Archiving Madness

I recently had the opportunity to go to “Re(covering) Ourstories,” an event/exhibit/panel on the “bathroom graffiti controversy of 1988” that occurred at Bryn Mawr College. Organized by a Bryn Mawr student, the event examined an incident that happened on campus close to 30 years ago. In 1988, students at Bryn Mawr noticed that their bathrooms had been graffitied with insults and slurs hurled towards minorities on campus, particularly people of color and LGBTQ people. Amidst heightened racial and sexual tensions on campus due to elevated anonymous threats being delivered to students in addition to the recent death of a beloved classmate, a group of BMC students decided that they would reclaim the bathrooms and cover up the harmful graffiti in them with their own positive affirmations for one another.  Since the administration had known about the slurs in the bathroom for weeks and had failed to do anything about it,  the students (who had confined their activist graffiti to one bathroom) believed that their graffiti would be there for at least a week. However, the administration caught wind of the graffiti almost immediately after it was first put on display and decided that something had to be done to get rid of it, stat. With so many queer-positive expressions and concerns displayed within the graffiti, the administration feared that the public world of Bryn Mawr (which was still trying to figure out how to handle its LGBTQ identity amidst its more conservative alums/history) was colliding with the private world of Bryn Mawr. In haste, the administration decided that the new graffiti needed to be covered, and in a scene that could come out of a dark comedy, the President of the College enlisted the President of SGA to help her paint over the graffiti during the evening. What came next is history.

There are so many components to the bathroom graffiti story that make it a multifaceted and complex subject as a whole in Bryn Mawr’s history. It’s necessary to know the context of LGBTQ identities at the College during the time to understand the admin’s decision, in addition to the climate of the campus in general. I was impressed with the presentation of the exhibit and was glad that photographs of the positive graffiti had been taken before they were painted over. I particularly appreciated the panel that was set up to help get all of the points of view concerning the event on the table. This included one of the people who spray painted the positive graffiti, the then editor of the College News, and the then President of SGA. Without the points of views, the exhibit would’ve still been fascinating but it also would’ve missed a crucial, human element that made the event such a representative part of Bryn Mawr’s history during the time.

This exhibit is a real life example of the importance of documenting and archiving history at Bryn Mawr for the sake of institutional as well as activist memory. I had no idea about the bathroom graffiti incident until I came to the event and it intrigued me how easy it was to cover the event up and let it fade as the turnover of students occurred. This could very well happen with events that have occurred on campus within the last couple of years as well. The only thing that might prevent this, is the active presence of the Internet and social media to keep reminding and informing new people when others have forgotten. However, even the Internet is fallible, and things can be deleted from there too. Which makes the case that archiving, at the moment, from multiple perspectives/points of views is not only important but crucial to maintaining memory, and by attachment, history.

Bryn Mawr’s Legacy in Primary Education

For years, I have been fascinated by the connection Bryn Mawr has as a college with its neighboring primary/secondary schools. Both the Baldwin School and the Shipley School were started with the promise of preparing and sending their graduates to Bryn Mawr College for an education of a lifetime. There are traditions and academic philosophies of Bryn Mawr that both preparatory schools adopted in the hopes of not only mimicking Bryn Mawr, but embodying it. These practices not only shaped these schools in many ways, they also managed to stick in ways that they didn’t at Bryn Mawr or conversely fall to the wayside in ways that haven’t occurred at Bryn Mawr.

"Photography by"

Baldwin School Marching-In Dinner Blazer, 2015

Bryn Mawr College Blazer #2

Vintage Bryn Mawr College Blazer

I am proposing a project that explores the links and ties that Bryn Mawr has historically had to Baldwin and Shipley, displaying the history between the three institutions as well as the significance of Bryn Mawr’s influence on these schools that still display aspects of Bryn Mawr’s history that Bryn Mawr itself has lost. I would like to do this by highlighting the traditions of Baldwin’s Ring Day (where 10th graders receive their class rings), the Marching-In Dinner (where 11th graders receive their class blazers in colors that mirror Bryn Mawr’s class colors), the 12th graders ringing of the school’s bell/gong upon graduation, Banner Day (where the 9th graders come up with a banner to represent their class year), the creation of class songs during students’ time at Baldwin, and the donning of white dresses by students during special occasions including graduation. Additionally, I would like to examine the traditions that Baldwin has developed in its own time as a school and determine whether or not those traditions were influenced by the school’s decision to become a day school. In the case of Shipley, there is hardly any evidence in its public presentation that it was ever a girls boarding school, much less a feeder school to Bryn Mawr. Keeping this in mind, I would like to explore the history of the Shipley School, its original philosophy and mission, and determine the impact that the school’s decision to become a coed non-boarding college preparatory school has had on its mission statement, persona, and acknowledgment (or lack thereof) as a former all-girls school with traditions. From there, Shipley and Baldwin can be compared and contrasted in their decisions to go coed and stay single sex respectively, and how those decisions have impacted their ties to Bryn Mawr physically and philosophically.

