SERVING THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN COMMUNITY SINCE 1900 @THEDAILYTEXAN | THEDAILYTEXAN.COM
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
VOLUME 118, ISSUE 100
N E WS
O PI N I O N
S P ORTS
Visual Arts Center features student artwork in “Untitled” exhibit. PAGE 2
Diversity in CNS Honors benefits programs and students alike. PAGE 4
Longhorns cruise past Kansas State to improve to 11-2 in Big 12 play. PAGE 6
Crazy Carl may be retired, but the man behind the man boobs leaves a lasting legacy. PAGE 8
Guadalupe, East Riverside to undergo further construction Construction plan projected to cost city $100 million. By Chase Karacostas @chasekaracostas
ustin might spend more than $100 million on construction improvements to the heavily student-populated transit corridors Guadalupe Street and East Riverside Drive, according to recommendations released by the city last week. The Proposed Construction Corridor Program is a scaled-down version of the $1.4 billion Corridor Mobility Plan announced in December. The section of Guadalupe Street included in the proposal ranges from 18th to 29th Streets and includes several side streets in between. Construction is estimated to cost $19.8 million.
rena li | the daily texan staff
APD arrests infamous Subway robber By Anna Lassmann @annalassmann
Dietra Lashell Lee was arrested on Feb. 8 in connection to multiple Subway robberies in West Campus, according to a tweet by the Austin Police Department. On Feb. 2, a Subway on West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was robbed. This was the third robbery of a Subway restaurant within a span of two weeks. The first Subway robbery occurred Jan. 19 on San Antonio Street and was almost immediately followed by the robbery of the Subway located in Dobie Mall. Following the robbery of the West MLK Subway, APD issued an arrest warrant for Lee. Lee’s arrest affidavit from the MLK robbery said she bought two cookies and then handed the employee a note which said, “I have a gun. Give me the cash in the drawer. I’ll shoot.” The affidavit said the Subway employee gave Lee the cash from the register, which she took along with the cookies and then left. APD officers stopped Lee less than two blocks away from the Subway shortly after. However, when they brought her back to the Subway for identification, the employee did not identify Lee as the suspect, the affidavit said. APD detectives reviewed surveillance video from Subway afterward and found Lee to be the suspect from the robbery, the only difference was she was not carrying the purse she had
SUBWAY page 2
1. Transforming Nueces Street from a one-way into two-way street 2. Repairing up to 4.5 miles of sidewalks 3. Adding more street
lights on Guadalupe and 24th Streets 4. Repurposing two lanes on 24th to create a dedicated bike and center turn lanes 5. Traffic signal improvements at the intersections of Guadalupe and MLK Boulevard, 24th and Dean Keeton Streets Changes to East Riverside will stretch from Interstate 35 to Highway 71 and will have an estimated cost of $84.8 million.
1. Up to four miles of new bike lanes 2. New street lighting 3. Repairing up to 4.5 miles of sidewalks 4. Possible addition of new pedestrian crosswalk signals 5. Up to three miles of pavement reconstruction 6. Up to 14 traffic signal improvements The proposal includes improvements which can be paid for with the Mobility Bond approved by voters in 2016. Out of the $720 million bond, approximately $450 million will be used for improvements to all of the nine major
4.5 miles of new or repaired sidewalks
street lighting on Guadalupe and 24th Streets “corridors” in the city. “We’re spreading the (funding) around,” said Sara Behunek, communications manager for the Corridor Program Office. “We believe this is the proposal that is going to get us the biggest bang for the buck.” The rest of the $1.4 billion plan will be paid for through state and federal grants the city applies for, along with using private developers to make some of the improvements to areas surrounding their developments, Behunek said. Councilwoman Kathie Tovo, who represents most of West and North Campus,
said she is concerned about restriping Nueces into a two-way street. “(This) would seem to be not a safe choice because it puts more cars in an area that is very pedestrian heavy,” Mayor Pro Tem Tovo said. Student body president Alejandrina Guzman, who has made accessibility in West Campus a major policy goal, said she is glad to see the city plans to fix sidewalks along Guadalupe so they are compliant with the Americans with Disability Act. “It is atrocious,” Guzman said of the current state of the sidewalks. “To me personally, it’s a half and half kind of thing, like ‘Wow, great, we’re doing this,’ and at the same time it’s like, ‘Wow, why did it take until now?’” The City Council will likely vote on the proposal in March. Prior to that, the Corridor Program Office has several public outreach plans to give citizens a chance to provide input. The office will give briefings to seven of the city’s boards and commissions, and anyone can file a request online to have the city present to
GUAD page 2
Women eat chips in public to protest ‘Lady Doritos’
ESL has no impact on UT admission decison
By Rebecca Stanley @sissyphus_
Austinites licked their fingers and braved the frigid weather on Sunday as they gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol to eat chips. In a show of sardonic solidarity, these protesters let it be known their disdain for “Lady Doritos,” a hypothetical line of less messy chips proposed specifically for women by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, which garnered national attention on social media last week. Lexie Cooper, president of the Austin chapter of the National Organization for Women, organized the event, “A Bunch of Women Eating Chips in Public,” on Facebook as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the idea of feminine chips,
but it quickly garnered attention. Cooper said she saw this as an opportunity to share something valuable. “I thought that since a lot of people ended up wanting to come, we could use this as an opportunity to talk about the different micro-aggressions and the different little things that women and girls encounter everyday in a society that tells us you have to be smaller, you have to be quieter, less messy, less obnoxious,” Cooper said. “There are a lot of double standards that men don’t have to deal with that women do … And I think a lot of women resonate with that, and a lot of people have a good sense of humor.” Architecture graduate student Kathleen Conti said the protest, which drew a crowd of around 25, was about more than just the chips.
“While it may seem sort of silly that we’re protesting chips, it’s (in response to) a larger effort to silence women,” Conti said. “They don’t listen to us when we do the Women’s March, they don’t listen to us when police keep killing black people, but they might listen to us if we protest eating chips because it gets the media’s attention because it’s something silly.” Architecture graduate student Winn Chen said there was a good-humored atmosphere surrounding the attendees, which helped highlight the demonstration’s purpose. “The mood here is that this is all ridiculous,” Chen said. “Let’s treat it with as much seriousness as it deserves but also acknowledge that it’s ridiculous and that we’re out
DORITOS page 2
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mallika gandhi | the daily texan staff
By Stephanie Adeline @stephadeline
lacey segars | the daily texan staff UT graduate Kelsey Hitchingham, left, and architecture graduate student Kathleen Conti, with her dog Maggie, gather on the steps of the Capitol yesterday afternoon for the “A Bunch of Women Eating Chips in Public” event protesting “Lady Doritos.”
