ABINGTON, Pa. — About 60 Penn State Abington students, faculty and staff turned out last night — during the intense last week of classes leading up to finals — for a screening and discussion of the hit movie "Get Out" by Jordan Peele.
In the film, Peele interweaves the terrifying reality of racism with the horror genre, hoping to generate conversation about topics that are often ignored. And at Abington, it worked as Peele had hoped.
Jose Rodriguez is director of the campus Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which sponsored the event.
"It's not a horror movie at all. It deals with the complexities of how some people could be dealing with racial issues and how they see one another," he said.
"It shows issues that people face today in a very real and powerful way. The movie portrayed how history really hasn't changed," Rodriguez continued. "We are still dealing with power and privilege, exploitation, and the message that a group of people are dispensable to another group."
Rodriguez said the the dialogue among the campus community afterward was truly moving.
"The depth and thoughtfulness of the discussion was powerful, and many students had seen it multiple times," Rodriguez said. "The insight of all students of all backgrounds was incredible. We talked about the symbolism the messages in the film."
According to John Nguyen, assistant director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the discussion was thrilling.
"I am so impressed with the knowledge that our students have and their understanding of how this film relates to our society but going beyond and finder deeper meaning within the film," he said.
Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus. Lions Gate, our first residence hall, will open in August.