Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 1990

RACIAL PROTESTS HIT TEXAS SCHOOL

April 17, 1990

Advertisement

On the same day that Kansas University students marched to Chancellor Gene Budig's office protesting an alleged racial incident, more than a thousand University of Texas-Austin students marched to the Texas Supreme Court Building and a UT fraternity to protest incidents of racism on their campus.

Bob Antonio, a KU professor of sociology who is on sabbatical leave and working on a book at UT this spring, said, "It seems like the two campuses are experiencing about the same thing."

"There has been a whole series of tensions here this year,'' he said. ``There is an incredible amount of unrest among the student body."

ACCORDING to The Daily Texan-Austin, the university's student newspaper, students chanted "Hey UT, have you heard? This is not Johannesburg!" on their way to the state Supreme Court building, where they protested the acts of two fraternities, Phi Gamma Delta and Delta Tau Delta.

During the university's "Round-Up" weekend, an event that Antonio said was similar to KU's Homecoming weekend, members of one fraternity demolished a car that was painted with racial epithets. During the same weekend, another fraternity sold T-shirts on campus featuring a racially insulting caricature.

AT KU, Ann Dean, a St. Louis sophomore, filed non-academic misconduct charges against Matthew Willenborg, a St. Louis freshman, who she said struck her and racially insulted her when she tried to deliver two pizzas to the fraternity, 1301 W. Campus Rd.

The KU administration now is reviewing the case.

Much like members of KU's Black Men of Today, student leaders at UT met with the university's administration, demanding that the two fraternities be punished. About two dozen black students, who represented about 15 campus organizations, criticized UT's policy on racial harassment.

Ditto at KU.

Angela Lockhart, a sophomore at UT, said today that she believed the protests would continue although the two fraternities were put on suspension by UT President William Cunningham.

AS BUDIG told a rowdy student crowd that acts of racism were not tolerated at KU, Cunningham issued a prepared statement the same day that said "acts of racial harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Texas at Austin."

But Lockhart said that was not enough.

"There is a real problem here," Lockhart said. "We know that there's a problem. We want to be vocal enough to encourage change. The administration is definitely worried, and people will continue to protest until they see some solid changes."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.