministry of the religion at the time of the experience. Musical accompaniment is common in the Christian religion.

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Experts are able to draw the path of music in our bodies and apply scientific reasoning to the feeling of joy when listening to music. So, how big of a role does music play in the spiritual ministry of the soul? The line between science and spirituality may not be as defined as we think.

Music is not isolated to only the Christian religion. There are many others that use music to worship and influence the spiritual experience.


Music is a large part of human history and can be seen in most religions around the world.


The way music influences our brains is a scientific phenomenon. According to Here’s What Happens Inside Your Brain When You Listen to Music, an article by Tom Barnes, a writer for Music.Mic, music affects the four major lobes of the brain.

“The various structures involved with comprehension are constantly relaying information back and forth to one another and processing disparate information simultaneously in order to build one’s understanding and response to music,” -Barnes.

Its not usually what you would think about when listening to your favorite song, but Barnes says that once the physical delivery of the music through the auditory cortex has taken place, the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter or neuron messenger responsible for pleasure, accounts for the “chills” we get when listening to music.

Musicians, religious and otherwise, recognize this effect.

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“Our most powerful emotional responses are a result of prolonged expectations and a sudden resolution. Our finest composers all had an understanding of this principle…the longer an artist withholds the payoff, the more powerful the emotional cascade will be,” -Barnes.

The climax of a song brings about these emotions. From there, Barnes says that both the motor and visual cortex are triggered when listening to a song. This is what brings people to want to dance to a rhythm or have visual experiences with music.

So, can this explain the religious sensation sometimes experienced during worship?

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The use of music in these religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, is to give praise.

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The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that “a feeling of elation, for example, even if it occurs in a religious context, does not count in itself as a religious experience…to account for the experiences qua experiences, we must go beyond subjective feelings.”

This is what those invested in their religions will tell you, a spiritual connection is made.

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Evelyn’s dad was held at gunpoint in Mexico. Men who were looking to take advantage of what his family had burglarized Evelyn’s family’s apartment and took everything they could find. Luckily, Evelyn’s family had recently uprooted her and her sister to the U.S. where everything is much safer and where they knew they would have a chance and opportunity to succeed.

Her life did a 180. From being raised in Mexico, she is all of a sudden 9 years old and in a new country. She learned a new language, culture, made new friends. The transition hasn’t been easy but it has been one to reflect on. To this day, at 22 years old, Evelyn finds it difficult to relate to Americans and Mexicans even though she is both. She forgets words in both languages or stutters a little when pronouncing something she’s never heard. She holds many American values yet manages to achieve a balance between staying true to her Mexican culture and staying true to herself.

First-generation Mexican Americans struggle with a very specific form of identity crisis. You’re American but you’re also a latino. You’re sometimes neither here nor there. You speak two languages, balance two distinct personalities, but you can often get tangled up in both identities. You can easily lose yourself between attempting to stay true to your heritage but inevitably fall back on your country of birth, or vise versa. In Evelyn’s case, she doesn’t have it all figured out. It’s not easy when your identity is quite literally a fusion of two cultures. Evelyn was fortunate enough to receive an education because of the hardships her parents endured in order to make sure she got ahead in this country.

From the double standards in Mexican culture between men and women, to just having a really good taco, Evelyn’s experience is just one of the many thousands of first generation Ahttps://soundcloud.com/edeliz-perez/midterm-story-edelizmericans in this country who are the product of their parents’ sacrifices. Standing at the forefront of two cultures, Evelyn has been able to see the distinct differences between coming from a collectivist society into an individualist one. Mexicans are very tight-knit and family-oriented, American’s are much more independent and self-influenced. With both cultures pulling at her, Evelyn is still learning to adapt and decide where she stands on the spectrum. To her, being a first-generation American is not something she takes for granted. She continues to passionately strive for opportunities and live up to be the reflection of her parents’ endurances.

Midterm Final – Moreno

Every year, the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at St. Edward’s University selects 35 students to receive their full-tuition scholarship. The students are either migrant workers themselves, or children of migrants.

Theila Galvan (’15), Guadalupa Aguilar (’15) and Eduardo Castellanos (’16) are current CAMP students who have worked in the fields themselves and continue to do so. All three students are from all over the Rio Grande Valley but travel up north every summer for seasonal farm work.

