University of Texas-Austin stabbing victim identified, murder charge expected

USA TODAY College– May 1, 2017

A knife attack Monday afternoon at the University of Texas-Austin near the student recreation center and the campus library left one dead, according to CBS Austin, and three others with injuries.

Police identified freshman Harrison Brown as the victim at a press conference Tuesday. Two of the other victims have been released from the hospital, according to a UT President Greg Fenves.

Kendrex White, a junior at UT-Austin, was armed with a “large, Bowie-style hunting knife” when arrested and is expected to be charged with murder, according to Austin police.

White studies biology, according to the university directory, and the Austin American-Statesman reports he is a member of the Black Health Professionals Organization student organization on campus.

“He was always the sweetest guy, laughing, and having a good time with people. He and I took IB classes together my junior and senior year so this is definitely a shock,” Angela Bonilla, a UT-Austin student who went to high school with White in Killeen, Texas, told the Killeen Daily Herald.

Authorities are working to understand White’s motivation for the attack. UT police Chief David Carter said at the Tuesday press conference White had been involuntarily committed in another city for mental health issues, Dallas Morning News reports.

The attack happened at 1:46 p.m. local time, in a high-traffic area of campus with many witnesses.

Freshman Rachel Pritchett, an eyewitness to the attacks Monday, told the Austin American-Statesman she heard people screaming and then saw a man holding what “looked like a machete.” She said she ran away after watching him use it to stab another man.

Krishant Dania, another eyewitness, told USA TODAY College he was reading at a picnic table when the attack started. “I heard gasping down the table, and I saw a guy with a bunch of blood going down him,” he said. The freshman immediately went to help. “I went over, and I clamped my hands on him, trying to apply some pressure.”

Looking up, Dania spotted the assailant continuing the attack. “I see a guy walking down with a machete, and he raises up his arm … and he gets a guy in the back of the neck in front of the food trucks,” he said. He says the attacker looked at him briefly and moved on. He seemed calm, according to Dania.

“He was very nonchalant; just chilling, just stabbing people. He was just walking along. He wasn’t acting suspicious. You wouldn’t have known he was up to anything if he didn’t have a huge knife,” Dania said.

Austin emergency services first tweeted about the stabbing at 1:56 p.m. local time.

The Washington Post reported that it took police two minutes to arrive on the scene after receiving the first call, and Austin Police tweeted about it at 2:07 p.m. local time.

Students were not issued an official alert by the university until 2:15 p.m., nearly a half-hour after the incident occurred. Many students and others have criticized the school on social media for its response time.

The university later canceled classes and events for the rest of the day, stressing that no ongoing threat remained.

Facebook also activated a safety check.

“There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” tweeted Fenves.

This attack comes three days after a knife attack at another university, Transylvania University in Kentucky.

Ohio U student recites Dr. Seuss stories outside bars for final exam inspo

USA TODAY College– May 1, 2017

If you don’t like green eggs and ham but you do like a weekend outing to the local bars near Ohio University, you may run into a college student who likes to recite Dr. Seuss stories after the bars close.

Ohio University junior Justin Falkenbach has been reciting these poems outside of bars during finals week– sometimes gathering crowds of up to 300 people.

Falkenbach said he was at a bar Wednesday night after taking a final exam when one of his friends handed him a Dr. Seuss book for open mic night.

“I started to read [to my friend] but the bar was closing, so I was like, ‘Alright, story time outside’,” Falkenbach said. “About 10 people followed me outside and sat down to hear me read The Cat in the Hat.”

He said those 10 or so people soon turned to about 200 people excitedly listening and joining in on the rhymes. Falkenbach said he read all 61 pages of the book.

The next night, Falkenbach said he carried a copy of Green Eggs and Ham with him, and took to the streets for another reading at 2 a.m.

“At least 300 people were there. Apartments nearby started playing music and people were dancing in the streets, so the police showed up and shut it down,” he said.

Finally, Friday night Falkenbach said he read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for all the graduating seniors who were out for a drink after taking finals.

In addition to achieving Twitter fame within the OU community and even nationally, Falkenbach ended his junior year of college with a bang, saying it was one of his favorite college nights ever.

“It was a good way to end the school year and fun for everyone involved,” Falkenbach said. “I’m not sure if I’ll do it again — maybe I’ll break it back out during finals week again next spring for my senior year. Our university is truly a magical place and I think the randomness of this just solidifies that statement.”


