Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900
ORIENTATION EDITION The Daily Texan is an independent, student-run publication that has been serving the University of Texas community for 117 years. It boasts an illustrious history, prominent alumni, and was recently named the top college newspaper in Texas. This orientation issue, while not produced by the Texan’s regular staff, contains a mix of stories from the past school year, and is intended to introduce incoming freshmen to campus culture. We hope you enjoy reading about the issues shaping our world today. Welcome to the campus community!
-Texas Student Media Staff
Photo Credit: Juan Figueroa
he Moody College of Communication will establish the Center for Sports Communication and Media in the fall to catapult the University to the forefront of sports media research and studies. The Texas Program in Sports and Media, undergraduate certificate in sports media and several other programs will be brought together under the umbrella of the Center. Recently, the University selected Michael Butterworth to serve as the founding director of the Center. Nicolas Hundley, Moody College director of communications, said in an email that the Center is the brainchild of Moody College Dean Jay Bernhardt. Moody’s goal is to increase collaboration across the various sports programs both within Moody and across the University, Hundley said. “The new center will bring (Moody’s sports media programs) together and foster enhanced collaboration with the goal of expanding and strengthening future work on communication and sports,” Hundley said. Bernhardt was unavailable for comment. Currently the director of communications studies at Ohio University, Butterworth researches politics and society through the perspective of sports culture. Butterworth said he hopes to bring this insight to Moody to foster conversations about how and why the sports industry influences society. “(Sports) influence our culture in ways both good and bad,” Butterworth said. “To be able to bring all of (the sports media studies) together and talk critically about our society centered around sports is just an absolutely lights out opportunity.”
Published on May 4, 2017
BY STEPHANIE ADELINE UT Austin has more graduates working at Silicon Valley than most Ivy League schools. According to a recent analysis by HiringSolved, an online recruiting company, UT places top five on the list of alma maters hired by Silicon Valley companies. This analysis was based on the number of new hires from the top 25 tech companies in the past year. “We cross the internet for information about people and we created profiles so that recruiters can use them,” said Jeremy Roberts, HiringSolved’s vice president of customer experience. “We have about 400 million profiles. What we looked at was people who listed those
Published on May 4, 2017
New majors, minors and certificate programs in sports media are just a few of Butterworth’s potential long-term goals for the Center. First, however, he said he wants to work on collaborating with local sports organizations, University athletics and connecting students to more professional opportunities and internships. Butterworth said focusing Moody’s strengths is an important part of raising the college’s credibility and visibility as a leading institution for sports media. “We have a tendency in academics to be siloed, and the effect of that is — while there are important things to do to preserve our own disciplinary standards — we sometimes forget to talk to each other,” Butterworth said. “Being able to make sure that you can channel those resources to a shared mission is really important.” Journalism lecturer Kevin Robbins said the Center “exists in the abstract,” currently. With no clear-cut goals, he said there’s a wide range of paths for Butterworth to take the Center. Robbins also said the University is in the perfect position to start this collaboration because of its top-tier athletics programs and proximity to professional sports teams. “UT Austin is a University built for this,” Robbins said. “It will be all up to the new director’s vision, and I put a lot of faith in that.” Journalism junior Luke Hendry said the Center will serve Moody well because of the integral position sports hold in society. “Sports intersect politics, sports intersect entertainment (and) sports intersect life,” Hendry said. “The more that the University of Texas does regarding sports media, the better it is for future generations to come because sports will always be around.”
BY CHASE KARACOSTAS
UT places top five in number of graduates working at Silicon Valley companies as their employer within the last year and what universities they came from.” Computer science senior Ricardo Delfin, who will be an intern at Google this summer, said UT made the list because of the computer science department’s relatively large size and high quality classes. “We have award winners in the department,” Delfin said. “Our department in quite a couple of rankings was ranked above Harvard (University’s Computer Science) department.” Delfin, who has interned at Microsoft and Twitter, said Silicon Valley companies look for applicants who can adapt to different programming languages. “They expect you to be able ... to design a system or solve a problem in an ab-
Moody College to open center bringing sports, media together
stract way and turn that into code in any form,” Delfin said. “They also generally expect you to be able to pick up new knowledge and new programming languages really quickly.” Frank Long, a computer science and finance senior, interned at Google last summer and will return for a full-time position after graduation. Long said there is a misconception that many students have in putting too much focus on GPA and less on personal projects and making connections. “Think about how you set yourself apart,” Long said. “It’s not going to be by getting six points higher on that test than the other kid ... All these companies are on campus recruiting all the time, it just blows my mind that
people would be like ‘I can’t make it, I have to do homework.’” Computer science senior Taylor Kline was an intern at Salesforce last summer. Although he received an internship offer from Google, he chose to intern at the BHW group, a local Austin company, this summer. Kline said students should try seeking jobs through resources outside of UT. “My happiest friends are those who found jobs through unique routes,” Kline said. “There are companies who can’t afford to bring recruiters (to UT) who are looking, especially local Austin companies ... I have so many friends who have fallen for the hype of going to Facebook or Google, and they find out that the work is so boring.”
Food trucks bring variety, convenience to campus dining BY RACHEL COOPER Published on April 2, 2017
University Unions began offering food trucks on campus last week for students who are bored with the usual on-campus lunch options. Mulugeta Ferede, executive director of University Unions, said they have been working with Student Government since 2014 to bring food trucks to campus. SG passed a resolution in 2015 in support of the food trucks, and Ferede said after construction delays and collaboration with other university departments, the program finally started last week. Currently, one food truck is scheduled to serve every weekday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m near Gregory Gym.
“The students I’ve talked to are really excited about this,” Ferede said. “They have been waiting for this for three years. I think this will help showcase the food truck culture we have in Austin and make campus more lively.” Ferede said the Speedway Mall Project has planned two spaces to host food trucks. Because the southern portion of construction is complete, the first area is open on 21st Street between Gregory Gym and Jester. The main goal of having food trucks is to introduce new foods to campus and reduce wait time at other on-campus dining places, Ferede said. “I feel like it’s really convenient, especially when you live in South Campus, like I
5838 ASpen Heights
do,” said business and sociology freshman Cheyenne Valdez. “I don’t always have the opportunity to go to West Campus, Guadalupe or go off campus to eat when I’m so busy with courses and trying to get things together. Having the food at your disposal so closely makes it very easy to incorporate something that’s different.” Ferede said food trucks must apply and be approved to serve on campus. University Unions used student recommendations to choose vendors. There are currently six food trucks approved: Kona Ice, Mighty Cone, Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs, Four Brothers, Melted and Gobble Gobble. Ferede said they hope to make food trucks available at big uni-
versity events on weekends in the future. Marian Ecarri, radio-television-film freshman, said she eats on campus every day and the food trucks offer a more diverse selection of food on campus, such as Four Brothers, which serves Venezuelan food. “I am Venezuelan so I rarely see my food,” Ecarri said. “It’s kind of a good thing to have around because it brings diversity and variety to a … more diverse student body.” Karen Pfeiffer, University Unions administrative associate, said in an email they have encouraged vendors to consider accepting Bevo Bucks and hope to offer that option in the future.
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ORIENTATION EDITION Editor 2016-2017 Alexander Chase Managing Editor Spring 2017 Akshay Mirchandani Production Stephen Salisbury Design Amanda O’Brien Contributors Alina Agha, Clair Allbright, Rajya Atluri, Ratnika Batra, Emma Berdanier, Sarah Bloodworth, Alex Briseno, Audrey Browing, Rachel Cooper, Matt Douglas, Michael Garcia, London Gibson, Lawrence Goodwyn, Laura Hallas, Tyler Horka, Amanda Kaeni, Angela Kang, Chase Karacostas, Drew King, Sydney Mahl, Catherine Marfin, Kayla Meyertons, Akshay Mirchandani, Hannah Plantowsky, Alex Purcell, Aditya Singh, Jenan Taha, Ryan Young Photographic Contributors Emmanuel Briseño, Juan Figueroa, Zoe Fu, Joshua Guerra, Noel Mahouch, Stephanie Martinez-Arndt, Maddox Price Illustration Contributors Liza Anderson, Elizabeth Jones, Rena Li, Madi Beavers, Jacky Tovar , Rachel Tyler Copyright Copyright 2017 Texas Student Media. All articles, photographs and graphics, both in print and online editions, are the property of Texas Student Media and may not be reproduced or republished in part or in whole without written permission.
Published on April 5, 2017
Twenty-eight years after its founding, UT’s Habitat for Humanity student organization is focusing on building a volunteer base to keep the tradition of changing the lives of Austin families. Sitting around a large square table after another late Monday night meeting is the eight student leadership team behind UT’s Habitat for Humanity chapter including government senior and HFH president Stephanie Slapik, who has been with the organization for three years. The mission is still the same: how to advocate for more awareness for the organization on campus, fundraise, and grow the student volunteer base vital to constructing homes for Austin families. An affiliate member of Austin’s larger Habitat for Humanity branch, the University subchapter coordinates student volunteer days and fundraising goals throughout the semester. To help raise funding for home projects, UT habitat partners with local companies, most recently AllState, who matched a fundraising campaign totaling $10,000 toward future construction projects. Meeting these fundraising goals means that UT Habitat can continue scheduling project days, as they cover part of the construction cost and the student organization’s volunteer fees. “We’ve had good fundraising,” Slapik said. “We’ve had nine (building days) last semester and were on the road for about nine again this semester and they’re long days. We get there around eight and sometimes we’re there ‘til around 4 p.m.” Not only do low-income families benefit from con-
struction projects, but veterans and people who are disabled, low-income or elderly can qualify for future projects. In addition to home building, UT Habitat contributes equally to home repair projects for those who struggle with affordability as they did March 25th with a community home re-painting project. English senior and HFH secretary Natalie Barden said she fondly remembers presenting a newly painted home to an elderly woman the subchapter helped. “She was so sweet,’ Barden said. “She was like, ‘This looks like a whole new house. I wouldn’t have had the means to do this without you guys volunteering.’ It’s lovely to see how visibly appreciative they are.” On April 8th, the organization will be passing on the keys to another family. For many student volunteers, it will be the first key-giving ceremony they will be attending. For new homeowners, a valuable part of the process is the opportunity to earn work equity hours by helping in the building of not only their own, but other family’s homes. This cycle of contributing and volunteering helps Habitat for Humanity continue its core mission across Austin.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of UT Habitat for Humanity
SURE Walk sees increased requests, seeks to expand BY CATHERINE MARFIN
Published on March 29, 2017
Two years ago, government junior Isaiah Carter spent an entire semester volunteering with SURE Walk and only received one call to walk a student home over the course of four months. Students United for Rape Elimination, or SURE Walk, was founded in 1982 by then Student Body President Paul Begala as a means to provide students with a walking buddy to-and-from campus. Before the murder of dance freshman Haruka Weiser early last April, the organization was widely underused and unnoticed, Carter said. “It’s good that campus safety is now on the forefront of the campus dialogue, but it’s a little concerning that it takes instances like (the murder) to remind students how important campus safety is,” Carter said. “The end goal is to make students use the service despite instances like that.” When he was appointed Student Government chief of staff just three weeks after Weiser’s murder, Isaiah Carter made vamping up the service one of his top priorities. Two years after he first volunteered as a freshman, when the organization would receive at most 10–15 requests each week, it now receives hundreds to thousands of requests each month. Last month, SURE Walk received 2,827 requests from students. In the two months prior, nearly 1,000 walks and rides were requested, according to records provided by
Matthew McConaughey volunteers with SURE Walk. Photo Credit: Courtesy of UT News
UT Parking and Transportation Services. SURE Walk’s transformation began last summer after SG and PTS allowed the group to secure finances for supplies such as flashlights, t-shirts and walkie talkies for its volunteers. PTS also provided the group with two cars, allowing SURE Walk to expand its abilities and begin offering rides to students. The partnership with PTS also allowed SURE Walk to begin tracking monthly ride requests and peak operation hours, provide paid staffers during summer months and late-night hours and establish a permanent office in Jester Center for volunteers. Additionally, a $20,000 donation from Begala last fall allowed SURE Walk to purchase two golf carts. While SG was in the planning stages of amping up SURE Walk’s services last spring, the UT Police Department provided an interim transportation solution. “(After Weiser’s murder), we had guards at night with vans and Suburbans to assist students,” UTPD Chief David Carter said. “It was a quick response to make sure campus had some kind of a backup system as we figured
“We have multiple (projects) right now,” UT Habitat secretary Natalie Barden said. “We have houses in Elgin and just completed a home repair twenty minutes away from here.” Beyond the tangible value of the work that UT Habitat does, Slapik said volunteers receive not only volunteering credit, but also a great wealth of construction knowledge and personal empowerment. “The cool thing when somebody joins Habitat is they don’t have to have experience in construction,” Slapik said. You spend your whole day working on some part of a house and at the end of the day you will really know what you’re doing; that’s a good feeling.” Robert Keading, HFH member who has volunteered with the organization for five years, said he enjoys working with HFH because of the impact he is able to create in families’ lives. The UT Habitat student organization will continue contributing volunteer resources to continue a tradition of building and repairing Austin homes. “The time and work that volunteers, students or just ordinary people contribute shows,” said Keading. “These families’ lives are forever changed by their work.”
