• National Weather Service issues flash flood watch for Austin

    Austin is under a flash flood warning until 7 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service – and no, classes have not been cancelled.

    According to the weather service website, the heaviest rainfall is expected to occur in the early morning hours Monday and throughout the afternoon. The watch includes the nearby cities of Georgetown, Bastrop and New Braunfels.

    The weather service issues three types of weather warnings: watches, warnings and advisories. Watches are issued when conditions are conducive to more severe weather, warnings when there is a threat to life or property and advisories when there is a specific risk to travelers.

    Most of Central Texas is expected to see 2-4 inches of rainfall, with some isolated pockets of 6 inches.

  • OU fraternity members appear to sing racist chant, reference lynching in viral video

    In a video that went viral Sunday evening, members of the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were caught on camera chanting anti-black racial slurs.

    In the 10-second video, members are seen and heard singing “There will never be a n****r SAE,” and “You can hang them from a tree, but they'll never sign with me.”

    Within hours of the video surfacing, the fraternity’s national organization closed the chapter and suspended all members, according to a press release from Brandon Weghorst, associate executive director of communication for SAE.

    “Those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently,” Weghorst said.

    Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president, condemned the video on Twitter.

    “I know I speak for all when I say I’m disgusted and shocked by the video involving our [SAE] chapter at Uof OK,” he wrote. “They will be dealt with.”

    University officials said they are investigating the video to verify that OU students are involved, according to University president David Boren.

    “If OU students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly,” Boren said in a statement. “This behavior is contrary to all of our values.”

    The OU chapter of SAE is one of many fraternities that have been accused of racial insensitivity. Last month, Texas Fiji hosted a party guests said had a “border patrol” theme, where attendees wore construction gear, ponchos and sombreros. The Office of the Dean of Students launched an investigation into the event but found the party did not violate any University rules and would not result in any penalty for the fraternity, primarily because the party was held off campus. 

    Last year, SAE chapters nation-wide announced they would eliminate pledging entirely. The national fraternity replaced pledgeship with a program called the "True Gentlemen Experience" with the goal of improving the educational and leadership experience of its members. Read more about the switch here.

    The video of SAE members chanting is below. Warning: The clip contains graphic language and racial slurs.

    For updates on this story, go to oudaily.com or follow The Oklahoma Daily on Twitter.

    Have a news tip for The Daily Texan? Email us at news@dailytexanonline.com.

  • Senate committee approves new UT System Board of Regents appointees

    Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Vice Chairman Steve Hicks. Abbott also appointed UT alumni Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck as new regents, pending Senate approval.
    Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Vice Chairman Steve Hicks. Abbott also appointed UT alumni Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck as new regents, pending Senate approval.

    The Senate Committe on Nominations approved three appointees to the UT System Board of Regents Thursday.

    The appointees – Sara Martinez Tucker, Steve Hicks and David Beck – must now go before the Texas Senate for a vote in order to take their positions on the board. 

    Martinez Tucker was approved unanimously, while the committee approved Steve Hicks and David Beck by two 6-1 votes. Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) voted against Hicks and Beck.

    Burton said Hicks and Beck have contributed to a lack transparency within the Board of Regents.

    "[Hicks and Beck] have presided over a period of secrecy, privilege, and sharp rises in tuition at the University of Texas," Burton said in a statement. "The University of Texas is in need of a fresh start, with Regents concerned first and foremost with improving the strength of the University, getting tuition under control, and ensuring an admissions process that rewards the brightest students and not those with connections.”

    Martinez Tucker, CEO of the National Math + Science Initiative, served as undersecretary of the Department of Education during the Bush administration and as CEO of the California-based Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Beck is a senior partner at the Beck Redden law firm in Houston. Both are UT alumni — Beck graduated from the UT School of Law, and Martinez Tucker received an undergraduate degree in journalism as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University. 

    If approved by the Senate, Martinez Tucker and Beck will replace current regents Robert L. Stillwell and Vice Chairman William Eugene Powell on the baord. Hicks’ term will be extended until 2021.

  • UT System Board of Regents to discuss candidates for Powers’ replacement

    The UT System Board of Regents called a special meeting Wednesday to discuss individual candidates and possible naming of finalists for the position of UT president.

    According to the meeting agenda, the Board of Regents will meet in an executive session to discuss candidates to replace President William Powers Jr., who will step down in June. The meeting will be reopened to the public at 4 p.m. to consider action, if any, on executive session agenda items. 

    The names of the presidential finalists are expected to be released in March, according to a timeline published on the UT System’s website.

    In late February, “Horns Digest”, an online sports journal, named four alleged finalists for the UT presidency. The journal named Greg Fenves, executive vice president and provost of UT, David Daniel, president of UT Dallas, and Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford in England.

  • Representative files bill to allow legal marijuana in Texas

    To read our full story on the issue, click here.

    Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) filed a bill Monday to legalize marijuana in Texas.

    If passed, the bill would repeal offenses related to possessing, selling and growing marijuana in Texas.  The bill retracts all mentions of the word “marihuana” mentioned in the current provisions of the law.

    In a statement, Simpson said, “God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana.” According to Simpson, the government should not have a role in marijuana regulation.

    “Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good—helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products—or simply for beauty and enjoyment,” Simpson said in the statement. “Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor—not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”

    He said marijuana should be regulated like any other plant.

    “I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.” Simpson said. “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear.

    Currently marijuana is legal for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as in Washington, D.C. 

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