• Three UT students apply for Daily Texan editor-in-chief position

    Three UT students have applied to run for editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan. On Wednesday, Texas Student Media released the applicants' names and applications, including letters of recommendation and statements to the Board. The TSM Board must certify each applicant before the applicant's name can go on the ballot.

    The three applicants are David Davis, French and international relations and global studies senior, David Maly, journalism and economics senior, and Claire Smith, history and humanities junior. The editor-in-chief position is a year-long role. 

    Certified candidates are required to have completed at least one semester as a permanent staff member in opinion, according to the TSM Handbook. Smith and Davis are the only applicants who meet this requirement. 

    Davis spent three of his five semesters at the Texan in opinion as a columnist and associate editor and currently serves as associate news editor. Maly spent one semester as a copy editor and two semesters in the news department as a reporter, but he has not worked for The Daily Texan since 2013. Smith joined the Texan for the first time in the fall as an opinion columnist and has since been promoted to senior columnist. She will begin working as a copy editor Thursday.

    In his letter to the board, Maly said he would work to make the Texan's opinion section less inclusive.

    "Along with content, as Daily Texan editor a priority for me would be to make the Opinion Section less inclusive," Maly said. "Furthermore, I would like to make the section less inclusive in terms of staff and coverage."

    All three candidates also acknowledged TSM's ongoing financial woes.

    Board-certified candidates will run in the campuswide election on March 4 and 5. If necessary, a runoff election will be held March 11 and 12.  

    Davis, Maly and Smith will discuss their applications with the Board at Friday’s meeting. To read the candidates' application documents, click here.

  • State Rep. Molly White wants all Muslim visitors to pledge allegiance to American laws

    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said she wanted all Muslim visitors to renounce terrorism in a Facebook post Thursday.
    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said she wanted all Muslim visitors to renounce terrorism in a Facebook post Thursday.

    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said any Muslims who visit her office should be required to renounce Islamic terrorism and publicly pledge allegiance to American laws, according to a Facebook status White posted Thursday.

    "Most members including myself are back in District," White wrote. "I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office."

    Thursday marks the seventh-annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day, sponsored by the Texas branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

    According to an event description on CAIR Texas’ website, the goal of the day is to provide “an opportunity for community members to learn about the democratic political process and how to be an advocate for important issues.”

  • Updated: State lawmakers file bill supporting campus carry

    On Monday, state legislators in the House and Senate filed identical bills that would allow university students, faculty and staff with licenses to carry concealed handguns in campus buildings.

    Under current Texas laws, licensed students, faculty and staff at universities are allowed to keep handguns in cars on campus, but general “campus carry” is illegal even with a permit.

    Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Cyrpess), a primary author of the bill, said HB937 would only apply to students over the age of 21 who have completed training and background checks.

    “As long as they are concealing their gun as law requires with a license, we don’t want them to have to unarm themselves to [go to class],” Fletcher said.

    The two bills, HB937 and SB11, prohibit university officials from creating rules to ban concealed handguns on campus generally. Each bill does provide some leeway in certain areas and buildings on campus — according to the bill, administrators could still prohibit concealed handguns in residence halls, university-operated hospitals, and on-campus preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools. More than 400 students between the ages of six weeks and five years under are enrolled in UT’s on-campus Child Development Center.

    The bills also contain provisions that would prevent universities from being liable for the actions of concealed handgun owners.  

    Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), who opposes campus carry and serves as vice chair of the higher education committee, said he thinks college campuses should be a “safety zone,” free of guns.

    “I don’t know why in the world we would allow the proliferation of handguns on campus,” Royce said.

    Four Republican members of the House have signed the bill as joint-authors in support of the policy alongside Fletcher.

    19 of the 20 Republicans in the Senate are listed primary authors of SB11. Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) is the only Republican senator not listed as a primary author.

    Huffman will review the bill further before deciding whether or not to sign on as an author, according Huffman spokesman Austin Arceneaux.

    “As a legislator, Senator Joan Hoffman has always been one to gather all the facts, carefully examine how legislation will be implemented and always give thoughtful consideration before signing on to any piece of legislation,” Arceneaux said. “She fully attends to approach senate bill eleven in the same manner.”

    Similar campus carry bills have sparked debate in previous legislative sessions, but ultimately failed to pass.

    President William Powers Jr. said he would not support campus carry policies at UT.

    “I think the general view is, there are situations that can be volatile, and when a gun is present and alcohol is involved, or whatever, I think in the aggregate that’s a dangerous situation,” Powers said. “I believe our law enforcement professionals agree with that.”

    Representatives from the UT and UT System police departments declined to comment.

    Chancellor William McRaven could not be reached for comment, however, System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said McRaven does not support campus carry.

    “He does not support concealed weapons on campus and is concerned about the dangers that handguns inherently present,” LaCoste-Caputo said. “Chancellor McRaven plans to send a letter to governor Greg Abbott outlining his thoughts on the issue.”

  • One more week: Try out for The Daily Texan

    The Daily Texan is the premiere place on campus to develop a wide range of skills, meet interesting people, and produce top-notch work. The Texan is entirely student-run and provides staffers with an unrivaled real-world experience.

    To apply, click on the link here.

    Tryouts for the spring semester run from Jan. 12 to Jan. 30. After completing this application, you should receive an email from the department(s) you applied for within 48 hours, which will outline how to proceed with your application and how the tryout process works in that specific department.

  • Flash floods warnings in effect until tomorrow afternoon

    After several days of promised showers, a storm hit Austin on Friday afternoon, causing the National Weather Service to release a Flash Flood Warning that will be in effect until 4:30 p.m. The Flash Flood Watch will continue until early tomorrow morning.         

    According to the National Weather Service, Austin is expected to receive an average of two to four inches of rainfall, with varying severity in different areas. In the hour following the start of the storm, some areas have already received over two inches.

    Paul Yura, the weather service spokesman for the Austin and San Antonio areas, said the heavy rain will not make a dent in the multi-year drought that has been plaguing Texas.

    "Unfortunately there's not enough rain for it to be a drought buster or anything else like that," Yura said. "They did have some pretty decent rains up above the lakes, but Lake Travis is not all of the sudden going to be full by tomorrow morning. It's good rain, but we need multiple events like this to even start making a really good dent in the lack of rainfall for the past few years."