• Perry-Castañeda Library renovations will benefit students

    The Perry-Castañeda Library will start renovating the ground floor in December 2015. The 7,400-square-foot area will be reconstructed as prime spaces for research and studying by graduate students and faculty.  

    While plenty of attention is paid to the undergraduate services offered on campus the services supported for graduate students often seem minimal. As part of its Scholars Common pilot, designed to provide graduate students more visible help, the PCL plans to utilize its capacity and resources more effectively to make graduate students and faculty aware that there are PCL spaces and services just for them. 

    “On the entry level, I want the graduate students coming to see there’s something for them dedicated to their needs and the way they expect to use space,” said Jenifer Flaxbart, head librarian of research and information services for the PCL. 

    It is acknowledged that people have different study patterns: Some perform better when studying by themselves while others are more productive working in groups. 

    Though the PCL offers about 135 closed study rooms for PhD candidates, the number of students on the waiting list generally range from 5 to 20, according to Flaxbart. With the establishment of Scholars Common, graduate students can have the option of studying in a quiet space, or, if they prefer, going to the student landing spot to network with other students or have dissections.  

    In addition, the renovation is a pilot program that may have a bigger impact. After polling key constituencies, the PCL plans to use what it has learned to create larger, more compelling commons to accommodate more people on other floors. 

    For now, I just hope that this is a good way to reorganize the space, which can be fully utilized by students’ purposes. 

    The PCL is currently completing a survey seeking the opinions of graduate students, faculty, post-docs and staff about the services, spaces and technology support they wish the library could provide. To participate in this survey, visit the following link: https://utexas.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5mCUedZJ1kxk7at

    Liu is an associate editor.

  • Senior apathy

  • Print op-ed deadline for this semester is tomorrow

    Have you ever wanted to see your opinions expressed in the print edition of The Daily Texan?

    If so, the deadline to submit an op-ed is tomorrow. Op-eds for online publication only will still be considered after that.

    Please send your submissions to editor@dailytexanonline.com. But first, please check out our op-ed guidelines to be sure you're not missing anything.

    The last print edition of the Texan this semester is May 8. We look forward to reading your submissions!

    Brands is editor-in-chief.

  • Citizens of character should seek out professional successes

    Engaging people who are making positive contributions is a step toward the sacrificial quality Jeremi Suri refers to in his recent column about developing citizens of character. Accepting sacrifice, Suri says, builds character because it makes citizens strive for what they really value. While developing your interests and passions, develop yourself as an advocate. When your passions align with advocacy, sacrifice no longer seems like the burden it’s often made out to be.

    Doing well and doing good requires a balancing act. Doing well for yourself is something most undergraduates think about. We are programmed to look at job prospects. That’s the way our educational system is structured — you pay in and eventually you need to be paid back. Schools are ranked by job placement and salary, which encourages students to pick their majors based on postgraduate statistics. But meaningful work does not always come with a salary.

    That being said, doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive things. The latter just requires a bit more creativity. There’s so much we can do as students, outside of our majors, to find our means of advocacy.

    To begin with, discover your interests and stay curious. This is a research university, and the professors here do more than teach. They research. They’re activists. They’re innovators.

    Our professors have done anything from helping develop a late-stage cure for exposure to anthrax to serving as national security advisers under the president. If you’re interested in something, there will be a professor who writes about it or has done work in the field.

    Eureka, an online UT database, profiles faculty members with information about their research interests. Professors are great resources for academic, professional and personal guidance. They’re plugged into the University, so they can refer you to organizations and other interesting people. Find the people making positive contributions, doing things you’re interested in and engage them.

    Shah is a business and government sophomore from Temple.