c/o Jonas Powell, Photo Editor.

c/o Jonas Powell, Photo Editor.

To provide context, Event Staff are the students who are usually at the door at campus events asking for IDs, managing event capacity, and ensuring people’s safety. Part of what we do is check that no one is severely intoxicated in the restroom or throwing up on the dance floor. Furthermore, the staff has usually been predominantly women of color, which is extremely relevant to know for what I’ve written below.

I have been meaning to write this piece since last semester, after realizing that you could almost guarantee that I would be absolutely furious with people on this campus after every night I worked an event as Event Staff. Especially white folk, who tend to be the partygoers at many of the events we staff at venues like Alpha Delt, Eclectic (now Music House), Earth House, Middle House, WestCo, and so on.

Despite the fact that our job as Event Staff is prioritizing safety at events, to many it may come off as policing when we don’t let them into an event with a beer can, or without their WesID, or because we’re at capacity. This is partially why there’s always a lot of tension between partygoers and event staff, which is to be expected. Add to that the fact that most people attending the events are white and that almost everyone staffing it is a black or brown woman and you get to the root of the many issues that constantly left me ranting after every event that I worked.

Due to what I study on this campus (American Studies with a concentration on Race and Ethnicity), I have become extremely observant and analytical of the spaces I inhabit, from work, to the classroom, to the dining hall, because that’s what happens when you begin to truly understand the oppressive structures that hold our society together, like capitalism, misogyny, and white supremacy. You begin to see them at play everywhere, because they are all around us.

Our labor as Event Staff literally facilitates the college experience for white students because you can be as rude as possible to me, but if you get sick or hurt inside the event, I still have to go in and make sure you get the help you need. Many times, we cannot have our weekend nights to hang out with our friends or do our own thing and have our college experience because we are out here facilitating yours.

By this point, I have been insulted numerous times and by now, people have even laid their hands on me in an attempt to get into an event. You may wonder: If I hate this job so much, then why have I put up with it for so long?

BECAUSE I AM POOR AND NEED THE MONEY!

Event Staff is one of the highest paying jobs (by hourly pay rate) for students on campus and is very flexible because you do not have a defined schedule or set of hours. Many of the jobs where students have to look out for other people’s safety and well-being are the highest paying jobs for students on campus, just look at ResLife. These are also the jobs that are predominantly held by women, mostly women of color. Many of us, for socioeconomic reasons, must literally put our bodies on the line and be constantly disrespected, harassed, and insulted by others and still we rise and continue on because we need this money. We need this grind to survive, sometimes even for our families to survive.

This isn’t just a campus thing, though. This is the way it is for women of color in this country. Remember, people can say as much as they want that this campus is a bubble, but whenever I hear that statement it seems like it comes from a place of privilege for people to say that. This campus and many of the issues that play out here are a microcosm of our society more broadly. There are students on this campus that work three to four jobs because they need to send money back home, there are students on this campus that have been sexually assaulted and have had the administration completely ignore it and even defend perpetrators, so tell me again how we are a bubble.

After the dance showcase this past Saturday at Beckham, I quit Event Staff. My quitting was the culmination of many built up issues including the fact that it’s December, the end of the semester, and SALD still hasn’t hired new staff. This means that if we work an event, it’s always understaffed, which makes it much more difficult for us to deal with venues that are at capacity. I also decided to quit after people started pushing and shoving the staff and insulting us and being rude on Saturday night. Someone literally laid their hands on me and grabbed me to push me out of their way. I want you all to really think about this, because all of the staff working the door this Saturday night were black and brown women and the people who were harassing us were mostly men (some were even men of color) who were twice our size.

Y’all can say I’m overreacting, that I’m being sensitive, that I want to be coddled, but I suffer from severe anxiety and had an anxiety attack after how out of control this event got. Also, tell me again about how much I am coddled in this society. I’m brown, low-income, and a woman. Tell me again, how much this society has coddled me. 

Saturday night, I truly realized that no one on this campus has our (women of color’s) backs, not even men of color. I’ve suspected this and should not be surprised, but it’s good to see it live in action, ’cause if you can’t have my back and respect me and other women of color on something as simple as a weekend event, then how can I know you’ll have my back when shit hits the fan? I don’t know, and I won’t count on it. Ever. 

