The BluePrint. (None) 2013-????, September 01, 2013, Image 2

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\ \ r PERSPECITVE 2 September 2013 The BluePrint PRESIDENTIAL CORNER Living the Dream at Spelman By Dr. Beverly Tatum, Spelman President As the nation observed the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I listened to many speeches about the unfinished agenda of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream. One of the best I heard was that given by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who like most of our Spelman students today, was not even alive when the March on Washington happened. He said, “My father told me, ‘You are enjoying freedoms, opportunity, technology, things that were given to you bought by the struggles and the sacrifices and the work of those who came before....You drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty and opportunity you did not dig,’’’ That statement is true for all of us. We all “drink deeply from wells...we did not dig” and so we must pay it forward with our commitment to excellence and positive social change. We must be committed to opening doors of opportunity for people who look like us and for people who don’t, for people who speak like us and for people who don’t, for people who worship like us and for people who don’t, for people who love like us, and for people who don’t. For many people, coming to college represents the first opportunity to engage deeply with people whose life experiences are very different from their own. Even though Spelman is a historically Black college for women, there is much more diversity than one might imagine just looking across our campus. Some of the people we get to know may be people we have been taught to mistrust - maybe because of social class, or skin color, or sexual orientation, or religion, or physical disability, to name just a few of the categories that sometimes separate us from each other. Engaging in a meaningful way with those we have been socialized to mistrust requires some courage. Why? Because we have to be brave enough to have our assumptions challenged. The reality is we all have misinformation about people different from ourselves. "that misinformation has come to all of us from the way we heard our parents and teachers and friends talk about other people, and the way we saw those “Others” treated in comparison to how we ourselves were treated. No matter who you are or how old you are, you have been a part of this process. That misinformation is so common, so pervasive, it is like smog in the air, and none of us can avoid breathing it. And if you breathe in smog, you are sooner or later bound Dr. Beverly Tatum to breathe some out. This is why we have to be courageous enough to be willing to make mistakes. Because if you want to engage with people different from yourself, you are bound to make mistakes, perhaps inadvertently using offensive language (because that is the language you grew up with), or acting on erroneous assumptions (because they are so deeply ingrained). If we are honest, we can all think of a time when we said or did something that revealed our smog-breathing past. We can take comfort in knowing that everyone makes mistakes. But, knowing you will make mistakes does not mean that you don’t have to take responsibility for the mistakes you make. Ignorance is common but in a learning environment it cannot be tolerated as a permanent condition. We now have the opportunity to seek out new information and correct the misinformation we have internalized. When we do that it increases our ability to truly see, hear, and understand each other in our full humanity. We all want that affirmation - to be seen, heard, and understood - for who we really are, not as the figment of someone’s imagination shaped by years of incomplete or distorted information. The beloved community of Dr. King’s dream is within our reach if we open our hands to embrace it. Readers, I hope each of you thinks about how you can make Spelman a welcoming place for all through the interactions you have with each other every day - in person - or in the virtual world of social media. When we do, we honor the efforts of those who came before us and one important way we can all “pay it forward!” Letter from the SGA President Greetings to the Class ot 2017! I hope that you are adjusting well to your new home away from home. Within the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to be among all of you during your New Student Orientation activities, so in that capacity I am sure to be a familiar face. I want to however take this opportunity to introduce myself a bit more informally. I am Shanteal Lake, a senior Political Science major from Augusta, Georgia. I have an older sister, a younger brother and a nephew on the way! When 1 arrived at Spelman I had some pretty focused plans. I knew exactly what residence hall I wanted to live in, what I wanted to major in, and what I wanted to do after graduation. What 1 did not know was how the heck I was going to get there. I tried a few things, joined a few organizations and even had a few jobs. However, the act that gave me the most clarity was listening: listening to God, family, mentors, and especially myself. I could tell you all about my journey from the time I received my acceptance letter to Spelman up until now. But I would rather give you a few words of wisdom and save that conversation for when we meet in person. Right now, I want to share with you the three things that have kept me going through my matriculation: Keep God First Knowing that I have an unwavering source of love, trust, guidance, and support in my Lord and Savior keeps me motivated and hopeful in everything in which I am involved or experience. By: Shanteal L. Lake, C’2014 slake 1 Remain Genuine and Passionate. Stay true to WHO you are and WHAT you are. Never compromise your beliefs and morals. Involve yourself with things and people that add value to your life. Value can often be determined when a high level of nurture, consideration, and respect is present. Whenever you find yourself wondering if something or someone is truly for you, ask yourself, “Am I always being nurtured, considered and respected?” It is even more important to make sure you are doing those things for yourself. Shanteal Lake Hold your head up HIGH In life there will be times when we face opposition both expected and unexpected. Either way it is imperative to vigilantly pursue your end goal. When you know that the path you are on has been forged specifically for you there is nothing that can stop Him. So walk with pride, courage, and strength and know that the only way to discover treasure is to take the time and dig. Class of 2017 get