Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Renovated Hogg Auditorium switches focus to students

Julia Bunch

The Hogg Memorial Auditorium is set to reopen in August as a new performance venue that will serve registered student organizations.

After decades of performances, debates and exams, the spotlight is a common sight at UT’s Hogg Memorial Auditorium. This fall, the focus is not on the center stage but on the management behind the curtain.

Beginning in August, Hogg Memorial Auditorium will reopen as a new student-run performance venue serving registered student organizations. Opened in 1933 and named after former Texas Governor James Hogg, the auditorium was previously used as a performing arts venue in the ‘50s and late ‘90s but has since fallen into periods when it was used primarily for classroom purposes, according to the University Unions website. College of Fine Arts Dean Douglas Dempster said reopening has been a joint effort between the Division of Student Affairs and Student Government to rejuvenate Hogg as a student-centered and student-managed venue.

Dempster also said Hogg, which has seating for up to 1,200 people, will be used to support creative student activity that desperately needs facilities and technical support. Students can now reserve the space using the University Unions online reservation system for events held Aug. 29 or later.

“The renovations to Hogg Auditorium are not directed exclusively to the use of College of Fine Arts majors,” Dempster said. “In fact, our thinking here is to make Hogg more available and affordable for the many students and student organizations involved in creative performances as a largely extracurricular activity.”

By deciding to make the venue fundamentally student-run, the Hogg Auditorium will now be part of the University Unions group, which includes the Texas Union, Student Activity Center and Student Events Center and will be financed almost completely by students and alumni. University Unions board member Jesse Hernandez said the auditorium’s renovation and expansion into University Unions is primarily for students and student organizations.

“University Unions has been expanding,” Hernandez said. “The main goal behind that is: how can we better serve students and what other opportunities can we provide students? In recent years, student organizations who have wanted to put on events that require an auditorium of that size have had to look at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School and other such venues, the cost of which sometimes just isn’t in the budget.”

Hernandez said Hogg Memorial Auditorium will be available to students at little to no cost. He said he believes the low reservation cost will increase the types of events open to larger groups of students on campus.

In addition to the many student organizations that plan to reserve the auditorium, Student Government, who has been part of the initiative to renovate the Hogg Auditorium, plans to utilize the space as well. Student Government Vice President Wills Brown said they plan on using Hogg as a gateway to communication and partnership with their fellow students.

“Transparency is key for SG,” Brown said. “Any time there’s an opportunity to have a larger presence on campus, President Thor and I will always be willing to jump at that chance. With a great venue as Hogg now being open to any and all student organizations, I know this will be a great opportunity for SG to partner with a plethora of groups across campus in reference to putting on events.”

Brown said SG has also considered holding town hall meetings in Hogg throughout the semester to get student input on campus issues and take questions and comments.

“Now that this resource is directly for the students by the students, I think many students, staff and faculty across campus will truly understand just how special and useful Hogg really is,” he said.

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Renovated Hogg Auditorium switches focus to students