Students of color react to campus protests

Published May 5, 2017, 2:17 p.m. - 181 views


Kawan-kawank (my dearest friends),
We have come a long way. From the rallies and discussions of last November, to the ones happening around campus as we speak. As a senior who’s about to graduate in less than two weeks, I find it difficult to swallow that this is the note that I will end my time at this campus with. As incidents upon incidents unfold before us, I could not help but to wonder what will become of this campus upon my departure and in the days ahead. 
On that note, I have to tip my hat to those who are still campaigning and advocating for what is right. They must be under a greater mental and physical fatigue than I am, and yet they persisted. And for that, I salute them. I have no more words to say beyond these. All of you who are fighting for what is right have already said what it is that needs to be said. And if this newly-formed community is what I think it is, then it will continue to say these words with courage, determination and perseverance in the days ahead. All I ask of you is one thing: have patience. If Angela Davis’ words on campus in February have taught me anything, it is that nothing worth fighting for ever came at the time and place that we wanted it to. 
It might sound cliche, but in the midst of our struggle in rebuilding the community here, one bitterness that we have to come to terms with is that we might not be here to see the fruits of our work. Perhaps it is that resentment that drives us to fight ever more vigorously, and that is good in a way. 
Nevertheless, time moves at a different pace than us, no matter how much effort we place in trying to shift it faster or slower. All we can do is to keep moving forward and continue our struggle as it is. There may be dark days ahead. And uncertainty will cloud these days, as it always has.  The challenge vehemently emerges time after time. The obstacles stubbornly block our path again and again. But in time, my dear friends, We shall prevail. To close, let me paraphrase the words of John and Abigail Adams:
“My dearest friends, whether I stand high or low in the estimation of the world, my conscience is clear. I thank God I have you as my brothers and sisters in all the joys and sorrows and all the prosperities and adversities. But you could not be, nor did I wish to see you, an inactive spectator.”
My beloved ones, you will never know how much it costs to be where you are right now. I hope that you will make a good use of it. For if you do not, I shall repent in heaven that I ever considered myself a part of this community.

Sam Pattinasarane ‘17 (pattin1@stolaf.edu) is from Jakarta, Indonesia. He majors in Asian Studies and Political Science.

About the Author

Sam Pattinasarane, class of 2018 is a Asian Studies and Political Science major.

pattin1@stolaf.edu

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