Before I came to Goshen College, I had no idea what a Mennonite was.After three years at GC, I know what “Martyrs Mirror” and Mennonite Central Committee are. I have played Dutch Blitz and held “Voices Together.”
I know there is more depth to the Mennonite experience, but I think it is fair to say that in a short time, I have not only been exposed to the culture, but immersed.
The population at GC is shifting, though. We know most students are not Mennonite anymore.
So then why does this institution feel inescapably Mennonite?
In a few years, I have come to hold a general weariness around Mennonite institutions, and ours in particular.
Of course, there are exceptions — there are a few people that give me hope for the future of the community.
I have seen several instances of corruption within our own institution.
People at the top protect each other and work hard to preserve the image of Goshen College.
But other people are seeing through that faltering image.
How many times can something take a hit before there are so many bruises they can’t be covered up anymore?
This semester, I have been approached by people whom I have never encountered before, asking about my work with The Record.
These are the same people I later learn questionable things about. How do I know if their intentions are pure or set on keeping me happy and in line?
I have no emotional or generational ties to this institution, so it is easy to be objective and simply report what is happening at GC.
This semester, Jakyra and I have worked to take advantage of our paper’s “student-run” principle.
Our issues have called out institutional discrepancies that harm marginalized people, including myself.
As an executive editor, my job is to present the public with objective information to help them make choices.
Writing this, I am breaking away from solely being a reporter, which is scary, but necessary in my eyes.
GC recently “celebrated” reaching a Hispanic Serving Institution designation.
Most of the Hispanic students GC currently serves, and will serve, are not Mennonite.
How will Goshen College ensure that the majority of its population does not feel excluded or isolated or like they are infringing on a close-knit community that claims to want to serve others, but only when it benefits them?
To GC administration: this is not an attack, but rather a call to action.
By reporting the facts, we are giving you the perfect stepping stones. This reporting will only benefit you if you absorb it and apply it.
Instead of keeping things hushed, talk about them.
Invite people for open dialogue. Listen, then act — consistently and in a timely manner. This will show people that you care.
If you are afraid of The Record and the truth that it reveals, work to make sure there is nothing to be exposed.