Advice on getting into the University of Texas at Austin.
Man-on-the-street-style interviews about fashion trends.
A compilation of clips from the semester set to a Taylor Swift song.
These are all videos you can find if you search “UT Austin” on TikTok. You just can’t view them if you’re connected to campus wifi.
UT Austin blocked access to TikTok, an app where you can scroll through short videos from creators around the world. Several other universities in the state, including the University of Texas at Dallas and the Texas A&M University System, also have banned access to the app.
This follows Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive to ban the app from all state-issued devices, citing the Chinese company that owns TikTok in the way the app tracks user data.
Sarah Winch, a junior public relations major at UT Austin and the social media editor at the Daily Texan student newspaper, said TikTok is the No. 1 social media app of choice for college kids right now, with Instagram a close second.
Winch said that while students are taking note of the ban, not everybody is up in arms.
“I feel like there’s some mixed opinions between the students here, but all in all, I don’t think many of them are concerned, especially since a lot of them like to use cellular data if needed, especially when they’re on campus,” she said. “They can still access TikTok, obviously, when they’re off campus.”
Realistically, Winch said, students are likely to connect through campus wifi to do schoolwork on their laptop, but not everybody uses the network on their phone.
However, Winch said the Daily Texan will look to adjust its social media strategy in light of the news. The student paper, like many news organizations across the country, has a TikTok account. The Texan has about 1,700 followers on the app and posts everything from behind-the-scenes videos of newspaper staff to interviews with students, as well as clips from campus events like football games and concerts.