SG halts affirmative action resolution

AddThis

Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

A Student Government resolution in support of racial consideration in the holistic admissions process will not hit the floor before the Fisher v. University of Texas case is heard by the Supreme Court on Dec. 9.

John Falke, University-wide representative in SG and co-author of the resolution, pulled his sponsorship — the only sponsorship — from the resolution, essentially killing it after some executive board members stated their dissatisfaction with the resolution.

The resolution was originally supposed to be fast-tracked in order for the assembly to vote on it before the case — which will determine the constitutionality of UT’s racial admission policies — is heard before the Supreme Court. The motion to fast-track was rejected by speaker of the assembly Tanner Long.

“With a fast-track, usually you have to have some sort of time-sensitive material,” Long said. “With this particular case, it wasn’t necessarily time-sensitive because there had been plenty of time leading up to it.”

SG administrative director Amber Magee said she thought the resolution did not represent student voices well enough, which is why she showed opposition to it before it was able to reach the SG floor. Magee said she believes the resolution would not have impacted the Fisher case because amicus briefs have already been sent to the court by student leaders, students of color and leaders of diversity organizations on campus.

“It wasn’t to say we don’t support UT’s stance in the Fisher case,” Magee said. “But this wasn’t the best product, and the fast-track motion would have removed student voice from that.”

Falke said he originally planned to overturn the motion rejecting to fast-track the resolution with the help of other assembly members, but, after hearing word of Magee and other’s dissatisfaction, he pulled his sponsorship.

“We weren’t going to get the votes necessary to fast-track, so it would have been pointless to do it without the fast track,” Falke said. “I just think it’s important that Student Government states our opinion on [UT’s racial admissions policy] that is very well about to be struck down. I think we’re failing the students when we don’t do that.”

Falke said the Graduate Student Assembly and Senate of College Councils could still pass their versions of the resolution, but he will not attempt to bring it back next semester.

“Oral arguments are being heard on December 9th, so we failed,” Falke said. “People don’t think I’m going far enough, and I’m legitimately trying to be an ally, and I legitimately have good intentions.”

Magee said she did not want the bill to be pulled but rather wanted it to go through the normal process for committee, although Falke said that would have meant the resolution would not have passed until after the Supreme Court case. According to Magee, SG passed a resolution in support of affirmative action in light of the Fisher case in 2012, making the resolution unnecessary.

“SG already had an opinion that was officially published back in 2012,” Magee said. “Republishing it now just makes it seem like we are patting ourselves on the back for a policy that hasn’t changed from the first introduction of the Fisher case.”