Lariat Letter: Demand the best

By Department of History | Equity and Inclusion Committee

As faculty members, our calling goes beyond passing along academic knowledge, as the Core Convictions of Baylor University states, “inspire action on behalf of the world.” Of course, that process has never been a one-way street. Professors across campus will attest that the best learning happens in a dialogue involving teachers, students and the campus community.

The tremendous value of this dialogue has been evident in the past few weeks as The Lariat, especially the work of staff writer Emily Cousins, has brought important stories to our attention. We have been saddened by the events reported, the continued inequities and injustices on campus and how too many students do not feel embraced as full-fledged members of the University community. Yet, we have also been inspired by the presentation of these critical issues in the paper and the efforts of Ms. Cousins to use her platform to ensure that voices calling for change are heard.

And indeed, we write today in part to say that not only do we hear you, but so do countless others on campus, in the alumni network and in the community at large. The actions of students advocating for change and the writings of Ms. Cousins have already enriched our classroom discussions. We are inspired to redouble our efforts to make true that honorable mission at the heart of the University, to take action on behalf of the world.

Baylor University is a place of beautiful ideas and limitless potential. Among its greatest strengths are the student groups and journalists willing to demand the best from all of us. We thank you for your courage and service. We thank you for reminding us that we all have something to learn from our neighbors, and that our education will forever remain incomplete if we do not actively create space for all voices to be heard.


Dan Barish, Assistant Professor of History

Elesha Coffman, Associate Professor of History

Julie deGraffenried, Associate Professor of History

Ronald Johnson, Ralph and Bessie Mae Lynn Chair of History

Lauren Poor, Lecturer of History

Stephen Sloan, Associate Professor of History

Barry Hankins, Professor and Department Chair