Messages from the P&P Co-Exec Directors, Tejashree Jadhav & Ilse Spiropoulos

Message from Co-Executive Director Tejashree Jadhav

Hello Community–

Everyone affiliated to Whitman College, and everyone who is not. We often, throughout our tiny lives, affiliate our bodies and hearts to places, groups and communities. Our identities, our static, inconstant, sometimes stretched-to-fit-in identities are fed by these affiliations. Sometimes we need these identities to make sense of ourselves and reserve a small space for us in a vast universe. Sometimes, though, as much as we despise it, our identities are used against us, backstabbed, rejected or worse, ignored and unacknowledged. We have grown smarter over the years to make barriers more subtle. There may not be discriminatory boards outside gates but the way to the top floor is only through a staircase. 

The Power & Privilege Symposium is an important part of the year, not a mere day, but a push to do something, anything. This symposium is an invitation to rethink the ‘regular’, the staircased pathways to the top, the unquestioned systems that block some of us out from a life lived to its fullest. This year we question Accessibility. As aware as we are that we don’t possess all the answers, we hope that this symposium urges us to question. 

Many of the session leaders are students. For some, it's their first time to address a big crowd while bringing stories that demand their vulnerability. I hope you come with engaging and welcoming minds, embracing all that the symposium has to offer. Thank you for your presence. It takes every one of us to go Beyond the Bare Minimum.

Sincerely,
Tejashree Jadhav
Co-Executive Director 

Message from Co-Executive Director Ilse Spiropoulos

While Whitman College, along with many other liberal arts colleges, has progressed toward equity there is always the threat that progress will plateau. One of the primary threats to this progress is a simple lack of access to modes of advocacy.  Too often on a global level change stops at the first step which leaves behind any voice not at the first conversation. It is imperative that we, students, faculty, staff, and administration, do not allow surface level policies to serve as a replacement for genuine structural change. This year’s theme asks Whitman to go beyond the bare minimum in the way we interrogate power and privilege. 

As Whitman students we have the fortunate opportunity to bring forward and discuss our own insights to the systems of power and privilege that impact us during our time here. The Power & Privilege Symposium has been designed from the beginning to expose underlying bias and inequality built into the institution's core. For students to truly put to use the knowledge we gain, we have to go beyond what is expected of us or what is sufficient to gain social status as an “activist.” I have faith that our team has created a symposium that will allow every participant to gain access to the knowledge and opportunities necessary to go beyond the bare minimum themselves. I hope that this symposium, as a recurring event, is not the end but the beginning of new roads to change. 

Please enjoy the 2022 Power & Privilege Symposium: Beyond The Bare Minimum.

Sincerely,
Ilse Spiropoulos
Co-Executive Director

Meet the Student Executive Leadership Team