By: Blake Bouza, Assistant Editor
Volunteer State Community College will be hosting a student life barbeque Wednesday, April 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Quad.
The event is a joint effort by Student Government Association, the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, and Campus Police.
“This is an attempt to bring awareness to the themes of Black Lives Matters and All Lives Matters. There is historical distrust between communities of color and law enforcement,” said Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, Director of SLDI, and organizer of the event.
He said that he is hoping this event can demonstrate camaraderie and solidarity.
“I’m hoping that a conversation can be held for all to understand that it’s not a support this cause or that cause,” said Yarbrough, “It’s not to say that all lives aren’t important, but rather how all this violence affects the community as a whole…not certain segments or demographics.”
Yarbrough said he had the idea when he was at the Black Brown College Bound conference in Tampa, FL in Feb., 2016. Listening to the success other campuses have had sparked him to want to host something, he said.
Outdoor games will be available while law enforcement officers barbecue food and get to know students. Campus constituents will also be making addresses about the state of affairs. Some of the activities will include running with a 22 lb. police belt, driving a golf cart with drunk goggles and other games.
Clubs will set up tables with information on how students can get involved for the next year.
“There are those who are tired of lines of division and want to be an all-inclusive campus body,” said Sandra “Domino” Hunt, president-elect for SGA, “We are hoping everyone will come be a part of making a change and a difference.”
Hunt said that everyone who is involved in putting on the event will be available to answer questions, concerns and provide information on how to be someone who can make a difference.
Hunt said the SGA’s role in the event is to show support to all students and be informed as well about issues that students face every day. We are excited about this happening on campus. We hope it will open lines of communication and engage conversations of issues we face.
“Students have a voice and they need to use it. Not just for casual conversation or complaints, but to suggest changes and get involved is keeping other students safe,” Hunt said.
Hunt made it clear that a main point of the event would be “See Something, Say Something.”
“Where do you report incidents? Who is a safe person and where are safe places on campus? How to report possible dangerous situations that could endanger lives on campus. If you think the threat is real or a remote possibility, report it,” said Hunt.
“One part of society affects another. Everyone should be aware of what’s happening and be compassionate,” said Yarbrough.