Berry community comes together in solidarity

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier News Editor

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Organizations around campuses set up on Krannert lawn last Thursday to give students information as a part of Solidarity Week. These groups also spoke to students about issues from a range of perspectives.

After the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia on August 12, sophomore Diamond Newsome decided she wanted to use Berry to advocate more for minorities on campus. 

“I was upset that it hadn’t been addressed yet at Berry,” Newsome said. 

Solidarity Week began last Monday and ended on Saturday. There was a different event each day, and all of them were sponsored by various organizations on campus. Multicultural and International Student Programs, Black Student Association, Listen, Empower, Politics and Law Society, Student Government Association, Young Democrats, College Republicans, In His Name Choir, Orgullo, Buddhist Studies, Bonner Scholars and Leadership Fellows all sponsored and supported Solidarity Week.

“The ultimate goal is just to educate, bring awareness to the things that are going on and to just put our egos aside and learn how to accept people because of our differences,” Newsome said.

Over 40 people attended a vigil that was held last Monday by the flagpole in front of Hermann Hall. Newsome said it was great to see students and faculty participating and stepping forward to share their stories. 

Last Tuesday, students were encouraged to “wear Berry” and promote a united community. Table talks were held last Wednesday throughout the Dining Hall and Viking Court. Question cards were placed on tables to provide students with topics of conversation that promote discussions on topics related to the week.

The organizations on campus participated in “Learn on the Lawn,” and set up outside of Krannert on Thursday to provide students with event information while also sharing different perspectives.

Friday was titled “Link Together in Solidarity Outside of Krannert,” and students wrote what they stood in solidarity with on a piece of paper in exchange for a “#BerryUnited” wristband. On Saturday, students wore their wristbands to the football game as a symbol of solidarity at Berry. 

Newsome said that it’s important that students don’t feel ashamed for not believing what the majority believes, and wants it to be easier for students to come forward about difficult situations and not be afraid to have conversations about them. 

“We wanted it to be an event where everybody knows that, ‘hey, regardless of what’s happening elsewhere, you’re accepted here, and you’re allowed to be different and you won’t be ridiculed for it’,” Newsome said.

Newsome hopes that this week will become an annual event with the possibility of adding more activities and CE credits in the future.

“I think it’s just emphasizing the family that we promote,” Newsome said.

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