Ringing the Bell Baldwin

Commencement Reception & Bell Ringing at Baldwin School, 2015

In terms of implementation, I am envisioning  a physical exhibit at Bryn Mawr that displays the history between the three schools. Due to Baldwin and Shipley’s close proximity yet younger environment age-wise, I would like to put on smaller-scale exhibits in each school that would be mainly for members of those schools’ communities as opposed to the general public. It would be great if they had a hands-on, interactive quality to them. Ideally, I would like to establish a walking tour that goes to historically significant spaces on each school’s campus in regards to traditions, such as the Cloisters and Taylor Bell on Bryn Mawr’s campus, and crafts a narrative between the schools. If there was time and resources, I would work with Bryn Mawr Special Collections and the historians at Shipley and Baldwin to craft an online exhibit, similar to Black at Bryn Mawr, and an archival collection that could be used to compile facts and photos of relevant articles from the three schools. Also, I would interview Provost Osirim, an alum and Board of Trustees member at Baldwin, for an anecdotal look into Baldwin and her opinion on how it compares to Bryn Mawr. I would contact the Shipley School to see if they have anyone currently working there or any alumni who attended Bryn Mawr as well who could speak to their experience at both schools.




Material Culture & Me

Reading about material culture and its presentation as well as  the overall meaning that it’s trying to convey in this week’s readings got me thinking about a topic I just presented on in my junior seminar as well as the work I did over the summer as a docent in my hometown’s farmhouse museum.

In terms of my presentation, another classmate and myself presented on the Smithsonian’s two most controversial museum exhibits in recent memory: the West as America art exhibition and the Enola Gay exhibition (which never made it to public). Out of the many things that made these exhibits controversial, one of the most prominent critiques being made against both of them was that the framing of the exhibits respective narratives were too biased and the material items being used to represent these frameworks were being inappropriately used. For the West as America exhibit, the curators were accused of using the artwork in the exhibit to prop up the view that Native Americans were mistreated during European Americans’ quest for prosperity out West. For many people, the idea of using artwork (which they considered to be unbiased and/or untied to the exhibit’s purpose) as a means to get across a current political opinion, was uncalled for and anachronistic. Putting aside the fact that it is problematic to ask exhibits to remain unbiased since history itself is rarely unbiased (in addition to many other reasons), the idea of material culture being used in an active (potentially activist) manner is off-putting for a lot of people. While a huge chunk of art is deeply tied to politics, activism, emotion, and protest, the West as America exhibit was not allowed to frame its art pieces in the same way. The sense that there should be neutrality in history exhibits transferred over to the art exhibit.

When working as a docent this summer, I too found myself in situations where I had to work with the museum’s other docents/curators to figure out what would be most conducive to making it a fun learning space as well as one that was safe for people to walk around. Since we were dealing with a lot of heavy farming equipment as well as some more obscure items, we were constantly thinking about the framework we wanted to operate in. We also had to take into account what outside organizations, like the local public libraries, were doing with the museum as a historical site. The library decided to include us on its scavenger hunt, and we had to be prepared to explain the purpose of our museum as well as gear it towards the scavenger hunt at a moment’s notice.

Material culture is hard to work with because oftentimes there is this assumption that it is neutral and/or universal in meaning. This makes it hard to put it in a space where it challenges the positing that it has traditionally operated in. I would love to see more deviance from the static-ness of physical objects in time and space, I think it’s necessary.

