EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP students are weighing in on the Texas Senate bill passed on April 19 that would ban the use of diversity, equity and inclusion offices on state university campuses.

This bill would largely restrict how Texas’ public universities promote equitable access to higher education and encourage diversity among students, faculty and staff. This would also ban hiring departments from asking potential candidates about their commitment a more diverse student body.

Tolulope Adeyina is currently a Ph.D. student at UTEP and originally from Nigeria. He chose to attend UTEP thanks to in part of its diverse community and believes that the university has been welcoming during his time in El Paso.

He said if this bill is passed through the Texas House, it can exclude other potential minority students from attending state universities in Texas.

“People from all over America come to this school and they encourage that a lot in many ways, so I think that would affect that level of beauty and diversity and I don’t think I support that,” Adeyina said.

However, State Senator Brandon Creighton doesn’t agree that the current DEI programs are beneficial to universities and that the current structure are not working.

“The Baylor study showed that in 2018 to 2020, having a DEI office was not only ineffective, increasing the number of minority hires within the faculty, but they declined.”

The legislation still needs to be approved by the Texas House and signed by the governor before it can take effect.

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