Issue 2 13 2023


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UTD students arrested for kidnapping and robbery of elderly couple | November 13, 2023

Biology senior Jeffrey Stayns Fernando and ITS graduate Akash Tyagi were arrested Nov. 9 as suspects in the kidnapping and robbery of an elderly couple in Midlothian, Texas. Midlothian Police Department investigators identified and charged Fernando and Tyagi with two counts of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated robbery, and one […]

Issue 11 13 23 | November 13, 2023

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Halloween hole in wall: car crash in UV leaves three students displaced | November 13, 2023

It is Halloween night — students are returning from classes and getting ready for the holiday in University Village. Computer science sophomore Angie Landin is preparing food in her apartment when a red Tesla suddenly accelerates and crashes directly into her kitchen wall. Around 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2023, a Tesla driven by the […]

Farmer’s Fridge: fresh food in a vending machine | November 13, 2023

Convenient and fresh, the Student Union’s newest vending machine, Farmer’s Fridge, gives Comets an option for grab-and-go foods as a healthier alternative for on-campus dining. Located between The Market and Halal Shack in the Student Union, Farmer’s Fridge allows students to choose from a variety of packed salads, bowls, wraps and snacks that are nutritionally […]

Hoops for hearts: UTD basketball hosts fundraiser for local children | November 13, 2023

UTD Athletics partnered with Jamie’s Heart foundation Nov. 8 to host the second annual teddy bear toss during UTD’s first men’s basketball game. The goal of the event was to provide emotional support to children currently in the ICU through stuffed animals, and in the first time-out of the game, Comets threw over 100 stuffed […]

Volunteerism Events Blotter | November 13, 2023

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To Mars and Beyond: Students Design Tools for Mars Exploration | November 13, 2023

“Comet to Mars,” a team from UTD with no aerospace background, defied expectations in NASA’s Mars XR 2 Global Challenge — a science design competition — coming to a 13th global rank and second in the Americas out of nearly 4,000 competitors. The team consisted of four ATEC majors — seniors Andrew Duarte and Michael […]

Students Across Disciplines Team Up to Solve Global Health Problems | November 13, 2023

Two students launched UTD’s first-ever Interdisciplinary Global Health Case Competition, a contest where students across different schools come together to solve health crises affecting society. The competition, pioneered by policy junior Nandita Kumar and finance junior Avinash Chivakula, drew over 140 people, three times more than expected. Student teams were given a case on a […]

Comets gather for largest hackathon in Texas | November 13, 2023

HackUTD returned to ECSW on Nov. 4 for the competition’s 10th installment HackUTD is a weekend-long event where participants are given different challenges to solve by expressing themselves through technology. The 2023 hackathon included 1,001 people from 18 different countries. The total pool of prize money was $62,000, the largest amount HackUTD has distributed so […]

Comics & Activities: 11/13/23 | November 13, 2023

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Men’s soccer claims ASC title after mixed season | November 13, 2023

The team took home the title for the first time in four years and are heading to the NCAA Division Championships The UTD men’s soccer team came back from a season of mixed performance, securing their spot in the NCAA national tournament after winning the ASC conference championship on Nov. 4 in a narrow 6-5 […]

Women’s soccer team knocked out of ASC | November 13, 2023

After executing an almost flawless season, the women’s soccer team was knocked out of the American Southwest Conference championships after suffering a 3-0 loss to McMurry in the quarterfinal tournament on Oct. 31. The team drew against McMurry on Oct. 28, securing their spot in the championship. Outside of their quarterfinal loss, the women’s soccer […]

Omega Strikers Place First | November 13, 2023

UTD Esports’ Omega Strikers team is currently ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Corestrike League after seven wins in the fall 2023 tournament which began Sept. 20. With 56 teams competing in the league, UTD Esports is left with one final game to secure their position as national champions. Omega Strikers is a 3v3 game […]

UTD chess players place highly in Texas Intercollegiate Rapids | November 13, 2023

Two UTD students placed highly in the Texas Collegiate Rapids Championship​ Nov. 4​, one making No. 2 overall and the other No. 1 out of players under 2200 ELO. The Rapids Championship was an online chess tournament​ where 40 players from seven schools faced each other individually; 14 students from UTD participated. The tournament consisted […]

