Friday Firing Lines for week of Feb 17: Memorial Museum funding and toilet paper

Toilet paper legislation would benefit all students

I’m not actually sure who wrote the Op-Ed “Student Government Limits Legislation to Toilet Paper” due to the safety of the sign off, “The Daily Texan Editorial Board,” but I can guess that whoever wrote it is probably a boy. I can say this with such confidence because anyone who has to wipe 100% of the time they use the bathroom knows how important something as simple as toilet paper can actually be.

But I don’t feel like this article was an attack on the Charmin, or lack thereof. No, this is an attack on our student government and the people who use their SG reps as a channel to voice their concerns. During my past four years at this University I’ve seen SG pass legislation from banning smoking on campus to the various “in support of’s” that lack a tangible result. With the toilet paper legislation, however, this is a tangible issue that we can actually feel.

After at least four years of begging our McCombs representatives to address our #1 and #2 issues, our cries are finally being addressed only to be brought down by a lack of quorum and an article that attacks the voices of McCombs students. The Daily Texan Editorial Board calls this issue “bullshit,” but my question is if it’s not SG’s duty to protect our doodies, then whose duty is it? What makes one issue legitimate and the other one crap?

One of the authors of the legislation, finance and government sophomore, Garrett Neville, said “I don’t understand why people are so butt hurt about the issue, because I don’t think it’s sensitive enough for a tissue. Liam and I are calling this the cry for two-ply.”

I think this legislation really shows that the fact that we have single ply toilet paper is tearable. The University of Texas is an institution that has hosted President Barack Obama, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. Not to mention the thousands of donors to this University that make our endeavors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall a reality. Toilet paper may not be the number one impression they take away from the University, but a scratchy experience probably doesn’t sit well with them either.

The author was kind enough to tell us that we used 133,380 rolls of toilet paper in 2012. With a raw number like that it’s hard to imagine how much that actually is, but without accounting for the thousands of visitors the University receives every year, we’re averaging 1.8 rolls per person each year with a faculty and staff of 24,000 and a student body of 50,000. At $125,044, we average $1.69 per year on toilet paper per person. Let’s not be so quick to flush this issue down the toilet. If the University wants to raise my tuition by a dollar to account for the increase in the Facility Service’s budget, well, I’d say that sounds pretty good on the whole.

This fight might be tough, but hopefully in the end it will mean our toilet paper won’t be. 

—  Chandler Nunez, marketing senior, in response to "Student Government limits legislation to toilet paper"


Memorial Museum deserves all the funding it can get

“This is really pathetic. UT has helped fund Texas Memorial Museum for all of it’s Seventy-five year history on campus. Now UT is abandoning it completely. If UT can’t fund TMM, the State should fund it directly. The State just recently gave the Bullock State History Museum five million dollars. It can’t help fund the Texas Memorial Museum? What’s up with that?”

— Online commenter Buck, in response to the news article “Faculty Council pushes to find external funding for Texas Memorial Museum’s outreach activities