“No Thank You” : An Open Letter to Hampton University

IMG_3560

Hampton,

I will start this letter by saying thank you for giving me the gift of friendship, the Terpsichorean Dance Company, Gamma Iota, and Scripps Howard School of Journalism. But I cannot say “thank you” for the mold infested dorms that caused my eczema and asthma to flare so severely that I have memorized the tile pattern of the Patient First hallways. No “thank you” will be given for the unsanitary conditions and lack of adequate, healthy food options in the caf. No “thank you” will be received for the hundreds of women who have been sexually assaulted and are still forced to see their attackers on a daily basis. No thanks will be given for these inexcusable actions that are simply brushed off and silenced by administration.

The Town Hall meeting was an eye opener, but let’s be honest, we knew what was coming. Students came with their grievances, Twitter exploded with a hashtag that unleashed shocking truths, and admin continued to give empty responses lacking real answers or solutions. No empathy or apology was given to the young lady who was sexually assaulted and bravely told the packed student ballroom. As a woman, I am shocked that not one of the women who sat on that panel came forward to express their empathy to that young lady. I am shocked that our President could not understand why it is difficult for women to come forward after being violated. I am bewildered that we were told to stop letting men do these things to us as a solution to ending sexual harassment.

We were told that we were lying. That our truths were falsities that we concocted with our wild imaginations. As a Scripps student, we are taught how to be effective communicators and make sure our voices are heard. We learned about Watergate and how those two journalists exposed a truth that resulted in impeachment. Professors across campus stress that we should be advocates for ourselves and speak up when there is an issue. Why were we told to stop livestreaming, recording, and photographing? Why were we told to be quiet? Why was a young man, still healing mentally from being shot in the face escorted out by police when he spoke his truth? Is this not going against everything our professors and parents instilled in us?

As black people, we come from a dynasty of those who shed blood for the revolution. That blood runs through our veins and ignites our spirit to rise up and say “no thank you” to the bs. So why do you continue to stifle our voice Hampton? Why do you continue to discredit the story of victims? Why do you continue to snatch away rights that we were told we should fight for?

For a long time, students have lived in fear of administration and what will happen when they speak out. Being transparent, my fingers tremble as I write this because I do wonder my fate if administration finds this on social media. Yet, no revolution or change was ever achieved with scared mindsets. As students, we must shed the fear of backlash. We must stand our ground and speak our truths loud enough to shake the benches in front of chapel where so many girls were sexually violated. We must shake the walls of the  mold infested showers of McGrew Towers. Our sound must be heard loud enough to wake up those holding the power. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be heard and change will be made.

To be clear, this letter is not a threat. This letter is simply the voice of a student who has had enough. Understand that we will not be mute any longer. The beast of revolution has woken and will not rest until a tidal wave of change sweeps and cleanses the home by the sea.

Victoria

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on She Grows Daily and commented:
    I am an anonymous blog, but I am an HU student. I’m so proud of this young woman for speaking her truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kamali says:

    Wow this was so well written! This is exactly how the student body has been feeling but without the eloquence to explain it. That town hall was a complete waste of time but the worst part is we all knew how it would turn out. No talks about solutions just administration trying to get the complaints to cease. Thanks for your article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. C Brown says:

    As a grandmother of a student at Hampton University I ‘m “Shocked” as to what is transpiring on Campus . We as parents /grandparents try to prepare them for college and life . Answer this question President , Deans , facility members and cooks when is the last time you ate or visited the cafeteria ? You are suppose to be setting an example for our Young Adult. So “ Do Something “ . Would you live in those dorms? Would you eat the food ? That cafeteria should be close . The school need to be updated , brought upto code an suitable for living for living . Campus need to be safe and students not living in fear of being violated or raped by those on or of campus . For God sake wake Up , Do Your Job. Please. Signed Concern

    Like

  4. g says:

    thank you queen. for representing other queens. so elequently. peotically. logically. and fearlessly.

    Like

  5. Lashai M says:

    This is well written and exactly what needed to be said! Amazing job.

    Like

  6. Francesca says:

    Victoria, I went to HU in my freshman year of 1979. Some of The issues you wrote about were the same issues that I encountered as a new student. I expected much more in terms of culture, male
    expectations in terms of respect for women, healthy meal choices, living conditions and other quality of life issues. I saw the forest through the trees early on and transferred to another institution as a result. I really though by now things would have changed. I am as sorry for your experience as Inwas for my own.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s