I ask you to today to please understand how much Asian communities, among so many others, benefit from the existence of the Office of Violence Against Women, an Office supplying invaluable grants that allow for the existence of nonprofit organizations crucial to the protection of women who face sexual and domestic violence. The funding cuts proposed by the Trump administration threaten the existence of these organizations and the lives of the women they assist and protect.
Note: While writing this article, I used the online S&B Archive as a source for my information.
Why are things the way they are? What were they like before?
These questions plagued me at the start of my second year at Grinnell. The first time I saw a new student I immediately thought to myself how only one year apart, this student’s experience at Grinnell would already be so different to mine.
This is due in part to the fact that Grinnell, like many other college campuses nationwide, has a problem with institutional memory. Knowledge is continuously lost as students graduate and leave, weakening student power and making the already slow crawl of creating positive change on this campus — at an institutional level — transform into a trudge.
Editor’s note: The S&B article mentioned below has since had its title changed to “Grinnell Republicans Form New Campus Organization.”
Grinnell College is getting demonstrably worse on a micro-sociopolitical level. The college’s shameful relationship with POC, the whining of campus reactionaries, and most groan-inducingly, the ever increasing tepid liberalism of the south campus intelligentsia, have all shown to be disconcerting examples of the college’s steadfast decline into a blasé Princeton Review institution alongside Oberlin and Macalester.
Recently, the Scarlet and Black, a usually laudable outfit, published a farcical piece entitled “Grinnell Republicans Bring Balance Back To Campus Narrative.” Historically, draconian ideologies designed explicitly to divide and disenfranchise are what liberals have deemed “balancing.” It is an unfortunate fact that campus conservatives feel empowered enough to voice themselves in our Trumpian America and it is even more disheartening that so-called campus progressives feel the need to support and advocate for their platform.
A recent article by Charlotte Richardson-Deppe makes the case against a labor union for students who work in the dining hall. She argues that “forming a labor union just for student workers is exclusionary, ineffective, and potentially dangerous to the freedoms of current dining hall labor as we know it.” While the article is well-researched and very detailed, I want to address some of the points the author makes.
Author’s note: Special thanks to Rosie O’Brien, Alice Herman, Cory McCartan, and Alex Claycomb
Editor’s note: Updated on May 17th at 4pm to revise factual errors.
The College treats students as students first; it mandates that students cannot work more than 20 hours per week, an official change in policy for 2015-2016 and beyond. Even if you work 20 hours per week in the dining hall (officially called the Marketplace), it is not your primary occupation. Your homework and your classes are your main focus. Even if you are struggling to pay for your education and life here at Grinnell, while you are enrolled at Grinnell, your needs are likely provided for on a day to day basis, particularly if you live on campus. You have a place to sleep, students who live on campus are required to have at least a partial meal plan, and you are required to have health care, provided by the College or not. In contrast, for the career staff in Dining Services, working in the Marketplace, Grill and Catering is usually their primary occupation. They depend on the College for the wages and benefits that they need to pay rent or housing, to buy groceries, and the security of health care and benefits. The Marketplace is not a lucrative venture. It loses money every year because of many factors, including rising food costs. In order to tighten the budget and defray costs, the stability of some career staff jobs is sacrificed– for example, the “cheery checkers” who greet us and check our P-cards are purposefully scheduled just below the full-time threshold, and some are not provided full-time benefits.
Not every story has a happy ending. Not every person has good intentions. And not every friendship is forever. Sometimes the good things or even the good people in your life are only temporary fixtures. This can be a hard thing to grapple with, but once it’s digested, letting someone go is the most invigorating feeling. I don’t like to think of people, especially friends, as disposable, but there comes a point where the relationship is no longer indispensable and the person is no longer essential to your happiness.
Sexuality is not a phase. It is not a joke. It is as much of a person’s identity as their hair color or eye color, or DNA.
So why doesn’t everyone take it seriously? Or rather, why doesn’t everyone take bisexuality seriously? It’s a minor annoyance, but a valid one nonetheless.
The first time I hear of bisexuality, I am thirteen years old, at the Duke TIP program. My friend and I are walking around the campus, arms linked in one another. When we pass two boys, she separates from me, so they “won’t think we’re bi.” She giggles, and then says “Or maybe they’d like us better if we were.” The word instantly possesses a negative connotation. I don’t know what bi means, or is. I do not ask.