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Commencement 2011 Check out The Campanil’s online coverage of Commencement at


Tuesday | May 10, 2011

After two decades, President Holmgren says goodbye to Mills — but not forever Lauren Sliter CHIEF NEWS EDITOR “In our society, it’s hard for women to feel a sense of pride and distinctiveness. There’s a special opportunity in women's colleges,” President Janet Holmgren said at her first press conference at Mills in 1991. Holmgren was 42 when she was elected President by the Board of Trustees. At the time, she and her two daughters, Elizabeth, who was 11, and Ellen, who was 7, had just moved in to the President’s home on campus. A photo in The Weekly (now The Campanil), dating back to 1991, shows Holmgren, her two daughters, their cat Ginger, and their dog Sandy sitting closely together, smiles beaming at the camera, in their new campus home — an “all female” household. During Holmgren’s 20 years as President, Mills has grown immensely. The college has seen changes both physically, with several new buildings, and academically, with numerous additions to the faculty and curriculum. Still, her Presidency has been a symbiotic relationship of give and take with the college. Three of the school’s biggest

construction projects, the Moore Natural Sciences Building, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business and the renovation of Littlefield Concert Hall, were all completed under Holmgren’s hospice. The Prospect Hill Apartments, the soccer field, aquatic center and Suzanne Adams Plaza were also built during Holmgren's tenure, according to an article published in The Campanil in 2001. “Good planning and good construction sends a message to the community,” Holmgren said, noting that her investment in construction on campus was an investment in people, providing more accessibility to classrooms and resources. Academically, the college has seen the development of the Ethnic Studies Department, Public Policy Department, Educational Leadership Department, the Business School and several graduate programs. In her 2005 State of the College address, Holmgren “stressed the importance of women making inroads in the sciences.” Holmgren followed through with this goal, introducing the college’s first Bachelor of Sciences degree in biology, biopsychology, chemistry, environmental sciences, biochemistry and molecular biology. see Holmgren page 2


Left: Holmgren with her daughters Elizabeth and Ellen and their pets in 1991; Right: Holmgren with her daughters and pets in 2010. Holmgren will be leaving her position as President of Mills College this spring after 20 years of leading the college. She plans to return in the spring as an professor.

Drafter of Japanese equal rights for women articles to speak at Mills Stephanie Scerra FEATURES EDITOR “My husband always laughs when I speak on the telephone,” said Beate Sirota Gordon in a phone interview last Friday. “I’m always bowing my head.” According to Gordon, she has adopted certain Japanese ways of living, such as bowing her head in conversation, from the time she spent there as a child, just before she came to Mills College in 1935 at the tender age of 15. It was at Mills, she said, that she gained the feminist education that helped her draft Articles 14 and 24 of the Japanese constitution, which legally guaranteed the rights of Japanese women, when she was 22 years old. Because of her love of Mills and women’s education, Gordon

Beate Sirona Gordon, class of ‘43 to speak at commencement.

has agreed to speak at this year’s Commencement ceremony. “I think Mills was an institution that was one of the early feminist institutions. I learned a lot about women and rights and discrimination,” Gordon said. “I had a very wonderful experience because the

classes were very small, so I could ask questions and get feedback, which is very good for someone from another country experiencing some culture shock.” Article 14 of the Japanese constitution deems all people equal under law, including both sexes, and outlaws discrimination. Article 24 requires marriage to be consensual between both sexes and states that husband and wife should receive the same rights. Mary-Ann Milford, an art history professor at Mills, thinks Gordon’s experience in another country was instrumental to her ability to advocate equal rights in 1946, long before the feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. “It is amazing: the foresight of this young woman, which, of course, came from her background having lived abroad,” Milford said. “All of these experiences (abroad)

had given her a sense of the world that was quite extraordinary.” Milford believes that Gordon's experiences abroad combined with her education at Mills, including the influence of then president Aurelia Reinhardt, helped shape Gordon’s world view. “Aurelia Reinhardt was an amazing woman, a very strong woman, a visionary, I should say, for women’s rights and for the encouragement to fight what we deem is right for us,” Milford said. “I think that Aurelia Reinhardt was probably very influential in Beate’s education.” Gordon does, in fact, attribute some of her inspiration to Reinhardt. “I think Aurelia Reinhardt was very advanced,” Gordon said. “She encouraged women to compete on an equal basis with men when they graduated into the world.”

