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Gov. Greg Abbott has stated he “wants next year’s pre-kindergarten class to graduate from high school in the top-ranked school system in the nation.” This is a great goal, like many of his other goals, but how do we achieve this? Currently, Texas ranks 39th in the nation in education and receives an overall grade of C-, according to Education Week’s State Report. For the SAT, which many of us have taken, Texas ranks 47th in the nation and would likely rank dead last if all (instead of the 62 percent currently) Texas high school students were required to take the SAT.

The problem is real. Texas students are struggling to keep up with the rest of the nation. The United States is having similar problems on a global scale, with our country falling behind other developed nations in recent decades. As a result, state education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in the English language, arts, literacy and mathematics. It was a bipartisan effort in creating, adopting and implementing standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit-bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce. 

Forty-three states have adopted Common Core, and the results have been successful. The top nine states in education, according to Education Week, have all adopted Common Core. In addition, the top 11 states with regard to SAT scores have adopted Common Core (No. 5 Minnesota only adopted the English Language Arts standards). 

Opponents of Common Core cannot argue against the facts of the program; thus, they have fallen back on catchphrases and rhetoric, such as, “We do not need a one-size-fits-all solution,” or by comparing it to the controversial Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Opposition to Common Core comes from the far right of the Republican Party, which I personally believe opposes Common Core because of President Barack Obama’s support of it. On the other hand, the majority of Republican governors support Common Core because they participated in its creation and have seen the positive results from its implementation.

Studies have shown that Common Core standards are a lot better than 85 to 90 percent of the states standards that they replace. We need more rigorous standards to better prepare this country’s students for higher education and for the workforce, which is why organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have supported Common Core.  

Additionally, Texas simply cannot become the best state for primary education with the low standards that we have now. 

I understand that politically, it is perilous for Republicans, especially in a state like Texas, to support Common Core. I believe Abbott, who opposes Common Core, does so because he is worried about a primary challenge from the right in 2018. Specifically, he is worried about Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. However, there is a way around this. What Texas needs to do is adopt standards superior to Common Core. Don’t let Common Core be the ceiling, but simply the floor for educational standards. For example, Minnesota is the highest-ranked state, which has not adopted Common Core completely. Part of the reason is that Minnesota has developed standards that are, in fact, superior to Common Core in math

It is without a doubt that Texas needs better education standards. We are ranked toward the bottom in almost every metric, yet — due to our low academic standards — we have the second-highest high school graduation rate in the nation. This indicates that we are graduating too many high school seniors who are not ready for higher education or the workforce. I agree with Abbott that Texas should be number one in education, but to achieve that, we need to adopt Common Core or standards superior to it. 

Hung is a first-year law student from Brownsville.

unior left fielder Ben Johnson is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak. Johnson is one of five Longhorns to have a batting average above .300, and he leads the team with a .476 average.
Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

In No. 9 Texas’ first five games at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this season, the bats have come alive and driven in 45 runs. 

In the Longhorns’ home opener against UTSA, Texas scored 14 runs on 20 hits in a 14–2 rout of the Roadrunners. Texas then scored 31 runs on 47 hits in a four-game home stand against Minnesota.

“We did a good job of making contact and driving the ball,” head coach Augie Garrido said. “We had a lot of line drives, hit a lot of base hits with runners in scoring position and two outs. I think we played our game, and that’s what I was most proud of. Mentally, we were tough.”

Texas will now look to continue its offensive hot streak Tuesday night against UT-Pan American. The Broncos enter the game with a .224 team batting average, while Texas holds a .309 batting average.

Five Longhorns are batting above .300 currently, including senior right fielder Collin Shaw, junior left fielder Ben Johnson, sophomore catcher and first baseman Tres Barrera, redshirt freshman third baseman Bret Boswell and freshman catcher and first baseman Michael Cantu. Johnson is on a 10-game hitting streak and leads the team with a .476 batting average.

Against Minnesota, Texas tallied 20 extra-base hits, of which Shaw had six. In the series finale against the Golden Gophers, the Longhorns had additional help at the plate from senior second baseman Brooks Marlow, who had the first four-RBI game of his career.

“All of that plays into the confidence,” Garrido said. “The hitters realize they don’t have to do it all themselves. It’s an unbelievable connection that has to go through everybody on offense, everybody on defense, and then how it applies to the team. It’s almost magical.”

