Time Line -- A history of UT student, staff, and faculty struggle.
October 1944 - 8,000 students, staff and faculty march down Guadalupe St. in protest of the firing of economics professors and UT President Rainey. The struggle erupted when UT Board of Regents pressured Rainey to fire economics professors teaching alternatives to capitalist and imperialist economic systems.
March 1960 - Black students picket a Board of Regents meeting to protest their exclusion from University housing, athletics, Longhorn Band, drama productions, student teaching and other activities. It is the first civil rights protest by students at UT.
1961 - Students hold sit-ins lasting several days in the Varsity Theatre (now Tower Records) to protest the segregation of the Drag. The Drag desegregates in response to their demands. UT officially desegregates in 1964.
October 1965 - Students for a Democratic Society hold the first anti-war protest at UT: a death march protesting U.S. policy in Vietnam. UT Regent Frank Erwin threatens to abolish the Daily Texan editorial page for supporting the march and criticizing the killings of Vietnamese children.
Fall 1966 - Student activists organize the underground paper the Rag as a radical alternative to corporate-controlled news and University propaganda. The Rag was one of the first radical student papers of its kind and became a prominent media source for University activists.
April 1967 - Student for a Democratic Society protest Vice President Hubert Humphrey's speech to the Texas legislature. Six students are placed on disciplinary probation and SDS loses its status as a student group. Students hold rallies daily for three weeks to protest the University's actions.
February 1969 - Afro-Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) present the following demands to then president Norman Hackerman: a Black studies program, affirmative action in admissions and teaching staff, dismissal of the Board of Regents, an ethnic studies center in East Austin, the removal of racist faculty and statues, and memorials for Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
October 15, 1969 - Exposure of secretive B-52 bombings and napalming in both Cambodia and Laos, authorized by the Nixon administration, leads to national demonstrations. Nearly 12,000 students, faculty and Austinites march to the state capital.
October 22, 1969 - 27 people are arrested while protecting trees along Waller Creek. Chancellor Frank Erwin ordered the arrests. The trees are eventually destroyed in order to make more room for football stadium seats.
May 4, 1970 - 3,000 UT students, staff and faculty are tear-gassed as they marched to honor the four students gunned down by the National Guard at Kent State University in protests of the Vietnam War. The planters on the West Mall today are a tactic used by the administration to prevent large masses of people from rallying. The West Mall has since been allotted a designated "Free Speech"; area.
September 17, 1975 - 7,000 students, staff and faculty march on the Tower to protest the hiring of UT President Lorene Rogers. Two days later, 3,000 students, staff and faculty march to the homes of Lorene Rogers, Charles LeMaistre (the Chancellor) and Regent Alan Shivers to protest the hiring. In addition, students go on strike for a week.
Fall 1975 - Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), the student group The Blacks, and the Radical Student Union formed the United Students Against Racism at Texas (USARAT). The groups demands: 1). standardized tests be eliminated for minority admissions, 2). More financial aid for minorities, 3). Teaching assistantships represent minority population of the state, 4). A full-time minority recruitment program, 5). More Black and Chicano faculty, 6). Restructuring of Ethnic Student Services, 7). Funds for minority newspapers, 8). More money for culture centers, 9). Minority grievance committee be established, 10). One Black and one Chicano doctor at the Student Health Center, 11). Departmental status for the Mexican American Studies and Afro American Studies Centers, 12). A new education building named after Black and Chicano educators. Ten students took over then President Lorrene Roger's office and more than 1000 rally on the Main Mall demanding they be heard in front of the UT Board of Regents.
March 1984 - 53 people are dragged from the LBJ auditorium after confronting war criminal Henry Kissinger about his involvement in the secret bombings of Cambodia, East Timor and Chile, and his position on the board of Freeport MacMoran.
April 3, 1985 - 2,000 students from around Texas march on the capital to protest drastic increases in tuition. The UT Students' Association (equivalent of Student Government today) leads the way in representing the interest of all Texas students in the face of increased tuition and fees.
