Author’s Note: The following piece is a work of satire. I chose to use this approach to address this issue because I have explained and re-explained cultural appropriation and its effects and I am exhausted. I said everything I had to say last semester. At this point, all it comes down to is compassion and respect. For those who are truly still confused or curious, your answers are out there. Please find them. 

*All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 

A bizarre new conversation has found its way onto our campus. The topic—most often referred to as “cultural appropriation”—has created quite a stir. This issue seems to have taken on a life of its own, resulting in a multitude of loving nicknames. The most prominent of these epithets include “political correctness trash” and “the liberal agenda.” 

The so-called conversation—moderated solely by new VP of Communications, Professor Yak—arose in response to a party held last Saturday. The party, which allegedly had a “tequila” theme, quickly escalated into a spectacle eerily similar to that of last semester’s “gangster” party. 

Photographs posted on Snapchat revealed drunken white students donning sombreros and mustaches. An Instagram post showed four girls posing in front of a tapestry decorated with a sombrero, a maraca and a chili pepper. Sources cannot seem to agree on whether the “Mexican-themed” tapestry was purchased from Urban Outfitters or IKEA. 

News of the party spread quickly, due mostly in part to the partygoers’ own broadcasts.  Responses to the party have varied. Bowdoin’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO)—a sect of the College’s newly-founded and unpaid Cultural Issues Department—have made their exasperated rage quite clear. Numerous meetings and forums were held following the party, providing a space for open discussion. 

Shockingly, sources report that same 40 students appeared at each event; their opposition is nowhere to be found. For the first time in Bowdoin history, those with differing opinions are resorting to “Yik Yak,” an anonymous phone application. The app—founded by Satan and purchased by Trump—is the preferred medium of Bowdoin’s most courageous students. 
Students at this week’s open discussions waited patiently for the faceless commenters to join the conversation. Unfortunately, it seems that the valiant “green boots” and “purple acorns” of Yik Yak have gone missing. Student Activities has confirmed that a candlelight vigil will be held on the Museum Steps each night until they return. 

Despite the opposition’s lack of presence in meetings, the Orient was able to speak with a select group of these students in person. Most of these students had little to say about the party itself, but enthusiastically discussed who they consider to be true culprits: the offended and hurt members of the community. 

“F*** their feelings,” said Jeffrey Keebler*. Keebler, a member of both Safe Space and Out Allies, claims that the idea of emotional distress caused by cultural disrespect is absurd. “Cultural appropriation is a myth. It harms no one—my cat has black fur and we talked about it. Our campus needs to continue to focus on the heteronormativity of hookup culture and the lack of male bathroom stalls in the library—issues that affect the student experience.”
“To those bothered by this incident, I say: good luck in the real world,” quipped T.J. Edwards*. “These people are so used to being coddled. It’s ridiculous.” Rolling his eyes, Edwards pulled out his phone and speed-dialed the Bowdoin Shuttle. “Yeah, hi. I need a shuttle for one from Thorne Dining Hall to Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.” Turning back to me, he continued, “Anyway. The real world is cold. Grow up.”

Keebler and Edwards are not alone. We also spoke with Elizabeth Whittier*, a white Mainer and certified expert on the minority experience. Like her two peers, Whittier is not quite sure that the party was offensive. 

“People are looking for something to be angry about,” she claimed. “I don’t quite understand their feelings, but I do know that they should not be having them.”

The outcome of this incident remains unclear. Many students have called for mandatory campus-wide seminars on the issue of cultural appropriation. In an interview with the Orient, Dean Johnson* stated that the administration cannot simply force students to partake in such discussions, as the student body consists primarily of adults. 

“This is a college,” the dean stated. “It is not a high school. We cannot control the actions of our students. The administration has other aims.” 

“In fact,” he stated, glancing at his watch. “You must excuse me now. A 22-year-old was found in possession of hard alcohol on Saturday, and I need to draft a letter to his parents.”

While some students strive for cultural understanding and genuine harmony, many students hope that the whole issue will simply dissolve. The latter—the same students whose ideal weekend includes quickly chasing their alcohol with punch purchased with “Polar Points”—are ready for the real world. They are tired of dwelling on the childish feelings of their peers—especially when those feelings interrupt their game of “pepper flip.”