Andrew Clark

From left, Provost Gregory L. Fenves, President Bill Powers, and former Senate of College Councils President Andrew Clark sit in at the UT Board of Regents meeting. Powers and Clark proposed a 2.13 percent tuition increase for in-state tuition and 2.6 percent increase for out-of-state tuition to the board on Wednesday afternoon. 

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

Two years after freezing in-state tuition for UT-Austin students, the UT System Board of Regents approved tuition increases for out-of-state undergraduate students at the University and tabled the discussion on in-state tuition on Wednesday.

Beginning in the fall 2014 semester, there will be a 2.6 percent increase for out-of-state students’ tuition. Along with that increase, President William Powers Jr. and Andrew Clark, former President of College Councils, also proposed a 2.13 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition in a presentation to the board at the meeting. The board decided not to vote on the increase to in-state tuition until its meeting on May 20. At that meeting, the regents will also discuss increases for the University's guaranteed tuition plan.

System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and board Chairman Paul Foster both said they want to find alternate sources of recurring revenue instead of raising in-state tuition. Foster said the board would try to direct money from the Permanent University Fund — a public endowment of land in West Texas — to each institution, rather than increasing in-state tuition.

“There are ways that we can work within the rules and within the law, obviously, in order to try to direct funds in the right way,” Foster said. “But, it’s complicated. We’re going to work on that over the next week and make sure everybody gets their questions answered.

After the meeting, Foster said the board’s decision was influenced by a letter Gov. Rick Perry sent to him Wednesday morning. In the letter, Perry asked the board to consider alternative options to tuition increases, such as using money from the Permanent University Fund.

Foster said finding recurring revenue streams — other than increasing in-state tuition — will help improve faculty retention and recruitment rates at the various System institutions.

“This time around, that’s one of the things that we are determined to do — make sure whatever mechanism we come up [with] for funding, that it is recurring,”  Foster said.

During his presentation to the board, Powers said the University’s tuition would still be lower compared to most peer institutions, despite proposed increases.

“Under this proposal, UT-Austin would continue to be at the low end of our university peer group,” Powers said. “We also deliver very high quality undergraduate education with very low expenditures for students.”

Clark, an international relations and global studies senior, said after the meeting he was pleased the board was focused on lowering costs, even though he said he would have liked to see a conclusion to the discussion.

“I personally think it’s a little unfortunate that everyone was there and ready and they presented their proposals — all nine academic campuses,” Clark said. “I’m hopeful [the board] will be able to identify sources of recurring revenue that would match what could be generated from tuition dollars...If we can get the same outcome or a better outcome without increasing tuition, then that’s great.”

In fall 2013, Clark and two other student officials formed a committee to develop the University's tuition proposal. According to Clark, the three-person committee was used in place of a full-sized panel of students, faculty and administrators because the board sent proposal instructions too late into the semester to accommodate it. The committee initially recommended a 3.6 percent tuition increase for out-of-state students and no increase for in-state students.

After the regents issued revised instructions to the University in February, an expanded committee of seven student leaders developed a new tuition proposal.  The committee recommended a 2.6 percent increase for all undergraduate students. Clark said the board lowered the in-state tuition increase to 2.13 percent before Wednesday’s meeting. Both proposals did not recommend any changes in graduate student tuition.

Mukund Rathi, computer science junior, addressed the regents after Powers and Clark presented the University's proposal. Rathi, who also encouraged the regents to use at the Permanent University Fund to offset the tuition increases, said the student input process at UT was not inclusive.

“UT has not made a serious attempt to get student input,” Rathi said. “Only ten students not in these legislative bodies had a chance to speak and every single one of these students spoke against the tuition hikes.”

Additional reporting by Nicole Cobler.

Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: In anticipation of the May 1 deadline for admitted high-school students to chose to attend the University, we asked student leaders on campus to tell us why they came to UT. This submission, from former Senate of College Councils President Andrew Clark, is the first of several that will run this week. It has been minimally edited for style.

For me, attending The University of Texas was meant to be. I grew up in a house divided; my dad went to Texas A&M and my mom is a proud Texas Ex. There are even two sets of baby photos in my house, one of my younger brother and I wearing maroon, another in burnt orange. I grew up thinking there were only two possible schools I could attend: UT and A&M. As I neared senior year of high school I realized there was far more available than just these two Texas flagships, but I couldn’t help but feel a connection to those schools. Despite the efforts of my parents, I went in with an open mind, looking at schools from across the state and the country. Inevitably, all it took was a visit to the 40 Acres one day in September to realize that this was the place for me. And no disrespect to the Aggies — including my brother, who kept our house evenly divided — but considering four years in Austin or four years in College Station practically made the decision for me.