August 2, 1985 - The Steve Biko Committee leads UT students, staff and faculty in a mock funeral march down Guadalupe St. to honor slain citizens of apartheid South Africa. The University had more than 0 million invested in white businesses notorious for labor exploitation and repression of Black South Africans.
April 11, 1986 - 42 people are arrested during an anti-apartheid rally on the West Mall for speaking freely outside of the regulated "free speech" hours.
April 16, 1986 - Four people are arrested on the Main Mall after speaking out about U.S. involvement in Libya. They were cited for speaking freely outside of the regulated "free speech" area. The arrests come less than a week after 42 arrests were made on similar charges.
April 18, 1986 - 182 people are arrested on the Main Mall during a rally to protest apartheid and free speech restrictions on campus. The administration is forced, after a month of student rebellion, to change its free speech policy. The following Fall the West Mall joined the Union Patio and the East Mall as 24-hour "free speech areas."
September 1986 - Co-sponsored by Andrew Chin, UT's first Asian American student body President, a student senate resolution approved the establishment of the Texas Union's Asian American Culture Committee.
October 20, 1986 - 16 people are arrested during a takeover of then President Cunningham's office. The anti-apartheid activists call for an emergency meeting of the Board of Regents to outline a divestment plan from apartheid South Africa. Twelve of the 16 activists are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and serve three to six month jail time. UT is the only university to jail anti-apartheid activists.
1989 - Intergrex ("Between People"), one of the first radical queer groups, is formed. The group filled a gap left by the existing gay group which mainly catered to men who simply wanted to find other men. Inergrex's goal was to "smash the patriarchy" by building a grassroots coalition to fight sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia. Their first actions included getting students involved with ACT-UP (The Aids Coalition To Unleash Power) and speaking out against Judge Jack Hampton, a judge who lightened the sentencing of two murderers because the person they killed was a homosexual. The judge actually said it was less of a crime to kill prostitutes and homosexuals! Given the current popularity gender-bending/ambiguity, Intergrex's pro gender-play stance was about a decade ahead of its time.
Fall 1989 - Asian Americans criticize their exclusion in the drafting UT's racial harassment policy.
November 2, 1989 - A Latino family is brutally attacked by 5 intoxicated, white, Phi Delta Gamma ("fiji") fraternity brothers while resting in their van outside their place of work. Larry Dubinski, Interfraternity Council president, claims the incident is not racially motivated, despite the long history of violence within fraternities, not only against people of color and women, but against their own members. The attackers stated they thought the family was homeless and thus deserving of attack.
February/March 1990 - Toni Luckett is elected president of the Student Association. She is the first queer black woman to ever hold this office. Despite being dogged by a conservative backlash, she hires the first female director for Students United for Rape Elimination as well as appropriating record sums of the Student Association's budget to race, gender and sexuality initiatives.
April 9-12, 1990 - 1,000 students, staff and faculty march to the Phi Gamma Delta ("fiji") House on 27th and Guadalupe to express outrage against a frat-week tee-shirt depicting a "Sambo" caricature atop the body of Michael Jordan. The same week, a smashed-up car used in the Round-Up Parade is found in front of the Delta Tao Delta frat house spray-painted with racial insults. UT Administration meets with students from each racial group. A group of Asian student leaders, designated as the Asian Leadership Council, prepare a presentation to Dr. Vick (VP Student Affairs) and Dr. Cunningham (then President). The administration responds by saying that Asian students are generally doing well and have a low drop out rate. This response disheartens the student leaders and the council dissolves soon after.
April 13, 1990 - Thousands of students, staff and faculty shout down the UT president (later to be the Chancellor of the UT Board of Regents) as he attempts to hold a press conference regarding the previous week's events. UT Basketball player "Panama" Meyers condemns administrators for using his body and race to cover up the racist practices of white fraternities. Two black basketball players and one black faculty member were asked to stand beside president Cunningham during the press conference. In May, 100 athletes and more than 700 students, staff and faculty marched on the West Mall to protest the actions of Cunningham. Six black faculty members later resigned in protest of the racial incidents.
