Dear SMC: letters from SMC community

Dear SMC,
I went into this event with high expectations. Unfortunately, they were too high. The whole day felt chaotic, unorganized, and rushed. People didn’t know where they were going, what they were doing, and why they even bothered to show up in the first place. I knew this event was going downhill when the first group left to go to Alliot…and when I say left I mean go to their townhouses or dorms.

I was expecting to talk about the acts of racism on our campus…to have a dialogue between the students and the administrative staff. There was no conversation, no mention of the stickers, posters, and racist slurs incidences on campus, and no reassurance of future actions the administrative plans on taking, which was a missed opportunity. Students of color are angry and fed up with this negative campus climate. What is it going to take for students and staff to directly address the needs of our students of color?

What I want to happen going forward:

• Required curriculum within all departments that deals with social justice and critical theories such as race theories and anti-oppressive practice

• Improving campus safety by updating security cameras around campus

• Increase efforts to recruit students from diverse areas around the U.S.

• Implement annual anti-racism training during student orientation

Sarah Donahue ’20

Dear SMC,
The day of learning and diversity brings with it some questions as well as answers!

I feel as though many minorities were missed that could easily have been included and also struggling with many of the same issues!

I also feel that we have grown complacent with the status quo to the point that there were many that left early or didn’t participate at all.

I am proud of Saint Michael’s college for returning to its roots, being a community leader in diversity and equality. We have been reminded that this battle for equality is never over.

I think some guilt should lie in those that we’re able to participate and chose not to.

I think we can do better! There are so many voices that need to be heard!

As a minority, I say thank you to the Saint Michael’s community for giving me a place where I feel safe (safer). Thank you for reminding me that I can do better!

A very special thank you to Mohammed Soriano-Bilal for inclusion!

-Kinsey Whitford, HVAC/R technician

Dear SMC, I apologize To those who felt or feel hurt from the effect of the event on Tuesday, Jan. 18th; the day, which has gone by the names: Day of Reflection, The Day, Feb. 18th, and distastefully Diversity Day.

I, like ones similar to me, in terms of my presentation and what it affords me to, turned away from the undeniable systemic issue at hand–racism on our campus and within our systems.

What this day created was a splash in a pool that was still rippling. I said I would drop off, and not continue if administration decided there would be “a day.”

Instead, I felt unknowingly woven into an ugly bandage our administration keeps putting back on–repairing it, however each time it loses a bit of what made it function best before the damage. I apologize for the impact my work on the Steering Committee had on my friends, community members, campus, and beyond.

– Mallory Bauer ’22