By: Haley Cavazos, Kyle Cavazos, Danny Goodwin, & Danielle Haberly
Lack of female representation in most lines of work has been a cause for concern for quite some time. The fact that a group can make up half of the population while only constituting 4.4% of CEO’s for Standard & Poors 500 companies is at the very least puzzling. One field in particular lacks gender diversity at all levels.
Cinema has been a male-dominated industry since its inception. While females have always had on-camera roles, it’s the behind-the-scenes and studio work that has excluded women for as long as the cameras have been rolling. Even on-camera roles are limited to younger and more attractive women that are easily marketable.
Only 1.9% of the directors that made the top 100 grossing films of 2014 were female. The majority of films that women produce and direct are documentaries, which as a whole are much less viewed than narrative pictures.
While there are definite generalities to be made about film as a whole, many women have different experiences that paint a more holistic picture. Kat Candler, a RTF professor at the University of Texas, believes there are key difference between the business of producing independent films and large studio productions.
“In the independent film community, there’s a much more even divide in terms of male and female filmmakers because we’re creating our own opportunities,” Candler said. “Whereas you have the studio system, which has studio heads that are male dominated.”
Candler describes her experience in Austin, a much smaller scale film community than New York or Los Angeles, as encouraging.
“When I moved here I knew I wanted to make movies and no one ever told me I couldn’t,” Candler said. “There were no negatives about it. It was just very open, very welcoming, and very encouraging.”
Her experience in Hollywood differed very greatly.
“It wasn’t until I went to LA and started having some meetings where there were definitely condescending remarks and statements,” Candler said.
While Austin might be a better working environment for female filmmakers, the University of Texas’s film department shows a true lack of diversity. Male students outnumber females greatly, especially in the directing and cinematography classes.
Madeline Packard, the president of the organization Women in Cinema at UT (founded by Kat Candler), believes that more women should be involved in the entire filmmaking process and not just production and writing courses.
“When I talk to undergraduate students about why they may not be interested in [directing and cinematography] courses, there’s a lot of hesitation,” Packard said. “There’s something that I feel a lot of female filmmakers just can’t get past. To me, that comes from the underhanded sexism, which isn’t intentional and isn’t directly hurtful, but it subconsciously gets to the student body as a mass and creates these roles that don’t exist.”
Many efforts have been made to encourage more women to participate in filmmaking. Michelle Voss is the creator of Femme Film Texas, which is a camp for young girls that teaches them about film in order to “promote media literacy and encourage self-expression.”
“I wanted to get film technology in front of girls and introduce the idea of girls being the media makers and not just the media consumers,” Voss said.
Voss’s passion for the development of young female filmmakers reflects the sentiment of UT student Katherine Wei, an RTF major who finds representation to be imperative.
“The stories that we tell kind of reflect society and the stories that are heard are heard by a wide audience,” Wei said. “The way we tell a diverse story and create a diverse view of our society is through having a wide range of people telling stories.”
Cassandra Jaramillo | Jade Magalhaes | Sandy Marin | Jan Ross Piedad
As the oldest of her four siblings, Cecilia Flores said she wanted to be a role model to her sisters and go to college but knew money would be an issue for the family of six.
“I had no idea as to how we would pay for college considering we were a big family and my parents were barely making enough money to sustain us,” Flores said.
Flores is one of hundreds of students at the University of Texas who will benefit from its relatively new initiative called Texas Advance, a program aiming to increase socioeconomic diversity on the Forty Acres.
The initiative, which began in August 2014, aims to help under-resourced students in the state who are at the top of their class. With the help of federal and state grants, students in the Texas Advance initiative receive can receive award amounts up to $15,000 a year. Scholarship programs like the Presidential Scholars and University Leadership Network help students cover tuition and fees and offer outreach programs for students.
Last year, the university said it committed $15 million for the program to help 750 students throughout four years. In a release, UT said the initiative expanded to $20 million and will now help about 1,000 students over the next four years.
For the 20-year-old from Eagle Pass, Texas, the initiative gave her the opportunity to pursue a dream of higher education.
