When The Daily Toreador editorial board decided to do this year in review issue, our goal was simple — to take a step back and look at everything that has happened at Texas Tech in the past year.
We went through all the stories we published in our three major sections — news, features and sports — and picked the most important, most newsworthy and most interesting stories from the beginning of Summer 2014 to the present day.
The list we compiled was varied. Some stories garnered national attention, for either good or bad reasons, while some showcased the wonderful people and events here at Tech. In all, it can be said there was no shortage of news here in the last year.
From our news section, the Aug. 25 story detailing the opening of West Village Residence Hall is important for obvious reasons — it’s a new residence hall. It was an attempt by University Student Housing to compete with off-campus housing facilities and provide a new option to students.
The first home football game of the 2014 season featured the closing of the student entrance because the student section reached full capacity, leaving 400 to 500 students unable to get into Jones AT&T Stadium. This Sept. 2 story generated a strong reaction from the Tech community on Facebook, alumni message boards and The DT website.
The story regarding student deaths is a combination of multiple stories detailing the deaths of individual students throughout the school year. In total, 10 students have died since August.
The Sept. 18 story of the unveiling of the Timothy Cole statue at the corner of University Avenue and 19th Street showed the community commemorating the life of a former Tech student who was wrongfully convicted of rape and died in prison. The ceremony brought statewide attention to Tech as then-Governor Rick Perry, current Governor Greg Abbott and then-gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis were in attendance.
The stories chronicling the Phi Delta Theta fraternity incident, in which a banner reading “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal” was displayed at a fraternity party, detail the incident, the protest on the Tech campus and the resulting fallout. This incident received national exposure and continues to evoke strong emotions amongst the Tech community.
Also getting national exposure was the PoliTech “Politically Challenged — Texas Tech Edition” video. The Nov. 5 story includes students’ reactions to the video that showed students unable to answer basic history and current events questions. At the time of this publication, the video has nearly 2.1 million views.
The March 9 story regarding the Tech Board of Regents’ decision to increase Tech tuition by 2.18 percent for the 2015-2016 school year was noteworthy because of how it affects students.
The Oct. 22 story about the flasher in the Tech library obviously affected those students in the library, and the flasher was never officially caught.
From our La Vida, or features, section, the coverage of the Paul McCartney concert from Oct. 3 was noteworthy. As one of the biggest names in music, McCartney’s first trip to Lubbock was undoubtedly an historic event for the city, and McCartney made it known how happy he was to come to the hometown of Buddy Holly, one of his and The Beatles’ biggest influences.
In that same vein, the Brad Paisley concert from March 9 also showcased Lubbock’s contributions to the music industry, but this time in the world of country music.
The conjoined twins story from Sept. 7 was important because it uniquely showed how Tech students used their talents to make a difference in people’s lives and have a lasting effect on them. It’s a great example of Red Raiders positively contributing to the community and helping others.
The Masked Rider is one of the most recognizable traditions Tech has to offer, and the 60th anniversary shows it is still thriving and will continue to do so. The Sept. 14 story gives insight to those who have served as the Masked Rider in the past as they reflect on their time, and family members remember the original Masked Rider, Joe Kirk Fulton.
Professor Robert Wernsman influenced many students in the College of Media and Communication during his tenure at Tech. The Jan. 21 story showed how he impacted his former and current students and inspired them to be better journalists and better people. Wernsman died March 15.
With sexual assault awareness rising on campuses around the nation, graduate student Holley Baker addressed it in a unique way, using her talents as a videographer. The March 31 story is another example of Tech students attempting to make a positive difference in their community.
The top story from our sports section was clearly the June 9 story covering Tech baseball’s NCAA Super Regional win to earn the team a trip to the College World Series. It was the program’s first trip to the biggest stage in college baseball and the culmination of an historic season.
The much-publicized incident between Tech football player Nigel Bethel and Tech women’s basketball player Amber Battle made national headlines. The June 30 story regarding Bethel’s dismissal and the July 17 story detailing his reinstatement are both important to this event that highlighted social obligations for athletes.
Finally, the April 7 story about Tech golfer Matias Dominguez displayed how Tech golf was represented on the national stage when Dominguez qualified to play in The Masters tournament. It was another unprecedented achievement for Tech sports.
By no means do these stories constitute all the news that happened at Tech this year. There are simply too many events to include in this recap. These are the stories The DT editorial board believes were the most recognized and the most noteworthy and can help us reflect on the 2014-2015 academic year.