86° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

‘Challenges to Democracy’ panel expands on major internal issues in politics

Nick Di Rey
Wendy Davis, a former representative of the 10th district in the Texas Senate, discusses internal issues the US faces. Davis Graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1990. (Nick Di Re/Staff Photographer)

A lack of civility and unwillingness to work across the aisle are two of the major issues confronting the political system, according to panelists who participated in a discussion about the “Challenges to Democracy.”

Organized and moderated by Keith Gaddie, Ph.D., a political science professor, panelists cited gerrymandering, common decency and refusal to compromise as key challenges.  

Attacking other representatives and making them look like the bad guys disrespects their intelligence and deceives the democratic process, said Fort Worth City Council Member Jared Williams, Ph.D.  

He was joined on the panel by Wendy Davis, former state senator for the 10th district, Brian Byrd, former Fort Worth City Council member and Glen Whitley, former Tarrant County judge.  

Glen Whitley (left), Jared Williams (center) and Brian Byrd (right) participate in TCU’s “Challenges to Democracy” panel. All three speakers have held positions in office in Tarrant County. (Nick Di Re/TCU360)

Byrd echoed Williams’ call for civility.

 “We got to be able to get along with each other and talk through stuff,” he said. “We have to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.” 

Davis garnered national attention when she was in office for an 11-hour filibuster against a restrictive abortion bill. She encouraged people to push back on rancorous debate.  

“I think it’s a personal responsibility for every one of us who has a voice in the public discourse to conduct ourselves in the way that we love to see other people conducting themselves,” Davis said.  

Gaddie suggested that gerrymandering, the process of drawing representative districts so that they overwhelmingly favor one party over another, has only exacerbated the discord. 

“Gerrymandering has become so scientifically extreme that it is structured in such a way that the party in power is almost sure to always hold power because every ten years they get to do it again,” Davis said. 

“The very sad thing about that is that it conditions people to believe that their votes don’t matter,” she said later.  

In Davis’s final remarks, she said that the only way to fix redistricting is to redraw the lines objectively and make it easier to vote and register.

More to Discover