Statement Regarding Antioch Farm (updated)

Environmental sustainability is one of our core Areas of Practice at Antioch College. As an Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (ASSHE) Stars Silver-rated campus, we’re known nationally for our top-performing food and dining and grounds maintenance practices. Our dining hall serves mostly organic food grown on local farms, including our own working farm on campus. Vegan and vegetarian options are an important part of every meal served, along with ethically sourced meat from our farm and other local farms because the majority of our students are omnivores.

Every meal prepared and served at Antioch College is an education, and our Farm is a living laboratory for seeking out ways to sustain our community in harmony with the land. If more colleges, universities, and schools, food service organizations and the hospitality industry in Ohio and across the world adopted similar approaches, the environmental health consequences could only be beneficial.

Earth scholar, Thomas Berry wrote:

“The destiny of humans cannot be separated from the destiny of Earth.”

This is why, as a hub for human learning, we have made ourselves a laboratory for the practice of environmental sustainability.

Writer Jean Houston tells us:

”Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world.”

This is what we must do to mobilize ourselves and our fellow world citizens to act for the planet we share; we must create bridges to understanding better ways forward not islands built of orthodoxy and self righteous posturing. To change the story and perception we must show how living sustainably is possible; we must change their to change their perceptions; doing that is an act of and for justice—a landmark value of Antioch College.

If we turn our back on open, honest dialog and evidence based deliberation about finding better ways forward—ways that flow from our creativity, curiosity and hope—we certainly will be lost.

Iconic Antioch College President Arthur Morgan (1920 – 1936) stood for a powerful approach as a consummate community builder; set a pragmatic course of action guided always by transcendent ideals.

Antioch does steer by the stars but we recognize that the journey for each student and citizen will be experienced differently and dynamically. That is part of the joy and challenge of being human even as we sit side by side in the same vessel.

Decision Making at Antioch College

One of Antioch College’s fundamental values is shared governance which also includes teaching students to make ethical decisions for themselves. This value is central to Antioch College’s mission. Changes to campus practices can only come from within our community—through our shared governance processes—not from outside pressure.

The campus community is aware of calls from some to make changes to campus practices. We will not be making changes to these programs at this time.

Updates

UPDATE: September 6, 2019

The Office of the President received a very concerning death threat over the phone.

Staff in the President’s office forwarded the message to Public Safety, who notified Yellow Springs Police. Public Safety and local police, at the College’s request, have increased patrols around campus.

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our chief concern. The unrelenting aggression against the College—spearheaded by Dr. David Nibert, a professor at another area university—has resulted in a threat that we must take very seriously.

UPDATE: October 7, 2019

The continued campaign led by Dr. Nibert has resulted in two more very concerning death threats directed to the College President. Authorities have once again been alerted to the threats.

Due to the continued actions against the College which have resulted in continued harassment of our campus community, a letter was delivered to Dr. David Nibert on Friday, October 4, banning him from the Antioch College campus and College-owned properties, including the Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

As a private institution, we have a right to control who has access to our campus and College-owned properties, especially those who, through their presence and actions, make our campus community feel unsafe.

UPDATE: October 15, 2019

In addition to continuing and concerning harassment, a fourth menacing death threat has been received by the College. Authorities including the Yellow Springs Police and the Greene County Prosecutor are aware of the threats. The FBI JTTF is assisting the Yellow Springs PD with investigations.

If you have any related information which may assist with the investigations, please contact the Yellow Springs Police Department,