What Would You Do?
Trill or Not Trill?
When you work in Student Affairs, there will always be stories for days. In fact, stories for decades. We reached out to a few of our colleagues in the field and asked them to share some of their harrowing tales. Here’s our first story from a Director of Student Activities at a small private school in the northeast. He’s a black male with 6 years under his belt in the field. Here’s his story. We’d love to hear, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Director of Activties (DOA): So this is how it started. I’m a fairly new employee, and when I arrived I noticed that our school didn’t have anything prepared for Black History Month or Women’s History Month.
Trill or Not Trill (TONT): Don’t you mean African American Heritage Month and Women’s Herstory month?
DOA: We don’t celebrate those either. So listen, after a non response to an initial email about the topic, I go to the Dean of Students office with my Malcolm X mixed with Gloria Steinem swag on deck.
TONT: I love me some Miss Gloria.
DOA: So I walk in and the Dean is in there with an Associate Dean and the Office Assistant. She was standing up watering her plants and asks me to sit down. I do, but I sit down with vigor. I took several seats, right through that chair.
DOA: I say to her, Dean, I’ve noticed we don’t celebrate Black History Month or Women’s History Month here, but I am willing to take on this responsibility in planning these months. I’ve sat on committees in the past and would more than be happy to assemble a team for both.
TONT: Teamwork makes the dream work.
DOA: Now, I’ve got to say to you, I rock an afro. Not like Angela Davis but it’s solid in shape and size. The dean proceeds to come from behind me and pats my fro, saying wow this has really grown out since you’ve started.
TONT: Wait, she did what?
DOA: Oh, you know I was ready to lose it, but I’m a still a new employee. I really wasn’t sure how to react. The Associate Dean is a Latino brother and the Office Assistant is a white sister. They were motionless. Then the Dean took it another step forward.
TONT: She took out a hair pick with a fist as the handle?
DOA: No, she says and I quote, “Well we’ve got a charity event with the nuns down at St. Benedict. If we call it the Sistas of Benedict Affair, then we’ve got Black History and Women’s History month covered. I had to take a minute and figure out what was happening.
TONT: Wait, she said what?
DOA: Yes! She was like, “you get it right? Sistaaaaas and sisters.” I sat there waiting to see if anyone else was going to say something.
TONT: I’m sure someone made a face, on the low. Like, damn that was a bit much.
DOA: Right! That’s what I was looking for. What made it worse, was that everyone in the room just bust out laughing. Like straight knee slapping guffaws.
TONT: So, what did you do?