Activists stand up to hate


Sydney Weiss

STAND UP. The Stand Up to Hate event on Fri, Dec. 8 was located in the Hub. Senior Shayna Kling (pictured) was one of the people that helped organize and lead the event. Speakers stood on the circular platform, while rows of chairs were set up for guests. “I loved listening to the speakers and I’m so happy that students walked away with something from the program as well,” Kling said.

With the frequency of mass shootings, it is easy to become overwhelmed. On Fri, Dec. 8, Jewish Student Union led a Stand Up to Hate event in response to the antisemitic attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27.

The assembly was in the Hub, and it was during both lunches.

We wanted to hold an event to commemorate the Pittsburgh shooting, but we decided to hold it a while after the event so we had time to make a meaningful program,” said Jewish Student Union President and event organizer Shayna Kling.

Although Jewish Student Union was the majority of the leadership for this event, the event was neither political nor religious. There were speakers from local organizations that are fighting against hate as well as a Holocaust survivor and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.    

I attended the assembly because I think it’s really important that we all stay informed about what’s going on in the world, and how we as students can still make a difference and help make the community [to be] safer and more understanding,” said Kathleen Good, 12.  

In between speeches, students were challenged to talk amongst themselves about the different communities they belong to and how those communities impact them but are not all-encompassing. A few of the speakers emphasized how we, as people, we are not “monolithic,” meaning everyone is a fully-developed human being, and no one label or phrase can summarize us.

Speakers from different demographics (Jews, Muslims, African-Americans) all spoke, emphasizing how each community they belong to is diverse in itself, and members of that community belong to other communities as well.

As with all Jewish Student Union events, snacks were provided. The event happened to fall on Hanukkah, so guests enjoyed latkes (potato pancakes) and applesauce.

I am super impressed with the turnout and with the overall reaction,” Kling said.

The event encouraged students to get to know each other beyond their labels. Students heard stories of the effects of hate throughout history with the hope that similar events do not happen in the future.

I thought the event was a really great way for students to better understand what minorities face in society daily,” Good said.

In the face of tragedy, people have two options: to cower or to fight back. On Dec. 8, students chose the latter.