Statement by Judith Shapiro on Hunger Strike (Nov. 7, 2007)
By Spectator News
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 7, 2007
Note: Spectator is not responsible for the content of this statement, which has been reproduced here solely for informational purposes.
To the Barnard Community -
Among the issues of concern to students beginning their strike today is one that is common to Barnard and Columbia: the extent to which we are failing to live up to our diversity aspirations.
I share our students' deep concern over recent incidents of hate and bias and also, as you know from previous communications, feel that we must attend to everyday patterns of behavior that maintain barriers between students of different backgrounds. I look forward to Barnard's joining with Columbia and Teacher's College to participate with the City Council in the "Day Out Against Hate". We must all hope that the intense attention this day will bring to issues of inter-group strife and intolerance will provide the inspiration to maintain our focus in an ongoing way in the days that follow.
In terms of curricular issues, the Barnard Trustee Committee on Diversity, which includes faculty and student members, recently had occasion to discuss whether our General Education Requirements in such areas as Social Analysis, Cultures in Comparison, and Reason and Value might better prepare students to confront issues of difference in as knowledgeable as way as possible. This will, of course, be part of the ongoing work of Barnard's Committee on Instruction, which has four student members.
Barnard's Student Government Association recently sponsored a Town Hall that provided a good venue for airing these issues. I welcome further suggestions from the SGA about how to proceed with additional activities and conversations that can play a productive role in our campus life
A final word: while hunger strikes have a long and important history as a form of political action, they are not without their dangers and may not always be a necessary strategy in a particular situation. I am hoping that we can together strengthen our efforts to making the changes we need to make in our community.
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LET THEM EAT CAKE!!!!I AM STARTING A HUNGER STRIKE OVER THE FACT THAT IT SNOWS IN NEW YORK AND THAT TAXI CABS ARE YELLOW, OF COURSE I WILL ONLY STOP EATING BETWEEN MEALS!! I AM STARTING A COMMITTE CALLED THE CLOWNS AGAINST YELLOW CABS AND SNOW UNITED FOR A BETTER NEW YORK AND A BETTER WORLD!!! I HOPE THE UNIVERSITY WILL HELP FUND MY GROUP!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!
Posted by: anonymous (not verified) November 7th, 2007 @ 5:46pm