After World War II ended and she graduated from Mills, Gordon took it upon herself to facilitate cultural exchange projects in hopes that Americans would start to see fewer differences and more similarities between other culture of the world. “After the war, when we all thought we’d never be at war again, the best way to teach a new culture was through the arts. Arts go directly to the heart,” Gordon said. “I felt it was a way to peace. I really wanted to inspire people to learn more about (other cultures).” Gordon began her search for arts to bring to the United States by traveling to almost every country in Asia, looking far and wide for whatever art she deemed communicative. The first troupe she invited to tour the U.S. practiced kyojin, a series of short plays Gordon see


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May 10, 2011

Holmgren’s tenure as President of Mills College comes to an end after 20 years

Gordon from page 1


President Holmgren, left, meets with incoming first-year students at a New Students Tea in 2007 in the Reinhardt Alumnae House.

Holmgren from page 1

Though the sciences may have been emphasized more strongly during Holmgren’s tenure, she also made strides to improve the arts, such as music. “She supported the Music Department during a crucial period following the Strike, and made the renovation of the Music Building a high priority at the College,” said David Bernstein, a music professor, via email. Holmgren described the newly renovated concert hall as “one of the most beautiful and inspiring places in the Bay Area to listen to Music,” in an article in the Winter 2009 edition of The Quarterly. Holmgren also initiated a great push towards using new technology, as her tenure bridged the gap between the 20th and 21st centuries. Though she helped make the shift from using only paperbound books and research materials to a digital means of gathering information on campus, she felt that she could have done more to support the college during the age of technology. “I underestimated the impact of technology,” she said. Supporting diversity, both in the student body and in the faculty, was important to Holmgren.


In 1989, about 3 percent of the tenured faculty were people of color. In 2001, that increased to 20 percent, according to an article published in The Campanil in 2001. Today, 28 percent of fulltime faculty are people of color, according to the Mills College website. It is the college’s many successes over the years that Holmgren holds as her most rewarding accomplishment. “Mills has gone from surviving to thriving,” she said. Mills has given Holmgren a lot to be thankful for as well. She has made many friends and has felt a strengthening in her love of education. “I have become a more powerful and passionate advocate for both higher education and the education of women,” she said. “I learned that you don’t necessarily have to be in the classroom to be an educator.” The enthusiasm with which Holmgren addresses women’s education has permeated the entire Mills community. “She reinvigorates everyone’s passion for women’s education,” said Kathi Burke, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “She really looks for ways to keep women’s undergraduate education and our


Tara Nelson Editor in Chief 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613 510.430.2246 phone 510.430.3176 fax

graduate programs relevant.” Holmgren said the people she has met and the influence and strength the college has given her outshines what she has done for the college. “What I've gotten has been far more than I’ve given.” But great success comes with loss as well. Remembering some of the tough decisions she had to make, like cutting Dramatic Arts, Holmgren said she faced a lot of battles at Mills, too. Many of the reductions Holmgren approved were solely based on finances, she said. As the college rose to meet the 21st century, the focus of Mills shifted to incorporate a wider variety of studies and to expand the student and faculty bodies. All of that cost money, and so Holmgren had to make the tough decision to put what funds the college did have towards increasing financial aid, hiring new faculty and developing more modern departments such as Ethnic Studies. Holmgren lost some things of her own during her 20 years at Mills. “I’ve lost some of my privacy,” she said. “I’ve lost the ability to focus on work that is fulfilling to me — writing, research, teaching.”

And its her passions outside of education that Holmgren wants to reclaim once she leaves the President's Office. “Immediately, I’m going to take a breath,” she said. “I’m 62 right now. I’m thinking about the last third of my life. While this is wonderful work, there are other things I would like to do.” Holmgren plans to continue living in Oakland and will be returning in the spring of 2012 to teach in the English Department. When asked to recall some favorite memories, Holmgren had difficulty picking just one or two. “There are so many wonderful memories, I couldn’t pick just one,” she said. “I love the art openings, the sporting events, the creative writing readings and classes I’ve taught.” As Holmgren transitions to a life outside of the President’s Office, her successor, Alecia DeCoudreaux will be stepping into the role of President this Fall. “I wish her well,” Holmgren said. “I hope she gets as much gratification from this work as I do.” Special thanks to Michael Beller and the Mills College Library for archival information.. Bonnie Horgos and Nicole Vermeer contributed to this report.

