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Upstate New York Pre Med Student Becomes Internet Sensation and Business Mogul

Noah Mujalli on his internet/TV/Business successes

ALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, July 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Noah Mujalli is a Premed student at The University of San Francisco who got his start as an American-born actor at age 18 on reality TV in Albany, New York. Since his roles on HBO and Amazon Prime television series, he began to share his passion for streetwear fashion on social media. After becoming an internet sensation as a fashion influencer, Noah is launching his upcoming streetwear clothing line to his followers called “Common Standards” on July 19th, 2021.

In 2020, Noah has been proclaimed as an actor after appearing on the reality TV show, The Real Estate Commission in Albany, New York during his freshman year of college as a premed student at The University of San Francisco. After appearing on The Real Estate Commission Reality TV Show, Noah had developed several business ventures around his TV success. Noah Mujalli’s Pre Med work ethic has allowed him to venture onto social media and share his passion for streetwear fashion which he boasts over 400,000 likes across platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

While in school, Noah Mujalli spent his time becoming a successful model and actor for many TV shows and ad campaigns on social media including Macy’s, Gap, Mayfair, LiquidIV, and Target. Since January 2021, Noah has made substantial revenue from his social media ventures and is investing the funds towards his upcoming clothing line called “Common Standards”. Noah Mujalli’s clothing line is set to release on July 19th, 2021.

The Actor/Business mogul emphasizes his excitement for his upcoming streetwear clothing line “I can’t wait until the line is completely finished! I have worked hard on the designs and plan on donating a portion of the proceeds to a charity, and that is what encourages my dedication in developing this line.” – Noah Mujalli

About Noah Mujalli: Noah Mujalli has a starring role in the Amazon Prime television series, The Real Estate Commission as well as an upcoming HBO television series. As a fashion influencer, Noah has gained a combined 16k followers, 400k likes, and 1 Million+ views on Instagram and TikTok. Noah Mujalli has been announced as the 5th influencer in The Top 20 Men’s Streetwear Minimalist on Instagram.

Be one of the first to have an exclusive shopping experience at Noah Mujalli’s clothing line.

For updates on Noah Mujalli follow his Instagram and visit his website at http://www.noahmujalli.com/

Noah Mujalli
Common Standards / Noah Mujalli

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Landlords swap offices for student housing as pandemic hastens change

The world’s biggest commercial property landlord is shuffling its $ 378bn real estate deck.

Two moves by Blackstone — the sale of BNY Mellon’s London office in St Paul’s to Italian insurer Generali for £465m, sealed this week according to people familiar with the deal, and an approach to buy student housing operator GCP Student Living — are a sign of how landlords are repositioning their portfolios as the pandemic accelerates structural trends.

Covid-19 has hastened the decline of two key commercial property sectors — retail and offices — and prompted landlords to pile into alternatives they believe will fare better.

Top of their shopping list are: warehouses, supported by the ecommerce boom; rental flats and student housing, made attractive by home shortages and growing student populations across Europe; and life sciences campuses, buoyed by huge investment in research and development.

“These are megatrends which have . . . been accelerated by the pandemic,” said James Seppala, head of real estate in Europe at Blackstone.

A decade ago, offices and shops accounted for about 70 per cent of total European property deal volume, according to Real Capital Analytics. This year they account for 35 per cent, with the residential and logistics sectors gaining ground.

Mike Prew, an analyst at Jefferies, said the pandemic had accelerated the “value transfer” from retail to “beds, meds and sheds” — residential housing, healthcare and life science property and warehouses.

Life science hits record

The most likely to excite fund managers is life sciences — a niche where price records are being broken as investors look to buy into or develop high-tech campuses close to education hubs in Europe.

In May, Oxford university’s Magdalen College put a 40 per cent stake in the Oxford Science Park on the market, priced at about £100m — more than five times what the college paid for 50 per cent of the park in 2016.

“You’ve got burgeoning demand, insufficient supply and growing rents. Is this the fastest growing sector bar none? Absolutely,” said Simon Hope, head of global capital markets at property agent Savills.

