Clarkie of the Week: Allie Richards


Erin McKeon

Richards is president of the ONE campus challenge.

Kate Summers, Executive Editor

Allie Richards (‘18) is an International Development and Social Change (IDSC) major with a minor in geography. She is a member of Take Back the Tap, a Resident Advisor, the president of ONE Campus Challenge, and works at the International Development, Community and Environment house.

Scarlet: How did you decide to become an IDSC major?

Allie: Originally coming in, I knew I was interested in nonprofit work and social change. I took a few classes and I really liked how we critique almost everything, including capitalism. It doesn’t necessarily take the world system’s status quo. It tries to go against the development industry and really understand the underpinnings of what’s wrong with what’s happening in our international development. I really like being able to look at the views of feminist, socialist, and racially focused critiques.

Scarlet: What has been your favorite class?

Allie: My favorite class I’ve taken in IDSC was Sex and Development [with Professor Ellen Foley]. I really enjoyed the class. It was very discussion based. I learned a lot about the entire idea of the population controls that have happened in the development industry, and the racist and problematic ways the development industry has tried to limit births of black and brown people. I really liked that class because it offered a different point of view. It took sex not only as an act, but people use it as a profession, and the idea of different sexes.

Scarlet: If you could change one thing about Clark what would it be?

Allie: I really love the student population, but I think it would be great if the administration and student relations were much stronger. Students’ voices aren’t always heard. I just wish that there was a better way for students to address their concerns and have their ideas and conflict thought of as viable.

Scarlet: What is your favorite place at Clark?

Allie: I really like the Kasperson Library. It’s next to Woodland Academy, and it’s a really great place to study because it’s so bright and airy. It used to be a nunnery. It’s really old and really cool. It houses all the weird environmental books about all the terrible things that have happened to the world, but it has really great place to study.

Scarlet: You’re president of the ONE Campus Challenge. What is that?

Allie: The ONE Campus Challenge is a student initiative. It is a bipartisan organization that is national, but we have a campus chapter. We are committed to fighting against extreme poverty and [its] different symptoms.

Scarlet: Who is your biggest inspiration?

Allie: My mom. My mom is the most greatest person in existence. She’s my best friend. She is so strong. I talked about her in class today because we were talking about gender roles and how different areas of the house are specific for different genders. People were raising their hands  about how their dad has a man cave or their dad works on motorcycles. There are lines in the house for what they do and what their mom does. I raised my hand and said “well it’s always weird for me when I read things about this, because I have a single mom and she filled both those roles. If she couldn’t do something, [for example] she’s afraid of mice, I would pick up the slack and trap a mouse; or she would get out the power tools and fix the curtain rods; or she would buy a new couch and my sister, my mother, and I would have to bring it up the stairs. There are ways to make do and sometimes it is better.

Thanks for the interview, Allie!