THREADS: archives of student voice at evergreen


THREADS: archives of student voice at evergreen
Sako Chapman
extracted text

archives of student voiceat evergreen --

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zine b


Art Break 1...........................................4
Student Works......................................6
Community Healing............................8
Art Break 2..........................................10
First Peoples Basement......................12
Art Break 3..........................................16
Tying it Together ............................... 18
Art Descriptions..................................19
The Evergreen State College
Sako Chapman
Investigations in Community: Evergreen, Art,
& Students



And welcome to my zine—a review of my archival research
into student voice at Evergreen. This work and this output
were all done as a part of a Winter 2022 Independent Learning Contract (ILC) with my sponsor, Catalina Ocampo. In what
seems to be great Evergreen tradition, this ILC was conceptualized within the span of two weeks and lengthily titled
“Investigations in Community: Evergreen, Art, & Students.”

I mourned the fact that there were few people to explain the
stories I would only know in object. They had come and gone
with the students they’d grown from. Even if I didn’t know
what they were, it still felt like they were missing.
There is more connection now, in my second year. I know
more people, offices are reopening, and I have a sense of
familiarity with the physical space. Yet, I’ve still heard this
observation of disconnected past echoed with almost every student I’ve talked with. I’ve continued to feel it myself,
too. We’ve been handed a fraying sweater of a college. It still
functions, we may still love it. But we can feel the places that
threads have been pulled out and worn thin, leaving a question of how we can patch it. If it’s even worth the effort.
I am in far too deep to tell you that it’s not. And if you’re
still at Evergreen, I think you might be down here with me.

So who am I, and why have I done this research? An excellent couple of questions to keep in mind as you browse my
findings, and ones I think are entirely tied together!
I’m Sako, and at the time of writing this, I’m a sophomore at
Evergreen with a light emphasis in visual arts. My first quarter was Fall of 2020, having closed out my senior year of high
school in lockdown. Despite Evergreen’s pandemic-informed
decision to keep classes & activities online, I moved from my
home in Richmond, California to the sopping-wet city of Olympia, Washington.
I spent my first year physically in a new place but with little
sense of establishment. I found myself encountering Evergreen as a sunken city, something once full of life but observable now only in artifacts. Trees that mysteriously grew LED
strings in the winter. A College Activities Building lacking the
activities—hosting the promises of clubs that had disappeared
with little trace outside of the rain-soaked bulletin boards.
As I adapted to the new look of community in the pandemic,


My quarter has been a process of uncovering the histories
that were missing and preventing me from really orienting
myself here. It’s taken me all across campus, had me talking
to many different people in the community, and stamped my
brain all over with Evergreen trivia. I started this research
because I wanted to fix my experience of constant unknowing
I felt last year. Honestly and simply, I kept going because it
was fun. The more I uncovered, the more it started to contextualize my time here, and the more my interest grew. Evergreen is a truly unique place, but it’s only as interesting as its
students are interested in it.
This booklet is not an index, but a narrative record of my
quarter. I’ve included breaks with my art from winter, each
piece building from the feelings that brought me to this investigation in the first place. You can find further description of
why they’re there at the back. As I recap the new relationship
I’ve built with this college as a place, as a community, and as
an institution, I hope that you will be able to ponder your own
relationship—how can knowing some of this incredibly insular
history better your time spent here? Together, by knowing
what was possible in the past, I think we can clarify what’s
possible for the future.


(background: Sandy Baugher, March 6, 1975 CPJ)
from the Evergreen State College Archives



Best hidden in plain sight, I found the trails of Evergreen’s
student publications nestled in many neglected corners of
campus. The more backstory I uncovered, the clearer this
tradition of creative works and collaborations became! These
are some of my more notable finds.
Cooper Point Journal (CPJ): The only of
the following pubs still active, and has been
since 1971. Despite working there for over
a year, rifling through old issues revealed a
completely new history. The old CPJ used to
be able to focus in on community issues and
gather student input on the matter1. While
chasing the trails of letters to the editor, I got
jealous of how much interaction the paper
used to get... even if it wasn’t all positive.
from the Evergreen
State College Archive
Counter Point Journal: From 2009-2012,
the Counter Point Journal actively challenged
the CPJ’s dominating hold over student voice.
It was wild to think about the need for alternative pubs when current students barely
know about CPJ. But back then, with the
CPJ’s pro-Israel stance of omission, the community wanted a new forum for their opinions and felt connected enough as a group to
make it happen.
Tales from the Steam Tunnels: an anthology of the CPJ’s comic section over the years,
published in 1981. Most of the humor hinged
on the types of digs at political correctness
that still thrives nowadays, just stamped with
a ‘78. For all the forlorn buzz about our lost
tradition of comics, I was very unimpressed.
Seeing the type of work from the early CPJ, I
could really imagine trying to start an alternative.

