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  1. North Texas welcomed the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles into Denton on Senior Day to close out the 2017 home schedule. But what was supposed to be a day of happiness and celebration ended in agony for the Mean Green. North Texas (8-20, 2-14) was downed handily by the Golden Eagles (8-20, 2-14), solidifying the first losing record (7-11) at the Super Pit in 13 years. The Mean Green are now officially eliminated from Conference USA tournament contention. “I’m very disappointed in this afternoon,” head coach Tony Benford said. “I didn’t think we played well but Southern Miss had a lot to do with that. They did a great job executing against us. We missed some easy shots at the rim that I thought could have kept us in it.” Freshman guard A.J. Lawson, who has had to pick up the slack that was left by an injury-ridden season, had a double-double to lead the way. Lawson has stepped up in the extended absence of senior guards Keith Frazier, Deckie Johnson and junior forward Jeremy Combs. The freshman notched 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists. “Team first,” Lawson said. “I don’t come out here to just try and score everything.” Senior transfer Derail Green had one last chance to shine at home, and shine he did. Green finished with with 17 points and two rebounds, and no other Mean Green scorer broke into double-digits. “I just tried to come out with some energy and do whatever I can,” Green said. “We feel a little bit short. It was more the defensive errors that we made. The energy wasn’t that bad it was the attention to detail.” While Green and Lawson were strong, the Golden Eagles had a number of massive performances of their own. Senior guard Quinton Campbell led with 24 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting. Senior Michael Ramey was lights out from 3-point range early on his way to 19 points. Ramey was a big part of the 47-30 lead that Southern Miss held at halftime. View Full Article
  2. Farewell to Fouts View Full Article
  3. Kayla Davis & Celeste Gracia | Staff Writers According to the most recent enrollment numbers, UNT’s enrollment has increased at a slower rate than other comparably sized universities in Texas. But the university is fast approaching its goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. UNT has seen a 3.1 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years. In the fall of 2012, the total enrollment was 35,778; as of last semester, total enrollment was at 37,979. But other schools in the metroplex, such as the University of Texas at Arlington, have seen higher enrollment growth in the past five years. UTA has grown by 12.2 percent, starting with a total enrollment of 33,239 in the fall semester of 2012 and a total enrollment of 39,714 as of last fall semester. Vice president for enrollment Shannon Goodman said a reason for this lag may be attributed to the expansion of the UNT System. Opening campuses in Dallas and Frisco take away students that would otherwise go to the Denton campus. UTA’s growth, he said, is closely related to the growth of the UT System and their expansion into other forms of teaching. “UTA has shown a greater growth,” Goodman said. “Some of their growth has come from their online programs.” Other UNT System campuses have seen similar slowed growth rates. Opened in 2000, UNT Dallas now has 3,030 students enrolled as of fall 2016. Of those students, 40 percent identify as hispanic and 34 percent as African-American, a small increase from 2015. Increasing diversity at UNT In order to reach its goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, also called an HSI, UNT and other institutions must have 25 percent or more full-time hispanic undergraduate students. UNT currently has about 24 percent hispanic undergraduates, according to the online UNT fact book. Along with a HSI status in reach for UNT, the university is also close to achieving the status of a Minority Serving Institution, also called MSI. To be labeled as MSI, half the undergraduate and graduate student population must belong to a minority category. This excludes international students and students identified in the category “unknown” or “other.” As of fall 2016, UNT has about 48 percent of undergraduate students who identified as minorities. The UNT ethnic makeup of undergraduate students in fall 2016 was approximately as follows: white students comprised 48 percent, african-american 15 percent, hispanic 24 percent, asian/pacific islander 7 percent, american indian/alaskan native 2 percent, nonresident alien 3 percent and students who identified in the “other” category 1 percent. Vice president for institutional equity and diversity Joanne Woodard said one of the reasons for the university’s increased diversity could be attributed to the multicultural center, a “campus community center” that provides programs aimed at helping minority students. “When we can identify specific issues, we do try to focus attention and put some resources behind that,” Woodard said. “As the university grows, there will be a number of units that will have more programs that are targeted and focused on various issues of diversity.” Room for growth UNT is looking to push more online courses that can fit into working students’ schedules and offer a way for students to take classes without having to come to the physical