10 26 20 Issue

Confirm Amy Coney Barrett now | October 26, 2020

President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ginsberg; the Senate should approve his nomination swiftly and before the election. Judge Amy Barrett is a catholic, conservative, female judge who has served on the Seventh Circuit Court...

Voting on campus – COVID-19 edition | October 26, 2020

UTD will serve as a polling station for both Dallas and Collin County in the upcoming general election. In preparation, volunteer deputy registrar and political science junior Ryan Short has been delivering voter registration forms to interested students on campus. An estimated 20 to 25 forms were handed out over...

‘Employees are struggling. Residents are struggling.’ | October 26, 2020

Residents of the off-campus apartments at Northside have expressed concerns with facility maintenance, both before and after the pandemic. In a survey conducted by The Mercury, Northside residents responded with feedback they had regarding the housing facility.  “The noise levels are very high because walls are thin,” one survey respondent...

UTD student takes part in COVID-19 vaccine trial | October 26, 2020

Amidst a pressing nationwide need for a vaccine, a UTD student took it upon himself to participate in a two-year COVID-19 vaccine trial. After seeing ads for vaccine trials on social media in September, accounting senior Andres Andujar started researching pharmaceutical companies to find ones currently conducting vaccine trials. He...

Get to know the 2020 presidential candidates | October 26, 2020

Who are the candidates and what are they known for? (Democrat) Joe Biden: Former VP under the Obama administration Served as the Senate representative of Delaware from 1973 to 2009 (Green Party) Howie Hawkins: Former truck driver for UPS in New York until 2018 retirement, involved in trade unions and...

Noble peers: colleague of UTD faculty awarded Nobel prize | October 26, 2020

Known for his contributions to theoretical physics and pure mathematics – as well as his interactions and collaborations with UTD professors – Roger Penrose was recently announced as one of this year’s Nobel prize winners. Penrose’s relationship with UTD began in the early 60s – or what astrophysics professor Mustapha...

How does UTD’s pandemic response compare with other system schools? | October 26, 2020

Texas’ coronavirus response has evolved over the past few months on account of the rapidly changing situation, and the state’s universities have adopted different approaches to combatting the pandemic. The state has seen over 800,000 confirmed cases so far and upwards of 17,000 fatalities. In early October, Governor Greg Abbott...

Biden makes money moves in Texas | October 26, 2020

The 2020 Biden campaign is making an unprecedented move in Texas. Projected to spend over $6 million on advertising in the state, 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden is spending more than any other Democratic Presidential Nominee in Texas during the last 25 years. This advertising push was accompanied by a...

Students fail to follow COVID-19 protocols | October 26, 2020

UTD administration reported that groups of students on campus are failing to follow COVID-19 protocols. Responding to a somewhat routine medical call in the University Village Apartments on Oct. 3, multiple UTD campus police officers entered an apartment occupied by several unmasked individuals. It was only after they had been...

CPR Classical honors Latin-American composer, faculty member | October 26, 2020

If you’ve tuned in to CPR Classical’s radio station any time this past month, you may have encountered the rhythmic melodies of Latin-American influenced compositions – some of which were created by a world-renowned composer turned UTD faculty member. With October being National Hispanic Heritage Month, CPR Classical chose to...

Synergy Park North preserves historical airline archives | October 26, 2020

Braniff Airways – an American airline that operated from Dallas until its bankruptcy in 1982 – has created a $10,000 endowment for the maintenance of its historical archives, which are stored in UTD’s History of Aviation Collection. Ben Cass, president of the Braniff Airways Foundation, said that the airline played...

‘Light Waves’ spotlights alumni, faculty work | October 26, 2020

A luminous photo of juiced lemons; a monochrome, blurred photo of a man with a dog; an installation of a glittering purple micro-chandelier. These pieces and more are now being featured in the SP/N gallery, home to yet another virtual exhibition this semester. Light Waves – A Photography and Video...

Spring enrollment for in-person classes remains same as fall | November 23, 2020

123 classes at UTD were offered in-person this semester, but next semester is promising a slightly decreased availability of 114 in-person classes. According to a survey conducted by The Mercury, 10 percent of students will be attending in-person classes, while the other 90 percent either did not have the choice...

Big Idea Competition goes virtual, Glaucomedi takes first prize | November 23, 2020

Featuring a keynote speech from Mark Cuban on Nov. 19, this year’s Big Idea Competition was held virtually – with medical technology startup Glaucomedi winning first place in the student track. The Big Idea Competition is a startup pitch competition that began 14 years ago at UTD. Students, faculty or...

Four’s a crowd: new guidelines for students attending spring 2020 sporting events | November 23, 2020

Starting in January, Comets will be able to attend UTD sporting events with distanced arrangements and reduced capacity. Alongside other university efforts to relax restrictions on in-person campus gatherings in the spring, Vice President of Student Affairs Gene Fitch said that UTD will be opening up athletic events to student...

NCAA implements eligibility waiver for D-III athletes | November 23, 2020

The NCAA recently approved a blanket waiver, temporarily modifying stringent pandemic protocols for Division-III student-athletes. Typically, every athlete has four seasons of eligibility and ten consecutive semesters to play those seasons. Associate Athletic Director Angela Marin said that this new waiver gives students more semesters of eligibility or seasons of...

Tuning in to student artists | November 23, 2020

After dropping his first song on Spotify in September, computer science sophomore and beatmaker Pranav Komandur – professionally known as PK All the Way – is planning on releasing more songs. The track, called ‘The New Ape,’ was released on Sept. 26 and was a collaboration with Jean Dior, a...

DIY pomp and circumstance | November 23, 2020

With December graduation ceremonies cancelled and traditional celebrations put on hold for another semester, you may be wondering how to commemorate your academic accomplishments. Here are a few safe, socially distanced ways to celebrate your hard work and remember your time at UTD. Take some photos at the Campus Mall...

Silent performance for an empty campus | November 23, 2020

Psychology senior Eva Rahman stood silently at the Plinth with two X’s across her chest and a sign reading “Not Yours,” while biomedical engineering senior Laura Vargas Ortiz sat across the circular pool signing about her loneliness in American Sign Language. Both performances were a part of an art project...

CRT is critical for effective diversity training | November 23, 2020

America considers itself a “melting pot”, yet minority groups continue to face systemic discrimination and prejudice. While diversity trainings can breed possible positive effects through active communication, the current administration’s restrictions upon trainings that recognize inherent bias can negatively impact this opportunity. The recent executive order on “Combating Race and...

Student Government’s push for extended credit/no credit option fails | November 22, 2020

Students called for an extended credit/no credit option similar to the one offered last spring; but despite Student Government’s push to make the option available, the measure didn’t pass. Under normal circumstances, students must indicate whether they would like to take a course with credit/no credit grading – pass/fail for...

Streamlining internship application process | November 22, 2020

A new software engineering job search tool allows computer science students to quickly find and apply for internships. The tool’s creator, Alex Ruber, studied computer science and math as an undergraduate at UC San Diego and has internship experience at Yahoo, Udemy and NASA. This experience with applying for internships,...

Developer proposes new apartment complex near campus | November 22, 2020

In response to rapid student population growth and a shortage of on-campus housing, two new apartment complexes have been proposed for development just north of campus. According to the agenda for the Nov. 17 meeting of the Richardson City Plan Commission, the proposal consists of two apartment buildings: a five-story...

‘It’s not what we want for y’all, but there is light at the end of this tunnel’ | November 22, 2020

The transition from high school to online college has UTD freshmen finding new ways to cope with new problems. In a survey conducted by The Mercury, out of 150 respondents, 77% of freshmen respondents said that they felt like they didn’t have a normal first semester of college or a...

