University police

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

University police arrested three people, including one UT student, during an immigration rights protest outside the LBJ Library during President Barack Obama’s address, according to UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey.

The University has charged three protesters with criminal trespassing. Undeclared freshman Emily Freeman, United We Dream leader Alejandra Gomez and GetEQUAL member Patrick Fierro were protesting as part of several immigration-related demonstrations coordinated by University Leadership Initiative over the course of the week.

Diana Morales, linguistics junior and ULI member, said the group members knew there was a chance they would be arrested.

“We knew that the three people who were there were willing to take any risk to bring our message to Obama,” Morales said. “His administration has deported over 2 million people. This is something no other president has done, and his term is not even over.”

The protest began in front of the Tower, then the group marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. statue, which four ULI members had chained themselves to and slept Wednesday night.

After leading more chants, the group marched to the LBJ Library to try and deliver their message to the President. The arrests were then made and the protest dissipated.

Mechanical engineering senior Javier Huamani, who is undocumented, said he immigrated to the U.S. with his family from Peru when he was 8 years old because of financial issues and in search of the “American Dream.” Huamani said he and his family had to work hard to survive, and they experienced constant animosity from their surrounding community.

“I would have to be discriminated against in high school … and have to pretend I was not undocumented just so people wouldn’t make fun of me,” Huamani said. “There is no shame in being undocumented, whatsoever.”

According to the Pew Hispanic Research Trends Project, there were 11.7 million undocumented immigrants living the United States in 2012, a significant rise from 3.5 million in 1990. 

Mechanical engineering freshman Michael Rukavina said he thinks the current rate of deportations under the Obama administration is understandable.

“Maybe I just don’t know enough, but I don’t see what the problem is,” Rukavina said. “Obama may have deported 2 million people, but if you’re here illegally, you have to be deported — that’s the law.”

Students wait across the street after being evacuated from building adjacent to the University Club on the University of Pittsburgh campus after a bomb threat was received Monday morning. Dozens of bomb threats over the past two months have students on edge and professors offering courses online.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Dozens of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh, including at least four on Monday, have made professors start holding classes outside and forced security officials to put in new building access measures and offer a $50,000 reward for information.

Some students “are definitely afraid,” said Brian Haughwout, a junior who had one of his final exams changed to a take-home because of the disruptions.

“But I think just shutting down the university would be a mistake,” he said, adding that’s probably what the person making the threats wants.

The threats began in mid-February, at first targeting a landmark building at the center of campus. But in recent weeks numerous buildings have been threatened. Four threats had been made by mid-afternoon Monday, starting at about 4 a.m.

Student Dawn Diehl, who’s studying for a master’s degree in library science, said it wasn’t until a few days ago that the bomb threats started to affect her in terms of “my feelings of security.”

“So now it’s pretty alarming,” she said. “We’ve never had an experience like this. I kind of have that feeling like, where’s this going to end?”

Diehl was surprised Monday to find all but one door to the main library locked and everyone’s bags being searched.

Under new security measures, students and faculty members will need school IDs to get into buildings.

Non-residents won’t be permitted in dormitories.

University police, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service have said they have a person of interest in the investigation.

Authorities say some of the threats have been traced to or through computers in Austria, but nobody has been charged with making them.

Fifth-year chemistry student Brian Graham said the first threats were written on walls in buildings and he hoped security officers would catch the perpetrator. But, he said, threats then started arriving by email.

“I think it’s a little bit more nerve-racking,” Graham said of the latest wave of threats. “I have to either stay later or come in different hours. I would be about to leave home, and then there’d be a bomb threat.”

Graham says he’s confident that Pitt officials are doing what needs to be done to protect students and find the person responsible.

“It seems that they’re taking all the appropriate steps,” he said.

The threats have caused some professors to move classes outdoors or offer them online and have led some students to stay off-campus. The university, located a few miles from downtown Pittsburgh, has about 3,800 full-time faculty members who serve 34,000 students.

The university is urging faculty members to make arrangements for students to make up classes or exams missed because of evacuations, but it says there are no plans to end the semester early.

No bombs have been found, and nobody has been injured, but police say the building evacuations will continue if warranted. There have been about 25 threats targeting numerous buildings, with some of those threatened multiple times.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton in Pittsburgh issued a statement Friday commending Pitt’s response and confirming the threats “are being vigorously, aggressively and thoroughly investigated through every possible mean” by the region’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the campus police and FBI.

The Texas A&M University Police are still evaluating leads on an alleged bomb threat at the A&M Evans Library, although they believe the threat was a hoax, said A&M Police Sgt. Allan Baron.

The University Police issued a “Code Maroon” this morning after they received word from an electronic source at Evans regarding a bomb in the building. University Police evacuated the Evans Library, Evans Library Annex, Cushing Library and the Student Computing Center following the alert. Baron said the situation remained calm and under control, and students and faculty steered clear of the area until officials secured it.

