Contact: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Miss.—As people across America come to terms with recent tragic events that have dominated news headlines, Mississippi State University’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center hosted a community circle forum Friday afternoon [July 8] to allow members of the MSU community a space to process their thoughts and feelings.
A diverse group of students, faculty and staff attended the event, which was held in the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center office in the Colvard Student Union. MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Young Hyatt said staff members suggested providing a forum where students could be together, be heard and be understood as they process what is happening in the world.
“I think it’s important that we give space for students to live with their feelings instead of always pushing through and pretending like things aren’t hurtful or painful,” Hyatt said.
Conversations in Friday’s forum focused on recent officer-involved shootings, ways to create change within local and national communities, as well as ways to increase understanding of different cultures and personal perspectives. Hyatt commended the work of student groups that are speaking out against the injustices they see in society.
Mydarian Booker, a senior secondary education major and student coordinator of the Peers Assisting With Students (PAWS) program, said he attended Friday’s forum so he could hear how his peers felt and use their insights when forming his own opinions on issues facing America.
“I think what’s most beneficial about this is being able to see that faculty and staff at Mississippi State University care enough to have these conversations and show students that they are here and have their best interests at heart,” Booker said.
Hyatt noted that in addition to the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, which supports students of all identities, there are student organizations on campus that support specific identities and perspectives with which students identify. Additionally, MSU’s Office of Student Support Services, Student Counseling Center and Longest Student Health Center are available as resources for students.
“There are all sorts of places where students can go to seek out not just support, but also resources and places to get information about the questions they have,” Hyatt said.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.