LAUP student wins Weirus Spirit Award for campus diversity work

Carlo Chunga Pizarro

For making Texas A&M a more inviting place for minorities, third-year urban planning student Carlo Chunga Pizarro received the [2018 Buck Weirus Spirit Award] ( in a ceremony 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 15, 2018 at the Association of Former Students [Alumni Center] ( .

The award, presented by [The Association of Former Students] ( , recognizes exemplary students who create positive experiences throughout the Aggie community, impact student life and enhance the Aggie spirit through participating in student organizations, campus traditions and university events.

Pizarro has served on campus committees and spearheaded initiatives to make the university more inclusive to students from every background.

As vice president of the [Council for Minority Student Affairs] ( , Pizarro led efforts to increase voter registration and host cultural education events.

“There is a lack of minority student leaders on campus,” said Chunga Pizarro. “When I came to Texas A&M, I felt I was being pushed away in some ways because I am a minority. Some traditions, like [Muster] ( and [Elephant Walk] ( , which are primarily led by white students, didn’t seem like something I could participate in.”

To assure everyone felt welcome in the traditions he has grown to love, Chunga Pizarro got involved.

“Once I joined those committees, I felt welcomed,” he said. “We want everyone to show up and get involved, and maybe, by seeing a more diverse mix of students participating and leading, they will.”

As student representative on the College of Architecture’s [Diversity Council] ( , he helped organize Hackathon 2018 , a 24-hour problem-solving marathon event focused on diversity, space and place issues on campus.

Through his position as the college’s Student Government Association representative, he served on the Environmental Management System University Committee, where he provided a student’s perspective on the 2018 Sustainability Master Plan to President Michael Young and campus administration.

By joining a variety of committees and volunteering for campus organizations, Chunga Pizarro said he has grown as a person and found a sense of belonging.

“I feel connected to this campus,” he said. “I’ve grown as a leader, learned communication skills and realized how I can impact the world with what I’ve learned.”

The Weirus Spirit Award is named for Richard “Buck” Weirus ’42, who served as executive director of The Association of Former Students from 1964 to 1980. It was established in 1982 to honor his leadership, vision and support of student involvement.

Sarah Wilson

posted April 13, 2018