Category Archives: Events

On-campus or near-campus events

Human Rights Symposium

This week the White Rose Society is putting on their fourth annual Human Rights Symposium. The White Rose Society is a student organization focused on Holocaust remembrance and genocide awareness. All week they’re holding awareness events during the days and hosting insightful speakers in the evenings.

Photo by Mwamba Family Foundation

Tonight’s speaker is Sean Corasso, a UT alum and experienced activist. Sean will discuss the current state of child soldiers in Africa and how we, as students, can help end this atrocity. You can hear him speak in Welch1.120 at 7 p.m. tonight.

Sean is the founder of Falling Whistles, a non-profit that raises awareness about child soldiers in the Congo.

While traveling with Invisible Children, an organization that works end the war in Uganda and rebuild the war-torn country, and Toms Shoes, a group that donates a pair of shoes to a child in Ethiopia for every pair of shoes purchased, Sean stumbled into The Democratic Republic of Congo and heard something that shocked him.

He happened to meet a few recently-rescued child soldiers who shared with him their stories of being kidnapped and then forced to fight in a violent and bloody war. But then, they told him something even more disturbing and shocking. They told him the story of the whistle blowers, children too small to hold guns who are sent to the front lines of battle armed only with a whistle.

Whistle for purchase

As Sean explains in the diary he kept during the trip, which became the manifesto of Falling Whistles, “Their sole duty is to make enough noise to scare the enemy and then to receive with their bodies the first round of bullets.”

After returning home, Sean came up with a plan to raise awareness about the cause as well as money to help fight for it. He built an organization that sells whistles for people to wear around their necks in order to get people talking about the tragic situation.

Check out what he has to say tonight in Welch and if you want to do more, buy a whistle or check out their summer internship program.


Texas Spring Football Jamboree

The 2010 Texas Football Spring Jamboree may not be most people’s idea of a typical Easter celebration, but that is exactly how many dedicated Longhorn fans will be spending this upcoming Sunday.

While most are sitting back at home, relaxing with family after a more traditional Easter egg hunt, tens of thousands of burnt orange clad fans will be flocking to Darrell K Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium (no typo, “K” is the legendary coach’s entire middle name) to check out their beloved Texas Longhorns football team

Orange-White Game 2009. Photo by TexKap via Flickr Creative Commons

as they end spring practice with their annual Orange-White Game.

For many, this will be their first time to see the team since the loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship on January 7.

“I haven’t been able to make any of the open practices, so I’m really looking forward to this,” said sophomore Shelby Clawson. “I’m curious to see the team and how the new quarterback has come along.”

That “new” quarterback would be Garrett Gilbert, the local Lake Travis High School product who fell short of a victory but performed admirably in the championship game after Colt McCoy got knocked out with a pinched nerve in his throwing shoulder.

After seeing Gilbert’s performance in that game, many are assured that the future is in good hands. Others are more curious to see how the coaches have addressed the issues on the offensive and defensive lines.

And oh yeah, the running game.

Wait, we have one of those?

All joking aside, don’t expect the coaches to reveal many new wrinkles or to do anything that might tip their hand to opposing coaches.

It will be mostly basic play calling, just with some different faces on the field.

In addition to the Orange-White game at 4 p.m., the annual Fan Fest will start at 1:30 p.m., with various activities outside and also in the Red McCombs Red Zone on the north end of the stadium.

The weather as of right now is sunny and 80 degrees, so bring your sunglasses. But knowing this Texas weather, you might want to bring your pancho along just in case.

For those of you who can’t make it, the game will be broadcast live on FSN Southwest and Fox College Sports Central.

Forty Acres Fest

Due to the barrage of emails and event invitations on Facebook that I have been getting recently regarding Forty Acres Fest, I feel that it is a pretty good time to talk about the event.

While the annual festival is still almost three weeks away, with a busy second half of the spring semester about to be in full swing, April 10 will be here sooner than you think.

