The Re-Radicalization of Hampshire College (Re-Rad) is a movement comprised of members of the Hampshire community who are invested in providing independent oversight and constructive criticism of Hampshire's academic and governance policies. Re-Rad works to promote a commitment to self-motivated, self-designed education and seeks to keep Hampshire true to its continually experimenting pedagogy. Re-Rad supports transparent, shared governance and actively works to empower students in structuring their education and their college.
Re-Rad convenes regularly for on-campus meetings under the auspices of its 'holding company', the official Hampshire student group of the same name. This group receives funds on a rolling basis from FundCom; responsibility for this money falls to the group's three signers. This student group has been hosting meetings for members of the Re-Rad movement for 14 consecutive semesters. For meeting announcements and minutes, please join the Re-Rad listserv. If you want to get involved in more in-depth discussions, please join Re-Rad's discussion listserv. If you are not presently at Hampshire but still want to get occasional updates, please join Re-Rad's alumni listserv.
About the Movement
All of the people who participate in Re-Rad are united in that they came to Hampshire at least in part because of its innovative philosophy of both teaching and learning, defined by a commitement to self-motivation and a constant reverence of freedom (and its compliment, responsibility). This was expressed academically by a focus on personal evaluation of a student's work and a student's learning; valuation of extracurricular and extra-coursial work; strong professorial expertise; strong advisorial guidance; understanding of diversity; respect for the 'different'; self-motivation; self-responsibility; and always, always, the greatest respect for freedom.
This movement began when it became apparent to certain members of the Hampshire community that their school was beginning to drift from these noble goals. They began to protest such things as the impersonal and restrictive Division I program; the reliance on activity accreditation imposed by TheHub; the lack of requirement, encouragement, or even easy allowance of independent work before Division III; the lack of proper implementation of the Hampshire constitution; the lack of student voices in the college's decision-making processes; in short, the lack of the experimenting or 'radical' pedagogy which was the impetus behind the creation of this college.
In response to this and continued stagnations or further reactionary changes in Hampshire's academic structure, Re-Rad has and continues to act as an alternative voice in discussions with what its members feel is fast becoming a mainstream institution of higher learning. Re-Rad will continue to act with peace and respect against such changes that it feels are a betrayal of Hampshire's mission and raison d'etre. When such changes cease, Re-Rad will continue to focus its efforts on the improvement of the community as a whole - for once this institution provides to its students the freedom and the guidance it is able, it will be no mean feat to make good use of that best of educational situations.
SGA Creation Process
In Spring 2011, Re-Rad met with the Interim President Marlene Fried and several administrators to discuss the creation of a Student Governance Association, as recommended made by the Governance Task Force. From these meetings, it was agreed that the next year would be devoted to the creation of the SGA, including student-centered Brainstorming sessions and a student-led task force. Community conversations have been held on both the purview and structure of the SGA, and in Spring 2012 the SGA Creation Task Force drafted a statement of the Purpose, Values, and Scope of the SGA. Re-Rad is committed to having this creation process be firmly rooted in student participation. Updates on the SGA can be found on the Intranet.
Transparency Around Capitol Projects
There are currently multiple capitol projects in motion. These projects are going to bring new buildings and renovations to campus including the campus portal, the barn project, the renovation of the RCC and The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. We are fighting to promote dialog between students, staff, faculty and administration surrounding transparency around these projects and how having so many contruction projects at once time will effect the campus community, academic life, and the student experience.
Spreading Knowledge About Transcripts
Hampshire Transcripts are an odd and unique thing. Re-rad wants to spread knowledge about what a Hampshire transcript is structured, accessibility of transcripts, and what students should do to to make sure their transcript fits their needs the best. We hope to work with Central records to promote dialog about an important outcome of a student's time at Hampshire. Do you know what a transcript looks like?
History of the Movement
In the spring of 2004, a student group calling itself the Re-Radicalization of Hampshire College (Re-Rad) emerged with a manifesto called The Re-Making of a College, which critiques what they see as a betrayal of Hampshire's founding ideas in alternative education and student-centered learning. The Re-Radicalization movement responded in part to a new "First-Year Plan" entailing changes to the structure of the first year of study in the curriculum. On May 3, 2004, the group staged a demonstration which packed the hall outside the President's office during an administrative meeting.
