Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Education Program


Mark Tappan

Second Advisor

Adam Howard

Third Advisor

Joseph Atkins


At the beginning of my Junior Year, the Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Director of the Pugh Center, Noel James, hosted an event called “I am Colby” during the first-year orientation. Student leaders sat amongst the first-year students in Lorimer Chapel and one by one we rose and “declared ourselves” publicly: “My name is Sonia Mahabir. I’m originally from New York City and I am a Posse Scholar. I am this year’s chair of the Pugh Community Board and I love country music. I am Colby.” These few statements were to serve as a blanket introduction of myself to these new students in our community—it was a way to give them a taste of the many personalities that existed here. Each of my chosen statements has had distinct effects on my experience as a Colby student. As a Posse Scholar, I came in with “credibility” as I was immediately recognized as a leader. Being from New York and loving country music was almost a contradiction and demonstrated my open-mindedness to difference. My identity at Colby has been largely defined by my involvement with multiculturalism—specifically race and gender. These aspects of my identity have led me to this thesis.

“Hail, Diversity, Hail: Questioning the Campus Climate at Colby College” combines what I have learned in my classes (formally as theory), through my engagement in extra-curricular (practice), and by simply being a female student of color (life). I have held a dual role within this thesis—I am a researcher as well as a ‘subject.’ I have analyzed the responses of my peers, studied this issue formally, but I have also been actively involved in the Colby community as well. This dual role has provided me with an interesting standpoint where I am able to analyze my own experience and understand Colby.


multiculturism, posse, race, gender, diversity, college, student life


Full-text access restricted to Colby College at the author's request.

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