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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
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A UT student’s decision to carry on campus.
was a 69.6 percent increase in the number of license applications issued per year by the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to DPS data. The only training required for LTC applicants in the state of Texas is a 4–6 hour class and 1–2 hours of range instruction. Cesar Gonzalez, an LTC holder who spent over a decade as a Marine, said he’s satisfied with the level of training Texas requires for licensure but isn’t opposed to additional legislation regulating gun ownership. “I know that whatever regulation they pass, I’m going to pass that (requirement),” said Gonzalez, a Mexican American studies senior. “I’m going to get through whatever background check they need, (and) I’m going Number of handgun license to still be able to carry applications issued in TX my weapon.” In the two years since O P E N C A R R Y, campus carry’s impleCAMPUS mentation, organizations CARRY ARE IMPLEMENTED such as Cocks Not Glocks IN TEXAS have all but disappeared from campus. Gun Free UT signs remain in office windows on the South Mall — but maybe not for much longer. With a stockpile of dildos boxed up in her parents’ garage, Cocks Not Glocks organizer Ana López has passed the UT student torch on to anti-gun acages 2017 tivists in other states and is campaigning for Julie Oliver, a candidate advocating for gun control and running for Texas’ 25th Congressional District. As López holds out hope for future political action, she remains worried about the presence of guns on campus. “It’s like saying that if you’ve got a scorpion in your bedroom, and if it hasn’t bitten you yet, than you might as well keep it in there,” López, a Plan II and health and society senior, said. Although Moore has hope for the future of her lawsuit, Professor Lucas Powe, who teaches classes on the First and Second Amendments at UT School of Law, is doubtful of any lasting impact. Even if the lawsuit was appealed to the Supreme Court, “there’s no way they’d hear it,”
By Morgan O’Hanlon @mcohanlon
hen he saw the bloody knife, Sam Kellogg thought it was a prop in a protest. On the May 2017 afternoon when accused murderer Kendrex White killed one and injured three in an on-campus stabbing, Kellogg, now a government junior, was outside Gregory Gymnasium with his girlfriend. “Get your gun,” Kellogg remembers his girlfriend saying. Kellogg, who has spent nine years in the Marine Corps, had left his gun in his car that day. He’d recently moved to Austin and was unsure whether or not his Virginia Resident Concealed Handgun Permit was valid in Texas. The man with the knife ran past them and slashed someone sitting at a table nearby. That’s when Kellogg knew it was serious. Within seconds, the entire area in front of the gym cleared out and Kellogg did what he could to help in the situation: Call the police. He stayed on the phone until they arrived. “Had I had my weapon on me at the time, I think I would’ve been able to stop him at the food truck, and he wouldn’t have gotten any further,” Kellogg said. Kellogg now carries his gun to campus every day. He’s one of roughly 500 people estimated by the University to carry on campus. Texas requires License to Carry a Handgun applicants be at least 21 years old, making 48.2 percent of UT students eligible to obtain a license, according to 2017 census data collected by the University. Campus carry had been in place for over 20 years when Senate Bill 11 went into effect on Aug. 1, 2016, the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting. The new law allowed guns in all University buildings with some exceptions, including labs and certain professors’ offices. On the day of SB 11’s implementation, three UT professors filed a lawsuit against the University in an attempt to strike down the law, along with a wave of activism that overtook the campus. The lawsuit, brought by professors Lisa Moore, Mia Carter and Jennifer Glass, was blocked by a lower court, and that ruling was upheld on Aug. 16 of this year by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. With no word yet as to whether or not the professors will appeal to the Supreme Court, it looks like campus carry is here to stay. From 2015 to 2016, coinciding with campus carry and open carry becoming law, there
“Had I had my weapon on me at the time, I think I would’ve been able to stop him at the food truck, and he wouldn’t have gotten any further.” SAM KELLOGG
McCombs hits milestone in diversity representation By Raga Justin @ragajus
The incoming MBA class to McCombs School of Business will see its highest numbers of women and underrepresented racial groups in nearly 20 years, the school announced in a tweet last week. Nineteen percent of students in the 2018 class are considered
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underrepresented or identify as women, Latino, African-American and Native American, McCombs spokeswoman Catenya McHenry said in an email. This is almost five times as high as the percent of underrepresented students 10 years ago, and a 6 percent increase since last year. Increased diversity can be credited to strong partnerships with national
organizations that focus on increasing racial and gender representation in the business world, as well as connecting current students with prospective McCombs applicants, McCombs assistant dean Tina Mabley said in an email. “We find many prospective students want to know, ‘Can I see myself here?’” Mabley said. “Getting firsthand accounts from
current students offers an authentic perspective.” Eric Castle, business administration graduate student in McCombs, is actively involved in many diversity initiatives in McCombs and business schools across the country. Castle said diversity is a buzzword in many workplaces. “We’re finding that …
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
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Defense presents new evidence in Criner hearing By Megan Nguyen @ultravioletmegs
Less than two months after he was found guilty of capital murder of dance freshman Haruka Weiser, Meechaiel Criner appeared in court Wednesday as his attorneys asked the judge for a new trial. Defense attorneys previously filed a motion for a new trial for Meechaiel Criner amid allegations of jury misconduct. According to the Austin American-Statesman, jury foreman Kenny Rogers violated his juror’s oath by researching facts about the case. Another juror signed an affidavit alleging she was bullied into pleading guilty by the other jurors, according to KXAN. “We talked to the other jurors, and it turned out that there was no validity to the allegations,” lead prosecutor Guillermo Gonzalez said. During the motion hearing Wednesday afternoon, allegations of jury misconduct were waived. The updated
Columnists Ashka Dighe, Josephine MacLean
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We talked to the other jurors, and it turned out that there was no validity to the allegations.”
