From the Editor

Dear Reader,

Antioch may have abandoned  its football team decades ago, but there is no team sport like a newspaper. I would like to thank those who have been so supportive of The Record as we get rolling once again.  Above all, I would like to thank my staff of writers, layout designers, copy editors, and photographers who have donated their time and talent to make this possible.

We are still a small and developing newspaper; thank you for your support as we work to bring The Record back and make it strong. Please do not hesitate to contact me with concerns, feedback, or thoughts to share about how we are doing, and how we can improve in the future.

Kijin Higashibaba

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Sustained Dialogue Network Visits Campus

by Louise Smith, Dean of Community Life

The word ‘community” is written all over Antioch College. It is part of our curricular structure in the 3 C’s. It appears in the name of our weekly general meeting. It is in the name of our campus government,  and written into our mission as follows: “authentic social and community engagement is vital for those who strive to win victories for humanity.”  How much do we agree on what it means to effectively create community here at Antioch? How much do we agree on what the definition of community is? And how do we navigate, at close range, the myriad experiences we bring to bear in any given encounter with another community member on any given day?

Almost three years into our reconstruction of the Antioch community, we are challenged to create spaces and strategies that are truly inclusive and effectively welcoming to all. In order to help with this effort, The Diversity Group hosted a Day of Dialogue and brought the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network to campus for a day of training for the whole community. SDCN is an initiative of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD), an organization founded in 2002 to promote the process of Sustained Dialogue for transforming racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted conflicts in the United States and abroad. The SDCN works with and supports colleges and universities across the country.

The Day of Dialogue began as an initiative from Diversity Group to provide training for the community at large in skills of inclusion. Through the Giving Tuesday campaign, Diversity group raised $5,000 to fund these efforts. In March, Community Life sponsored Nick Daily, Louise Smith, Jane Foreman, Nargees Jumahan and Elijah Blanton to attend the SDN Conference at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. At the conference we identified Rhonda Fitzgerald, Managing Director, as the trainer we hoped to bring to campus and confirmed that SDN might be useful here at Antioch.

SDN defines dialogue as “a process of genuine interaction through which human beings listen to each other deeply enough to be changed by what they learn… No participant gives up their identity, but each recognizes enough of the other’s valid human claims that they will act different towards each other.”

Tuesday April 29 was our Day of Dialogue here at Antioch. We held train-the trainer sessions and a longer Community Meeting with breakout sessions to practice some of the strategies we learned as trainers. At the end of the day we identified  some next steps for our work that include another training session with Rhonda this summer and creating small group discussions around specific issues and identities.  We have tentatively scheduled the date for Tuesday July 22 but hope to do some other activities sooner. Stay tuned, keep talking and above all, keep listening!

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Self-Care Begins Within

by Marshall Gravley-Novello’ 16 

Students: Antioch is not a parent.  The institution employs many who cook meals, who clean up after us, and who expand our minds.  It is better than a parent; it is a community.  So do not confuse its advertising rhetoric of “new and better ways of living,” and “victories for humanity,” with a replacement for parental advice.  The administration is working very hard to help us be resilient.  It wants us to find meaning in addressing the challenges of the modern world because a part of bouncing back from hardships (many of which we have yet to experience) is having something to believe in and a community who believes in us.

During Antioch’s elections Lillian Burke put forth a strong stance on the issue of self-care but it is a discussion that needs reframing.  Unfortunately, no matter where on earth you are, the system needs to change.  Perhaps it feels disappointing or unjust that the pace of life here doesn’t provide ample time to do self-care.  But it is not the institution that creates this feeling.  It is every one of us that has ever said something like, “There is not enough time.”  This is a self-fulfilling prophecy that forces us to prioritize, between one important task and another, through a lense of scarcity.

Yes, we work hard and make sacrifices; but where is the line between hard and too hard?  My experience has shown it starts in our hearts.  For everyone who needs self-care, I urge you to find time in your busy schedule to meditate.  This practice teaches us the abundance that exists in scarcity.  And if you would like community, there are several classes in the courseschedule and the Dharma Center down the street is open to all.