out what the future held in terms of transportation services.” UTPD continues to informally offer rides to students at night, but SURE Walk provides a formal transportation program for the community, David Carter said. Sociology freshman Evangelina Rivera said while SURE Walk is a great service, but it still has room for improvement. “I think it’s an awesome service, but they should definitely do things like have later hours,” Rivera said. “I think people stay out a lot later than midnight or two in the morning, and (SURE Walk) would be a good thing for students to have on those nights.” Isaiah Carter plans to continue meeting with PTS and the new chief of staff, who will be instated early next month, to discuss future plans for the organization. Proposed plans include expanding volunteer recruitment and serving students further off campus in the Riverside area. To request a SURE Walk, students can call 512-2329255 between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday.
BY DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS Orientation is often an exciting and memorable time for new students as they begin their Longhorn journey. Not only do they register for classes, plan their academic path and transition to university life, students also learn about UT Austin programs, facilities and services. This transformational experience is why recent graduate Adelynn Garza, BA ’17, wanted to lead New Student Services’ Summer Orientation Support Staff. “As a first-generation college student, I didn’t know much about school when I came to orientation. The Longhorn State of Mind means being open to all the possibilities. I want to be there at the very beginning as new students transition to
Summer Orientation Support Staff member in 2016. While the full-time OA position requires a 40-hour work week and living on campus, the support team job is great for upper classman. Working fewer hours allows them to participate in an internship, second job or summer school. As a recent graduate, it’s the perfect fit for Garza since she will move to Boston at the end of the summer to work for AmeriCorps. “Being an orientation advisor was one of my favorite experiences throughout college. I wanted to see how the program works in a behind-the-scenes role,” added Garza, who also served as a University Leadership Network mentor. She and her team are also an invaluable addition to help university staff and OAs
Advertising Manager Emily Cohen
BY MICHAEL GARCIA
Students support incoming Longhorns
Business and Operations Manager Frank Serpas
Habitat for Humanity builds campus ties
2016 Summer Orientation Support Staff at the Help Desk in Jester West
college,” shared Garza. Made up of one dozen members, the Summer Orientation Support Staff provides information to new Longhorns and parents during 10 orientation sessions from June 5-Aug. 24. The group is part of the university community who will welcome nearly 10,000 new students to Freshman and Transfer Orientation while stationed at the Help Desk in Jester West. Garza joined the orientation team as an orientation advisor (OA) in 2015 and
Director Gerald Alan Johnson
Board of Directors Marlies Arevalo Rachel Cooper Mary Dolan Dr. Matt Eastin Zach Head Karen M. Landolt Dr. Kathleen Oveta McElroy JoJo Phillips Mohammad Syed
TEXAS STUDENT MEDIA
during this busy time. “While New Student Services’ staff and OAs are welcoming new students with extensive orientation programming, the Summer Orientation Support Staff is available to answer questions and coordinate logistics. Their UT Austin knowledge helps students and parents navigate the university,” noted New Student Services Director Celena Mondie-Milner. To learn more about the OA’s on the Forty Acres, check out their official blog.
UTPD steps up bike enforcement program
dents of a crash resulting in an injury. Otherwise, UTPD uses PTS citations, which are handled by the University, Scheets said. Music performance sophomore Cullen King was given a warning for speeding through 24th Street and
UTPD gives out citations to cyclists who commit traffic violations such as speeding, failing to yield to a stop sign and failing to signal when turning. UTPD can also give citations to individuals who do not obey the bike dismount zone that exists along a large stretch of Speedway. Officers only issue cyclists a criminal citation in inci-
“For cyclists, we’re more concerned about education than writing tickets.” Le’Patrick Moore UTPD Officer
University Avenue last week when he was riding his bike to class. “He told me that I was cycling dangerously fast and that I could hit a student or car if I didn’t stop at a stop sign,” King said. “He said if he had to stop me again he would write a citation. I can see the importance of both (cars and bikes) obeying traffic laws to keep everyone safe … but it didn’t seem necessary to me … since I was coming to a natural speed based on the curve of the road.” Moore said the department will continue their bike enforcement operation until they stop receiving concerned reports from the community. “So far, we have not had any habitual offenders,” Moore said. “Usually we tell someone once and we don’t get any other involvement with them. For cyclists, we’re more concerned about education than writing tickets.”
trolling Speedway, Inner Campus Drive and Guadalupe Street, both for bicycle violations and other criminal activity.
Cyclists at 24th and Speedway. Photo Credit: Maddox Price | Daily Texan Staff
The UT Police Department began heavier cycling education and enforcement techniques this past semester following construction on Speedway that resulted in several crashes between cyclists and pedestrians. The Speedway Mall Renovation, an extensive construction project in central campus, has resulted in three cyclist and pedestrian crashes, one of which required the victim to be transported to the hospital. UTPD has received an influx of calls and emails about reckless cyclists in the area from concerned UT community members, another major reason to ramp up the bike education and enforcement program this semester. “If the community says they have a concern, we’re going to respond,” Assistant Chief Peter Scheets said. “We’re monitoring the amount of incidents and accidents and phone calls that we get, and once we see that our education and enforcement efforts have had a positive effect … we’ll (ease up).” Currently, UTPD officers approach bike enforcement on three fronts: education, compliance and enforcement. The first time an officer stops a cyclist, the individual will receive a warning and be asked to comply with the traffic law they violated. If an officer stops the individual again, they will receive a UT Parking and Transportation Services citation, which does not appear on the individual’s driving record but results in a fine that usually doesn’t exceed $25, said Corp. Le’Patrick Moore, one of UTPD’s main bicycle officers. “Our two biggest areas are 24th and Speedway and then
21st and University,” Moore said. “Not only do we have cyclists going through those stop signs, but we’ve had a few reports of mopeds going through them, too.” In recent months, UTPD has utilized four main bike officers who focus on pa-
Published on April 5, 2017
BY CATHERINE MARFIN
As students walk across campus, they will surely notice the array of art and visual displays. Monuments ranging from statues and sculptures to paintings and exhibits dot the forty acres. A handful of these pieces on campus are part of the “UT Landmarks”. Here are just a few of those memorable structures.
You Are Here
MONOCHROME FOR AUSTIN
PROMETHEUS AND VULTURE
SPIRAL OF THE GALAXY
Gone to Texas is more than a celebration — it’s also an important rite of passage. As the newest members of the Longhorn community gather together for the first time, each attendee will be asked to pledge to uphold the University Honor Code: “As a student of The University of Texas at Austin, I shall abide by the core values of the University and uphold academic integrity.”
PARTY ON THE PLAZA/ORG FAIR
Texas Traditions is proud to present Texas Revue, the largest and most diverse student-run talent show held on campus. This annual tradition showcases a variety of acts including dancing, music, and skits performed by student organizations and individual performers. Texas Revue prides itself in choosing diverse and talented acts to produce the most entertaining show possible. With over 55 acts auditioning each year and averaging over 1,000 attendees, Texas Revue has truly made a name for itself
The race starts and finishes at The University of Texas campus just west of the intersection of 21st Street and Speedway.
articipants celebrate their accomplishments P with a post-race celebration at the steps of the iconic UT Tower.
Games, food, prizes plus a student org fair featuring over 200 campus clubs, student org performances, the annual Scholarship Shootout to vie for a $2,000 scholarship and much more.
FORTY ACRES FEST
Early Fall and Spring
Early fall is the perfect time to look for your next apartment, job, or internship! UT Marketplace is a bazaar of student opportunity, featuring exhibitors from across the city. On September 20, 2017 UT will be filled with representatives from employers, service providers, food purveyors, apartment buildings, and more. Each booth will be run by friendly staff that can talk to you about the discounts and opportunities available, and they will be
After Spring Break
All of greek life rallies together to host concerts with big name performers at their houses, for a week long, with a festival-like atmosphere, which they turn into one of the biggest philanthropies of the year… Those that are students or have visited know that it’s like having another wild spring break weekend, just 5 short days after getting back to school. But the best part about RoundUp is that all the proceeds go to the fraternities’ respective charities. Yes… you get to party and give back.
GONE TO TEXAS
TEXAS REVUE TALENT SHOW
Auditions Early February Show Mid April
sure to hand out all the freebies they brought. UT Marketplace happens once a semester.
We would like to welcome all freshmen to the UT campus! The next few years will fly by and we don’t want you to miss any opportunities the UT campus and community has to offer. Here are some highlighted activites through your first you may not want to miss.
Texas Traditions organizes the annual Forty Acres Fest, a campus-wide festival featuring unique booths and amazing entertainment by 100+ on-campus student organizations. This free event allows student organizations to showcase their creativity and diversity. Past attractions have included caricature artists, rock climbing wall, competitive eating contests, funnel cakes, drum wars, photo booths, and much more! The event culminates with a live concert by high profile artists such as Big Boi and Girl Talk.
CAMPUS CLEAN UP WALKER
Volunteer on Saturday, April 22 to help clean trash out of Waller Creek to keep our campus beautiful and environmentally healthy. Must be 18 to register. All supplies provided. T-shirts and breakfast tacos! LOCATIONS
The Underground offers Bowling, Billiard Tables, Air Hockey and MORE for your enjoyment. We also offer locker rentals.
BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART
Today, the Tower (a functioning office building) gets special orange lighting at night to honor Longhorn victories and other UT achievements. Self-guided tours can be reserved online and include the observation deck.
THE LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
UT Austin is home to LBJ’s presidential library, which explores the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Poverty and other aspects of Johnson’s presidency during the turbulent 1960s.
Since 1979, the Cactus Café, located inside the Texas Union, has played host to a who’s who of roots and acoustic artists, including Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams and Townes van Zandt. SPORTS SEASONS START DATES Baseball: May Men’s Basketball: October Women’s Basketball: November Football: September Golf: September Rowing: October
Admission is free on Thursdays, and every third Thursday brings extended hours and special events. Family-friendly programs during summer help open up the art world to kids.
