West Campus

Construction on Guadalupe Street in UT Austin's West Campus.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The University of Texas is rising – or rather, buildings on West Campus are now allowed to go higher.

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to increase height limits on buildings and to eliminate the number of parking spots developers are required to create.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Most discussions about the high cost of college focus on tuition and fees. But in some places, including the University of Texas at Austin, housing can be an even bigger cost. 

Renee Dominguez for KUT

While many University of Texas students were busy studying for final exams, senior Allie Runas was thinking about cracks in the sidewalk.

After years of stepping over them in West Campus, she decided to do something and founded the West Campus Neighborhood Association.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Like many University of Texas freshmen, Rylan Maksoud was looking forward to moving out of his dorm to an apartment off campus in the fall.

He signed a lease in September with the University House Apartments on San Antonio Street and put down a deposit. Then, in December, he got an email saying that the contract was being “mutually terminated.” 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

You may know that Austin's rapid growth is rapidly making it an expensive place to live. Home prices have jumped in recent years, and rents have followed suit. And, as college students head back to campus, they're feeling the pinch as well. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT

In 1974, a group calling themselves the Austintatious Artists wanted to express themselves. So, they found a wall in West Campus and painted what would become a venerated piece of Austin public art. Since then, that mural has lived on. They even painted another one in 2003 on the south wall of the same building.

Now, younger graffiti artists are laying claim to the same walls in droves. While it's something that's happened a lot over 40 years, the University Co-Op and the artists say the murals desperately need repair or they could be lost. 

Rachel Adams-Heard

Campus safety is on students' minds after a student was kidnapped and sexually assaulted last week. The attack took place late at night in the 900 block of West 26th Street, in the heart of the West Campus.

SURE Walk is a student government volunteer program that offers a safe way for students to get home at night: students can call a phone number and request someone to walk with them.

KUT News

Racial issues are one again simmering the University of Texas at Austin.

Students marched on the UT campus earlier this week to protest what some are calling racially motivated attacks, where balloons allegedly filled with bleach were dropped from apartment balconies in the West Campus area near UT.

While the perpetrator or perpetrators of the attacks is unknown, and therefore their intentions are unclear, KVUE reports Austin police “have spoken to victims who were involved in four separate and similar incidents involving liquid-filled balloons dropped on people of color.” And the incidents have once again created a focus on racial climate for African-American students on campus.

“I won’t say that it’s easier being on campus, because people still look at you like you don’t belong here,” says Reva Davis, vice president of the Black Student Alliance. “And you can walk into a classroom and you’ll still feel uncomfortable — whether you’re a freshman or senior — being a person of color. It doesn’t get easier, you just find ways to deal with and cope with it.”

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

The City of Austin may soon install additional parking meters in the West Campus area.

University Area Partners, a West Campus coalition of businesses, property owners and neighbors, has requested that meters be installed to relieve traffic congestion in the area. Property owners say students and UT employees who park there causing a parking shortage. 

Brian Donovan, who chairs the association’s parking committee, says the meters will allow access for more drivers.