Campus Climate: What is not talked about enough at Vassar?

Bhargav Poudel ’21

“Marxism and Communism.”

Helen Johnson ’21

“There’s a whole lot of conversation about a whole bunch of social issues and how important they all are—and I’m totally on board with how important everything is—all the work that’s being done and…especially the work that still needs to be done in countless areas…[N]ot only are we fighting extreme racism, extreme sexism, extreme homophobia—all these things on the one side—but how super extremism on either side can also be harmful and alienate people who otherwise would also be participating. And I don’t mean on Vassar’s campus, but outside of Vassar’s campus where people aren’t exactly as involved in the things that we’re doing here. I think that how you can access people who aren’t immediately involved in all these fights is something that doesn’t get talked about enough.”

Jane Ahn ’22

“I don’t think the socioeconomic disparity between students is talked about enough. It’s very obvious; you can tell— well, not tell, but there are certain signs that show, ‘This person has a lot more money than this person.’ It does become an issue for a lot of lower income students…I don’t know how to explain it, but my one friend was saying how there’s a lot of people who (and I don’t mean to call out anyone specifically) but there are a lot of people who wear Canada Goose jackets. And that’s, like, really expensive. It gets kind of bad when those are the kids that hang out exclusively with each other. It becomes a very cliquey, social status thing.

I think another thing that’s not really talked about in colleges is, like, the environment and how much food waste there is present…It is hard to eat, like, normally on a regular basis at college, and to take care of yourself. To eat a lot of instant microwave meals and also to leave food is not very good for the environment. I think those two things should be talked about more often.”

Sam Cibula ’20

“I mean, I would say the things that are not talked about enough are the kind of institutionalized classism and racism at the campus. This being an institution that was created to appeal to wealthy, white people historically, I don’t feel as though the institution has, as of yet, done enough to rectify that past and translate that into a more inclusive future and present.”

Lisa Smart ’22

“So, I work for the Office of Sustainability. And…I don’t know. We do stuff, but it’s like, I don’t really know how many people actually want to get involved. Vassar students are like, ‘Yeah, environment! Save the Earth!’ But I don’t really think people care that much. It’s like, ‘Let’s just say it.’ And also, the Office of Sustainability isn’t very visible in a lot of things that we do. That’s kind of our fault, but [there’s] also just not enough expressed interest from students.”


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