And you do not want to miss it.

If you are searching for your place at The University of Texas, feeling the urge to get a little bit more involved with one of many organizations on campus, or just looking for something free to do on a Saturday afternoon, then Forty Acres Fest is just for you.

Forty Acres Fest is an event for the entire Austin community, but is especially dependent on student participation.

Photo by Liz Wong via Creative Commons

Through booths and activities set up by various groups and organizations, the university encourages interaction among the members of UT and promotes the diversity of interests and depth that are present on the Forty Acres.

Over the years, the festival has become a university tradition, featuring food, fun, games, and of course, live music.

In fact, all of the buzz this year seems to be surrounding Girl Talk, who returns to Austin after putting on a crowd favorite show at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this past fall.

“I’ve seen all the concerts at Forty Acres Fest, and this is by far the one that I am most excited about,” said senior Andrew Trang. “He absolutely killed it at ACL.”

To say students are excited for this year’s concert is an understatement. However, the festival has seen plenty of big names perform, including The Roots, Ludacris, Common and Little Richard.

The concert will be taking place directly in front of the Tower on the Main Mall, while other activities and booths will be scattered throughout the South and West Malls as well.

Staying in Austin for Spring Break?

Maybe you have to work or maybe you just don’t want to spend the week in your hometown, and so you’ll be spending your week off here in Austin, Tx. Perhaps you’re wondering what you’re going to do during the week while all of your friends are back at home or at the beach.

Well fortunately for you, I’ve made a list of three easy, cheap, fun things for you to do! Of course you could always spend the week going to SXSW events, but that would make you just too cliche! 😉

Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the IMAX

Another perk of being a UT student is that there is an IMAX theater, at the Bob Bullock Museum,  within walking distance of campus. They play all sorts of movies, from historical films to nature films (think Planet Earth style) to normal contemporary movies. They also frequently showcase 3D films. The current 3D and contemporary film they’re showing is Alice in Wonderland, starring Johny Depp, and directed by Tim Burton.

Now IMAX movies tend to be a little more expensive than normal movies and 3D movies are usually a bit more expensive as well, but fortunately there is a student discount so tickets for students are $10. As a point of reference, I watched this movie  last weekend at Galaxy Highland Theater and adult tickets were $13 due to an extra charge for 3D and that wasn’t even an IMAX theater!

I would definitely recommend arriving at least half an hour early because last time I visited that theater the person I was meeting arrived just before the movie and we ended up sitting in the first row and having to turn our heads to try to see the whole screen during the movie!

Making Movies Exhibit at The Harry Ransom Center

For the next several months the Harry Ransom Center will feature an exhibition that explores and chronicles the movie-making process.

The exhibition will be split into two sections. The first will explain the roles of several different players in the movie process including directors, producers, screenwriters, art directors, costume designers, and actors. The second section will feature “original scripts of iconic scenes from about 10 motion pictures…alongside production materials for that scene.”

This event is available Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m

Kayaking at Zilker Park

Now that the weather is finally warming up it’s become perfect conditions for kayaking!

Jordyn demonstrating the fun of kayaing...although, admittedly not at Zilker Park

One of the best places to kayak in Austin is Zilker Park, since it’s centrally located and they have kayaks available for rent.

At $10 an hour it’s a fairly affordable activity and it doesn’t require a lot of effort or planning since they have the kayaks, paddles, and life jackets. One important reminder though, bring cash because they do NOT accept debit or credit cards!

Got the After-Football Blues? Check Out a Baseball Game

After living in Texas for over 20 years, I have realized that down here the calendar is not divided by the typical four seasons. Part of the reason is the crazy and erratic weather, but another reason—a really big one—is the state’s infatuation with a certain fall sport.

You see, growing up, the only two seasons that I knew were simply “football season” and “not football season.” Summer, fall, winter and spring—what are those?