Manuel Flores entered the UT English as a Second Language program in 2017, aiming to apply to UT’s petroleum engineering graduate program. However, because of UT’s competitive admission, Flores now attends the University of Houston instead. UT requires international students to reach a certain level of English proficiency before they are accepted, because the
University has limited enrollment. Some Texas schools, however, allow conditional admission based on enrollment in ESL classes. “We have many highly qualified international applicants but we have limited space,” said Deana Williams, associate director of international admissions. “If we were an open-ended admission school, where we could admit all the qualified students, there might be more ability to
ESL page 2
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
‘Untitled’ art exhibit makes a name for itself
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alex briseño | the daily texan staff American studies sophomore Justin Vierra, left, and English senior Jayce Williams attended the art exhibit “Untitled” Friday afternoon. The Undergraduate Art History Association unveiled pieces like “Millennial Pink,” by studio art sophomore Kaelyn Huang. labels where we’ve compared all their pieces to a specific artwork from the past.” The curators of Untitled began accepting artwork submissions in December. After
making the final selections for the exhibit, the UAHA wrote short descriptions of the art to be featured with the exhibits in which they compared each piece to the work of a historical artist.
Not all of the pieces in the exhibition are images. Visual art studies junior Shelby Flowers constructed a sculpture called “Carcosa” out of wood, metal, moss and deer antlers. The
structure stood at more than five feet tall and had to be disassembled and rebuilt in the gallery. “The idea for the sculpture came from a TV show called True Detective,” Flowers said. Patel said she could see Flowers’ dedication to her sculpture. “Shelby got the moss herself from a swamp over the weekend,” Patel said. “We actually found spiders in the gallery and we had to kill them.” Each artist said their final product took substantial time and effort in putting together. Huang said she would consider selling her painting, at her dad’s suggestion, because of the energy she put into it. “(‘Millennial Pink’) took me forever to paint,” studio art sophomore Huang said. “I paint fast — so 18 hours was a long time for me — but it took 18 hours.” In the end, less than 20 pieces were chosen out of 75 submissions, according to UAHA vice president Mackenzie Nissen. The artists will now have their work showcased for two weeks at the Visual Arts Center.
Panel discusses gender, sexuality in Latin American research
Russian science fiction dominates post-nuclear war literary trends
By Kateri David @milklight
An aerial view of Latin American history exposes a landscape of mazes and gaps. What may not be apparent are the modern day experts working diligently to mend these holes through an intimate understanding of gender. A panel of graduate students and visiting researchers presented their findings on gender roles, sexuality and race within a Latin American context on Friday at Garrison Hall. The panel, one of several symposiums organized by Department of History, also focused on using gender as a method of analyzing historic events and minority narratives. “I think that gender is important (as a method of analysis) because there (is) a lack of studies on masculinity and especially in cases where there is military rule or war, which we see a lot of in Latin America,” said Vasken Markarian, a history graduate student. “It is important to look at the culture inside that militarization and what motivated actors in the military.” One of five speakers, Markarian presented research on forced militarization in the Guatemalan Civil War, focusing on how women’s perceived status influenced their military interactions. “Women held moral power in interactions with authorities,” Markarian said.
By Estefania Rodriguez @estefania_rdz13
joshua guenther | the daily texan staff History graduate student Vasken Markarian discusses the forced militarization of rural Mayan communities during the Guatemalan Civil war of the 1980s. Markarian analysis of The Civil Defense Patrols, local militias forcibly recruited by the Guatemala government, revealed the militarization was indiscriminate towards gender. “They would often use their identification papers to claim innocence to try to protect their husbands. This was a gendered action.” History graduate student Chloe Ireton presented research on the prevalence of free black women in 17th century Hispanic countries. Ireton highlighted one woman of color’s petition for divorce, which was a rarity at the time. “Gender as a category of analysis can enrich our understanding in some cases, and how, in this exceptional case, she was making important assertions about gender roles and her husband’s inadequacy within the expectations of marriage,” Ireton said. Jurema Brites, guest presenter from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, was
questioned on how patriarchal structures influence Brazilian domestic life during a question and answer session. Brites said the two spaces are inseparable. “The household is an inherently political setting,” Brites said. Though the study of history can seem opaque, Markarian said he believes viewing the past through a gendered lens creates newfound understanding. “I think that often times by focusing on the larger political arguments obscures the realities on the ground and the struggles that people went through,” Markarian said. “By revealing these on-the-ground stories, it helps tell everyone’s story and it helps deconstruct the larger political narrative.”
students who have completed their ESL program, UT does not. Michael Smith, director of ESL Services, said the ESL department provides free institutional TOEFL testing for full-time ESL students. This is accepted by UT admissions as official TOEFL scores. The ESL department also provides support, such as inviting guest speakers from the admissions office, for ESL students applying to UT and other universities, Smith said. “Since there is no conditional admission, they know they’re gonna have to go through the application process just like any other student,” Smith said. “We know UT’s admission process really well so we can give them good advice on what kind of things to highlight (in their applications).” Flores said UT’s competitive admission policy requires students to prepare more to meet the University’s admission standards. After being rejected by UT, some ESL students choose to stay and continue to improve their TOEFL, IELTS,
GRE or SAT scores. But for Flores, going to UH was the better option because he wanted to start graduate school as soon as possible. “If you have more time then you keep on working to improve, and you (will) manage at the end to get acceptance if you meet their standards,” Flores said. “But I have some other friends ... who applied to UT and they didn’t get accepted and they said, ‘I’m gonna continue improving my English and improving my GRE and then I’ll apply again.’” Although Smith said UT ESL was never created to be a fast track to getting a degree at the University, students in the programs still contribute to the University. “Even though they’re not matriculated students, they add a lot diversity to the campus … and provide a way for us to connect (ESL) students with U.S. citizens who may not get the chance to interact with many international students,” Smith said.
were silly. “Robbery is a serious issue, but robbing not just one, but two Subways is comical,” Rahman said. “The idea of it is the story of an Onion article.” Physics freshman Andrew Silva said he was initially concerned about the robberies. However, after more than one Subway getting robbed, Silva said he also found the incidents funny. “I live right next to the first Subway that was hit, so at first I was concerned, but right when I saw that a second location was hit I couldn’t stop laughing,” Silva said. “I mean, why Subway? And why more than one? Then I was
disappointed that the third one wasn’t hit, and when she finally did it, I showed the article to all my friends and we had a good time laughing.” Jordan Newman, an electrical and computer engineering junior, said once he got the second UTPD text alert about the Subway robbery with a suspect of the same description as the first, he found it hilarious. “It was the nature of it being several Subways that made it funny to most people,” Newman said in an email. “Although it makes sense to attack several of the same place. It made it seem that it was a personal vendetta.”