campus, but still gain quality education. The university is even looking into potentially offering an entire major online, Goodman said. “We’re going to be here [for the students] whether that’s bringing out online programs or going out to Frisco and standing up a new facility or any other place in the metroplex that we need to take those services so we can meet the demands of the workforce and the students that are there,” Goodman said. Woodard said that another way to increase enrollment is through the further diversification of the school by reaching MSI and HSI status. “Once we reach those statuses, it’s going to increase our national prominence. It will increase the number of applications we get,” said Woodard. “Students really want to come here if you got that HSI stamp. The implication is that this is a welcoming and friendly place for people who identify as that.” Keeping HSI and MSI in mind, there are also goals to diversify the faculty. “While it’s not necessary to have [faculty diversity] be directly equal [to student], it is important I think for students to see role models who look like them that they can relate to,” Woodard said. Woodard said that once an HSI or MSI status is achieved, the university will implement more programs to better serve that population of students. “I think it also opens us up to some potential opportunities to apply for various grants a funding that can enhance some of the services and programming that we offer to students,” Woodard said. “We’ll be able to partner more with other institutions that are HSI status.” The university is projected to hit either of these statuses by 2018 but could get there even earlier, Goodman said. Featured Image: Prospective students are guided on a tour through the University Union alng with their parents, deciding if the University of North Texas is the right fit for them. Jake King View Full Article
  4. Making the rounds in the athletic center adjacent to Apogee Stadium as he has done plenty of times before, there are plenty of people to see. A voice calls out down the hall asking if Zach is still hanging around. As a faint yes echoes through the office, another Mean Green employee emerges from the back of the office to say hello. It is what Zach Orr does nearly every time he’s in town. He stops by the campus that gave him a shot at his NFL dream and sees those who watched it become a reality – and the people who were just as crushed to watch it end. “It’s just a feeling of joy when I step back on campus,” Orr said. “I have so many memories, not only from an athletic standpoint. It was the best four years of my life. I enjoyed my time here. I turned into a young man here. This university helped me grow.” But on this day, he returned to UNT just a few weeks removed from making the call to end his own career. Orr picked up a neck injury during the Baltimore Ravens’ 15th game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, signaling the end of a breakout season for the DeSoto High School product. He started all 15 games he appeared in for the Ravens in 2016, leading the team with 132 tackles while forcing a fumble and intercepting three passes. Zach Orr playing against Louisiana Tech in 2012. Rick Yeatts/Mean Green Athletics View Full Article
  5. Thinking back to her days in Hungary, a smile illuminates over the sun-kissed face of Alexandra Heczey. As the images of her homeland fill her mind, the elegant Gothic, Turkish and Baroque-style buildings that once surrounded her with a comforting embrace no longer exist. Not here at least. Not in Denton. As much as she misses her home, the soft-spoken freshman for the North Texas tennis team is not here to dwell on her past. “I have a lot of things going on here,” Heczey said. “I just [don’t] have time to think about it“ But if it wasn’t for a bit of luck, Heczey may have never ended up with the Mean Green. Heczey’s discovery of North Texas began with a simple Google search of the best hospitality degree programs in the country. When she saw UNT on the list she decided to reach out to head coach Sujay Lama. And Heczey took an unconventional approach to contact him. “I couldn’t find his e-mail, so I [messaged] him on Facebook,” Heczey said. “But because we weren’t friends my message went to the trash.” While skiing in the mountains of New Mexico, Lama, already exhausted, took a break from his adventures and decided to check on his Facebook account. Out of the 35 or so spam messages Lama received, over half of them were recruits vying for his attention. Uninterested, Lama decided to delete all of the messages. Except for one, of course. View Full Article