While some students worry about what they see as Hampshire's headlong plunge into normalcy, the circumstances of Hampshire's founding tends to perennially attract students who revive the questions about education on which the institution was founded and challenge the administration to honor them. Unsurprisingly, then, Re-Rad was not the first student push of its type. Efforts like it have sprung up at Hampshire with some regularity throughout the years, with varying degrees of impact.
A more detailed account of movements such as these can be found in the history of Hampshire student activities written by alum Timothy Shary, now a faculty member at Clark University.Guerilla Guide on Hampedia!
Mentored Independent Study
The Re-Radicalization of Hampshire College launched a pilot program in fall of 2005 in which ten third semester students were paired with Division III students with similar academic interests to complete a mentored independent study. In this program, third semester students design an independent study and the Division III students act as mentors to assist them with problems or issues they may encounter in the independent learning process. The program was a success and is in the process of being institutionalized permanently. Re-Rad considers this another step towards a day when all learning and all work completed by a student might, in concert with their academic advisors, be used to demonstrate their progress within the institution (for other ways to have "non-course-based" work acknowledged, see Learning Activities).
In the Spring of 2008, having realized that the discussions concerning a new Division I Proposal were slowing down other reform, Re-Rad submitted a proposal to the EPC concerning smaller, more approachable changes to Hampshire's academic program that would still make a substantial difference.
Improving communication is key to ensuring that decisions are made with high consensus. With this in mind, Re-Rad created a survey to better understand faculty concerns and perspectives on Hampshire. The results of the 2008 Faculty Survey Report will better inform the Division I proposal and ensure a better understanding of the faculty's point of view.
In response to common complaints about the advising system for Division I, advising surveys were distributed to Hampshire students in Spring 2007. The results were processed and the 2008 Advising Survey Report is now available for your perusal.
This proposal, a comprehensive plan to restructure Division I, was written and submitted to the EPC in Spring 2008. It was then officially circulated to the entire faculty alongside the Spring 2008 EPC Division I Proposal.
The Re-Rad Division I Proposal is a "living document," as it can always be made better. It was designed to complement previous Re-Rad proposals.
The Guerilla Express is a now defunct periodical which was published by Re-Rad for a short while, headed by Brian Van Slyke. Its purpose was to keep the Hampshire campus informed of news related to ongoing academic reform. The inactive blog continues to be hosed by WordPress.
March Vote to change Dist. Reqs.
On Tuesday, March 3, the Hampshire College faculty voted on the Educational Policy Committee's proposal to replace the current distribution requirements with four-category model based on modes of inquiry and separate from the five schools. The EPC will return to the faculty with a specific proposal soon. Re-rad was integrally involved in the proposal process.
Re-Rad proposed, to the EPC, that the distribution requirements be divorced from the five schools and replaced with five "modes of inquiry", described in a formal document written in the Fall semester. This is the Re-Rad 2008 Distribution Requirements Proposal. The EPC described four major options:
1)The distribution requirements should stay attached to the schools of thought (i.e. NS, CS, etc.), but reduced in number.
2)There should be a new system based on 3 modes of inquiry.
3)There should be a new system based on 4 modes of inquiry.
4)The distribution requirements should not change.
At the well-attended March 3 meeting, the Hampshire faculty voted first to move to a "mode of inquiry"-based system. They voted to pursue a curriculum based on 4, rather than 3, requirements. Last, they voted to give the EPC a mandate to develop a full plan and not stay with the current system. All votes were anonymously submitted.
Re-Rad continues to work with the EPC to flesh out a comprehensive plan to reform the Division I distribution requirements and the rest of Division I.
Re-Rad came into existence in reaction to the creation of the 2004-2010 Division I system. For this reason, our main goal is and has been to ensure that Division I properly reflects what students, faculty, and staff desire from this college.
Toward that end, Re-Rad has worked continuously, since its inception, on reforming the current Division I system. In S09, the faculty voted to change the distribution requirements for Division I (see below). Following that success, Re-Rad continued to work with the EPC to implement a new system of dist. reqs. and improve all of the other parts of Division I. Re-Rad worked from its comprehensive Spring 2008 proposal (Re-Rad Division I Proposal) , previous Re-Rad proposals, the founding documents of Hampshire College, and various other sources.
In JanTerm 2009, Re-Rad and the EPC worked intensively to draft a comprehensive Division I proposal (Full Div. I Proposal). In March of 2010 the Faculty Meeting voted to approve this proposal with one ammendment to the Distribution Requirements, and in May 2010 the Board of Trustees approved it as well. This Division I will take effect in Fall of 2011.
