Jan Ross Piedad

Editor’s Note: This year four candidates are running for three available voting seats on the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees, which oversees The Daily Texan, the Cactus yearbook, the Texas Travesty humor publication, Texas Student Television and the KVRX 91.7 FM radio station. Three candidates are running for the two at-large seats and one student for the one open Moody College of Communication seat. Candidates were asked shortly after their certification to write two 500-word columns. The second column focuses on a topic of the candidate’s choosing relating to their campaign. Candidates who participated wrote their own headlines. Only light typographical corrections were made. Among the at-large candidates, the top two vote-getters will be seated. Jan Ross Piedad, the Moody College of Communication candidate, has written a column that is running here. She agreed to forgo print space. For more information on the candidates, please visit our candidate database here.

I wish someone else were reading this. That’s not because I don’t like you, quite the opposite. I admire that you are here, but that’s just it, you’re already here.

You sought this piece out. You’re reading this because you care about the welfare of your campus. You see The Daily Texan as a valuable way to take the pulse of our little microcosm of the world. I don’t mean to say I don’t want you to read this but I wish someone who doesn’t usually look at the Texan gave it a chance today.

I wish that person would stumble on this paper for once, see the passion of the writers, feel the combination of journalistic talent and fresh perspectives, marvel at the quality at their fingertips, and — after all of that — find my little corner here. I want to talk to that person about what they saw in these pages and pixels. I want them to talk to me about the brilliance here already and the greatness that could be. 

The best version of this outlet, and our whole student media footprint at this university, is still out there. Between the storied tradition of each source and the progressive ideas out in the student body, the constant consumers and the part-time fans and the people who have never listened or read or watched. 

At their best, our student media presence is in dialogue with its history and future at once. KVRX throws an hour of Texas country against a show of video game scores and dares the listener to find a station-wide identity beyond that eclecticism. 

The Daily Texan was the leading voice for de-segregation of campus decades ago and a forum for the President of IFC and members of minority groups on campus to have a healthy conversation about their disconnect a week ago.  Our student-produced pages and airwaves should reflect our community as a whole. While we are doing a good job as it stands, we can never realize that goal unless more people join the conversation. 

The responsibility to seek that better version of our media presence falls to both consumers and management. Obviously editors and managers and producers understand their role, but the audience and the manager’s manager need to come to terms with their place in that process.  That’s where I can help.

If elected to the Texas Student Media Board, I want to work toward that understanding. The board needs to pursue the dueling goals of preserving these institutions and pushing them toward greatness. I want to be a part of that process. I want to take part in guiding these outlets into a creative renaissance while financially ensuring their welfare. 

In an ideal world, 50,000 or more people would be engaged with these media. I dream of a Texan media big tent with breadth of perspectives and consumption. At the same time, that size should not hinder us in pushing on to a better tomorrow.  I take back what I said, I’m glad you’re not someone else. I just wish you brought more friends. 

Proctor is an English and business honors senior from Nashville. He is running for an at-large seat on the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees.

Editor's Note: Jan Ross Piedad, the Moody College of Communication candidate, has written the following column on a topic of the her choosing relating to her campaign. She agreed to forgo print space.

In a recent job interview, I was asked to describe myself in three words. At the time, it felt like a moment of cosmic karma. I had asked the same confusing, oddly personal query to my fellow colleagues about a year ago while working at the University Interscholastic League, featuring students assistants across all departments and backgrounds. Thoughtful expressions and a brainstorming session tended to follow, but I didn’t have the same luxury when put on the spot this time. Here’s where I eventually arrived: hardworking, flexible and visionary.

This season of campus-wide elections, I am on the ballot to represent the Moody College of Communication on the Texas Student Media Board of Operation Trustees and it is my heartfelt belief that the same qualities will embolden success for the position. As a third-year journalism major, student life isn’t just about assessments and the next student organization meeting, there’s stories and group projects too. It’s a personal truth that I work much harder and better when the effort is for a group, when the product is a direct reflection of more than just me.

Whether it stands for three people, five TSM properties, all of the University and beyond, I will commit to benefit the many. My flexibility in what I am able to do as a multimedia journalist, as well what I am willing to do as a leader, are assets to the responsibility of representing the diverse departments of the Moody College. Visionary is less of a prophecy but more of a purpose. Last summer, I was the sole student representing the University at the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, a three week seminar with students, professors and media professionals belonging to all parts of the world. From the experience, I grew to appreciate the gift of education and an understanding for media literacy: the practice of analyzing, evaluating and creating messages through an assortment of mediums for a critical and culturally competent outcome. Media literacy is lifelong discipline and I believe the practice is where the future of these media entities can be.

My greatest connections to TSM are my two semesters on The Daily Texan editorial staff and three years volunteering for Texas Student Television. Now working primarily on social media for Good Morning Texas, I see the potential we have to connect as a community. There’s a need to recognize that yes, we do have a radio station, TV studio and satirical publication working right here on campus. And you can join as well. Promotional efforts are one a few things I will work to address during my term, along with greater interconnectedness between the five entities and appeals for updated equipment. Because yes, I work with those cameras, soundboards and computers too.

Service is at the center of my values and it is my deepest hope that I could be of help to a greater cause. In the past few years, I have been involved with a variety non-profit organizations for a range of purposes, from college scholarships to child advocacy to hosting globally-focused events. One similarity between all these efforts is effective communication, and everyone needs a little more of that in our lives. The special thing about TSM properties is the long-standing tradition of student expression across print, radio and television, documenting the UT Austin community daily. It is important to uphold this legacy to create a more inclusive, creative campus through TSM properties: The Texas Travesty, Cactus Yearbook, KVRX, Texas Student Television, and The Daily Texan.