Student Government proposes MEC representatives, support for metal detectors at Darrell K Royal

Hannah Ortega

Members proposed legislation to establish allotted seats for Multicultural Engagement Center representatives and support metal detectors at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in a meeting Tuesday night.

According to Assembly Bill 16, a pilot program would give every agency from the MEC, including Afrikan American Affairs, Latinx Community Affairs and Students for Equity and Diversity, two seats in the 113th Student Government assembly. The pilot would last a year, and if successful, the program will be written into the SG Constitution.

“What (the legislation) does is it establishes MEC representatives to examine so that we’re able to see how, in extending seats to people who typically haven’t been afforded them in this assembly, how that would … affect the conversations, legislation and initiatives that come out of this body and Student Government as a whole,” said Trip Davis, deputy director of advocacy. “(We’d also look at) how can we foster better relationships between ourselves, the MEC and other organizations that further student advocacy.”

The MEC agencies listed are not “the only groups that deserve representation in this body,” but the assembly first needs to see how the pilot fairs before discussing the expansion of seats to other groups, Davis said. For the pilot, the MEC will be tasked with selecting the representatives from each agency.

“It is meant to allow the agencies to formulate their own selection process to choose an individual at the University of Texas who can best represent their ideals, values and initiatives in this body,” said Davis, a communication studies sophomore. “It specifies that before they actually start selecting people, it needs to be outlined, written and submitted to the speaker of the assembly so that … it’s an open and fair process, but the idea is those agencies are going to select the best person … that they deem to advance their mission in this body.”

Additionally, members presented Assembly Resolution 14, which supports metal detectors in DKR and all other athletics stadiums.

“So basically how they’re envisioning it is these would be collapsable or moveable metal detectors that they would be able to move stadium to stadium based on who is hosting an event that night or day, that way we don’t have to equip all stadiums with their own set of metal detectors,” student affairs chair Natalie Engel said.

Longhorn Legislative Aide Brian Chavez, who first proposed the resolution to Engel, said he was told it will be two to three years before the metal detectors are implemented. Engel said regardless of what the assembly votes, the metal detectors will be coming to UT. 

“What this legislation is really just trying to accomplish is to establish support for bringing metal detectors to the University,” student body president Colton Becker said. “All the logistics and stuff like that will be figured out. There will undoubtedly be challenges and stuff like that that arise from this, as there always is. Really all this is about, again, is just establishing support for the idea of bringing these metal detectors to UT.”