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The Chameleon

abradycole's picture

Like Sunshine, I chose “Lessons from International Students on Campus Living and Classroom Learning” Because I think the experience of current Bryn Mawr students is well within our reach. We spoke briefly a few weeks ago about the advantages of documenting and archiving injustices on our campus as they happen. I think that this piece should be used as an example of how to do this kind of important documentation work. There’s a completely fabricated barrier between theoretical conversations we have in our classrooms at Bryn Mawr, and practical change we can make from those conversations. This kind of documentation is the first step in making change.

There are two things I’d like to talk about. The first is more open-ended and the second is more concrete.

  1. Are there other pieces that have been written about injustice at Bryn Mawr with a goal of change in mind? We’ve now discussed two of them, but it might be interesting to compare a few others (if they exist) and talk about the ways they succeed in achieving their goals and the ways they could be improved to help current and future Bryn Mawr students.


  1. I’d like to talk a little bit about this quote from the Nnaemeka piece:

“The chameleon is cautious. When the chameleon comes into a new environment, it takes the color of the environment without taking over. The chameleon adapts without imposing itself. Whatever we choose to call our feminism is our prerogative. However, in this journey that is feminist engagement, we need to walk like the chameleon—goal‐oriented, cautious, accommodating, adaptable, and open to diverse views.”

Should the “chameleon” have to take on the color of its new environment? If, to acclimate to a new culture, one must lose part of one’s cultural identity, are we diminishing part of their identity? What can we do as an institution to support all parts of our students’ identities? Is that impossible because we cannot queer institutions like Bryn Mawr?