Texas A&M’s cultural groups highlight individual cultures as well as the unity of the student body.
Several cultural groups on campus strive to help students remember that though all students are different, everyone is a part of the Aggie family. With a variety of different cultural group categories to choose from, such as first-year programs, cultural councils, developmental programs and gender-based organizations, students have access to organizations that are designed to teach them more about their respective cultures and connect them with people of similar backgrounds.
University studies sophomore and Vice President of Aggie Minority Women in Law, or AMWL, Sarah Gaucher said as a minority organization on a college campus that consists of a white-majority student body, AMWL aims at bringing like-minded minority women together. Gaucher said AMWL’s goal is not only to educate each other on the law school admissions process, but to foster a positive environment where members can express their experiences and share their passions.
“AMWL is made up of many different cultures; we have members who are from all around the world,” Gaucher said. “We do not have a set culture and are proud to have multiple different cultures to celebrate. Specifically through the Cultural Immersion Committee, we are able to bring awareness to our members and the university about the different cultures that make Texas A&M a more diverse and inclusive place.”
The phrase “out of many, one” means the student body should celebrate everyone as Aggies, said Gaucher.
“We should be encouraging the celebration of differences, as well as celebrating tradition,” Gaucher said. “It seems like these two concepts often butt heads when they really shouldn't. Unity with difference and diversity is what creates strength.”
Mechanical engineering senior and president of the Hispanic Presidents’ Council, Max Lopez, said his organization aims to ensure every incoming and current student who identifies as Hispanic or Latinx understands there is a large community at A&M that shares the same background and similar experiences.
“We want to emphasize among these students that Texas A&M is their home and that they belong here,” Lopez said. “We connect the Hispanic/Latinx organizations here on campus with these students so that they can reach their full potential as both scholars and leaders here on campus.”
The Hispanic Presidents’ Council hosts events that celebrate aspects of Hispanic cultures throughout the year and provides safe places for students to speak up.
“We provide spaces like town halls for students to voice any concerns or issues they are facing throughout their time at A&M,” Lopez said.
The Council aims to celebrate special days or holidays that many Hispanic/Latinx students identify with, Lopez said.
“One of the main ways that we do this is by putting together a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the culture and achievements of the Hispanic/Latinx community,” Lopez said. “We are also currently working towards celebrating Dia de los Muertos, an event that honors the lost loved ones, coming up on Nov. 1.”
Administrative Coordinator of Texas A&M’s Department of Multicultural Services Jackie Alexander said it is important to emphasize diversity, especially among young people still learning about who they are.
“Knowledge of different cultures and people groups enriches educational experiences, as well as challenges stereotypes and preconceptions,” Alexander said. “Bringing attention to diversity encourages critical thinking and helps students communicate with people of different backgrounds.”