While the offense is getting all of the attention early in the season, the Texas pitching staff is having a successful start on the mound.

Against Minnesota, Texas’ starting pitchers each earned a win and didn’t allow an earned run. Additionally, the entire staff didn’t allow an earned run throughout the weekend series. The Longhorns held Minnesota to a .067 batting average with runners on base.

Garrido said this year’s team ranks among the best Texas teams he’s coached. And while he thinks this team has good potential, he knows there is room for improvement.

“I think this team has a lot of building to do,” Marlow said. “I know we came out and scored a lot of runs and played well against Minnesota, but there’s a lot of things we still need to do and get better.”

First pitch for Texas (7–2 ) versus UT-Pan American (5-2) has been rescheduled to Wednesday because of inclement weather. 

Junior outfielder Ben Johnson swings away at a pitch. Johnson finished the game 4-for-5 with two stolen bases and a run scored.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

A bounce-back start from sophomore pitcher Kacy Clemens helped No. 8 Texas secure a four-game sweep against Minnesota in an 8–0 win Sunday.

Clemens came into Sunday’s game with a 24.00 ERA. In his first collegiate start, Clemens gave up eight runs on eight hits against Rice.

Clemens said he was frustrated after the disappointing start, but advice he received from head coach Augie Garrido and his dad, Texas legend Roger Clemens, helped him in the win against the Golden Gophers.

“I hadn’t really experienced that before,” Clemens said. “I was obviously pretty bummed about my first start. But this week, talking with [pitching coach] Skip [Johnson], talking with Augie and my dad, I just got everything back to speed. Came out today ready to go, and it went well.”

Allowing just one hit in five innings, Clemens struck out four and walked two.

Offensively, Texas backed Clemens early, scoring two runs in the first inning and five in the second.

A big second inning started when sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz and freshman designated hitter Patrick Mathis drew back-to-back walks with one out. After a wild pitch that scored Gurwitz, senior right fielder Collin Shaw smacked a double to drive in Mathis. Texas scored three more runs after that hit. The Longhorns scored five runs on four walks and two hits.

Senior second baseman Brooks Marlow said the Texas offensive explosion is no surprise to the team.

“We have a lot of guys that are going to do whatever it takes,” Marlow said. “They’re always going to have a quality at-bat. They have a plan when they go up to the plate. Somebody is always going to hit the ball every inning.”

The Longhorns added a final run in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 8-0.

With the commanding lead, junior pitcher Travis Duke relieved Clemens. Garrido said the move to end Clemens’ day after five was planned.

“We want the pitchers to have good experiences,” Garrido said. “We don’t want to take them out late and have them give up two or three runs.”

With a solid outing from Clemens, the Longhorns were able to continue their domination against Minnesota. Texas won Friday’s game, 13–2. The Longhorns swept Saturday’s doubleheader with two 5–0 victories. Through the four-game series, Texas only allowed two runs while it scored 31 runs on 47 hits.

This weekend’s performance has shown Garrido promise in this year’s team.

“Positive things are contagious, and right now, things over the weekend went in a very positive way for the whole team,” Garrido said. “I think we took a giant step toward team work this weekend. All in all, a very good weekend for the Longhorns.”

The Longhorns (7–2) return to action against UT-Pan American (5–2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. 

Behind 11 innings of combined work, Longhorn starting pitchers junior Chad Hollingsworth and sophomore Josh Sawyer led the Longhorns to two 5-0 shutouts in Saturday’s doubleheader against Minnesota.

In the first game, Sawyer threw five innings of three-hit work bouncing back from a tough outing against Rice.

“[For me] I think it was all about location and throwing with conviction,” Sawyer said. “[Pitching Coach] Skip [Johnson] always preaches about throwing with conviction, every pitch. Tonight, I really worked on that, throwing with conviction and hitting my spots well.”

The Texas offense backed up Sawyer with a two-run third inning. Sophomore center fielder Zane Gurwitz hit a single followed by a walk from freshman designated hitter Joe Baker and a single by junior left fielder Ben Johnson. Senior right fielder Collin Shaw hit an RBI single to give Texas a 1-0 lead. The Longhorns added another run in third off a wild pitch.

