Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 23:03
Photo by Ally Hill ‘15 | The Lafayette
ABC President Danyelle Smith ‘14 has met with the Bias Response Team to discuss how to deal with the most recent hate crime. A “Hateful Words and Symbols” programming series is planned for the end of the year into next year.
Freshman reporter Samantha Praman-Linton sat down with President of the Association of Black Collegians (ABC) Danyelle Smith ‘14 to discuss what ABC does, their response to the most recent act of ethnic intimidation on campus, and the group’s plans for the future.
Samantha Praman-Linton: To start off, what does ABC do on campus?
Danyelle Smith: In general, ABC is a lot of things, but primarily we are a black student group. Other campuses have Black Student Unions, but we are the Association of Black Collegians. We provide programming that is black-centered, African-American cultured, Caribbean cultured and African continent cultured. We also do activism, academic programs and some community service programs.
SPL: How does ABC, along with Dean of Intercultural Development John McKnight plan to address the recent instance of ethnic intimidation on campus?
DS: Just to clarify, it is not just Dean McKnight, but the whole Bias Response Team that is kind of leading this whole thing. The reason why ABC has been put on the forefront for now is because we are the first ones to be involved, but basically what we are doing is an “End Hateful Words” series. So you will probably see it at the end of this year and going into next year and it will basically be every month will be a brownbag on a hateful word and it will just become like a panel discussion on why it is hateful, if it should be used. In the case of this word, it is a very controversial word for a lot of different reasons.
SPL: What other groups on campus will be a part of this series?
DS: Whichever groups want to be a part of it really. It is still in the planning stages. We are responding right now to this word, so we took it on.
SPL: What do you feel this recent incident says about the Lafayette community as a whole?
DS: I don’t think that it says anything about the Lafayette community as a whole because it was an individual’s act. It’s sad that the whole community has to experience it, but I don’t think it says anything about the whole community.
SPL: How do you feel about the college’s response to incident so far?
DS: The college has to take a very political response. They have to be on their toes about how to respond to these things because a number of different things can happen with any one response. I guess I am pleased with it because they did the best that they can, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their response did anything, but there is only so much you can do when you don’t know who it is.
SPL: How do you feel Lafayette’s climate compares to the world in general?
DS: Well, the world is a big place. But to compare Lafayette to like a city—it is like a bubble. You are surrounded by very similar people, but then at the same time within the same people you do find differences. In order to really understand Lafayette’s community you have to be a part of it and you have to work hard to understand it. It’s not something that you can just evaluate, just by looking at the surface because then you will miss a lot.
SPL: What is the ultimate goal for ABC and the entire Bias Response Team at the end of this new series?
DS: I guess the ultimate goal would be for people who use hateful words to better understand their implications and how they affect people in general.
SPL: What do you feel is the most effective way of creating change on campus?