August 29, 1990 - Queers United in Envisioning an Egalitarian Restructuring of Society (QUEERS) holds week-long demonstrations, including a Kiss-In on the West Mall, marking a change in philosophy and politics from the mainstream gay and lesbian organizations (made up predominately of white men). The demonstrations expose the homophobia and gay bashing at UT, and several organizers and the Daily Texan editor receive threatening phone calls. "I'm way over trying to work within a system ... that is racist, sexist and homophobic," said Amy Paddock of the newspaper The Women's Alternative Times.
October 1990 - Todos Unidos, a UT chicana/o student organization, issues a Manifesto amidst growing dissatisfaction with the trend of UT ethnic studies centers being more concerned with research and not curriculum and grass roots organizing. The Manifesto's recommendations include that the University hire more instructors of color, recruit more students of color and diversify the curriculum to include classes with a multicultural focus in- among other subjects- history and literature.
October 1990 - Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sponsors a forum and candlelight ceremony during which a panel of black student leaders and an African National Congress member discussed the role of African-Americans in the South African struggle. The panelists for the forum - a part of the sorority's "AKA for Africa" week- stressed the need for African-Americans to educate themselves about their history and condition in the United States in order to see the parallels with the struggles of black South Africans against apartheid.
October 3, 1990 - UT students join the United Farm Workers in a boycott of HEB. Protesters set up shop at an Austin HEB with red flags from the United Farm Workers and signs reading "Boycott Grapes" and "Don't Buy at H.E.B." as about 100 people demonstrate in front of the store. HEB has refuses to take California table grapes off its shelves despite the high incident of miscarriage and birth defects among farm workers in California grape fields. To add insult to injury, HEB runs a special on grapes everyday since a meeting between HEB official and UFW president Cesar Chavez took place to discuss the boycott.
October 22, 1990 - A group of 10 Asian American students voice their concerns to UT administrators regarding discrimination, curriculum and the absence of Asian counselors at the University. Quoted in the Daily Texan, Roger Lian said that the administration ignores Asian Americans as a minority because it stereotypes them as being academically and financially privileged.
December 1990 - For the second time, Texan Union Board of Directors postpone the vote on a proposal that would grant voting privileges to the board's liaisons of color (Asian American, Mexican American and African American Culture Committees). The board also considers whether or not to create student liaisons for Native Americans, gays and lesbians, disabled students and non-traditional students.
January 18, 1991 - 30 community and student activists are arrested after locking down in the intersection of 10th Street and Congress to protest U.S. imperialist involvement in the Middle East.
February 1991 - Toni Luckett receives the Robert Schwab Memorial Award sponsored by the Texas Human Rights Foundation. This award is bestowed to members of Austin's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT ) community who work toward securing equal rights in Texas.
February 20, 1991 - The Black Student Alliance, the Steve Biko Committee, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvadore, Todos Unidos and the Palestine Solidarity Committee rally against U.S. attacks of people of color all over the world. The protesters talk about U.S. imperial interests in the Middle East and casualties of war. "The U.S. does not have a volunteer army but an economic draft. Many of the minorities in the military come from limited socio-economic backgrounds," says Roberto Ramirez of Todos Unidos.
April 1992 - Queer Nation holds a "free-speech" rally to support Pedro Bustos-Aguilar, assistant instructor of Spanish and Portuguese, and his right to hang a poster of two black, gay men in his office. The poster shows the two men, one sexually aroused, embracing each other.
Fall 1992 - The Voice (the Asian Relations Committee newsletter) has a circulation of 4,000. It is directly mailed to Asian students on and off campus, through funding of the Asian Relations Agency. Despite mass circulation and popularity, The Voice struggles to publish another issue for late spring or summer, and fails to succeed.
September 25-27, 1992 - Women United sponsors a women of color conference on campus entitled: "Weaving Our Diverse Futures." Speakers at the conference include African-American civil rights leader Flo Kennedy, Asian-American executive editor of Ms. Magazine Helen Zia, Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller and Nora Linares, director of the Texas Lottery.
