By Brittany Worthington
Ninth week’s community reflection offered select seniors the chance to reflect upon their Senior Individualized Project experience. The lecture, “SIPs that Changed Our World,” was sponsored by the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning.
“My SIP didn’t change the world, but it certainly changed me,” said senior Ellen Smith, one of the speakers.
Rather than discussing their SIP topics in detail, the speakers spoke about the experiences they underwent while completing them. Issues of confidence, authority, perspective, subjectivity, and personal responsibility pervaded all of the speeches.
Senior Alexandra Sachnoff discussed recognizing privilege and channeling it into effective change. “Everyone has a certain position in the world and that comes with power and responsibility,” she said. “I didn’t want to exploit other people’s experience and not give anything back.”
Senior Shani Turke described the SIP as a jumping-off point rather than a capstone to her K experience. “[My SIP] profoundly changed the way I see the world and what I want to do in it,” she said.
Elvin Caldwell offered advice to juniors preparing to begin their SIPs, telling them to pick something they are passionate about and to find issues that transform our speech, thoughts and actions.
Finding a voice and confidence in personal power to make change was something senior Cooper Wilson believed to be a vital part of completing a SIP. The most important thing, Wilson said, “[is] knowing that you can. That your SIP can be transformative, even for yourself.”