Mount Student Seeks to Foster Open Dialogue with Peers on Social Justice
When Aaron Cruz ’18 decided to create The Introspect, a student organization focused on social justice, he sought to fill what he believed was a void in the discourse surrounding social issues on campus.
“There hasn’t always been a lot of open discussion on social justice and similar topics at the Mount because I think some students feel they might not be heard if they have a different opinion,” Mr. Cruz said. “I wanted to provide a platform for students to be able to express themselves in a safe, civil, non-judgmental environment.”
With a special focus on race, class, religion, justice, and gender, Mr. Cruz hopes to ignite student discussion in an exciting new way. The Introspect also features a digital journal of the same name. Students are encouraged to submit their work.
Mr. Cruz’s idea for The Introspect came after Mount President Charles L. Flynn Jr. released a statement to the College community in November 2015 on the debate surrounding legacy symbols of racism and justice. In his statement, President Flynn said the “debates call us to reexamine both our country’s fundamental ideal of equality and our original sin of genocide, slavery, and bigotry.” He encouraged the College community to “participate actively” in the national discussion.
“I decided to do something,” Mr. Cruz said.
According to its mission statement, The Introspect’s goal is to create “an empowering environment for people to express themselves openly and with civility on pertinent issues of the day, from climate change to Black Lives Matter (BLM).” It welcomes “spirited—but respectful—debate.”
“We also want to attract students who might want to learn more about an issue of personal value to them so they can better articulate their ideas,” Mr. Cruz said.
In addition to the journal, Mr. Cruz said The Introspect plans to host forums and academic lectures on various social justice issues. “We are just getting started,” he said. “I hope The Introspect will continue long after I graduate.”
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.