blm banner is hung on side of library

Destiny MaraghReporter

As a social justice university, it is meant to promote activism, but some students said they are skeptical because the Black Lives Matter banner located on the side of Buley Library is not enough promotion.

Southern has an array of multicultural students and many of them say they feel anxious today with the desensitization they experience while watching death happen within their online social community.

“This deserves more than just a banner.” Public Health major Sundus Aden said. “Countless Black people are dying, and I just helplessly watch it online and police aren’t being held accountable.”

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 with a mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes, according to the Black Lives Matter website.

“I don’t know what we can do to show solidarity, but the banner is a small start. At least they are publicly acknowledging the movement,” said Aden.

Aden is not the only student who thinks the banner is not enough activism.

Exercise Science major, Dina Moore said “Black Lives Matter” is more than just a statement, it is a revolution.”

While some may walk past Buley Library unphased by the BLM banner, for Moore, it is a sign of acknowledgment and unity.

Although she is not a Black student, she agrees that the banner is a nice start and hopes there is more to come.

“Maybe more Banners or a public conversation could help promote,” said Moore.

A few students felt the banner itself was enough activism, such as Psychology major, Samantha Rivera. “It’s a big banner with an even bigger message,” said Rivera.

She said she felt the banner is a symbol that we are an active social justice institution.

English major, Kayleigh Roy shared the same opinion.

“When I saw it, I initially thought it was a great thing,” said Roy. “I think it shows that the university is on the right side of justice and will be accommodating to those who experience racial bias.”

The university’s Social Justice page also explains the past regulations it has made.

“We are committed to identifying and addressing systemic barriers to equity, access, and success for all members of our community,” the page reads. “We are also committed to constructive dialogues where we treat one another with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility as we share varying perspectives, with the goal of creating an inclusive culture.”

While the university’s claim is equality, one student feels that is not always the case.

Although Public Health major, Kendall Manderville has worn many hats on campus, he said he was still subjectable to un-kindness due to his culture.

“I am a Black boy from the inner-city, I speak different, my experience is different,” he said.

He said a job he worked at on-campus made him feel a sense of unbelonging. While working, he would often be called out for the “way” he would do certain tasks, he was diigent with his work and never received complaints from his boss.

The judgement towards him came from another student. “All my co-workers were white.” Manderville was left feeling underappreciated and judged.

“No one wants to feel they don’t belong,” Manderville said. “You stay somewhere you don’t want to be no matter how uncomfortable it is because you need the money, but the goal is bigger.”

For Manderville, the money came second to Black evolution. To him “more important than money is to keep the door open so those who look like me can walk in.”

Manderville said the university focuses heavily on other social injustices but is lackingon the BLM movement.

Sexual Harassment is taken very seriously and students are obligated to sign a contract., seek help and contact the services offed on campus.

Gender equality is also highly ranked on campus with accommodating dorms and bathrooms througout campus.

“While Blacks only get a banner,” Manderville said. “Promote more and keep the exposure high because many are not exposed to BLM where they live,” said Manderville. “Many people, even Blacks, are not having discussions of racial equality at home.”

Although the Black lives matter movement was started in 2013, what it represents has always remained present and relevant.

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