No freshman McDermott scholars to be selected next academic year | November 22, 2020

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the process for selecting McDermott Scholars has been discontinued. As a result, there will be no freshman class of scholars next year. The program made this choice due to COVID-19 guidelines that would significantly change the format of the finalist weekend, which typically entails 150...

‘We are grateful for the students for sharing their ideas and giving us their time’ | November 22, 2020

The Living Our Values task force has introduced three implementation plans for the upcoming semester. After the death of George Floyd in May, the Black Student Body group sent a letter to President Benson with demands for on-campus reform. In June, UTD formed the Living Our Values task force to...

Custom majors for custom dreams | November 9, 2020

Though the current college major system at UTD provides numerous options for students, giving students the chance to design their own major and explore areas of interest would promote flexibility and alleviate pressure to fulfill a certain number of requirements. With almost 80% of college students in the United States...

Out of the starting blocks | November 9, 2020

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the new UTD track and field team has hit the ground running in its first semester as an official program. Establishing a track and field team has been a goal for head cross country – and now track and field – coach Danielle Kcholi since she became...

Educating, encouraging safety on campus | November 9, 2020

The Office of Facilities and Economic Development has repurposed its student staff to serve as Student Safety Ambassadors while on campus. The OFED has re-trained its pre-existing student workers in proper pandemic protocols, including how to educate others. This provides them the versatility to also serve as student-educators at a...

Spring into new housing changes | November 9, 2020

University Housing is facing extensive procedural changes to the housing process as more students decide to move back on campus for the spring semester. The housing application for the official move-in process usually opens only once a year: the spring semester prior to the school year applicants are signing up...

Academic dishonesty in a virtual world | November 9, 2020

The number of academic dishonesty cases is higher this semester than previous semesters, raising concerns on whether academic misconduct has increased due to the virtual format. Office of Community Standards and Conduct Director Brooke Everette said that the OCSC has had 131 cases this year so far, in comparison to...

Financing the future: how to pay for grad school | November 9, 2020

According to Pew Research Center, a third of adults have student loan debt. While this typically ends after graduating college, some students find an even bigger challenge afterwards: financing graduate school. Beyond paying for application and exam fees, tuition rates for graduate school can cost between $20-60k per year. Student...

ATEC, A&H develop new minors | November 9, 2020

One of the outcomes from the Living our Values Task Force is the initial development of multiple new minors. Both ATEC and A&H are creating new minors, with the former being in Ethnic Studies, and the latter being in African and African Diaspora Studies. As of Fall 2019, there were...

UTD alumnus honors Texas with “Wild West” mural | November 9, 2020

If you happen to drive through West Dallas, you may notice that the landscape is more colorful than usual thanks to the mural work of several local artists – including one UTD alumnus. Psychology alumnus Elianna Paek – @thepackpaints on Instagram – was one of 16 local artists whose mural...

ATEC seniors produce celestial film | November 9, 2020

ATEC’s Animation Lab will be wrapping up production of a short film called “Nightshift” in December, a project over a year in the making. “Nightshift” follows a little girl named Hannah as she awaits the presence of someone or something. During that time, she is approached by a “moon woman”...

Comets to the Core to have assignments graded | October 12, 2020

UTD’s mandatory Comets to the Core group project for freshmen and juniors is undergoing a status change: the semester-long class will now be graded. On Sept. 24, the Academic Senate authorized a permanent transition of the Comets to the Core project from Credit/No Credit grading to an A-F grade scale....

Making eLearning black and white | October 12, 2020

Computer science students Sunny Guan and Eric Zhang created an easy-to-navigate alternative to Blackboard’s small text and design. Their project, which they say is a more user-friendly platform for students to manage their courses, is called Whiteboard as a contrast to Blackboard. Zhang said Whiteboard is especially convenient because it’s...

New leadership, new initiatives | October 12, 2020

Under a new administration, Student Government is implementing new initiatives and policies to diversify campus, rebrand themselves and adapt positively in the wake of the pandemic. Newly inducted president and finance and economics junior Sara Brennan, as well as vice president and history sophomore Rutendo Chando have spearheaded two Senate...

SG senators vote to establish diversity, equity ad-hoc committee | October 12, 2020

Student Government senators have voted to amend Article V of the SG bylaws and establish a new ad-hoc committee focused on diversity and equity. The amendment passed by one vote. Voting took place at the Sept. 22 senate meeting, via Microsoft Teams. With this being their second virtual meeting of...

Blossoming UTD entrepreneurs recognized for their start-ups | October 12, 2020

Ten UTD students and alumni were named to the 2020 NTX Inno 25 Under 25 List, which features young entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and making a difference in the North Texas region and beyond. NTX Inno is part of a network of similar publications that focus on innovation and...

‘I’ve gone and there’s been well over 10 people all in this small area, and no one’s wearing a mask’ | October 12, 2020

Northside residents have reported large social gatherings and a lack of mask use in common areas, raising concerns about management’s COVID-19 safety protocol enforcement. According to information posted on Northside’s website regarding their Partner2Prevent initiative, current safety measures include touchless keys for residents, access to virtual fitness classes, attendance limits...

Testing Center remains closed, proctored computers available | October 12, 2020

Because the UTD Testing Center closed, a limited number of proctored computers are available for student use in Founders’ Brazos computer lab. Assistant Provost Darren Crone said that there are eight socially distanced workstations in the lab that students can use for exams. Honorlock monitors the computers at these workstations....

Rocketing to the top | October 12, 2020

The Comets’ “Rocket League” team just qualified for Collegiate Rocket League (CRL) play by topping the qualifying tournament. After its founding in spring 2020, UTD’s “Rocket League” team played through a qualifying tournament in a bracket against some of the best teams in the Western Conference. This includes the team...

Top three places to study on campus! | October 12, 2020

Residence Hall study rooms: Study rooms are conveniently available on every floor of the residence halls. The comfy armchairs are a nice change from your wobbly dorm room chair and the giant whiteboards are a perfect environmentally friendly alternative to scratch paper for solving your math and chemistry problems. Need...

UTD chef goes astronomical with MEATeor | October 12, 2020

While making sure the UTD dining hall was running smoothly by day, chef Michael Tyler was in the kitchen working on the eighth prototype of his newly created signature sandwich by night. The “MEATeor” – coined by Tyler alongside UTD Dining staff – is an original sandwich crafted for submission...

Getting thrifty during COVID | October 12, 2020

At thrift stores, long credited with providing cheaper clothing options for consumers, business has largely remained steady during the pandemic, with the occasional stagnation. Austin Devillier, an employee at Uptown Cheapskate, said that though traffic in the store was slightly down during the beginning of the pandemic, business has picked...

Students impart consulting smarts | October 12, 2020

Two UTD students from one of the top consulting firms in the world want to share their secrets to success with aspiring consultants. Mechanical engineering spring 2019 alumnus Neel Reddy and computer science senior Rohit Shenoy befriended each other in 2018 after meeting through the Davidson Management Honors Program. Although...

Reopening the library is long overdue | October 12, 2020

UTD is open for business, but the continued closure of the library leaves Comets scratching their heads. Except for the Eugene McDermott Library, every building on UTD’s campus is open: Comets can study, take classes, eat and work out within the campus’ many buildings. And while the library does have...

LGBT + mental wellness | October 12, 2020

The LGBT+ community maintains significantly higher suicide rates, especially within younger age groups. It is imperative that LGBT+ oriented healthcare be more widely available and protected. Among Americans between 10-24 years old, members of the LGBT+ community are up to three times more likely to contemplate suicide than their peers,...

Oozeball glows up | September 28, 2020

“Despite having to move into a virtual gaming tournament in lieu of the traditional Oozeball tournament, the UTD Student Ambassadors’ annual fundraiser managed to gain the same turnout and about $1000 more in cash” The fundraiser is held annually as a way to raise money in celebration of North Texas...

