Professors offer observations on race and representation at UT

Representation matters, and UT’s demographic breakdown affects student reactions to university events. The last few weeks of Student Government elections are the latest example of this interaction, and a subject of increasing relevance as students look toward a potential revote. This week, The Daily Texan Forum highlights one professor’s view of the executive alliance election and another’s impression of black students’ underrepresentation on campus. 

Courtney Cook, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and a former professor of Hannah McMorris, offers a perspective on the Election Supervisory Board’s decision to sanction the Guneez-Hannah executive alliance for “deceptive campaigning.” Although the ruling was overturned last night by the Student Government Supreme Court, Cook argues that it still reflects a disturbing failure on campus to grapple with racist legacies and thoughtfully engage in meaningful dialogue.

Alberto A. Martinez, a history professor, writes about the lack of black students on UT’s campus. Martinez argues that it is an indictment on UT’s admission policies that our campus’ black student population is not reflective of Texas and that most of our population comes from the top fifth of wealthiest families. In conversations of campus climate, it will then remain a problem that we don’t have the requisite diversity in our university. 

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Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco. Anderson is a Plan II and history sophomore from Houston.