Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day of Silence

Today being the National Day of Silence I felt it was appropriate to blog about the day. Yesterday Ramapo participated in it (partly due to the fact the campus is pretty much dead on Fridays and we wanted people to actually see us with tape covering our mouths, but also because we like to make our own special days here at Ramapo… but I digress) and it was the second time I have ever participated in the day. To say the least my second go at it was much more successful than my last.

In high school I had attempted to participate, yet with barely any sense of a LGBT community and a lack of a functioning Gay-Straight Alliance, this attempt was met with many walls. Half the student body didn’t know what the day meant and the other half that did understand did all they could to make the ten or fifteen brave, silenced souls speak. Even faculty joined in the frenzy, along with my friends. It was disheartening and frustrating at the same time for the closeted seventeen year old I used to be.

However, this year at Ramapo, I experienced a tremendous difference. While there were still those who tried to make me break my silence, like some fraternity bro, I was met with much more support. Being unable to talk for the day proved to be extremely powerful. I never participate much in class or speak abundantly but having the ability “taken” away from me was difficult to bear. I found myself frustrated sitting in class while those around me drooled every time my professor proposed a question and I knew the answer.

I felt just how moving and powerful this experience can be. I felt the intense pressure and frustration of those in my community who are not fortunate enough to be open like I am. It made me feel grateful for wonderful family and friends I have in my life, and thankful for the community I have at Ramapo College.

- Shane

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