How Two First-Years Have Become The Most Outspoken, Vital Voices on Campus

 Dolezal and Knight, co-founders of the podcast, "Double Antendre-i". Photo by Vanilla Kalai Anandam

Dolezal and Knight, co-founders of the podcast, "Double Antendre-i". Photo by Vanilla Kalai Anandam

Andrei Dolezal ’19 and Andre Knight ’19 do not claim to be high authorities or experts on the issues they discuss in their Soundcloud podcast titled “Double Antendre - i”. The two eighteen-year-old freshmen first tackled the societal issue of white washing on September 18th, 2015, garnering over 200 views within the first two days of release. Both hosts expressed their surprise as they simply wanted to do it for friends and family, inspired by each other and the film Dear White People. They aren’t voicing their progressive opinions as fact; they are offering a mode for open discourse and dialogue. After each post, Knight ’19 and Dolezal ’19 go through the comments and private messages they receive, learning and responding to listeners’ concerns and clarifications, often amending their own words, and growing. 

One topic leads to another, from white washing to racism, feminism and intersectionality, to the transgender experience and to sexual assault. While they have their own experiences to draw from, guests are also booked, for which both hosts try to include underrepresented voices as much as possible. Dolezal feels, “it is my responsibility to use the privilege I have [as a white man]” to increase awareness while Andre Knight adds, “as a black man, I have seen and experienced oppression,”  which made him want to start a channel to promote dialogue.

Their listenership has grown immensely since their start, with 1,300 plays and rising on Soundcloud as well as over 300 likes on their Facebook page. Although they identify themselves as “activists in training”, due to the rising attention being paid to their podcast, I could see that both of them feel the immense responsibility, with Dolezal revealing “the podcast has become steadily more exhausting and burdensome”, especially due to recent backlash about a piece on sexual assault. 

As always, negative feedback is expected when discussing controversial issues. Some students see Sarah Lawrence College as a school that’s politically liberal enough to the point where’s there’s no need for their podcast but Knight and Dolezal explain, “This campus is not immune to discrimination and ignorance.” One example they gave is professors not respecting students’ preferred gender pronouns. When I asked about the evolution of the criticism they’ve received, both Knight and Dolezal pointed out that “the negative feedback has been a lot more hate based recently” with students calling Dolezal derogatory terms over Yik Yak and writing “homo” on the promotional posters. Knight’s race has been more of a target as well with students making specific comments about him and tearing down the parts of the posters that feature him. Dolezal feels that these displays of hate “only prove [their] point” with Knight adding that, “this only goes to show how much work the school still needs to do”, particularly in light of the theatre department’s racially charged casting of Noon Day Sun.

Their mantra “Stay Loud” is more relevant to social justice issues and to their podcast than ever. Andre Knight’19 and Andrei Dolezal’19 still maintain that as long as people are interested and listening, they “feel a responsibility to go as long as [they] possibly can”. Go check out their podcast on Soundcloud under “Double Antendre - i”; it might be worth your while.

by Vanilla Kalai Anandam '19