The McGregor Expansion: Gateway to Yellow Springs

You may have noticed by now, that whenever you make your way to Kroger or maybe go for a delicious snack from the Wendy’s dollar menu, that a rather large building is taking shape with signs advertising a new McGregor University. It seems like everyone you talk to has an opinion about the McGregor expansion. Whether they feel like it’s an ecological nightmare comparable to the Exxon oil spill, an economic fi asco not seen since the likes of Jurrasic park 2, or the saving grace of the Antioch brand an ambitious dream project capable of transforming McGregor from niche institution to nationally revered graduate program. Rumors are fl ying and it seems like everyone has something to condemn, or defend about the project. Some big questions that come to mind upon seeing the construction include; what spawned the need for a new University building, where is the money coming from, and why doesn’t McGregor want to be our neighbor anymore? A development this big is bound to have great effects on the town, and our college so I sat down with our own Steve Lawry, and Barbara Danley the president of McGregor to discuss what these effects might look like, specifically what they would mean for Antioch college and our relationship to McGregor. Continue reading The McGregor Expansion: Gateway to Yellow Springs

Faculty Senate and AdCil

Shared governance and self-governance are words that have been tossed around the Antioch community since the days of Algo Henderson, and more often since the Board of Trustees commissioned its plan to renew the college three years ago. The college faculty have recently implemented a new governance structure to ensure empowerment in light of the changes charged by the Renewal Commission. Until recently, the faculty have operated under a shared governance structure facilitated by the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC). The FEC worked to set the agenda of faculty meetings and often reported to AdCil for review of curriculum and personnel issues. Over the last two years, the FEC realized the frustration and dissatisfaction the faculty expressed over AdCil’s decisions and processes. Continue reading Faculty Senate and AdCil

Echoes’ Journey Part IV: A tour of the Caribbean

Echoe’s JourneyMartinique/Bequia/Tobago Cays, February/March 2004

Last Term: Catamaran Echoes left Port Camargue, France, in stormy December 2003 and after a chaotic trip through the Mediterranean and a peaceful yet cathartic one across the Atlantic, safely reached the shore of Fort de France, Martinique. Its crew consisted of Gina-the-dog, a future Antioch student and her father; the trip had no time constraints and no goal…except that, maybe, of freedom. In mid-afternoon we rode the dinghy back to Echoes, anchored in the bay of Petite Anse, a non-touristy, picturesque village with pastel-colored fi shing boats sunbathing on a small deserted beach and stray scabby dogs roaming the empty streets. It was the beginning of our second week in Martinique, and we had just taken a ride across the island. What we had seen was quite different from the village harbored by Petite Anse, it was, in fact, very much like France, the Metropole, as they called it, only with more coconut trees. Or maybe it was very different, except for something in the atmosphere that reminded us of the place we had just left? Still, as we helped Gina out of the red dinghy onto the deck we felt the same urge: get away from here.

One hour later, we had lifted anchor and were sailing to the South. We were laughing behind the steering wheel. It was the fi rst time we had left a place so abruptly, and the exhilaration was unmatched. To know that at any time, anywhere, we could just leave everything at once and be gone an hour later…without anything to prepare on the shore, without anyone to tell where or why we were going… It was an immense relief, a deeply liberating feeling, breaking in an instant years of adolescent frustration about constraints, responsibilities and structure. Complete freedom, detachment from all material ties was now possible. We could change garden every day if we wanted to: there was always an escape, so the dream of escape naturally was gone. The world became an open window.

Three days later I woke up to the sound of the grinding of the anchor’s chain on its track. We were in Bequia, a small island to the South of St Vincent. About sixty boats were anchored in a round bay. Yellow motor taxi boats were roaring through the harbor, bringing sailors and tourists to the shore and back. It was a market day and the town was restless. After making sure the anchor was safely gripped, we climbed in a yellow speedboat as Rasta Tony –joint at the lips and a very proud air– took us to shore. People shouted out or jumped away as Gina led the way. “A bear!” some cried out. No, no, it’s a dog, and she doesn’t like to be called fat, so please…Gina and I sat side by side on the steps of the immigration/customs offi ce as my father went in to get our passports stamped. Fatal strategic mistake! The quarantine offi cials hurried outside and asked me to take this creature back on the boat right away! St Vincent still operated under the rigid quarantine rules of the old British colonizer, and for the following two weeks of our stay in Bequia, Gina had to wait until dark for us to discreetly smuggle her into the dinghy and to a small isolated beach. Hurry, hurry Gina! They can’t fi nd you here!..