ready for an integrated learning experience that will blow your mind. I have recognized your talents, seen your beauty, and felt your passion. Now I am ready to hear your voices. You have arrived and your time is now. Welcome to Spelman College! With sisterly love, Shanteal L. Lake Student Government Association President Why Syria Matters to Everyone By: Ko Bragg C2015 Syria has the attention of the entire world. College professors, dictators, diplomats, and everyday citizens alike are all attuned to what has been transpiring in Syria during this period of civil unrest, as can be confirmed by the overwhelming media coverage. Background To give a little background information, Syria was a contributing nation to The Arab Spring in March of 2011, during which many Middle Eastern nations revolted against their oppressive governments. In Syria the protesters openly expressed their desire for the end of the Ba’ath Party regime, which has been largely maintained by President Bashar al-Assad whose family has been in power since 1971. The Assad family, though stemming from a minority Islamic group themselves, has been noted to be discriminatory towards Syria’s ethnic minority groups. President Bashar al-Assad’s father, and former president of Syria, implemented free market policies that benefited businessmen closely linked to the family and consequently increased prices for common folk. As Fox news documented in 2012, most of those rebelling in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, were poor, religiously conservative, and ergo not receiving the same benefits of wealthier Syrians in the religious majority. These people were deeply affected by the increase of free market policies, which broadened the gap between Syria’s rich and poor. All of these factors were major components in the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring showed how fiercely people wanted to organize change, and due to the technological age in which we live, the world had a transparent view into what was really going on from a citizens’ perspective. However, what started as an uprising has violently turned into a civil war in Syria. Though the Syrian civil war started just about two years ago, recent unfoldings have re-launched the crisis into the forefront of world news. Recent Unfoldings On Aug. 21 the nation watched in awe as men, women, and children of all ages were gassed to death using chemical weapons that violate international law. Even when the long-term suspicion that Syria had been using chemical weapons against its civilians was confirmed, the Obama administration was hesitant to send military support and weaponry despite Obama’s declaration in 2012 that chemical weapons cross a “red line” and trigger immediate, forceful responses. Now, here we are in 2013, the red line only bolder and more solidified after the world saw unconfirmed videos and images of the chemical attacks in Ghouta, Syria—specifically in a district that adjoins the capital, Damascus. According to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization, the three hospitals they support received “3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms in less than three hours of the morning of Wednesday, Aug 21. Of those patients, 355 reportedly died.” The UN is currently investigating the attack. President Obama spoke on Tuesday, Sept. 10 after Lebanon _ , _ •**>** Beirut© Jordan has decided to take a more diplomatic route. Secretary of State John Kerry has been involved in a series of meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva. On Saturday, Sept. 14 the U.S. and Russia formed a pivotal deal that aims to dismantle Syria of its chemical weapons. According to a report by The New York Times, as of Sunday, Sept. 15, Syria has been given a week to submit a comprehensive list with names, type, and quantity of the chemical weaponry it currently holds and all information pertaining to storage, production, and development. Ultimately the goal is to rid Syria of all chemical weapons by mid 2014—a very ambitious goal that has no room for deterrence. Our Role Sometimes as Americans, who are far off in our own isolated union of states, we have the luxury of being able to turn the other cheek to events in the Middle East. More specifically as college students it is easier to tune out peripheral distractions as a way to be the best student possible—even if that means falling behind in current events. No one can afford to overlook Syria right now. Often times events of this magnitude can sometimes seem so convoluted with government jargon that it’s hard to even know where to start. Nevertheless it’s important to realize that we live in a world that is interconnected now more than ever, and mass atrocities and denial of human rights should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. As Spelman women we matriculate under the promise that we will leave ready to change the world; you have to know about the world in order to change it. Even though you are not in the boardroom with President Obama nor are you boarding private jets to attend meetings with Russian diplomats, you as a citizen of the world have a responsibility to understand what is going on. Check back in future editions of The BluePrint, The Maroon Tiger, as well as online sources such as CNN (which has daily breakdowns in a listed format of new developments), and credible news sources’ twitter accounts. AB First Edition Staff Editorial Staff Ko Bragg, Editor-in-Chief Ayanna Runcie, Managing Editor Jasmine Ellis, Associate Editor Raquel Rainey, Copy Editor Contributing Writers Lydia Hayes, C’20l4 Houston Scott C2014 Kamron Taylor C’20i5 Karys Belger C’20l6 Karimah Noble C201S Simone Sears-Lyken C"2016 Alaja Phillips C2015 Kevona Belcher C'20l5 Dedra Mitchell C2014 Analisa Wade C'2016 Jordan Daniels C2016 Teri Davis C’2016 Alexis Dulan C’20l6 Business Team Danyelle Carter, Public Relations Manager Marli Crowe, Advertising Manager Graphic Design Aba Armoo-Daniels, C’2016 Featured Writers Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum Aysia Pate C’2014 Shanteal Lake C’2014 Emily Heyward C’2016 Andre Wilson, Morehouse College C’2015 Ain Ealey, C’2014 How to Reach Us 350 Spelman Ln SW, Atlanta, GA 30314 Email: (jdanl to (MvQjdLiJL in Jhji fiLu&ft/iini? If you are interested in advertising, please send your advertisement with the appropriate print specifica tions and a check payable to Spelman College: The Blue Print to You may also mail your advertisements to: The Blue Print- A Spelman Spotlight Production Spelman College 350 Spelman Lane SW Campus Box 1577 Atlanta, GA 30314 If you have any questions, please contact Marli Crowe at (480) 277-4387 or the Office of the Dean of Students at (404) 270-5133.