• UT Senate of College Councils president elect Ryan Hirsch resigns

    Senate of College Councils president-elect Ryan Hirsch resigned from her position Wednesday night.

    Hirsch, a neuroscience and pre-med junior, also left her post as current executive director of Senate because of personal and family matters, according to current Senate president Michael Morton.

    Morton said the organization will have to go through the election process again, starting with nominations March 21 and voting April 4.

    “She handled this situation very professionally,” Morton said. “This was entirely on her own accord. This was strictly to do with personal reasons. There is no other factor involved or any inappropriate behavior.”

    Senate elected Hirsch on Feb. 22. Vice president-elect Kiefer Shenk and finacial director-elect Philip Wiseman will not be officialy appointed until after the new president is elected.

    “Students deserve a seat at the table,” Hirsch said during her speech to the councils. “We must continue to grow and develop to better address student concerns and create policy to better the academic lives of students.”

    Morton said Hirsch has not made it clear if she will continue as a part of the organization.

    “We would love to have her come back to the organization when she is ready,” Morton said. 

    Hirsch has not replied for comment.

    This story has been updated after its original posting.

  • Students protest Islamophobic advertisement in The Daily Texan

    A group of students gathered Wednesday to protest a full-page advertisement of an anti-Islam organization that ran in The Daily Texan on Monday.

    The advertisement was paid for by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and features several photos of deceased persons overlaid with images of rifle crosshairs, alleging that their deaths were connected by Islamic violence.

    The individuals convened on the Walter Cronkite Plaza to protest the decision of The Daily Texan to run this ad and demanded a formal apology on behalf of the paper’s staff. The students were a group of individuals representing no particular organization, biomedical engineering senior Ehssan Faraji said. 

    Faraji, along with several other students spoke at the protest, and English assistant professor Snehal Shingavi offered insight on the history of racist publications in The Daily Texan.

    Editor-in-chief Susannah Jacob and managing editor Trey Scott made a statement together to the protesters. Jacob offered her personal apologies for the offense the advertisement created. Both invited parties interested in discussing a change in advertisement policy to join them in The Daily Texan’s office.

  • Senate committee approves consolidated UT System school, moves to full Senate

    A bill to consolidate UT System institutions in the Rio Grande Valley will go before the Texas Senate after a committee unanimously approved it Wednesday.

    The bill, authored by state Sens. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville; Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, would combine UT-Brownsville, UT-Pan American and the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen into one institution.

    "Today is an important first step in ensuring the Valley receives its first Tier One research university," Lucio said in a statement.

    The bill would give the consolidated institution access to the Permanent University Fund, a $1.3 billion state endowment that allocates money to institutions in the UT and Texas A&M systems. The Regional Academic Health Center would become a medical school under the proposal.

    Currently, UT-Brownsville and UT-Pan American are the only UT System institutions that do not receive money from the fund.

    The Legislature must approve the new university by a two-thirds vote in both houses for the institution to gain access to the fund.

    The UT System is currently committing $100 million over 10 years for the prospective medical school and will seek $10 million in annual state funds for the consolidation.