Student Opinion: “The leadership of [Curry] must step up and educate all to be all-inclusive, accepting, and supporting.”

BY MIA GOMEZ // OCT. 18 2017 //

The very first time I went to Curry for Open House, I knew it was the college I wanted to attend. It felt like home. I prayed I would get accepted.

The day I received my letter of admission, I dance with joy. These days, and for the past couple of years, really, that joy has been killed.

As a Latina woman participating in the PAL program, I have been the target of several incidents of discrimination. I have also seen how friends of mine have been personally targeted for being members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Mia Gomez, a junior sociology major, wants leaders at Curry to step up to end the bias on campus. //image credit: Mia Gomez

So many incidents of racial and gender discrimination have occurred on campus during the last couple of years. Curry no longer feels like the safe haven I first believed it to be.

What is most troublesome is the lack of corrective action from administration.

And while there are many faculty members that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the students in trying to change the current culture, there are still some that do not offer a safe space in their classes or take the time to get to meet their students and their different needs to provide the appropriate support.

Could anyone explain why a transgender student is subjected to being called a derogatory term in a class, by a professor nonetheless, and have no recourse because Curry says it is too hard to discipline or remove that professor?

Why is it that a bi-racial student finds a note on her car’s windshield that says “Half-Breeds not welcome” and all Public Safety can do is to write an incident report?

Why do PAL students, such as myself, get little to no support from some professors who say it is not their job to offer extra help or accommodations?

Where is the accountability? Who looks after the students? Some professors do, but the administration certainly does not!

In the past couple of years I have been actively involved with other students and some faculty members in trying to bring about change to make campus feel safe again for EVERYONE. It has been a frustrating journey, but one that we are not willing to back away from.

All we are asking is that President Kenneth Quigley executes his job. For him to step up and be a leader.

Walking away and literally wishing us “good luck” while we were trying to present him our concerns during the “Hate Has No Home Here” forum certainly sent a message that he is leaving what should be his responsibilities to us.

We all pay good money for tuition here. Students and parents are scared due to the lack of safety. Why hasn’t some of that money been put to good use by installing more cameras around campus? Why is there not a system in place that helps follow through on incident reports to find the culprits? Why isn’t there more training — for staff, faculty, Public Safety, and students alike — so that racial and gender discrimination can become a thing of the past on our campus?

We are an institution of higher learning. Why isn’t higher teaching occurring in our midst?

If we are to be the future leaders of this country, then the leadership of this college must step up to the plate and educate all to be all-inclusive, accepting, and supporting. After all, that’s what we will eventually carry out into the “real” world.

President Quigley, please DO YOUR JOB! Us Colonels are counting on it.

Mia Gomez is a junior Sociology major.

Student Opinion: “When One Bleeds, We All Do.”

BY MICHELA FLOWERS // OCT. 17, 2017 //

Michela Flowers is a sophomore psychology major. Flowers recently came forward as one of the four students affected by the succession of bias incidents on campus. Here, Flowers expresses her opinions and concerns with the Curry College Administration as well as how they handle these incidences on campus.

The administration that runs Curry College is terrible.

They don’t care, except when the money flow is interrupted; but we know this.

They don’t take into account that their own students are hurting.

They ask us to speak up but when we do, we are only being heard, not listened to.

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Michela Flowers ’20, an Orientation Leader, still “bleeds purple” even though she is disappointed with lack of Administrative Action for students targeted with bias. // image credit: Curry College

But what amazes me is even though the administration is so far up their own butts, the real faces of Curry College are extraordinary people.

These are the people you see day to day.

These are the smiling Stu crew, your friends, the professors, and the faculty and staff.

These people are the reason why I love Curry.

I had to get real low to realize how supportive and caring this community really is. When one bleeds, we all do. We help and care for each other because that’s what family does.

I wanted to express my anger towards the school, but this school is more than the stuffy people wanting to fill their pockets. It’s about the pride of being a Colonel and in being part of a truly loving Curry Community.

To those who reached out to me, I owe a tremendous thank you. Because of this strong Curry family I BLEED PURP FOREVER.

