The Texan Talks: race and diversity on the 40 Acres

Walker Fountain

This week, the Daily Texan Forum will approach the topic of race and diversity on campus. As protests over police brutality and race relations on college campuses dominate the headlines, we hope to explore the impact of such topics on our campus. This week, the University of Missouri made national headlines for protests surrounding campus administration. University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin both resigned in the wake of protests surrounding their handling of racist incidents on campus, including an alleged swastika painted with human excrement on a bathroom wall. Also in the news are protests against two Yale administrators and faculty, who drew flak for their defense of racially insensitive Halloween costumes.

These issues are not limited to Missouri and New Haven. On Oct. 29, members of Society for Cultural Unity confronted President Greg Fenves during The Texan Talks panel about lack of diversity on campus, including a lack of diverse faculty members and seemingly stagnant rates of black students on campus. These issues are not going away — and their resolution are crucial to the long-term success of the institution. With the Supreme Court case Fisher v. UT about to be heard — the case which may determine whether using race as a factor in college admissions is constitutional — the topic of diversity on campus has possibly never been more urgent since the days of Heman Sweatt.

Please join Daily Texan Editor-in-Chief Claire Smith and Associate Editor Adam Hamze at 11 a.m. today, Nov. 12, in the Texas Union Sinclair Suite, as they sit down with leaders of the campus community to discuss issues of race and diversity on campus. Jessica Bathea, a member of Thinkers of Color and guest columnist for The Daily Texan, will participate in the panel. Also joining us will be Richard J. Reddick, assistant vice president of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and associate professor in the Departments of Educational Administration and African and African Diaspora Studies. Finally, Marisa Kent, an officer in Queer People of Color and Allies (QPOCA), will also discuss issues of diversity, advocacy and intersectionality with us. We hope that this panel discussion will be an open, respectful dialogue on this crucial issue and will shed new light on campus perspectives on diversity and race at UT.

Fountain is a government senior from Pelham, New York.