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor lack of government aid | September 28, 2020

As election season approaches and the pandemic continues, mail-in voting is becoming an increasingly attractive option. Since cutbacks on funding for the Postal Service could greatly hinder the ability to vote by mail, it is incredibly essential for the agency to receive immediate funding. The United States Postal Service has...

It’s time to build – again | September 28, 2020

As a result of the pitiful COVID-19 pandemic response, incompetent national leadership all around and a polarized populace like no other, our country is amidst one of the worst bouts in history. We need directed leadership and purpose to build out of this rut. You might look to the west...

Popping quizzes (more often) | September 28, 2020

“Hell week.” Defined by Urban Dictionary, it is the time of a college student’s month where tests, projects and papers are all due within the span of a few days – usually around midterms and finals.  But does it have to be this way? Opting for frequent quizzes can eliminate...

Inside-out: flipping classroom structure | September 28, 2020

Some UTD professors have adapted versions of the flipped classroom to maintain student engagement in a virtual learning environment. The Texas Computer Education Association defines flipped learning as “when students are introduced to the learning material before they come to class through video lectures, readings or labs.” Since students are...

‘That responsibility falls on us’ | September 28, 2020

UTD is now providing an option for students to take the Daily Health Check through text message. On September 14, students received an email asking them to indicate their Daily Health Check communication preference. They can now choose between receiving the health checks as emails or text messages. The Daily...

EMT participant tests positive for COVID-19 | September 28, 2020

A participant in the University Emergency Medical Response program tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an EMT training at Blackstone LaunchPad.  Emergency Medical Services and UEMR Director Sheila Elliott said that the participant is not a UTD student, and it is believed that they contracted the virus off-campus. The individual...

UREC provides alternative to group intramural sports | September 28, 2020

University Recreation has delayed intramural sports – originally slated to kick off Sept. 12 – until guidelines for safe in-person interaction are refined. All in-person intramurals have been postponed until UREC can instate further measures to ensure the safety of all participants involved. Registration has been reopened for all postponed...

We learn at dawn | September 28, 2020

French international student Gaetan Dore was excited to move to Texas. After being accepted into UTD’s criminology doctorate program in February, he had also received a scholarship and completed all of his paperwork except for an embassy interview. After the pandemic began, however, his interview was rescheduled four times and...

Former Dallas Fuel coach collaborates with “Overwatch” team | September 14, 2020

One of the Comet Esports “Overwatch” teams recently received professional advice when former Dallas Fuel coach Louis “Tikatee” Lebel-Wong spent two hours coaching them at practice. This month, Tikatee spent time with the players and coaches – including main tank and ITS junior Jonah “Luey” Salinas and head “Overwatch” student...

Autumn sports stumble, don’t fall | September 14, 2020

While fall sports were officially cancelled, the American Southwest Conference (ASC) has released schedules for student-athletes to play a consolation season in the spring. The ASC announced the new season schedules for women’s volleyball, as well as both men’s and women’s soccer and cross country on Aug. 31. Given the...

Smash team hosts recruitment tournaments | September 14, 2020

The Smash team at Comet Esports recently ran recruitment tournaments to find more players. On Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11, Comet Esports conducted a series of singles tournaments, with about 30 players participating, to scout out and recruit new talent for the Smash team. Normally, the team uses...

Teaming up to Collaborate | September 14, 2020

For virtually enrolled Comets, a two-platform solution optimally balances functionality and convenience in online classes. UTD has no standardized platform for virtual classes. As a result, there are several options professors can (and do) choose from to host their lectures – from Blackboard Collaborate and Zoom to Microsoft Teams and...

The real reason young adults don’t vote | September 14, 2020

Many older voters subscribe to the idea that young adults are politically uninformed or too lazy to vote. This misconception is merely an excuse for the older generation to avoid addressing problems that contribute to a low voter turnout. Having “coddled minds,” “an inability to understand the way the world...

Logical fallacies kill reason | September 14, 2020

If we vote for [insert candidate name here], eventually democracy will die out. This is because [insert candidate name here] will lead us into an authoritarian regime and destroy our country, and everyone knows this, so we shouldn’t vote for them. Sound familiar? The statements above are seemingly valid and...

Comet Cruisin’ for a bruisin’ | September 14, 2020

To help keep passengers safe, UTD parking and transportation services has installed sanitary features in its new Comet Cruisers and is now operating under updated guidelines and reduced hours. Numerous campus services have had to make adjustments over the past few months, and the Comet Cruiser bus service is no...

“It’s a comfortable place for students to isolate” | September 14, 2020

UTD’s Residential Life office has allocated 100 suites at Canyon Creek Heights North to use as quarantine isolation units. Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Matthew Grief – who oversees all of University Housing – said the units are reserved for students who are confirmed COVID-19 positive or presumptive positive....

SG vice president candidate disqualified from elected position | September 14, 2020

The Student Government election board has voted unanimously to disqualify vice president candidate Stephanie Royer from her recently elected position as VP. The global business and biology senior ran on the ConnectUTD ticket alongside presidential candidate and public affairs senior Ali Darvishi. Following multiple allegations regarding Royer’s involvement in online...

What’s up with Honorlock? | September 14, 2020

UTD has implemented online exam proctoring through Honorlock, but the software’s collection of data has led to widespread concerns about student privacy. Available through a browser extension, Honorlock requires a functioning webcam and microphone to be used during exams. Before starting, students are required to have sufficient lighting, present a...

Center for Global Business creates virtual internship program | September 14, 2020

International travel ground to a halt last semester, but the Center for Global Business has developed solutions to allow students to gain international experience virtually. Global business and human resource management junior Grace Richmond was one of 56 students approved to study abroad last spring. Richmond had planned to go...

Vending machines offer disposable face masks | September 14, 2020

Vending machines across UTD are now selling disposable surgical face masks to help students safely return to life on campus. As schools and businesses begin to reopen amidst mounting safety concerns, they’re implementing a variety of strategies to keep people safe. One method of increasing the accessibility of personal protective...

Looking behind the mask | September 14, 2020

Greeting a stranger with a friendly smile is certainly a little harder than it used to be, but perhaps one of the more negative side effects of wearing masks all the time is the breakdown of communication. William Katz, a BBS professor, is primarily interested in speech, production and language...

Virtual art exhibition reflects pandemic | September 14, 2020

Naked, with Fur, running from Aug. 14 to Sept. 26,is the latest virtual exhibition to grace the SP/N Gallery, and the second virtual exhibition ever. The showcase stands out as being the first all-faculty art exhibition at SP/N in over a decade. The pieces on display reflect contemporary issues like...

Living in a twilight world | September 1, 2020

WARNING: minimal spoilers The best movies don’t just change the way we see the world after we leave the theatre – they change the way we think.   Acclaimed writer and director Christopher Nolan – known for films such as “The Dark Knight,” “Inception” and “Interstellar” – has done just...

Student gatherings: what’s permitted, what’s not | August 31, 2020

Student gatherings and club events are prohibited until further notice – with exceptions for free speech activities. Student organization officers received an email from the Student Organization Center on Aug. 18 prohibiting face-to-face or socially distanced events – indoor or outdoor – during the fall 2020 semester. Furthermore, the email...

Making a name from TikTok fame | August 31, 2020

Famous isn’t an inaccurate description of finance freshman Karthik Veduruparthi. College student by day and TikTok star by night, he boasts six hundred thousand followers and counting. He, as well as computer science sophomore Tisha Arora and marketing sophomore Neha Dharma, are popular creators on the acclaimed video-sharing platform who...