 To do something that matters, recognize that everything matters, no matter how small.  The difference is in every step.  Once you have found a place in your heart, untouched by the urgency of modern living, share it with everyone you see. For intrapersonal and interpersonal sustainability are so intimately tied that any discussion of self-care must lead to the greater question, “How do we establish a culture of care?”  And as we begin to ask that question, we are not as alone as we had thought.

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Challenges and Rewards as a Faculty Member

Dear Antioch Community,

Two principles I strongly believe in are accountability and respect.  In that light, I need to reframe some of my recent public comments.

During the human sustainability discussion at the May 27th community meeting, I made comments during the large group report-out that were unintentionally negative and misrepresented the views of the faculty and myself.  I fear that what I said was both painfully demoralizing and gave the impression that the faculty had nothing positive to say about the college and our place within it. That message was not intentional.  I was speaking off the cuff and I failed to be mindful and conscientious of what and how I was communicating.

The faculty caucus had a much richer conversation than my public comments portrayed.  But, we interpreted the discussion questions very narrowly, and the more positive questions were glossed over in favor of discussing solutions.  Some of this was due to a misunderstanding of the discussion process, but I think part of it was also due to the difficult nature of the subject. Within the context of human sustainability, there are a lot of challenges that face all members of the community, and because the challenges can seem so much more immediate, they can sometimes overshadow the many positive things about being a member of the Antioch community.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to do just that—to highlight some the positive things that sustain me in my job here at Antioch. The faculty is incredibly diverse in its opinions and passions, so I can only write for myself.

Here are just a few brief examples of what helps sustain and reward me at Antioch: the ongoing relationships I have with students where I can see them grow and change and to see a little bit my own growth reflected in their progress; working with community members through shared governance structures like RAB; the license to push the bounds of my teaching craft and the willingness of students engage new ways of learning; the regard for humanity and small acts of kindness I witness on campus on a near daily basis and have been graced with myself; the attempt to put values into practice and to move beyond talk.  Above all, the most rewarding experiences for me here at Antioch are the relationships I am able to build with the members of this community: students, staff and faculty.

I really like my job.  It can be frustrating at times, sure, but it can also be inspiring, challenging, intellectually and emotionally rewarding.  At its best, it makes me feel like I am a part of something worth doing and not just another cog.  It challenges me to be a better teacher, a better scholar and a better person.  I think a bigger challenge, maybe, is to be mindful of this when called to face some of our difficulties.

With utmost respect,

Sean Payne, Assistant Professor of Political Economy

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Letter Home

Co-op is going to make getting back into academia a bit more difficult, I’m afraid.

I’ve always wanted to write professionally, and sex education is one of my biggest passions; in my current job, I’m doing both. At the moment, I do my job out of my single room in Birch. While this might not be particularly glamorous, it’s a decent place to start, and I feel content.

Maybe to say I’m content isn’t entirely accurate. I guess I feel content in some ways and even more restless in others. On one hand, I feel that I’m slowly but surely gaining work experience. This is ideal for my current station in life, what with still being a full-time student and all. On the other hand, though, I feel like I could be diving right into the line of work I want to pursue, but I can’t because I’m, well, a full-time student at a college without a gender studies program.

Progressive, inclusive sex education is a fairly small world—basically, everybody knows everybody. As such, opportunities that once seemed like distant goals for “The Future” are actually entering my line of vision. Of course, getting there will require a ton of work, but it actually seems attainable now. This is simultaneously exhilarating and oddly depressing.

Don’t get me wrong; going to a college like Antioch and getting a comprehensive liberal arts education was a privilege I badly wanted. Until the fellowship came along, I didn’t think it would be possible for me; I don’t want to seem ungrateful. But to think that I could feasibly support myself doing the work I love doing? And I could do it, like, soon? It’s just so tempting to know that the sex ed community is prevalent in Australia, or in San Francisco. When the monotony of the Midwest starts grinding me down, those options sound substantially more enticing than Ohio.

I won’t be making any hasty decisions any time soon, though. Now that I’ve got a more solid idea of what I actually want to do, I can plan a little more specifically for my next co-op, and hopefully strike a balance I can feel good about.

At the same time, you never know. A lot can happen in a year.

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