August 10, 1993 - Three Earth First! Activists chain themselves to a chair in Austin Mayor Bruce Todd's office for three hours in protest of an agreement between the city and Freeport McMoRan. Under the agreement, Freeport would limit development near the sensitive Barton Creek area, in exchange for extensive development in other parts of the city, and free water and wastewater services. Previous rallies drew over 200 people.
1993-1994 - UT students begin campaign against privatization of the Texas Union. Before there was Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, dining services in the Texas Union were run by the Union, with its workers receiving state pay and benefits. In October 1993, the Union claims its concessions are losing money and must be privatized. In response, Students and Workers Against Privatization (a coalition of student groups) and the Texas State Employees Union are formed. Concessions giant Aramark is brought in over students' objections.
November 21, 1994 - Members of the Asian Relations Committee, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán, and other groups rally on the West Mall to protest California's recently approved Proposition 187 and prevent passage of a similar law in Texas. The legislation, passed by California voters November 8, would deny education and non-emergency health care benefits to illegal immigrants. In December, students from St. Edward's, Austin Community College and UT form People United Against Proposition 187 and rally in the West Mall.
Valentine's Day 1995 - Members of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Students' Association (LGBSA) gather on the West Mall Tuesday to hold a kiss-in and claim queer public space at the University.
April 17, 1995 - The Texas Union Asian Culture Committee sponsors a speech b David Chan, an Asian-American public policy advocate and president of Council for Asian Societies, Individuals and Associations. This talk focused on the history of affirmative action policies in the nation and highlighted positions for Asian-Americans to support.
September 1, 1995 - UT students protest the naming of a new molecular science building after Jim Bob Moffet, who is the CEO of Freeport McMoRan, an international mining company recognized as one of the world's worst corporate polluters. Moffett donated million to the building, and UT Chancellor William Cunningham sat on the board of directors of Freeport.
December 1995 - Chancellor William Cunningham (former UT president) resigns from the board of Freeport McMoRan after students, staff and faculty expose the human rights and environmental atrocities attributed to the company's copper extraction operations in Indonesia. The company is responsible for violence against the indigenous populations in the South Pacific region. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, was also a member of Freeport McMoRan's board and was instrumental in exchanging arms and aid with Indonesia in return for the copper mining rights.
Spring 1996 - The Hopwood court decision is reached in favor of white UT Law School applicants suing UT for "reverse discrimination." Although the court ruling applies to the Law School, UT eliminates all affirmative action programs, including retention and career placement programs. Later, Texas Attorney General Dan Morales rules that the Hopwood decision applies to all areas of all public universities, effectively dismantling affirmative action in Texas higher education. In response to these developments, the Student Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is formed at UT.
July 1996 - The Lesbian Avengers hold a mock marriage ceremony at the Governor's Mansion to protest Lloyd Doggett's vote for the U.S. "Defense of Marriage Act."
1997-1998 - At the beginning of the Fall semester, UT Law Professor Lino Graglia publicly claims that African-American and Mexican-American students are not academically competitive with whites and Asians because their cultures do not promote success. Uproar ensues and Students for Access and Opportunity is formed. On September 16, 1997, 5,000 students, staff, and faculty rally on the Main Mall to protest racism and to hear a speech by Jesse Jackson. This was the biggest rally at UT during the 1990's. Immediately after the rally, nearly 300 people sit-in at the Law School and win their demand for a meeting with the UT Regents. In the spring of 1998, the editorial board of the Daily Texan publishes a racist cartoon attacking an SAO leader. As a result, students protest the Texan, and its editor is formally censured by the news staff.
1997-1998 - After a study commissioned by UT reports how badly its workers are paid, the University Staff Association launches the Campaign for Fair Wages and hosts meetings attended by hundreds of UT workers. The campaign culminates in the April 1998 March for Fair wages, co-sponsored by the USA and the Texas State Employees Union, in which 1,200 workers and supporters march from the Tower to the Capitol. As a result of the campaign, UT raises its minimum wage above the poverty level, and makes some other small improvements in pay.