Dozens gathered Friday at the Julius Glickman Conference Center for Anindita Banerjee’s lecture on trends seen in Russian science fiction, which involves a world after nuclear war. Banerjee, a professor at Cornell University, said the popular video game Metro 2033 covers a variety of topics in Russian science fiction such as a futurity after fallout, possibilities of mutation and life in the extensive Soviet tunnels. The game, which Banerjee said transcends generations, is set in post-nuclear Moscow and based on a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky with the same name. “It’s interactive medium inspired an impressive number of readers … to supplement and intervene in the initial text with their own fictions of dispersal isolation and survival, transforming (Metro 2033) into a growing network of cross–referential stories,” Banerjee said. Banerjee is a faculty fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and has published and edited multiple books, articles and journals about science fiction. She is working on publishing a second book titled “The Chernobyl Effect.” Banerjee said she believes the study of science fiction is
not valued enough. “It is … the imaginative potential and value of science fiction that I think which is why I started studying this utterly ‘worthless’ sub–culture that university departments are terrified of, which is why so few people teach science fiction despite so many of our students consuming large quantities of it,” Banerjee said. Multiple students in the audience were enrolled in UGS 303 Russian Sci-Fi, such as biology sophomore Jaye Williams, who said she enjoyed the lecture. “The (Russian Sci-Fi) professor mentioned that there was a lecture series, so I decided, ‘Why not?’,” Williams said. “The class is pretty fun and interesting and I decided that it might help me make more sense of my actual class.” The event was organized by associate professor of anthropology Craig Campbell and associate professor of English Heather Houser. It was presented under the Department of English’s Environmental Humanities. “A talk like this meets people (with science fiction interests) where they are and a lot of people are reading science fiction or playing video games, and this sort of gives us a lens on that,” Houser said. “It’s not the everyday perspective, but it does give us this perspective rooted in the study of Soviet and Russian literature and culture.”
HI 53º LO 49º
“I don’t think it should be looked down upon to wear a blanket around. Isn’t that the premise of a cape?”
As a crowd of people assembled around his daughter’s painting, Tony Huang made a point of letting them know he was in town for one reason: to support his daughter, Kaelyn Huang, at her first appearance in an art show. “I just drove in now — like literally just now — from Houston,” Huang said. “You could sell this level (of art).” The portrait with which the father was enamored is called “Millennial Pink,” submitted by his daughter for Untitled, an exhibition by the Undergraduate Art History Association. According UAHA’s website for the event, the goal of Untitled is to explore “the relationship between contemporary art and the theory of the past.” “Everyone in the show is either a studio art major or a visual arts studies major,” UAHA president and art history Keya Patel said. “We’ve written
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continues from page 1 guarantee them a space.” Schools such as Texas State University, UT-Arlington and UT-San Antonio provide a way for students to be admitted on the condition they attend ESL classes to improve their English. However, students who have completed the UT ESL program are given no advantage when it comes to their applications for undergraduate or graduate school, and are considered equal with other international applicants, Williams said. International students from a non-English speaking country need to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language or International English Language Testing System score, certifying the students’ English proficiency before being admitted as part of their application. While schools like UH and West Texas A&M University provide TOEFL waivers for
continues from page 1 at the time of the robbery, the affidavit said. Lee was booked into the Travis County Jail on Feb. 8 and charged with robbery by threat, the affidavit said. APD is currently investigating additional charges related to the first two Subway robberies, said APD public information specialist Tara Long in an email. Many students took to social media to express their opinion of the “Subway Robber.” Neuroscience sophomore Maher Rahman said he thought the Subway robberies
lacey segars | the daily texan staff Cornell University professor Anindita Banerjee speaks about trends in Russian science fiction at a lecture Friday afternoon.
here eating chips, and I actually really like that. It’s a good way of spreading awareness, instead of being in your face about it. I think some of these things deserve mocking rather than vitriol.”
their organization about
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the proposal. If the proposal is approved,
preliminary construction could begin in 2019 and go through 2024.
anthony mireles | the daily texan staff APD officers question employees of the Dobie Mall Subway after it was robbed on Jan. 19. This was the second of three Subway robberies around campus over a two-week span, leading some to speculate a connection between the robberies.
JANHAVI NEMAWARKAR, VIK SHIRVAIKAR, LIZA ANDERSON
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
FORUM EDITORS | @TEXANOPINION
Students, faculty advocate for more inclusive UT By Janhavi Nemawarkar, Vik Shirvaikar and Liza Anderson While students come to UT-Austin from all over Texas, and all over the world, not all of them arrive on an equal playing field. The university can do more to alleviate the institutional barriers that bar students from success, and students and faculty are continuously looking for avenues to do so. This week, The Daily Texan Forum team explores perspectives from students and staff who are fighting to give students from all backgrounds
access to equal opportunities, as well as an inclusive environment in which they can thrive. Students Suzanne Jacobs and Elizabeth Gutiérrez Mata, leaders of student group the People for PMA, write about their movement to rename Robert Lee Moore (RLM) Hall as the Physics, Math, and Astronomy (PMA) Building. The hall’s name has come under scrutiny for honoring the legacy of a former UT mathematics professor who was openly racist toward African-American students. Jacobs and Gutiérrez Mata argue that keeping Moore’s name on the building sends the message that UT values his over creating a
welcome environment for all students. Madison Searle, director of the College of Natural Sciences Honors Center, speaks to the need for more diverse representation in UT’s honors programs. He lists obstacles that hinder minority students from participating in honors programs, including the lack of access to information about opportunities, or the underestimation of students’ own abilities. Searle points out the mutual benefit that more diversity would have for honors programs and their students as well. Finally, first-generation student Katherine Velez recounts her own experiences as the first member
of her family to attend college. She highlights the challenges faced by first-generation students like her, from figuring out the application process to keeping track of unexpected expenses. Velez calls on first-generation students to realize they are not alone and that their hard work will pay off. If you have an opinion on these subjects or any other, please reach out to The Daily Texan Forum team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco. Anderson is a Plan II and history sophomore from Houston.
