On Monday, Texas interim president Jay Hartzell released a message from his office addressing the concerns of students and athletes that surfaced in a statement and a list of requests from athletes across sports to address racial injustice on campus and improve inclusion.
Dear UT Community,
During the past few days, I have heard from many students, alumni, faculty and staff asking for meaningful changes to promote diversity and equity and ensure that black students at UT are fully supported. It is important, first, for me to listen closely — and then to work with the entire community to develop a plan to move the university forward.
These letters, calls and petitions come amid the national outrage over the killing of George Floyd and other black people by police. They reflect the deep pain and frustration that many of you feel about where we are as a society and a university.
I have begun scheduling conversations with students, including leaders of black student organizations and student athletes, as well as other community members to hear their concerns and ideas directly.
Working together, we will create a plan this summer to address these issues, do better for our students and help overcome racism.
I thank you for your ideas and ongoing guidance and welcome your emails and suggestions. I pledge that we will come together as a community to make The University of Texas an even greater place.
Notably, Hartzell did not address the request receiving the most attention — athletes asking to replace “The Eyes of Texas,” but it’s also not surprising since those discussions haven’t started yet.
For now, it’s wait and see regarding how those discussions go and whether they ultimately result in significant change.