Managing Editor Nicole Vermeer

Design Editor Joann Pak

Chief News Editor Lauren Sliter

Photo Editor Anna Corson

Asst. News Editor Diana Arbas

Webmaster Yun Miao

Opinions Editor Lauren Soldano

Online Editor Melodie Miu

Features Editor Stephanie Scerra

Ad & PR Manager Tymeesa Rutledge

Sports & Health Editor Bonnie Horgos

Multimedia Staff Bianca Butler

Calendar Editor Priscilla Wilson

Staff Writers Emma Casper, Loren Sanchez, Jenny Schurk

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describes as easily understood and perfect for tourists. “(Kyojin) has comic relief in the way Shakespeare does,” Gordon said. “(The actors) were speaking a different language, but by the expressions and the movements, you could understand a lot.” Gordon would invite the audience to come early so that they could see the performers prepare beforehand. “Sometimes, before the performance, I’d have an extra demonstration in the other room so (the audience) would not feel so different from the art being presented,” Gordon said. “(I invited them) just to make people not so scared of this new culture.” As Gordon is invigorated by Mills, the students of the college are equally inspired by Gordon. According to Renee Jadushlever, Vice President of Operations, the senior class suggested that Gordon speak at this year’s Commencement. “We are delighted that Beate Sirota Gordon has agreed to be the 2011 commencement speaker,” Jadushlever said in an e-mail. “Mrs. Gordon will talk about her life and the things and people which have influenced and prepared her and enabled her to make such an important contribution to Japanese history.” According to President Janet Holmgren, Gordon spoke at the 1991 Commencement, which Holmgren was unable to attend as she was not yet the head of the college. “It’s a wonderful symmetry, having her return 20 years later,” Holmgren said. “I’m thrilled.” Milford believes that Gordon is a great example for the Mills community. “(Gordon is an example of) taking adversity and turning it inside out and recognizing that everyone has inner strength,” Milford said. “She is someone who has known hardship, but she has used those experiences to better the world.” Milford hopes that those who attend Commencement and hear Gordon speak will be able to draw from Gordon’s inner strength and be inspired. “Nobody else is going to fight this fight for us except for us as women,” Milford said. “A lot of times I get, ‘Oh feminist movement, women’s studies -- that’s old hat. We can have access to everything we want.’ I don’t think so. We still have a long way to go and those who work really hard and who are motivated will.” The Mills Commencement ceremony will begin on Toyon Meadow at 9:45 a.m. The Commencement address will precede the conferring of degrees and awarding of honorary degrees.

The Campanil welcomes public commentary on subjects of interest to the campus community, as well as feedback on the paper itself. Submissions for Open Forum should be no more than 400 words. Letters to the editor should be no more than 150 words. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions must include the author’s name and contact information and may be submitted via e-mail or in typewritten form, accompanied by a CD. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received one week before publication date to appear in the next issue. The Campanil reserves the right to upload all content published in print, in addition to original content, on our website The Campanil is published every other Monday. The first copy of The Campanil is free. Additional copies are 50 cents. Students interested in joining should contact the editor in chief.

Events & Information

MAY 10-MAY 15

Tuesday May 10 Senior Celebration What: Seniors from the English department share their theses and achievements Where: Lokey Graduate School When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: Free

May 10, 2011


Wednesday May 11

Thursday May 12

Walking Backwards Forward, Mills MFA Thesis Exhibition What: The exhibition showcases works created during the Mills MFA studio art program Where: Mills, Art Museum When: All week Cost: Free

Do you still have any library books amidst your boxes and suitcases? Well, you should not! Today is the last day to return all library materials or you will be charged.

Saturday May 14 The 123rd Commencement

Friday May 13 Baccalaureate Ceremony What: This celebratory ceremony, which schools have held for centuries, is intended as a “spiritual sendoff” to all graduates. Where: Mills College, The Chapel When: 5:30 p.m.


Sunday May 15 Residence halls close for all graduating students

Editor’s Pick:

Sail into Finals Monday 5/9: Pirates for midnight breakfast Tuesday 5/10: Under the Sea Wednesday 5/11: Sand and Surf Who doesn’t enjoy free food? Come to the Tea Shop any one of these nights at 10 p.m. and take a break from all that hard studying!

