s.t.a.r.t. hosts student dinner to discuss race at South

s.t.a.r.t. hosts student dinner to discuss race at South

Frances Matejcek, Staff Writer

On Wednesday evening, over 100 students filled the media center to eat dinner and talk about how race affects them at South, sponsored by the student group S.T.A.R.T (Students Together as Allies for Racial Trust). The group of students that came to the dinner represented all programs, grades, and racial groups from South. Students hoped to come together to talk about what could be done to ease racial tensions at South.

Sara Osman, a senior and the co-chair of S.T.A.R.T explained that “we felt that students didn’t have a chance to say what they felt without adults butting in.” The event was completely student led, and adults were not permitted to add in to the discussion, simply listen to what students had to say.

“This night is about more than just us sitting down and talking, it’s a way for [students] to thoroughly get their ideas across in front of their peers without being judged,” Osman said.

The event was planned long before February 14th’s fight, and most S.T.A.R.T members hoped the event would not focus on that event, but about race as a whole.

“It isn’t a group that solely combats violence,” said Osman, referring to the fight, “it’s a group that works with racial identity.” While the conversation did reference the fight several times, it focused on the issues of race within the fight, and the issue of race as a whole.

Student moderators posed questions to the group, such as ‘Do you consider yourself to be colorblind?’ and ‘How do you feel about the n-word?’and ‘How does race affect you?,’ then opened it up to conversation.

A variety of topics were covered, and all students who spoke showed concern over the lack of diversity in students’ social groups, hoping that something productive would come of the evening. Students in the discussion proposed sitting next to a different group of students at lunch, and to continue having dinners to take steps towards eliminating racism at South.

S.T.A.R.T hopes to host more dinners, and invites all students to their weekly meetings. “I want anyone to know that they can come, and have a discussion,” Osman encouraged. “It’s us moving forward as human beings in this world. At the end of the day, it’s just us trying to get things figured out.”