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Some Thoughts on Our Worksop

S. Yaeger's picture

I have so many thoughts about our workshop.  It's hard to find a spot to start.  

I was surprised to see how many falculty members where there, and also a little saddened to see that there were not a lot of people from the support staff there.  I loved that there were people who work in admin there, but would have liked to have seen some custodial or grounds staff included too.  

In many ways, the absence of housekeepers and landscapers from the worksop highlighted one of the difficulties in starting a discussion of this nature on campus.  No matter how hard we work to be inclusive, there may always be a barrier between those in privileged positions, and those who are in positions of support.  I wonder how we can bridge that barrier.

I was very impressed with how open people were in the small breakout groups, and I always tend to like those better than big discussions anyway. I think that the biggest thing I took from my breakout groups was a sense of understanding a little better how others feel about their own class status on campus.

One of the few criticisms I have is that the workshop might have been a little too big for comfort in terms of the ammount of people there and the ability for everyone to be heard, but I think that's the sort of thing that can only become apparent through attempting to hold these events.  Overall, I thought it went well as a starting point, and I am very interested in seeing where all of this will lead.


meggiekate's picture

S. Yaeger, I agree with you

S. Yaeger,

I agree with you about the lack of custodial and grounds staff. On Thursday, when we were discussing our various experiences with inviting housekeepers, I was struck but the amount of tensions our invitation brought up. It seems to me that there's some underlying thing within the custodial staff about not talking about these issues. I've noticed it before when talking with the housekeeper in my dorm about her work. She was telling me about all of her various resposibilities around the dorm and how long everything takes, but was also sure to mention how fair the college is its treatment of her and in allowing her time off. It almost seemed like she needed to make sure she didn't come off as complaining about the college and her bosses. 

I'm not sure what's going on in the custodial department, but especially after this workshop, it's very appearent to me that class is affecting that area of campus more so than other areas because class issues are not something that we can even bring up.

kganihanova's picture

I agree with you on your

I agree with you on your comment about the size of the workshop. Everyone was in their own little groups and although we did move around, it wasn't quite as diverse as it could've been. We after all unconsciously drift towards those who are like us, do we not?