Students of Color Anthology: I had found
old submission calls to these in old First
Peoples newsletters. I spiraled trying to
locate any of the 6 editions printed between
1990-1999. Turned out that I didn’t have
to look any further than the 3rd floor of the
CAB2. Multiple offices had them! It was really
grounding to see that there was once a united
enough body of color that they could come
together on this, if a little bittersweet. I want
to see something like this in the future.
Slightly West: A literary magazine with a
long history at evergreen. From the disorganized shelves of the CPJ office, it was hard
to tell the timeline of how long Slightly West
ran-- but I’d guess there were at least 25
different editions. While most were DIY zines,
many editions were professionally bound and
printed. Holding these works felt like distilled
Vanishing Point: a subsequent iteration of
an Evergreen literary magazine that seems
to have run as recently as 2017 with its 4th
volume. It ran a wordpress site in addition
to physical copies, taking submissions from
students and faculty for a final compilation in
spring. It seems like it fizzled out post 2017.
I was surprised at the amount of artistic and journalistic
output Evergreen used to foster, when nowadays it seems like
the CPJ is back to being the sole publication. Each of these old
works represent a level of investment and interconnectedness that I am sorely jealous of. But the most amazing thing
about seeing these materials was the precedent of possibility.
While the dip in popularity for journalism (plus the disbanding of many publications) makes it hard to get new things off
the ground, these old works let me see the potential.


e College Ar

ergreen St
from the Ev



I won’t tell you what happened in 2017 here, and it seems hypocritical. I
got to build my understanding of the protests and media controversy from
hearing my friend’s personal experience. It felt like finally being old enough to
hear the family drama. Being able to identify the threads of that story as they
related to my present is largely what drove the conception of this research.
There is a deep need for this history to be transparent. It represents a
vital breaking point. To one degree, this incident tangibly severed ties between our community. To another, it was the culmination of years of equity
struggles, increased militarization, and platforming of oppressive views.
But I can’t get into detail without the story consuming all of what I think
Evergreen has been and could be—all of what I’m exploring here.
Even the “short version” spirals and leaves an unfair emphasis on the very
same threads that were pulled and pulled to the detriment of this community.
The May 25, 2017 edition of the CPJ is linked in my references. For a full
timeline and multiple student perspectives, start there. The articles from this
issue centers the part of the 2017 story that I find most relevant to today:
what the community had to recover from, and where they tried to start.

“Re: Harrassment” comes from Jazmine Kozak Gilroy a 2017-2018 school
year issue by the CPJ. I was drawn to this more so upon revisiting my notes
than when I first encountered it. For the first half of the week, I was swimming with this fundamental question of “what good comes from knowing the
past?” As I sifted through the thumbnails of videos that capitalized on the
same false narratives that so clearly frustrated, harmed, and scared students, clips of gun threats, and videos of later doxxed staff members3 I really
struggled with the thought of bringing these issues back up. If sharing stories
was capable of bringing such harm, was there merit in letting things just
stay to the side?
I find it so funny (and a fair bit concerning) that I was able to entertain
this thought for as long as I did, because I fundamentally believe that no issue
can ever be addressed by ignoring it.
I think it speaks to the emotional effect reading this week’s materials had
on me, and to why I appreciate this piece so much. Of the online harassment
that her school, team, and particular coworker was facing, Jazmine wrote
that “…it seems that what our particular antagonists want is for us to disappear, stay quiet, to ‘grow up,’ and go away… They will be mad regardless of…
what does or does not happen at this school, because it is not our actions or
words that make them angry but our very existence.”
While it speaks to the events in the time it was written, it hits me as the
reaffirmation of why not talking about this part of Evergreen history is
so damaging. It aids in the suppression of truth in favor of the dominant,
consumable narrative that desparate-for-views youtubers, even five years
later, can still capitalize on. There is real, logical fear, that explains staying
silent. But it’s the easiest solution, not the one that heals, not the one that
recognizes the power in re contextualizing the narrative for ourselves. Even
as the people who were directly hurt move away, I think those wounds still
permeate the air.
I’m left wondering how we begin to heal from far removed trauma in the
wider, conceptual state, and how we as the Evergreen community would heal
from this particular harm. It’s not a one-person job to figure it out, and it’s
absolutely something not everyone would agree on. But this solution of silence
to avoid controversy is not working, not with the sense of unsafety among
students still so nicely mirrors what’s written in the CPJ archives.

