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Dallas Observer Debunked

Why TWU is not the ‘fugliest’ building in Dallas


The Dallas Observer posted an article 10 days ago naming TWU’s Dallas campus one of the fugliest buildings in Dallas. More than just the childish game of naming “fugly” buildings in Dallas, the article is without substance.

First off, the article begins with a lead that includes the phrase, “a lot.” Lazy, much? Second, stating that the women’s movement has taken a step back with, “Texas Woman’s University’s Dallas campus, which might be the fugliest building in all of the city,” has no basis.

Second and third wave feminism has nothing to do with Texas Woman’s University as a whole, though individuals at the university may have propagated it. If you want to blame someone for how the building looks, talk to the architect. A woman did not design the building though one outsourced the construction of it.

Also, as the author mentioned, the building was established in 2011. The architecture of the present period is leaning towards streamlined and “stark” structures and backdrops, like a painting by the Suprematist Malevich or surrealists. It doesn’t match with the rest of the city because it’s newer and not made of glass, which is probably the best for tornado season.

In a snide comment, the author states: “Do you see the Texas Man’s University Dallas center looking like this? No, because men get nicer things and also because that school doesn’t exist.” While I won’t argue that men get nicer things, this comment expresses a frustration at male privilege that seems to contrast with the earlier statement that womankind has experienced a setback with the Dallas nursing campus. Why criticize the university and other women and then turn it around to complain about men? This does nothing for the argument.

Another confusing statement was: “Pickens donated $5 million toward the building, which explains why his name is on it, but given that it is the Texas Woman’s University, it is still a bit strange.” What’s strange about it? The letters “TWU” are visible from the highway and the full name is on the side of the building, as shown in the picture posted with the article.

Let me clue you in: it’s a long-held, perhaps archaic tradition, that when a philanthropist gives you $5 million dollars that will help your campus expand, grow and become one of the best nursing schools in the nation, you slap their name on it. It’s the least TWU could do.

The closing paragraph shared a scene of a young women on the phone upset about an exam. The author then wryly quipped: “Even with the supposedly calming white building in her line of vision, she said she thought she was going to be sick. Us too, just looking around at the hulking thing.”

While I doubt that this scenario was fabricated—because I will believe the best in my fellow journalist—was it really tactful to eavesdrop on a conversation and put it in print? It’s a cleverly written-in anecdote, I admit, but it might’ve been interesting to ask a bystander or someone from a building nearby what they thought of the campus. Truth is, it would be useless to get quotes because people would either be indifferent or students who liked it.

Ultimately, this is a disappointing piece of literature that was written for the sake of being written (entertainment). The fact that this is a recurring piece at the Observer is upsetting. “Fugly” is, what would be termed “vulgar slang” and shortened from the phrase “f*cking ugly” to describe the unattractiveness of something. While it is important to recognize and implement the colloquialisms that your audience uses, “fugly” just doesn’t have any class. I’m still trying to figure out why they posted it in the “Arts & Culture” section.

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