Having said that, we now currently find ourselves stuck in the middle of this “not football season.” It’s a bit of a lethargic stage for many Longhorns sports fans, but the true ones have found several fun and exciting ways to pass the time.

One of those ways is The University of Texas Baseball team, which even with its own rich history plays a clear second-fiddle role to Longhorns football.

The Longhorns sing The Eyes of Texas after a victory.

Currently ranked third in the polls with an 8-3 record, the Horns baseball squad is yet another high profile sports team at the university with a chance to win their respective national championship.

Basketball filled the void nicely for a while, but with their recent slide faded quickly—and so did their support.

Baseball, however, has proven itself before with six College World Series titles, including two under current skipper Augie Garrido, the all-time winningest NCAA Division I coach. Playing Garrido’s signature “small ball” and always sporting a strong pitching staff, the Horns have moved themselves to the top of the sport and have become a fixture at the College World Series.

While you won’t be seeing a rowdy crowd at Disch-Falk Field top 100,000 anytime soon like you would at DKR, the recently renovated stadium which has under 7,000 seats provides a great time for many students and other fans.

“Baseball games are the best,” said junior Wes Hamiltion. “I love the ballpark atmosphere, it’s just a unique and relaxing experience…a great way to spend an afternoon.”

Any student with a Longhorn All Sports Package can get into a game by showing their student identification at the ticket window at the entrance to the ballpark.

Next on the schedule for the Horns is Texas State tomorrow at 6:05 P.M at the Disch. They round out the weekend with a four-game series against Iowa, also here in Austin.

J.D. Salinger Tribute at HRC

The Harry Ransom Center and American Short Fiction, an Austin-based literary magazine, presented a tribute to the late J.D. Salinger Friday evening.

Authors Elizabeth Crane, Nick Flynn, Amelia Gray, ZZ Packer, John Pipkin, and Amanda Eyre Ward read excerpts from Salinger’s published work and bits of his letters to Elizabeth Murray.  Murray was the sister of one of Salinger’s classmates at Valley Forge Military Academy as well as a close friend.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my recorder, but you can listen to Elizabeth Crane narrate the first set of letters here:

And John Pipkin narrates the second set here:
photo by Yolande Yip

John Pipkin

While Salinger is best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye, “we all know that Salinger’s accomplishments as a writer extend beyond this work.  He was undoubtedly one of the finest short story writers of his age, and he had a unique ability to create timeless characters that his readers, generation after generation, continued to identify with and love,” said Thomas F. Staley, the Harry Ransom Center Director.

“His fiction isn’t just for people who read and write for a living.  It’s for people who love words or conversation, people who are interested in religion or the lack of it, the serious, the light-hearted, young people and people who remember their youth,  the happy, the mystical, even the uninterested, the alienated,” said Callie Collins, Editorial Fellow of American Short Fiction.

photo by Yolande Yip

Jill Meyers (left) and Callie Collins

The event marked the opening of a small display of Salinger’s original manuscripts, letters (including the ones from Murray), and inscribed books from the HRC’s Salinger collection.

For any Longhorn who’s not familiar with the facility, the HRC is a renowned research library primarily dedicated to the study of literature and culture in the United States, Great Britain and France.  According to its website, the HRC’s “collections contain 36 million leaves of manuscripts, one million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art, in addition to major holdings in theater arts and film.”

A few of the HRC’s most notable acquisitions include one of only five complete, original Gutenberg Bibles; the first photograph ever taken and costumes from Gone with the Wind.  The HRC also features impermanent exhibitions, rotating about every six months.

Chances are, you’ll never have an academic reason beyond Art History 301 (and trust me, TD 301 is a much easier fine arts credit) to get lost in the HRC archives, but it’s a very unique resource you can take advantage of during your UT career.  If nothing else, at least walk by 21st and Guadalupe to examine the nifty windows.

photo by Yolande Yip

HRC Windows from Outside

photo by Yolande Yip

HRC Windows from Inside