Properties range from conventional offices to complex labs. The key driver of value is location. “It’s ‘genius loci’: it’s the great schools, it’s the talent,” said Hope. The hottest location in the UK and Europe is in the so-called “golden triangle” between Oxford, Cambridge and London.

“The world’s financial firepower, particularly from the US, is trained on the UK because we’ve got four of the top 10 universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and University College London,” said Hope.

A record £2.4bn was invested in life sciences property in the area in 2020 and investors are still looking to deploy more than twice that amount, according to consultancy Bidwells.

“We’re spending a lot of time in the life science space . . . It’s under-developed in Europe broadly and in the UK specifically. With the amount of research institutions in the UK there’s a huge opportunity,” said Brad Hyler, who manages a $ 38bn portfolio as head of real estate in Europe at Brookfield.

Brookfield owns half of the Harwell life science campus south of Oxford, and last month the Canadian investment group paid TPG Real Estate Partners £714m for Arlington, a science and technology property group with assets in the golden triangle.

But according to Hyler, the real opportunity is in building labs and campuses from scratch. Brookfield is looking at developing around European cities in “Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere”.

Warehouse boom

Another emerging hotspot for property investors is logistics, where the growing popularity of online shopping has given a big boost to demand for warehouse space.

Through its Mileway subsidiary, Blackstone has accrued a large network of warehouses close to European cities, while Brookfield has spent more than €1bn in the past year building a portfolio across France, Spain, Germany and Poland.

Rents from warehouse occupiers have held up relatively well during the pandemic, and demand for space has been a boon for companies in the sector.

While shares in the biggest UK office landlords, such as British Land and Land Securities, are down between 20 and 30 per cent from pre-Covid levels, and shopping centre owner Hammerson has lost three-quarters, warehouse developer Segro is up 16 per cent.

Residential opportunities

Investors are also betting on the residential sector, favouring properties for rent and student accommodation.

“Look at these big European cities: they are large employment hubs with a huge housing shortage and historically stable economies. It makes a good opportunity,” said Mark Allnutt, senior managing director at Greystar, a US property investor that recently raised €725m to invest in European residential property.

“People want to live in Amsterdam and London and there aren’t enough homes in those cities,” added Seppala.

Undersupply is also a features of the student housing market, which should help pull the sector through the disruption caused by the pandemic, said Hyler. Brookfield, which owns student housing operator Student Roost, is planning to increase investment on the continent.

Offices and shops still make up more than half of the total investible property sector in Europe, according to Real Capital Analytics. As money crowds into particular asset classes, investors admit there are risks of overpaying.

Unlike the financial crisis in 2008, the pandemic has not triggered a wave of distressed assets hitting the market. But if banks lose patience with hard-hit landlords, opportunities to gamble on knockdown deals may appear, said Guillaume Cassou, head of the European real estate team at private equity firm KKR, which has just closed a $ 2.2bn fund to invest in western Europe.

“The important part is to play offence and defence at the same time,” he said.

Rice University student to represent U.S. in Paralympics in Tokyo

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Ahalya Lettenberger is living her dream!

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. And it probably won’t sink until I go it’s just been a whirlwind.”

Lettenberger is a Rice University student, majoring in bioengineering. But next month, she will represent the USA in swimming at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment forever, so just thinking about wearing red, white and blue and being able to represent my country, I mean, I dream about it every day,” Lettenberger told ABC13.

Lettenberger was born arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which is a muscular-skeletal disorder that affects her legs, but not her drive to be great in the pool.

“I really want my story to inspire others – especially others with disabilities and I want to do that in all aspects of my life.”

With Paralympics gaining in popularity, a bigger light will shine on Lettenberger and other Paralympian’s in Tokyo

“We work just as hard as any other athlete, so to get that recognition and publicity, that’s just really, really amazing,” she said.

Lettenberger openly admits her love for parmesan cheese, and with the new rules college athletes can profit off their name image and likeness, she has one company and product she’s ready to endorse.

“Parmesan cheese is my favorite food. It’s always my fun fact that parmesan is my favorite food, so yea Kraft is my dream company to work with,” she said.

