Clark Event Evokes No Protest; Students and Administration Stunned.
APRIL 1, 2016
Student leaders and administration expressed utter shock when last week’s event, entitled “All-Inclusive Dialogue about Digital Photography” went off without a hitch.
The dialogue, an hour-long affair held in Jefferson 320, faced little student pushback.
“Yeah, we just ordered a bunch of pizzas and shared our pictures for like twenty minutes,” Photography Club President R.J. Hunt (‘16) said. “We were going to talk about Joe McNally for a bit, but we ended up watching YouTube videos instead. Nobody came and objected to our event.”
The lack of student complaints filed in opposition to the dialogue equally surprised Clark administration.
“We were completely prepared for student resistance to this event,” said Tsika Vit, new head of the Office of Stopping Hateful Impressions Taskforce (O-SHIT). “Students always find something to take offense to. Our job is to whitewash-sorry, censor-anything anybody objects to.”
O-SHIT was formed last year after the President’s Office and Clark Undergraduate Student Council (CUSC) officers found their email accounts overwhelmed with messages from concerned students.
“Dealing with student complaints started to consume most man- I apologize-people hours here,” said Ty Herd, mouthpiece of the President’s Office. “We decided to form another office here to sift through all the complaints.”
Since O-SHIT’s founding near the end of the fall 2015 semester, several students have said they feel much more comfortable on campus.
“Clark is starting to feel like a genuine safe space now,” Amanda Yate (’18) said. “There’s still work to be done though. Personally, I still feel a bit too challenged at times and, frankly, it’s unacceptable.”
O-SHIT, made up of several students and staff members, seems to be a good investment by Clark administration so far. The university’s goal of establishing a campus-wide safe space and eliminating offensive exclusivity may sound like a tall order. Nevertheless, the taskforce remains committed.
“In preparation for the digital photography event, we prepared for a complete restructuring,” Vit said. “In order to curb offense to film photographers, we would have struck the word ‘digital’ from the event.”
This type of restructuring is nothing new to O-SHIT. The process involves several rounds of intra-office meetings to cover all contingencies should the first fix fail.
“If students still felt uncomfortable with an ‘All-Inclusive Dialogue about Photography,’ we would have dropped ‘Photography’ so as not to discriminate against anyone based on hobby,” Vik said. “Our last fix would have involved a full cancellation of the dialogue and an emergency forum to address the issue.”
Based on the success of the first dialogue, the Photography Club plans to host a similar event in the near future.
“We’re going to do another in a week or so,” Hunt said. “We’ve still got a lot of money in the budget for Brick Oven.”
However, the next event will probably have a few minor changes. Some Clark students have already gotten wind of the upcoming event.
“Oh, really?” said Prete Enchous (‘17). “I spent two years saving up for my Leica M3. They think they can just come in with their club and their Nikon DSLRs and talk about photography? I don’t think so.”
Based on student reaction, another digital photography dialogue event is unlikely. Chalk up the first as a fluke in communication.
First published in The Scarlet