We all have our own reasons for deciding to become part of the Hampshire community. However, there are some principles that we can all agree upon as being key aspects of Hampshire, which should still be true twenty years from now. These are encapsulated in the Shared Vision Going Forward. You can read it in PDF form: . You can also read and sign it online at http://sharedvision.rerad.org Please sign only once. You can check to see if you signed it at http://sharedvision.rerad.org/signatures.html If you signed a paper version please allow at least 24 hours for it to be transfered.
Governance Task Force
The Governance Task Force has been asked to do a full review and assessment of Hampshire's governing processes. As our system has many flaws, that is an exciting prospect. However, we want to ensure that it operates in a transparent, efficient manner, and has equal representation in its membership.
On Friday, September 25th, forty-six students rallied together and peacefully presented four requests to the committee: transparency, accountability, equal representation, and reserved power. Read the full document to learn the details.
In order to raise awareness and take constructive action, Re-Rad held elections for the missing student and staff member slots on the Task Force. Will Romey and Leanna Pohevitz were elected but were not instated by the current Task Force. Learn more on the Governance Task Force Elections FAQ page.
March 2010 Protest of the Administration's Decision To Admit An Incoming Class With A Projected Yield Of Over 480 Students
On Monday, March 8th, members of Re-Rad, and other concerned students, interrupted a meeting of the Executive Cabinet and the Governance Task Force to present them with a document describing the potential negative ramifications of admitting an incoming class with a projected yield of over 480 students. The Statement to the Executive Cabinet detailed the negative consequences, which include compromising the integrity of Hampshire’s education philosophy, placing undue strain on professors and staff, detracting from the quality of classroom discussions, increasing strain on support services, and fragmenting the Hampshire community, among others. In order to address those concerns, the concerned students presented the Executive Cabinet with three demands:
1. A commitment from the administration to accept no more students than would yield a projected incoming first-year class of 400 students.
2. Guaranteed on-campus housing for four years, as is promised to all students in the Hampshire College admissions literature.
3. A concrete and meaningful role for students, staff and faculty in the process of crafting both long-term and immediate budget priorities, with information provided in a timely and complete manner.
For several hours these concerned students engaged in a discussion with the Executive Cabinet, which is made up of many upper level administrators including Steven Weisler (Dean of Enrollment and Assessment), Mark Spiro (Vice President for Finance and Administration / Treasurer), and Alan Goodman (Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty), about these issues, and created plans for increased student input in such important decisions in the future. The administrators present refused to commit to the first demand, for an incoming first-year class of no more than 400 students, stating the without the projected increase in students, they could not manage to balance the budget. The administrators refused to commit to the second demand, for guaranteed on campus housing, stating that the housing problem was a direct result of the number of students admitted, and as such they could not commit to the second demand without committing to the first. The administrators gave a verbal agreement to the third demand, for the creation of a “concrete and meaningful” role for students, staff, and faculty in college governance.
As a result of the student protest against the decision to admit a class with a projected yield of over 480 students, Mark Spiro, the Vice President for Finance and Administration / Treasurer, held two presentations on the college budget.
In Ralph Hexter’s March 22nd Memorandum, the administration projected an incoming class of 465 new students, due to an influx of applications immediately before the admissions deadline.
Creative Solutions To Hampshire's Financial Problems
Re-Rad is currently gathering student ideas for creative ideas to cut expenses or increase revenue, and Mark Spiro has agreed to present students' ideas to the Board of Trustees, along with his plan for balancing the budget.
Send Some Love
On March 6th, 2010, Re-Rad held its first annual "Send Some Love" event, where students gathered and wrote letters to alumni, sharing stories of their time at Hampshire and asking alumni to help support the college in these difficult financial times. Over 100 letters were written, and many donors have responded with gifts and personal letters in return. This is one of Re-Rad's many efforts to both reach out to alumni and also help the college out financially.
Re-Rad also devoted efforts to projects to aid the college during these difficult financial times. These projects include:
- Grant-Writing Workshop held during JanTerm 2009 through EPEC, where students draft grants for Hampshire-related projects
* Community volunteerism: we planned and assisted in projects to increase the time, ease, and number of ways, students can volunteer their time to improve the Hampshire community
At the beginning of the Fall 2010 year, Re-Rad partnered with the Admissions staff to hold an open workshop around several key questions concerning Admissions and the student body. The questions were: "What are the most improtant features of Hampshire to highlight on an Admissions tour?", "How can we accurately explain Hampshire's Divisional system to outsiders?", "How should hampshire make contact with prospective students?" and "How should we determine if an applicant is a good fit for Hampshire?" The ideas generated at this session were communicated to the Strategic Planning Committee and to the Admissions office. They are also available here.
