By Kaitlyn Williams

Online Editor

I sat down for the first class of the semester. I was ready to learn and prepare for a class of listening to the syllabus. After a rough previous semester with my mental health, I was ready to start anew with a fresh positive look. Then the professor called my name and accompanied it with a “You have lost a lot of weight”. Immediately, my stomach sunk.

Despite how good the intentions of the professor may have been, the damage had been done. I felt a wave of anxiety surge through me, reminding me of all the things I hated about my body. Self-consciousness rose as I began to think about what my classmates made of the comment. Had they all been thinking that too? Did I look bad before? Was it that noticeable?

Without knowing it, this professor resurfaced years of anxieties that have grown with me. I have struggled with an eating disorder since I was 15 years old.

Eating disorders aren’t always something that you are able to see, and you never know who may or may not be suffering from one. At the time of the comment, I had been eating very little due to severe anxiety that squelched my appetite along with times of binging and purging.

The professor went on to call other names, but meanwhile, my discomfort kept growing throughout the class, and I struggled silently with an anxiety attack trying to understand why the prof thought that it was appropriate to say that to me in front of a class.

Making comments about someone’s weight is off-limits. This professor remains one of my favorites, but that does not change the fact that what she said was not acceptable and will never be acceptable – especially coming from a professor in a classroom that this college tries to make a safe space.

I remember the first time someone commented on my weight in high school. After losing a lot of weight, another girl in the hallway stopped me and told me I looked great and asked if I had lost weight. At the time I was flattered and satisfied that someone noticed that I had lost weight, but at the same time that encouraged my eating disorder to go even further. Complimenting some- one’s weight loss is something that you shouldn’t do as you don’t know what someone has been through.
In society, there is so much pressure to look a certain way. Media portrays the idea of an ideal body where you have to be thin — but not too thin — and curvy — but not too curvy. These are unrealistic standards that are constantly put on both men and women for their bodies. Media encourages eat- ing disorders through seeing the lives of social media stars and also constant photoshopped images appearing in your feed. I’ve seen it not only affect me but my friends. While scrolling through their Instagrams I’ll hear them say “she’s so pretty”, or “wow I wish I could have her body”. When I try to tell them that they look great the way they are they just refute it because they don’t look like this person that they deem the ideal.

I know that it is not realistic to believe that social media will change overnight, but I don’t think that it is ridiculous to hope that as a society we can take steps to change things for the better. If everyone is a little bit more mindful of what they say, the world could be a much more friendly place for everyone.

By Laura Hardin

Staff Writer

Can you think back to a time when you could not fall asleep but instead find yourself staring between the ceiling and the clock, frustrated and waiting for sleep to come? For some people, this is a nightly occurrence. For many people with insomnia, your mind knows that it is tired, but your body cannot seem to sleep. To Alex Muskat ’20, it is “being really tired but wide awake at the same time.”

A tired student desperately attempts to count sheep in order to get some sleep, but due to insomnia, counting sheep just isn’t working for him as the clock strikes 3 o’clock

So, just how many college students really suffer from insomnia? According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 9.5 percent of university students across the country are diagnosed with chronic insomnia and an estimated 38.2 percent suffer from insomnia but go undiagnosed. A separate study from The US National Library of Medicine found that three out of five college students in the US suffer from chronic fatigue.

Liam Galvin ‘20, knows insomnia. “A bunch of people suffer from sleep related issues, but they do not really notice them, or they consider them to be not as big of a deal as they should. In specific, I think that a bunch of people have very unhealthy sleep schedules that lead them to binge sleeping. They push themselves not to sleep and then have to keep up with sleep debt. The issue with those kinds of habits is that they are way harder to break than any negative short-term issues that sleep debt might cause,” Galvin says.

We all know that sleep is very important, but you still may be wondering, “why should I care about my poor sleeping habits?” On February 17, Albert S. Hardy, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, gave a lecture at Saint Michael’s College on insomnia and the dangers of poor sleeping habits. He said you cannot make up for that lost time of sleep and lack of sleep can be very dangerous.

