Firefly, Neil, Joss, I Know I Am Not the Only One

Who:

A) Misses Firefly, knew it was a brilliant show which was untimely cancelled despite overwhelming fan support, owns it on DVD, has watched it countless times, can quote it, and gets all the in jokes.

B) Adores Neil Gaiman

C) Adores Joss Whedon

D) Fights for Free Speech

 

On a personal note, I have experienced this kind of attitude on campus when I was a student. It's disheartening to witness and be a part of an academic climate which wants to censor it's faculty and students. Thankfully, I had good friends and a group of professors who came to my rescue and provided me with the freedom to continue a controversial senior thesis. I had to switch departments during the middle of my senior year, which is nearly impossible to do.

My college was well aware that I would and could go to multiple media outlets, as I was making a documentary film about the college. To condense things, I was attending a woman's college where the board of directors decided it was time for the college to become coeducational. The news was not well received. I spent countless hours filming events as they unfolded. From raucous protests to silent sit-ins to individual interviews to closed door meetings.

My senior project was not specifically about women's colleges transitioning to coeducation. My project was about non-traditional aged women returning to college and choosing to attend women's colleges. At that time, I interviewed women at all 62 women's colleges (there are now less than 58 and the number dwindles each year).

All of what happened during those three years informed the subject matter of my thesis and film project. To have my academic advisor and professor inform me that I may want to tread lightly on the subject of the transition, was shocking to say the least. In reality, it broke my heart and just about killed my trust in academia.

My class, 2008, was the 115th all female class to graduate from my college. And the last all female class. Everything that happened while I was there became part of my experience and the lens through which I made my film. To this day, I can barely sit through my own creation without shedding tears. Tears for how hard we had to fight to be heard. The bond that was formed through the thread of women who attended that college is amazing. The history is deep. Women who have gone on to change the world we live in.

I don't want to debate the women's college vs. coeducational college thing. I've done it. You won't win me over. Your point is invalid. One is not better than the other. They are simply different. And yes, I researched men's colleges as well, there are only two in the entire United States. One of which is located quite close to my former alma mater. Those men came to our college and protested with us, provided us food, and kept us in good humor.

My point here is that college should be a place where ideas can be explored without boundaries. Take a look at TheFIRE.org and see what they are doing. Maybe you can help.