Joe Gleason is a sports producer and photographer for ABC13 Houston, where he’s worked for more than 25 years. Follow Joe on Twitter, and see more of his work at ABC13 Sports

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: KTRK
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Arizona Med Student Allegedly Threatens to Bomb Campus

A 29-year-old medical student at Midwestern University, in Glendale, Arizona, was arrested for allegedly threatening to bomb the campus and for making death threats to other students, according to the Glendale Police Department.

Mona Asadi, 29, was arrested June 16 for four felony offenses. She was allegedly linked to an email address through which a mass message was sent on June 9 to hundreds of students naming specific potential victims. Several more emails were sent in group messages threatening death and involving the families of the students.

Asadi was linked to email addresses, social media accounts, and electronic devices that were involved in the threatening messages. Four victims were identified during the investigation, according to a police press release.

According to local television station FOX10, Asadi allegedly wrote, “I have been watching several of you closely since the beginning of last fall. I am here to punish the females and males whom I do not approve of.”

The station also reported that Asadi is accused of writing several personally threatening messages, such as, “get a grip and just lose the attitude,” and “I want to see the blood leave your body.”

The arrest was made nearly 2 months after the dean of the university contacted police to report that Asadi had sent a text threatening to bomb the campus.

Arizona’s ABC15 reported that the dean told police Asadi was struggling in school and that she was to be expelled from the university if she failed her third medical board test.

Asadi was arrested for “computer tampering by using a computer in a course of conduct that threatened, terrorized, and/or tormented specific individuals,” the press release states.

This is far from the first bomb threat on a school campus, though no other such incidents have recently occurred at a medical school. Connor Bruce Croll, a University of Alabama freshman, reportedly told authorities there was a bomb at the football stadium during a University of Florida–Louisiana State University football game because, as he told police, his “friend was on the verge of losing a big bet.”

In March, officers investigated a bomb threat that targeted Eastern Oklahoma State College, in Wilburton, Oklahoma. The campus was evacuated after school officials received an email containing a bomb threat and other threats of violence. No bomb was found.

The FBI Phoenix Field Office is assisting with the Asadi investigation.

Lindsay Kalter is a health freelance journalist who has held positions with Politico, the Boston Herald, and the American Heart Association. Aside from WebMD and Medscape, her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Boston Globe Magazine, and Business Insider.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Should Every Student Move Up to the Next Grade?

Many students have fallen behind this year because of remote learning and other pandemic-related disruptions, leaving districts to wrestle with the question of whether struggling students should automatically move up, or if it would be better for some of them to repeat a grade.

In Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district with some 340,000 students, the Board of Education will vote on Wednesday on a proposal that would promote all elementary and middle school students to the next grade, regardless of whether they have fallen behind. (It adopted the same policy last spring, after schools closed down.) High school students still have to pass the required courses to graduate, but the district has removed some other requirements.

Robin Lake, the director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, an education think tank, said, “There’s some reason to think it makes sense,” noting that holding students back or offering them below-grade-level work both make kids feel bad and generally aren’t very effective.

But she added that, along with promoting students who are behind, the district also needed to take steps to ensure that students could make up the learning they missed this year. “I want to know what’s going to happen to make sure those kids are successful long term,” Lake said.

(The board’s proposal says that “students who are identified as needing further academic support will be prioritized for possible interventions,” including summer school.)

Some districts are taking other approaches, and trying to prevent middle and high school students from failing courses.

In North Carolina, Guilford County Schools, where course failure rates soared during the coronavirus pandemic, is offering middle and high school students the chance to take a “fifth semester” during the summer to improve failing grades.

New York City, the nation’s largest school system, is also allowing middle and high school students to finish work after the term ends to earn a passing grade. (New York says, however, that it will still hold some students back if they have not made enough progress to be ready for the next grade level.)

And Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the country’s fourth-largest district, provided written notification in January to parents of students in remote learning who were not making adequate progress; while the district didn’t require parents to enroll their children in-person, parents had to acknowledge receiving the information if they wanted their children to continue learning remotely.

