UD community responds to racial issues at Ferguson teach-in

By: Roger Hoke – News Editor

Art Street Studio B hosted a teach-in Friday, following the events that transpired in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year.

The event was planned after the mass response to the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision to not indict  police officer Darren Wilson after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, according to the official flyer for the event.

The event allowed students to learn about the event itself and other topics relating to it. Students were able to express their opinions and reflections on the situation in a welcoming environment.

Topics covered during the event ranged from an overview of recent events and historical background, to the media and art surrounding the black body.

Presenters included Danielle Poe of the philosophy department, Glenna Jennings of the arts and design department and Amaha Sellassie of the Ohio Students Association.

The studio was filled to capacity, and sometimes over capacity, throughout the four-hour teach-in presentation.

Students, faculty and citizens interested in the event were able to talk about past experiences and they were able to reflect on others’ stories.

Several University of Dayton students responded to the event in a positive fashion, and thought it was important to the community to have this event.

“A lot of the times you’re on a college campus, it’s like you’re in a bubble,” Matt Riccetti, a sophomore biology major said. “It’s important to get perspective on what both sides are saying.”

“These events give us the opportunity to explore social issues around the country, and they help us to promote togetherness,” Lauren Asman, a sophomore biology major said.

“It is good to hear different points of views from different people, it plays a big role,” Tyler Tumpane, a first year business major said.

“It is important because everyone is going to have a different opinion on it,” Bridget Lucas, a first year undecided major said.

These students were also happy with the response the UD community showed.

“It makes me really happy and proud of the students for getting together and trying to understand different perspectives and viewpoints,” Asman said.

“It is good that you have a place to come talk about these things and not feel judged,” Tumpane said.

Donna Cox, a professor of music at UD, expressed similar thoughts to those of the students on the importance of these events on campus.

“I think it’s important because we don’t have enough opportunities like this on campus for these very important issues,” Cox said. “People are hurting on campus and they are not able to speak their hurt.”

Cox highlighted the university’s Marianist tradition as a reason to come together for these types of events.

“Our Marianist tradition requires that we engage in events of injustice,” Cox said.

Cox’s views on the response of the community were not the same as students at other universities.

“I don’t think we respond enough,” Cox said. “I think there are pockets of response, but I’d like to see a more systematic response.”

Flyer News: Univ. of Dayton's Student Newspaper