Tearing down prejudice one wall at a time

Brendan South, Staff Writer

“A melting pot of different cultures,” is the most succinct way to describe the student body at St. John’s University. You couldn’t point a finger at a single type or race of person and proclaim that that individual typifies the students at our large Queens campus. The diversity inevitably leads to young millennials who’ve grown up on different advice and cultures over the same stretch of time, molding each individual into their own character with their own idiosyncrasies.

The only downside to the aforementioned statement is the reduction of one’s individual character in order to make them fit a certain mold or stereotype that was created with hate as the primary objective.

Prejudice is a predominant issue in our world, and the political and social climates help perpetuate it. Pi Lambda Phi fraternity was alert at the pervasive injustice around the globe. Coupled with the diverse campus, the fraternity decided to spark a movement that has been its philanthropy since its conception: the “Elimination of Prejudice.”

Students and faculty gathered around the “Wall of Prejudice,” an ostentatious display of different profanities and derogatory phrases written in different colored ink on a large, white background. Racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and ageist words littered the board and brought a semblance of solidarity to our community.

“I feel like a lot of people have pent up anger within them, and this is a good wav to get it out your body anonymously,” said Jarrel Tonge, a student here at St. John’s University.

Emily Trinidad, a feminist, was angered when she was donning a shirt declaring her beliefs and a passerbyer said, “Don’t call yourself a feminist.” Thus, she took to the wall to express her distaste for such a heinous command.

Joe Armiento, the social chair for Pi Lambda Phi, said “I feel like the timing of this event signifies the importance of certain current events. College kids are the future here. They’re the ones who’re gonna make the most change, so it’s good to get everyone to start thinking about these important situations.”

The “Wall of Prejudice” is held annually, and typically kicks off the school year as one of the first Greek Life events on campus, giving incoming Freshman and transfer students an opportunity to see what Pi Lambda Phi and St. John’s is all about.

As Donte Codrington said, “Prejudice isn’t cool, man.”