As knowledge of Jacksonville State University’s contract renewal with Sodexo’s food service has become public, I have noticed a worrying trend in the attitude cultivated by JSU’s officials. As of this fall semester, JSU’s undergraduate student enrollment is the highest it’s been since 2012, and JSU officials are motivated to appeal to this expanding student body by creating an environment in which the students feel content. But, I believe JSU officials misunderstand what is genuinely valuable to a collegiate.
With National Hazing Prevention Week behind us, celebrated at JSU from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, it’s important to maintain continuous awareness of the danger hazing poses, both to communities and an individual, in order to spread resources and knowledge about the risks of hazing.
On the evening of April 2, Jacksonville State University held an assembly in Leone Cole Auditorium in remembrance of the Holocaust and those who were lost because of it.
The program, which is usually an annual event for JSU, was held for the first time since 2017 due to the March 19, 2018 tornadoes causing campus to close.It was the first time since 1982 the event was not held at Jacksonville State.
The event is meant to help keep history alive as well as educating JSU students about the Holocaust.
“Every year, the Jacksonville State University Holocaust Remembrance Committee strives to retell the stories of the Holocaust to keep the voices from the past alive,” JSU’s website explains.
After the ceremony was introduced by Kasey Gamble, president of the university’s Student Government Association, winners of the Imagining the Holocaust Writing contest for high school and middle school students read excerpts of their work.
Second-generation Holocaust survivor Eli Pinhas spoke to the audience, telling stories of his family’s experience.
Pinhas’s talk began by detailing Jewish oppression through European history leading up to the Holocaust. Pinhas detailed the occupation of Greece during World War II and how it’s Jews were treated by the occupying German forces, abused, their homes taken, and eventually carted away to death camps outside of Greece.
Pinhas’s father, Morris, managed to escape by going to Athens, which was occupied by the Italians at the time. After Morris met Matilda, Eli’s mother, the two immigrated to the United States.
Pinhas was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but most of his extended family still resides in Thessaloniki, Greece.
In a presentation entitled “Retaking Our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation,” speaker Tim Mousseau presented the realities of sexual assault on a university campus to Jacksonville State University students at Pete Matthews Coliseum on Tuesday.
Mousseau, an activist and advocate for victims of sexual assault, has spoken professionally for five years, delivering over 300 keynotes, many on college campuses through an organization called CAMPUSPEAK, an organization that arranges and promotes speakers on college campuses.
“Using powerful stories grounded in personal experiences, Tim Mousseau uses his passion and vulnerability to guide conversations that will leave students inspired to combat sexual violence, redefine masculinity, and provoke change,” says Mousseaus’s web page on CAMPUSPEAK.
Mousseau’s speech opened with a story of his own victimhood of a sexual assault: a story in which he was stalked for a lengthy period of time and sent letters by an unknown sender that contained photos of his own, unremembered, sexual assault while he was intoxicated. Mousseau explained society-at-large’s poor reaction to him as a male sexual assault survivor.
“As a male survivor of sexual violence and severe sexual harassment, it is my mission to ensure no one has to experience what I went through,” Mousseau says. “It is my mission to redefine how our companies, leaders, and employees create workplaces welcoming to all and devoid of harassment.”
Mousseau also gave advice on tackling sexual assault and preventing sexual violence, envisioning the creation of a culture where people (especially other men) treat sexual assault and its survivors with due respect, creating a consent-based narrative around sex positivity, and listening to the stories of victims of sexual violence.
“When I say that we are going to retake our story, what I mean is that we are going to change the way we are having conversations around this topic, because right now the way that we talk about this conversation is wrong,” Mousseau said.