Racially motivated incidents at UT should be a call to action


The main building and tower at the University of Texas, Austin. The campus has recently suffered from a string of racially motivated and culturally insensitive incidents. 

Recently, the University of Texas at Austin has gained national attention. No, the Longhorn football team did not win another conference title. There have been a string of racially motivated and culturally insensitive incidents in West Campus.

It is an accepted fact that the Greek system dominates a majority of West Campus. The sheer number of students who are members, active or alumni, is startling. It is undeniable that the Greek system brings revenue to the university.

The Delta Delta Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities have recently come under condemnation for the culturally insensitive “fiesta” themed parties. Sorority members and their guests dressed up in stereotypical and inflammatory outfits they thought were traditional attire. You know, if traditional Mexican attire was skimpy. Some participants even dressed up as border patrol cops.

The Alpha Tau Omegas planned to throw a party entitled “A Border to Cross.” The party was supposed to have an obstacle course that was supposed to symbolize the crossing of the Texas/Mexico border by immigrants. One side of the party was supposed to be Mexico while the other was Texas. Revolting.

Thankfully, many UT students expressed outrage towards the event. The fraternity cancelled the event and issued a public apology.

Bleach balloon attacks occurred on campus. Minority students reported incidents where balloons literally filled with bleach were dropped on students as they walked through West Campus. Let that digest. Balloons filled with bleach dropped on students of color. As of now, university officials say it is difficult to prove that these are hate crimes.

These isolated incidents are disgusting in and of themselves. However, reaction of the university officials and a majority of students is truly appalling.

The response to these incidents have ranged from community outrage to apathy. It seems as if a majority of Longhorn supporters, alumni and students are equally detached and apathetic. Keep in mind, this university has the ability to superstitious rally attended by thousands of people even though some do not even attend the school. This university centers itself around the idea of community connection.

Yes, there have been marches, meetings and rallies, but it is not enough. Consider how big the student population and alumni network are at UT. Also, consider how many of your Facebook friends go to UT. Did they post any articles about this? Did they express any outrage? Did you even know about it?

Public condemnation of these racist acts has been lacking. Remaining silent is almost as worse as the act. UT as an institution and a student body is not racist so why have they not publicly voiced utter opposition to these acts? UT should not let the actions of an ignorant few taint the undeniable prestige and influence of their institution, students and alumni.

Every student should yell at the top of their lungs that their school is not defined by racism.