Since then, the district has offered those students tutoring before or after school, as well as instruction on Saturdays, or over winter and spring breaks. It is also offering an expanded and enriched summer program.

Research on elementary school students during the pandemic provides some support for Chicago’s promotion plan: An analysis by T.N.T.P., a nonprofit that helps districts improve teaching, and the online math platform Zearn found that students whose teachers began the 2020-21 school year teaching them grade-level content in math — going back to fill in content they had missed in the spring when needed — did better than similar students whose teachers started the year by teaching them the material they had missed from the previous grade.

Moderna said this week that its Covid-19 vaccine was powerfully effective in 12- to 17-year-olds in a clinical trial and that it planned to apply for F.D.A. authorization in June.

If authorized for use in adolescents, Moderna’s vaccine would join the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is already going into the arms of adolescents 12 and up. Pfizer will seek clearance in September for its vaccine to be used in children ages 2 to 11, and Moderna is testing its vaccine in children as young as 6 months.

By fall, middle and high school students will have had plenty of time to receive both doses of a vaccine. If the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for use in younger children on schedule, those students will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving.

That’s a big deal for schools and districts, and it’s helping school officials and other leaders plan for the fall.

“Having adolescents vaccinated against the virus is really going to limit spread in school to a great degree,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “It potentially could even change mask requirements for school.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City reversed course this week and decided to eliminate a remote-learning option for the fall, in part because children have started receiving Covid-19 vaccines. New Jersey also does not plan to offer remote learning options, and many states and large districts, including in Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Miami-Dade County, Fla., are also pushing for a mostly in-person year.

But some parents who eagerly lined up for their own vaccines remain hesitant about inoculating their children. If that’s you or someone you know, here is a helpful explainer from The Times that may address lingering questions.

  • The Los Angeles superintendent committed to reopening public schools fully for five days a week in the fall, although the district still plans to offer a remote option.

  • Alabama lifted its ban on teaching yoga in schools, but teachers still cannot use Sanskrit names for poses.

  • Yearbook photos of at least 80 female students at a high school in Florida were digitally edited to hide their chests. Educators, here is a lesson plan based on the controversy.

  • Schools in Utah cannot issue their own mask mandates next year. Districts in Iowa can no longer require students or staff to wear masks, in opposition to C.D.C. recommendations.

  • A good read from The Times: Legislators in Texas are pushing to play down the state’s history of racism and slavery in classroom lessons. Read a Q&A with our colleague Simon Romero to understand the effect these efforts could have on the way generations of Texans see the world.

Our colleagues compiled a list of eight new picture books that celebrate joy, something we all need after this year. There’s blueberry preserving and bath time, a warm puppy and the delicious scents of Indian food. The stories are buoyant, and the art is beautiful.

If you’re a parent screaming into the void, check out“No One Is Coming to Save Us,” a new podcast about the child-care crisis in the U.S. It offers an encouraging look at other, more successful child care systems and includes a list of actionable items to fight for better benefits, most of which listeners can accomplish at home. And it offers a sense of shared, sometimes tearful struggle. That’s not nothing.

Sign up here to get the briefing by email.

Author: Kate Taylor and Amelia Nierenberg
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Family of missing Texas State student offers $10,000 reward 5 months after his disappearance

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — It has been five months since a Texas State University student disappeared mostly without a trace.

Now, the family of 21-year-old Jason Landry is offering $ 10,000 for information that helps bring their son home. 

“No matter what the circumstance is, no matter what the end result is — we want to know,” Jason’s dad, Kent Landry, said. “We want to know the truth.”

Jason’s family announced on a Facebook page created to find him that starting May 17 through Aug. 1, they’ll be offering the reward to anyone who has details.

The family’s Facebook post reads in part:

“This offer requires that the information provided by the claimant is the direct and proximate cause of the location and return of Jason Landry. The information must be specific, adequate, timely and actually used by law enforcement, search agencies or other appropriate entities to find and return Jason to his family. The successful claimant must provide sufficient and clear written details that enable search and law enforcement teams to locate and return Jason.

