On Sept. 1, prior to the beginning of the school year, College Government Cabinet (CGC) announced in an email sent to the student body that Remix, one of the biggest annual parties on campus, was canceled. In the email, CGC explained that the party had been canceled due to inadequate planning between the Office of Student Involvement and the Dean of Students’ office; the sudden departure of Director of Student Involvement Meg Jordan; the administration deciding that, in CGC’s words, Remix was not “meeting its intended goals to benefit all students on campus” and the realization that there was not enough time to implement changes that had been determined necessary for Remix to continue.
Paige Cheatham ’18, the director of On Campus Affairs and the head of the Schneider Board of Governors (SBOG), the organization that plans Remix, expounded on the details given in the email and explained that CGC was updated but not included in the process of canceling Remix. “The administration determined that Remix would not be happening. Cabinet then tried to suggest and plan an alternative welcome back party and it was determined by administration that there wasn’t enough time to do that either. [College Government] Cabinet was not given a vote,” she stated.
According to Cheatham, CGC attempted to work with the Office of Student Involvement and the Dean of Student’s office to find solutions for the administration’s concerns over Remix. In a series of meetings, CGC proposed collaborating with campus organizations like Sexual Assault Awareness for Everyone (SAAFE) and the Sexual Health Educators (SHEs) in an attempt to expand safety precautions and resources for the party. Additional changes proposed by CGC to ensure student safety included extra collaboration between SBOG and Residential Life, having a large food event to ensure that students wouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach and conducting a social media campaign to promote safe behavior and increasing collaboration between SBOG and Residential Life.
Students across campus complained about what they perceived to be the administration’s and CGC’s lack of transparency. A few students even replied-all to the email to explain why they were upset. Beryce Garcia ’20, former College Government (CG) parliamentarian and senator, explained that she decided to reply-all because she was angry that she had not been informed about the cancellation of Remix earlier in the process.
“I was really confused because there was no communication between students and the administration regarding the cancellation at all, or at least none to my knowledge, so I found it appalling for an event that’s meant for students to be canceled without us even knowing why it was done that way,” she commented.
Garcia was upset by the lack of information given in CGC’s email but she doesn’t personally place the blame on them. “There should have been more transparency between not just College Government but administration. Mostly I think College Government handled it pretty well in terms of saying what they’d been told by administration.”
For Garcia and other students, what they perceive as a lack of transparency on behalf of the administration could be solved with greater communication directly between the administration and CG.
“What I wish would have been done by the administration was hold a forum, or at least an email of some sort from the offices that College Government reached out to and explained exactly why we can’t hold Remix this year. I think if students were given a clearer reason as to why students had to cancel we wouldn’t have seen the disappointment that we have seen during the past few days,” Garcia said.
Cheatham commented that Remix can be hard to handle because most of the planning happens in the summer, but explained that she was also very disappointed about the cancellation of Remix for many reasons, among those being the disappointment of students and the revenue that it generated for SBOG.
“It was a goal of mine to bring back the event . . . I understand the administration’s decision to cancel Remix due to all of the associated safety risks, however I wish that SBOG had been given enough time to plan a safer event,” she stated.
Dean Carol Bate, who was the interim dean of students last year, released a statement regarding the cancellation of Remix:
A vibrant social life is an integral part of campus life, and an event as large as Remix with such a large number of off-campus guests requires significant planning time to assure that the event is safe and fun for the entire Wellesley College community. When SBOG requested a date for Remix this summer, there wasn’t sufficient time for planning for an early fall event, but the Office of Student Involvement looks forward to working with SBOG this year as they plan for a large event later this year or early next fall.
Yet Garcia believes that there is a disconnect between the administration and the student body when it comes to holding fun events on campus.
“I don’t think administration is trying to remove Remix because they’re like ‘oh we don’t want you guys to have fun so we’re going to take it away.’ I honestly think that that’s the least of their reasons why they did that. I think that Wellesley does try its best to be fun for students, it’s just that there’s a disconnect between administration and students about what fun is,” Garcia commented.
Cheatham explained that the administration suggested a replacement for Remix in October, but SBOG felt that it was not inclusive enough for all Wellesley students and off-campus guests.
“[The event] would have had a limit of 400 people including on and off campus guests . . . rather than limit the number of Wellesley students that can attend a smaller party in the fall, SBOG is working with the administration to plan a Remix sized party for the spring that includes everyone,” she stated.