Alfred Montoya

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Alfred Montoya is a Texas activist.

Beginnings of Trinity YDSA

Trinity YDSA was approved as a Registered Student Organization (RSO) in November 2019. Sophomore and YDSA co-chair Victoria Henretty said her interest in creating a chapter began when she attended UTSA chapter meetings last year.

“I liked stuff that they were doing on campus,” Henretty said. “They would call admin out, call professors out for unjust behavior, and I really admired that.”

YDSA also has the support of two faculty advisers: Alfred Montoya, professor of anthropology, and Judith Norman, professor of philosophy. Norman said she is glad to help but plans to let student YDSA members take the lead.

“I think we’re at a moment where young people have more of a grasp of what’s gone wrong and more of a sense of energy about fixing it than the older generation does,” Norman said. “I don’t see myself as a leader. I see myself as an admirer, and hopefully an assistant.”

As the spring semester begins, the chapter is gearing up for activities from a leftist book club to a fossil fuel divestment campaign. YDSA is also in talks with T-Prog and PRIDE, with tentative plans to collaborate on events.

“We’re super interested in working with other student organizations, because leftism is something that affects every single person and all identities,” Henretty said.

Anaya believes leftism is often painted as pessimistic, but he sees YDSA as more about faith in the world’s potential.

“We have so much faith in the world to do better,” Anaya said. “That’s the root of it all — we just want everyone to do better, and that’s why we fight for what we do. It’s not pessimism as much as it is action and optimism.”[1]