Texas State is home to nearly 40,000 Bobcats. Our campus is beautifully diverse in a multitude of ways, and that makes our university all the better. However, there is a difference between “diverse” and “inclusionary.”
The past year has been a trying and tumultuous one for Texas State: it has been one of political tension, racial divides, disillusion and distress for students who should never have to fear for their safety.
This past year, Texas State, while excelling at diversity, has failed at inclusion.
Fostering a positive campus community where everyone can feel safe and heard seems like an obvious and fairly straightforward objective for any university leader, yet such a goal has proven difficult for our current representatives. Without proper representation, it will only continue to prove difficult.
On Nov. 9, 2016, fliers were posted around our campus demanding university leaders who celebrate diversity to be tortured. Fliers of this sort have continued to pop up frequently since.
Although it is understandable for our leaders to be alarmed and even scared, calls for violence against the livelihood of entire peoples demand leaders who will fight that much harder to ensure diversity and inclusion in the face of bigotry.
University leadership should stand firm and absolute in its disdain for the hateful rhetoric that has plagued our campus. All students who attend Texas State are sacrificing something to be here, therefore, all students deserve leadership ready and willing to go to bat for them. The student body is entitled to more than that of depthless responses in times of divisiveness.
Texas State truly is one of the best universities in the nation, from the river that runs through campus all the way to the groundbreaking research being conducted by our distinguished faculty. But even with this, the institution has a long way to go. No longer can we tout our Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, Non-traditional, veteran, etc. students around like a badge of honor without properly bringing them equal visibility. There are many underrepresented groups that feel as if their voices are being stifled by a sense of superiority and dominance.
Our Student Government should be the catalyst for change many so desperately need during this transitional period. Advocacy in the Senate chamber has, unfortunately, been replaced by resumé-building and political gain. Limited transparency has led to a lack of oversight, which has given past administrations the ability to prioritize symbolic motions that in no way impact the student body. The increase in motions being passed has been mistaken for productivity.
Each elected representative must understand the importance of their position and that Student Government has no room for self-servants. With that, representatives must also realize if they are not willing to execute the duties they swore to uphold, there are thousands of individuals who would be more than willing to take their place.
The only way progress will be made on campus is if we put the power back in the hands of constituents. We must prop up candidates who genuinely have everyone’s best interests in mind and seek to listen to students even when the conversation may cause discomfort. We must promote alliance amongst student leaders, and most importantly, we must vote Miller-Shelvin ’18.
Take Action Texas State.
Eli Miller is a candidate for student body president. The publication of this column is not an endorsement from The University Star.