North Texas Daily

One final word: Opinion staff weighs in on life in Denton

One final word: Opinion staff weighs in on life in Denton

May 05
03:10 2016

The Opinion Staff

The Daily Shall Live On

Harrison Long

The opinion section of North Texas Daily was an experiment conceived by some of the editors at the end of last semester. We weren’t really sure about where we’d be going, or what challenges were to come, we just knew that we wanted to start a conversation.

Harrison Long

Harrison Long

To be clear, the progress made by North Texas Daily has been the result of a collaborative effort across all sections, a seamless cohesion of driven individuals working toward a common goal. The addition of the opinion section has only added to the conversation that has been generated on campus, and we were proud to do our part, but we would have gone unnoticed had it not been for quality of work done by our colleagues.

We’ve reveled in the response we’ve received over the past few months – the reactions have been more than we ever could have anticipated, and we hope to keep this going as long as we remain a part of this newspaper. Though we still question whether some individuals are able to grasp the concept of a section solely made up of opinions, one that exists independently of factual news and enlightening features, we have enjoyed getting to know the personalities of those in our community.

We aren’t going anywhere – though there are some who have called for us to be defunded, labeled us as biased hacks and told us to pack our things and get the hell out – let it be understood we intend to do no such thing. We’ve been kickin’ for now over 100 years, and we’ve got our sights set on the next 100. Thanks for the memories, UNT.

Denton needs to stop trying so hard to change

Sidney Johnson

When I arrived in Denton in the spring of 2012 I was taken back by its peculiar mixture of cozy vibes so perfectly aligned with a large-scale university buzz. The hometown feelings of random conversations with total strangers was different for me —  I’m not used to people walking up and spilling their life story to me unannounced.

I’m a Dallas-born city boy. I love the hustle and bustle of the town: the loudness and, like a small child, feel a strange paranoia when things are too quiet when you have your back turned. Denton has given me an openness that I didn’t have before coming here, and “Little D,” the town I have grown to love seems to be changing as I get ready to seek other horizons.

14_sidney

Sidney Johnson

The change is reminiscent of the old union I walked into upon arrival. It was quiet, dreary and a place to lie down from the pressures of class. Now, the union seems more like a modern museum with its giant windows and edgy design. In a way, it is a foreshadow of Denton’s expansion from a small town to a major college hub.

The people have only slightly changed. The Anthropologie-draped vape-champions blowing fog as they walk through campus bare foot can still be seen, but the hipster movement has waned in recent years. This isn’t to say they haven’t always been here, but the culture of the Urban Outfitters buying retro cassette players is on its way out right now and I wonder what will replace that when I’m gone.

Denton, it’s been real. Your carefree, liberal-heavy, inclusive and multicultural environment has changed my outlook on small towns. My only word of advice: Please stop saying you’re a “small Austin,” it’s just not a good look, and you already have plenty going for you.

Bad parking in Denton synonymous with UNT experience

Morgan Sullivan

As a nearly telltale sign of any city’s growth, Denton has acquired a major parking problem. Whether you’re trying to park for class or simply trying to grab some overpriced coffee at Starbucks, it’s like “The Hunger Games” everywhere you go.

Morgan Sullivan

Morgan Sullivan

Perhaps Denton is desperately clinging on to its “hipster” roots, hastily hanging on to the last threads of its suburban identity, before the entire city is swallowed up by the constraints of big city life by offering as little parking as possible. I-35 is probably the city’s largest parking lot, with the construction bringing never-ending traffic.

Whatever the case may be, somehow the parking in Denton has become a metaphor of the college experience. You pull into the parking lot with a hopeful outlook. You creep up and down the rows, exasperated, your faith in UNT parking services – and yourself – weakening. You have a slimmer of hope at the end of one row, but it’s just a ridiculously small car, not an empty spot.

Defeated, you decide to park in the first spot you find, regardless of the repercussions. The process of parking has left you tired, overwhelmed and with little to show for all of your hard work. It’s like one giant meme for the entire college experience, we just wish they’d try to be more original.

Denton is great, let’s ease up on construction

Preston Mitchell

Prior to enrolling at UNT, I was told stories about the campus’ unconventionality. My friends teased me about attending a university that was infamous for its tepid football, especially since the bulk of them chose Baylor University, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas instead.

Nevertheless, I heard even more encouraging anecdotes reflected Denton’s Austin-ian nature, and how the community attracts individuals that are passionate about the arts, culture and everything else.

Looking back on my experiences since then, having become a full-time Denton resident, I’ve witnessed numerous changes to the city. Football coaches have been swapped, the Union has been updated, the Square has been subject to vandalism, and the new Raising Cane’s is now a major hotspot.

So much has changed about Denton except for one single attribute: the construction.

Before the Union was unveiled, I spent my time beforehand rushing to classes, having to dodge tractors and closed ranges to avoid architectural creation. Countless other students shared my dilemma, which became apparent during every #UNTFollowTrain.

Contrary to what we all thought about it, Denton construction is key right now to making our city more exciting in the future. Part of the reason we’re called “Austin Lite” is because of how much our amazing bars, bookstores, restaurants and entertainment centers enculturate different humanities from around the world.

Foremost, we attend a great university and Denton’s new sites throughout the next 10 years will cement it as a top tier college town. The only people that can realize Denton’s potential is us, and it’s about time we started recognizing that by finishing our current projects before we start new ones.

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