Robert Lee Moore Hall needs renaming By Suzanne Jacobs and Elizabeth Gutiérrez Mata
Do a quick Google search for Robert Lee Moore, the man whose name has been on the physics, math and astronomy building at UT-Austin since 1973, and one of the first things you’ll learn is that he was a staunch segregationist who refused to teach black students. Numerous accounts from former students and colleagues tell of his hostility toward the black community, and a collection of old news clippings in his archives at the Briscoe Center reveal an obsession with claims of intellectual differences among the races. Continuing to honor this man sends, at best, a message that we value his accomplishments as a mathematician and teacher more than we value equity and inclusivity, and at worst, it sends a message that we agree with his prejudices. This is unacceptable. As of fall 2016, black students comprised an alarmingly low 4 percent of all students at UT, with the sciences suffering from extreme racial disparities. According to the American Physical Society, between 2013 and 2015, black students nationwide received less than 1 percent of astronomy Ph.D.s, less than 2 percent of physics Ph.D.s and less than 3 percent of math and statistics Ph.D.s. If you’re not a student of color, or a person from other marginalized communities, it’s easy to dismiss these insidious messages that are given to marginalized students via institutional racism on campus daily. The experience of institutional racism, over time, creates a toxic environment on campus for students, faculty, staff and employees
from marginalized backgrounds. When buildings like Robert Lee Moore Hall are named after a man who was openly racist, clearly contradicting what the university states as its current values, it sends implicit messages to marginalized students about who and what is truly valued by the university. We understand that changing the name of a building won’t change the demographics of our fields or the toxic culture that perpetuates them. But it will show our uncompromising commitment to making all students feel welcome here. To that end, a small group of us organized a town hall meeting last fall in the formerly named Physics, Math, and Astronomy building, or PMA, to announce a renaming campaign. More than 80 people attended in overwhelming support. Within weeks, we had more than 500 signatures on a petition. By Thanksgiving, we had a meeting with President Fenves’ chief of staff, Carlos Martinez. But little progress has been made with Fenves’ office, and from our most recent correspondence with Martinez, it is clear that the administration will not support our efforts. “We recognize that the history conveyed by the names of some buildings and facilities do not always reflect our current values. However, after last year’s relocation of the Confederate statuary into our historic archives (where they are being preserved for scholarship), the university is not currently engaged in efforts to change or remove other historic names or monuments from the main campus, either building-by-building or collectively.” Those hesitant to take action on this express concerns of slippery slopes and the erasure of history. There’s also the concern that changing the name of RLM could mean blowback from racist investors like those who rebelled against the
jeb milling | the daily texan staff removal of the Confederate statues last August. They worry about things that, to us, shouldn’t matter when it comes to protecting students of color on this campus. Ultimately, the decision to rename the building the PMA is down to the Board of Regents, and we intend to present our case to them at their April meeting. In the meantime, we’re taking matters into our own hands. At the start of this semester, our group, People for PMA, held a rally to announce a grassroots renaming campaign. From now on, we say PMA, not RLM. And to anyone else on this campus who no longer wants to honor a racist, we
First-generation university students face distinct struggles By Katherine Velez Have you ever run a race and wished you at least had some sort of head start? Or some sort of assurance that will guarantee you first place? First-generation college students face this battle throughout their four years and even in the few leading up to college. There is that feeling that haunts our emotions, that no matter how hard we try to catch up, someone is always one step ahead. The variety of issues that open up feel almost endless, and yet, some people do not realize these facts. So here’s some perspective from a first-generation student. My family immigrated from Samacá, Colombia, when my mom was very young, and my dad grew up as a migrant worker, traveling around the U.S. following crops. Unfortunately, neither of my parents were given the opportunity to go to college. One was not a U.S. citizen, and the other was forced to quit school and go to work at 12 years old. None of my grandparents attended college, given similar circumstances. Growing up, my family pushed my sister and I to always put school first, to make it a priority and do anything we could to get that degree. That has been my goal since I can remember, when my first teacher gave me inspiration that I will never lose nor forget — my grandma. She showed my sister and I each day how possible it is to get through these obstacles that constantly come at us. Her strength and support push me to keep going even when I want to give up and drop everything. No matter how tough it gets for me, I hear her rooting for me back at home. I was lucky enough to have support and love from my family to help me through it all. Even then, there is a certain point where your parents haven’t had enough experience to teach you every detail and advise you on what you need to do to be successful throughout college. Not many first-generation students get this privilege. It’s hard enough trying to figure out every step of the way, but not having any support makes it so much harder. In the early stages of the application process in high school, there is not much explanation of all the steps that need to be completed to get through the applications. No one tells you that your grades starting in ninth grade affect the probability of being accepted. You feel as though no one understands why you feel so
guilty for leaving your family behind, nor do they tell us that you will feel alone and that you don’t belong. Another big issue that most first-gen students experience is trying to make ends meet with extra costs that we don’t expect. Yes, we figured out the cost of our textbooks and those access codes, but what about the part of actually living? You have to buy extra dorm supplies, right? All the stress of figuring out the tuition has caused you to lose track of those non-tuition expenses. Obviously, you’re going to need soap, sheets for your bed, some extra snacks to take to class — you get the point. Usually the next step is to get a part-time job to fix this issue. While working during the school year isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, it’s imperative you don’t start taking on so many hours that you sacrifice spending time on school work and socializing with friends. You’ll drive yourself crazy, and your grades will also reflect it from the lack of sleep you’ll have. If you are a first-generation student, there is one important thing you need to get from this: You are not alone. At least 50 percent of students in the US are first-generation students, and only 30 percent of all incoming freshman are also (firstgeneration.org). Find a group that shares your values, which will help that feeling of being on your own. I get it — all your friends seem to be pretty set for college. They have been given advice from their parents, cousins and older siblings on what to do. It seems that they know all the ins and outs of college, and you feel like you’re getting left behind in that race. Now that you are the first person in your family to step forward in this “uncharted territory,” you feel the pressure to set the scale. Your younger siblings look up to you, you’re the kid your parents brag about and you don’t want to let them down. We can finish this race and we can finish it strong. It will all soon pay off — all your hard work, those sleepless nights, the constant questions of how to break down these barriers that no one else seems to have, the guilt of abandoning your family to pursue your own dreams. Just say to yourself, “I won’t give up, and I do belong.” Velez is an international relations and global studies junior.
We can finish this race and we can finish it strong.
