Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas
Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas will hit the US Supreme Court for the second time next week. The case will determine the constitutionality of UT’s policies concerning race as a factor in admissions decisions. Fisher, a rejected UT applicant who is white, claims she was not accepted to UT in 2008 on the basis of her race. The case was heard in the Supreme Court in 2012, where it was then sent back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. When the Fifth Circuit ruled that Fisher failed to make her case, Fisher appealed to the Supreme Court again. The Court will hear arguments from both sides starting Dec. 9.
Hall v. McRaven
A hearing in the case between UT System Regent Wallace Hall and UT System Chancellor William McRaven will be heard the week of Dec. 7. Hall filed a lawsuit against McRaven after he denied Hall’s request for documents in the Kroll Report, which detailed cases where former UT President William Powers Jr. influenced the admissions process. McRaven cited Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts laws as a reason for denying Hall’s request, in an effort he said was to protect students and families’ private information.
In October, the Board of Regents approved a plan that will allow UT System schools to raise tuition by up to 2 percent. The proposed increase at UT Austin would total around $150 a semester per person and will be implemented during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. UT President Gregory Fenves will make a recommendation on the tuition increase to the UT System next week.
The green fee, a $5 per semester fee included in student tuition, is set to expire summer 2016. The amount, which supports environmental projects and research at Texas universities, has helped provide funding for 83 projects at UT. While a bill could be introduced in the next legislative session to renew the fee, students and the Office of Sustainability are hoping the fee will be included in the possible tuition increase.
The fall semester was in many ways defined by conversation about campus carry, a law which will allow for the carry of concealed
handguns in campus buildings. The law, which will be implemented on Aug. 1, 2016, has been met with much opposition on campus, resulting in many protests and rallies headed by anti-campus carry group Gun Free UT. As August approaches, the University will have to decide how to implement the law — Fenves formed a working group which will make recommendations on the issue. The group will release their suggestions as early as next week, according to the group’s chair Steven Goode. Fenves said he will announce his decision shortly after.