Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

UT

Issues, Voting Challenges Made Midterms Personal for Highly Engaged Students

On the West Mall of the sprawling University of Texas campus on this gray, drizzly November Election Day, an eagerness for change was evident as the end of a tumultuous year filled with issues deeply affecting them beckoned students to the polls. 

Weeks before, on the other side of campus, a glimpse down Speedway confirmed the UT Austin community was overwhelmingly left-leaning. There was little doubt these young people planned to vote blue.

Scenes such as these provided a warmth and excitement for Democratic voters while conservatives were left out in the cold – by classmates and their candidates alike.

Not so much for McKennon Rice, economics senior and executive board member for Young Conservatives of Texas.

“I just feel like I don’t have the space to share my voice,” Rice said. “We’re already a minority, and there’s an even smaller minority that’s actually willing to talk and be open without fear.”

Young voters across a divided nation are being credited by political analysts for preventing a Republican-dominated midterm from coming to life. Yet, that “red wave” did come to shore in the Lone Star State. Every statewide Republican candidate won by double percentage points, and a frustration from the large majority of UT students the day after the election was palpable.

UT Students Walk Out in Support of Reproductive and Trans Rights

University of Texas students walked out of their classrooms as part of the National Day of Student Action, a nationwide peaceful protest for reproductive rights and trans rights after the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June.   

The Graduate Student Action Network organized walkouts at about 50 universities in 25 states, including the University of Nebraska, the University of Arkansas, West Virginia University, the City University of New York and New York University.    

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said one student. “I think we had an excellent turnout. Just seeing the range of speakers and organizations that we come from and all of the backgrounds is incredibly inspiring. Reproductive justice is such an intersectional issue, all of the perspectives here today.”

How a UT-Austin Program is Helping Students of Color Study Abroad 

During the 2017-18 academic year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 11% of all U.S. college students studied abroad, according to reporting from Inside Higher Ed. Of those who studied abroad, Black students comprised 5.5%, Hispanic students 10.6% and Asian students 8.6%, while white students accounted for 70%, according to data from the Association of International Educators. 

About 4.7% of Black UT-Austin students studied abroad in the 2018-19 school year, Heather Thompson, director of the university’s education abroad department, told Reporting Texas. Among all UT-Austin students, about 8.5% study abroad annually.

The Global Leadership Program is helping to change the way students of color study abroad at UT by recruiting students of color and first-generation college students, offering study-abroad scholarships and building leadership programs for student success.

Gender Gap Among STEM Faculty at UT Proves Difficult to Eradicate

At UT-Austin, women make up 45% of the total faculty, but a much smaller percentage in STEM majors. The departments of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, electrical and computer engineering, geosciences, mechanical engineering and physics all have less than 20% female faculty.

May 31, 2022

Just Call Me By My Name: UT Students Reflect on Their Identity

A name is the first glimpse into a person’s character. It, too, is one’s brand.

Names correlate with self-worth, personality and status. According to author Ralph Ellison, it is through our names how we first place ourselves in this world.

Three University of Texas at Austin students share how their names shaped their identities, often not without struggle.

Mar 06, 2022

Longhorn Women’s Basketball Greats Return to Say Goodbye to Erwin Center

Some of the pioneers of Texas women’s basketball came to the Frank Erwin Center to say goodbye one final time to the home of the Longhorns for the past 46 years

Dec 20, 2021

Texas College Republicans Secede from National Organization Because of ‘Rigged’ Election

A group of College Republicans say they accepted the results of the 2020 presidential election, but they did not acknowledge the outcome of their organization’s own recent national election.
On Aug. 16, the Texas Federation of College Republicans seceded by unanimous consent from the College Republican National Committee because the Texas College Republicans claimed the election for CRNC chair was fraudulent.

The CRNC is the national organization for the College Republicans. It is composed of all the state federations and claims to have more than 250,000 members across the country with a presence on almost 2,000 college campuses.

Dec 20, 2021

Long Underrepresented and Overlooked, Native American and Indigenous Students Are Getting Texas Colleges’ Attention

As UT has become more diverse with increasing numbers of Black and Hispanic students, its enrollment of Native American and Indigenous students has dropped.

Dec 16, 2021

UT Alerts Questioned After More Gun Violence

UT has a policy to send alerts via email and/or text when a crime has been reported and there is an ongoing threat to campus.

Dec 10, 2021

UT’s Black Faculty Numbers Are Up — But Just Barely

Five years after Reporting Texas detailed a disproportionately low number of Black faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin, the situation has barely improved. In 2016, 3.6% of UT-Austin professors were Black. In 2020, that number had only risen to 4.1%, about 156 of close to 3,800 faculty members, according to university data. And UT-Austin is not alone among Texas colleges in lacking Black faculty.

Nov 18, 2021

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Magical Realism

The morning Gabriel Garcia Marquez received news of him winning the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, his son Rodrigo captured the moment in a black and white. Four decades later, the photograph hangs on a wall as part of an exhibition honoring his colorful work at the University of Texas at Austin Gabriel Garcia Marquez […]

Nov 05, 2021

After Century of Publishing Amid Political Turmoil, Ecuadorian Newspaper Eyes Next 100 Years

At the entrance to one of the country’s largest newspapers, El Universo’s first printing press stands as a monument to victory in Ecuador’s struggle to hold onto a fragile democracy marked by a history of military dictatorships and censorship.

The newspaper’s history includes a government-ordered shutdown for a cartoon, editorial board members jailed, a forced front-page apology, violent demonstrations, a bombing of its building and even a presidential lawsuit seeking the imprisonment of its journalists.

Oct 29, 2021

UT’s William Wayne Justice Center Encourages Students to Enter Public Interest Law

Jane, one of millions of Texans living below the poverty level, needs a lawyer but cannot afford to pay for one. Fortunately, she’s part of the approximately 5.2 million who qualify for legal aid. So she has a couple of options. She could get help from an organization like Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which serves […]

May 19, 2021

Esports Gaming Seeks Validation from University

Esports, or competitive gaming, has been growing on college campuses nationwide including here at the University of Texas at Austin. On their official website, Longhorn Gaming defines themselves as “the central hub for casual and competitive gaming at the University of Texas at Austin.” Longhorn Gaming has 23 teams competing in leagues for games across multiple genres […]

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