A conversation Eighmy doesn’t want to have


“The three absent Eighmys,” Illustrated by Emmanuelle Maher

Editorial Board

In the wake of a tragedy, whom do students expect to hear from? No one other than the leader of our university: President Dr. Taylor Eighmy. One of the most tragic events in our community, a completed on-campus suicide, occurred in December. In the wake of this tragedy, when students looked for leadership, guidance and solidarity, Eighmy was silent. In fact, he did not comment on the incident publicly until 64 days later, when The Paisano asked for a quote.

Saying nothing says a lot. When the president is quiet about an issue, our community feels his cold shoulder. Eighmy was quick to launch a wellness initiative but failed to acknowledge its exigence: the state of mental health on campus in the wake of a suicide.

Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students LT Robinson issued a campuswide email eight days after the tragedy, referencing UTSA’s counseling and mental health services. If that email was meant to send condolences to the community, then the president should have sent it himself. 

On Dec. 6, The UTSA Twitter account tweeted a statement that directly addressed the incident, identifying the deceased student and using the term “suicide” only two days after the incident. Why did the UTSA Twitter account address an on-campus suicide to over 72,000 followers, yet Eighmy failed to address students, faculty and staff? 

On Thursday, we witnessed another incident of self-harm. Again, our president piggybacked on LT Robinson’s email. Again,  the university’s response came via proxy through a member of Eighmy’s administration. Don’t be surprised if Eighmy — once again — sends someone else to deliver his message during the upcoming campus forums that are part of his wellbeing initiative. 

If Eighmy truly cared about his community’s wellness, then he would publicly address the tragedies that we are enduring alone. Eighmy’s silence during these events is not golden; it’s an abdication of his role as our leader.