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Report: UT Austin official delays 'The Eyes of Texas' student referendum vote

UT’s dean of students and senior associate vice president for student affairs cited a "misleading" student government tweet.

AUSTIN, Texas — A University of Texas at Austin official has canceled a nonbinding student referendum on "The Eyes of Texas" scheduled for later this month, according to a report from KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

Soncia Reagins-Lilly, UT’s dean of students and senior associate vice president for student affairs, reportedly told students that the vote will be rescheduled after the Student Government Assembly tweeted a "misleading" and "problematic" message.

The university's student government had planned to hold the referendum during the annual spring campus-wide election, and its goal was to allow students to vote on whether or not the controversial alma mater should be replaced.

However, in an email to three student government leaders on Monday, Reagins-Lilly reportedly said that the poll will no longer take place during the campus-wide election scheduled for Feb. 27-28 as "the integrity of the process has been polluted" by a "misleading and inaccurate" tweet from the Student Government Assembly’s Twitter account. 


In a Feb. 3 tweet announcing the referendum, the Student Government Assembly's account – which has 36 followers – said “a non-binding referendum on The Eyes of Texas has been approved by the Office of the Dean of Students.”

According to the Statesman, Reagins-Lilly wrote that the tweet is “problematic” and “inaccurately relays” that she and the Office of the Dean of Students “approved the topic of this referendum and took a position on its merits — which did not occur.” The Statesman reports that she also said the “referendum cannot move forward as planned” because of the tweet.

A separate special election on "The Eyes of Texas" will be held at least 45 days after Feb. 3, according to the Statesman's report.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Dean of Students did not immediately respond to the Statesman's request for comment.

To learn more about the planned referendum and UT student leaders' reaction to Reagins-Lilly's decision, read the Statesman's full report.

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