Video editor seeks, like, at least a living wage

Sarah Tang

One time, I stress vomited on 26th Street in broad daylight because of the Texan. It was equal parts strawberry and migraine. And then a frat boy yelled, “Are you pregnant?” at me from across the street. And I still work here. That’s how much I love this place.

For me, the Texan will always be stress and tears and migraines and giving so much of myself to only make what equates to $2 an hour …  and still doing it anyway. 

But the Texan is also sharing highs and lows around a ping-pong table on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone’s hungover and JT is watching football in the back.  

It is Peter Chen’s libel talk: If Greg Fenves is wearing blue pants but we print that he’s wearing red pants, does it fulfill all the requirements of libel?

The Texan is Kirsten, one of my first and most meaningful friendships made in the office. It’s Peyton, an incredibly talented videographer who is way better at this job than I am, and the subdued Pisces to my impulsive Aries. It’s Faith and Bonny, who are two of the funniest, most capable, most hardworking people.

The Texan is Rena, my soul sister, with whom every conversation turns into a two-hour-long exploration into the very essence of being. We’re sitting in my car outside her apartment, both crying. I was supposed to drop her off an hour ago. It’s Ellie taking a chance on me and hiring someone she’s never even seen or heard about. It’s Forrest, who gave me space to stir the pot about staff pay and met my frustration with patience and transparency.

It’s the video department — chaotic good to the very end. It’s the way we make important content like the racial geography video and also Squirrels of UT in the same breath. I’m so proud of the inclusive, supportive family we’ve built for one another.

For me, the Texan  will always be a community of people, all extremely talented cogs in a grand, messy, somehow functioning machine, gathered around That Table We Use For Everything (ping-pong, pizza drops, potlucks, pitch meetings). We’re making fun of the sports guys. We’re having a video meeting and someone has just pitched another dumb “Texan Tries” idea. We’re telling important stories that have the power to spark tangible change. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it for a while.

And in the future, I hope the Texan continues to be these things for others as well. I hope it becomes more accessible to marginalized communities on campus, that diversity and inclusion become a reality in the office and not just an initiative. And I hope someday, at the very least, that some poor future video editor is able to make at least
minimum wage.