1998-1999 - UT community members intensify protest of genocidal economic sanctions on Iraq. In November 1998, a UT professor, staff member and student are arrested at the Capitol for trying to ask former president George Bush questions about the sanctions. The next month, students and others protest the four-day bombing of Iraq by the United States. In the Spring of 1999, a coalition of UT student groups, including the Anti-War Committee, the International Socialist Organization, Radical Action Network and the Palestine Solidarity Committee, wage an educational campaign about the sanctions.
October 22, 1998 - Two hundred students, staff and faculty turn out for the "Day of Action for Affirmative Action," a nation wide demonstration of support for educational justice. Students deliver their demands in person to President Faulkner's office in the Tower. Faulkner refuses to meet the demands and UTPD and administrators lock 40 students in the Tower overnight. More than 300 students turn out that night to support students inside. Across the nation, there were at least twelve actions taken at universities in support of opening higher education to everyone.
March 1999 - Students protest at a speech at the Law School given by Ward Connerly, University of California regent and opponent of affirmative action. The protesters are accused of trying to shut down Connerly's free speech, with Michael Sharlot, Dean of the Law School, referring to them as "fascists."
March 1999- The University Staff Association calls for a "virtual walkout" to dramatize the plight of low-paid UT workers, who on March 10 wear black clothes to work and do other actions to demonstrate the value of their work. A virtual walkout was called instead of a "real" walkout, because it is against the law for Texas state employees to strike.
April 1999 - Students Against Cruelty to Animals holds a Freedom March in protest of the UT Animal Resources Center. The activists wear white lab coats spattered with fake blood, and carry a large paper mache cat with an electrode attached to its head. A UT professor was using cats and monkeys to study visual functioning in their brains, using inadequate anesthesia.
May 4, 1999 - More than 60 students take over the office of the Liberal Arts Dean to demand accountability for the continued delay in establishing an Asian American Studies Program. Dr. Thomas Nakayama, director of Arizona State University's Asian Pacific American Studies, is denied the director's position despite the recommendations of the committee charged to hire a director. Ten students (the "UT 10") are arrested later that day when demands for a meeting with administrators are not met.
May 1999 - UT students take their struggle for Asian American Studies national when they "March on America" during a taping of Good Morning America. Several times during the broadcast you can hear chanting and see that the crowd is distracted. Some of student body reacts aggressively: demonstrators are spat upon and concerned for their physical safety.
September 1999 - After over ten years of pressure from students of color, the Martin Luther King Statue is erected. This statue is the University's first non-white male statue. Around this time, Jester Center's Malcolm X Lounge, a study and social area predominantly used by African Americans, is tagged with racial epithets. MLK Statue is subsequently patrolled by UTPD for the first two weeks after its opening, and now has security cameras focused on it at all times.
October 1999- The Campaign to End the Death Penalty hosts the first "Live From Death Row" event at UT, featuring death row inmates speaking directly to the audience via speakerphone.
February 1, 2000 - Henry Kissinger cancels his visit to the University rather than answer questions about his war crimes in Cambodia, Laos, East Timor and Chile. Students, faculty and staff were prepared for massive demonstrations to bring his war crimes to light and carry on a strong tradition of resisting Kissinger influence on campus. UT administrators say the Secret Service cancelled the visit because the protestors would endanger the safety of the crowd. This was later exposed in newspapers as a complete lie.
April 20, 2000 - On Hitler's birthday, National Alliance, a neo-nazi group, posts racist fliers at UT. Students, staff, and faculty attend an emergency rally at the Tower in order to highlight recent racist vandalism and the UT Administration's weak response. Anti-Nazi Action (ANA) is formed.
September 6-8, 2000 - Lead by the University Staff Association, the administrative and custodial staff catch the "Burnt Orange Flu" and walk off the job for three days. UT administrators fear the effects of the "sickout" so much that they arrange for temporary cleaning services and President Faulkner sends a letter threatening to fire workers who participate in the sick-out. Because of this threat, only a small proportion of the UT staff participates in the sickout. Despite this, the action garners tremendous support among students and faculty, who hold classes off campus to show their support. The walk-out comes after a three-year campaign to raise abysmally low wages, fight attrition, improve working conditions and fight off continued efforts to decrease health coverage.
