Chancellor: “Racists are not welcome at Texas A&M”
A&M's president and chancellor met Wednesday to discuss racism, social media posts and what to do with the Sully statue.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M University is paying close attention to the increasing number of social media posts concerning racism experienced by current and former students. The school’s president and Chancellor John Sharp met Wednesday to explore ideas on how to address racism in the Aggie community and ways to review statues, buildings, and monuments on campus.
In a statement released to KBTX, President Michael K. Young said he and Sharp discussed the presence of the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue and “how we address the historical context of its presence and its symbolism to the entire campus community.”
Effective immediately, Young says two groups have been formed that will include current and former students, faculty, staff, and relevant subject matter experts.
- A Task Force on Race Relations. The remit of this group is to better address racist behavior, from prevention to bystander intervention to all available sanctions, and campus climate;
- A Commission on Historic Representations. This Commission will review representations – to include statues, monuments, buildings and similar representations – in name, placement and historical context on our campus and suggest appropriate courses of action with respect to each of them. This group will be asked to begin with making a recommendation on the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue in the near future.
“This Task Force and the Commission complement specific actions announced in recent days to create meaningful change and I thank Chancellor Sharp for his support. Both groups will bring a wide range of perspectives through their experience and expertise. In the coming days we will announce membership and process,” said Young.
“I have spent the last few nights reading on social media about the experiences of minority students and their families with racism in our community. It is heartbreaking – and unacceptable,” Sharp said in a statement. “While my personal opinion has not changed about the importance of Lawrence Sullivan Ross to Texas A&M, we Aggies must stand united against racism and love one another,”
“It is time for a unified approach on how we address the representation of people who contributed to Texas A&M throughout our history and how we want to shape the expectations and behavior of our community to stand firmly against racism. I am eager to get these efforts going. I agree with Chancellor Sharp that the findings, recommendations and resolutions should take place within the next several months and that we will act upon the recommendations of these groups,” said Young.
“Racist behavior should never be tolerated. The law may not allow us to expel students who use “free speech” as an excuse to spew hatred and racism, but we do not have to let racist conduct and actions go unchallenged,” said Sharp.
“With this and more actions to come, we have an opportunity to continue our path to excellence not only in academics and research but also in our respect of each other. I count on all Aggies to contribute to the success of each other and our communities,” said Young.
“Racists are not welcome at Texas A&M. If we have to challenge them and call them out publicly, we will. We are Aggies – brothers and sisters – and we ask anyone who cannot abide by our Core Values to stay away. As Chancellor, I pledge my support of the university’s creation today of the Task Force on Race Relations and the Commission on Historic Representations,” said Sharp.
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