The End of a Season: Volleyball Highlights for November | November 13, 2023

Comet volleyball’s 2023 season came to an end on Nov. 8 with no. 5 standing in the American Southwest Conference. The season started rough with a seven game losing streak, but through a trail by fire, the women’s team changed the competitive scene and attitude during the midseason and end semester, making for an impressive […]

“The Marvels” Soar to New Heights with Leading Women Trio | November 13, 2023

The Marvel Cinematic Universe refreshes their fifth phase with empowering storytelling for new generation of fans “The Marvels” brilliantly rings in a new era of Marvel films that reignites the heart and joy of the franchise in a way that has been missing from recent releases. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, is a groundbreaking […]

The Roses ‘Dusk to Dawn’ Tour Lights Up Texas | November 13, 2023

K-rock band The Rose delivered an electrifying performance on Nov. 5 at the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas, leaving their devoted fanbase spellbound as part of their sensational Dawn to Dusk US/Canada tour. The Rose continues to be a fast-rising group on the music scene, with a Nov. 5 attendance of over […]

Dia de los Muertos Symposium Explores ‘Emotional Nepantla’ to Bridge Cultural Gaps | November 13, 2023

The “Dia De Muertos Symposium: ‘Emotional Nepantla’,” a two-day event presented by the Center for U.S.-Latin America Initiatives, or CUSLAI, highlighted the internal struggles of living between two cultures as an American Latino in the United States. The symposium included a storytelling event on Nov. 1 and a CUSLAI community digital archive project breakfast with […]

Sofia Coppola Puts a Bow on Female Isolation In the Heart of Graceland | November 13, 2023

A bold, jet black cat eye, a full set of false lashes and a comically voluminous bouffant hairdo is how the world came to know Priscilla Presley. Queen of female isolation, director Sophia Coppola dissects a lonely woman’s life and marriage and forces audiences to view a timeless icon as a beast through the piercing […]

Does Temoc Belong on a Calendar? | November 13, 2023

Temoc is a constant presence on the UTD campus, bouncing between his glass prison in the Visitor Center, freshman orientations, graduations, seasonal parties and more. However, one place Temoc has yet to appear is on a calendar. Calendars have been in use for at least 10,000 years, according to the archeological discovery of an ancient […]

Freddy Fazbear Comes Alive in “Five Nights at Freddy” Film | November 13, 2023

Most of Gen Z remembers the thrill of watching their favorite gamers attempting to make it through the night at Freddy’s Pizzeria, or even playing the iconic horror game themselves — and delighting in its extensive lore and terrifying jump scares. The Oct. 27 film adaption of the game remixed series lore, giving the movie […]

“Newsies” Production Reflects Life of Modern Students | November 13, 2023

UTD’s theater produced and directed the “Newsies” Broadway Musical on campus from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5. Its brilliant acting and gorgeous visuals brought to life an inspiring story of workers taking on powerful corporations and winning despite the odds. “Newsies” is set in New York City and follows Jack Kelly, a rebellious young newsboy […]

Grounded: Art exhibit at SP/N gallery north of campus highlights fragile relationship of humans with environment | November 13, 2023

All Photos By Gregory Binu | Mercury Staff The “Grounded: Art Exhibition” at the SP/N Gallery at UTD, curated by Marilyn Waligore, professor of photography at UTD’s Bass School, captures the urgency of humans’ fragile relationship with the environment. “Grounded” offers a compelling reflection on our environment through the lens of photography and video. The […]

Red Light: UTD Sexual Harassment Policies Threaten Comets’ Liberties | November 13, 2023

UTD should amend its Student Grievances policy to match the definition of sexual harassment in its Sexual Misconduct Policy. While firm anti-harassment policies are important and necessary, inconsistent and extrajudicial definitions of sexual harassment threaten students’ constitutional right to free speech. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting free speech […]

Antisocial Campus? Try Sports | November 13, 2023

Embracing sports culture at UTD will bring Comets together and invigorate campus UTD’s lack of a sports culture is a direct culprit for the school’s lack of a social scene. Luckily, this is something Comets can easily change by stepping outside their comfort zone and giving sports a try. It’s no secret UTD has a […]

