Students and faculty stand up against inequality


Courtesy of Margaret Galloway

Sierra Nevada University junior Margaret Galloway teamed up with Alison Lavato to design and sell t-shirts to fund arts programming.

Miranda Jacobson, Editor

Sierra Nevada University is stepping up through the work of students and faculty to promote equality both on and off campus.

Junior Margaret Galloway used a mix of her and Alison Lavato’s art, along with her determination to bring art to underprivileged children, to generate hundreds of dollars in funds to donate to Jextaposition Arts, a non-profit in Minneapolis.

“Art has helped me so much throughout my life,” Galloway said. She sold shirts featuring her original art. “Luckily I had the privilege to have those materials, but a lot of kids nowadays don’t. I just wanted to help and give that to them.”

Her shirts featured two skeletons holding hands, which represents the idea of equality, and are a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We are who we are at the end of the day. We’re all just a skeleton inside, therefore, everybody should be treated the same,” she said.

She’s not the only student on campus working to make a difference. Recently senior Sara Mochel started the Social Justice Club, and Galloway is one of the members.

“When there becomes an issue, speak out about it. It’s not hard to post on your social media about what is happening these days. And our generation is the voice,” Galloway said.

Along with students, some faculty are participating in efforts to bring activism to SNU. The JEDI project, which stands for “Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” was just recently started by Gallery Director and Adjunct Professor Anza Jarshke and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and MFA-IA Assistant Director Julia Schwadron.

“We’re just getting started,” Schwadron said. “We’re both active as individual people and as professionals in multiple different ways along these lines.”

After asking the university for platform and backing in order to engage the faculty, the committee was able to form.

“There are the big goals, which are working towards having the university be representative of the world outside of school,” Jarschke said. “So whether that be race, gender, national origin, what have you, [the committee] is to increase our student body and faculty’s diversity and inclusion.”

But there are also smaller goals that can be implemented around campus in order to reach their larger goal, Jarshke explained.

“The smaller goals are to be working on the culture of our school, starting with the classrooms. For them to be welcoming and safe spaces for people of different identities.”

Both Jarschke and Schwadron believe that activism is always important, but during a time of critical thinking in a college student’s life, it’s important to think about how each person affects the bigger picture.

“I think SNU is great because it’s so small, but I think it’s also problematic because it’s used to being so small and it’s used to doing things in a certain way,” Schwadron said. “I think this moment in time demands we all look at ourselves and decide how we want to continue to exist, and who we serve and how we serve them, and who else we could possibly be serving. I think it’s our public duty, both for ourselves and for the community.”