  6. Nate Jackson | Staff Writer In America, we have ingrained certain indispensable values into our society such as freedom, the pursuit of happiness and college sports. There are few things in our democracy more polarizing than sports, maybe race and politics. The reason being is that nothing exemplifies the conflicts life presents quite like sports does. Students should take a vested interest in the success of their school’s sports, especially the revenue-generating ones. Not only do they directly affect the advancement of a university, they also contribute to a dynamic, quality education. When an 18-year-old high school senior is considering what college to attend, in most instances, the competitiveness of the football and men’s basketball team are taken into consideration. Everyone wants to be part of the winning team. According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the quality of an institution’s brand helps determine the kinds of students and faculty a college can attract. “College athletics typically form part of that brand” for better or worse. The example I like using to give my colleagues a better understanding of this concept is the Ivy league. Schools such as Princeton, Columbia, Yale or Harvard don’t depend on athletics to help form a reputable brand. The prestige of those schools does enough for their brand. They’ve produced the most powerful men in the free world for hundreds of years. Even Harvard implemented the first systematic fundraising campaign in the U.S. in 1641. That said, they don’t need athletics to advance their curriculum or entice incoming students to open their checkbooks. Which is the perfect transition into my other point: alumni giving. There is a direct relationship between athletic success and alumni donations, also known as athletic revenue. According to CBS Sports, by the end of 2015, Texas had athletic revenue close to $180 million, Ohio State had revenue at $171 million and Alabama was sitting at $151 million. Alumni are motivated by various things, and some people feel that it’s their duty to give back to their specific concentration or to the overall well-being of their school. But when winning is a legacy, it’s a lot easier to pick up the phone and convince alumni to stay tied in and be involved with whatever their old university is doing. View Full Article
  7. ATM stolen from Rudy's in Denton, later found in Dallas View Full Article
  8. As men’s basketball associate head coach Rob Evans strides through the glass doors that separate the basketball offices from the concourse of the Super Pit, he stops to say a quick hello to all who cross his path. The 70-year old Evans gets to his office amid those trying to give their greetings and gets settled at his desk. He looks around, reminiscing on over half a century of basketball memories that include a scrapbook from the Final Four team Evans was a graduate assistant on to something a bit more personal – a picture of his wife of over 45 years. In his home away from home, that is the thing displayed front and center. “I enjoy getting up and coming to work,” Evans said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working in college athletics and a lifetime in coaching. I’ve worked with a lot of coaches and I’m not sure if I’ve enjoyed it any more than I have with Tony [Benford].” In the lobby of the basketball office sits administrative coordinator Bonita White. White has developed a friendship with Evans over the years, something that is not hard to do with the easy-going coach. “It’s terrific to have him around because he can always make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger,” White said. “It gives you value within the program. He has a way for making people feel valued.” Just down the hall from Evans’ office sits lifetime friend, head coach Tony Benford. Evans has known Benford since the day he was born, and the pair both grew up in the oil town of Hobbs, New Mexico. The Sandlot Evans was born in Hobbs in 1946 and was one of seven children, growing up with three older brothers, a younger brother and two sisters. His love for sports came from tough brotherly love from his older siblings. He would tag along with his older brothers to play sandlot baseball, basketball and football. Hanging around an older crowd, Evans knew he would have to get tough to survive. “I would get banged up a little bit and start wanting to whine,” Evans said. “But they would tell me if I wanted to go play with the little guys I could go play with the little guys. Otherwise, shut up and play.” He shut up. Evans went on to be a multi-sport standout in Hobbs before blossoming as a shortstop. He caught the eye of MLB scouts from the Colt 45s, now the Houston Astros, who wanted to draft Evans straight out of high school. But Evans’ mother wanted him and all of her children to get an education. “She told me it’s great they drafted you,” Evans said. “But if they want you, they can come get you after you graduate. It was not if I was going to go but where was I going to go.” Education and athletics Evans started his education at Lubbock Christian University where he became an All-American in 1966. Evans then made the jump to Division I in his home state at New Mexico State University. The English major captained the Aggies to two NCAA tournament berths, being defeated by Elvin Hayes and Houston in 1967. In 1968 the Aggies were downed by the mighty Bruins of UCLA, led by NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who were the eventual national champions. Prior to his final year of college, Evans knew he wanted to get into coaching, but an interesting opportunity arose. The football staff had been trying to get him to play football, and when John Madden of the Oakland Raiders was on the New Mexico State campus checking out football prospects, the football staff told him about Evans. Madden was interested and asked Evans to run a forty-yard dash for him. Impressed, he asked Evans if he would join the Raiders in camp. After a very quick stint with the Raiders, Evans decided with the help of his mother he would return to New Mexico to become a graduate assistant. “That’s what I wanted to do with my