Swimming & Diving: September
HARRY RANSOM CENTER
Texas Relays: March
Rotating themed exhibits put the center’s treasures on display for the public, and permanent displays include a Gutenberg Bible and the first photograph. Admission is free.
Softball: February Soccer: August Tennis: September Track and Field: September Volleyball: August
CACTUS HOUSE AD PRE-ORDER
YOUR CACTUS YEARBOOK SECURE YOUR PIECE OF UT AUSTIN HISTORY!
D O N ’V LAST FORET ER BUT
PRE-ORDER ALL 4 YEARS AND SAVE! 2018-2021 CACTUS YEARBOOKS $175 2018 CACTUS YEARBOOK $55
Tips For Planning Your
By Alex Purcell | BURNTX.COM
One of the most important aspects to making sure you have a solid plan for your classes is to schedule an appointment with your academic advisor. Even if you aren’t required to meet with them, it’s good to have an outside opinion to consider when you’re looking at classes. They might even stop you from making a terrible mistake like, say, taking a class that sounds really fun but RUINS YOUR LIFE.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR PEERS
You can trust students to tell you which professors suck and which ones are worth taking. Posting on a public UT Austin Facebook page or using Rate My Professor is important to figuring out what other students have to say about a class or a professor. They’ll give you
an honest opinion about how they did in the course. Just make sure you figure out if they actually showed up to class.
3. READ & REREAD THE COURSE DESCRIPTION
A surprising number of students don’t actually read the course description. You can really only get so much information from the class title alone, so it’s important to dig a little deeper to know what the course is actually about. Who knew they don’t actually serve popcorn in film classes?
4. FIND AN OLD SYLLABUS
If you can scourge the internet archives to find an old syllabus from the class, pull it up and study it. It’s important to know just how much that endof-the-semester project is
actually worth. If you’re not a great test taker, you should look for classes that have more essay and assignment points than exams, and vice versa. If you’d rather there be no homework at all, the syllabus is where you figure that out.
5. STAY CALM
The best piece of advice for class registration to consider is to stay calm. Just because you didn’t get into a class the first time doesn’t mean you can’t get wait-listed or take it another semester. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, either. College is about challenges, right? Even though the course has a reputation for being difficult, how proud will you be when you finish the semester with a passing grade? Your sanity is only an illusion.
By Audrey Browning | BURNTX.COM
Sounds cliché, but it’s a necessity. It may look sunny when you leave for class, but Texas weather is unpredictable and it might rain halfway through your day. And do not, we repeat DO NOT, buy those cheap $10 umbrellas. They WILL flip over on you and you WILL go to class soaking wet (trust us, we’ve experienced it first-hand.) It’s better to just spend a little extra cash and buy the umbrella that will actually keep you dry. And while you’re at it, you might as well get some rain boots too. Nothing’s worse than soggy socks while trying to pay attention in class.
2. BED CADDY
If you get stuck with a lofted bed in your room, it will start to get reeaaalllly annoying every time you have to climb up and down from the bed to grab something. A bed caddy can hold all your fave bedtime things, like books and headphones. Even if you don’t have a lofted bed, it’s great for when you’re feeling too lazy to get out of bed and walk two feet to grab something (AKA all the time).
1. TALK TO YOUR ADVISOR
Incoming Freshmen up your dirty laundry and put it in the hamper. This one has handles for carrying and a slot to hold your detergent to make trips to the laundry room that much easier.
4. WATER BOTTLE
OMG I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a good water bottle to bring to class. Summer basically lasts all the way into the end of the fall semester, and you’re gonna need lots of water to make up for what you lost sweating in that heat.
5. DESK ORGANIZER
If you live in a dorm freshman year, chances are you won’t have a lot of room. Space is small and often shared with a roommate or two, so it’s best to find ways to organize. Getting a desk organizer with a bunch of compartments will not only help keep your desk clean, but also give you more room for fitting a laptop or textbooks.
3. CLOSET ITEMS
First off, dorm closets are super fricken tiny. If you’re going to fit all of your clothes, you’re going to get a closet organizer. While we’re at it… don’t be the disgusting roommate! Pick
The days of planning out your days in your head are unfortunately over. In college, you’ll have way too much going on to rely on yourself to remember everything, so you’ll definitely need a planner. We recommend one that you can fit in your room (a magnetic one to keep on your wall) and one for your backpack to keep track of day-to-day activities. Trust us, this will save you from so much unnecessary stress.
8. ATHLETIC SHOES
This is so important. You’re gonna be walking a lot, usually sprint-walking to make your next class. A good, comfortable pair of shoes is a necessity. Here’s a pair for women, and here’s a pair for men.
d e i f i S s a Decl
6. POWER STRIPS
Let’s be real. College students have lots of electronic goodies. Those goodies need a place to be charged. To prevent a big feud with your roommate for unplugging your laptop (for the fifth time this week) bring a power strip! This one includes outlets as well as USB ports in case you lose the power box for your iPhone charger.
9. SHOWER SHOES
Okay. Communal bathrooms are gross enough. The showers are even worse. If you don’t want a weird foot fungus, be sure to grab some shower shoes on your way in. They’re like flip-flops but have holes in them to allow water to pass through. Here is a pair in women’s sizes, and here is a pair in men’s sizes.
Headphones are a must for walking to class. You can pump yourself up with some good music, listen to some podcasts, or just put them in when you want people to leave you alone.
5757 Castilian/AMerican campus
ALEXANDER CHASE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 2016-2017 | @texaneditorial Orientation 2017
Experiential learning Education wealth gap should receive attention creates student opportunities
One of the largest issues in Texas education is also one that’s been brushed over and hasn’t garnered enough attention — the damage that the Texas school finance system does to poor school districts. The latest offense in this system is illegally breaking tax laws to redistribute funds from poor school districts to their rich counterparts. A lawsuit filed Thursday charged that Texas education officials, including the Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, illegally changed how property taxes are calculated in rich school districts. They allowed rich districts to file local optional homestead exemptions, which would reduce the amount they gave back to the state in property taxes to fund poor districts. These changes could effectively withhold money that should be going to poor districts and would cost poor districts across Texas $440 million per year. Texas is meant to have a “Robin Hood” system, in which money is funneled from rich school districts and distributed among the poor ones. This system is sup-
posed to function by taking property tax revenues from wealthy districts and redistributing the money among poor districts. However the state funding for education is deeply flawed, and doesn’t accurately uphold this ideal. Just last May the Texas Supreme Court found that the funding system “satisfies minimum constitutional requirements” and reversed a decision in the lower courts to change it. But even if the system satisfies constitutional requirements, it doesn’t execute them, leaving a large wealth gap between school districts. With only state and local funding taken into account, Texas spends 1.5 percent more money on rich school districts. That’s an obvious sign that the “Robin Hood” system has inverted itself, and instead is causing the wealth gap between school districts to grow. Even when money is being redistributed from rich districts to poor ones (and not just staying in the rich districts) not enough is being given to poor districts to account for their larger student populations. Revising the state funding system for education could potentially alleviate the $5.4 billion classroom cuts that the legislature made in 2011,
cuts that directly affected poor districts. But the larger issue is that none of this is actively talked about. Poorer school districts spend less on all aspects of education, from teacher salaries to purchasing new textbooks. This means that these schools offer fewer opportunities to students, such as a smaller variety of courses, excluding college-level coursework, to the detriment of their future once they exit K-12. Without all the modes of preparation and education possible, and without the equal opportunity that their rich counterparts receive, these students are less likely to attend college. There should be a greater focus on the growing wealth gap between school districts, rather than brushing stories like the recently filed lawsuit under the rug. Taking money from poorer schools to give to richer districts is a heinous act that robs students of opportunities and chances based purely off their socioeconomic status. While there are a lot of issues in the Texas education system, this one must be dealt with to prevent the Texas Education Agency and its affiliates from widening this gap.
Published on April 4, 2017
BY EMMA BERDANIER
A common problem here at the Texan, as well as elsewhere in the University, stems from the students’ inability to continually justify the cost of their volunteered time on staff. Even editorships and leadership roles, despite their immense career importance, become secondary concerns to rent and textbooks. Scholarships and federal work study help cover costs but the impetus is on organizations to propose their respective jobs as legitimate experiential learning. This is where University leaders must step forward. Texas Student Media recently partnered with ULN to add seven job openings across seven media entities and office support, and we at the Texan hope to explore more funding and credit options
Photo Credit: Rena Li | Daily Texan Staff
“Media students are so pressured to start their work now so that they won’t be behind when they graduate, you want your degree to count.” Krystal Cruz
to provide students as much involvement as possible. Cruz, a ULN scholar, hand-crafted one of these experiences with BurntX. She was volunteering her time as a staffer at BurntX and TSTV when, as a part of a ULN requirement, she needed to find an on-campus internship. Recognizing the mentorship and relevant professional skills she was gaining, she worked with ULN to exercise an option in which students craft their own internships. Cruz said that students even beyond ULN program could benefit from university entities taking the extra step of opening up their opportunities. “I feel like a lot of (impactful internships) are hidden, the bigger opportunities,” Cruz said. “Many people will have to make copies or just sitting for hours whereas mine is collaborating with a team and doing creative things, and pitching, and all of this other stuff — I was able to see the difference.” More departments, on-campus programs and even individual professionals should think deeply and sincerely about what professional internships they can publicize. Some of our biggest challenges at the University, from the Top 10 Percent Rule to budget cuts, come down to identifying ways to better serve deserving students. Innumerable opportunities exist on campus, and ULN cannot be the only program to tackle the issue. On-campus professionals must leverage the deserving students waiting to build their professional experience.
Her freshman year, radio-television-film and journalism sophomore Krystal Cruz walked into one of her first journalism classes. The professor, gauging the room, asked the class who had previously worked on their high school newspaper. Cruz, remembering the poorly-structured newspaper in her hometown, sat unmoving while the rest of the class shot their hands up. “I thought I was really behind because I didn’t have that background in journalism,” Cruz said. “Media students are so pressured to start their work now so that they won’t be behind when they graduate, you want your degree to count.” Not all learning happens inside the classroom. At the cusp of professional life, students (and their future employers) measure undergraduate success not only by GPA, but by relevant experience and professional connections gained. Undergraduate courses — especially in the first two years of a degree program — can feel more like a high school style checklist of prerequisites than valuable career prep. Experiential learning offers a place for students to make (and recover from) critical mistakes, build portfolios and form friendships and mentorships that can evolve into first professional networks. To commit to the professional skill sets colleges purport to give its graduates, university entities must leverage existing resources while opening doors for students.
University Leadership Network (ULN), a nationally recognized incentive scholarship, recognizes this need. The program pairs students with outstanding academics with professional experiences they might not otherwise be exposed to, along with a four-year renewable scholarship to help fund the experiences.
BY LAURA HALLAS
Published on April 28, 2017
BY RATNIKA BATRA
Published on March 30, 2017
If UT had a small food store, just like the Jesta’ Pizza, that would be open 24 hours a day, it would make our lives so much simpler. The store doesn’t have to be elaborate — a few night packaged options such as wraps and sandwiches and options for people with dietary restrictions, should be enough. The store would also help all the students who are broke by the end of the semester, including me, by accepting Dining Dollars and Bevo Bucks, which can be used on campus and select locations off campus, are subsidized and a much cheaper option than using cash.
Every semester, around midterms and final examinations, my study group and I run down to Jester City Limits at 10:45 p.m. from the PCL before it closes down at 11 p.m. Even though we make it on time, sometimes we are unlucky and they are out of food because everyone else has the same idea. Jester City Market is still open until 12:00 a.m., but snacks don’t last long in our stomachs, Wendy’s isn’t exactly a healthy option, and crossing Guadalupe at night is not our first choice.
