Reflecting on GSDR Center
I am one of the juniors who didn’t go abroad: cool. #notbitter (#mildsarcasm). While in ways I envy my friends returning from a semester away—their experiences and growth—I know that I made the right personal decision to stay, and am so grateful for what I learned from last semester. However, it took me a while to get to that point of view.
All my friends, newly returned to campus, excitedly question, “How was Colby?!” I cryptically reply, “Ummmm it was…interesting.” How descriptive, Berol! In reality, I’m not sure how else to describe the semester until now. Tense, polarizing, angry: zillions of other adjectives come to mind. I’ll cut to the chase—this semester was a difficult one for our community for numerous reasons.
Coming off of last Spring—a semester booming with energy, positivity, and hope—this fall was quite different. I spent a lot of my JanPlan (in addition to sleeping too much and unabashedly enjoying trashy television show marathons) reflecting on the difference. I thought about how I could better do my job as Resource Officer, and what our goals as a community could be for the coming months. It became clear to me that we can learn from the fall semester, and I challenge us to truly do so. We must continue the hard conversations we started, and make the transition from acting as a coalition to a vibrant community.
And guess what? We begin this discussion with a particularly exciting victory. As you may or may not have heard (I have been on a cloud since I heard the news), the Board of Trustees approved the position of a Director of a Gender and Sexual Diversity Program at the meeting this past weekend. I could talk about reasons why this is so exciting until my hair turns gray, but I’ll mention two now and go further next week.
First, this shows the power we have as students and as a community writ large when we come together and fight for our needs and hopes. You think you can’t make change? You can. YOU CAN! I remember co-authoring with a group of amazing professors a proposal for a Gender and Sexual Diversity Resource Center and Director last spring and angrily worrying that progress would only be made in the five years post my graduation.
Bring people together and determination pays off. I can’t even begin to properly begin to express gratitude and awe towards the members of this community who made this possible, from the initial push from alumni like Jess Acosta and Heather Pratt, to the Bridge and SGA, to the tireless work of the administration and faculty…. We worked together to better Colby. If I do say so myself, we got SH*T done. So, be empowered to make change!
Two, all the talk of change we’ve been making will start to come to fruition even more than it has. A Director for the Resource Center will be able to offer the education, support and advocacy we need as a community. As I said at the Monday night community forum, while it is thrilling that the position has formally been approved for the fall, what proves most delightful is that now we can figure out exactly what we want the new hire to do and what we want a program and eventual center to provide. Have ideas? Share them. Whether it be about this, or other related things, I am here (as always) as a resource. I want to better help Colby and you, and for me to serve y’all well, feedback isn’t just appreciated—it is needed! Email me: email@example.com.