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April 20, 2005

Blacklisting Pictures

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

First off, I have to thank Matt Hardigree (former SEC President here on campus) for posting this picture. I'm trying to think of a better caption, maybe some of y'all can help him out.

But as a follow up to last night's meeting, I'd like to hear your thoughts as the broader BOR community on the nature of the word "Blacklist" since there may be a resolution against it at next week's SG meetings. Where else have you seen movement's against terminology like this, what are your thoughts on it, is it racist, is this one step below the master/slave PC arguements....

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at April 20, 2005 01:47 PM | TrackBack


I'm glad my student funds are put to such great use. My question is what will an SG motion against the term BLACKLIST mean? Nothing! As to the term "blacklist" this is a silly debate, then again is there anything in SG that isn't accurately described as silly?

But some ideas for a SG with nothing to do:
HIS-story can be changed to Her-story,
“blackout” to loss of artificially emitted light.

If SG can find the time to debate blacklist, maybe they could get to removing all the confederate soldier statues on campus. That is something I would support.

Posted by: Julian Garza at April 20, 2005 02:28 PM

KT and I, along with others, talked about this last night for a bit, and we mostly agree that this issue will generate more negative SG coverage than positive. Our Communications Director should be managing this issue, but I'm not sure that Stacy will be able to do so on something that she probably feels strongly about. We'll have to see.

If this is something that Henna wants to do, she needs to do it behind the scenes with administrators, not as a public SG project. It's clear that the vast majority of the student body will not be appreciative of SG devoting time to this, no matter how minimal such time may be.

In any case, this will likely be an early test of the new administration's public relations strategy.

"I'm glad my student funds are put to such great use."

Regarding SG's fee usage: if you graduate in 5 years, less than $8 of your total fee money will have gone to SG. Approximately $1.13 of that amount is appropriated directly to student organizations. Compare that, for example, to the $10 property deposit required of all students and that few ever reclaim after graduation. Over the past 10 years SG's portion of the Student Services Fee has dropped from .73% to .52%.

Moreover, no money is being spent on this activity to my knowledge.

"then again is there anything in SG that isn't accurately described as silly?"

If you read the Texan regularly, and/or the BOR liveblogs of the meetings, you'll see a small percentage of what SG does. Unforunately, the vast majority of SG's work receives no media coverage (like most organizations). Even when issues do generate media coverage, students rarely remember SG's accomplishments across semesters. High student turnover reduces the ability of the campus population to observe long-term improvements initiated by SG.

Fundamental to campus politics is that an apathetic student body doesn't comprehend that it perpetuates its own lack of power, nor would it care even if it did grasp this concept.

"But some ideas for a SG with nothing to do..."

SG definitely does welcome input from students on how it should prioritize its resources. One of the problems J.W. and I have faced with the SG survey is that most students won't even tell SG what they want us to work on when we directly ask them.

That said, only one or two people are working on this issue; dozens of other projects are being undertaken at the same time. Student Government consists of about 100-300 people, depending on how membership is measured. There is effectively no limit on the number of projects SG can take: adding this particular project in no way "crowds out" other projects. It's all a matter of personal initiative and institutional support.

"If SG can find the time to debate blacklist, maybe they could get to removing all the confederate soldier statues on campus."

There has been discussion of working on this in SG, but student support is lacking. Preliminary results from the SG survey show that a very solid majority of students oppose removing the confederate statues. It would also cost about $432,000 to remove the statues (Legislative Budget Board, 2001), so some sort of fundraising would be necessary.

And along your line of logic, if you personally have time to debate the blacklist, you also probably have time to help out with an SG project or two. Meetings are Tuesdays at 7pm in the SSB; we could definitely use more help on a number of projects. If you are serious I can help you find something that interests you.

Thanks for the comments.

Posted by: chrisken at April 20, 2005 03:48 PM

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I do remember that sometime during the past Assembly this issue was mentioned. I don't know if it was mentioned by Chris Kennedy and Michael Windle, when they were talking about the increase in the space for the mailboxes and their dealings with ITS. Maybe someone else did. But what I remember is that the ITS people were actually working on the 'blacklist' issue and that it would take some time to change due to some complications with the people that made the software (not part of UT). It was also mentioned that they needed to change the settings in all the languages that are supported.
I don't think that SG should take this as a resolution; I don't think that would be the best use of time. I agree with Chris that the ExCom could work on this behind stage.

Posted by: cme@lbj at April 20, 2005 04:21 PM

I might be wrong about this, but the Webmail program we use was not actually written by UT staff and is widely used by many other organizations. Can UT even change the wording of "blacklist"?

Posted by: JW Walthall at April 20, 2005 08:14 PM

just for the record I'm the SEC President for another week (April 27th is the handover). But hey, it is good just to be recognized.

Posted by: matth at April 21, 2005 12:46 AM
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