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President Holmgren

May 10, 2011

Fall 1996

“I am now convinced that this is the beginning of a very long love affair with Mills College.”


- Janet Holmgren, March 4, 1991

March 1993

lik (Hol bette I’ve

- Wa

With Lorry I Lokey, April 2008 COURTESY OF THE CREST

With trustee Evelyn “Muffy” McKinstry Thorne, Summer 2010 COURTESY OF THE QUARTERLY

Mary Atkins Lynch 1854-1865

Susan Mills 1865-1884, 1890-1909

Cyrus Mills 1865-1884

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“I’v last 10 endowme body, buil an invest as an i

Mills College Presidents:

Luella Clay Carson 1909-1914

Aurelia H. Reinhardt 1916-1943

Lynn T. White Jr. 1943-1958

Through the Decades


“Undergraduate coeducation is not an issue for Mills. It is off the table. I speak for myself as president and I speak for the board.”

At the groundbreaking for the Moore Natural Science building in Sept. 2005

“I’ve ked her lmgren) er each time met her.”

May 10, 2011

- Janet Holmgren Sept. 1993

Warren Hellman, March 1991

Fall 2003



ve seen that in the years that building the ent, building the student lding the buildings — it’s all tment in empowering Mills institution.”


- Janet Holmgren April 2010

“People say presidency is like being mayor of a small town.... Your responsibility is to take care of the whole body politic, not just yourself or your own aspirations” - Janet Holmgren April 2010

From Past to Present

C. Easton Rothwell 1959-1967

Robert T. Wert 1967-1976

Barbara M. White 1976-1980

Mary S. Meltz 1981-1990

Virginia Smith 1990-1991

Janet Holmgren 1991-2011

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May 10, 2011

Opinions & Editorial STAFF FAREWELL

Final words from the editor-in-chief: get uncomfortable The very first class I took here at Mills was Journalism I with Meredith May. I remember walking in to a warm stuffy white room on the third floor of Mills Hall in the Fall of 2008 and sitting down at a long table with 12 other nervous faces all trying to casually avoid overt eye contact in that awkward waiting-for-the-professor-moment that always happens on the first day of any class. What I didn’t know then is that many of those nervous averted faces would become some of my best friends here at Mills. I remember that first day going over the syllabus and thinking I must drop this class immediately. This professor expected me to cold call city council members, to approach strangers on the street, to drive to police stations and ask them questions. The whole idea was terrifying.

I had signed up for journalism on a hunch. Some of my favorite writers had made their living as journalists: Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, Tom Wolfe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I had tremendous respect for their ability to craft reality both artistically and authentically. Already a fiction writer, I wanted to learn how to shine a light in the dark and say ‘look here, and now, if you can stand it, look closer.’ Still, journalism terrified me. And so this is the part in the story where I talk about “the turning point” or the “moment” that changed my mind where I triumphantly stood tall and proud, despite rain pouring down, a braver and better person. This is the part where I am supposed to tell you how I overcame my fears and became a journalist. But the truth is, there was no magical moment. I simply kept showing up. Sarah Pollock, head of the journalism department, often says the best way to learn to be a journalist

is just to go and do it. And so that’s what I did. I paced my living room week after week nervously cold calling strangers for interviews. I practiced asking questions aloud while driving in my car. I walked up to city council members at meetings hands shaking, stuttering on words asking them for a moment of their time— and the miracle? I survived. In fact I got used to it. And the more I got used to it the more I loved it, and then one day it just sort of hit me—I was a journalist—and as time passed I think I became a pretty good one. The next year I kept at it. I joined the staff of the Campanil as assistant Features Editor and ultimately this year, my last at Mills, I had the honor of serving the newspaper, and the Mills community, as Editor-in-Chief. Joan Didion once said writers live in ‘a constant state of low dread.’ Add to that dread homework, term papers, full-time jobs and final exams and you can under-

stand why I am so proud and impressed by what the Campanil staff has accomplished this year. Their dedication, talent and unflappable enthusiasm for the craft of journalism has inspired me on many levels, and I hope they’ve inspired you as well. I am proud to say we returned the Campanil to its former weekly glory. I remain floored by the staffs commitment to serving the Mills community—they spend countless hours before, between and after classes working to bring you the news each week. It’s hard work and they do it every day, every week, because they believe in its importance and transformative potential. I can say without hesitation that my time as Editor-in-Chief of the Campanil has been one of the most surprising and profoundly inspiring experiences I have had here at Mills. I have no doubt the Campanils incoming Editor-inChief, Lauren Sliter, will continue to push the paper in innovative and exciting directions. In addition to

