SMC Walk-Out

Attending the walk-out was an eye-opening experience. As a white person, I’m not always aware of the racism experienced by my classmates of color. I stood in Dante Quad with my fellow students for over an hour, listening to people’s experiences with macro and micro aggressions. These students have had to deal with listening to bigoted comments from fellow students and staff at SMC, whether it be because of their race, sexuality, gender identity, or disability. As a non-straight woman with a mental illness, I was able to relate to some of these students’ struggles, and I learned a lot about the struggles of students in other marginalized groups. A student talked about her struggles with being reduced to a fraction (half Latina and half Asian). She’s a whole person, not two halves. Another student talked about the discrimination they faced for being non-binary. A few students talked about Seminar as a dangerous place rife with offensive comments. After this open-mic session, I participated in a march through the library (which I felt slightly uncomfortable doing). Then we headed over to the business/registrar office, where  everyone gathered for another open-mic session. President Donahue was present at this session, and after a few people spoke about their experiences with discrimination and read the list of demands, he responded. He said that he promises to do everything in his power to make these students feel comfortable at SMC. After this, we headed over to the SMC parkway, where we stood on the sidewalk holding up our signs to get the attention of the people leaving Saint Mary’s. I’ve never been part of this kind of demonstration before, and I’m proud of my fellow students for organizing this event. I hope that it will lead to changes being made at SMC.

2 thoughts on “SMC Walk-Out

  1. Kelly-I’m glad that you participated in the walk out and that you learned from hearing your peers share their stories. What do you think of the President’s response to the demands? Several people report feeling uncomfortable by the march through the library, which I find interesting. Did you see any connections between the stories that were shared and the stories that appear on our syllabus?

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  2. I’m glad that he addressed each of the demands in his response letter, instead of just making a general response. I especially liked that he said there will be changes to FYAC and Seminar. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable in those classes the way they’re currently being run, and I hope President Donahue and the other Powers That Be at SMC will follow through with making changes.
    I can definitely see a connection to Audre Lorde’s poems. Someone actually read one of her poems during an open-mic session. I wasn’t there at the time, but I heard about it later.

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