Electrical engineering freshman Micah Hurd created a petition Friday asking President Barack Obama's administration to grant Texas secession from the U.S.
Hurd said seeing issues such as the national debt makes him think Texas would be better on its own.
“I believe secession is a viable option,” Hurd said, mentioning concerns to issues such as domestic and foreign spending and the Transportation Security Administration.
The Texas petition is only one of more than 50 other petitions asking to allow various states to secede from the union on whitehouse.gov. Texas, however, has the most signatures out of any of those petitions.
As of 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, the Texas petition had 92,151 signatures on the website.
“I was thinking we might make it to the 25,000 mark,” Hurd said.
For a petition to be searchable on the whitehouse.gov, it has to reach 150 signatures within 30 days. To acquire a response from the White House, a petition has to reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days, according to the petition terms.
Hurd said he never expected so many people to sign the petition. He thought it would be cool to surpass the numbers on Louisiana’s petition.
As of 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, Louisiana's petition had 32,180 signatures.
“The idea to post this petition, to be quite honest, was seeing Louisiana’s petition,” Hurd said. “Texas should probably have one, too. That’s what sparked it.”
Before the petition reached the White House website, Hurd sent it to family and friends, along with posting it on Reddit.com.
Hurd did not anticipate the petition would be publicly viewed. After putting it together Friday, his brother pointed out Saturday that the petition had reached the White House website.
"It was cool. It had caught on," Hurd said.
Students on campus have read articles concerning this petition via social media.
Biology senior Laurel Contreras said she first stumbled across an article on Facebook. She read the article because she believed she might have known the creator of the petition. Contreras soon found out the Micah she knew was not the Micah who had created the petition.
“My first impression was I was interested in who had posted it,” Contreras said. “I don’t agree with it. I feel it would throw the economy into a worse situation.”
She said it would be interesting to see if 30 to 40 percent of the population in Texas signed the petition.
“I don’t think it will go through. It's just fueling emotions,” Contreras said.
Civil engineering sophomore Mauro Santos said he thought it was a joke at first when he saw it on Facebook and Yahoo.
He didn't think people would care so much about seeing their political party lose the election.
He said it is interesting to see an idea and have so many people follow it.
“I think it is something that is going to go away within the next two weeks,” Santos said.
Heidi Hardt, political science assistant professor, said she's skeptical that the petition signers are really signing for the right reason.
“I highly doubt people are really interested in seceding,” Hardt said.
She believes those signing petition should write and lobby to Congress. It does, however, grab attention and remind people of current issues, she said.
Hurd said two things he wants to point out is that he did not post this in response to Obama winning the election and it is definitely not a racial issue.
“I would have posted it if Obama or Romney would have been elected,” he said.
Secondly, he wants to apologize for his grammatical errors found in his petition.
“Because I didn’t pay attention to grammatical errors does not mean I don’t believe in what I said,” Hurd said.
He strongly believes Texas has done without federal money in the past and can do it again.
“We absolutely can make it work on our own,” Hurd said.
Hurd said there are many loopholes and clauses in the petition terms laid out by the White House that he truly doesn’t expect a response from officials.
“I would not be surprised if they don’t reply at all,” Hurd said.
Hopefully it acts as a motivator for people's views to be heard, he said.
“Sometimes, it requires rocking the boat,” he said.