We are writing to the editor to address one of the “elephants in the room” on our campus: inclusiveness. We, as students, know that one of the things Tech takes great pride in and celebrates is the diversity of our campus. Tech is one of the most diverse institutes of higher learning not only in the United States but in the world. However, we urge you to think about what diversity means as more than a word. We encourage you to understand and praise the benefits of diversity, for without that comprehension we engender a community reliant on a lack of cohesion, stereotyping and mistrust that can cause our students to feel unsafe.
At Tech, diversity means inclusivity. Every member of the Tech community is a Yellow Jacket and is contributing to the betterment of the Institute and our impact around the globe. As the Yellow Jacket community we should not be looking down on or leaving others out based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, abilities, religious belief or any other defining attribute to them as an individual.
No member of the Tech community should be a bystander or expect that someone else will do the work to make our campus more inclusive. It is the responsibility of the community as a whole. We are in the midst of a huge societal shift and Tech should stand as the pillar and example of progressivism, not as a body that discriminates and ostracizes its students for who they are. We understand that it is our role to represent the student voice to the administration, but everyone has a voice on this campus and it is time to stand up and speak.
We are stepping forward to stress the importance of inclusivity on our campus:
We pledge to make Tech a more inclusive community that is cohesive and open minded, not only academically, but also in what defines us in character. We personally commit to creating a welcoming, diverse and inclusive culture throughout our entire community. As Yellow Jackets, we should strive to uphold the values and backgrounds that make up and embody the Tech spirit.
We hope that you will join with us in taking this pledge and celebrating the full potential of diversity and culture on this campus. Our pledge is live on the SGA website, sga.gatech.edu, and open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration and anyone who considers themselves a part of the Tech community. By signing this pledge, you promise to no longer sit down on this issue but to stand up and be an active part of embodying what diversity means on our campus.
With Yellow Jacket Pride,
Jen and Jeff