By Antoinette Myers ‘12SAS President Elect
Hello Scripps! What an honor it is to be writing to you from my desk as the new SAS President Elect for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. When I first arrived at Scripps, I would not have guessed that I would be in such an important position on campus. But, alas, I am here for only one reason: to be the best facilitator of discussion that I can be. As a first generation, working class student and only the third Black woman to be elected as SAS President, I am truly honored and humbled to serve my community here at Scripps.
The biggest key word that we all are so used to hearing is COMMUNITY. But what should our Scripps community look like? While we may not ultimately have the same vision of what our community should be, I hope that as a student body we can begin to have more grounded conversations on race, gender and class. In “The Art of Conversation,” President Bettison-Varga urged us to feel comfortable calling her Lori. This request was part of a blog post in which she made herself extremely vulnerable, in a way that I have not seen of an administrator before. With that gesture, I believe she wants us to begin allowing ourselves to be open with each other, in hopes that we can truly build a collective unlike any other college campus.
I believe that becoming this sort of open community is truly possible, considering just how small our population is. What I want to see is a larger unified community outside of specific friend circles and dorm hallways. When I see another Scripps student that I may not know, I should feel comfortable approaching her and starting a conversation. I find that the most rewarding conversations of my day come from random encounters with Scripps students. Students with whom I have never had in class, students I don’t live near. Even if I cannot strike up a deep, philosophical conversation, the least I can do is say hello.
In my thoughts for next year, I often wonder if there are reasons why Scripps students feel their voices are not being heard. From my own personal experience, I find that being forthright and honest about what I would like to see happen at Scripps is the most productive method of discussion about our campus. I have noticed that in our community we have a lot of uncertainty about what we can do, who we can talk to and what kind of processes we have to go through to get things done. I hope to eradicate confusion and miscommunication about what can be done on our campus by sending out a fact about Scripps with every one of my SAS updates. For example, did you know that the Student Union is painted a color called Scripps White? Did you also know that students can file a formal, confidential complaint against a staff member at the Human Resources office in Vita Nova?
In the coming year, I look forward to having more open and honest conversations about who we are as a collective student body and community, what we want our image to be and what we want our campus to look like. We are the most powerful voices, and I think it is time that we truly begin to use them. I am sending you all best wishes for the end of the semester and my warmest congratulations to the graduating class of 2011!
Next year, I hope to be a person that you feel comfortable approaching during your time here on campus. Whether I have my long braids or my afro, I am sure that you will always see me running around. Do not ever be afraid to stop me and ask questions, or just say hello.