The Student Government Association plans to voice its opposition against House Bill 1006 in their upcoming Texas Junior College SGA annual conference.
The theme of this upcoming conference is “Advocating for Students’ Rights,” and HB 1006 is expected to be a focused topic. The bill was open to discussion by General Officer Alberto Martinez at the last SGA meeting. Martinez sought to get the majority to vote against the bill that was initiated by State Rep. Carl Tepper, a Republican whose district is in Lubbock County.
Martinez explained that the bill’s primary agenda is to alter Section 51.354 of the Texas Education Code, which focuses to prohibit the campus’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
“I can’t speak officially for Del Mar College, but I can speak for myself and many other students by saying that this bill is a step backwards and should not be allowed to pass into law,” Martinez said. “My hope is that we’ll work with delegations from other colleges in Texas to raise collective support against the bill.”
HB 1006 plans to prohibit any funding or support of classes and clubs that aim to promote diversity among universities.
Tepper has been known to be against DEI initiatives and has actively been pursuing to present bills to eradicate the DEI program.
“Public universities should not use taxpayer dollars to inculcate students with certain politically divisive values,” he told Daily Texas.
Tepper also stated his disagreement concerning the Black cultural center at Texas Tech, stating it’s “a shame that we’re self-segregating ourselves.”
Many Republicans plan to endorse the bill, believing that the DEI initiatives prevent further progress on education.
“DEI initiatives aren’t the one single fix for all our systemic social issues,” Martinez said in response to GOP efforts. “What they are is an important step toward ensuring that disadvantaged people have the resources they need.”
The association has ruled in favor of striking against the bill, for Del Mar is about being inclusive for all communities, and will stand against HB 1006 since the bill targets students of color, the LGBTQIA+ and other diverse communities.
“We are a diverse community, but one that comes together to accomplish amazing things. Whether we are speaking to legislators at Community College Day, or participating in local SGA food drives, we are advocating for equality for every student in Texas,” Martinez said.
Students interested in learning more about the bill can contact the SGA at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the next meeting in April via TEAMs or going to Room HC 202 in the Harvin Center.