Effective Activism on Campus: SkidAction Profile
SkidAction is a group of students who, through an intersectional lens, are motivated to make Skidmore a more inclusive and progressive institution. Although SkidAction is not an official “club”, it consists of devoted students such as Nathan Canada ‘17, Nat Cabrera ‘17, and Megan Volkert ’19 who strive to encourage students to become more active in their community, fighting against the systematic marginalization that not only exists throughout the world, but also within the realm of Skidmore College.
Currently, SkidAction is working on their “United Initiative.” This proposed program is intended to build a First Year community through explicit discussions of identity and its innumerable intersections. Implementations of the program are still under discussion, however the proposed pilot program will occur during the fourth credit hour portion of the First Year Experience, optimistically beginning Fall 2017 if passed in the spring. The pilot will include four to six professors donating their fourth credit hour to the United Initiative. The peer mentors would hopefully then be trained as IGR (Inter-Group Relations) unity facilitators. The seven modules that this initiative will focus on include Sex and Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Ability, Sexuality, Class, Religion and Environmentalism. Each week will alternate between a lecture and a discussion regarding each of these seven modules.
The importance of SkidAction is its intent to affect immediate change on campus through weekly efforts of writing emails and proposals. Currently, the group is focused on the next steps regarding the United Initiative.
Canada explains, “The emotional side of activism is important in the process but SkidAction focuses mainly on the action side of it by tackling institutional issues regarding intersectionality at Skidmore. Current issues on campus include its classicist nature, sexual and gender-based misconduct, transphobia, homophobia, and racial issues. We want to directly combat those at the institutional level so that Skidmore recognizes these issues and makes the appropriate changes.”
SkidAction wants to make Skidmore a more inclusive and safe environment for marginalized people, while also educating the community to become good allies. A roadblock along the way has been in the establishment of the acceptance and support of marginalized communities as a requirement from the student body and administration. Canada said that there are definitely good intentions, but “there needs to be more communication between the reality of student life and its higher-up perception.”
Canada joined SkidAction because they wanted to “actually affect change. Even if it wasn’t successful, I could say I did something that’s tangible. I wanted to write a proposal, an article, or an idea, and having something in front of me that I could then push forward.” Canada explains the organization as a group centered on effective activism.
Skid Action is open to all who are interested. Weekly meetings take place Tuesdays, 7-8pm, in Ladd 106.