The Washington Post has reported that 750+ individuals have been killed by police officers alone this year. There are protests occurring everywhere; in our streets, on our athlete’s playing fields and even in our classrooms. Students of color with natural hair such as dreadlocks are even being banned from schools. To top it all off, we are facing perhaps the most consequential presidential election of our time. These aren’t hoaxes or past anecdotes; this is our reality in the year of 2016. You can’t tune into any news outlet without hearing the changes that continue to occur right before our eyes. When change happens this fast, it’s important to find an outlet, a supportive ear and a safe space for open discussion.
Hot Wings and Hot Topics is hosted by Black Student Achievement every first and third Monday of the month. It provides a platform for discussion and gives students the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about the things happening around them. There are no filters or limitations, just you and your peers sharing your concerns in a room full of respectful and nonjudgmental ears.
The first installment started off in our own backyard as students shared feelings on the consolidation and the changes that have affected the campus. There were strong opinions about the disappearance of what was known as The Plaza and how it has changed their overall college experience.
People came back this semester and were like ‘where is the music’? It’s gone and the stage is gone.
Students chimed in one by one as they discussed the lack of communication between administrators and students. Everyone felt there wasn’t enough notification and taking away such a vital part of their day should have been openly discussed. With such a hot topic leading the discussion, it opened the floor to much more as the minutes passed. Hands went up one by one as people became more comfortable and wanted to share on more passionate matters.
Leah, a rising senior, changed the dynamics of the conversation as she openly shared her opinion about social media.
I think it’s really cool that anybody can be a leader today, thanks to social media. We don’t necessarily have to have a Martin Luther King or a Malcolm X.
~ Leah, rising senior
We may have witnessed more changes in the year of 2016 than any other. Some even say a modern day Jim Crow is awakening in front of our eyes. Others may disagree and say racism is fading, and there is nothing to be concerned about. No matter the news outlet, no matter the conversations we encounter, we are reminded that change occurs and it is inevitable. The current events we have seen lately, such as the Black Lives Matter movement or the consolidation proves just that. Be sure to make it to the next Hot Wings and Hot Topics. Whether you’re looking to get some things off your chest or just listen in, this is your space and your time to let your voice be heard. See you there!