Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Interview by:Naomi Feasley
Q: Do you feel like this community has a strong identity?
A: BCSL does have a strong identity, rooted in meaningful service that addresses the communities needs and not just the students desire to see change, because sometimes that desire and the community need doesnt match up so we need to make sure students go into the community and make meaningful change. I feel like I belong as a member of this staff and Im invested in the success of our programs and students
Q: Was there a time when you saw community members and students perceptions of the community change through service?
A: Veggie U is a new community partner and they were a little unsure of how to work with students from Oberlin, but through the BCSL weve created a symbiotic relationship.
Q: How does the BCSLs service relate to what is happening outside of this community?
A: There are students that we work with and support that were involved with the protests in Cleveland, we have community partners in Lorain and Cleveland and for Winter Term we work on a national and global scale. Our students create positive change.
"I feel like I belong as a member of this staff and Im invested in the success of our programs and students."
Q: What do you love about the BCSL or what your job lets you be able to do?
A: I love the BCSL because there is so much potential here and everyone is so passionate and good at their job. And we are always given the chance to do more.
Q: Would you say that there is a difference in how Oberlin Students interact with their community than other schools that youve been in?
A: There are some students who are very aware of where theyre at, but there is also a very stark difference in the students who are aware of versus those who arent
Q: What words or images would you use to describe the Bonner Community and why?
A: Engaged and Responsive--because the students in particular engage with Oberlins issues and not just the change that they would like to see happen here and some of our students are extremely intentional and almost consumed by their work
Q: Is there anything youd like to tell youre community members about?
A: It's an all the time commitment, you cant be contentious 6 days out of the week and then on the 7th throw your beer cans on the ground... your actions support or dont support the community whether you think it reflects you in the moment or not.
Q: What is different about the way that the Oberlin faces economic, social and environmental challenges?
A: I feel like its facing those challenges head on in a way that I havent seen in other communities. Oberlin makes significant commitments to both the environment and the community and Ive seen it be really intentional about bringing businesses in instead of excluding them.
Q: How social issues can go hand in hand with sustainability?
A: The people who are most impacted by environmental change are most likely the most marginalized people in our community.
Q: Does the BCSL give Oberlin students give autonomy over the greater community?
A: It's all about relationships and when Oberlin Students go out into the community and are given a chance to see their influence in the community as individuals. I think they are being given the chance to really engage with the community.
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