Editor’s Note: This year four candidates are running for three available voting seats on the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees, which oversees The Daily Texan, the Cactus yearbook, the Texas Travesty humor publication, Texas Student Television and the KVRX 91.7 FM radio station. Three candidates are running for the two at-large seats and one student for the one open Moody College of Communication seat. Candidates were asked shortly after their certification to write two 500-word columns, the first on the following question: In recent years, the student board members have been accused of not investing enough effort in their positions. If elected, what would you do to play a more active role in TSM’s affairs, and what changes would you try to enact? Candidates who participated in this first round wrote their own headlines. Only light typographical corrections were made. Among the at-large candidates, the top two vote-getters will be seated. For more information on the candidates, please visit our candidate database here.
Think of your time you’ve spent at The University of Texas thus far. What are you most proud of?
It's a hard question — but vital. In the words of British entrepreneur and investor Richard Branson: "Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of.”
That philosophy couldn't be truer at The Daily Texan. Since I began working at the paper freshman year, I've seen countless students working to create comics, articles and pages that they're proud of — ones they share with their peers, educating them about campus and city-wide issues. I, for one, am proud of this dedication I see at the paper. I am proud not only of the individual effort of my coworkers, but also of the obstacles that the Texan and its peer TSM publications have faced as a whole — from the small day-to-day task of finding content and reporting news to the more encompassing challenge of managing a budget shortfall in the decline of print media.
I have worked at the Texan since my freshman year. First, I worked as a columnist. Then I served as an associate editor on the editorial board. And, this year, I have my own biweekly page as Forum editor. So, thinking back to my time at UT thus far, I am most proud of my work at the Texan, and from this pride comes a sense responsibility. I feel responsible not only for the content I create at the Texan, but also for ensuring that the paper, and other TSM publications, can endure in the years to come.
The TSM board is in charge of just that. As a board, TSM works to determine the character of all the student media publications, by supervising the student managers and setting a budget for all the TSM publications. Though most of this administrative work happens behind the scenes, it’s an essential part of the publication process — one that I feel I could contribute to well thanks to my experience working at the paper.
One of the shortcomings of past at-large members has been a lack of involvement in TSM. What starts as missing a board meeting to study for an upcoming test can quickly turn into habitually skipping out on at-large obligations. Though I cannot speak for previous at-large members of the board, I can say that I will not skirt my obligations. Why? Because thanks to my experience working at the paper, I have firsthand knowledge of how important it is for a student voice on the board. So, I will be sure to attend all meetings so that I can best communicate student interests to the other TSM board members. The drive that's needed to publish a paper — the motivation my peers at the Texan have taught me — would accompany me as a member of the TSM board.
So come this March — when you're filling out your ballot for at-large members — vote for someone who feels a sense of duty to the TSM publications, someone who has worked on the other side. Vote Amil Malik for TSM board at-large.
Malik is a Plan II, business honors and finance senior from Austin. She is running for an at-large seat on the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees. Follow Malik on Twitter @amil_malik94.