“If you are awake for 19 hours, you have the same performance behind the wheel as someone who is legally drunk,” Hardy explained during his lecture, “the cost of this to society is huge, there are over 1.2 million sleep deprivation related accidents a year.”

Cognitive abilities are not the only thing affected by sleep deprivation; cardiovascular effects from sleep deprivation are also a big problem. “During daylight savings time when we spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, 1.5 million people have a spike in heart attacks,” Hardy said. “When we gain an hour in the fall, that number falls.” Sleep deprivation can have drastic effects on your health. Seek help if you suffer from sleep deprivation. In the end, “Any medical condition that warrants accommodations can be granted, pending approval from your primary care provider,” states Damir Alisa from the Bergeron Wellness Center.

By Vicky Castillo

Contributing Writer

Firstly, I want to express how grateful I am to go to a school where certain individuals within administration are not only dedicated to fulfilling students’ needs and addressing our concerns, but who are also doing their best to organize events and implement structural changes within the college.

That being said, there is plenty of room for improvement since many of our students of color feel like not enough is being done to make them feel safe, valued, and welcomed on this campus.

One of my largest criticisms of the Day of Learning and Reflection, Feb. 18, 2020 is that seemed to be focused on educating white students about racism, which sort of alienated students of color who felt that this day was not for them and that they had nothing to learn from it; nor did it make a difference in celebrating diversity or addressing the concrete issues of racism that occur and have occurred on campus. One major improvement would be making sure students of color are extensively involved in the planning process of major events like these, and not just the few students of color who are on the Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, because they cannot speak for all of their peers.

Although it is not the responsibility of students of color to be on the front lines educating our white students and faculty about racism, we still must be open to working together against racism. Yet, I need to stress the importance of white students understanding the daily struggle of being a student of color on a campus in which 82% of the student body and 90% of faculty and staff are white, and the impact it would have on our entire campus culture if white students and faculty were cognizant of the racism that does exist on campus and were committed to not only working on their own biases and education, but were committed to standing up for one another when microaggressions and other subtle manifestations of racism occur.

You only have to be aware, kind, and courageous enough to speak up. I think that is something everyone is capable of.

Vicky Castillo ’20 is a member of the Civil Rights Alliance.

By Ashley DeLeon

Contributing Writer

On behalf of the Martin Luther King Jr. Society of Saint Michael’s College, we would like to publicize our outrage and disapproval of the use of a derogatory racial reference during the campus-wide Day of Reflection.

On Tuesday, February 18, during the second workshop hosted by the Center for Peace and Justice located in Burlington, Vermont, a staff member used a deeply offensive epithet to a crowd of hundreds gathered in the gym of the Ross Sports Center. This occurred minutes after facilitators outlined the parameters of acceptable and prohibited language for the duration of the workshop. When the staff member uttered the racist term, there was an underwhelming response.

Many students of color have been deeply and emotionally wounded by this incident. Moreover, the disappointing response and lack of intervention worsened its magnitude and manifested angry reactions from many organizations within the Center for
Multicultural Affairs & Services.

This action is antithetical to our mission of promoting racial equity and inclusion within our campus community. We recognize the gravity of this incident and are taking onward action to ensure that students of color are properly represented when the issue is addressed by the College administration. We do not promote, accept, or give credence to this act of racist behavior, and more broadly, any acts of
racism, hatred, and inequality. Furthermore, as students of color are continuously targeted for acts of hatred and racism on campus, we are using this incident as an opportunity to pressure administrative forces to prioritize our exigencies. Paired with the demands of the Student Government Association, we collaboratively strive for equity on this campus and will not cease our demanding pressures until definitive actions are taken to justify this incident.

As stated by the president of the MLK Jr. Society, Jaron Bernire ‘21, “One of MLK Jr. Society’s goals is to have students interact with problems discussing race alienation on our campus; to speak up for someone who doesn’t feel like their voice will be heard is what we enjoy doing the most, and to make every race feel equal on this campus. Bernire further emphasizes that ceasing efforts to work towards equality would represent a failure. However, the campus must worry not, as our efforts will never cease to exist. Vice President, Kayla Erb ‘22, recognizes the profundity of this incident and is actively guiding the response of the MLK Jr. Society, never settling for less than the rightful means of justification.

