Campus Carry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Written by Tracy Fuller
Filmed by Wes Eng
Edited by Halie Davis

In August 2015, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11, allowing individuals with a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun while on university campuses. ACC campuses have been mandated to implement this law, since the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.

This past October, the deadliest shooting in United States history took place in Las Vegas. A man carried 23 assault rifles to his room on the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He began to open fire on an open crowd at a music festival. This lead to 58 deaths and over 500 injured.

One month later in Sutherland Springs, Texas there was another shooting incident. A man walked into a church service bearing a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle, taking the lives of 26 people and wounding 20. In response to this shooting Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “We are dealing with the largest mass shooting in our state’s history.”

In 2007, on the Virginia Tech campus, a 23-year-old college senior went on a massacre. This rampage began in the dormitories, leading him to the University. This is where he chained and locked all the main doors and continued to take the lives of others by storming room to room. The difference with this incident is that it occurred with a 9-millimeter handgun and a  22-caliber handgun, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The assault left 30 people dead and 17 injured. In all, 27 students and five staff members fell as a result of the actions of the shooter.

Many debate if having a Concealed Handgun License will cut down on these shootings.

“I am not comfortable around guns or with people that have guns,” says an anonymous student from the Riverside campus. “I do not know if that increases my safety in any measurable way. I feel if people go through the ropes to get [their CHL], I cannot judge them for that. It is a process, and most people are responsible with it.”

It may be too early to determine whether or not this law will play any role on ACC properties. Since the law passed in 2015, there is a lack of data showing whether firearm incidents and violent crimes have increased or decreased. However, according to a study done by DPS, those who have their License to Carry have a lower crime and conviction rate than those without one.

“I do not have a problem with trained personnel carrying a concealed handgun to protect themselves or the lives of someone else,” says student Rob Paul. “The problem is when you do not have the proper education, training, and the proper temperament. You become more of a liability. My personal opinion is that anyone carrying a handgun hoping to use, shouldn’t have it.”

ACC Police Chief Lynn Dixon suggests these tactics, if a situation ever arises:

Flee the area and avoid danger, if possible. Head to the closest, safest exit. If the armed subject is outside the building, move away from outside doors and windows. Call 911, to give them: the location and physical description of the shooter or armed individual, number of suspects and potential victims at the location, and number and type of weapons in the suspect(s) possession

Get behind a large heavy object or lock and barricade doors. Turn off all lights, get on the floor and out of the line of fire. For those who cannot get on the floor, create makeshift barricades to hide behind. Remain quiet and hidden. Silence your cell phone including the vibration setting.

Prepare to FIGHT.
Commit to a plan of action if the armed subject or active shooter enters your space. Be aggressive. Improvise weapons and create distractions. You have the legal right to defend yourself.

Remain in place until an official “ALL CLEAR” instruction is given from police authorities. Listen and comply with police commands.

More information on how to handle emergency situations can be found at

Pick this story up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Austin Trail of Lights 2017

trail-of-lights- ATX

Written & photos by Tracy Fuller

The Austin Trail of Lights is easily one of the most recognized holiday events in the Austin area. This makes 53 years of Zilker Park hosting Trail of Lights.

The Trail of Lights Foundation and Lyft will host the 4th Annual “Night Lights” Preview Party on Friday, Dec. 8. Ticket proceeds will support STARS at the Trail, a 

Trail of Lights Foundation program that enables roughly 1600 children, families, 

veterans and seniors to visit the trail who normally wouldn’t be able to.

trail-of lights tree“Night Lights” will take place at Zilker Park from 7-10 p.m. and will highlight live performances from Mother Falcon String Trio, Whiskey Shivers, and Austin’s favorite DJ, DJ Mel. This prestigious event will host tasty samples of food, beer and wine, exceptional holiday entertainment, a classic car show, a Maker’s Market curated by Edible Austin, and a chance to experience the Trail of Lights like never before. Joining in the festivities will be restaurants such as Mattie’s, Sway, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, La Pera, Chi’Lantro, Texas Honey Ham, H-E-B Café, Cabo Bob’s, Top Notch, and much more. Trail of Lights Greetings

Starting Saturday, December 9th the Trail of Lights will open its doors to the public and will run through Saturday, Dec. 23rd. Each night at the trail will feature local performers and storytelling spreading cheer among the masses. 

Trail of Lights

Show Review: Snow Tha Product Gettin’ It At Empire


Written and photos by Tracy Fuller

I have been a fan of Snow Tha Product’s music for about five years now, but oddly enough, I have never seen her perform in concert. So naturally, when the opportunity arose to review this show after the Sound On Sound Fest cancellation, I jumped on it. Snow, originally from San Jose, California, ended up moving to Texas in 2010. It was then she started to make a name for herself by performing here in Austin at South By Southwest.Snow The Product

This performance was originally scheduled to take place at Sound On Sound Festival but was rescheduled to take place at Empire Control Room.

Within the first few minutes of her hitting the stage, I realized that this is no ordinary hip-hop show, this was a full-fledged party! You could quickly call this a family celebration, since it was the last stop on Snow’s tour that her mom would be present.

Snow is not your average hip-hop artist. She could be pitted against the best of the best, and would utterly school them with her chopper styled flow. She transitions between spitting bars, melodic singing, and jumps between English and Spanish without missing a beat. Snow also does not not hold back when it comes to expressing her political views.

Snow kept the crowd turned up as she played a bunch of songs from her Good Nights & Bad Mornings 2 mixtape.  She performed “Play,” “Lord Be With You,” “Cookie Cutter B*****s”, “Business Is,” “Hopeless,” “Waste of Time,” and even took to crowd surfing for the hype party track “Gettin’ It.”

