Kenton Wilson

Harley Clark, former state district judge and inventor of the "Hook 'em Horns" hand sign, died Thursday at the age of 79. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cari Clark | Daily Texan Staff

Harley Clark, the innovator of the "Hook ‘em Horns" hand sign, died Thursday morning at the age of 78, after fighting pancreatic cancer since February.

Clark graduated from Austin High School in 1952 and received three degrees from UT — bachelor's and master's degrees in government and a law degree in 1962. In addition to serving as the head cheerleader, Clark was student body president from 1957-1958 and was a member of the Cowboys, Tejas Club and the Friars.

After he graduated from the UT School of Law, Clark became a partner in the firm Byrd, Davis, Eisenberg & Clark.

In 1977, Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed Clark to serve as a state district judge. Five years later, his fellow district judges selected him to serve as their local administrative judge. Among his decisions, he ruled in the 1987 Edgewood ISD v. Kirby case that the state's public school financing system was unconstitutional. While an appeals court reversed the decision, the Texas Supreme Court later agreed the system was unconstitutional.

But it was in 1955 when Clark introduced the "Hook ‘em Horns" sign, which he had learned from his classmate H.K. Pitts, as a cheerleader at a pep rally before a football game against Texas Christian University.

Cari Clark, Harley’s eldest daughter, said although a huge part of her father’s legacy is the invention of the sign, he didn’t make a big deal about it.

"My dad was modest about it,” Cari said. “It didn’t really become prominent in our lives until the 50th anniversary in 2005. I think he often felt like he got more credit than he should have.”

According to Cari, her father’s liberal values stemmed from him being the student body president at a time when the University was going through a massive transformation.

“Dad said UT was really unprepared for the black students coming on campus,” Cari said. “I think that really shaped his liberalism, seeing how unfairly these kids were treated and how manipulative the Texas Legislature could be.”

Thomas Watkins, who began working with Clark in the late 1960s as a trial lawyer and who swore Clark in as a district judge, said while Clark’s invention of the hand sign has followed him everywhere he went, he wants Clark to be remembered for his great work as a judge, too.

“It’s hard to explain how your relationship with a sitting district judge is, but he always reminded me of my inadequacies and always with a grin and with a smile,” Watkins said. “I loved him dearly.”

Kenton Wilson, government senior and current president of Tejas, said the organization was upset to hear about Harley’s death and honored to be associated with him.

“One thing that stuck out to me was his passion for the University,” Wilson said. “He was here during '50s, and he still made an effort to meet the active members of Tejas and Cowboys.”

Clark also endowed the “Harley Clark Scholarship” to provide funds for the Student Government president to support the University after his death.

“This just speak speaks to how incredible of a person he was, and, obviously, him being student body president gives me a connection that I’m fond of and happy to have with him,” Student Government president Kori Rady said.

When not working, Cari said her father had a love for gardening and reading. After retirement, Clark worked full-time at Clark Farm, where he grew organic vegetables. Cari said she fondly remembers her father’s passion for gardening.

“I remember when he’d sell his organic vegetables to the first Whole Foods [Market],” Cari said. “He was very outdoorsy, liked to be outside and loved his garden. He liked to really understand something down to its essence.”

Clark is survived by his wife, Patti Clark, his four daughters, their husbands and his five grandchildren.

Two U-Wide candidates forced into runoff, Villarreal-Wilkey to take GSA helm

Government and corporate communications senior Kori Rady embraces current Student Government president Horacio Villareal after being elected SG president Thursday night. Rady plans to deliver on platform points including an extended Thanksgiving break, creating a SafeRide program to taxi students home from downtown and creating an upperclassman shadowing day to pair freshmen with seniors.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

For a complete list of election results, scroll to the bottom.

After two days of voting and two hours of technical delays, Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland were elected Student Government president and vice president Thursday night.

Rady, a government and corporate communications senior, and Strickland, a corporate communications junior, defeated government senior Kenton Wilson and Caroline Carter, a marketing and international relations and global studies senior, with 51.9 percent of the vote. 

According to Election Supervisory Board chairman Ryan Lutz, 7,822 students voted in the election — a voter turnout rate of roughly 15.02 percent, using fall enrollment numbers. 

