By Evi Arthur
Roosevelt University is known for its mission of social justice and there are many ways that the school incorporates this mission. From Roosevelt’s many outreach programs to the social justice based classes available, Roosevelt makes social justice a big part of its curriculum.
Every spring semester, the SPEED programming board holds Social Justice Week – a week of different events for students that are all geared toward the University’s overall mission.
Social Justice Week, beginning April 9 and ending April 13, consisted of a drag show, a homeless kit workshop and a service day at a cruelty-free animal shelter. SPEED also hosted a few “dine and dialogue” events in which students could get together and discuss in depth the issues facing certain marginalized communities.
“That’s meant to kind of feed into the overall mission of the university, to address and provide a form and a space for students to continue with social justice and kind of define that,” Jose Marroquin, the director of the center for student involvement said.
All of the events were free and did not require signing up, except for the end-of-week service day.
SPEED board member, Kaylin Evans, a senior and a social justice major also specified the purpose was to “get students to spend a week getting involved in causes.”
Marroquin said another one of SPEED’s goals for the week was to help students to continue defining social justice for themselves and how it could “impact their careers long-term,” Marroquin said.
Jaclyn Cao, a freshman and an IMC major, who attended the drag show on Wednesday night in Congress Lounge, said the show was good.
“It was good for people who come from their hometowns that aren’t diverse and don’t have access to the LGBTQ+ community,” Cao said.
This sort of programming is what sets our SPEED board apart from those at other universities, in which the SPEED boards are mostly responsible for scheduling bands and comedians.
“Compared to other universities that I’ve worked at, it’s rare that the main programming board at the university has a social justice programming aspect for the whole entire week,” Marroquin said.
With this week of events, the SPEED board wanted to set itself apart from other universities whose student programming boards might only be focused on scheduling fun events for the student body.
Evans said it’s important for SPEED to engage students in social justice events. “It’s important that as a SPEED board, our events are not just geared toward having fun and going to see hypnotist, but making sure we’re getting our students the content they came to the school for.”