Virginia

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Earlier this month, professors in the College of Liberal Arts and School of Information received $763,000 from the Mellon Foundation to help fund research about Virginia's first mental institution designated for African-Americans.

King Davis, School of Information research professor and professor emeritus in African and African Diaspora Studies, and School of Information professors Patricia Galloway and Unmil Karadkar started developing a system in 2008 to preserve and analyze the records from the Central Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane in Petersburg, Virginia.

The Asylum opened in 1868 and was later renamed Central State Hospital. Before being integrated in 1970, it was the only mental institution for just for African-Americans in Virginia. Central State Hospital is still open today.

Davis said his background with mental health programs has informed his research over the course of the entire project. Between 1972 and 1999, Davis was the commissioner of health for the Commonwealth of Virginia, served as director of community mental health programs and was a Galt Visiting Scholar in Public Mental Health.

“[I had] lots of familiarity with the system because I operated 17 hospitals there,” Davis said.

Galloway’s role on the project is working to digitize the Asylum’s records and create methods to make the information public. She said the team relies on hospital workers’ original accounts to get a better picture of what conditions were like at the when the Asylum operated.

“As ways to gather more information, we are trying to look into accounts by hospital workers,” Galloway said. “We want to see what their job [was] and how they felt about it. This is important because this gives a group of people a voice they did not have.”

Karadkar’s role is analyzing the documents and finding patterns in the information’s content. According to Karadkar, the way historic documents were formatted, differently than they are today, can make research difficult.

“We have well-recognized font type faces, and we have well recognized conventions for printing on paper,” Karadkar said. “When we have hand-written documents, these conventions are not always followed especially when cursive was the normal. The handwriting is tilted, and tilted words are hard to make out because they blend together.”

Karadkar said he and his fellow researchers have received support from the University and inquiries from people who believe they might have personal connections to the Asylum.

“We have already received a tremendous outpouring of support,” Karadkar said. “Every so often, we get emails saying ‘We have ‘so and so, rumored to have been in this hospital.’ What can you tell us?’ So far, there has not been any backlash but a lot of encouragement and hope from people.”

Senior Bobby Barker tosses the ball with a partner during baseball practice on Wednesday. The tight-knit and competitive Texas club baseball team is looking forward to a successful season.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Carpenter | Daily Texan Staff

Billy Begala, a Virginia native and Plan II freshman, has loved playing baseball ever since he could walk, and he now continues to pursue that passion on UT’s club baseball team. 

His older brother’s first two words were bat and ball, which made it no surprise when Begala decided to follow suit and spend his youth on the baseball diamond.

Begala, who has been playing organized baseball since he was 5, had options to play at smaller schools on scholarship. He decided, however, to come to Texas, citing the more rigorous academic curriculum and a chance to push himself to become the best baseball player he could be as
motivating factors.

He found more here than he could have anticipated.

“I know that all my teammates care just as deeply about the game as I do, and they’ve all put in just as much hard work as I have,” Begala said.

Begala’s preparation on game day begins by arriving to the field a little over an hour before first pitch. As a pitcher, he has pre-game plans that differ depending on which role he will fill that day.

“If I’m the starting pitcher, I usually don’t talk much, and I’ll start warming up to pitch about 20–25 minutes before the game starts,” Begala said. “I try to time it so my last warm up pitch is no more than five minutes before my first live pitch. If I’m in relief, I’ll do some light tossing or just try and help any of the other guys get loose and warm.”

Begala said the final few minutes before game time have a looser, but still competitive, atmosphere.

“This is a pretty relaxed group of guys on this team,” Begala said. “Before our games, guys are usually joking around or playing music. But, once the game starts, we’re all about winning.”

That competitive spirit has anchored this team’s success.

The club team made it to the National Club Baseball Association World Series last summer, and, while that stay was short, the continuing influx of talent and wealth of veteran players make this an intriguing group moving forward.

For Begala, a rematch with Texas A&M, which the team played into a series split last time they met, and the World Series are the main attractions on the horizon.