“Money was going to be the deal breaker in this case,” Flores said. “I was either going to UT or I was staying in my hometown to start community college.”
Flores graduated from C.C. Winn High School, which lies in a small border town. As a first-generation college student, it was difficult to transition to the challenging workload.
“I come from a really small town and when I got here it was a huge difference. It was really difficult to adjust to that. But ULN helped me,” Flores said. “I really had no idea how to manage my time. They were the ones who guided me to getting used to the college experience.”
But despite the challenges, Flores excelled.
Video: Minority Enrollment at UT
She is currently a junior and a double major in psychology and Iberian and Latin American languages and cultures. Flores is one of the several Longhorns who will be in the first graduating class benefitting from the Texas Advance initiative in May 2017.
Carolyn Connerat, associate vice provost for student success initiatives at UT, said the admissions department, financial aid services and UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement all collaborated to create and market the program.
“It’s important for the university, being the flagship public university in the state of Texas, to make sure we have opportunities for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to be able to attend UT if they would like to,” Connerat said.
Code: The university identifies students from low-income families in multiple ways. Diane Todd Sprague, director of financial services at UT, said one criteria includes students who qualify for federal Pell grants.
Students receiving Pell grants accounts for 25 percent of the student body this year at UT, Todd Sprague said. Compared to other Texas universities, she said the population of students who receive grants is relatively normal. 21 percent of Texas A&M’s student body, for example, received Pell grants for the 2015-2016 year, according to Todd Sprague.
“We are here for a purpose. We want to serve the citizens of Texas. Obviously we pay attention to the demographics of the state,” Todd Sprague said.
The initiative is paid for with legislative funding and thanks to the Houston Endowment this year, $8 million dollars will help sponsor 125 students from the Houston area for the next three entering classes at UT.
On the Whole: Texas Colleges
Connerat said when the Houston Endowment learned about the Texas Advance initiative, they were interested in helping the program.
“They were very excited about the program and how we are really focusing on helping these students to come to UT to develop leadership skills and professional training,” Connerat said.
With the help of the endowment, the university will be allowed to free up funds to help more students as well, Connerat said.
“It’s a $8 million grant to cover the costs of those students from the Houston area. Because of the Houston endowment, that allows the university to use funds that would have gone to pay for that to give to other students through the Presidential Scholars program or whether it’s through financial aid,” Connerat said.
For the entering class of 2016, the deadline to submit an application for admission and to be considered for a Texas Advance award is Dec. 1.
Video: Affirmative Action Lawsuits at Universities
The "Texan Talks" panel series, a special events initiative by The Daily Texan this fall hosts weekly discussions in the Sinclair Suite. Photo by Jan Ross Piedad.
UT Austin students, staff and faculty gather in the Sinclair Suite for the "Texan Talks" panel on diversity. Photo by Jan Ross Piedad.
Loyce Gayo, president of the Society for Cultural Unity and contributor to The Daily Texan, majors in African and African diaspora studies at the University. Gayo was one of five panelists invited to speak on diversity. Photo by Jan Ross Piedad.
Inside UT Austin's Campus Resources
Students may pass by safe havens for different demographics on campus, but how many of us know what these resources look like?
Inside UT's Gender and Sexuality Center located at SAC 2.112. The center was founded in 2002 as a joint project Women's Resource Center (est. 1997) and the GLBTA agency (est. 2001). Their mission is to explore, organize and promote learning around issues of gender and sexuality. Photo by Jade Magalhaes
The Ana Sisnett Library is a resource for LGBTQ students at UT's Gender and Sexuality Center. In 2011 the space won the title of "Best Naming of a Library" by the Austin Chronicle. Sisnett was a celebrated author, educator, activist and artist. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes
The Malcom X Lounge located on the first floor of Jester dormitory offers a place for black students to be around other students from the same racial background. The space was first opened in 1995 after black students pushed to create an area for their community on campus after the university closed their unofficial meeting space. Photo by Jade Magalhaes
A statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stands inside The Malcom X Lounge. Today, the lounge is run entirely by students and gives room for black student organizations to hold meetings, events and store their materials. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes.