On behalf of the MLK Jr. society, we would like you to understand that we are emphatically responding to this issue and are taking forceful actions to justify this injustice. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”

Ashley DeLeon ‘22 is a member of the MLK Society at St. Michael’s College.

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

By Abby Gallagher

Staff Writer

St. Michael’s College has big shoes to fill after Moise St. Louis has moved onto a new job. Moise made his mark as an influential and inspiring professor, colleague, mentor, and friend of many.

After 15+ years teaching at St. Michael’s, St. Louis accepted a new position at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. St. Louis had a huge impact bringing our community closer together.

He served as the Associate Dean of Students as well as Director of the Center of Multicultural Affairs and Services (CMAS). St. Louis organized a variety of activities that allowed students and faculty to explore diversity and inclusion, not only on our campus, but for life after college. “He was always willing to give his time, always willing to have a conversation and always willing to help. I would say students appreciated his guidance and looked to him for help when times were not as optimistic,” said Kayla Erb ‘22, Co-President of the MLK Jr. Society. The Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation week is one of his well-known set of programs he has organized as advisor of the MLK Jr. Society.

“He not only introduced the prevalence of social injustice in our society but created a safe environment to explore and discuss problems and solutions of today’s world,” said Molly Clarke ‘21, a student of St. Louis. It is clear how St. Louise had a strong passion for teaching and was talented at what he does.

With the leaving of St. Louis, there are some concerns of what will come of the Center of Multicultural Affairs. St. Louis played such a vital role as Director. “Sometimes he would stay in the center until 7-8 p.m., often leaving his family at home to make sure that us, students of color, were taken care of,” said Erb. This position is extremely important, CMAS is now left without a leader, which is very stressful for students deal with problems on campus. Sophomore Felicity Rodriguez, member of CMAS stated, “Our fear was, “Is CMAS going to be taken away?” “Students of color need guidance and deserve to have a quality replacement of these in order to get the most out of the resources we already have on campus,” Erb stated. I spoke with Rodriguez in the now empty office of former Director, St. Louis. The CMAS council has been meeting and discussing what is the new image for CMAS is going to be, not only for themselves, but for future students. “From the moment Mo left, this space was filled and is now constantly filled with students, we are making this space a home to us again,” said Rodriguez ‘22.

Vice President of Student Affairs/ Dean of Students, Dawn Ellinwood, informed me that Andrea Rodriquez Trochez and Daviah Lawrence, both resident directors, are working increased hours in the center to help. As well as Kerri Leach now managing the student workers in the center and advises SMC 1st generation. The goal is to support students during this time of transition,” Ellinwood assured me. Margaret Bass, who is a former faculty member, agreed to help support students in CMAS. Ellinwood also said there is going to be a “nationwide search” for a new director very soon and the CMAS council made it clear they wanted to be part of the process. Finally, Rodriquez added, “we knew without a doubt we had each other to support, and each other to fall back on. Because we had that bond, this space is not going anywhere.”

By Minqi Kong

Staff Writer

At a time when St. Michael’s College is undergoing budget concerns and the likelihood of declining enrollment, the Board of Trustees has appointed a new chair– Rev. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. from the class of 1967.

Around campus he’s better known as Father Marcel, and many students know him as the coordinator of LEAP spiritual retreats. In his new role, he will also oversee the 26 member board. They act as caretakers that help us to get another view of how Saint Michael’s is able to move forward, Rainville said in a recent interview in his office on the second floor of Alliot. The room is small, with a book shelf, computer, and a sofa, and it looks out to trees near the chapel.

Rev. Marcel Rainville ’67, the new chair for the Board of Trustees, poses for a photo in his office on Mar. 4, 2020

One duty of the board of trustees is to approve a budget for the upcoming year to help raise money for the college. Trustees often become major benefactors and they work with the rest of the faculty and staff, Rainville said. For instance, there is a learning committee to gather information about the particular needs of the college. There is also another committee called “Operation Embodied” that works with the administration in overseeing the financial well being of the college.

