Students of Color Summit: Agents of Change

Students of Color Conference-33Excitement, friendships and the drive to create change and positive influences are just a few things that the Students of Color Summit generated at CWU earlier this month.

On the first weekend of April, CWU partnered with the Washington Student Association to host over 224 students from 13 universities and schools to celebrate diversity and inclusivity through a fun and immersive environment.

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“Beyond Vietnam”: Sparking Modern-Day Discussion with the Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Megan_Francis_headshotGuest Speaker Megan Ming Francis

April 10 | 4 – 5:30 p.m. | SURC Ballroom

Megan Ming Francis will be introducing and leading discussion on PBS Documentary “MLK: A Call to Conscience”. This event, on the heels of the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, will spark conversation regarding political activism during a time of war.  Continue reading

Dr. Corey Hebert – A Passion for Healing, A Knack for Inspiring

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Dr. Corey Hebert

“When you have someone that has an open mind, which is the college student, that’s the best group to get to make change in the world.”

Renowned pediatrician, speaker and television health correspondent, Dr. Corey Hebert, will speak at CWU on March 9 in the Student Union Ballroom at 7 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Hebert, whose primary medical care practices in New Orleans were some of the few to stay open and provide care following Hurricane Katrina, has been on “Oprah,” “The Doctors,” and a number of other news and health programs. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Health TV.

Herbert currently holds faculty positions at Louisiana State, Tulane, Xavier and Dillard universities and is the medical director for the State of Louisiana Recovery School District. He feels that it is his responsibility to educate, guide and inspire young people.

“You’ve got these kids out there throwing rocks at people for the Black Lives Matter movement,” Hebert said. “Not that I don’t want them to be showing their civil unrest…my talk is about how we can bridge the gap so young people that are learning about this activism also have a good knowledge base on who they are, why they should demand for things to be equitable, and what their role is in making it so.”

His talk, titled “KNOW THYSELF? Keys to the Pursuit of Excellence in the African American Community in the Age of New Black Activism,” will touch on the importance of black involvement in the medical community.

Hebert feels that his long and illustrious career as a medical practitioner has given him a unique, but vital, outlook on the current racial tensions and struggles against injustice in America, particularly among young, college aged people struggling to make a change.
“I see people at their worst,” Dr. Hebert said. “They tend to be very honest. You can’t lie to your plumber, your accountant, the police, your lawyer or your doctor. I get to find out how they [young people trying to make a change] are really feeling. It gives me more insight into the psyche of people that are wanting to do a lot of things, but they either don’t know how, or are too scared or defeated.”

Hebert’s appearance at the university is a continuation of CWU’s Social Justice and Human Rights Series. This year’s inaugural theme, Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice: Black and Brown Lives Do Matter, aims to educate Central’s community and initiate discussions about race. He will be meeting with students before his talk to discuss the importance of student academic achievement, activism and involvement on and off the campus.

“It’s a really great place for an open-minded discussion and I think that is what our country needs,” Dr. Hebert said about coming to the university to speak. “When you have someone that has an open mind, which is the college student, that’s the best group to get to make change in the world.”

That’s us, CWU!

(If it helps, he was named the best dressed man in Louisiana.)

When clocks are scarier than glocks

If you’ve been following the news today, then you’ve no doubt seen a story about a 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas named Ahmed Mohamed who was arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school. Teachers misidentified the clock for a bomb and promptly called the police who arrested and detained Ahmed. You can read about it all here and here.

The police interrogated Ahmed for hours alone, without his parents present. The school also suspended him for three days. At a press conference, an Irving police officer said Ahmed was arrested for bringing a “hoax bomb” to school. A bomb squad wasn’t called, nor was the school evacuated. Odd right?

If you search #IStandWithAhmed on Twitter, you’ll find a plethora of tweets in support of Ahmed’s fight against the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department. Many tweets juxtapose a photo of Ahmed in handcuffs with those of white children holding guns. In this case, one child was arrested for building a “suspicious” clock, while other children hold actual weapons are not bothered by the law.

As it stands now, Ahmed was not charged legally with any wrongdoing. But his school suspension was still upheld, and even after a letter was sent out to community members from the school, they have not apologized publicly for the debacle. If you read the letter, you’ll notice it makes no mention of any mistakes or wrongdoing by either the school or the police department. It’s important to note that knee-jerk reactions the teachers of Irving had are not the correct course of action when dealing with instances like this.

It’s important for us as students at CWU to recognize issues like this and learn from them. Not everyone pays attention to the news (and for sometimes good reason). If we ever want to change, however, we need to be enlightened and tuned into the world around us. Ahmed’s story is something we can all learn from. It’s hard not to inject opinion into this matter and while we don’t know the whole story (yet), we do know that no child should be suspended for a harmless science project.

If you notice instances of institutional or personal racism or discrimination, don’t be afraid to speak up. And as if this story wasn’t already big enough, our own POTUS had something to say about it.

SEOIs open for 8-week summer students – fill out your student evaluations of instruction

Now that the heat is in full melt-your-face mode and classes are (finally) starting to wind down, it’s time to dedicate a few minutes of your day to filling out those Student Evaluations of Instruction (SEOIs) that keep popping up in your email and on canvas.

I know, I know. “But CWU Hype,” you scoff, “I don’t have time to do that – I’m busy (and yes, you even italicize your own spoken words…somehow).” Well, I’m here to tell you that you aren’t too busy because it only takes minutes of your time! Unless you’re saving puppies from a burning barn and you have no minutes to spare – by all means, do that first. But then, fill out your SEOIs. It’s a win, win! And also, puppies.

If you didn’t know, SEOIs are anonymous evaluations of instructors’ performances throughout the quarter, and provide students the opportunity to openly and honestly evaluate their professors. It’s the best avenue for rating a professor’s performance and holds a lot more weight than ratemyprofessor.com (shocking, I know).

The CWU Administration holds student feedback in high regard, so students should take the SEOIs and the outlet they provide seriously. SEOIs are used in the faculty and tenure review processes as well as for the accreditation of CWU. The more students who respond to SEOIs, the more weight they carry.

For you unfortunate 8-week summer class students (I feel your pain, though my 6-week-student brain can only hold so much sympathy) SEOIs open today, Friday Aug. 14 and close in one week, Friday, Aug. 21. That means you have seven whole days to stop ignoring the SEOI popup in Canvas and just do it already!

Or in Shia LaBeouf’s words, JUST DO IT. YESTERDAY, YOU SAID TOMORROW. DO IIIIIITTTTTT.

Still not convinced? Check out this awesome SEOIs: Summer Edition video on the CWU Hype Youtube web zone.