The Little Things

I was working in Special Collections the other day when I received a phone call from an older-sounding woman asking if Bryn Mawr still sold these beautiful notecards that she had purchased years previously with various watercolor designs on them. After relaying the call to someone who knew the answer to this question, I sat back in my desk chair and began to wonder what and where these notecards could possibly be. My mind instantly flashed to a moment when I had been archiving materials in one of Special Collections’ storage facilities. While in there I had seen shallow boxes filled to the brim with packets of notecards like you would see in stores. After the phone call was finished, I was told that the notecards had been sold on behalf of the Friends of the Library program that stems from the Bryn Mawr College Library. The program gives “friends of the library” the opportunity to contribute monetarily to Bryn Mawr’s library services which in turn employs interns in Special Collections, allows collections to be enhanced with new materials, allows sensitive materials to be conserved, and allows services that BMC students and faculty use to be continued and enhanced. Apparently, the notecards were something that patrons of the Friends of the Library program could purchase to help support Bryn Mawr. Though it seems to have been popular, it actually was a deficit for the College to produce, manufacture, and sell the notecards. As a result, the College had to make the decision to end the notecard sales at the potential expense of patrons that really seemed to enjoy it, and years after it ended, still request them.

This situation relates to this week’s readings in the sense that there are materials out there that have indirectly benefited students that they don’t know about and probably wouldn’t know about if not for random occurrences like the one I experienced. Additionally, the materials in question, the notecards, haven’t been officially archived. The woman who called requesting a specific set of notecards was able to get a version of them that happened to be in the storage facility after someone from Special Collections took their spare time to see if it was in stock. I am also fascinated by the idea of how non-BMC people who actively contribute to some semblance of the College’s wellbeing, and as a student —my wellbeing— view the College and its community members. To them, do we represent the images on the notecards? Sentimentality perhaps? Or are we much more tangible, something that is as multi-faceted and diverse  as the thousands of students that currently permeate this campus? It’s little things like this that get me thinking about the public history of Bryn Mawr and how it is presented as well as interpreted by those who don’t experience it daily but are still active in its existence.

United in Digital Activism

Last night, I attended the Tri-College NAACP’s annual gala and found myself relating the guest of honor, Professor Anthea Butler, of the University of Pennsylvania’s words to this class. Something that came up when I read Jarrett Drake’s piece for last week about starting an activist archive up at Princeton was that student activist narratives can be hard to come by if they haven’t actively been sought out. Even though student activism has been a powerful force in shaping the United States’ history and discourse around politics, the controversy surrounding activism can make it deemed unfit for the archives. There’s also controversy around what form the archiving of activism takes.

Professor Butler talked about the controversy surrounding the digital activism of the present, and how it has been unappreciated and devalued for its presence on the internet. Things like tweets with hashtags and Facebook posts have been ignored as relevant to activism or a social movement by many old-school activists and scholars who engage in activism due to the quotidien and seemingly simple nature of it all. The fact of the matter is though that activism is evolving to fit in (ironically) with the digital age. It makes sense then that it won’t take the traditional twists and turns that the public is used to seeing. Public planning and organizing isn’t necessarily happening in physical spaces, online spaces can be more accessible to wider amounts of people. Things like hashtags or group events for actions aren’t petty and mundane, they’re the keys to the way current social movements are running and paving the way. Hashtags have activated and elevated the Black Lives Matter Movement. If we as a public decide that hashtags are too trivial to catalogue, however, when documenting and archiving this as well as other current social movements, we’ll be leaving out a substantial piece of activist narratives and essentially silencing those who are the backbones of the movements. Activism has taken on a new form in the digital age, are archivists ready for this?

Access Denied

Reading Swarthmore’s “Black Liberation 1969 Archive” as well as Princeton’s ASAP initiative reminded me of a session that I attended during the Community Day of Learning about archiving activism and the parameters as well as boundaries around archiving that type of history.

Bryn Mawr as a college did not officially commission its own archival collection until 1980. This means that students and other members of the College were relied upon to keep track of the documentation of their own histories before then (and this continues in part today), with only scattered record keeping at the College to assist them. This has lead to archives, like Bryn Mawr’s, where the majority of it is filled with materials from wealthy, White alumnae who have historically constituted a part of the College identity but aren’t the complete and total narrative of the community.

Activist materials aren’t featured more prominently in archives for various reasons related to the aforementioned explanation. In the case of Bryn Mawr and many other current archival spaces, the apparatus for preservation wasn’t in place before a certain date. Going off of that, most archival spaces have not been created with activism in mind and have therefore not reached out to activists or other purveyors of activist culture. For Bryn Mawr, activism wasn’t considered central to the identity of the College at the time it began seriously collecting materials by those who were organizing that collection.

