Michael “Trixie” Kengama ’14 On The Importance of Dialogue (And The Purpose Of All Those Posters)

Last week, campus was covered in posters and chalk messages that posed point-blank questions about a variety of social and ethical issues. A few days later, Michael “Trixie” Kengama ’14 sent an email describing the intention behind the posters and inviting the campus to discuss them in an open forum. On April 8, Kengmama — whose personal narrative “I’m A Sexist, Homophobic Racist” was published on the Thrill in February — sat down to give the us further insight.

So, I guess the obvious question to start with is, why? What was this about — was there a mission statement, so to speak?

I guess the biggest thing was about promoting substantial dialogue. A lot of the people who I initially started engaging with have been very frustrated, especially over the course of [this] year, whether it be through the administration or even just seeing things that have happened amongst the student body. I think one example was after the white sheet incident, regardless of what people thought – because it was a wider range of opinions on it. But it was interesting how there was a meeting in the Black Student Union lounge for anyone who wanted to come and discuss it, and it was a good discussion, but one of the things that came up was the people in the discussion were the people you would expect to be there. They were racial and sexual minorities, or people who really cared about those issues. And that’s always the case, that’s always how it is. It’s  people who are really interested or directly affected by it. Obviously it’s important to have the space where people can talk like that, but… it’s something we really don’t address, that because it doesn’t really come out. The minorities are always more resident so there’s this kind of facade of ,”Yes, we’re talking about these issues,” but no, it’s really a very small minority that’s talking about these issues. It’s just that these kinds of issues have a lot of power that makes it seem like it’s a majority. There’s a lot of apathy.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump!

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Do it Tonight: Ransom Riggs Reading

Book on the left, author on the right.

In case you missed the giant poster in Peirce, you might have no idea who Ransom Riggs is. Well, he’s a man. This man is also a writer and a Kenyon graduate. Student Lectureships has organized an event for Ransom Riggs to read from his new novel, Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Children. There will be an introduction by P.F. Kluge, curmudgeon-in-residence. The reading will be followed by  a question-and-answer session. Unlike the John Green event, there are no tickets. But if you are feeling rather corrupt/creative today, you could make your own tickets and start selling them. It’s like the old elevator pass prank.  

  • What: Ransom Riggs Reading
  • Where: Rosse Hall
  • When: 7:30 p.m.

Check Your Shoes, Check Your Privilege

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I walked to Peirce from my 9:10 class this morning expecting nothing but casual conversation and a few pieces of cinnamon toast. However, upon arriving, I was confronted with several boldface questions written out in chalk on the sidewalk. “WHO CONTROLS ‘OPEN DIALOGUE?'” one read. Another questioned my sense of fulfillment here at Kenyon, and yet another asked if my socioeconomic status affected the way I thought about food. My mind instantly filled with shame over my white skin and comfortable home life — did I really take enough time to appreciate the struggles some of my classmates face on a daily basis? Did I fully grasp our diversity as a student body?

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