Friendship through the screen | August 31, 2020

A year ago, students walked into class, chose a seat and made small talk with their classmates — a luxury we no longer have. A valid concern, in light of students and teachers opting for online classes, is the issue of making friends virtually. Physics professor Amena Khan said in...

Think outside the (potato) bun | August 31, 2020

Edit as of 9/4/2020, 3:00pm: when contacted by The Mercury earlier today, Dining Services said that the Taco Bell Cantina was not able to open Sept. 3 as previously anticipated. Instead, they plan to open Sept. 10, and will still be available for walk-in and Starship deliveries. If you’re a...

University closes select fall 2020 dining venues | August 31, 2020

Comets will have fewer places to dine this semester, as about two-thirds of on-campus dining locations close until further notice. As of August 28, only six venues will remain open: Chick-fil-A, The Pub, Taco Bell Cantina, Dining Hall West, Papa John’s and The Market at DHW. At Northside, 7/11, the...

‘We have something for everyone, so stay active’ | August 31, 2020

Students can now return to recreation facilities on campus—but with a few caveats. Tricia Losavio, the director of UREC, said that the Activity Center and Rec Center West are currently open, and over 250 students have used the facilities between Aug. 10 and Aug. 20. “Students have to register for...

Visas are vital | August 31, 2020

As election season nears, it is crucial to understand the impact of the working visa program and how halting it will deprive the nation of a prospering culture of wealth, diversity and knowledge. The current administration has been persistent in its agenda of restricting immigration. According to the White House,...

At the mercy of the machine | August 31, 2020

Hiring season is back in full swing. Candidates are polishing their interviewing skills, hoping to snag coveted positions at tech companies. Unfortunately, many minority applicants are shut out even before they can answer “tell me a little bit about yourself.” When Black Lives Matters protests erupted across the nation, major...

College + Greek life = a new you | August 31, 2020

The dreaded red solo cup. Every sorority girl’s worst nightmare is to be caught on camera with it. I won’t sugar coat it: your sorority or fraternity will absolutely dictate the types of posts you can make on social media at some level, at least until you’re 21. If you’re...

On the front lines | August 31, 2020

Following the fall athletics suspension, the UTD Athletics Department has introduced a new undertaking to spread some positivity: Comet Frontline Heroes. The video project highlights the work of former student-athletes at the forefront of the pandemic. It’s a collection of video profile interviews conducted by assistant athletic director Dave Wester....

“League of Legends” club create the UTD League Championship Series | August 31, 2020

The LOLUTD club had players of all ranks battle against one another in a summer LCS-style tournament. The tournament consisted of ten five-player teams competing over the course of five weeks in a round-robin format, as opposed to a classic elimination-style format. Biology senior and LOLUTD officer Sahajveer Mann said...

SG vice president candidate disqualified from elected position | August 30, 2020

This article will be updated as more information is acquired. Last update: Aug. 30, 9:30pm The Student Government election board has voted unanimously to disqualify vice president candidate Stephanie Royer from her recently elected position as VP. The global business and biology senior was running on the ConnectUTD ticket, alongside...

For Your Ignorance Ep. 6 – 8/19/20 | August 19, 2020

Red Cross Treating the Wounded A Deadly Blast rocks Lebanon, Already in Crisis

Social justice For You | August 16, 2020

Though TikTok started off as a social media app for dancing teenagers and funny cat videos, it has recently become a favored platform for Gen-Z and millennials to facilitate social justice and address the inequity in our world today. Many activists take to TikTok because of its viral nature. Unlike...

Arguing against the AATA | August 16, 2020

The life of an unborn person cannot reasonably supersede the rights of those carrying them. Blanket abortion restrictions like the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act fail to address the effects of such restrictions and infringe upon Texans’ rights with little evidence in reducing abortion rates. Abstractly, the legality of...

A ‘Smash’ hit | August 16, 2020

In a recent Smash tournament, UTD’s “Super Smash Bros.” teams beat out some of the best esports teams in Texas before competing against one another and taking home first and second place. The Rec Readiness Gaming Crew Battle, hosted by Recreation Readiness this month, was a Smash tournament that featured...

Seasons ceasing? | August 16, 2020

Following the ASC’s announcement to postpone fall 2020 sports to spring, UTD also announced its intent to resume sports next semester. Shortly after the ASC’s decision, on August 5 the NCAA announced that Division III fall championships were canceled. Part of this directive will allow member institutions — and sports...

Rushing to online | August 16, 2020

A warm welcome from their sorority sisters used to feel close and personal. Now, new recruits are welcomed to the sisterhood ten feet apart from one another. Greek organizations have now had to adjust to recruiting people differently because of COVID-19. The recruitment process is not streamlined. Greek life is...

‘An effective treatment to reduce the severity and duration of a COVID infection’ | August 16, 2020

A pharmaceutical company used a research study from UTD for affirming its potential treatment for COVID-19 recovery. COVID-19 causes inflammation in the lungs. Co-author of the research study in question — BBS professor Theodore Price — said this inflammatory response is initially caused by the immune system but can later...

Housing safety restrictions | August 16, 2020

On-campus housing for the fall semester will experience a new series of safety restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Already in effect, these restrictions began with a spaced-out series of move-in days. Compared to the prior move-in windows of three to four days, UTD has allotted 12 days...

JSOM student petitions removal of certain online class fees | August 16, 2020

A UTD student started an online petition criticizing the university for charging distance learning fees for certain courses in JSOM. Business analytics graduate student Shreyas Chaturvedi created a petition on July 22 titled, “Refund students paying an extra $960 for online classes at UTD.” As of August 14, 5,315 people...

Pre-med, pre-law students share experience with taking gap years | August 16, 2020

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 59.9% of students in 2015 reported taking a gap year before starting medical school. Students opting for a gap year typically spend that time on personal development, projects or developing a more competitive application. Spring 2020 biochemistry graduate Rachel Nguyen said she...

Are you looking after yourself? | August 16, 2020

Q: What are the ways I can help a friend who is having an anxiety/panic attack? -B Given that nearly 18% of Americans are affected by anxiety disorders, chances are you know someone who is at risk for a panic attack. If an attack strikes, stay by their side and...

Students help asylum seekers get legal assistance | August 16, 2020

A group of UTD students recently took up a project to help increase legal representation for asylum seekers in the Dallas area. In partnership with the UNT College of Law and supervised by Catholic Charities Dallas, six students from the UTD chapter of the Roosevelt Network — including mathematics junior...

Boba-fide success | August 16, 2020

With most small businesses facing hard times due to the pandemic, boba shops have stood out from the crowd — surviving and thriving during the COVID-19 environment. It was early March when COVID was starting to become more prominent in the U.S., and Terry Pham, Fat Straws founder and CEO,...

Kicking off the Sunday shoes | August 16, 2020

Pushing furniture to the side of a room and training on concrete are a couple of accommodations the Power Dancers made for virtual practice this summer; but as the fall semester begins, plans remain uncertain for student dance organizations. Speech-language pathology junior and captain of UTD’s drill team Kelsey Vong...

Making rounds virtually | July 27, 2020

Shadowing is an important part of the pre-med experience, but the ongoing pandemic has brought with it an alternative: virtual shadowing. Shadowing opportunities have been becoming increasingly limited as hospitals try to decrease unnecessary visitors. Biology senior Kevin Pazhoor was part of the TEMRAP program, a partnership between UTD and...

Instructing face-to-face | July 27, 2020

While many classes have switched to an online format this fall, some professors have chosen in-person modalities — such as hybrid and HyFlex — for the benefit of their students. In a survey conducted by the Academic Senate in early June, 52% of faculty said they preferred an online delivery...

