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TXST Strutters Must Decline Invitation For Inauguration Performance

This petition had 257 supporters

Over the past few months, but especially in recent days with the inauguration of president elect Donald J. Trump rapidly approaching, many of our students have begun to question our safety and our leadership’s concern for our safety on this campus, as have our families back home. When individuals no longer feel a sense of personal safety, academics and academic performance can no longer be a priority.  Discrimination based on bias can escalate beyond rhetoric and into acts of violence. History has proven to be a solid reference. 

 We have attempted to articulate our grievances, through means such as social media and even requested that President Trauth & Governor Abbott take a firmer stance on issues of equality and the recognition of the very unstable and volatile racial climate in this country, and more specifically now, on our campus, Texas State University.

 Sadly, our efforts have proven futile, and rather, Texas State University has countered their previously stated position of "institutional neutrality" in political matters.  In fact, our university has spurned the institutional neutrality, it previously insisted upon by supporting the incoming presidential administration with their acceptance of an invitation of celebration at this year’s presidential inauguration. The Texas State Strutters have announced their excitement to perform at this year’s inauguration and even with a social media outcry to not perform from its university community, the team has failed to decline the invitation.

 Seeing that 50% of Texas State students are racial or ethnic minorities who have been/will be most affected by the divisive rhetoric of the Trump administration and it’s proposed policies, we collectively feel that the Texas State Strutters should not participate in any event that celebrates these ideals. The Texas State Strutters first and foremost represent the University, its students, and its core values. 

Our University has conveniently assumed "institutional neutrality" related to political candidates and thus, should continue to enforce that position by not participating in a celebration that firmly supports a political candidate.  This is the time to see our Texas State University core values operationalized.  If they are in fact, genuinely the core values of Texas State University.

We vehemently implore that our University and Board of Regents do not support this.  Furthermore, we ask that you stand with us in solidarity with our demands for the University and the Texas State Strutters to not participate in the inauguration.

 We ask that our University president follow her commitment stating “as guardian of this sacred academic environment, I pledge to act in the best interest of Texas State University, to speak out on issues affecting the academic enterprise, and to continue to follow the principle of institutional neutrality on issues beyond higher education, until and unless some extraordinary situation arises that would change the risk/benefit analysis described above”, so that our University can follow in its mission of “serving the educational needs of the diverse population of Texas and the world beyond,” or respectfully step down and allow for a more diverse and inclusive leader to carry out the core values of Texas State University.

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