At Texas Tech on Thursday, a parade of protestors, roughly 120 students, shouting for equality in the hiring procedures of faculty and staff. "Today is the day, TTU, you are put on notice! We want diversity!," said third year law school student Adrienne Dunne.
Protestors say the university has repeatedly failed to live up to its own policies against discrimination. "The issue here is not that we don't have policies, but that the policies are not being fulfilled, and that in and of itself is discrimination as well," said Dunne.
"No one has come and told me that," said Tech President David Schmidly. He takes exception to being painted as discriminatory, and says he would have joined in the march had he not been in a meeting. "Actually, had I been here, I would have joined in with them. That's what a college campus is about."
Dr. Schmidly says diversity has always been a top priority in his administration. "I am very committed to diversity. I continue to be committed to diversity, and I will continue to work tirelessly to improve diversity on this campus," said Schmidly.
But protestors point to the current make-up of Tech staff as evidence of their claims. School wide, of the 1,188 faculty members, 992 are white. And of the 12 deans in the law school, all are white, and only two are women. Despite these numbers, Dr. Schmidly rebuts claims of bias.
"No, I don't think it points to discrimination, and I don't think that was done intentionally. I think it does point to the fact that we need to be more conscious of diversity as we appoint deans," said Schmidly.
A sentiment for a future of equality shared by the protestors.