Marley Friedrick is a first-generation college student who came to Holyoke Community College in fall 2018. Although his high school transcript was not strong, he has proven to be a stellar student, making Dean’s list every semester. He is a Liberal Arts major and will graduate in May 2020. He hopes to transfer to Brown University and major in Sociology or Cultural Anthropology. His goal is to enter politics but is considering a career in higher education. Marley is a member of the HCC Student Senate a Student Trustee on the HCC Board of Trustees. He is a Work Study student in El Centro which houses the Multicultural Academic Services program. He works with Student Success Initiatives and is a New Student Orientation Leader. He has written a student guide of on- campus resources for sexual assault survivors and examines HCC student support materials to ensure that they are accessible to first generation students. Marley has helped to re-activate the Rainbow Club (queer-straight alliance). He is deeply engaged in the campus community in many important ways, but most often centered on equity and inclusion. His professors note he has an authentic and resolute motivation for civic engagement and social change.
Since high school I have been involved with many student-led social justice activities. This has continued at Holyoke Community College where I have served in multiple leadership roles on campus including the Student Senate and the HCC Board of Trustees.Through both of these bodies, I advocate for policy and procedural changes that will better serve our students – and engage with local stakeholders to determine how we can achieve educational equity. In my role as co-chair of the Trustee Equity & Diversity Committee, I am committed to exploring strategies and best practices to decrease the achievement gap between white students and students of color. As a student senator, I co-founded an initiative to create physical resource centers on campus for marginalized groups to combat institutionalized discrimination by building strong social support networks. I try my best to leverage my privilege as a white man to challenge the ways that our institution manifests patterns of institutionalized racism and to make intentional efforts to dismantle these power structures. It is our responsibility as leaders of our communities to critically examine the ways in which our institutions privilege white, wealthier students over students of color and students’ of other marginalized identities.