Student Government wants black students at UT to know they stand with them by passing a resolution Tuesday night in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Santiago Rosales, SG Speaker of the Assembly.
Assembly Resolution 13, “In Support of Black Students and Black Lives Matter Movement,” was passed by the SG assembly with 27 votes in favor of the resolution and three abstaining.
“Student Government wants to say it believes in its black students, and it wants to support them, and it wants policy changes to be made to support them,” Rosales said. “I think a big reason it was introduced in the first place dealt with this message of affirmation and of support for our black students here at UT.”
The resolution was originally introduced to parallel the My Black UT Matters event put on by Students for Equity and Diversity on Nov. 3, but the fast-track to vote on the bill was unsuccessful at the SG Nov. 1 assembly meeting, delaying its passage.
“The message, with or without the event, is something that’s important to come from Student Government,” Rosales said.
Jasmine Barnes, director of Students for Equity and Diversity, spoke in support of the resolution and said its passage was important for students at UT regardless of the delay.
“It’s essential because these issues aren’t going away,” Barnes said. “These issues have been happening for hundreds of years, and they’re not going away unless we take a stance and say the University, if not the country, supports black lives … Passing legislation is an affirmation of that by Student Government. It is also encouragement for students by showing that their governing bodies care about them.”
Despite his status as a Hispanic student, Rosales said supporting black students at UT is just as important to him and people of his ethnicity who he represents.
“Different marginalized groups are tied together by different forms of marginalization,” Rosales said. “I think it’s important for Latinx students, both here and across the state, to show their support for black students, because black rights and the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. [Martin Luther King, Jr] created a lot of benefits for the Latinx community. I think that sense of allyship is what helps us move forward.”
Julia Barber, College of Pharmacy representative, was one of the three representatives who abstained from the vote, saying her college council she represents didn’t support the resolution in a supermajority.
“I polled our council, and I had like a 60, 40 split,” Barber said. “I voted based on that, and it doesn’t represent my actual opinion about it.”