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carlos garcia | the daily texan file Meechaiel Criner’s lawyers requested a new trial after being charged with the capital murder of Haruka Weiser because of allegations of jury misconduct.
motion was limited to new evidence found through forensic testing of Criner’s tablet. Matthew Danner, a forensic examiner for Flashback Data who testified for the defense, said a re-evaluation of Criner’s Nextbook tablet found information not introduced during the July trial. Danner said data
showed that between 8:45 p.m. and 8:46 p.m. on April 3, 2016, someone pressed the power button on Criner’s tablet at least four times. This is the same window of time that surveillance video from the date showed a man riding a bicycle. Later footage showed the same figure following Weiser by Waller Creek.
“If he was using (the tablet) … then he is not the guy on the bike,” defense attorney Ariel Payan said. “And if he is not the guy on the bike, he did not kill Haruka Weiser.” During the trial, the state argued the tablet activity could have been caused by it jostling in a backpack, but the defense said the
activity meant Criner was actively using it. The prosecution argued the defense was not presenting any new evidence in the hearing. “We believe this is just a bolstering of (Danner’s) testimony,” state prosecutor Victoria Winkeler said. “We don’t have any
UT provides therapy clinic for students, public
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evidence that (Criner) was the one, in fact, on the computer.” In response to the activity found on the tablet, Judge David Wahlberg said he recognized that although the forensic evidence may be legitimate, it was not compelling. “That doesn’t, at least in my mind, come anywhere close to negating the rest of the evidence,” Wahlberg said. Wahlberg said he aims to have a decision about whether to grant Criner a new trial by Oct. 2.
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The UT Department of Psychology’s free cognitive behavioral therapy clinic is now accepting patient applications for the fall, and spots are filling up fast. The free clinic offers treatment for behavioral issues, anxiety and depression, and is open to both UT students and the public. “New patients are accepted at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, so those contacting us at other times are likely to be placed on a wait list,” clinic director Martita Lopez said. “We screen potential patients to see if they are a good fit for what we offer.” Currently in its 20th year, the free clinic is staffed by clinical psychology graduate students and supervised by licensed faculty members. Students who are interested in visiting the clinic can fill out a survey on the psychology department website. Due to the clinic’s popularity, Lopez said she
luisa gonzales | the daily texan staff The UT Psychology’s free cognitive behavioral therapy clinic is now accepting patient applications for the fall.
encourages students to explore other free or lower-cost resources on campus. “Students have excellent resources on campus when they have mental health issues, including primarily the Counseling and Mental Health Center,”
campus carry continues from page
Powe said. “Their only hope is in the (Texas) Legislature.” Moore maintains her belief that classrooms should be a place where students don’t have to worry about these threats. “If everyone’s jockeying for the seat where they can defend themselves if a shootout starts, we’re not gonna talk about Jane Austen much,” said Moore, an English professor who has designated her office as a gun-free zone. Quinn Cox, southwest regional director of Students for Campus Carry, said his organization is actively working to remove the policy allowing professors to prohibit guns in their offices. For Cox, campus carry’s requirement for firearms to be concealed means a professor would never know if their students were carrying. Under the law, carriers are not obligated to tell others whether or not they have a weapon on them. Cox said the organization would not allow its gun-carrying members to comment for this article. “The beauty of concealed campus carry is that it’s concealed,” Cox said in a Facebook message. “Nobody knows you’re doing it, and I believe it should stay that way.” Kellogg said if asked whether or not he was carrying a firearm, he wouldn’t answer — but he still wishes he was carrying on the day of the stabbing. He hopes the ability to carry on campus would prevent another such tragedy from occurring. “There are people like myself or other people that carry that have a similar experience that I do with weapons,” Kellogg said. “I think ultimately (campus) is a safer place.”
Lopez said. Another option is the Anxiety and Stress Clinic, which offers the same type of service but focuses on anxiety-related disorders. “We use evidence-based treatments and cognitive
diversity continues from page
employers are asking for more diversity in the workplace,” Castle said. “That really has to start here in the business school. Those organizations that have better diversity perform better. Ultimately people want to be successful and this is a
behavioral therapy, which are found to be the most effective when treating anxiety and related disorders,” said Christy Dutcher, a clinical psychology graduate student who works at the anxiety clinic. Dutcher said although the
big key to that.” As an African-American working in typically less diverse fields such as business and engineering, Castle said he was often one of the very few black professionals in his workplace. “It’s never been smooth sailing,” Castle said. “I’ve always been in a position where there were very few
| the daily texan staff
anxiety clinic is not free, the staff tries to accommodate for all cases. “We work on a sliding scale fee ranging from $45-$160 depending on individual income,” Dutcher said. “We don’t like turning people away, so depending on the individual’s circumstances we are able to reduce the rate even lower on an as-needed basis.” Sociology sophomore Isabella Jackson said she has had an overwhelmingly positive experience with on-campus resources. “The quality of care is really good,” Jackson said. “Everyone I’ve talked to at the mental health center has been very kind, understanding and supportive. It’s helped me a lot.” Jackson said she urges those who are experiencing mental health issues to not be afraid to seek help. “Talk to your friends and family, seek out a therapist and take time for yourself, even if that means taking a break from school,” Jackson said. “I promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Most of all — you are never, ever alone.”
like me. I’ve never had to deal with overt racism … but it’s difficult when the people who are there don’t have access to African-Americans and their way of life so I end up being sort of the representative of an entire culture.” Castle said McCombs is committed to ensuring racial headway is being made.