Baron said Texas A&M has had three bomb threats since 2006, all which turned out to be false alarms. He said every police response to a threat depends on the environment, resources at hand and what sort of things are in the building.

“There’s always something that can be learned,” Baron said. “In days to come, we’ll have an after-action review to discuss it and see if there’s things we needed to improve on.”

A&M biological sciences junior Andrea Zamora said she was waiting to get coffee in Evans when an officer told her to evacuate the building. Zamora said the officer did not tell her why they were evacuating. She said many students were angry because they had to leave while they were studying.

“I received a text through ‘Code Maroon,’ and I was shocked because I could have been in serious danger but more so that the officer did not know to tell us,” Zamora said.

She said that although the University Police acted very calmly about the evacuation, she wished they would have known more at the time so they could tell students why they had to leave Evans.

All evacuated facilities reopened after 5 p.m., according to A&M police officials.

A string of car burglaries caused University police to warn all students who park on campus to hide everything in their vehicles, including GPS docks and power cords. Since Feb. 25, 59 burglaries have occurred in parking lots near the baseball and softball fields, including Brazos and Trinity parking garages. Wallets, GPS tracking systems, stereos and other possessions have been stolen. The UT Police Department could not comment on possible suspects, said UTPD officer Darrell Halstead. “They’re taking basically anything that’s being left inside the car,” he said. The car burglaries began about two weeks before spring break and are continuing in the parking garages, Halstead said. The number of burglaries has decreased since they began in February, but police still warn students to remove all valuables from their vehicles because everything is at risk of being stolen, he said. “Don’t leave anything inside the car,” he said. “Hide everything, including power cords, GPS tracking mounts and spare change.”

Four days after the federal government banned popular caffeine-alcohol brews such as Four Loko, University police have not noticed an unusual amount of wild binge drinking and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is passively enforcing the ban. For retailers, the commission is currently enforcing a voluntary removal policy of alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko, Joose, Max, MoonShot and others, meaning it will soon begin taking witness reports of retailers selling the beverages and inspecting conspicuous stores. Dexter Jones, TABC assistant chief of compliance, said retailers that will not voluntarily comply will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and inspected as necessary. Jones said there will likely be retailers that continue to sell the banned beverages. “I’m sure there probably will be some,” Jones said. “However, we have identified about 12,000 retailers that are taking the initiative to comply with our request. In Texas, several caffeinated malt alcoholic beverages are still allowed to be sold, including 3Sum, Crunk Juice, Evil Eye, Liquid Charge, Riccochet and Rize. Based on a charge that the drinks have an unsafe food additive, it is illegal to ship the banned drinks over state lines or sell them at retail stores. Individuals in possession of the products will not be charged with violating the federal ban, said UTPD officer Darrell Halstead. He did not expect a large amount of binge drinking to result from the ban, but when individuals drink the alcoholic caffeinated beverages excessively, they can become aggressive, he said. “If someone wants [Four Loko and similar beverages], they’re going to get them,” Halstead said. Customers can still get Four Loko at Double R Grocery on MLK Boulevard, where manager Brian Anderson said the ban is a ridiculous federal overreach. Anderson said it would be compared to banning vodka and Red Bull, and that Anheuser-Busch would compensate him for any product that he would be forced to destroy. “I’m not a vodka-Red Bull fan, and I’ve only had one Four Loko, but I couldn’t tell much of a difference,” he said. Across the street at a Conoco gas station, Four Lokos and Joose sit in an ice container. Josefato Moraes, an employee at the station, said the station would remove the product Tuesday afternoon. Chris Joffrion, a biology junior, said he stocked up on Four Loko this weekend after he heard they were going to be banned, even though several stores around his West Campus apartment were sold out of the products. “They were completely wiped out around here,” he said. “I guess when we run out, we’ll have to go to something else.”

University Police arrested former UT women’s track equipment manager Thursday night in his Uvalde County home for 10 counts of improper photography.

Rene Zamora, 30, placed equipment in an office near the women’s locker room after a track meet on Sept. 3. Zamora, a full-time employee since 2006, entered the locker room to get the women’s uniforms. He told officers he heard someone in the shower, left the locker room and waited for nearly two minutes before returning with a digital camera.

Zamora was about to record the woman, when she saw a camera above the curtain and screamed. He apologized and ran out into the equipment room. He told police he did not have any footage, according to court records.

The former manager officially resigned on Sept. 10 and was barred from future employment at University, UT officials said.

UTPD acquired a search warrant on Sept. 8 to obtain Zamora’s computer and memory cards, where police found additional footage of two former and eight current track members, said Claire Dawson-Brown, the assistant Travis County district attorney.

A judge released Zamora from the Uvalde County Jail Thursday night on personal bond, Dawson-Brown said.