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Boston-area campus news round-up, week of April 2: Talking about Trayvon

Posted by Alex Pearlman  April 6, 2012 02:39 PM

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man reading newspaper.jpgBoston is one big college town. What students are talking about and what's happening on the city's campuses matters. Every Friday, TNGG Boston will round up a few of the most interesting and well-written stories from student journalists across the area.

Over one month ago, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, a community watch coordinator in Sanford, Fla., shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black male, allegedly out of self-defense. The story and ongoing investigation have captured the nation’s attention and kicked up the dialogue on race in America.

Boston and Sanford may be on opposite ends of the East Coast, but that hasn’t stopped students at local schools from chiming in about the incident. Here’s what they were saying throughout this past week.

“Media guilty of crimes in Trayvon Martin case” (Emily Merlino, April 3) -- The Daily Collegian
Our country’s many media outlets have latched on to the story, seemingly talking about it as often as possible and (over-)analyzing every new detail that emerges. But Merlino isn’t so happy with all the coverage. “The media tends to crucify defendants prematurely, and while it is unlikely that information will surface that will prove Zimmerman innocent, it is still foolish of the media to find someone guilty before he has even been arrested,” she writes. “Like it or not, innocent until proven guilty is the procedure America’s judicial system is based on. To feed the American public embellished news is a crime in and of itself.”

“Raise awareness and find justice for Trayvon” (JV Souffrant, April 3) -- The Justice
Upon hearing the news of Martin’s death from a friend, Souffrant, a Black male who was raised in another small Florida town much like Sanford, writes that he found himself thinking that he could have been the victim of the same situation. “Every person of color in America is Trayvon Martin,” Souffrant writes. “He could have been us. Our dreams could have been taken away just like they were from this young man.”

“Trayvon Martin shooting calls for tolerance and equality around the country” (April 4) -- The Wellesley News
“The case of Trayvon Martin clearly demonstrates a need for a higher level of national discourse about racial tolerance,” the paper’s editorial staff write. They give a thorough overview of the case, reflecting on the roles that race, a less-than-perfect police investigation, and Florida’s “Stand your ground” law and lax gun laws have played. The writers conclude that “states with similar ‘Stand your ground’ laws should also reconsider implications of this legislation, and the United States as a whole should initiate more open dialogue to promote tolerance, increased gun control, and racial equality.”

“Race and tragedy collide” (Ardee Napolitano and Michelle Williams, April 5) -- The Daily Collegian
On Wednesday, UMass Amherst students and community members, dressed in hoodies and carrying Skittles and iced tea, took part in a rally and march, organized by the school’s Black Student Union, to demand justice for Martin. “No one is immune to patriarchy [and] racism,” former SGA president Yevin Roh told the crowd, according to Napolitano and Williams. “Of course some of us may benefit disproportionately, but at the end of the day, cancer is cancer, and we can’t just treat the symptoms.”

"Students Protest Trayvon Martin Killing With Photo Campaign" (Melanie A. Guzman, April 6) -- The Harvard Crimson
Harvard students are supporting The Million Hoodie Project, which encourages participants to use photos of themselves wearing hoodies to protest and raise awareness about Martin's death. “Imagery is such a poignant and fast way to have a person empathize with what you’re trying to tell them,” Harvard junior Nyamagaga Gondwe told Guzman. “A picture gives a person who sees it the opportunity to grapple with the situation themselves.”

Photo by Mark Fischer (Flickr)

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