The Multicultural Engagement Center (SAC 1.102) is a student resource that educated and empowers minorities to be leaders and agents of social change. Established in 1988, the center is now on its 27th year. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes
A student uses the Multicultural Engagement Center (MEC) to study. Originally named the Minority Information Center to support black and latino students, the MEC was renamed in the 1990s to include Native and Asian Americans to its mission. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes.
Students brainstormed what privilege looks like in their lives. The MEC is now part of UT's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement to foster a more inclusive climate on campus. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes.
Amid recent controversy over muslim refugees, the MEC expresses their support for muslim students. The center offers academic and programmatic advising to students and their ethnic organizations so that they can envision and implement desired programs. Photo by: Jade Magalhaes.
By: Austin Hamby, Renee Moreno, Mark Roberson and Victoria Rodriguez
Before students can enjoy winter break, they must finish finals. The weeks before the end of the semester can be a difficult and stressful time for students. Photo Credit: Victoria Rodriguez
Counseling and Mental Help Center Provides Helping Hand to Stressed Students
It’s that time of year again. Students are walking through campus with blank stares, drinking excess amounts of caffeine and logging endless hours in the library.
December is considered finals season, one of the most stressful times of the year for students. Busy schedules full of holiday plans and test preparation bring stress levels to a peak for most students on UT Austin’s campus.
With heavy workloads, students spend a large portion of their time in the library. Often sacrificing sleep for study time, students create even more stress as they feel the effects of sleep deprivation.
Newton Liu, a sophomore at Texas majoring in chemical engineering, wishes that students could have later classes so students could sleep more and feel less stressed.
“I think a lack of sleep is a main reason why a lot of people are stressed more. So I feel like whenever I get more sleep I feel less stressed regardless of how much work I have,” Liu said.
The university may not heed Liu’s suggestion of moving classes to later times but they offer several services at the Counseling and Mental Health Center to decrease stress.
Katy Redd, the Assistant Director for Prevention and Outreach at the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center, said that the center sees an increase in students as the semester progresses. Finals season is the busiest time of year for the CMHC.
According to the CMHC, both stress and anxiety are the most common reasons students seek help from the Counseling and Mental Health Center. 70 percent of those who seek help cite stress or anxiety as the reason.
After depression, academic issues are the fourth most common issue with 37 percent of students citing academics as an issue that caused them to seek help.
Juan Cortez, a sophomore theatre major at the University of Texas at Austin, explained that during this time of the year, numerous obligations can cause high levels of stress in students.
“I have a couple of finals coming up I guess for class. As well as a couple auditions for like different productions. You know, ‘How am I going to get home for Thanksgiving?’ and you know just typical stress you have for classes,” Cortez said.
In order to help meet students’ needs, the Counseling and Mental Health Center provides both individual counseling and workshops that work on diminishing stress levels.
From 2013 to 2014 the CMHC held 95 one-hour workshops that about 3,200 participants attended. According to their records, the students who attended the workshops found them very helpful, as 95 percent of participants said the workshops would “help them succeed academically.”
Redd, one of the assistant directors at CMHC, said that focus on additional aspects other than grades was important for the success of the workshops.
“We try to really focus on the process of learning and the process of growth as a human being. Outcomes are important markers but we try to de-emphasize those and emphasize the process,” Redd said.
During this high-stress time for students, Redd wants students to know that the Counseling and Mental Health Center is here to help.
“We’re here. We have a service for you,” Redd said. “I think whether that service is a group … or we might feel like you particular needs might be met or better met by someone in the community… we want CMHC to be the landing point and help figure out what service is best for you.”
In addition to several services provided by the university, students also turn to extra-curricular activities in order to help try and balance their lives.
According to an Anxiety and Depression Association of America poll, 14 percent of people make use of regular exercise to cope with stress. Brenda Lopez, a journalism major is part of the 14%. “I love the feeling of a good run. Whether it is in the morning or in the afternoon, running helps me release stress,” Lopez says.
