• Investigation of Malcolm X Lounge vandalization continues

    The Malcolm X Lounge’s administration is working with UTPD and the Campus Climate Response Team after it was vandalized in September, according to lounge director David McDonald Jr.

    “We have been having constant communication [with CCRT] since then about the lounge, about its importance, sharing what students would like to see in the space and how we could communicate through campus the importance of the space,” McDonald said. “We have also been working closely with UTPD about this incident specifically but also about how UTPD can be more inclusive or can work on best practices for working with minority students on campus with regards to incidents like this.”

    According to witness Johnesha Daniels, a mathematics and African-American studies senior, the Malcolm X Lounge was trashed during the early morning of Sept. 23. Daniels said she returned to the space and found the left side of the lounge covered with cookies and craft beads, a hot glue gun still plugged into an outlet and a heated clothes iron in the microwave.

    UTPD declined to comment on the incident — an act of criminal mischief according to its report — because it is still an open investigation.

    McDonald said he hopes new security measures and awareness of the lounge will prevent future incidents.

    “I am very hopeful … that we will be able to prevent future incidents like this to happen again because we will have system in place to be able to identify who did it,” McDonald said.

  • Advisory Council addresses tuition increase

    Since the UT System announced a proposed two percent tuition increase over the next two years, the Tuition Policy Advisory Council at UT-Austin disclosed in a University-wide email the plan it is considering and announced dates of public forums.  

    According to the email, the council is considering recommending a three percent tuition increase, an average increase of $150 per semester for undergraduate students. 

    “UT is committed to maintaining the quality of the educational experience our students deserve and works hard to minimize the financial burden students and their families assume,” Judith Langois and Mary Knight, co-chairs of the council, said in the email. “Keeping the University of Texas at Austin affordable and accessible for students of all backgrounds is a top priority.”

    A website has been created for students to express their comments and concerns while learning about what this tuition increase will go toward funding. Forums will be held on Dec. 2 in the Main Building, room 212 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the following day on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon in the same room. 

    Joey Williams, interim communication director in the office of the Provost, said these days give more people an ability to attend and offer options for those with fixed working schedules.  

  • 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.