It took me a while to get used to the fruit and vegetable market of Bequia. Ran exclusively my middle-aged Rasta men, it was an experience in and by itself. Whenever I—or any other tourist or boat person– approached the perimeter of the market, the harassment started. Hey! Come to my stand! Come here, lady, I have the best! The irony was that absolutely everyone in the market had exactly the same thing on their tables, probably from the same plantation: bananas, mangoes, papayas, sweet potatoes, limes, ginger… And whenever you would set foot inside…well, let’s just say the SOPP didn’t apply. As one shopkeeper, his arm around your shoulder, took you to his incredible stand, another one pulled your arm while he told you about his amazing mangoes while a third one was busy shoving papayas directly in your bag. Possibly, at the same time, one or two might ask you to marry them, but that was just common conversation. Many tourists got upset and refused to approach the market, after experiencing it once. My strategy consisted in going around, buying one item from each stand, and getting out with minimal marital promises. “So, what did you do in Bequia?” Well, we ate fruit. A lot.

After two weeks we left Bequia for the Tobago Cays a bunch of little deserted islands of white sand surrounded by crystal clear water, the postcard type, except that no Photoshop color enhancement was needed to get the bright turquoise color; it was there, for real. When I say deserted, I mean the islands themselves; the sea around them, on the contrary, was pretty much the opposite of deserted: it was, actually, like a fl oating parking lot. To the point that a fi sherman in his speedboat had to come by our hull and tell us that there was one spot, over there, between the Sun Odyssey 40 and the Snowgoose 35, right behind the big Catana, see, but don’t put too much chain on your anchor or you might hit the Beneteau that’s right behind you!

After a masterful maneuver—all the more so because it was made with only one functional engine—we found our space among the forest of masts, and jumped into the transparent water. But the excitement didn’t last. All the boats around us, we fi nally found out, were charters or rental boats. No boat people in sight, only tourists, fresh from the airport and there to spend two weeks on a postcard in supposed paradise. Many Americans, barbecuing on the beach, with the fi sh and lobster local fi shermen had sold them at exorbitant prices. Absolutely no community spirit–the amazing boat people spirit that we were about to discover a few islands away. Each boat crew on its little strip of white sand, on its little island; a superfi cial would-be paradise, a wilderness for sale.

We waited for the wind to shift east. The next day, we raised anchor. Next week: fi rst encounter with real boat people in Curacao, the gathering of a fl eet, and how to anchor by night through the reefs of an atoll.

Senior Profile: Jessica Davis

Jessica DavisT- “What year did you start coming to Antioch?”

J- “The fall semester of 2002.”

T- “Why did you choose to come to Antioch?”

J- “I grew up in Fairborn, and I wanted to stay close to home. So it was either Antioch or Wright State. Most of my high school went to Wright State, and I didn’t want to go back to high school again. My mom also really encouraged me to come to Antioch.”

T- “What is your major?”

J- “Biomedical Science.”

T- “What was your last co-op?”

J- “Well, it was this last summer in San Francisco, where I worked at an addiction pharmacology research lab. Its probably one of the coolest co-ops that Antioch has to offer.”

T- “What are you doing for your senior project?”

J- “For my senior project I have teamed up with a creative writing major, Dayna Ingram, who is taking an independent study this term to help me with my senior project. She wrote a murder mystery novel that she will use to set up a murder mystery with the help of several students, and I am going to attempt to solve it forensically. It’s a lot more complicated and expensive than I thought it was going to be, but it should be pretty awesome.”

T- “What are your plans for when you graduate?”

J- “Well, I still have to do a hanging co-op this summer, which has to be a cross cultural science co-op. then I plan on graduate school for forensic science. Hopefully I will be going to Scotland for a Ph.D program in forensic toxicology”Jessica Davis 2

T – “How do you feel about being an HA this semester?”

J- “It’s different, I have always worked with the ASC until this term. It is definitely a change of pace. I have a lot more time, which is why I choose to do it. It has also helped me get to know some of the younger students, because I never really hang out with fi rst years, but now I’m getting to meet some of them. I feel better about some of the changes Antioch has been making, because I get to hang out with the younger students and get a different perspective on things.”

T-“How do you feel about the separation between first years and then upper-level students?”

J- “I think it has its good points and it bad ones. One good point from an upper-level perspective is that when first years come to college they are on their own for the first time and they can get crazy. I don’t really want to be around that so much, because I’m older and I need to get my work done. It’s not party time it’s work time for me. I also feel this separation does a disservice to the younger students, because they don’t get any of Antioch’s oral history like we did when came to Antioch.

T- “What do you think about all of the changes going on with Antioch right now?”

J- “Some of the changes I think have been for the better, but I think some have been very bad. Antioch does need help increasing its student retention. I think the new drug policy is fairly ridiculous. I never thought there was too much of drug problem here, and this is the fi rst time I have seen students get expelled for drugs. I think that is really sad, because Antioch used to be a safe place to do things like that.”

T- “It’s not going to be an open environment basically.”

J- “Yeah, and that’s not good. When I first came here you could walk up to somebody and they would be giggling at you. You would be like well what’s wrong, and they would say well this person is tripping on mushrooms. Now you won’t do that, because people are afraid of getting turned in for drugs. I understand why, I just don’t agree fully.”

T- “Do you have any messages you would like to give to new students?”

J- “Hang in there, wait until after you first co-op to leave. Co-op changes you a lot and you don’t even realize it until you come back.”