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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

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Fraternity shares diversity concerns with student leaders

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically black fraternity, expressed concerns about whether diversity was only an “appearances” issue or if the campus was actually concerned about it Wednesday night in Rudder.
The 40 members present asked student body president Jack Hildebrand and Young Conservatives of Texas chairman Mark McCraig questions about issues facing A&M students, especially minority students, during a discussion forum that was held as part of Alpha Weekend 2004.
“It was important to have dialogue with Jack (Hildebrand) since he represents the whole student body,” said Kaku Barkon, a sophomore biology major.
The Alpha members questioned McCaig and Hildebrand’s ideas of diversity efforts at A&M and expressed worries about the low number of minorities at the University.
“People need to open their eyes and see that everything is not perfect,” said Anysia Callis, a sophomore music major. “We need to dispel the myths of multiculturalism.”
Hildebrand said diversity is important to the University and that he wants the minority population to grow at A&M.
Some Alpha members raised questions about YCT’s past events and viewpoints, especially the YCT-sponsored affirmative action bake sale, which they considered offensive. Some Alpha members said the YCT should have addressed the affirmitive action Supreme Court case in a different way.
McCaig said he didn’t think the YCT’s bake sale was offensive and that if they hadn’t done something like the bake sale, no dialogue would’ve been created about the case.
The Alphas addressed their desire for A&M to educate students on minority issues to try to diminish some of the close-mindedness present on campus.
“People need to respect rather than accept differences,” Callis said.
The Alphas also questioned University actions being done to help young African Americans succeed in college, equality in admissions, and the reasons behind the low numbers of minority population.
Both McCaig and Hildebrand said that recruiting is good for A&M because it’s bringing more diversity to A&M.
Hildebrand also fielded the Alpha’s questions about general campus issues, including grade exclusion, the parking situation, bike violations, theft and crime rates and tuition increases.

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