The week of Valentines brought more than just chocolates and roses. Students from all corners took part in Challenge Day, a day-long interactive workshop aimed at invoking in students a greater sense of connectedness, empathy, and inclusivity.
The activity itself was split into two, with upperclassmen and underclassmen participating on separate days. The purpose of it being to address the likes of bullying, sexism, violence, homophobia, and racism among more by having students participate in various activities and exercises throughout the day.
Among those completed was “cross the line,” an activity that means to acknowledge diversity among students by exploring background and experience. The instructions are simple, statements are read aloud, depending on whether you agree or disagree with the statement, you take a step either forward or back. The subject of the statements read can range from racial background to hardships faced. With the end goal being to have students acknowledge the different struggles others have or may faced.
Due to the nature of the program, students are prohibited from speaking about the events of the day; what happens in Challenge Day stays in Challenge Day.
Hannah Watkins, a senior who partook in the day, described the events as being, “a day filled with getting to know how everyone goes through similar struggles in life.” Adding that, “Challenge day taught me that no matter how much you think you know someone, there are always new things to learn about them,” “everyone goes through their own battles, whether you can see it or not.” Citing that the experience left her anew, “This changed my perspective on others by thinking twice before judging someone because you may never know what a person is going through.”
Above all, Challenge Day is a day dedicated to learning to better understand those around. Tearing down the walls of separation among us all, and in place leaving only newfound levels of respect, understanding, trust, and communication.