The Humane Society needs our support year-round to avoid financial crisis

In November, the Brookings Humane Society made their financial struggles known to the public. If they couldn’t raise enough funds, the Humane Society feared their doors would close by the end of the month.

After a few weeks, the Brookings community raised enough money to support the Humane Society through February, until their next major fundraising event.

We, at The Collegian, were thrilled to see our community come together and support the Humane Society. However, we hope this is not the end of strong community support for the Humane Society. We hope to see these efforts continue.

The Brookings Humane Society is operating with less money and they need our consistent support now more than ever. Brookings City Council awards an annual grant to help the Humane Society operate, but this year that funding was cut.

Now, the Humane Society heavily relies upon community support, donations and their monthly fundraising events. These events, usually partnering with local businesses, are a great time to help support the Humane Society as well as get to know their staff and other community members. Sometimes, you might even get to meet some of the furry dwellers of the Humane Society.

The Humane Society is well-integrated into our community through their partnerships with businesses for fundraising and their cheerful presence at public events. A humane society is an integral part of any community, because they lessen the number of stray animals, as well as vaccinate and spay and neuter animals.

But the Brookings Humane Society goes above and beyond those services and is a particularly special part of our community. They support our students by bringing animals to socialize with us on Main Street in The Union during Midterms and Finals Week. They can also be found at the Farmer’s Market during the summer.

Considering their tireless work to support our community and care for our animals, the least we can do is offer our support in return.

For our staff, the Humane Society is where our pets have come from. It’s where we go when we are stressed and want the emotional relief our furry friends bring.

We, at The Collegian, encourage others on campus and in the community to remember the Humane Society, not just when they are in times of need, but always. As a staff, we hope to do our part and support them in the future, and we hope others will make this commitment, too.

Whether you donate HyVee receipts, dog food, cat litter, an hour of your time, or some spare cash, the Humane Society is grateful for community support and they depend on us to help our animals thrive.

ROTC’s space is being infringed upon

In 1965, South Dakota State and the Army forged a contract stating that the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program requires offices, storage rooms, a gym floor and classrooms used exclusively by the program.

Since then, SDSU has impeded upon that contract at least three times.

Most recently, by drilling into the floor of the gym in DePuy Military Hall and setting up cubicles for the Department of Economics.

Now, when ROTC needs to complete necessary training, they jump through hoops to complete standard practices in their program.

ROTC needs special permission to bring training equipment to athletics facilities, like the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex (SJAC), and they also must be escorted by the University Police Department to bring training materials there — all while having a facility of their own that regularly isn’t their own.

We, at The Collegian, understand there are growing pains during construction, renovations and expansions our university is experiencing right now. However, we also feel there must be a better solution to prioritize the cadets who will be the future military leaders of our country.

At the very least, we feel our university should be able to uphold their agreement to provide the facilities and resources necessary to train cadets.

Ideally, our Editorial Board feels the next fancy new facility on our campus should be for ROTC.

Realistically, we believe ROTC deserves to have their space to themselves.

We believe the Department of Economics department could have been given a better temporary home than a gym.

We believe drilling holes into the gym floor and setting up cubicles and computers in the only training facility ROTC has is shameful.

We also believe ROTC deserves more autonomy in decisions about their facilities.

When the university works to update its contract with the Army soon, we, at The Collegian, hope ROTC gets to call the shots on their own program and their own facilities.

At the least, we hope ROTC will be shown the respect it deserves and has earned.

Exercise cultural and social awareness in selecting a Halloween costume

We’ve all seen it.

A girl in a faux leather dress and a Native American headdress.

A guy in blackface.

Someone else dressed like Jesus or a Muslim person.

Halloween is a time for creativity and fun — to dress up as a character or object and celebrate the spooky season. It, however, is not a time to play dress up with someone’s identity, culture, religion or sexual orientation.

While many often argue it can be considered a sign of respect to dress up in a costume portraying another culture or religion, we, at The Collegian, disagree. Others may say, “It’s just a costume, don’t take it so seriously.”

But a costume inherently makes a caricature out of something. It trivializes important aspects of their culture or religion.

Semehar Ghebrekidan is a graduate administrative assistant for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access. She recently created an online graphic for the office: “Do’s and Don’t’s for Halloween,” a guide to dressing for Halloween appropriately and respectfully.

“A costume is not a skin color. It’s not a culture,” Ghebrekidan said. “This is a matter of appropriation — it’s about making those things into a costume when they’re a part of someone’s identity.”

An important factor to consider when choosing a costume is whether or not the portrayed identity is a member of a culturally or socially oppressed group.

For example, a five-year-old girl dressing as her favorite minority Disney princess, regardless of the little girl’s race, is not a situation of cultural appropriation or belittling of the minority group of that princess.

Ghebrekidan also said this doesn’t mean a white man cannot dress as Drake, his favorite rapper, just because the man is not black. But he can do it in a way that does not degrade Drake as an African-American man.

That is, the man should find a way to portray himself as Drake without needing to do blackface.

We believe one of the biggest problems with inappropriate Halloween costumes is that people often do not consider what impact their costume may have.

Additionally, retailers selling Halloween costumes should be held accountable for the products they market. Seeing a costume appropriating another culture in Walmart or on Amazon normalizes that behavior and makes it seem commonplace and acceptable.

It isn’t.

Dressing up as “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” isn’t acceptable.

Yes, he is a movie character, but he is representing a race of six million people killed during World War II.

Dressing as a Native American person isn’t acceptable.

Yes, they were characters in old Hollywood films, but that costume represents thousands of lives taken, land desecrated and decades of cultural oppression.

We, at The Collegian, urge everyone to carefully consider the potential impact of their Halloween costume this year. We all have the same goal: to enjoy Halloween in creative attire.

Just don’t play dress up with a person’s identity this Halloween.