Fenves meets with black student leaders, discusses actions needed at University

Eunice Ali

Editor's note: This article has been updated since its original publication to remove students' quotes from a private meeting because of a failure on behalf of the reporter to identitfy herself as such. We deeply regret this error.

As part of a discussion series ‘to develop an action plan’ on issues important for the University, UT President Gregory L. Fenves met with black student leaders in his office Monday morning.

Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and Soncia Reagins-Lilly, dean of students and senior associate vice president, were also in attendance.

“What I’d like to get out of this [meeting] is a better understanding of the short-term and long-term actions needed here at the University,” Fenves said.  

Reagins-Lilly also said an investigation is underway regarding an incident involving members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at an Institute for Israel Studies event.

“It’s not always apparent, and you can’t see it,” Reagins-Lilly said. “But trust me, … we do reach out to the students. We provide them with resources … so you don’t feel we’re being silent. … Some of this is protected by FERPA, but we can make a loud statement of what is underway.”

Vincent said as an African-American, he shared the experiences and feelings students have.

“I know firsthand those microaggressions and macroaggressions that you speak of, so these are not hypothetical issues for me. These are issues that are real, and I’m pained that this is still going on,” Vincent said.