“I’m excited and I’m optimistic about seeing this progress,” Castle said. “If you look across other business schools … they’ll mention diversity as a value, but you don’t see that show up in the numbers. It’s interesting when you get to a place where they put those values into action.”
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
UT encourages all students to get flu shots in order to avoid influenza outbreak, offers free vaccinations By Katie Balevic @KatelynBalevic
kennedi white | the daily texan staff Different members of the Austin community met on Wednesday to raise awareness and encourage Austin residents to get their flu shot in order to prevent an outbreak.
With flu season around the corner, the Dell Medical School advises everyone to get their flu shot as soon as possible to prevent last year’s influenza outbreak from reoccurring. “If we have more people immunized in our community, we’re less likely to have a major outbreak,” said Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School. “It’s actually a community good as much as it is a personal good.” Herd immunity — the act of immunizing others — is a critical step in protecting the community from getting infected, and it is particularly important for students to get immunized to not spread the illness, Johnston said at a press conference on Wednesday. “One of the things about college students is they live densely … and interact a lot,” Johnston said. “They’re in classes together, (and) they live together. So when there’s a bad flu season, they’re particularly susceptible to it.” Johnston said people should try to get their shot before the end of October to maximize their protection throughout the flu season. University Health Services will begin administering flu vaccines on Sept. 25, said Kathy Mosteller, associate
director for nursing and clinical operations. “We encourage everybody to come get a flu shot,” Mosteller said. “Between fall of 2017 and spring of 2018, we had 651 cases of diagnosed flu. It was pretty significant.” Last year’s influenza outbreak shows how dangerous it can be when people do not get vaccinated, said Philip Huang, medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health. “We had a surge of hospitalizations (in central Texas),” Huang said. “We had the highest number of deaths … in 10 years. We had 49 deaths by the end of March.” Although flu shots may not always be effective in counteracting the strain of influenza spreading in a community, the vaccine can still be helpful, Huang said. “Even during years when the vaccine isn’t the best match for what’s circulating, it’s still really important to get the flu vaccine because it actually decreases the severity in people who do still get infected,” Huang said. Some people avoid or forget about flu vaccines because they have forgotten what outbreaks were like for past vaccine-preventable diseases, such as polio and the measles, Huang said. “We’re a victim of our own success,” Huang said. “There are doctors and parents and nurses who never saw how bad it was, so they start to question it … For whatever reason, some people don’t choose to believe the science.”
New H-E-B technology facility will open job opportunities By Sami Sparber @samisparber
Students hunting for work in Austin after graduation will be able to apply for employment at a new H-E-B technology facility, set for completion in the spring. Last week the San Antonio-based company announced plans to transform an East Austin warehouse into an innovation hub for its digital retail team. The 81,000 square-foot facility will also function as the corporate headquarters for Favor, the Austin-based food delivery service owned by H-E-B. “This state of the art space will be a hub for creativity and innovation as we continue to develop the ultimate digital experience for our customers,” said Jag Bath, H-E-B chief digital officer and Favor CEO and president, in a statement. “Bringing H-E-B and Favor closer together will allow us to promote collaboration between our two
companies as we strengthen our commitment to building out H-EB’s omnichannel services.” The new H-E-B facility will bring with it several hundred jobs to the city’s economy, according to the press release. Marketing lecturer Ben Bentzin said UT students hoping to stay in Austin after graduation will likely be enticed at the prospect of working at the new facility. “This is great news for students who would like to stay in Austin long-term,” Bentzin said. “H-E-B is based in San Antonio, so up until now, if you wanted to work for their corporate offices, your only option was to move there. Now, students have new employment opportunities here in Austin with a great employer.” Bentzin said he was not surprised H-E-B chose Austin over San Antonio or other Texas cities for its new tech hub. The city’s overall atmosphere and proximity
to a world-class university make Austin a no-brainer, Bentzin said. “With all of our talented and well-trained undergraduate and graduate students, UT is an attractive employee base for companies looking to locate to Austin,” Bentzin said. “Austin’s culture and lifestyle is also attractive to employers, because companies want to locate places where employees enjoy living and are likely to stay.” Marketing administration professor Raji Srinivasan said H-E-B is likely building the facility in response to Amazon’s increased share in the grocery delivery service world. “This is a play on H-E-B’s part to compete more directly with Amazon, a company that is completely tech-driven,” Srinivasan said. “H-E-B is a well-managed company with good marketing. Now they just have to figure out how to beat Amazon.”
copyright heb, and reproduced with permission H-E-B announced last week its plans to lease an 81,000 square-foot office building in east Austin to house its H-E-B digital team and H-E-B subsidary, Favor.
