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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Column: Why I never thought of reading The Cougar

It’s freshman year, and I’m power walking because I’m late to a class. Suddenly, a tall, attractive guy makes eye contact, smiles broadly and walks towards me. He hands me a newsletter— I stop— happily accept the paper and move on, after enjoying the view.

What is this? I notice it’s a little heavier than the advertisements I typically get from other organizations asking me to join.

As freshmen tend to do, I followed the lead of the person who came before me. When the person ahead of me immediately trashed it, I followed suit. I didn’t stop and wonder if it was worth my time.

By junior year, I’d discovered that I threw away The Cougar. Occasionally, I would flip through a couple pages when a somewhat-desperate student tried to get someone — anyone — to take a copy.

I never did read the entire paper all the way through.

What could a student paper offer that I didn’t already have? Why do I care about the opinions of students when I can get the opinions of experts from around the world?

“I don’t read it because I fail to see how it is valuable to me,” said history senior Jordan West.

I’m not proud of this, but the first time I actually read The Cougar cover to cover was junior year when my professor was late to class. I noticed that half of the class was reading it and took an abandoned copy from a nearby desk.

A semester later, I still remember a couple of the stories I read that day. It was then that I realized the value of the student paper.

The Cougar is an integral part of life here at UH, and yet it stands alone.

If President Renu Khator walked into the newsroom and demanded that an article be changed for whatever reason, we have the power to deny her request.

What appears to be a flaw is actually one of the highest merits of The Cougar. It is dynamic, and constantly improving and transforming.

The vast majority of students at UH are young. We are passionate – whether it’s about social issues, politics, business, science or art. We are bubbling with creative ideas, opinions, ambition, and most importantly, we want our voice to be heard.

Some of the students are angry. The student paper offers all students the chance to share their passion with the entire University.

Maybe you don’t want to read about how UH is doing at the latest football game, you don’t care about what is being done about the school fountain, the parking situation or who’s going to be our next mayor. Perhaps you think reading it is not worth your time.

With each new writer and voice that joins the team, The Cougar shifts and transforms. It’s constantly welcoming passionate new writers, designers and photographers. It offers each of us the opportunity to learn how to share our voice. It tells us what we need to know as students attending school in the fourth largest city in the U.S.

We have dreams for ourselves, the future and society. In the end, the student paper offers us the chance to share our passion with the entire University.

Assistant opinion editor Sarah Kim is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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