Home Newsletter Students’ views on President Trauth Q&A

Students’ views on President Trauth Q&A

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Elena Forrister, chemistry sophomore, poses for a photo Dec. 12 on the quad.
Photo by: Lara Dietrich Multimedia Editor

1Elena Forrister, chemistry junior

Elena Forrister, chemistry sophomore, poses for a photo Dec. 12 on the quad. Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Multimedia Editor

Q: Recently, some students on campus have expressed their discontent with the university’s president, Denise Trauth, and her silence on issues affecting students such as racism, homophobia, and xenophobia; do you think it is her responsibility to speak out on these issues?

A: “That’s a really tough position to put her in; I think that she has a responsibility, as I believe most people have a responsibility, to address issues in the area they govern. She walks a tight line because she can’t really say one way or the other without offending somebody. So, what I would like to see from her is her personal opinion on (issues), but I understand why she is hesitant to do so.”

Q: What do you think Trauth’s role as president of the university should entail in regards to students?

A: “Quite frankly, I don’t really know what the role of the president is, but I think it is her job to keep order amongst students and make sure things are running smoothly in the school. So if there was to be an issue regarding racism or immigration, it would be her job to address it in a way that seems the most suitable for the atmosphere of the campus.”

Q: There has been an increase in activism and protest on campus in the past year, why do you think that is?

A: “I think a lot of it may have to do with the recent election and also with the fliers that were going around; there was a lot of tension amongst both political parties and within the students. There is also discontent within students that don’t identify as Republican that has caused them to speak out because of the way Donald Trump has been talking about immigration and racism. I could see why that would spark anger in people.”

Q: What can be done to alleviate tensions between students on campus?

A: “Peaceful protest is good but having dialogue in larger groups of students where there is a safe space and some sense of authority that keeps the peace is necessary. They should also be there to prevent violence and ensure constructive dialogue—that would be helpful.”

Q: Some students also feel their safety is at risk, do you share those concerns? Why or why not?

A: “Yes, in some ways. I am a very opinionated person and I try not to be offensive but I feel strongly about my beliefs. With a lot of the stuff that has been going on, especially with election, I have been feeling very uncomfortable. I don’t feel comfortable voicing my opinions on campus because you never know when someone will come out and grab you or follow you to your car. That shouldn’t be a concern.”

2Kaly Hearen, political science sophomore

Kaly Hearen, political science sophomore, poses for a photo Dec. 12. Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Multimedia Editor

Q: Recently, some students on campus have expressed their discontent with the university’s president, Denise Trauth, and her silence on issues affecting students such as racism, homophobia, and xenophobia; do you think it is her responsibility to speak out on these issues?

A: “Yeah I do. I think it is her responsibility to shut down any kind of dangerous behavior on campus. Not so much people speaking their minds, but when comes to things like people posting fliers about diversity being a bad thing, that leads to violence and it her responsibility to shut it down.”

Q: What do you think Trauth’s role as president of the university should entail in regards to students?

A: “I think her role is to promote learning and education but also cohesiveness on campus. People (should be) sharing ideas without condemning others—and she should promote positive discussion on campus.”

Q: There has been an increase in activism and protest on campus in the past year, why do you think that is?

A: “It was a volatile election and it brought out the true colors in some people that otherwise wouldn’t engage in (hateful) behavior. It’s dangerous because people get pent up and aggressive in their beliefs and it can lead to violence.”

Q: What can be done to alleviate tensions between students on campus?

A: “Calling people out and focusing on people who don’t know that they’re privileged and (explaining) to them how it is to live as a minority, whether it be race or sexual orientation. How can they step back and check their privilege (if they don’t realize they’re privileged)? I think that is what everyone needs to do. Check their privilege.”

Q: Some students also feel their safety is at risk, do you share those concerns? Why or why not?

A: “Yes, sometimes. As a white person, not so much, but as a woman definitely. Walking on campus if its dark or late and I’m alone (is scary), even more so in the past year with the increase in tension. I don’t trust people anymore.”

3Elijah Robinson, production and performance senior

Elijah Robinson, production and performance senior, poses for a photo Dec. 12 near the Alkek library. Photo by: Lara Dietrich | Multimedia Editor

Q: Recently, some students on campus have expressed their discontent with the university’s president, Denise Trauth, and her silence on issues affecting students such as racism, homophobia, and xenophobia; do you think it is her responsibility to speak out on these issues?

A: “Yes, I do. She is a leader, she is our president and someone that we look up to to solve problems whenever we have them. When she decides to not take part it takes away the bravery and care she should have for students.”

Q: What do you think Trauth’s role as president of the university should entail in regards to students?

A: “I feel like she should have a balance (between financial and social responsibilities). Times change, so different things matter but at the same time there must also be balance—without it, nothing will work right.”

Q: There has been an increase in activism and protest on campus in the past year, why do you think that is?

A: “It’s not just things on campus but around the country, around the nation and the world that are affecting us. We (the campus) are getting more political, we’re getting smarter and brave. We are not afraid to speak up.”

Q: What can be done to alleviate tensions between students on campus?

A: “No matter how much you show love to someone, if their heart is full of hatred—their heart is full of hatred. We have to keep love in our heart at all times. If you want to be a part of the change, then be a part of it. If you want to be a part of the problem, then that is your fault.”

Q: Some students also feel their safety is at risk, do you share those concerns? Why or why not?

A: “I don’t feel threatened because technically—I am the threat. However, that is an issue because some people who feel threatened by me could attack me, but I have never had that problem.”

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