The post goes on to say that simply providing nonspecific information or descriptions of where Jason may be isn’t sufficient enough to receive the reward. Only information that has the recommendation from PM Investigations will be considered, the post said.

According to the family, the reward will be divided equally if there is more than one person who comes forward with substantial information.

“It’s really hard for me to imagine that no one knows nothing,” Kent said.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said Jason was driving home for Christmas break in mid-December when he crashed his car on Salt Flat Road near Luling. There’s about an hour gap from when investigators believe the crash happened and when Jason’s cell phone data stopped.

“Is it possible that he passed that night from exposure and cold and all those things — yes, it’s possible,” Kent said. “But, I also know that search entities have moved heaven and earth to search the area.”

Kent said they’ll take all tips seriously.

“He’s my boy, we love him,” he said.

According to Kent, they’re putting a time limit on the reward period, so tipsters are more motivated to come forward. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said Crime Stoppers usually only helps with financial rewards in bigger areas.

Author: Jala Washington
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Richard Cordray is at the Center of the Debate Over Student Loan Debt

Mr. Cordray made student loan oversight one of the bureau’s priorities, and in early 2017 — two days before Mr. Trump took office — the agency sued Navient, one of the Education Department’s largest student loan servicers, for errors and omissions that Mr. Cordray said improperly added billions of dollars to borrowers’ tabs.

The lawsuit is ongoing, and six state attorneys general have filed similar cases. A spokesman for Navient, Paul Hartwick, described the allegations as “unfounded” and said the company assisted students by helping them navigate the complex student loan program.

Mr. Cordray has described the country’s soaring student loan debt — which eclipses all consumer debt other than mortgages — and the often slipshod way it is managed as a problem ripe for government intervention. “The domino effects of student debt burdens and loan servicing problems are holding back the upcoming generation and hampering the economy,” Mr. Cordray wrote in his 2020 book, “Watchdog.”

The Education Department is the primary lender for Americans who borrow to pay for higher education. It directly owns loans made to nearly 43 million people, totaling $ 1.4 trillion.

In one of the government’s most sweeping relief measures of the coronavirus pandemic, the department decided in March 2020 to allow borrowers to stop making payments on their federal student loans, temporarily setting the interest rate to zero percent. That pause is scheduled to continue through September.

Because of that freeze, fewer than 1 percent of borrowers with federal loans are currently making payments on them. Restarting loan collections will be one of the biggest challenges facing the Education Department this year.

But Mr. Cordray will inherit a plethora of other problems, including extensive errors and obstacles in the department’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is intended to forgive the debts of teachers, military members, nonprofit workers and others in public-service careers.

The department is also grappling with claims from hundreds of thousands of borrowers seeking relief through a program intended to eliminate the debts of people who were defrauded by schools that broke consumer protection laws.

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Author: Anemona Hartocollis and Stacy Cowley
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Fascination grows over the lack of “Eyes of Texas” after gunman disrupts

AUSTIN (Texas Tribune) — Dozens of students at the University of Texas at Austin who give campus tours to prospective Longhorns are refusing to work this week over a dispute about a plaque with “The Eyes of Texas” lyrics hanging in the Admissions Welcome Center.

The dustup over the plaque is the latest example of UT-Austin officials standing by “The Eyes” over pleas that the university distance itself from the alma mater song because it originated at a minstrel show where students likely wore Blackface.

It’s also the latest in a series of clashes over the song in a nearly yearlong controversy that has frequently pit administrators and alumni against students and divided members of the Longhorn community.

Just this week, a threatening incident was reported to UT-Austin police where a student-led online event about “The Eyes of Texas” was crashed by an unknown man on camera wearing a bandana over his mouth and nose and who appeared to be loading a large gun.

UT-Austin officials did not respond to a request for comment about the incidents, nor did they respond to written questions.

