SWT Claiming To Be “Flagship University” in the TSU System

Below is an article in today’s Southwest Texas State University’s student newspaper (The University Star) where one of the student writers is already claiming that if SWT is changed to TSUSM that they will become the “flagship” university for the TSU System. I thought that they had repeatedly stated this was not the case yet here is their own newspaper and their writer stating that their Student Body President is furthering this stance.

Can we please speak out against this and address it immediately as we don’t want SHSU to become any institution’s step-child! We must make note of this and come out against it to secure our hard earned stature!

Columnist agrees with Doerr’s effort for name change

Jay MillsStar Columnist After reading Associated Student Government President Robert Doerr’s article (April 15) making the case for the name change, I have been inspired to speak out and not be in the silent majority. I am of the mind that the folks who are in favor of making the switch to the new name must be more vocal in their opinions. It seems to me the reasoning for the new name far outweighs the reasoning to keep the status quo.

The main purpose for this name change is to further the image of the university and establish it as the flagship school in a newly ordained Texas State University system. Not only will this mean more funding and grant money for the school, but it will also make your degree much more valuable. That can’t be a bad thing, now can it? And the great part is that because it will be paid through private donations, it will not cost the taxpayers a dime.

Here’s another note worth taking. Almost every state in the union has a University of ____ and a State University (e.g. Florida, Florida State). However, Texas does not have this. If such a thing were ever going to be implemented by the state Legislature, our campus would always be considered the lead contender for the role. We have the fourth highest enrollment and the third highest admissions standards in the state. The potential role SWT could play on the educational scene would be a huge opportunity to gain the reputation this university deserves. Think about it. Would a Seminole be compared to a Gator on the same level if his school were named Western Florida State?

I have heard many arguments against the name change. The one I hear more often than any other is “I didn’t enroll myself at Texas State. I signed up to go to Southwest Texas.” The last time I checked, the school was not going anywhere, just the name. Can you honestly say the main reason you decided to come to SWT was because you thought it had a cool name? I argue that it is not that cute little acronym but the environment that makes SWT such a great school.

So you say you don’t want to be called Texas State University at San Marcos. That last part just drives you nuts, doesn’t it? Who would ever want to go to a college with such a town-like name? I have heard so many people complain about how they will have to explain the name of the school to every future employer that crosses their path. Even this publication thought the proposed name was so ridiculous that they ran a parody about it on April Fools’ Day. Well, guess what my fellow Bobcats? If you are a Longhorn, then you graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. If you are an Aggie, you graduated from Texas A&M University at College Station. Because these institutions are the bases for their respective satellite campuses, they are commonly referred to by their root name. How often have you heard a conversation where someone says “So where are you studying?” with another responding “Texas A&M, you know, the one in College Station.”

By establishing ourselves as the flagship school for a Texas State educational system, we would become the base for schools like Sam Houston State University or Stephen F. Austin State University. And once our position becomes cemented, people will no longer ask what Texas State means, just as people no longer ask what UT means.

For those who hold on for tradition’s sake, I offer these words to meditate on: This policy was pushed by people who care about SWT and who are committed to making this university stronger and more competitive. Their motivation behind the proposed name change is ultimately vision and progress – progress by the means of a new image and vision for a bigger, better tomorrow. These two principles must become part of the tradition here if we are ever going to be taken seriously. The prestige that comes along with the new name will not be of the Ivy League variety as some people sarcastically put it. It will help move us in a direction I hope most SWT students aspire to go in. There are many, including myself, who feel the time has come for this institution to step up to the plate and play with the big dogs. We can take this opportunity and run with it, or we can be content with where we are. I applaud Doerr for his tireless efforts and his service to this university.

Jay Mills is a marketing senior. He can be reached at jmills@universitystar.com.


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