The Remix discussion marked a rocky start to the fall semester after College Government sent an email announcing the cancellation of the traditional start-of-the-year party. For many Wellesley students, months of anticipation turned into not only disappointment but also frustration. The cancellation has sparked a campus-wide debate about social life at Wellesley. Students have been invited by College Government to a town hall to discuss the issue on Oct. 5, but the cancellation is indicative of what some students feel is a larger problem on Wellesley’s campus: a lack of campus-wide recreational outlets.
Students often joke about Wellesley’s lack of fun on campus. Friday nights at Wellesley are eerily quiet, unlike most college campuses. Those who enjoy college parties venture out on the Peter Pan bus to Harvard, MIT and other schools in the greater Boston area. Many colleges in similar suburban locations can also take advantage of a nearby college town; however, these schools also contain more opportunities for students who remain on campus. Wellesley has a unique opportunity to allow students to explore the Greater Boston area, but it should also have on-campus recreational opportunities that would benefit a large population.
Remix, like many college parties, was not a perfect experience. Regardless of student attendance—which was usually high—it gave students a new opportunity for fun on campus. A survey sent out by Amanda Wahlstedt ’20 following the cancellation gathered student opinions on the matter, which were later published in the most recent Counterpoint Magazine. One of the main concerns among students about canceling Remix was that first-year students would seek their first college party experiences off campus without the additional safeties of being near home and close to familiar resources, such as campus police. First-year students might not have a solidified friend group to go out with that will look out for each other on other campuses. While it had its faults, Remix provided a safer alternative for students who were inexperienced at going out, and it was a safer introduction to the parties of the Greater Boston area.
Most of the initial outcry over the cancellation of Remix was centered on parties, and the debate steered towards off-campus versus on-campus parties. The conversation also focused on the lack of on-campus events not backed by the college administration. Remix should not be the only event that cultivates campus-wide comradery, and as students, we need to take more initiative within our own community. Although some organizations do a superb job of hosting events for the campus community; it is not enough. We need more events like Lake Day that foster a healthy on-campus social life. The administration needs to overcome its tentative approach to student-run events and try to revitalize the community regarding non-academic affairs. Most Wellesley students believe in self care, but it’s time that everyone, including the administration, act on this notion.
One of the main problems Wellesley faces is its top-down enforcement of community. We see a host of literature promoting community among students, but nothing that is student sanctioned. The word “community” pervades Wellesley on an almost daily basis but the forced sense of the word fosters unrealistic expectations that students should immediately be a part of a community on campus, and results in tired attempts from the administration and others in leadership positions to maintain the status quo. The administration tries to create a wholesome, safe community on campus. We join hands at the beginning of the year during Flower Sunday, we gather on the steps to sing after Convocation. While these events are beautiful examples of our Wellesley community, there is little student-led, student-run options for entertainment on campus. The administration’s hand-holding has compelled students to explore outside the town limits.
Every campus should strive to have a coherent community, but these efforts need to be driven by students so that the community ties are undoctored and strong. Wellesley must work with students on self-care and recreation to create a healthy and productive campus. The administration should be eager to hear what students have to say about social life on campus. While students might not plan the most organized of events, these events should still have the chance to take place for the benefit of all. Many who take the Peter Pan Bus are not only seeking parties, but also a student-driven community that is not present here at home. As Wellesley students, we need to remind each other that this community is ours and must work for every student.