Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Stop hate off-campus

Hate crime occurs in West Campus, UT fails to respond
Stop+hate+off-campus
Noah Willoughby

On Sunday, Feb. 4 a Palestinian-American was stabbed near the University of Texas at Austin. The incident took place in West Campus while the victim, 23-year-old Zacharia Doar, and his friends were traveling after attending a protest at the state capitol building earlier in the day. While Doar and his group were driving, 36-year-old Bert Baker approached their vehicle on a bike. After approaching, Baker instigated violence, opening the vehicle’s doors and yelling racial slurs at the group. This resulted in the group exiting the vehicle to confront Baker, where Doar would then be stabbed in the chest. UTPD then responded to the scene located off 26th and Nueces St. and arrested Baker.

While those targeted in the altercation were not students, they easily could have been. The incident took place in an area heavily concentrated with students, and there has been a growing number of hate crimes involving college students within the last year. In Vermont, three Palestinian-Americans were shot on the streets while on break from school, and in Columbus, Ohio, two Jewish Ohio State University  students were attacked while leaving a bar. And, while these incidents did not happen on campus, the schools acted accordingly. 

The acting president of OSU at the time, Peter Mohler, released a statement condemning the attack and stated that they would not tolerate violations of university rules regarding “antisemitism, bigotry, Islamophobia, racism, sexism and violence.” Alongside this, a vigil was held at Brown University for the students affected by the Vermont shooting. At this vigil, a professor read a statement from one of the victims claiming gratitude for support from his peers but also stating, “I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict.” After the attack on West Campus, UT Austin and the UT system have been radio silent, and no official statements have been released for students. 

The UT system’s lack of response is appalling and shows a lack of support for the victim and students that would be affected by the attack. Regardless of political affiliation or the sides taken during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the stabbing on West Campus is a hate crime and UT must respond as such. The victim could have been a UT student given the incident happened in a hotspot for student activity and living. The lack of public statements shows that UT would rather be complacent with the violence than lend support to those in need of it. A statement is the least UT could do to make its students feel supported during these uncertain times.  

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About the Contributors
Noah Willoughby, Staff Writer
Noah (he/him) is a Communications major at UTSA. Noah was born in San Antonio and has been here all of his life. He has spent a large portion of that life working with people who have disabilities throughout various jobs, but decided to come back to college to find a new path. He enjoys reading and writing and hopes to do the latter as a full-time gig.

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