being a talented reporter, she brings a passion for journalism. She understands that a journalists first obligation is to truth and it’s first loyalty is to the community. Before joining the paper in the Fall of 2009 I was a shy transfer student adrift. Now I have a lifelong family and I belong to a community of women I deeply respect. I want to thank the Mills community for allowing me to be of service to them and for their invaluable feedback and support over this last year. Journalism at it’s best “speaks truth to power.” I believe it is a crucial vehicle for change and for a campus dedicated to issues of social justice the potential of an independent student-run organization is boundless. So as leave my post as Editorin-Chief I would like to say to leave the Mills Community with this simple advice: Get uncomfortable. And just keep showing up. And to next years staff: Publish and be damned. Print the news and raise hell.

Tara Nelson, a creative writing major and a journalism minor, is the outgoing Editor in Chief of The Campanil. She hopes to win a Pulitzer prize for something real, real soon.

Graduation is fun for everyone — well, mostly just my mother parties and other traditions associated with the ending of one's tenure at Mills. Plus, sometimes I really just don't care about all the pomp and circumstance. This general business and apathy towards all things graduationrelated means I sent out graduation announcements not too long ago. Okay, my mother sent out my graduation announcements not too long ago. I couldn't find the time to do it. Or maybe I didn't want to make the time. I'm pretty sure I was at work each time she called me about it. The fact that my immediate future was uncertain has made me save more money than I ever have— which really just means I am saving money period. Maybe my non-attendance at certain graduation related events has to do with the fact that I tend to leave planning until the last minute. Although I found out today I will

My mom is super excited about my graduation. She didn't have the opportunity to go to college when she was younger, and sort of lives vicariously through me sometimes. Well, she does wear her "Mills College Mom" shirt as often as possible. I, on the other hand, am generally a frenzied, frustrated mess that can't seem to take a moment to appreciate the fact that my Mills experience will soon all be over. It's unfortunate that graduation comes right at the time when you are least likely to enjoy it. At least that's been my experience for the past few months. The unexpected deluge of tasks that have presented themselves to me always seem to take priority over dinners, dances,

be gainfully employed after graduation day, I don't know where I'll be living. I've started looking at the various underpasses surrounding the area. Well, I might. Don't get me wrong, my time at Mills has been amazing. I have so many great memories from the past four years. I have met some people that have become so important in my life, and gained perspective on things never would have if I hadn't left my hometown of Salem, Oregon after high school. However, I really don't get why I need to march across a stage in a black robe to symbolize this achievement. I would prefer to just receive the piece of paper in some less dramatic spectacle. Maybe someone could deliver my diploma to my home and we could have a party there afterwards. The meaning of the whole "ceremony" thing is lost on me. What

does it even mean when we walk across the stage in a black gown, and put those little tassels from one side of the cap to the other? In fact, why do we even wear a cap? Or a gown? I realize there is some historical reason which has to do with the first ever university commencement at Oxford or something like that. However, this has nothing to do with me or my life. I don't understand why the majority of people seem to perpetuate traditions because "that's how it's done." I understand some people celebrate religious traditions for this reason. However, most of those people do it because it's what they choose and what feels right to them. I don't think shaking president Holmgren's hand and smiling for pictures will have the same spiritual feeling as taking communion, for example. It seems like there could be so

many other ways to celebrate this type of event. Maybe a ceremonial cleansing swim in the ocean or something. A bonfire/cupcake celebration where I burn all of my notes for classes I didn't want to take. I mean, this is what I feel might feel the best for me—it wouldn't be the same for everyone else. I want to make a change so that people celebrate their important life transitions exactly how they want to. The point is—it's your day to celebrate, so why not do exactly what you want to? However, I'm looking forward school ending. I'm looking forward to seeing my classmates at the various parties and gatherings that will represent the culmination of these last four years of my life. Plus, my mom will be so happy when she gets to take that snapshot of me in my black robe, walking across the stage.

Nicole Maria Vermeer is a senior, graduating with a major in English and a minor in Environmental Science. When she is not Millsing around she enjoys being outside and drinking tea with milk and sugar, preferably at the same time. She owns too many dresses, and one Mills sweater, but doesn't wear it very often.

