At McConnell Hall, TAMsters are supervised by resident assistants, a group of UNT students who apply to work in McConnell. They work at the front desk, organize wing activities, do nightly room checks, run wing meetings, and chat with students. The RAs at McConnell Hall are friendly and supportive and do an amazing job of fostering a community at TAMS. One of the ways they do this is by organizing programs. Last week, for example, Collin, Cameron, Victor, Samir, and Chris B. organized a panel discussion about affirmative action and provided free boba to program attendees.
As we walked into the event, we sat down, waiting for the event to begin. As it started, Cameron introduced both the topic and the panelists. I came to the event, familiar with the concept of affirmative action from both popular media and my political science class, and I had previously supported affirmative action, but I wanted to hear more about to determine if I truly supported it or not. The panelists approached the topic chronologically, discussing the legality of affirmative action with examples of landmark Supreme Court cases, such as Miller v. California. We also listened to Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous commencement address at Howard University, “To Fulfill These Rights,” and discussed the historical need for affirmative action and whether that need still exists today.
After the introductions, Cameron read a list of statements, and we moved across the room, depending on whether or not we agreed with them. He then selected a few people from each group to elaborate on their perspective. Afterwards, we rotated around the room, discussing different topics in small groups with each of the panelists. We really focused on our personal backgrounds and how they have affected our opinions on affirmative action. While I learned a lot about affirmative action at the event, my opinion still isn’t very firm—I’m leaning towards supporting it, but I think it’s still a difficult, complicated topic that will take a long time to completely resolve.