“I can’t wait until we play A&M again,” Begala said. “After that, it’s on to regionals in Dallas and, hopefully, the World Series in Kentucky.”

Begala, who has pitched 9.2 innings with four strikeouts this season, also has plans to try out for the Longhorns varsity team — something he says has been a dream of his for a very long time.

“If I’m able to get a little bigger and stronger and start throwing a little harder, I would definitely try out,” Begala said.

While personal success is nice, Begala remains adamant that the team concept is most important to him.

“The way I see it, I have nothing to lose when trying-out for the varsity team,” Begala said. “Worst-case scenario: I’m back to where I am now, which is playing baseball at my dream school with my best friends.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race over Twitter on Sunday and in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia on Monday.

Cruz is the first major candidate to announce his candidacy. Since he represents the second most-populated state in the country, Texas, Cruz is a major candidate in the current Republican race, according to government professor Sean Theriault.

“Dr. [Ben] Carson has never won an election in his life,” Theriault said, referencing another potential candidate for the Republican primary. “That doesn’t mean that he has no chance, just that he’s never demonstrated that he knows how to put a winning campaign together. Senator Cruz knows how to do that.”

Such an early announcement gives Cruz a short-term advantage, Theriault said. University Democrats president Michelle Willoughby disagreed.

“Announcing early officially isn’t an advantage,” Willoughby said. “What matters more is starting early in the early states like New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, and, in that game, Cruz is significantly later than several other [Republican] contenders who have been spending a lot of time in the early states.”

Cruz, a Texas junior senator, has been under some scrutiny regarding his eligibility to run for and/or serve as president. Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother, who is from Delaware, is a natural-born citizen. 

Cruz formally renounced his Canadian citizenship last May and claims he is natural-born through his mother.

Theriault said people questioning Cruz’s citizenship have no grounds for their worries.

“These questions about citizenship are ridiculous — not quite as ridiculous as the questions about Obama’s citizenship, but close,” Theriault said. “His mother is a naturalized citizen.”

Bridget Guien, College Republicans communications director, agreed with Theriault.

“Senator Cruz’s birthplace should not affect his eligibility to run for president,” Guien said. “He is a natural-born citizen and holds the right to run for the presidency.”

Cruz is serving his first term in the U.S. Senate. He defeated then-Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the 2012 election by a 14-point margin. 

Theriault said Cruz’s limited time in federal government might not affect his abilities to serve, citing President Barack Obama’s victory after one term in the Senate.

“Ask Barack Obama the same question,” Theriault said. “He was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and, four years later, became president. Cruz would follow the same path.”

Willoughby said Cruz’s political résumé concerns her, calling him the “most extreme candidate considering running.”

“He isn’t polling well, he has alienated many in the GOP leadership and the general Republican voters with his grandstanding, and he is likely to have issues even with the groups that supported him in his campaign for Senator with a more crowded field,” Willoughby said. “These factors mean Cruz winning the primary is pretty unlikely.”

Theriault has more faith in Cruz’s abilities to persevere in the presidential race.

“For the Republicans in 2016, it all comes down to how the other candidates collapse,” Theriault said. “If the hard-right candidates fall like flies, and Cruz wins Iowa, he could have some longevity, especially if Bush has some competition from the ‘establishment’ wing of his party.”

The College Republicans do not officially endorse anybody in the primaries because the group is an auxiliary of the Republican Party.

It seems that in the news lately, there has been a budding discussion about rape. With the accusations against Bill Cosby and the suspension of Greek life at the University of Virginia amid several allegations, the conversation seems more open now than ever before.

What is surprising about these recent developments is that they are not recent at all — Bill Cosby’s accusations go as far back as the 1960s, and the UVA allegations date back to earlier than 2010. We’ve reached a turning point in the discussion of rape and sexual violence. Whether the allegations are true in either case, their high-profile status has given new life to discussions that were often ignored or skipped over.

