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Perry House - Inclusion and Exclusion

Serena's picture

For my essay, I chose to focus on the space and history of Perry House, which currently serves as the Black Cultural Center; student residence; and meetingplace for Sisterhood, Mujeres, and the Bryn Mawr African and Caribbean Student Organization (BACaSO).

In my paper I analysed it place for both inclusion and exclusion. While Perry House has always been a sort of safe haven for Black, African-American, and now Latina students, it also seems often to deter those who do not fit into these categories despite being a public space. Residence is open to all students, regardless  of race, but the predeterminant that you must be an active member of the cultural groups that meet at the space ensures that mostly women of those races live there. In addition to this, its detachment from the campus ensures that residents of the house are likewise relatively isolated from the rest of the campus.

I also spoke about the condition of the house and how it shows class relations between the college and the students. The house is worn, with (as you may be able to see) missing shingles, areas where the stucco or paint has chipped off and reveals the original material, and a stained door. Despite its appearance on the outside, the internal structure is for the most part akin to the rest of the dorms, albeit with DSL instead of wireless internet. The condition of the house compared to other dorms on campus shows a certain apathy toward the residents of the house, which is informed by class structures, as blacks and Latinos have historically been representative of the lower classes.


Serendip Visitor's picture

I would love to... your essays! Now, what class was this written for?

Rae Hamilton's picture

I too...

Wrote about Perry House. I feel that Perry house represents a really interesting dynamic on  Bryn Mawr campus. I focused my essay on how the distance from Perry House represents the distance Bryn Mawr must go in diversyfing Bryn Mawr campus. I chose Perry House because I after having many convwersation with members from Sistahood-- who also represents an important part of Bryn Mawr I feel is ignored.