‘She deserves this’: UT builds custom lectern for student body president

1:40 p.m Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 Local
Fourth-year government and Mexican-American studies major Alejandrina Guzman (left) made University of Texas history Thursday when she was elected to be the Austin campus first Latina, physically disabled student body president. A campus-wide run-off election concluded with Guzman and running mate Micky Wolf (right) capturing 54 percent of the vote and winning the election by an almost 800-vote margin Thursday evening.

Alejandrina Guzman says she’s had to learn to adapt her entire life. Now, according to the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper, she’s the recipient of an inclusive gesture, straight from the school’s carpentry shop.

Guzman, the university’s first physically disabled student body president, now uses a custom-made lectern built specifically for her needs, the Daily Texas reports. The lectern is modeled after the one used by UT-Austin President Gregory L. Fenves, which was also used by past student body presidents.

According to the Texan:

Doug Bolin, associate director for University Events, said the University got the idea for the lectern when faculty realized Guzman needed a custom-made piece to accommodate her as a physically differently-abled person. Although he needed to change the size of the lectern, Bolin said he wanted the style to match the original.

The supervisor of the university carpentry shop, Armando Blanco, told the Texan, “She deserves this. She is the president of the student (body) of a major university. How many people can actually say that?”

Guzman and Micky Wolf, the student body vice president, ran on a six-point platform that included improving accessibility for disabled students. Guzman and Wolf won a runoff election in March.

Guzman has used a music stand for past speeches, according to the paper, and she will get to use the new lectern for future speaking engagements as a gift once she leaves UT. Read the Daily Texan’s full story to find out how the lectern was built.