It was the “Big Switch,” and Chancellor Victor Boschini and Tristian Brooks, a junior economics major, shared their roles at TCU. They dined together, attended Brooks’ classes and met with members of the chancellor’s cabinet.
Brooks, who was randomly chosen from Student Foundation members, championed diversity on all levels of campus and talked about his dream career – vice chancellor for student affairs. Brooks talked with Boschini about diversity during their breakfasts and told the chancellor he would like to see more inclusion in the first-year programs.
Donald Whelan, the vice chancellor for student advancement, talked with Brooks about TCU’s effort to raise its endowment so it can help more low-income students succeed.
“We have a $1.5 billion endowment, we need to have a $3 billion endowment,” he said. “That would be more in line with our goals. We don’t want to be a school that only affluent families can afford.”
Diversity was also a main topic of conversation when Brooks met with Yohna Chambers, the vice chancellor of human resources. She assured Brooks that the university is taking initiatives to encourage diverse employment. She said TCU is an affirmative action employer and that her department makes sure ethnic minority and female applicants aren’t rejected at a higher rate than whites and males.
Chambers added that the school has more than 300 Spanish preferred employees and produces a lot of information in English and Spanish.
“I do think TCU is making a tremendous effort,” Chambers said. “We do have ways to go.”
Diversity even took a role in Brook’s sociology class Monday morning. Boschini and Brooks listened to a presentation from two Native American filmmakers about their documentary “More Than A Word.” John and Kenn Little’s film analyzes issues centered around Washington Redskin’s controversial football team name as well as other culturally appropriated mascots.
The two brothers talked about how indigenous people are often poorly represented as mascots as well as in the media. Part of their film highlighted Indigenous Comic-Con, a convention featuring Native Americans portrayed as superheroes and other pop-culture icons.
Boschini commented that “it’s a way to empower them.”
After the day was over Brooks said he enjoyed learning more about how the university works and how the “big picture” of TCU all comes together.
“Today was very long but amazing,” Brooks said. “I got to meet so many people, I learned so much more about TCU and the interworking of TCU.”
As for Boschini as a student for a day, he said while he enjoined the “dose of intellectual activity” he doesn’t normally get in his day, he was happy he didn’t have to take Brook’s econ test coming up on Friday. As for Brook’s future in student affairs, Boschini advised Brooks in an email to “keep going on the path you are on – you are headed for your dream job.”