Pulp: Glotzbach Addresses Culturally Appropriate Thanksgiving Celebrations, Inspired by Yale
Dear Skidmore students,
That special time of November is quickly approaching, and along with the falling leaves and cooler nights come Thanksgiving celebrations on our campus and in our community. These celebrations provide opportunities for students to socialize as well as make positive contributions to our community and the Saratoga community as a whole. Some upcoming events include:
• Potato Turkey decorating at the Tang
• Lively "friendsgivings" across Northwoods
• President Phillip A. Glotzbach's fireside reenactment of the first thanksgiving 8:00pm Saturday, November 21
However, as we all know, Thanksgiving is also a time when the usual thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Skidmore students can sometimes be forgotten amongst family at home. Dinner tables are often a hotbed for political issues affecting the world, but you should remember that Skidmore’s code of conduct applies to students even when they are off campus. So, as you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner, please keep in mind some important Skidmore rules and values.
Students, Skidmore is a community that values free expression as well as inclusivity. We encourage all members of the community to express themselves, but more specifically we ask that you do so in the right way. Remember, we're all adults here (when it's convenient) so let us take this opportunity to have this important dialogue as adults.
Before engaging in any holiday celebrations, ask yourself (and every other guest) the following questions:
Is the meal that I'm preparing to serve marginalizing any invitees with particular cultural or dietary sensitivities? Gluten, dairy, and white privilege are topics that we must continue to have dialogues about as an academic community.
Is my outfit celebrating Native Americans and/or Pilgrims or is it appropriating their culture? Some examples that have been cited around our campus and others include: wearing feathered headdresses in imitation of Native Americans, sporting "tribal" flash tats at local bars, and infecting dinner guests with incurable diseases. These same issues and examples of cultural appropriation and/or biological warfare are becoming recurring issues with representations of Native Americans and Pilgrims during the holiday season. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Ashley Olsen, and Bono have been seen at music festivals and red carpets sporting buckled hats this season. Does that make it right?
Was the Turkey in any way victimized before arriving at the table? Was it ever subject to any feed that was non-organic. If you find it wasn’t, you should still assume that it was.
Did the host make every dish perfectly? If a guest brings a pie you don’t like, you should require the whole table insist that the host resign from their duties immediately. If they don’t leave their own house right away, refuse to eat all others deserts until they leave.
Did the host provide a warning that the coffee would be hot? If they did not, inform them that they have a responsibility to protect guests who might have been exposed to hot drinks in the past.
Do you have consent to clear their plate? If you ask to clear their plate and they nod their head, remember, you can’t clear it. Wait for an affirmative yes (remember, though, if they say you can clear their plate, that doesn’t mean you can take their silverware too).
We are one Skidmore, and the actions of one affect us all…so in whatever fashion you choose to participate in Thanksgiving activities, we encourage everyone to be safe and thoughtful during your celebration.
Phillip A. Glotzbach.
Pulp is a satirical section providing arts and all things entertaining