Save the world initiates anti-racist coalition

Christina Stavale

Save the World, a campus organization dedicated to fighting injustice, decided last night to form an anti-racist coalition among student organizations.

Leaders from the Kent Political Union, Black United Students, the International Socialist Organization and other groups attended Save the World’s forum on racism. In response to the discussion, the students who attended decided unification among student organizations would be the best response to recent events.

“This is a thing we can come together on instead of being apart,” said Katie Dougans, president of Save the World.

Julie Mazzei, assistant professor of political science, led a discussion about some of the less common racial issues on campus, including assumptions, ignorance, fear, confusions and whispers about others.

“Fear comes from the assumption that there’s a huge gulf between a white person and a black person,” she said.

Most of the racism Mazzei said she sees on campus is in little things.

“It’s in the terminology and not realizing that it’s racism,” she said.

At the meeting, students made a list of incidents of racism they had encountered at Kent State. These included the recent spray-painting of the “n-word” on a university sign and vandalizing the Lincoln Building, as well as roommate conflicts, self-segregation, harassment at Rosie’s Diner and people stereotyping others.

Junior political science major Sarah Wilson said she was surprised about the racism at Kent State because of its reputation as a liberal university.

Mazzei suggested they form a panel that would visit classes to talk about racism to ensure all types of people hear about racial issues on campus.

“The conversation is hard, but we have to have it,” she said.

Dougans said after last week’s events, she wanted to act immediately, and last night’s forum was a response to that.

The anti-racist coalition is scheduled to hold its first meeting next Tuesday, and it will be open to any student organizations that wish to join in on this goal.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].