Student Voices Forum

Menlo College

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Chicano Struggles – by Anonymous

Do you know how it feels to be called a chope?
do you think you can cope with this feeling of not feeling dope?
Is communicating so hard that when you speak you almost choke?
I know how you feel, not to mention sad and broke.

Even though I was born in cali,
I was still bullied for being a fatty,
lived in a house of nine but it felt empty.
My father worked two jobs I barely saw him
My mom couldn’t be here legally
and didn’t want to come illegally.

My auntie tried replacing her,
but couldn’t and I won’t ever blame her
she had three kids of her own
and had enough worries of her own
I had to face my problems, couldn’t run.

Didn’t have the newest clothes
Didn’t have the trendy brands,
I wanted to be a G, I wanted to be in
at least I would have a rag to brag about,
good thing I never took that route.
For months I carried weight in my bag that
was so heavy my bag ripped and my pants sagged

My confidence kept on dipping
and I kept on slipping,
Graduation was coming quickly
and college seemed like a possibility,
I promised a better future for my family
I told them one day I’ll drive a Bentley
I don’t care too much about the money
But in this world we gotta get by financially.

A home for my family I will provide
As long as I have enough to get me that
My pride will remain intact
and I won’t ever have to sell my soul to get me that.

I respect the law but won’t stand next to ignorance,
I won’t apprehend or praise negligence.
These borders don’t protect us
these borders disconnect us,
add fuel to the burning hate!
open up the gate,
A human is not an alien
Make American Great again?
when did America stop being great?
A human is not an alien,
DON’T you dare use that term again.

‘morning love – By Yours…Dionysus

I’m the last sip of coffee in your cup,
the last one before you are done ‘til the silence.
I’m down next to the bottom of the paper that holds me,
next to the unsaturated sugar cubes
which were set free by your touch to dissolve.

Warmth is fading every second
When you forget to breathe life,
into the small sky of mine which
Lies there as docent to my oblivion.

I fill life in your skin,
Kiss the night away from you.
Though you finish me away in one sip,
I’ll find a way to come back to you.
And though
I was under your skin last night,
You will miss me, ’til I greet you with ‘morning love delight.

Have/Have Nots – By Klayton Ketelle

I live for open windows during showers

Warm water and cool breeze after hours

The east coast draws me near

Shaky leaves, no skyscrapers here

Life moves and so should we

18 years in one place isn’t where you oughta be

Telescopes, I’m looking into space

Tryna find rebels, James Dean not a trace

In the mirror is where I stare at myself too long

Out of body moment a being is Living standing on

Two feet of distance between me and the moon

Rocket reaches its final circuit when the flowers boom

Sleeping over at girl’s house dreams of a real life

Till then my adolescence will give us a taste what real feels like

Time is here and I’m there wondering where it can go

Pondering what’s the purpose for 18 years

And just as its clear devil’s advocate plays out in my head

Will I ever get the answer? I don’t want to wait till I’m dead

Anxiety – By Alannah Rodriquez

Even my mind is not safe
I can’t escape the thoughts that bang against my skull until I can’t see straight
The thoughts that never stop and make it almost impossible to breathe
I gasped for air as I beg my mind to be silent
It knocks me around, making me light-headed
A whirling sensation sends me to my knees
Unable to move, paralyzed…
Because I am afraid that the next move… will be the wrong one
The voices in my head only get louder, making it hard to focus
All of it, destructive and isolating
I feel alone even when surrounded by friends
Always thinking I will say or do the wrong thing
Terrified at the thought that their smiles could be fake and their kindness only temporary
My only comfort are the consoling whispers in the back of my mind
However, it gets hard to listen when they are being drowned out by the deafening screams in my head
The ones that tell me:
I am not smart enough
I am not strong enough
I am not good enough
The ones that belittle me and make me feel small as they tell me about the reason for it all is that something is wrong with me…
And too often
I believe them

Awaiting My Pledge – By Angniq Woods-Orrison

When will my flag pledge allegiance to me?
I am the resident on the Standing Rock Reservation
I am the black student who is told misconceptions about slavery
I was the man at the bar who was shot up in Orlando
I am the child who grew up in this country and am being threatened deportation
I am the autistic person who is struggling with a job
I am the woman who covers myself and is still not protected from rape
I am the young girl who is fearful to wear my hijab
Why is no one forced to stand for me? Where are my riots?
When will there be great conversations and debates for me?
I want to be respected, beloved, valued
I, too, am American