Reflecting on that choice now, I realize that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But it wasn’t easy, as I was one of only two students from my graduating class to come to Texas. Though I already felt quite an affinity for UT, it was an intimidating proposition to move to Austin without really knowing anyone. It even led me to keep A&M in the running until the last minute because I had several friends going there. But once I arrived, I was fortunate to quickly find my niche on campus in the Senate of College Councils, one of UT’s three legislative student organizations. I had the privilege and honor of representing the students of this campus through Senate, culminating with my term as Senate president this year. The people I encountered through Senate over my four years are without question the most remarkable people I’ve ever met, and they are what truly made my college experience meaningful. UT offers its students an incredible breadth of experiences, with world-class academics, a second-to-none athletics program, an active lifestyle in one of the most popular cities in the country and the opportunity to make a positive impact on campus. I received an outstanding education, but in my case, the experiences I had outside the classroom are what most define my four years at UT. I learned by serving the students of the campus and working with extraordinary people, and in the process, I made memories that I’ll never forget.

For anyone still considering UT that may be reading this, our president, Bill Powers, says a great university “opens up a world of ideas to you. You may show up and think you don’t belong. But you do belong because it changes your life.” I am living proof that these words are true. My experience at UT has made me the person I am today. The 40 Acres expanded my worldview, showed me success and failure, gave me lifelong friends, and taught me more than I could imagine. Ultimately, that’s what college is all about. UT gave me far more than I could ever give in return, and as I prepare to graduate I have more people to thank than I can count. But the best thing about UT is that my story is just one of many you’ll find on the 40 Acres. I encourage you to attend the University of Texas and write your own story. You certainly won’t regret it. 

Clark is an international relations and global studies senior from Canyon Lake. He will be graduating in May.

Only five of the 14 commencement speakers since 2000 have been women— most recently Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Although the University has hosted numerous commencement speakers since its first commencement ceremony in 1884, during the past 24 years only about one-third of those speakers have been female.

Horacio Villarreal, former Student Government president, said diversity is one of many factors that influence the decision for commencement speaker.

“I don’t know exactly why that happens,” Villarreal said when referring to the lower percentage of female speakers. “A lot of it just has to do with the current time and with what’s going on in the world. We try to pick someone relevant to UT, who has gone through challenges, and who will be motivating to students.”

Andrew Clark, former Senate of College Councils president, said many different student groups provide input toward selecting a commencement speaker. 

“Student leaders from the Senate of College Councils, the assembly and Student Government get together with the [University] president to decide who the speaker is going to be,” Clark said. “We make a rough list of initial names from input we get from our constituents, and then we vet them and the list gets narrowed down.”

Several factors, such as alumni status and recognition, influence the choice for commencement speaker, according to Clark.

“Being a UT grad is always a top priority,” Clark said. “Then, we want someone well-recognized — particularly if they have national recognition around the time of commencement.”

Clark said speaking ability is also a priority.

“We look for someone we think would be captivating for students to hear,” Clark said. “It wouldn’t make a lot of sense for us to pick someone who’s going to put people to sleep.”

Villarreal said he thinks more students should be involved in the selection of a commencement speaker.

“Every student should have a say in sharing their opinions,” Villarreal said.

The last female speaker the University chose was Sanya Richards-Ross, a gold medal Olympic sprinter and Texas alum who spoke at the 2013 commencement ceremony. Since 2000, five of the 14 commencement speakers have been female. 

Michael Morton, former Senate of College Councils president, said the University chose Richards-Ross because of her accomplishments and alumni status.

“The students selected her because she [was] a leader at the top of her profession who achieved success through integrity and hard work,” Morton said in a statement released by the University.

Clark said diversity was still a main goal in choosing commencement speakers. 

“UT has a lot of diverse graduates,” Clark said. “There are a lot of people who have gone out there and, as the University motto says, ‘changed the world.’”

Updated (5:34 p.m.):  According to Kevin Hegarty, the University's executive vice president and chief financial officer, the UT System extended the deadline for the tuition proposal after students and UT administrators formally requested the extension. The proposal, originally due Wednesday, is now due Friday, Hegarty said.