The battle over Ann Coulter speaking at Berkeley is going to court

USA TODAY College– April 24, 2017

The Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans just filed suit against UC Berkeley, seeking damages for constitutional rights violations after the university sought to cancel a speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter planned by students.

Coulter was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley this Thursday, but the university cancelled the event over safety concerns. Even though the university reversed course and said Coulter could speak on campus a different day, the groups hosting Coulter are taking it to court.

The UC Berkeley Police Department said they have received notice that groups that previously protested and fomented violence in Berkeley have planned to agitate again at Coulter’s speaking event.

UCPD wrote a letter to the attorney representing the Berkeley College Republicans and YAF, which supports the Coulter event, that said the university cannot protect Coulter and student supporters from anticipated violence as no campus venues could accommodate the security threats.

YAF wrote on their website that the university had plenty of notice of Coulter’s speaking date, but “instead of moving forward with event logistics for Coulter’s lecture, Berkeley’s administration chose to play a shell game with conservative students, only to ultimately cancel the event.”

YAF said UC Berkeley was unwilling to work with conservatives and protect the right of free speech. “Berkeley, we’ll see you in court,” YAF wrote.

Coulter told The Hollywood Reporter she still plans to speak on Thursday at UC Berkeley.

The College Republicans content that the university “hates free speech.”

In February, the university cancelled a Milo Yiannopoulos event over safety concerns. Still, fires and fights broke out during the demonstrations against the right-wing conservative.

President Donald Trump even threatened to take away federal funding from Berkeley.

On Friday in a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos said he will be hosting a multi-day event, “Milo’s Free Speech Week,” in response to controversies over conservative speakers being protested and cancelled on college campuses, particularly at Berkeley.

He said the week will include events on campus at Berkeley and if the university does not help with planning and executing the events, “Milo Week” will be extended to an entire month.

“I intend to return Berkeley to its rightful place as the home of free speech — whether university administrators and violent far-left antifa thugs like it or not,” Yiannopoulos wrote.

Last week, alt-right leader Richard Spencer won a court case for the right to speak at Auburn University after the university canceled on him — and he went ahead and spoke, amid protests.

USA TODAY College reached out to the Berkeley College Republicans and YAF for comment on the Berkeley lawsuit.

10 apps that can help you ace your finals

USA TODAY College – April 19, 2017

It’s final exam season, and your GPA is on the line. Sure, you could study the old school way: Pen, paper and a textbook. Or, you could use technology and study for your finals right in the palm of your hands. Numerous education apps on the market can help you study for any class from Spanish to biology to calculus.

Don’t wait until the last minute to learn an entire semester’s worth of coursework. Start studying for your finals early, and download an app that will help you survive this semester’s finals. Here are a few ideas.


Have a huge research paper due at the end of the semester? This free app, available on iOS and Android, will help make your bibliography perfect. You can search books, journals, websites, etc. on the app or scan a book barcode to generate a citation. The app allows you choose from more than 7000 styles to format your bibliography, so don’t worry if your professor wants a format other than the typical APA, MLA or Chicago style. There is even a website to do everything online.


Studying for a Spanish or French final can be hard, but this app makes it a lot easier. Duo Lingo is free and has skill lessons for 23 languages. In addition to interactive learning games and flash cards, the app has a feature where you can practice speaking a language and having a conversation with a bot. This app is available on iOS, Android and Windows.


This free app allows you to do the classic flash card studying method digitally. After making a set of flash cards, you can study by flipping through each flash card, filling in the blank, matching or playing an interactive study game. Flashcards can even include photos or diagrams. Quizlet is available on iOS and Google Play.


If you love flash cards, you have options. Tiny Cards is another free app for flash card studying with memory games. You have the option of making your own decks of flash cards or searching from 10,000+ decks on the app. This tool can help you study languages or other subjects and is available on iOS.


Need to catch up on a few lectures before the big final? iTunes U has more than 1 million free lectures, videos, books and other class resources to help you ace your exam. This app has material from several colleges including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and more.


This app is the ultimate place to store and create class notes. Your notes can include photos, videos, audio and sketches to give you a variety of ways to study. This app allows for creation of to-do lists so you can organize when and what you need to study. Evernote is free and available on iOS, Android and Windows.


The key to finish the semester and surviving finals is staying organized. Sometimes final exams are scheduled for different days or times than the regular class meeting time. Don’t accidentally sleep in and miss your 8 a.m. final exam. This app helps organize your workload and can be used to keep track of when your final exams are and when you need to study for them. My Study Life is free and available on iOS, Android and Windows.


