Daily Texan clause alteration a move to promote transparency

Spencer Schredder

On Tuesday, Student Government approved A.B. 3, which amended certain provisions of the University of Texas Student Government Code of Rules and Procedures. Most of the changes within A.B. 3 acted as clarification of internal rules and procedure, but a specific clause that mentioned The Daily Texan was altered and could be interpreted as an attack on the publication.  

As an active proponent of the change, I am writing to ensure the Daily Texan staff, and the paper’s readership, that the action was not intended to be defamatory toward the paper whatsoever. 

Previously, Chapter Two, Article III, Section 3.2 of The Code of Rules and Procedures for UTSG read as: 

“The Communications Director shall be the primary media contact for Student Government and shall manage its interaction with The Daily Texan and other media outlets.” 

The passage of A.B. 3 altered the wording of the clause, and removed the Daily Texan as a specific example of a media outlet, but this change will not serve to hinder the relationship between the publication and Student Government. 

After lengthy debate over the issue, I led a charge to accept the change to remove the Texan from the clause, and I am writing to explain why. 

As an avid reader of the Texan, I fully support the paper and view it as an official student newspaper at the University of Texas at Austin. I know that I share this view with many members of Student Government, including Communications Director Thomas Mylott, and I am confident that the Student Government will continue to have a great relationship with the Texan. 

The only reason that I voted to remove the Texan as a media example in the rules is that I do not see an advantage in the special mention of one publication when there is a diverse group of student-run media outlets on campus. In the interest of transparency, it would not be fair to promote a relationship with the Texan simply because of its reputation as the official paper, and I want all media (student-run, local and national) to feel like we are an accessible body. 

During my campaign, I pledged to the students of UT that if elected, I would fight to make Student Government more transparent, and I believe that making media feel more comfortable approaching us is an important step to furthering communication with the student body. 

Schredder, a University-wide representative, is an international relations and global studies and economics junior from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.