Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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UTSG announces changes due to Senate Bill 17

UTSG+announces+changes+due+to+Senate+Bill+17

Student Government announced changes it made in its language, strategic partners and agencies Wednesday to comply with Senate Bill 17, which prohibits diversity, equity and inclusion offices, mandatory trainings, and reforms hiring practices to be color-blind and sex-neutral at state universities.

Major changes include the dissolution of the Queer and Trans Student Alliance Agency, which transitioned to a registered student organization, and the redesign of the Diversity Inclusion Agency to the Community Engagement and Advocacy Agency. Student Government established partnerships with the new Division of Campus and Community Engagement and the Women’s Community Center. UTSG also changed the language of their bylaws, website and Instagram accounts. 

“It’s disheartening to have changed years of progress for many underserved students because legislators negatively perceived DEI,” Student Government said in Wednesday’s Instagram post. “The Student Government Executive Board and Assembly Board commits to keep finding ways to serve these communities.”


Chief of Staff Christian Mira, a government senior, said UTSG originally believed it would be exempt from the implementation of SB 17 as a student organization. However, after receiving guidance from the Board of Regents and UT, he said it became more likely UTSG would be affected.

“Once we got that University-level guidance was when we really started thinking, ‘We’re 100% going to be impacted. What are we going to do?’” Mira said.

On Dec. 19, Mira, UTSG president Helen Getachew and UTSG vice president William Ramirez met with Carol Longoria, the deputy to the vice president in the Division of Student Affairs for final input and clarification over UTSG’s compliance with SB 17, Mira said.

Mira said UTSG tried to “preserve” as much as possible, only making necessary changes like changing language and names that explicitly referred to diversity, equity and inclusion. However, he said some organizations, like the Queer and Trans Alliance, defied SB 17 in their purpose.

“If you remove the purpose, it’s just not the same agency anymore,” Mira said. “We tried to emphasize retaining it, and, if not, we spoke with the directors to see if they would be interested in preserving it as a registered student organization. Those are the arguments we made (throughout the process).”

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