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

Fund cultural graduations

UTSA offers no official position on status of cultural graduations
Fund+cultural+graduations
Noah Willoughby

Last month, Texas witnessed the signing of the infamous Senate Bill 17 into law by Governor Greg Abbott. This controversial law would force all Texas Universities and colleges to shutter their diversity, equity and inclusion offices while prohibiting preferences based on race, ethnicity or nationality. 

While the immediate effects concerning admissions and university operations are concerning, SB 17 has other wide-ranging consequences that may fly under the radar of the public eye. One of these consequences may be the cancellation of cultural graduations at Texas Universities, including but not limited to the Lavender Graduation, GraduAsian, Latinx Graduation and Black Graduation. 

Concerns are already being raised at the University of Texas at Austin, where the closing of the UT Multicultural Engagement Center has led to the university’s complete defunding of cultural graduations. However, the UT Alumni Association Texas Exes has pledged to continue the tradition of cultural graduations. 

Since the passing of SB 17 and the recent concerns about cultural graduations being raised at UT, the UTSA administration has yet to offer an official statement about the current status of cultural graduations for this upcoming commencement season. 

However, in a statement to The Paisano, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Affairs Joe Izbrand stated that “these celebrations are scheduled closer to commencement dates so, while there are conversations underway to explore the best way to meet the wishes of students, it will likely be several more weeks before we have information to share. Regardless, [UTSA] will be compliant with Senate Bill 17.”

UTSA must take a more definitive stance on the status of cultural graduations. The concerns of students must be heard and addressed by the administration. As Roadrunners, we must advocate for the continuation of cultural graduations, whether it be through the university or in conjunction with the UTSA alumni organization. All graduating Roadrunners, present and future, deserve to take part in this extremely valuable tradition like those who came before them.

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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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