Adam and James call for a Texas better together, vulnerability

We stand for execution and reaching tangible goals within the University of Texas’ Student Government. We stand for leading by example and setting a precedent for future student body presidents. We are running for a movement that is greater than the sum of its parts. We have this campus excited about a future that is just beyond the horizon, and they are rallying around our pragmatic plans to get there. Texas Better Together extends beyond our campaign team, and we embody an ideology that is greater than our four platform points. 

UT coined the phrase “What starts here changes the world,” but there are things here that need to change. Why does this trailblazing, prestigious and influential institution continue to turn a blind eye to the lingering ailments that plague the Forty Acres? In a survey, 15% of the student body reported that they were survivors of sexual violence. Students with mental illness lack support, and the stories of our fellow classmates’ suicides are brushed under the rug so as to maintain our Texan pride. The Texas Better Together ticket promises to sever the cord that has tied pride to prejudice for so long. It is no easy task to come to terms with the failures of an institution as highly regarded as UT, and President Gregory Fenves can attest to this. 

Here are our solutions to the University’s most pressing issues: Our social organizations are not currently required to undergo sexual and domestic assault prevention training. We know UT has organizations ready to get engaged with its student body and combat our shortcomings. When, if not now, will we usher in a new era of safety? We will work to mandate that all social organizations undergo professional sexual and domestic assault prevention training. 

The McCombs School of Business School and the Cockrell School of Engineering already host successful mental health awareness weeks. We should expand and extend this concept across each college on campus, simply because the expectations for each student is different. We will ensure that each college adopts mental health programs that address the unique expectations and demands of its students. 

We will make this University more transparent. We are already advocating for urgent and important issues that students repeatedly tell us matter to them. Right now, two professors that are guilty of sexual misconduct with students remain on payroll, teaching UT students. Students are outraged. We will reflect this outrage among students to President Fenves. We will hold the administration publicly accountable. 

We will also hold the athletic department accountable for their lack of transparency. Students feel misled about what the Big Ticket was supposed to grant them. We will work to create a solution that is honest and fair, and delivers value to students. 

Campaigns at the University of Texas are run on larger-than-life promises that students rally behind. More often than not, these great ideas dwindle with the annual transfer of power. Camron Goodman’s Continuity Committee provides longevity and accountability to executive alliances after they leave office. We plan to build upon his foundation and provide the Continuity Committee with the discretion and resources to follow through on campaign promises that earned the elections of our previous student body presidents and vice presidents. Let’s ensure that great ideas do not burn out with the passing of the torch.

We are proud of the University of Texas, and we are proud to be Longhorns. We are proud of our vulnerability, and we want to share this sentiment with the Longhorn Nation. We will cast a beaming light onto the issues that our faculty tend to shy away from. We will ensure that the stories and accounts of all victims, survivors and those who suffer from mental illness(es) are properly heard and acknowledged. Their voices will guide us to a UT that embraces vulnerability and accepts its flaws on the path to improvement, rather than hiding them. It takes more than good intentions to accomplish our goals. It takes persistence and execution. This will never be about Adam and James, and we will emphasize that to every student we meet. This movement is about the students, and that is why we are here to make Texas Better Together.