Where are all the STEM majors at? This app helps you study for science or math, with more than 210 topics and 1,500 formulas. The student pack bundles together iMathematics Pro, iPhysics Pro and iChemistry pro for $6.99. If you don’t need the bundle, you can purchase the individual apps for $2.99 each from the Apple App Store.


As the name of app implies, Notability is for note-taking. This app allows you to type, sketch, annotate documents, write on photos, record audio and organize notes by subject. Writing features allow for flawlessly made graphs, diagrams and other designs. This app is available on iOS for $9.99.


Sometimes writing and reading over written notes isn’t enough. This diagram app is perfect for visual learners. Grafio 3 allows you to easily create diagrams or schematics with a variety of shapes, stencils, labels, fonts and more. This app is free and available on iOS.

May the odds be ever in your favor for your final exams!

15 companies that help employees pay for college

USA TODAY College – April 17, 2017

Are you graduating –and facing both finding a job and paying off your student loan debt? Or are you juggling college and career simultaneously?

You may want to know about companies that offer tuition reimbursement for eligible employees. Some help you pay back your undergraduate or graduate student loans, others assist employees currently taking college courses. Nice perks.

1. AT&T

After being employed for at least one year, employees at AT&T may be eligible to receive up to $3,500 per year for approved courses and educational experience, with a lifetime maximum of $20,000 for undergraduate expenses and up to $25,000 for graduate expenses.


Bank of America employees of at least six months may be eligible to receive up to $5,250 for job-related courses, covering tuition, textbooks and other educational expenses.


Employees of this health care company are eligible for the educational assistance program, which allows up to $5,250 per year of tuition reimbursement for undergraduate courses. With manager approval, Baxter will assist with graduate coursework.


Active, full-time employees of at least six months who are working at least 32 hours per week may be eligible to receive up to $3,500 per year for undergraduate coursework and up to $5,250 for graduate coursework through Best Buy’s tuition assistance program.

5. BP

The BP educational assistance program will reimburse eligible full-time employees for up to 90% of educational expenses. Employees must receive company approval before registering for the course.


Employees of Comcast can be reimbursed up to $5,750 per year for undergraduate and graduate educational expenses. The company also has its Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, which awards students more than $1,000 per year.


Employees may receive up to $700 per college credit and the cost of textbooks.


The JetBlue scholars program covers the cost of JetBlue-approved online courses. Employees who have worked for JetBlue for at least two years and have at least 15 college credits are eligible for the program.


The tuition reimbursement program at Publix covers individual courses, occupational/technical programs and some undergraduate programs. Any associate who has worked for at least six months and works an average of 10 hours per week is eligible to receive up to $3,200 per year with a maximum of $12,800 of tuition reimbursement, with approval from a manager. To receive tuition reimbursement for a graduate degree, you must get higher approval.


This company says it will reimburse employees up to 100% of tuition for college courses approved by Smuckers. There is also a scholarship program for children of Smuckers employees, awarding recipients $3,000 per year for up to ten years.


Aside from learning how to make amazing espressos, Starbucks wants its employees to learn things in the classroom as well. The Starbucks U Program offers college credit for Starbucks training, student discounts on textbooks and supplies, tuition reimbursement from $500-$1,000 per year and scholarships at select schools.

12. UPS

The “Earn and Learn Program” with UPS allows you to get a career started and get help with paying for college. UPS says if you join the team as a part-time package handler, you can earn $5,250 for college each year with a lifetime maximum of $25,000. However, the program is only available at certain locations and only offered with the part-time package handler position.


All employees of Verizon are eligible to receive up to $8,000 per year of tuition reimbursement. Verizon says it provided $94.1 million in tuition assistance to employees in 2015.


Part-time and full-time Wal-Mart associates — and eligible family members of associates — may receive 15% tuition grants at American Public University, an online institution.


In addition to health plans, paid time off and special discounts on Wells Fargo products, employees can receive up to $5,000 per year of tuition reimbursement. The company also offers $1,000 to $3,000 educational scholarships to dependent children of employees.

The Easter egg hunt is on at college campuses across the country

USA TODAY College–April 13, 2017

Easter Sunday is almost here, and several colleges are getting in the holiday spirit.