Original story: One day before student leaders were required to submit a tuition proposal to President William Powers Jr., administrators at the UT System extended the deadline, according to Andrew Clark, Senate of College Councils president.

The committee of student leaders, including Clark, student government president Horacio Villarreal, and Columbia Mishra, president of the graduate student assembly, was charged with recommending up to a  2.6 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition and a 3.6 increase for out-of-state tuition. 

"We heard from UT System that the campuses have a little more flexibility on when it's due," Clark said. "I don't have a date right now, all I heard at this point is that we have some extra time to discuss the proposal."

Clark said he was not told when the new proposal will be due, but the group will plan to complete it sometime in the next few weeks, regardless. 

Typically, tuition advisory committees are formed every two years around August to create a proposal for setting tuition, following directives from the UT System Board of Regents. This year, the regents issued a directive halfway through the fall semester that forbade tuition increases for in-state students. As a result, a smaller-than-typical advisory committee — composed of three people — recommended a 3.6 percent tuition increase for out of state students.

On Feb. 25, the regents issued new instructions that a full committe should be formed to consider an in-state tuition increase of up to 2.6 percent. 

The UT System and the tuition advisory committee have both received significant student criticism — the System for not allowing enough time for a proposal to be developed, and the committee for failing to provide avenues for broader student input.

 The group is working to create a new proposal for a one-year cycle, rather than the traditional two-year cycle tuition is set on. 
 

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

At the request of the UT System Board of Regents, a working group of student leaders will now consider up to a 2.6 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition in addition to the 3.6 percent out-of-state increase proposed in December.

In 2012, the UT System did not approve any tuition increases at the University and allocated $13.2 million from the Available University Fund to offset tuition and fee increases for 2013 and 2014.

In December, the ad hoc committee of three student leaders, which replaced UT’s Tuition Policy Advisory Committee because of time constraints, created a proposal that requested the hike in out-of-state undergraduate tuition. No changes to in-state undergraduate or graduate-student tuition were initially proposed.

The new working group now has seven student leaders, including graduate students, who were not involved in December’s proposal. The group will have one month to create a new proposal for a one-year cycle. In previous years, tuition has been set for a two-year cycle.

Andrew Clark, Senate of College Councils president, said the working group has met once and will allow students to give their input at the Student Government, Graduate Student Assembly and Senate meetings this week.

“I’m personally very frustrated by the lack of time,” Clark said. “We certainly would have much preferred to do the regular [TPAC] process where we have a couple months to really make this a data-driven experience and use more opportunities for student engagement.”

Clark said the working group has decided graduate student tuition will not increase, and no further decisions will be reached until forums are held with students.

“We will use these meetings as an opportunity to host a forum, do a presentation to explain where we are and some possibilities that may be considered and open it up for questions and comments,” Clark said.

GSA President Columbia Mishra said GSA requested through legislation in February to be involved in any tuition discussions — whether graduate tuition is discussed or not. Graduate students were not involved in December’s proposal.

“Everyone should come and take part, as it is indeed an important issue,” Mishra said. “Getting the word out to the students now is critical.”

Wanda Mercer, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said, although there are time constraints, the decision must be made before the semester ends.

“You can’t have quite as widespread of a discussion in six weeks’ time as you can in three months’ time, but, on the other hand, we must get these decisions made by early summer, so students can understand what their tuition and fees are going to be,” Mercer said.

Mercer believes that the instructions for the new proposal were sent out because other universities, such as Texas A&M, created a guaranteed plan that would have significant increases in funding.

“The bottom line is the board members agreed to hear what the presidents [of all UT System universities] would like to do for at least one year,” Mercer said. “They have an opportunity not only to submit that but talk to members of the board.” 

Mercer said the debate around the tuition proposal is important to the University.

“I’m glad students are interested, and I find it reassuring that there’s a healthy debate about it,” Mercer said. “It’s an investment they are making in their future.”

Correction: This article has been updated since its original posting. Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this story misstated the proposed percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition. The committee's proposal is recommending a 2.6 percent increase.