“We ran such a positive campaign,” Rady said. “I feel like we deserve all that has happened here tonight, and we can move forward and do great things for the University.”

In addition to the executive alliance election, students also cast ballots for University-wide representatives, representatives for each school and college, the president and vice president of the Graduate Student Assembly, Texas Student Media, the University Co-op and University Unions.

According to Lutz, the two-hour technical delay, which began when the voting website crashed 15 minutes before the polls closed, was caused by a third-party technical difficulty. Lutz said the board will resolve the issues before the runoff election for the eighth University-wide representative position, which will be held Wednesday and Thursday. The two candidates in the run-off, Wes Draper and John Brown, each received exactly 2,080 votes for the position. 

Rady continued campaigning on social media when it was announced that polls would close almost two hours later than expected. 

Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said approximately 50 additional students voted between 5 and 6:45 p.m., when polling hours were extended.

“Technology can be your best friend, it can be your worst enemy and something somewhere in the middle,” Reagins-Lilly said. “I think people just understand technology can be unpredictable.”

Rady said he plans to deliver on platform points including an extended Thanksgiving break, creating a SafeRide program to taxi students home from downtown and creating an upperclassmen shadowing day to pair freshmen with seniors.

Wilson said he was happy his campaign was able to increase involvement among students who did not have Student Government experience.

“It was close, and obviously we would have liked to come out on top, but overall [Rady and Strickland] are highly qualified and they’ll do a great job next year,” Wilson said. 

The Election Supervisory Board heard four complaints Wednesday night, with one resulting in Graduate Student Assembly candidates David Villarreal and Brian Wilkey being forced to cease campaigning until 5 p.m. Thursday because of a campaign worker sending unsolicited emails. 

Despite the board’s decision, Villarreal and Wilkey won the executive alliance race for GSA. There were 507 graduate students who voted in the GSA presidential election.

Student Election Results

Executive Alliance: Kori Rady (President) and Taylor Strickland (Vice President)

University-Wide Representatives: Braydon Jones, Andrew "Cowboy" Rindler, Piper Vaughn, Taral Patel, Conner Patrick, Chandler Foster, Shannon Geison

The eighth university-wide representative will be determined in a run-off election March 5 and 6. Candidates John Brown and Wes Draper each received 2080 votes.

Student Government Representatives:

Architecture Representative: Valentina Rodriguez

Business Representatives: Jackson Clifford, John Falke, Meredith Rotwein

Communication Representatives: Ruben Cardenas and Marisa Beyerlein

Education Representative: Melysa Barth

Engineering Representatives: Jamie Nalley, Edward Banner, TJ Egeland

Fine Arts Representative: Austin Ferguson

GeoScience Representative: Jessica Sherman

Liberal Arts Representatives: Annie Albrecht, Sergio Cavazos, Tanner Long, Adit Bior

Natural Science Representative: Caroline Starling, Anish Patel, Cameron Crane, Adam Sacks, Donald Egan

Social Work Representative: Alissa Osgood

Undergraduate Studies Representative: Will Smith

Graduate Student Assembly: David Villarreal (President) and Brian Wilkey (Vice President)

University Co-op Board of Directors: Alex Bryan and Jake Schwartz

University Unions Board of Directors: Matthew Ealy and Vicky Nguyen

Campus Events + Entertainment President: Christopher Nickelson

The Daily Texan Editor-in-Chief: Riley Brands

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

Student Government elections at UT have never drawn a large turnout, and this year’s competition for Student Body president and vice president will likely be no exception. Presidential candidates Kori Rady and Kenton Wilson, flanked by vice-presidential candidates Taylor Strickland and Caroline Carter, respectively, are members of the same fraternal organization and are both members of traditional spirit groups. Much of what we saw from both campaigns was almost identical, including their campaign videos, which were nearly the same frame-by-frame. With such similar resumes and styles, many students may think it’s pointless to cast a ballot. However, following interviews with the candidates, a debate co-moderated by Daily Texan Editor-in-Chief Laura Wright and long conversations about the teams’ respective qualifications, this editorial board has teased out enough key differences between the candidates to endorse Rady-Strickland. 

