You don’t have to be at Kenyon long to know that the term “privileged” gets thrown around more than a frisbee on Ransom lawn. It just makes me want to tap on the speaker’s shoulder and whisper, “You know you go here, too, right?” If you go to Kenyon, you’re privileged. If you’re white, you’re privileged. If you’re looking at your computer screen right now, you’re privileged. The list could go on for hours, so please shut up. I get it, Kenyon students can be assholes, and you want to call them out for their shit. Here are some better ways to do it without being a hypocrite.
1. “Hey, stop.” Cutting you off at Peirce, making an insensitive joke, getting drunk and bitching about you. A lot of the time, if you’re giving people the benefit of the doubt, things happen and escalate without people realizing it. If you’re a cynical hermit like me, people do things like this because they think they won’t get called out. Either way, say something. Even if it’s just a casual “shh” as you put one finger on their mouth, for the milder of the Kenyon population, this will be enough.
2. “Hey, get mad about this instead.” People get worked up and, a majority of the time, it’s for the wrong reasons. Don’t you dare change the day and time of Send Off, because people will go fucking insane. There were near riots because of the threat to Kenyon students’ right to get publicly drunk. And I’m on your side! That was annoying! Yet, time and time again, sexual assault and rape is repeatedly silenced on this campus, by both peers and administrators, just to name one problem. Maybe channel your anger about beer into something more important.
3. “Hey, maybe do some research before opening your damn mouth.” Don’t be this guy, because when you speak, that’s all I hear.
4. “Hey, you know I can see who you are, right?” This really only applies to Thrill editors, but I’m talking about it anyways. Anonymity is the worst thing to ever happen to Kenyon, and as much as I love writing for The Thrill and the outlet it provides for our campus, it also is terrible. When you comment “anonymously,” as an editor, I can see a lot more than you think. People who I’ve had only pleasant interactions with in person have posted horrible, horrible things about me on my articles without knowing I can see who they are. When you can hide behind a comment, it’s easy to say whatever you want. Take that anonymity away, and suddenly the room goes silent.
5. “Hey.” If none of these work, if you really can’t get someone to calm the hell down, then they are deeply disturbed, and probably just need a friend. Hey.