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Letter to the Editor – Open Letter To President Trauth: The Final Outcry

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Dear President Trauth,

While your efforts to galvanize the Texas State community to address campus climate during a time when tensions and emotions are at an all-time high are appreciated, they are long overdue and can no longer be accepted as authentic by the student body you were selected to serve.

Regardless of your personal ideologies, there are individuals in and surrounding our community that have and will continue to be greatly impacted.  It is your responsibility as the one at the helm of leadership at Texas State University to address the needs of those who have been further marginalized and aggressed by such divisive rhetoric and actions in our nation and on our campus.

Over the past few months, but especially in recent days, many of us have begun to question our safety and your concern for our safety on this campus, as have our families back home. When individuals no longer feel a sense of personal safety, academics and academic performance are no longer priority. We have attempted to air our grievances on social media and even requested that you take a firmer stance on issues of equality and the recognition of the very unstable and volatile racial climate in this country, more specifically now, on our campus, Texas State University. Yet, you have chosen to remain strictly reactive to what we all knew would be imminently dangerous discourse. However, safety is not a concern for which one can afford to be reactionary. It is a promise and regard with which ALL universities have a duty to uphold as paramount. We collectively feel that you have failed to proactively engage in this ethical contract. As a consequence, many of us no longer feel safe, and certainly not under the charge that has been entrusted to a president that has failed to make our safety—albeit physical, emotional and/or psychological—an undertaking of importance and priority. At best, this is trivial; at worse, this is sheer neglect, making either of those intolerable to accept and certainly, not something to withstand.

This is our FINAL outcry. In a time where advocacy is critically important to ensure safety, accountability and a culture of care and respect, we DEMAND a President who is a student-centered leader in their position, unapologetic around a socially just and wholly inclusive campus environment, and finally, one who can articulate that inclusion and respect for marginalized communities whose voices are often pushed into the margins of Texas State without being defensive when asked to be critically reflective of their shortcomings. We are awaiting your response Dr. Trauth.

Sincerely,

The Many Thousand voices you refuse to hear


The author has revised this letter and the post has been updated.

32 COMMENTS

  1. The University President is not a babysitter or life coach. She is essentially running a business, a rather successful one at that. If students are expecting a pitty party then they better get jobs to pay for a therapist, *itching isn’t free.

  2. How about showing more of a concern for her students for one? There are tragedies that happen on this campus day by day. I dont want to be treated like I’m just another number, God forbid something happen. We devote ourselves to this campus everyday, and we work hard. I just want our president to care and support us in our endeavors. There are a lot of people out of state, like myself, who attend this university. Im somebody’s child back home.

    • So what do you expect her to do, exactly? No one here is offering any sort of solution to the issue the author of this article says is so clear and blatant. I think that the overly sensitive population of Texas State doesn’t really understand that there is a limited scope of action for a university president, who at the end of the day, isn’t here to support you as an individual, nor as a student, but is meant to run the university — a business.

      • I don’t think it should be up to the author, myself as a parent whom pays for 2 students to attend TX State, you, or anyone else to come up with the solution; as that is not OUR job, nor are we the ones making six-figures to do so!!! The person entrusted with this responsibility has been way too lax, for way too long. It is wholly Trauth’s duty to devise a safe and acceptable plan. So, expect her to do her job!

  3. I’m a little confused by this article. I am an alumni and understand the recent tragedies that happened to the student body. Is that what you are referring to? It was just a little difficult to get a clear message about what you’re concerned about. What specifically is going on around campus that has made you feel unsafe? I’m curious and sad to hear that.

  4. What is it you want her to do exactly? This is incredibly vague. Both in regards to what she is supposedly guilty (for lack of a better word) of, and of what you are requesting that she do going forward. Clarification please?

  5. Agree with Lauren and William, this letter is so vague it is completely ineffective. It provides no information on what issues the president is supposed to be responding to, or what actions the author thinks the president should take.

  6. As a staff member, I fail to see what more the President can do or what is being demanded of her? Travis Green was not addressed until a certain point in time out of respect for notification for his family and their choice on whether the university can address the tragedy. UPD has increased their patrols, exhausted their use of Bobcat Bobbies, and continued to increase their encouragement of police/student discourse through mediated conversation in safe environments. We have a campus rich with diverse and inclusive students, faculty, and staff. As a staff member, we are given limitless resources in order to continue to learn how to be inclusive and accommodating in our daily relationships with our students.

    This letter offered no suggestions or actual changes to be made between the university and the students. I’m all for change, but let’s name actions instead of just naming blame.

  7. As a staff member, I fail to see what more the Preisdent can do or what is being demanded of her? Travis Green was not addressed until a certain point in time out of respect for notification for his family and their choice on whether the university can address the tragedy. UPD has increased their patrols, exhausted their use of Bobcat Bobbies, and continued to increase their encouragement of police/student discourse through mediated conversation in safe environments. We have a campus rich with diverse and inclusive students, faculty, and staff. As a staff member, we are given limitless resources in order to continue to learn how to be inclusive and accommodating in our daily relationships with our students.