Re-Rad Strategic Planning
In the beginning of the Spring 2011 semester, Re-Rad held a strategic planning session much like the college-wide Vision Sessions to set goals for the semester. Click here for more information.
Division I Implementation
Through the F10-S11 year, Re-Rad worked closely with the EPC and several task forces to help implement the current Division I program. Re-Rad contributed significantly to taking elements such as the CEL-1 and the Cumulative Skills from the proposal stage to the concrete.
Division I Evaluation
In Spring of 2010, the Faculty Meeting and the Board of Trustees voted to approve the EPC Division I proposal. This Division I program represents a significant and sustained effort by Re-Rad to encourage greater flexibility, independence and innovation in Hampshire's academic system (read the full proposal here: or the FAQ here: ). This new Division I program took effect in Fall 2011, and Re-Rad is committed to monitoring the implementation process and seeking to improve the program.
In the past several years, Re-Rad has formed a focus on holding Hampshire to its princole of participatory, inclusive governance practices. If Hampshire truly is a community that values all its constituancies equally, those constituancies derserve a voice and a role in the way that decisions are made about the workings of the college. Re-Rad believes that there is a distinction between input and agency, and that it is not enough for students to simply have feedback solicited without having a meaningful role in the creation of policies and projects.
Currently, Re-Rad is working to draft procedures that would standardize how students are elected to serve on task forces, seach committees and other important bodies. An improtant step in ensuring representation is making that representation part of Hampshire's official policies; with the creation of guidelines for how to hold elections, Re-Rad hopes that it will be faster and easier to include students in important decisions!
Education and outreach is key in keeping the Hampshire community well-informed. This includes efforts such as creating informative handouts, writing for the Omen, publishing documents, and tabling at events such as Hampfest.
Re-Rad Resources & Documents
Re-Rad has written several official documents over the past few years. Read them here!
Academic Proposals and Information
- 2008 Distribution Requirements Proposal
- Re-Rad Division I Proposal
- April 15 Re-Rad Proposal to the EPC
- Factsheet about changing the distribution requirement
- FAQ about the 2011 Division I
Surveys and Reports
Communications Regarding Ideology and Principles
- Shared Vision Going Forward
- Letter to the Strategic Planning Committee
- What is Re-Rad and what do we do?
- Re-Rad Letter to Family and Friends 2009 - This provides full citations and sources for all the claims we made in this letter to family and friends
Past Posters and Flyers
Other Resources & Documents
Re-Rad has been working hard to gain a deeper understanding of Hampshire. This involves collecting and studying oft-difficult-to-find reports and essays concerning Hampshire. Here is some of the information we have collected: (Please be aware of the biased voice of most, if not all, of these sources. Re-Rad does not endorse any of these as equatable with their views - far from it.) And PLEASE add to this!
- Mark Spiro's 2012 Financial Presentation - A powerpoint of the state of the college's finances, presented by Mark Spiro at a March 2012 event organized by Re-Rad. (Also, links to other financial presentations.)
- EPC Recommended Reading - A compilation of documents viewed as most important for EPC members to read before joining the discussions
- Hampshire Survival Tips - A cool collection of tips from Hampshire students
- Liberal Corporation or Radical Collective: Two Models for a College - An essay by Robert Rardin, 1973
- Hampshire's Qualitative Research Initiative (An extensive array of past surveys, studies, and reports)
- Steve Weisler's 2004 Evaluation of the First-Year Program
- Hampshire College Self-Study
- NEASC Report
- The First Hampshire College Catalog, published in 1970, fascinating summary of the idealistic vision of Hampshire at its outset
- Redesign of the Liberal Arts Education; Evaluations and Records; and Strengths and Weaknesses of the Academic Program. In: Self Study Report (1974)
Other Historical Documents Discussed In Re-Rad:
- An Organized Vision
- Principles of a Hampshire College Education
- Core Principles of Hampshire Governance
- Original Re-Rad Manifesto
- Past Re-Rad Publications
- No inventory.