On February 19, the Graduate Student Assembly passed legislation asking that a GSA member be included in all conversations involving tuition on campus. The resolution comes after graduate student representation was left out of the 2015-2017 tuition working group. That group’s recommendations included increasing out-of-state undergraduate tuition by 3.6 percent while maintaining tuition rates for in-state undergraduates and all graduate and professional students. The recommendations were quickly stamped by President William Powers Jr. and sent off to the UT System for consideration, unnecessarily leaving out two segments of the UT community: graduate students and faculty. That GSA is not upset over the outcome, as the committee recommended not to increase any graduate tuition rates, is no matter. The lack of inclusion of graduate students in the tuition discussion sets an unfortunate precedent, and GSA was right to draw attention to it. 

Senate of College Councils President Andrew Clark was one of the three members on the committee, which included Student Government President Horacio Villarreal and finance and government senior Michelle Moon. The committee stands as the temporary replacement for the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, known as TPAC. Clark told the Texan in January that the UT System’s instructions for the committee came in so late that the full committee could not form and the slimmed-down working group was tasked with the recommendations without the GSA or input from faculty members.

“TPAC has always been a holistic process with a lot of data collection, information gathering and open forums to voice their opinions on tuition,” Clark told the Texan in January. “Given that we were under time constraints, we did not feel like we had the ability to do a full-scale TPAC like we did in years past.”

Two years ago, when tuition rates were last set, TPAC stood in full force with five faculty members and four student members, including the GSA president at the time.

TPAC was first introduced in 2003 in an effort to include student voices in the debate over tuition. By leaving out GSA this year, 13,000 graduate students had no say in the matter. Granted, only 507 graduate students voted in GSA executive alliance election in late February, indicating only a fraction of graduate views are even reaching GSA. 

Now, because the System dragged its feet in providing instruction for the committee, the group’s recommendations for the next two years will stand, hastily considered and without any input from a group that constitutes more than one-fifth of the student body. With an issue as important as setting tuition, no committee should be rushed into a decision, no graduate students should feel silenced and no faculty advice should be bypassed. The System did no one any favors with the way they handled these recommendations, and it should recognize its mistake long before the 2018-2020 committee takes shape and honor GSA’s request for more graduate student involvement. ‚Äč

 

In any given semester, a student’s class schedule will often include courses with varying degrees of difficulty and class work. Some classes just require more effort, more work and more time — though all classes count for a similar number of credit hours. Consequently, many students find themselves enrolled in courses that require them to be in class or in lab for far more time than is reflected on their transcripts. Why? Because the University insists on sticking to course measurements that do not fairly assess its classes’ time commitments or workload. This problem is not just students complaining about being in class longer than they want to be, but also students falling behind in their degree plan because of a bad academic policy.

“The general rule of thumb is any one hour that is given credit, that equates to one hour of meeting time per week over the course of the semester,” Vice Provost and registrar Shelby Stanfield said. “A three-hour course would meet for three hours a week, for a total of 45 hours a semester.”

As Stanfield explained, the faculty and curriculum committees within each college determine the credit hours warranted for each course based on this “rule of thumb.” 

The amount of work necessary for a single credit hour is determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, but Stanfield said that simply serves as a minimum for the number of course hours awarded. That means a faculty committee can allot three hours of credit even for a class that meets more than three hours a week.  

Andrew Clark, Senate of College Councils president, said the unfair credit system is a problem the Senate hears about often. 

“If you have a lab that gives you two hours’ worth of credit, but you’re consistently spending five hours a week in a lab, why shouldn’t you get something that accurately represents the amount of work that went into your project?” Clark said. “We commonly hear that from engineering and natural sciences students. It is certainly something the University should take a closer look at and be proactive on.”

Clark said the problem is felt most acutely in STEM courses, which often include lab sections with hands-on work. But the problem exists in courses from any college that require labs, studio time or discussion sections.

Studio art junior Haylie Weathersby said studio courses cause art students similar issues to the ones seen in the science labs.

“The studios are four-hour classes, twice a week, but you’re only getting credit for three hours,” Weathersby said. “There is only a couple of time slots from [8 a.m to 12 p.m.], 2-6 p.m. or sometimes even a 6-10 p.m., so you have to plan around your lunch break or work and the other required classes you need outside of art.”

Weathersby said the difficulty of getting the right classes at the right times in the day can be a problem for art students and can put them behind schedule. 

There is no question that hands-on work — whether it be in biology or ceramics — takes time. And certainly, not every course offered on campus should be limited to a three-hour time slot. But the University should understand that the extra in-class time required for a course should be reflected in credit toward a degree.

Michael Morton, former president of the Senate of College Councils, said that the Senate has tried to tackle this problem before but has had no success. 

