What uni are you currently attending?
Junior at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY
What is your major/minor?
I am a Studio Art Major, my concentration being in Communication design and secondary concentration in Photography.
What clubs/groups/activities are you affiliated with?
I am in a sketch comedy club called The Sketchies and an improv comedy club called The Ad-libs. I am a peer health educator on campus which basically means I am a peer-to-peer anonymous source trained to moderate conversations/disagreements, provide emotional support, and sexual health support and supplies. I am head of outreach at Skidmore’s JKB theater. I am head graphic designer for the only animal rights club on campus, Compassion for All. If I happen to audition and make it into one of the shows you can also find me in the theater performing every now and then.
Any current project or activity in particular you would like us to showcase? Please name specific examples of events you have been a part of and their significance.
My school recently created this pop-up class, the first of it’s kind, called What Now? That was a response to post election shock/feelings/fear that I am proud to say my Skidmore advisor in conjunction with other members of the community helped to make happen. It consisted of having a big town hall-esque meeting where people from the college -students, teachers, and staff- as well as people from the Saratoga Springs community came in and had a massive dialogue about what we were feeling, what and how we move forward from here, and what we need to be conscious of to get there. From the idea or hack-athon I began working with a group of about five teachers from Skidmore to create this concept called Heard. It is in the process of becoming a website where we gather stories from individuals in our community (Saratoga Springs) and potentially outside of it where they have experienced oppression or marginalization and give a platform to these stories to be heard in multiple mediums, spaces, and platforms. This is especially important to pay attention to, these voices of the oppressed, after the hate rhetoric of the Trump campaign and it being legitimized through the electoral college. I cannot speak much more on it right now, but I am in the process of creating the website, logo, and other graphic aspects of it and am excited to see where this project takes me.
What is the biggest payoff TGS has given you in your uni or adult experience?
The greatest pay off by far has been the ability to empathize on a greater level, to have a vast understanding and appreciation of cultures that encourages me to constantly accept instead of stigmatize. My love for travel will never die which I am greatly appreciative of. I’ve found that TGS made me comfortable being uncomfortable, and I gravitate towards spaces of diversity on multiple levels, seeking difference. The tendency to embrace variance or disagreement is something I enjoy but have not found to be commonplace after leaving TGS.
Want to share a message with your current alumni?
I hope all the Rebelz of 2014 are killing it out there, as I’m sure they are. I hope to see more of their faces soon in the coming years!
Beny and Charis