Texas put a run in the bottom of the fifth and two runs in the seventh inning. Minnesota’s offense couldn’t stage a comeback and the Longhorns won the first game of the double header 5-0.

In the second game, Hollingsworth earned his first win in 6.1 innings of work throwing five strikeouts and only allowed two hits.

Texas helped Hollingsworth offensively with a big fourth inning. Senior Brooks Marlow broke through the scoreless game when he crushed a ball into the right field bullpen for a home run. The Longhorns added an additional run in the fourth.

The Longhorns would add three insurance runs in the eighth inning and to sweep Saturday's doubleheader 5-0.

In their first three games against Minnesota, the Longhorns have scored 23 runs on 37 hits.

“It's a lot of fun when you're playing baseball like this,” Marlow said. “We don't have an easy out in the line-up and that's what makes baseball fun. And scoring runs every game like the first night and hitting the ball hard like these two games makes baseball fun and makes us loose.”

Texas and Minnesota will conclude their four game series Sunday at 1 p.m. 

If there was any doubt about who was the ace of the Longhorns pitching staff, Parker French put that to rest Friday night.

While the senior pitcher only struck one batter out, French limited Minnesota to only three hits in six innings and allowed only one run.

Meanwhile, the Texas offense exploded for 13 runs on 17 hits to secure a 13-2 victory over the Golden Gophers in the first game of a four-game series.

As they did Tuesday night against UTSA, the Longhorns got off to a quick start on the mound and behind the plate. After French led off the game with a quick 1-2-3 inning, junior left fielder Ben Johnson opened the bottom half of the inning with a fly ball that went just underneath the right fielder’s glove for a triple. Senior right fielder Collin Shaw then brought him in on a ground out to give the Longhorns the early lead.

After adding another run in the first, Texas struck again in the second, scoring on a wild pitch and then Shaw added an RBI triple just over the left fielder’s head to up the Longhorn’s lead to 4-0. After Minnesota got on the board in the fourth, the floodgates opened for Texas in the fifth.

Junior shortstop C.J. Hinojosa reached on an error to start the inning, chasing the Golden Gopher’s starter Ben Meyer from the game, the next two batters reached on walks and then freshman third-baseman Bret Boswell drilled a ground-rule double to right field to bring in two runs.

Two batters later, fellow freshman Michael Cantu singled to right center field to up the Texas lead to 8-1. Cantu then added to his RBI total with a bases-loaded triple in the eighth to increase the lead 13-1.

“Ben’s been swinging the bat good and Collin and Tres [Barrera] and we feed off of that and hit the ball well,” Cantu said.

French, meanwhile, did more than his part on the mound. The right hander threw first-pitch strikes to the first 10 batters he faced. French also limited Minnesota to only two extra base hits.

As good as he was pitching, French said he didn’t mind coming out after six innings.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” French said. “You don’t win national championships in February.”

The Longhorns and Golden Gophers will square off in a double header Saturday afternoon. The first game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

The No. 9 Longhorns men’s tennis team will host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center this weekend.

The Longhorns need two victories in the ITA Kick-Off to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championship, which will be held in Chicago from Feb. 13-16.

Texas is one of 22 universities selected to host the start of the 2015 spring season. In the current system, three visiting schools travel to a host team’s courts for a four-team tournament.

Coming off consecutive road victories against No. 41 Tulsa and No. 58 Arkansas, the Longhorns look to build on their 2-0 start when they face No. 49 Minnesota, No. 34 Florida State and No. 42 Michigan.

The event will feature seven ranked singles players — including two-time All-American senior Søren Hess-Olesen and fellow senior Adrien Berkowicz, who led the Longhorns in singles wins last fall.

Hess-Olesen and Berkowicz have a combined seven singles wins and eight doubles wins, and they enter this season ranked No. 13 and No. 48, respectively. They are 1-1 together in doubles play.

Junior Nick Naumann and freshman John Mee look to continue their impressive doubles play in a potential, consolation-play matchup against Florida State’s junior duo Marco Nunez and Benjamin Lock, who are ranked 24th in doubles.

Naumann and Mee, who hold a 4-0 doubles record, could also face Minnesota’s senior Leandro Toledo and freshman Felix Corwin, who are ranked 58th in doubles.

Freshman Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz is also off to an impressive start. Ortiz-Ruiz, a Mexico native, picked up his first career dual match singles
victory against Arkansas and currently holds a 3-2 singles record.

Junior Michael Riechmann holds a 4-1 singles record. He and Ortiz-Ruiz have a 2-2 doubles record as partners.

Senior All-American Lloyd Glasspool and sophomore George Goldhoff will remain on the sidelines during this tournament because of minor injuries, but they went undefeated at the UT Invitational in both singles and doubles play earlier this month.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with UT squaring off against Minnesota, followed by Florida State versus Michigan. Consolation play begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, and the championship match will follow at 1 p.m.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle to a three team trade that will send forward Kevin Love to Cleveland, Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young and the Cavaliers protected 2015 first-round draft pick to Minnesota and Anthony Bennett to Detroit, according to reports. 

For the past month, trade talks have been ongoing between the Cavs and the Timberwolves. Although at first Cleveland was reluctant to trade Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Timberwolves were adamant in acquiring the potential star in a trade for Love. Bennett, despite a pedestrian rookie season in which he averaged just 12.8 minutes per game, is potentially a valuable commodity for the Pistons as the No. 1 pick of the 2013 draft has shown signs of progress recently.

On Sunday, Wiggins, very aware of trade talks involving him, indicated he was comfortable playing for any team.

“I just want to play for a team that wants me,” Wiggins told ESPN. “Whichever team wants me, I’ll play for.”

The trade, due to a minimum 30 day wait after Wiggins’ contract signing, cannot officially occur until August 23. All three teams have agreed to the trade, but no team faces any punishment should they choose to change their mind before the deal is official. The trade also comes with an agreement that Love will opt out of his current contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers for a reported five-years, $120 million. Although the exact terms have been agreed upon, the three organizations plan to stay silent until the trade is announced, according to reports.

The 25-year-old Love is coming off one of his best seasons, netting an average of 26 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. The three-time All-Star received his first All-Start start this season as well, beating out Dwight Howard.

For the Timberwolves, this trade works. Love informed Minnesota that he would not be returning and would be opting out of his contract next summer. Trading the All-Star with a foot already out the door in exchange for the very talented Wiggins is about as good as a consolation prize as a team can get.

For Cleveland, acquiring Kevin Love is the icing on the cake after an amazing offseason that included the signing of four time MVP, LeBron James. Love joins James and guard Kyrie Irving to form a ‘Big 3’ in Cleveland that will be considered a favorite to win the Eastern Conference and contend for an NBA championship immediately.

The University of Texas pit crew prepares a student-built solar car for a closed-course race in Summer 2013. This year, 10 university teams from across the world will compete in a cross-country race from Austin to Saint Paul, Minnesota. The race, hosted by the Cockrell School of Engineering, departed from Winship Circle on campus on Monday Morning. 

Photo Credit: Emily Ng | Daily Texan Staff

Student-engineered solar cars began a cross-country race from Austin to Saint Paul, Minnesota, in an event hosted by the University’s Cockrell School of Engineering on Monday.

Ten teams from universities including UT, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Iowa State University as well as a handful of international universities are participating in the American Solar Challenge, a competition to design, build and drive solar cars.

Teams departed from Winship Circle on campus Monday morning, after qualifying in the Formula Sun Grand Prix, a closed-course race held at the Circuit of the Americas track on July 14-19.

Event coordinator Gail Lueck said teams were given a day to rejuvenate before tackling the challenges of a road course competition, which is only held every two years.

“You’re transitioning from a track event where you know all your pit crew and your materials are sitting in a garage and transitioning to where you’re going to be on the road.” Lueck said. “So, you need the right equipment packed into your vehicles.”

Lueck, who is also a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit organization Innovator’s Educational Foundation that organizes the race, said coordinators of the event pride themselves on offering a hands-on learning experience.

"This is not a textbook problem, you don’t go look up in the back, here’s the answer on how to design, build and drive a solar car," Lueck said.

Teams not only deal with the challenge of engineering a vehicle, but also with the logistical challenges of fundraising, managing a budget and creating a business plan.

"There’s a lot of stuff you learn having to build something and making it work under time and budget pressure that’s kind of hard to learn from a book," said Fred Engelkemeir, a graduate electrical engineering student who has been a member of the University's TexSun team for nine years.