For other students, like Rodrigo Bonilla, cooking is a great stress reliever.
Bonilla, an engineering major, says he’s happiest when cooking. “There is something about the process that makes me forget my problems.”
Reading also serves as a form of stress relief for some students. Julia Farrell, a journalism major at UT reads self-help books in her spare time.
“Reading self-help books has always been a hobby of mine,” Farrell said. “Lately, I’ve been stressed about finals and this book has helped me so much.”
Even games can help during stressful times. Kateline Jones, a dance major, plays pool and other games to help cope.
“Playing pool and other arcade type games helps me get rid of stress,” Jones said.
Alina Tang, a biology student, uses Social Media to help distract herself from stress. “My favorite way to not be stressed is to make new Pinterest boards.”
Mental Health America, says a work life balance is important. “While we all need a certain amount of stress to spur us on and help us perform at our best, the key to managing stress lies in that one magic word: Balance.”
By: Shadan Larki, Marisa Martinez, and Brianna Walker
Tucked away in the courtyard of the Neural Molecular Science building on Speedway is the Anna Hiss Gymnasium. Just by looking at it one couldn’t tell that famous dancers and bands used to warm up and perform in its dance studio when they were in town. Or visualize the hundreds of students who fill Room 136 on the first day of class as they attempt to snag a spot in the ever-popular social dance class taught by Campbell Miller. By the end of this semester, all faculty and staff offices as well as classes and student organizations that meet in the Anna Hiss gym will be gone.
Classes that took place in Anna Hiss will be moved to Bellmont Hall inside Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. However, Bellmont does not have as many rooms to make up for the loss of facility in Anna Hiss.
“We won’t have the space that we were accustomed to,” Anna Hiss building manager Tere Ramirez said. “We have three gyms; when we move over there we’ll only have one.”
One program that utilizes the dance rooms heavily is the social dance class, which enrolls approximately 400 students every semester at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced level. Miller estimates she will need to cut down enrollment by 40 percent for the spring semester since the class will be moved to a smaller room. ”
Anna had women’s physical education in mind and, being a female teacher, to me it’s very meaningful to be teaching in that building,” Miller said. “…it’s just disappointing on so many levels.”
Hiss served as the women’s director of physical education from 1921-56. During her time at the university, she helped start the physical education teaching degree program at UT and co-founded the Orange Jackets with Distinguished Alumna Margaret C. Berry.
Hiss also played an integral role in the construction of the women’s gymnasium, which would later be re-named in her memory.
According to Ramirez and Spirduso, Hiss was highly passionate about physical education and health for young women and was very determined to make the women’s gymnasium a reality.
“She was the one who traveled around the U.S. at her own expense looking for the best gyms and then coming together to make this facility,” Ramirez said.
In 1931 the gym was completed for $400,000 during the first years of the Great Depression in 1931. That’s the equivalent of $634,920 today.
Professor emeritus Waneen Spirduso, who took a class taught by Anna Hiss and later worked alongside her, said that Hiss was very set on focusing on health rather than competition. According to Spirduso, Hiss didn’t want the women getting into athletics competitively because it wasn’t fit for a lady at the time.
“This was during a time when people thought that if you ran back and forth down the basketball court a certain amount of times your uterus would fall out,” Spirduso said.
Classes in the theater and dance department have also had to adjust their schedules for next semester since they will all be sharing the same space in Bellmont instead of the various studios between Bellmont and Anna Hiss.
David Ray, associate vice president of campus planning and project management, said that while the possibility of re-purposing Anna Hiss has been discussed, nothing concrete is planned for the building at this time. Rumors of the Dell Medical School taking over the space have also been shot down by the school’s spokesperson, Steven Scheibal.
“The idea of repurposing Anna Hiss for the use of the science buildings around it has been discussed but that’s all,” Ray said.
Despite no plans being set, the Anna Hiss Gym will no longer be available for use after December 4, 2015. It is the only existing commemoration to Hiss’ life and legacy at the University of Texas at Austin.
MANy Perspectives: Can men on campus recall buildings named after women? Click play to find out!