career,” Evans said. “I’ve been very blessed. I was blessed to have a mother that helped take me down the right path. Every decision was with her blessing.” The beginning of an illustrious career Evans always knew he would be a coach, and his time at New Mexico State was just the beginning of a long career. An Aggie team made up of former teammates of Evans’ would earn a trip to the Final Four in 1970 with him as an assistant. He then helped three Texas Tech squads claim Southwest Conference Tournament titles, and in two years with Oklahoma State University, he and the Cowboys reached two Sweet 16 appearances. After 24 years as an assistant, Evans got a chance he could not turn down. But it was not the most attractive option. Evans was a candidate for the head coach job at the University of Mississippi. The problem was, the Rebels only had one winning season in the last nine years. Evans’ boss at Oklahoma State, College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Sutton, warned him to not take the job. Evans did not heed his friends’ advice. View Full Article
  9. In a drab technical communication lab on the third floor of the auditorium building, history junior Alex McCann works where there is no food, drink or skateboards allowed. McCann spends up to 20 hours a week in the lab. Here, she helps anxious students with their projects, helps them build resumes and fits in time for her homework. After lab time and class, her day is far from over. From school, she leaves straight for her night job as a server at Waffle House, where she also works up to 20 hours a week. McCann’s story is typical of many University of North Texas students. For her and many others, they face a constant struggle between paying bills, working to stay in school and fighting for their futures. “I want to be on my own,” McCann said. “I don’t want to depend on anybody. I want to be an adult for once. I just want to get a degree and be a teacher so I can start my life.” According to the UNT financial aid department, approximately 28,000 students, or about 75 percent of the overall student population, received some type of aid for the 2016 year. In the same year, UNT gave about $142 million in grants and scholarships and about $156 million in loans, not including Parent PLUS loans, which require a parent or guardian cosigner. But grants, loans and scholarships don’t pay all the bills for thousands of UNT students like McCann. And so there are sacrifices. There was a time when she lived together with her then-boyfriend in their own apartment. It was a time of convenience, before two jobs and a 30-mile commute both ways. They were together for five years, but that doesn’t matter anymore. This was a relationship that meant more than words to her but is now just a memory. This was a relationship that her life was structured around, a relationship that brought on depression, insomnia, anxiety and exhaustion once it crumbled. “When you think you’re going to marry someone and they just give up, that’s what it was like,” McCann said. “I was out in three days.” Now she commutes from her father’s home in Carrollton and works in Denton. It’s crucial for her to structure her schedule efficiently. For McCann, a normal day is: wake up, commute 30 miles for job No. 1 at the lab, go to class, go to job No. 2 at Waffle House, commute another 30 miles back home, walk her dog, do homework and finally, maybe get some sleep. Rinse and repeat. There isn’t time for much else. At the end of the day, she is exhausted. McCann takes four online classes and one on campus. She said it’s easier to take online classes because this allows for a flexible schedule, especially with a full 15-hour class schedule. “Before, I didn’t really take money seriously,” she said. Now she does, because now she has around $12,000 in student loans and works two jobs out of necessity. Her focus is on a brighter future and independence. She works these hours at these jobs because there is hope in hard work — a hope that it will all be worth it in the end. She’s not alone. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the average annual cost of attendance for a Texas resident living on campus and enrolled in 15 hours per semester is $23,780, according to information from UNT department of admissions. Graduate students enrolled in 9 hours per semester living on campus will pay $20,352. A Dallas Morning News report from April 2016 analyzed “all 37 Texas four-year public colleges and relied on federal data, which goes back much further than what the state maintains,” the report said. UNT collected $260,908,550 in tuition in 2015 — about an 851% increase from the $27,445,949 collected in 1993, the report said. With this rise in tuition, students like McCann who can’t afford school outright often have to work side jobs like, such as being a server at Waffle House, just to survive. “It’s always rewarding when I go home with $100,” she said. “It takes a toll on your body though.” Harleigh Robinson, media arts sophomore Media arts sophomore Harleigh Robinson strives to eventually be a director or producer in film. “I want to be a part of that industry and make a change,” she said, noting whitewashing and historical inaccuracies in World War I documentaries. “They make some people seem better than they are and some worse than they are.” Robinson transferred to UNT from Midland College, in Midland, Texas, her hometown. In