Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-in-Chief
A few weeks ago I attended a discussion led by Professor Jesse Tauriac and Reverend Thomas Sullivan on race and the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. As 25 or so students and fac- ulty sat in a circle and discussed our reactions to the race problems in the Ferguson incident, what continues to happen across the country, and on our campus at Lasell, I realized I needed to write my first column of the year about the event.
It would be easy to write about a new school year, entering my senior year, and other anecdotes on how excited I am to be back with everyone. It would be easy and nice, but not as important. What happened in Ferguson, what is happening in our country, and what happens even on our campus is more important than sharing start-of-the-year happiness.
It was so powerful to hear the stories from peers and professors on how race and inequality impacts their lives. It can be easy to look at a tragic event like Ferguson and distance yourself from it because you weren’t part of it or can’t see how you could relate to it. But you are part of it and you can relate to it. Trust me.
The violent problems that erupted in Ferguson and across the country in towns, cities, and campuses are all rooted by hate. That ugly concept that we as a people cannot eradicate from our lives. Instead of seeing and treating people with love, kindness, respect, and equality, why do we, time after time, look at them with hate and prejudice?
It is easy to shake this off and think that you never do these things and that you are always kind and positive. And I really hope that, for the most part, you are. However, improvements can be made and it is not too late to start making them. It’s time for Lasell and its students to start making these changes.
The world needs to make these changes. We should not walk down the streets in fear of those around us just like people should not feel afraid to talk to a police officer. The world needs to change in such major ways it seems like a lofty goal to think we can make the changes ourselves. But one person being kinder is one more kind person than the world had before.
Think of the change if every Lasell student started being kinder to everyone. If every Lasell student became kinder, others we know would see this and they too could become kinder. Bit by bit we could change our campus, our friends, and initiate change in the world just by being kind. It’s not hard. It’s refusing to make fun of others, to talk about them behind their back, to treat others with inequality and hate. It’s refusing to not take the time to understand others and rather rely solely on preconceived notions. Instead, we replace all these with love and respect.
Lasell is a wonderful place. With each new year, I realize that more and more and feel more at home here when I move in each fall. I see the good- ness in this place. But, as great as it is, Lasell can always get better. We need to be the ones to initiate this strive towards betterment so that Lasell can continue to grow, to improve, and to achieve. We need to be the ones to start looking at others with love, kindness, respect, and equality. We need to be the ones to get rid of the hate, the weird stares, the racial or gender “jokes,” the preconceived notions. We need to be the ones who create a positive place.
With this, Lasell can be great for us and hopefully continue down that path of positivity so it is even better for the future Lasers. If I don’t leave Lasell a better place than when I got here three years ago, I have achieved nothing.