Make this a habit

Why should you read The Daily Texan? This fall will bring a presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, (which could have wholesale consequences for affirmative-action policies at every school in this country), a debate about hydraulic fracturing and whether it will relieve this country of dependence on foreign oil or push it into environmental chaos and action by the Texas governor to put this University on the untraveled path of striving for not better, but good enough.

The outcome of those stories will shape the world of UT students, including 8,000 incoming freshmen. Although transparently self-serving, we believe students should read about these stories regularly in The Daily Texan. Why the Texan? Although most newspapers besieged by the online overflow of information have undergone an identity crisis, serving students has consistently been the goal of the Texan.

For more than one hundred years, The Daily Texan has covered the campus, the current local, national and world events important to students and, on this page, the opinions of those students. The paper’s editor is elected annually by the student body, and previous Texan editors have been threatened with expulsion, impeachment, imprisonment and worse in the name of defending the paper. But throughout most of its history, the Texan has continued to print students’ ideas without interference, though numerous attempts to censor the paper have been made.

UT is big, and competing for your attention are a number of distractions other than the Texan, which, for all you know, could be put together by that kid in your French class who stopped showing up after the third day of class. But because this paper is published by your peers you can trust that its editors and reporters won’t try to sell you anything, won’t write to please a publisher or watch a bottom line tethered to page views and, like you, will fight to understand what it is they believe.

And while the easiest thing to do in college is put your ear buds in and opt out, choose instead to pick up the paper as you hustle to class or eat your dining hall breakfast of scrambled eggs served with an ice cream scoop. Submit a Firing Line when something you read in the Texan makes you good and angry, or a guest column when it dawns on you that you have something to say. Or even work for the Texan, where we hire writers, photographers, book reviewers, news reporters, videographers and others with good ideas and dogged attitudes about work.

The editors at the Texan try to engage the largest readership possible, and from time to time we may overlook certain features that are important to dedicated readers. We were reminded about a particular faction of our readership one evening when a reader left a screeching, five-minute long voicemail berating the paper’s editor for inadvertently printing an unsolvable puzzle. (The angry reader had been working at it all day.)

If that was you — and to all others — pick up the paper and read it for ideas about your school from your fellow students. After all, ideas and fellow students are the reasons you came to UT in the first place.