Sarah Gluck, May 31, 2017 CPJ


Clipped article “Re: Harrassment”



lengthily named
r Support Services is
was the
First Peoples Multicultu ry at Evergreen. Outside of my classes, it
as a
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les has always served
office with just as len
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But for all the
only real source of co
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years before 2018, it wa
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ns but have often
Evergreen’s highest re
ve echoed my frustatio
connection between us
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ended with a resigned
ople of color, we build
!! Wh
is college, in my
But this isn’t true at all
pecially in terms of th
deep dive into ..
each other. This beca


Nestled in the lowest corner of the CAB, the First Peoples
basement is filled with piles of random event supplies, and
towers of looming boxes labeled ”misc. Archive.”
I was granted the key to this space by my boss who, quote,
“gets way too stressed out by looking at all this stuff.” After
spending so much time in there, I’m inclined to agree. While it
was clear someone at one point had sorted the boxes, their logic remains indecipherable to me. My first day, I spent 3 hours
rifling through piles and several afterwards pouring over what
I’d found. I had no idea how deeply a rabbit hole could go once
you get some hands on some papers.
My most exciting find was
a binder labeled “The History of First Peoples’ Advising
Services,” a collection of orientation manuals, pamphlets,
and catalogs from pre-1980
to the 1996-1997 school year.
While not a “history” in an
expressed narrative sense, I
was really enamored with the
discovery of the First Peoples
newsletter series.


While there were many interesting discoveries from the
newsletters5, the “Editorial Comment” from former First
Peoples director Eugene Fujimoto really stuck with me. He
was writing to POC at Evergreen, how there had been a lot
of inter-community discourse of varying intensity and productivity. He balanced the diversity of thought and need for
discussion with the “hope that the conflicts are not exploited
by those external to further split in our community.” It was
thoughtfully worded to not be dismissive of hurt but took time
to really emphasize that cutting off communication because
of hurt is a “major error” as avoiding conversation can pit us
against each other.

Eugene’s words highlighted a current lack of strength in our
community of color. There is no real forum in which we have
discourse, and a concerningly low initiative in nurturing a
community of color here6. This goes hand in hand with the current experience and consequence of Evergreen not wanting to
acknowledge the protests and community trauma of 2017. We
can’t be so afraid of weaponized disagreement that we will not
clarify things for ourselves.
We need to develop forums for open discourse about frustrations and harm in our community. We need to solidify our community of color without fear of retaliation or a championing
of whiteness. I think this could come from creating a shared
narrative history here, particularly from our students. As Patricia Vazquez Gomez outlined in her artist lecture7, “research
lets you enter a relationship with a subject.” This lack of open
knowledge, history, conversation of the past is a tangible block
how these relationships form.


Archives are housed on the bottom floor of the

library, across from my favorite study room. For only being 50
years old, they’re absolutely packed. Not just with documents,
but also with things; art, sculptures, ball pit balls8... Unfortunately, the selection of materials related to student narrative
is slim in comparison.

I had a bitter taste of
jealousy in my mouth the
whole time looking over the
DisMans. I try not to focus
on it, but there has been such
a deep unanswered yearning for care, cohesion, and
largely information around
being a part of the Evergreen
Community that I think it’s
easy for me to be over-romanticizing the manuals as the
solution-to-my-problems that
could have been.



rp y)
te r
in bra
t’s e li
rt f th


From the archives, I got
my hands on some of Evergreen’s Disorientation Manuals. Disorientation manuals
are a tradition at many other colleges: not just unique
to us9. They’re designed by
students for students as a
“Here’s what the school won’t
tell you” survival guide.

This concept of irrelevancy makes it all the more shocking
to encounter this writing now, knowing that a year ago I would
have lacked the context for Evergreen’s “2017 story” in its
entirety. It’s shocking of how time has passed, and how the
college has committed to their silence on the matter.
If the need in the Evergreen student community circa September 2017 was a call to action and organizing over these
suppressed contexts of the protests, what are the needs of
students today? Many of the injustices mentioned in this
article are the same issues that are relevant to students right
now. Yet we lack the same venue and collective voice for those
needs, as well as the same shared base knowledge to form
thoughts of what we might want to see grow.

