A Letter from the Dean of the College

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

One of the great challenges of a diverse institution is finding ways of ensuring that all voices are heard and taken seriously. This has been a consistent theme of campus protests over the years which students are expressing again now. In an effort to hear and document the multitude of stories and perspectives at Smith, we are launching the Smith Stories Project. Inspired by a suggestion from Professor Ginetta Candelario, the project is construed as a hybrid of NPR’s Story Corps, Latin

American/Latina Testimonio, and the Weaving Voices initiative created by Smith students.

From noon on Tuesday, April 10 through noon on Friday, April 13, computers and microphones will be set up at several locations on campus where all members of the Smith community are invited to tell their own Smith stories. Participants may opt for a video or audio recording or may write their story addressing the following questions:

What is YOUR Smith story?

How do you experience Smith today?

What are your hopes for Smith in the future?

In the spirit of Testimonio, the story-teller will decide whether to speak anonymously or by name. The three formats—video, audio or written—are intended to offer multiple vehicles for expression.

Stories will be reviewed by a team of faculty and staff before the April 16 meeting to identify, in a preliminary way, themes and ideas. They will be preserved (with the permission of the story-teller) in the Smith Archives where they will continue to be a rich source of information for the future.

Story recording sites and hours are:

• Campus Center Green Room, open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight

• Neilson 2/51, open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

• Chapel Reading Room (room B13), open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All three sites will be available until noon on Friday, April 13 (instructions will be available at each site).

I very much hope you will participate.

Maureen A. Mahoney
Dean of the College