TCU’s mission is “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” However, a recent article quoted Chancellor Victor Boschini effectively doting on the fact that families making less than $100,000 a year could not afford TCU. Perhaps the de facto mission is “To educate the 1 percent of America.”
After graduating from TCU in May 2015, I became a Fulbright Scholar in Delhi, India. At our orientation, I truly felt unprepared to discuss global topics on the level of my peers. Yes, I had studied abroad in Senegal and India during my undergraduate career, but the majority of my college years were spent in incredibly homogenous classrooms.
There were few debates with varying points of view because generally, students had similar upbringings: white and wealthy. Of course, there were students that did not fit into this category, but they were few and far between. While TCU has many amazing professors, the lack of socioeconomic, racial, religious, and ethnic diversity is readily apparent creating a bubble of privilege. It’s clear the administration’s values lie not in building diversity or character, but rather building real estate.
If the goal truly is to create global citizens, there must be a dialogue full of multifarious views coupled with empathy and respect. I hope that those with influence and funds can look critically at our mission and acknowledge it’s not about new dorms or a state of the art gym, but instead about the character of their alumni.
In Chancellor Boschini’s inauguration speech he said “TCU is a place of ideas and ideals. Where social responsibility and ethical behavior are the core of our mission and the center of our daily lives.” Unfortunately, that is largely not the case. I aspire to see the day that horned frogs can blossom in a classroom representative of America and even the world as a whole. Until then, students will have to forge their own path in order to find diversity and become a global citizen.
Abby TerHaar graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Political Science. She has spent the past 3 years in India where she now works for a social business which trains global leaders in social innovation.