As time passes, there are many different groups emerging among Exeter students. With the great number of students from all over the world, there is plenty of room for diversity within every single friendship. Personalities and cultures can mix to make something strong, bold and worthy of listening to.
In addition to diversity, there is also room for students to group based on what they believe in and stand for. Recently there has been a #BlackLivesMatter group that has emerged on campus since hearing about the death of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile.
In case you haven’t heard much news about these two men, Sterling was a 37-year old black man who was shot many times after being put onto the ground by a pair of white police officers. Castile, who was also black and male, was pulled over for a broken tail light, and when reaching for his wallet, he was shot by a white police officer. There were many different emotions among those who heard of the news, mostly those expressing anger and disappointment.
Many students of Exeter Summer School wanted to do more than just be angry over police brutality. So instead of just feeling, these group of students got together to talk, take action, and stand up for all the lives lost. Although one may have expected that this group would just be made up of black students, that isn’t the case at all — the group is a mixture of minorities and some of those who are privileged. Despite race, there is something that the #BlackLivesMatter group shares in common — it’s passion.
This group of students are passionate enough to organize something big and bold that would leave a mental impact on those who witness the event. As of Friday, July 15th, #BlackLivesMatter planned to stage what’s known as a “Die-in” for when the rest of Summer School exits assembly.
A “Die-in” is when people lie on the ground and pretend to be dead to memorialize those who have lost their lives unjustly.
However, as one may have noticed, no “Die-in” took place. Students decided to attend the short amount of time left in the assembly, after running and hiding from several teachers. Amid widespread confusion over whether the Die-in would still take place, there was soon a text that every student of the #BlackLivesMatter group received stating that the Die-in was postponed.
The general emotion after hearing the news was great disappointment because this was a moment to get Exeter to face a real conflict going on in the United States. And while Syria, Venezuela, Brazil and every other place that students come from may have their conflicts too, police brutality is right here, in our faces, on our American soil. So why not address it?
In addition to the planned Die-in, the #BlackLivesMatter group, passed out flyers that called for a blackout (of clothing) in order to show support of black lives. The great majority of the campus heard about the black attire for Friday, and showed their support by wearing black.
Being able to see so many people wearing black meant so much to the #BlackLivesMatter group because it proved to them that it was more than just minorities who cared about Black Lives. However, just wearing black clothing, was never the end of their taking action.
Look out for what the #BlackLivesMatter group has in store. They may be silent, but their actions are always powerful, confident and bold.