11 9 20 Issue


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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 switching majors at least once […]

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 UTD’s first full-time cross country […]

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 time when the OFED is […]

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 for. This year, Director of […]

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 just 83 cases around this […]

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 loan debt can be an […]

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 1,351 students – representing a […]

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 work was featured on the […]

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” and embarks on a journey: […]

Chartwells management, workers see improvements after last year’s concerns | March 9, 2020

On-campus dining services, provided by Chartwells Higher Education, have made improvements since last year’s reports concerning lack of food safety training and management misconduct. Kyle Claiborne, one of the new assistant directors of dining services, now conducts monthly food inspections for food safety and handling. Claiborne previously worked for EcoSure, a third-party food auditor. Additionally, […]

Help Yourself | March 9, 2020

A critique of self-help book “Skin in the Game” With great power comes great responsibility — or it should, in theory. Nassim Taleb, author of “Skin in the Game,” takes this to another level: we must be prepared to face potential consequences for every action we take and every word we say. If we don’t […]

Umbrella of Resistance | March 9, 2020

How photography, illustrations can facilitate political change The smartphone has democratized digital art, rendering it simple for users to click-and-capture and imitate the professional craft of photography. With a press of a button, the picture of your foamy Americano or Nutella toast — along with a vibrantly nostalgic filter — can be shared with the […]

I hate me | March 9, 2020

Why sex transitions harm gender dysphoric children “The prospect of completely changing your body, your life, your identity, is very compelling to a teenager who’s just learning to cope with mental health issues,” said Cari Stella. As she explained on her YouTube channel, Stella was 15 years old when she became sure that deep down […]

The Price of War | March 9, 2020

Military funding should be redirected toward health, education In modern-day society, The United States of America is known for its vast economic wealth, numerous freedoms and opportunities and strong military. The military industrial complex — defined as an establishment within a country that produces technology for the purposes of protection against outside threats — has […]

Unpredictive Policing | March 9, 2020

Why Dallas PD’s data-driven initiative promotes racial biases Dallas police chief Renee Hall recently announced the city’s answer to New York’s infamous stop and frisk: a data-driven program to increase police presence in high-crime areas, allowing officers to use traffic stops as an excuse to pull over anyone they deem “suspicious.” After events such as […]

Smash Team Competes at International Competition | March 9, 2020

UTD’s “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” team went to the 2020 Frostbite Major where they faced off against international opponents and fought in match-ups not found in the DFW area. The Comets competed at one of the largest “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” tournaments so far with 1,235 players competing in the singles bracket where players play […]

Why Do Students Cram? | March 9, 2020

Mercury survey reveals only two percent of students do not cram for exams Bioengineering freshman Meghna Jayavelu told herself that she wasn’t going to cram for this upcoming test, that she was going to study in intervals. However, like 16% of students, she found herself only beginning to study the night before her exam. A […]

Q & A: Celebrity Chef Aarti Sequeira | March 9, 2020

UTD Dining and Auxiliary Services hosted chef, television star and journalist Aarti Sequeira this month. Sequeira graduated from Northwestern University as a journalist, worked for CNN and produced a show on HBO. Not long after, Sequeira was the winner of the sixth season of Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star” and hosted her own […]

Ask Emily: | March 9, 2020

Mental health advice from one student to another If you and your friend both struggle with mental health issues, how do you balance being there for each other while also taking care of yourself? – Lovingly Here Lovingly, boundaries can be hard to set, especially with someone you care about. However, they are imperative to […]

Letter to the Editor: On-Campus Housing is Purpose-built | February 9, 2020

In the Jan. 27 issue of The Mercury, Ellis Blake Hidalgo wrote an article about apartment construction at Northside, the goal of which is to provide more housing near campus. Brent Miller from real estate developer Wynne/Jackson was interviewed for the article. Miller stated that there was “no purpose-built student housing at UT Dallas prior […]

Over What Weight? Debunking the Body Mass Index | February 9, 2020

“The FitnessGram pacer test is a multistage aerobic capacity test that progressively gets more difficult as it continues…”      Now considered a meme, the FitnessGram was a staple of many childhoods. Despite making people laugh now, one part of the FitnessGram was far from a joking matter: being weighed in front of the entire class. Weight […]

Food for Late-night Thoughts | February 9, 2020

Campus nightlife can be improved by longer restaurant hours A couple of weeks ago, I was dropped back to my dorm a little earlier in the weekend than I usually would’ve been. In an effort to prepare myself for the week to come, I decided to take a stroll to the library through campus. As […]