Your World – by Dillon Wright

Close your eyes
And trust the journey
We are on a road
Of self discovery

Stand still and picture this if you will

You’re standing still
Surrounded by daffodils
As you breath
Picture what you feel
Walk around
Do as you will

Go be free
Do as you will
Take your time
And feel

As the wind
Breezes by
And kisses your cheek
And promise not to blink

Let it all go
Let it all be
Everything will be
What it is meant to be

You are free…

Now what is that
That you see

It’s a globe and it’s sitting there in front of you
Feel free
And let it spin
Let it spin

As it twirls and swirls
Your life begins
Around and around it goes
When will it stop
Nobody knows

Now what do you see
Do you see
Flashes of light
Splashes of color
Do you sit and wonder?

If you picture pain
It’s okay
Just put it in a frame
And let the glass shatter

Let the past go
It doesn’t matter

As your world spins
It starts to slow
It starts to glow
The colors blend
And start to flow

That field of flowers fade
And now you walk in shade
From the buildings
You’re surrounded
But you’re not drowning

You’re at ease
You’re at peace

Your world keeps spinning
It’s leading
And guiding you

You follow…

And as you start to see the sun
The buildings shrink back
And it’s just you and your world
It’s bright

As you see the light…

People appear
And they stop and stare
They see your globe
And ask about its shine

They ask you questions
All the time

They say they admire its shine
You say it’s just okay
It’s really fine

They say no no
Your world
Isn’t just fine

Look, look
Look at mine
Your world made mine shine

Your world isn’t just fine
‘Cause it changed mine

Your world
Is so special
It moves so much slower than mine
It shines
It shines
Brighter than mine

Where did your world get that shine
Where can I find
A place
That will change mine?
Is there such a place?

How bright your light
It saved my life
I saw your globe
As I was losing hope

All these worlds
Started changing
Just as you were saying
That your globe was just fine
Look around
It didn’t just change mine

You start to run
But not from pain
But toward the sun

As you pass
You make their day
You changed their whole world
By your life and what you say

Your world it spins slow
It never loses its glow

It brings peace
And ease
To those in pain
It makes them sane

Your world matters
It matters to me

Your globe
Gave me hope

The time we spend
Healing our broken souls
Builds bridges of hope

Your world matters
You matter
You matter to me


Student Voices Forum is a place where Menlo College students can share their written, oral and visual creativity.  It is designed for the entire Menlo Community to hear, see, read, and share students’ original oral, written, and visual projects.

This site is updated once per semester as submissions are received.  We look forward to welcoming you to the broadening circle of artists on the Menlo campus.  You never know how your artistic expression may inspire others.

Student Voices Forum is sponsored by the Menlo College Writing and Oral Communication Center.  To contact us, please email Dr. Marianne Neuwirth at

Self-Illusion – By Tanvi Mathur

Waves, wind, and whisper of the night,

Chaos of all beings out of sight

Drops of water flying through the breeze,

Feet soaked, thoughts flowing with ease

The ground shifting beneath,

A small terror rising within,

But one deep breath protects me like a sheath,

Still standing, comfortable in my skin

More confident than I’ve ever been

Stars shining above, a grainy canvas setting below,

In between lays my reflection, or is it just a fictitious image

of the person I want to be? What do you see?

Being Alaskan – By Brittany Woods-Orrison

I am from Alaska

The digits that I have faced were well below zero

I’ve still been known to get cold in Cali

We also deal with heat that convinces us village kids to dive into the cold Yukon deep

I am Alaskan Native, and No you did not ask

My Koyukon Athabascan elders went through assimilation and discrimination

We still feel the same hate that wants to ruin our fate

I did not drink or smoke despite the facts and stats

I did not kill myself, even as death’s suicide grip grasps our map

You did not ask, but yes, I think everyone should know

I went to a boarding school run by the state trying to get out of the money due dates

The students are Indigenous seeking empowerment and breaking restraints

It used to be run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and children with TB were sent there

The children were abused and it never made the news

My great grandparents sipped then hit

My grandfather hides and tries

My mother saved me by breaking the cycle

I am an Alaskan for Alaskans

That is why I am in California

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