What is Privilege?

Privilege is defined as “a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed by a person beyond the advantages of most.” This video shows an exercise that people from different backgrounds experienced together to explore how privilege, or lack thereof, has affected their lives.

This video shows that privilege is not always clean cut or what people expect. A white woman may not have to be particularly afraid of the police, but she may have to be afraid of harassment holding her girlfriend’s hand in public. A person of color may be privileged with a comfortable socio-economic status, but they may be paid less for their work just because of their ethnicity. A man is not likely to be sexually assaulted at the rates that women are, but when he develops a mental illness he is also not as likely to seek and receive treatment. Each individual is different but these privileges reveal wide patterns across society.

When we talk about privilege, it’s important to know the difference between being underprivileged and over-privileged. It is not enough to support underprivileged people in ascending to a higher place in society. Privileged people must also use their position to denounce over-privilege. Every time someone receives an unearned benefit, someone else is receiving an unearned hardship for something they cannot help. Ask yourself how you are privileged in your own life and educate yourself about it. Find out how you can help dismantle the structures and ideologies in place that benefit some at the expense of others. To not take this action means consenting to inequality.

Steubenville at Hofstra

I attended the theatrical reenactment, Steubenville. Steubenville is a town in in Ohio and it is where the first live-tweeted rape in America took place. It took place at a high school football party in 2012. The theatrical event consisted of public reading of the trial transcripts and video interviews from students at Hofstra University based on empowerment and safety. This event was interactive with the audience. There were moments where the audience was able to anonymously text their feelings about what was reenacted. It was a creative way to keep the audience engaged and show others opinions on the matter being discussed.  

I am glad that attended this event. I did not know about this case until I attended the program. During 2012, I was still in high school so it made me reflect on the chances that this could have happened to me or anyone else in my high school. It is unfortunate that this happened to someone and that people made it go public using social media. To wake up and not know anything that happened the night before can be a horrific event. She had to find out through the Internet and people about what happened to her the night before.

This program helped me learn that people have different definitions of what consent and rape is. We should all educate ourselves on the true definitions of these words. I saw that the Hofstra community came together and shared an experience that informed us about rape culture in our society. This was an educational and informative program of what occurred in Steubenville, Ohio. It was a reminder of what goes on in America and how an event can change your entire life. I believe that Hofstra should continue to host programs like Steubenville in order to educate the community and bring awareness about different issues.

~Joandalys Tejada

A Student’s Perspective on #HofDebate16: One student’s take on politics, protests, and pandemonium



Monday, September 26th was a landmark day for Hofstra University. 84 million viewers across the United States tuned in to see the two presidential candidates stand-off for the first time this election season, and as many Hofstra students know, this happened right inside the Mack Arena on their campus. This marked history for the university, which is the only site to host three consecutive presidential debates. The Center for Civic Engagement interviewed Danielle Ribaudo, a junior Hofstra student, to learn more about the atmosphere the day of the debate.

How did you spend your debate day, Danielle?

D: I got out on campus early and stayed out all day. There was so much to do! Between Issue Alley, all of the news crews and media stages, and viewing parties, there was so much going on on campus.

It looks like you worked very hard on your sign! Did you make it on any of the TV networks?

D: Yes! Early in the day I made it into the background of an MSNBC broadcast.

14500214_1822279278052760_370773977403496786_oHow do you think students handled the politically charged atmosphere? Was there a lot of tension?

D: Actually, I think that one of the great things about debate day was that no one got angry at each other for their political views. Hofstra came together as a community to really enjoy the day and the excitement of the atmosphere, and everyone understood that we may have different political views, but we’re all a part of the same family.

Did you see any protesting on or around campus?

D: Yes, I did see some protesting, but everything that I saw was peaceful and it was great that the community in and around Hofstra was getting involved in current issues.

14480569_1822836311330390_706917410091800256_oWhat was the highlight of your day?

D: I got to see Anderson Cooper in person! He’s one of my idols.

Will you be voting in November?

D: Of course! Everyone should vote in November because that’s the real opportunity to make your voice heard.