A bright response to coronavirus | July 27, 2020

Several UTD students have created projects throughout quarantine aimed at improving daily life during COVID-19. SaniScanner — developed by mechanical engineering junior Keyu Cao and physics senior Parker Watts — is one such project: a device that sterilizes infectious pathogens using UV-C light. Cao and Watts plan to station SaniScanners...

Summary of fall class options (brief) | July 27, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UTD has given students the option of choosing between in-person, online and hybrid classes for the upcoming fall semester. Students registering for classes will be able to select the type for each of their classes through Coursebook. To accommodate safety standards in the classroom,...

The birth of VENUS | July 27, 2020

Members of the student organization VENUS dissolved their group at the conclusion of the spring 2020 semester, reforming as the newest chapter of the alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority. Originally founded with the goal of creating a new sorority chapter, VENUS’ disbandment comes as the conclusion of over two years...

Student organizations raise money for Yemen crisis | July 27, 2020

Dubbed by the UN as the ‘world’s largest humanitarian crisis,’ the current situation in Yemen has spurred on-campus groups to fundraise for relief efforts. During the Arab Spring in 2010, a wave of protests and uprising against regional dictators throughout the Middle East spread to Yemen. As a result, Ali...

The virtual intern | July 27, 2020

The onset of the novel coronavirus caused many summer internships to be truncated, cancelled altogether or shifted online. In response, students and faculty have focused on learning digital skills. As COVID-19 cases rise this summer, the number of internship opportunities for students has dropped, with about 16% of employers having...

ICE directive rescinded | July 27, 2020

On July 6, ICE posted a statement on their website that international students not enrolled in in-person fall 2020 classes would have to leave the country. The directive has since been reversed. The original ruling said international students could only take three hours of online credit but was waived during...

Comets play the Feud | July 27, 2020

The UTD Athletics department introduced a virtual tournament for student athletes called “Comets Feud” over the summer break, inspired by the Family Feud-style game show format. To play, each UTD sport contributes a team of five players who compete against other teams in brackets, progressing from quarterfinals to semifinals to...

Esports program now offering scholarships | July 27, 2020

The UTD esports department is now offering scholarships to student-players once they join the team. Esports coach Greg Adler said that providing scholarships had always been a goal for the department since he arrived, and that this was the year to start after establishing a foundation as an esports program...

Semitic BLM Semantics | July 27, 2020

The powerful cries of “I can’t breathe” and “Israel, we know you murder children, too” have joined hands to bring justice to those who are suffering the most. By contrast, certain pro-Israel groups have embraced the BLM movement whilst failing to acknowledge discrimination against Palestinians. Since the establishment of the...

‘Black Swan’? More like ugly duckling | July 27, 2020

We cannot perfectly predict the future. Many try. Some even build their careers on risk analysis and prediction. However, on a macro scale, our models don’t always account for the improbable. Though in his study of the uncertain, “The Black Swan,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that we must ignore empirical...

Being a better brother | July 27, 2020

Before I began attending UTD — and before the thought of rushing a fraternity had even crossed my mind — I had been told multiple times by friends about certain fraternities and sexual assault allegations. I didn’t realize the extent of the problem at that time, but after joining my...

Pentakills can’t replace touchdowns | July 27, 2020

With a gap in traditional sports during quarantine, isn’t it time for esports to rise? After all, esports is still doing better than ever, and without the ability to broadcast traditional sports, esports have been acting to fill the content void. However, arguing that esports can be a replacement for...

Ask Sophie | July 26, 2020

Take a look at the world around you. In such a chaotic and unprecedented time, who isn’t struggling to preserve their sanity? Nobody is immune to pain, and anyone and everyone —  regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or socioeconomic status — can struggle with their mental health or be...

Mercury Morning News – 07.06.2020 | July 13, 2020

Timestamps: 0:00 – Introduction, opening thoughts 3:06 – discussion of news piece “Your tuition, by the numbers” with reporter Aleena Hassan 14:11 – discussion of opinion piece “UTDon’t Open” with columnist Snipta Mallick 25:54 – discussion of news piece “‘If those 90 days pass, they lose their status and they...

Virtual introduction to campus | July 6, 2020

With the onset of COVID-19, the necessity to avoid large gatherings and keep safe social distancing resulted in amendments to summer 2020 incoming student orientation. For the first time, freshmen are experiencing orientation virtually, with online pre-orientation modules through eLearning and small group video chats through Microsoft Teams, rather than...

You teach eTeach | July 5, 2020

Students training to be teachers through the UTeach Dallas program face increased uncertainty in their prospective career after the pandemic hit. UTeach Dallas certifies students pursuing STEM degrees to be secondary mathematics and science teachers in Texas. Yeeun Jeon graduated in May 2020 with a major in mathematics and is...

Ask Me Anything | July 5, 2020

Following a series of viral social media posts, UTD junior Nifa Kaniga’s activism as part of the Black Lives Matter movement has gained national attention. With over 30,000 followers on his Instagram, the literature major and Dripping Springs native’s encouragement of an open dialogue about social issues is now reaching...

Taking green from blue | July 5, 2020

If you have so much as opened a social media app this past month, you have surely been met with Instagram stories and tweets with phrases such as “defund the police” and “police abolition”. Your gut instinct may be to ask “won’t crime rates increase?” and “how can society function...

UTDon’t Open | July 5, 2020

Everything is bigger in Texas: from our unbridled Texas pride and vast expanses of land to our unwavering commitment to setting record single-day highs for coronavirus cases. As public universities start to navigate plans for reopening campus to students in the fall, UTD has followed suit with many other public...

On Police Oversight | July 5, 2020

In any true functioning democracy, community input shouldn’t be arduous. The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst to the evolving mediums we use to voice our concerns to our elected officials. Efforts such as petitions, retweets and calls-to-action to flood social media timelines is a step in the right direction,...

Not biting clickbait | July 5, 2020

With more people turning to social media for news, the risk of circulating fake news increases. Fake news and altered videos can greatly misinform the public and generate negative responses to a situation that may not even exist. Janet Johnson, a UTD professor who studies social media trends and misleading...

Your tuition, by the numbers | July 5, 2020

Tuition for summer classes has not decreased during the move to completely online classes. A petition was started in early May that called for reduced summer tuition, asserting that students will not have access to facilities like the gym, library or computer labs so they shouldn’t be paying full tuition....

Under one roof | July 5, 2020

UTD is developing a plan to address future COVID-19 cases as students return to on-campus housing. On June 16, UTD confirmed that a student living in a University Village apartment contracted COVID-19. Three days later, the student’s two roommates tested positive. They all self-isolated in UV afterwards, said associate vice...

Returning to labs | July 5, 2020

Research labs opened under limited circumstances since campus closed this spring are now steadily increasing capacity, with COVID-19 safety measures. During the April 22 presidential town hall meeting, Joe Pancrazio, vice president of research, said the Office of Research has been fully operational — albeit remotely — after campus closed...

Professors discuss hesitations about teaching in person | July 5, 2020

In the fall, professors will have the option to choose whether they teach face-to-face or online. The Faculty Retention and Morale Subgroup recommended that UTD “allow instructors to have the option to teach in a fully online/remote fashion without UTD administration requiring that the instructor disclose personal details that might...

Remote Learning: the benefits, the drawbacks | July 5, 2020

Spring 2020 provided a glimpse at online instruction and how students and teachers adapted to changes in learning conditions; now, instructors are facing another semester of partially — or fully — virtual classes, along with the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. At the June 24 presidential town hall,...

Student enrollment concerns in fall 2020 | July 5, 2020

For various students, changes and uncertainty about fall 2020 campus functionality brings up many unforeseen issues including financial problems and difficulty performing well in studies. In a survey conducted by The Mercury, 9% of respondents said they would not be willing to stay enrolled at UTD if the upcoming semester...