“It’s an issue that is never going to be resolved unless you redid the entire curriculum or degree plans,” Morton said. “[Members of Senate of College Councils] had discussions about it with President [William Powers Jr.], provost [Steven] Leslie and at the time Vice Provost Gretchen Ritter, though everyone’s left, about how it would be implemented and how you could get a fair credit for class. In our discussions with Powers, he didn’t see it as an issue we could resolve and there were better issues to focus on for helping students with other hiccups in the actual degree plans.”

Morton said the simple solution of increasing the course credit label to the actual number of hours required — i.e., an intensive 3-credit-hour lab that actually takes up 8 hours of class time would become an 8-credit-hour class — doesn’t help if the degree plan also becomes more difficult to accomplish. Moreover, this solution bypasses addressing the problem of fair course credit assessment. 

Admittedly, restricting curriculum and redistributing course credit would be a massive overhaul for the University’s course catalog. But there’s no point in sticking to a flawed system just because it’s already there. 

Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

An ad hoc committee of student leaders, working to replace UT’s Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, proposed to increase tuition for out-of-state undergraduates by 3.6 percent after a process involving almost no student input. 

Andrew Clark, Senate of College Councils president, said the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee did not have a full semester to plan its proposal because the UT System did not send instructions until mid-semester. 

Since 2003, a committee, made up of University officials and student leaders, are tasked with recommending the rate of tuition for undergraduate and graduate students required to fund the academic budget on a biennial basis. The committee’s recommendation must be approved by the University president and the UT System Board of Regents to take effect. 

This year, a working group of three students was set up in place of the committee. The group is made up of Clark, Student Government president Horacio Villarreal and Michelle Moon, a finance, business honors and government senior.

“TPAC has always been a holistic process with a lot of data collection, information gathering and open forums to voice their opinions on tuition,” Clark said. “Given that we were under time constraints, we did not feel like we had the ability to do a full-scale TPAC like we did in years past.”

In the proposal, the group recommended that no change in tuition for graduate students and resident undergraduates, but requested that non-resident undergraduate students receive a 3.6-percent tuition adjustment.

According to UT spokesman Gary Susswein, President William Powers, Jr. has already endorsed the student recommendation and sent it to the UT System.

Laura Grisham, an undeclared freshman and out-of-state student from Missouri, said the decision to raise non-resident tuition was alarming.

“It would make sense if they had more open meetings,” Grisham said. “At least those out-of-state students would understand why the proposal was made to raise out-of-state tuition.”

The only opportunity for student involvement came when the tuition reports were presented at the Student Government and Senate of College Councils meetings during the last week of classes in December.

“We didn’t feel like there was enough time to really seek the campus’ opinion on tuition, and we didn’t feel it would be right to potentially raise people’s tuition without a chance to give them an opportunity to voice their opinions,” Clark said.

The working group’s decision to request a change in out-of-state tuition was determined by the request made by the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee in 2011.

“The reason we went with that number was because the 2011 TPAC process was the last time that the campus had a real opportunity to voice its opinions and engage in tuition,” Clark said.

He said the working group also made sure the University would comply with House Bill 29 — passed in the 83rd Texas Legislature — which requires all institutions to offer a four-year fixed-rate tuition plan for entering students.

Clarification: The headline for this story has been changed since its original posting.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

Hours before graduate public affairs student Gene Vela, a member of the Senate of College Councils’ Leadership Team, was involved in an armed standoff with police officers, the Senate’s Executive Board convened at his house for a scheduled meeting.

Though multiple board members referred The Daily Texan to the Senate’s faculty sponsor, Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly, for comment, Reagins-Lilly denied any knowledge of the meeting in a statement. Reagins-Lilly was unavailable for an interview.

“We are unaware of any Senate of College Councils organizational or business activity scheduled on the evening in question,” Reagins-Lilly said in a statement. “Our priority in this matter remains the safety and well-being of our students.”

Senate President Andrew Clark said Senate board meetings are regularly scheduled events and are occasionally held off campus, as the board meeting was on Nov. 10. 

“We meet every Sunday at 7 p.m., whether it be Leadership Team or the Executive Board of Senate,” Clark said. “We meet every single Sunday, and sometimes we do meet off campus, but I don’t know how often.”

Clark said Reagins-Lilly would provide information and said despite the board meeting at Vela’s house, the standoff is not a Senate issue.

