Students urged to reflect on their actions during forum

Shadezja Garrett, Staff Reporter

Members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated urged students to reflect on the consequences of their actions at the “Think Before You Shoot” forum Monday night.

Students gathered in Lumpkin Auditorium and learned about the “Think Before You Shoot” initiative, started by Anthony J. Sturdivant, creator and writer for the initiative, which also goes by #TB4YS.

This forum was the kickoff to their annual Kappa Week, which is a week full of events sponsored by the fraternity that encourage involvement and socialization amongst students on campus.

The men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated used statistics and videos to get their message across about the negative effects of inner city violence.

In Sturdivant’s #TB4YS Challenge video, Sturdivant challenges the viewers to join the movement and spread the message of anti-violence in cities like Chicago, where Sturdivant said innocent lives are being lost to senseless murders by citizens who do not think before they act.

Marvin Collins, a senior communication studies major, said students should be more knowledgeable of their surroundings, as well as the decisions they make and what consequences could follow from them.

“(A) majority of the black students here at Eastern come from East St. Louis or Chicago, and we need to stay strong and unified in the fight to reverse the cycle of black-on-black violence,” Collins said.

The forum featured small video clips of different scenarios in which a firearm was used against another individual. The first portion of the clips displayed what could happen when a person does not think about their actions, but only seeks revenge or payback.

The second half of the clips showed alternative solutions to the previous situations, showing the positives that come from thinking before acting.

“If we are going to be leaders of tomorrow, then we need to reach one and teach one to further help our youth,” Collins said.

Collins said he wanted the audience to gain knowledge they can use to progress the fight against violence.

“I feel the movement is stagnant, and although it is important to keep pushing, I feel our generation is more than capable to come (up) with new and innovative ways to spread the message and to get the next generation more involved,” Collins said.

Malcolm Miller, a junior communication studies major, said the event was a huge success overall and hopes the support for Kappa Week continues to be as great as it was at the forum.

“This forum was to not only raise awareness, but to also encourage students to go back into their communities and share the knowledge gained here, so that the message continues to spread and, hopefully, impact the communities we live in,” Miller said.

The week’s events include a Family Feud game, bowling, social events, and the annual Greek Stroll-Off competition on Saturday.

“The members have worked very hard since winter break to plan events that students will enjoy, especially since we are getting ready to end the school year,” Collins said. “We just want to end it on a high note.”


Shadezja Garrett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]