By Caleb Diehl /// Managing Editor
Buffeted by gusts of wind and chilled by a morning frost, students outside Frank Manor House students this afteroon sung a cappella, pounded drums and danced to music blasted from speakers. Others dug in with sleeping bags and heavy blankets.
“I really felt like my college experience would include something like this,” said Frances Swanson ('17). “This is one of the times I’ve felt a lot of pride in being a Lewis & Clark student.”
A cross-country runner, she said she has seen almost all of her teammates come and go throughout the day. Her sociology and Exploration and Discovery classes were cancelled, and she missed French class so she could show her support all day long.
“I’ve always felt safe across this campus,” she said. “That shouldn’t be a privilege. Everyone should feel safe.”
A few feet over, Molly Kiefer ('16) sat wrapped in a down sleeping bag. Besides one break to use a restroom in the manor house, she has stayed out in the cold for the entire day. Beginning around 10:30 a.m., she listened to speeches from President Barry Glassner, Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez and Tricia Brand, among others. She said Glassner’s attempt to empathize with affected students, where he described being discriminated against for being Jewish, didn’t accomplish what she had hoped it would.
“I definitely appreciate him talking to us,” she said. “But he didn’t really address any of the transparency problems or demands.”
Huddled next to Swanson, Caroline Gray ('17) said she was motivated to come to Lewis & Clark because she thought students would be passionate about social justice issues.
“One of the reasons I came to Lewis & Clark is that I thought students would be really into justice issues,” Gray said. “Change and social action needs to intertwined into our curriculum.” Kiefer echoed that observation in describing both students and administrators.
“Some people had such strong support for what we’re trying to have a conversation about,” she said. “It’s really cool that everyone who’s been here has been so passionate.”
Student leaders are planning a debreifing for later in the week, to discuss the effect of the sit-in and how students, staff and faculty can move forward.