A recognition of the need to advance diversity and inclusion should begin with thanks to the multiple indigenous nations, past and present, who were largely dispossessed and removed from this land where Texas A&M University in College Station is situated. We thank the Tonkawa, Tawakoni, Hueco, Sana, Wichita, and Coahuiltecan peoples who were traditional stewards of this land.
The Academic Success Center stands in solidarity with the words expressed by Dr. Robin Means Coleman in a letter to the campus community. “Systemic racism continues to deprive us of our very lives. The current national unrest reveals that we are all so very tired of it. I hope that we can supplant sentiments of 'thoughts and prayers’ with tangible policy changes and action
,” writes Dr. Coleman.
We also affirm the words of Dr. Annie McGowan, Interim Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, who reminds us that "As Aggies, we embrace our core value of Leadership by modeling affirming behaviors and rejecting bias and discrimination. As Aggies, we can show others how to support and protect people on our campus and in our communities from social stigma and discrimination."
We stand together with the victims of persistent marginalization. We cannot fully aid students on their path to success unless they feel comfortable being vulnerable in our predominantly white institutional spaces. We recognize that it is our responsibility to intentionally hold a space where students have the opportunity to be open and honest with us, not the other way around.
As we have outlined in our mission and vision statement
, there are many concrete ways our professional staff members are working to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment. However, in recognition that these efforts are not enough and that we can do more, we have created a list of additional actions the Academic Success Center will take.
Increase Diversity in Our Professional Staff
- Review our interview questions to ensure our questions use inclusive language and are free of bias.
- Expand the applicant pool to include people with degrees beyond education and liberal arts.
- Increase advertisement of open positions to professional organizations and publications that have a more diverse readership.
- Ensure diversity in our interviewers.
- Provide staff with mentors and professional development opportunities, including paths to promotion.
Commit to Accurate Representation in Our Visual and Written Communication Projects
- Invite underrepresented students to appear in our visual media, such as videos and photographs.
- Accurately represent underrepresented students in illustrated or animated projects.
- Include voices, opinions, and experiences from underrepresented students, faculty, and staff in our news articles
- Diversify our media student worker staff to include underrepresented students.
Promote a Welcoming Climate at the Academic Success Center
- Add diversity statements to all our syllabi and forms used by students, including information on how to report incidents of hate or discrimination.
- Review class, workshop, and other educational materials and activities to ensure the language is inclusive and the examples are representative of our full student body.
- Post our values in a prominent place in the lobby of the Academic Success Center.
- Acknowledge the right of students in our classes and workshops and our employees to speak or write in different varieties of English.
- Encourage the use of best practices for inclusive language such as singular “they” and people first language.
- Ensure that students have the opportunity to use preferred names and pronouns while maintaining privacy.
Factors that affect academic success are complex and are not relegated only to studying or attending class. Stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma all have an impact on how well students perform academically. Therefore, an essential part of our work is to connect students with resources. Below is a list to help Aggies practice self-care, take action, or simply learn more about what’s going on. Self-Care CAPS Let’s Talk ProgramSyllabus on Self-Care and Wellness for Social Justice Activists Take ActionReport a Hate/Bias Related Event at StopHate.tamu.eduRegister to vote Learn MoreOffice for Diversity Resources Page - Toolkit and SyllabiScaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi