By Meghan Gallagher '15
I love this school. I am grateful everyday that I am privileged enough to live here and to learn here. I am continually inspired by incredible Scripps women who challenge my beliefs and broaden my horizons. Scripps has undoubtedly shaped my identity (both in and out of the classroom) and for that I will be forever thankful.
When I heard news of The Campaign for Scripps College and how it boldly states that “We Want More,” I was ecstatic. I do want more for Scripps, and that’s not something I am ashamed of. Ambition is not a bad thing. Progress is not a bad thing. All too often women and girls are conditioned to self-sacrifice and put aside their own needs for the needs of others. We are taught that part of being “good” and gracious means accepting what we are given and being satisfied, settling for what other people are willing to give instead of fighting for what we want. This campaign slogan is bold and maybe a little bit obnoxious, but clearly we need a push. For those feeling guilty about the college’s request for progress, I ask if the same kind of backlash would be occurring at a coed school? To me, this discomfort surrounding ambition is a distinctly gendered phenomenon and one that students should be questioning. Wanting more opportunity, justice, innovation, and knowledge for my school and myself does not mean that I care any less about global literacy or accurate representation for Native Americans. In fact, I would argue that my Scripps education makes me distinctly more qualified to tackle these issues.
I am a firm believer that you can’t help anybody until you first help yourself. I plan on doing incredible things with my life. I plan on changing the world and I believe I can make a difference. I also believe that this change needs to start at home, where we are socialized and educated. We need to combat this notion that as women of a women’s institution, we must settle for less than our male-dominated counterparts. What kind of world would we live in if no one demanded justice? Or if no one fought for opportunity and knowledge? We can’t just hide in our courtyard gardens lamenting the state of the world, we need to actively and aggressively combat injustice, and I think that starts with the radical notion of wanting (and asking for) more. So I ask my fellow Scripps students to question why they feel so uneasy and outraged by this new campaign and to challenge patriarchal ideas about what we as women do and do not deserve. I think that we deserve progress, and I am not afraid to ask for it.