Where we stand

Susannah Jacob

A new year begins today for the Texan. We’re ready.

Being a college student today means finding your way in a world that seems to have lost its own. At almost every level of government, compromise loses and deficits prevail. A job after college sounds quaint, and is treated as an impossibility. We wage wars that no one understands and too few talk about. Almost fifty years after Charles Whitman killed 16 people from the Tower’s observation deck, we witnessed a summer of shootings that society is still unable to explain or stop. Even the weather is weird.

The situation on this campus promises no more stability. President William “Bill” Powers throws his hands up almost daily when dealing with the UT Regents over how and why this University should educate 18-to-22-year-olds. He also battles Governor Rick Perry, whose time in office has become Putin-esque in its length, and who encourages this University to strive not for better, but good enough. This University Administration has erred as well. Almost 1,000 students were over-admitted to the incoming freshman class, and the Administration’s focus on four-year graduation rates means the first and most frequent message those freshmen have heard, is “Exit in four years.” There has not been enough discussion about what a student should do while still in college. Instead, there are frequent and flashy high tech mentions of UT being the best (Gone to Texas), which, at The Daily Texan, we call advertising.

We admit, The Texan confronts its share of obstacles—like every newspaper we’ve had diminished advertising revenues and an identity crisis due to the reality that most of those nearly 1,000 incoming freshman will need training on how to pick up, much less read, a physical newspaper. But as the journalism school ponders the future of the industry, The Texan staff works hard on what will be published in the newspaper tomorrow.

There is a lot you can do in college besides go to class. Because this is the twenty-first century, even more exists for you to do during class instead of pay attention. Beyond campus lies a line of predatory sandwich shops and banks called the Drag. The University represents the world of ideas, though its administrators appear at times to have forgotten that principle, or fail to recognize their responsibility to defend it against so many attacks from so many directions. The burden rests on students to think for themselves even if louder voices tell them what to think. On these pages, students will find the original and un-recycled ideas of their peers.

This newspaper stands for a productive student government, for lower rent, and for an admissions policy that not only claims but makes future incoming classes as geographically, socioeconomically, racially, ethnically and religiously diverse as possible, and does not disenfranchise any group in the service of another. It stands against hazing. It stands for responsible spending of students’ money. It stands for transparent government at all levels, and against political games that diminish the value of our education. Above all, this newspaper stands for you, and your unfettered access to what a former Texan editor called the brief space of privilege when the outside world says to you: “Here, we’ll leave you alone until you find yourself.”

­­— Susannah Jacob, Editor-in-Chief