October 5, 2000 - Gen. Colin Powell is paid ,000 by UT to speak about volunteerism. His visit is met by community protests, and some activists distributed fake event programs that detailed Powell's war crimes in the Gulf War and his support of the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. UT administration nearly cancelled the speech, claiming (like when Kissinger visited) that the protests were going to be "violent" and that students wanted to "silence free speech."
October 2000 - Students protest a meeting of CEOs from the Fortune 500 - the wealthiest 500 corporations based in the United States- who met in Austin. Portions of the meeting take place on UT's campus with a meal and speech by Mexico's President-elect Vincente Fox. Students then join over 500 people outside the downtown hotel where the CEOs were staying, in protest of the corporations' willingness to trade environmental, health and safety standards for profit. Also this weekend, students participate in a Student Encuentro and Immigrants Rights March.
December 2000 - For five years the Cedra Corporation pays the UT Animal Resources Center to house and kill nearly 30 perfectly healthy Beagles and extracts their organs. The organs are then used for cell cultures, which Cedra sells for 0 each. Students force UT to end its contract with Cedra, and also negotiated the release of Stampy, the last living Beagle.
January 2001 - Students with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty protest a speech at the Law School by Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones aka "Judge Evil." One of the most conservative judges on the federal court, Jones had ruled that the trial of Texas death row inmate Calvin Burdine was constitutional, despite the fact that his lawyer slept during long portions of the trial. Students protest Jones with a "sleep-in," bringing pillows and blankets into her speech.
February 14, 2001 - The UT night custodial staff deliver a 9-foot valentine to the office of President Faulkner. The custodial staff had been fighting for better and safer working conditions. They are demanding control of their working conditions and a return to zone cleaning from team cleaning. Team cleaning is being implemented throughout the nation to cut the cost of cleaning and, as a result, UT buildings are not as clean or safe as they use to be, custodial workers are being turned into machines, and UT has one hell of a labor struggle on their hands.
February 2001 - Week of protests in response to Justice For All's anti-choice/anti-abortion display in front of Gregory Gym (with massive pictures of aborted fetuses) and the University's free speech policy. The University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) physically injures English professor Mia Carter and several students and threatens to arrest anyone carrying any device that amplifies sound. Faulkner later submitted an apology for the incident at a Faculty Council meeting, which he did not attend. The Faculty Council initiated the formation of an internal investigation of the UTPD, but did not order a review of the University's rules on free speech. In April, Action For Abortion Rights (AFAR) mounts its own, homemade pro-choice display at Gregory Gym.
February 2001 - Neiman Marcus representatives are met with protest when they attempt to recruit UT students on campus. Neiman Marcus continues to support the fur industry, which kills 6 million animals each year for fashion accessories, by gassing, trapping and anal electrocution.
February 2001 - A broad coalition of student organizations form STUDENT POWER and run for various Student Government positions to take the power from the administration and give it back to the students, staff, and faculty. The SP Platform called for socially responsible investment, a tuition freeze, opposition to standardized testing in higher education, the reinstatement of Affirmative Action, same sex partner benefits, campus-wide support for the struggle of UT and Administrative Staff and reforms of the UT Animal Resources Center. In the end, STUDENT POWER won four representative positions (Ana Amezcua, Alex Chavez, Nakeenya Haynes, and Brian Carnes) in Student Government.
May 16, 2001 - Culminating a two-month long protest of the University's contract with Sodexho Marriott Services, an athletic concessions provider connected to human rights abuses in for-profit prisons, 60 students occupy the Tower. Six students are forcibly removed and issued Criminal Trespass Warnings. Shortly after the occupation, Sodexho sells their shares in domestic prisons but retains their foreign holdings. Ignoring the demands of students, UT renews the contract in June 2001.
September 2001 - Following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., multiple activist organizations form the Campus Coalition for Peace and Justice forms to oppose a retaliatory war, fight racism towards Muslim and Arab Americans, and protect civil liberties. CCPJ holds multiple rallies, "die-ins," and teach-ins drawing hundreds.
