• International Relations and Global Studies Department should have its own career services program

    Many students choose liberal arts majors as stepping stones for law school or graduate school. However, some students want to start their careers in their particular fields right after graduation. This is especially true among students majoring in International Relations and Global Studies (IRG).

    Many IRG majors want to dedicate their lives and careers to foreign service related fields, but they do not know how to do so because the IRG Department offers limited resources in career services. With the exception of program overview and academic advising, the IRG Department does not have any career related resources.

    Although, College of Liberal Arts Career Services and UT International Affairs Society do provide resources and advice for students looking for careers in foreign service fields, this assistance is often extremely broad. If one does a search on the COLA Career Services website for information on careers related to foreign service fields, numerous results will come with some of them not even relating to foreign service fields. Though COLA Career Services website does have resources for internship and career opportunities, it is mainly focused on professional experience development and preparing students for graduate school. From my own personal experiences, COLA does not do a very good job in advertising its career services department to inform students about their services. Also, the COLA Career Services department has a more hands-off approach in helping their students find career opportunities, which is a problem for IRG majors trying to enter a complex career field that requires expert guidance.

    I believe that the IRG department should establish its own career services department similar to that of the McCombs BBA Career Services department. BBA Career Services is much more hands-on in helping their students to not only find career opportunities, but to secure them as well. Students at McCombs are given professional development classes and major-specific coaching for their career fields. McCombs students are also required to complete an internship before they graduate. If the IRG department can create a similar career services department, IRG students can find internships and receive ample amount of resources for career guidance. Of course, it all depends on whether or not the IRG department has the necessary funds to create such a career resource department. But through such a program’s creation, IRG majors could be better prepared to enter the job market and the IRG department can attract more students.

    The IRG department should have its own career services department similar to that of the McCombs School of Business. The College of Liberal Arts should give IRG students the same amount of hands-on guidance and resources as what McCombs students give business students. This would make the IRG program even more worthwhile than it already is.

    Chen is an Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @ZhelunC.

  • How Paxton indictment and possible resignation could affect UT

    Current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was indicted August 1 on three counts of felony for illegal business practices. While he has yet to be convicted in criminal court on any of these counts, his charges alone have instigated debate as to whether or not he ought to resign from office and end his short tenure as Texas attorney general.

    Paxton's resignation has become a real possibility, as either damaged credibility or impending trial and possible conviction may coerce such action. So the question arises: How would Paxton's resignation affect the University of Texas?

    Any worthy answer to this must first consider Paxton's stances and actions, his history with UT and any issues facing UT that may involve the attorney general's office, then compare his office's predicted responses on such future issues to those of his successor. But, as he is not out of office and without need of a successor (yet), the answer, rather disappointingly, is difficult to know with any certainty.

    But, a review of the relationship between the attorney general's office under Paxton and UT suggests that the latter could be pleased.

    Paxton's office gave express permission to controversial UT System Regent Wallace Hall to file suit against the very system he oversees, so he could gain access to files on admissions previously denied him by the University. The allowance drew the ire of UT System Chancellor William McRaven and, presumably, that of other UT officials. So Paxton's potential evacuation of office could be a boon to the UT System as a long, bitter showdown looms.

    Clark is the Associate Editor. He is an English senior from Lake Highlands. Follow him on Twitter @DavisClarkDT.

  • Why states rights, religious freedom do not belong in a conversation about marriage equality.

    Since marriage equality was legalized nationwide on June 26, right-wing opposition and reactionaries have protested the decision, arguing instead for states’ rights or religious freedom. Each and every Republican presidential candidate opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling under similar excuses, crediting their lack of support to either personal beliefs (religious freedom) or a resistance to “big government” (states rights).  What these protesters fail to grasp is that neither of these things have anything to do with marriage equality.

    Opposition to marriage equality on the basis of religious freedom stems from a simple misunderstanding of what religious freedom means in the context of the First Amendment. As the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The First Amendment explicitly protects the rights of Americans to practice religion. That does not mean the right to infringe beliefs on others. The First Amendment also implicitly protects Americans from practicing religion, meaning they do not have to conform to religious norms of one belief system that is not meaningful to them.

    Another opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the basis of religion is an opposition to the use of the word “marriage”. These opponents claim that marriage was a word created by God to describe the godly union between a man and a woman. What these opponents don’t acknowledge is that we live in a secular state where religion does not control how we define functions of governance, such as lawfully joining two people together in a partnership from which they receive many government benefits, such as tax breaks — maybe it’s just me, but “marriage” has a much more succinct ring than that. What these opponents also don’t grasp, apparently, is that even if God created the word marriage, he also did not create the ability of his followers to dictate how others conduct their lives (read: freewill).

