October 27, 2007

Forum Raises Emotions

Students and faculty filled Jewett's Lounge this afternoon for the discussion regarding the noose incident. The discussion shifted from Cappy's impulsive blaming of the sixth floor to the noose as a symbol of racism to the noose as a symbol of death in general.

Africana Studies professor Quincy Mills distributed handouts and discussed the place of the noose in American History. Dean JJ Jackson spoke eloquently about her feelings.

The climax came when Professor Simpson raised his voice, calling students ignorant for not knowing the history behind the noose. Several students were brought to tears.

Residents of the sixth floor finally had their chance to clear the air, saying that the knot had been hanging for at least two years.

Jewett house president Alexandra Dempsey expressed concern that the House Team did not have a chance to discuss the issue before Cappy sent her email to the entire campus.

Other students expressed their feelings that the noose should not only be considered a symbol of racism, and should raise other issues as well.

The meeting was very informative and effective. The House Team did a great job and putting together the event. Regardless of the knot's intention, hopefully it will spark continuous conversations about working towards a safe environment.


Anonymous said...

Safe environment? The knot had been hanging for two years? As in... there was a knot that somebody projected as being a noose and therefore this whole thing was set into motion?

I don't see how safe environment plays into this at all. I mean, if you want to have a discussion about Jena or about the history of the noose, than by all means have it. And if you want to discuss racism in the united states or right here on Vassar's campus that's fine too. But I there's something wrong when these discussions are held in order to make some imaginary noose making environment safer. It was not a noose.

So much sensitivity, is it even good for the community?

Anonymous said...

We like to call it paranoia, and a need to feed it

Anonymous said...

this is ABSURD. the administration is going way overboard. bringing students to TEARS? not to mention the amount of fear and discomfort that this has all brought up, instead of really making anyone feel comfortable in this community. yeah, it's good to be aware of racism. the first e-mail was fine. but this is seriously turning it into a much bigger deal than i'm sure it was ever intended to be. what bothers me most is that no one took any measures to really find out what the motive was before they concluded it was a racist symbol. i think some of the administration at vassar need to get a reality check.

Anonymous said...

This shows that just like other sources of power, the administration here is relying on fear.

Anonymous said...

My FIRST reaction would have been a suicide attempt, or a mock one. Is racism really more important than the wellbeing and feelings of a potentially suicidal student?

Anonymous said...

the noose or "noose" (whichever you prefer) was absolutely not hanging for 2 years. it was discovered by a vassar employee who does walk throughs of jewett twice daily monitoring the halls for items belonging to the dorm which are missing or damaged including window sills, window screens and window shades.

Anonymous said...

Have you people seen the pictures? It looks like a noose, I don't think there is ANY argument there. I don't care what you associate it with, suicide, racism, they all matter. But for God's sake will you please acknowledge that this has bothered and affected people in a negative way? I'm not condoning Cappy's preemptive blaming or the way the administration handled this problem, but I think the students reactions say something about us here at Vassar, and its not a good something. I heard that people at the meeting were saying things along the lines of "we shouldn't be punished for the crimes of our four fathers." That IS ignorant. Jesus, I hope that professor made THOSE students cry. This is Vassar, let's start acting like VASSAR STUDENTS and give two shits about what's going on in the world and what's part of our history instead of just PRETENDING to.

Anonymous said...


The noose was made at the beginning of last year by a guy who no longer lives in Jewett. He used to be a boy scout and obviously therefore knew how to make that knot (which by the way, is a knot which is used quite often in the army). He created the "noose" because it made it easier to pull down the shade.


Anonymous said...

You know what's ignorant? "Four fathers."

Anonymous said...

fuck your forefathers and the ignorant bastards who keep that legacy alive. anyone who doesnt see the racial significance of hanging a noose is an idiot and deserves to cry and/or go into a deep hole or be slapped until they're pink