Student Opinion: “Hate Unfortunately Does Have a Home Here at the Moment.”

BY HAYDEN LOMBARDOZZI // OCT. 16, 2017 //

My name is Hayden Lombardozzi.

I am a senior at Curry College. I’m a Criminal Justice major with a double minor in Sociology and Communication. I guess you could say I am your average college student. I work on campus, I love spending time with my friends, and I too am elated when I get the “class is canceled” email.

Everyone in this world has things about themselves that make them different. I happen to have one big thing about me that in a sense separates me from the crowd here at Curry: I am a transgender male.

Being transgender at Curry College is exhausting, and these past two years I have had to scurry around MY campus and look over my shoulder just to make sure someone was not following me home.

From being called “faggot” on repeat to having someone etch “Caitlyn Jenner lives here” into my door while I slept, it has been exhausting.

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Students Chris Landy ’19 and Hayden Lombardozzi 18′ hold signs at the “Hate Has No Home Here” Public Forum. // image credit: Christianna Casaletto ’18

When I heard about the “Hate Has No Home Here” forum that was being put on by upper administration and our president, Kenneth Quigley, I had a mix of emotions.

At first, I was slightly impressed. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow! Okay, this is good. Maybe people are going to start showing that they care.”

Then, as I sat reading the colorful email, an overwhelming sense of anger washed onto me.

I remember thinking, “Why now?”

Why not when I was a freshman and someone pushed me around and hit me in Hafer for being in the “wrong bathroom?”

Why not when I was a sophomore and was called a transvestite in front of my whole class?

Why not when I was a junior and I had to wake up to “I hope Donald Trump wipes out all of the tranny’s!” written on my bulletin board?

I sat there angrily clenching my fists wondering why all of a sudden it was so important for them to hold this campus-wide meeting when for years I had been suffering at the hands of people who shared the same “Colonel” name with me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the meaning behind the quote “better late than never.” In addition to that statement, let me add that I personally agree. I agree that it is better to show up somewhat than to be absent entirely.

However, I don’t agree with the idea that we should forget the damage that has been caused from so much silence.

I do not think the Curry Administration is doing the best job at acknowledging that they were extremely late to the game. A game that has caused myself and other students to fear walking out of our residential halls to simply attend the classes that WE pay for.

As far as the public forum goes, at which I was in attendance, I cannot help but feel steam-rolled.

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President Quigley addresses a group of students linked in solidarity at the “Hate Has No Home Here” Public Forum. //image credit: Christianna Casaletto ’18

A group of students and myself linked arms in the back of the assembly to show solidarity to the minority groups that have been affected, and at the end of the meeting President Quigley’s reaction showed me and other marginalized students his true colors.

Not only did our president, who mind you had just given a tearful speech about how he wanted the hate crimes to stop on campus, walk by us multiple times while ignoring our calls to him, but he managed to invalidate the struggles of those who had major concerns within the group.

I was holding a sign at the assembly that read, “President Quigley, I have been called a faggot and a tranny on this campus for two and a half years. Where have you been?”

Upon reading my sign, the president was quick to point his finger at me and say, “I’ve been here and you know I’ve been here.”

This made me, as a survivor of these transphobic attacks, feel nothing but muted. Within the years that I have been going through these hate crimes, this was the first time that I had ever heard from the president. This was the first time in all of my time at Curry College that I have even seen this man in person address the issue of hate on campus.

President Quigley left the chain of students after only about 5 minutes of discussion and departed while saying, “good luck to you guys.”

Well, Mr. President, I am going to need more than your “good luck.” I am going to need visible and tangible change on this campus, and until that is provided to the students who are seen as “different” at Curry, I will continue to speak up and speak out against the injustices that are being done to others and to myself in this community.

I understand the intent behind the slogan “Hate Has No Home Here,” but until we can say that with confidence, and until ALL of the administration is fully backing our marginalized and our targeted students, it’s just a slogan.

Hate, unfortunately, does have a home here at the moment — as much as you would like to believe that it doesn’t. Hate has made its home here, and it’s time for the administration to stand up and work harder to evict it.