De-Lux Brunch Pt.2: A Look at the History of Meredith Traditions
On Wednesday, Nov. 16., the Common Experience Committee (CXP) will be hosting their second De-Lux Brunch covering the history of traditions at Meredith. The event, hosted in collaboration with Meredith’s Black Student Union (BSU), is the second of three events that will examine the history of Meredith College.
Every year, the committee selects a theme to Every year, the committee
selects a theme to "explore... from multiple diverse perspectives.” This year’s theme is Lux, or light. The official explanation of the theme states that it is meant “to explore the value of illuminating aspects of the past that have been hidden, obscured, or forgotten.”
Dr. Sarah Roth, the Dean of Arts & Humanities, heads up the CXP. She explained that the De-Lux Brunch series was started after the Board of Trustees renamed Joyner Hall in April of 2022. “There seemed a need to fill in some gaps in the understanding that faculty, staff, and students had about Meredith history,” she stated.
Chorro Jobe, BSU President, reached out to Dr. Roth and Liliana Madrid, Meredith’s DEI Coordinator, about ways to collaborate with them on making that information more accessible to the Meredith community.
Janice Sniker from the Archives Department will discuss older traditions that have been phased out over time, such as Palio and May Day. Carrie Nichols, the head of Technical Services, will discuss how Crook Hunt, Stunt and Class Day have evolved. Dr. Daniel Fountain, Professor of History, will share the history behind Cornhuskin, going back to the nineteenth century. Nichols will also show a video that discusses how Cornhuskin’ at Meredith has changed over time.
The BSU Executive Board shared that they wanted students to be as informed as possible. “We really hope to see as many students as possible, hence the topic of traditions we are touching on directly affects us and the overall culture of this campus,” they explained.
Meredith is also a member of the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) initiative. This nationwide effort was started by the University of Virginia that focuses on “sharing best practices and guiding principles as they engage in truth-telling educational projects focused on human bondage and the legacies of racism in their histories.”
Dr. Roth explained that Meredith’s USS team had presented some of their research at a conference at Guilford College, but had yet to share it with the Meredith community. They are hoping to use these events to do so.
The first De-Lux Brunch was held on Oct. 5. The high attendance rate indicated that “students are interested in learning more about the long history of exclusion in the college’s past,” Dr. Roth said.
The BSU Executive Board wants Meredith to be “a place of empowerment,” especially for those who feel they can’t embrace Meredith because of the community’s “unwillingness to amend our history.”
“We must create a space that we can be proud of and come back to celebrate with others that will soon benefit from it,” they stated.
A third De-Lux Brunch will be held early in the spring semester to include student research and the USS team’s work on Thomas Meredith.
By Aminah Jenkins, Editor in Chief