The president and chancellor of Texas A&M visited a Dallas charter school Tuesday to apologize. They told students at Uplift Hampton Preparatory they were sorry about the racial taunts the Dallas kids endured during a campus visit last week. A&M’s top student leader also delivered thousands of letters of support.
Joseph Benigno said what happened at Texas A&M a week ago doesn’t represent what the university stands for. The senior finance major and student body president met with the Uplift kids during Tuesday’s private visit.
“I just told them how heart-broken I was at their experience, because the Texas A&M that I know, that should never happen,” Benigno said.
Sixty Uplift students were touring A&M when a group of white students directed racial slurs at them. Most of the students who attend the charter school are black and Latino.
Benigno organized a letter-writing campaign in which thousands of A&M students wrote to the Uplift kids.
“What was really encouraging last night as we read through a lot of those letters and packaged them was just the overwhelming number of letters that that said, ‘You know, I’m a black student here. I’m a person of color and this is not the Texas A&M that I’ve experienced,’ ” Benigno said.
Benigno said A&M’s administration and student leaders are committed to making the campus welcoming to all students.
“I think that this event, as unfortunate as it was, will end up helping propel this into the forefront of people’s minds who maybe necessarily are not thinking about diversity day to day,” he said.
Uplift administrators have told their students to keep the letters as a reminder of how they overcame an obstacle on their way to college.