The DisMans have been the most exciting thing I’ve gotten to look at. It documents the sort of stories a new student
might verbally learn from a student who’s been here longer,
answering questions of “what’s there to do around here,”
“what’s up with the cops on campus,” or generally “is there
anything I should know about?”
I was most excited by the ‘2017 Evergreen Protests’ section
of the 2017-2018 DisMan because it offered both a unique student perspective and a uniquely student perspective on what
info was important to share. Jaqueline Littleton starts with
vague reference to ‘The Evergreen Story’, “a certain professor
and accusations of racism.” It assumes a certain level of community awareness and drifts its focus to the “nuances” of the
protests that were too boring for the media to cover. The contruction of a full timeline or counter-narrative wasn’t a relevant to a community who had witnessed the events firsthand.


A more critical eye shows me that the parts I’m most attached to from the disorientation manual is this practice of
information sharing and the idea that there is a group of people invested enough to do that collaboration10.
The sense of loss may still persist, but I really want my takeaways to focus on an aspect of inspiration. Is this circulation
of knowledge, of narrative, something that could be practiced
now in a similar way? I believe so, and with enough investment from other students it could be great. I don’t know the
‘how’ just yet, but there are ideas brewing.



Tying it Together:
I think of my investigation into the insular history of
Evergreen as a case study for how communities sustain
themselves. With each material I read, I realized the ways
in which connections had grown and strained in trends-- not
solely big moments. I saw how active investments of time
and energy had once been commonplace, even with the
temporality of a college setting.
I recognize the general air of hesitation that seems to
interrupt those investments now. A fear of failure at putting
time in for no reward permeates our school culture and
wider society. But a lack of forward inertia makes for stagnating communities. My research into Evergreen’s more
active past let me see this issue in full. The jealousy I experience, the yearnings I identify-- they’re a reminder that
these risks have payoffs. Events, connection, community...
These things may never happen in the exact same way, but
researching the past gives us the precedent to try.

This investigation into community recalibrated me, reaffixed myself to the fabric of this place. It’s made me rethink
my position as a student and has asked me to think deeply
and specifically about the things that I want out of college.
Having ended last year more unsure of my path and my
passions than I started with, this investigation has never
been to celebrate Evergreen or to document its past in any
formal way. It’s always been to rediscover what I wanted
from my time here, and to envision what of that I could do.

Research is an act of investment, a process of relationship
building. It’s not just the practice of holding the past in your
hands or reflecting on the insights they provide. It’s the
conversations that come out of and around it. This experimental phase of college means something to people, and they
want to get the most out of it. This was clear with every story
shared with me, the bonds we were able to form there. It was
reaffirmed every time I was able to carry that excitement
forward and share those stories with other people.

I’m glad to have done this work. As full as my head now
feels, I still gained a lot of clarity. Closing out this zine means
sewing an end to this particular research... and while new
information is always there to be had, I am excited for a bit of
closure. Student voice is a string that will keep evolving and
changing in form as the years go on. At times overwhelming
to try and untangle, but a fun puzzle nonetheless.
I am grateful for this chance to have followed the trail as
long as I did.

(background: Photographer Unknown, May 1, 1975 CPJ)



from the Evergreen State College Archives

1. The Cooper Point Journal also used to be published weekly,
or bi-weekly compared to the now monthly editions. The
CPJ of 30 years ago also didn’t have to deal with the dying
practice of print journalism.
2. I found copies of the anthology in the Student Equity and
Arts Lounge, Student Activities (by the printer) and to the
right side of the CPJ’s library.
3. These videos are fairly easy to find with a search term of
“Evergreen State College.” If you are inclined to do the
same, be prepared to encounter the wall of video essays on
the “most liberal college in America’s epic freak out”
4. 32% of enrolled students at the start of 2021-22 were of
color. Though, with low enrollment trends out of 2017 and
COVID we have the same headcount of students of color as
5. One of the reveals from the newsletters was a longstanding rivalry with the CPJ. Not a lighthearted rivalry mind
you-- it seems that the CPJ editors during 1992-1994 were
extremely tolerant of racism, and the First Peoples newsletter was a forum to call them out. Their comic section
was particulary offensive, as evidenced by the tone of Tales

from the Steam Tunnels.