Our reasoning? First off, Rady demonstrated a better understanding of how SG actually works, recognizing limitations to legislation and the importance of relationships with administrators, indicated by his commitment to the uRide program and the student scholarship initiative. 

On the other hand, there is no doubt that Wilson and Carter have run the better campaign. They have been on more organizational listservs, the subject of more Facebook statuses and at the front of more meetings. They also campaigned on more innovative policy points — particularly the presidential council (a committee gathering student leaders from organizations around campus) and their plans to pursue a student activity center on East Riverside Drive. Miles away from the traditional core of UT’s campus, East Riverside has become a hub of affordable student housing, and a student activity center would be hugely beneficial to the growing number of Longhorns who live in the area. 

But the idea of tackling such a massive project — one that would likely need the support of a major donor, the UT System Board of Regents and the UT president — is, quite simply, unrealistic. While we appreciate the effort to be forward-thinking and innovative, we can’t help but prefer Rady’s realistic, achievable platform points that will concretely improve life on the 40 Acres in the short-term, and we were disappointed in the Wilson-Carter campaign’s inability to admit the difficulty of achieving one of their main platform points. 

It was also frustrating, however, that the tensest exchange of the debate came when Rady and Wilson sparred over the effects that a fall break would have on fraternity and sorority recruitment. The two candidates went back and forth for several minutes, longer than they did on any other issue. Considering the fact that the Greek community’s concerns pale in comparison to other campus groups’ concerns over the initiative — particularly the possible impact that an extra day off would have on natural science lab schedules — this focus on Greek candidates was disconcerting. 

Both Rady’s and Wilson’s previous experiences are key to their understanding of the role of the president. Wilson’s position as speaker of the assembly allows him to stand at the helm of the assembly and required him to know all the rules and keep order. However, the position also makes being involved in actual legislation much more difficult. The speaker cannot be involved in legislation itself and would have to move out of the position temporarily and have another SG member replace him in order to jump in and have a say in the proceedings. This may be the reason Wilson has focused on making initiatives happen without legislation. Rady, as external financial director on the executive board, worked closely with the current alliance headed by Villarreal and Williams. Rady has repeatedly cited his experience and shadowing the alliance, which has given him the edge on understanding how to push forward SG initiatives at the executive level.

Both teams have proven themselves to be incredibly well spoken, knowledgeable and interested in student issues. But, at the end of the day, we are more confident with Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland’s realistic platform, experience with SG procedure, relationships with administrators and engagement with underrepresented groups on campus. Students can vote for the SG executive alliance along with the other campus representative positions at www.utexasvote.org Wednesday and Thursday. We encourage you to vote Rady-Strickland.

Kenton Wilson, left, and Kornel “Kori” Rady spoke at the Student Government candidate debates at the Student Activity Center on Monday evening. Wilson and Rady are both running for the SG president position. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

At the Student Government debate Monday night, executive alliance candidates highlighted their differences on the issues of a new program, Safe Ride, a student activity center in the Riverside area and their respective involvements in the Greek community. 

Kenton Wilson and his running mate Caroline Carter took issue with Kori Rady’s support for an expansion of the URide program, which gives students rides home late at night from the PCL. Rady helped author the SG legislation initiating the program last fall. Rady and his running mate Taylor Strickland said they hope to start a similar program, called Safe Ride, to taxi students home from Sixth Street.

“I don’t like to see student fees going towards something like that as opposed to something that serves all students,” Wilson said. 

Rady and Strickland both said the program would give students a safer option to get home instead of waiting half an hour for a bus.

“It’s one thing to take us to our respective neighborhoods, but the next step would be right to our doorstep,” Strickland said. “Sometimes, that walk from the bus stop is also an issue.”

The Rady-Strickland campaign also disagreed with Wilson-Carter’s support for the creation of a student activity center in the Riverside area.

“The [center] in Riverside is interesting, but I wouldn’t want to pay for a facility I would never use,” Rady said.

Wilson said he did not know how much the initiative would cost and estimated the building would take several years to complete. He said a study location at Riverside would be safer for students who live off campus.

Without endorsements from the Interfraternity Council, known as IFC, both alliances said their work with the IFC and the University Panhellenic Council, known as UPC, were important parts of their platform. As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Carter is the only candidate directly involved the Greek community.

