Some TCU students are trying to change the way the campus at large views and interacts with students of color.
At the first meeting of the TCU Justice Coalition, students of color talked about feeling isolated and stereotyped by white students and faculty.
First-year student Christian Means said thought about transferring during his first week of classes because of the microaggressions directed toward him. He said some white students seemed to avoid him on the sidewalks of campus. While others put their heads down when he tried to greet them during his shifts as a desk assistant in Clark Hall.
Means was among 40 students who talked about pushing to make the campus more inclusive.
Co-founder and senior Michelle Nguyen said the coalition wants students of color to feel valued enough to speak up for the marginalization that they feel like going to TCU creates.
Nguyen and fellow senior Hope Bentley began the coalition last semester as part of their senior project for the Chancellor’s Leadership Program. Their goals include an effort to expand TCU’s core curriculum to include classes that meet a standard for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
The coalition plans to start a petition to present to the Faculty Senate that supports the requirement and classes on diversity and inclusion.
The coalition’s meetings serve as forums for minority and white students to speak about their experiences on campus, talk about the issues they face and begin to work on the change they all want to see.
“Our main things is that we don’t want to spit out ideas and just have people follow us,” said Nguyen. “We want people to be able to speak about their own experiences and come up with ideas themselves.”
Junior Cameron Law said some minority students don’t feel as if their culture is being properly recognized or appreciated on campus.
Law noted the two monuments in the Greek village for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) are surrounded by the houses of those who stereotype and exclude the members of these councils.
“They’re not only ignorant but actively derogatory towards our culture,” he said referring to white students on campus.
For more information on the TCU Justice Coalition follow them on twitter @tcujustice.