The joint student and faculty campus group Intersections: People, Planet and Power (IP3) will make a proposal at the upcoming May faculty meeting to hold a teach-in on September 17, dedicated to tackling issues of social and environmental injustice.

“The teach-in would provide an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to inform themselves,” said Associate Professor of Romance Languages Nadia Celis, a key orchestrator of the IP3 movement. “The aim of IP3 is to create a space and series of events in which we can begin to think about concerns of exploitation of nature and human beings, and see how the addition of one thing to another aggravates the problems.”

According to Courtney Payne ‘15, one of IP3’s student leaders, the group is led by a core of approximately 15 students and 15 professors. She says she’d like to see the teach-in reach a part of campus that the group’s messages have not yet reached.

“Our events have had good turnouts, but we’ve seen the same faces,” Payne said of IP3 events that have included a social justice panel and facilitated conversations instructing on how to improve difficult conversations. “The teach-in is our particular mission because we believe that more students who don’t normally engage in these conversations—don’t have time to or don’t choose to, for whatever reasons—would have a chance to get involved.”

Hunter originally proposed the teach-in at the last faculty meeting. The proposal is also not asking for permission to hold the teach-in, but rather asking for the endorsement of the faculty.

“We are asking the faculty to make a statement about the importance of this day, and we are asking them to assume responsibility for addressing the needs and wants of the students on campus,” said Celis. 

While the format of the teach-in is yet to be formalized, Celis believes it will be an event in which students can participate as much or as little as they want.

“The teach-in will not be about cancellation of classes,” said Celis. “We have designed it in a way that would allow several levels of participation, as we are intentional about respecting everyone’s position.”

The proposal currently combines panel discussions with open classes across the College. The open classes would be co-taught by faculty in different fields, so as to provide a co-curricular opportunity for students to learn. 

“Our focus will be on utilizing the resources available to us here, rather than bringing in outside experts,” said A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Mary Hunter.

According to Celis, over 50 faculty members and 70 students have given feedback to and assistance with the event.

Hunter is not certain as to whether the proposal will pass, but she is hoping her peers will officially recognize the importance of the event.

“This is something a lot of students are definitely very passionate about,” said Hunter. “We are crossing our fingers that the proposal will pass.”

The IP3 teach-in already has the support of President Mills, but Hunter believes it will all depend on the faculty turn out on the day of the meeting. 

“There will be between 120 to 140 faculty voting, some more passionate about these issues than others,” said Hunter. “It will really depend on how many people come to the meeting. Some faculty will come just to vote; some will really want to vote but be unable to attend.”

Celis believes it is Bowdoin’s responsibility to address these issues, and believes the teach-in is a great way to do so.

“If we are driven by the desire of the Common Good, this teach-in is the very embodiment of what our role is,” said Celis.