Diversity commission begins investigation into diversity on campus

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    Members of the diversity committee at TCU will have to define diversity before they can examine it.

    The commission will meet for the first time Friday to begin the process of defining diversity, commission co-chairs Pearce Edwards and Miles Davison said.

    When students expressed concern about addressing diversity on campus, the Student Government Association launched a diversity commission.

    Edwards, a senior political science and history double major, and Davison, a junior sociology major, will co-chair the commission. They are expected to present a report over its findings to SGA March 19.

    “I think the challenge is going to be that we talk about diversity being an issue, but it is really hard to specify 'A' what we mean by diversity, and 'B' what part of campus it affects,” Edwards said.

    Commission members will produce student surveys and conduct interviews on campus, he said. Professors and students will be contacted when the members begin to conduct research.

    “This is the first time students have really taken ownership of an issue,” he said. “We are going to take a start-to-finish approach of a problem.”

    Members of the House of Student Representatives said the commission is an important initiative from SGA.

    “I think that by the House putting that together, it shows we listened to the student body,” Brock Boren, College of Science and Engineering House representative, said.

    SGA members need to know how students feel about diversity at TCU, Student Body President Joshua Simpson said.

    “I’ve heard a lot of individual opinions, but I haven’t heard a group consensus,” Simpson said.

    House representatives said students expressed a concern with the representation of diversity on campus last semester.

    “It was something the students made apparent that they wanted us to follow through with,” Victoria Middleton, College of Science and Engineering House representative, said.

    The commission’s findings will hopefully make students more aware of the diversity already present on campus, Gabrielle McBay, junior food management major and commission member, said.

    Co-chair Davison agreed.

    “We want to make sure to honor areas of campus that are working to promote diversity,” he said.

    The commission is a closed group of eleven members, but Davison said he wants students to get involved by participating in surveys or interviews.

    “We feel like throughout all of our efforts, we will be able to effectively present what we find so that it can be empirically shown to the TCU community what the true story of diversity is on campus,” he said.

    Diversity commission members

    Kee-Kee Jackson

    Liz Schmitt

    Varun Pramanik

    Manoj Chelvanambi

    Drew Curd

    Gabrielle McBay

    Meheret Woldeyohannes

    Catherine Dooley

    Briyet Sigala

    Pearce Edwards – co-chair

    Miles Davison – co-chair