On Feb. 20, Wellesley College students celebrated their sixth annual “Almost Presidents Day.” Students took part in traditional mourning ceremonies as well as celebrations to honor Wellesley College’s most prestigious graduate and Nastiest Woman. “Presidents Day,” as it is traditionally known, takes place near George Wasghington’s birthday and is observed on the third Monday of February each year. Many across the country take it as a time to honor their governmental heroes or to get wasted one extra night of the week. Here at Wellesley, things are done a little differently.
The day begins solemnly. Students rise from their slumber around 8 a.m. and can be seen lighting their traditional Hillary prayer candles across campus. Dressed all in black, tears are shed for what could have been. “2016 was the best and worst year of my life,” says Wendy ’23. Another student sports a pink “#notmypresident,” sweatshirt and traditional Pussy Hat. Students take turns throwing rotten food (AVI Fresh) at posters of enemies such as Trump, Bernie Sanders and, of course, Monica Lewinsky. The crowd then gathers in silence for seven minutes, standing With Her physically and symbolically. After a luncheon hosted by College President Paula Johnson, an afternoon lecture series begins. The highlight of this year was the CEO of Duo Security, whose speech was titled “Where She Went Wrong: How Duo Can Protect Your Emails.”
Finally, as the sun sinks below the horizon, all current students, faculty and esteemed alumnae from both near and far are invited to join hands around the perimeter of Lake Waban. The bell tower echoes as the Guild of Carillonneurs begin to play a haunting, yet remarkably comforting melody — it’s “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. And as the medley of songs from Her campaign trail concludes, the collective lunges forward — from the muddy shore onto the frozen surface — cracking the glacial barrier; an emblematic ceremony to remind us, It Takes a Village to shatter the glass ceiling.
Unfortunately, this year did not go as planned, for temperatures leading up to the annual Shattering were much too mild, and the ritual instead resulted in an emotional wet t-shirt contest of sorts.