Student voices push for change, look to the future

This semester, The Daily Texan Forum has had the privilege of pulling together a wide array of voices from the university and its surrounding community. The Daily Texan has its limitations as an organization, and through our page each week, we strove to spotlight fresh perspectives from outside of our own staff. We’ve featured expert faculty opinions on key news developments. We’ve spoken to community organizers and politicians about their events. We’ve highlighted student opinions on the highs and lows of campus climate, from SG elections to racial history.

However, throughout the year, one constant has been the tireless efforts of students from all corners of the 40 Acres, perpetually pushing the university and its administration to better accommodate student needs. In that vein, for the last Forum of the year, we turn our attention to various student initiatives that highlight the best of our campus, from our entrepreneurs to our creative minds to our student activists.

Daniel Miyares, director of the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency, makes the case for entrepreneurship organizations to diversify their membership and engage students beyond the traditional set of business and computer science majors. He argues that diversity is both a significant asset and a core responsibility for these groups, and provides a number of ways that any student at the university can get involved with startups and new business ventures.

Francesca Reece examines the issues surrounding sexual harassment perpetrated by faculty and staff, from unclear accountability to problematic power differentials. She points out that little to no progress has been made on the action items from last spring’s CLASE survey, and calls on UT to implement these promises, require further training for employees and provide more transparency for students.

Priyanka Mara reflects on her experience as a student looking to create change on campus. She calls on us all to maintain perspective and remember that our efforts make a difference, and do not start or end with our time on the 40 Acres.

Abigail Melvin, in a letter to the editor, voices her concern with the lack of protections for transgender students at UT. She argues that the University must provide adequate facilities for these students and develop a more comprehensive policy to ensure they are protected from discrimination.

While this is The Daily Texan Forum team’s last page for the year, we still want to hear your perspectives, and you can always email us at [email protected]

Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco. Anderson is a Plan II and history sophomore from Houston.