LEGALESE | Opinions expressed in The Daily Texan are those of the editor, the Editorial Board or the writer of the article. They are not necessarily those of the UT administration, the Board of Regents or the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees.
ask you to do the same. As long as the official name of this building remains Robert Lee Moore Hall, it will stand as a symbol of the institutional racism that still pervades academia. And our refusal to use that name will signal our rejection of that racism and the complacency that allows it to persist. We are the future of academia in this country. It’s our turn to define the culture. Let’s begin with the eradication of white supremacy and end with equal access, equal opportunity and equal representation. Jacobs is a physics Ph.D. student. Gutierrez Mata is an astronomy senior.
Honors programs benefit from diversity of experiences By Madison Searle Last December, Uri Treisman and David Laude convened an outreach committee of faculty, staff and students interested in recruiting more students of color, students from families with modest incomes and students whose parents didn’t attend college, to honors programs in the College of Natural Sciences. Each group is significantly underrepresented in most, if not all, UT-Austin honors programs, including ours. Since most of the committee consisted of faculty, many of whom were first-generation college students themselves, the meeting’s goal was to find ways that faculty could help in recruitment. But the scope of discussion soon widened to the identity and purpose of our programs. What do faculty expect from honors students? What is an honors student? How do faculty encourage honors students to not be satisfied with checking boxes and acing tests, but to take risks? How do those who aspire to be in these programs learn what faculty find inspiring in students? How can faculty and administrators take apart the idea that there’s something intrinsic in students whom we want in these programs? How can we convey that honors students aren’t born but develop, and frequently, develop late? Or do we want to create groups that from the start are defined in part by their exclusivity? It’s no secret that many honors students are proud of their program’s exclusivity. If the selection criteria are rooted in merit, why shouldn’t they be? But honors programs can exclude in ways that have nothing to do with merit. Several of the faculty on the recruitment committee who’d been the first in their family to attend college said they would not have checked the “interested in honors” box when they applied to college. “I would have thought, ‘That’s not me,’” one said. Another said, “A lot of kids from poorer schools can’t imagine themselves as honors students here. They disqualify themselves.” One of the honors students who’d transferred into honors after his first year at UT-Austin said, “I didn’t know anything in high school about college honors programs. It didn’t even occur to me to apply.” The committee didn’t ask why a self-respecting student might even want to be in an honors program, but it’s a good question. In the case of CNS Honors, three reasons stand out: a rigorous curriculum designed to stretch students, more opportunities for contact and collaboration with faculty in small seminars and labs and a stimulating community of curious, bright and motivated peers. For someone turned on by learning, each is a serious perk. But there’s no question
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in my mind that for most students, what they gain from each other is the most lasting. Diversity in honors programs — particularly, honors programs in public universities — tends to be framed in moral terms, and I myself see it in that light. We have an obligation to ensure that the substantive advantages of belonging to one of our programs are not limited to an elite cadre of students who’ve not only worked hard and excelled in school but have been conspicuously privileged in one way or another. My greatest fear for our programs is that they become another lever that widens the already-widening gulf in the United States between those who have and those who have less. But the benefits of diversity and the costs of disproportionately privileged groups are not confined to the underrepresented. The honors community itself, the most significant perk of honors programs, is impoverished if it lacks the experiences and perspectives of peers from different backgrounds. Diversity, for those who already belong, is about being educated. We’re some distance from creating the diverse communities that the faculty, advisers and administrators who work with honors students want to see. But we’re taking steps — the outreach committee is one of several. At their best, honors programs will reflect the rich variety of cultures and backgrounds that make up our larger communities as well as be havens of respect for all. We are committed to achieving both. Searle is the director of the College of Natural Sciences Honors Center.
jeb milling | the daily texan staff
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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
continues from page 8 mindfulness and relaxation is just as important as being a productive student.” Bizer said the MindBody Lab offers various resources to help minimize stress and anxiety throughout the semester, allowing students to stay as healthy as possible. Offering a more dynamic range of resources for students looking to relax, the original MindBody Lab includes biofeedback devices such as the emWave Personal Stress Reliever. According to the CMHC, this device is designed to help regulate your emotional state by helping users recognize the difference between how you feel when you are relaxed versus stressed. Dylan Snoddy, a Facility Supervisor at the Student Activity Center, said the hospitality desk in the SAC has tools available for checkout for students, staff and faculty at their convenience. “One thing we offer is a breathing machine, which doesn’t necessarily breathe for you, but tells you when to breathe,” Snoddy said. “We also have iPods preloaded with music and videos with various titles — Waves, Zen Garden, Emotional Eating …
In the room there’s a blanket and chairs which you can use at your convenience.” While the MindBody Labs have supplies available for use at both locations, Civil Engineering freshman Ethan Plevak said he is not sure how or why he would need to check anything out. “I don’t normally go in there for guided breathing exercises, I use it for a quiet, relaxing space,” Plevak said. “Normally, I only go for thirty minutes at a time, just because I have a lot of things to do, but it’s nice to sit and listen to music or nap. It’s really relaxing, and the blankets are a nice addition too.” Bizor said the CMHC recognizes that students use the Labs in their own ways which is what makes the program so beneficial to students. “I think the spirit of the MindBody Lab is that there are a lot of different things which work for lots of different people, it’s really up to you to discover what works best,” Bizor said. “Everyone has to decide for themselves how they want to prioritize self-care and developing the resources to do it. If you gain these skills in advance (using the MindBody labs), you can apply those methods in your daily life and have them readily available later on.”
continues from page 8 when they get sick, vet bills can cost hundreds of dollars. For a college student budgeting from paycheck to paycheck, these expenses can be overwhelming. Pro: Dogs get you out in the world Simply put, dogs give you a reason to get out of your home, get social and explore all the different parts of Austin. Plus, if you’re walking or running with your dog, it can help keep you fit. It’s recommended adults should
exercise 2 ½ hours per week, and by taking a dog on a walk every day, it’s easier to achieve that goal. Con: You may have to adjust your lifestyle to own a dog Yes, dogs can be fantastic companions, but they can also be destructive. Left to their own devices, your pup could tear up the floors, the furniture and your favorite shoes. Training and raising a happy and well-behaved dog is a long commitment — a task not to be taken lightly. Geography senior Chris Depalatis doesn’t live with a dog because his
apartment complex does not allow for it. “I’d feel bad keeping a dog in an apartment,” Depalatis said. “And you have to keep up with it. It’s work.” If you’re ready to welcome a new dog into your home, there are tons of animal shelters around Austin that are eager to help you find the perfect match. If you’re not quite ready but miss seeing furry faces on a regular basis, most of those same shelters are happily accepting volunteers year round. That way you can get by until you go home to see Muffin for the winter holiday break.