    Other opponents to marriage equality claim that it should be decided by states or by popular votes by state populations. While this isn’t necessarily a horrible idea all on its own, it is ignorant of just how ready Americans are to deny each other basic civil rights when they have the ability to do so. During the desegregation of schools in the 1950s, opponents also claimed that the states should be able to decide; they sought the ability for states to decide so that the same states could block the desegregation of schools because of bigotry and racism. States cannot always be trusted to pass or enforce moral legislation; take for example any of the 20 anti-LGBT legislation that thankfully was not passed this session. This is why the Supreme Court is important: they are able to judge the constitutionality of government measures independent of flawed and sometime immoral legislators or constituents.

    I understand pushing back against new policies that one does not agree with —having an active and vocal populace is the fundamental strength of a democracy. What I do not understand is people trying to rewrite the Constitution to fit their own narrow views and deny equality to others, simply because LGBT people are different from them. The Constitution loses all meaning when it is recklessly assigned to the defense of any given belief, but especially so when such a belief is in direct opposition to the ruling of the Constitution’s interpreters and the highest Court in the land. The opposition to same-sex marriage is playing a dangerous game by making this conversation about anything other than equality.

    Smith is a humanities and history senior. Smith is the editor-in-chief.

  • Communal sigh of relief as Google announces 'undo send' feature

    Google recently made its undo send email feature available to all gmail users on computer platforms. The feature, once activated by users, provides a delayed send period, customizable from 5 to 30 seconds, in which the choice to send can be cancelled.

    The six year development of this obviously useful feature has sparked curiosity. One long-time computer industry analyst suggests that Google simply forgot about it amid a large vault of beta testing projects. Whatever the reason for the long test period, critical reception has been entirely, if unsurprisingly, positive.

    Reviews have roundly praised the benefit of preventing accidental mistakes, such as sending to the wrong person, typos and other like errors. This will spare consequences ranging from personal or  professional embarrassment to serious privacy violation. In case you are of the rare breed that has not brushed with such email concerns, here are some examples of how emails can go dreadfully wrong.

    Despite the useful relief of some of the immense anxiety that plagues email, the feature should not be a crutch that enables sloppy work, knowing that a simple ‘undo send’ watches over you. Rather, it is a reconciliation of the facts that people make mistakes in life and many online programs lock in such mistakes immediately and without recourse. Google had the capability to help and now it has.

    The business world is especially likely to take notice of the acknowledgement that mistakes occur in a world increasingly dominated by instant and irrevocable communication. Text messages and work chat programs are increasingly competing with email, pitching speed and ease of use. Amid this competitive environment, Google’s new feature has strengthened its defense against such competition.

    To say that the undo send feature has abated alternative communication systems’ encroachment upon email in the business world would be extreme. It has, however, gone some way in gaining support from many of gmail’s 900 million users. And, it is an interesting reminder that in a technological world dominated by ruthless and unceasing innovation that a simple development can be among the most beneficial.  

    Clark is an Associate Editor.

  • #Testaburger10

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s announcement June 17 that a woman will be on the redesigned $10 bill in 2020 created quite a flurry of public excitement and comment. Most of the initial responses were expected: enthusiasm for the women’s rights victory, desire for further progress, resentment from our more obtuse peers, etc. But, no matter the opinion, the most pressing and intriguing question gripped them all: Who is she going to be?

    Lew bravely stuck his neck out by asking that great vat of absurdity, the internet, to brainstorm. Maybe he knew how amusing some of the responses would be and wanted to uplift spirits around the all-beige-everything atmosphere of the Treasury. Or maybe he wanted to finally convince his kids that he’s still “hip and with it.” Whatever the case may be, the internet did not disappoint.

    Suggestions ranged from mysteriously still popular Honey Boo Boo to Shania Twain for her “GREAT music."

    While these suggestions, and many others of equal intellectual consideration, are (sort of) what Lew asked for, none can make the cut, as the Treasury’s only condition was that the woman be dead. But, you guessed it, social media was undeterred, as the likes of Beyonce and Taylor Swift drew large support anyway, alongside the aforementioned possibilities. I’m not surprised at either the emphatic support of the two pop heavyweights or the American public’s reluctance to follow even one rule. So, in keeping with the absurd undercurrent of less-than-likely nominees, I’ll toss a criminally underappreciated name into the ring.

    I throw my full support behind Wendy Testaburger, the long embattled women’s rights advocate on the popular show "South Park". The animated fourth grader has endured seventeen seasons of some of television’s most vile and offensive content with the utmost grace and maturity. Her appeal strengthens with the multitude of demographics and interests she covers: women’s rights, animated character interests, millennial concerns and many others. Also, as a non-living character, the death criteria is not an issue. To give social media the spark it needs to thrust her campaign into the spotlight, I’ll throw in a hashtag. Let’s hear it for #Testaburger10.

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