Students say protests over the song are not going away. Kendall Walker, a UT-Austin senior who is part of the student strike in the admissions office, said she thinks administrators wrongly assumed the issue would die down after the school formed a committee this past year to study the song’s origins. UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell has repeatedly affirmed that the university will keep the song.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg honestly,” Walker said. “This is the beginning of it and people resisting that decision and not accepting a committee of people deem[ing] the song isn’t racist. There’s a whole generation of students and minority students that are equally and more mad than we are and don’t want to enter a space that predetermined their opinions don’t matter.”

Members of the Texas Tour Guides said the song has created a divisive environment on campus and wanted the plaque to be removed to ensure all student employees and prospective students feel comfortable in the Welcome Center, according to more than six students who work or volunteer as tour guides and spoke to The Texas Tribune.

The guides sent a letter to the university on April 19, asking for a plan detailing for the plaque’s removal by May 1 — otherwise, they said they would stop giving tours virtually or in person.

Tour guides said they suggested replacing the plaque with something symbolizing another university tradition that is more inclusive.

The admissions office would not commit to removing the plaque and told students via email on April 29 that they did not have to work as a tour guide if they had concerns.

“We understand you may no longer desire to serve in this role based on your feelings about the University’s long-standing school song. If you no longer wish to serve as a Texas Tour Guide, please inform your supervisor so that your request can be processed,” wrote Miguel Wasielewski, director of admissions. Wasielewski did not respond to a request for comment.

The request to remove the plaque from the Welcome Center came months after admissions renamed the tour guide group. Previously called “the Guides of Texas,” intended to sound similar to “The Eyes of Texas,” the admissions office decided to separate itself from the name last July, according to an email sent to students by the admissions office and obtained by the Tribune.

“We feel that in order to have an inclusive space where everyone feels safe and welcomed that a name change is necessary,” wrote Noemi Gomez, student program coordinator in the university’s admissions office.

The tour guides estimated that the strike includes roughly 55 students, about half of all the guides.

Student tour guides compared the university’s action over the plaque to its recent announcement that members of the Longhorn marching band are required to play “The Eyes of Texas.” The university said if they opted against playing the school song they can join a separate, newly created band where it won’t be required.

Walker, who is Black, said she is often asked on tours by Black families about her experience on campus.

“I [used to] stand up there and say, ‘I feel welcomed. I feel heard’ … The way that I feel has completely flipped in the past 12 months,” she said. “We bring in students into this university and showcase this university in a way other students cannot. They reap so many benefits of having our presence there but can’t honor something that makes us overtly uncomfortable. It’s just super hurtful.”

Multiple students who spoke to the Tribune said they’ve had uncomfortable conversations with prospective parents and students about the controversy over the past year, yet they have not received any guidance for how to deal with questions about the song while giving tours. In some instances, students said questioning has gotten aggressive.

“It definitely has been an added, like, burden on my mental health to go get dressed and put on my tour guide Polo and go out and talk to families that are oftentimes like predominantly white, about like things like racial justice here on campus,” said Jeremiah Baldwin, a tour guide and sophomore at UT-Austin. “I’m always like having this game of mental gymnastics that I’m playing, like, ‘how should I describe this?’ Or, ‘should I be as open and honest?’”

“A targeted incident”

In another sign of escalating tensions, a student group recently reported an online threat related to the dispute over the song.

Last week, the Texas Orange Jackets hosted an online Zoom conversation with professor Alberto Martinez about his report on the song, which identified links to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. According to students on the call and Martinez, as he was presenting, an unaffiliated person with a gun joined the call but was removed by moderators.

A screenshot of the Zoom call shared with the Tribune shows the man wearing a black beanie and a face covering over his mouth and nose while holding what appears to be a large black gun.

“The fact that a conversation about changing a song inspired someone to bring a gun to a Zoom call is just ridiculous,” said Irene Ameena, a senior leader in the Texas Orange Jackets. “And shows that this isn’t just some small debate. This is something that’s violent, like it is violent to bring a gun and show it to people.”

The student group reported the incident to university officials and the professor reported it to the UT Police Department.

