Posted on Friday, Feb 05, 2021
Texas A&M has been recognized for its combination of excellence, affordability and its ability to develop leaders of character. However, too often, the lived reality of students, faculty and staff from historically underrepresented and excluded groups contrasts starkly with Texas A&M’s Core Values. I hope that everyone will come to understand that Texas A&M’s Core Values — respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service — are synonymous with an ethos of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The first half of 2020 has proven to be a difficult one for our campus, state and nation. Texas A&M’s President Young issued statements on the murder of George Floyd and the campus community has
protested racist behaviors and practices on our
campus and the presence of the statue of Lawrence
Sullivan Ross, former president of A&M and member
of the Confederacy. Additionally, 2020 has presented
crises of re-opening campus during a pandemic that is marked by health disparities. Together, we can “do something” to address these issues.
Do: Engage in self-care. First, work to remain healthy by shielding yourself against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Second, take advantage of learning communities, student organizations and professional associations to receive and provide support. The key to success and wellness at Texas A&M is to seek opportunities to make connections with like-minded students and form networks. “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
Do: Take advantage of your first-year experience by participating in courses and co-curricular activities. These activities sharpen your academic skills, support communication and improve sense of belongingness. Additionally, Student Government and Student Senate have diversity leaders. They are good partners with our campus leadership and will represent your interests well.
Do: Step up, speak up. Engage in bystander intervention and be an ally. Know that you are not just intervening with one person, but with everyone who is observing the interaction. Your intervention may encourage someone else to stand-up and intercede the next time they witness violence, racist comments and performances that perpetuate assault, discrimination and hate. Furthermore, report incidents of hate through the StopHate Portal, stophate.tamu.edu. If each one of us calls out hate, we can make extraordinary progress in creating respectful communities that everyone is entitled to enjoy.
Spread our core value of Respect far and wide, and take care of yourselves and each other.