University should expand all-hours dining options The new little store might actually save more food as well. Currently, all the food that is not sold by the closing of dining halls is thrown away — a 24-hour store could use that freshly prepared food that is about to go to waste anyways. During midterms and especially during finals, our hungry brains and stress levels are going to reduce the wastage of food even further. A store with healthy options will reduce our stress levels. A cup of coffee in the middle of writing a paper at 4 a.m. would be totally worth it. While this would be great for students, we need to consider what is feasible for
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are hiring... many of these people are adults (and) they have families to go to too.”
“The new little store might actually save more food as well. Currently, all the food that is not sold by the closing of dining halls is thrown away — a 24-hour store could use that freshly prepared food that is about to go to waste anyways.” the last two years, says that “from an employee perspective and from the people who
Yet, over the years as an RA he has seen that a lot of college students are up late at
night and if it was just staffed by students, “it would be nice if something was open later.” Along with employing students who can work late nights, a plan to open a store should not cost us students a lot. Vysyaraju says that it is worth it only if does not burden students financially. The new student government needs to step in and take this plan further and look into where the money would come from and the location of the store — something that would address our needs, be cost efficient and not waste any more food than the dining halls already do.
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University needs to increase awareness of binge drinking BY ALINA AGHA
Published on May 2, 2017
perpetrator — were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of cyber and psychological abuse and physical violence. Moreover, 84 percent of perpetrators and 69 percent of victims were under the influence at the time of sexual assault incidents. This is not to say that alcohol is the sole reason behind this, and that stopping students from binge drinking is the solution. But that being said, the correlation between assault and alcohol and drug use must be acknowledged and addressed in order for change to take place. It is part of the bigger picture of the binge drinking culture at UT as is the prevalence of assault, which must be addressed by not just the university but also students themselves. While programs like AlcoholEdu and Haven — courses about the risks of drug and alcohol use and sexual assault that incoming stu-
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Jones | Daily Texan Staff
dents are required to take — aim to do this, it seems that these programs have little impact. A study looking at the effectiveness of such programs showed that initially, a majority of students reduce their drinking after taking these awareness courses, but a year later a majority of these students went back to their previous drinking habits — or worse. The fact that these awareness programs have a minimal impact is important to
realize and discuss. Students are only required to complete these courses once at the beginning of their time at UT, and most students forget about them immediately after. The university must address this problem and attempt to improve alcohol awareness by implementing more expansive programs in the curriculum, and requiring students to complete them more often throughout the year, rather than just once at the beginning of
their freshman year. Students should also take initiative on their own part to address the risks of alcohol and drug use on campus. As much as the university tries to ensure that students are educated and taking care of themselves, in the end students are the ones affected by the consequences of binge drinking and should be empowered to ensure their own well-being and that of their fellow students.
Drinking and partying are significant parts of our culture here at UT. You’ll never find Sixth Street quiet on a Thursday night, and you’re sure to hear the sounds of music and parties throughout West Campus on any given weekend. And while it’s all part of the fun experience of a big state school, students are quick to ignore the consequences of consistent binge drinking. The proverb “you’re not an alcoholic until you graduate” perpetuates this ignorance, but it’s something that needs to be addressed. Whether it’s freshmen in their dorms or upperclassmen attending Greek events off campus, binge drinking, defined as the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, is a nationwide epidemic. Studies show that the number of college students who
binge drink has remained around the 40 percent mark for last two decades, and shows no signs of lowering. And the consequences are very tangible. A recent study showed that immediate effects of binge drinking included abnormally high heart rates, something normally found in people who have experienced heart attacks or congestive heart failure. While these effects were not permanent, it is important to note that repetition of this behavior could eventually result in permanent arrhythmia, and possibly other complications such as other cardiovascular diseases, unintentional injuries and neurological damage. What’s more is that alcohol doesn’t just affect physical health, it also impacts relationships and interactions between students. A recent study about the prevalence of sexual assault at UT showed that a significant amount of those involved — victim or
and teach creationism or religious-based information to students as fact in science classrooms. Within the Texas science standards provided by the Texas Education Agency, the teaching of “biological evolution” is listed in the high school biology section. But this is never fully defined or fleshed out. Without a full definition of what this means, it could allow for the argument that multiple sides to evolutionary science exist, one of them being creationism, and that they should all be taught in the classroom. And while within the biology standards, “Students should be able to distin-
guish between scientific decision-making methods ... and ethical and social decisions that involve science,” the issue of religion is danced around. Without fully discussing religion, which for many is the backbone of ethics in our society, these standards allow for the possibility of the teaching of creationism and the origin of life in nonscientific ways. The refusal to explicitly ban the word “religion” in the science standards allows for it to be brought into biology classrooms and presented as on par with science. Instead of celebrating a victory over the striking of a single word from the sci-
has spent an entire year on this battle. An entire year has been spent debating what comes down to a few words in curriculum standards, the inability to use a single word when discussing evolution. Those committed to the teaching of empirical truths could’ve spent this year tackling larger issues within the Texas science curriculum. Celebration on the part of liberals who believe that by striking a single word from curriculum standards they’ve won a battle over creationism is unfounded. Nothing tangible has been gained. It’s still far too easy for Texas educators to stray from science
ence standards, Texas state legislators and those on the Texas Education Board should be fighting to make actual change to the standards. They should include a passage about religion and resolve that it has no place in a classroom discussion on biology. They should fully define the term “biological evolution,” giving it only the grounds to cover actual evolution. Religion and creationism have no place in a science classroom, and we need to do more to prevent them from being taught as fact in Texas.
The great battle of the teaching of science in Texas schools — one that has been long-fought and has recurred nearly every year often just over the wording of a single section — comes down to a single issue: to teach creationism or to teach evolution. These standards are set to decide the quality of children’s education throughout the state, so choosing science-backed evolution should be easy. But this being Texas, and the Texas Education Board being run by conservatives, this isn’t always the case.
This year, the battle ended with the decision of a single word, “evaluate,” being excluded from the curriculum. The debate over this word, and others similar to it, was over the connotation it brought. Critics of the term believe it allows for students to question the validity of the evolutionary theories taught in biology classes, giving way for the teaching of creationism. Proponents of it argue that the language allows students to consider all sides of evolution science, as if fiction, otherwise known as creationism, should be revered as fact. Either way, the fact is that the Texas Education Board
Published on May 2, 2017
BY EMMA BERDANIER
Texas must implement factual science standards
Imagine a newly admitted student seeing UT for the first time. Imagine a guest speaker arriving on campus, preparing to give a lecture. They’re excited to arrive on our beautiful campus, and they’ve heard all about our commitment to environmental sustainability. After all, UT was named a top environmentally responsible college last October by The Princeton Review. Now imagine our visitors struggling to find their way around the The Forty Acres. When they turn to one of the posted maps, what will they see? Roads. Parking garages. Interstate 35, complete with ramps. The message is clear: UT is a campus that is car-first. The message that one does not get
to campus by any means other than a car is implied; and the parking garages, marked with eye-catching “P” logos and a distinctive shade of navy blue, are shrines to our four-wheeled idols of metal, oil and rubber. Even the heart and soul of campus — the newly renovated Speedway Mall — has vanished now that it is closed to cars. And so dissenters from the church of the automobile, like Joseph Stalin’s political foes, have been erased from the public record. Our worship of the car is thoroughly at odds with the idea of sustainability. UT’s Campus Sustainability Policy, adopted in 2008, defines sustainability as the presumption that “the planet’s resources are finite, and should be used conservatively, wisely, and equitably.”
BY RYAN YOUNG
Published on May 4, 2017
Campus maps should show alternate transportation From enhanced curricula to smarter campus planning to more efficient operations, the policy envisioned a multi-pronged approach to make the university more sustainable by “(advancing) economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.” Encouraging visitors to arrive by car is economic folly — parking lots and garages waste precious real estate that could be used for student housing and classrooms. And obviously, it’s bad for the environment — cars belch noxious emissions that kill thousands of Americans every year and contribute to worldwide climate change. Our love affair with the car is also socially unjust — less fortunate students already struggle with the high costs of Austin rent. A map that excludes their choice
of transportation suggests they’re second-class Longhorns because they can’t afford to drive to class. Despite the campus map’s narrow focus on car travel, sustainable transportation options are abound on campus. Nineteen percent of students walk to campus, according to a 2014 study on transportation choices at UT. Eight percent commute by bicycle, producing no pollution whatsoever. Twenty-two percent ride the efficient and environmentally friendly UT shuttle system. Only thirty-three percent of students drive alone. Looking at our campus map, visitors to our school would never discover these alternative transportation modes or realize how integral they are to our culture. The map should show not just parking garages, but also
Liza Anderson | Daily Texan Staff
UT shuttle lines, bicycle lanes and major walking routes. Perhaps, as I noted previously in my critique of the Be Safe initiative, it could also show the real-time locations of UT shuttles using existing bus tracking technology. We must demonstrate that we give equal attention to more sustainable, effi-
cient and environmentally conscious ways of getting around. Our commitment to sustainability rings hollow so long as we give the prospective student and guest speaker the false impression that our campus is obsessed with cars.
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ZIA LYLE, SCIENCE&TECH EDITOR, SPRING 2017 Orientation 2017
Music teachers’ eyes UT engineers work with provide insight into NASA to place a new instructor expertise spacecraft in the hot seat
Alcorn, brand planning director at Richards/Lerma, said the study debunked several common stereotypes about millennials. “A reasonable person may expect to uncover a sense for despair, apathy or hopelessness in black millennials given the state of race relations in America,” Alcorn said in an email. “We found the opposite. Almost all the findings in this report were striking and defied some commonly held perception and notion out there about each race and ethnicity.” Hispanics were ranked as the most prideful of their country. Fifty-four percent said they were “very proud” to be an American, while only 40 percent of white millennials said they were. White millennials ranked the highest in pessimism about the American dream and the ability to achieve
Research shows black millennials are the most optimistic about their futures BY JENAN TAHA
Published on March 28, 2017
Black and Hispanic millennials are more optimistic toward their futures than their white and Asian counterparts, according to a study released March 20 by the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations and the Richards/Le-
rma advertising agency. The report, which surveyed 200 participants aged 18 to 34 from each race, found that black millennials had the highest faith in hard work, while white participants were the most pessimistic about following their dreams and taking pride in their country. The report’s author, Chaille
“What we’re going to do is simulate the last bit of that reentry profile using the plasma torch and see if we can recreate those conditions.” Benton Greene Aerospace Engineer
takes away the energy of the hot gases and the hot gases burn away over the surface.” During a recent test with the spacecraft Orion, NASA noticed that the closer Orion got to Earth, the hotter the heat shield became. Even when the air cooled, the temperature of the spacecraft unexpectedly continued to rise and the heat shield’s material continued to char away. With funding from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Varghese and Clemens are leading a team attempting to verify these results. The team will use a plasma torch to simulate the conditions of reentry. “We’re testing whether (the heat shield getting hotter) is
Things are heating up as UT engineers find new ways to test spacecraft heat shields. Philip Varghese, aerospace engineering professor, and Noel Clemens, aerospace engineering department chair, are collaborating with NASA to study how spacecraft heat shields react to intense heat during reentry into the atmosphere. Researchers are using a plasma torch, which generates extremely hot ionized gas, to simulate reentry conditions. When a spacecraft enters the atmosphere during its descent to Earth, it rubs against gas particles, which creates drag and slows down the spacecraft. The friction created during reentry also creates large amounts of heat, exceeding the melting point for many known materials. Varghese said space shuttles weighing up to 100 tons come into the atmosphere at around 18,000 miles per hour, generating kinetic energy equivalent to one-fourth of the energy of the atomic bomb that detonated over Hiroshima. Engineers deal with this issue by placing heat shields on the spacecraft which char away during reentry, Varghese said. Once the spacecraft reaches the ground, engineers can replace the heat shield material and reuse the spacecraft for future missions.
