Rally for Right

On Native American Day, a day to celebrate the history and culture of the Native American people, 200 students and faculty came together to hold the Rally for Right.

Laura Chandler speaks to attendees of Rally for Right. The demonstration was held in response to inappropriate comments directed toward Chandler.

Laura Chandler speaks to attendees of Rally for Right. The demonstration was held in response to inappropriate comments directed toward Chandler.

The rally was held in response to inappropriate comments that were directed at SDSU lecturer Laura Renee Chandler on the social website Reddit. On Oct. 13, Dennis Papini, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, hosted a rally for students and faculty to stand up against the kind of racial slurs the anonymous students had posted.

The Rally for Right was faculty driven, and a supportive network of faculty and administrators attended the event.

Chandler was not the only person affected by the malicious comments. Richard Meyers, program coordinator of American Indian Studies, was also impacted.

“To be honest, I got choked up. I wasn’t really expecting a biological response, but I got one. It paralyzed me,” said Meyers. “Sadly, there is no accountability to what you say on the Internet.”

SDSU has support groups that are all trying to bring the topic of diversity to campus, while teaching students about other cultures and people.

“There is a positive underlying support from the administration and the dean,” said Meyers.

Richard Meyers, program coordinator of American Indian Studies, addresses the crowd at the Rally for Right.

Richard Meyers, program coordinator of American Indian Studies, addresses the crowd at the Rally for Right.

There are approximately 127 Native American students on campus, and Meyers said they contend with many issues. Meyers would like to see these issues become a main focus on campus. “These issues and events need to be equal to the Hobo Day parade,” says Meyers.

Other groups, such as Black Student Alliance, help serve as an educational tool to promote cultural awareness to the SDSU community and to enhance the appreciation of the richness and diversity of African-American culture.

In fall 2015, Papini created a committee on making excellence inclusive. Its goal is to address issues of inclusion, diversity and equity on campus. Molly Enz, associate professor of French and coordinator of global studies, is

the committee’s co-chair. Diversity is a critical component in the global studies program, and Enz brings her knowledge to the committee.

“We address diversity, broaden world views, and inform people about cultures and people,” said Enz.

The Making Excellence Inclusive committee was created to involve students in diversity and confronting humanity. Faculty members believe these groups are critical to the student body and should become more important among students.

SDSU is a growing institution and with that comes reshaping and growing pains. “It is challenging, but promising and exciting as we move forward,” Meyers said.

Pazlie Hagedorn

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