To all the white students who have constantly insulted me at these events, I didn’t expect any better from y’all. Literally, black and brown women are commodities who facilitate your experience on this campus and in the world and you still continue to degrade our very existence. This is constant, not based on one or two incidents. This is based on my very existence and the way I navigate this world and all of the sacrifices I must make to survive. So fuck this. I am so done and just need to be home, but unfortunately I can’t be because home is thousands of miles away and I can’t just leave right now. There’s too much at stake here.

  • disqus_LJH92ylDNO

    This year’s winner for the worst-written sentence of the year goes to this guy for the following masterpiece which combines the random use of academic cliches with horrid sentence structure and confusing punctuation:

    “Due to what I study on this campus (American Studies with a concentration on Race and Ethnicity), I have become extremely observant and analytical of the spaces I inhabit, from work, to the classroom, to the dining hall, because that’s what happens when you begin to truly understand the oppressive structures that hold our society together, like capitalism, misogyny, and white supremacy.”

  • 今天真冷,哈哈!

  • 日复一日,年复一年,你的博客,让人流连!

  • Ralphiec88

    Let’s get real. If you’re in a job that involves policing drunk people, those people are not going to be polite to you. It doesn’t care what color you or they are (as you’ve observed in the comment that men of color don’t have your back either). As you yourself admit, you see everything through the lens of race, but not everything is about race. More troubling is your acceptance of a life as a permanently aggrieved victim. That outlook becomes terribly self-destructive and self-fulfilling. I’m not denying that racism exists or people with less money have a tougher road, but you are the biggest determinant of what you will be able to do. Think bigger of yourself and your potential. No one else will do that for you.

  • le

    What should I do if people are harassing event staff and being rowdy? How can I help without escalating the situation?

  • JG

    I’m sorry large men-of-color got pushy at a party, to the point where you felt you needed to quit. sux.

  • Bob

    BECAUSE I AM POOR AND NEED THE MONEY

    “Due to what I study on this campus (American Studies with a concentration on Race and Ethnicity)…”

    Damn, I feel sorry for you. You will always be poor and need money because what you study is worthless in the real world. Put it this way, a HBCU degree in engineering or any other real major is worth ten-times a Wesleyan degree for a silly major like American Studies. If you’re a POC who wants to become a professor in a STEM field, especially at elite universities, you’re much more likely to achieve that goal by attending a HBCU. Honestly, does nobody research this stuff?

    And FYI, employers know better than to hire “trouble makers” with degrees in American Studies, Sociology, WGS, and Ethnic studies. They only make the other employees miserable.

    • eerie’17

      Tell me Bob, what is the real world?

      • Bob

        It’s like the Bermuda Triangle but instead of water, it’s full of Trump supporters. Give yourself 6 to 12 months to get used to the stink.

    • DanielG

      Classic Goldman-Sachs bro

      • Lloyd Blankfein

        Goldman Sachs doesn’t have a hyphen, you pleb.

    • normal human

      …..aaand the award for the most uninformed opinion goes to Bob!

  • ’17

    I am a male of color and I was at the dance show. There were many frustrated, drunk and rowdy people, including males and females of various skin colors. As I can recall at least two, if not more, women of color in the crowd expressed frustration. I don’t see you mentioning those incidents in your article. Is it possible that you just did not hear them or forgot about them? To be truly analytical, statistically speaking, it is more possible that most of the hecklers were white because Wesleyan is predominantly white. You, as one of the only few event staffs, of course saw more white hecklers. The only race-related thing here is the correlation between race and socio-economic class, but I don’t see how toxic party culture is a racial issue.

  • mdarer

    to ppl saying this is a drunk person issue as opposed to a race issue:

    it goes w/out saying that when ppl are drunk they can be huge assholes. im pretty much the expert on that. no one’s debating that.

    BUT

    what (i believe) the author is saying (though i do not want to speak for her) is that yt ppl are in a position where they can do more damage w fewer consequences. history and justice clearly demonstrates that any given community is more forgiving of yt ppl (yt men in particular), and when we do act out our misbehavior is more likely to be seen as a lapse in judgment than a fundamental flaw, a result of intoxication than of being dangerous or dickish in general. that’s part 1.

    part 2 is that you’re far less likely to be an asshole to someone who knows you and whose friendship you value. racial privilege creates social segregation. it makes wealthy yt ppl more likely to hang out w wealthy yt ppl, and thus less likely to interact w students of color in such a way that builds lived compassion. thus yt ppl think less of being rude or violent towards woc bc they see the stakes of their abusive behavior as lower.

