Bulldogs Against Hate, a new campus organization, was eager to create a sense of community during what many considered a tumultuous time given the inauguration of Donald Trump. The group organized an all day Sit In spanning from 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 20.
Sadie Red Wing, the coordinator of Creating a Passion for Learning with the Native American Student Program, said, “I’m really moved how the students are running this… There’s a good spirit and movement going on here by the students and I haven’t seen something like this before.”
The agenda included conversations led by Students Demanding Environmental Action (SEA), D.U.D.E.S, Safe Space Allies and more. The organizations addressed topics such as “Deconstructing Trump Era Masculinity,” “Taking our Fight and Passion to the Local Levels,” and “Our Bodies our Choice.”
One of the organizers, Junior Chey Morales noted that “the intention of the Sit In was really to get people together to give them a chance to speak their concerns, love, fear, etc. But mainly to form a community where we focus more on change rather than hate.”
Sophomore and organizer Talia Adams stressed the importance of collaborating in a physical space that provides comfort, solidarity, and a means for action.
“It’s important to physically be together because if we’re just in our rooms and all on [Facebook], it’s easy to get caught up in high stress emotion that may not be healthy for us, mentally and physically,” Adams said.
At the edge of the large room, different organizations, such as LUST (Learning and Understanding Sexuality Together) and Planned Parenthood, tabled to bring awareness to resources available to students. The Center for Gender Justice had spraypaint and stencils for participants to create their own t-shirts.
Juniors Zoe Price and junior Alyssa Ayala, both interns of the Center for Gender Justice, and freshman Ridha Kapoor cut plastic sheets as stencils, one of which said “pussy grabs back”. Price commented that “giving people something they can take away and wear as long as they [felt] it [was] applicable” could offer a more “hands-on” experience. Price continued, “I can do something with my hands, spray paint some curse words or whatever.” She quickly added, “Not that ‘pussy’ is a bad word.”
Despite extensive planning, the event did not go as hoped. Given the continual downpour drenching California, the group relocated to the Orton Center leaving the Bulldogs Against Hate without the exposure that they had been counting on at their original location, the University Quad. Sparse attendance on Thursday led to the events cancellation on Friday. Regardless, attendees and organizers viewed the experience as a learning opportunity. Attendees, such as Kapoor, left the event eager to share new knowledge with those who were unable to attend. Despite a low turnout, Bulldogs Against Hate said they remains hopeful.
“We learned what works and what doesn’t. So we can do this successfully next time and improve publicity,” said junior, Hope Holtum, member of Bulldogs Against Hate.