Horns Down: Young Conservatives mistake hatred for discussion.
Every time a national news network pulls a stock photo of the UT Tower to illustrate an article on the thoughtless actions of the Young Conservatives of Texas, also known as YCT, we find ourselves reminded of one the most frustrating realities of sharing a campus with YCT: The more attention they get, the more people outside the state of Texas feel secure in dismissing all of UT as intolerant and crude.
Yes, YCT’s actions are rightfully protected under the First Amendment, and any intervention on the part of the University to stop them would be unjust.
But that doesn’t mean YCT’s planned event, a controversial mock immigration “sting,” to be held on campus Wednesday, during which students will receive $25 gift cards for “catching” volunteers wearing “illegal immigrant” signs, is anything but disgusting. University leaders and students alike have rightfully denounced the event.
YCT claims the event is meant “to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives.”
There are probably more than a few members of YCT who feel that they’ve accomplished this mission simply because they’ve garnered the attention of the media. But if they read a little closer, or — dare we suggest it — opened their minds just a little, they’d realize that discussions started out of deep disgust and hatred fail to accomplish much in the way of progress. They’ve only done what we wish they hadn’t: alienated members of the UT community and further galvanized those beyond the 40 Acres into thinking of Texas as a backward community unable to do anything but hunt down and jail people who are different from ourselves.
Horns Up: Texas Congressmen fighting sex trafficking.
Today U.S. Sen. John Cornyn will join Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, and several other national lawmakers from both parties to introduce the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, which would increase resources for law enforcement, strengthen penalties for perpetrators and expand services for victims of sex trafficking. This isn’t the first time Cornyn has fought on behalf of the victims of this underreported and despicable crime. His most recent bill on the issue, filed in February, would reclassify sex trafficking as a violent crime, a move that we would call a no-brainer. That bill has not yet passed the Senate. We applaud Cornyn for his consistent efforts, and hope the bills will soon become law.
Horns Up: UT getting better at water conservation.
As The Daily Texan reported Monday, the University is taking steps to increase its sustainability by decreasing the overall amount of water it uses and increasing its reliance on recycled water. Although it still has a long way to go before it reaches its 2020 sustainability goals, UT already compares favorably with other similarly sized institutions and has made good progress over the last 30 years by reducing its total water usage by around 30 percent and increasing its reliance on recycled water. We’re encouraged by the University’s long-term commitment to conserving water in a time of unprecedented drought and hope it keeps up the good work.