A picture’s worth a thousand words: Remove President Romo’s photos


Editorial Board and Rudy Sanchez

UTSA has made ample efforts to promote a safe and comfortable campus environment for all students and faculty. In response to recent events, President Eighmy and his administration have created resources for supporting victims of sexual misconduct and discrimination. These efforts are in the form of a zero-tolerance policy accompanied with increased compliance training for faculty, the launch of a campus safety website, the hiring of a new Title IX Coordinator and more.

UTSA is no stranger to sexual misconduct issues. In 2017, the UT system launched an investigation into former UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo’s conduct in response to multiple sexual harassment allegations. According to the results of the probe, the information “supports the conclusion President Romo engaged in sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against the victims.”

Dr. Romo’s legacy, while filled with accomplishments and contributions made for UTSA students, is overshadowed by his controversial exit—a dark time in our university’s history.

Unfortunately, UTSA students are constantly reminded of Dr. Romo’s controversial legacy via his photography that is still displayed in buildings around campus.

The university should remove Dr. Romo’s photography. However, this is not to say we should remove Dr. Romo from UTSA’s history books.

In fact, forgetting history is out of the question; the victims of Dr. Romo’s sexual harassment will never forget his unsettling behavior. Similarly, other victims of sexual misconduct attending UTSA cannot forget their experiences, especially when they are reminded of Dr. Romo’s legacy through his artwork.

Still, more than two years since the UT system’s investigation, why have Dr. Romo’s photographs not been taken down?

While the university cannot erase the past, it’s time to move on. There is no reason to continue displaying Dr. Romo’s artwork on campus. One recommendation—remove the photographs and utilize the space to showcase artwork created by our own students.

If the university truly wishes to create a comfortable and safe environment for UTSA students and faculty, then the display of Dr. Romo’s photography seems to contradict this mission.