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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Abbott diversity memo sparks conversation on hiring to be all-inclusive

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The Collegian logo

HOPE SMITH
managing editor
hope.smith393@my.tccd.edu

On Friday, Feb. 7 the Texas Tribune reported a memo written by Greg Abott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate announcing a warning against hiring based on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) disciplines. 

DEI is a common effort among places like business and school that aims to improve diversity of people in an environment, accommodation to those who may need it and a sense of belonging.

This follows in line with affirmative action, which also puts a similar emphasis on hiring based on meeting quotas of people that have historically faced discrimination. 

For TCC, the Equity and Inclusion section of the website details TCC’s efforts and goals on inclusivity.

Listed there as well are qualities like age, ability, cultural expression and ethnicity, to name a few. It states “Our goal is to sustain an equitable and inclusive environment that creates a productive learning community.” 

For a student that requested to be unnamed and identifies as lesbian, she said she liked the idea of bringing people in with the effort of diversity and inclusion as it could bring more like her.

“I can’t think of anybody who reminds me of me, you know,” she said. “So it would be great if I had a teacher, or  other students that I knew, but I don’t really know anybody like that. So I would appreciate that if that were on every college campus, like an educator or student.”

She said they didn’t understand the opposition to DEI practices and disagreed with the memo’s author.

I don’t see the harm in bringing that in, I don’t know what his argument is against that,” she said. “God forbid people feel more included by having more representation in their workspace and in their school. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t understand the opposition to it, I really don’t.” 

For some it was a step forward, as a day after the announcement by the Tribune, conservative activist Christopher Rufo tweeted, “The fight against left-wing racialist ideology has just begun—and we will not stop until colorblind equality is the law of the land,” with an image of the memo written by Pate. 

NE student Jason Glover expressed his understanding of the reasons for the memo, saying people do deserve to have the right to have the same opportunity, and also acknowledged that the system should be altered if there are actual issues. 

“If it’s not broke why fix it? But in the case that it is broke, it should be fixed,” Glover said.

However, he also expressed his confusion with the statement.

“I don’t really understand what he’s trying to do to pass this ‘warning’ because it seems more like a political play,” he said.

The memo itself states at the end, “As the head of your agency, you have a duty to follow the law. When a state agency adjusts its employment practices based on factors other than merit, it is not following the law.” 

Many Texas colleges besides TCC follow the same DEI practices, though the memo warned that, “rebranding this employment discrimination as ‘DEI’ does not make the practice any less legal.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to remove the name of a student who requested to have it taken out for fear of safety concerns.

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