The Cougar Chronicle

Students present research on whiteness to campus community

Stephany Mejia, News Editor

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Students discussed issues of redlining, minorities, Puerto Rico, immigration and U.S. representatives.

On Nov. 28 at the USU Ballroom, faculty from the Communications department hosted the annual Whiteness Forum. Students were divided into small groups, each presenting a different topic about whiteness.

A student table presented the topic of Black Lives Matter and all lives matter. The presenter said “Why are we so scared of black lives matter?” The group encouraged students to take an instant film photo to post on their poster board.

The presenters of the Supermarket redlining tabling said certain supermarkets are in certain areas forcing the local consumer to buy their products. The presenters said supermarkets in certain areas are privileged because they offer organic products.

The presenters at the Puerto Rico and Whiteness table gave students a quiz to test their knowledge about Puerto Rico. The presenter said that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they pay taxes but cannot vote for federal elections and they do not need visas to enter the U.S.

The presenter said the U.S. has the responsibility to help Puerto Rico in case of a disaster as it would to any other state in the U.S. because of the Stafford Act, which became a law in 1988.

According to the FEMA website the Stafford Act states, “‘United States’ means the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

The Build Bridges not Walls table had quizzes for student to test their knowledge about immigration. The student presenters said that in 2015, it was estimated most people from Canada overstayed their visas. The presenters said undocumented workers have a 10% contribution to the Social Security Trust Fund.

A group of students presented Whiteness in the Entertainment Industry. They focused mainly on whitewashing and stereotyping Asians in films.

Several tablings focused on the topic of U.S. representatives and President Donald Trump. The presenters displayed tweets that Trump has posted. They spoke about Trump not having reliable sources in his retweets.

All presentations were based on Communication 454 student research.

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