UT is not being a nice neighbor right now. In case you missed it in Thursday’s Daily Texan, the University is trying to buy out Players, a generations-old, alumni-owned business that students frequent. Located on the southwest edge of our campus, adjacent to the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, it has served students for decades, but it won’t for much longer if the University gets its way and purchases the land.
The University won’t yet reveal its plans for the plot, but considering our bleak budget realities, I’m not expecting undergraduate teaching facilities or student services. And it probably won’t be turned into a popular student hangout that serves affordably priced dinner either.
UT has a spotty record when it comes to being a good neighbor in our community. The original 40 acres didn’t become the current 350 purely through friendly business transactions. And that’s putting it nicely. The University is not giving due consideration to how its actions affect undergraduates and is inciting ill will among community members. Moreover, UT should be fostering — not dismantling — local businesses, and it should certainly not be strong-arming its own alumni into selling their enterprises. As students who care about this institution, we ought to hold it to a higher standard. We’re not powerless here.
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