On June 28, a Snapchat video of a Texas A&M student at a party explaining a Punnett square that he had made as a racist joke using a racial slur several times was screen recorded and posted on Twitter.
alright Aggie twitter do your thing, help me find this boy so we can bully him pic.twitter.com/sHPhdL10xi— gay rat orgy (@pranksinatraoff) June 28, 2019
Since then, the conversation about racism on A&M’s campus has come to the forefront from students, professors and A&M’s President Michael K. Young.
“This behavior is abhorrent and against the core values that we share and to which we aspire in all we do, including those of respect, excellence and integrity,” Young said in an email to the faculty, staff and students on July 1.
Young also highlighted the importance of diversity on A&M’s campus and said Aggies should be vigilant to address and confront the cause of hate speech. He said that Aggies should call out hate speech and racism when they see it, and report incidents at Stop Hate, A&M’s system to file reports on hate speech.
“There are so many Aggies representing the best of who we are in serving, loving and respecting each other. Incidents like this hit us at our core. To be clear, those who champion those beliefs represented in this video are not welcomed at Texas A&M University. Please respect and take care of each other,” Young said.
The A&M official Twitter responded to the video as well, tagging the Stop Hate website and tweeting a link to Young’s statement.
“As Aggies, we believe in treating everyone with integrity & respect. Help make #TAMU a welcoming place for all and report any incident of hate,” A&M’s tweet said.
Other Twitter users also began tagging A&M in the video post.
“This behavior is abhorrent,” the official A&M Twitter replied to the users. “Thank you for alerting us to it. We have passed this along so Texas A&M officials can look into it.”
Although this instance happened off campus, students said there are times when they experience racism on campus.
Graduate assistant and professor Vladimir Garcia personally experienced racism outside of the on campus post office during the fall 2018 semester. While he was waiting to meet another professor, a couple of students walked over and began to harass him.
“One of them just looked at me and told me, screamed at me, and said ‘Go back to your country, we don't want you here’ and when he said that a couple of times that was a scary moment,” Garcia said. “I think it's important that the student body talks about how to be more inclusive, because I think we are enriched by other cultures and by other points of view.”
Garcia said professors have control over spaces in which students discuss and interact, and they can help by being proactive and allowing positive discussion.
“I think it would be nice to see how the university can create spaces where people feel comfortable being themselves and not being judged because of the color of their skin,” Garcia said.
Jasson Quintanilla, a business sophomore said sometimes he will be asked for his student ID on the bus when no other students are asked.
“I really felt outed for it. Like if you’re gonna ask somebody, you might as well ask everybody, not just the ones who are a different color,” Quintanilla said.
Quintanilla has also been harassed by other students on campus who can go as far as to call him a racial slur. However, Quintanilla said he won’t let that take away from his future plans.
“I can't let this little incident actually like basically prove their point,” Quintanilla said. “My thing is, I'm going to keep going just to prove these people wrong. It hurt a bit, but I used that hurt to motivate myself.”