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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
Lawmakers debate bills as the 86th Texas Legislature nears its end. PA G E 2
All departments at UT should adopt the STAR scheduling system. PA G E 4
Student ASMR producers bring “tingles” to campus with auditory content. PA G E 8
After season-ending knee inury, Lashann Higgs gains a new perspective. PA G E 6
UT bicycle injury lawsuit reaches Texas Supreme Court
Student settles dorm lawsuit
By Emily Hernandez @emilylhernandez
Non-University affiliated hikers and bikers injured on UT property would be considered trespassers and unable to sue for damages if UT wins a Texas Supreme Court case. The issue stems from a lawsuit filed against the University in district court four years ago by cyclist April Garner, 57, who was struck by a UT service truck backing out of a parking space on UT property in April 2015. UT is claiming Garner was trespassing because she was not affiliated with UT or an invited guest. Garner, who was thrown from her bicycle and broke her wrist, is seeking up to $200,000 in damages under the Texas Tort Claims Act, which makes governmental entities liable in the case of a motor vehicle accident caused by negligence by a government employee. UT filed a motion to dismiss Garner’s suit, claiming Garner could not sue UT without proving gross negligence or intentional misconduct. After a judge denied UT’s motion, the University appealed in 2017, claiming Garner was a civil trespasser under the Recreational Use Statute, a law protecting landowners’ liability when they allow the public to use their land — including government property — recreationally. Bob Shannon, a justice on the state’s Third Court of Appeals, wrote an opinion in favor of Garner, stating since UT did not open the street where the crash occurred for recreational use, the Recreational Use Statute does not apply, and Garner
sarah el-zein | the daily texan file UT student Kaj Baker, and the Scottish Rite Dormitory have reached a “peaceful settlement” after dorm administrators revoked her visitor privileges last semester due to Baker’s sexual orientation.
UT freshman reaches settlement with Scottish Rite Dormitory after suing for discrimination. By Hayden Baggett @hansfirm
fter moving out and preparing to file a lawsuit, Kaj Baker said she has reached a peaceful settlement with Scottish Rite Dormitory. Scottish Rite Dormitory, a private women’s dorm located off-campus, revoked Baker’s guest privileges last November because dorm administrators said residents felt “uncomfortable” with her sexual orientation, as reported by the The Daily Texan. The restriction garnered attention from nation-
al media outlets and support from several LGBTQ activists and organizations for Baker, a communication sciences and disorders freshman. In addition to the support, Baker received pro bono legal representation from attorney Lenore Shefman of Shefman Law Group in Austin. Shefman, who identifies as queer, said she did not hesitate to help when Baker contacted her for legal assistance. “I was more than happy to reach out to council for Scottish Rite Dormitory and discuss with them where this could potentially go and how they could avoid that,” Shefman said. “We
presented them with terms, and they agreed to those terms.” Shefman said the terms of the settlement are confidential, but “increased education and awareness” by Scottish Rite Dormitory were key to de-escalating the conflict. In order to not jeopardize the settlement, Shefman said both Scottish Rite Dormitory and Baker agreed upon statements to distribute to the media. “I had my father, my partner, community allies and the media standing by my side through this trying and emotional time,” Baker said in her statement. “The good news is that Scottish Rite
First-generation students get their own graduation ceremony By Alexis Tatum @TatumAlexis
Editor’s note: This story is part of the year-long, collaborative series “FirstGen UT,” which will share the stories of first-generation Longhorns. Stories will be produced in partnership with UT’s chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Hispanic Journalists Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. UT’s first-generation college graduates, students whose parents don’t have a college degree, now have a new way to commemorate their accomplishments. This spring will mark the inaugural First-Generation Graduation Recognition Ceremony, which will honor about 4,000 first-generation graduates in the class of 2019 on May 22. The ceremony is a collaborative event that began as an idea from two students last semester, according to Hollie Yang, a student program coordinator at the Multicultural Engagement Center. “Essentially, we had two students approach my director and it was just originally generated from them,” Yang said. “They wanted to have a ceremony to celebrate and recognize graduating seniors who identified as first generation, and they
came to us wanting some assistance in planning the ceremony.” After the idea was introduced, organizations such as the Multicultural Engagement Center, Student Government and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost offered their assistance. Yang
We have to continue progressing and pushing for firstgeneration students because that community makes up such a large part of UT.” VINIT SHAH
PUBLIC HEALTH SOPHOMORE
said students can expect a keynote speaker and special guests much like annual graduation ceremonies hosted for other minority communities. “We will be inviting two special guests to present a special token that would recognize
the graduating seniors,” Yang said. The inaugural ceremony is the most recent campus initiative to recognize first-generation students. The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement reported that about 20% of current students identify as first-gen. In response to a growing first-generation presence on campus, the division created a first-gen initiative to organize events, provide assistance and celebrate students who are the first to attend or finish college. Vinit Shah, a public health sophomore and member of the First-Generation Commitment Working Group, said the ceremony is a step in the right direction for future Longhorns. “I really wanted to join that group, being a first-gen student myself,” Shah said. “The experience of first-gen students is definitely not homogeneous. We have to continue progressing and pushing for first-generation students because that community makes up such a large part of UT.” Taylor Terry, a graduating applied learning and development senior, said she hopes the University continues to invest in first-gen students in the future. Terry will be the first in her immediate family to earn a bachelor’s degree. “Being first-gen was definitely hard for me
copyright alexis tatum, and reproduced with permission Taylor Terry, a graduating applied learning and development senior, is participating in UT’s inaugural First-Generation Graduation Recognition Ceremony this May.