“The idea is that you start with a sacrificial layer — essentially, something designed to burn away a little bit,” Varghese said. “In the process of burning away, it
theirs through hard work, followed by Asian millennials. Alcorn said the research shows that the stereotype of Asians being a “model minority” is misleading. “Those labels, although meant to be complimentary, do more harm than anything because they hide their struggle,” Alcorn said. “In the survey, Asian millennials expressed many unexpected fears, concerns and racial setbacks similar to their minority counterparts.” Neuroscience sophomore Trisha Gupte said she feels more pessimistic about the idea that hard work can pay off. “It really depends on the cards you’ve been dealt,” Gupte said. “Hard work isn’t always the deciding factor of where someone is going to go in life. The situation that you’re born in has an effect,
a real effect or just a part of their simulation,” said Benton Greene, aerospace engineering graduate student and researcher on the project. “What we’re going to do is simulate the last bit of that reentry profile using the plasma torch and see if we can recreate those conditions.” The plasma torch is currently being tested to see what conditions, in terms of temperature and flow rate, it can simulate. Greene said the project will test the materials of multiple heat shields, including the similar materials used by spacecrafts Orion and Apollo. Greene said that in the future, researchers may install a vacuum chamber at the Pickle Research Center in order to better simulate real-world atmospheric pressures and temperatures. The team may also use the torch to test other materials as candidates for use in heat shields, Varghese said. Varghese added that the tests could be used to aid developments in space exploration. “With suitably prepared test gases you could simulate, on the ground, things that are representative of what a spacecraft probe might encounter when it enters the Martian or Venusian or Titan atmosphere,” Varghese said. “That’s a longer term goal — to make studies for entries into other bodies in the solar system.”
Published on April 6, 2017
BY FREYA PREIMESBERGER
is that this technology has not been deployed effectively in studying the interactions between teachers and learners,” Duke said. “I think this research will show us how expert teachers do what they do in a way that even many experts may not realize.” Marcum said that the length of the gaze ultimately indicates the amount of thinking that goes into teaching music. “If you think about driving, we look at a stop sign only as long as we need to identify it as a stop sign,” he said. “But for expert violin teachers, visual targets provide ongoing valuable information that they need to monitor for a longer duration in order to identify the most important lesson goals and respond with instruction that leads to students’ improvement.” Lani Hamilton, a doctoral student who also works at the Center, said despite differences in subject matter, there aren’t too many differences between academic education and music education. “We all have this brain in our head that we learn to work with, so essentially the challenges our brains face exist in everything we do,” Hamilton said. “From what I’ve looked at, (in order to learn) all of our brains have to perceive these discrepancies between what we want to have happen and what actually happens.”
Researchers at UT’s Center for Music Learning are teaming up with psychologists to understand and improve how we learn music. Travis Marcum, a graduate student at the Center, studies the eye movements of musicians and music teachers in order to understand the difference between novice and expert music teachers. Marcum said the teachers in the study were undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty in the Music & Human Learning Department, and the young students are from the UT String Project, a community education program at the Butler School of Music. “We have found that expert teachers fixate more frequently and for longer durations on physical targets important to their immediate teaching goal,” Marcum said. “This indicates deeper processing and extended monitoring. For example, a teacher might fixate exclusively on the bow hand of her student when she is working to improve the bow hold.” Marcum added that while this may seem obvious, the length of time a teacher focused on a certain target positively correlated with the teacher’s level of expertise. “We might assume that experts in any field would not need to fixate and monitor aspects of their visual scene more deeply than novices
because they are so familiar with the environment,” Marcum said. “But even in research exploring expertise in chess, we see that great players have longer visual fixations than intermediate players on targets important to the most advantageous next move.” Psychology professor Mary Hayhoe, who conducts research using this technology in her Vision, Cognition, and Action Virtual Reality Lab, lent out eye tracking devices for Marcum’s research. Hayhoe’s lab uses eye tracking to learn what the brain is subconsciously looking at while a person is focused on something else. She currently uses the technology to study people moving through rough terrain, a process that requires the eye to quickly examine the environment to find safe places for people to take their next step. “In simple things, such as guiding a movement, to more abstract things such as predictive thinking, the visual system can give so much information.” Hayhoe said, “It can be used to predict movements and give an insight into timing and brain processes and information as to what the person is paying attention to.” Bob Duke, the director of the Center, told UTNews how he thinks studying the visual gaze with this technology can be used to improve teaching “What’s interesting to me
BY AMANDA KAENI
Published on April 2, 2017
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Richards/Lerma Advertising Agency
too.” Matthew Eastin, associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, helped collect data for the study. Eastin said the researchers’ main goal was to find nuances in attitudes of millennials, rather than treating them as one large group.
“Millennials are going to have a tremendous amount of population power,” Eastin said. “I think the sheer size of them warrants some investigation of a group that have a fairly large influence on society.”
SCIENCE & TECH
Diseases can be better fought off by attacking the parasite’s own sleep schedule BY LAWRENCE GOODWYN Published on April 6, 2017
Administering drug treatments while parasites are less active may be the best way to put a deadly disease to rest. UT Southwestern researchers discovered that the parasitic worm responsible for African sleeping sickness, f Trypanosoma brucei, is - more susceptible to drug - treatments during the later hours of the evening. Filipa - Rijo-Ferreira, the study’s lead o author and neuroscience postdoc, and Joseph Taka- hashi, neuroscience chair, n published their research in Nature Microbiology. “We treated the parasite at e different times throughout f
the day and discovered that there is a certain timing at which (the worms) are more sensitive to the treatment, which was quite unexpected prior to this research,“ Rijo-Ferreira said. Rijo-Ferreira said the team began by studying the worm inside and outside of the human body to determine if the worm had its own circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms regulate sleep cycles and other bodily functions, such as hunger and body temperature, in humans and other animals, Takahashi said. The Trypanosoma brucei has similar rhythms to the humans where they reside, which Rijo-Ferreira said has
implications for the parasite’s survival. “When we eat, the parasite is awake and also gets the nutrients that we receive, it’s a really important mechanism, because the parasites know what time it is within our bodies, and can anticipate the timing of our biological events,” Rijo-Ferreira said. Rijo-Ferreira said the team created an environment similar to that of the human body to study the worm without the need for a human host. “(Human body) temperature is lower at night when we are sleeping, and a little higher during the day when we are active, so we try to
simulate the temperature cycles of a host while the worm is (inside the body),” Rijo-Ferreira said. Rijo-Ferreira said that when organisms need to perform functions such as eating, sleeping or preparing to fall asleep, the genes responsible for these functions become activated, or ‘expressed,’ at different levels. She said these genes are typically expressed more during daylight hours than at night. As the team cycled the temperatures of the worm’s environment to mock that of a human body, the scientists monitored the amount of genes that the worm expressed for functions such as
hunger and body temperature. Takahashi said researchers found the worm expressed the same pattern of genes, regardless of changes in the temperature of its environment. He said this means the worm has its own circadian clock and is not relying on its host. Rijo-Ferreira said one gene that appeared to be solely controlled by the worm’s circadian rhythm was responsible for the parasite’s metabolism. She said current anti-sleeping sickness drugs work by harnessing the parasite’s metabolic system, meaning the drug is processed within
the parasite. She added that the team was able to determine that the drugs are more effective when administered in the later hours of the day, when the metabolic system is less active and its genes are less expressed. In the future, the team hopes to find a way to control the parasite’s own circadian rhythm and diminish its activity to make the parasite less intrusive. “We should figure out how to block (the parasite’s) ability to anticipate these actions within a host and further administer drug treatments more effectively for this disease and others ones,” Rijo-Ferreira said.
BY ADITYA SINGH
D EN U ST
Photo Credit: Madi Beavers | Daily Texan Staff
and all the pieces were fit together, there was clearly a forward-shifted foramen magnum,” said Kirk. Because this fossil is older and so close to the point when humans and chimpanzees became separate species, it caused even more controversy, Kirk said. This prompted Kirk and then graduate student Russo to try to understand the evolution of the foramen magnum positions from a different perspective. He said looking at holes at the base of mammals’ skulls other than humans who also could walk on two feet, allowed them to finally link the two evolutionary phenomena together. “What we wanted to see was that every time you look at a group that contains both
(four-legged species) and (two-legged species), you see the same forward shift of the foramen magnum (in twolegged species only),” said Kirk. “That’s exactly what we found.” The forward-shifted foramen magnum from the skull of the Sahelanthropus, one of the oldest known fossils, implies that bipedalism is an adaptation that distinguishes humans from other primates, Kirk said. “This really argues that bipedalism goes back to the root of the human,” Kirk said. “It is one of the definitive adaptations that makes us human.”
UT Austin anthropoloe gists recently took another step in discovering how humans evolved from primates. Anthropology professor Chris Kirk and Gabrielle Russo, a UT anthropology alumna and assistant proa fessor at Stony Brook University, used comparative e data from multiple mammal species to show that walking on two feet is linked to a forward-shifted hole at the base of the brain through which the spinal cord exits the skull, called a foramen magnum. The two published their findings in the Journal of Human Evolution last month. “One of the things that sets humans apart from all other primates and most mammals is the fact that we are bipedal, that we can walk on two feet,” said Kirk. In the 1800s, before Darwin’s theory of evolution was developed, anatomists studying the differences between humans and primates realized this hole was shifted forward in humans compared to primates and other mammals. However, Kirk said this theory has caused controversy among anthropologists and scientists who believe only using the position of the foramen magnum is not enough evidence to differentiate humans from primates. In the early 2000s, archaeologists found a 7-millionyear-old distorted cranium skull fossil from a Sahelanthropus, an early species related to humans. “When this cranium was undistorted by a CT scan
Published on April 2, 2017
UT’s Dell Medical School will use technology to implement creative methods of improving healthcare in the Austin area, Mini Kahlon said at a forum on Tuesday. Kahlon, vice dean for strategy and partnerships with the medical school, said the school teaches its students to think critically and innovatively in order to find solutions to healthcare issues and reduce costs in the new generation of healthcare. “We are interested in saying, ‘Given the problem, what are the easiest and smartest ways to fix it?’” Kahlon said. “That’s the kind of innovation we would love to see in Austin.” As a part of the Austin Forum’s monthly events dedicated to technology, Kahlon presented at Galvanize Austin Tuesday night. She spoke
to a full house of healthcare and technology professionals about the need for technological innovation in the new world of medicine. Kahlon is a three-time speaker for the Austin Forum and has experience in the tech sector, previously managing Silicon Valley startups. She said representatives from the medical school meet with local healthcare providers and clinics to discuss the main challenges facing the community. Kahlon emphasized the importance of increasing technology in the healthcare field to improve experiences and reduce costs for patients. She said the necessary improvements range from using technology as simple as a telephone to as complex as brain imaging machinery. Ed Park, executive vice president and chief operating officer of athenahealth, said one of the prime problems
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facing health care innovators is the complexity and size of the medical field. Park said healthcare is so vast and interwoven that without an intensive and deeply-rooted plan to improve the way it operates, real change is difficult to implement. What I see happening is a lot of folks that are just innovating around the edges,” Park said during the forum. Eric Ramberg, who formerly conducted clinical trials and is now the president of an oncology consulting company, attended the event specifically to hear Kahlon speak. Ramberg said he thinks working with technology is necessary to improve medicine. “Almost anything you can think of is being advanced by technology,” Ramberg said. “I think (the medical school is) going to be doing great things.”