Socialism: Critiqued | February 9, 2020

Chances are you have running water, clean clothes, a phone and plans for a decent lunch. By the standards of the first 95% of human history, you’re living in luxury. And it’s not just you. Everyone is becoming wealthier, especially the poor. A recent update from Our World in Data showed that from 2002-2015, the […]

Socialism: Supported | February 9, 2020

Throughout the span of world history, we have both observed and learned from the rise and ultimate demise of global powers that once successfully ruled under their own specific forms of government. Through these times, the perspec-tive on the ideal choice of leadership has continuously changed. In modern day society, it surely seems to be […]

UTD Takes Part in National Recycling Challenge | February 9, 2020

UTD is joining hundreds of colleges nationwide in an eco-friendly competition aimed at maximizing recycling. RecycleMania is an annual event between schools that serves as both an incentive and benchmark for recycling across the nation from Feb. 2 to March 28. Universities measure how much they recycle and compare it with other universities. The competition […]

New Office Designed to Hear Student Concerns | February 9, 2020

Student Ombuds Office ensures confidentiality, impartiality in discussions As one student among a sea of nearly 30,000, it’s easy to feel as if your voice can be drowned out. It was for this reason that UTD introduced the Student Ombuds Office, to give students the resources to exercise their agency. The Student Ombuds Office has […]

Cybersecurity Masters Degree to be Offered Fall 2020 | February 9, 2020

Dean of EPPS discusses rise in demand for interdisciplinary approach, policy understanding within cybersecurity job industry Starting fall 2020, UTD will be offering an interdisciplinary cybersecurity master’s degree. Although housed in the school of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, the degree is a joint effort with the school of Engineering and Computer Science, and will […]

A Rocky Start | February 9, 2020

Comets set sights on ASC Championship tournament despite losses in first two games With the spring semester in full swing, the UTD baseball team has gotten off to a rough start in its 2020 season at the Cactus Classic where they lost their first two games 3-0 and 16-6. Despite a tough opening, the Comets […]

Senior Rises as New Contender in UTD’s Chicken Tender Scene | February 9, 2020

Student writes Reddit reviews for fried finger food A playful online joke between friends has now grown into a Reddit sensation at UTD. The centerpiece of the content? Chicken tenders. Economics senior Joshua Evers said it all started in April 2019 when he had a friend who was constantly making jokes about chicken tenders. At […]

Zarafa Unfolding | February 9, 2020

Middle Eastern, South Asian artists tell their stories through art works, installations In the late 1820s, the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt gifted the king of France a giraffe from Sudan. The charming animal, which was new to the Parisians, inspired giraffe-themed wallpaper, spotted fabric and even horn-shaped hairstyles among the French. The giraffe lived for […]

Video Game Review: ‘GTFO’ | February 9, 2020

Horror shooter game challenges players to use teamwork to win Scared of the bump in the night and of social interaction? Then “GTFO” will provide the most horrifying cooperative first person shooter experience you’ll have in a while. The only question is, how relevant is it in the modern gaming space? “GTFO” is a first […]

Lover of All Things UTD | February 9, 2020

Sophomore uses social media to create connections, spread school spirit He calls himself the sorcerer of school spirit, his personal Instagram is a mosaic of green and orange and Temoc flashes across multiple posts. Entrepreneurship and marketing sophomore Eric Aaberg takes school spirit to a whole new level, and he wants to share that with […]

New Coronavirus Not Major Threat to Students | February 9, 2020

Recent reports estimate over 34,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, with 0.0003% of those cases in the U.S. Despite the low case rate, media coverage of the virus has sparked nationwide concern. Coronavirus refers to a family of viruses usually found in animals that are also responsible for the common cold. The latest strain, 2019 novel […]

UTD Choir Holds Concert at US-Mexico Border | February 9, 2020

Performance promotes healing through music following 2019 El Paso shooting Standing shoulder to shoulder, singing out the last few notes of “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” the singers varying in their ages, backgrounds, languages and nationalities conveyed a message of unity and support. From Jan. 18-19, Jonathan Palant — director of UTD’s choir and […]

Finding Your Voice | February 9, 2020

Deaf America’s Got Talent finalist rehearses, performs with UTD choir For singer and songwriter Mandy Harvey, all her music holds a special, personal meaning for her — not in the least because she can’t hear it. As an up-and-coming vocal and music education major at Colorado State University, the future was looking bright for Harvey […]


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