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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

President+Samhat+speaks+on+how+far+the+Wofford+Community+has+come+in+helping+to+realize+King%E2%80%99s+dream.
President Samhat speaks on how far the Wofford Community has come in helping to realize King’s dream.

A WEEK TO COLLECTIVELY REFLECT AND ENGAGE—

Wofford College was buzzing with a week full of activities, Monday Jan. 12 – 19, leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the theme, Share the Dream: Diversity, Service and Inclusion. Students and faculty of all ages, races and backgrounds came together to remember the many great things MLK Jr. has done to ensure equality for all.

On Monday, Jan. 12, under the supervision of Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Jennifer Gutierrez, the week began with a Panel Discussion consisting of current students, alumni and visitors. Jonathan Franklin and Katie Harmon were representing the student community of Wofford. One of the many topics discussed was the improvement of diversity on campus.

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“I thought it was a successful step in legitimizing the issues on Wofford’s campus, including the disparaging existence of racism, gender inequality, LGBTQ issues and religious intolerance,” says Harmon.

The event was a time for opinions to be heard and discussed head on.

“I am proud of the journey that Wofford is currently on, pushing for reforms, just disappointed that the number of activists today are so small and their collective voice is being drowned out by the majority,” Harmon says.

“Hope someday, I can return to Wofford and see an even bigger change, but for now, all I can do is leave this school four years after I started and hope I made some small change.” Change, which Harmon acknowledges, does not happen overnight, but is taking place day by day.

Tuesday, Jan. 13, Derrick Quarles, a young community activist and co-founder of First Class Consulting Group, LLC, spoke to a few students and staff in McMillan Theater on today’s civil rights movement. The theme was Let Freedom Ring: Choosing Nonviolence in Today’s Civil Rights Movement. Part of the discussion was on police brutality and the Ferguson riots. Many of the students participated in the discussions.

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, the American Red Cross educated students then registered them to give blood.

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 15-16, prospective high school students visited and watched the movie “Dear White People” with a small discussion following the film. The film is labeled as a comedy, but has a lot of truth to it, and Wofford students felt it was relevant to their personal experiences situations at Wofford. The prospective students spent the night and were able to get a feel of what it would be like to attend Wofford in the near future, as long as they continued to do their part.

“Each event this week was de signed intentially to get students and the Wofford community thinking about service in a different, feasible way,” says Gutierrez.

The students got highly involved in the discussion about cultural pride at the luncheon with a lot of people from different and diverse backgrounds.

On the night of Sunday, Jan. 18, an MLK Dinner was held with many guests from around the Spartanburg area, which included Urban League represen tatives, Wofford President Nayef Samhat and other members of the Wofford community, just to name a few. Rakiya Faulkner sang “Are You Out There,” by John Legend and student Rachel Chalmers sang an a cappella of another song that she wrote herself.

On Monday, Jan. 19, MLK Day, Wofford and the Spartanburg Community took part in the Day of Service.

“Having this week will only help us get closer to a place where we will judge others by their character and not the color of their skin,” says Gutierrez.

Although Wofford does not recognize MLK Day as a holiday, there was still a great turn out overall.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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