Students and alumni are demanding that the University of Texas immediately reinstate a program designed to support those who are undocumented on campus.

Citing Texas’ DEI ban and a federal immigration law in messages to students, UT eliminated Monarch – a program that provided resources to students who are undocumented and those who come from mixed-status immigrant families. The university also ended a related scholarship for such students.

Students released a statement Monday stating that the program was “wrongfully terminated.” They argue that the Monarch program is not subject to the Texas ban on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at public colleges and universities. The law prohibits the schools from having programs that are specific to certain races, genders or sexual orientations.

“The Monarch program did not implement any race or gender-based programming,” students wrote. “Immigrants are not a single racial or ethnic group.”

They demanded transparency from the university, saying that the decision was made behind closed doors.

“While all other offices and divisions at UT Austin received ample time to be in compliance with (the DEI ban), the Monarch program was not given time to address any concerns from the UT administration or legal department,” they wrote.

UT officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Many state colleges and universities spent the summer and fall adjusting offerings or programming in advance of the DEI ban that went into effect Jan. 1.

Moving forward, undocumented students no longer have an institutionalized program to support the unique challenges they face regarding financial aid, career opportunities and housing.

“The burden once again falls to students to provide their own services and resources,” they wrote in their letter.


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