Hampshire College has abandoned its experimental values. Hampshire is projecting the image of an innovative, liberal arts institution, yet performing as a non-transparent, unaccountable corporation.
We are a group of students organized around the need for student, faculty, and staff involvement in decision-making processes that affect the entire community. We want community space, transparency and accountability on the part of administration, student efficacy, and a lasting and useful student government or community council system that engages and accounts for all individuals within this institution.
We acknowledge Black students as the community in the greatest need of recognition from the administration and engaged, activist labor from other students. Hampshire cannot be exculpated from a world organized on white supremacy and racial capitalism. For an institution that advertises itself as anti-racist and social justice driven, centering Blackness, specifically Black Trans Femininity is imperative. There is no path forward without centering Blackness, in our communities and in our demands.
We stand in solidarity against the silencing and alienation of student, faculty, and staff voices – especially those of Black students and students of the global majority – perpetuating the disengagement of community members.
The administration has repeatedly ignored calls from communities in crisis, and, as a result, members of our community face precarious situations. From an Institution that prides itself as promoting a strong consent culture, reported acts of sexual violence have not been met with adequate justice where survivors’ needs are neglected, forced to engage in a small community where offenders are able to roam freely. Dining service workers’ rights have been completely disregarded and left out of conversations that they have the right to be in.
Moreover, we acknowledge the need to address the economic, political and social needs of undocumented students at Hampshire College. Beyond the legal realities of lacking citizenship status, undocumented students are often victims of circumstances beyond their control. With this in mind, international students could also face the loss of their legal status here in the United States without the proper institutional support and resources. This insufficient support, compounded by the declining retention rate of international students, points to a systematic inability of Hampshire College to provide for the nuanced needs of international students.
Our goal is the creation of a new public space that will amplify voices that the administration has silenced and create a safe place for Black International bodies and undocumented bodies to exist within our campus through access to resources and empowerment rather than exploitation. By centering the needs of the most marginalized in our community the whole community is transformed. In gathering, we create the community we seek.
Grant Holub-Moorman, Xavier Torres de Janon, Shira Hollinger, Alina Miglietta, Ben Stumpf, Adam Blaustein Rejto, Redgina Jean-Paul, Treat Shepardson, Nay Paing, Kaylie Vezina, Caitlyn Counrale, Lisa Darmet, Amalia Mayorga, Mei Seva, Dylan Eli, Jake Burke, Saumya Joshi, Rosalinda Cummings