    it’s 100% about race. which isn’t to say that the abusive students are aware of that as they’re acting (not that that does anything to excuse their behaviors). still the dynamic that facilitates these interactions is one that is heavily influenced by gender and race and economic affluence. it’s inherent to the way the Wesleyan social scene is structured.

    i think the general lack of empathy here only further demonstrates that. why should the writer not be upset about another student laying their hands on her? why is the first impulse to dismiss her experience and claim her being upset about working in an abusive environment is somehow immature? commenters are happy to make excuses for abusive behavior just to try to avoid the topic of race, which is, frankly, a pathetic and dishonest mode of asscovering.

    if you’re a yt person living in america and you refuse to acknowledge that we give more social and judicial (formal and informal) leeway to yt americans while punishing poc (especially woc) more while simultaneously expecting them to have a higher tolerance for violent and abusive bullshit you are either uninformed or you simply don’t give a shit.

    but that only speaks to you. it says nothing about the experiences of this writer.

    also it’s thrilling how everyone is suddenly afraid of cursing now that it gives them a chance to tone police. pretty swell y’all.

  • Wes ’14

    Don’t blame your failures on others. The reason you will always be poor is because you’re majoring in ethical identity victimization social structure vomit. That’s on you.

    • eerie’17

      Question, do you know where one can buy a good pair of boots-they have to have sturdy boot straps that one can pull themselves up from? Asking for a friend.

      • Pronounced “Deer-Tay”

        The thing is one needs to have tangible skills, initiative, and personal drive in order to bootstrap. I’m guessing neither the writer of this article nor your friend possess any of those.

      • eerie’17

        Wait you didn’t answer my question, I’m in dire need of some sturdy bootstraps!!

    • Dude’20

      And what do you study mr.know-it-all, and tell me how your skills contribute to society or is the point of life just $$$$$$$

  • dsac

    Wesleyan Argus is now deleting comments and censoring free speech. Way to go!

    • Jenny

      no one has been deleting comments – jenny (editor-in-chief)

      • k.d. lang’s mangina

        Jenny! #1 editor-in-chief in all the NESCAC!

      • Jenny Davis

        omg you’ve returned to defend my honor again <3 <3

      • DavidL

        You didn’t publish one of mine last month. Lord knows why, other than you did not like its point of view.

  • Tes

    This is so fucking racist against whites that it is disgusting. Skin color has nothing to do with this issue. Let’s swap in an all white event staff next weekend since that would fix the problem, right ? Making so many generalizations km disgusted by and embarrassed for you

    • eerie’17

      reverse racism isn’t real-do better

      • dsa

        I didn’t say anything about reverse-racism. This is simply racism. You are familiar with the definition of racism, aren’t you?

        “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

      • eerie’17

        Well dang-nabbit I thought racism= privilege + power, and last time I checked POC and especially WOC have neither of those things, but please tell me where I can cash in my privilege and power to start going on racist rants! Again do better, let me switch up my words a little racism against white people is a good ‘ol thing we call myth. Next time you google the definition of racism, then proceed to copy and paste that definition into a student newspaper comment thread, maybe give “reverse racism” a look and get back to me.

      • Asa

        You see, the definition of racism is a fact. And facts don’t care about your feelings.

      • eerie’17

        do you care about my feelings though?

      • dsa

        privilege is a myth. absolutely does not exist.

      • eerie’17

        “privilege : a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.”

        “myth: traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.”

        Nice, I’m going to leave these here, and get back to my coddled life as a care-free college student-wish me luck!

        also reverse racism is a myth.

      • Ralphiec88

        No, “racism= privilege + power” is an attempt to redefine the word so it doesn’t apply to you.

      • eerie’17

        notallwhitepeople amiright ralphie?

      • Ralphiec88

        Spare me. The fact is that prejudice comes in all colors, and all walks of life. No one can claim they’re immune because of their identity.

      • eerie’17

        amiright though? you’re right prejudice does, not racism-good job though
        question though-what do you do for a living? genuinely curious

      • Ralphiec88

        Racism is a form of prejudice. You don’t need privilege or power to be a racist.

      • roger dimples

        Using the dictionary definition in an argument!?! LITERALLY, HOW ARE YOU AT THIS SCHOOL

    • roger dimples

      holy shit, I can’t believe you go to wesleyan; that you are willing to spout this idiocy is literally devaluing my degree

  • Person in the real world ’16

    Would you mind elaborating on the choice to name capitalism as an equally oppressive structure (or at least similarly oppressive structure) as white supremacy and misogyny?

