University grapples with history, humanitarianism

Vik Shirvaikar and Janhavi Nemawarkar

This week, we spotlight two continuing struggles that have made headlines recently: The ongoing devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and the ongoing racial animus right here at UT following last Saturday’s neo-Nazi rally. 

Hannah McMorris and Zoya Zia, co-editors-in-chief of ORANGE magazine, discuss the numerous challenges faced by students of color on campus. They argue that the neo-Nazi rally was a considerable threat that warranted a stronger response, but that deeper systemic problems also exist which must be recognized and addressed, from unequal advancement opportunities to the unwelcoming climate in certain University spaces.

Dr. Alberto Martinez, a Puerto Rican professor in the Department of History, calls for the university to do more to help students who have been affected by Hurricane Maria. He points out that numerous other universities across the country promptly opened their doors to students from the University of Puerto Rico, offering them reduced-price housing and tuition to continue their educational progress. Martinez argues that UT administration should provide similar aid to displaced students in Austin and Texas. 

As always, we want to hear your thoughts on these topics or any others. Please reach out to us at [email protected]

Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco.