Progressive Student Union petitions to remove the E.H. Hereford bust and namesake from the university center

Students pass the bust of E.H. Hereford on Tuesday in the University Center. Mark Napieralski, Progressive Student Union president, and Jeremiah Harris, PSU vice president, reached out to students in the immediate area to discuss allegations of racist policies Hereford oversaw during his tenure as university president.

Tempers rose inside the University Center as temperatures dropped outside Tuesday afternoon as the Progressive Student Union petitioned the removal of the Ernest Hereford bust and namesake.

Jeremiah Harris, Progressive Student Union vice president, said the organization stood beside the bust to promote awareness of the alleged racism surrounding Hereford and gauge interest in his removal from the UC.

Mark Napieralski, Progressive Student Union president authored a Student Government resolution last year calling for the removal of Hereford's namesake and bust. The resolution was unanimously killed by senators in the Nov. 6 meeting.

Education sophomore Ben Moran said the protest was a waste of time for the Progressive Student Union because most students don’t really care enough about the issue to stop and talk, let alone sign a petition.

He said the reason he stopped at the petition was to slap the bust, which he always does for good luck before a test or project.

“More people care that Dr Pepper isn’t on campus than, you know, whether this bust is there,” Moran said.

The bust could be removed tomorrow and no one would notice until someone went to slap it before a test, he said.

Harris said it’s up to the students to decide whether or not to remove the bust, the organization is only asking for signatures to petition its removal and to change the center’s namesake.

For change to happen, Student Government must approve it, he said.

Napieralski, Progressive Student Union president, said to get on the Student Government ballot, the organization must accumulate 1500 student signatures.

So far, they’ve reached 900 signatures, but they need 600 more by Friday. If they’re unable to meet that deadline, they’ll be forced to wait until next semester to start the petition again, Napieralski said.

Harris said the organization isn’t trying to sway students’ opinions.

“We’re not trying to hold the ballot right here when we talk to someone,” Harris said. “You can have your stance, but what we’re saying is allow students to have that stance as well and to actually use that voice through student elections.”

Criminal justice junior Yasmine Soto said removing the bust from the UC is unlikely to change anything.

For her, the bust is a part of the UC, and it doesn’t impact her current perception of racism or the university.

“Walking in here and seeing the statue does nothing to me,” Soto said. “It does not make me feel ‘less-than’ or it does not make me feel like I can’t do anything else that [anyone else] can do.”

Still, Harris said it’s important that the university remove Hereford because UTA is among the most diverse universities in the country. The university needs to back up under-represented communities, he said.

“What we’re not trying to do is erase history,” Harris said. “When you look at it, we’re trying to promote history that’s lesser talked about it.”

@CecilLenzen

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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(17) comments

crazijay

Manufactured outrage loses again, at least this time no one even cares to entertain this nonsense

Chad Bullard

Another attempt to try and tear down any relics of the past. It is pure nonsense. When I went to Europe, I would see statues that were more than 500 years old. It helped me to learn of the history of these places when I saw the statues. I believe what Professor Saxe stated. There is no case for Nedderman being a racist. This is a lie by Mark. Calling his work research, is slanderous to the people at this University whom do real research work. Nedderman helped build U.T.A. into a four year college. Without him, U.T.A. would not be here as a four year school. I owe Mr. Nedderman a lot. If there was no U.T.A., I probably would have never gotten my degrees. I do not support this slanderous cause to remove a piece of U.T.A.'s history. These PSU is a joke. They are a bunch of spoiled and privileged students trying to push around and bully people with there despotic views. They hide behind racism as their cause, but that is a lie.

Chad Bullard

Another attempt to try and tear down any relics of the past. It is pure nonsense. When I went to Europe, I would see statues that were more than 500 years old. It helped me to learn of the history of these places when I saw the statues. I believe what Professor Saxe stated. There is no case for Nedderman being a racist. This is a lie by Mark. Calling his work research, is slanderous to the people at this University whom do real research work. Nedderman helped build U.T.A. into a four year college. Without him, U.T.A. would not be here as a four year school. I owe Mr. Nedderman a lot. If there was no U.T.A., I probably would have never gotten my degrees. I do support this slanderous cause to remove a piece of U.T.A.'s history. These PSU is a joke. They are a bunch of spoiled and privileged students trying to push around and bully people with there despotic views. They hide behind racism as their cause, but that is a lie.

Mr X

Petition for PSU to just die out quietly instead of trying to claw it's way to relevancy

Superman

PSU needs a new leader and focus. The current leader is a creep. How many more years does this kid have at this university.. He won't make it in the real world and will probably end up holding someone's pocket.

PlaceboEffect

Ho boy, here we go again. Hopefully they don't get the signatures they want

ghost6450

Not familiar with UTA's student body government petition system, but can an organization be removed? Petition to remove the PSU?

123Garbage

There goes their brainwash again. Like this is going to change anything and besides, Hereford has done nothing wrong.

Michael S

Can the PSU actually do something that is Progressive and not just stupid? They take any attention, especially if it involves them looking stupid.

Freethinker25

“What we’re not trying to do is erase history.” Yeah right, another lie by the PSU. I guess they really do fit the definition of insanity, do the exact same thing again expecting a different outcome. Last semester when they tried this it got little support from the student body and even less from the student government. In fact many students actually came out of the wood work to defend Hereford and to prove that he wasn’t this flat out racist that Napieralski claimed he was. The PSU needs to really reorganize if they want to continue to have any shred of credibility as an organization. Just because a few people that are perpetually offended by anything that is part of our history and society before the 1990’s doesn’t mean they should automatically get their way. The PSU needs to get over it! One of the most diverse student bodies in the nation would like to keep what few and little traditions we actually have at our school, they need to quit trying to take that from us. You guys are the only ones offended, get over yourselves!

dathings2

PSU is always looking for something whine about. They had no evidence that Hereford was racist they just said he probably was given the time period. They just want to feel like they accomplished something. I walked past that creepy Mark guy at the bust and I picked up my pace. He should be removed from campus for harassing people, although he might come back as a shooter given his appearance.

Michael S

YES!!! Mark is the biggest creep; he preaches like everyone should agree or you are considered racist. PSU needs to be dismantled.

Negan

Progressive student union is a historically racist organization. Progressives in the 1920's were advocating tricking black people into getting abortions so they could "Cull" the population. They wanted self extermination. We need to also put on the ballot to abolish the historically (and I would argue currently {easily}) racist organization. Progressive Student Union needs to put their money where their mouth is and abolish themselves permanently. Or are the members hypocrites?

dathings2

I don't like PSU but this is just nonsense and conspiracy theories

MavLight

It's the right thing!

dathings2

Shut up Mark

Freethinker25

Lol

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