Abbott’s failures unmask the facade of “school choice” | November 13, 2023

School voucher programs siphon money away from public education, and UTD could become collateral damage The Texas Legislature’s fourth special session is underway, with the House committee advancing the school voucher bill after the previous special session saw stalemate on the issue. Despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s relentless crusading, the legislature’s hesitance to pursue voucher programs […]

Editorial Cartoon | November 13, 2023

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Sports Scores | November 13, 2023

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Upper-division credit requirement to be lowered | February 13, 2023

The minimum upper-division credit required for graduation will be lowered from 51 credit hours to 45 starting in fall 2023. The push to lower upper-division credit requirements started two years ago. The academic senate gathered on Jan. 26 and approved administrative legislation that allows for the required credit hours for graduation to be lowered. It […]

The academic war on artificial intelligence | February 13, 2023

The rise of artificial intelligence is sparking discussion between educators about how to proceed in the classroom — work with AI or against it? ChatGPT, the newest trending AI chatbot, restarted the controversy over AI in education. Reaching 1 million users in its first five days ChatGPT is a language model designed by OpenAI and […]

Comets help fellow students plan their degrees with Nebula Labs | February 13, 2023

Following its beta release in fall 2022, Nebula Planner, an interactive degree planner that supports any combination of degree plans, hopes to launch its full release later this semester. The Nebula Planner is an initiative by Nebula Labs, a former project from the Association for Computing Machinery’s engineering division (ACM). Nebula Labs currently has six […]

Museum shows legacy of Jim Crow | February 13, 2023

The Jim Crow exhibit in Old City Park is open until Feb. 23, revealing the history behind the pre-gentrified Black community of Dallas. Old City Park houses a collection of historic houses, including the Shotgun House, where the exhibit is located. The exhibit was developed under Assistant Professor of History Whitney Stewart, as well as […]

UTD student, cofounder and CEO of tech startup helping drivers save gas | February 13, 2023

Junior computer science major Tom Vazhekatt balances a full college workload along with being the cofounder and CEO of his startup route optimization company, Routora, ambitiously taking on a route that propels his career and education. Vazhekatt launched Routora on March 30, 2022. The business’s primary goal is decreasing the amount of time spent on […]

Accessibility promises, mandated senator meetings and advisory council report | February 13, 2023

Accessibility Resolution In their most recent senate meeting, Student Government (SG) passed a resolution emphasizing the shortcomings of accessible infrastructure on campus. Examples discussed included lack of sufficient accessible parking, braille signage and poorly maintained infrastructure. The resolution aims to allocate SG efforts to advocate for the betterment of accessible facilities on campus, such as […]

Semiconductor institute projects 5,000 new jobs | February 13, 2023

UTD has opened the North Texas Semiconductor Institute (NTxSI), which will provide job support for students in preparation for the fastest growing industry in DFW. Semiconductors are one of the most valuable commodities in the modern world. These materials are fabricated into transistors and integrated circuits, producing technology required for smartphones, laptops and automobiles. During […]

UTD chess team takes home plaque from KCF cup | February 13, 2023

The UTD chess team held its ground and secured a win at the third Annual Kasparov Chess Federation University Cup. UTD competed at the online international tournament from Feb. 4 to Feb. 5 with four teams — UTD A, B, C and D. Each team was categorized based on its average rating: U2400, U2200, U2000 […]

Comics & Activities: 2/13/2023 | February 13, 2023

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Comet Connections | February 13, 2023

THE SLOW BURN Freshman literature major Megan Tran was participating in her high school JROTC program when she first met freshman computer science major Anthony Abubakar. However, the couple didn’t have a love at first sight moment, as Abubakar was breaking up with one of Tran’s friends. “I actually got the two of them together,” […]

How to identify the American Robin | February 13, 2023

American Robins are among the most common garden birds in North America and have a popular presence in parks and lawns Most know these birds from their rich caroling that can be heard from the rise of dawn. A robin’s chest and belly are a warm orange, while its back and wings are a dull […]

Fleeing fish makes a splash at Minna art market | February 13, 2023

Reeling in customers by the dozen right as they walked through the doors, Fleeing Fish’s Yeon Poche and Yvonne Yu made their off-campus debut at Minna Art Market. Showing off their brand-new table bought just for the event, the artist duo displayed their brightly colored prints, stickers and keychains at their booth at the front […]