Published on April 5, 2017
UT anthropologists discover Dell Medical School will use technology to improve that walking on two feet healthcare outcomes evolved concurrently with the modern human skull
UT professor used a butterfly to verify climate change
SCIENCE & TECH
UT seniors’ new startup creates smart bike racks BY ANGELA KANG
Published on May 4, 2017
Smack, a startup created by UT electrical and computer engineering seniors, hopes to improve bike security on campus and beyond. Created as part of a project in the entrepreneurial part of the group’s senior design capstone course, Smack is a smart bike rack that protects bike theft. The group present-
ideas that solve a problem are good. That’s what engineers should be doing.” Sehy said people use Smack by reserving a space for their bike and setting an individual PIN to unlock a specific slot in a specific bike rack, providing each user with personalized security. Sehy said Smack is helpful because it incorporates locks into the bike rack. He said a hefty lock that might cost upwards of $60 is inconvenient and
where to park. “If a city is truly trying to encourage cyclists on the road, then they should take the next step in providing security for the bicyclists,” said Smack Vice President of Operations Qian He. “It also promotes a healthy environment because it encourages bikers and has solar panel-powering capability.” Hardware development specialist Ted Mao said Smack also saves money in
UTD researchers develop remote therapy for veterans a 3-D rehabilitation therapy that allows doctors to take care of their patients without meeting face to face. The therapy, which the researchers named 3-D immersive telerehabilitation, combines telerehab, a treatment which uses only phone-based communications between doctor and patient, with Microsoft Kinect cameras to add a visual
BY LAWRENCE GOODWYN Published on May 1, 2017
Doctors can now provide their patients full therapy treatment without being in the same room. UT-Dallas computer science professor Balakrishnan Prabhakaran and his former graduate student Suraj Raghuraman have developed
component to long-distance rehabilitation. The Microsoft camera can be modified to fit the needs of rehab patients and their various therapies. “The inspiration came from noticing that telerehab lacked a sense of touch,” Prabhakaran said. “A 2-D video does not give a proper perspective for the doctor;
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financially difficult for students. “The smart bike rack embeds locks in the rack itself, so you don’t have to carry a lock,” Smack CEO Jason He said. “Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to reserve a slot before you bike to class.” The Wi-Fi and electrical component allows the rack to monitor its cables and send alerts when someone tries to tamper with them. Smack Vice President of Engineering Clint Simpson said the internet capability of the rack creates potential for additional features. “You can make it so users can pick a favorite rack or save their PIN number so they don’t have to enter it every time,” Simpson said. A survey taken at the showcase demonstrated that 56 percent of people who don’t bike say they don’t because of a fear of theft or not knowing
the long run because it would reduce the cost of bike thefts, both for bike owners and the police. The group hopes to pass Smack along to a group in the next entrepreneurship class so that it may be implemented on campus in the coming years, especially since the price of the smart bike racks are competitive with current traditional racks, according to He. “The challenge was realizing that when you do a project in the real world, no classroom can teach or prepare you to understand how things are to be done,” said Akshans Verma, Smack’s Director of Web Interface Development. “There were days when we didn’t even know how to move forward, so seeing every piece come together and going to the open house and seeing the finished product was so rewarding.”
with upper-arm limb impairments participated in a clinical trial with 3-D telerehab. Prabhakaran said not only did the device help doctors to reach their patients, but it also benefited the patients. “The patients were unanimous in saying that they would like more telerehab diagnoses,” Prabhakaran said. Prabhakaran said the device can also be used to evaluate patients before they receive treatment as a diagnostic tool and for rehab treatment itself because it performs similarly to in-person therapies.
“Our (clinical) patient study indicated that there is a high degree of correlation between in-person diagnoses and remote diagnoses,” Prabhakaran said. The outcome of the 3-D telerehab trial provided promising results and serves as an essential step towards rehabilitating future patients and members of the military, according to Raghuraman. “Currently, veteran’s affairs services have their own telehealth systems, and so we are exploring if we can incorporate the 3-D telerehab into their telehealth systems,” Prabhakaran said.
ed the startup last Wednesday to the public and faculty. Nick Sehy, chief financial officer of Smack, said the group was inspired by the lack of bike security on campus and the widespread biking culture in Austin. “I participated in Texas 4000 where you’re given a $1,500 bike for free so you can ride it to Alaska,” Sehy said. “I didn’t want to lose this important bike on campus, because you hear a lot of horror stories about people losing their bikes.” Mark McDermott, who taught the entrepreneurial class the group took, said the class supplements the traditional senior design capstone course electrical engineers must complete their senior year. “The big thing (in the class) is inspiring design,” McDermott said. “Coming up with
researcher who studied the Edith’s Checkerspot with Parmesan, said the general public isn’t paying enough attention to the demands of biodiversity preservation. “People should care … when biodiversity is reduced because it is necessary for ecosystem services that support human life,” Singer said. “Butterflies are very visible and charismatic manifestations of community and ecosystem health; if you manage a habitat to conserve butterfly diversity you will be conserving biodiversity more generally than just the butterflies.” Parmesan said she recently found that the Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly is rapidly accepting new host plants at higher elevations, stabilizing their populations for now. She added that more work reducing the effects of climate change needs to occur to preserve biodiversity. “Species populations are already being impacted by climate change,” she said. “Even if we come up with zero carbon tomorrow we will still deal with climate change for the next 100 years. This isn’t something happening in the future, this is happening now.”
UT geology professor Camille Parmesan studies the endangered Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly, which serves as a living warning of climate change in North America. Parmesan recently began working with climate experts such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Center for Atmospheric Research to evaluate global warming’s effect on animals and plants. For over a decade, Parmesan has studied the Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly, which is uniquely susceptible to climate change because of its habitat sensitivity. Parmesan was one of the first to claim, in 2005, that species were declining due to warming events as opposed to habitat destruction and deforestation. One of Parmesan’s past studies found that populations in southern areas, such as regions of Mexico, are experiencing higher extinction rates compared to species in the north. She discovered a relationship between the butterfly’s migration and global warming trends. Parmesan found that over time, butterflies travel north and to higher eleva-
tions as a region gets warmer. “I wasn’t looking at butterflies affected by human population, I was looking at them in preferable habitats because I was looking at climate,” Parmesan said. “Even though the habitat is great in Mexico, they are being killed by warming and drying. When you look at it — the main issue is habitat loss and habitat degradation, but by showing extinction in the south and into lower elevations, it (the research) shows a much grander scale.” According to Parmesan, the Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly is more vulnerable to climate change because it typically lives in small habitats and relies on one specific flower — the dwarf plantain — for early developmental support. Parmesan said the butterflies’ migration patterns are shifting as their nectar sources become less available due to disruptive warming. “(The butterflies) are using a host plant that doesn’t last long because as it heats up, it dries faster, and (the butterflies) can’t keep up,” she said. “We saw a large northward shift, which was an indication of long term climate trends.” Michael Singer, retired UT
BY SARAH BLOODWORTH Published on May 4, 2017
Photo Credit: Jacky Tovar | Daily Texan Staff
when you want to examine musculoskeletal movements, it must be in 3-D because the motions themselves are 3-D.” According to Raghuraman, the new therapy system assesses the upper parts of the body, monitoring side-toside movements by having the patient perform tasks such as virtually sawing a log. The 3-D camera is roughly 3 feet tall and includes touch sensors to determine the amount of force a patient applies when performing each task, according to Prabhakaran. Fifteen veteran soldiers
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TYLER HORKA, SPORTS EDITOR 2016-2017 | @thedailytexan Orientation 2017
Herman revitalizes Texas Fenves releases plans for program through social new basketball arena media use in recruitment
o e e g ” f o - BY AKSHAY MIRCHANDANI s Published on May 1, 2017 - Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Reporting Texas.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Frank Erwin Center
Kevin DeShazo Fieldhouse Media
over time has a power to it,” Herman said. “It allows them, them being recruits and your target audience, to get a glimpse behind the curtain of what your program really is and who you are as a head coach.” Social media might not be the difference between landing a five-star recruit or not, but DeShazo said remaining active and building a brand has an effect. “I think the biggest piece of it is keeping your program in front of people’s face,” DeShazo said. “If they’re seeing content come out, they’re going to be thinking about your program.” But Herman’s presence does more than just help with recruiting. His social media use also reaches the student body in ways that help the university. Most re-
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Events Center” due to the high number of concerts and events held within its doors. Though the new arena fares to be smaller than the Erwin Center — which holds more than the average college arena at a capacity of 16,734 — men’s athletic director Mike Perrin said it will still be used for all sorts of entertainment. “Our goal is to have an arena on our campus that
“It’s about being who you are. It’s about reaching fans and reaching recruits authentically.”
cently, he announced a Fan Appreciation Day practice using a video on his Twitter. “He’s an incredible ambassador of the Texas brand for both the athletics side and the academic side for the university,” said Nick Persac, the social media coordinator for UT at large. “Having people like Coach Herman and President Fenves that are active on social media is the sort of marketing and the sort of outreach that I can’t even put a pricetag on.” Allen High School, a 6A high school north of Dallas, has a power football program with four state titles to its name. Head coach Terry Gambill has 3,886 Twitter followers. His Twitter borrows aspects of Herman’s, such as tweeting about other teams on campus and team hashtags. High school players “see what colleges are able to do, what that university is doing in the off-season,” Gambill said. “They see what that head coach is about, what they’re about as a team.” Persac said Herman’s social media persona matches well with who he really is, which DeShazo said is one of the keys to success on social media. “It has to be authentic,” DeShazo said. “If you don’t listen to rap music or if you’re not engaged with pop culture, then don’t tweet those things. It’s about being who you are. It’s about reaching fans and reaching recruits authentically.” And don’t expect a dropoff in pop culture references, fancy graphics or hashtags from Herman anytime soon. “It’s free advertising, it’s free marketing,” Herman said. “Our target demographic is the demographic that uses it the most. So as long as that continues to be the case, we’re going to continue to use it.”
