Category Archives: Colby Bicentennial

Colby Students Demand to be Heard

Yesterday, February 27, 2013, I was invited to attend the screening of a powerful and daring documentary created by a group of young students and future filmmakers at Colby College.

The title, Bicentennial: A Documentary was seen by over 100 students and faculty in the Lovejoy Building. In the past week, it premiered to a audience of more than 300 students and faculty. The creators of the film are from Africa, Nicaragua, Brazil, and the U.S. and represent the diversity that is Colby, but in their eyes, not yet!

Challenging Colby’s president, administration, and faculty, these brave and courageous students raised such issues as racism, sexual violence on campus, the lack of help for students with different learning styles, the fact that janitors and cafeteria workers (SODEXCO is a private company hired to run the cafeteria) are not paid a living wage and lack benefits.

Just last night after Colby’s president delivered an address to students and faculty, the students attempted to read prepared remarks and were not permitted to do so. After one student was allowed to speak, the president and faculty then walked out on the students, in what I describe as a shameful, hypocritical, and disrespectful.

Here is an excerpt from a written response of the president of Colby.
“The great excitement of the day also brought with it a challenging moment during the convocation, when several students interrupted the program by coming onto the platform to read prepared statements. I agree that the issues they raised are of concern to us – indeed, I had highlighted most of them in the Bicentennial Address that ended moments before the students took their action – and I think it’s important to note that we have been doing this work and will continue this work in many venues and with many constituencies.”

Here it is for you to decide.

The students have promised me a copy of the feature documentary and when it arrives I will share it.