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

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

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 10, 2024

After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Aggies should accept increase in diversity as an inevitable and positive change

“I don’t like Texas A&M. This school consists only of the white Christian right, and foreign ideas and customs aren’t welcome.”
This is the perception that outsiders (and even some Aggies) have of Texas A&M. This stigma isn’t wholly true, but it’s something that needs to be completely destroyed, and the only people who can accomplish this are the students. We all must accept diversity as the future of the University.
University President Robert M. Gates has decided to focus on four main objectives of the infamous Vision 2020, according to the plan’s Web site: Improving undergraduate and graduate academic programs, increasing the number and quality of faculty, increasing space and, of course, increasing diversity and globalization.
It can be surmised that nearly every A&M student agrees with the first three objectives. It’s the latter that has caused some of the most passionate argument and division throughout the student body. Gates has made it clear that diversity will be an integral part of A&M, and no student group, faculty member or newspaper will be able to change that. That leaves the student body one choice.
Deal with it. Protests, petitions and publicity stunts aren’t going to change the fact that A&M – whether the University needs it or not – will increase minority enrollment over the next years, certainly at the expense of the supposed traditional Aggie. This fact doesn’t sit well with some students, but Gates is adamant. With the hiring of a vice president of diversity, formation of diversity task forces and the eventual hiring of a director of communications to improve the University’s image, Gates has proven his commitment to the issue.
So what is the student body to do? With protests, complaints and even the ever-convincing Battalion mail calls seeming futile, Aggies are left to watch their University overrun by liberal, non-white, two-percenters. Not exactly.
It’s up to the students of this University to embrace new students and treat them as they would if Phil Gramm – or even Strom Thurmond, for that matter – succeeded Ray Bowen: with acceptance. No matter the color, religion or political views of the changing student body, it will always be composed of Aggies.
Something a freshman learns from the moment he steps on the bus to Fish Camp is that it’s never acceptable to hiss another Aggie. Not embracing a student admitted to A&M is the equivalent of hissing the yell leaders. Students of the University have never had a say in who is admitted, so there’s no reason to worry about it now. If we’ve trusted the admissions administrators since the year 1876, why should that change?
Only the acceptance of every student will benefit the University. If we begin to accept with blind faith that every Aggie is an equal, the University’s image will be better, and Aggies will be happier.
As the image and morale of the student body improve, more top-notch students will be attracted to A&M, improving every aspect of Aggieland, from the football team, to the ground-breaking academic research conducted here.
The biggest misconception that diversity protesters hold is that it will change A&M into a tea-sipping University of Texas wannabe. In a sense, they’re right. With the inevitable arrival of diversity, A&M will no longer have the white-bred stigma that plagues it. It will no longer have the reputation that a black person, a homosexual or even a liberal is not an Aggie.
What these naysayers are wrong about is the non-effect diversity will have on A&M’s positives. No matter the makeup of the student body, 40,000 Ags will fill the stands on fall Saturdays to watch the Aggies win. Students will attend Fish Camp, go to yell and fail out of the engineering program together (one of the strongest bonding points between some Aggies).
A&M will always be one of a kind, no matter what changes the student body undergoes. And while remembering and placing value on old traditions will always be an essential element of what defines Texas A&M University, establishing and learning to cherish new traditions is of equal importance.
Matt Rigney is a senior journalism major

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