AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas at Austin campus feels a bit lonelier than it used to.

“Usually there’s a lot of people at that crosswalk and there’s this really friendly crossing guard, everyone loves him, he’s the best,” says junior Myah Taylor. “I miss that.”

But Taylor is still very much in the thick of things. She’s a sports writer for the Daily Texan  –  UT’s student paper.

Seeing her words published never gets old, but her role at the paper is new. If not the first, Taylor is one of the paper’s first female, Black sports editors. She was named into the role this summer, and because of the pandemic, has had less access to cover the athletes.

“We’ve had a really hard time writing the stories necessarily that we want, because we’re told ‘no’ a lot,” she says.

Instead, she’s in her room a lot. It’s where she goes to class, edits other students’ work, and covers press conferences – where she’s just one of two female reporters.

Despite the hurdles, Taylor says there couldn’t have been a more perfect time for her voice to step into the role.

“I feel like because I can speak to some of what’s happening, I’m about to approach these subjects with care, or I’m able to see them at all,” she says.

For instance, this summer, after George Floyd’s death, when Taylor interviewed former Longhorn Teahna Daniels for an article that ended up on the cover. The story offered a glimpse of the double life of Black athletes.

“It’s titled “Tackling Two Worlds,” Taylor says. “People love them on the field, but then they’re told to stick to sports, or shut up and dribble.”

So yes,  the role looks different than what she signed up for..

“You know, it sucks. I wish we could be in person. I wish I could be covering football normally,” Taylor says.

And though optics would suggest otherwise, the power of her words has kept her anything but alone.