We Will Not Be Silenced

On Sunday night March 25th, a group of students surrounded the flagpole outside of Pollock Hall. The large gathering of students showcased the support of the raising of our new Black Lives Matter flag, which was hoisted up Sunday morning. A misunderstanding between students and administration continues as the administration wanted to take it down.

One thing that Green Mountain College prides itself on is its mission of sustainability. When looking at the mission statement on the college’s website it states,

“Green Mountain College prepares students for fulfilling lives by taking the goal of creating just and sustainable societies as the unifying theme for its interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate liberal arts education. The College fosters the ideals of environmental and personal responsibility, civic engagement, entrepreneurial spirit, and global understanding.”

How does a school that prides itself on civic engagement, as well as global understanding, want to take down a Black Lives Matter flag? May I present to you where the problem lies: This school is incredibly hypocritical. Every year, the school tries to find ways to increase its diversity within the student population. They do so by reaching out to students of color in heavily populated urban areas such as New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, etc. They also recruit students from numerous parts of Asia.

We have members of the administration who claim they stand with students who support social movements such as Black Lives Matter, but how far are they willing to show their support? By wanting to take down the Black Lives Matter flag last night, the school has really shown its colors. Does administration understand what that flag means to us? Probably not, so let me explain.

Seeing a flag hoisted in the air that reads, “Black Lives Matter” not only shows solidarity, but unification as well. It lets people of color feel comfortable at a place where they commonly feel uncomfortable. When you are black, you are wearing the scars of your ancestors in that your skin tone is looked upon as a threat. By having the Black Lives Matter flag wave beneath the American flag, it shows us not only the freedom within this country, but that our lives matter alongside yours.

This incredibly important given all the current societal issues that have been occurring to black students on college campuses. At times, it seems the weight of the world rests on our shoulders, and that our lives could be taken away from us. Seeing that flag wave represents that we are not alone. We are fighting this battle as a community.

Together as students and a community, we can stand together and use our voices. We are students, we are a family, and this is our campus just as much it is theirs. Without us, the school would not stand on its own. This college is not our only narrative, but we are the college’s only narrative.

So, administration, faculty members, and staff, take down the flag if you would like. Just remember by doing so, you are destroying the bridge that we as students are building to close the gap between administration and students. We will continue to rally in frustration if you do so. We outnumber you. We make the school. This college is our home just as much as it is yours.

Please, let’s not further divide this campus much more than it already is. We as students have the loudest voices and we will be heard!

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