The Agenda For Culture Shock 2016

by Isabele Riser

Culture Shock has been something of a sore spot for many students in the past. The impression Culture Shock has made on the community has been minimal, and less than memorable. So this year faculty members Deb and Kara have taken the opportunity to completely upgrade Culture Shock for 2016, the title of it is; Right Here, Right Now.

Firstly, the workshops will be much more interest based and less ‘level of experience with diversity’ based. The idea is also to lose the Global Perspective piece, and zero in on our community. Right Here, Right Now will have the intent of responding to many of the recent issues and concerns raised this year. Though many of the details are still in progress, here are some of the things you should expect for Right Here, Right Now.

Right Here, Right Now commences on Friday, April 22nd. The day will essentially be split down the middle, and students will be able to attend one portion in the morning, and another in the afternoon. The first half being Workshops, the second Open Space.

One half of the day will be workshops. There is currently a working list in which faculty have about 21 potential topics which students will be able to choose from. These workshops are going to be run by faculty, but students are invited to run a workshop if there’s something important they wish to hold a discussion*. Some of the workshops will be on buzzwords like virgin/slut/whore, and others will be more topical workshops. Some of the pitches on the document discussed issues like: sexual violence, language, culture, oppression, masculinity, etc. Students will probably do about 2 workshops.

The other half of the day would be a concept called Open Space Technology. The really beautiful thing about Open Space is that there is no agenda. Students will meet first all together, and a list of classrooms and time slots will be written on the board, from there students can write whatever topic they wish to discuss on the board, and from there everyone has an opportunity to go and join whichever discussion they prefer. You must, however attend the session for a topic you write on the board.

The other interesting thing is it doesn’t matter who shows up. Kara explained this to me by describing a Trump scenario, “If I wrote Donald Trump on the board, I go to the room and have a discussion with whoever else comes, and take notes. If I went to my session and nobody came, I would still take notes on my own thoughts and carry out the session. It doesn’t matter if 40 people show up or 0 people show up, it still happens.”

Finally, our Keynote speaker will be Sam Kellerman, who would hold a lecture about oppression, and later conduct a Workshop. You can read more about him and see his comedic talk on judgement, identity and oppression here.
*If you would like to formally apply to run a workshop, please contact Deb Walsh and/or Kara Tambellini. You would need to contact a faculty member who you would like to collaborate with as a faculty sponsor/advisor of sorts, and requires planning.

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