Midland, she remembers hearing of a time when the drug cartel killed two of her friends from high school. One of them was her neighbor and the other was her boyfriend. She remembers the bingo hall she worked at where retirees would drop $400 a night in the hopes of claiming some pointless prize, because these are the things that happen in Midland. Media Arts sophomore Harleigh Robinson sells tickets to “Split” at the Movie Tavern in Denton. She surrounds herself with films in her classes, at work, and in her spare time. Samantha Hardisty Her father dropped out of the 9th grade and later got his G.E.D. Her mother dropped out of college after her first year. Her older brother is studying to become a nurse. She is a first-generation college student. Her family is betting on her becoming something more for herself. “None of them have done it, so they want me to do it,” she said. Her interest in film and storytelling is not something normally brought up in conversation in Midland. For her, college is a rescue from stagnation. Getting a degree is the ticket out of small-town Texas, where not much happens and not so many people leave. She graduated high school as a licensed cosmetologist. In high school, she worked three jobs as a nanny, a cosmetologist cutting and styling hair and at the bingo hall. “I’m used to two jobs now,” she said. She’s learned that her bills don’t wait because she has tests and homework. She’s also learned that her medications she took to cope with depression, anxiety and ADHD were not helping, and stopped taking them. “That was so I could figure out how to live with my mental illnesses and still function in society,” she said. Now, she’s working around 40 hours a week between selling books at Voertman’s and ripping tickets, sweeping and pointing to theaters at the Movie Tavern. This is so she can afford $600 a month for rent, $100 a month on her car payment, $20 a week on food and a little bit here or there on her cat, who she taught to use the toilet. She’s always gone to school because if she wanted to leave Midland and become a movie director or producer, she’s had no other option. “It’s not a passion, but it’s necessary,” she said. “Where I come from, there’s nothing like this here, so I was kind of taking a shot in the dark.” Kara Jobmann, public relations senior Kara Jobmann worked three jobs and an internship while enrolled in 18 hours of classes during November through finals week of last year, and maintained an overall 3.4 GPA. She’s since taken a step back to breathe from all of that. “Some weeks I was working 20 or 30 [hours], others I was working 40 to 45,” she said. “It just depends.” As a public relations and English double-major, working all these hours on top of school grew to be too much to handle. She keeps three planners stocked with dates and times to keep her schedule in line; one for work, one for school and one for social time with her friends. Her parents are divorced and until this semester, loans were her only option to cover her expenses. Her mother is a school teacher, working on a teacher’s salary, and her father, who was “out of the picture” until this semester, made too much money for her to qualify for financial aid outside of loans. This is the first semester she received help from her father, and also the first semester she didn’t have to take out any loans. Now, she only works an internship for a public relations firm in Dallas and is a campus ambassador distributing KIND granola bar samples across the university. “I knew I was going to be in a lot of debt, so I wanted to further my chances of getting a good job,” Jobmann said. Public relations and English double major, Kara Jobmann sits at local bar Cool Beans spending a few hours of down time before a night class. ‘Free time’ like this often is scheduled weeks in advance in one of three planners she uses to keep her days in order and her mind at ease. Today’s visit to the bar was a rare, impromptu occasion. Kyle Martin Six months after she graduates this upcoming December, she’ll have to start paying back the $89,000 in student loans she’s taken out during her time in college. That is unless she finds a job and enrolls in graduate school before then. If at that point Jobmann is in graduate school, she plans to pay off her accruing interest while pursuing another degree and working at the same time. Post-college, she said she wants to be involved with public relations for a non-profit organization to advocate for the education of children in need. “I’m one of those millennials that believes education is a human right,” she said. “I think a lot of problems in our society come from a lack of education or lack of knowing. People are afraid of what they don’t know.” For her, going to school was an investment in herself. Investing in herself meant she’d later be able to invest herself into helping children receive an education. Jobmann said she took on so much because when she gets out of college she wants a job that pays above the median wage in her field. Focusing on herself often means time away from her friends, too. “You need social interaction. Humans need love and affection,” she said. “After a while your friends realize that you don’t have time for them and so they stop asking.” Samuel Coleman, sociology graduate studies Samuel Coleman is enrolled in the pass-through master’s degree program at UNT. He’s working towards getting