A game of "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" is getting one college conservative group in hot water. The Young Conservatives of Texas plan to hold that game Wednesday on the Austin Campus of the University of Texas. Group members will have on name tags that say "Illegal" and if students see them they can bring that person to a designated area to "turn them in" for a $25 gift card.
The conservative group says they only want to start a conversation on campus about illegal immigration. School officials say even though they respect the right of free speech, the game would be a willfully ignoring the school’s honor code. KTRH News has the complete statement below:
Statement from Dr. Gregory J. Vincent Regarding YCT Game Scheduled for Nov. 20
Apparently drawing from a 2005-06 plan of Young Conservative organizations on campuses across the country, the UT Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) is hosting a game on campus this Wednesday called “Catch an Illegal Immigrant.”
The game involves students walking around campus with the words “Illegal Immigrant” on their back. Students who capture the marked students and bring them back to the YCT table will be rewarded with a $25 gift card.
As was the case with the YCT bake sale on the west mall last month, such tactics are inflammatory and demeaning. And once again in trying to be provocative, the YCT is contributing to an environment of exclusion and disrespect among our students, faculty and staff by sending the message that certain students do not belong on our campus. Some UT Austin students are undocumented, and under Dream Act legislation signed into law in 2001, these students are entitled to attend state universities. They are part of a growing diverse population on campus and in the state of Texas—a population that plays increasingly larger roles in our intellectual, economic, political and cultural communities.
The university honor code entreats students to abide by the core values of the university, one of which is freedom, but two others of which are individual opportunity and responsibility. The university also values free speech and our campus continues to be an arena that inspires dialogue from diverse viewpoints. However, it is also meant to be a community where students exhibit respect for each other while holding those viewpoints.
If the members of YCT carry out their plan for “Catch an Illegal Immigrant,” they are willfully ignoring the honor code and contributing to the degradation of our campus culture. And once again, they will have resorted to exercising one of the university’s core values to the detriment of others. Such actions are counterproductive to true dialogue on our campus, and it is unrepresentative of the ideals toward which our community strives.
The Young Conservatives of Texas also stirred up controversy back in September with an Affirmative Action Bake sale. At that event brownies were sold and the prices based on the race and gender of the buyer.