San Antonio gives rich and diverse city experience

The city of San Antonio, founded in 1718, has become one of the most heavily populated cities in the United States, ranking seventh overall. It is also home to multiple universities and military bases. Reviews of the population by the U.S. Census Bureau within and outside the metropolitan area of San Antonio have shown it to be a rapidly expanding city.

Originally founded as a Spanish mission and guarded civilian settlement, the city still maintains a substantial Hispanic and Latino population.

The Alamo, originally built by the Spanish with the founding of the city itself, has become a major tourist attraction along the San Antonio River, which runs through the city’s downtown. The month-long celebration called Fiesta commemorates the battles of the Alamo and of San Jacinto. It has become one of the defining events of San Antonio, bringing tourists and locals alike to join in the festivities.

The city itself is divided into various districts, split apart by the major highways and Interstates 35 and 10. North of Trinity lies Alamo Heights, with the Northwest side housing the medical center and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Past I-35 lie the downtown districts, among them the artistic and historic Southtown and  King William District. Towards the East lies the Alamodome and the AT&T Center, and further south is Loop 13, also known as military loop, home to many of the cities’ military bases.

Recent government and political developments in San Antonio include the appointment of Ivy R. Taylor as mayor. Taylor is the first African-American woman to hold this office in the city. She was appointed to the office after former mayor Julian Castro stepped down in order to serve as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to the Obama administration.

Prior to her appointment to this office, Taylor served as a City Council Representative for District 2 of San Antonio. She serves on the board of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of South Texas, and she was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as a rising star in 2004.

On Aug. 5, she gave an address to describe her vision for the next 10 months of her service as mayor. Taylor presented a plan that would allow citizens more say in their future within the city, bringing important organizations and businesses into the decision-making process when appropriate and allowing the City Council to further this initiative in the coming years.

The website for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce lists 18 universities and colleges in the area, as well as many primary school districts. The 2010 census estimated that 10.8 percent of the city’s population ranged from the ages of 18 to 24, and the city has many public and private universities. Lackland Air Force Base, the only basic training camp for the Air Force, also makes its home in San Antonio, as do multiple other military bases, which have inspired the nickname “Military City, U.S.A.”.

Proceeding into the upcoming year with an awareness of the city around the campus will help new students prepare for their exploration of the city’s vibrant and rich life. More information regarding events around the university that students can participate in, or places to visit, can be found in the campus Pulse and Arts & Entertainment sections.