Posted June 4, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Letters & Opinion
 
 

When The Power Was Yours, What Did You Do?

QUISNEY PROJECT ENCOUNTERS ACADEMIC CENSORSHIP

Student Submission

BY MATT EBARB

What is Evergreen? I’m sure the admissions department has a brochure with the answer to that, but I researched that question before I transferred in. The most attractive thing about Evergreen for me was getting an education somewhere that wasn’t afraid to be bold and push boundaries. I understood Evergreen to be a place that encouraged you to make statements and make differences… and now our administration seems bent on stopping one.

People on campus and in the local community have been talking about The Quisney Project since fall quarter. ­­What they’ll soon be talking about is how the arguably most liberal college in the country was too scared to let students perform it. Members of Evergreen’s administration (whom I’ll refrain from naming) are threatening to deny the production of “Out: Once. Upon. A. Time.” necessary college resources unless elements are removed that would compromise the integrity of the show.

To said administration, I’ll say this: We are, always were, and always will be “that bunch of hippies in the middle of the woods” to the entire rest of the country. The image and culture of the queer community are permanently tattooed on this campus. The foundation of what makes this institution successful is a community of students willing to take risks and faculty and administration willing to back them up. There is nothing anyone or anything can ever do to change that. Understanding that is the first step toward solving many of the problems this campus has.

When I got here, I met a recent graduate and asked him what the best thing Evergreen did for him in his college career was. He said, “Evergreen had my back, but Evergreen also knew when to get out of my way.” I think Evergreen is forgetting how to have our backs and when to get out of the way. I bring this up because we’ve had town halls and investigative projects about why we are now at a record low enrollment. I’m being asked to go out and tell people what a great place this is to go to school. I’ve already mentioned every reason why I would say such a thing, and now those reasons are slowly being taken away.

I want to ask anyone reading this to think about something. We all here at some point while growing up that “life is not fair.” No matter who you are, at some point you will be in a position of power or influence over something. Life can be unfair, but when the power was yours, what did you do about it?