“I would not be a part of Student Government if it had not been for my involvement in Kappa Kappa Gamma as a freshman,” Carter said.

Rady said, although he and his running mate are not in the Greek community, they have worked directly with the IFC and UPC to develop their platform.

“Our platform points of Safe Ride and the extended Thanksgiving break has garnered massive support from the Greeks,” Rady said.

Wilson also said he would not accept his stipend if elected. The student body president currently receives a $6,840 stipend, which Wilson said he would give to SG agencies instead if elected.

“Stipends are put forward by Student Government to create a level playing field,” Wilson said. “Fortunately, I haven’t had to have a job while I’m in school. That’s not the initial purpose of the stipend; therefore, I will not be taking one.”

Strickland said she had not given the stipend much thought since election season was still going on.

“At the same time, it is very important to understand that it is an option for [the executive alliance] because we are unable to take jobs because it is a very big time consumption,” Strickland said.

Two executive alliances kicked off campaigns for Student Government president and vice president Wednesday. 

Kornel “Kori” Rady, a government and corporate communications senior, is running for president alongside vice presidential candidate Taylor Strickland, a corporate communications senior. Government senior Kenton Wilson is running for president with Caroline Carter, a marketing and international relations and global studies senior. The filing deadline was noon Tuesday.

Fifty-eight undergraduate students signed up to run for various SG positions, including University-wide representatives and college representatives. Two graduate students ran for Graduate Student Assembly president and vice president positions.

Rady, who is currently the external financial director on the SG executive board, said he felt his experience in SG would help him effectively run for student body president.

“Being on the executive board in Student Government really helps with creating all kinds of initiatives,” Rady said. “Having this experience with individuals, who are obviously in a position I’m hoping to be in next year, gives me an edge I’m hoping a lot of people who aren’t necessarily involved on the executive side of SG have.”

Rady said he will run with Strickland on the platform of student life, spirit, safety and transportation, academics and civic issues. These points include extending hours in buildings closer to West Campus, expanding the URide program to all neighborhoods and working closer with Senate of College Councils and Graduate Student Assembly.

“The general goal is to make sure we reach as many people as possible with this campaign,” Rady said.

Wilson, chair of the assembly this year, said his campaign would be on five main points with a strong focus on maintaining bus routes, diversity training and a student activity center in the Riverside area.

Wilson said he believes his involvement in over ten organizations — including SG, Texas Cowboys and the Tejas Club — sets him apart from his opponent. 

“I have a wide variety of experience from all around campus, and I really want to bring that experience to Student Government to reach out and better this campus,” Wilson said.

This year, to avoid campaign impersonation, the candidates will be required to disclose an up-to-date list of their workers. In a Daily Texan article, Philip Wiseman, chief justice for the SG Judicial Court, said workers are now defined as people who directly collaborate with those who are running.

Rady, whose campaign staff consists of roughly 50 to 60 members, said the new change was a hassle but a necessary part of running an honest campaign.

“It’s a little frustrating, but it does make a lot of sense and we can survive,” Rady said.

Wilson said the requirement to disclose campaign workers was a much-needed addition to the election code.

“I think it’s a long-needed change and puts everyone on a level playing field,” Wilson said. According to Wilson, his central campaign staff consists of more than 100 members.

Student body president Horacio Villarreal said he hopes it will be a fair race.

“I hope nobody is disqualified,” Villarreal said. “I hope it’s a clean race, and I hope students can pick who they actually want in these positions.”

Monday marked the first day students hoping to get elected to Student Government could begin filing for candidacy.

Among the first-day filers are two pairs of executive alliances vying to be the student body president and vice president this upcoming year.

SG’s external finance director Kornel Rady and University-wide representative Taylor Strickland will be forming one alliance, while University-wide representatives Kenton Wilson and Caroline Carter will be forming another one.

Rady and Strickland are communication studies seniors. Wilson is a government senior and Carter is a marketing, international relations and global studies senior.

The filing period will continue through Feb. 11. Students can file to run for an executive alliance, a University-wide representative or a college representative. Once the filing period closes, the official campaign season begins as candidates are forbidden campaign until that point.

Election day will be Feb. 26 and Feb. 27.