Chris Hill


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Thanks, Susan. Rowan ‘s words and Dennie’s pictures have chronicled Nonstop’s history, and Susan has described Nonstop’s nuts and bolts. For the next few minutes I want to speculate about what we might expect from Nonstop, given its particular challenges and resources.

In the spirit of last summer’s Reunion, we see Nonstop actively seeking to create collaborations between diverse stakeholder groups and across expanding information networks. This past year has demanded and inspired some amazing communications projects and invigorating alliances. The specific information-sharing projects from the past year that I will reflect on today point to the kind of responsivity and dialogue between faculty, alums, students, staff, and Yellow Springs villagers that we expect to sustain through future Nonstop classrooms and work projects. We also expect Nonstop to energize the Miami Valley region through the lectures, cultural events, fora and festivals that will be Nonstop Presents! And we insist that Nonstop sustain the model of progressive liberal arts education founded on the decades-long tradition of shared governance that we all experienced as students, faculty or staff at Antioch College.

So today I want to profile three projects from the past year that can be understood as previews for Nonstop. The first project occurred last fall, when theater professor and alum Louise Smith invited Yellow Springs artist Migiwa Orimo to work with her students on community art projects supported by an Ohio Arts Council residency. I was lucky to be able to have Migiwa work with my video production students as well. In the projects you will see, students were asked to create media that re-situated somewhere on campus or in the Village some of the written texts that had been created in the struggle to save the College. Those texts were taken from theantiochpapers.org, manifestos written by students, and the Antioch College leg code. This teaching moment was used to explore a public affairs topic in a media production class. Migiwa was a resource both as an artist and as an observant local villager. Over this past year Yellow Springers have played invaluable roles on both visible and anonymous projects that supported our students and efforts to save the College. Nonstop looks forward to similar collaborations and additionally collaborations with visiting alums in the coming year (more about that tomorrow afternoon).

The first very short work I’m showing by recently graduated senior Michael Yates demonstrates a protective vigilance toward two Antioch institutions–the honor code and Main Building. You’ll notice that the gargoyles on Main Building are students. The second tape is a manifesto by Mariel Traiman, a senior who is now finishing out her final coop in New York and will do her last Antioch term on the Women’s Studies AEA program in the fall. Her project reflects on a sense of place and community where students become the agents of their own educations—

>show Michael Yates’ tape

>show Mariel Traiman’s tape

Now I’m moving on to a second event from the last year that is also a Nonstop “preview.” The “bubble” that we understand to be this campus has been broken, at least temporarily. We will not have access to familiar places like the caf, the dorms, 113 McGregor, or the Library where we can reliably expect to find our colleagues and community members. In the coming year we may have to reconfigure and reorient our sense of physical space. But we are finding that village will indeed be a sanctuary for Nonstop. And an important component of our new “architecture” will be our electronic communication. Reliable and creative online spaces will be critical for Nonstop. These spaces will not replace in-person learning, but rather help us to share documents, review assignments, and productively chat for a period when we may not have easy access to xerox machines, blackboards, paper print credits, or meals together in the caf. The collaborative online networks that have proliferated this last year have seeded our imaginations and include antiochians.org, ACAN, the Record and Blaze online and the Yellow Springs News community forum pages. And of course we owe tremendous thanks to Diane Chiddester for her writing at the Yellow Springs News. Over this last year alums, faculty, students, staff, parents, and villagers have become regular bloggers, occasional impassioned editorialists, insightful analysts, provocative researchers, and both conscientious and occasional readers.

I will show a very brief clip from Antioch Confidential, produced by villager Brian Springer and alum Tim Noble. This example of tactical media journalism has been distributed online at theantiochpapers.org, and, like Nonstop, represents creative research, collaboration across stakeholder groups, and networked online resources. This project is a collaboration of townspeople, alums, and, in my opinion, really stars the dedicated union staff at the Library. The metaphor of hostage taking resonates deeply with most of us who have lived through this last year on campus, and Nonstop is, in fact, a refusal to succumb to that condition. But that reality is not the primary reason I want to show you this clip. You’ll see the hostage drama unfolding in the library, but the voices you’ll hear in the background are those of Antioch alum and longtime library employee Steve Duffy along with longtime employee Sandy Coulter who demonstrate their determination to keep the Library open. Duffy and Sandy, in their behind-the-scenes, support positions, insist that “Antioch be Antioch” despite the disturbing scenario unfolding around them. The spirited perseverance documented in this tape similarly informs the efforts of Nonstop.

>show clip from Antioch Confidential

3) I want to introduce one last snapshot from the past year that goes to the heart of Nonstop. Consider Community Meetings, and especially this year, the streaming of community meetings. Alums from different generations have spoken to me about critical information shared at a Community Meeting as we tried to figure out how to best move forward together. For example, it was suggested at a Community Meeting that as we rebuild, College institutions like Adcil be recognized as foundational because of Adcil’s role in shared governance, and its familiarity and recognized importance to generations of Antiochians. Late in the spring term Adcil morphed into Excil and Excil (now streamed) continues the tradition of consultation and shared governance. During this very difficult Spring 08 term, it made sense that the collective efforts that had inspired many of us throughout this term would be the institutional structure most successful in building and managing the infrastructure of Nonstop. As we stand here now, having lost access to most of our familiar buildings and meeting spaces, we rely on committees composed of faculty, students, staff, AND alums, and collective communications forms–like Adcil, Comcil, and Community Meetings, enhanced by streaming, as a kind of lingua franca throughout the Antioch diaspora. Now I will hand the mic over to Hassan, my colleague in the Executive Collective, to conclude the presentation on Nonstop.