‘I feel that I’m not being seen or heard’ | July 5, 2020

When classes transitioned online, psychology junior Labiba Zarin Halim said she was not adequately accommodated and is concerned about how the OSA will function in the fall. Halim is deaf, and the OSA typically provides her with accommodations including a Signed Exact English interpreter, extra time on her exams, preferential...

‘If those 90 days pass, they lose their status and they’ll have to go home’ | July 5, 2020

International students who graduated in May 2020 face questions about their employment and residency status amidst a shifting market. After completion of UTD’s graduate program, many international students choose to stay in the United States to pursue employment for up to a year past their graduation. This Optional Practical Training...

UTD Presidential Town Hall – 6.24.2020 | June 26, 2020

Click here for town hall recording Note from the editor: Although the university should be providing their own recording of the town hall, we wanted to give you access to my recording in the interim. (While I tried to limit background noise as much as possible, Teams notifications, typing sounds...

‘You have a responsibility. Everyone has a responsibility.’ | June 17, 2020

Tamara Havis is a computer engineering senior. Chizuruoke Ukachi-Nwata is a junior majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology. Axum Taylor is a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in public health. Taylor said she was responsible for creating a petition to UTD to stand in solidarity with black...

Dallas faces rise in domestic violence cases during shelter-in-place policies | June 15, 2020

Following the first wave of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the subsequent period of social distancing, an increase in cases of domestic violence has been observed across the country. In light of that, UTD faculty and staff shared their opinions on resources available through the university for students facing domestic...

What does the fight for civil rights look like in 2020? | June 15, 2020

After the events surrounding George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests that erupted in nearly all states across the nation, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken the world by storm. People have gathered to protest and express solidarity not only in the U.S., but in the U.K, Hong Kong...

Designing flexible, effective virtual courses | June 15, 2020

As online classes continue into the summer semester, professors are learning to make adjustments to online schooling. Based on feedback from students and faculty about online classes, associate provost Paul Diehl said issues tended to arise from a lack of accessibility. In addition to already existing accommodations, he said he...

A community that CARES | June 15, 2020

The CARES Act and two student emergency funds are major sources of financial aid to UTD students struggling financially during this time. The CARES Act — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — was signed into law on March 27 in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19....

Are you looking after yourself? | June 15, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis, as well as the eruption of Black Lives Matter protests, have made the world feel on the brink of oblivion. In such challenging times, it can feel nearly impossible to stay motivated, especially for college students who rely on peers, faculty and campus services for mental health...

Different country, different plan | June 15, 2020

In light of a worldwide crisis, it seems that a non-living organism has effectively exposed the fundamental flaws in our government more than ever before. Across the Atlantic, Sweden has taken a much different initial approach to combating the virus. However, is the stratagem effective and should we adopt this...

Contrarian Creativity | June 15, 2020

Obstacles in life are often unexpected — especially lately. Scrambling for opportunities, something to do, many have found themselves stuck competing for an internship after summer plans were cancelled. But when you’re stuck in limbo, in the same position as everyone else, how do you stand out? In his novel...

Guarding against Vanguard | June 15, 2020

Riot Games’ “Valorant” has been stealing the hearts of gamers on the FPS scene, with thousands of players even before its official launch. But is it stealing your personal data as well? Ultimately, it comes down to a trade-off of privacy and security, and there are better alternatives to consider....

‘Everyone is in a dilemma. Everyone has doubts.’ | June 15, 2020

Akshat Bhati, an international supply chain management graduate student, said it was a dream to come to the United States. After coronavirus forced classes to an online format in March, however, his dream became a nightmare: he lost his shifts at the on-campus Starbucks, where he had recently been promoted...

24/30 with COVID-19 | June 15, 2020

As coronavirus shifts students’ academic plans, the 24-in-30 rule remains relevant to ensure graduation. This rule says that students have to complete 24 of their final 30 hours at UTD. Most students have not struggled with this graduation requirement in the past, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Advising John Jackson said....

‘Coexist with COVID-19’ | June 15, 2020

Beginning early May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott began the process of the gradual reopening of Texas. By now, the state has moved on to Phase III of reopening, and COVID-19 cases are still on the rise. Orders to open businesses were released in a staggered manner, with the first wave...

Letter from the Editor | May 25, 2020

Dear incoming student, I don’t know about you, but the last several weeks have been a blur of days that feel largely the same: seeing friends’ faces through FaceTime and Zoom calls, lying in bed feeling exhausted and unmotivated, frustrated about all the much-anticipated events — and, frankly, normalcy —...

Note-able guidelines | May 25, 2020

Six ways to adapt notetaking habits to college When you wake up, what you eat and how you study are all habits you probably formed as a student in high school — but as you enter college, those routines may change. Though you have fewer classes, they’re often more rigorous....

Exploring off-the-grid | May 25, 2020

Activities, locations off campus to discover UTD is a hub of activity during the week, and the surrounding Dallas metroplex is no exception. When the urge to explore strikes, venture off campus and take part in some of these activities. UTD-Related Outings: UREC Excursions: University Recreation offers various outdoor excursions...

Gone phishing | May 25, 2020

How to tell you’re reading a scam email Congratulations! You have been chosen to receive a free scholarship! Just confirm your identity by clicking this totally unsuspicious link: www.whatisyourcreditcardnumberandmothersmaidenname.com. Some scam emails are obvious, but sometimes convincing ones can slip through the cracks of Microsoft’s email monitoring and get into...

Temoc: the mascot, the mystery, the meme | May 25, 2020

A brief history of UTD’s iciest Comet As you arrived to UTD, you may have heard of the magnificently fiery and unforgivably ostentatious mascot that is Temoc. The wide-grinned comet has a backstory that is incomparable to any other; however, students often have a range of reactions to Temoc such...

A Guide to Title IX | May 25, 2020

Title IX, or Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, is a civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in educational programs and institutions that receive federal funding. Its enforcement covers incidents of sexual misconduct and violence such as dating violence, sexual harassment, rape...

Letter to freshmen | May 25, 2020

Alumna Ananya Malik writes in to wish incoming freshmen well Welcome to UTD! While the beginning of your freshman year is surely far from what you expected, I encourage you to make the most of your time in college, unorthodox as it may be. The beauty of UTD is the...

Hiker’s gear | May 25, 2020

Academic, financial resources to help you succeed The transition from high school to college can feel overwhelming, but there are campus resources that can make the change smoother. Here are some of the most common ones, all free of cost to current students. Academics Outside of going to professors’ office...

Backwoods currency | May 25, 2020

Navigating Comet Cash spending locations Comet Cash — usable with a swipe of your Comet Card — is your handy-dandy version of Monopoly money for UTD services! Besides paying for your various on-campus academic needs such as parking fees or the bookstore, it can buy your most important commodity: food....

Keeping your wits about you | May 25, 2020

How to manage mental health on your next great adventure Ask almost any college student if they’re feeling stressed, and they’re likely to respond in the affirmative. Keeping up grades, extracurriculars, work and social life can be overwhelming at times, and many students’ mental health can suffer. Yet having good...

Befriending fellow hikers – virtual edition | May 25, 2020

Four ways to connect online with future classmates One of the biggest transitions that is occurring globally is the switch from making new friends in person to making new friends online. On top of that, as incoming students, it can be intimidating to go to a new college without knowing...

Learning the ropes | May 25, 2020

What every freshman should do their first year Kicking off freshman year can be a major adjustment for anyone. As you learn to call a university your home, all too often you might find yourself overwhelmed with campus events. With every quintessential freshman experience waiting for you, here are some...

Scavenging healthy trail food | May 25, 2020

How to maintain good nutrition in college Navigating freshman year of college can be overwhelming, with new roommates, unfamiliar buildings and a sea of strange faces. Schedules are confusing, finding classes requires multiple references to the campus map, and making friends feels like starting over from scratch; and often, junk...