Students’ Hometown


Students’ Working Town

Theila Galvan began traveling up north since she was four years old. “Although I was too young to work, obviously, I would stay with family while my parents went out to work.”

This past summer, after her freshman year at St. Edward’s, Galvan traveled up to Missouri where she worked in potato farms and factories sorting out rotten produce.

“It was difficult to not fall asleep when you have been up since five in the morning and have to stare at potatoes all day,” Galvan says.

Although her parents both have stable jobs and no longer depend on migrant work, Galvan accompanies her aunt in order to have some extra cash for herself or pay her on-campus housing.

Galvan never expected herself to attend college, “at most I thought I would get a two-year nursing degree.” But when she learned about CAMP, her life completely changed, and not only through education.

When CAMP scholars arrive, they are provided with a routine hearing and vision screening. In her first week as an independent college student, Galvan learned she was 40 percent deaf in both ears and would be needing hearing aids.

“I cried. Not only because I did not want it to be true, but because I knew my family would never afford them,” Galvan says.

Fortunately, CAMP staff would drive her to her appointments and helped her find donors willing to help her pay for her hearing aids.

Guadalupe Aguilar (right) proudly holds the Migrant Farm Worker’s flag she painted herself at the annual Cesar Chavez March in Austin, Texas.


Guadalupe Aguilar started her first day on the field at the age of 12, much younger than the usual teens. While legally she was not old enough to work, her parents had been working long enough with the same contractor for him to let it slide.

“I did not like working in the field at that age. I just wanted to have a normal summer like every other kid,” Aguilar says.

But her baby sister was only a few years old, and she understood that her mother could not work as much. “We have only ever depended on seasonal work for income, so I did what I had to do to help my parents.”

While Aguilar no longer works in the fields, she still travels to Indiana with her parents and works at a local school with other migrant students. Her parents still rely solely on migrant farm work for their annual income.

“They only make about $29,000 combined yearly, but it is tough for them to find a part-time job in the few months when they aren’t traveling up north.”

Eduardo Castellanos watches the performers at the annual Cesar Chavez March.

Eduardo Castellanos is a freshman at St. Edward’s who is currently struggling with the decision if he will return next year or not.

“My parents don’t want me to take out loans, and we don’t have enough money for me to afford housing on-campus,” Castellanos says.

He knows the opportunity CAMP has given him is more than he could have ever imagined. But, his family predominantly relies on their migrant income which he fears is not enough.

Castellanos, however, is determined to finish his education at St. Edward’s.

“I’m going back to Ohio this summer to save money for books and housing, and I’ll probably get as many jobs as I can next semester.”


While these students come from very different backgrounds, they were all brought together by their unique work experience. Though college can be tough, they give credit to fields for helping them develop a resilient work ethic.

Midterm Story Final Draft: Elizabeth Ucles

President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposes a $9 billion cut on education. Once more, charters and private schools with prosper at the expense of public schools.

Title II, the 21st Century Community Program Learning Centers program, and The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity program all faced elimination. TRIO and GEARUP, programs that provide assistance for low-income, first-generation and disabled students, experienced massive cuts as well.

These cuts are few of many other reductions in education in the proposed budget.

Country-wide issues aside, cuts have plagued Texas public education beginning in 2006 when the Texas Legislature reduced property taxes by one-third. This financial wound further exasperated in 2011 with a $5.4 billion cut.

The debilitation of learning begins with budget cuts and continues through increased standardized testing– 28 to 45 days too many of testing activity that shatters Texas’s accountability system.

Uproar concerning Texas public education has been a long time coming; however, President Trump’s proposal to further impinge on public education comes at a paramount time.

Cathie Robinson, principal at Steiner Ranch Elementary in Leander ISD in Austin, Texas, speaks to the ways under-funding hinders learning on her campus.

“It affects the staffing available to me,” Robinson said, “It affects resources and everything else that comes with per-student funding.”

Robinson mentions that guidance counselors, reading specialists, ESL educators tend to be stretched thin due to an uneven ratio of students to educators as more students enroll.

