It wasn’t very long ago that students on this campus were uprising on this fair arcadian hill. This comes from generations of hornets practicing a term some of us like to call “Kritical Love”. Tensions may have resumed to their normalized passive aggressive state, but the issues at the root of these tensions still remain.
As I enter the final year of my K-Plan, I honestly don’t know how much love my heart can hold for this place, one of many violent institutions.
The love I hold lives within my relationships with students, alumni, faculty, and staff. But this is not a piece about my relationships and the love I have for folks, this is my attempt to check-in with the campus community on our progress with addressing institutional violence.
Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
There were 10 demands delivered to the Administration and Board of Trustees. Only two of those ten demands have been met. One demand has been disregarded through action of the college following last school year’s State of Emergency.
There are students, faculty, and staff that don’t agree with the methods and tactics of the Intercultural Movement. I know because I hear these critiques in my classes, as I walk around campus, on my social media timelines, and even in this student newspaper.
It’s exhausting to go into every space on campus preparing for commentary. As one member of a collective, I see how these social interactions have affected my ability to engage in this community. I am not the only student experiencing the waves after effects of doing this movement work.
I have no doubt in my mind that if it wasn’t for my fearless comrades of the Intercultural Movement, Kalamazoo College would be doing more institutional research on Intercultural Centers, versus having its third candidate for Director of Intercultural Life come to campus this week.
As I sit in the Interim Intercultural Space, I experience conflicting emotions. I have the joy and pride of a collective organizing win. Yet, I also am reminded that the small room that was Hicks 110 is reflective of the priority and urgency this institution has had throughout its history.
In many ways, that space remains Hicks 110.
To my fellow students of color on campus, I see you. I know this place can be hard. I also know that for some of us things have always been hard, and for that reason we know safety is relative. Audre Lorde talks about how being desensitized to violence is an example of how our dehumanization is institutionalized.
Our humanity is always worth the fight.