Microaggressions Panel commentary by Gwenyth Van Doren

On September 25, I attended a student panel on microaggressions hosted by Common Ground. The panel was composed of representatives from different affinity groups on campus who spoke about their personal experiences with microaggressions. As someone with white privilege, it was important to attend because it forces me to be more conscious of my words and actions and the implications they have when affecting marginalized people. While the 900 room was full during this panel, I wish more people came, especially white people, because I think this conversation is ongoing and necessary. I believe most people do not attend panels like these because of the feelings of discomfort that may arise during it, but those feelings are all the more reason to attend. In my opinion, feelings of discomfort can fuel change, and hopefully change for the better rather than for the worse. Lastly, I do not know if this panel was open to faculty and staff, but I think it would be beneficial for faculty and staff to be included in this dialogue because they can commit microaggressions just as much as students can.

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