While Robinson appreciated standardized testing in keeping educators accountable with equitable service, she agreed that high-stakes testing solely functions as a snapshot.

“The accountability system and its repercussions perhaps keep school leaders from trying more innovative ways of reaching students,” Robinson said, “You need to have some inner-resolve of faith to move past the kill-and-drill mentality.”

Robinson maintains that standardized testing tends to terminate enthusiasm for the certain genre being honed in on.

On March 25, Save Texas Schools brought these issues to the political stage at the Texas Capitol.

The rally brought state leaders, parents, teachers and students to speak on the various ways under-funding and over-testing affects their communities and lives.

Over 200 protesters attended the rally on the south steps of the Capitol

John Kuhn, former superintendent of the small Perrin-Whitt school district returned after speaking at the same rally in 2011.

Kuhn referenced the constitution at various points when solidifying education as a basic human right– a right impaired following major budget cuts.

“The public school building, more than any other structure in America, is where the people bring democracy to life,” Kuhn said.

Check out Ahmaad Washington’s story on how public education influenced his career as a MovementUP artist. Washington educates with age appropriate and modern urban music production:

Kuhn reiterated prevalent points on the mistreatment of public schools when comparing to charters and private schools.

“Free market schools are under no obligation to serve all children,” Kuhn said, “Competition doesn’t breed excellence. If it did, our fast food restaurants would serve the healthiest food around.”

Check out what Ken Zarifis, President of Education Austin, had to say concerning privatization in Austin ISD: 

Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, Gina Hinajosa, called politicians out on their neglect and broken promises.

“They campaign on doing more for our kids,” Hinajosa said, “Well now is the time to deliver on those promises.”

House Bill 1336, Transparency in Testing, created by Michael Messer, will prompt districts to specify on financial reports how much they spend on the STAAR test.

Check out what Juliet Stipeche, Director of Education, had to say concerning the impact of under-funding and over-testing:

Check out how Allen Weeks, creator of rally and Executive Director of Austin Voices, brought the rally together:

More sights and sounds from the rally:







Midterm Story Final- Olivia Skedd

Austin, Texas has been a central site for protests since the 1950’s. With the University of Texas and the state Capitol located in Austin, thousands of people each year come for marches, rallies, and demonstrations. With constant advancements in technology, however, location matters less and less for the new generation of protestors. People can voice for change and against injustices in 140 characters or less rather than marching down Congress Avenue.

Susan Stanford was walking to class her freshman year at the University of Texas in the fall of 1969 when trucks full of men in riot gear pulled up.

That day was known as the Chuck Wagon Riot and the first demonstration that Stanford was a part of.

Stanford’s life had been leading up to a moment like this. Her mother came from a very poor family, but was able to go away to college where she would meet Stanford’s father. The two of them instilled certain values into their children like respecting all types of people no matter their socio-economic status, gender, age, or race.

The 1960’s were a pivotal time of change in America and specifically with regards to social change.

Information about strikes, marches, and sit-ins were spread through word of mouth.

Now information can be spread to hundreds of thousands with one click. Social media has reshaped the way people can learn about movements, marches, and rallies and gather masses of people. A new generation of protestors, called Millennials, has formed using Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter as their platforms.

A part of the new generation is Zoe Watts. Watts, 19, has lived in Austin for over 17 years. Social media is allowing her to connect with people from various countries, with different ideologies and values. Facebook to her “is a great way to share information and voice opinions, and to have conversations and start dialogues,” said Watts.

With so much information available, you’re sources need to be accurate and trustworthy. “I look mainly for sources that have been fact checked by a reputable source, or are  peer edited/reviewed, that take an unbiased approach at reporting a story,” said Watts.

Watts is queer, female, and a person of color, who feels that given this, is hyper aware of what is going on in the world.

“If we can’t respect each other and each other’s cultures, and realize that we can be different, we’re not going to get anywhere closer equality. I think some people need to realize that it’s okay to not be the same, and okay to be proud of those differences, but not be judged or treated differently because of it,” said Watts.

Though new mediums are available to voice injustices, why people are saying they will not be tolerated are the same. Generations will constantly be pushing for change. Marches, rallies, sit-ins, letter writing, phone calls, tweets are continually building on top of one another to create a more connected and informed world.