The ability to craft narrative within an archival space is important but what do you do when that space was not created with you or your interests in mind and is run by someone who continues to perpetuate that way of thinking? That is the question that activist culture has to deal with.

The Consequences of Silencing at Bryn Mawr

Participating in the Community Day of Learning this past week gave me more insight into the importance of archiving and the public representation of Bryn Mawr’s history than I could have ever imagined.

I ended up going to three sessions throughout the day that each gave me some insight into the importance of questioning which voices are being represented on this College’s campus, how are they being represented, and what more can be done to amplify those most vulnerable and prone to oppression? I was confronted with all of these questions during the first session I went to, the Dining Services workers tell-all. The room was packed to the brim with students, faculty, staff, and even President Cassidy, as the dining service workers talked about the dehumanization and abuse that’s been inflicted upon them mainly at the hands of their peers. The student presenters linked their deplorable treatment to hierarchal structure and pay inequity of dining services at Bryn Mawr as well as to a deeper class and meritocracy issue that is part of American culture. The presenters revealed that they had been discussing and trying to inform the Bryn Mawr community about their maltreatment for years, only to be ignored or to have the cause die down with the high turnover rate of students. This would lead the current dining services workers to have to start from scratch, retelling narratives old and new to incoming dining services workers as well as facing the struggles of past workers with minimal knowledge of the counterattack strategies and coping methods of their predecessors.

Dining Services workers who arguably have the largest presence on campus sheerly in numbers are also the most prone to being silenced. This causes members of the Bryn Mawr community to be ignorant to the struggles they are facing and unfortunately increases the amount of apathy directed towards them. It also means that there is no documented or recorded documents that highlight their plight or their attempts to be heard available to the public. President Cassidy spoke at the session saying: “We should’ve been more responsive but we are addressing it….there are systemic inequalities that need to be corrected…..we are owning it and will try to take care of it.” While the Bryn Mawr community may never truly know how extensive the injustice of dining services workers has been, the first step towards setting ourselves on a new, more progressive path is to put resources into documenting, recording, and preserving the memory of the stories of Bryn Mawr Dining Services workers.

When I was at the “Black Labor at Bryn Mawr” session, I was blown away by the significance of silence as well as voice and visibility in remembering the lives of the black housekeepers and staff who worked at the College from its establishment onwards. While quite a bit of information was extrapolated from the few testimonies and narratives found on the workers at Bryn Mawr, so much was left unknown due to the institutional lack of demand for Black, working-class voices in Bryn Mawr’s history and representation.

I can envision future members of the Bryn Mawr community trying to do research on the importance of dining services workers on campus and coming up with a scant amount of resources due to the College’s past disinterest in preserving that part of its institutional memory. The sessions that I went to on Tuesday showed me how much needs to change in order for all Bryn Mawr histories to be accurately and ethically preserved for current community members and the ones to come.  

Representing the Women of Summer

I remember when I first learned about the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Workers. Like many students, I stumbled upon its history while I was walking back to campus from town. It was the Fall (2013) of my freshman year at Bryn Mawr and I was still figuring out the College’s vast history. I saw the sign that gave a brief synopsis of the Summer School and promptly proceeded to send a picture of it to my dad, a labor activist, with great excitement. He encouraged me to look further into the Summer School’s history, and to even consider writing about it for my senior thesis given my own deep interest in women’s labor history.

Throughout my first year at Bryn Mawr, I intermittently looked for more information about the Summer School. It was hard to find anything about it though from internet searches. I often got lead to decades-old websites that had varying amounts of information with minimal sources and very few primary sources.

