By Mallory Bauer
As stated by the National Center for Student Statistics, 8 in 10 students at Saint Mike’s identify as White. Are 80% of students not going to speak up to support the safety and honor the humanity of 20% of our students? It is no lie when I say – we should all be scared.
There is a threat on campus. Are you scared? Well it’s not scaring all of us.
Fortunately, 8 out of 10 students are able to walk out of our dorms each morning, let the door slam, and walk on our way to class with our headphones in and the volume up.
Unfortunately, 2 out of 10 of us are afraid to walk out our door, afraid the person we walk by on our way to class might want us dead and are willing to take action, afraid that if we do not lock our door in the bathroom tight, we too could be the next target. Some Saint Mike’s students are living in fear.
Not all students have the privilege to simply talk about racist issues when they arise every now and then. Instead, racism is their daily reality. Not all students feel safe on campus. Not all students are feeling protected by administration, Public Safety, faculty, or the student body.
If 8 out of 10 students spoke out for the safety of the community, would there be a change?
Why do 8 out of 10 students relax, lean on their privilege, and pursue no change for the safety of the 2 of 10 students who are currently not safe on campus? If all of us are not safe, then we are not safe. I call upon folks like myself, to become a critical mass. Your voice matters, and together we can influence change for the safety of the community as a whole. In the words adapted from Emma Lazarus: None of us are free until all of us are free. *And this freedom is achieved by critical discussions between students, faculty, Public Safety, administration and peers alike.
I write to update my previous statement and to thank President Sterritt for her conscientious efforts to highlight student voice in the face of the recent racism on campus.
To that, I respond with the request to enact an extension of the threat response alert system, to include bias response alerts. Additionally, in an effort to unite us further, I ask Public Safety officials to make a greater attempt to connect to the campus community, by joining us for lunch in Alliot and offering their time for conversation with us.
Furthermore, I ask for upgraded and functioning security in all buildings to better ensure our safety. Lastly, I ask us to be active and engaged members of a community in need of understanding and respect for one and other. I look forward to the changes St. Mike’s students will implement with the support of our whole campus.
Mallory Bauer ‘21 is a Psychology major from West Dover, VT.