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STUDENTS VOICE: The bill targeting DEI offices at public universities has an impact on students

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The University of Texas at Austin appeared to be the perfect fit when I decided in April 2023 where to pursue my PhD.

As an underrepresented student, I felt assured by the school’s diverse faculty and student population, along with their embrace of a robust diversity, equity and inclusion mission, and looked forward to continuing my research on improving the quality of mental health care for all families.

This was followed by Texas Senate Bill 17 which, on January 1, became law and made it illegal for DEI offices or programming to be located in public universities. The bill also prohibits mandatory diversity education and forbids departments from asking prospective professors about their commitment towards building diverse campuses. Texas was not the only state that passed such a law.

Students like myself are already feeling the chilling effects of legislation that bans DEI initiatives at our universities. We worry about the possible impact on our education quality and wonder if Texas really wants us.

If the Texas Bill had been passed before I chose to attend UT Austin, then I probably would not have come here. As a new Texas resident and…



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