6. The interest in rebuilding spaces for students of color is
high, but with the stalling of clubs for our identities has
made this process more intimidating! There isn’t really an
awareness or encouragement of precedent.
7. Patricia Vazquez Gomez was a part of the Winter art lecture series on January 26, 2022. She talked about the
social functions of her art as a community-based artist.
8. Ball pit balls from Happy land, 1991-2009-- a crawl space in
the pre-rennovation CAB that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


9. Evergreen’s manuals specifically reference UC Berkeley as
a pioneer for the tradition of disorientation week in higher education. A google search of “Disorientation Manual”
yields lots of examples of other colleges works!
10. From 1997 to 2007 the Evergreen Political Information
Center (EPIC) organized the Disorientation Manuals and
had emphasis on campus resources and your rights as students. Olympia Students for a Democratic Society/Sabot Infoshoppe picked it up from 2008 to approximately 2014. As
an anarchist group, they gave the manual a visually more
punk look and had more emphasis on the history of Olympia as well as protesting guides. In 2017, personal blogs and
sites like the college fix fixated on the anarchist affiliations
of the disorientation manuals as a point of ridicule. The
credited Sabot Infoshoppe in brainwashing the students to
an anarchist agenda. The Disorientation Manual had been
picked up from at least the 16’-17’ year prior by the Black
Cottonwood Collective who, as an anti-authoritarian collective, on campus kept up a strong balance between the
earlier two styles. They also hosted Disorientation Week for

Extra LINKS,
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Cover: Restiching - Collage and screen print
I built this piece out of old CPJ issues (February 2022 and May 31, 2017),
an admissions catalogue, and some paint chips. In the back you can see a
visible mending texture. The relationship that comes from an act of research
is a process of reweaving contexts.
Inner Flap: Sketchbook 1 - Marker
Drawing from the desk of my dormroom for 2021-22.
Pg 4: Deep End - Stencil screen print
Building off the impression of Evergreen as a sunken city, I drew this piece
thinking about water. In terms of the sense of isolation and ungrounded-ness
that overshadowed my first year in a new place, the phrase “it hit me like a
wave” kept coming to mind.


Pg 5: Double Vision – Two color screen print
I often draw myself or my hands as a way of grounding—my sketchbook is
full of this. When I was picturing what would encapsulate the feeling of not
quite knowing myself away from my known world (“known” was very much
uprooted in the first year of COVID lockdown, and still is), the image of not
quite aligned hands popped into my head. The line art somewhat out of focus.
Pg 10: Sense of Place - screen print
Most of my Evergreen experience last year was framed through my dorm
window. I got outside a fair amount, but this view of the path sticks in my
brain as the main symbol of my isolation.
Pg 11: Unplugged - Two color screen print
I love a good framing silhouette! Thinking back on this piece, it came from a
lot of my frustrations in the research process, getting really tied up in details.
The ropes from the ceiling drip down, rippling through the figure.
Pg 16: Cover Illustration – Ink and digital coloring
Illustration I made for my Cooper Point Journal artist feature back in
November! It’s since come to my attention that not everyone recognizes the
pyramids on the top of the library building... but they light up at night. I spent
a lot of time crawling around on rooftops that first year, so this is an iconic
fixture to me.
Pg 17 Knot – Two color screen print
To offset the density of the illustration it’s paired with, I decided to go simple. In the idea of threads, I wanted to think about how things could be turned
into a solid grip with a knot.
Pg 22: Sketchbook 2 - Paint and marker
Views from the roof of the library.
Pg 24: Notes Collage - Pen and marker
Cut and pasted excerpts from my sketchbook where I stored notes from
this quarter.
Back Cover: Mending - screen print on construction paper
I made this mending texture to use on my collage. The patterns are ripped
from sachiko mending styles, a method of artfully showing patching and
mending on clothes. This act of research and revealing the past is sort of an
act of this visible mending.


to all who took time to talk to me during this
quarter of investigation. Whether the
community members who generously shared
their stories, or those who sat and listened to
me prattle on, I could not have organized my
thoughts without your guidance. I’m of
particular thanks to Catalina Ocampo, my
sponsor, and to Liza Harrell-Edge, the
Evergreen archivist. Both helped shape the
form of my research and dream about how I
might document it.
If you’ve gotten this far, even just on a skim,
I thank you too. This project was a labor... not
quite of love, but something similar. I still hold
onto research as an act of care, and your time
engaging with this is one as well.