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Coalition submits petition with more than 9,300 signatures against Heather Wilson

Several groups of UTEP students on Thursday delived a petition with more 9,300 signatures to University of Texas System Board of Regents Vice Chairman, Paul Foster.

The petition asks Foster and the UT Board of Regents to withdraw U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson from consideration for UTEP’s presidency.

The groups, including the UTEP Queer Student Alliance, We the Students Coalition, UTEP students, and UTEP alumni, claims Wilson ” has a clear track record of supporting policies that discriminate against LGBTQ people and has even voted against millions of dollars that would have supported a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program. ”

The coalition said, ” Heather Wilson’s anti-LGBT voting record, as a New Mexico congresswoman, clearly shows that she is not inclusive of all people. UTEP deserves a president who will be inclusive and welcoming of all students. ”

The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted March 8 to select Wilson as the only finalist for the job.

During a press conference at UTEP earlier this month, Wilson said her ” general approach with respect to LGBT issues is to treat everyone with dignity and respect. ” She also praised the school for being a binational and bicultural university.

Wilson would be replacing Diana Natalicio , who has served as UTEP president for three decades. UTEP has an enrollment around 25,000 students, with about 80 percent Latino.

A UTEP professor who joined the students Thursday said Wilson has a very impressive resume and would be better off serving at a school like Liberty University. The professor said Wilson is not academically qualified to lead a university like UTEP.

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