Campus is beautiful this time of year. Take an evening stroll (which I am sure many of you do as students working on projects late into the night) and you'll notice not just the beauty of the campus architecture but the living history that exists on our great campus. From the six pack (the set of six liberal arts buildings surrounding the south mall in front of the tower) with statues of figures from the most important wars of UT's beginnings, World War I and the Civil War, to Garrison Hall adorned with the names of Texas Heroes engraved on the exterior, to the grand ole' Burleson Bells still ringing outside of the Bass Concert Hall, (the original incomplete set of bells for the carillon of the UT tower) our campus is rich in history and demonstrates a sense of vibrant Texas Pride.
Now come inside the Gates Dell Computer Science Complex (GDC) on the UT campus, a gorgeous building and perhaps the most beautiful on campus. Students, faculty, and staff alike from all over campus flock to our UT home to study on our terraces, grab a cup of coffee from the Qualcomm Cafe in between breaks, and admire the winding wooden staircase spiraling 5 flights tall. We got it all, a top rated program, great faculty, amazing staff, talented students, and a beautiful building. However, like other building interiors on campus, there's one thing that I feel GDC lacks: the presence of Texas. Now I am not proposing that we plant a giant bronze statue of Bevo (although a friend of mine did mention a Bevo statue made of computers would be cool...) in the middle of the atrium of the GDC nor a cowboy hat for ever incoming UTCS freshman. However, as we build our culture in this new home for the UTCS community perhaps we should not forget what university we are hosted at and what state we are a part of.
Go to orientation, go to a UT athletic event, really go to any UT campus-wide event, and you'll hear the commonly used chants such as "Texas!" and "Fight," "We are Texas," and of course the "Eyes of Texas are Upon You." For you out of state folks, I am sure you know Texans and not just Longhorns, are obsessed with pride in their State, after all Texas is a state of mind. As UT students, we can say all of this stuff, but do we really know what it means or even care? This doesn't have to to be this way. While when I walk into the GDC today, I feel as if I have walked into the Museum of Modern Art (minus the gift shop, Starry Night, and the Warhol paintings of course). Don't get me wrong, the art is beautiful and very thought provoking. If you haven't gotten a chance to examine Casey Reas' recent addition to GDC, I highly suggest you do so! However, perhaps a touch of Texas could add a little flair of home to GDC instead of resembling the latest IKEA catalog.
Let this be a call to action. I hope that the next piece of public art that UTCS adds to the collection of cultural treasures in the building will be something that reflects the ideals of both CS and Texas so that future UTCS Longhorns will be able to put their eyes upon Texas in GDC.