On the roof overlooking the courtyard, is a stretch of concrete that was once used for sunbathing. The brick wall on the roof features a sign cautioning the women not to sit out in the sun too long.
After Title Nine came into effect, it was required the gym provide lockers for men and women. The drawers held their locker assignments.
In Ramirez’s office a ballroom dancing competition trophy that student participated in overlooks the courtyard from her window. Ramirez’s office is Anna Hiss’ original office.
On the window sill of Ramirez’s office lies a brick from the building and a trophy from 1985.
The mail room for Kinesiology and Health department staff and faculty like Campbell Miller is also located on the second floor.
The Anna Hiss basketball court — If you look closely the sidelines of the basketball court at Anna Hiss are close to the wall. It is these specific measurements that prohibited the gym from being used for competition.
A view from the front of a classroom where a health education class was once held. Now it is used occasionally for the golf class to meet up before heading out.
An old classroom in the basement of Anna Hiss. While it is no longer in use, it is still fully furnished.
As you walk up to the Anna Hiss Gym from Speedway you see the main courtyard which features trees and benches for napping, studying or simply sitting and admiring nature.
On the second floor is Room 134, the dance studio. Several famous dancers and performers have warmed up or performed here. Now it is used as a classroom and rehearsal space for students and organizations.
It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times at this year’s 52nd annual Wurstfest, a celebration of all things German.
A group of friends joins in with the rest of the crowd by holding their cups in the air to make a toast while singing along to the traditional “Ein Prosit” song. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
By: Morgan Bridges, Erin Griffin, Erin MacInerney, Jamie Pross
(Click to listen to the Chardon Polka Band perform live in the Stelzenplatz Biergarten at Wurstfest)
(Click to watch a first-person view of the festival)
NEW BRAUNFELS- Sprechen sie fun? Hint: say yes!
Don’t worry, you needn’t speak German to enjoy the revelry of Wurstfest, the 10-day salute to sausage.
But if you really want to delve into the culture that makes up this Oktoberfest- inspired event, knowing a few phrases will help you to fit in among the lederhosen clad festival-goers.
The small town of New Braunfels, Texas welcomes over 100,000 visitors to the festival each November.
The smell of kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), strudel, schnitzel, and other dishes you may have a hard time pronouncing, waft throughout the tents of the festival grounds.
For people like Sammi Guerrero, Wurstfest is an annual family tradition.
“I have been going every year since I was born,” says Guerrero. “My whole family goes at least three days out of the ten days it is held each year.”
Guerrero’s 21-year streak (or 22 if you count the time she was still in her mother’s belly) is nothing compared to her father, Roland, who has been going every year since the early 1970’s.
Roland’s father, Larry Guerrero, has been joining the family for as long as he can remember. Larry may use a walker but the minute Grammy Award-winning polka artist Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra start playing, Guerrero can’t help but get up and dance.
“Everyone loves my grandpa and when they see him dancing, they can’t help but join,” says Sammi Guerrero. “I love getting to come with him each year and watch him make people smile.”
One of the Guerrero’s favorite parts of the festival is sharing a pitcher of German lager. Roland recounts when a pitcher of beer was a dollar compared to the now almost 30 dollar pitchers being sold.
While grandpa dances to the polka music, the rest of the family heads to the biergarten, part of the newly renovated Stelzenplatz hall.
With more than 30 craft beers from all over the nation and a few specialty German beers, Wurstfest is known for drinking.
Welcome to Wurstfest! Do you speak fun? A diverse crowd enters the fairgrounds to enjoy a day filled with sausage, music, and a variety of other entertainment. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
All of the drink stands at Wurstfest are stocked with cups so that festivalgoers can share their pitchers of beer – or have an easier time keeping it all to themselves. Photo by: Erin Griffin
Festivalgoers watch the Chardon Polka Band perform at the Biergarten in the Stelzenplatz. Photo by: Erin Griffin
The Chardon Polka Band captivates the crowd by encouraging them to sing along to familiar songs. Jake Kouwe, the lead singer of the band, started to play the accordion at age fourteen.