Lueck said the teams from universities in other countries have the additional challenge of getting their vehicle to the U.S. 

"The international teams have to deal with their own international logistics of how to get over to the U.S. and clear customs with essentially an experimental vehicle." Lueck said.

The race aims to increase visibility and engagement of STEM students in the U.S., by offering a multidiscipline, hands-on project.

Katie Baker, a junior at Austin’s Anderson High School and member of the University of Texas TexSun team, said she enjoyed the learning experience and wants to study engineering at the University after she graduates.

“I got to actually put epoxy on the wheel covers and sand it down.” Baker said. “The team has been so welcoming and I would love to do this as a student. It’s so much fun.”

Inside the Wooten Barber Shop on Guadalupe Street are five barbers who, “like what they do and the customers they work for.”

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

When the summer finally ended and gave way to fall, James Nelson would anxiously await the new models on the lots of the local car dealers. He loved cars and every fall was the highlight of the year. 

When he was a senior in high school, he saved up $200 by working at a vegetable farm near his home in rural Minnesota and decided to buy a cool-looking 1947 Plymouth Coupe. It had five windows and it was the color of wet sand: a nice tan color, not beige. 

Nelson was born three days into 1941. He grew up on a small dairy farm in a little town called Princeton. Sometimes Nelson would drive his five younger brothers into town, if his mom allowed it. Nelson would do anything to get behind the wheel of his Plymouth. 

College wasn’t in the cards for Nelson because his family couldn’t afford it. Nelson enrolled himself in the Minneapolis vocational college where he became a certified barber at the age of 19 and was able to pay for his education at the University of Minnesota. 


On a sunny afternoon in Austin, Nelson sat inside his barbershop located on Guadalupe. His wrinkled fingers twisted the white hair on his chin. His gaze was fixed on the cars speeding by as he tried to recall a moment in his life that happened more than 20 years ago. 

“What I thought I was getting into was not what it was,” Nelson said. “I thought it would be more the artistic thing — more of the drawing board — but it was way more scientific, more math and engineering and stuff like that. Not as fun.” 

He recalled the time he spent at the University of Minnesota studying architecture. He worked as a barber by day and attended evening classes by night. It was the only way he could have afforded school. Nelson eventually dropped out of college and became a full-time barber. 

“I’m glad that I went this direction, and I’ve not felt like I’m in a place that I don’t want to be,” Nelson said. “I enjoy the people part of it and the creativity.” 

Before coming to Texas in the early 1980s, Nelson owned barbershops in Minneapolis. He moved to McAllen when his wife had to relocate for work. Finally, in 1989, after spending several years in Dallas, Nelson settled down in Austin. He had his eye on a small shop near the big university — it was called The Wooten Barber Shop. It was perfect because Nelson was looking for a shop in a populated area to build clientele. At the time, Nelson was working at a place called CNS Barber and Beauty, which is where he met his friend and co-worker, Don Stafford, before getting hired at Wooten in 1992.

Nelson made sure to inform his boss that he would like to own the place one day. That had been the plan all along, but the shop wasn’t for sale at the time.   

“So, he said, ‘If I ever sell it, you’ll get the first bid,’” Nelson said. 


Wooten had no customers on this particular February morning because of the wet roads and chilly breeze. Stafford sat comfortably on a chair, watching the Olympics on the big plasma screen. Three other barbers, Ralph Torres, Grant Gomez and Cisco Johnson, are watching it all, mesmerized by the figure skaters performing the triple lutz and quadruple toe loops. 

Stafford is the head barber at Wooten. He is a decorated Marine and has been working there for 20 years. He’s known Nelson for 21 years and describes him as a traveler: someone who takes any chance he gets to explore the world. 

“He takes up to six or seven vacations a year,” Stafford said. “He’s a timeshare guy. He really, really likes timeshares.” 

“Did he tell you he’s an artist? He paints and draws,” Stafford added, before getting up and heading to the back of the shop. 


“It’s a different day, you never know what you’re going to get,” said Cisco Johnson, who has been at the shop for 11 years. He jokingly said his favorite thing about being a barber was the money he made. 

“I just love working with these guys, and the atmosphere is great,” Johnson said. He recalled one moment in particular where a customer walked in early in the day and sat down in Johnson’s chair. Johnson asked the man how he was, and the man replied that he didn’t know because he was still drunk. 

