Living Within The Margins on Campus

One of the many dangers that arise as a result of living in a society that has been intentionally constructed to protect and uphold the privileges of certain groups is that fact that even educational institutions are not immune from it. As a result, there are issues that female college students face that can affect their lives both on and off campus.

When one in four women is assaulted at some point in their lives, safety becomes a major concern. I would like to see more conversations about the importance of consent, what consent really means, and spaces for healing when this consent has been violated.  Interpersonal violence is another major issue facing students. Whether physically or emotionally, interpersonal violence affects the lives of women and it is important to create spaces where women can be safe and loved in a healthy and intentional way.

There are also issues facing students whose identities lay at the margins. Queer and trans women, women of color, economically disadvantaged women, and disabled women face a myriad of issues. It is important to hold institutions accountable for the way these women are supported on campus and provide spaces for marginalized women to voice their concerns.

As a graduate student, I often think back to my experiences as an undergraduate and the issues I faced. From personal experience, it is important to challenge the academy and create your own intellectual path.  Learn how to heal at your own pace. It is okay to be angry at oppression, at trauma, at the difficult things. And to embrace the spaces and people that will help nurture you because these are the things that will sustain you long after you leave campus.

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