Tremendous Disappointment Regarding Racial Slur Incident On Campus

MICHAEL K. YOUNG
PRESIDENT

February 10, 2016

MEMORANDUM

TO: The Texas A&M University Community

I am outraged and tremendously disappointed in the behavior displayed by a group of students on our College Station campus yesterday – one in which a group of ethnic minority high school students from the Dallas area reported that racial slurs were directed toward them during their campus tour. I deeply regret the pain and hurt feelings this incident caused these young students.  Be assured that we take such allegations very seriously. Our police department responded to the scene following the reported incident and we are currently fully assessing it. In addition, we had administrators and students from campus who met with our visiting guests to assure them that they are welcome and respected by the vast majority of Aggies. This troubling incident will be thoroughly investigated to the fullest extent possible and appropriate action will be taken.

While the actions of a few certainly do not represent our institution as a whole, it is the responsibility of all of us to stop any incidents that could be considered hateful or biased-based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other factor. This type of behavior goes against our A&M core values and in addition to immediate intervention, Texas A&M has the website http://stophate.tamu.edu/ available for the reporting of any non-emergency hateful or biased-based incidents.  

Today I met with our student-led inclusion council seeking input into ways that Texas A&M can improve in making all people feel welcome and safe on our campus. Some positive and constructive suggestions came from that discussion and I have charged my respective Vice Presidents to engage with student, faculty and community leaders where appropriate. I also understand that a deeper discussion about freedom of speech and inclusion needs to take place. I look forward to sharing more thoughts on these subjects in the near future but in the meantime I ask all of you to reflect on your role in making Texas A&M a place where all are made to feel welcome and included.

Michael K. Young