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Rebecca's Story

Rebecca Wehner is a sophomore who will graduate in 2024. Since her start at Bay Path, she has been a part of theater productions, and as the current events director she is an active contributor to the Network News and the Bay Path University Student Newsroom.

“Diversity and inclusion mean that we recognize our privileges and let everybody have the platform to speak their piece. I am a woman, I am a lesbian, but I’m also white, cisgender, and middle class, so I have to be a supportive ally to the communities I’m not a part of, while also not taking over their spotlight and speaking for them. Whether we want to or not, we all subconsciously have biases about different communities because of the way we were raised or how the media portrays people. Part of diversity and inclusion is being aware of those biases and constantly having to unlearn them and do better. It’s not something that will magically get better, it’s something you have to work at every day. But it’s worth it.

Growing up, my family pushed me to get involved in as many activities as possible. I’ve always been very arts and literature-based, so I found that I enjoyed musical theater and the newspaper club. It’s a good outlet for me to express myself.

When I got older, I also became interested in social justice. As a lesbian, I’m part of a generally oppressed community, and I wanted to create change for other oppressed communities, too. This led me to shift my focus from creative writing to reporting so I can make the world a better place through journalism.

A huge thing for me has been finding a community that I’m comfortable with. The beginning of my process of coming out as a lesbian was difficult personally, so it was good that I had my found-family.

I’ve lived the majority of my life in Ludlow, Massachusetts. I liked that Bay Path was far enough from my house that I didn’t feel I needed to go home every week, but close enough to be in a place that I was familiar with. Both my parents were commuters when they went to college, so they encouraged me and my twin brother to live on our respective campuses and be as involved as possible. That’s something they feel they missed out on in their college years.

Another big pull for me was that Bay Path is a historically women’s college. My mom went to Elms College in Chicopee when it was still all women, so you could say I’m a second-generation women’s college student. In high school, I had my fair share of being in an environment where I was talked down to by cisgender men. I knew that I would thrive best in a place where no one was going to question whether or not women deserve rights in a classroom discussion. I like the cozy atmosphere and welcoming energy of Bay Path. Nothing is super spread out, so I know where all the classrooms are. The student body is small enough that I feel like I know everybody. Being a resident, I’m surrounded by that environment at all times, getting to know people through clubs and events.

Here at Bay Path, when I’m not busy studying, I spend a lot of time out with my friends and girlfriend. I am an extroverted person, but I also appreciate solitary activities like drawing and reading.”