School’s back! Maybe you’re not yelling that on Speedway (though you should when you see us), but hopefully you feel the energy!
Whether you’re just joining the Longhorn family or returning for a victory lap, we are excited to spend this year with you on the 40 Acres. Perhaps you spent your summer studying abroad, completing an internship, or binge-watching every episode of Game of Thrones like Alejandrina. Regardless, we’re pumped to see how you make this semester your best one yet!
As the year kicks off, we have plenty to be excited about: the start of a new football season, reconnecting with friends, and winter being here! (Sorry, we’ll stop.) Take a moment and try something cool on campus! Play an intramural sport you haven’t before, explore the LBJ Library (it’s free for students!), race Alejandrina on your way to class, or take in the best views of Austin during a Tower Tour.
And while the start of the school year is a celebratory time, it is also important to reflect on the adversity that many students are facing. Two weeks into the semester, Hurricane Harvey has affected many of our hometowns, and the decision to rescind DACA has caused despair among our peers. This follows a spring semester in which we dealt with the hardship of loss, as well as hateful groups that sought to divide and demean members of our community.
These struggles are real. That does not limit our ability to take these moments as opportunities to rally, support one another and create a more inclusive campus. We envision an action-minded and empowered student body — together, we can accomplish goals much bigger than ourselves. We witnessed as much this Labor Day weekend when first-generation students came together at the First Gen Kickoff to support incoming first-years and build community. We’ve seen it again with students’ responses to Harvey. The Black Student Alliance, Chabad Jewish Student Organization, Student Bar Association and many others sent supplies, volunteers and funds to victims of the disaster.
Coming into our roles in Student Government, we wanted to bridge the gaps between different communities and Represent All Longhorns Like You. Five months later, our focus remains the same. We want to use our platforms in Student Government to empower your voice and bring students together. If there is one message we can send at the beginning of the year, it is this: YOU are the power of this University; use your voice to change the world because the power is in YOUR hands.
Much of this University was built on the shoulders of fearless leaders, and your ideas, passion and voice help transform UT for the better. It can be as simple as advocating for hammocks on campus or adding a building like the Student Activity Center. This university wouldn’t be the same without you, so it’s time to get to work. In the words of our External Financial Director, Cameron Maxwell, “it’s easy to tweet about it, but harder to be about it.”
Longhorns, let’s be about it this semester.
Guzman is a government and Mexican-American studies 5th-year. Wolf is a Plan II, business honors and psychology senior. They serve as the student body president and vice president.