Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Institutional Diversity Commitee: Class in the Classroom

Speaker Rachel Rybaczuk from UMass and Amherst led two workshops on April 5th and 6th: one for students only and the other with students and faculty. Rybaczuk was invited to Middlebury, after having visited last year, in order to continue the discussion of socio-economic issues on college campuses. Alliance members attended both workshops: A common theme addressed by both students and faculty was the belief that the discussion of socio-economic diversity is repressed on Middlebury's campus. Rybaczuk sought to break down the stigma around class and believed class is bound by the assumptions people construct around social status--her resonating message was to push for discomfort. Some students expressed a light-hearted desire for a "Campaign of Discomfort"--not a bad idea. The structure of socialization has established mores and boundaries for members of society, which Rachel argues must be interrupted by speaking out and pushing the "uncomfortable" button.