By Letter to the Editor
This is a reply to an article published in the Concordiensis last week.
Becca Duffy’s description of “grocery trips to the local Wal-Mart for the simple pleasure of observing the ‘Schenectadoid’ in its natural habitat,” though intended to be humorous, is an embarrassing expression of a pervasive problem at Union that should be addressed.
The word ‘Schenectadoid,’ is derogatory, insulting, and worst of all, hurtful; her reference to “its natural habitat” is not only dehumanizing, but also implies that there are Union students who are convinced of their superiority. It is a shame that privileged students at an elite institution have conventionalized a word intended for mockery.
The publication of last week’s article was especially disappointing because so many members of the Union community (students, faculty, employees, and deans) work and live in Schenectady. Also, there are many erroneous facts in Becca’s article: GE, for example, is not deserted.
However, I want to emphasize that not all Union students “interpret” Schenectady negatively. So many students are actively involved in our community outside of Union, and truly appreciate the benefits of our location.
To echo Andrew Churchill’s astute response to another inappropriate article written two weeks ago: “We as a community can choose to not legitimize voices that serve to subjugate others.”
It is essential that we turn away from malevolent words such as “Schenectadoid,” and instead recognize that we are an integral and positive part of Schenectady.
Sarah O’Connor ’11