CLAIRE ALLBRIGHT NEWS EDITOR @THEDAILYTEXAN
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
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Bills to watch as legislative session nears end By Katie Balevic @KatelynBalevic
As the 86th Texas legislative session nears its end on May 27, here are a few bills that The Daily Texan has previously reported on to keep up with after the end of the semester. Senate Bill 9 by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, would require both electronic and paper ballots during elections starting in the 2024 general election. The bill would also increase penalties for voter fraud. Some state Democrats said the bill would restrict voters who make errors on their registration. SB 9 passed out of the Senate and was referred to the House Elections Committee. Senate Bill 18, authored by state Sens. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would increase protections of free speech on college campuses. The bill would eliminate “free speech zones” and make all common outdoor areas public forums for free expression. It would also allow students to assemble and distribute written materials without permits or permission from universities. SB 18 was reported favorably out of the House Higher Education Committee and now waits to be scheduled for a House vote. Senate Bill 21, also by Huffman, would raise the tobacco consumption age to 21, except for active military members. The bill
eddie gaspar | the daily texan file The 86th Texas legislative session adjourns May 27. June 16 is the Governor’s deadline to sign or veto bills. With the exception of bills with specific immediate action, all signed bills become law Aug. 26.
passed out of the Senate with bipartisan support and was reported favorably out of the House Public Health Committee. It now waits to be scheduled for a House vote. Senate Bill 25 by state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, would require universities to ensure that students who come from lower-division institutions receive a certain amount of transfer credit. SB 25 passed out of the Senate and was referred to the House Higher
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while opponents say the bill would prevent social media platforms from regulating objectionable material. The bill has passed out of the Senate and awaits assignment to a House committee. May 27 will be the last day of the regular session. June 16 is the deadline for Gov. Greg Abbott to sign or veto bills, and on Aug. 26 all signed bills — expect those that are effective immediately or specify a different effective date — become law.
By Brenna Hinshaw
banning them from sidewalks and requiring riders to be at least 16 years of age. SB 549 passed out of the Senate and has not yet been assigned a House committee. Senate Bill 2373, also by Hughes, would allow state Attorney General Ken Paxton to file consumer protection lawsuits against platforms if they restrict users based on their viewpoints. Proponents of the bill say this would protect social media users’ free speech,
Amid national measles outbreak, UT doesn’t require MMR vaccine
Forrest Milburn (512) 232-2217 managingeditor@ dailytexanonline.com
TODAY May 7
Education Committee. Senate Bill 212, also by Huffman, would require universities to fire employees who are aware of an incident of sexual assault or harassment but fail to report it. Those employees would also be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. The bill passed out of the Senate and was left pending in the House Higher Education Committee. Senate Bill 549, also by West, would regulate the use of electric scooters by
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So far this year, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states, including Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “(It’s) the highest number of cases reported nationwide since the disease was declared eliminated in this country in 2000,” said Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement. Currently, UT does not require domestic students to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. UT used to require the MMR vaccination for all incoming students, but due to the CDC declaring the elimination of measles in the US in 2000, many colleges across the country began to reconsider the necessity of requiring the MMR vaccine, said Melinda McMichael, interim executive director of University Health Services. It was around this time that UT decided to
discontinue the requirement, McMichael said. “It’s a lot of (records) to keep up with,” McMichael said. “Colleges, universities and health services are always trying to be as efficient as possible with student money.” According to population health professor William Tierney, this may put UT students at risk. “I have always been a proponent for vaccinations,” Tierney said. “It’s the most cost-effective thing we do to prevent illness. It is actually not good public health policy for an organization like UT, which has more than 50,000 students on campus, to set up an environment where they can make each other sick.” According to the CDC, an increase in measles cases can occur due to people contracting the virus abroad and bringing it back to the U.S. and causing “further spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.” In July, Austin was named one of 14 “anti-vaccine ‘hotspots’” by the Public Library of Science,
a medicine publisher and advocacy organization. “If I walk through a room and I have measles, for the next 24 hours if you put 10 people in that room who have not be vaccinated, nine of them will get measles,” Tierney said. “It’s very contagious.” M c M i chael said it is likely that in response to the increased number of measles outbreaks, many colleges that do not require the MMR vaccine may begin to discuss the possibility of requiring it again. McMichael did not specify whether UT would be among them. “I think vaccinations are recommended for good reason,” McMichael said. “They work. They prevent some serious infectious diseases.”
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is not a trespasser. According to Shannon’s opinion, Garner would also not be considered a trespasser because the road where the crash occurred was not clearly marked by “No Trespassing” signs, and Garner proved the public routinely used it without the University taking steps to prevent public use. In August 2018, UT appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, claiming Shannon misinterpreted the Recreational Use Statute. UT also argued Garner mischaracterizes their argument as expanding the Recreational Use Statute to consider all cyclists on UT property as trespassers, including those affiliated with UT. “Unlike Garner and other members of the general public, however, students, employees or invited guests of UT-Austin would not be trespassers,” UT’s lawyers wrote. “Nor would they be deemed trespassers under
| the daily texan staff
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amna ijaz | the daily texan staff Alvin road is at the center of a lawsuit against UT for damages after a biker was injured on University property while taking a shortcut. The claimant is seeking up to $200,000 in damages.