his doctoral degree and master’s degree in sociology at the same time. With this being his first year in the program, he’s got a few years to go. Coleman took out just over $3,000 worth of loans between starting his undergrad degree program and now. His debt for now is minimal thanks to help from a Pell Grant and a McNair scholarship at Sam Houston State University, where he received his undergraduate degree. Without these federal aid programs, he said he would have gone to a junior college instead. His ultimate goal is to be a professor teaching social stratification and race relations to college students interested in sociology. Right now, he’s getting practice working 20 hours a week as a teaching assistant in the sociology department. On the weekends, he works 20 hours at Dillard’s to pay his bills — $420 a month on his car, $550 a month on his apartment where he lives alone and around $2,000 a month on food because he doesn’t cook too often and likes to eat. “Obviously, you just need to pay bills,” Coleman said. “You have to survive on your own. Luckily, I have a job that works with my schedule.” During his time as a graduate student, he will conduct research on his thesis and dissertation. Research is something held in high esteem in the sociology department. It’s a way to give back and show others what you have learned. “That’s why everybody is here, to give back in some way,” Coleman said. “To give back to your discipline.” But giving back doesn’t always happen when on the weekends he has to sell clothes instead of study about race relations in America. Regardless of whether he wants to work outside of school or not, he has financial obligations which won’t wait for him to write his thesis. A new normal McCann, Robinson, Jobmann and Coleman work two or more jobs to survive through school. Though their lives are different, they hold at least one thing in common with thousands of other UNT students. These students are fighting for their future. For these students, what matters are their post-college futures.This is true for millions of students across the country. For some dealing with rising education costs, the luxury of full-immersion in one’s education, without life or money getting in the way, doesn’t exist. Throughout American history, it’s been normal to graduate high school and go to college. In 2017, the new normal for many is full-time work and full-time school. But what matters more? Work, or school? And at what point does work get in the way of school, and vice versa? Coleman, with 40 hours a week on top of his graduate studies, feels the effects of this new normal firsthand. “There’s just no other option,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to change much as long as there’s bills to pay.” This piece is one of a series of pieces collaborating the different stories of students who work to financially combat rising higher education costs. If you would like to share your story on record, please reach out to Kyle Martin via email at kylebmartin96@gmail.com or via Twitter @Kyle_Martin35 Featured Image: Interdisciplinary studies sophomore Alex McCann works on the weekends at Waffle House, one of her part-time jobs. She said she spends time at there when she’s off work because she enjoys her co-workers and the regular customers. Samantha Hardisty View Full Article
  10. Construction persists View Full Article
  11. James Stevens | Contributing Writer Each university has its own legal way of handling unwarranted sexual advances and harassment. However in 2007, the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom mentioned that “most college and university speech codes would not survive a legal challenge…” Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said that colleges adopt these codes because they fear harassment lawsuits, “leaving victims of sexual harassment unprotected through three major discrepancies: their lack of a ‘reasonable person’ standard, the lack of severity and pervasiveness requirements and [their] problematic examples.” If these codes cannot defend victims during a legal battle, who are they really serving? To quote UNT’s policy on sexual misconduct: “Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual violence and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Here are the three amendments we need to fight for in order to establish a safer environment for UNT students. The Addition of a Reasonable Person Perspective Harassment has to be evaluated not only from the victim, but also from the perspective of a “reasonable person” in the victim’s position. This procedure defines the event of harassment as both subjective and objective, which is the requirement for any judicial action to be taken. This also protects innocent students who are wrongly accused of misconduct from falling prey to malicious slander. The addition of the “reasonable person” clause boils down to protecting and helping students who have undoubtedly been sexually harassed while disallowing students who have not been subject to this awful experience from seeking unjust retribution. The Addition of Severity and Pervasiveness Most codes of conduct use vague terms — out of laziness or lack of legal advice — and in this case, we see that the linchpin to an entire case rests on an ambiguous word. “Unwelcome,” as a legal term, lends itself to be interpreted very broadly. What scares me most about interpretation