“June is important,” said Rainville. “By then we will know how many students are coming to St. Michael’s next year. Many budgetary concerns will be addressed after May 1, the deadline for enrollment. That will shed light upon some of the more important decisions that need to be made.”

One pressing issue facing the board is that the number of new students who will come to Saint Michael’s has been decreasing every year. “The major reason for the declining number of students is that there are many fewer students of college age particularly in the northeast after 2008,” Rainville said. “The economic recession caused parents to have fewer children, which is the ultimate reason why there are fewer students applying, so with the enrollment, the admissions here at Saint Michael’s is working very, very hard to get more students to come,” Rainville said.
The board of trustees will have a dialogue with the admission department about recruiting more students. In person, Rainville himself will be visiting a school in Connecticut at the end of March. He has a sister there who is a nun who used to live in a home that was recently sold to a man who started a special high school for foreign students to learn English. “We need to learn if some of their students would be interested in coming to Saint Michael’s College to learn English,” Rainville said.

He said he will also be available as a support to the president of the college to help her be successful in her job. Rainville will also continue as part of Saint Michael’s College Edmundite Campus Ministry. Most recently he worked with students to offer a LEAP spiritual retreat in late February at Saint Anne’s Shrine where 50 students joined him.. “There is no time conflict between the meeting of the trustees and the retreat, because the meeting of the trustees will be two weeks from now,” Rainville said. “I felt a very heavy responsibility,” Rainville said when he learned of the new appointment. “ I will do my best and we will work hard for the best possible future for Saint Michael’s College.”

By Meghan Power

Staff Writer

At the beginning of the school year, public safety and facilities had mentioned an idea for a new and improved plan for removing snow from student parking lots. Students would be given a specific period of time after a snow storm to move their vehicles to a different location. This would allow for snow to be plowed from the spaces quickly and efficiently. What sounded like a great new idea never took place, leaving students with misunderstandings and snow covered parking spots.

Student parking outside of Alumni Hall remains unplowed, as a students car is engulfed in icy remains of the snowfall on Feb. 17, 2020.

Although this idea is new to some, the proposed new way of removing snow is old news to Senior Associate Director of Head of Facilities Joel Ribout.

“[The plan has been discussed] basically every year that I’ve been here, which is going on five years and probably even before that,” Ribout said. “ “To my knowledge it had never been done before, we do talk about it often, and it is a very challenging thing to implement. The idea would be that we would start with the Ryan lot, which is Alliot and move all of those cars into Tarrant, plow that area, get it good and clean, then bring those cars back and start shuffling spots around,” Ribout explained.

Student clears the snow off their car outside of Cashman Hall on Feb. 28, 2020

“But, it is very challenging with kids being gone, especially on winter breaks or weekends, so it’s never been implemented,” Ribout said.

“I can understand that it’s hard to get everyone to move their car out of the spot ,” said Timothy DeCosta ‘20. “I don’t think it is a huge deal because at the end of the day it is up to the students to dig their cars out, if you have a shovel it’s not that hard to do. I think [the proposed plan] would be a good idea, it’s just how well they would be able to implement it and get people to actually move.”

Public Safety must also be involved in these decisions of how to remove the snow in a safe and effective way that poses the least risks to students. Director of Public Safety Doug Babcock supported the idea of the new plan, but also acknowledged the difficulties involved, while assuring students and staff that what is currently being done is not endangering to those involved.

“Ice is a natural concern during winter, there are some places that haven’t been fully cleaned where we have risks of slipping, but that is Vermont winters, and I don’t think we have anything in place that is out of line,”
replied Babcock.

Despite the safety of the current
snow removal tactic, students still have non-safety issues with removing the snow from their cars during the long Vermont winters.

“My biggest problem is on a heavy snow day getting my car out of my spot.” said Mariah LeVangie ’22, in an email. “Cleaning my car off can be hard, but that’s our job as car owners on campus. After the heavy storm I was late for a meeting because I couldn’t get out of my space and didn’t have a shovel in my car at the time. I think it would be a great idea for us to move our cars. The only downside is where we would move them to!” Tyler Santos ’22 has also had challenges with snow in the parking lots. “The hardest thing is my tires just get no traction because of all the ice, so I can’t pull out of my spot,” Santos said. “If facilities did anything to help with the snow in the parking lots that would be a huge help.”