Off the beaten path | May 25, 2020

Hidden spots to discover around campus UTD has lots of hidden gems that don’t appear on maps. Check these spots out next time you are on campus! Gazebo WHAT IS IT? A small pavilion structure. WHERE IS IT? Between the library and Lot D, technically on a path on campus...

Finding direction | May 25, 2020

A compass for navigating a virtual class format, habits for success The Student Success Center has a wide set of resources for students including the Writing Center, peer tutoring and review sessions. In addition, they offer holistic support for students via success coaches like ITS junior Faiza Zaman. She focuses...

Debate camp transitions online | May 5, 2020

Camp leadership navigates software to shift workshops to remote format Despite being miles apart, students discuss strategy in separate virtual rooms for one round of a debate competition. This is how students will practice debate this summer at the Mean Green Comet Debate Institute, which is transitioning to an online...

Sound on to press play | May 4, 2020

Why sound is more important than graphics to player experience What makes a video game go beyond average isn’t just what you see: it’s what you hear as well. Good sound design augments a video game experience to a whole new level, from the sound cues to the battle music...

Changes to JSOM community service requirement | May 4, 2020

Social entrepreneurship class moves online, alternatives offered on case-by-case basis JSOM has a community service requirement that requires students to either complete 100 hours of service or take a social entrepreneurship class; but because of COVID-19, opportunities to volunteer onsite have decreased, and the class has had to transition. In...

Archer fellowship moves online | May 4, 2020

Students interning in Washington D.C. move back home, finish courses online The Archer fellowship is a program that gives UT System students an opportunity to spend a semester in Washington D.C. This year, due to COVID-19, the program has gone virtual for the first time. Archer Fellows intern at various...

Clubs adjust meetings, membership requirements to a virtual format | May 3, 2020

Student organization center helps groups transition online With the university closing for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, many clubs and organizations face consequences to their agendas for the latter part of the spring semester. Officers in various organizations, including Neuroscience Student Association secretary Allison Doke, have had to...

UTD Students in National Guard deployed to combat COVID-19 | May 3, 2020

Balancing school, military service during a global pandemic In response to the domestic spread of COVID-19, UTD students serving in the National Guard have been called to active duty. With their units spread across the state, these students balance the everyday struggles of student life with the demands of military...

Social media virus | May 3, 2020

How to fight the spread of misinformation online COVID-19 can be cured by ingesting fish-tank cleaning products or flushing your system out with warm water and vinegar; coronavirus was also developed in Chinese labs to crash the stock market: In times of crisis, misinformation like this abounds. In fact, you...

SSBU players rank in top ten | May 2, 2020

‘Super Smash Brothers Ultimate’ Comet eSport players achieve high power ranking In the first season of competitive “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” of 2020, three UTD Comets were power ranked in the top ten in the DFW area. The power ranking of an area is the ranking of the top players...

Continuing Onward Online | May 2, 2020

How to apply the message of ‘Onward’ when we’re all inside “Onward” was one of the films that was hit the hardest thanks to the surge of panic created from the coronavirus outbreak. Box office revenues tanked for the first time in two decades, resulting from shelter-in-place rules and the...

Refunds issued for meal plan holders | May 2, 2020

UTD began issuing partial refunds on April 15 Following the cancellation of campus housing in response to COVID-19, UTD has begun issuing refunds to students who purchased meal plans for the Spring 2020 semester. UTD Auxiliary Services announced their plans to issue refunds on April 9, issued through the university...

Privacy versus public health | May 1, 2020

The importance of navigating personal privacy during a global pandemic Around the world, countries continue to wage their battle against the coronavirus, leveraging a multitude of weapons to end the pandemic at any cost. Whether that weapon is the use of location tracking and contact-tracing through smartphone applications, facial recognition...

Finding novelty at home | May 1, 2020

20 new activities to try while social distancing Being cooped up in the same place for weeks might start to make any student’s day feel monotonous. Right now, all the time that students could have spent going out and about can instead be spent trying something new. By trying something...

Members of UTD community volunteer to produce face masks | May 1, 2020

ACME Creation Lab recruits volunteers to distribute personal protective equipment After personal protective equipment shortages were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the UTD community joined a Dallas-based effort to produce and distribute PPE to healthcare workers and law enforcement, among others. PPE includes items such as gloves, medical...

Anti-love or anti-repression? | April 30, 2020

A rebuttal to ‘Pro-sex/Anti-love’ Content warning: sexual assault “‘Abby’ — we’ll call her—” This was the beginning of an all-too-familiar story in the April 2020 edition of The Mercury titled “Pro-sex, anti-love” by Michael Lockwood. This opinion’s claims of how pornography ruins relationships and leads to sexual violence sparked controversy...

Lockdown cinnamon rolls | April 30, 2020

Two UTD students launch a homemade cinnamon roll business Psychology sophomore Mason Kitchens and electrical engineering junior Chase Ferrell are friends and gymnastics teammates who came together to launch a delivery service for homemade cinnamon rolls. Ferrell said their love for cinnamon rolls started in San Antonio, where he and...

Ask Sophie | April 30, 2020

Advice from one student to another Q: How can I keep a good relationship with my significant other during COVID-19? – Neap Enoch From people in long-distance relationships to married couples living together, it’s safe to say that almost everyone in a romantic relationship is experiencing some level of emotional...

UTD Presidential Town Hall – 4.22.2020 | April 29, 2020

Timestamps and corresponding questions/answers 00:00 – 3:50 – Introductions, opening remarks by President Benson 03:51 – 5:44 – How will credit/no credit and pass/fail grades appear on transcripts? Will they impact a student’s GPA? How might this impact graduate school admission? 05:45 – 7:18 – Since spring graduation ceremonies have...

UTD custodian nominated for national custodian award | April 29, 2020

30-year UTD employee Bron Clayton continues custodial efforts during shutdown UTD building services supervisor and member of the facilities management leadership team Bron Clayton has been nominated for a national custodian award. Clayton helped develop UTD’s recycling program and started an ESL class for staff members, and continues to do...

Integral Calculus exam crashes eLearning | April 29, 2020

Students unable to complete math test due to volume of test takers, make-up exam offered Students faced an eLearning crash, the first of its kind, when they logged into a math exam simultaneously on April 10. About 1,000 students are currently enrolled across multiple sections of Integral Calculus and were...

So close, yet so far | April 29, 2020

How to stay connected with friends during social distancing Among the major aspects of our daily routine, social interaction has certainly taken a large hit  during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students continually adapt their current lifestyles to changing circumstances, a healthy social life is essential for creating a lifestyle that...

Why we publish what we do | April 28, 2020

Before an opinion piece is published in our paper, a rigorous process occurs beforehand. Columnists and writers approach our team with pitch ideas, which we must approve before they even begin. Next, they submit three separate drafts of their pieces and have them edited by 3-4 editors over the course...

An open response to ‘I Hate Me’ from Mercury staffers | April 28, 2020

On March 9, The Mercury published an article that was offensive and harmful to the Transgender community. Michael Lockwood’s “I Hate Me” piece compared gender transitions to mental disorders and gave the appearance of an endorsement from the organization as it ran unopposed. As employees of The Mercury, we wanted...

‘Feel that celebration with them even though they’re not physically present with us’ | April 28, 2020

Students discuss changes to their religious celebrations as a result of quarantine Students across campus are celebrating Passover, Easter and Ramadan without some of the traditions central to their faith as the spread of coronavirus and stay-at-home orders prevent gatherings. These holidays share themes of heightened devotion, personal reflection and...

