Reflection Collection: Student Perspectives on October 2021 Campus Tensions

By || TCR Editorial Board

What are the first couple of words that come to mind when thinking about the past week?

What is the future of F&M?

Hayden L.

The campus is currently in a dilemma where they have to face the realities of prejudice on campus. A single day of voluntary activities is not going to scratch the surface of such issues. Therefore we must seek as a campus a way to socialize these anti-prejudices into the student body in an effective way. I hope that the future of F&M includes a real analysis of these issues, rather than performative stunts that shows that the campus “cares”.

Nick P.

It should be a colorful, diverse, beautiful college but there needs to be some action taking place this week. 

What changes do you wish to see during your time at F&M?

Ahmed A.

I want to see leaders of organizations who think they are on polar opposites sit with each other.

Diana L. 

I wish to see issues being taken seriously and to have proactive, not just reactive conversations about issues plaguing our campus. 

Hayden L.

I hope that the students are enabled to fight off these prejudices themselves. These issues are not ones that can be solved through changing campus policies or allowing these students themselves to decide when it’s okay to end their prejudices. That leaves the student body, who may not have a literal responsibility to fighting these prejudices, but a moral obligation to do so. Through my time I hope to see students becoming more comfortable with the confrontation of their peers when faced by prejudiced actions.

Nate B. 

I don’t know if I know enough to definitively give an answer. I want to see safety for my fellow minorities on campus. I want Black, Asian, Jewish, and LGBT+ students on this campus to feel protected. I want to stop looking over my shoulder when I hear footsteps behind me. I want to stop worrying that when I tell my friends that I love them, it might be the last time I get to do that.

What does belonging mean to you? 

Diana L. 

Belonging means feeling fully comfortable within a space to be my whole self. 

Hayden L.

To me, belonging on campus means that we identify ourselves as a part of the campus. We do not fit into the campus, we are not members of the campus, but we are the campus. A world that we all belong to is one that we can all identify with each other on the basis of being human beings, where we understand that prejudices exist and we fight for a better day, not for ourselves but for everyone.

Additional Thoughts:

Ahmed A.

Reach out to someone you think hates you, and make an ally.

Diana L. 

We need to start correcting our peers when they say things out of line and we need to start holding our administration accountable for lack of effort.

The College Reporter reached out to F&M’s student body asking for submissions regarding students’ perspectives on recent campus events related to the protest tree, racial tensions, and the ongoing student discourse. The College Reporter reserved the right to not publish submissions. Please reach out to reporter@fandm.edu.

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