Campus tour guides at the University of Texas at Austin are on strike this week, demanding the removal of a plaque with the lyrics of “The Eyes of Texas,” the university’s alma mater, from an admissions building, The Texas Tribune reported. Students and faculty members have decried the song for its racist legacy.
A UT Austin committee researched the origins and meaning of the song and released a report in March that said the lyrics had no racist intent, despite its original debut at a minstrel show. University officials had previously decided to retain the alma mater and said the marching band will continue to play it after home football games, though it was protested by student activists and athletes who demanded the university stop its use.
Members of the campus, such as the tour guides, continue to protest the song, and it caused another recent incident on campus, the Tribune reported. A webinar last week featuring a history professor, who wrote a separate, contradictory report about the alma mater, was Zoombombed by a masked person with a gun, the Tribune reported. The incident was reported to campus officials, said the Texas Orange Jackets, the student organization that hosted the webinar, in a Facebook post.