Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Ask Augie: Why does Ferguson matter?

Monday night found students, faculty and community members joining together to discuss recent events in Ferguson, Mo.
Sponsored by Black Student Union, Campus Ministries, Interfaith Understanding and Multicultural Student Life, the discussion was followed by a vigil to pray for peace, healing and justice. The discussion focused not just on the death of 18-year old Michael Brown, but on the larger issues of racism, police brutality and racial microaggressions. Observer reporters asked people in attendance why Ferguson should matter to Augustana.
“I don’t think it is just one isolated incident and I think it’s an issue that impacts all of us whether we realize it or not. And it’s important to have this discussion to kind of keep informing people and doing our part to spread the word and to make the situation better however we want to do that.”– Senior Vanessa Reyes
“[I]t’s become a big enough issue that we can see that it’s affecting the whole nation whether or not it happened here. And when there clearly there’s a lot of hurt and pain behind this issue, I think we need to start listening and seeing other perspectives so that we can hopefully prevent them more in the future and learn more about it as it is right now.” — Senior Bethany Lewin
“A lot of these situations are coming from microaggressions. [W]e don’t have anything at Augustana that’s huge and people aren’t being lynched and those kinds of things aren’t happening in our immediate backyard. So I see students need to think that this is something we don’t need to address. But the truth is that these situations happen because of the microaggressions that happen on our campus. So people posting nasty things on social media, people making small comments when people walk by, that’s where this starts. As a campus, we have to stop that at our campus before our campus is the next school or the next big thing that happens.” — Senior Darien Marion-Burton
“It’s important because it’s much bigger than just Michael Brown and it’s bigger than the case. It’s a larger issue. As we talk about with our students, it’s an issue that we all need to think about that affects us all. And the fact that some of us don’t have to deal with it everyday matters for this community. The fact that some students on campus have to deal with it everyday and some don’t is something we all need to address and until we address that, we can’t make a lot of progress.”– Paul Croll, Professor of Sociology
“It’s important to have this conversation because on this campus I feel that there’s a lot of indifference and I feel like there’s a lot of apathy towards especially people of color and especially towards racist incidents that have happened and that probably will start happening. I feel like if people actually stand up…people who are benefiting in some way by that oppression, aka white people…if people are in some way benefiting from white privilege, then they should also speak up for people who are being oppressed. [T]hat has been lacking on our campus and hopefully more people will get passionate and more people will stand up for the oppressed and for people of color, because a lot of times it’s just really hard to always have to stand up, especially when it is directed towards you…I want more of a empathy and I want more of a passion on this campus towards justice.” — Junior Victoria Gillon
 “I feel like (the conversation) is important to have first of all because it’s a huge issue that affects everyone nationally, but also because there have been so many incidents with micro aggressions and race. Like last year, there was a confederate flag driven past BSU, this year there’s all the stuff on Yik Yak. I feel like not only does the administration not take action against it, but they hardly acknowledge it, especially not to students who are directly affected by it, which gives the impression that people can just get away with this type of thing. It gives the impression to people who are aggressors in this and who are committing these micro aggressions, that it’s okay and it’s something they can get away with, which generally just gives a really unsafe feeling to campus. It’s not something that as a college and as a community I want to be a part of. So I feel like conversations like this are incredibly important to countering that.” — Junior Katie Knauft

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Ask Augie: Why does Ferguson matter?