Aggies watching from above, what are they seeing?

"Pope Francis is reported to have told a boy that dogs go to heaven and I am certain Rev VIII is there now, with Rev I through VII, and they are leading a host of Aggies closely watching the scoreboard.​"

—Danny Pugh, the vice president for student affairs at Texas A&M. Reveille VIII, the beloved mascot and "First Lady of Aggieland," died on Monday at age 12. 

This note today from Texas A&M’s Vice President of Student Affairs laments the passing of our beloved Rev VIII, but also should serve as a reminder to us all: Generations of Aggies are closely watching the scoreboard.

They’re watching to see how we, this generation of Aggies, face the challenges before us.

Last night the 12th Woman sat across from Mr. Pugh and others from The Texas A&M University Administration, including Chancellor John Sharp and President Michael Young, and detailed the numerous shortcomings and concerns that survivors of sexual assault have with the manner in which Texas A&M administers its student conduct and Title IX process.

There is a culture that lacks accountability.  Victims are not safe in coming forward. Employees of the University, including student tutors, are not protected.  It’s obvious to any who are willing to see that the athletic department is actively involved in, perhaps directly determining, the decision-making of Title IX and other Student Conduct decisions.  There is favoritism in the process.  

We also told Texas A&M we found it ironic they had hired the law firm of Husch Blackwell to audit their Title IX and student conduct review processes. This is the same firm that gave Michigan State its seal of approval, calling the Michigan State policies and procedures “among the most comprehensive and robust we have seen.   

Here is the Executive Summary Husch Blackwell’s MSU Audit from November 20, 2017.

Of course, we now know that former Michigan State employee Larry Nassar was convicted Nov. 22, 2017 of seven felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.

And we know that MSU settled lawsuits with Nassar victims for $500 million in May 2018. 

We don’t want that for Texas A&M.  We believe Aggies can do better.

We were surprised last evening at how little these administrators understand about the process, but we were encouraged by a few statements and the observation that some of those present from the administration had first-hand experience as parents of students who faced these challenges.  And we were told that “your stories matter.”

To those of you who have had the courage to share your painful stories with us at the 12th Woman, know that your stories matter.  They matter to us, they matter to past generations of Aggies, and we will make sure they matter to the current leadership of Texas A&M.

Generations ago an Aggie stood ready to serve.  Since then, generations of Aggies have stood in the face of adversity.

Please stand with us. 

The 12thWoman

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