Texas State University

A&M Legislative Relations Ambassador Clayton Williford discusses the importance of state funding for higher education during Flagship Legislative Day at the Texas Capital building Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Students from UT, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University and the University of Houston united at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to lobby for higher education funding.

The University’s student-run Invest in Texas campaign hosted Flagship Legislative Day for students from the institutions to meet with key legislators and discuss the importance of state funding for higher education. 

“At the beginning of summer, we were looking at how we could make Invest In Texas stronger,” Michael Morton, campaign co-director and Senate of College Councils president, said. “We talked about strategic partnerships with different universities to show the combined effort for higher education, and we wanted to get the flagships involved and show that student leaders across the state are very concerned about this.”

The university representatives were divided into five groups, including one student representative from each university. Throughout the day, each student met with representatives from six legislative offices and discussed how his university would impact the state of Texas. 

UT’s finance junior Nancy Bonds brought up the point that for every $1 the state invests in the University, $18 is generated in the Texas economy.

“We are in a bad budget situation in this legislative session and that makes it a little more desirable to put money back into higher education,” Morton said.

Zachary Haber, a student representative for Texas Tech University, spoke to representatives about the large number of students going to out-of-state schools, raising an issue for the Texas economy. 

“Ultimately, the points we brought up today were valid and need to be discussed at the Capitol,” Haber said. “The representatives were very responsive and overall, we had very positive feedback from all of them.”

Allison Sibley, the Texas State University student body vice president, said even though she was exhausted after walking around the Capitol all day, she was grateful the representatives were willing to take time out of their legislative work and listen to the students.

“As far as Texas State goes, it was very beneficial,” Sibley said. “It was an honor that UT asked us to join them in the Flagship Day, and I do think it is great to be a cohesive body for higher education.”

Published on February 13, 2013 as "Texas universities unite for education funding". 

A connection has been made between the man charged with making a false email bomb threat against Texas A&M University on Oct. 19 and the woman charged with making three false email bomb threats against Texas State University on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

The Texas A&M University Police Department arrested Dereon Tayronne Kelly, 22, of Bryan in connection with a bomb threat that was emailed to Texas A&M’s Computing Information Services Department on Oct. 19, forcing the evacuation of the entire university. Allan Baron, Texas A&M police spokesperson, said Kelly is an acquaintance of Brittany Nicole Henderson, 19, who was arrested Oct. 23 by Bryan police for making one email bomb threat against Texas State on Oct. 18 that forced the evacuation of three campus buildings and two email bomb threats the next day. University operations were not affected by the second and third bomb threats.

Texas A&M and Texas State police said no bombs were found in either case. The targeted area of Texas State, its admissions building, was searched Oct. 18, and the entire Texas A&M campus was searched Oct. 19.

UT received a false phone-in bomb threat that prompted the evacuation of the campus Sept. 14. Bob Harkins, associate vice president of Campus Safety and Security, said UT officials do not believe the threat is related to the bomb threats made against Texas A&M and Texas State.

According to a press release issued by Texas A&M police Monday, Texas A&M Police Department investigators, the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies were able to link Kelly to the threat through his cellphone, and Henderson remains a person of interest in that case.

Daniel Benitez, captain of operations for the Texas State University Police Department, said Henderson’s arrest came after Texas State police were able to link the threat to her email account.

Kelly was arrested at the Brazos County Jail, where he was being held for unrelated charges. He has been charged with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Henderson was charged with three counts of making a terroristic threat and three counts of making a false alarm, a misdemeanor.

Kelly and Henderson remain in the Brazos County Jail. Kelly is being held on $150,000 bond each and Henderson on $300,000 bond.

Printed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 as: Link found in bomb threats 

Former Texas State student detained for three charges related to bomb threat

Former student and Bryan resident Brittany Nicole Henderson was arrested Tuesday after being traced to the emails sent providing false information about the bomb threat at Texas State University.

Henderson, a 19 year old withdrawn Texas State student, is currently being detained at Brazos County Jail and was charged with a Class A misdemeanor, a third degree felony and making a terroristic threat.

The bogus threat linked to Henderson caused the evacuation of three buildings on campus and cited an ongoing investigation at Texas State University. Police at Texas A&M University, which received a similar bomb threat one day after Texas State did, have yet to determine whether or the two incidents were related.

Texas State University Police refuse to comment on two more received threats

Bryan police arrested former Texas State University student Brittany Nicole Henderson, 19, Tuesday in connection with an Oct. 18 false email bomb threat made against Texas State University’s admissions building.

