By Stephanie Steinbrecher ‘16Staff Writer
In the past few weeks, the Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE) office has asked students to consider what the concept of class means to them. In six words or less, Scripps students were invited to anonymously write their thoughts on a card that was delivered to every mailbox on March 5. These cards will eventually be compiled into an e-book that SCORE hopes will “start an honest conversation about how the Scripps community experiences and talks about their socioeconomic background,” according to information about the Class Project on the Inside Scripps website.
“Contributors are asked to restrict their feelings to a handful of words which, when combined anonymously, will help us all learn more about how we feel about class,” said SCORE Program Coordinator Yuka Ogino in an email to The Scripps Voice. “This semester SCORE wanted to shift some of the spotlight to less-explored topics that are as equally pervasive at Scripps. Listening to students’ stories, SCORE has learned that some students feel marginalized in every-day situations due to their socio-economic background.”
Submissions are accepted until April 7, and the e-book should be sent to the Scripps community soon after. Once faculty, staff, and students have had a chance to review the e-book, a community dialogue facilitated by Gender and Women’s Studies Professor Piya Chatterjee will take place to examine the feelings and issues that were brought up in the cards.
This project is based on the Race Card Project that NPR’s Michael Norris started in 2010. Seeking to begin a conversation about the topic of race, Norris invited people to submit cards containing their observations, personal stories, hopes, etc. regarding this “prickly topic” in six words or less. What began as a conversation starter turned into an “epilogue,” reports Norris on his project’s website. SCORE hopes that the Class Project will foster such necessary dialogues at Scripps.
The topic of class, like race or gender, is not one that SCORE has spent much time exploring but hopes to talk more about in the future.
“We’ve heard students express that Class is often silenced but definitely not hidden on this campus, lending to the importance of starting dialogue around this topic,” said Ogino.
SCORE hopes that the Class Project will be a great way to continue conversations about topics that really influence how all members of the community live and interact with one another.