Stonehill Students Scream for Social Justice?
Most people I know really like their school, and some even say they love it. There must be something you would change about it, right? There has to be something you don’t like! No school is perfect. I love Stonehill and it became a second home to me. Stonehill is so important to me, but if I could change one thing, it would be involvement in social justice. Don’t get me wrong, everyone at Stonehill is extremely friendly and super involved in different types of clubs and community service. Sometimes I would just like to see more involvement in social justice clubs, and events of that nature. Sometimes I feel like people complain, but don’t do anything about it.
Freshman year I was involved with PRIDE (Providing a Responsible, Inclusive, and Diverse Environment), Stonehill’s gay-straight alliance club on campus. There were only a handful involved and not much has changed. Some people’s ignorance gets in the way, and they think the club is only for people who identify as LGBTQ, but that’s not the case. For the most part, anyone is free to join any club, unless it’s something like Student Alumni Association in which you have to apply. If more people were willing to join, we could better understand each other and move towards a change.
I’m also involved in WHEN (Women’s Health and Empowerment Now) which is a feminist club on campus. Despite the name, this club is not only for women, it’s for anyone who believes in equality, much like PRIDE. When you hear the word feminist, you might automatically think about women, but a feminist is anyone who believes in equality for everyone no matter what race, gender, sex, age, etc. There are a lot of misconceptions about the word, which is why some people don’t want to identify with it, but if we get past that, things can get a lot better. Really, anyone can be a feminist.
Most meetings we have anywhere between 10 to 15 girls, which is a decent amount, but not so much considering how many people attend Stonehill. We had a guy in the club one semester, but other than that there hasn’t been any. It would be nice to have a few guys come to meetings in order to converse about our different experiences. Now, I’m not totally blaming others for not coming to our clubs. We also have to advertise, and tell people what we want them to know about the clubs. We need to send them the positive message we want them to get. This is a work in progress for both of us, not just those who are not yet involved in it.
But, even in one of Stonehill’s biggest events on campus, DiverCity, there were not many participants. Granted, it is a fairly time consuming commitment with practices in the middle to end of the semester, but still. DiverCity is a show where the social justice clubs on campus put on skits, dances, or other performances looking to spread knowledge about different issues and equality. Anyone can become involved in club performances, and sometimes not everyone in a club performs. The show went on because many people were apart of multiple acts, but there were not actually that many performers themselves.
I can’t speak for everyone or all clubs, but I can only speak from my experience and what I’ve heard from friends. I’d just like to see a little more passion at Stonehill. I want to know what people believe in and I want to see them talk about it and act on it. These clubs have really helped me to develop my own voice, and have created a safe space for me. It’s beautiful when I go to a club meeting and the people sitting next to me are just as passionate about things as I am. WHEN or equal rights isn’t just something I’m involved in at school, but it’s an important part of my everyday life. I want people to get more involved, and clubs are always looking for new members. Sometimes it’s a little hard to get caught up in the Stonehill bubble, but there things we could work on inside the bubble and outside. If only more of us could work together, we could possibly make some real changes.