LIZA ANDERSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF @TEXANOPINION
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
| the daily texan staff
Chapter 11 procedures fail students By Josephine MacLean Columnist
A court reporter is present. The table has microphones for witnesses. All physical evidence has been reviewed and approved before the participants arrive. The person at the head of the table opens the proceedings by explaining the participant’s rights in the process. Then, they explain the order of events — opening statements, questioning, cross examinations, closings. They have the court reporter swear in the first witness. Although this UT procedure shares many similarities with a deposition or trial and has the ability to determine sanctions just like a court proceeding, both the Office of Student Conduct and President Gregory Fenves claim that it is not, in fact, a legal process. In a copy of a decision letter from a Title IX hearing appeal obtained by The Daily Texan — dated Dec. 1, 2017 — Fenves writes to the respondent that the hearing, “is not meant to mirror a court proceeding, as you seem to have assumed.” In the same letter, Fenves explains to the student that the University’s goal is for the disciplinary process to be educational, rather than legal. The procedures UT follows for hearings are laid out in Chapter 11 of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities. Unfortunately, UT’s current procedures and systems are overly broad and allow a hearing officer’s personal biases to get in the way of truth-finding. Things can go wrong before the hearing even starts due to procedure that gives overly broad power to the hearing officer. UT procedure (section 11-604) gives the appointed hearing officer final say in scheduling the hearing. The respondent in this specific case requested the hearing be rescheduled twice. The first time, due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey on his family.
According to the respondent, the hearing officer told him he could participate in the hearing over the phone. He says she later rescinded this comment, citing the University-wide mandate to accommodate students affected by Harvey. The student later received information that his attorney could not make the new hearing date. He requested the hearing be rescheduled once more. He says the hearing officer told him no. This decision — although technically allowable by UT’s procedure — made it so the student was unable to have his attorney present with him at his Title IX hearing. According to the respondent, the officer began to treat him as if he has already been found guilty from the beginning of the hearing. These actions are not technically violations of UT’s code in Chapter 11. After all, in the description of a hearing officer’s duties (11- 601) there is nothing that explicitly requires the officer to act in an impartial way. At one point on a copy of the hearing record obtained by The Daily Texan, a UT investigator brings up the student’s concealed carry permit, although his colleague later states this fact is nowhere in the previously agreed upon evidence for the hearing. When the student brings up the same issue in the context of his own defense, the hearing officer interrupts him and rules it irrelevant. “There’s not a direct definition (of relevancy),” said Andel Fils-Aime, the UT director for student conduct and academic integrity, in relation to the institutional rules. “In many respects we really rely on the dean of students office to make sure we’re bringing relevant information to be considered for the specific violation or incident.” But the hearing officer relying on the investigator’s definition of relevance is like a judge relying only on the prosecutor to tell them what is and isn’t relevant evidence to a case.
In another interaction, the hearing officer reportedly encouraged the respondent to see the issue from the complainant’s point of view. While the student narrated his own perspective of an interaction between himself and the complainant, the hearing officer reportedly interrupted him, allowing the complainant to insert her own testimony. This type of behavioral modification belongs in a therapist’s office. In an adjudicative setting, it is completely unacceptable for the person leading the proceedings to intervene in a way that could affect the case the student is trying to make for themselves, whether wrong or right. According to Fils-Aime, UT is working hard to create representation and fairness in its student conduct process. There’s no doubt this work is important and laudable. But, when a system lacks a strong foundation, there is no guarantee that the outcome will live up to the goals of the process. According to Krista Anderson, Dean of Students associate vice president and Title IX Coordinator, UT is working toward a more fair system. This year, the hearing officers who oversee Title IX cases completed three days of training with a specific focus on the investigation process. Last year, their training was only one day. But extra training is not enough. None of the hearing officer’s actions in this case can be considered direct infringements on UT’s code. In order to maintain due process for every student, the code should be amended so actions like these are not allowed. It’s time to take a look at the overall construction of our disciplinary process and assess how UT’s current procedure can affect whether or not a student gets a fair shot at telling their side of the story. MacLean is a geography and advertising senior from Austin.
Fraternities shouldn’t be blamed for assaults by nonmembers By Ashka Dighe Columnist
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.