But in the wake of these developments, it is important to ask: Why now? This isn’t a new problem, and, unfortunately, allegations like the ones at UVA are commonplace.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, one out of every six women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. According to the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center, one in 20 women are sexually assaulted in college. There were 18 reported cases of forced sexual assault on UT campus in 2012, and two UT football players were suspended this year after accusations rose against them. 

The UVA case, however, is gaining national attention not because of the rape allegations, but because of the school’s decision to suspend Greek life until January. 

Although the school’s public action may contribute to the national conversation surrounding college campuses and rape, the discussion should not be restricted to only party and rape culture.

A lot of the discussions place rape culture and party culture hand-in-hand — and while this is sometimes true, rapes are not confined to the inside of a fraternity house or an apartment party. The discussion needs to go further: It needs to address rape allegations as a whole, not as a symptom of partying. 

Although the Cosby allegations — if true — are terrible, they are paving the way for people to stop brushing rape allegations under the rug. The plight of Cosby’s demise is making it OK for victims to come out against their aggressors, even if they are famous and powerful. 

One good thing that came out of the controversies surrounding Cosby and UVA is that they have the power to change the way we talk about and approach rape allegations. Students have the responsibility to take that power and make a change — a change that will stop rape from being put on the back burner. We can’t let rape be another topic whose 15 minutes of fame will eventually pass.  

Psychology professor James Pennebaker was listed among the top-200 most influential psychologists of the post-World War II era. Pennebaker ranked 153 on the list, while psychology professor David Buss ranked 143.

Photo Credit: Mike McGraw | Daily Texan Staff

Two psychology professors at the University were listed among the top-200 most influential psychologists of the post-World War II era, according to a University of Virginia study.

David Buss was ranked number 143 on the list, and James Pennebaker was ranked number 153. 

The study, published in late September, ranked psychologists according to their work’s eminence, or the long-lasting impacts of their work in the psychology community. This was determined by the impact of research citations, the number of textbook citations and scientific awards received. According to a statement issued by the University of Virginia, the study serves as a reference point for people interested in influential psychologists and understanding what types of ideas are valued. 

Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a former psychology professor, said the rankings reflected the University’s commitment to research. 

“[These rankings] confirm what we have been saying all along: that The University of Texas at Austin is home to some of the world’s top researchers in the field of psychology, and that our department is among the best in the nation,” Diehl said in an email. “These rankings are also important because they help us attract the very best faculty and graduate students to the department, and that benefits all students who take psychology courses.”

Diehl said he was pleased, but not surprised, to discover Buss and Pennebaker had made the list.

“Both … are longtime colleagues of mine in the Department of Psychology, and for many years I have admired the creativity and innovation they have brought to the field,” Diehl said.

For more than 40 years, Buss has researched evolutionary psychology, specifically focusing on mating strategies among humans. Buss said he did not know the long-term value of the study, but appreciated
the recognition.

“Science is an ongoing process,” Buss said. “Scientific theories are overturned and replaced by new theories, and you hope that, as a scientist, you make some contribution that will stand the test of time.”

Pennebaker has researched how people perceive symptoms of illness and the use of writing as post-traumatic stress treatment and language use. He said the list represented the impact of ideas — not researchers.

“I don’t want to sound jaded, but you can’t take these things seriously,” Pennebaker said. “They’re flattering and they’re nice, but they’re one of many different types of beauty pageants. … It’s flattering for both [Buss] and for me because it means the ideas that we are driving are having an impact on the culture.” 

Interior design sophomore Shawna Stockton promotes the new app “Drunk Mode.” Within the app, one is able to send locations to friends to get safely home from a night out.

Photo Credit: Claire Schaper | Daily Texan Staff

Waking up after a trip to Sixth Street with no recollection of the night can make for a scary morning. The creators of “Drunk Mode,” an app recently brought to UT, want to help students make the most of their downtown experience by remaining responsible throughout the night.

The app, created by students at the University of Virginia, allows users to block themselves from texting or calling selected contacts, find their drunk friends and locate nearby restaurants.

After attending his first party at UVA, founder Joshua Anton realized how much need there was for an app capable of the features that Drunk Mode boasts. 

