University of Texas at Arlington students’ demand school stop honoring segregationist administrators
Arlington, TX – In the many decades since the University of Texas at Arlington ended segregation, students have fought long and hard to end the university’s practice of glorifying white supremacy.
From protests against the university’s previous Confederate rebel mascot, to the more recent renaming of the E.E. David administration building, UTA students are continuing the struggle for equality by insisting the school stop honoring two past presidents and blatant white supremacists, Jack R. Woolf and E.H. Hereford.
Over a dozen students from the UTA Progressive Student Union (PSU) were involved in a demonstration on October 19, calling for the removal of Hereford’s name and statue from the EH Hereford University Center, bringing to attention Hereford’s racist policies as UTA’s first president. A large banner, which blocked Hereford’s statue from view, read “Hereford was a segregationist, UTA shouldn’t honor that.”
Several speakers from the organization detailed the egregious actions of the Hereford and Woolf administrations, condemning Hereford’s idealization of the Confederacy, Woolf’s mock slave auctions, and both of their vehement opposition to integration.
“The fact Hereford’s been honored for 60 years is a disgrace,” said Jay Rodriguez, the secretary of PSU. “A man who would have done everything to prevent me and my little brother from attending this school is being honored? That’s disrespectful and despicable.”
Justin Bent, the vice president of PSU, emphasized UTA’s hypocrisy, “UTA talks a lot about diversity, but has two buildings named after ardent segregationists. Is that right?” The crowd passionate answered “No!” Another speaker, Mark Napieralski, detailed how Hereford laid the racist foundations that the Woolf administration would continue to expand. “You can’t have ‘Old South Day’ without the Confederate theme.”
The UTA Progressive Student Union has garnered over 560 signatures in an ongoing petition supporting the movement, and the resolution to bring this issue as a referendum on the next student election ballot is still alive and well.
The message is clear, UTA students want Hereford and Woolf gone, along with any ties to the university’s reactionary past. The names Hereford and Woolf invoke thoughts of a bygone and bigoted era.