ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: student perspective

White supremacy is on your campus. What next?

Systems of white supremacy lurk insidiously and are upheld daily in various institutions—higher education is no exception. Earlier this year, at my sizeable urban university in the deep South, there was an explosive unveiling of active white supremacists and nationalists on the university’s payroll. The controversy began with one man. Fliers produced by an unknown source were posted all over campus. They listed the man’s name, position, and evidence of his involvement with the noted hate group, Identity Evropa. Since then, two more people were exposed. The exposure has led to a more significant discussion about my university’s non-action and inability to disavow white supremacy. The Anti-Defamation League has noted that white nationalists and supremacists are increasingly targeting universities and colleges, with their materials appearing on campuses since 2016.  I remember when I… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Why You Shouldn’t Let Self-Doubt Keep You From Celebrating Your Success

In my first year of college, I applied to join my university’s honors program. Even though I was already attending my “reach” school, I had done well during my first year of college, so I applied. Much to everyone’s surprise, I got in. As soon as my first honors program class started, I knew I was in over my head. All of the students around me were talking about their favorite philosophers and unbelievable internships. They tossed around words like “vociferous “ casually, and leaned back in their fancy leather chairs as if they were born to be in the honors program. You know the type. This was my first philosophy class ever. The readings were dense and difficult. The paper prompts were daunting. The oral presentations were intimidating. While… Read more »

From One Caitlyn to Another: You Can Do Better

My favorite thing about Caitlyn Jenner is her name. Maybe I’m a little biased, but the name Caitlyn just has a certain ring to it. When she first came out as transgender, I was looking forward to a well-known celebrity voice bringing more visibility to the underrepresented and often ignored trans community. When she unveiled her new name, I was excited because I saw the potential for her to have a huge impact on how the world views the LGBTQ+ community and wouldn’t it be cool to share a name with someone like that? When she gave her speech at the ESPYs, I applauded from the couch. But now, those initial feelings have worn off and I have become disenchanted with Ms. Jenner. There are so many reasons that I… Read more »

Education Access is Reproductive Justice

The most recent budget plan put out by Congress includes some serious cuts to federal student loan programs. It would freeze the levels of Pell Grants being offered, even though currently the level is tied to inflation, which does not rise at the same rate as higher education costs. It would also charge interest on student loans while the students are still in school. This would have a chilling effect on the amount of student debt we are saddled with, which is already astronomically high. To make matters worse, the new budget would completely get rid of the loan repayment plans that make it possible for anyone to pay down that astronomical debt. This budget would spell economic disaster for millions of student who already have student loan debt, or… Read more »

Art After Dark: Behind Closed Doors

View image | gettyimages.com Art After Dark, is an annual student -directed production encompassing the talents of students from Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. Art After Dark t analyzes black love, sexuality, black beauty, and spirituality through dance, singing, music, spoken word, comedy, and acting. This year’s theme, Behind Closed Doors, critically demonstrated that beauty, pain, and spirituality related to love can be filled with awkward moments that we can all relate too. As with many productions that occur on Spelman’s campus, the spectators were friends of the performers and did not hold back. They yelled out the names of their friends with pride and the audience laughed at times of humor. Kudos to the performers for sharing their talents and using their bodies to relay well-received… Read more »

Queer & Feminist Musicians That You Should Be Listening To

We need more female-identifying musicians, and as activists we need to seek them out and listen to them! In high school, I played music quiet a lot and was in a few bands. This is probably because I went to a performing arts high school, but I did notice a disparity in female artists being the only girl in the guitar department. The music scene continued to be male dominated in college, but recently I posted a status on my Facebook to request anyone who was not a white straight man to reach out to me if they were interested in starting a band. The status got a lot of attention compared to most of my posts (almost 40 likes!), but unfortunately I only received three serious inquiries to play…. Read more »

Bridging Identities In The Newsroom

Being a journalism major at Texas State University, I look forward to the third week in October because every year it is designated as Mass Communication Week. Throughout the week mass comm professionals from all concentrations including journalism, advertising, public relations, and multimedia gather at my university to tell stories and share advice from within the professional world. I attended many presentations, but the one that I was most excited to attend was titled, “LGBT and media coverage/ Diversity in the newsroom.” Having attended two mass comm weeks prior to this one it was the first time that I remember there being a specific space given to queer journalists. The discussion was led by two people, Austin-American Statesman columnist Michael Barnes, and Texas State journalism student and University Star writer, Ernest… Read more »