Henderson has also been charged with making two other email threats against Texas State University, but Texas State University police declined to comment on those threats. Texas State University police said no connection has been made between the threats made against Texas State University and other bomb threats recently made against universities across the country. Those include an  Oct. 19 false email bomb threat against Texas A&M University and a Sept. 14 false phone bomb threat against UT. Both prompted campus-wide evacuations and forced the cancellation of classes for those days.

Daniel Benitez, captain of operations for the Texas State University Police Department, said the FBI’s Joint Terroristic Task Force, the Austin Police Department Bomb Squad, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Fusion Center and several other agencies are investigating the recent bomb threats across the country.

No arrest has been made at this time in regard to the Sept. 14 bomb threat at UT.

Henderson now faces three charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, and three charges of making a false alarm, a misdemeanor, Benitez said.

Texas State University police said their university evacuated its admissions building and two dorm complexes on Oct. 18 after receiving an email bomb threat . The email was sent to the university email account of a Houston-based admissions officer. No bomb was found and classes were not interrupted that day.

Benitez said Henderson enrolled at Texas State University and withdrew in late September for unknown reasons. He said she has no prior criminal record and is currently in police custody. 

Bomb threat scares Texas State University

UPDATE Oct. 18, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.: Texas State University spokesperson Jayme Blaschae said an all-clear alert was issued by Texas State police at 12:00 p.m. after APD’s bomb squad completed a sweep of the university’s admissions building. No suspect has been identified, and Texas State Police are working with the FBI to investigate the threat.

The admissions building will remain closed for the rest of the day.

San Marcos - Texas State University received a bomb threat through an e-mail to an admissions council that lives in Houston around 9:30 this morning, Texas State University Police said.

Texas State police said the threat was directed at their admissions building, and the building was was evacuated around 9:50 a.m. along with two dorm halls adjacent to the admissions building, San Jacinto Hall and Towers Hall. The Austin Police Department Bomb Squad and the San Marcos Police Department are assisting Texas State Police in investigating the situation and clearing the campus.

Texas State Police said, under direction from the APD bomb squad, an 800 foot perimeter has been cleared surrounding the admissions building.

Students at Texas State University received an e-mail and text alert from their university around 9:50 a.m., notifying them of the situation and evacuation of the three buildings. Classes are continuing as scheduled, Texas State police said.

Texas State police said the e-mail in which the bomb threat was made has not yet been released to the general public.

Update: 

Texas State University spokesperson Jayme Blaschae said an all-clear alert was issued by Texas State police at 12:00 p.m. after APD’s bomb squad completed a sweep of the university’s admissions building. No suspect has been identified, and Texas State Police are working with the FBI to investigate the threat. The admissions building will remain closed for the rest of the day.

 

A new nonprofit organization out of Texas State University in nearby San Marcos is offering five scholarships worth $500. To qualify, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA, demonstrate financial need and, oh yeah, be a white male.

The scholarship comes courtesy of the Former Majority Association for Equality, a nonprofit started by Texas State junior Colby Bohannan.

In 2001, Bohannan enrolled at Texas State and, like many college students, found the cost of tuition to be prohibitively expensive. While searching for financial aid, Bohannan became frustrated with the relatively high number of scholarships available for minorities in contrast to the lack of any for white men like himself.

So Bohannan enlisted in the Army, served in Iraq and returned to Texas State, this time on the GI Bill. Now, Bohannan and his nine-member board want to help others formerly in his position with scholarships exclusively for white males.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. From what I can tell, Bohannan is not a racist. This fact is apparent from reading the association’s online literature, which denounces any white supremacist agenda, and from listening to Bohannan answer questions from the media. He is, however, extremely misguided.

There’s a reason scholarships exist for minorities. In education specifically, racial inequalities exist at almost every juncture. From preschool to college, black and hispanic students receive lower grades, drop out more frequently and graduate at lower rates. Scholarships and favorable admissions policies aim to combat these systemic inequalities faced by minorities. If you doubt these assertions, a quick search on the subject will yield an extensive catalog of substantiating research.

White men, on the other hand, have never had a problem getting into college. For the first 73 years of its existence, UT-Austin only allowed whites to attend. It wasn’t until 1956 that the Board of Regents decided to integrate the undergraduate program and not until 1964 that housing was fully integrated.

Sure, there are economically disadvantaged white men out there who are deserving of a scholarship. But whether Bohannan wants to admit or even realizes it, these men don’t have to face the same level of discrimination that would warrant a scholarship designed exclusively for them. Worse, Bohannan’s scholarship denigrates the very real plight of minorities in this country.