As they listen to Johnson tell the story, suddenly all of the barbers begin to laugh.

Johnson got up and walked over to a picture inside a small wooden frame, hanging on the wall in front of the second barber chair. It’s a picture of the whole gang, and Johnson is sitting, with a scared look on his face, the other four barbers are surrounding him, tools in hand, ready to cut Johnson’s non-existent hair. 

Watching from across the room is Gomez, the youngest barber in the group. He’s been working here for no more than 10 years, and said Nelson is a “very honest, loyal, and passionate guy.” Nelson hired Gomez as he was easing into retirement. 

“He was looking for someone to fill in the days when he was off,” Gomez said. “I used to get my hair cut here.” 

“We lost a customer when he started working here,” Johnson interrupted. Both Gomez and Johnson chuckled. 

“The running joke here is, ‘The haircut gets you in, and the massage gets you coming back,’” Gomez said. 

All of the barbers have a great deal of pride for Wooten and their own work. 

Gomez mentioned that his favorite thing about Wooten is being able to give advice to the younger guys that walk through the doors. 

“I like to impart some parental wisdom or guidance,” Gomez said. “Honestly, I think they listen to us maybe more than they do their parents.”

Ralph Torres, the fifth and shyest barber, moved to the back of the shop. He’s known Nelson for 21 years and speaks of him with the highest regard. 

“He’s got a good relationship with all of us,” Torres said. “He’s a great boss.”

The Wooten Barber Shop is the longest running independent business on The Drag. The barbers credit this to a number of factors. 

“A lot of these kids don’t come from barber shops,” Gomez said. “They come from Super Cuts or whatever. So they come here and it’s an old school barber shop. They like the feel. They’ve got movies and sports on all day. Girls walking by the window all day. So it’s a pretty fun place to hang out. It reminds them of going to the barber shop with their granddad.”


In the back of the barbershop, behind the mirrors and shelves, hidden away in a little nook is a single antique Belmont vintage barber chair. There’s a sink, a small TV and a shelf for storage. This is where you will find the 73-year-old Nelson, tucked away, awaiting his next customer, scissors and blade at the ready. 

The door jingles. A customer walks in. Nelson comes out from his little nook and signals him over. A man in his mid-40s sits down. 

“So what are we doing today?” Nelson asked. “The usual?” 

“Same as usual,” replied the familiar stranger.

Photo Credit: Anik Bhattacharya | Daily Texan Staff

This article was corrected after its original posting. Forbes ranking came out in 2006.

Student life on any college campus can often consist of the occasional sip of alcohol. Recently, Austin was ranked by The Daily Beast as one of the top five drunkest cities in America.

Other cities ranked above Austin are: Charleston, S.C.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Norfolk, Va.; and Boston, Mass. The rankings are based on the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed by adults per month, percentage of population classified as binge drinkers and percentage of population classified as heavy drinkers.

Austin's place has not changed from a 2006 ranking by Forbes that also found it as the fifth drunkest city.

Other cities ranked above Austin on the list were Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Columbus, Mo; and Boston, Mass., respectively.  Cities were ranked on the basis of five categories: strictness of state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and rate of alcoholism. 

Cities were ranked on the strictness of state laws based on the “Rating The States” report conducted and written by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The report considered factors such as whether the state has passed laws forbidding open containers in cars or laws regarding the regulation and sale of alcohol.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 1,129 DWI or alcohol related car crashes and injuries in 2011 in Austin.

Statistics regarding the number of drinkers in the various categories were taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey conducted in 2004. According to the survey, adults who reported having had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days were considered drinkers and adults who reported having five or more drinks on one occasion were considered binge drinkers. The number of heavy drinkers was calculated based on the number of adult men who reported having had more than two drinks per day, and adult women having had more than one drink per day.

In determining the rate of alcoholism, Forbes looked at the number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held in the area as a ratio of the drinking age population.

Anthropology sophomore Samuel Deleon said it has become socially acceptable to drink in college. It is easy to access alcohol, especially with such a large population, Deleon said.

“If you search liquor stores in Austin, 161 store listings will come up,” Deleon said. “So it is easy to find alcohol and easy for older students to access it for younger students.”

Printed on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 as: Sixth Street, fifth place