“The Other Wes Moore” was a great choice for the K-State Book Network common read this year. The lecture series’ topics were even better. The topics that were discussed were appreciable, especially in light of the recent events that have occurred this year involving racism.
The last lecture event of the year, “Privilege and the Intersectionality of Identities: A Complicated Reality,” was the week before Thanksgiving break. For topics pertaining to current issues, I feel these lecture series should continue throughout the spring semester or until the next common read book is chosen.
With the protesting going on at the University of Missouri and over 100 other universities, I think it is important for all students to understand institutional racism and privilege and how it affects everyone — not just minorities. Even though K-State’s Black Student Union has not joined in with protesting against university administration, that does not mean that our university is free of racial tension.
The list of demands from every student group protesting included creating a more diverse curriculum that incorporates courses that deal with these topics. I believe that these lecture series topics could easily be formulated into courses. There are courses that may touch on these topics in the Women’s and American Ethnic Studies programs, but they are not required. Courses dealing with structural racism and privilege on college campuses should be required for all first-year students, along with all faculty members.
It is important for ALL students and faculty to be knowledgeable because some may not come from diverse backgrounds and are unaware of institutional oppression while others that are from diverse areas do not know their place or privilege in the midst of it all.
K-State has the 2025 Diversity Initiatives in place, but that is 10 years from now. Students across the nation are voicing their concerns and making changes happen now. I feel like the longer we wait, the longer students and faculty will be ignorant of the movement that is among us.
Senior in public relations