| the daily texan staff
At RoundUp earlier this year, there was a case of sexual assault reported at the Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) house where a girl said she was digitally penetrated while dancing. Sammy worked with the police to identify the assailant. Some article headlines about the assault made it seem as though the fraternity itself should be responsible even though the perpetrator was not an active member of the fraternity. Because people were quick to assign blame, false rumors that Sammy was harboring a sexual assailant spread throughout campus. While a correlation exists between a high rate of sexual assault and fraternity parties, this does not mean active fraternity members commit all of the reported sexual assaults. Entering a fraternity house does not inevitably result in rape, nor will consuming alcohol served in a fraternity house. To generalize all men in Greek life and mislabel them as rapists is insulting to the members of these organizations who fight against rape culture. Simultaneously, assigning blame to the rightful perpetrators can improve safety and increase accountability at fraternity parties. Colby Malone, the Delta Sigma Phi president, explained that his fraternity currently enforces alcohol policies to prevent sexual assault and severe inebriation. The fraternity restricts distribution and strictly controls the source of alcohol by serving sealed cans and drinks distributed by a contracted third party, who also ensures everyone is of legal drinking age. This way, everyone can identify the sources and contents of their drinks and decide how much alcohol they want to consume. Malone said all isolated spaces, such as bedrooms and closets, stay closed off during parties to prevent access. During larger parties, Delta Sig has sober active members monitor the party. They ask anyone who misbehaves or becomes
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overly intoxicated to leave. “You can tell when girls are obviously uncomfortable around somebody and that’s when we need to intervene,” Malone said. Fraternities have taken steps to prevent alcohol-related assaults, but accountability remains a problem with big parties. Since it’s difficult to keep track of every person that attends a party at a fraternity, Malone said guests who attend frat parties often know they won’t personally be held accountable for their actions. “Their actions will just be blamed on the frat because they’re on our premises,” Malone said. Fraternities should have a way to hold every guest accountable for their individual actions at parties. A system of direct accountability should be implemented so fraternities are not blamed for the actions of non-affiliated individuals at their parties. This would also create a safer environment with increased accountability assigned to guests. Since fraternities already require identification to check age at the door, creating a registry of guests using these ID cards would be an easy way for fraternities to keep track of all individuals who enter their house during the party. This policy would make it easier to track down alleged perpetrators if a crime is committed. It would create a sense of accountability to deter predators. We should not blame entire fraternities for sexual assaults committed by nonmembers in their houses. But we should expect more from our fraternities due to the high rate of sexual assaults reported at their parties. The Interfraternity Council should implement more security policies to reduce the amount of sexual assaults and keep a record of guests who attend their events. Women should not have to be worried about their safety when enjoying a night out with friends. Fraternities have made clear efforts to improve safety at their parties, but they need to implement a system which will hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes. Dighe is a Plan II and neuroscience sophomore from Houston.
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
FILM REVIEW | ‘MOVIE’
Netflix’s latest rom-com falls short of expectations “Sierra Burgess”
By Savannah J Salzar @savannahjai
Netflix has had its hits and misses with rom-coms, and with Noah Centineo and Shannon Purser onboard, “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” had a lot of online hype. Despite the excited anticipation, the movie is a disappointing miss. After Netflix’s show “Insatiable,” which received online backlash for a fat-shaming narrative and hit movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” people were excited to see Shannon Purser and the internet’s newest heartthrob, Noah Centineo, come together for a sweet, body-positive love story. Instead, the film delivers a weak script, offensive jokes and a redemption arc that leaves you more disappointed than happy. The titular character Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) starts off as an easy character to relate to. She’s awkward yet intelligent, and like a lot of people, is self-conscious about her body. This protagonist is particularly exciting because she doesn’t physically fit the mold of a typical rom-com heroine, a great step for more body diversity on-screen. In contrast to Sierra, the film introduces Veronica, played by newcomer Kristine Froseth. Veronica is a play off of the popular girl trope often seen in rom-coms. She’s pretty, a head cheerleader and bullies Sierra relentlessly for basically no reason. While at a cafe, Veronica, as a prank, gives Jamey (Noah Centineo), our
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R U N T I M E 105 minutes R AT E D PG-13 SCORE
copyright netflix, and reproduced with permission “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” was recently released on Netflix and, amongst all the anticipation, does not live up to the hype.
loving and soft-spoken jock, Sierra’s number instead of her own. It’s not until Sierra realizes the boy she’s fallen for thinks he’s been texting Veronica that things get weird. Right off the bat, the catfishing plot line can make anyone cringe a bit, and by some miracle, Veronica and Sierra come together way too easily in their plot to fool Jamey. The story moves at a good pace, but the creepiness of the catfishing escalates
as it goes from texts and using photos of Veronica to a non-consensual kiss fairly quickly. In a movie where we should be rooting for the underdog to get the guy, the creepiness of their first kiss doesn’t make anyone feel good. Another off-putting trait of the writing was the amount of offensive jokes scattered throughout the movie. Sierra was constantly taunted with jokes assuming she was
lesbian or transgender, insinuating that queerness is something to be ashamed of. There is also one scene where Sierra pretends to be deaf in front of Jamey’s deaf younger brother Ty. The scene tries to gain laughs at the expense of Ty, since Sierra doesn’t actually know how to sign. Other scenes between Jamey and Ty are incredibly sweet and having disabled representation done properly, without using it as a
punchline would have been incredible. A positive outcome from Sierra and Veronica’s team up, though, is their surprisingly warm friendship. “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” skims the surface of a complex female relationship which could have made for a more beautiful plot line. As they grow closer, it is a shame that the movie doesn’t focus on them instead of Sierra and Jamey. Sorry, Noah Centineo fans. Despite Centineo’s lovable performance and Purser’s charm, the poorly written relationship between Sierra and Jamey isn’t nearly as endearing as Veronica and Sierra’s, which makes the ending even more frustrating. In the movie’s song sequence, Sierra makes an impulsive move, which she attempts to remedy later through the song, “Sunflower.” The song itself is nice, but it only functions as a bandage to the sloppy writing. Purser has an amazing voice, but Sierra’s redemption cheats the viewer of a deeper meaning, only using Veronica and Sierra’s relationship as a tool to further the weak storyline. “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” has all the cast members it needs to be a wonderful rom-com, but the faulty writing is a total letdown.
of the Party,” channeling the band’s not-so-unusual snazzy dance pop jams. “Life of the Party” closes out the album in a way that leaves their eightyear hiatus in the rear view mirror, because it is simply that good. Ghostland Observatory’s longawaited comeback appears to be off to a good start. The duo kicks off their tour on Sept. 26 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they will play at Austin’s own Stubb’s on Oct. 25. Eight years is a long time to leave fans waiting, but Ghostland Observatory has revamped their classic sound with See You Later Simulator, finally giving fans what they have been waiting for since 2013.
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
gabriel lopez | the daily texan staff Senior defensive back Kris Boyd celebrates after making a play in Texas’ 23-27 loss to Texas Tech at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Nov. 24, 2017. As one of three senior defensive backs on the team, Boyd has emerged as a leader in bringing the Longhorns’ reputation of being “DBU” back to the 40 Acres.
Buying back into DBU’s resurgence Once a title exclusive to Texas, DBU looks to make a mark again .
By Alex Briseño @alexxbriseno
hen Texas hoisted the crystal ball trophy after a 41-38 national title victory over thenNo. 1 USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl, the term Defensive Back University didn’t cause controversy. It resided at Texas. The 2006 game featured Texas’ defensive backs Michael Huff, Aaron Ross, Cedric Griffin, Tarell Brown and Michael Griffin — all were selected in the NFL Draft. Times have changed, though. It’s been quite some time since Texas and USC went blow for blow, almost 13 years to be exact. Players have come and gone to the NFL. Others have gone into coaching, like Michael Huff, who is now an assistant defensive backs coach for the Longhorns. The glory days of DBU are a distant memory for most of the players on the current roster — the majority of them weren’t even 10 when Vince Young brought the title back to Austin. “They (players) ask me about it (the game) all the time,” said Huff, who talked to the media before Texas’ matchup with USC last year. “Even before USC, they always bring it up in off-season training just to talk about the game. They were all kids, a lot of them didn’t even watch the game. It makes me feel old.” Now, after a strand of lackluster performances during the Charlie
Strong era, the term DBU is now a controversial one. Senior cornerback Kris Boyd said he grew up watching Michael Huff, Quandre Diggs and Boyd’s cousin Curtis Brown, or as he calls it, the “DBU legacy.” When Boyd committed to play college ball at Texas, he and former Texas cornerback Holton Hill already had a goal. “That’s something me and Hollywood (Holton Hill) talked about when we committed here, like how we were going to get it (DBU) back going and have people saying, ‘Oh man look at that secondary at Texas,’” Boyd said. “I’m just here to show them that this is what it’s about to be, DBU.” Last year, Holton Hill, DeShon Elliott, PJ Locke III and Kris Boyd all starred in a highly-respected Texas defense led by Todd Orlando. Even after the secondary made significant improvements, they weren’t ready to reclaim the highly coveted title. “We have done nothing,” Elliott said last season. “DBU’s still not here. That’s not for us.” With Elliott and Hill off to the NFL, it’s up to veterans Boyd, Locke and Davante Davis to guide the freshmen in the right direction, something the seniors didn’t have much of when they were the newcomers. And according to Boyd, the freshmen have already bought in. “It means a lot to show that they
care. We came in as younger guys and tried to do the same thing,” Boyd said. “We didn’t have as much guidance, but they do. To see them buy in as soon as they get here. They look at us like, ‘I’m pouring my heart out for you, so tell me what you want.’ I can’t do anything but respect that.” After a strong preseason camp, the freshmen are all over the depth chart. From Caden Sterns to B.J. Foster, Texas’ freshmen could be the group that helps return the unit to prominence, and they know it. “We make each other better,” Sterns said. “The dude (Foster) is going to be really good, probably one of the best defensive backs to ever come through here. We’re already talking about DBU and ABS: America’s Best Secondary. We have our own little thing going.” As the freshmen continue to build confidence, the veterans know where they’re coming from and where they’re headed. For now, though, they know it’s still too early to say DBU is back at Texas. “Me personally, I don’t really like to emphasize that (DBU) too much,” Locke said. “I feel like we’re still in progress of letting that term come back. Until our old heads say we can use it, we can’t use it. Personally I don’t feel like we’re there yet. We’re on the right track. We can keep building toward it, but I don’t think we’re there yet.”
BIG 12 NOTEBOOK
Big 12 Notebook: Oklahoma on top, TCU faces its toughest test for his mishandling of domestic abuse allegations within the program during 2015. Even without its head coach, Ohio State still has the talent to compete with and even embarrass any team in the country. TCU will have its hands full in its first real test of the season.
