Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Liam Verses

Seniors deserve their own Reading Round-Up experience

Liam Verses September 12, 2018

The Interfraternity Council’s RoundUp boasts live music, cheap food and parties attended by more than 15,000 people in West Campus every year. A second Round-Up — also a prized UT tradition...


UT must cut ties with Confucius Institutes

Liam Verses August 31, 2018

Russia hacked into American energy facilities and attempted to infiltrate states’ voting systems in the 2016 election. While many see Russia’s bold attacks as the face of a national security...


Give Texas schools what they need to succeed

Liam Verses May 2, 2018

UT System Chancellor William McRaven, an advisor to both the Bush and Obama Administrations and a retired Navy admiral, took questions after a speech at a Society of Plan II Engineers dinner last week....


Scooter riders should respect public space, accept regulations

Liam Verses April 25, 2018

Transportation around UT is a little hectic. Bikes, skateboards, construction vehicles and pedestrians zip past one another on Speedway. New to this medley are LimeBike and Bird scooters, a great addition...


UT student leadership can learn from Texas States’ mistakes

Liam Verses April 18, 2018

If you don’t show up, nothing will happen. Nearly half of Texas State senators failed to participate in an impeachment hearing last week for then-student body President Connor Clegg. In short, they...

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Texas’ move to hasten death penalty would come at high cost

Liam Verses April 11, 2018

The state of Texas recently renewed its request with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to opt in for fast-tracked death penalty cases. While this would save the state time and money and ensure expedited executions,...


Tillerson could make a great chancellor

Liam Verses April 5, 2018

The UT System administration is ramping up its search for a new chancellor as current Chancellor William McRaven steps down next month. Vice Chancellor Randa Safady stated that any names at this point...


Energy sector can power on without public financial support

Liam Verses March 21, 2018

Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry unveiled a plan earlier this year to prop up coal and nuclear power through federal subsidies. His plan was swiftly criticized by environmentalists and free market...


Let’s solve Texas’ imminent water shortage

Liam Verses March 8, 2018

Cape Town, South Africa, is bracing for Day Zero. This isn’t some zombie apocalypse or fast-approaching war, but it represents an acute catastrophe: The city of almost 4 million people will have...


Protect and defend viewpoint diversity

Liam Verses February 28, 2018

Amy Wax, an accomplished University of Pennsylvania law professor, quickly found out that her op-ed “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture” would incite harsh...


Stop treating Congressional maps like a coloring book

Liam Verses February 21, 2018

The hill country county I call home, Kendall, is solidly Republican. President Donald Trump won 78.6 percent of the votes cast by my county’s voters. I had just turned 18 when my family decided to...


Austin’s wrong-way accident problem deserves a new direction

Liam Verses February 16, 2018

When I first moved to Austin in July 2017, the downtown maze of one-way and two-way streets was enough to send my head spinning. Time and experience made navigating Austin’s streets much more natural...


Safety takes a backseat on Texas public transport

Liam Verses February 7, 2018

Notoriously stereotyped as reckless, young drivers supposedly show little regard for the rules of the road by blasting music, passing illegally and speeding. However, public employees drive recklessly,...


Texas dam regulation is in desperate need of repair

Liam Verses January 31, 2018

California residents scrambled to pack their belongings into their cars before sitting trapped on roads for hours after warnings of an impending dam failure barreled through their community. Last year...


UT’s CUSEF decision should serve as a model to other schools

Liam Verses January 24, 2018

UT President Gregory Fenves and other faculty recently decided to not accept money from the China-United States Exchange Foundation, CUSEF, for the new China Public Policy Center in a decision that canonizes...


High-speed rail needs to switch tracks

Liam Verses January 19, 2018

It’s not surprising that a transit project became yet another source of conflict and controversy in Texas. There are two players in this project: Texas Central and Texans Against High-Speed Rail....


Decision in religious freedom lawsuit is victory for students

Liam Verses December 6, 2017

The Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging student-led prayer at Birdville ISD board meetings last week. That decision is a victory for students of faith. Back in 2015, Isaiah Smith and the...


Texas communities should use newfound electoral voice to reconsider annexation

Liam Verses November 29, 2017

As cities expand, they acquire more land outside of their borders. This process often takes the form of municipal annexation, whereby unincorporated land adjacent to a city is integrated into the city....