“Gene was a member of Senate and obviously was a contributor to the organization, but beyond that, this is something that’s kind of transcended the scope of Senate,” Clark said. “So that’s why it’s Dean Lilly’s responsibility. In any student conduct related matters, or legal things, it’s Dean Lilly’s role to take on.”

On Nov. 10, Austin Police Department officers arrived at Vela’s North Campus apartment, close to St. David’s Medical Center, after Vela called a friend and hung up abruptly. Police said the unidentified friend was concerned enough to call 911. 

When the police arrived, Vela aimed a handgun at them through his window, according to police department Assistant Chief Raul Munguia. After officers fired bullets into the corner of the window, Vela retreated, at which point police heard what they believed to be Vela loading and discharging more firearms.

Vela returned to his apartment window and pointed his laser-equipped handgun directly at the officers’ chests, and officers Leo Cardenas and Adrien Chopin fired, Munguia said. Vela was hit in the left torso and fell back. 

Clark said he was not aware Vela, who is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq in 2002, kept weapons in his apartment. 

“Gene is a veteran, we all knew that,” Clark said. “All I know is what’s been reported in the papers. I had no idea that he had weapons or any sort of anything else.”

Clark denied any further knowledge of what might have caused Vela to aim a handgun at officers that night. 

“I had no idea about any of the stuff that went on after the fact,” Clark said. “All I know is what’s been reported in the papers.”

In the days since the standoff, multiple members of the board have denied comment completely or referred to Clark and Reagins-Lilly for comment. 

Student Government President Horacio Villarreal said he was surprised at the seeming lack of transparency, but said he felt certain circumstances require private handling.

“This does somewhat surprise me,” Villarreal said. “In dealing with the Senate Executive Board this year, they’ve been incredibly transparent — but I trust them, they’re good people and I trust they’re making the right decision.”

Vela, who is being held in the Travis County Jail, has been charged with aggravated assault against a public servant. Currently, his bond remains set at $100,000.

Clarification: Soncia Reagins-Lilly, dean of students, was contacted for an interview but released a statement instead.

Student Government members registered formal disapproval of the recent actions of UT Regent Wallace Hall, approving a “vote of no confidence” against Hall at their meeting Tuesday.

The joint resolution with the Senate of College Councils, which was passed with 25 SG votes, was proposed in light of recent allegations that Hall violated student privacy, according to Senate president Andrew Clark. SG President Horacio Villarreal and SG Chief Justice Philip Wiseman proposed the resolution together with Clark.   

“We are saying as students that we do not have confidence in Regent Hall to perform his duties,” Clark said.

Hall is currently under investigation by the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations for allegedy overstepping his boundaries as a regent. Last week, the commitee heard testimony from UT System employees who said Hall had received documents with unredacted student information typically protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

According to the board’s general counsel Francie Frederick, the information was mistakenly given to Hall after University and UT System officials took unorthodox steps to grant him access to the hundreds of thousands of documents he requested.

“If I were replaying this, we would not hand one document to Regent Hall before someone in my office actually looked at it,” Frederick said in her testimony. “I think we failed him by allowing this to happen.”

After seeing private student information, Hall allegedly showed the documents to his private attorney, Frederick said. 

The legislation was fast-tracked to a vote, and members of student government received the resolution less than an hour before the SG meeting began, according to Melysa Barth, a representative for the College of Education. Typically, legislation must be submitted by midnight on the Friday preceding an SG meeting. 

Barth said the last-minute nature of the resolution left her unable to determine how her constituents felt about Hall’s performance.

“It is not your job to vote on behalf of yourself; it is your job to vote on behalf of your constituents,” Barth said at the meeting.

Business student Garrett Neville, who voted no to the resolution, said he had similar concerns.

“I’m supposed to represent my constituents, and I have not had the chance to hear from them,” Neville said.

Ali Raza, University-wide representative and member of the Liberal Arts Council, said he felt strongly about the importance of the resolution and said he was prepared to represent the desires of the Council. 

“This is almost unanimously supported by the Liberal Arts Council,” Raza said. “I can justify voting in favor of this resolution — it is our job to vote about the contents of this resolution.”

Architecture student representative Andrew Grant Houston said he was frustrated by the attention Hall’s actions were receiving.

“There is a new university being built in Rio Grande … that should be the biggest thing going on this year, but it’s not,” Houston said at the meeting. “It’s being undermined by Regent Wallace Hall’s actions.”