Snow and her fans have a robust Chicano pride in common. Between songs, she takes time to connect with them personally.

I couldn’t close out this review without giving a shout out to the venue staff at Empire Control Room. The staff are always on point and accommodating. For a Sunday night and a first-time experience with Snow Tha Product, I had an absolute blast – even with a 10:30 PM curfew![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Wizard World Comic Con

Written by Tracy Fuller

Calling all cosplayers, pop-culture and comic book lovers, Wizard World Austin is here! If you’ve never attended Wizard World, you are in for a real treat. It’s filled with tons of panels, workshops, celebrities, gaming competitions and more.

This year’s line-up is looking particularly sweet. Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld), Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, Top Gun), the Firefly trio of Summer Glau (Arrow),  Jewel Staite (Stargate: Atlantis) and Sean Maher (The Playboy Club), Michael Rooker  (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) are celebrity guests scheduled to visit this comic con and pop culture extravaganza.

WWE Superstars, the Hardy Boyz will make an appearance on Saturday, November 18. They will embrace fans, pose for photo ops and sign autographs from 3-6 p.m.

Momoa, Glau, Staite, and Maher are scheduled to arrive on Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19; the others will be on hand, all three days.

Wizard World Comic Con Austin will also highlight non-stop live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings hosted by stars and directors and more.

Wizard World is the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley in Austin will feature Jorge Molina (Thor, Avengers), Katy Farina  and Rian Sygh (Rick & Morty, Steven Universe), Shawn Coss (Cyanide & Happiness),  Steve Geiger (Punisher, Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (ROM, Micronauts), Guy Gilchrist  (Nancy, Muppet Babies), Phil Ortiz (The Simpsons), Tom Cook (Masters of the Universe),  Mark Kistler (Secret City), Clinton Hobart (licensed Disney Fine Artist), Genese Davis  (The Holder’s Dominion), Victor Dandridge (The Samaritan),  Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Night, Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth) and many others.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring thousands of fans of all ages to admire the greatest in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The 14th and final event scheduled on the 2017 Wizard World calendar, Austin show hours are Friday, November 17, 4-9 p.m.; Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, November 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Comic Con Austin is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

Film Review: Mudbound


Written by Tracy Fuller

The McAllan family is a working-family raising their children on a Mississippi farm. The Jacksons are a sharecropping family on a Mississippi farm. Both families have a son returning from the World War II to work the land. Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) suffer from PTSD post-war.

Ronsel is a sergeant, wrestling with the terror of being a free man in Europe, but one with no rights when being back in America – the nation he defended in battle.

Jamie is an airborne captain, struggling with the horrific memories witnessed in the sky.

Both Ronsel and Jamie, come together with the bond of PTSD. Their friendship is an opposite perfect connection to status, mental health and racial division of that era.

Dee Rees and Virgil Williams did a excellent job turning Hillary Jordan’s novel into a cinematic ride. Mudbound invokes various emotions from the viewer to feel both families’ level of poverty, struggles to get ahead and what life was like for that period. This sure to be award-winning film hits Netflix on November 17th.

Pick this review up in the Spring 2018 Life4U magazine on campus.

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Halloween in Austin

Written by Tracy Fuller

The Halloween season in Austin can be indulging. With the hustle and bustle of the academic life, it’s paramount that time is made to decompress, especially after midterms. There are several events in town to suit your social craving from cult classic horror screenings to traditional 6th Street shenanigans. But remember, Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year – so play enough to make it back to class.

Halloween At The Drive-In (10/23)

What better way to celebrate Halloween than at the drive-in! The 35th anniversary of the cult classic Poltergeist is on the big screen. Drive your car right in, sit back and enjoy this classic tale of ghosts and ghouls. Moreover, the Blue Starlite Drive-In will hook you up when you get your reservation ticket, good for $10 of saloon drinks or concession stand beverages while there.

Jewels In The Wasteland: They Live (10/25)

A special screening of John Carpenter’s cult classic They Live. Wrestling-turned-actor Roddy Piper plays a drifter who accidentally finds out first hand that people have become enslaved by an alien-like elite who lurk behind an advanced system of propaganda and deceits.

This screening includes a live introduction from Austin Film Society Founder Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, School of Rock). Following the screening, there will be a post conversation on stage with Mr. Linklater as well.

Stranger Things Season 2 Watch Party (10/27)

Taking you to the “Upside Down” at Buzzmill to celebrate the second season of your favorite 80’s themed thriller TV series. Hosting a costume contest, specialty cocktails and Buzz Mill waffles, plus a DJ spinning a Stranger Things playlist. Leave a mark at the photo booth, and watch the Season 2 premiere on the big screen.  Come out and get like any Demogorgon would because a portion of the proceeds is going towards Hurricane Harvey relief.

Alien Apocalypse Halloween Lock-In (10/28)

The Blazer Tag “Alien Apocalypse Halloween Lock-In” is the biggest Blazer Tag event of the season with tons of games, trivia, and all-night laser tag! Show up in your best Halloween costume, and you could have a chance at winning the Colossal Costume Contest. Not to mention, showing off in the arcade. There will be prizes and giveaways all the way until the sun comes up!

LCD Soundsystem with special guest Big Freedia (10/31)

Dance yourself clean with LCD Soundsystem at the Austin360 Amphitheater. After reuniting, the band is on their ‘American Dream’ tour with the Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia. It should be a boo-ty shaking time. Doors at 7, show at 8p.

House of Torment (9/22-11/11)

A Halloween staple for the Austin area is House of Torment. Every year people line up to get their fright fix. Even while standing in line, you will get a taste of what’s coming. It’s a unique experience for everyone due to the control room operators. They can trigger different effects for each patron, making it a complete and unexpected time for everyone. It is named as the number one haunt in America by Hauntworld Magazine.