As the semester comes to a close, here's a look back at some of the top stories from this fall

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Photo Credit: Eddie Gaspar

YCT Kavanaugh protest

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed after testifying against sexual assault allegations from former high school classmate Christine Blasey Ford, among others.

UT’s Young Conservatives of Texas chapter held a demonstration on the West Mall in support of Kavanuagh during his hearings, drawing a large crowd of onlookers and counterprotesters, with a couple of protesters ripping YCT’s signs and more holding signs demonstrating against Kavanaugh and YCT.

Six days later, students gathered on Speedway in response to the YCT demonstration with their own Stand with Survivors rally, blockading the street. Students linked arms, chanted and held signs to show their support for sexual assault victims.

 

Nicky Cumberland

On Sept. 30, six UT-Austin students were returning from an annual Texas Cowboys retreat north of Austin when the vehicle veered off the road and crashed. Nicky Cumberland, a finance and radio-television-film junior, was put on life support and died four weeks later. Soon after, the family of Cumberland requested an investigation into alleged hazing at this year’s Texas Cowboys initiation retreat.

 

Midterm elections

The 2018 midterm elections drew voters in numbers nearly comparable to the 2016 election, with turnout in Texas increasing 18 percentage points from 2014. 

These higher numbers in Texas were largely credited to the competitive Senate race between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democrat challenger Beto O’Rourke that gained national attention and stirred “blue wave” predictions. Ultimately, Republicans retained control of every statewide seat, although margins for several races, including governor and attorney general, were the narrowest since 1994.

Nationally, Democrats took control of the House for the first time in eight years while Republicans held control of the Senate and gained two seats.

 

UTLA director put on official leave

UT Los Angeles director Phil Nemy kept his job after a 2013 University investigation found he violated sexual misconduct policy. The allegations against him included nonconsensual touching and inappropriate sexual comments directed at female students. Now, he has been placed on official leave, pending an investigation by UT Office of Institutional Equity into new allegations.