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SPORTS EDITOR @TEXANSPORTS
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
McCarty leads Texas to blowout Longhorns utilize dominant second half in 22-point victory. By Justin Martinez @jthesportsdude
ansas State played two steps ahead on Saturday night, and it didn’t matter. The No. 6 Longhorns won on the Wildcats’ terms at the Frank Erwin Center, besting a Kansas State team that seemed to make all the necessary adjustments. Texas 76, Kansas State 54. The first adjustment came two minutes into the game when junior forward Jatarie White put the Wildcats on notice by scoring the opening four Texas points and snagging two offensive rebounds. Kansas State head coach Jeff Mittie countered, quickly subbing senior forward Kaylee Page out for 6-foot-4-inch freshman center Mary Lakes. The increase in size proved effective as White went silent for the remainder of the quarter, failing to score another point. The second adjustment came after the Longhorns (20–4, 11–2 Big 12) implemented a
full-court press midway through the first quarter — the same press that forced Kansas State into 19 turnovers when the two teams previously faced off on Jan. 7. This time, the Wildcats kept their cool, repeatedly breaking the press and extending their range for a banquet of open threes. Kansas State made the Longhorns pay, shooting 3-of-4 from deep as Texas ended the first quarter with a hard-earned 23-21 lead. “We got a little undisciplined,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “We fouled and didn’t always get back in transition, so I thought that allowed (Kansas State) to make a lot of plays.” The Wildcats intensified the pressure in the second quarter, this time focusing on Texas’ attack in the paint. Kansas State forced the Longhorns to change their bruising style of play, using a 2-3 zone that dared them to shoot from deep instead. The Longhorns failed to take advantage, shooting an abysmal 1-of-5 from the arc as they clung to a 27-25 lead with 7:17 left before halftime. With Texas’ starting lineup struggling to generate offense, Aston made an adjustment of her own, calling sophomore
juan figueroa | the daily texan staff Senior guard Brooke McCarty dribbles the ball down the court in transition during the Longhorns’ 76-54 victory over Kansas State at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday night. McCarty dropped in a team-high 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win. guard Alecia Sutton off the bench for a spark. The move paid off as the St. Louis-native scored four points, including a buzzer-beating 2-point pull-up before the half that capped off a 12-5 Longhorn run and gave Texas a 39-30 lead. “I just felt like it brought the energy up after I made that shot,” Sutton said. “We were kind of dead in the first half, so I just wanted to give some energy to the team.” With the game still up for grabs, Texas found its saving
grace in senior Brooke McCarty. The shifty 5-foot-4-inch guard, who’d been contained to just four points in the first half, finally broke free in the third quarter. McCarty exposed the Wildcats’ defense, igniting a personal 10-0 run as the Longhorns blew open a 60-41 lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter. For the first time all night, Kansas State didn’t have an answer. “I just fed off my teammates,” McCarty said. “I tried to get them the ball, but when I was open they got me the ball and
Texas responded with a
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Prior to the season’s arrival, Texas head coach Connie Clark predicted the Longhorns would either surprise people or hit early-season turbulence thanks to her team’s youth. After a 2-2 stretch at the Texas Classic this weekend, it appears the Longhorns will do a little of each. Coming off two strong victories against Incarnate Word and Wisconsin on Friday night, the Longhorns were unable to capitalize on their momentum on Saturday afternoon, dropping two games to Colorado State and Wisconsin. “I think we were a little nervous,” Clark said. “We’ve talked a lot about how young we are and that the thing we’re looking for this weekend is how we reset.” The Longhorns weren’t able to find their rhythm at the plate or in the pitcher’s circle in their first loss against Colorado State in a 6-2 defeat. Colorado State struck first in the top of the second after a double and sacrifice fly led to a 1-0 lead. Freshman pitcher Chloe Romero then walked home a second run when the Longhorns faced a bases-loaded jam.
ing a single from senior catcher Randel Leahy and a double by junior right fielder Bekah Alcozer, freshman second baseman Janae Jefferson continued her weekend hot streak by smacking an RBI double to score both runners. Colorado State was able to retake a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth when sophomore shortstop Hayley Donaldson singled down the first-base line. The final blow for the Longhorns came in the top of the sixth when Colorado State senior pitcher Hannah McCorkhill drilled a three-run blast to left field off Texas junior pitcher Brooke Bolinger to give the Rams their 6-2 win. The Longhorns failed to rebound in the second game of the day, losing to the Wisconsin Badgers in a close game in the frigid weather. Junior pitcher Erica Wright started the game for Texas, collecting five strikeouts in her first start of the year. Wright carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning before giving up a single in the top of the fourth. Backing Wright up was sophomore shortstop Kaitlyn Slack, who drove in the first RBI of the game to put the Longhorns ahead early.
Texas Athletics, which could allow Holmes to see more minutes in the near future. “I think I can contribute in whatever way my team needs,” Holmes said. “It’ll be tough, but I think I can fill her role as best as I can.” The victory marked Texas’ fifth-straight season with at least 20 wins. The Longhorns have little time for celebration, though, as they now shift their focus to a home game against Texas Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Longhorns finish Texas Classic at 2-2 By Wills Layton & Robert pair of runs of its own in the bottom of the frame. FollowLarkin
I just took advantage of what the defense gave me.” The fourth quarter was merely a formality as Texas put the finishing touches on a 22-point win. McCarty finished the night with a team-high 17 points. Sophomore forward Joyner Holmes also excelled, after senior forward Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau was sidelined by a left wrist bone contusion in the second quarter. Holmes scored 11 points and added seven rebounds. Caron-Goudreau is currently labeled as day-to-day, according to
The youth of the team has been a major storyline this season, as a majority of the roster is composed of sophomores and freshman. With many players getting their first starting action during this weekend’s matchups, adjustments and coping with the excitement has been a major theme for the team. “Yeah, I think that there were a lot of nerves,” junior catcher Reagan Hathaway said. “We’re a really young team, and we have a lot of new people starting. Once we get a couple of at-bats under our belts and feel more comfortable as a team on the field with the season starting, it’ll be really fun to watch us.” The Longhorns had a chance to score some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, as freshman left fielder Kaitlyn Washington got to second base after a single and a passed ball. But the next two batters failed to bring her to home. Junior first baseman Stephanie Lombardo hit a three-run shot to put the Badgers up for good in the top of the eighth for their 7-3 victory over the Longhorns. “I think more than anything we really have to stay together,” Clark said. “I think that’s the strength of this group. You gotta deal with stuff during a season. We were grasping for a couple things today.”
