At the University of Texas, a senior government and Mexican-American studies major made history. Last week, Alejandrina Guzmán became the first Latina student body president at UT, as well as the first disabled student body president at any Big 12 school. She and her running mate Micky Wolf won with 54.33 percent of the vote in a runoff election, according to The Daily Texan. The duo ran on a platform of inclusion and empowerment, with RALLY – Representing All Longhorns Like You – as their slogan. The duo vows to make the school more accessible to disabled students, to address sexual assault on campus, and to revive the Texas A&M-UT football rivalry by 2025.
The two have ambitious goals for the year. But perhaps what’s most remarkable about their victory is that Guzmán is now in the unique position to speak out for others who typically feel overlooked. A month ago on her Facebook page, she explained the impetus behind her run for student body presidency.
“Zooming around campus these past four years, I’ve learned to navigate campus and expand my comfort zone – but not always by choice,” she wrote. “I remember being locked inside of the Sánchez building for 30 minutes as a freshman because none of the accessible buttons were functional. I remember being stuck on the second floor of Jester for two hours because the elevator wouldn’t work; a week later, the elevator still had not been fixed. I remember being turned away from an organization, because they were not used to accommodating differently abled students. And unfortunately, not much has changed. The paths I have to take to move around campus are proof of this.”
As someone who’s already worked to make a difference on campus by ensuring that others felt welcomed at UT, she’s now able to further her efforts on a grander scale.
“I rally so that students can find resources, so that student leaders take initiative in their endeavors,” she wrote. “So that students of color and of every faith, gender expression, ability, socioeconomic background, and sexual orientation know that they have a place on this campus.”
Check out KXAN’s short video profile on Guzmán: