More than 9,300 signatures were collected and brought to UT Regent Paul Foster on Thursday in efforts to stop Heather Wilson from becoming the next UTEP President.
“The fact that he’s brushing this off, it hurts a little. Not going to lie,” student Hira Ali shared, “Just because we’re not this small radical group of people. This is a community. We as a community don’t want Wilson. The UT Board of Regents need to hear us out, and they’re not.”
Wilson is facing a backlash from UTEP students over her record while in Congress.
The decision of her being the sole finalist for the job upsets many.
“Initially we weren’t a part of it. We were actually left in the dark so when we found out about the sole finalist is, we went into research right away,” UTEP student Michael Gutierrez told KTSM. “That’s when we found her track record and it was just disappointing to say the least, to find somebody like that who’s going to be the sole finalist, and there was nobody else that we knew about that was probably more qualified than she was.”
Former UTEP history professor Oscar Martinez shared with KTSM his history of fighting for the rights of minorities in the Borderland when he was a student back in the 60s and 70s during the Chicano movement.
“We fought for justice. And when I see the students now, I’m very proud that they’re fighting for justice,” Martinez said. “They are teaching all of us about the need to do this in the age in which we live because we have great challenges in safeguarding rights that are gradually are being eroded by the Trump administration.”
In the end, these UTEP students aren’t giving up without a fight.
“In the end, we all know actions always speak louder than words, at this point we don’t want words, we want actions,” Ali said.
UTEP officials say Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will meet with the community after spring break. KTSM reached out to UTEP to see if there’s a set date, and they said it has yet to be announced.