Letter from Suran Wije to Student Government on West Campus Rezoning

4/22/2004

Dear UT-Austin Student Government President Chaney:

As per this Thursday e-mail, I'm providing adequate notice to request a special, emergency relocation of the 7:00 PM, April 27th Student Government (SG) assembly meeting to the 6:00 PM, April 27th City final University Area Overlay (UNO) West Campus Planning Commission rezoning meeting. Perhaps a carpooling or shuttle service could provide transportation to all students--not just the Assembly--due to the no-going-back, high stakes involved?

UNO was primarily drafted by a few high-level, private profiteers with large land holdings in West Campus. UNO is their lucky lottery ticket and pure land speculation to the irrevocable harm and permanent damage towards our eclectic, West Campus: a rare space and place that’s unique among other flagship universities in the nation and a major attraction, selling/marketing point for the UT-Austin student lifestyle.

Since so many important and influential alumni are already outraged by UNO, if prompt and aggressive action is not taken by your administration this Tuesday, the destructive West Campus dark cloud may unfairly be perceived as the hallmark of your tenure and could hinder future public sector service for the Representatives who ran under your FOCUS party’s platform of political accountability.

UNO is anti-environmental impact studies (bioscience students), anti-traffic/noise/pollution studies (urban and regional planning/geography students), anti-affordable student housing (public affairs/social work students), anti-architecture compatibility standards (architecture and civil engineering students), anti-free parking in West Campus (all students), anti-parklands, green space, appealing livable communities (all students), and most importantly anti-accountable/open local government (political science/government/all students). THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE STUDENT ISSUE OF THE NEW YEAR!

What will the Representatives majoring in the above say when the "Eyes of Texas" in the real world question them on their SG record as student leaders on long-term sustainable community development and other UNO political issues? I urge you to relocate next week's SG meeting to the City’s Planning Commission meeting--think of it as a fun field trip or like past mobile SG meetings--because the vulgar, almost criminal propagandization of UNO in the past is an unfair burden to place on all the new, naive Representatives on the Chaney-McGinity ticket who worked together like a family to allow you to become--I believe--the first SG President in UT's long history to win every single seat in the Student Assembly!

Please don’t let a passive, too-little-too-late, paper resolution be the only action taken by you just a few weeks before the wrecking balls fly in West Campus, because that may be perceived as still having conspiratory or emotional attachments to the old SG! Despite what the City may say, students have a right to attend and DEMAND THE LATEST UNO DOCUMENTS and data that the City has been withholding even with present open records, POLITICAL ACCOUNTABILITY laws.

cc: Rachel McGinity, SG Vice President
cc: Matt Ross, SG Rezoning Committee Leader
cc: Augustus Perez, SG "Help West Campus" Resolution Sponsor
cc: Daily Texan Editors and UTwatch

President Chaney, tens of thousands of intelligent, influential, powerful "Eyes of Texas are [FOCUSED] Upon You," so please provide a clear, aggressive student advocacy FOCUS with your actions and not words alone.

Hook'em,
Suran Wije Help West Campus suran3@hotmail.com