… the Recreational Use Statute unless UT-Austin had permitted them to enter the premises for recreation — something categorically untrue of students and employees.” One of Garner’s attorneys, Jim Rodman, said UT is implying they do not want to be held liable for anyone
engaging in recreational activity on University property. “No college campus should treat a bicyclist or a pedestrian as a second-class citizen on their campus, and that’s, in my mind, what UT is saying,” Rodman said. “They take the most vulnerable people — the bicyclists, the skateboarders
and the pedestrians … and say to them, ‘You don’t have a claim.’” UT spokesperson Shilpa Bakre declined The Daily Texan’s request for comment, saying the University will make its case in court. The Texas Supreme Court has not yet decided whether they will hear the case.
in the beginning,” Terry said. “I didn’t really know what to expect out of this level of academia. I think that UT needs to publicize and reach out more on things like this for future students.” Terry also said that graduating as a first-generation college student is a big deal for her family because it means she will be financially stable. “(My family) knows that I’m going to be financially set,” Terry said. “They know I’ll be safe and sound. That’s something I’m especially proud of as a first-generation student.” Yang said she hopes to continue the first-generation graduation ceremony for years to come. “I definitely think in the future years that it could potentially inspire those younger classes to really strive and continue on to finish their degree,” Yang said. “I’m hoping that this ceremony gets housed in a specific location on campus and can continue to thrive and grow.”
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
first-gen students reflect on path to ut Editor’s Note: These stories are a part of a “First-Gen UT” callout for student responses following the admissions scandal earlier this year. “FirstGen UT” is a yearlong collaborative series that shares the stories of first-generation Longhorns. Stories are published in partnership with The Daily Texan and the UT chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association and Association of LGBTQ Journalists.
armin panjvani | the daily texan staff Chris Smith, a first-generation college student, will be earning her degree in the English Honors program this May.
By Katie Balevic @KatelynBalevic
After barely graduating from high school, Chris Smith never thought college was something she could achieve. Ten years after completing high school she ended up at UT, and now she will graduate this May. But the college admissions scandal this March made her reevaluate her place on campus. “I was upset by it,” Smith said. “I think everyone should get in on their own merit. I think that’s the point of admissions.” After high school, Smith began working and later enrolled in community college part time because her family encouraged her to, and she wanted to “give it a shot.” “It’s been a really long journey for me,” Smith said. “I never thought college was something that I could do in the first place.” After she started taking a few Austin Community College courses each semester, tragedy struck. “I had an apartment fire, and I lost all my stuff,” Smith said. “After that, I kind of had to
look at myself and realize that if I was going to pick up the pieces and remake myself, I was going to really do it.” Smith sent an application into UT “on a whim” and was surprised when she got
I had an apartment fire, and I lost all my stuff. After that, I kind of had to look at myself and realize that if I was going to pick up the pieces and remake myself, I was going to really do it.”
in to the College of Liberal Arts. “It was pretty amazing,” Smith said. “I didn’t have the highest GPA.”
Now 27, Smith is set to graduate after just three years. “I entered the English Honors program last year, and I’m finishing up my thesis,” Smith said. “I got to study abroad at the top university in Korea. UT has been amazing, and I’m really proud of it. It makes me sad to see it stained with this scandal.” Smith said she will take a year off to decide whether to get her Ph.D., but she’s already thinking about the loans she would have to take out. The fact that someone paid $100,000 just to get into UT is “incomprehensible” to her. “You could have four college degrees with what some people paid,” Smith said. “You could have put them through undergraduate. You could have put them through an MBA, a Ph.D. or more than one Ph.D.” Smith said she understands that the college admissions process is extremely stressful, but there still were likely plenty of options available to that student through “honest means.” “When it comes down to it, that was just the wrong decision to make,” Smith said.
macelyn morris | the daily texan staff Tiffany Guard, a junior studying molecular biology, was in the top 7.14% of her graduating class. Despite rejection from UT and caring for her parents while taking classes, Tiffany finally enrolled in the College of Natural Sciences last fall.
By Tehya Rassman @tehyarassman
In September 2016, doctors diagnosed Tiffany Guard’s father with lung cancer. Guard, a biology junior, was in high school at the time and was applying to colleges. She said her goal was to get accepted to what she believed was the number one public university in Texas — UT. But in December 2016, Guard had to stop attending classes to take care of her father, who would often rip out his oxygen tubes and was too weak to move. “I have to withdraw from school,” Guard said to her principals. “I have to do something because I cannot leave my father by himself.” “No, no, no. We’ll work with you,” they said. After the national college admissions scandal that reached UT, Guard remembered all the hard work she put into getting into UT. “It’s unfortunate that those with more wealth are able to pretty much get whatever they desire and those of lower income have to work so hard even for the slim chance,” Guard said. In order to make it to college, Guard attended high school only for exams and quizzes and did all of her other assignments in between taking care
of her father’s appointments, oxygen, meals and bathroom trips. She hardly slept because her father needed constant supervision. One night, Guard started feeling the sleepiness overcome her, so she fell asleep only to abruptly wake up to her father on the floor, unable to breathe. Every night, Guard prayed to God for a miracle, but it didn’t come. In February 2016, her father passed away. “Unfortunately, when I wasn’t handed (a miracle), I backed off and I just thought of things rationally like, ‘Oh, my dad isn’t suffering anymore. It’s not God. It’s just life,’” Guard said. Less than a month later, Guard received a letter from the UT admissions office saying she was eligible for the Coordinated Admissions Program. She said she was not automatically accepted because she was in the top 7.14% of her graduating class, just 0.14% away from automatic acceptance. “I was given this huge pit I was supposed to climb out of, and it wasn’t good enough,” Guard said. “I lost my dad and I lost that opportunity to be something amazing at this wonderful school.” She said she chose not to pursue the CAP program and went to Texas A&M University instead. Guard held in her grief
and emotion. She had no support group. She did not have a close relationship with her mother. She had a boyfriend, but she said that’s only so much support. At A&M, Guard struggled. She said she felt out of place. Eight months after her father’s death and just before her first semester of final exams, Guard’s mother had a stroke that left the right side of her body paralyzed. Guard said she withdrew from A&M before receiving any college credit to take care of her mother. When her mother was self-sufficient enough to live on her own, Guard reapplied to UT with the credits she received from online classes at her community college. UT accepted her for the fall of 2018 to study molecular biology in pursuit of a career in oncology. Now a student at UT, Guard joined the Advocates for Cancer Awareness, where she said she finally found people who understood the hardships she went through. She said she finally has a support group and can properly grieve for her father. “I held all that grief in, all that emotion,” Guard said. “I got to UT and it was still hidden. I just wanted to forget about it … Once I found that organization, I was fully able to grieve and be myself.”