“There’s a story behind each feature,” Anton said. “[I] received a drunk call from a girl who said many things that wouldn’t have been said sober. Thus, the app was born.”

“Find My Drunk,” a feature made to increase safety, is a spin-off of Apple’s “Find My iPhone.” Users can enable this to show their location on a map, which they can share with selected friends. According to Anton, the creators are also working on incorporating methods of safe transportation into this particular feature.

“Our long-term goal would be to work with UT-Austin to add all the transportation, buses and Lyft cabs to Find My Drunk to make it more convenient to not drunk drive,” Anton said.

In addition to having secured a deal with Lyft, in which users can get $25 off their ride by using a Drunk Mode promo code, the app’s team is also working on partnering with other local businesses. Through the “Nighttime Enhancers” feature, the app promotes things such as happy hours and discounted pizza. Interior design sophomore Shawna Stockton, the UT representative for Drunk Mode, said her job is to contact local bars and restaurants that might want to be featured.

“Being based out of Virginia, [Anton] has no idea that places like Kerbey Lane or Abel’s are hot spots,” Stockton said. “It’s my job to contact the businesses that we want to partner with.”

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of Drunk Mode having a reverse effect and promoting drinking among UT students. Student Government President Kori Rady said he thinks even the name of the app is something people will associate with drinking.

“Since Drunk Mode partners with [bars], it does lead students to them and could encourage drinking,” Rady said.

According to Stockton, however, Rady and others need not worry. She said the Drunk Mode team is eager to work with the campus community to best serve its needs.

“Since our app is regionally specific, that feature in Austin might be used just to promote restaurants — rather than happy hours,” Stockton said. “It’s whatever works for the area.”

Anton said he only has the user’s best interest in mind and that Drunk Mode is about providing what he calls “sexy safety.”

“The idea is not to change party behavior to safe behavior,” Anton said. “But simply to make it more convenient to be safe.”

QB

Advantage: UCLA

Redshirt junior Brett Hundley has the kind of athleticism that has ruined the Texas front seven, but his 396-yard and three touchdown passing performance against Memphis last week showed the dual-threat ability that makes him a Heisman candidate.  

Sophomore Tyrone Swoopes did as well as expected with the vanilla game plan that his coaches drew up last week, but his deep passes were inaccurate, and his athleticism was not a factor until the game was out of hand.

RB

Advantage: UCLA

Redshirt sophomore Paul Perkins has put together a solid first two games for the Bruins — averaging 4.6 yards per carry — but he has not yet faced a top-tier defense, and his backups have struggled.

Junior Johnathan Gray and senior Malcolm Brown only averaged 2.7 yards per carry against BYU, but a weak offensive line should take some blame for that. So far this season, neither back has been a factor in the passing game. 

WR

Advantage: UCLA

A strong receiving corps allows Hundley to spread the ball around. Junior Jordan Payton and sophomore Thomas Duarte both had 100-yard games last week, and junior Devin Fuller added
nine catches.

A head injury may keep senior Jaxon Shipley out against the Bruins. Redshirt senior John Harris led the team in receiving for a second straight week, but junior Marcus Johnson has yet to make any impact on offense.

OL

Advantage: Texas 

The Longhorn offensive line will again be without tackles junior Kennedy Estelle and senior Desmond Harrison, both of whom were recently suspended. Texas struggled to run last week, but this unit tops UCLA’s on the basis that the pass protection has been decent through two games.

The UCLA offensive line has allowed nine sacks in two games, and Bruin runners are averaging a scant 3.3 yards per carry. Redshirt junior center Jake Brendel returned to the team last week, but he cannot compensate for the lack of experience around him.

DL

Advantage: Texas

Senior Cedric Reed and Co. put constant pressure on BYU junior quarterback Taysom Hill last week, but they need to focus on containing the quarterback. If the ends get up the field too quickly, Hundley will step up and hurt the team with his legs.

UCLA’s defensive line, led by sophomore Eddie Vanderdoes, dominated in its first game against Virginia but has recorded only one sack this season.

