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UTEP Deserves Better: Stop Anti-LGBTQ Heather Wilson from Becoming UTEP's Next President

This petition had 10,819 supporters


We call on the Texas Board of Regents, the governing body for The University of Texas System, to withdraw Heather Wilson as the finalist for president of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Wilson has a clear history of being anti-LGBTQ, as reflected in her voting record as a former U.S. congresswoman from New Mexico and more recently in her position as Air Force Secretary, where she reversed a rule to allow for anti-gay discrimination in 2018.


For many students and staff, the university is a safe space to become and be freely who they are. Hiring someone that clearly does not reflect the ability to support that for LGBTQ students is harmful. Moving Heather Wilson as the sole finalist, and potential next president of UTEP, endangers the university’s ability to earnestly act on and serve in the best interests of all students.


Other major concerns include Wilson’s record of voting against the interests of students who depend on financial aid or loans to pay for their education. Records show she voted against lowering student loan interest rates and against providing year-round Pell grants (which is money the government provides to support students with financial need) and voted against millions of dollars that would have supported a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program.

Wilson attacked an anti-LGBT bullying bill, she voted in favor of a federal amendment to the US Constitution that would ban marriage equality, and voted against protections to the LGBT community.  She also voted against a bill that would protect people in the workplace from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.

UTEP deserves better.  UTEP and the El Paso community deserve a president that reflects the university’s values and the ability to serve and represent the best interest of all students.

We call on  the Texas Board of Regents to take action before the state-required 21-day waiting period and withdraw Heather Wilson as the sole finalist.

Click here for more information on Wilson’s voting record and stances on issues.

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