Re: SA springs to wrong idea for Springfest
I agree with the author that the “new Springfest” idea could have used some more transparent student input with additional events throughout the week to include more students who cannot attend the concert.
I’d also like to add that I don’t like the way SA is marketing the pre-concert “art crawl.” Call me a grump, but the fact that the only announced event is one which specifically caters to high school students and local teens does not appeal to me at all. I’m old enough to remember the Panic! At the Disco concert when high school kids flooded Reynolds Center and essentially ruined the experience for everyone by acting like savage beasts (viz., groping strangers, attempting to crowd surf, and screaming constantly) so much so that Brendon Urie had to tell the crowd to chill out. It was a nightmare, and made the university look like it didn’t have any control over its student body. I could not imagine a Springfest event less attractive than one which encourages younger schoolchildren to attend. Springfest is supposed to be for TU students. I wish SA would keep it that way.
To the Student Leaders of Our Community,
Before I begin, please believe that as I critique your actions, I have always previously trusted that each member of your body has only the best intentions when representing the students of the University of Tulsa. That said, I am personally shocked and appalled by the way the Student Association leaders have decided to celebrate International Women’s Day, and cannot stay silent about the way this situation has been handled.
Tonight, I received a Facebook notification concerning a new event called “Woman Up”, an event sponsored by the Student Association.
Intrigued, I clicked the on the event for further information. There, clearly stated, were the details.
“Celebrate International Women’s Day with us in Great Hall C with free hairdo’s, manicures, and sweet treats on us!”
“What?” and “Really?” were my first thoughts.
Second, “This has to be a joke”.
It wasn’t. I checked.
This event, supposedly a celebration of all the world’s women, chooses to celebrate them by… what? Offering up the incredible opportunity to primp?
What does it say to the women of our university when you imply that the best way to appreciate them is to hand them irons for their hair and paint for their hands?
On a day when women are supposed to come together to cast off the yoke of archaic stereotypes and discrimination, you propel the message that as women they should, and are, consumed by the cosmetic.
This event completely disregards and even opposes the inherent purpose of International Women’s Day; A day set to empower and educate men and women by bringing awareness to women’s continued oppression, and celebrate the diversity of womanhood worldwide. The structure of this event seems ignorant to the global theme of this year.
The United Nations states that The Time is Now, the theme of 2018, is centered around highlighting the rural and urban activists who are focused on transforming women’s lives. Where, in this event, is the respect for the great accomplishments women have achieved, acknowledgment of the struggles women have overcome, and recognition for the challenges they still face, which range from unequal pay to genital mutilation?
In addition, how does this event acknowledge the diversity of our campus and the women who study here?
While the event does not specifically exclude international students from participating, what use is a free, public hairdo to the student who wears a hijab? This is just one example.
This event is steeped in the commercialist messages women are bombarded with by our culture; that what we want and need the most is to be primped and pampered, unconcerned with the multitude of wrongs being done against us.
Assuming that this is the best way to show appreciation to all women is insulting, ignorant, and demeaning.
I am ashamed that the representatives of our incredibly diverse student body found it acceptable to even entertain the idea of an event such as this one.
How could an event like this not seem wrong or inappropriate to any of the event planners involved?
There are in fact many events and activities you could have sponsored instead. In the few minutes after I told my sister about the event, we came up with several alternative ideas:
1. Utilize the intelligent and passionate professors who teach at TU by inviting them to speak about literally any aspect of women’s history, women in the workplace, and/or women’s global issues.
2. Educate students by making posters about the incredible women who have strived to improve their fellow’s lives throughout history as well as women who are doing so today.
3. Lead a group (or a few groups) of volunteers to assist at a local women’s health clinic or shelter.
4. Sponsor an open student discussion panel, made up of leaders from various applicable student organizations, about women’s issues.
5. Promote and gather donations (anything from baby formula to women’s razors) for DVIS, the Domestic Violence Intervention Services, in addition to many other worthy organizations located right here in Tulsa.
All of these are more in line with the spirit of International Women’s Day than Women Up! and took less than ten minutes to brainstorm.
Although the Student Association changed the description later tonight to:
“Celebrate International Women’s Day with us in Great Hall C! We will celebrate women for all their strength, individuality, and commitment from across the world! *Snacks/beverages provided* We also hope you will join us March 9th at 12 in Choteau for a lunch panel. Where we will have a discussion over women’s issues, discrimination, and social justice”,
the fact remains that this event even came to fruition, to begin with. In addition, will the hair and nail treatments still be offered, or will they be replaced with something else? In the new description, there is no hint as to how the Student Association plans to celebrate women.
Even as I finish writing this, the description has been altered to include, “We are offering activities traditionally associated with women (i.e. hairdos, manicures, & makeovers).”
Rebranding your activities in an effort to counter the public outcry your event has garnered or to not have to change your event activities only adds insult to injury.
You are not listening, and your lack of understanding only showcases how harmful this event really is.
Slapping some concealer on this truly shoddy event is not going to distract us.
A disappointed woman.