University of Texas Austin - Cactus Yearbook (Austin, TX)

 - Class of 1982

Page 50 of 718


University of Texas Austin - Cactus Yearbook (Austin, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 50 of 718
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University of Texas Austin - Cactus Yearbook (Austin, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 49
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Page 50 text:

The familiar HEN Charles Whitman ascended the tower and randomly snuffed out the lives of 13 people with a high-powered deer rifle on Aug. 1, 1966, the question of security on Texas state campuses became a nationwide issue. In response to the crisis, the Texas Legislature enacted Article 2919) of Vernon ' s Texas Civil Statutes, which authorized the forma- tion of the University of Texas System Police Department. The sniping incident was ended by an officer of the Austin Police Department, but when the first 20 graduates of the UT System Police Academy stepped onto campus as commissioned officers in February 1968, they became the first line of defense against criminal activity at the University of Texas. In 14 years, the UT Police Department grew to a force of 57 commissioned officers and 67 uniformed security guards. Certifica- tion by the Texas Commission on Law En- forcement authorized UT police officers to carry firearms and enforce federal, state and local laws as well as University Regents blue and red lights flashing in the night, a squad car provides a Rules and Regulations governing cam- pusconduct. Thus, any UT student found committing a crime while on University pro- perty was subject not only to prosecution under the Texas Penal Code, but also to ad- ministrative discipline from the Office of the Dean of Students, which received full reports of cases handled by campus police. In order to dispel some of the confusion surrounding the department ' s relationship to the Austin Police Department, Police Chief Don Cannon, at the helm since 1970, called the UTPD a " full-service " poli ce depart- ment, with its own criminal investigations unit, crime prevention program and three rotating shifts providing 24-hour protection. Officer candidates needed at least 60 semester hours of college credit and suc- cessful completion of the 12-week UT System Academy with an academic average of 70 before qualifying for a commission. Noncommissioned candidates assumed posts as traffic monitors and building securi- ty attendants. Their duty, in other words, became the issuance of some $200,000 worth of parking tickets each year, a duty well- known to the several thousand displeased students presented with the pink slips. In essence, each campus of the University of Texas System had its own fully operational police and security department. This static information in mind, I took a seat in the briefing room in preparation for a ride with a member of the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. " graveyard " shift on a brisk December Sat- urday. What I saw was a scene right out of " Hill Street Blues. " The officers exchanged detertent to crime against University students and property. personal cut-downs, made jokes about each other ' s driving or made comments about the last few nights they had spent on patrol. Some kept to themselves, waiting only for Sergeant Gerald Watkins to make duty assignments and tell them to watch for some petty criminal seen burglarizing a candy machine in the Music Building. Sergeant Watkins introduced me to my " guide " for the night Officer William Woods, a stout man of 180 pounds on a 5 ' 9 " frame, who wore rimless gold glasses on his confident face. We proceeded to ground- floor motor pool and I stepped into the patrol car, anxious to grind out a tale of graft and police brutality before the night was out. In our first five minutes on the street, I saw that Woods was the ideal instructor for my nocturnal lecture on law enforcement. He was explaining the plainclothes officer ' s nightly patrol of the Union when he was in- terrupted by the dispatcher ' s voice. It seemed that a group of people was causing a distur- bance outside the Business-Economics Building. My pulse raced with the speedometer as we arrived at the scene and left the car to investigate. To my dismay, Woods came away with a handcuffed young man of 19. The charge was public intoxica- tion. I grumbled in the back seat all the way to the Travis County Courthouse, where, upon standing too close to the inebriated of- fender ' s passenger-side door, my front side became blessed with the aromatic contents of his stomach. Thus baptized, I was more receptive to relaxing my muckraking impulse and appreciating police work for its realities 44 UT Police

Page 49 text:

