Students Vote ‘No Confidence’ in Regent Wallace Hall

With a formal vote, members of UT’s student assembly are expressing doubts about controversial regent Wallace Hall’s ability to carry out his duties.

Students Vote "No Confidence" in Regent Hall

UT-Austin student leaders weighed in on the controversy surrounding their campus and its relationship with the UT System Board of Regents this week, passing a vote of “no confidence” in embattled Regent Wallace Hall.

Hall is currently under investigation by a select Texas House committee. The panel is charged with looking into whether Hall exceeded his role as a regent by burdening the flagship campus with unexplained and unusual records requests, and potentially whether those requests are part of a coordinated campaign to remove UT-Austin president Bill Powers, as some, including members of the legislature, have suggested.

In a joint resolution, the Senate of College Councils and Student Government passed a resolution condemning Hall and expressing no confidence in his ability to carry out his regental duties. The resolution outlines the student groups’ reasoning, drawing from recent testimony to the legislative committee. Hall’s “burdensome” data requests, and the possibility that Hall’s access to certain data may have violated privacy laws, were motivating factors.

It is also noted that the authors are not conferring guilt for any crimes on Hall, but that the vote is “a reflection of the lack of faith that UT-Austin’s students have in him to adequately perform his duties as a Regent.”

The resolution was put forward by Senate President Andrew Clark, SG President Horacio Villarreal and SG Chief Justice Philip Wiseman, according to the Daily Texan.

The Texan reported that the resolution was sent to SG members just an hour before the meeting, a break from standard protocol, to the chagrin of some student representatives.

“I’m supposed to represent my constituents, and I have not had the chance to hear from them,” business student Garrent Neville told the paper. Despite the concerns, the resolution passed the SG assembly with 25 votes. The groups lists 35 assembly members on their website.

Describing the vote as a symbolic statement, Villareal said one like it has never been conducted before. By doing so, he told the Alcalde, students are expressing their doubts over Hall’s ability to live up to his duties and govern with UT’s best interests in mind. The point is ensure that the vote is registered as the position of SG and Senate, UT’s official student governance structures .

“We, as students, feel that it is necessary for us to make our voice heard as this process continues forth,” Villareal said.

The University declined to comment on the matter, citing the fact that the vote was a student initiative. The UT System did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The next meeting of the House Transparency Committee is expected in December.

Read the full text of the draft resolution below, or click here.

UT SG/Senate JR 2 — Vote of No Confidence in Wallace Hall

Photo courtesy Marsha Miller.


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