The College of Architecture at Texas A&M University supports and endorses the recent statement of President Michael K. Young, and looks forward to joining in the “Aggies United” event on December 6.
Many members of the College of Architecture family have expressed concerns about the increased blurring of lines between free speech and hate speech, both on and off campus. As President Young has reiterated, the freedom of speech carries with it the right for all voices to be heard. We seek to accept the charge set forth by the Aggie Student Leaders in their November 23, 2016 letter where they called on University administrators, faculty, and staff to “create meaningful change through civil discourse and elevating student voices…”
In the execution of our academic mission of education, research, and service, the College of Architecture has a vision to provide the highest levels of quality of life for people, of place where people are (whether in a natural, a built, or a virtual environment), and of the wide range of human endeavors that people do in a place. In response to the full scope of the diversity that is intrinsically inherent to people, place, and human endeavor, the disciplines of Architecture, Construction Science, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, and Visualization in our College seek to educate and train professionals to plan, design, build, use, and maintain natural, built, or virtual places. We particularly encourage places that allow and enable people to come together to engage in interactions, in dialogues, and in shared experiences, based on inclusion and on the core Aggie value of respect. Thus, we concur with the University that “mutual respect is a key ingredient to developing and sustaining a university community in which diversity is valued.” (http://diversity.tamu.edu/What-is-Diversity/Commitment-Statements)
In accepting this challenge, the College of Architecture will continue to formally and explicitly celebrate diversity and inclusion, and to reinforce the value of mutual respect in all the ways in which we pursue our vision, and we execute our mission. In particular, we will continue to honor and support the important work of our Diversity Council, as they lead the College in efforts to enhance its climate and inclusiveness. (http://www.arch.tamu.edu/diversity/). Finally, we will continue to be a safe place for the open sharing of ideas, and we will not support activities that promote intolerance.
In closing, we would like to invite all of you to speak up and have your voice heard. So, whether you are subject of, or are witness to, any act of intolerance or hate, please make use of the resources made available by the Office of the President to stop hate, and report the act to the current website (http://stophate.tamu.edu/fileareport/).
Dr. Jorge Vanegas, Dean
Dr. Dawn Jourdan, Executive Associate Dean
Dr. Cecilia Giusti, Associate Dean for Outreach and Diversity, and Chair of the Diversity Council
“The College of Architecture has fully embraced the imperatives of the Universities Vision 2020 plan, and is committed to its full implementation. On their own and at their intersection, the built and the natural environments provide the fundamental foundation upon which societies exist, develop, survive and thrive. In the dual roles of being active providers of landscapes, infrastructure systems, and facilities within these two environments, and in some cases, of being custodians throughout their life span, the practitioners of the professions of landscape architecture, urban planning and design, architecture, construction, and facility management, among others, play a critical role in determining the quality, integrity, and longevity of this foundation.”
Dean Vanegas’ letter to Provost Karen Watson, Input from the College of Architecture to 2010 Strategic Plan
In the College of Architecture
Diversity is meant to encompass the full spectrum of characteristics of our community including (but not limited to) ethnic background, religious beliefs, age, political beliefs, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, physical ability and gender.
We believe that a diverse college is one that embraces the richness of this variety and provides an environment in which each individual is respected and celebrated.
Diversity Council, 2011.
The Diversity Council, Faculty, Staff and Students of the College of Architecture want to reassure our commitment to diversity. We seek, welcome and support diversity of all races, genders and backgrounds. Diversity is essential to your and our continued success.
Diversity Council, 2016.