As May approaches, so does the end of another academic year at the University of Texas. Over the course of the last several months, a lot has happened on the Forty Acres: Campus carry, protests, demonstrations, a farewell to Charlie Strong, a memorial for Haruka Weiser and, more recently, a drive-by shooting on campus. Here’s a quick recap of some major things that happened during the 2016-2017 academic year:
UT honors victims of 1966 tower shooting for 50th anniversary:
On Aug. 1, victims of the 1966 sniper attack were honored at the UT Tower. A memorial was also placed near UT’s turtle pond, with the names of the 15 people who were killed by engineering student Charles Whitman. Survivors, the student body president at the time and the police officers who were involved with the incident attended the commemoration ceremony. This 50th anniversary coincidentally fell on the same day that the campus carry gun law went into effect.
Campus carry law goes into effect:
On August 1, Senate Bill 11, legislation also known as “campus carry” went into effect, permitting the concealed carry of handguns by license holders on campus.
Campus carry is protested with sex toys:
What better way to start off the first day of a new school year than with a protest with dildos. “Cocks Not Glocks” showed their opposition to the new campus carry gun law by brandishing the sex toys on backpacks and holding a rally on campus. In August, the event organizers said they hoped students would continue to carry the items until the law was repealed — the dildo-carrying ended shortly after the protest and the law remains on the books.
Bevo XV makes debut:
The young calf made his appearance as the new mascot of UT on Sept. 4 at the football game against Notre Dame— the Longhorns beat the Irish 50-47 after double overtime.
Security officer shot at Sigma Chi party:
On Sept. 11, a security guard was shot in the foot at a fraternity party by a party guest – who was not a student – who had earlier been thrown out of the party for causing trouble. The guard who was shot has sued Sigma Chi, accusing the fraternity of not doing enough to prevent the shooting.
Anti-affirmative action bake sale held:
On Oct. 26, the Young Conservatives of Texas held a bake sale that protested the affirmative action policy in college admission. The item prices were listed differently based on gender and race.
UT students organize anti-Trump protest:
The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, hundreds of UT students gathered at the UT Tower for a rally that turned into a daylong march throughout downtown Austin.
UT fires head football coach Charlie Strong:
After three seasons and a record of 16-21, the lowest winning percentage in Longhorn football history, Strong was fired on Nov. 26. Many football players and members of the UT community were upset with this decision— several players reacted on Twitter, thanking Strong and saying bye. It wasn’t long before Strong was hired as the new University of South Florida head football coach and Tom Herman took over the Longhorn football program.
Matthew McConaughey give students a ride:
Alright, alright, alright! If you were lucky enough to call a SURE ride on this night, you may have had Matthew McConaughey as your golf cart driver.
Not to mention, McConaughey also co-taught a film class in the College of Communication, “Advanced Producing: Script to Screen”— Professor McConaughey?
The Ellen Show comes to UT:
On Feb. 7, UT students got in formation and put together their best Beyonce costumes in hope of winning two tickets to the Grammys from The Ellen Show. Sophomore Collin Wang won the contest by recreating Beyonce’s underwater pregnancy photo.
First Latina, physically disabled student body president is elected:
Fourth-year government and Mexican-American studies major Alejandrina Guzman made UT history when she was elected as the 2017-2018 student body president. Guzman and her running mate Micky Wolf captured 54 percent of the vote after a campus-wide run-off.
Survey released: 15 percent of female undergraduates say they have been raped:
A shocking report was released toward the end of March, detailing sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and harassment. Key findings of the random and voluntary survey also found that 12 percent of undergraduate women said they had experienced attempted rape and 22 percent of students reported having experienced sexist gender harassment from UT faculty or staff.
One-year memorial held for slain student Haruka Weiser:
On April 3, UT held a memorial ceremony for Haruka Weiser, the 18-year-old dance student who was found dead on campus in Waller Creek in 2016. Since her killing, the university has made it a priority to enhance safety and security on campus.
UT football gets 43-inch tv screens instead of name plates
Paper name plates are a thing of the past for the Longhorn football program. 43-inch flat screens were installed on every player’s locker, each costing about $10,500. Also, glowing locker doors were implemented!
Gregory Vincent announces he will leave UT for his alma mater:
On April 20 , Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, announced that he would be leaving UT in July to be president of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith— after 11 years of diversity and inclusion work on the Forty Acres.
UT Recreational Sports celebrates 100 years:
On April 21, the university celebrated a century of RecSports, which has grown to 500,000 square feet of recreational space and 47 club sports. UT was one of the first colleges in the country to organize an intramural sports program.
Gunshots on campus:
On the morning of April 27, gunshots were reported on campus and UT police began investigating what they believe was a drive-by shooting. The suspect and the target were thought to be unaffiliated with the university, officials said. Several UT students took to social media to complain about the lack of timeliness when it came to alerting students about the incident and the vagueness of the emergency alert. UTPD notified the students, faculty and staff about the incident nearly an hour after it had taken place.
UT stabbing attack on students leaves 1 dead, 3 others injured
First-year student Harrison Brown was killed and three others were hospitalized after a stabbing attack on the University of Texas campus near Gregory Gym around 1:30 p.m. on May 1.
UT Police Chief David Carter identified the suspect in the attack as 21-year-old UT biology student Kendrex J. White of Killeen.
Carter said his officers saw a man, later identified as White, with a “large, bowie-style hunting knife.” One officer drew his gun and told White to get on the ground, which he did, before taking him into custody.
Within about a block, three more people were found stabbed, Carter said.
UT students and employees have been expressing annoyance on social media that they heard about this from campus media, local media and the UT community before a campus alert went out.