We’re All in This Together (well some of us, anyway)

I’m really glad that we read the minutes and descriptions of some other campus history projects happening across the country because I now feel like we aren’t alone. Knowing that there is a community of dedicated people out there that share common goals for their institutions fueled by a desire to recognize elements of campus histories that are purposefully glossed over or ignored gives me hope for our future. I think the questions raised in all of the breakout sessions were very pertinent to Bryn Mawr and reflect many structural issues such as the short time students (and faculty) are on campus and lack of administrative support.

I think the addition of the Giesking reading about students’ navigation of space was interesting and very relevant considering our previous class discussions about the physical spaces on campus that we inhabit and how they shape our experiences.  It is interesting to me to consider how disrupting traditional spaces not only can physically change the landscape but as a result, the institution’s narrative.  I really liked the ideas for a display in Princeton’s student center that Jarrett and Sofi’s friend (whose name is escaping me at the moment!) talked about a few weeks ago, and I think its because I like the idea of transforming/challenging the traditional use of physical space that keeps with the typical narrative of “who goes to Princeton.”  By adding a display of student activist efforts, they would be making a physical intervention which not only would be accessible to a wider range of people (prospective students, staff, faculty, current students, etc.) than a paper or class discussion but would also serve as a tangible reminder of darker histories and stories not popularized.

3 thoughts on “We’re All in This Together (well some of us, anyway)

  1. “By adding a display of student activist efforts, they would be making a physical intervention which not only would be accessible to a wider range of people (prospective students, staff, faculty, current students, etc.) than a paper or class discussion but would also serve as a tangible reminder of darker histories and stories not popularized.”

    I really like this idea as well. I also thought about the words on the wall in the campus center vs the constant student profiles we see on our BMC home page. There is a huge difference between being forced to be in the same place as information about activism/student lived experience versus just seeing a face flashing by on the BMC landing page. When we are physically in the same space as an exhibit like this, we still may not read what it says but it is made physically present and we have to be aware of it’s place in the space.

    • I agree! I think there is something also to be said for ‘taking back the space’ and making these stories part of the physical landscape.

      • Yes! We still haven’t talked about whether those words really make a dent on the physical landscape–something to consider. (And what happens when we’re talking about difficult words?)

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