Activist group protests by attempting to plant tree on campus By Lauren Grobe @grobe_lauren
After graduating from UT in 1971 as a Plan II major with a focus on environmentalism, Susan Lippman now spends her time participating in protests with the environmental activist organization Extinction Rebellion, or XR. The Austin branch of XR led a “Week of Reobellion” in the days preceding Earth Day, which sinvolved protesters gluing themselves to the doors of Chase Bank and, in Lippman’s case, attempting to -plant a tree near the petro-leum engineering building. Lippman was part of XR Austin’s April 22 protest of the University’s large investments in fossil fuels. She argued that the money could be used to lower tuition or pay a higher wage to graduate students. The protesters wanted to plant a tree somewhere on campus, but they were not allowed to bring shovels due rto University policy prohibiting “the possession, use or display of … items that -could be used as weapons, -including but not limited to dsticks, poles, clubs …” Lippman, whose spade -was not taken by police, still tried to plant a Mexican plum despite not having permission from
dakota kern | the daily texan staff Susan Lippman graduated from the University in 1971 and studied in Plan II with an “environmental studies concentration.” She is now a part of the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion.
the University. “I stuck my spade in the ground and just loosened up the dirt once, twice, and then a cop says, ‘Stop what you’re doing, drop that shovel,’” Lippman said, “Instinct took over and I dropped it.” Lippman said she is personally connected to environmental activism in Austin since she attended the University in 1967. She was
on campus for the first Earth Day in 1970 and said she took as many environmental science classes as she could. Monica Bhatia, XR Austin member and UT graduate student, gave a speech during the Earth Day protest shedding light on the appointment of Kelcy Warren to UT System Board of Regents by Gov. Greg Abbott. Warren is
the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, which was responsible for the Dakota Access Pipeline. “While this recent episode … signals Warren’s strong commitment to fossil fuels interests, he is not alone among UT System leaders and key decision-makers with ties to the industry,” Bhatia said. XR Austin member
Meagan Bluestein graduated from the University in 2017 and said she has been frustrated with the University’s support of the fossil fuel industry. “We see a huge disconnect (in how) UT tries to promote itself as a progressive university, and yet they are also in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry,” Bluestein said.
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Dormitory and I came to a peaceful resolution and have settled this matter.” Before the resolution, Scottish Rite Dormitory director Mary Mazurek said the dorm was already planning to clarify its visitor policies and provide sensitivity training for all staff and resident assistants. “We’re glad to have reached a mutually beneficial solution with Ms. Baker,” a dorm representative said in Scottish Rite Dormitory’s statement. “We wish her all the best in her college career and beyond.” In the months following the incident, Baker’s girlfriend Carlee, whose last name has been withheld for privacy reasons, raised more than $400 from 17 donors to try to secure new housing for Baker. In December, GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization, also offered resources and assistance to Baker. “I am really lucky to be at this school because so many people are supportive and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community,” Baker said in an email. “I wouldn’t change anything about the experiences I’ve had in my life as a lesbian because it’s made me who I am today and introduced me to the group of people I can be myself with.” Mazurek did not respond to a request for further comment from the Texan. Shefman said the outcome of a similar conflict would have been different 20 years ago and is grateful for the quick resolution. “Kaj is an amazing young woman who has an incredible future ahead of her,” Shefman said. “I am glad to see that this didn’t waylay her and this outcome was swift. She’s not letting stuff get in her way, so she’s someone to keep your eye on. She’ll do great things.”
LIZA ANDERSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF @TEXANOPINION
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
| the daily texan staff
All departments should use the STAR system By Henry Corwin Columnist
If colleges across UT could make it easier for students and advisers to schedule advising appointments, why wouldn’t they? The STAR system is an online program that allows students in the Moody College of Communication to easily make appointments with advisers. The STAR website lets students see when their advisers are available, and students can then choose an appointment time that fits into their own schedule. Students can make an appointment in just minutes. Lauren Brown, the project manager for STAR, said this system was designed for students and advisers to easily and conveniently make appointments that fit their busy schedules. However, not all students have access to this system. No other UT college uses STAR. Of the resources available to non-Moody students, nothing compares to the standard set by STAR. In fact,
multiple colleges offer nothing but a phone number or email, including the College of Liberal Arts and College of Education. Other colleges within the University should adopt the STAR system in order to ensure students in their respective colleges have easy access to advising appointments. Jeffrey Marsh, senior administrative program coordinator for Moody, said he was impressed by the STAR system when he transferred to Moody. Marsh, who is a former academic adviser for the government department, said he previously had to schedule most advising appointments through phone calls or emails, which could be time consuming and overwhelming during busy times. “This system just keeps it really clean and makes it easier for both advisers and students to manage that scheduling process,” Marsh said. “It amazes me that other offices have not utilized this.” Brown said he thinks other schools have not adopted this system on account of challenges with the programming language because STAR was designed within the Moody school and specifically
fits Moody’s business rules. However, Brown said workers in other colleges have expressed interest in learning about the STAR system. “We’re almost always questioned about this system,” Brown said. “We have done demos over the years for other advising offices.” Kathleen Mabley, the director of marketing and communication for Moody, said the STAR system aims to make students’ lives easier and more efficient. “Moody has a very student-versed focus and always wants to ensure that our student experience is a positive one,” Mabley said. “(STAR) is just an extension of that.” The STAR system simply makes scheduling appointments easier for both students and advisers. Especially during busy times, such as registration, this technology would be beneficial in making the lives of students and advisers more efficient. This system should be placed into colleges outside of the Moody school. Corwin is a journalism sophomore from Long Island, New York.
