By Joey Maya Safchik
On the eve of Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry of Wales, Northwestern Professor Deborah Cohen and Associate Professor Scott Sowerby led a discussion and tea reception. Dozens of students, Northwestern community members and Evanstonians joined the scholars in Harris Hall to hear academics converse about the Northwestern alumna and soon-to-be Duchess of Sussex. Some of them were even adorned in the signature accessories of royal British events.
“I’m not an undergraduate myself, but it must be interesting thinking about your future and wondering whether you might end up as a princess,” said Sowerby.
The historians led a conversation about the implications of the Royal Wedding and how it reflects the traditions of the English monarchy. They also offered predictions for the future, including a dialogue about whether or not Prince Charles, the current queen’s son, will rule. Sowerby, a specialist in early modern British history, also mentioned the Perth Agreement of 2011, which alters the line of succession. It allows the eldest child of the ruling monarch, regardless of their gender, to inherit the throne.
This was part of a broader theme in the discussion, which focused on boundary-breaking and modernizing the crown. Cohen, a specialist in modern British history, said that she believes people are now relying more on the tradition and steadfastness of the crown because of the recent turmoil in British politics.
Cohen and Sowerby discussed Markle, a 2003 Northwestern graduate, at length and examined ser role as a bi-racial, American divorcée.
“Meghan Markle is a really smart addition to the marketing enterprise known as The Crown, because she is yet another stage of modernization,” said Cohen.
By Andy Weir
First-generation and low-income Northwestern students gathered in Great Hall Wednesday to discuss the role of socioeconomic class in higher education.
The workshop, dubbed “I’m First,” aimed to demystify income and class by bringing together members of the Northwestern community to share their stories and life experiences, highlighting unique struggles of first-generation and low-income college students in particular.
Northwestern’s Student Enrichment Services and Quest Scholars organized the event, which featured free food and music before the discussion.
“The point of this workshop is really to create some discussion around class, specifically trying to touch on the experiences of low-income people and how those differ from the experiences of others,” Northwestern Quest Scholars Co-President Christian Reyes said.
The “I’m First” workshop was part of a weeklong series of discussions and events, named Money Matters Week, to explore finances in college.
“I think it’s important for other people who aren’t first-generation or low-income, because it’s one of those things that people don’t think makes a difference in your experience here at Northwestern, but it does,” Weinberg freshman Sofia Sanchez, a first-generation college student herself, said.
The week featured dialogues and interactive workshops for low-income students, first-generation college students and students of color at Northwestern. The goal, according to Student Enrichment Services, was to create an open and safe space for students navigating these challenges.
“The experiences of first-generation and low-income students might be similar, but it varies from person to person. I think one thing we can all share together is that we need some support,” Reyes said.