While facilities has been considering this plan for many years now and ultimately decided not to do it due to many different challenges, such as having to judge if it is worth it or not for small snowfalls, or finding a way to get all cars moved (whether the owner is on campus or not), it seems at though the consensus for students is that they would all be up for the challenge and willing to cooperate, should this plan be proposed in years to come.

By Leanne Hamilton

Executive Editor

Photo By Leanne Hamilton
Daily Mail article on Snapchat in which they address, Marzia Kjellberg, ‘and wife’

After a busy day of check ins and answering the phone, I finally had time to sit at the desk and skim through emails. Most of the guests have gone out to dinner so the lobby is quiet, except for slight creaks the old inn makes every now and then. Being an innkeeper for my summer job, I was used to late and quiet nights. One guest wandered down the stairs from his room and into the kitchen. he looked puzzled at the coffee and tea station. ‘Is there anything I can help you with?” I ask him in my best hospitality voice. He looks at my male boss standing beside me and says, “Yes actually, could I get a beer?” My boss walked to the pub tucked in the back with the guest following behind him. This is not the first time guests have answered my questions by turning to my boss and asking him directly. Everyone knows that sexism exists. Even more so now that the media is a monumental outlet. For example, last fall, while I was thumbing through the article page on Snapchat, I chanced upon a Daily Mail story about a robbery at the home of Youtuber Felix Kjellberg, famously known as ‘PewDiePie’ and Marzia, is wife Daily Mail had titled the article “PewDiePie and wife robbed blind”effectively demoting Marzia as less significant than her famous significant other.

Photo By Leanne Hamilton
Screenshot of football star J.J. Watts calling out ABC Network for referring to Kealia Ohai as his fiancee rather than her name.

Another media post included diminishing soccer star Kealia Ohai. Kealia was traded from the Houston Dash team to the Chicago Red Stars recently when an ABC Network tweeted about the trade with the caption “Houston Dash trade J.J. Watt’s fiancee to Chicago.” She’s a major soccer star, but ABC decided her engagement to celebrity football star J.J. Watt overshadowed the accomplishments she made in her soccer career. J.J. Watt called out the decision by retweeting the headline and calling it “trash” for not recognizing Kealia for her own achievements. The network station apologized by commenting on Watt’s retweet, but not to Ohai directly.

“Sexism is prevalent in the media,” said Alicia Brunson, a professor at Georgia Southern University who recently spoke at St. Michael’s during Martin Luther King week. “Women are represented in very limited roles that reinforce patriarchal ideologies and traditional gender roles,” she told me, adding “ownership of media corporations is dominated by men. It should not be surprising to see images and hear messages that are not favorable to women.” Sexism has become normalized, so that only the abhorrent occurrences seem to warrant attention,” Brunson said. Groundbreaking news or a violent event covered will often catch the attention of readers more than a potentially sexist quote the best way women can reassert their presence in the media is by becoming media literate, Brunson said. “If you do not like a media product do not buy it.” Brunson said, emphasizing that we need to take notice of the businesses that profit off of sexist media. “By avoiding these industries that have a tendency to be sexist in their marketing, women can choose not to fund the corporations” advises Dr. Brunson. I will admit that I continue to use Snapchat, but I did report the Daily Mail’s article to Snapchat directly. I could have used my social media accounts and made a post calling out the article to get other people involved in the conversation. Women can fight the media by taking to the media ourselves and making our own platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer an outlet that women can use to speak out against sexism towards women. “Become a creative,” Brunson advises. “There are several media platforms that can be used to distribute a counternarrative that empowers women.”

There needs to be more conversation about sexism. It happens to women every day in the media and outside of the media. I talked with writer and editor for USA Today, Amy Ayres, an alumnus from ‘98. “I’ve had several editors — both male and female — who have been supportive or advocated for me in different ways,” she told me. Still, there have been times where she suspected her salary was lower than some of her counterparts. Beyond that, “There have sometimes been assumptions about my
career interests or ambitions tied to the fact that I’m a woman and a mother.” If more women have positions in leadership they will have more say on the content that is published in the media. Having a woman to collaborate with on the decisions of content, could make the team aware of sexism before it goes to print. “It’s vitally important that more women are given more opportunities to be in leadership positions also they’re in the room when decisions about the organization or about news coverage are made,” says Ayres.

