After months of terrible jokes and overexplaining other writers’ pieces, this week’s Forum is our last of the semester. In our place in next Friday’s issue will be the opinion department -30- columns, where departing members of our staff will say goodbye to The Daily Texan. But today, we want to say thank you to all of those who have written for us this year. It’s been a great run.
David Laude, senior vice provost for strategic initiatives and a chemistry professor known for his lively in-class demonstrations, caps off this year’s Forum contributions with a paean to the class of 2017, the first to matriculate under the University’s four-year graduation initiative. While some members of our staff have mixed feelings about this focus, we accept that improving educational access in this state is a worthwhile goal and are excited to clear the way for future Longhorns, voluntarily or not.
For the Texan, at least, it helps ease the transition that those taking over for us are more talented than we are. Among them is incoming editor-in-chief Laura Hallas, who writes for us this week about experiential learning programs that can help students develop professional experience while receiving financial aid. This issue is one that has interested those of us in management positions at The Daily Texan for years, and we hope to see the paper find ways to invest in its staffers in the future, especially those who could not participate without that help.
Before we step out, we owe it to ourselves to reflect on what we’ve done wrong, and what good has happened despite our best efforts. First and foremost, we owe a large thanks to the public figures both across and outside of the political spectrum who have written for our page this year — especially those who students tend to disagree with. We owe a special acknowledgment, then, to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for discussing tuition set-asides and to UT System Chancellor William McRaven for discussing his position on kneeling during the national anthem. We encourage more of these interactions going forward, and hope that all politicians who serve our students will heed McRaven’s words on the importance of media.
We also owe a word of thanks to Kevin Helgren and Binna Kim, who set aside hours during their hectic tenure as president and vice president of Student Government to make their voices heard many times over the past year on issues that have deeply affected our campus. We hope that Alejandrina Guzman and Micky Wolf can live up to the example they have set.
All that said, we still have another week of classes left, and, with it, another week to take your contributions and discuss the issues that you care about most. We prepare to leave an institution that, while deeply flawed, is well worth fixing and is invaluable to those such as us on the way out. Send your words to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll give improving it one last shot.
Chase is a Plan II and economics senior from Royse City. Shenhar is a Plan II, economics and government senior from Westport, Connecticut. Vernon is an anthropology and rhetoric and writing sophomore from The Woodlands.