Q u e s t i o n

o f

t h e

W e e k

What should the new dress code be for graduation instead of cap and gown?

“Decorating your gown in a way that represents you. Mine would be sewn out of years worth of notes.”

“Nudity. We come into this world naked, why shouldn’t we get our degree naked?”

“I think a gown is okay. What’s wrong with the gown?”

“David Bowie—circa 1972 leotard things. Extra glam. And eye patches.”

— Kat Moon, post-bac student

— Emelie Whiting, junior

— Christine Iyohi, sophomore

— Nick Wang, first-year grad student

COMPILED BY LAUREN SOLDANO AND JOANN PAK Find more stories, photos, videos and live updates at

Opinions & Editorial

May 10, 2011



hollers and attempts to possibly even touch me. I have these thoughts every time I put on shorts, skirts or dresses that show my legs. Often I opt to just put leggings or tights underneath—but it’s hot outside. And damnit, I should be able to wear what I want! Unfortunately, this is not a singular narrative. I know there are many women throughout the world who think about how a pair of shorts or skirt can attract unwanted attention or nasty remarks from men and women. A skirt, a simple fashion expression, should be worn whenever a women feels like it. It should not be a reason or excuse to use as an invitation to rape, harassment or any other sexual innuendos. Typically, short skirts have been used as a excuse as to how rape may have occurred. I have heard men and women say in the community, “She had a short skirt, so she was fast” or “she wore a short skirt to the club and was dancing so it was okay to feel on her legs and thighs while inviting her to engage in sex.” Recently, in a controversial rape case with an 11-year old girl in East Texas, a community member was quoted in the New York Times saying that the girl, “dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s” as a reason to why the girl was raped. None of these reasons are valid. I, a Black woman should be able to wear a short skirt and not get harassed. But, in a patriarchal society, I am an over-sexualized Black woman who has to fight societal sexism and racism every day. Yes, no exaggeration– everyday which includes how I express myself in my clothing options. I would like to not have to deal with all of the sexual harassment because of how short my skirt, shorts or dress is but that is not my current reality.

The Mills Crest Yearbook is a yearly publication that includes a collection of photos from Mills events, clubs/organizations and most importantly, graduating seniors of the academic year. The Crest’s aims to capture memories to create a tangible way for seniors to reflect upon their journey at Mills after graduation. My decision to join the yearbook staff at Mills was spontaneous. I contributed to my high school’s yearbook and I thought it would be amazing to dedicate my experience to the college yearbook. As exciting and rewarding as this experience has been, I have found numerous challenges— departments not willing to be photographed, clubs and organizations submitting photos after the deadline, and keeping a committed staff. Most challenging, however, is working with all Mills’ seniors. The yearbook staff works very

hard to make sure the flow of information for senior portraits and photo submission is constant and clear, yet often we receive complaint in return. We use the comprehensive email alias, post on student news, publish in The Campanil, and post fliers and posters in various locations across campus. The staff sincerely understands that not all seniors have access to a computer, read the Campanil or may not even have an opportunity to read the fliers. However, if more seniors do not begin to participate in the process of creating the Crest, the availability of the yearbook may change very soon. This year, out of 278 graduating seniors, a mere 147 took their photos. We know not every graduating senior would like to have their photo included in the Crest, or is has time to take their picture, but these numbers jeopardize the future of the yearbook. The fee for The Crest is included in the ASMC fee, and aside from this there is a $5 sitting fee when

Kirstyne Lange is a Junior and Public Policy Major. This is her first submission to The Campanil

Tymeesa Rutledge is third-year PLEA major and a hip-hop fashionista who fights sexism one lyric at a time. Read her blog

Note from Abroad: Tokyo, Japan

The timespan between April 29 and May 5 is commonly known in Japan as “ G o l d e n Week.” It’s a time in the spring where there are 4 national holidays in one week: Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day and Children’s Day. People usually get the whole week off from school and work; they go on vacations, relax and have parties. Stores have Golden Week sales, and Shinkansen (bullet train) ticket prices shoot right up to

seniors take their portrait. This fee was introduced last year to reimburse the photograph company, because so few students have been showing up to get pictures taken. If this trend continues, on top of the aforementioned fees there will be a charge to pick up the yearbook. Because we want to keep the yearbook affordable, it is imperative that future graduating students keep their eyes and ears open as to when to take their yearbook photo and how to participate in the production of the Crest to insure that we keep this wonderful tradition. As the Editor of the yearbook, it is not my intention to offend anyone. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to create something that holds long lasting memories and the accomplishments of my fellow Mills women. It is my hope that with the publication of this piece, future students will be more open to participating in the process of keeping The Crest an important part of what makes our community unique.