LB

Advantage: UCLA

Sophomore Myles Jack and redshirt senior Eric Kendricks return to what should be one of the best linebacking corps in the Pac-12. It shut down Virginia’s offensive attack but allowed 164 rushing yards
to Memphis.

The linebackers fell apart against BYU. Ball carriers burst through to the secondary at will, and outside linebackers Jordan Hicks and Peter Jinkens struggled to seal off the perimeter. It is hard to imagine them improving against better competition this week.

DB

Advantage: Texas

The secondary has been the Longhorns’ strongest defensive unit. Senior Quandre Diggs grabbed an interception in the end zone last week, and the team has only allowed 196 passing yards all season.

Apart from two interceptions against Virginia, UCLA’s veteran secondary has struggled through the first two games of the season. The Bruins will be further weakened if junior cornerback Randall Goforth misses this weekend’s game due to a shoulder injury. 

ST

Advantage: UCLA

Placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has struggled early on for the Bruins. The junior missed one extra point and his only field goal try. Junior returner Ishmael Adams has been solid in the return game, averaging 11.5 yards per return on punts. 

Texas’ special teams have been disastrous through two weeks. Junior placekicker Nick Rose is 1-for-3 on field goal attempts, and Marcus Johnson made several poor decisions against BYU.

Coming off a winless outing in Virginia, the Longhorns return to the Forty Acres for a six-match homestand against a few more top-ranked opponents.

Texas (3-4) has been in a slump lately, losing four straight matches after starting the season 3-0. The Longhorns played four top-12 teams during that rough stretch and, despite the losing streak, they remain 17th in the ITA rankings.

This weekend Texas hosts No. 7 Northwestern and No. 15 Vanderbilt. The Longhorns prevailed in their last dual matches against both squads. However, the Commodores compiled a 9-1 record over Texas at the Miami Spring Invite in January.

Sophomore Breaunna Addison has had an up-and-down start in dual-match play, but leads the Longhorn with a 4-3 record. She has only lost half as many matches as she did all of last season when she went 23-6 in singles.

The Longhorns will begin play at the Penick-Allison Center at noon on Saturday against Northwestern and at the same time on Sunday versus Vanderbilt.

The Longhorns enter the 2014 ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship in Virginia with a goal to advance past the first round, something they have yet to accomplish the last two years at this event.

They can thank Georgia for that.

No. 17 Texas (3-1) lost in the opening round of the indoor championship to the Bulldogs in its first two appearances at the meet.

The Longhorns do not have to worry about another first-round exit this year — at least not one courtesy of Georgia — but they still face a formidable opponent in UCLA.

The Bruins, ranked No. 5, feature top-ranked singles player Robin Anderson and have appeared in the last two indoor championship finals, winning the 2012 event.

If the team moves beyond the first round, the Longhorns will have potential matchups against No. 6 USC and No. 2 Florida in the ensuing two rounds.

Texas and UCLA begin play at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va., Friday at 2:30 p.m.

Texas swimming and diving was in top form this weekend as it traveled to Charlottesville, Va., to take on No. 19 Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia. 

The fourth-ranked Longhorns captured three victories over the two-day quad meet, improving their overall record to 5-1. As the Friday portion of the meet came to a close, Texas led all three of their opponents, outscoring them by a combined score of 369 to 189. 

The impressive Friday evening performances were kicked off by sophomore diver Cory Bowersox, who secured the one-meter diving event by 30 points totaling 403.20 in all. In the swimming portion, seniors Caleb Weir and Charlie Moore, alongside sophomore Matt Ellis and junior Clay Youngquist, rallied together to edge out Penn State by three one-hundredths of a second in the 200 freestyle relay.

On Saturday, Youngquist’s versatility was on display as he began the day with a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle and finished with a victory in the 200 freestyle. 

The Texas divers’ next competition will be at the UT Diving Invitational on Nov. 21-23 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. The swimmers will return to the pool Dec. 5 when UT hosts the Texas Invitational