Dear Collegian staff,
We are writing to express our dismay concerning the story about Native American Heritage Month published in the Collegian’s Nov. 6 issue and to provide some perspective from multicultural organizations on campus. In an article devoted to Kenyon’s Inaugural Native American Heritage Month, “Awareness of Native American culture spans November,” the author, Regan Hewitt, included a picture of Adelante members holding Hispanic artwork, misspelled Lemanuel’s name and incorrectly indicated his class year.
Ms. Hewitt had contacted executive members of Adelanate and Indigenous Nations at Kenyon (INK) about covering Hispanic Heritage Month (which happened in October) and Native American Heritage Month, currently being celebrated. What began as an effort to bring to light diversity efforts at Kenyon became a public display of misinformation and misrepresentation of two distinct cultural student organizations. In clumping these two groups together, the Collegian editorial staff has shown a lack of understanding of cultural organizations on campus and insensitivity towards the representation of multicultural organizations.
When consulting executive members of Adelante, the writer indicated that the piece would illuminate the cultural significance of Día de Los Muertos (celebrated Nov. 1) and the purpose of the altar in the Peirce Atrium. However, any semblance of Adelante’s presence and its effort to celebrate Day of the Dead were completely missing from the story.
While the Collegian staff did not intend to be disrespectful, these errors show a lack of understanding of cultural heritages and a nominal attempt to understand the experience of other cultural heritages. Our hope in bringing this issue to light is to encourage the Collegian to be more cognizant of their coverage and acknowledgement of multicultural organizations. In the future, we hope the Collegian’s editorial staff will be more considerate in representing and reporting on multicultural student groups, events and issues.
Erika Cuevas ’16, President of Adelante
Lemanuel Lolely ’16, President and founder of Indigenous Nations at Kenyon