“Did you know you’re a queen? You are beautiful. I can take care of you,” an old black man said to me at the bus stop between San Pablo and University in Berkeley. “I’m not a gold digger,” I said. “So, do you like women?” said the man. At this point, I refused to answer any of his utterly ridiculous questions. His comments were not only sexist but inherently filled with the assumption that I don’t know who I am or know myself. Yes, I know my ancestry. Yes, I know that I am beautiful. Lastly, you can’t buy me sir. I was disgusted that this man in his 50’s would have the nerve to think that because I wore a short skirt I could be bought with his insinuations or that money could make his sexist comments and lecherous stares (like I was piece of meat) make up for his inappropriateness. This is not the first time that I have been sexually harassed at the bus stop. Everyday I am harassed at the bus stop, bart stop or walking down the streets of Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. The harassment just increases when I wear skirts, dresses or shorts. That is the battle with taking transportation as a young black woman. I have to think of every scenario I might have to encounter that day because of what I wear. There is no reason men should assume a woman’s sexual availability or question it because she decided to wear a short skirt. As a young woman, I should be able to wear whatever I’d like and not be sexually harassed. When I woke up that morning, I thought about wearing my cute short Hollister jean skirt. I thought about how much harassment I could endure—lustful ogling, yells,

Poor participation rate threatens Crest’s ability to provide free yearbooks

Hav e some thing t o s ay ?

Short skirts do not make sexual harassment okay


“Ganbare Fukushima, Ganbare Nihon” Golden Week signals springtime in Japan take advantage of all the travel. As for my case, Sophia University only gave its students May 2 - 5 off from school. The class sizes began to dwindle comically around April 27, and the morning trains grew progressively less crowded. Over the past week, students on my program left for 10-day trips to the US and Taiwan. Some went to stay with friends in Tokyo, while others went sightseeing as far away as Osaka. Two girls actually went up north to volunteer in the Tohoku region (the area most affected by the crisis). In other words, my dorm build-

ing has been incredibly quiet for the past few days. Since they haven't returned yet, I can't help but wonder how the two girls who went to Tohoku are faring. There are a lot of mixed feelings around foreigners in the Tohoku region right now. On the one hand, there’s resentment for “flyjin” (gaijin (foreigners) who flew away following the disaster). There’s also mixed gratitude and contempt for the gaijin who stayed. The latter is partly due to an alarming recent trend of “disaster tourism” where people actually go on day trips up to Tohoku to see the stricken area like it’s just sightsee-

ing. There are also people who go up to help, but don’t speak much Japanese and just manage to get in the way and sap resources. The Tohoku region has actually requested officially that no one come to help unless they have strong enough language and physical skills to be helpful. There’s a person in my dorm building who is originally from Fukushima, where the troubled nuclear plant is. On Tuesday of Golden Week he brought out a large bottle of saké from his hometown, saying that it was sold to raise funds for the relief efforts. We opened the bottle and toast-

ed Fukushima. Every time we took a drink, we would say, “Ganbare Fukushima.” or “Ganbare Nihon.” (rough translation: Good luck Fukushima. Good Luck Japan). I feel like Golden Week was a time to make meaningful memories and to really explore Japan. Everyone has stories to tell after this week. Although the weather hasn’t really been spring-like, Golden Week is the pinnacle of the Japanese springtime—everyone comes back into their normal routines rested and ready to persevere. “Ganbare Fukushima. Ganbare Nihon.”

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May 10, 2011

Sports & Health

Cyclones in action: 2010-2011

First four photos clockwise from top: the soccer team running towards the crowd after a game; the cross country team at the beginning of a 5k race; the volleyball team stretching on the Mills volleyball court; the swim team kickboarding during an early morning practice.

Clockwise from bottom photo: the crew team rowing while the sun rises over Briones Resevoir; track and field coach LachĂŠ Bailey talking with the team; Jamie Quinn Harris celebrating with the volleyball team.


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Issue 13, Spring 2011  
Issue 13, Spring 2011  

Issue 13, Spring 2011