    This letter offered no suggestions or actual changes to be made between the university and the students. I’m all for change, but let’s name actions instead of just naming blame.

  8. How dare you DEMAND respect when you refuse to give it to anyone else. The fact that this article came from the staff of the university paper is pathetic and shameful. Your article was disrespectful and childish. The University Star needs to clean house and find people that have a little journalistic integrity and a lot more maturity. For the record, President Trauth has responded professionally and appropriately to recent incidents. You need to grow up and stop all this not feeling safe crap. I am going to share a little secret with you that probably should have been told to you long ago….. People will disagree with your viewpoint at times. That doesn’t mean they are judging you, or that they are racist, or any other of the terms that are so popular now. It just means they believe something different from you. Different does not equate to bad or ignorant. It just means different – no better, no worse. Here is another news flash, things will happen in your life that hurt your feelings. You better learn to deal with it because it will happen. It happens to every single one of us regardless of color, religion, or gender. Regardless of the current agenda, the absolute fact is that the overwhelming majority of people are decent people. You will find that most of the time in life, people will be good to you IF you give them the chance. People need to learn that maybe, just maybe, the person that seems to have a problem with you, has that problem not because of your color, not because of your gender, not for any other prejudicial reason –MAYBE it’s simply because you are acting like an asshole.

    • This is an open letter that was submitted to the Editor. A letter to the Editor can come from basically anyone and was addressed anonymously. Read the title before you jump to conclusions.

  9. Physical safety has to be a priority on campus. Emotional feelings and beliefs are not. As a matter of fact, a state employee such as Trauth should not take an official political stance. Your rights as a student must be and are being protected… The problem is, the author and others like the author have been lead to believe that they have a right to not be offended or have anyone disagree with their opinions when the truth is they have never had that right.

  10. Good lord, stop being such a pussy about everything. The real world is going to chew you up and spit you out and there’s no “safe spaces” or “cry rooms” when you’re working 9-5.

  11. I’m ashamed of this mentality and criticism. When you can name one thing – and preferably a whole lot more than one – that she has done correctly in her tenure here (30% attendance increase, millions in grants, expansion of almost every area of our facilities and academic infrastructure, 0% to 100% wireless access over 10 years, establishment of the research institution designation for Texas State) then feel free to comment on and criticize her handling of something that does not fall under her purview. This is not a counselor’s office or a daycare. If there are immediate safety concerns you should be talking to UPD. If you personally feel upset, go speak with the free counseling program offered to you. If you feel there are social problems, talk to AIG. Aside from the 5+ individual Letters from the President that have already been sent to every member of the Texas State Community about 5 different issues, you’re barking up the wrong tree with this pathetic nonsense. This is a *college*, which begs the question: What exactly is it that you think the President does all day? Get a grip.

  12. I am also very confused about this article like others. I do not condone what people are doing to each other, and I mean on both sides, not just one or the other.

    As an alumni and a “minority” that has been discriminated against and who didn’t vote for Hilary, I understand as to why this is happening. In my opinion, the left has made life a virtual hell for anyone that doesn’t agree with all of their views. If you don’t agree, you’re either a racist, bigot, scum or a deplorable. After eight years of being bullied and forced to accept the failed policies of the current administration, they’ve built a pressure cooker that finally exploded.

    While I have friends of all colors and creeds, I can see why people of the right are reacting why they do. And while I do not agree with it; being punished because your white, your straight, you support the military and police, is going to create a powder keg of emotions. They’ve been humiliated, they’ve been vilified, have been mostly pushed to the bottom rung
    of society because they simply don’t agree with leftist views.

    The current administration and their allies are the ones who have pushed their views of race and sexual preferences on the country. I’m 30 years old, and have never seen so much blatent reverse racism in my life. I’ve never seen an administration that has openly this divisive. To continue witht he same polices for another four years was just simply unbearable.

    To vote for someone because of their color, or their sex is not the way to show our country has changed. We have come a long way from the sixities, we’ve come a long way from slavery, and come a long way from denying woman and other moniorties their rights.

    All of this complaining and fear mongering that Trump won and people are going to lose their rights and such is purely sickening. Because the left didn’t get their way, they want to be hypocritical and do the exact things they said the right would do. It’s not a requirement of any government in this country to protect you, to nuture you, or to take care of you. Nothing in this world is owed to you. You go out and get it for yourself, and not blame others for your failures! It’s on you, to pull yourself up by your boot straps and make your life they way you want it to be. Big government is not the way. And this is why Trump was voted into office. The beaten down right have finally had it. Didn’t care who was president so long as it was not a continuation of the same failed, divisive, incredibly liberal policies of the last eight years.

