FORT WORTH, Texas - Three minority students’ demands for more cultural sensitivity on the TCU campus sparked a social media campaign going viral.
The tweets hit overnight by the dozen using #beingminorityatTCU
One of the tweets said, “your peers assuming you attend TCU because you're an athlete or because of affirmative action. Not that you were ranked #1.”
#BeingMinorityatTCU your peers assuming you attend TCU b/c you're an athlete or b/c of affirmative action (not that you were ranked #1)— Ari (Miss Escobar) (@phoenixgold_) October 19, 2016
Another tweet said, “seeing the only staff that majority looks like you cooks and cleans for the university."
#BeingMinorityAtTCU Is seeing the only staff that majority looks like you cooks and cleans for the university— KayBee (@ItsKayWhyyyy) October 19, 2016
Political Science major Shanel Alexander was one of three African-American students behind the tweet storm. They drafted a letter with 14 demands regarding race relations and took it to the university's chancellor.
Alexander says she can personally attest the campus climate regarding diversity and inclusiveness needs improvement.
"Subtle things that make me feel like I'm not wanted, but I tend not to get phased really easily,” she said.
Some of their demands include lowering campus flags to half-staff when people of color around the nation are killed unjustly by authorities, an increase in minority faculty and a zero tolerance policy for racially offensive or hateful speech.
"I think it’s really important that students are stepping up and trying to create a change on campus... being a minority on campus,” said student Alexa McBride.
"I completely support it. I 'm glad TCU is making steps to make a change,” said student Joyce Swisher. “We don't want anyone feeling at all uncomfortable."
Alexander says she did not know how the demands would be received but is pleased thus far with the results.
TCU’s chancellor reacted within days. In a statement, the university said, “We remain in the early stages of dialogue but have identified important next steps, including establishing a cabinet-level position to lead efforts regarding diversity and inclusion.”
"I was really happy they were open to it,” Alexander said. “You have to start with the students first."