We’re all fans here, so let’s be frank: at The University of Texas, there is an awful lot to cheer about. World-changing research. Dynamic professors. Brainy students. Elite athletes. Plus a certain rowdy sport that regularly brings 100,000 of us together in person, and millions more on couches and in bars, to root for our home team.
But at The Alcalde, we’re more than just cheerleaders who toss our pom poms in the air and hurrah when Texas makes a great play but then simply look away when it fouls up. Instead, we’re honest friends who are always thrilled to celebrate the University but are candid when a part of it needs improving.
That’s why in the November|December issue, our cover story detailed the saga of the Cactus Cafe. We looked at how the University miscalculated on its near-closure, why the timing was terrible, and how UT has strived with KUT to make up lost ground. It was a review worth undertaking.
In our March|April issue, we’ve taken a hard look at race in admissions (read “Rewriting Race in Admissions”). The roundtable we convened was an unscripted way for administrators to explain how admissions work now—and to be challenged on how they should or could work in the future. It wasn’t an easy talk to have. There were moments of hurt alongside insight and passion. But again, it was a conversation worth hosting.
Meanwhile, our website, Alcalde.TexasExes.org, pumps daily with the news that people are talking about regarding UT. Some days that’s a cancer breakthrough. Some days it’s Vince Young’s invitation to “dance with the stars.” But other days, it may be a student leader who has offended people with a tweet. Such a thing happened in November, and again in December. It was political, and it got ugly. UT officials said they were embarrassed. But for good or bad, if thousands are talking about The University of Texas, The Alcalde will report on the conversation.
That is the definition of friendship: a willingness not only to encourage each other, but also to have the hard talks when needed, and to be truthful when something goes wrong. Honesty breeds trust. We hope we’ve earned—and keep earning—yours.
—Lynn Freehill, Editor