March-April 2002 - Students come together to protest the single largest fee increase in the history of the University. This fee, called the "infrastructure fee", was proposed to finance buildings on the backs of students. Stairstepping from a $150 fee per semester the first year to a $430 fee within 5 years, it would remain as a permanent fee thereafter. Students protest by attending the administration's meetings - which prove fruitless, posting flyers and stickers saying "Fight the Fee!", rallying in the Main and West Malls numerous times, and at one point collecting 3,000 to 5,000 signatures for petitions within 3 days. The regents avoid conflict by scheduling talks about the UT-Austin infrastructure fee for their meeting in San Antonio. After the fee was pushed through by the UT administration and Board of Regents, students realize there needed to be a watchdog group for the largest university in the nation, and UT Watch officially forms (registering with UT as "University Watch" for copyright reasons) in April 2002. That summer, the fee finally dies when then-Attorney General John Cornyn rules it is illegal.
October 22, 2002 - UT Student Government passes a resolution 20-17 calling on President Bush to refrain from going to war with Iraq. The resolution, authored by Jordan Buckley, receives national press coverage in Time magazine and stirs much controversy amongst the student body.
December 10, 2002 - 7 UT students and community member are arrested outside the Army Recruitment Center in Dobie Mall for committing civil disobedience. Over 150 protesters rallied outside the recruitment center and set a recruitment station for peace. The protests are in solidarity with actions happening across the country in support of human rights and against impending War in Iraq.
February 12, 2003 - 3000 to 4000 students walk out of their classes in protest of a potential War on Iraq. Students gather at the MLK statue on East Mall at 11.30am and then break off into two marches which circle campus. The march on the Drag stretches more than two blocks. At noon, students congregate on the Main Mall for an unpermitted rally in violation of the University's "free" speech rules. The crowd listens to over 15 speakers, musicians, and poets calling for a cessation of the Bush administration's war plans. Planned by a coalition of 12 student groups, the WalkOut is the largest antiwar event at UT in 30 years. For three nights, students campout with tents and signs at the grassy flagpole areas on Main Mall as a buildup to the WalkOut.
March 20, 2003 - On the day after the War against Iraq officially commenced, around 1,000 protestors - including 150 students from McCallum High School - march from the Main Mall on the UT campus up Guadalupe Street. While at the intersection of Guadalupe and 24th Street, fifteen peaceful demonstrators sit down with their arms locked with caribeaners and robe through PVC pipes wrapped in chicken wire and duct tape. The pipes are cleverly disguised as rockets, by attaching paper fins and warheads, to deter the police from asking questions during the march. Protestors occupy the intersection for nearly 4 hours. Police refuse to break the civil disobedience, citing the number of people present.
December 2002-May 2003 - Students from around Texas organize to oppose tuition deregulation. During the 2003 legislative session, student leaders from Texas Tech, UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-San Antonio, Texas A&M, and other schools make numerous treks to the Capitol to lobby legislators. In early April, 30 students from Texas Tech descend on the Legislature. On March 25th, students from UT-Dallas, UT-Austin, and UT-San Antonio convene in Austin for the Statewide Student Lobby Day Against Tuition Deregulation. After a press conference organized by UT Watch, student government, and other student groups, teams of student-lobbyists fan out in the Capitol, meeting with legislators, distributing packets of information, and testifying in education committee hearings. In January, UT Watch launches a postcard campaign, sending hundreds of anti-dereg postcards filled out by students, parents, staff, and faculty to key legislators.
March 2004-January 2005 - With nearly one year already spent conducting background research, UT Watch officially begins its campaign against the UT System's proposed bid for Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb and a key site proposed nuclear weapons research, with the LANL Panel in March 2004. During the course of the campaign, UT Watch holds four separate forums on the UT-Austin campus alone, along with writing a Student Government resolution on the matter, collecting postcards, coordinating a statewide week of action during that August, and speaking at the July 16th UT System Board of Regents meeting - addressing the regents for the first time during one of their official meetings. In late January 2005, UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof announces that UT will not bid on Los Alamos, citing the lack of benefits that UT Watch had been talking about for nearly one year.
Thanks to Disorientation Collective for most of these entries!
See another timeline on UT-Austin from 1876-2001.
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