Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Associate opinion editor eats Chipotle in basement one last time

Lorianne Willett

Even before committing to UT, I knew I wanted to join a college newspaper. While I’d never been involved in journalism before, my passion for writing almost immediately led me to The Daily Texan. After scanning through the Texan’s positions on a Google form I’ve since filled out four more times, I applied to the opinion department in the third week of my freshman year — not exactly on a whim, but not entirely confident in my tryout, either. 

Across two years in the Texan, I’ve had the privilege of serving as an opinion columnist, associate opinion editor and associate managing editor. I’ve worked with exceptionally talented individuals who welcomed me into a newsroom that I initially hesitated to join as a finance major. I’ve spent countless hours in the basement working hard and laughing even harder. I’ve painstakingly written structural columns, personal narratives and editorials on wide-ranging issues that mattered deeply to me and the campus community. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve confessed my undying love for the PCL, discarded my loyalty to the Oxford comma and debated whether Chipotle qualifies as Tex-Mex more times than I care to admit. 

From chatting with staffers in the opinion office well past my editing time to running into a stop sign while responding to a Slack message on 21st Street, this newsroom has given me memories for a lifetime. There’s something inexplicably infectious about the Texan’s energy, and I suspect that’s precisely what led me to run for editor-in-chief of the paper earlier this year. Through all the ups and downs, the Texan has been a cornerstone of my college experience, and I’m still unsure (but cautiously optimistic) of how my fall semester will look without it. 

Megan, I cannot thank you enough for taking a chance on me. Your guidance, friendship and encouragement have and continue to mean everything, and I sorely miss being on your editorial board last year. Your witty insights and attention to detail are second to none, and words cannot express how truly grateful I am to you for helping me find my voice in the Texan. Sometimes, I still find myself (mentally) saying ‘toodles’ as I leave the basement. Don’t worry, I’m trying to get out of the PCL more often.

Kamryn, being your minion was a weighty responsibility, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even though production was online last summer, you always found a way to make light of the serious moments and bring order to frantic discussions about what was going on cover. I learned so much from you about how the Texan operates behind the scenes and what it means to be a good leader.  

Sonali, you’re one of the sharpest editors I know, and working with you was a blast. Who else would I commiserate with over the dysfunction of a not-to-be-named club? Justin and Tanya, I loved having you as my columnists and enjoyed being on the editorial board alongside you even more. Your light-heartedness never failed to disappoint, and I’m excited to see what you do next.

Michael, thank you for being such an awesome editor and showing me the ropes in my first semester. I still remember that one day when I stayed an hour past my editing time just to hear your hilarious stories. Tommy and Ellie, from joining the Texan together as columnists to several semesters later, I’m so thankful for your friendship. 

To everyone else I’ve met along the way — Justice, Faith, Schuyler, Charlotte, Areebah, Ali — thank you for making my time in the Texan that much more enjoyable. To all the columnists I’ve been privileged to work with, thank you for helping me learn and grow. You keep this department alive, and I’ll miss attending pitch meetings and editing sessions that have marked my calendar for so long.

Walking into the basement each day has been an absolute delight, and deciding to leave it is a truly difficult choice. For the past five semesters, I’ve been lucky to immerse myself in this newsroom and shape a small corner of its operations. I’ve gained a new appreciation for student journalism, and I’ve been inspired by the Texan’s uncompromising elevation of community. What we do here matters, and I’ve loved every second of contributing to something so much larger than any one person. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Texan is a special place, and I wouldn’t trade my experience within it for anything. 

Gokhale is a finance sophomore from Allen, Texas.

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About the Contributors
Mihir Gokhale, Associate Opinion Editor
Mihir Gokhale is a second-year student from Allen, Texas majoring in finance and minoring in economics and government. He currently serves as an Associate Opinion Editor and was previously the Texan's Associate Managing Editor.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.