With students’ help, UT can implement digital student IDs
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students would likely lose access to their digital IDs than the physical cards. Prabhudev Konana, associate dean for instructional innovation, said it’s only a matter of time before digital IDs become the norm. “They are convenient for students and they also have I left the gym with aching limbs, but proud of myoperational benefits for the University,” Konana said. self after a good workout. It was a toasty 85 degrees With digital IDs, students could avoid waiting in long outside, but when I entered the Jester East buildlines to upgrade their UT IDs at orientation and quickly ing, I broke out in goosebumps — partly because make any updates to their information. the air conditioning hit me like a ton of bricks, To help get this project on its feet, UT should look partly because I realized I didn’t have my wallet to undergraduates to develop the technology and inon me. frastructure that would make digital IDs feasible in the Thankfully, no one had moved my wallet from near future. where I’d left it sitting on the ledge of the ellip“Technology is so advanced today that undergradutical machine. But I couldn’t shake the stress I’d ates themselves could come up with the digital interface felt in those first few moments of panic. I don’t needed for mobile student IDs,” carry much in my wallet Konana said. on a daily basis — about Business honors freshman Kaci $5, an eco coin, my debNguyen said outsourcing this it card and my student project to undergraduates would ID. The cash and the benefit the University as well as eco coin aren’t difficult By channeling students’ the students. to replace and I can “If there’s a forum for students cancel my debit card brain power, UT can to submit ideas, it’ll be like a ‘surpretty quickly from my make sure digital IDs vival of the fittest’ type of concept, phone, but students, so you’re going to have a lot of peoespecially freshmen, aren’t just a futuristic ple submitting really good ideas need their UT IDs concept.” and you can pick the best of them,” for pretty much evNguyen said. “Also, if (UT) offers a erything on camcash prize for the best design, it’ll be pus — getting into a one-time payment versus having dorms, printing and to fund the whole process.” paying for food with Dine In Dollars. Additionally, students would know how to optimize Almost everyone I know has either the digital IDs to best fit their own needs and the needs lost their own ID at some point or of their peers and could provide designs that would knows someone else who has. optimize convenience and security. For the students A simple way to fix this problem whose designs get selected, a large project like this would be digital student IDs that stuwould help them add significant work experience to dents could access on a mobile app. their portfolios. Last semester, Student Government The University would have to closely monitor stunursing representative Nicole Flandents’ progress throughout the whole project and pronigan proposed that UT provide vide them with significant support and guidance, but students digital access to student only the world’s best and brightest become Longhorns. IDs. Students usually keep better By channeling students’ brain power, UT can make sure track of their phone than their digital IDs aren’t just a futuristic concept. wallets and phones can be easiDasgupta is a neuroscience freshman from Plano. ly tracked if lost, meaning fewer andrew choi | the daily texan staff
By Abhirupa Dasgupta Columnist
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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
UT alumna-turned-business owner opens new shop, Kindred Spirits
| the daily texan staff
Phở, ramen joints rise in popularity, share culture through food jp hite | the daily texan staff Nina Gordon opened a clothing shop, Kindred Spirits, in April 2019 after finding success with Take Heart, a curated gift shop.
would succeed. “As a woman who was raised in a different era, I wanted to support the woman that was goIn 2011, Nina Gordon, a UT ing to open a business and put social work alumna who graduher vision out there,” Burke said. ated in 2006, found herself exGordon’s first shop, Take hausted at the end of each day. Heart, opened in 2011. Gordon After a 15-year career in social said the decision was unlike anywork, Gordon said she needed thing she’d done before, so she a change to brighten her life and decided to name her shop after began searching for ways to exthe process. ercise her creative side. “I wanted the name to be a Now, Gordon owns Take positive message (to) have faith, Heart, a curated gift shop, and be courageous and trust beKindred Spirits, a clothing shop, cause that was everything I had both located on East 11th Street. to do to make this change in my For Gordon, sharing the jourlife,” Gordon said. ney of opening her shops is one The shop’s inventory includes of the most important parts of pottery, woodwork, hand-sewn owning a business. dolls and handmade candles. Upon deciding to open a Gordon said the initial idea was shop, Gordon formed a business to sell things that spoke to her. plan and entered a competition “I hunt online a lot and look at through Big Austin, a nonprofit Etsy (to find products),” Gororganization. She won the zero don said. “I go down the rabbit interest $25,000 loan. hole of online searches, and I “I always thought people who travel a little bit to Arizona and (open businesses) must have a New Mexico.” lot of money,” Gordon said. “I As the shop continued to really didn’t, but I figured out grow, Gordon purchased anotha way.” After borrowing from er store location on 11th Street Texas Student Media will keep you connected her savings and from her parto have more space. withGordon dailywas links sports and culture “Once I moved Take Heart ents, ableto to the start news, to UT the bigger location, I wasn’t her business. Kathleen Burke, the stories shaping community. Gordon’s mother and worker sure what to do with that old location,” Gordon said. in the shop, said Gordon’s drive Gordon decided to take made her confident that she
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another leap and open Kindred Spirits in the old location to start selling clothing. “Kindred Spirits is the sister shop to Take Heart,” Gordon said. “It feels like the shops are kindred spirits in themselves.” Based on the idea that people are all interconnected, the shop name also represents customers who come in and feel connected with each other and the store, Gordan said. One customer, Suki Wattik, shopped at Take Heart for several years before deciding to become more involved with the store. Wattik quit her previous full-time job and, after taking some time off, began working part time for Gordon as a sales associate in 2018. “When I’m here, I have so much care for what the products are and the shop,” Wattik said. “I treat it like it’s mine.” Attracted by Gordon’s knowledge of the products and care when selecting them, Wattik said she loves the uniqueness of the store. “Nina is the store,” Wattik said. “She’s very open, very giving and very compassionate. It’s a happy place to be, and the customers are incredible because they’re so excited about coming in.”
