• Senate confirms UT System regent appointees

    While some senators described their "aye" vote as "unethusaistic," the Senate confirmed Texas Gov. Rick Perry's appointees to the UT System Board of Regents Friday.

    Newly appointed regents McAllen Judge Ernest Aliseda and Hilcorp Energy Company CEO Jeffrey Hildebrand will now begin serving on the board. Current UT Regent Paul Foster was also confirmed, and will continue serving on the board. Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, was the sole senator to vote against the nominees. He said he would do so earlier in the week at a hearing on Monday.

    Senators spent more than 30 minutes giving speeches about the appointees. Some senators, including Senator Joan Huffman, R-Houston, expressed support for the appointees. But the majority of the speeches were about the recent controversies that have surrounded the UT System Board of Regents and UT-Austin's President William Powers Jr. Senator Judith Zaffirni, D-Laredo, said she was voting yes "unethusiastically," but is hopeful the tone will change under the new regents. She and Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, also said the regents would be srcutinized going forward.

    Powers released a brief statement following the confirmations.

    "I look forward to working with Regent Foster, Aliseda and Hildebrand as we move forward and make UT Austin the best public research university in the nation," Powers said in an emailed statement through Gary Susswein, the director of UT's media relations.

    The UT System Board of Regents are expected to meet in July. Aliseda, Hildebrand and Foster will serve on the board until 2019.

    This article has been updated with a statement from Powers.

  • Update: Rain hits Austin Friday, Memorial Day weekend

    Update: A flash flood warning has been issued for Travis County until 6:30 p.m.

    Rain rolled into Austin Friday afternoon and the wet weather is likely to continue through Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

    The National Weather Service says there is a 70 percent chance of rain Friday afternoon and evening. The percentage drops to 50 percent Saturday afternoon and again to 30 percent Saturday evening. The temperature is expected to drop to as low as 72 degrees.

    The chance for rain is only 10 percent on Sunday. The National Weather Service is predicting a cloudy, but dry Memorial Day.

  • Student Government launches donation drive for Moore, Okla. victims

    Although Texas and Oklahoma usually meet as rivals on the football field, UT students have set that rivalry aside to help people affected by a tornado that left 24 dead in Moore, Okla.

    UT Student Government will be collecting clothing and non-perishable items for victims beginning Thursday. The “Texas Helps Oklahoma Relief Efforts” donation drive will last until next Wednesday. Donations will go to the Salvation Army in Austin.

    Where: The Student Government office in room 2.102 of the Student Activity Center; the Multicultural Engagement Center, room 1.102 in the Student Activity Center; and the University Co-op on Guadalupe Street.

    When: People can donate in the UTSG office and the MEC Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The University Co-op is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Co-op is open Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

    What to bring: Clothing, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby formula, bottles, diapers, hand sanitizer, heavy-duty gloves. Any clothing should be brought in one bag. All other items should be placed in separate bag.

    Spread the word on Twitter using the hash tag #TexasHelpsOklahoma or tweet to @UT_SG show your support. 

  • Safety tips: If a tornado strikes, what do you do?

    Is it a tornado?

    1. Signs include heavy rain, strong winds, large hail and frequent lightning.

    2. Looks like a thunderstorm cloud with a rotating bulge at the base. It may have a green hue.

    3. Creates loud noise similar to a train or jet air plane that doesn’t fade immediately.

    Stay in the know:

    1. Don’t ignore unusual weather. Check for weather updates and storm development.

    2. As soon as possible, get information about where the storm is headed and if you might be in its path. This way, in case electricity and internet are lost, you will already be informed.

    3. If the storm is headed your way, prepare to wait it out.

    When you know it’s coming:

    1. Prepare food and water along with a battery-operated radio, and any medicine you regularly take.

    2. Don’t ignore the warning to stay indoors, avoid cars and look for shelter.

    3. Find an indoor space without windows or heavy furniture that may fall. Look for smaller rooms at the interior of the building.

    If you’re stuck in a car:

    1. If you cannot seek shelter because of high winds and debris, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened.

    2. Get as low as possible below the windows and cover your head with any available blanket or coat.

    3. If there is a near by area noticeably lower than the roadway, leave the car and lie flat, with your hands protecting your head. Avoid shelter under bridges.

    When its arrives:

    1. Stay put. If you have found a safe spot, stay there until the storm passes.

    2. Crouch down and place hands at the back of the head to protect against falling debris and injury.

    3. Cover yourself with padding, if possible with a thick blanket or mattress.

    When it passes:

    1. Check for any injuries caused by the storm.

    2. Check for building damage and be aware of potential broken glass, downed power lines and escaping natural gas.

    3. Listen for radio updates. Find a medical aid area or an assistance centers if needed.

  • The Morning Texan: Thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes possible later today

    Late Tuesday afternoon, Central Texas may see thunderstorms, hail and even possibly tornadeos. Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.
    Late Tuesday afternoon, Central Texas may see thunderstorms, hail and even possibly tornadeos. Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.

    Austin might be in for some thunderstorms later this afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, Central Texas may get one to two inches of rain. The National Weather Service also said there is a chance of hail, gusts of winds and even tornadoes. Stay safe.

    What is was happening today: Update 12:10 p.m. — The meeting was cancelled. At 1 p.m., the Texas House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations will have a meeting. Representatives from the UT System were expected to testify, and The Daily Texan was planning on covering the meeting.

    Yesterday’s most read article: Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Nominations and other senators grilled UT System regent nominees Ernest Aliseda, Jeffrey Hildebrand and current UT Regent Paul Foster for four hours. We picked the five quotes you have to read. This includes: “I’ve heard more about the University of Texas System than I have ever wanted to in my life this legislative session. No, Senator Zaffirini, actually that’s not because I’m an Aggie.”

    In case you missed it: While senators we’re busy cross examining new players Aliseda and Hildebrand, the Texan did a little bit of research. Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about the two new UT System regent appointees. For example, did you know Hildebrand is a billionaire, or that Aliseda has family members involved in public service?

    What you have to read: Enough with all these blogs and sidebars, check out our full article on the hearing at the Senate Committee of Nominations.