    • Mephistopheles

      Because corrupting forces of meritocracy and competition!! Merit is murder!!!

  • student ’17

    This is brave and important!!!

    • Wes ’14

      This is uneducated and racist.

      Students of color don’t party? If students of color did party they would be better behaved because of their accumulated experiences as marginalized victims? If students of color misbehaved then it is acceptable because they have a history of marginalization?

      What? This is the most idiotic thing ever. You wonder why Trump won…

      • eerie’17

        Did you vote for Trump? Asking for a friend.

      • Charles Williams

        No, people like you are the reason ‘the dumpster ‘ won.

  • max

    My main point of contention with this article is that it is just really poorly written. I also agree that dealing with drunk people is a pain in the ass, especially saturday night drunk, but like James said, this job requires thick skin. If you don’t think this campus is a “bubble”, that it is representative of the real world, then you shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t treat you with respect as a door person.

    • eerie’17

      can you point me to where this article is poorly written?

      • Student

        When there literally was no thesis and was just full of expletives and buzz words about a legitimate grievance with no substantive proposition or anything. It’s a perspective piece? How does it seek to change opinions of people who already hate white people? (It doesn’t, they still and already did hate white people) How does it seek to change the opinions of white people? (It doesn’t and looks to blanket blame them for all of the author’s problems) Where does it seek to change the opinions of black men? (It doesn’t and lumps them into white people). This reads like a complaint list. Also learn the use of literally, Jesus Christ.

      • Diana Martinez

        I did this wrong. Clearly. I’m typing from my cell phone. But this is definitely a perspective piece. And as such it’s meant to describe Aleyda’s perspective. It doesn’t have to convince or persuade anyone of anything.

      • student

        So essentially she is just tweeting dumb stuff here without purpose?

      • eerie’17

        No, this isn’t twitter silly, its the Wesleyan Argus.
        She wrote a piece for the student newspaper, that clearly was not meant for you.
        Hard to swallow isn’t it, when something isn’t all about you and your experiences? yikes!

      • anotherpointlesscoment

        First hard thing for him to swallow, it takes a second to get used to

    • Dan Muro

      um… “To all the white students who have constantly insulted me at these events, I didn’t expect any better from y’all.”

      glad you’re asking a lot of questions, sucks that the way you seek to “engage in dialogue” is from a place of pretty hard defensiveness and dismissal when Aleyda is actually just writing about her experience. remind me how you’re doing any of the things you accuse her of neglecting to do in these comments you’ve posted. “Jesus Christ.”

  • James

    Breaking news: people in the service and staffing industry are treated like crap. More breaking news: drunk people can be assholes and the majority of this campus is white.

    Having worked as a bouncer, event staff, and a person who’s had to say No to a furious family that flew in from the South to see their daughter perform at Wes (the event was at capacity), jobs like this require a thick skin. Yes, I am a POC.

    • Student

      Doesn’t make it right. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and do better. Doesn’t mean she’s not entitled to her feelings. Get off that high horse.

      • 26YO_powerlifter

        Getting treated like shit is part of working security. My night hasn’t started until someone has called me an asshole. Drunks are drunks, there’s no way around it.

      • Wes ’14

        This is not a racial issue. Identity politics is a losing argument here. This is simply an issue of decency and it is so depressing that this student cannot see through colors and realize this.

  • Nick

    This isn’t a race issue, stop trying to make it one.

    • ’18

      what is it then?

      • 26YO_powerlifter

        It’s a being a drunk babysitter issue. I’ve been working bar security for years. Drunks can be sweet, they can be nasty, they can be overly familiar, and they can be violent. They can switch from one to the other in a split second.

        This is an undertrained staff–potentially understaffing as well–issue. The second someone put hands on the writer, she should have had backup, and that person should have been gone. No questions asked. You cannot have an environment where people are intoxicated and give them one inch of leniency. You let them get away with anything, you create an environment where they will try to get away with more.

    • ’19

      To be frank, there is certainly aspects that are clearly racial. It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the majority of these workers are women POC, which likely points to a larger problem that society itself needs to address.

      Continually, as a white individual intially I found it difficult to see how this could be a racial issue since my original assumption was it isn’t the fault of those who attend that they are predominantly white or likely from a higher socioeconomic background. However, if you consider the lens that the workers are in, it plays on current racial issues of POC vs white. Essentially, it’s as if being placed in a situation that only you can perceive as harmful that the other side does not recognize.