“Given the sensitive nature of the matter discussed on this call, we believe this was a targeted incident,” Texas Orange Jackets wrote in a statement on the Facebook page for the event. “We unequivocally condemn the racism and violence that have been brought up in conversations about this song and again call on the university to remove the “Eyes of Texas” as the official school song of the university.”

“A rebuke of their spinelessness”

Walker said she knew students who didn’t sing “The Eyes” even before student athletes brought attention to the matter by demanding the school do away with the tradition last summer in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. That demand was faced with swift opposition from alumni and heavy weight donors who clamored for the school to keep the song and threatened to pull donations if it went away. While a university commissioned report found in March that the song “had no racist intent,” it has done little to diminish the controversy.

Recently, a petition calling on UT-Austin leaders to remove the song has circulated, with nearly 180 faculty as of Tuesday morning threatening not to attend graduations and university events unless it’s confirmed the song won’t be played. A previous petition calling for the song’s removal had garnered close to 100 faculty signatures.

UT-Austin history Professor Jorge Canizares-Esguerra said the new petition was created after Martinez released his report that challenged the university’s narrative about the song’s history. Overall, he said professors felt as if the administration had handled the issue without properly involving faculty and students.

“It is a rebuke of the administration,” Canizares-Esguerra said. “It’s a rebuke of their spinelessness before donors and alumni and powerful capital.”

Members of the Texas Black Legislative Caucus and state NAACP chapters have also condemned the song. After UT-Austin released its report in early March, Black student leaders submitted a new list of demands for more scholarships, affordable student housing and increased wages for student workers to improve the experience of Black students on campus.

Brianna McBride, a senior at UT-Austin and co-director of the Black President’s Leadership Council, said UT-Austin officials, including Hartzell, have been receptive to their requests and are continuing to work with student leaders to better communicate initiatives and plans with students.

As the academic year reaches an end, Canizares-Esguerra said he worried how the song and the ongoing controversy will affect the broader university if it continues

“It is not sustainable because it promotes division,” he said. “It’s unsustainable as a policy because it shows the world that the university is divided.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at www.texastribune.org. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Author: Kate McGee, Texas Tribune
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Man killed Huston-Tillotson student in her apartment after 2 dates, police say

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have arrested a man they believe is connected with the March death of 21-year-old student Natalia Monet Cox.

Henry Watson, 24, is accused of killing Cox, a senior at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, at 2:43 a.m. March 31 at the Colonial Grand at Canyon Pointe Apartments in northwest Austin.

Watson’s arrest affidavit shows police responded to a report of a “terroristic threat” regarding Cox and Watson a week before the alleged murder. Cox reportedly told police she had only met Watson three days before and gone on two dates with him.

Then, in the early morning hours of March 31, police say Watson showed up at her apartment with a gun.

Cox reportedly texted Watson that she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want him to come over, but Watson did anyway. Then police say she heard a knock at her door. Cox asked Watson if he was there, and he replied, “Open the door,” the affidavit said.

Cox called him via FaceTime: when Watson reportedly said he had a gun and he was going to shoot the door open if she didn’t open it. A roommate then called police, and Cox continued talking to Watson to calm him down, the affidavit said.

Police say Cox received text messages from people identifying themselves as family members of Watson’s four days after that incident on March 25. One of them, from someone identified as Watson’s father, said Watson was “very suicidal” and wanted to talk to her about what happened.

She didn’t reply.

She received another text from the same number nearly 24 hours later asking her to meet at another apartment complex, and she never replied, the affidavit said.

The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force found Watson sleeping in his car in a Round Rock parking lot, the affidavit said. Authorities report this was the same vehicle recorded on surveillance footage leaving the scene March 31 within a few minutes after the first call to 9-1-1.

Detectives say they found 9mm handgun ammunition in Watson’s car when they searched it April 1. Police also found a pry bar. Detectives say there were pry bar marks on the door frame of Cox’s apartment.

An autopsy determined Cox’s death was homicide by gunshot wounds. Watson now faces a first-degree felony murder charge.

He’s scheduled to appear in court on June 10, according to records.

KXAN contacted Watson’s attorney for a statement, and once we receive it, we will update this story.

Author: Billy Gates
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin