Friday, July 5, 2013

Lots of missing: this time, this year

It's been over a year since the last post! Let's jump right in.
Hampshire College.
Located in Amherst, MA, this private liberal arts school boasts a student body of about 1,500. The college was founded around the late 60s/early 70s time, and is earnest in its approach to providing an education that seems even more pseudo-hippie than Bard. I could point fun and say "no grades? what are you even doing there you liberal yuppies?" But I went to a small, private, 'liberal' school too. Who am I to judge? And for real- this school is in the Five College consortium, giving their students access to Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Who here is going to say that isn't a pretty good deal? Sit down Claremont Consortium.
And onwards to the point:
location: Hampshire college, 2013

Back in April, Hampshire is hosting a conference run by Civil Liberties and Public Policy. Oh, you want to know about them? The Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program (CLPP) functions to to help smash the state and end patriarchy! Well, actually they educate and train leaders and activists on issues of reproductive rights and health, and social economic justice. Developing in the wake of Reagan-era enti-abortion pressure and right-wing attacks, CLPP emerged to engage students in activism and social justice.
Does anyone care about Hampshire stats or just another picture of weave? Whatever, you're getting a little bit of everything today. It's been a while!
Based on numbers provided by Hampshire's admissions website, the teacher to student ratio is 12:1. Neat, good size. That's small, so lots of attention. Ok, what's next? Some of the same idea- average class size is 18. Next? Students of color: 18%; International students: 6%. That's it. Those are all of statistics. It can't always be a priority to break down racial or ethnic diversity- or am I saying that because I am perceived as a mainstream looking young person (read: looking pretty white). The percentage of white students isn't listed because it's assumed that the school is going to be primarily white and, in my experience, probably female-bodied or woman-identifying. For more perspective, Amherst Massachusetts is also primarily white, female, and middle class as well.
But even I can't stay angry about everything all the time. This conference looked like an incredible event that deserves a shout out and praise. Diversity is always a photo opportunity (remember I went to a small liberal arts school, so I know this to be fact), but it doesn't feel contrived coming from the 2013 CLPP conference. I can't say more because I wasn't there, but I feel empowered just looking at the website and watching video clips.
More power to an institution like Hampshire if they provide a space that is safe, inclusive, empowering, and productive for this conference to take place. And love to the CLPP for bringing "over a thousand activists, students, academics, and professionals from 132 campuses and 260 organizations" together for the weekend.
And for serious readers of this kind of activism, it gets better. According to more info stuffed in the conference's website, the following things were provided: childcare, scent-free environments for those with chemical sensitivities, non-discriminatory bathrooms, wheel chair accessibility, ASL translators, and all-inclusive meal options. To help with funding, they provided help for fundraising campaigns and opportunities to apply for transportation and housing stipends. Aid with funding is monumental  in order to prevent the exclusion of activists on the basis of economic status. Dialogue is strengthened.
I hope too much synthetic hair wasn't lost at this conference.

Thank you to Genna for the picture
Thank you to Defiance, Ohio for 'This Time, This Year'
Thank you to Hampshire College
Thank you to the CLPP

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