I ended up using the Summer School as an record of past behavior on Bryn Mawr’s part in terms of women’s rights and labor rights when Bryn Mawr United Students Against Sweatshops wrote a letter to President Cassidy during the Fall of 2014 requesting that the College Bookstore employ more ethical purchasing policies. Here is basically the sum total of what I was able to gather from resources outside of Bryn Mawr:

Bryn Mawr has a rich history of supporting workers rights and we hope that that you choose to continue it. In 1921, a time when concern was rising around the negative impacts of industrial working conditions on the U.S. labor force, Bryn Mawr College (under the direction of then President M. Carey Thomas and Dean Hilda Worthington Smith) created “The Summer School for Women Workers in Industry”. According to historians, “as much a reflection of concern for industrial work conditions as women’s rights, the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers was an innovative experiment in labor education and social justice organizing. The school’s directors infused liberal politics and feminist sensibilities in a more pragmatic curriculum that drew on the everyday working experiences of women in industry. Their objective was to raise the educational level of working-class women, many of who were immigrants, and to provide a sense of community that transcended ethnic, religious, and occupational differences. True to the Bryn Mawr spirit, the Summer School was conceived by women for women, and sought to expand woman’s culture in a program that relied chiefly on women nurturing other women. The program continued until 1938, when economic conditions forced closure of this educational experiment that had been copied by other colleges across the country.”

During my sophomore year, I decided that I should make a visit to the Special Collections department for some more information about the Summer School. However, soon after I made that decision, I learned that there would be a presentation on the Summer School during the Community Day of Learning. I was dead set on attending that presentation, and while there, ended up viewing the The Women of Summer— a documentary I had been planning to watch during Spring Break. I turns out that the documentary was heavily influenced and guided by the research a young Bryn Mawr alum did about the school while she was a thesising graduate student. The reunion that was the center stage of the documentary was organized in part by that student. I was lucky enough to meet the alum, and listened as she talked about her experience searching through her grad school and Bryn Mawr’s archives for information about the Summer School. It was a long and seemingly arduous process but she was able to find enough information to gather the Summer School alums and get funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to transcribe their experiences onto video. Because this was pre-internet though, all of this information about the Summer School hadn’t been made widely accessible to students, especially those who started attending the College years after the film came out. That’s why I’m glad an online exhibit has now been done on it that Bryn Mawr students (as well as other curious historians) can look at for more information.

I would love to see even more from the College when it comes to acknowledging its labor history and its interesting brush with progressivism in an otherwise conservative and elitist time period of Bryn Mawr’s history. I also wonder what current and former Bryn Mawr students can play in uncovering more of the College’s history? What resources can we tap into that we might not even be aware of?

On another note, I found a couple of pamphlets advertising Bryn Mawr’s Summer School and general summer schools as well. They’re worth taking a look at!

Herding Cats, Bacon Bats, Mountain Day, and More

I was particularly excited to read “Educate a Girl?? You Might as Well Attempt to Educate a Cat!” — this week’s reading about Smith College’s archives. Besides the ironic title, I enjoyed reading this piece because I got the chance to examine Smith’s archives myself as a part of their History Summer at Smith precollege program almost 4 years ago.  Similar to the glimpses of Bryn Mawr’s archival items that we saw last Tuesday, the archived items at Smith were scrapbooks, photo albums, yearbooks, and miscellaneous items such as dance cards. Another thing that the collections had in common was the snark, wit, and the dialectically serious and care-free attitude of the women attending both colleges in their early years.

Though he was only mentioned briefly in the reading and in relation to encouraging women’s education, I learned while at Smith that President Seelye, like M. Carey Thomas, wasn’t always revered in the Smith community. He often remarked how the women attending the College should behave like proper ladies and didn’t fail to lament them when they were too “rambunctious”. Like Bryn Mawr students, the students at Smith bristled at the thought of following mandatory rules and used their guile to subvert the somewhat oppressive system of higher education at Smith College. In fact, much to President Seelye’s dismay, I’m sure the students at Smith College in the early 20th century would’ve screen-printed “Educate a Girl?? You Might as Well Attempt to Educate a Cat!” onto their clothing if given the technology.

One thing that caught my attention about this reading was how some traditions managed to stand the test of time, such as Mountain Day — a day only known to the President of the College until the day of when the clock tower bell is rung and classes are cancelled, encouraging students to venture out into the surrounding area for a nature retreat. Other traditions however, like Bacon Bat — a time when small groups of students would picnic into nearby rural spots — has disappeared or perhaps evolved into something new, something more modern. Like leaving campus to go to a coffeeshop or diner with friends. I think that our ability to look through archives and to see what things have happened in the past helps to inform us how rapidly or drastically things can change (or not change) within colleges.

