Demand Diversity and Inclusion Action at Texas A&M University
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The latest nondiscrimination notice states that “Texas A&M University is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community. The University provides equal opportunity to all employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, and the public regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Texas A&M University will promptly investigate and resolve all complaints of discrimination, harassment”.
Students on campus have made their frustrations clear with the lack of diversity and inclusion work being done on campus through university reporting, legislative discussion, and direct action through previous petitions and demonstrations. The university has not made clear or effective avenues with transparent accountability for reporting and stopping instances of discrimination and bias in relation to identity and has yet to definitively and publicly condemn many acts or symbols of hate across campus. Resources and institutional support have not been given to the appropriate identity groups that have faced a history of discrimination and bias at A&M that has carried through to still affect students today by means of institutional inequity. The university has done nothing to counter the vilifying of many concerned students, faculty, and staff of color, and in several instances has perpetrated this vilification through written statements or a lack thereof.
Students from other SEC schools, such as University of Missouri, University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt, University of Alabama, and Mississippi State University, have been able to push for more institutional change and these universities are now leading the front and setting an example for diversity and inclusion work. It is necessary for Texas A&M to step up and do the same, if not more. If we truly care about this university, we would want to see it become the best and most inclusive institution that it can be so that everyone can have a chance at becoming a member of the Aggie network and family.
1. That Texas A&M University enact a long-term plan outlining initiatives and increased funding intended to raise people of color (POC) retention and inclusion
2. That a comprehensive diversity and racial sensitivity training for faculty and staff, particularly campus counselors, be required
3. That an improvement in faculty, staff, and student demographics should be pursued through University hiring and recruitment efforts, including but not limited to an increase in scholarships, grants, and honors programs aimed at POC
4. That there be an effort to create a welcoming and inclusive space through more funding and reflective space allocated outside of the initial “temporary” space provided for the Department of Multicultural Services
5. That the University must condemn white supremacist and nationalist groups, both past and current, that are present on campus
6. That there be effort made to improve gender identity inclusion
7. That more funding and space be allocated for Accessibility Services
8.That University rules concerning student activism be adjusted to minimize hate speech and maximize forums for historically and institutionally marginalized groups
9. That there be accountability in reporting instances of bias and discrimination
10. That President Michael K. Young and Vice President Daniel J. Pugh issue public statements apologizing for their past neglect and selective ignorance when it concerns issues of discrimination, bias, diversity, and inclusion
A more detailed outline can be found here.
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