‘Let’s be real’: TCU talks diversity

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“Let’s be real.”

A few months ago, those three words sparked an idea to give students the chance to voice their opinions on diversity and issues on campus in a respectful way.

The discussion, organized by SGA members Aminata Ka and Heidi Nguyen, was led by three TCU faculty members and moderated by Timeka Gordon, the director of inclusiveness and intercultural services at TCU.

Gordon asked a few questions to begin the conversation with the panelists, and students were free to ask question and express their opinions.

Christina Mungilla, a senior strategic communications major, spoke up about her tendency to have predestined racial opinions about others and how she was trying to be more aware of acceptance and understanding.

“Having these conversations with these people have really helped me kind of see things through their eyes, and understand what they’re going through,” Mungilla said.

The panelists touched on issues such as systemic racism and micro-aggressions, and gave students advice on discussing controversial ideas in a respectful and thoughtful way.

“We can come together with different ideas and cultures in a safe place,” said panelist Santiago Piñón, a religion professor. “It means I can express my opinions and passionately disagree with you…but a person is still a person.”

Piñón added that discussions like these are important for a campus like TCU which isn’t incredibly diverse.

“Students realize they’re on a campus where it’s mono-ethnic, mono-gender almost; I think any kind of diversity is really beneficial,” Piñón said.

“I will say more privileged people, these are the people who really need to step out of their bubble,” Mungilla added.

Around 15 students came to the panel discussion. SGA members said they want to continue the discussion of diversity on campus.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important these conversations are,” Mungilla said.