By Donnovan Smoot @Dsmoot3D
A lot happened over the weekend in one of the most explosive conferences in the country. Here’s how some of the top teams in the Big 12 fared last weekend:
Last year’s conference champion blew out UCLA, 49–21. Although UCLA is in the process of rebuilding after hiring head coach Chip Kelly, Oklahoma took full advantage of its opponent and added another tally to the win column. So far this season, the Sooners have put up a combined 112 points in two games. Their offense is one of most potent in the nation with a plethora of weapons at their disposal. Head coach Lincoln Riley’s team sits at No. 5 in the nation following their dominating performance. The Sooners have not missed a beat since last year. Most of their success can be attributed to junior quarterback Kyler Murray, who is already under contract for the Oakland A’s as an outfielder. Murray has given Oklahoma an added spark
“Even without its head coach, Ohio State still has the talent to compete with and even embarass any team in the country. TCU will have its hands full in its first real test of the season.”
on offense due to his mobility and elusiveness.
The Mountaineers are looking like a well-oiled machine led by senior quarterback and Heisman candidate Will Grier. West Virginia jumped to No. 14 in the polls this week after lighting up the scoreboard against Youngstown State, 52–17. While the Mountaineers still have to play TCU and Oklahoma in the final weeks of the regular season, they could be a dark horse to win the Big 12 championship
juan figueroa | the daily texan file Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger stiff arms a defender in the Longhorns’ 24-29 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 15, 2017 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
if they can go into those games with momentum. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers’ strong start will be put on hold this week as their road matchup against NC State was cancelled due to the arrival of
Hurricane Florence. The game is yet to be rescheduled.
Despite handling their business against SMU, the Horned Frogs dropped below West Virginia to No. 15 in the AP poll.
TCU will have its shot this week to show the country that they are a legitimate force to be reckoned with as No. 4 Ohio State travels to Fort Worth without head coach Urban Meyer, who is serving a three-game suspension
Oklahoma State has quietly jumped into the top 25 with all eyes on its in-state rival, Oklahoma. They defeated South Alabama last weekend, 5513, one week after clobbering Missouri State. The Cowboys enter the weekend at No. 24 in the AP Poll. Just like their conference counterparts, they also have a chip on their shoulders. Oklahoma State is out to prove that the Big 12 isn’t just a three team race. Luckily for them, they have a golden opportunity this weekend as No. 17 Boise State pays a visit to Stillwater. Oklahoma State has put over 50 points on the scoreboard in its first two games this season. The expectation is that after Saturday, that streak will be up to three. The Big 12 is known for offense and OSU is committed to making sure the conference gets its recognition.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
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ANDREA TINNING LIFE&ARTS EDITOR @THEDAILYTEXAN
THUSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
Student rapper freestyles to fame Ariea Bastami’s rap videos on Twitter earned him recognition and a platform in rap genre. By John Melendez @mister_melendez
hen he began writing raps at the age of eleven, Ariea Bastami never imagined he would begin his musical career through dorm room freestyles and UT retweets. Approaching the one year anniversary of tweeting his first rap video about the coming basketball season, things have changed considerably for journalism junior Bastami, most recently, a promotional gig with Pluckers Wing Bar. Bastami said that he has declined various sponsorship offers for products that he does not use, wanting to maintain his authenticity. But when Pluckers reached out to him to do a rap promoting their wings in exchange for free wings, he couldn’t say no. “First and foremost, the guy is talented,” said Mac McCann, social media strategist for Pluckers and UT alumnus. “He’s a really good rapper, he’s got a great lightning fast flow and he’s got a great community with him as well.” Bastami’s success in music began at the start of his sophomore year when he shared his first NBA rap on social media. The video garnered over 2,600 retweets, close to 6,000 likes and even a retweet from Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Damian Lillard. After receiving positive feedback, Bastami began to regularly upload his dorm room raps on Twitter. Eventually, he attracted the attention of many Texas
Sports figures, including vice president and athletics director Chris Del Conte, who even made a surprise cameo in the music video for Bastami’s second Texas Sports hype song “Ice Out.” Del Conte said Bastami’s determination to follow his passion and overcome his self-doubt is admirable. “A lot of people look at different crafts to get out of their shell, whatever it may be,” Del Conte said. “He found his calling in music. It would be a shame that that talent was never seen if he didn’t really want to put himself out there, and I applaud him for that.” Bastami said his raps have opened opportunities to challenge hip-hop conventions and inspire others. “This is never a genre that I felt comfortable expressing that I could try and do,” Bastami said. “Once it started picking up last year in the dorms, as weeks went by and more and more people started supporting me I was like, ‘Okay, let’s just try and see how far this can go.’ It just became this thing that I, through other people’s belief in me, it instilled more belief in myself.” Bastami said he was once timid and bullied for being overweight. Because of this and his Middle Eastern identity, he said he never felt he had a place in the hip-hop community despite his love for the genre. The rapper’s growing spotlight has invited more criticism than he has ever faced before. Bastami decided to use the negativity to double down on his uniqueness and inspire others to do the same. “Screw any expectations that I’m supposed to (meet) in this game,” Bastami said. “I’m this Middle Eastern kid that listened to a lot of hip-hop when he grew up, and this is my moment to show everybody, ‘Hey, I can do it just like anybody else.’” After a transformative year of pursuing his passion, Bastami created his own path in hip-hop. “The last almost year has been surreal. Just surreal,” Bastami said. “And that’s all I ever wanted it to be.”
juan figueroa | the daily texan staff Journalism junior Ariea Bastami started his musical career by making freestyle videos in his dorm room. He now makes hype songs for Texas Sports and has a promotional gig with Pluckers Wing Bar.