Relating Smith’s archives to Bryn Mawr’s, there are still so many unanswered questions about Bryn Mawr’s past history that have yet to be answered or even inquired. I hope that once the College hires an official Bryn Mawr archivist that new things as well as old things will be discovered and added to the public’s knowledge of Bryn Mawr College.

One last thing I want to address is the issue of “herding cats” that Young posed towards the end of the article, talking about the difficulty of obtaining archival materials from alumnae/i due to sentimentality, hopes to make big bucks, and as we talked about in class, individuals thinking that their materials lack importance or significance. Young argued that the internet has helped to remedy this situation in some ways. However, she wonders if digitization and internet resources will be enough to overcome the hardships that archiving is encountering. I pose the same question for Bryn Mawr and its archives.

Bryn Mawr’s Next Top Alum: The Public Representation of BMC Alumnae/i

As a student, who is deemed worthy enough to be preserved in Bryn Mawr’s institutional memory? Which alumnae/i does the college actively try to present and represent in its promotional materials, on campus, around the world? These are questions that I’ve been grappling with ever since my first to Bryn Mawr’s campus as a prospective student. If I think back to this class’s first discussion, I know I’m not the only one thinking about these questions either. On the Bryn Mawr concept board that was made during our first class, someone wrote the name “Katherine Hepburn” and a question was brought up in class asking why Katherine Hepburn had been chosen as the alumna of the college — the “it girl”, our purportedly most famous graduate? Who decided that she was the person who would draw in students as opposed to Marianne Moore or Emily Balch? Was it the College’s administration, or maybe the Board of Trustees? Perhaps it was a public relations company who measured the “Q Score” —  the familiarity and appeal of a celebrity, brand, or entertainment product — of Bryn Mawr’s alums and decided that she had the highest score, making her the most recognizable. The diverse array of tactics that could’ve been used to determine who Bryn Mawr should showcase are a mystery, at least to most students.

Earlier in the week, I decided to get some work done in the mezzanine (loft area) of Bryn Mawr’s Campus Center and found myself staring at a quote on the wall that I had passed numerous times in my past two years at Bryn Mawr. It read:

“Each one ought to be dealt with as a separate individual, for we know that one’s mental and moral characteristics vary as do the faces of each one of us.” — Ume Tsuda, Class of 1892

Ume Tsuda Campus Center Quote

There in front of me beamed the quote of a student who we had just studied in class. Though Ume Tsuda has never been widely mentioned on Bryn Mawr’s campus, her presence is here even if it’s hiding in plain sight. As we read in Daughters of the Samurai, M. Carey Thomas took a liking to Ms. Tsuda, making sure to keep an eye on the College’s first Japanese student, and personally taking it upon herself to guide and mentor her. From a quick Google search I can see that Bryn Mawr’s website has posted a couple of informative posts about Ms. Tsuda over the years, highlighting in particular how she was inspired by Bryn Mawr to found her own women’s college in Japan.

Keeping this in mind, I once again ask the question, who gets displayed and showcased as a part of Bryn Mawr’s public history? Ume Tsuda was a “first”, but so was Enid Cook. Many of the upper middle class Black women who attended Bryn Mawr from the early 20th century up to the 1960s arguably reflected the values of the College just as much if not more than a visiting international student during that time period. Linda Perkins’ “The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960”  is the first time I’ve ever heard of these women though, many of whom went on to pursue illustrious careers while their White peers decided to become homemakers.

It’s the wild success stories, the alums who got a Bryn Mawr degree without too many bumps in the road and without too much controversy that the College has chosen to cherish in the past. The ones who can be exotified or perhaps even deified. The College has recently taken a step in a new direction in terms of which alumnae/i it chooses to represent. It was revealed that the former Perry House was renamed the Enid Cook Center ’31 during an opening ceremony this past Fall. By many, it was seen as a public acknowledgment of the College’s first Black graduate, and by some, as a decades late apology for the exclusionary housing policies that prevented Ms. Cook from residing on campus during her time at Bryn Mawr. Currently, there is a petition to rename Thomas Great Hall (TGH), formerly known as M. Carey Thomas library, due in part to the former president’s explicit eugenicist beliefs.

If Bryn Mawr chooses to act on the petition and change the name of TGH, this could signal a new era of public history and the representative image of Bryn Mawr College. Not only would the College be bringing further attention to its less than spotless past, it would also be giving current students agency in determining who gets represented in Bryn Mawr’s public history.