Education Department effort to combat racism on campus

By Lena O’Donnell

Visual Editor

On the evening of Thursday, Dec. 5, around 50 students and community members waited in the Farrell Room, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate, they wrote on cards to declare their commitments to combat racism. Students were busy writing before Rebecca Haslam, an assistant professor in the Education Department spoke up to introduce the discussion : “This all of our work, this is all of our problem, this impacts all of us,” Haslam said.

Photo by Lena O’Donnell
December 5 at 8:00 pm in the Farrell Room, (MIDDLE) Rebecca Haslam starts off the event with talking about racism and how there needs to be more done on this campus to fight it.

“We wanted to do something sooner rather than later in order to “show up” literally and metaphorically for Students of Color on campus,” Haslam said, before reading aloud an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr’s letter from Birmingham Jail. “We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied,” she said. After they stepped outside to the Teaching Gardens, where they spoke their commitment while lighting a candle.

Photo by Lena O’Donnell
Saint Michael’s College President Lorraine Sterritt wrote her commitment to make our campus more inclusive, welcoming, and accepting of all.

“It was great to see my peers take time out of their busy schedules to recognize and participate in the efforts the Ed department is making toward a more inclusive, welcoming, and aware community, said Mallory Bauer ‘21.

Connor Vezina ‘22 also came in support representing the Diversity Coalition. “I really appreciated what the Ed department did. I’ve been waiting for faculty to become more involved and I think this was a great first step to make the campus as a whole more aware that actions need to be taken,” said Vezina. 

Photo by Lena O’Donnell
Shaun Clem ’23 writes his commitment to combat racism in our community.

The event wrapped up with singing around their commitments that were placed on a string of lights. Elementary Ed Professor John Tapper led the singing while strumming his guitar. All the written commitments are displayed around the third floor of St. Eds.

Photos by Lena O’Donnell