November 23, 2010
Impacting the World
At Texas A&M we pride ourselves on being like a second family. No matter the year you graduated or the course of study you majored in, once you become and Aggie that is what you remain. Aggie traditions can be found all over the world, from the student bonfire off campus to muster being held in Santo Domingo. For this cultural activity I decided to study the online exhibit found at www.siempre.tamu.edu. This website is dedicated to document and celebrate the Hispanic community on campus.
The site documents a wide range of Hispanic involvement within the Aggie Family; everything from the kitchen staff, to the Professors, to Hispanic leaders around the globe who once called Texas A&M home. The thing that I found most interesting was not the students or the professors of Hispanic descent at the school. To me the most interesting part of the website dedicated to the people that one tends to not think about when dreaming of collegiate life. The people I am referring to are those who keep us fed and keep up the grounds and buildings.
There were many quotes on the site implying the importance of Hispanic workers on campus during those earlier years. One even going so far as to say that if you were Hispanic and living in Bryan/College Station you worked at the campus. And yet, there were many challenges thrown in the way of those workers. In the 1920s, a Certificate of Identification was required to be carried at all times by Hispanic and African-American workers at Texas A&M. This also applied to the domestic staff of the faculty living on campus. The site suggests that the tradition of hiring Hispanic workers probably started with Bernard Sbisa who brought the idea with him from the hotel he owned in Mexico.
As little as they are brought to mind when one imagines campus life, the workers on campus are actually quite important. Try to imagine if you will if none of them showed up to...