Opinion: SGA President Zoe Staude

BY ZOE STAUDE // OCT. 24 2017 //

As someone who loves Curry College and everything it has to offer, I have never been more ashamed and disappointed with what I have seen in a place that I trust.

In a place that I am supposed to call “home.”

I love our community and I care for all of us in it. These recent incidents have left me confused, frustrated and hurt, to say the least. I simply cannot understand how we are able to live in our world where cowardly acts of bias and hate exist.

In conversations with members of our community I have offered my support as a friend, and as a classmate. I have listened to their stories. They are hurting, they are scared, and they are afraid to be a member of the Curry College community.

When I hear these things, my love and spirit for Curry gets crushed and my heart hurts for them.

As a white cisgender female college student, I know I have tremendous privilege. I cannot possibly begin to understand how each member of our community individually feels and I will never be able to understand that. However, I do know that if anyone here at Curry doesn’t feel safe, that is something that reflects on all of us.

We shouldn’t need to help educate our community about how to treat each other with basic humanity. When our community is treated with cowardly disrespect and with hateful acts, we all feel that pain and we are all to blame that it has occurred. This is OUR school. OUR college. OUR space to be who we want to be.

In an ideal world, none of us would be writing pieces like these. In an ideal world, we would be able to come up with the right words to make our peers feel safe again.

This is clearly not an ideal world, and I don’t have any special words that will change it or magically make it better. While writing this, I still didn’t feel as if the words I was typing could come anywhere near the pain I feel inside for us all.

The only way we will make a change is if we work together. We must all come together and unite to make sure that NO ONE fears that they will be treated differently on our campus. We are supposed to be a community of care and love, and it is time we start acting like it.

We have to address the issues of privilege, bias, and unspoken acts on all levels and all around campus, including classrooms, residence halls, and even closed-door meetings. We must all stand together, as a community, and work to educate each other.

I challenge us all to move in a direction of more collaboration, communication, care, friendship, celebration, and love, rather than separating down paths that lead to disconnection from each other.

Some questions have presented themselves like, How do we move on from these difficult times? How do we share in a world of love, wisdom, and compassion?

I do not have one set of answers, a plan, or a program that will solve these issues. But we can start by having the power and the courage to stand up for our community, to work to unite each other.

I want to share a quote that has always resonated with me: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

We will NOT let hate win. We WILL stand together. We WILL overcome this, and we will ALL rise together.

It is time we start making a difference.

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.