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Date Posted: Tue, February 01 2005, 12:30:25
Author: Duck
Subject: Alumnus Perspective from Shorthorn

Administrators’ decision-making process has not changed

I read the Jan. 28 edition of The Shorthorn and the opinion pieces by Hunter Bonner (“A Vote Not Counted”) and Cole Dowden (“Where’s the Beef?”) with a sense of nostalgia and bemusement. These two students were outraged and confused by President James Spaniolo’s decision not to pursue any kind of football program at UTA now, despite the clear expression of desire by the student body (and the alumni) to have a football program — any kind of football program. Instead, we are to be graced with things that we did not seek and will not use to any significant degree.

I have been under the impression that college students today are more mature and sophisticated than 30 years ago. But I see that there is still some innocence that they have not stolen from you yet. Let me help you cope with this rejection of your overwhelming support and plea for football. This university’s administration does not care what you think or what you want, and it has not cared for a very long time. To my recollection, there has not been a single student referendum that the university has adopted or implemented since before I graduated. I can think of several that they just plain ignored over the years—this is only the most recent. Your opinions are simply irrelevant unless, of course, they happen to coincide with those of the chief administrators and the UT System Board of Regents, who view UTA as a nuisance.

UTA will build the special events center because the administration, the regents and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce want it. Very few students, alumni or citizens will ever sit in its chairs, but no one will ever be blamed for its failure. If you think that your alma mater wants or needs anything from you beyond your blind praise and your financial contribution, then you still have some very hard lessons to learn. You might as well get over it now and lavish your loyalty and money on some adopted university; that is what so many of us have done, although there is a huge contingent of alumni ready to return with our hearts and our pocketbooks.

So, welcome to the ranks of the disenchanted, disenfranchised and the plain disappointed. That is what it truly means to be UTA alumni.

— Orson Paxton is a 1972 UTA alumnus.

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