By Sandeep Bhakta @sandeepbtaktal
It’s really not just soup. Phở and ramen have traveled the distance from their countries of origin to become standouts in the Austin food scene. Phở is a Vietnamese noodle dish traditionally made of rice noodles in a lighter beef or chicken broth made from meat and bone simmered for several hours, while the basic Japanese ramen is made with thicker wheat noodles in a heartier pork or dashi broth that can be flavored with miso. While each dish differs in preparation and history, they converge when taken to the mainstream stage. They can create a cultural exchange. Architectural engineering sophomore Ryan Tomita said when his grandfather and great-grandfather immigrated to America from Japan, they had to limit speaking their native language. His family began integrating more toward the English language due to Japanese internment during the 1940s. “By the time we got to my generation, we have a couple family emblems, but besides (that) there’s not whole lot of Asian traditions,” Tomita said. Even though ramen only represents a small facet of
Japanese culture, Tomita said he’s grateful there are places where someone can get the dish. “I wouldn’t substitute a food for an entire culture,” Tomita said. “But, in a sense, it’s a step toward integrating different cultures.” Kayo Asazu, co-owner of Daruma Ramen in Austin and two other ramen restaurants, said ramen in Japan is a quick, casual meal. “Being Japanese, it’s not something you make at home,” Asazu said. “Ramen is something you go and eat. It’s almost like a hot dog. People don’t make their own hot dogs, but you still want to eat it.” Asazu said in Japan ramen is eaten mostly by students and those who perform physical labor. In America, the trends surrounding ramen are different. Asazu said in the United States, various people eat ramen and spend more time eating it while having conversations. “Here in Austin, it’s gotten so popular,” Asazu said. “It kind of took off. Ramen has sort of taken its own style here, and I kind of like seeing that happen.” Chemistry junior Geneivie Nguyen said she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t eating phở. For Nguyen, one of her favorite things about phở is sharing it. “When a friend of mine tried phở with me, it felt kind of like
I opened some doors,” Nguyen said. “It was something that we could share and eat together again. It’s warm. It’s love. It’s nice showing someone a part of us.” UT alumna Tien Do, who graduated in 2010, co-founded the restaurant Pho Please with her husband and said phở is a staple in Vietnamese homes. “Mom would make it, grandma would make it,” Do said. “It’s clean and crisp, so we wanted to introduce that to the American culture. It’s why we called it ‘Pho Please.’ We wanted to make phở an Austin-American thing.” She said the phở scene has grown throughout her time in Austin from just a few shops to several. “It’s amazing. It’s so common these days,” Do said. “Back when I was little, I only visited two or three phở shops, and now there’s so many. I like it.” UT alumna Jane Ko, who graduated in 2012 and is a blogger, influencer and creator of the food guide A Taste of Koko, said phở and ramen appeal to people because of the comfort they provide. “What’s not to love about a hot, steaming bowl of broth with silky noodles that you can slurp up?” Ko said. “It’s a comfort food. You get this sense of enjoyment that you don’t get from eating a burger or slice of pizza.”
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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
Higgs continues ACL recovery
katie bauer | the daily texan file Guard Lashann Higgs dribbles down the court during the Longhorns’ 78-41 win over Dusquene on Nov. 8 at the Frank Erwin Center. After averaging over 13 points per game through the first four games of the season, Higgs tore her ACL against Quinnipac on Nov. 23.
Higgs finds new perspective, learns lessons in season-long absence from the court. By Donnavan Smoot @Dsmoot3D
exas was 3–0, coming off a 56-point win and a weeklong Thanksgiving break. Then, in an opening tournament game against Quinnipiac, Lashann Higgs tore her ACL. “I pushed it on the break,” Higgs said. “It was me and Danni (Williams) on the fast break. (I) did a Eurostep. I’m not sure what happened. I heard some type of snap. I knew it was my ACL.” Soon after returning from Florida,
the senior guard had surgery on the ACL, the ligament which allows for lateral movement in the knee. “When you tear your ACL and they’re doing surgery on that, they’re making a brand new ACL,” Texas associate athletic trainer Heidi Wlezien said. “You can’t repair what’s in there. You have to essentially get a brand new ACL.” Even after the initial injury and the surgery, Higgs still had to fight through the physical and mental pain that comes with an extended rehab. “The most difficult part was the next three months,” Higgs said. “It was painful every day no matter what you did. No matter how many pain killers you took, the pain wasn’t going to stop.” The recovery time for an injury of this magnitude is usually nine to 12 months. Higgs, who is a little over four months removed from surgery, still has little movement in that knee, which limits her activity to form shooting and other stationary workouts. Some of the struggles she’s faced during the process so far have been mental just as much as they’ve
been physical. “That mental component plays such a big role … with getting back,” Wlezien said. “Even though you might be medically cleared at six months or nine months, you might not still be playing at the pre-injury level.” That was — and still is — exactly the case for the soon to be fifth-year senior. “It’s hard to see what you used to be and what you are now,” Higgs said. “It’s kind of a mental thing, (thinking) ‘I used to be this fast.’ Trying to keep myself positive mentally was definitely the struggle.” Injuries, however, can sometimes act as a blessing in disguise. For Higgs, it allowed her to experience the game differently, as a player and teammate. “She’s been able to help our guards and use her voice more than she’s used to,” Texas associate head coach Jamie Carey said. “I think her teammates have a lot of respect for her. (They) understand that she’s been through a lot and has a unique perspective on life and basketball.”
