This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1994 documents the undergraduate experiences of Jessica Rachel Arons, Daphna Caperonis Cox, Gladys Mendez, Ava Natasha Nepaul, and Gladys Xiques, at their 25th reunion.
The alumnae begin by introducing themselves and where they grew up. They continue to discuss what made them decide to go to Brown as well as their parents’ educational backgrounds and personal engagement with feminism. They also go on to share some of their first memories of their time on campus. Cox recalls a meeting in her dorm about sexual health and Nepaul fondly remembers attending the Third World Transition Program.
The interviewees then talk about some of their best and worst memories of their time at Brown. In terms of low points, Xiques mentions the trial of Anita Hill in 1991 where Hill testified that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her in the workplace; Mendez recollects wanting to leave school after she realized her intended concentration was the wrong fit for her, and her mother forcing her to stay; Nepaul remembers fearfully living in a dorm room above a hockey fraternity; and Arons discusses gender harassment and a stalker she had as well as not having resources beyond her friends to terminate the situation. When speaking of high points, Xiques, Nepaul, and Mendez cite the open curriculum allowing them to find their interests and best paths; Arons reminisces about her semester abroad in Italy; and Caperonis similarly recalls the summer she spent working at Yellowstone National Park.
With the final moments of the interview, the alumnae discuss issues of sexual harassment and rape on campus, including the “rape list” – a list of male students’ names that appeared on bathroom stalls in 1990 alleging that they sexually assaulted female students on campus. They also remark on the methods they had to mitigate the threats such as the student-run safety escort and whistles distributed to students. The interview concludes with the alumnae stating their current occupations.
Pembroke Hall, Brown University