Horned Frogs rout Texas for fifth straight road loss By Steve Helwick @s_helwick
February marks the last whole month of the college basketball regular season, and there’s only one thing teams fight for: an NCAA Tournament bid. With TCU having dropped two straight and Texas having lost a heartbreaker at home to Kansas State on Wednesday night, Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the two instate foes was welcomed with high stakes. But the Horned Frogs left little doubt of their worthiness in their home arena, thrashing Texas, 87-71. “If we go out and play and bring the same level of spirit and energy to the court that we did today, it really doesn’t matter who we play in the Big 12,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said, “because everybody is good enough to beat that team that played today.” After tip-off, two immediate Texas turnovers were exchanged for a quick 5-0 TCU lead. The Horned Frogs controlled the game from that moment until the final horn sounded at Schollmaier Arena, never allowing their lead to shrink below eight in the second half. “We knew that we were gonna have to come in here and make them miss and grab the ball,” Smart said. “We didn’t do either of those things at anywhere near a high enough level in order to win the game.” TCU sliced and diced Texas’ defense in every way imaginable. The Horned Frogs came out of the gate firing from 3-point range to build a respectable lead in the early stages. Then, TCU began penetrating the lane, passing quickly and finding cutters for open layups. TCU shooting guard Kenrich Williams and point guard Alex Robinson were key facilitators, and 6-foot-11-inch power forward Vladimir Brodziansky dominated with post moves to drop 25 points on the Texas bigs. “We’re a team that shoots the ball well from three, but it really all starts with penetration,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “To be as good as we are offensively, you have to
copyright tcu360/cristian argueta soto, and reproduced with permission Freshman forward Mo Bamba goes up for a shot at the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth during Texas’ 87-71 loss to TCU on Saturday afternoon. Bamba finished with a team-high 23 points. do a lot of things well and you have to be well-rounded. We can drive it, we can post up, score inside and we can shoot threes. The combination allows us to be pretty good.” TCU reverted to draining threes late in the second half and ended up converting on 10 triples during the 16-point win. “We didn’t show enough intensity,” freshman center Mo Bamba said. “We were basically just hoping they’d miss.” Although Texas’ defense struggled to contain the Horned Frogs throughout the 40 minutes, the Longhorns unleashed one of their best offensive showings of the year. Two facets of Texas’ offense were highly functional — Bamba, and surprisingly, the 3-point shooting. Bamba, who has consistently been efficient during the last month, pitched in 23 points in the Longhorns’ highest-scoring road game since Jan. 1. Texas entered the game shooting just 31 percent from long range, but the team excelled by sinking 10-of-20 threes, including a handful that seemed from NBA range. But TCU’s offense managed to respond every time Texas’ shooters caught fire. “It was really draining. They made a couple in the second half that were really good defense,” Smart said. “TCU’s a really good team. They
move the ball and attack. We needed to do a better job of running them off the line and playing with active hands.” Texas (15–10, 5–7 Big 12) has dropped two games in a row and five consecutive matchups on the road. The Longhorns’ upcoming schedule bodes unfavorably for a potential NCAA Tournament invitation, but the team can reverse this sudden decline by winning
This is adversity right here. It’s gonna show what we’re about as a team individually. We’re gonna stay together and get it right.”
difficult upcoming games. It will be a quick turnaround, as the Longhorns host Baylor on Monday night. “This is adversity right here,” junior guard Eric Davis Jr. said. “It’s gonna show what we’re about as a team individually. We’re gonna stay together and get it right.”
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
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LIFE&ARTS EDITORS @THEDAILYTEXAN
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
Austin icon ‘Crazy Carl’ retires Familiar fixture on Sixth Street builds legacy with voluptuous man boobs, blooms. By Jordyn Zitman @jordynzitman
andering down the culture-soaked sidewalks of Austin’s legendary Sixth Street, it’s hard to imagine that for longer than most college students have been alive, Carl “Crazy Carl” Hickerson stood on the corner, wearing only a bikini, selling flowers to passers-by. “I’m usually the craziest thing that happens on Sixth Street,” Crazy Carl said. Before he was a local celebrity known best for spinning carnations on Sixth Street and his infamous “man boobs,” Hickerson was a UT-Austin student and manager for the Longhorn swim team. After riding out his college experience between 1962 and 1971, Carl had a brief stint as a nude model in Europe and began his legacy selling flowers when he returned to Austin. “In 1981, I was selling flowers in the daytime,” Hickerson said. “I would go down there with my trombone and play on the street corner.” Hickerson’s other talents included spinning flowers in the palm of his hand and capturing the attention of tourists and locals alike with his antics. Hickerson attributed his rise to fame in part to reverse psychology. Known for blatantly ignoring people on the street interested in his spectacle, Hickerson said he had to keep an eye on his flowers to ensure they weren’t stolen. While Hickerson hoped he would only have to sell flowers until connecting with old friends and finding a job, he said the business grew out of control. “After only a couple weeks of (selling flowers), I couldn’t go anywhere in Austin without somebody saying, ‘Hey! You’re the guy who spins flowers!’” Hickerson said. Early into his tenure on Sixth Street, Hickerson set up his flower cart outside of renowned entertainment bar, Esther’s Follies.
Two years later, the bar hired him and utilized his talents in their evening shows, introducing himself formally as “Crazy Carl.” Hickerson took the moniker to heart, later legally changing his name to Crazy Carl Hickerson, as reflected on his driver’s license. Although he retired years ago, Hickerson retains a residence in Austin with his partner of almost 27 years, Charlotte Ferris. Ferris said they met in 1977 while Carl was selling his famous flowers on Sixth Street. “When I met him in, he was a total, complete wild man,” Ferris said. “He had already greatly developed his fascinating theories about the world and society, politics, and he had already had a lot of his really good ideas.” Ferris said she was drawn to Carl’s “craziness” despite being raised in a conservative home. She admits that she was much more interested in his political ideas and behavior than how he looked, referring to the long blonde hair and skimpy clothing he is notorious for sporting while selling flowers. Hickerson brought his ideas about politics and society to the public, running for Congress more than 10 times, most recently in 2017 against Lamar Smith. Carl’s first campaign slogan in 1977 shocked Austinites, as he dubbed himself “Crazy Carl: The politician who will put your foot in his mouth.” Carl continues to draw attention from the citizens of Austin without flowers or a political campaign, as he is passionate about decorating what he calls “Art Cars,” with media such as collage and sculpture. Ferris said Hickerson’s mother was a big influence in his life, teaching him about artistic expression. Beginning his journey to local stardom, Hickerson’s life is one riddled with flowers, music, meeting famous fans such as Barbara Jordan and flashing his infamous “man boobs,” but Hickerson admitted retirement has been hard, as he is used to being in the public eye. Despite all of the “weirdness” that Austin is renowned for, Crazy Carl retains that he is still the craziest person the city has ever seen.
nikita svenshnikov| the daily texan staff Carl “Crazy Carl” Hickerson is best known for the time he spent selling flowers on Sixth Street wearing only a bikini.