Higgs is a quiet, mild-tempered person. It shows in her interviews and her demeanor on the court. Considering that finding her voice as a leader has been a target area for growth, her injury provided an opportunity to evaluate the needs of the program. “I feel like my teammates need to hear my voice more,” Higgs said. “(I) lead by example. At some point, I need to incorporate being more vocal.” Her leadership and presence, vocal or nonvocal, were missed this season. Ranked at No. 11 in the preseason Top 25 poll, Texas was poised for a Big 12 and NCAA Tournament run with Higgs being the center of its plans. Without her, the Longhorns were still able to make it to the NCAA tournament but were bounced out in the first round by Indiana. The loss hurt Higgs specifically in that she couldn’t assist her team. “It’s like any player that’s hurt,” Higgs said. “I want to help them.” Now, with her request for a medical redshirt year all but approved and her motivation to play alongside her teammates again, Higgs is ready and eager to get back to playing form.
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After second round loss to former rival, Longhorns look ahead to next season By Clark Dalton @Clarktdalton1T
Sunday’s match renewed an old rivalry as the Longhorns welcomed the Aggies for the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After a sweeping win over LIU Brooklyn on Saturday, Texas hoped the early momentum would carry over and result in a second consecutive Round of 16 appearance. Texas A&M ignited an early spark by getting the lead in doubles play. Riley McQuaid and Lucia Quiterio defeated senior Katie Poluta and junior Petra Granic 6-3, while Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith earned a 6-3 win over juniors Anna and Bianca Turati. The Aggies’ confidence grew when Lucia Quiterio knocked off freshman Tijana Spasojevic in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. However, the Longhorns refused to give up. They continued to show the same resolve that has defined their spring. Sophomore Fernanda Labraña lead the charge, putting Texas within a onepoint difference. Labraña earned the victory in straight sets against Renee McBryde 6-4, 6-2. “I was super pumped up,” Labraña said. “I thought we would come back.” However, Texas A&M inched closer to a victory when Makarova upset Granic, 6-2, 6-4. Moments later, Katya Townsend delivered the game-clinching blow against Bianca. Townsend launched a forehand, which secured a 6-3, 6-3 victory and marked the final stroke of the match.
joshua guenther | the daily texan file A Texas tennis player holds her head in her hands during the Longhorns’ 4-1 loss to Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Today just wasn’t our day,” Anna Turati said. “I feel really sorry for the team because we always give our best. I’m sure we will come back stronger next semester. I can’t wait to compete again.” Texas head coach Howard Joffe views this as an opportunity to invoke an extra incentive to come back with even more motivation heading into fall. “At this moment, it’s on me to get them going and motivated, and I will absolutely do that,” Joffe said. “We have three players in Bianca, Ann and Petra who have collectively only lost eight to 10 matches, so we will get them prepared.” The trio of returning juniors will be complemented by other veterans, such as Labraña, as well as a new core of young talent that will fortify the lineup.
“We have a very good returning team — a lineup that won the Big 12 and carried us to a top-10 ranking” Joffe said. “Obviously, we have one or two fine players coming in, and I expect Texas to be at the top of college tennis again next year.” Overall, it was another successful season for the Longhorns after winning a second consecutive Big 12 title and advancing at least one round in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Though Texas’ postseason run fell short, this season was instrumental in helping the team grow even further, Labraña said. “Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose,” Labraña said. “The important thing is that we are always learning, so we are going to learn from this and we are going to come back stronger.”
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
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Crossword CELEBRITY CROSSWORD This puzzle is a collaboration by the actress Natasha Lyonne of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” and “Russian Doll,” working together with Deb Amlen, who writes the Times’s daily crossword column, Wordplay (nytimes.com/ column/wordplay). You can read more about the making of today’s puzzle there. This is Deb’s fourth crossword for The Times.
