Opinion will stand for diversity, equity, inclusion regardless of state legislature


Julius Shieh

Lucero Ponce poses for a portrait on the Moody Pedestrian Bridge. Ponce is running unopposed to be the Texan’s next Editor-in-Chief.

Lucero Ponce, Contributor

Editor’s note: Lucero Ponce is running unopposed to be the next editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan. For this column, she was asked to present her platform and vision for the Texan.

When I first arrived at UT, I immediately realized how easy it was to feel like I didn’t belong. I felt like coming from a small border town, in a way, put me at a disadvantage compared to my peers. That’s why I joined The Daily Texan: to advocate for underrepresented communities and make them feel and be included on this campus. I’ve written columns about topics that mean a lot to me, ranging from financial hardships to diversity and inclusion to language accessibility. These topics all have one thing in common: advocating for a more inclusive campus.

These last few weeks, diversity and inclusion in higher education has been threatened by the state legislature. Last Wednesday, the UT System announced a pause on new diversity, equity and inclusion policies on all of its campuses.

My platform will focus on uplifting DEI initiatives. DEI policies help create a more inclusive environment for the campus community and deserve to continue growing. No matter what the state legislature decides on DEI, the opinion department will continue to highlight the importance of these initiatives and offer the campus community possible solutions on how to increase diversity within the University. 

Our editorials will emphasize the importance of DEI on college campuses, especially UT. Columnists will have the chance to write about their personal experiences regarding DEI and can explain how it’s affected them. I will reach out to student organizations on campus and ask how we can uplift their efforts. I will solicit op-eds from the campus community in regards to what they’re doing to create a more inclusive campus, ranging from their efforts to uplift underrepresented communities to reducing the financial burden students may face. 

The Texan has made great strides towards DEI, from the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Board to the creation of Texan en Español. However, before we can call for diversity and inclusion in the campus community as a whole, we must continue DEI efforts within the Texan itself. 

My vision for the Texan is to make it more accessible to underrepresented communities. I plan to do this by reaching out to high school seniors in smaller communities and telling them about the opportunities The Daily Texan has to offer. Coming from a smaller community myself, joining the Texan simply felt like a far-fetched dream. I never would have imagined I would be running for editor-in-chief. 

By increasing outreach at both the high school level and campus community, we can make the paper more accessible to those from underrepresented communities and help them realize that the Texan is a place for them to advocate for what they’re passionate about.

As editor-in-chief, I will continue the work that my predecessors have done to make the Texan more accessible and inclusive. The opinion department will stand for diversity and inclusion efforts regardless of what’s going on in the legislature. 

Ponce is a journalism and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies sophomore from Laredo, Texas.