Students Hold ‘Ask Me’ Demonstration on the Tour Guide Path of Get Acquainted Day
By Gauri Mangala, News Editor
During Get Acquainted Day (GAD), Saturday, Apr. 13, a group of students stood on campus outside of Servo and all throughout the pathway of the tours holding signs stating “Ask me about the Gettysburg Experience” with specific statements of their personal experience, like being a woman in the economics department or being a transgender student on campus.
The students handed out pamphlets with the mission statement and demands of the protest, read the pamphlet here:
Students also held petitions to sign and have gotten signatures both from current and prospective students.
Anna Perry ’21, who held a sign saying “Ask me about the trans experience at Gettysburg,” said “I’m protesting the false narrative that GAD day gives to prospective students. When I came here on GAD day as a prospective student, I thought that I was going to be coming into a welcoming community and that’s why I chose to attend this college over other colleges and then I got here, and it was a completely different story. Narratives like mine are excluded from GAD day and its unfair to marginalize students who are weighing their options. So, that’s the main reason. I’m also here because I created a list of demands that I stand very passionately by that are based on my personal experiences and observations from bias reports, from inadequate representation in faculty and administration, and from unfair hiring practices. ”
In addition to the tour pathway, students were also stationed around Stine Lake and other main pathways in the center of campus, sharing their experiences.
The group plans to take their demands to the college and ask for a more diverse and inclusive Gettysburg.
Vanessa Martinez ’19, the media liaison for the group, said, “We’re coming all together just for different things. We see that Get Acquainted Day is the day where Gettysburg College talks a lot about different programs for diversity and things going on and really promotes these programs, but at the same time these programs are not as robust as they could be. So right here we are together, to really speak about our experiences that aren’t necessarily talked about or are part of the marketing. Just really getting to tell students like ‘hey here we are and here we are speaking about our own experiences, and we want you to know about these experiences — not because we don’t want you to come here, but because we want you to be informed about what exactly is happening on campus and how we exactly feel about it.’ We’re encouraging students to be a part of this if they decide to come here and also for them to know they have a community here. They have a community that although were all different and we all have diverse experiences but we can all come together in this moment to really speak about the need to highlight these experiences and the need to really encourage these experiences through the different demands that we are making.”
Dean of Students Julie Ramsey said in an email, “Students are raising some important issues that reflect their experience on campus and doing so in a respectful manner that engages fellow students as well as prospective students and parents.”
She added, “Of course, I wish that students didn’t experience frustration with the college, but I deeply respect their desire to express their concerns and their ideas for changes they want to see happen. My sense is that students feel that we listen to their concerns, but things don’t always change as quickly as they would like. I hope that we can continue the conversation with them about their concerns and keep working to address them as directly as possible.”
Director of Photography Mary Frasier contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon with a quote from Julie Ramsey. (-B. Pontz)