The Living the Dream organization conducted a survey in Pfeiffer on Monday, March 19, to get an idea of how students felt about the ninth annual Living the Dream March to End the “Isms.”
Although there was a large majority of students who agreed that the march was an important event on campus and is still relevant, there were also comments that the issues the march focuses on bringing forward in the Simpson community are outdated.
In the Living the Dream organization, we view Simpson as an open and safe learning environment; however, there have been incidents even as recent as this semester that surfaced tensions of prejudice and discrimination.
Within The Simpsonian, a dialogue occurred between students that raised the questions of xenophobia, and even as recent as last week there was report of a racially charged derogatory statement shouted in the middle of campus at a student.
Local newspapers in Ames have also been running stories on an incident at Iowa State, where a student editorial allegedly targeted a specific ethnic group with inflammatory statements and accusations.
These few reported public incidences are what the Living the Dream March attempts to create an open conversation about. However, it is not only racial issues that the Living the Dream March addresses, but also a range of issues spanning from religion, classism, sexism and sexual orientation.
Furthermore, the previously mentioned incidents are the only ones that have been reported recently, which begs the question of how many go unreported on college campuses across the United States.
The Living the Dream March seeks to give voice to these issues, which although they may not be blatantly visible in their occurrences, still subversively undermine the equality that Simpson College promotes.
The march is a place where students, faculty and administration can come together to celebrate the unifying progressive power of positive social movements by marching to the Indianola City Hall and back to campus.
This year’s march will be occurring Friday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m., where we will be featuring speakers discussing topics ranging from the importance of student mobilization, sexual assault awareness, constructive racial dialogues and a plethora of other issues.
Student and local organizations will be showing their support by providing information booths that speak to the issues that are most important to them, including Students Against Sexual Assault, LGTBQA, Sequel, Best Buddies, Alpha Psi Omega, Amnesty, Environmental Awareness Club, CFUM, Love Takes Root and Religious Life Community. These booths are a new addition to the march where we hope to get people attending more involved in the event.
We were also gracious to receive funds from Student Government Association, for the first time, this year. We will be handing out free T-shirts as giveaways to those attending the march.
In the survey we conducted, we saw that of the students who attended the march in past years all said they were definitely coming back and of those who hadn’t attended more than half had expressed excitement in attending this year’s event next Friday.
From the student planning committee of the Living the Dream March to End the “Isms” we invite you to come and hope to see you there.