Spring 2020: Looking back, looking forward

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Photo Credit: Jack Myer | Daily Texan Staff

The Daily Texan recaps all the unprecedented events of Spring 2020 and looks at what's to come. 

Looking Back: Sexual misconduct, softball and Super Tuesday made headlines before coronavirus pandemic struck. 

University

UT transferred all spring classes to online learning after an extended spring break in March to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 first touched the UT community on March 13, when President Gregory Fenves announced his wife, Carmel, had contracted COVID-19.

In April, 211 UT students returning from a spring break trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, received national attention when at least 49 students from the trip tested positive for the coronavirus.

University

After a year of protests demanding a re-examination of UT’s sexual misconduct policies, external law firm Husch Blackwell delivered their list of recommended policy changes. Suggested changes included the presumptive termination of certain policy violators, a consolidation of survivor resources and a commitment to releasing the names of policy violators.

State

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Democratic presidential primary in Texas and in nine other states on Super Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) won Travis County but lost the primary by 4.7% of the state’s votes. Voting lines at UT polling locations grew as long as two hours, and the last Texas voter cast their ballot at 1 a.m.

Big 12

As COVID-19 caused sweeping changes across the globe, it took the sports world with it. On March 13, the Big 12 canceled all remaining sporting events, prematurely ending the seasons of baseball, softball and more.

Softball

Texas softball announced their arrival as a championship contender in late February. The Longhorns defeated No. 1 UCLA 6-4 in extra innings on Feb. 27 and followed that performance with an 8-6 win over No. 2 Washington less than 24 hours later.

Looking Forward: With fall plans for the University uncertain, here's what we know so far.

University

Summer classes will move entirely online at 50% the tuition rate of the spring and fall semesters. UT Austin’s plans for returning to campus in the fall semester are still uncertain, with a decision expected in late June, but UT System Chancellor James Milliken told the Texas Tribune he plans to reopen all UT System campuses in the fall.

University

UT President Gregory Fenves announced in April that he plans to leave UT to become president of Emory University in June. The Board of Regents named the interim president, McCombs Dean Jay Hartzell, a couple days after the announcement.

Earlier in the semester, Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost, also announced she will leave her position at UT to become president of Stony Brook University. 

West Campus

The University of Texas Police Department received $8 million from the UT System Board of Regents in February to introduce security improvements to West Campus this semester, such as the construction of a small police station on Guadalupe, a security camera system and the creation of a new seventh district under UTPD’s jurisdiction. UTPD halted the planned developments until after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

SG

Anagha Kikkeri and Winston Hung were elected student body president and vice president. Their platform included creating a committee for students living in Riverside, establishing culturally centered study spaces and increasing the number of confidential advocates in the Title IX office.

Basketball

Greg Brown III is only expected to play one season at Texas before declaring for the NBA Draft, but he is determined to make it count –– he has already said he plans on winning Big 12 and NCAA championships next season.