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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Don’t choose drinking over discussion

When I was 17, I poured my guts out to my high school student body in the school auditorium. For the annual speech competition, I wrote a parody of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” which took listeners on my up-and-down journey to embracing my Asian American identity. Presenting my speech to my predominantly white high school with a history of racial incidents was one of the scariest but most fulfilling moments of my life. I think about that moment every year when I sign up to attend Day of Dialogue, which provides a platform for students of all identities to speak about diversity, equity and inclusion.

Since Day of Dialogue was established after students demanded change from the university following a racial bias incident, students have been given the opportunity to attend comprehensive sessions hosted by their peers and faculty that provide education on the injustices many marginalized groups face. These sessions discuss a wide range of topics, from racial justice to celebrating neurodiversity. The day provides students with a plethora of opportunities to educate themselves and work toward creating a more inclusive environment. However, these opportunities are not always as valued as they should be.

Since I’ve been at St. Joe’s, I’ve noticed a trend where students decide to go out drinking the night before the Day of Dialogue to use it as a “hangover recovery day.” In other words, essentially viewing Day of Dialogue as a day where classes are canceled and nothing more. I consider this not only disrespectful to presenters, many of whom are discussing sensitive topics that personally impact them, but also a display of willful ignorance. It’s a conscious decision to turn a blind eye to the issues many students face daily, all in favor of having a couple of drinks on a weeknight. I find it hard to comprehend how students can label themselves as “allies” but refuse to take the necessary action to learn about the injustices they claim to condemn.

I have no control over the decisions of others, but at the risk of being called a “drag” by my peers, I ask students to seriously reflect on their choices. To consider waiting a couple of days to go out, like they do other weeks. To remember why Day of Dialogue is hosted in the first place. To acknowledge the privileges that come with their identities. To understand the implications of choosing drinking over discussion and alcohol over allyship.

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Hannah Pajtis
Hannah Pajtis, Features Editor
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