While some schools welcome families and children from the community to campus to hunt for candy and prizes and to participate in games and activities, others host egg hunts for the students. Here are some upcoming egg hunts:


The stakes in the annual Golden Egg Hunt, hosted by UT-Austin’s Co-Op and now in its fourth year, are a bit higher than most. The student who finds the golden egg will be rewarded *free* textbooks for one semester. Whoa. The Co-Op also hides orange eggs around campus that are filled with other prizes.


This historically black liberal arts college, located in Austin near UT-Austin, is having it’s 13th annual community Easter egg hunt with a $500 scholarship prize egg, plus other eggs containing school supplies and candy. The college also has story-time, in which children learn the story of Easter. The event is sponsored by the University Ambassadors at Huston-Tillotson and welcomes children of all ages.


This 23rd annual egg hunt and learning festival is hosted by Eggster, a student organization at UC-Berkeley. The event includes egg hunts for children, more than 40 educational booths and fundraising for local nonprofit organizations. This year’s hunt and festival will be at Campanile Esplanade, a large outdoor space on campus.


The Michigan Law school, with the Christian Legal Society and the Older Wiser Law Students, is hosting its second annual Easter egg hunt. They encourage students, faculty and staff to attend and bring their children and families to hunt for candy-filled eggs.


Community service organization Eighth Dimension is hosting its annual egg hunt at Haveford College, a small liberal arts college near Philadelphia. The afternoon will include face painting, games, arts and crafts and, of course, lots of eggs.


Jackson College, a small school in Jackson, Mich.,  invited families with children who are 10 years old and younger to hunt for candy and prize-filled eggs on the central campus. This will be its fourth annual egg hunt.

Meanwhile, some colleges have already hosted community Easter egg hunts on their campuses.


University of Dallas alumni hosted an egg hunt for children and families April 9. Children up to 10 years old scoured the campus in search of toy-filled Easter eggs.


This small college in Frederick, Md., also held its Easter egg hunt April 9. It was hosted by the student government association and featured games, candy, prizes and arts and crafts.

The first LGBT journalist group in Texas is forming at UT

USA TODAY College– April 12, 2017

Journalism students at the University of Texas-Austin are in the process of forming the first National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) chapter in the state of Texas.

NLGJA is a national organization made up of journalists, media professionals, educators and students who work for fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. There are currently 13 regional chapters and seven student chapters, not including UT. Student chapters include Arizona State University – the first NLGJA student chapter in the United States, founded in 2010 – Columbia University, Indiana University, Northwestern University, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill and University of Oregon.

The idea to form a NLGJA chapter at UT began this semester with journalism junior Forrest Milburn. At the beginning of March, Milburn posted in a UT journalism Facebook group about reporting from several news outlets using incorrect terminology calling individuals “transgendered” or “transgenders” rather than correctly using “transgender” as an adjective. He suggested beginning a NLGJA chapter on campus to educate people on LGBT reporting and said several people commented on the post and messaged him that they were interested.

Milburn said there are currently about 15 members and officers have already been selected. He was chosen as president. UT NLGJA is an official UT organization but is waiting for the national NLGJA chapter vote to approve it. The vote is expected to happen April 21.

“As a gay person, I have a different perspective than a straight person covering certain issues,” Milburn said. “People covering LGBT issues are usually straight. Newsrooms do not look like what we’re covering, and if we don’t reflect our audience then the coverage will not be as good.”

UT NLGJA held its first meeting Tuesday night and has a co-hosted event planned for April 17, which will be a panel of professional reporters discussing the “bathroom bill” in Texas, in regards to what restrooms transgender people can or cannot use.

“UT is the best university to start a [NLGJA] chapter,” Milburn said. “We have a lot of minority journalism organizations.”

This year, journalists at UT also formed a chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. The National Association of Black Journalists has been on the UT campus since 2011.

Milburn said he hopes to collaborate with the other journalism organizations on campus to help improve newsroom diversity.

In addition to being the founder and president of UT-NLGJA, Milburn is also the vice president for UT’s Society of Professional Journalists, the associate news editor for UT’s daily student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and a news intern for Austin’s local newspaper, The Austin American-Statesman. 

College junior launches anti-Trump lipstick to empower women

USA TODAY College – April 6, 2017

First came the pink pussyhats. Now there’s lipstick.

A college student created an anti-President Trump lipstick to voice her disapproval of the president and fight back against how she views women’s issues being dealt with under the Trump administration.

After the presidential election, Katie Sones, a junior at Cal Poly, took action by creating cosmetic brand Lipslut and a pink matte anti-Trump lipstick called “F*ck Trump.”

