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Regents re-open history

Nov. 17, 1998

The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted Thursday to re-open a piece of history to students.

The observation deck of the UT Tower in Austin will now be open to the public, with new safety measures.

The tower was closed in 1966 after Charles Whitman shot and killed 16 people from the deck. Although it re-opened in 1968, repeated suicides from the deck prompted the regents to close it again in 1975.

The decision comes after a student proposal reached the desk of UT president Larry Faulkner, who then recommended the measure to the regents.

The UT regents are symbolically opening up the UT campus a little bit more to all Texas students. The improved safety measures that will be implemented, including railings and visitor escorts, will help ensure that the tragedies of the past are not revisited.

As UT Student Government President Annie Holland told the Daily Texan, the re-opening is a sign of moving on and healing wounds that have existed for more than 30 years.

Indeed, re-opening the tower is a sign of a new beginning for a tower that is a symbol of higher education in the state.

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