with it. “I don’t remember anytime, ever, where anyone has ever tweeted for me,” Herman said. It’s basic marketing for Herman and other coaches who have turned to social media. Not only can they reach out to fans, but they can remain on the forefront of potential recruit’s timelines. Herman made it clear from his first day that recruiting Texas is one of his main objectives. “As long as they’re seeing the Bevo silhouette and they’re seeing the University of Texas and ‘This is Texas’ hashtag and all that, that
New Longhorns Basketball Arena to Be Built On-Campus | Photo Courtesy of UT Athletics
next facility to be on campus, where it is easier for our student-athletes to travel between their dorms, classes and practice,” Fenves said. “It also makes the games more accessible to our student fans.” The Erwin Center has held Texas basketball games since 1977 and has commonly been known as a “Special
Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff
Say goodbye to the Frank Erwin Center. Texas men and women’s basketball will have a new home in less than a decade. University President Gregory Fenves held a meeting with members of the university’s Development Board on Friday to discuss details of the proposed on-campus arena, which Fenves expects to be open in the next five to seven years. “The campus master plan developed in 2012 called for the land under the Erwin Center to be used for future expansion of the Dell Medical School and the UT Health District,” Fenves said to the Development Board. “As we prepare for that, we will also ensure that our outstanding men’s and women’s basketball programs can continue to compete in a great arena.” The new arena’s layout and costs have not been released, but the location is fairly certain. Graphics released with Fenves’ statement show the new arena located directly south of Mike A. Myers Stadium and directly east of the Recreational Sports Center — the exact location of what is currently a major source
of daily parking for students with a class C permit, Lot 70. While day-to-day parking might get even more strenuous for Texas students, making it to both men’s and women’s basketball games won’t. Fenves said the central location will make gamedays easier for both fans and players. “Coaches Karen Aston and Shaka Smart want the
BY TYLER HORKA
Published on April 7, 2017
t d Rap group Migos dropped na new album on Jan. 27. Hours before, new Texas head football coach Tom Herman took to Twitter. “My guys @Migos know how to build a program,” Herman tweeted at 10:26 p.m. on a Thursday night. So does Herman. He maintains a distinct presence on social media, a medium more coaches are tapping as a way to connect with fans — and potential recruits. Each Big 12 head coach has a Twitter account, and Herman’s 95,500 followers rank him fourth in the conference, behind Bob Stoops of Oklahoma (151,000), Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech (110,000) and Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia (97,000). “It’s exploded,” Herman said of social media among dcoaches. “It was something ,I think started off as someething very personal, where teams and corporations and sbusinesses and organizations eweren’t really using it. It was smore on a person-by-person -basis, and now it’s turned ginto a giant marketing tool.” e It’s not unusual for Herman sto tweet about the latest haptpenings in pop culture. He gtweets and retweets items multiple times a day. His -new hashtag, #ThisIsTexas, is aemblazoned on graphics he osends with tweets. - Former Texas coach Charwlie Strong, meanwhile, raredly tweeted. He sent an oc-casional missive when he -nabbed a recruit, but nothing sto the extent of Herman’s acwtivity. Strong does not mainotain a Twitter account at his -new home at the University nof South Florida. d The change is noticeable, according to Kevin DeShazo, who runs Fieldhouse Media, an organization based in Oklahoma City that helps athletic departments with social media training. DeShazo has not worked with the UT athletics department before, but said Herman’s presence is successful. “You compare him to Charlie Strong in terms of social media, and it’s night and day,” DeShazo said. “That’s not right, wrong, good or bad, it’s just two different people with two different perspectives. My opinion on that is I love how coach Herman embraces it.” And the man behind the tweets is always Herman himself. He said he runs his own account, rather than having someone helping
can provide the platform for a great atmosphere and a positive fan experience for our men’s and women’s basketball games,” Perrin said. “While our vision is that the arena be basketball-centric, we will look to design it to allow for versatility in hosting other events.”
Crouser, Carter share Perseverance pays off for memories of Olympics and discus star Alan Zapalac Texas Relays successes BY DREW KING
Published on May 4, 2017
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Zapalac juggled a trio of sports, lettering all four years in football, basketball and track. Ironically, he and his family were die-hard fans of Texas A&M. Zapalac’s dream was to play offensive tackle for the Aggies’ football team. The offer never came. “My senior year (of high school), I came here for Texas Relays,” Zapalac said. “I had a really big throw and coach Mario (Sategna) asked if I wanted to be on the team. No other school had offered anything, so it was a pretty simple decision.” It was an easy offer, too. “He didn’t set the world on fire, but that was OK,” Sategna said. “You look at his size and I’m thinking to myself, ‘How did this guy not end up playing tackle for somebody?’” Now in his fourth year at Texas, Zapalac has come to embrace his surroundings, which has helped with his performance on the field.
walked around the stadium Saturday. Carter had a camera slung over her shoulder, for pictures, hugging fellow Olympic team members Natasha Hastings and Phyllis Francis. Crouser watched from the back tent, wearing jeans and a white t-shirt with a “Team USA” logo on it, watching the next to come. “It’s a really good experience being back and seeing everybody,” Crouser said. “Everyone was so supportive during my time here at Texas. And then, after the Olympic medal, I’ve been able to give back a little bit. Everyone is still appreciative and supportive still. I’m really glad I got a chance to come back.”
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Athletics
Ryan Crouser UT Alumni
During his junior year of high school, Alan Zapalac applied to work for a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Wallis, Texas. He was told they weren’t hiring and went looking for work elsewhere. “My dad, jack-of-alltrades, taught me a bunch of things,” Zapalac said. “Somebody said, ‘Why don’t you try building stuff for people?’ I started off with small ideas, small picture frames here and there, and kind of evolved into bigger furniture pieces and a couple house remodels.” Zapalac’s carpentry work has become immensely popular and has grown into a borderline small business. He’s even brought his woodworking skills onto the track — Zapalac has done projects for multiple staff members of the Longhorn track and field team, including his own field events coach, Ty Sevin. “It’s definitely a strong suit for him,” Sevin said. “I’ve seen more of his metal-working stuff. We made a couple of things that we used around the track that came back, like (it was made by) a professional welder. He’s really creative.” Despite possessing a burly 6-foot-6-inch frame, the redshirt junior often gets overlooked. Zapalac shrugs it off, knowing he’ll excel in whatever he chooses to do. Throughout high school,
“I just sucked it up and went out there, and I won,” Carter said. “That hardly ever happens at Texas Relays, but to win in that condition is great.”
Ryan Crouser refreshed his phone screen of the women’s shot put final results this summer in Rio. He refreshed it again and again. He was waiting to see if fellow Longhorn Michelle Carter could pull off the win on the final throw. She did. “To see Michelle win the first one for the U.S., and to do it in that fashion, on her last throw, that just motivated me,” Crouser said. “So that was unbelievable. Watching her just proved to me that once you’re at the Olympics, anything can happen.” Carter became the first American woman to win the Olympic gold in the shot put with a throw of 20.63 meters (67’ 8.25”). Crouser would go on days later to win gold in the men’s shot put with a throw of 22.52 meters (73’ 10.75”). Carter and Crouser graduated nine years apart, but both made the same Olympic team, making Texas the only school to ever sweep an Olympic throwing event. “It was just meant to be,” Carter said. While a plethora of Texas Olympians sat at the Texas Track and Field alumni dinner after Friday night’s relays, Crouser and Carter were the ones chosen to speak. Dressed in a gray dress with her gray Nike sneakers, Carter’s smile illuminated as she recalled her favorite Texas Relays memory. “It was my senior year. It actually rained and sleeted,
which is the world record,” Crouser said. “Randy Barnes has it at 23.12 meters. And then long-term, I’m looking at Tokyo 2020, it’s always on the horizon, as well as World Championships this year in London.” Both Crouser and Carter
Published on April 3, 2017
it was horrible,” Carter said. “My coach looked at me and said, ‘You have to compete.’ And I’m like, ‘Really? It’s snowing outside.’” Carter convinced herself to brave the freezing temperatures and take part of the event. “I just sucked it up and went out there, and I won,” Carter said. “That hardly ever happens at Texas Relays, but to win in that condition is great.” Crouser’s favorite Texas Relays also saw adversity. He was in bed with strep throat, not prepared to compete in his first collegiate discuss competition. “I came out, and Mario’s like ‘Let’s at least give it a toss, it’s a cool atmosphere, get out there and just do it,’” Crouser said. “So I went out there and threw. I actually threw what ended up tying my PR, almost 200 feet. And that lasted all the way until the end of the year just because I was so relaxed and not trying to kill it.” Neither Crouser nor Carter mentioned any plans of retirement. Carter has made three olympic teams, but believes she can make a fourth by qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “I’m going to go for one more Olympics, and that’ll be my fourth team, hopefully,” Carter said. “And I’m not giving up just yet. I’ve got more to give, and I’m going to keep working at it.” Crouser also has more plans in store. He is currently training in San Diego at the Olympic training center. “For anyone coming off an Olympic medal, you kind of look towards the next thing,
BY LEAH VANN, DREW KING
Despite starting slow early in the season, the thrower is now in the midst of a hot streak, earning consecutive personal records in the discus throw at the previous two home meets. “It’s kind of a tale of two seasons,” Sevin said. “We’re right there in the hammer (throw), about where his PR was last year, and it’s been a bit of a struggle to make that jump in that event. But from the perspective of the discus, it’s been a really huge turnaround for him.” Sategna believes it is actually Zapalac’s calm personality that has allowed him to excel during his recent performances. “He’s a guy that doesn’t get rattled real easy,” Sategna said. “Not that there isn’t anxiety or nervousness, but just the way he conducts himself and his demeanor, you know you don’t have to worry about him.” Zapalac is scheduled to participate in the Big 12 Championships next week, and he knows his background in carpentry will allow him to shine during his throwing events. “Nothing ever goes as planned,” Zapalac said. “You can draw everything to itsa finest details, you can prac-s tice for hours, but somethinge will go wrong. And you justw have to go with it and solvefi each problem as it comes tow get to the final product.” a b s t A h Sept. 2 t vs. Maryland s h Sept. 9 a vs. San Jose State t t Sept. 16 r
s l Sept. 28 g @Iowa State s t Oct. 7 l @ Kansas State a
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Michael Smith. Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff
“I teach it where there’s no one way of going about doing it,” Smith said. “The students sort of develop it or think about how to use it.” Studio art graduate student Ryan Hawk has been Smith’s teaching assistant for the past three years. Hawk said he came to UT’s program specifically to work with Smith. He said Smith’s take on performance art starkly contrasts with his undergraduate training. “Mike has a way of emphasizing the nuances of everyday life through his work as well as his teaching practice, which has ultimately inspired me to embrace concepts of absurdity and humor in my own work and in unconventional ways,” Hawk said. Unconventional expression is within the nature of performance art, and the Munster Sculpture Project is a platform for it. It’s a comprehensive practice that has taken Smith from studio art to tattoo design. “The tattoos were just an idea I had,” Smith said. “A lot of my work comes from these concepts that I get. The tattoos developed gradually from this idea of looking for youth.”
the Art Building. He said she’s excited to see the tattoo designs featured in Munster. “It’s an interesting way to take agency of one’s body and questioning the time and its signifiers,” Sebastian said. “Wrinkles and its connection with age and tattoos with immaturity.” Since its establishment, the Munster Sculpture Project has evolved into a meeting ground for artists to display social and political messages. This emphasis on expression has opened the door to genres of performance art outside of sculpting, such as tattoos. To Smith, performance art is a very open-ended term, because there are so many ways of performing to convey a message. He said it can be used to discuss subjects such as identity, society and politics, while incorporating dance, music, images and other media. “It’s kind of a catch-all term, a hybrid,” Smith said. Smith has taken somewhat of a complex role in the art department, providing an auxiliary to other visual arts or conceptual classes by supplementing, magnifying or expanding upon another focus area of the arts.
two beds elevated above the kitchen, which has a stove and sink, allowing the house to feel much more spacious than 145 square feet. Carma Gorman, the associate professor and assistant chair in the department of Art and Art History said what Weber was able to do was remarkable. “The single most impressive thing is how he got UT to let him hook up water, gas and electric to our building,” Gorman said. “I don’t know how he did it and I don’t think I want to know.” Gorman said she’d like to see the small house movement continue to grow, but as people continue to desire large houses, it doesn’t look promising. “There’s a place for a much more modest space,” Gorman said. “You don’t need a huge house for all moments of your life. It’d be nice if we could find a way in our country to make it possible to support not just the giant houses, but also the little ones.” Weber’s house has been featured on The Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and most recently HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters. The tiny house consistently draws curious tourists and students from around the world, as Weber continues to emphasize what he learned four years ago — the importance of sustainable living. “We need to diversify our communities,” Weber said. “Whether it be socioeconomically, culturally or architecturally, we have to start thinking of our neighborhoods in a much more sustainable way.”
