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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

SGA Diversity Commission looks to expand the ‘we’ in ‘we are the Aggies’

Texas A&Ms Student Government Association held an open forum on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. to discuss the MGT Consulting report. 
Photo by Photo by Will Nye

Texas A&M’s Student Government Association held an open forum on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. to discuss the MGT Consulting report. 

The Diversity Commission aims to promote a positive campus culture by leading and promoting conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion.
The commission is under the Executive Branch of Texas A&M’s Student Government Association, or SGA, and serves internally with the student government, as well as externally to connect with students, faculty and staff.
The commission’s role is specified in the SGA by-laws, and it strives to welcome all people to the Aggie family.
“The Diversity Commission exists to creatively address the issues surrounding diversity by rebuilding the norm … The commission shall strive to provide a cohesive and welcoming environment for campus interaction among the variety of students at Texas A&M University,” the by-law reads.
Diversity commissioner and psychology senior Lily Pieper has served on the commission for three years and said it has been central to her story at A&M.
“I’ve always been really passionate about working for a more diverse, inclusive and equitable world,” Pieper said. “I thought [the commission] would be a wonderful opportunity to be a part of transformative work and a shift in the culture of our university. It’s really been my home for the majority of my time at A&M.”
Pieper said she is supported by a passionate student staff. The vice president of staff, political science and Spanish sophomore Tori Davis, said she has high expectations for the commission’s future.
“We look at it as, ‘We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we,’ and for such a long time that ‘we’ was a very narrow focus of people,” Davis said. “As our campus continues to grow and change, that idea of ‘we’ is updated and molded into more. All students of all backgrounds can feel included and feel that Texas A&M is home.”
The past semester has been spent solidifying the operations of the commission to improve its campus-wide influence and ensure the organization stays connected to students, Pieper said.
“Historically, the commission has not been very well known or active within the student body, and I think that’s something we really wanted to recognize and change moving forward,” Pieper said. “We’re going to have a lot of things rolling out this semester, and I would sum them up by saying our goal is to change the culture of A&M to make it more inclusive and equitable and all those things that are important to us.”
Included in the commission’s work is its programming to help connect and educate all members of campus. Davis said the “Maroon Table Talks” that began last semester have allowed for open dialogue among faculty and students.
“One of the things we launched last semester was the ‘Maroon Table Talks,’ and it was amazing hearing these dialogues and presentations,” Davis said. “To have faculty and students be a part of this conversation was really impactful, and it’s something we’ll continue to do.”
Pieper said with the ongoing nature of diversity work, it’s important to have a multitude of student perspectives.
“There’s a lot of work to be done on this campus,” Pieper said. “We need as many people involved in this work as possible, and we want as many voices included as possible.”
Davis said she hopes the work of the commission will be influential to students beyond her time at A&M, and she hopes current students leave campus better than they found it.
“It doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is, your race, your ethnicity. We’re here to serve students,” Davis said. “We always want to work to make sure that we are as inclusive and progressive in our actions … for the next group of Aggies that come through [and make] A&M a better place for them.”
Students and organizations can reach out to the commision via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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