April 3 Message from the Student Representatives
This global crisis is unlike anything we have faced in our time. While we are privileged to have a graduate-level education, some of us are facing very real and immediate threats like COVID-19 infection of ourselves and loved ones, racism, unemployment, loss of health insurance and other benefits, and challenges of rent, mortgages, student loans, childcare, homeschooling, isolation, or other hardships unseen. It is exhausting to navigate competing notions of what we “should” be doing to figure out what we each need to be doing.
And—we have arrived at this moment together. We have an education and set of skills forged to battle climate change, not an unrelated fight to this one. Let us look to what we’re learning and believe in: thinking in systems, standing up for social justice, institutionalizing sustainability, and, most importantly, courageously reimagining our world for the better. We need resilient public health systems. We need to be anti-racist. We need to protect at-risk populations. We need to equitably redistribute resources that have been hoarded by benefactors of privilege. And we need to cultivate brave spaces in which people feel safe enough to ask for help, name their feelings, and simply rest. This moment is unexpected, but it is not insurmountable if we trust in ourselves and in each other.
As Student Reps, we are already inspired by how this community has organized responses. From sending messages to check-in with each other to sharing informative articles, posting cathartic memes, to a full-on student-led task force on COVID Mutual Aid, your compassion is overwhelming and greatly appreciated. We also thank faculty and staff for their flexibility, time, and commitment to maintaining our educational experience.
- With all of this in mind, the Student Reps have been working on two main efforts to help meet these challenges:
Hosting a weekly Community Gathering with the intention of sharing information, discussing pressing issues, and feeling connected. All Presidio stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and loved ones, are welcome to attend! Keep an eye on your inbox for details on joining Friday evenings at 6 pm Pacific. The basic idea right now, which we will iterate with you over time, consists of two parts:
- Town Hall (~30 mins): To discuss specific topics, especially related to unfolding impacts to our community. Facilitated by the Student Reps.
- Social (~60 mins): Virtual activities, games, or other fun things to stay connected. Facilitated by anyone! Please reach out to the Student Reps ([email protected]) if you are interested in acting as a facilitator.
- Engaging with Presidio administration to ensure student voices are present in the myriad and complex changes that directly affect students and our institution. With such rapid and impactful changes happening, we are committed to building an efficient feedback system for addressing community needs now and into the future.
We are so thankful for you and this community during these unprecedented times. Presidio has always been a special place that attracts and empowers all who are committed to making a difference. Never has this been clearer than right now. You all give us comfort for today and hope for tomorrow.
Cristina Airado, C29, MBA, Part-Time, New Orleans [Temp]
Dana Golden, C29, MBA, Part-Time, Seattle
Audrey Kriva, C31, MBA, Full-Time, Seattle
Andrew Aggabao, C31, Dual, Part-Time, Oakland
Liz McCoy, C31, Dual, Part-Time, Roseville