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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Rethink River Fest featured artists in the future

Nathan Moya
Tyga points to the crowd during his performance at River Fest, Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Sewell Park.

Just two months after the scandal surrounding a former quarterback transfer, Texas State promoted a featured artist for River Fest who also has a problematic background.

Texas State Student Involvement hosted River Fest April 11 at Sewell Park. River Fest is a “20-year-old tradition that allows the [Texas State] community to relax, participate in activities and enjoy live music,” according to the Texas State Student Involvement website.

The headliner was Tyga, who is a notable rapper with hits such as “Taste (feat. Offset),” “Kim Kardashian” and “Rack City.” Tyga also has multiple allegations regarding violence against women.

In January, Jayden de Laura withdrew from Texas State University after The University Star uncovered he had recently settled a civil lawsuit stemming from a 2018 alleged sexual assault case. The upset around the de Laura situation on campus lasted almost a week. Students made it clear to Texas State officials that there is no place on campus for a sexual abuser.

Though it remains unclear if de Laura decided to withdraw on his own, or if university officials coached him, he left and the Texas State environment is better because of it.

Student Involvement and the Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA) planned River Fest, meaning they were responsible for booking the artists.

A mere two months, almost to the day, after de Laura’s withdrawal, Tyga was announced as the featured artist for River Fest.

Devon Crew

Texas State University once again welcomed someone with assault allegations onto campus with open arms. Though the university is not explicitly responsible for booking Tyga as a performer, Student Involvement and SACA are directly involved with the university which likely means the artists had to be approved on some level.

Tyga has many allegations connected to his name. In 2012, he was sued by three dancers for breach of contract, invasion of privacy and fraud after their breasts were exposed in one of his music videos when the dancers were promised no nudity. In 2016, the judge sided with the plaintiffs and Tyga was ordered to pay $10 million to each of the three women.

In Oct. 2021, Tyga was booked for domestic violence. Though he was not charged with a felony, he voluntarily turned himself in and his ex-girlfriend claimed she had been “emotionally, mentally and physically abused,” according to an instagram story she posted with a photo of her black eye.

Rumors about Tyga’s relationship with Kylie Jenner began when she was 17 and he was 24. The pair first met when Jenner was 14 and despite the seven year age gap, he proceeded to pursue her and they dated for over three years.

Now, students are again left wondering if Texas State truly cares about their well-being. River Fest was advertised as a time to relax, but when the headliner is someone publicly known to have abuse allegations, how is that possible?

Despite these allegations, students showed up by the thousands to see Tyga for free.

In addition to Tyga’s performance at River Fest, The Marc hosted an after-party event, which continued as planned after the chaos at Sewell Park. Texas State, along with one of the most prominent clubs in San Marcos, should not have given Tyga such a big platform in the city.

River Fest is a great tradition and after an eight-year hiatus, it deserved to make its return. However, officials needed to do more to ensure the safety of students.

It is difficult to look past the fact that Texas State almost immediately bounced back from the issue surrounding Jayden de Laura, and put students in another uncomfortable situation with an underlying tone of sexual assault and violence.

The issues surrounding Tyga’s prior behavior are readily available with one simple search online. Money and publicity do not matter nearly as much as students do, and nobody with a prominent history of assault should be welcomed onto campus.

The university must show students it cares about maintaining the anti-sexual assault culture students have fought for at Texas State. By no means should River Fest end, but Texas State and the student organizations in charge of planning the event must use more caution. This begins with truly looking into the background of who is invited to campus and reinforcing the values of integrity, compassion and respect.

-Rhian Davis is a journalism sophomore

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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