"F*ck Trump" pink matte liquid lipstick 🖕💄 Pre-order yours @ 💋💋

A post shared by Lipslut (@hello.lipslut) on

Half of the lipstick sales will go to the woman’s charity that receives the most votes from customers during checkout. The website says the lipstick is “50 percent towards charity, 100 percent against tyranny and of course, 100 percent cruelty free.”

F*ck Trump

A post shared by Lipslut (@hello.lipslut) on

“People are going to buy lipstick either way, so if you could do that and have the money go somewhere that you support, that would be perfect,” Sones told the Cal Poly publication Mustang News.

Girls and women are criticized for their sexual activity whether it's real or imagined; while boys and men are congratulated for the very same behavior. The essence of this sexual double standard: boys will be boys, & girls will be sluts. I'm not posting this for any validation, but to simply say that women who are happppy with their bodies and their sexuality are not "sluts" nor do they "seek attention". They don't need permission from anyone, and we are not objects that belong to anyone… Be proud of your body and be happy with who you are bc someone is always going to bring you down bc of their own small minded insecurities and oppressive beliefs. But that's their problem, not yours. ✌🏼 #EndBodyShaming #EndSlutShaming

A post shared by ktP 🐾 (@katiepostl) on

The Lipslut website says that by purchasing the lipstick, customers are taking a stand and taking action, supporting a cause and empowering women to create a better future.

Lipslut is currently pre-selling the $19.95 liquid lipstick and taking votes for the charity that proceeds will go to. Some of the possible charities include Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union and Women on Wings.

“We really believe in people supporting a company that they can get behind,” Sones told Mustang News. “We want to integrate philanthropy into everyday life – why not support something you care about?”

On their website, Lipslut says they hope to become a household name for progressives and conservatives alike. They say in the future they hope to offer a broad range of cosmetics, with more lipstick colors, and continue their philanthropy work.

Alarming UT-Austin report: 15% of female undergrads say they’ve been raped

USA TODAY College – March 27, 2017

The University of Texas-Austin released a new sexual assault report with results that were shocking for a lot of the UT-Austin community and brought deep concerns.

The report showed that 15% of undergraduate women at UT-Austin reported that they had been raped while attending the university. For a campus of more than 50,000 people, that would mean thousands of women were reportedly raped during their undergraduate years.

And 32% of the students surveyed said they had never told anyone abut the incident or incidents they experienced before completing the survey. Out of the students who did tell someone, only 6% reported it to university services.

The survey results left many UT-Austin parents, students, faculty and staff concerned about safety on campus.

In a letter to the UT community about the survey, UT-Austin President Greg Fenves called the survey findings “a wake-up call.” He urged survivors to report sexual assaults to the university Title IX office.

“No voice is too quiet to listen to. No story of abuse is too minor to ignore. No truth is too uncomfortable to face. We support you,” he wrote.

Student Body President Kevin Helgren said in a Facebook post, “15 percent is unacceptable and inexcusable. These percentages are reflective of a societal issue. Sexual assault and interpersonal violence are endemic to college campuses and we must take an active role in addressing these issues quickly and thoroughly.”

Freshman Alexis Tatum said the survey numbers shocked her and reminded her of the dangers of being a young female on a large college campus.

“To find out this many women have been raped at my school is disheartening and eye opening,” Tatum told USA TODAY College. “I know someone who is a freshman that has been raped.”

Tatum said she works late nights at the library and plans to be extra cautious and aware of her surroundings.

Some UT-Austin organizations have already taken an active role in addressing such issues. During the fall semester, the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coalition was formed, with several organizations dedicated to preventing and ending interpersonal violence at the university.

The university also has several prevention resources and resources for sexual assault survivors.

Other key findings of the report: 28% of undergraduate women at UT-Austin said they were victims of unwanted sexual touching, and 12% said they experienced attempted rape.

The survey, which began in May 2015, invited 45,000 students to participate. About 7,700 random students filled out an online questionnaire, anonymously — a response rate of 17.1%.

Five forms of violence and misconduct were looked at:
– Sexual harassment by faculty/staff.
– Sexual harassment by students.
– Stalking.
– Relationship abuse and violence.
– Unwanted sexual contact.

The intersectionality of race and ethnicity with violence and misconduct was not explored.

This UT-Austin report is part of a larger University of Texas System report, that expands across 13 institutions.