Since Tuesday, the Facebook Group “Don’t Let Vassar Silence Writers” has grown exponentially (the group boasts 473 members as of this writing). The Fire! at Vassar blog has generated almost 2,000 hits in that same time, much of which can be credited to our mention in the Miscellany News. I’d also be remiss not to mention the MadsVassarBlog, a valuable resource for those of us no longer on the Vassar campus.
Along the way, I’ve seen many ideas about what we can do to further our cause. We can donate money to the college. We can propose alternative budgetary solutions. We can shut the Hell up and let the administration do their job.
I am not wealthy. I do not have a great economic mind. I am not connected to any halls of power. So for me, while these solutions do all contain some valuable truth (save the last one obviously), I do not feel that they speak to me and what I can do to actually help save the creative writing program.
Since Wednesday, I’ve e-mailed several of my favorite professors, and what has struck me most is how much I still remember about what they did to help me develop as a writer, a thinker, and a human being. To those of us who are committed to saving the writing program, I suggest that its time we start thinking very specifically about what we learned about writing. I suggest that we use writing to save writing. Whether it be a personal essay, a memoir, a narrative, or a poem, we all have a story about what Vassar and its creative writing program means to us. I call upon us all to start drafting our own stories, to show that we can make a case for saving the arts by producing the kind of art that wouldn’t have been possible without those classes and professors that we hold dear.
If Vassar’s Creative Writing program ceases to exist, what would the current and future Vassar students be missing out on? It’s time to use our memories and writing skills to try to answer that question.
-Austin Murphy ’05