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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

No matter how diverse a staff we have here at The Daily Texan, there will always be moments where the most qualified voices to speak on a topic are not our own. Whether an issue is personal, political or technical, it is our responsibility to amplify the perspectives of those most directly affected by or invested in it, on or off the 40 Acres.

To fulfill that responsibility, we’re excited to announce the return of our Forum page this semester, providing a platform to anyone with a thought-provoking idea or story to share.

Every Friday, Forum will allow those who wish to bring light to some issue on campus or elsewhere to do so in a safe and public manner. It will feature submitted op-eds from members of the Longhorn community with additional commentary provided as necessary by The Daily Texan’s opinion department. Our goal is to help start — or continue — important campus conversations, contributing where we can and standing to the side when we should.

In particular, we’re aiming to highlight the work of Student Government, the Graduate Student Assembly and the Senate of College Councils. Too often the words, “What does Student Government even do?” are uttered to uncaring ears — leaving these organizations disconnected from and sometimes even unaccountable to the people they ostensibly represent. That divide cuts off discussions that could produce material improvements to the quality of life on campus.

So at The Daily Texan, we care about these debates — and we think that you should, too. That’s why the Forum page and podcast will regularly feature the writers, supporters and opponents of legislation and proposals. Every student should have enough information to form opinions about campus issues, and we’d like to help expand the discourse surrounding those issues beyond the halls of the SAC.

Today, we’re featuring a piece fromSantiago Rosales, the speaker of the SG Assembly. This Tuesday, the organization introduced its annual budget and a resolution that would create new positions working under its communications director. Rosales emphasizes that SG has big plans for the year, and we’re excited to check in with him and his fellow representatives regularly throughout the semester.

Rounding out this week’s Forum is an op-ed from Kassidy Knight, the president of the University Panhellenic Council. During the Panhellenic rush period, the University Co-op retweeted a video of Alpha Delta Pi’s welcome door chant, which went on to receive a swift and viral backlash from both Twitter users and numerous news publications worldwide. While some of this backlash (perhaps rightly) pointed out the lack of diversity among the members filling the sorority house’s doorframe, others were quick to personally attack them on less justifiable grounds. Knight’s piece addresses some of these concerns.

We hope that Forum not only informs and educates the UT community as a whole, but empowers and inspires individual Longhorns to speak their minds and make a difference on campus. If you would like to join the conversation, don’t hesitate to send us your thoughts at editor@dailytexanonline.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Chase is a Plan II and economics senior from Royse City. He is the Editor-in-Chief. Kashar is an American Studies sophomore from Scarsdale, New York, and Shenhar is a Plan II, economics and government senior from Westport, Connecticut. They are the Forum Editors.