Gutenberg Bible Just One Of Ransom Center Treasures by JOAN HOLLAND AFTER the University acquired the Gutenberg Bible in 1975, the Harry Ransom Center officials encased it in an airtight glass box for perma- nent display. Located in the HRC lobby, the display was a paradox of culture: the priceless 15th-century book, the first printed with movable type, lay in the midst of the Michener collection of modern American art. On the second floor, just above this display, the C. R. Smith collection of western art sat next to an exhibit of 13 Greek vases dating from 600 B.C. The HRC, a treasure chest of objects from the University ' s Humanities Research Center, was one of the most complete facilities of its kind in the world. Besides countless objects d ' art, including Rem- brandt etchings, the world ' s first photograph and magician Harry Houdini ' s collection of occult materials, the center was home for one of the world ' s most extensive collec- tions of rare 19th- and 20th-century British and American manuscripts. The only trick to seeing the valuables was knowing where to look and whom to ask. As the officials of the center were fond of repeating, the HRC was a research center, not a museum. Because many of the works owned by the University were not on perma- nent display, it was difficult, although not impossible, to see them. The center housed more than 800,000 rare books, 4 million photographs, a collection of theatre arts and more than 40,000 pieces of iconography that included early engravings, portraits and et- chings (including some by Picasso for Lysistrata). Of these, naturally, only a small percentage could be displayed at any one time. Less than 1,000 pieces of the iconography collection were ava ilable for public viewing. Upon request, however, students could view the rest of the pieces in a room known as " The Vault " on the fourth floor of the Academic Center. The top floor of the AC contained many special collec- tion features works by Remington. tions of the HRC, including the J. Frank Dobie Library. This library housed some of the Texas author and folklorist ' s own volumes, and also his art collection, with pieces by Charles Russell, Frederick Rem- ington, and other western artists. Most of the more familiar collections on the first and second floors of the Ransom Center were not HRC property, but belong- ed instead to UT ' s Huntington Art Gallery, which borrowed the HRC space for these collections. Exhibits on other floors did belong to HRC and included such special collections as the Willoughby-Blake Room on the seventh ' floor. This exhibit, donated by descendants of James Harper Starr, secretary of the treasury during the Republic of Texas, featured a collection of 18th- century Hester Bateman silver, Steuben and Waterford crystal, and settings of Texian Campaign china dating from 1840. The seventh floor also housed the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Library, which in- cluded elaborate costumes from early UT productions of Macbeth and Richard III, all designed by Lucy Barton. Also available for study on the seventh floor were collections of American cinema memorabilia, including screenplays and production notes dating from 1900 through the 1970s. The sixth floor was dedicated to photography and boasted more than 100 col- lections of photographs, as well as 2,000 an- tique cameras. The world ' s first photograph, taken in 1826, was part of the Gernsheim Collection, acquired in 1964. To the international circle of literary scholars, the fifth floor was the crown jewel of the HRC. In its vast cache were the large collections of manuscripts and cor- respondence of such writers as Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, the Brontes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hem- ingway, James Joyce, John Steinbeck, George Bernard Shaw and Tennessee Williams. Many of the collections, including those of Shaw and Williams, were thought to be the world ' s largest single collection of works by those authors. Harry Ransom Center 43

Page 51 text:

' anntaigdppj.j ; : cr. ' : x:coroi!x)i]ttl)t to y fn oo pud. . - ' .; ioi ,.; :. ia . . : ;i to Sate : v ' V l rCfcAJ !jiwioi5 ' J ' eapKpisse 1 .,:,.:.: htek -X. : .-: : - ' ;: K ' :.0=fl " I took a seat in the Bellmont Hall briefing room in preparation for a ride with a member of the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. ' graveyard ' shift on a brisk December Saturday. What I saw was a scene right out of ' Hill Street Blues ' . " The Good Guys Wear Black by MICHAEL SUTTER as well as its stereotypes. Half past midnight found us at the LBJ Library. There Woods called in the license number of a man found violating a city or- dinance that prohibited sleeping on public property. " Check a gray Oldsmobile, Y-es, N-o, R-ichard 922. " The number would then be checked against the Texas Crime Information Center computer for outstanding violations. Satisfied that the records were clear, Woods asked the man to move. We rolled along Red River while we talked: " Most problems on campus are caused by people coming in from the outside to take advantage of the criminal opportunities here. I ' ve come to be very jealous about protec- ting students from outsiders coming here to commit crimes against them. " I saw that resentment sparked by a two- hour search for a suspect in a car burglary. In the same blow, I saw my belief that the police take a nonchalant stance on personal property thefts shot down. As we pulled into Bellmont at 7 on Sunday morning, Woods made clear that the members of the force take their jobs seriously: " That laughing and joking around you saw in the squad room is our way of easing the tension. This shift is especially prone to violence and we have to be flexible in ap- proaching every situation. " So much for graft and police brutality. A UTPD officer prepares to adorn yet another windshield with a pink parking ticket. Officer R. G. Thomas arrests an assault suspect. UT Police 45

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