Student group at University of Texas chided for ‘immigrant game’
AUSTIN, Tex. — The Young Conservatives of Texas-University of Texas chapter has ignited criticism from university officials and students alike on Monday for its planned ‘Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.’ The event set for Wednesday was presented by the group as a spark to discuss illegal immigration, but it has been roundly criticized by the university president and many students commenting of the event’s Facebook page.
The game’s rules involve people walking around the school’s campus with ‘Illegal Immigrant’ labels on their clothing. UT students are encouraged to ‘catch’ them and take them to a designated table where they would receive a $25 gift card.
UT President Bill Powers released a statement in response to the game that read in part:
As Americans, we should always visualize our Statue of Liberty and remember that our country was built on the strength of immigration. Our nation continues to grapple with difficult questions surrounding immigration. I ask YCT to be part of that discussion but to find more productive and respectful ways to do so that do not demean their fellow students.
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Dr. Gregory J. Vincent said the event is the second provocative act made by the group in three months. In September the group held a bake sale where it sold food to students at various prices based on gender and race.
Dr. Vincent also said that if the event goes on as planned, participants will violate the school’s honor code. He said the school doesn’t intend to inhibit free speech, but also said that the group is exercising a core value of free speech at the expense of individual opportunity and responsibility. It’s unclear how individuals may be punished for violations.
Despite the initial firestorm, the group has not made an announcement to cancel the event.