But it’s apparent from listening to Bohannan speak that he doesn’t understand any of this. That’s why, again, I say he’s not a racist but misguided.

First there’s the name: Former Majority Association for Equality. Despite what the association may believe, whites are still very much the majority in this country. According to census data, whites make up 65.1 percent of the population, compared to 15.8 percent for Hispanics and 12.9 percent for blacks. As for equality, the U.S. Department of Education reports that 71.8 percent of bachelor’s degrees are conferred to whites, compared to 7.9 percent for Hispanics and 9.8 percent for blacks. Having juxtaposed those numbers, there is an inequality here, but it’s not for whites.

Next, again, there’s the name. As an advertising student, I would be remiss not to point out the branding problem inherent in the organization’s acronym, which alternately does and does not include the word “for.” While the application says FMAFE, the adjacent logo says FMAE. You can even click on “About F.M.A.F.E.” on the website’s menu and have it take you to a page titled “About F.M.A.E.”

Then there’s the application. Its requirements state that you must be male and “no less than 25-percent Caucasian.” How you prove this, I don’t know. But were he still a college student, President Barack Obama would be eligible. Also, the second essay question asks the following: “How can you improve your own habits to better exemplify a fair and strong leadership role in your future?” I’ve read that sentence about five times and still don’t know exactly what it means.

Finally, there’s the way Bohannan handles himself in the media. In an interview with CNN’s Christine Romans, Bohannan responds to Romans’ question regarding historical inequalities with a wry smirk, stating, “Well, unfortunately, Christine, I wasn’t around 30 years ago.” Oof. Really? Later, in an interview with MSNBC, Bohannan is taken to task by Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of education and African American studies at Columbia University. Bohannan appears flustered as an articulate Hill points out that “being white, itself, is a form of scholarship.”

Why do I point out what may seem like inane details? It’s to show that in every way, Bohannan and the rest of the FMAE are in way over their heads. These aren’t smooth, professional operators of some white supremacist agenda. They are frustrated college kids looking for someone to blame for their problems.

If Bohannan really wants to help students in need, he should drop the oppressed white man act and simply give the money to a deserving applicant irrespective of race or gender.

<em>Curl is an advertising graduate student.<em/>

Students at Texas State University may become the first in the state to approve of legislative efforts to reverse Texas’ ban on concealed carry on state campuses pending approval from the student body president.

The Associated Student Government’s 24-10 vote supports a proposed bill by state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, that would allow licensed owners to carry concealed handguns while on any public or private college campus in the state. To obtain a state-issued handgun license, the licensee must undergo background checks, training and testing.

Texas State student body President Melanie Ferrari will make a decision today whether to pass or veto the resolution, said student body Vice President Colter Ray. The assembly’s approval came two weeks after they hosted an open forum to gather the opinions of students and faculty.

“Overall, I am pleased to hear that legislation supporting so-called ‘gun-free zones’ has failed to pass in the student legislature in Texas State,” said Jeff Shi, president of UT Students for Concealed Carry. “However, at this point, it is too early to tell how decisions on campus carry made by student legislatures from various universities in Texas will affect the bill that will be a huge presence next semester in the state legislative body.”

Licensed concealed carry is currently allowed at 71 universities outside Texas, according to a statement on Students for Concealed Carry on Campus’s website.

The vote at Texas State is a step forward, but should not be considered a victory, said Kory Zipperer, vice president of UT Students for Concealed Carry.

“I don’t like banking on university government resolutions,” he said. “Each school is different and will have a different idea on how to go about the issue. If anything, their vote helps disprove the common theory put forth by the opposition that college students are overwhelming against the idea of concealed carry on campus.”

UT Student Government recently passed a resolution supporting the existing handgun ban on college campuses.

“I don’t agree that more guns are the answer to safety problems,” said UT SG President Scott Parks. “We need to be much more thoughtful to the needs of our campus, and concealed carry will not help. More guns in civilian hands will only complicate things.”

Parks said SG will lobby against concealed carry in the upcoming legislative session, which starts on Jan. 11.

The higher suicide rates among college students is an important issue when discussing the possibility of concealed carry on campus, he said.

“Compared to society at large, college campuses have a much higher cause for suicide,” Parks said. “Unfortunately, guns are very effective means for students to go about that. That’s one of the unique needs of college campuses that I hope will not be ignored. We should work to address the root of the problem and keep guns out of college students’ hands.”