SG promises increased student advocacy, resource promotion and internal reform | February 13, 2023

The Mercury sat down with Student Government (SG) President Kruthi Kanduri and Vice President Margaret Belford to discuss progress on their campaign promises made in April 2022. Kruthi and Belford, who ran on separate tickets, expressed a uniform interest to put student needs at the front of their goals last year. Their agenda included bringing […]

Rocketbelly delights with self-serve boba options | February 13, 2023

If you’re seeking self-serve boba, baked items or fried “rocket” chicken, head over to family owned Rocketbelly and prepare for an experience similar to space travel. The shop is practically light-years away from campus in Arlington. But with something as beloved as bubble tea paired with the option of individual customization, this shop is worth […]

‘Dead Space’ could fill the cinema void of cosmic horror | February 13, 2023

The recent “Dead Space” remake has brought waves of nostalgia for many and asks the question: why isn’t there a “Dead Space” movie in the works? Fans welcomed the video game remake that’s helping revamp the genre of deep space horror. The claustrophobic and inescapable nightmare of being trapped on a ship with an alien […]

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ enchants fans new and old alike | February 13, 2023

Gamers tend to have negative opinions when it comes to TV adaptations of their favorite video games, believing that their beloved characters cannot be recreated faithfully. But these fears are entirely squashed by the masterpiece that HBO has put together for “The Last of Us.” With five episodes out so far, “The Last of Us” […]

Classical band Duo Mantar brings history to life | February 13, 2023

Duo Mantar came to UTD on Feb. 4 during their national tour to recapture the cultural majesty of 75 years of Israeli music. Presented by the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies and AHT, award-winning American guitarist Adam Levin and Jacob Reuven — mandolin professor at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance — performed traditional […]

‘MILF Manor’ — dystopia or reality? | February 13, 2023

Disturbing as it is, TLC’s “MILF Manor” should surprise no one, as it follows logically from the problematic themes that viewers have long supported by watching reality shows. “MILF Manor” is as bizarre as it sounds: it is a reality series where older women visit a resort in Mexico under the premise of dating younger […]

Microaesthetics dangerous for young adults, not liberating | February 13, 2023

The trendy micro aesthetic lifestyles cluttering the internet might seem appealing and harmless, but they are actually obstacles to true individualism. We live in a society where it seems like a necessity to identify with a categorical lifestyle – an aesthetic. Most aesthetics took root in social media during the early 2010’s and began with […]

Soft launches the opposite of romantic | February 13, 2023

Posting a picture of your partner’s side profile on your Instagram isn’t a “soft launch,” you’re just media obsessed.   Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day and its capitalistic hold on the American public has once again invaded aisles in the form of chocolate boxes and teddy bears at our local grocery stores. It has […]

Comets rocket through McMurry to make ASC playoffs | February 13, 2023

Racing toward the ASC Championship Tournament, the Comets dominated McMurry’s War Hawks on Feb. 6 at one of the final home games of the season before dropping their seven-game win streak to top-seeded Mary Hardin Baylor at an away game last Thursday. Before their loss to long-standing foe, Mary Hardin Baylor, the Comets stood at […]

Third head coach in history of women’s soccer | February 13, 2023

Stephen Shirley replaced Kanute Drugan as head coach of the UTD women’s soccer team, becoming the team’s third ever head coach. After a 7-7-2 record in 2022, the program hopes this change will boost them to their first championship since 2002. Shirley spent most of his life playing and coaching soccer in the United States […]

Women’s basketball drops neck-to-neck game | February 13, 2023

February 4th: Loss against #23 Hardin-Simmons 48-67. The Comets’ five-game win streak came to a halt on Feb. 4 with a defeat against Hardin-Simmons University. This is the second time the Comets have lost to the Cowgirls, who are currently undefeated in this season of the American Southwest Conference (ASC). Head Coach Joe Shotland said […]

Men’s tennis team recovers from snowstorm with crushing win | February 13, 2023

The UTD men’s tennis team started the 2023 ASC season strong with a win against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Feb. 4 at an away game. The Comets led the doubles 2-1 and ended the singles 5-1, totaling to a 7-2 victory against the Crusaders at the Yvonne Li Tennis Center. Tennis Coach Bryan […]


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