• Zeta Beta Tau incident not hazing, according to ZBT international headquarters

    The incident of two students on top of the Zeta Beta Tau house that is being investigated by UT is not an incident of hazing, according to a comment made by ZBT international headquarters.

    “Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity does not condone any acts of hazing,” ZBT international staff said, “All men are initiated as full equals with full privileges and responsibility.”

    The international headquarters said the two students who were photographed sleeping on top of the ZBT roof were not allowed to be there. ZBT international headquarters said the two individuals will be held accountable for their actions, but did not specify how.

    “This activity was not an act of hazing, but an act of poor choices by two brothers.”

    The UT Dean of Students Office is still investigating the issue, but there have been no further updates reported from the office.

  • Dean of Students investigates ZBT for hazing, following anonymous tip

    The Zeta Beta Tau UT chapter fraternity is under investigation for allegations of hazing after an anonymous tip was sent to the UT Police Department on Friday. 

    The Dean of Students Office is looking in to the tip, which was a picture of two students sleeping on the roof of the Zeta Beta Tau house on 28th Street, according to UT spokesman J.B. Bird.  

    “There was an anonymous tip sent to UTPD today alleging an incident of hazing related to a photo of two people on the roof of the ZBT frat house,” Bird said. “[The Dean of Students Office] began looking into it as soon as they received the allegation.”

    Bird said the tip is simply an allegation based on a photo and no new information has been discovered. 

    As of press time, no one from the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has responded to requests for comment.

  • APD increases presence near Wal-Mart following reports of car window shoot-ins

    Fifteen cars parked in residential areas near the Wal-Mart on West Anderson Lane have had their windows shot in by a BB gun since early September, according to the Austin Police Department. 

    APD Detective Bing Lau said the offenders operate after dark and target cars that are parked in driveways or on the street. He said witnesses believe the offenders to be juveniles. 

    APD has increased presence in the affected area, which runs north to south from 183 to West Anderson Ln. and east to west from North Lamar to Burnet, Lau said.

    “We have increased directed patrols in the area,” Lau said. “The officer that works in that area, if he is not tied up with something,  goes over there and drives around. We have also put the information out to other officers in the sector.” 

    Lau said the incidents have stopped in the past several days, probably because of the increased police presence. He said residents and visitors to the area should still take precautionary measures to prevent their car from getting attacked.

    “Leave a light on outside the house to make it look like somebody is around, and try to park your vehicle in the garage,” Lau said.

  • UT System prepares for board meeting

    Chancellor William McRaven will present his vision for the UT System at the Board of Regents meeting Nov. 5.

    According to Chairman Paul Foster, with McRaven as chancellor, UT is in good hands.

    “I know the chancellor’s plan will be exciting and ambitious and will position the UT System as the nation’s premier system of higher education,” Foster said in a press release. “We knew when we appointed Chancellor McRaven that his tremendous leadership skills and his bold, new ideas would take the UT System to new heights.”

    McRaven, a UT alum, has been recognized for his storied career in the U.S. Navy and is responsible for leading the team that assassinated Osama Bin Laden. For the spring 2014 commencement, McRaven spoke to the graduates and received so much attention that more than 3 million people have watched it on YouTube.

    Different committees will also propose agendas Wednesday that should be approved by the board on Thursday if no one objects.

    Some of the other agenda topics include employee wellness and rules and regulations of regents. The employee wellness recommendation would allow faculty to complete some form of physical activity three times a week for a 30 minute period and allow up to eight hours of paid leave yearly for employees who receive a physical examination.

    The rules and regulations recommendation would require that regents meet the new Texas state law that requires certain training to be a board member and that each UT System institution has rules in place to address sexual harassment and misconduct. The recommendation will also ensure regents understand the goods and services they can receive.

    Following the board’s approval early in October for a 2 percent tuition increase the next two years, McRaven will submit a report no later than Jan. 1, 2016 of the tuition money the University is collecting and how this money is being distributed.

    Mark Houser, chief executive officer of University Lands, will also present a report on Wednesday about the progress and changes to the System lands. On Sept. 8, the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center and the Frontier Group reported in a study that excessive oil drilling on System lands led to excessive water usage and the release of chemicals during drilling. In the report, Houser shows the number of wells drilled on lands has decreased since the fiscal year 2012.

    McRaven will speak at 8:40 a.m. but will be available to talk to the media afterward at 10:15 a.m.

  • Testimony begins in Rashad Owens trial

    Rashad Owens, a man accused of murdering four people and injuring 21 others at the South by Southwest Music Festival last year by drunkenly driving a car through crowds of people, stood for his first day of trial on Monday.

    Owens’ lawyers said he had never intended to kill anyone and only began driving off-route when he panicked while being pursued by police.

    Meredith Bradley, a witness to the incident, said Owens drove into crowds gathered on Red River Street at high speeds without regard for the people he was impacting.

    “He was just driving super, super fast and whipped into that turn without stopping,” Bradley said. “He just whipped into that crowd of people. You just saw those people being mowed down. The first victim got tossed around like a rag doll.”

    Owens is facing four counts of capital murder for intentionally killing the four victims and four counts of felony murder for killing them while evading the police. Owens pleaded not guilty to all charges in September. 

    Owens has remained in custody at Travis County Jail since the fatal crash on March 13, 2014. His bail is set at $5.5 million. 

    Police said Owens fled from a sobriety checkpoint, smashed through a police barricade and then crashed into nearly 30 people as he sped through downtown Austin.

    According to Owens’ defense attorney, Russell Hunt, Owens was visiting Austin that weekend to perform with a rap act. He had been driving a car he had borrowed to pick up a lost friend, and had his headlights off when the police tried to pull him over.

    “He didn’t intend to kill anybody,” Hunt said. “We are not asking for forgiveness. We are asking for you to be reasonable.”

    For student reactions to the SXSW crash, click here.