MindBody Labs provide relaxing space for students to free their minds
Pros, cons: owning a dog in college
By Caroline Betiik @carolinebetik
With midterms in full swing, you might catch yourself stressing over exams in the PCL, shedding a tear or two with nowhere to seek respite. This is why the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center created MindBody Labs. Since 2003, the MindBody Lab served students seeking to minimize stress. In 2016, a second Mindbody Lab was introduced in the Student Activity Center that was closer and more convenient for students to access. However, there are many students
who still do not know this resource exists. Elana Bizer, licensed clinical social worker at CMHC, said the original idea behind these meditative rooms was to have a place for students to experience and discover new skills such as managing distress and physical pain to help maintain their overall well-being. “Often in our lives, we are always focused on productivity and we think in order to do well we need to focus all our time on that,” Bizer said. “What we often don’t realize is self-care in the form of
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BEST SUMMER JOB EVER! Be a Camp Counselor on the East Coast.
Ea Earn $2,000 and up, with FREE room, meals and travel, and internship credits available. Camp Wayne, an amazing sleep-away camp just 2 ½ hours from NYC, is hiring mature, fun and enthusiastic individuals with an adventurous side who are ready to be a part of an incredible team. Dates are June 16- August 12, 2018 Inte Interviews on campus Thursday Feb 15th. Apply today in the work@camp section at www.campwaynegirls.com.
By Karsyn Lemmons @klemmonsss
Going to college and leaving your friends and family is hard, but leaving your dog(s) can be even harder. While pursuing a degree, it can be tempting to get a dog to fill the void in your heart. While the addition of a furry friend sounds like a great idea on the surface,
it’s important to evaluate whether or not your lifestyle is suitable for a pet. Pro: Research shows dogs improve your wellbeing Countless studies link pet ownership to a drop in anxious and depressive tendencies as well as a rise in a person’s overall happiness. One study from The American Heart Association suggested that the simple
motion of petting a dog helps lower blood pressure, lower stress and increase relaxation hormones. Neuroscience senior Jackie Harle owns two shih tzus and sees the benefits of being a student dog owner in her everyday life. “They help me to relax,” Harle said. “They can sense when I’m stressed. They calm me and they’re a good brain break after I’ve
been studying.” Con: Dogs can be bundles of expenses Puppers need things just like people. Food, vaccines, chew toys, collars, grooming and vet trips, etc., not to mention most apartment complexes charge a “pet deposit” and monthly “pet rent.” Dogs can also get sick or hurt, too. And
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ALBUM REVIEW | ‘LITTLE DARK AGE’
‘Little Dark Age’ ushers in new age for MGMT By Ruben Paquian @rubenpaq
ARTIST: MGMT SCORE:
With classic psychedelic synth jams like “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend,” MGMT set the bar high, but over the past ten years and two albums, they’ve been failing to reach it. That may all change with Little Dark Age. Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser made their studio debut as MGMT back in 2007 with the indie hit Oracular Spectacular. Their second and third albums Congratulations and LateNightTales, respectively, took an unpopular artistic tangent that allowed similar artists like Tame Impala and Animal Collective to steal the psychedelic pop spotlight. Five years after their somewhat disappointing self titled album, MGMT’s latest project delivers a satisfying sound that is true to their earlier, socially conscious golden age days, but with a dark twist. With production from Patrick Wimberly of Chairlift, and a collaboration from Ariel Pink’s Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, Little Dark Age sounds like the psych pop album for which faithful MGMT fans have been waiting. Satirical social commentaries are sprinkled throughout the album along with 80s-esque synth melodies and an array of creatively diverse samples that give the album an exotic sound. Many songs in Little Dark Age carry
an ominous, dark tone. Songs like “Little Dark Age” and “When You Die” use lyrics and grim synth melodies to portray these feelings. Echoed vocals, organ-like synth accents and deep melodic bass are what create doomed but groovy effect in “Little Dark Age.” “When You Die” juxtaposes dim lyrics such as, “ready to blow my brains out” and, “we’ll all be laughing with you when you die” with upbeat alt pop instrumentals, creating an overall edgy, but entertaining musical experience. Regarding social commentary, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser make fun of the shallow dating culture that is prominent today with the first track of album, “She Works Out Too Much.” The fast-paced song, abundant with women’s workout video audio samples and heavy drum and bass, calls today’s dating scene “the shit show.” It attributes the end of relationships to shallow reasons, as is evident in the following lyric: “The only reason we didn’t work out is he didn’t work out enough.” The duo continues this cultural critique with the song “TSLAMP,” or “Time Spent Looking at My Phone.” The name of the song says it all as the group explores their troubles with today’s dependency on our small screens. The Spanish-esque synth tune, which makes use of bongos, maracas and Latin acoustic guitar riffs, echoes this theme with the lyric, “You can never find the time if you spend everyday looking at your phone.” MGMT’s pop comeback seemed to throw them back to the 80s. Some of the most pop-heavy songs like “Me and Michal” and “One Thing left to Try” sound as if they could be found in am 80s movie montage scene. Both songs
feature repetitive, catchy choruses and driving, pulsing synth iconic to the time but are inevitably held back by the tacky aesthetic. Though they are working with several moving parts and intersecting melodies, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser succeed at weaving them all together to create a diverse unified sound. “Days That Got Away” is a perfect example of this as it is mostly instrumental. The psychedelic groove track makes use of funky bass, calm drums, sporadic claps and synth elements that all together provide an enjoyable listening experience. After producing a decade of content that left many fans frustrated, MGMT has responded with an album that satisfies their followers while staying true to their artistic evolution, putting them back in the forefront of psychedelic pop. Despite a few retro moments, Little Dark Age is bound to make both new and old listeners groove.
copyright courtesy of columbia records, and reproduced with permission After almost a decade of disappointment, MGMT finally delivers with Little Dark Age.
The Monday, February 12, 2018 edition of The Daily Texan.