Social justice goes digital

Jane Rosa ‘18 and Alex Bell ‘18, co-editors-in-chief, promote their new social justice blog, StandUp. [Photo courtesy of StandUp Lafayette]

Students launch StandUp, a blog on social issues on campus

After weeks of promotion through Facebook and Instagram postings, StandUp, Lafayette’s first social justice blog, officially launched their website on last Monday.

With almost 600 likes on Facebook, it has reached about one quarter of Lafayette’s campus. But many more still don’t know what it is.

StandUp’s mission is “to create and maintain a safe, honest, and regular online blog forum for Lafayette students to submit their thought-provoking and personal pieces that promote, discuss, and inspire social justice on our campus and in the world.”

StandUp’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Alex Bell ’18 came to Lafayette looking for a feminist E-magazine. Through conversations last semester with Director of Gender and Sexuality Programs Gene Kelly and now Co-Editor-In-Chief of StandUp Jane Rosa ‘18, StandUp found itself with a logo and a timeline for launch.

StandUp encourages posts of all kinds: podcasts, videos, poems, essays and photos. All are welcome as long as they concern a social justice issue. Submissions can come from anyone within the Lafayette community whether it is a student, faculty or staff member.

Their current posts include responses to documentaries “India’s Daughter” and “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”, a post about body ideals, and series entitled “Dear Anonymous Yik Yak-er”.

Some students find the Yik Yak feature to be a useful tool for starting constructive dialogues concerning the community’s use of the social media app.

“It’s a good way to address anonymous bullying,” Alex Jacinto ‘16 said.

Others doubt the need for StandUp in the Lafayette community.

“What major issues does StandUp see Lafayette having to feel the need to start a blog?” Steven Mercado ’16 asked.

While Steven Bezer ‘15 finds social media to be a great way to bring awareness to certain social issues, he finds it insufficient for holding the in-depth discussions that are needed.

“It [social media] gives ignorant people too much leverage in a conversation, because they are able to hide behind a screen and spark unnecessary fights that would not be taking place if it were in person,” he said. He instead suggests that StandUp host open forum discussions.

Ashley Rodriguez ‘18 also expressed a desire for more visible social justice action.

“I’m fearful it’s not going to be as powerful as I want it to be,” Rodriguez said.

With StandUp in its infancy, the club is looking to partner with other clubs and organizations. They are looking to promote events dealing with social justice events through their webpage and are eager to welcome more ideas.

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