AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SCRIPPS COLLEGE STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, AND ADMINISTRATION

You may be wondering why we decided to have a storyless front page for this issue to protest student censorship. You may think it’s dramatic, ridiculous, even unnecessary. And, trust us, we try to strike frivolity from this newspaper anytime we see it. By making our front page blank, by demonstrating against silencing of student voices here and everywhere, we are protesting not just against the disposal of our newspapers on Friday but against a number of policies and occurrences this year that have directly targeted and silenced Scripps students.

We are protesting the silencing of student opinions with the restarting of the LASPA Center hiring process without consulting or notifying students. We are protesting the blatant disregard of student opinions with the selection of the 2014 commencement speaker without the approval of the student committee tasked with making this decision. We are protesting the college’s neglect of the fight that students are waging against classism and imperialism by the classist and imperialist over- and undertones of Scripps’ new campaign. We are protesting the indifference towards the voices of students, faculty, alumnae, and parents and the lack of respect for students’ visions for their own lives with last fall’s speedy passing of difficult barriers for students who wish to self-design their majors. 

We are protesting the notion that there is one kind of leadership, one good way of expressing our thoughts, and that all Scripps students are of one mind. We are standing in solidarity with students protesting the lack of a Native American Studies program at the colleges, the lack of representation of and support for students of color at Scripps, and the lack of serious discussions of class on campus. We are protesting these things in earnest, and we are demanding that we be heard.

As is often the case when a person’s rights are being denied, it is not useful to dwell on the intentions of the person who is denying that right, who is refusing to listen to those voices. The point is, after all, that someone knows they are silenced, and by concerning ourselves with the intentions of those in power, we are further ignoring and further silencing those whose voices are already being smothered. We therefore turn our attention away from those who intentions are already well known, and we focus on student voices in this issue.

As a student publication, we often have to disclaim that the views expressed in The Scripps Voice do not necessarily reflect the views of Scripps College, or even of those of us on the editorial staff. However, in this issue, we would like to boldly assert that the views expressed in these pages do represent Scripps College—because without its students, this college would have no voices at all.

We blame no single person or entity for the transgressions laid out here; when a community fails its members, we are all at fault. That means, however, that we must work as a community to address these problems and prevent them from returning to our campus. As we demand that we be heard, we also urge our classmates to continue speaking out in their loudest voices, and we charge our administration not merely to hear us, but to match our words with the force of action consistent with them.

 

Sincerely,

Megan Petersen ’15 and Aidan Harley ‘16