El Paso, Texas — Once again, the El Paso County Democratic Party voices its opposition to the UT Board of Regents’ decision to name Dr. Heather Wilson as the sole finalist for the position of president of the University of Texas at El Paso. As reported Thursday, a coalition of UTEP students dropped the change.org petition — signed by 9,300 El Pasoans — at the Downtown office of one of the Regents, businessman Paul Foster. El Paso Democrats, in further affirming the no-confidence resolution the Executive Committee passed earlier this month, applaud the students and community activists for their boldness and leadership.
“It makes me very proud to see how vocal our community, and particularly the UTEP students who are affected the most by this decision, has been in expressing its concern and opposition to Ms. Wilson’s selection,” said Iliana Holguin, Chairwoman of the El Paso County Democratic Party. “We must let the Board of Regents know that the voices of our community must be heard and that we demand that our concerns be responded to, which is precisely what the students did by submitting the petition on Thursday.”
As cited in the Party’s resolution, and by the students opposed to Dr. Wilson’s appointment, the secretary’s record as a member of the United States House of Representatives is a troubling indicator of how she would manage the university as president. Voting against the rights of LGBT+ individuals, voting against providing grant money to Hispanic and black students — the majority of UTEP’s student population — and her approval of the construction of the border fence in 2006 are all reasons for great concern. We once again urge the UT Board of Regents to reconsider the appointment of Dr. Wilson and urge all of those involved in the selection process to do the same. The University of Texas at El Paso is a reflection of our city. Its diversity, commitment to access and higher education, and the inclusion of all students, regardless of where they come from, is cause for celebration. The university deserves a president who will continue to fight for these values; values that make our city and university ours.
El Paso Democrats stand ready to continue the fight in demanding better for the university and community we love.