On December 14, many members of the community lay down outside the Dining Hall in a “die-in.” A term unfamiliar to many, a die-in is a form of protest in which people lie on the ground in silence for a certain period of time. Die-ins have been taking place in New York, Boston, Washington D.C, and even at other boarding schools, such as Exeter and St. George’s.
Garam Noh ’15, one of the organizers of the event, explained why she thought holding a die-in would be beneficial for Deerfield students: “The die-in was about creating an environment where people who were strongly affected by those events could feel like they have a place where they are supported at Deerfield.”
In addition to addressing the issues surrounding the two shootings, Noh also pointed out that the die-in was a form of bringing awareness to campus: “When we’re here, we’re so far removed from the outside world that we can think everything is like Deerfield . . . I think it’s really important for people to realize that it’s not like that. The issues that we think are completely resolved here are still rampant in other parts of the country.”
While some students may find themselves indifferent to the issues and controversy pertaining to the shootings, others in our community may feel deeply impacted by them.
Students had varying opinions on the die-in. Many participated and found it to be a worthwhile event for themselves and the community.
Yuri Lee ’15 said, “The fact that so many students joined in the die-in is particularly meaningful to the community as a whole . . . one person being proactive has a large impact on the entire community.”
Gillian O’Connor ’17 said, “The die-in was an interesting way to express your opinion. It was very powerful.”
However, other students didn’t participate due to their own views on the event and the issues surrounding it. Riker Bixby ’15, said, “I didn’t participate in the die-in because I didn’t feel like it would accomplish anything, besides getting me sick [due to the cold weather].”
Nick Leone ’17, who also did not participate, said, “I didn’t think it would help me resolve any issues I had toward the Michael Brown incident.”
Deerfield is definitely split on this issue, a fact that Noh noted as well: “It highlighted how divisive race issues can be in this community.”