Lauren Winchester: editor-in-chief
It’s a difficult time to be a student at the University of Texas.
This past year, the University suffered through several rounds of budget cuts, and students — not to mention faculty and staff — were left to weather the effects.
But the budget ax is still swinging, and it’s not expected to stop anytime soon.
In early August, President William Powers Jr. warned that more state budget cuts may be forthcoming, and that could mean fewer jobs, fewer classes and higher student-faculty ratios at UT.
The budget is a complicated and unglamorous subject — and also one of the most important issues on campus.
On the editorial page, I want to analyze the news that’s most relevant to students and the UT community, but I also want to make sure that news is interesting and informative. I hope that by making a complicated issue such as budget cuts understandable and approachable, more students will become involved in the process, whether it’s through guest columns or Firing Lines, or by other efforts such as protesting or student governance.
This philosophy holds true for all subjects we cover on the page, not just those relating to the budget. So chime in and let us know what you’re thinking and become involved with University issues.
Douglas Luippold: associate editor
During the summer, the editorial board helped pressure the administration to rename Simkins Hall Dormitory, analyzed budget cuts and heard a sitting president speak on campus.
Throughout these episodes, we developed an amicable relationship with the new Student Government administration, which represented student interests by co-sponsoring the Simkins forums and helping secure student access for Obama’s visit.
Hopefully this refreshing approach will continue through the fall and our student leaders won’t blink when the lights get bright with campus-wide scrutiny. With budget cuts and a legislative session on the horizon, we need leaders to look out for students. If they don’t, we’ll let everyone know.
Speaking of budget cuts, one of my biggest goals for this semester is to explain and help students understand the behemoth that is UT budgeting. This, of course, will require me to first understand the UT budget process, but I’m up for the challenge.
As a government major, I also take a special interest in the upcoming elections. The student issues at stake this November are numerous: health care, post-graduation employment and education funding — just to name a few.
In an election already rife with platitudes and abstractions, I will stick to evaluating candidates’ impact on students and leave deficit reduction and immigration policy to people smarter than me.
Similarly, while the excitement and competition of elections gets the blood flowing, I will try not to neglect local issues. My job is to make zoning restrictions and parking meters as interesting as Gov. Rick Perry’s race against Bill White.
This is my fifth semester working for the Texan, and my second as an editor. I am a government and journalism senior from Carrollton, a suburb north of Dallas.
Viviana Aldous: associate editor
I’ve spent the last few days wondering why my roommate placed a Texas lone star above her bed. Texas pride, like New Orleans’ undying love for the Saints, is inexplicable and oftentimes incomprehensible to outsiders. I experienced Texas for the first time when I spent the night in my car, parked at a Houston truck stop immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Five years later, I’m a Plan II and philosophy junior, and, as you may have guessed, I’m from New Orleans.
Though this is the first time my name has appeared on the opinion page, I’ve worked for The Daily Texan since my freshman year. I was a reporter for three semesters, when I covered topics ranging from the tuition hikes to Plan B contraceptive, and last spring I was an associate news editor.
It’s been interesting to see the issues our campus has faced and students’ responses to them, and I hope this page will remain an outlet for dialogue among the campus community.
Dave Player: associate editor
A lot changed on campus this summer. UT joined the Pac-10, then didn’t. We had a dorm named after a former Klansman, then we didn’t. I had never shaken a sitting president’s hand, then I did. What working for the Texan lacks in pay grade, it makes up for in unforgettable experiences.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around UT. The UT-centric approach isn’t mine alone; just visit College Station to experience evidence of their inferiority complex, including a fight song that mentions our school more than theirs. This disdain is not confined to Aggies either. Longhorn haters throughout the state often decry the sense of elitism and entitlement they perceive from their burnt-orange clad neighbors.
But can you really blame us? In the past year the city of Austin has been named one of the best cities for business, environmentalism and job growth. Its citizens are constantly ranked as the most fit, intelligent and artistic.
However, that certainly doesn’t mean Austin or UT is infallible. As great as it is to be a Longhorn, there’s plenty wrong with our University. So, if it seems as if the opinions page is constantly the bearer of bad news, well, sorry. Someone has to do it.
Susannah Jacob: associate editor
I’m a sophomore, history major and a largely untalented, but still practicing, pianist. I think E.B. White hung the moon. The limits of my age and experiences don’t evade me; to that end, to write authoritatively for The Daily Texan editorial page, I will make an extra effort, as I have in my past columns, to bring the voices of others into my writing. Reporting makes writing fun for me and, I believe, makes my writing more engaging for readers.
I’ve served as a columnist at The Daily Texan for the past two summers and wrote for the Life&Arts section during the school year. As a columnist, I covered local and national subjects, ranging from a 5-year-old’s constitutional right to a specific hairstyle to Texas prosecutors’ proper use of DNA testing.
This semester, as an associate editor, I hope to address similarly relevant yet overlooked issues — such as the effect of last year’s budget cuts on this year’s UT foreign language classes. I also want to use my pulpit to identify exemplary everyday types who set an example for the rest of us. I don’t discount the importance of writing with a sense of humor, but I reserve my right to do so when I’m actually funny.