      I will admit though, I think the way the writer has portrayed her view of the issue is not good for a healthy dialogue, if anything they draw on this divide and further it by attacking those who too can’t help their position in society. Understandably there is resentment towards the white community on campus, but I can’t see how it is healthy to further this divide.

      Continually, sheer demographics of campus should point out that the majority of people WILL be white, which to an extent calls to question the diversity of campus itself, and not necessarily who is attending these parties.

      Obviously my opinion will likely not be popular in its entirety. To an extent I can see both sides of the issue, yet obviously I’m bias due to my own position in society.

      • x

        In case you were unaware, the aim of this article was not to coddle the feelings of “the white community,” especially when the author has been continually disrespected at the events she has staffed. Strong resentment from marginalized folks, such as the kind expressed in this post, is directed at white students (as well as men of color) to reflect on how they perpetuate the systemic racism women of color experience in the U.S. and the world writ large in common interactions. By tone policing, you too, contribute to this marginalization. I invite you to continue reflecting.

      • Wes ’14

        boo hoo. cry some more

      • Asshat

        Is “tone policing” the buzzword du jour?

      • Ralphiec88

        “I invite you to continue reflecting” Wow, that’s just awesome. Translation: “if you were just more introspective and enlightened, you’d see things my way.” Blind arrogance.

      • eerie’17

        “Blind ignorance” Wow, that’s awesome.
        blind. adj. lacking perception, awareness, or discernment.
        ignorance. n. lack of knowledge or information

      • Ralphiec88

        Um, speaking of blind, you misread what I said.

  • Sir Nigel Eton-Hogg

    “To all the white students who have constantly insulted me at these events, I didn’t expect any better from y’all. Literally, black and brown women are commodities who facilitate your experience on this campus and in the world and you still continue to degrade our very existence.”

    Wow. Statements like this should help things, huh?

    • ’18

      Don’t read to respond to one line. You don’t contribute if you do that, you just waste. Read to listen to the entire article.

      • Sir Nigel Eton-Hogg

        I read and “listened” to the entire article. And I don’t agree with it. I pulled out an example of the type of statement I found most disagreeable, and made a comment about it. That’s generally how people operate when commenting in open forums (they don’t directly address every single line, because that is impractical).

        I highlighted that sentence because it’s the type of incendiary statement that is meant to provoke. I wasn’t provoked (or “triggered”, to use the parlance of the times), but I did want to point out that these types of statements will not mend the wounds–they will only deepen them.

      • ’15

        Exactly whose ‘wounds’ need to be mended? Surely not all of the white people offended at being called out for perpetuating racist structures?

        It is not the place of a white person to tell a person of color how, and when, and what words they are allowed to use to air their grievances about racism. ‘Incendiary’ words – exactly what do you think this woman’s statement was trying to provoke? Do you see how your comments further silence and degrade people of color and discourage them from coming forth about REAL oppressions, and dismiss their rightful anger?

        Furthermore, instead of criticizing how she might not be ‘helping things’ with her post, maybe you should do something to mend racial fissures. Like maybe read up on tone policing or put forth an argument that has a productive strategy.

      • St. Francis of Assisi

        Apologies! I just checked my privilege and have had a change of heart! After being put in my place by a stranger on the internet, I am ready to accept how I am an awful piece of shit and will spend the rest of my life apologizing to others for everything bad that has ever happened to them. I can’t believe myself! Even though I’ve worked my hardest to be kind to everyone in life, I realize that I am a violent, antagonistic oppressor who is actively keeping marginalized people down–simply because I exist. I fucking suck. Thanks for clearing that up! I am such a fucking piece of shit. Can’t wait to commit seppuku so that I can pay for my transgressions with my vile, disgusting blood. I’m sorry for being an oppressive white devil. I hope that the Godhead grants me forgiveness in the afterlife for ruining lives simply by existing.

      • eerie’17

        Hey buddy are you ok? It sounds like you are doing a whole lot of projecting there, need anything from my end?

      • St. Francis of Assisi

        No, I’m just waiting to bleed out. it’s glorious.

      • eerie’17

        Keep me posted, I’m really invested in this-you’re doing really good work!

      • St. Francis of Assisi

        Damn, there’s a lot more blood in a human body than you’d think. Still waiting… still an oppressor…

Twitter