Austin-based duo Ghostland Observatory return from hiatus By Liliana Hall @lilihallllllll
Austin-based duo Ghostland Observatory, featuring Aaron Behrens and Thomas Ross Turner, is ready to dive back into the soaring electro-pop world that they sidelined for nearly a decade with the release of their new album See You Later Simulator. With their 2005 debut album, Delete.Delete.I.Eat.Meat, Behrens and Turner introduced themselves to the world with danceable jams that placed them on a radar behind bands such as MGMT and LCD Soundsystem. Following the premiere of the song “Sad Sad City” off their second album Paparazzi Lightning in 2006 the duo found themselves selling out shows at clubs around the country, on the lineup at ACL in 2006, 2007 and 2009, and at Lollapalooza for two consecutive years. Leaving the music scene in 2013 after producing four full-length studio albums, it was said that the duo
was done for good. Despite the hiatus, their new album See You Later Simulator epitomizes the same magic fans felt from previous hits like “Sad Sad City,” “Piano Man” and “Give Me the Beat.” Ghostland Observatory’s rebirth is brought to the surface with “Paradise Lost,” an experience with a synced electro-mix of what appears to mimic sounds right out of “The Twilight Zone.” The title track “See You Later Simulator” picks up the album’s intent through a signature tune that brings back the mayhem of their early work, reflectant of the electro-disco aesthetic surrounding them. The dance party kicks off with the track “Permanent Vacation” as the album really begins to dig deeper into a mix of different keyboard soundscapes and vocal echoes configured in a sequence much like that of Daft Punk. The vocals have a touch of robo-mystique that flow with Turner’s industrial melody. Though repetitive, the disco vibes prevail as the song ellipses with every listen.
“See You Later Simulator”
copyright trashy moped, and reproduced with permission After an eight-year hiatus, Austin’s well-known dance duo Ghostland Observatory is back with a new 10-track album titled See You Later Simulator.
Behrens and Turner take a more emotional approach with the tracks “Miss Abyss” and “Sometimes.” These tracks focus more on the lyrics and less on the crazy background noise that consumes the other tracks on the album. Rumor has it that “Miss Abyss” is going to be the new album’s hit due to its sentimentality, which wouldn’t come as a surprise since a new sound for the dance duo is keeping their story alive. To get even more introspective, “We Understand,” “Open Wound” and “With or Without You,” are reflective of more dark dance vibes featuring robo-congeneric sounds from singer Thomas Ross Turner and sound overlays from Behren’s guitar. The album comes to a close with the last two tracks, “Loner” and “Life
Savvy spending life hacks to enjoy Austin’s food, outdoors By Anna-Kay Reeves @annakay_reeves
“I’m so broke right now.” As if there’s a time when you’re not. Being broke doesn’t have to mean missing out if you play it smart. With technology at our fingertips and a bit of resourcefulness, it’s no paycheck, no problem when it comes to exploring Austin.
Central Market Saturdays
A short ride away from campus on the northbound 801, Central Market is in familiar territory. With its own bakery, cafe and gelateria, calling it a grocery store seems disrespectful. On Saturday mornings you can find sample stands posted throughout the space, all offering in part what you can’t afford to buy in whole. Fresh-baked multigrain bread, pastries and sliced fine cheeses are weekend regulars. Coffee and tea samples, complete with cream and sugar, are available while supplies last. Week to week Central Market offers various and sundry tastes of cutting-edge kale, matcha and cocoa-based products. Make a day of it by taking your sample to-go,
having a sample picnic in the lovely Central Park and hanging out until the live music, which Central Market offers every evening on the weekend, starts up. Day made and money saved.
While the weather is still warm, take advantage of a free dip in cool water at Barton Creek. The only thing that keeps Barton Creek from being the actual Barton Springs Pool is that there’s no entrance fee. With the same water for no cost and plenty of room to picnic, Barton Creek is a great alternative when lines are long and you’re really, truly broke. The only downside to Barton Creek is its lack of steps or railing. You will be roughing it for an entry point into the water. But with trees lining the water, the creek is a great place to take a blanket or hammock and spend a day lazing in the shade.
Work the System
The buying power of your dollar directly correlates with how smart you are at spending it. There’s no shortage of really great food and coffee in Austin, which can make smart spending difficult. But with a little bit of craftiness, it’s not impossible to find quality cheap eats.
Many local coffee shops offer discounted drinks and refills if you bring in a reusable mug purchased from the shop. Even if that’s not an advertised offer, Austin’s obsession with sustainability means that many shops are more willing to accommodate that request. Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery is one shop with a reusable mug discount, and Bouldin Creek Cafe offers a free refill on select cafe drinks as well as $1 day-old pastries.
Even if you don’t have money in your pocket, odds are you have social media in some form. When you can’t pay your way to fun, tools like Facebook and Instagram can pave your way. Facebook is an excellent event platform, allowing you to explore events all around the city, many of which are free to the public or very cheap. Though Instagram doesn’t offer event planning, it does neatly organize locations by photos taken and tagged there. Exploring these geotags is a great way to find places not otherwise heavily advertised. From trails to scenic outlooks to art spaces, Instagram is a great way to find cheap or free activities.
| the daily texan staff
The Thursday, September 13th, 2018 issue of The Daily Texan.