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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

People of UT: Hayden Conner

Edly Termilien: Welcome to People of UT, the show that introduces you to members of the UT community who have made a positive impact, big or small, on other community members. I’m your host for this episode, Edly Termilien 

In recent years, student-athletes have been using their platforms to promote their brands or speak out on social justice issues. One Texas Longhorn football player used his platform to help the pet community. 

Fourth-year offensive lineman Hayden Conner created ‘Paws for a Cause,’ a donation drive event benefiting the Austin Animal Center. Conner’s passion for Paws for the Cause comes from his fostering dogs in high school. He fostered about seven dogs in high school and still does during his college career. 

Hayden Conner: You know, humans, we can advocate for what we are, what our needs are and what we want and animals can’t. So I think it’s important to try and give them as much as they need because we really don’t know kind of what they’re going through and what their needs are.

Termilien: Conner’s ‘Paws for a Cause’ was a team effort, with his parents and his fiance, Paige Zika, playing a crucial role in finding the location and organizing the event. 

Conner: Me and my fiance had the idea of, you know, what if we put together like a donation drive at Mutz Cantina? Because she had been to Mutz before and it’s a phenomenal place. It’s really, really one of a kind. And so we’re like, you know, let’s do it. And they, Mutz was down, Austin animal center was down and we went for it. 

Termilien: Dog lovers and UT football fans are encouraged to bring certain items for donation, such as Peanut Butter, Dog Treats, Dog Bones, and Dog Toys: Squeaky or Stuffy. Additionally, Fleece Blankets, Gently used  towels and flat sheets are also welcome. 

As a bonus, they can get photo ops with Hayden Conner and his teammates, such as Arch Manning, Kendrick Blackshire, Deandre Moore, Michael Taaffe, and Gunnar Helm. 

Conner: You know, get their faces out there more and also to bring more people in because, you know, if it’s just one person, like one Longhorn, people are going to show up. But if there’s six or seven of us, then way more people are going to come. And people get to meet more Longhorns. So it’s a pretty cool situation.

Termilien: Conner will keep using his platform and will create more paws for the cause events 

Conner: I’m finishing up my college career and I feel like my platform is the highest that it’s been right now. And so, you know, I’m just, just trying to do something good for the dogs.

Termilien: People of UT is a production of the Daily Texan audio department. If you liked this episode, make sure you subscribe to The Daily Texan Podcasts on your streaming platform of choice and follow us on Twitter @texanaudio. This episode was reported and edited by me, Edly Termilien. Thank you for listening.


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