By the end of the summer when I was the only one at the front desk I let the guests know that I was in fact a figure of authority in the inn and could get them whatever they needed. Often times when my boss had sat down to dinner or checked some of the emails I took notice of a guest that would ask him to get them something and I would proceed to get it for them. Soon they were asking me directly

By Matt Riordan

Staff Writer

Imagine a day, where Ross gym welcomes full benches of students and faculty to spark conversation about race and diversity. That’s the idea behind St. Michael’s first Diversity day, scheduled to take place Feb. 18. . President Lorraine Sterritt has called the plan a day of reflection, in which classes will come to a halt in order for students to participate in the campus wide conversation of diversity and inclusion. The event has been mandated after recent racist stickers and slurs have been found across campus.

Most of the population on campus understand the purpose of Diversity Day, but questions still linger around the event. One of the questions is how the day is structured. Diversity Day will start at 9 a.m. with a welcome from the president and Dean of Student Affairs, Dawn Ellinwood, who will talk about why the college needs this day and what it entails. Afterward, nationally recognized speaker, Mohammad Soriano-Bilal, will talk about diversity which will segue into an open discussion on racism. Following Bilal’s discussion, students will be assigned to workshops for the remainder of the after
noon in which half of the attendees will go to lunch in Green Mountain Dining Hall, while the other half will go to their assigned rooms.

Photo By Ellen McKenna

“There will be some small group work, no one will be forced to talk but we ask everyone to go and listen,” Ellinwood said of the workshops. Upon arrival, everyone will be given an agenda with their assigned workshop and their time of lunch. Card swipers will be at the entrance of Tarrant to ensure student participation, along with the professors who have been asked to incorporate the day into one of their assignments. Ellinwood has made many on campus aware of the upcoming event to ensure that all can come. “I have asked Chris Kenney to contact coaches to make sure that teams are there. I’ve worked with Jeff Vincent to get the RAs to get their floors to go to the event. We deserve this of one another.” Many students welcome the experience, but some question the arrangement that brought it forth. “I think the intention behind the day is good, but the preparation for it was really subpar. I felt like the steering committee was put together to divert attention to the bigger issue that there are racist acts happening on campus,” said President of the Diversity and Inclusion Connor Venzina ‘22.

Venzina said he feels it should have become a day, not as a reaction to the problems around campus but because it is important for it to be discussed. He said many members of the steering committee have told him that this day is confusing to follow and hard to speak up because of how many voices are present.

“I’m honestly worried about the day because I know not everyone will understand what’s trying to be accomplished here, and there might be more conflict in the future” Vezina added. He also mentioned that as a student of color he feels he has to “constantly educate others and I’m not sure if this day of education will be similar to what I have already experienced”. Moise St. Louis, former Associate Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Affairs and Services said that this upcoming day in February didn’t solely come from the school feeling that this was necessary, it was students that pushed for it.

Photo By Meg Schneider

This event is not something that came out of the blue, it has been building for years and now thanks to students the event has finally come to be, St. Louis said. “This is now do or die for the institution,” he added. This is the time for the school to teach students how to deal with diversity, St. Louis said. . It is up to the faculty to be role models in this situation and set an example all other students can follow. “Students need to lead and start pushing us where we want to be,” St. Louis said about the future of the school’s approach on diversity. St. Louis, whose last day at St. Michael’s was Friday, Jan. 31, said he is full of hope and feels we have been heading in the right direction for some time.

He hopes the school doesn’t just look at this day as a one time event. He wants it to be a tradition that carries on for years, and not just this one day, or one week we devote to celebrating Martin Luther King Jr and diversity, but twice a year we dedicate a day to talking about this issue and teaching one another on how to deal with it. “With the momentum and speed we’ve built up the only thing that will stop us is us,” St. Louis said.