Student Government members propose legislation supporting apology to Wallace Hall

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At-large graduate representative Connor Ellington (left) was one of four members of Student Government to propose a resolution supporting an apology to Wallace Hall on Tuesday evening. Hall received backlash for investigating the University’s admission procedures back in 2015. 

Photo Credit: Mckenzie Bentley | Daily Texan Staff

In light of the college admissions scandal involving UT and several other universities, Student Government proposed an assembly resolution Tuesday evening supporting an apology to Wallace Hall, a former UT Systems regent. The resolution said Hall was “one of the few University administrators genuinely acting on behalf of students and fairness in admissions” during an entry scandal several years ago.

Hall served on the UT System Board of Regents from 2011 to 2017. The Daily Texan reported in 2015 that during his time as a regent, Hall looked into the University’s admission procedures by making costly requests for more than 800,000
pages of documents.

“Whenever Wallace Hall asked for information about (the) admissions scandal that was going on at the time … he was met with an intense amount of backlash by other regents, and there was an attempt to impeach him from his office for asking for documents about how some of these questionable admissions decisions were made,” at-large graduate representative Connor Ellington said.

Hall was investigating those in positions of power who were bribing UT as a means to get students admitted, Ellington said.

“At UT Law, there was someone with a 128 on the LSAT who ended up getting in, which if you know anything about the LSAT, it goes from 180 to 120, and someone scored a 128, which is in the 1.5 percentile,” Ellington said. “So the fact that Mr. Hall was punished … just for asking for that information is absolutely appalling, and as such, I think that there needs to be an apology made.”

 

The apology would be from Student Government, not the University. However, Lillian Bonin, government junior and resolution coauthor, said she would be open to a discussion about asking the president and chancellor’s office to also apologize.

“I think (the resolution) rights a wrong that was done a few years ago, but more importantly, with the college admissions scandal that is ongoing, I think it kind of addresses that … we as students … want administrators to be like Wallace Hall and be looking out for student interests,” Bonin said. “We don’t want them to feel silenced or feel like they’re going to be punished for doing what they genuinely believe is in students’ best interests like Wallace Hall was doing.”

Law representative Jordan Cope agreed with Bonin’s view that the apology would send a message to administration.

“I also think it’s important to consider the repercussions of not making an apology,” Cope said. “I think making this apology allows us to convey a very important message, which is ultimately that you should be able to criticize the administration and/or criticize some of the policies designed by the administration if you so believe that they are a detriment to the University. I do think it’s a relevant time to do so, given light that the University is at a time where it is accepting accountability for some of its wrong actions.”