Tomorrow’s Texas


Kaitlyn Marcatante

Student Government 2023-2024 President Helen Getachew and Vice President William Ramirez .

Helen Getachew and William Ramirez

Editor’s Note: This column was submitted to the Texan by a member of the UT community.

Being first-generation and low-income college students has influenced every aspect of our campaign. As Ethiopian-American and Mexican-American students, it was impossible to decouple our lived experiences from what we ran on. We understand what it feels like to be neglected — centered as a prop, co-opted and silenced. Thus, Tomorrow’s Texas aims to create a Student Government that both acknowledges how it has perpetuated harm and actually commits to addressing it. We believe our broad and bold campaign pillars reflect this commitment: Community, Accessibility, and Health & Well-being. Our nine policies that fall under these pillars each represent how we hope to use SG to address the problems unique to making Tomorrow’s Texas.

Historically, when SG campaigns make these kinds of promises and run on such platforms, it’s nearly always inauthentic. Once in office, SG alliances have served as a weapon by administration to suppress the voices of organizers rather than empower them. Our campaign acknowledges that substantive initiatives at UT have always been the product of organizer and advocate-led initiatives, never by SG. That’s why while drafting our policies, particularly pertaining to DEI, we recognized the importance of ensuring they were as intentional as possible — that we don’t get in the way, don’t co-opt, and only empower. To stop and reverse these trends in relation to DEI and other advocacy-related work, we’ve proposed the T3S Summit. This ensures that by documenting progress, concerns and roadblocks confronted by student advocates, we can do our best to ensure that student advocacy is no longer unsupported and forgotten, but rather remembered and given the opportunity to improve in the future. 

In total, our nine policies make for 44 pages of reading that include relevant stakeholders, a summarization of both problems and solutions, and different methods for implementing our proposed initiatives. We care about getting it right, vocalizing the problems faced by many students, and amplifying the work of established organizers and organizations. Getting it right also means being open to feedback. During the Executive Alliance candidate debate, our alliance was asked what our largest weakness might be, to which we responded, “We are still students.” We have a lot to learn and grow from, but are open to criticism. We encourage any student to fill out our feedback form and share their opinions after reading our policies.

Tomorrow’s Texas is a movement that is student-led and community-built. A movement that reimagines UT for the better and puts the voices of those who have lived experiences in positions of power. 

If you believe in this vision as much as we do, be sure to join us and vote for Helen Getachew and William Ramirez on Feb. 27 and 28. (Learn more about our platform by visiting our linktree and Instagram: @helenxwilliam2023).

Getachew is a business honors and government sophomore from Dallas, Texas. Ramirez is an economic and humanities honors junior from Fort Worth, Texas.