    We are a republic, we are not a democracy. The mob rule does not rule the roost here. And if you think that safe words, safe places, and pampering exists in the real world, many will be in for a rude awakening. Grow up and realize that you are one person in a world of eight billion. You mean nothing. But combined as 320 million people, we make our side of the world the best place to live in the world. Even when we don’t agree with each other, we are Americans. It doesn’t matter what color, sex, sexual preference, or religion you associate yourself with, we have in the past and in the future will come together. The only way to heal these riffs is to have a serious discussion amongst ourselves and find a way to respect each other. We have done it in the past. There’s no reason why we can’t do it today. Listening to each other, finding common ground and aceepting each other and each others’ views is the way. Berating each other, fear mongering, claiming racism/bigotry when someone doesn’t agree with you is not.

    Is not on President Trauth that these things have happened on or around campus. The sleeping dragon was awoken and by the poking and prodding that has happened the last eight years. Stop trying to place blame on anyone but yourselves. But the way to fix it is to stop the protesting of everything, and being civil and speaking to others the way you would like to be spoken to.

  13. Almost ashamed to call myself an alumni. Quit whining and grow up. The real world is not going to cater to your complaints about something you saw on TV. I cannot believe the University Star would allow this to be even published feeding more into the chaos going on in this country. If/when you do graduate the real world will hold you to the highest standard and expect professionalism and class regardless of what is going on. Get out of your bubble, quit feeling entitled, focus on doing your best, and grow up.

  14. What exactly would you like her to do? I can guarantee you that no matter what she says or does it will never be enough to satisfy all of the students at Texas State University. This is a tough world full of really — pardon my language– shitty people. When you lash out at the leadership like this those same idiots causing you pain take home a win. I am pleased to see the students utilizing free speech in a peaceful way but I would ask that you REFRAIN from speaking for me on this matter. Thank you.

  15. Black lives matter is a terrorist organization that calls for segregation of college dorms, and marches while chanting what do we want? dead cops! When do we want them? NOW! but we somehow allow that organization to gather on campus? I personally havent seen a trump supporter assault anyone, and Ive been to a bunch of protests. I did however get punched while chanting build the wall at wurstfest. Tolerant fuckin left huh?

    • Why would you go to Wurstfest and start chanting “build the wall”? Wurstfest is not a political rally or political event of any sort. It’s a beer and sausage festival. Maybe you had too many beers, got drunk, and started behaving obnoxiously?

      • Why would they go to Wurstfest?! I saw the words “beer” and “sausage” follow that question so….question answered. And the fact that I basically just had to point out, to a college student i assume, that some beers and ya know, fun, might just possibly be a good thing kind of die a little inside. How the hell did we get here

  16. As someone who works on campus, who has been a target of the threats of torture named on the indescribably evil fliers posted around campus the day after the election honoring Trump’s win, who has comforted others who have been directly affected by verbal or physical assault, vandalism, and underlying racism, sexism, and hate (and been comforted myself), this letter to the editor speaks to a very real problem.

    Ms. Trauth’s responses have simply emphasized core principles, which obviously some students do not care about as hearing and reading these have not stopped or slowed the implicit and explicit violence. Repeating the principles does not end the problems.

    Ms. Trauth is not a babysitter. You say she’s a businesswoman. If students leave due to an unsafe and threatening environment, though, what happens to her ‘business’? Even a businesswoman needs to be concerned when a group of her employees are threatening to arrest, torture, assault, dehumanize, deport, strip rights from, and marginalize as much as is humanly possible. Even a businesswoman steps in to sort that out.

    But she is also not simply a businesswoman. She is responsible for protecting her students. She sets an example. She needs to say exactly what is happening and what individuals can do to help.

    Not all colleges are equal. Most colleges are not experiencing this level of expressed hate and tangible threats. Ignoring the problem, staying true to university principles, waiting for this to pass, that is a failing strategy. It empowers hate and normalizes living in fear. Teachers are standing up against this. Student organizations are standing up against this. Students are standing up against this. When will our President wake up to reality and realize that many people on campus are fearful because of the environment of threats, harassment, sometimes assault, and sometimes vandalism. A University President who cannot empathize with students needs to rethink her career.

    I stand with what this letter states. Could it be written better? Probably. There’s always room for improvement. But the message, emotion, and purpose of this letter is clear. We need more involvement from higher up, we need more acknowledgment that this is not normal and we will (nonviolently) fight to reclaim normal. And we need to know that the administration stands with us, the threatened, the marginalized, and not with the ones who want hate to be the new normal.

    Ps. If you are/have commented that this letter doesn’t represent you, you shouldn’t be surprised. It means your voice and perspective are ones that are in the majority. This letter, on the other hand, was signed by the people whose voices are not heard. If you’re offended by this view, it may just be that you’ve never considered it before, or you don’t need to because your place in society isn’t in risk. This isn’t speaking for you, because not everyone speaks for you. Listen, empathize, and learn.

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