Texas cities need to think carefully about floodplain development

Liam Verses November 14, 2017

Texas is booming. The Lone Star state grew nearly 11 percent in just six years. As development continues to spread from concentrated city centers out towards the country, land at risk for flooding becomes...


Rent-to-own disputes should be strictly civil matters

Liam Verses November 7, 2017

Rent-to-own companies offer products that customers can pay small rent payments for with the intention of eventually buying it. The appearance of low prices draws consumers in by convincing them that they’re...

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UT should change its disciplinary appeals process

Liam Verses October 31, 2017

The framers of the U.S. Constitution wrote it upon the principles of separation of powers and of checks and balances. These two legal frameworks prevent the consolidation of power and the confounding of...


Speedway needs bike lanes

Liam Verses October 24, 2017

During that 10–15 minute passing period between classes, Speedway becomes a crowded, congested and chaotic scene, more akin to I-35 during rush hour than a walkway on a college campus. Bikes weave...


Amazon, pick Austin

Liam Verses October 17, 2017

Texas needs Amazon. We need a company that will push money and people into our state, diversifying a struggling economic portfolio wrecked by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. We need Jeff Bezos’...


Don’t vilify gun owners in wake of Vegas

Liam Verses October 10, 2017

I woke up on Monday morning to five news alerts sitting on my phone. “Massacre,” “shooting” and “death” appeared across the screen. I sat there at the foot of my bed,...


Costs of distracted driving warrants change in perspective

Liam Verses October 3, 2017

AT&T’s “The Unseen” commercial is quite spine-chilling. The video, featuring a father who drops his daughter off at a pool, places a boy in the backseat of the dad’s car. After...


Success in graduation rates overshadowed by rising costs

Liam Verses September 26, 2017

President Gregory Fenves announced last week that UT fell just short of its five year goal to boost four-year graduation rates to 70 percent (achieving 65.7 percent). Many recognize that getting people...


Harvard fellowship should be an honor

Liam Verses September 19, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics invited Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow last Wednesday. The decision prompted the resignation of former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell from...


National disasters are no place for acute rhetoric

Liam Verses September 13, 2017

Before Hurricane Harvey fizzled out, political games were already underway. It seems that even in the most trying times, politicians and cartoonists just can’t contain themselves. If there’s...


SB 4’s unconstitutionality undermines its utility

Liam Verses September 6, 2017

No words can quite encapsulate the trenchant political scene in the Lone Star State. Senate Bill 4, the newest hot button issue to be litigated and halted, cracks down on sanctuary cities. SB 4 is in some...


Trump’s Arpaio pardon is inconsistent with law and order

Liam Verses August 30, 2017

As Category 4 storm Hurricane Harvey bore down on Texas, President Trump chose to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The presidential pardon is a powerful tool established by the U.S....


Is the U.S. ready for a megadrought?

Liam Verses August 1, 2017

Dust storms sweeping across the Plains; Phoenix turned into a place of vice and sand dunes; Texas ravaged by drought and super hurricanes; and corrupt state governments (with militias) battling it out...


For Texas schools, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s proposal a balanced, passable temporary fix

Liam Verses July 18, 2017

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick have been at odds this legislative session. Patrick called Straus’ school finance reform bill a “Ponzi scheme,” claiming it...


America, Look to Texas

Liam Verses July 11, 2017

There’s a piece in this month’s New Yorker called “America’s Future Is Texas.” Noting Texas’ rife politics, cultural innuendoes, and volatile intra-legislative conflict,...


Political parties poison the courtroom

Liam Verses June 27, 2017

Texas is known for many things — our rich state history, friendliness, football and George W. Bush, among other things.  However, there is a single item for which we stand out in the wrong way,...


Texas must prepare for the next big storm

Liam Verses June 20, 2017

Terrified by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina just weeks earlier, Houstonians fled in the days leading up to 2005’s Hurricane Rita, a storm with 175 mph winds packing a seemingly worst case...

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Top Ten rule hurting competitive school districts, unduly burdens UT Austin

Liam Verses June 19, 2017

“I didn’t get in.”  It’s a common saying for seniors in high school when applying to colleges and universities but one I hear too often from hopeful seniors applying to UT....


Educational finance remains broken, unfairly pressures cities

Liam Verses June 7, 2017

Texas public education reform flatlined again Wednesday, May 24, when the Texas Senate Education Committee chairman said he would not send Senators to a conference committee with the House, leaving Austin...

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