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What is American?

December 05, 2017

What is American?

The Beta Alpha Delta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa academic honorary at Central Community College-Hastings decided to find out.

Poster Define American

For a college project, they partnered with the D.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y. club to hold a Define American event on Nov. 16 on the Hastings Campus.

The Define American website says it’s a nonprofit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America.

In the spirit of Define American’s mission, the two campus groups invited students and staff and faculty members to stop by the Hall Student Union and write a few words answering the question, “What does American mean to you?”

As part of the day’s activities, the film, “Documented,” also was shown.

More than 70 individuals made the time to write down their definitions of “American,” and 25 people attended the film screening.

The Phi Theta Kappa organization requires the college project needed to be something that benefits the campus.

“From the very beginning the Beta Alpha Delta students were interested in some hot topics including climate change, gender inequality, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and sexual abuse and harassment,” said Lydia Lough, one of the chapter’s advisers.

The students finally decided to focus on DACA and how the act had been rescinded. They discussed their options for covering the topic and decided on raising awareness on campus.

“We found the Define American organization online during our discussion and loved it,” Lough said.

The chapter members also discovered that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln had a chapter, which they worked with to plan the event.

“Phi Theta Kappa’s main goal was to help make everyone feel like they belong here at CCC,” Lough said.