By Elena Cruz, Reporter
RHA granted the African Interdisciplinary Studies Hub (AISH) $2575 after much deliberation, the money going toward their screening of The Forgotten Kingdom. This is one of the six movies in AISH’s African Film Series, and this is the first year the series is occurring.
“We think that it’s important for our students to have the opportunity to experience an entire continent. There’s no way we can do that in six films, but we’re going to attempt to do that in six films as well. So each one of them will show a different aspect of a person in a particular country as well,” said AISH director Nadège Uwase.
The films include Ota Benga, which screened on October 11 at the Ragtag Cinema, Queen of Katwe, Phone Swap, Beasts of No Nation to be seen in February, The Forgotten Kingdom in March and I Love Kuduro in April.
“We’re here to promote the study and understanding of Africa. And so we think the way to do that is through films, which is pretty fantastic. But we also want to recognize that we want to have a diversified and more inclusive campus,” Uwase said.
AISH is bringing in directors for each movie. They are going to both talk about the films after their screenings, and go into classrooms to discuss their work. This is where much of the RHA money is going.
“It’s so much more different. Imagine if you want to be an author and someone comes to your class and says, I’ve published a book, right? Now you can ask them all kinds of questions like, how did you work with the editor, how did you find a publisher, are you working on new stuff, what’s that going to be like?” Uwase said.
To sum it up, the goal of this event is to create inclusion. However RHA’s congress argued over whether or not it’s their job to fund the project.
“What happened was there was a strong opinion against the funding request and a strong opinion for the funding request. … We went over time so we extended that time to 10 minutes and during those 10 minutes there was a lot of back and forth; a lot of opinions thrown out which is what discussion is for. … This was a chance to promote inclusivity and diversity on our campus, which has obviously been a problem in the past,” said speaker of congress Emily Aiken.
However for Rollins Hall Operations Representative Clayton Powell and the students he represents, RHA should prioritize more important matters.
“I think RHA and everyone added a lot of fluff to this and tried to make it seem like it was a bigger thing than it really was. … I’m in Hudson, I went to about five floors, and I went to them, you know I gave them this, I said what do you think about this. And out of all of that, only one—I’ll give you that—everyone but that one person said what are you doing this isn’t the job of RHA,” Powell said.
The students have talked about wanting a change closer to home.
“Actually I got a complaint from someone, and they said why are we worrying about this, when by bathrooms aren’t cleaned every day or we’re constantly out of toilet paper,” Powell said.
Again though, RHA did grant the money of $2575. This was because the representatives looked at the campus’s big picture.
“I mean if we’re following our four core values, then yeah, every residence hall does its best to promote inclusivity and diversity, and because we’re using money from residents, they would—just because we passed this funding request—they would be promoting diversity and inclusion,” Aiken said.