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Speaking Truth to Power

Speaking Truth to Power

Dear Students,

Often, I hear from students (and staff and faculty) who feel there has been an injustice through words or deeds, but don't feel they have the right to speak directly to that individual because they're a professor, or a supervisor, or a Dean—someone in a position of power. Quakers coined the phrase "speak truth to power" as a middle ground between passively taking violence and committing aggressions of our own. This is one of the greatest concepts you can learn as you grow into adulthood: you have agency to make change, including here at UT. Every voice counts. Here are some resources around campus that can help you feel more empowered:

  • Student Ombuds—This office helps with both the skills to have a conversation with the person in power and can mediate resolutions.
  • President Fenves' feedback page—Send your thoughts straight to the Tower.
  • Trusted allies on campus—Identify someone you trust and go talk to them first. Often talking it through with someone else can bring a level of clarity that wasn't there before.
  • My office—If things aren't going well, I want to know and can put you in touch with people who can help. Or if you need to speak truth to me, I welcome your ideas and feedback.

Of course, some of you may have concerns beyond what goes on on campus. If so, there is a deadline coming up to know about, whatever your politics. If you are able, register to vote! The deadline is October 9th to mail in your voter registration. Already registered, but in your home county? You can fill out the same voter registration card to declare your residence here in Travis County so you can vote on campus at the FAC. Or request an absentee ballot.

Dr. Vanden Bout

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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