By Amanda Wahlstedt '20
If you weren’t aware, college freshmen have been known to party and test the limits of their newfound freedom. “Wellesley,” you may be asking, “where are all the parties?”
For the last two years, the answer has been, “off-campus at MIT, Babson, Olin, or Harvard.” Small dorm kick-backs happen, but there is no school-wide event for Wellesley siblings to celebrate the milestone of a new college semester together…or at least there hasn’t been one since the Class of 2020 got here.
Now, Remix is a mythical event on Wellesley’s campus, supposedly because it doesn’t benefit us. This is quite an odd assertion, given that our voices and the voices of our College Government were not considered in this decision.
Fortunately for the administration, the work has now been done. In true Wendy Wellesley fashion, I sent out a school-wide email requesting feedback on this event cancellation and received more than seventy unfiltered anonymous responses. In these responses, there are forty-two mentions of the word “safe,” with students defining their experiences and perspectives on what does or doesn’t make Remix on campus safer for everyone. While I won’t share every response with y’all, I will share perspectives from students who have attended Remix previously that I feel best encapsulate the unheard debate:
“While I understand that this doesn't ‘bring the campus together’ in some ways and serve its original intended purpose, I think that [Remix] is able to serve as a common experience for many students and allows there to be an increased amount of safety and education regarding alcohol/drugs and sexual harassment. These safety nets DO NOT exist whatsoever at off-campus parties! It also was very comforting to me attending my first college party on campus, where I could walk back to my dorm, and where the majority of the students were Wellesley students.”
“[...]The reason Wellesley students go so crazy at Remix and at MarMon is because these are the two days of the year Wellesley is ‘fun’ and the entire campus parties. If we had more parties like this, partying would become more normalized and people would not feel the need to go ‘all-out’ at the one or two parties we do have. Partying off campus gets expensive (paying for tokens there/back) and is not accessible to everyone, especially first years [...]”
“Remix is a Wellesley tradition. If it is cancelled, then at least half of the current student body will never have experienced it. That's a major break in the collective student experience, something that will be very difficult to regain [...]”
“More than anything else, Remix is a very important first college party for First Years. It is hands down the safest party I have ever attended in college and allows new students to safely learn their own limits on campus and with a number of college and student resources on site. While there tends to be a higher rate of transports at Remix it is not a solution to cancel the event—that same behavior will occur no matter what, but Remix allows it to happen on campus with an entire support network on hand. This is a step backward for student safety and student mental health. While it's certainly enjoyed doing so, Wellesley can't continue to outsource student entertainment and wonder why its students are overstressed and unhappy. There are steps the college can take to make the event safer, but cancelling it is just not a solution.”
“Wellesley talks so much about self care, but provides very few social outlets for students to truly relax. I know that throwing a party may not seem like the ultimate solution, but it is a step in the right direction. This is college. Students drink regardless of if there is a well organized party on campus or not. What made Remix so good was that it was an all campus event that was FUN and safe. It's unfortunate that some people get a little too drunk, but in other terms of safety, this party was very well done—from the consent committee to the sandwiches and safe sex supplies in the dorms. I am very very upset that Remix has been canceled for the past two years because it really makes me regret my decision to go to Wellesley. In canceling the only real party ALL YEAR, Wellesley has once again chosen to put its bureaucratic needs over its students well being. Shame on you, Wellesley.”
“Remix is a supervised venue in which first years and other inexperienced drinkers/partiers can experiment. Students drink—it's a fact. By not having to worry about navigating the Peter Pan system, students can discover their limits without fear of being left behind in Boston or being overly intoxicated in an unfamiliar environment.”
“As someone who has attended both a Remix and Reunion, I genuinely believe Wellesley cares more about the alums than the current students.”
“Remix is the one social event on campus every year. As a rising junior I have only had the opportunity to attend once, my first year. Wellesley always stresses the importance of a balanced life, but they do not give any opportunities for that balanced life. Going to Wellesley removes students from a normal college experience just by default, but Remix is the one night for people to have that 'college experience' that provides social opportunity and camaraderie for just one night. I really think that Remix is so ingrained in Wellesley society that to remove it would be destroying a part of Wellesley that we all love.”
“...I don't know what the "intended goals" of Remix are, but I think a well-supervised co-ed dance party is an important step in introducing first-years to the college social scene, and helps provide them with a safe environment before they go on to more remote and less safe parties.”
“Every year five to six [first-years] get transported to the hospital. They drink too much. That's why they cancelled it—it's not worth it. Remix is overrated. A rave? Yes. Dangerous? Yes. Be gone.”
“It's not worth the headaches. The area gets trashed and someone has to clean it up, a bunch of men from Babson/Olin show up trying to get first-year girls drunk, and no one knows each other well enough that early in the year to have a good group that looks out for each other. You're better off going to Olin's parties where the alcohol is controlled, the space is already a student space that is contained on the campus, and making plans with a group rather than going out with no clear plans because the idea that the party's on campus makes everyone neglect regular party safety rules.”
“Despite the fact that Remix does often involve many who have ingested more than an appropriate level of alcohol, Remix should continue to be held—in its current form—by Wellesley College. It is the one of the only events at the college that appeals to so many of the student body from Wellesley and beyond, and serves more often than not as the first experience that Wellesley first years have with a high energy college party—that some adults may consider debaucherous.
I can empathize with the school's wish to not encourage such behavior, nor associate with it, but the fact of the matter is that having this party serve as first years' first foray into the American college experience makes them, the members of the student body, safer. If students overindulge in substances or suggestive dancing, or if someone else near them oversteps their boundaries, said students are surrounded by fellow Wellesley siblings who are in fact looking out for them. [...] Not holding Remix makes the student body feel, and rightly so, that the administration cares more for the reputation of this school than the actual safety and wellbeing of its students [...] It takes a certain type of type-A, driven, hardworking, and somewhat high-strung woman to apply to, go to, and continue attending Wellesley College. Removing what is for many those women the only enjoyable social event the campus holds in the fall seems like an unearned slap on the face for being a human being who needs to let loose and have fun every once in awhile. That aside, there should be no other 'goals' for the administration to attribute to a social, even aside from the enjoyment of the attendees, and that is what Remix⎯in its current form—was already delivering on.”
From September 2017 issue