Student organization strives to ‘interrupt’ forms of racism on campus

TXST interruptions logo

TXST Interruptions logo taken from Twitter

Ivy Sandoval, Life and Arts Reporter

A student organization on campus is striving to educate on racism and ways to redefine it.

Interruptions is a student-led, multicultural, anti-racism, peer-education organization that has been brought back to life. It is dedicated to teach and guide the Texas State community on all forms of racism and redefine what it means to interrupt such behaviors to unite the community.

The organization is chartered through Student Diversity and Inclusion. It originally started in 2009 but died down after a few years, until a couple of students decided to start it back up again.

Students who were interested started re-establishing Interruptions’ goals, working on ideas for meetings and assigning positions spring 2018, during the era of former Student Body President Connor Clegg. Two students, one white woman and another a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, knew bringing the organization back and creating conversations on racism was important and crucial. Five students of color decided to join shortly the revival.

Although it is the organizations’s first year back, officers say it is doing well; members hope to spark more conversations on any and all forms racism to help others in understanding the impact discrimination has on the experiences of people of color. The organization has created a unique logo of a hand representing the “interruption” of racist, discriminatory behavior.

Gabri Brown, media coordinator for Interruptions, said the overall goal is to better educate the community on forms of racism, discrimination and prejudice.

“Texas State has a massive problem with talking about race and being honest with ourselves and each other,” Brown said. “We just want to educate people. We are all advocates and super passionate about social change.”

Brown said a U.S. history discussion that took place at a meeting and upset an older white gentleman further encouraged the officers to push boundaries on controversial topics, rather than shy away from them.

“At that moment (of the incident), we realized anyone can come into our meetings and not like what we’re doing because we are talking about racism that happens on campus,” Brown said. “We learned to keep pushing with the hard topics to spark those difficult conversations.”

Students have said the organization has the potential to be impactful and important, especially with the immense issues regarding race not only in the country, but in the San Marcos and Texas State communities.

Hannah Fowler, social work sophomore, said the organization provides a way to create more awareness about hard topics, rather than just confronting or avoiding them completely.

“I think a lot can go wrong in conversations around race because people tend to just get mad at each other,” Fowler said. “People get so worked up in the moment, they don’t take a step back to help others understand. Instead, they just say other people are wrong and that’s it.”

Cynthia Hernandez, nursing freshman, said she hopes the organization will spread and expand throughout campus, while helping bring about more peace.

“I think (Interruptions) is super important and I hope it really grows, because it’s needed right now,” Hernandez said. “I think this club can bring some peace helping educate people.”

Interruptions is currently running as a traditional organization, with each meeting centering around racial discussions. However, its members are hoping to expand the organization’s agenda as it grows. Hosting workshops, seminars or training on race and bringing in guest speakers are among the officers’ top priorities. Interruptions welcomes everyone, and meets Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center, room 3-9.1.

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