GQ Executive Alliance wants to redefine UT Student Government

The purpose of the GQ Executive Alliance is to give power back to the students. What do we mean by this? After asking dozens of students both on and off campus, we discovered that almost 80% of polled students had no idea what Student Government does or how it operates. Many didn’t even know the names of our current executive alliance or that there was an election race going on. How can our University enact change when our student body doesn’t even know who's fighting for them? 

As outsiders to Student Government, we have a unique opportunity to bring new perspectives into the fold. We aren’t afraid to change the system because if we’re being honest, we don’t even fully understand it. The GQ Alliance plans on tackling this transparency issue head on by hosting town halls designed to actively engage with the student population. One of our main goals next year is to host town halls where we meet with student leaders and organizations on campus to facilitate active discussion on prominent campus issues and ideate potential solutions. Along with these discussions, we will be publishing monthly newsletters detailing legislative updates and policy proposals. Lastly, our alliance will have individual office hours and “coffee chats” to speak directly with our student body. These three initiatives will bridge the gap between our general student population and student leadership. Together, we will be able to tackle the modern and complex issues that affect our students.

We want to create a campus climate of safety: This year alone, we’ve had 22 instances of violent crime and 66 property crimes, which can certainly be attributed to dim lighting and unsafe sidewalks. To help improve safety off campus, our executive alliance will lobby the city of Austin for increased lighting and repaved sidewalks in the area. When walking down 22nd, 25th, 28th and 31st streets, just to name a few, you’ll find broken sidewalks, potholes, ditches and little to no lighting. To remedy this issue, our alliance plans on working with the University administration, Horns for Safety, Austin City Council and the Urban Transportation Commission  to advocate using money redistributed from the Austin Police Department budget to reinvest in our campus and the surrounding neighbourhoods. These improvements will help protect the Longhorn community for years to come. 

Advocating for diversity and inclusion is also necessary, especially given recent events. Students have witnessed tragedy after tragedy: the killing of George Floyd, Capitol riots and unprecedented political division in Texas and around the country. To combat this, our alliance will revamp orientation by organizing events to teach our incoming students about the complicated history of our University. We will educate these students on prominent issues such as the racist connotations of “The Eyes of Texas'' while also providing history on prominent University graduates such as Heman Sweatt, the first black UT Law student. Our alliance also plans to use our relationship with Ryan Sparkman, deputy director of the Texas House LBGTQ Caucus, to educate students about hate crimes and promote an inclusive and safe campus environment.

We want to redefine what Student Government means, remind students who it serves and remind everyone where the power should lie — with the students.