Thor and Wills Facebook
Wills Brown, left, and Thor Lund, right
UT Student Body President Thor Lund and Vice President Wills Brown launched their first UT Student Government YouTube Address on Wednesday, which aims to inform students of their progress in an effort to be more transparent and keep students up-to-date with Student Government.
Student Body President Thor Lund and Student Body Vice President Wills Brown took to YouTube to release several announcements Wednesday, the most notable of which pertains to UT’s Perry-Casteñeda Library.
“Starting in mid-October, the PCL will be open 24 hours, five days a week,” said Lund in the video address to students. “We always thought students deserved a safe, secure and centrally-located place on campus to study.”
“During the campaign, we were known as the ’24-hour PCL guys,’” added Brown. “We’re happy that this student-led initiative has come to fruition.”
The PCL will operate on its regular hours until mid-October, when many students begin to take midterms. After that point, the PCL will stay open 24 hours per day, Sunday through Thursday. Beginning the last week of classes, the library will remain open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, as it has in the past.
Why was the PCL chosen over the other campus libraries? According to the two leaders, it's the most well-rounded library at the university.
"PCL has everything you need. It's the biggest library and easiest to access," Lund told The Horn.
Library security will also be increased.
"Additional security guards will be hired so that students can still feel free to enter and use the PCL,” said Brown. “We understand safety is always a concern and we want this campus to be a safe haven.”
State of the Forty Acres
Both Lund and Brown spent the summer on campus working on various initiatives they campaigned on. They frequently broadcasted details about their work and progress via Twitter, and they’re now adding Youtube to the arsenal of social media through which they hope to engage and inform students.
“One of the ways we want to serve students is by having a monthly YouTube series that we’re going to call ‘State of the Forty Acres,’” said Lund in the video. “We want to provide this as a way to inform you of what’s going on and stay connected with you.”
This is the first in the series of monthly updates, produced in conjunction with Texas Student Television, which aims to inform the students of what the pair have been doing since their come-from-behind win in campus-wide elections in April. It is also a way for students to stay up-to-date with Student Government as a whole, said Lund. He and Brown plan to release more videos updating viewers on progress that has been made and changes that might occur.
In this first installment of their series, Lund and Brown said they have also worked to improve healthy food options on campus at night, and that Jester City Market, a university-operated convenience store in Jester Center that sells a variety of food and beverages, will now remain open until midnight. Prufrock's Java City, a cafe adjacent to the lobby of PCL, will also be working on new menu options that include items such as wraps, sandwiches and salads.
Lund and Brown have also worked with the Texas Exes and UT Athletics, which reached out to Student Government to publicize welcome events that will take place Wednesday evening.
The first is Orange and White Welcome, hosted by Texas Exes Student Chapter, which will begin at 4 p.m. at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. According to TexasSports.com, the event will feature free barbecue dinner for students, free giveaways and the opportunity to join TESC. At 6:15 p.m., across the street in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the Texas Exes Spirit and Traditions Council will host its sixth-annual “Big Yell,” at which students will get a crash course in campus history as well as past and present traditions. The event will end with a town hall-style question-and-answer event featuring Longhorns head football coach Mack Brown.
Lund and Brown also told The Horn that the number of intramural sports offered in each semester will soon increase. Lund and Brown worked with the Division of RecSports over the summer to implement a full season, five-on-five basketball league in both fall and spring semesters. Football will also now be offered in both semesters.
"IM sports are a great way to meet new friends and get exposed to another fun side of the university,” said Wills.
"I want students to know we are here for them. At the end of the day, regardless of our titles, we are regular students,” said Lund. "They can talk to us. I want them to talk to us. It's our duty to make them proud to be Longhorns."