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Spring Bloom is an annual week-long program that takes place after graduation in May. It’s coordinated by Employment Services and designed for campus staff and faculty. The program offers various trainings, seminars, and information sessions as a form of education, and as a way to bring people together and foster community. In recent years some popular sessions have been on well-being, mindfulness, organization strategies, new technology, College events, Campus initiatives, and general ways in which we are supporting our students’ educations, their College experiences, and each other.
Replacing Chautauqua with Spring Bloom
The Chautauqua Movement started in the late 1800s as a way to extend the reach of education outside the traditional paths. Through this, many populations were able to access an education they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to achieve. Our spring program here at Macalester was originally named Chautauqua to honor that founding ideal of making education accessible, an ideal in which Macalester still believes today.
However, we recently revisited the origins of this movement, through a modern-day lens. We found that the original curricula evangelized Protestantism, included some racist programming, and excluded non-white participants. These elements strongly go against Macalester’s beliefs of inclusivity, multiculturalism, and anti-racism.
We want our programming to be an inclusive, welcoming event for all of our community members. In this spirit, we’ve renamed this annual event to Spring Bloom.