Gator the Clown stops to pose for a picture with some kids while parents snap photos. Gator can be seen roaming around the festival sporting a smile and cracking jokes. Photo by: Erin Griffin
There is a lot of commotion and excitement in the Das Grosse Tent (big tent) on weekend nights. Festivalgoers mingle and interact with one another creating an inviting environment. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
On Saturday night, a group of friends built a beer pitcher tower in the Das Grosse Zelt (big tent). A crowd formed to see how high the tower would stack. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
Wurstfest offers many different kinds of domestic, imported and craft beers for purchase. A pitcher of Shiner Oktoberfest and pitcher of Coors Light are shown here. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
Simon Esteva dances and cheers along with his friends to the “Ein Prosit” song in the Das Grosse Tent (big tent) Saturday Night. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
A volunteer at the New Braunfels Rotary Club booth prepares potato pancakes for a growing line of hungry costumers. This vendor is one of the most popular – and encourages its costumers to add applesauce to go along with their wurst and pancakes. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
Here is a close look at the New Braunfels Rotary Club’s potato pancakes, wurst, and applesauce. It tasted delicious. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
The Wurstfest Orquestra plays in the Wursthalle and invites people to polka dance along to their music. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
A volunteer serves a pitcher of beer at one of the drink booths in the Wursthalle. This particular bar offers beer as well as wine and soft drinks. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
Steve Schulz (OPA) and Don Brawner (Kleine OPA) are part of the Wurstfest Organization and volunteer at the yearly festival. Their different color vests signify their ranking in the organization. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
The merry go round is a popular attraction for children at Wurstfest’s carnival. At night the lights of all the attractions create a pretty glow and add to the fun atmosphere of the festival. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
In the Marktplatz there are 36 vendors with different types of wurst (German sausage). Wurst is commonly served on a stick with bread rolls attached to the bottom. Photo by: Erin Griffin
Another popular food item in the Marktplatz are the turkey legs. Eager festivalgoers stand in long lines in order to enjoy this treat. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
A polka band called 3rd Generation performs Sunday evening in the Das Kleine Zelt (Little Tent). Many couples and families dance around to end their evening on a happy note. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
A couple stops at the hat vendor in the Marktplatz to purchase a silly hat. Many festivalgoers can be seen wearing silly hats with themes ranging from drunken chickens to Vikings. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
A man watching the Chardon Polka Band is seen sporting a tyrolean hat, a traditional Bavarian piece that is normally paired with lederhosen. Photo by: Erin Griffin
A vendor in the Marktplatz sells collectible beer steins. The booth has over 200 unique and authentic steins made of different kinds of stoneware. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
The Das Grosse Zelt in the evening is full of movement and excitement. This Sunday evening the crowd is waiting for the next polka band to start performing. Photo by: Erin MacInerney
Guests make it a point to collect as many plastic beer pitchers as they can down, and that crashing sound you just heard? It was a pyramid of pitchers stacked up falling to the ground, a common sight among the beer hall.
Despite the vast alcohol consumption, Wurstfest Associations members make sure that the fest is centered around good family fun.
Another important part of the festival are the traditional German clothes, lederhosen worn by men and dirndl’s worn by women.
Click here to learn more about the history of Wurstfest
“A lot of people want to be dressed up for the event,” says Paula Kater, owner of the Kuckuck’s Nest in Fredericksburg, Texas. “Every year, sales pick up and people want to get more and more into it. Even the younger generations want to dress up.”
Kater emphasizes that the outfits she dresses her customers in are not costumes, but authentic clothing of her heritage.
“Every one is an original straight from Germany,” says Kater.
Kater was impressed to find such a large German influence in the Texas Hill Country when she arrived here from Ludwigshafen, Germany 15 years ago.
She travels all over the nation providing outfits for people attending Okterberfest events but says Wurstfest has always been her favorite.
“Wurstfest is one of the biggest,” says Kater. “It is the elite of all of them, even the ones up north.”
(A supplementary video from Wurstfest. How to sing one of the favorite songs, Ein Prosit!)