Vassar students are known for many things: their tote bags, fondness for Marx and passion for activism. With the recent popularity and controversy over the petition for regular COVID-19 testing, I decided to do some digging into other petitions that Vassar students have created. These are a few of my favorites.
We start off strong, with a recent petition for breast milk in the Deece. The petition’s description reads: “More and more students nowadays are opting for alternatives to cow’s milk. There has been a great increase in non-dairy alternatives like soy, oat, almond milk, and others. However, dairy milk would help students focus on their studies, but cows milk is grossly unsustainable environmentally. The addition of breast milk into the deece would make it more accessible and would be beneficial to all of Vassar.”
I spoke with the petition’s mastermind, Lucy Gundel ’25, who explained that this petition was meant to play off of several calls on Vassar’s campus for more cow-milk alternatives in the Deece. Critics, like Theo Culvahouse ’25, have called into question the logistics of incorporating breast milk in the Deece: “If the breast milk is added to the Deece…will lactation specialists be brought in?” I brought up this concern with Gundel. “My thoughts were that it would be a work-study position, where students could apply to supply breastmilk in the Deece…I think that it should be student-run, student-led, student-organized, student breastmilk,” she said. Looking through the section of the petition called “reasons for signing”, I found that this solution already has community support. One person wrote, “I would like to donate my own milk for the project, but fair warning, I’ve been told it doesn’t taste very good.”
Some other notable reasons for signing that were listed on the petition include:
“i’m signing because i was a bottle baby”
“I’m signing because I would really benefit mentally, physically, and emotionally from accessible breast milk.”
“as a bottle baby i was deprived from key nutrients and the deece now has the opportunity to make these accessible to the masses so other bottle babies like me can finally grow into the people we were meant to be.”
“WE PRECEDES ME! This is a fantastic opportunity for Vassar students to come together and embrace this ideal. Breast milk would be a great addition to our campus dining options.”
Next up, we have the petition to “Rename Vassar College Twinktopia University.” The description for this petition reads: “Vassar College has a well-known abundance of twinks, twink-identifying or twink-adjacent individuals, and bottoms of all varieties. To honor this heritage, we request that Vassar College respectfully changes its name to Twinktopia University. It’s only right.”
The creator of the petition was not available for comment. However, it has received some negative feedback from the student body. Kiran Rudra ’24, who works at the LGBTQ+ Center and would like me to emphasize that this comment is not an official statement from the Center, told me, “I feel as though [Twinktopia University] would accurately and inaccurately represent the community…I think that ‘twink’ is limiting, and we can accept all the identities at Vassar college with a more inclusive name, like the Ivy League Whorehouse, as denoted by the Westboro Baptist Church.” According to a HuffPost article from 2013, the Kansas-based church calls Vassar the ‘Ivy League Whorehouse’ because of their support for LGBTQ+ rights.
Finally, I present to you: “Make Vassar College a Women’s College…AGAIN!” The petition’s description explains its reasoning for this reversion: “Vassar College needs to return to its roots as a WOMEN’S ONLY COLLEGE for the following reasons….
1) Men are the worst.
2) Strong House has the highest average GPA of any residential house on any campus.
3) Feminism is the ideology, lesbianism is the practice.”
The creator of the petition was not available for comment; however, considering that the details of the petition specifically mention Strong House, I discussed the petition with House President Evelyn Silva ’24. After reading the petition, Silva gushed, “It’s amazing. I love it… Strong has a great community, and I think that’s because we’re all women and gender-nonconforming.” She continued, “Have you heard of our unofficial motto? It’s ‘Strong is the cross between a nunnery and a lesbian orgy.’” When asked for her thoughts on whether Vassar should again become a women’s college, Silva answered firmly: “Yes. That’s my personal opinion, but Strong would say yes. People would say yes… Vassar should be an all-women’s college or just non-men in general. Just no men allowed.” I decided to pry further and asked Silva what she thinks a campus without men would look like. She explained, “You know those memes? It’s like, ‘society if men didn’t exist’ and it’s a futuristic world with hovering cars? We’d live in a great society.” After the interview, I came upon a magnificent hydroponic, self-watering growing system in Strong’s MPR. Perhaps there’s a kernel of truth to Silva’s statement?