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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

Newsroom Champs declare victory

Mandalyn Lewallen
The University Star editorial board poses with a recent issue on the Old Main stairs, Sunday, April 21, 2024.

The University Star and its editorial board worked tirelessly throughout the summer, fall and spring to achieve the ultimate goal of this year: bringing more coverage to you, the audience, that you wanted to read.

The Newsroom Champs, the title of our Slack chat, is a name that resonated with the editorial board and has shown in our work throughout the year. Our work this year demonstrated to the Texas State community the power of journalism through our coverage of important community events.

The University Star did important work during the 2023-24 school year covering the 135% in rapes from the annual security and fire safety report, apartment break-ins at The Villages on Telluride, the football team finally putting together a winning season and breaking news that we deemed important to our audience.

In November 2023, University Camp, where The Star editorial board gathers over the summer for annual team building retreats, was on the brink of being sold. The Texas State community was devastated and because of the memories the past two editorial boards have made at University Camp, The Star community was equally hurt.

Because of the uproar, we put our heads together and came up with an outline for a Main Point, which are editorials the entire board collaborates on. We discussed the memories University Camp holds, why it is important to us as a team and why the act of selling it without consulting the Texas State community was almost embarrassing for university officials.

In the end, University Camp was not sold. A few weeks after the Main Point was published, we found out our story and reporting was a contributing factor to the decision. It was incredibly rewarding to see in real-time the impact one story can have.

The Star covered Jayden de Laura’s settlement of a civil lawsuit in January. The public outcry to our continuous reporting of the settlement was truly awesome, and resulted in de Laura withdrawing from the university less than a week after The Star broke the news. Members of The University Star voted the writing and reporting of de Laura’s settlement by managing editor Nichaela Shaheen as the content of the year.

This story impacted the Texas State community in large ways, but it also affected the future of The University Star. Through our audience’s feedback to our reporting of the civil suit settlement, we learned valuable lessons about why what we do is important. We learned the power we hold, and how the stories we decide to publish can ignite change.

The University Star’s coverage of River Fest demonstrates our team’s dedication to not only this organization, but to our audience as well. Three members from the news team immediately went to River Fest as soon as we knew the fences had fallen over. Two of them walked away from dinner at Ivar’s River Pub to bring you the coverage.

In just three days, The Star released three news stories and two opinion columns about the event. The Star was first on the scene, and worked throughout that weekend to bring River Fest coverage.

This year, we wanted to show the community that The Star is listening. That The Star is here for you. That The Star is by students, for students. We wanted to build a trust within the Texas State community so you know when you pick up a copy of The University Star every Tuesday that your problems, concerns and successes are recognized.

That’s a goal that can only be built over years and years of work, but The Star’s 2023-24 editorial is glad and proud to be catalysts for what will be continuous growth for The University Star.

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