Joel Weber arrived in Nicaragua with nothing but a suitcase and a one-way ticket in search of a culture that would not only allow him to find himself, but also accept whoever he may be. Long before the 26-year-old design senior constructed the tiny house sitting outside the Art building and museum, he found himself searching the world for something personally fulfilling. Weber said he boarded the plane to Nicaragua in hopes of escaping the materialistic culture of the U.S. and didn’t plan on returning. “We live in excess,” Weber said. “We tend to forget what life is really about. We fail to give priority to our relationships and continue this culture of idealism where you look down on people who are different than you.” Weber said he knew he was making the right decision, but the journey wasn’t easy — he was on his own. “There were times in Nicaragua where I thought I could disappear and nobody would miss me,” Weber said. “I remember thinking, ‘Why do you have to be incredibly alone to learn things about yourself?’” As time went by, he started building relationships in a culture that was much simpler than the one he managed to escape. “I camped down the coasts of Costa Rica and lived in mosquito infested tents and met beautiful people who lived within their means,” Weber said. “They had so little but they gave so much. I felt so much more at home in
the Latin culture.” After three months, Weber returned to the States. At the age of 25, Weber was accepted into the design program at UT. However, one of the most expensive obstacles in pursuing a higher education in Austin remained: housing. Instead of taking out student loans to pay for housing, Weber decided to build something inspired by his experience in Latin America — a tiny home. “The interest in tiny houses all started when I came back from living out my suitcase in Central America,” Weber said. “I was the happiest was I’ve ever been and I knew I wanted a sense of ownership.” Weber said rather than using official blueprints, he just used hand sketches to scale and design his ideal tiny house, and with the help of an electrician and carpenter, they began construction on the 18’ trailer. One year later, Weber’s tiny house came to life. Due to a limited budget, Weber said much of his house was built with reclaimed material, allowing him to finish the house for less than $15,000. Now, Weber’s house made its way to the 40 Acres. “For our senior show I wanted to show people how they could potentially live more sustainably,” Weber said. Weber’s tiny house, which will allow him to graduate debt-free, was originally approved to spend just two weeks on campus. But after such a positive reaction, he said it may stay until he graduates, serving as an educational installment. Weber masterfully placed
BY ALEX BRISENO
Published on April 13, 2017
On a warm summer day, town elders will gather outside a parlor, waiting to have needles dot their bodies with characters, images, commemorative messages and public statements. Studio art professor Michael Smith will take part in the fifth iteration of Munster Sculpture Project. Established in 1977, the event takes place in Munster, Germany, only once every decade. This year from June 10 to Oct. 1, Smith will set up a tattoo studio for seniors aged 65 and up. Smith said tattoos are prevalent now but were once taboo. The result is placing a theme associated with youth, such as tattoos, on a canvas associated with age, the elderly. “I had been working on the idea of finding youth, discovering youth,” Smith said. “I came to the project with this theme and proposed the idea of a tattoo parlor, and then came the idea of targeting seniors. They liked that hook.” Branching out in the concepts of art is something Smith not only teaches and showcases, but a lesson he’s undertaken for decades. He started out as a formal painter, but in the ’70s, performance art was beginning to gain popularity. He tried his hand at it and has stuck with it ever since. “I wanted a social life, and I knew I needed to get out of my studio,” Smith said. “So, I started looking, and then it took.” One of Smith’s former students, studio art junior Vivek Sebastian, found out about his involvement in the event through word of mouth in
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff
BY MATT DOUGLAS
Published on May 4, 2017
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Cinema fraternity Freshmen use Facebook to look for independently produces missed connections stand-alone TV pilot After meeting a girl in Jester East, riding the elevator with her and never getting her name, Ben Montero decided to post about the experience on the UT Class of 2020 Facebook page, asking his peers for help in finding her. “Me as a person — I’m a very quirky guy,” said Montero, a theater studies freshman. “I didn’t want them to think I was weird or something. I was like ‘I’m really curious who this girl is, so hopefully I’ll find her.’ My gut was telling me: Just do it.” These “missed connections” posts have appeared multiple times on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, said Beth Waldman, communications coordinator of Student Success Initiatives. Waldman, an administrator of the Class of 2020 Facebook page, said she also manages the pages for the other classes at UT but has only seen these kinds of posts with the current freshmen. “From what I have observed in the last three months, you know students are always making connections through the Facebook page, so I would say that ultimately it is a platform for (finding people),” Waldman said. “We’re happy to see people engaging with each other and trying to making friends.” Montero received more than 140 likes and 20 com-
Shooting at 17 separate locations throughout Austin, including where Richard Linklater shot “Boyhood,” is the dream for some aspiring filmmakers. But some UT students have already made this their reality. Each year, Delta Kappa Alpha, the professional cinema fraternity at UT, is alloted a $1,000 grant to fund a student-run film production. This is the first year the funds have been allocated toward a stand-alone TV pilot — “Rent Controlled,” an episode surrounding a couple that breaks up but refuses to move out of their shared. Rent-controlled apartment. Sophie Miller, radio-television-film junior and the writer, director and actor for “Rent Controlled,” said she promoted the shift from short films and music videos because of her personal interest in television. “There is something great about having a pilot and having it stand on its own,” Miller said. “I wanted it more towards character focus, and the plot to be more everyday life. Something that you can relate to, that’s also funny.” They hope to expose students to the various aspects of the filmmaking process, so they not only respect everybody’s role in the production process, but also gain an understanding of their own cinematic strengths. “Projects like this are good
out of the songs he was playing. Their conversation got cut short when another girl started playing the piano, and Trino never caught his name. “I was like, ‘You know what, this is so stupid and I’m probably going to cringe about it later, but I’m going to try it out’ so I made the post,” Trino said. “I thought it would be cool if we became friends.” Trino decided to post on Facebook because she had seen other similar posts, like biology freshman Teresa Vu’s, which had the hashtag #FindWaterBottleBoy2k16. Vu was looking for a water bottle at the College of Natural Sciences fair when a boy handed her his, which later encouraged her to try to find him. “I just thought that was a small act of kindness,” Vu said. Ever since her post, Vu tries to support others with similar searches. “Every time someone posts something like that, I always support them,” Vu said. “It’d be a cute love story to tell your grandkids.”
ments on his post, and even got messages from people living in Jester East offering to share his post in other groups. Although he never found the girl, Montero said he was happy with the positive response he received from his peers. Not everyone felt that way, however. Theater studies freshman Carrington Quezada said she did not support his post and felt inclined to comment because she knew Montero personally. “It’s a case to case basis,” Quezada said. “I think that it’s kind of inappropriate because if somebody called me out like that I would be uncomfortable because I feel like the person getting called out is more inclined to do something they don’t want to do because they’re pressured by a whole student body of people who are like ‘aw, this is so cute!’” Mathematics freshman Abby Gail Trino had a similar experience to Montero last semester. She was in Kinsolving when she heard a boy playing a song she liked on the piano in the lobby. Trino half-jokingly offered to record him and make CDs
“I wanted it more towards character focus, and the plot to be more everyday life. Something that you can relate to, that’s also funny.” Sophie Miller Director
Kate Hess, radio-television-film sophomore and producer of the project, said the pilot comes with more freedoms than projects with faculty involvement. “There aren’t any rules,” Hess said. “We can do whatever we want with the project.” Grayson Blackburn, radio-television-film junior and the director of photography, said another component of independently controlling this project is that the students are one another’s only resources. “As a student filmmaker, throughout your college
Abby Gail Trino. Photo: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff
because you get to find out what you like and what you don’t like,” Miller said. “A lot of times people just tell you to do what you like and what you’re good at, but you can’t know until you try everything.”
Published on April 10, 2017
career, you are your everything,” Blackburn said. Due to the dependency the students have on one another, Miller said their personal and professional relationships are strengthening. “One of the best things about film school is meeting other people in film school, because that’s who you’re going to be working with after college,” Miller said. Miller also said the experience simulates the expectations of workplace respect and decorum, even though there is a sense of leniency associated with peers being in charge. “Being able to learn how to give orders and take orders from people that are your age and feel comfortable with, but also respect their artistry, is such a great experience,” Miller said. Aside from giving students a unique learning experience, Blackburn said “Rent Controlled” has provided an opportunity and forum for the students to really prove themselves and their talent. “A lot of people don’t realize the potential and talent that students have, but I think we have a lot more passion for things that people don’t realize,” Blackburn said. “When it’s student-led, we have an extra obstacle, so we have to push even harder to get to that level of professionalism to make it not look like it’s a student-led production. We have to prove it’s not any less quality.”
BY HANNAH PLANTOWSKY
BY RAJYA ATLURI
Published on April 12, 2017
Callisto with her to college to help cope with stress, depression and PTSD. “(Callisto) definitely can’t cure anything,” Bradley said. “When I do have a bad day I just go home and she always knows when I’m upset and cuddles with me. Even playing with her relieves a lot of stress.” Bradley’s positive experiences owning Callisto led her to recommend an emotional support animal to her future roommate, biochemistry sophomore Shams Alkamil. Alkamil became stressed about school after she was placed on academic probation and found it difficult to relieve stress within her friend groups. To help, Alkamil bought Moby, an emotional support cat. “Friendships haven’t been as great as they should be so having an animal helps replace that in some aspects,” Alkamil said. “With an an-
Coping with the stress of college can be challenging, but a few UT students have found a furry solution to their problems. Studies show interaction with therapy animals can decrease peoples’ levels of stress. Particularly around finals and midterms, UT has been known to bring therapy dogs and fundraising petting zoos to different spots around campus. Mathematics and sociology junior Karalyne Martinez left her dog, Max, at home during her freshman year, but when she began to notice she was struggling with grades and her stress levels, she began to crave the comfort of an animal friend. Martinez worked with UT Student Services to get Max classified as an emotional support animal so he could live with Martinez in
Kinsolving during her sophomore year. “The college experience for me has been marked by episodes of depression and episodes of stress for sure so it’s nice to have him,” Martinez said. “Having Max has made a world of difference.” Martinez said she prioritizes her time to focus on caring for Max because investing time and energy in her pet, which can’t care for itself, helps motivate her. “To many people, it can seem like an added responsibility, but what I get from walking with Max is a peace of mind and a pause from constantly checking things off my to do list,” Martinez said. “I don’t see it as a chore, I see it as something that’s rewarding for me.” Undeclared freshman Carlee Bradley bought her cat, Callisto, her senior year of high school. When she came to college, Bradley brought
BY SYDNEY MAHL
Published on April 27, 2017
Emotional support animals provide relief imal, there’s a comfort in laying down and not saying anything. There’s no responsibility to fill in the blanks.” Martinez, Bradley and Alkamil all said students considering adopting or buying a pet should make sure they have enough time and money to devote to the animal. They also said the process obtaining permission for an emotional support animal in on campus dorms through Services for Students with Disabilities can take time and is difficult, requiring an outside doctor’s note and time to get the request approved. Alkamil said her process took about a month and a half, while Bradley said her process took two weeks. Martinez said her daily walks with Max were worth the lengthy process and are a priority because of the benefits she gets from them. She said she feels less isolated
Photo Credit: Noel Mahouch | Daily Texan Staff
when people stop to pet Max and chat with her. “Max can light up the room and bring smiles to people’s faces,” Martinez said. “A dog
is the one animal that loves you more than you love yourself. Your pet is going to be there to give you whatever you need.”
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University of Texas in Austin Orientation Edition 2017