2 1 6 7 5 8 6 1 7 4 6 4 3 5 9 1 7
9 7 6 1 2
4 2 5 6 3 7 5 9
Today’s solution will appear here next issue
9 1 7 3 2 4 6 8 5
3 2 4 6 5 8 7 9 1
8 6 5 1 7 9 4 2 3
7 4 3 2 8 6 1 5 9
6 5 1 9 4 3 2 7 8
2 8 9 5 1 7 3 6 4
1 3 8 7 6 5 9 4 2
4 9 6 8 3 2 5 1 7
5 7 2 4 9 1 8 3 6
ACROSS 1 Who says “Speak, hands, for me!” in “Julius Caesar” 6 Poehler vortex of funniness? 9 It might be on one’s radar 13 Reward for Fido 14 Tiny 15 Where to enjoy a Goya 16 Queen’s domain 17 N.Y.C. subway overseer 18 Wanders 19 Dressed like “a hundred-dollar millionaire” 22 Lo ___ (Chinese noodle dish) 23 “Portlandia” airer
24 Glossy fabric 27 “I’ll pass” 32 “___ bin ein Berliner” 33 It might have golden locks 35 Howe he could invent! 36 “I think I made a mistake here” 40 “Bedtime for ___” 41 Celestial bear 42 Rage 43 DownwardFacing Dog, e.g. 45 Merchant 48 #Me___ 49 Felt remorse for
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE L O F T E G G O S B L A H
A B I T
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L A S T S A R W O R A I N G G G G U I S E N U G A S B B B B O U D C L U A L L
T O M T T A O R M G I N S B U R G
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L G B T F L P A G G G R A A E Y B B B B L E E U S T E T S
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S O R T T U S T A G G A R N M A A E B B B A E L A L U
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50 “Add some throw pillows or a pop of color around here, why don’t you!” 57 Parting words 58 Aah’s partner 59 Words on some blood drive stickers 61 Is very fortunate, with “out” 62 Wharton grad 63 Creature to get down from 64 Polynesian carving 65 & 66 Choreographer whose life is depicted in the starts of 19-, 36- and 50-Across DOWN 1 Middle: Abbr. 2 The “A” in BART 3 Animal having a ball at the circus? 4 1980 Blondie hit 5 Cost of withdrawing, say 6 “Gee, you’re killin’ me!” 7 Baseball’s “Amazin’s” 8 When sung three times, what follows “She loves you” 9 Vegetable with a head 10 Volcano’s spew
Edited by Will Shortz 1
PUZZLE BY NATASHA LYONNE AND DEB AMLEN
11 Fateful day for Caesar 12 Deluxe 15 Present for acceptance 20 Actress Blair of “The Exorcist” 21 It can be picked 24 Remain idle 25 Sound during hay fever season 26 Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ ___” 27 Our, in Orléans 28 Sun, moon and stars 29 Unbending
30 Phil ___, slalom skiing gold medalist at the 1984 Olympics 31 Fragrant compound 34 Cross to bear 37 Greek sauce with yogurt and cucumbers 38 Bad rationalizations 39 Gobble 44 “Alley ___!” 46 Analgesic’s promise 47 Slow, in music
49 Where one might kick a habit, informally 50 Ghost at the altar? 51 Here, in Madrid 52 Facebook founder’s nickname 53 Taj Mahal, e.g. 54 King of the road 55 Untrustworthy types 56 After-work times, in classifieds 60 “Able was I ___ I saw Elba”
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TIANA WOODARD & JORDYN ZITMAN LIFE&ARTS EDITORS @THEDAILYTEXAN
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019
ASMR tingles its way onto UT campus
| the daily texan staff
Chemistry sophomore Fernanda Aguilera discovered ASMR videos as a way to help her sleep. She now creates her own videos in her free time.
UT students find solace, relaxation in listening to, creating ASMR videos. By Celesia Smith @celsmit
rom tingle-inducing taps on sound boxes to “mouth sounds,” autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) content has become a prominent part of many students’ lives. ASMR is characterized by soothing sensations known as “tingles” that participants
experience as a result of auditory stimuli such as faint whispering, clicking or scratching. The experience has become increasingly popular through social media platforms, including YouTube and Snapchat, where students watch videos or listen to sounds that many say are not simply entertaining, but soothing. English senior Katherine Pound learned about ASMR through friends and eventually started watching it on Snapchat. Pound said she now uses it to help her relax. “(I use it) to sleep and to study,” Pound said. “Right before bed, I flip through an (ASMR) Snapchat story, or if I’m chilling on the couch for a second I’ll watch a couple of videos. There’s something incredibly soothing about the sounds.” ASMR enthusiasts refer
to the feeling they get from this content as “tingles” because they are felt primarily in the head and down the spine, producing a sense of deep relaxation. While Pound primarily uses Snapchat to watch ASMR videos and calm herself, some students rely on YouTube. Government sophomore Rachel Wolleben said she subscribes to channels such as “ASMRrequests,” “ASMRtists” and more. Wolleben said there is a diverse array of ASMR videos on YouTube to accommodate viewers’ interests, which from meditation-oriented videos to roleplay. “There’s a ton of different subgenres within ASMR that are really cool,” Wolleben said. “I like listening to ones where it’s people whispering and talking about random stuff. Some (videos) are ASMR
roleplays, so it’ll be someone pretending to give you a haircut or something, and they have cool haircut sounds.” UT students are among these content creators. Chemistry sophomore Fernanda Aguilera began making ASMR videos last summer after she found solace in many ASMR YouTube channels during her freshman year. “I was living in Jester in a room with two other people,” Aguilera said. “It was hard because obviously everyone has different schedules (and) my sleeping schedule suffered so much. I was trying to find things that could help me fall asleep faster, and a lot of people said ASMR was super relaxing, so I tried it. I loved (ASMR) and was fascinated by it. That fascination made me want to create my own little ASMR channel.”
Aguilera said one of her goals in creating her channel was to just be herself. One video consists of her eating Chick-fil-A and whispering into the microphone. “I had watched so many videos of people that helped me go to sleep and relaxed me, so I was like, ‘I want to do that for people, but I wanted to be myself,’” Aguilera said. “In (the Chick-fil-A video) I play with the napkin and dip my fries in the sauce near the mic, and it’s just really funny.” ASMR often faces criticism, but Aguilera said she has yet to experience this. She said she isn’t worried about people who aren’t fans of ASMR. “At the end of the day, I know that I like what I do,” Aguilera said. “I don’t really care if someone thinks it’s weird or silly.”
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