is that lawyers’ sole jobs rely on the re/misinterpretation of the law. Therefore, big guys win and the little girl loses because her pockets aren’t as deep. This could absolutely be avoided. The American Civil Liberties Union mentions the effects of vague wording in an article regarding hate speech codes at the University of Michigan. That college made a code of conduct to fight racism, primarily focusing on hate speech from white students to black students, but the wording of the code was so vague to the students it was meant to protect that several were effectively singled out and punished. According to the ACLU, “white students in 20 cases charged black students with offensive speech” for 18 months. “One of the cases resulted in the punishment of a black student for using the term ‘white trash’ in conversation with a white student,” and after that, “the code was struck down as unconstitutional in 1989.” Unlike the broad term of “unwelcome,” the Supreme Court’s definition of harassment requires the action to be “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive.” It only makes sense that we implement this clause as a way to protect the victims of sexual and other forms of harassment because it helps establish a criteria for victims to supply evidence for. The Deletion of an Examples List The example list is counter-intuitive because it outlines only a handful of conducts considered to be sexual harassment. But since it’s technically “not limited to” the list, students are left to consider whether or not their incident counts as harassment. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education states that “lists of examples like this are highly misleading.” Another reason behind the need for this particular change is that the list – explicitly stating any “unwelcome” verbal sexual conduct constitutes as sexual harassment – stifles students’ participation in open topics about sex, sexual identity and other topics. No student wants to face disciplinary action due to some unconventional idea or comment concerning a taboo subject. I propose that we adopt the following sexual harassment definition in place of our currently useless one: “Any verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe, pervasive and objectively offensive, which interferes with a reasonable person’s ability to participate in the educational process.” The execution of this new code would accomplish two things. First, it would protect the victims of sexual harassment from vague codes that can be dismissed, overturned and used against the victim, who it is intended to help. Lastly, it would protect every student from having their right to free speech compromised. Featured Image: The photo is a dramatization of a harasser blackmailing his victim. Originally taken on Mar. 9, 2015. Leon Isreal View Full Article
  12. Morgan Price | Staff Writer Despite picking up first-place finishes in both the 200m medley relay and the 100m breaststroke, the North Texas swimming team fell short against Southern Methodist University 143-99 on Senior Night in its last dual meet of the season. The Mean Green got off to a strong start, barely edging SMU in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.76. “I was really impressed with our 200m medley relay, those girls really came out fighting and they knew that we needed some momentum to start the meet,” head coach Brittany Roth said. “To watch Brittany Thurstin out touch [the] SMU swimmer in the end, that really got our team pumped.” While the Mustangs took the win overall, North Texas had at least a fourth place finish in every event, which set the tone for its continued practices before the Conference USA Championships at the end of the month. Roth was pleased with the times of her athletes and mentioned several bright spots, including junior Sarah Vaisse who finished first in the 100 breaststroke, as building blocks moving forward. “The time [I got] was better than last week by about one second which is a really good time for where we are right now,” Vaisse said. “I was satisfied with it and I feel really confident [going to] conference.” Junior Isabelle Morris had two third-place finishes, one in the 200 freestyle and another in the 100 freestyle. After being sick during the week leading up to the meet, Roth was impressed with Morris’ performance. “She lost some close ones but ultimately her times were really good,” Roth said. “That’s all you can ask of an athlete.” While the Mean Green seniors didn’t have as much of an impact with their times throughout the meet, the group maintained a positive atmosphere on their night and brought some fun energy as well. Singing, dancing, and cheering, North Texas honored its five seniors just before the end of the meet with flowers, signed plaques and photos in their final moment at their home pool. Senior Abbie Imes said it was a weird feeling knowing that her college swimming career was so close to its end. “This is it,” Imes said. “This is our last time in the pool. The races didn’t exactly go my way, but I’m not upset. I had a great time with my team and this is the last time I’m going to be able to do it with them [at home].” The Mean Green swimming team will have an exhibition practice with the Mustangs on Saturday as both teams to prepare for their conference tournaments at the end of the month. View Full Article
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