My daughter, the healthcare worker | April 27, 2020

What it’s like to live with someone on the front lines My daughter is a healthcare worker at Parkland. She runs – actually runs – through most of her 12-hour shifts. I envision her shifts like marathon trials – wearing the mask she had on yesterday (they get three for...

COVID-19 at UTD by the Numbers | April 27, 2020

Survey conducted, student discusses her experience with coronavirus After UTD’s campus closed and students left to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Mercury survey found that some members of the UTD community went on to test positive. The survey, which received 103 responses, showed that four respondents tested...

Volunteering under quarantine | April 27, 2020

OSV provides list of remote volunteer opportunities Though in-person volunteer opportunities have been dwindling with the rise of COVID-19, the number of remote volunteer opportunities have expanded. Even before COVID-19, there existed remote volunteering opportunities such as translating for Translators Without Borders and being an online emotional support listener for...

SUAAB holds virtual events for rest of semester | April 20, 2020

Following UTD’s transition to online classes, the Student Union & Activities Advisory Board canceled all of their remaining in-person spring semester events. Responsible for various campus events, including live shows featuring musical artists and comedians on-campus, SUAAB is now hoping to bring the same experiences to the student body through...

Undergraduate lab courses mitigate online shift | April 20, 2020

Virtual simulations, data analysis help instructors with web-based teaching Laboratory coordinators are using various methods to transition traditionally in-person lab courses to an online format. A bioengineering major takes about four to six lab courses in their undergraduate career. Shalini Prasad, professor and department head for bioengineering, said she and...

Gunman dead after hijacking DART bus in Richardson, wounding three officers | April 19, 2020

At about 11 a.m. today, a gunman boarded a DART bus in Richardson, opened fire and led police on a multi-city chase. Three officers were wounded and the gunman was killed. The driver of the bus was ordered at gunpoint to drive to an undetermined location. According to a report...

Students face monetary losses after study abroad cancellations | April 19, 2020

University officials recently made the decision to suspend all international travel through the calendar year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This policy change cancelled all summer, fall and winter 2020 study abroad programs, according to a university-wide email sent by the Education Abroad Office to all prospective students traveling internationally....

Dead economy | April 19, 2020

How the COVID-19 response prioritizes corporations over individuals In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. has seen a sharp increase in unemployment claims, with nearly 17 million filings in the last three weeks. Experts say that social distancing and isolation is likely to last through May and...

Hypocrisy of Democracy | April 19, 2020

How Joe Biden’s cult of personality harms women As Joe Biden’s political campaign was resurrected just over a month ago, so were conversations about his inappropriate touching. From YouTube compilations to firsthand accounts, the stories are impossible to ignore. But that’s exactly what the Democratic party and his supporters are...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott aims to reopen state | April 18, 2020

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed three executive orders on April 17 in an effort to reopen the state amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first order, Abbott established the “Strike Force to Open Texas,” a team of medical experts, private and public leaders who will advise the governor on the...

Local businesses face coronavirus pandemic head-on | April 18, 2020

How owners, managers are keeping their stores afloat With  a statewide order mandating social distancing in Texas, local businesses are losing valuable foot traffic and income. Even with federal assistance in the form of payroll protection and loans, businesses are having to make tough decisions to make it through quarantine....

Lights, Camera, Asian American | April 18, 2020

Why Asians in Hollywood movies need to move past token characters I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a casting director for a movie. Do they merely cast minorities to appear racially progressive for ratings? How do they decide what characters minorities play? Casting in movies and television shows...

Financialization: A Tragedy | April 18, 2020

When profit takes precedence, students suffer Cranes, orange street signs, dirt and neon yellow jackets have all become sights UTD students see while making their way to class while walking and riding on the few roads left untouched by construction. Many try to imagine how the new buildings will blend...

Shelter-at-home(less) | April 17, 2020

Why supporting homeless shelters is critical during quarantine While many of us are safe within our own homes during the novel coronavirus pandemic, these times have become especially difficult for those who do not have a place to shelter in. Throughout the country, homeless shelters have been hit hard by...

Pro-sex, anti-love | April 17, 2020

How porn degrades women, distorts the mind “Abby” — we’ll call her — has what you might call the ideal husband: loving, intelligent and attractive. But no matter how hard they try in the bedroom, Abby cannot become sexually aroused. “It’s not like he’s only willing to try a handful...

Positivi-tees | April 17, 2020

Senior creates brand of T-shirts with QR codes that prompt comforting stories, funny videos An engineering student aiming to lift moods and brighten days recently launched a business to bring his idea to fruition using T-shirts. Computer engineering senior Bishesh Manandhar sells shirts with graphic designs on the front and...

Comet Cupboard continues to operate despite physical location closing | April 16, 2020

Volunteers prepare boxes of food to distribute to students on first-come first-serve basis The Comet Cupboard’s campus location shut down indefinitely due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Despite the shutdown, the Comet Cupboard staff is continuing to distribute food to the UTD community by packaging and handing out boxes through...

Good Life Versus Long LIfe | April 16, 2020

‘Being Mortal,’ rethinking end-of-life care Unfortunately, you’re going to die. However, through modern medicine, that can be postponed — risk of death from common infection, injury and disease has become much more manageable. This holds true until we reach old age, where surgeon and writer Atul Gawande argues the medicine...

Ask Emily | April 16, 2020

Advice from one student to another The only thing on the news right now is the novel coronavirus, yet somehow it still feels so surreal. While the news is covering the number of cases and reporting the latest shelter-in-place rulings, individuals are struggling with their mental health. Being locked in...

Student counseling center continues therapy services online | April 15, 2020

Staff adjusts to online switch amidst coronavirus pandemic UTD’s Student Counseling Center has transitioned to online teletherapy in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Without a clear date for their return to in-person operations, the counseling center has begun creating more online resources, adjusting to better serve the...

Game Review: ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ | April 15, 2020

Popular simulation game lets players virtually socialize during stay-at-home orders Video games have a bad rap for ultra-violent gameplay filled with guts, gore and bloody violence. While “DOOM Eternal” did release back in March, a different game released on the same day. I opted for the other game instead, because...

Accessibility in online classes | April 14, 2020

How professors can accommodate disabled students amidst online shift With the switch to online learning, the Office of Student AccessAbility and faculty members are having to make different adjustments in order to accommodate students with disabilities. Clinical associate professor Kenneth Brewer said that in some ways, it’s actually easier to...

Students leave on-campus housing, adjust to moving back home | April 14, 2020

How campus housing changed in wake of COVID-19 In mid-March, UTD began asking students living on campus to start the move-out process in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, those students say they miss dorm life and are adjusting to moving back home. Information technology and systems sophomore Eileen Sharmin...

International Self-Isolation | April 14, 2020

How to stay grounded in a foreign country during COVID-19 The novel coronavirus has disrupted the lives of billions and sent strong economies crashing. There are several challenges that international students in particular face during this pandemic. Yet, there are resources available for international students still on campus that we,...

Pre-medical, pre-law advisors weigh in on credit/no credit grading | April 13, 2020

UTD recently announced that undergraduate students have the option to consider credit/no credit grading for their spring 2020 classes. Students considering medical or law school face a dilemma to take CR/NC or have a lower GPA. Under the CR/NC option, students must earn a C or better in a class...

Helping Hands for Healthy Eating | April 13, 2020

Students, university step up to support community during pandemic As UTD shelters in place, students have formed a mutual aid group to ensure their peers get the support they need, and university volunteers stepped up to help the local community. International political economy senior Sarah Whipple started a Facebook group...

How UTD professors are adapting to online classes | March 30, 2020

With the rest of the semester’s classes being moved online, professors at UTD have had to adjust their classwork to accommodate. Kathy Lingo, a professor at the school of arts and humanities, said faculty were alerted through email by university officials before spring break to update their syllabi and get...