The UP’s top stories of 2016

Lane Kiffin’s hiring, the firing of James Tracy and Kesha’s performance at Owl Fest had the most online hits this year.


University President John Kelly and Owlsley watch the FAU men’s basketball team play against Old Dominion on Jan. 28. Mohammed F Emran | Staff Photographer

Benjamin Paley, Contributing Writer

2016 is coming to an end, and for the students, faculty and staff of Florida Atlantic, that means taking a look back at how the year went before 2017 begins. To let you know where to start, we have put together a list of the top stories of 2016 sorted by the number of views each received.

University cuts ties with controversial professor James Tracy, 44,463 views

Professor James Tracy. Photo by Michelle Friswell

James Tracy, a former communication professor at FAU, was fired in January because he failed to file a “Report of Outside Employment or Professional Activity Form” with the university. Tracy had previously gained national attention for his website Memory Hole Blog, which claimed the Sandy Hook mass shooting and other similar events were hoaxes.

Party where student was allegedly gang raped last year to happen again, 4,158 views

The Wayne Barton Study Center [via Google Maps]
Despite an ongoing investigation into a gang rape that occurred in 2015 at a fraternity-tied party at the Wayne Barton Study Center 2 miles away from FAU, the same party took place the next year at a different location. The UP’s investigation into the incident led to about 800 issues in which the story was featured being thrown into the trash.

UPDATE: FAU Police block access to Indian River Towers due to death on campus, 3,847 views

Boca Raton Police were called to Indian River Towers Wednesday after a student died in the residence hall. Jonathan Scott | Contributing Photographer

On Nov. 10, Boca Raton and campus police surrounded Indian River Towers for several hours after a student died in the building.

Column: Amendment 1 misleads Florida voters into limiting solar power growth, 3,615 views

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

This year’s contentious election didn’t just bring on the heat in the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A constitutional amendment regarding solar power growth being voted on in Florida saw its fair share of protest due to the “misleading” nature of the amendment’s wording.

Miami Broward One Carnival returns to South Florida, 3,229 views

Photo courtesy of Miami Broward Carnival

Based off the Trinidad and Brazilian carnivals that take place before the start of Lent, the Miami Broward One Carnival faced the potential for cancellation due to a looming Hurricane Matthew. Luckily for the partygoers, the storm held off and allowed for the various Caribbean cultures in the area to celebrate.

Football: FAU hires Lane Kiffin as new head coach, 2,205 views

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

After firing former head coach Charlie Partridge following his third straight 3-9 season, FAU hired former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin as its new head football coach. Previously having coached at the University of Tennessee and the University of Southern California, Kiffin is now tasked with rebuilding a program that hasn’t been in a bowl game since 2008.

Kesha announced as headline artist for OWL Fest, 2,120 views

LunchMoney Lewis, who was the opening act for Kesha, performs his 2015 single “Bills”. The song topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Mohammed F Emran | Staff Photographer

When FAU chose Kesha as the headline artist for this year’s OWL Fest, the decision split student opinion as some believed she was no longer relevant. Despite this, 2,000 to 3,000 people were in attendance of the concert, according to Program Board. Joined on stage by LunchMoney Lewis, the artist performed rock covers of her past songs.

Custodian takes on motherly role to students, 1,333 views

Within her house’s newly renovated kitchen, Joseph stirs a pot on her stove. Brandon Harrington | Staff Photographer

For 21 years, Yolene Joseph has been working at FAU as part of the custodial staff. The story profiled her journey from Haiti to the United States and gave a look into the life of a woman who is known at the Student Union for being a mother-like figure to student employees.

University could potentially close in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew (Updates), 1,192 views

Photo Courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

FAU prepared for the worst along with the rest of Florida, as Hurricane Matthew was set to make landfall on the east coast of the state. The university was closed for a few days, but the storm veered off its projected path and did not cause major on-campus damage.

Benjamin Paley is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @benpaley92.