A student’s YouTube video about her experience with discrimination on campus has sparked a series of discussions about inclusiveness on campus. Students and faculty have been sharing their experiences and discussing solutions on how to prevent another student from feeling discriminated against on Spring Hill’s campus.
Those who attended the second discussion were moved by the “walk the line” activity that started things off. During this activity, a facilitator asked questions to the participants and if the participants felt the question applied to them, they either stepped forward or backward depending on the facilitator’s instructions. At the beginning of this activity everyone was holding hands, only letting go if they had to step a different direction than the person they locked hands with. Sophomore Brianna Reed says that she found it interesting that “not that many people were holding hands anymore at the end.” The questions were centered around varying types of privilege, ranging from financial disparities to feeling safe in public.
A lot of times when discussions like these happen, disagreements rapidly lead to arguments. However, the environment at these discussions have been very open. Due to this open environment, everyone has been able to have “very professional and candid conversations,” according to junior Cade Dernlan. Those who attended felt that they could share their opinions and experiences amongst their peers without backlash. Many students were able to hear different perspectives and gain new mindsets after talking with their peers and faculty.
As for if these conversations will make a difference in the college’s community, most students agree that the conversations are a start, but it all comes down to the decisions that people make moving forward. After hearing other’s opinions and mindsets, it is up to the individual to enact change, whether that means calling someone out for saying something offensive or blatantly discriminating someone because of how they look, as junior Kennedy Williams says, “everyone has to make that own commitment to themselves.” After all, actions speak louder than words.
For those who have not attended a discussion or would like to continue attending, the last one will be held April 2 in Gautrelet at 12:15 p.m.