Cambridge college criticised for Japan-themed ball

first_imgThis season’s announcements of the themes for Cambridge’s popular end of the year balls have been accompanied by protests and claims that the colleges are indulging in cultural appropriation, most recently with Trinity Hall’s ‘Tokyo to Kyoto’ May ball.The ball is proudly advertised online as an invitation to “come aboard the Tokaido bullet train as we take you on a journey from Tokyo to Kyoto.” For the price of £90 students will be able to “experience everything from the vibrant fashions of Harajuku and the neon lights of Shibuya to the Imperial palaces and tranquil gardens of the old capital, Kyoto.”This aim to cover all aspects of a distant and complex culture in a single night is part of what has irritated some students, and Trinity Hall is not the first to choose an exotic theme for its ball.Oxford has recently had its share of exoticism with Pembroke’s ‘Indian Summers’ last year, and Lincoln will be holding its controversial New Orleans ‘Jazz Age’ ball in May. Just as Darwin College in Cambridge chose ‘Havana Nights’ as its theme and Clare College announced its ‘Orient Express’ ball, non-Western culture has become one of the principal sources of inspiration for these events.Hannah-Lily Lanyon and William Andrews, both undergraduates in Oxford, told Cherwell that they see this trend for themes evoking faraway countries as being “primarily about a desire to control. What’s a better way to dominate another culture than using its outward projections (clothes, traditions etc)? This could all stem from the remains of a colonial mindset: we are still being taught by our society and our education system that white domination of non-White culture is totally ok.“We ought to be rejecting the orientalist attitude which sees Japan as a different world in which we can play out our night-out fantasies and then finally return to western normality. This is no different to Lincoln’s ‘New Orleans’ – which sees white British students take over predominantly African-American history. Yet crucially Japan was never a colony, so colonisation doesn’t ply such a role here – rather it’s about using a different culture to make ourselves feel superior; in contrast comes New College’s ‘Bombay nights’ – which plays on a colonial heritage we should be ashamed of.”The announcement of Magdalen’s Commemoration ball last term also triggered reactions from students, with many pointing out how the event’s idea of bringing students back to an earlier version of the college may exclude a number of groups. William Andrews notes, “As a queer man I know I don’t want to go back to the 20s: I’m planning on going with a boy as a date, an activity we’d have been arrested for; some non-White students might feel a bit out of place in 1920s outfits designed without them in mind.” The various committees organising these balls all replied positively to these claims, and Trinity Hall has called for advice on the ways of securing a sense of authenticity for its Japanese evening.When asked whether the problem of cultural appropriation at parties is specific to Oxford and Cambridge, Lanyon and Andrews both agree.“Using ‘oriental’ and ‘exotic’ aesthetics to promote a predominantly white party experience is a nationwide problem, stemming from the lack of diversity in universities themselves, often composed of white middle class students with little awareness about the cultures they are stealing from.”last_img read more

Fox To Step Down As Drake Football Head Coach

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – Drake University football head coach Rick Fox announced Monday, Dec. 10, that he is stepping down from his position at Drake University.”My wife, Julie, and I felt that this is the right time for us as a family and the right time for Drake football for me to step away from being the head coach at Drake University,” Fox said. “The 11 years here, including the last five as head coach, have been incredibly rewarding. To be a part of a football program and culture that builds Impact Men in the pursuit of football excellence is rare in college football. These impact men make a difference in their community on a daily basis. They also are difference makers on the field as everyone saw on the field in our most recent game at Iowa State.” “Our family is eager to make a similar impact in new endeavors outside of Drake football. We know that Drake football will continue to produce tremendous young men of character who will make an impact while at Drake and for years afterward. We are grateful to the leadership of Brian Hardin and the Drake University administration for the trust and support in allowing a Division I program that creates Impact Men through football.”Fox, who recently completed his fifth season as the Bulldogs’ head coach, had a 33-22 record at Drake following the team’s near upset of No. 24 Iowa State Dec. 1. During his tenure, the Bulldogs finished fourth or higher in the Pioneer Football League standings each year and were second in the league three times. Drake’s 28-12 PFL record over the past five seasons was better than all but two league schools during that stretch.His teams collected a total of 84 All-PFL awards, 35 Academic All-PFL honors, eight CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Tight end Eric Saubert was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.”I am so grateful for the time I had with Rick and Julie over the last year,” Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin said. “They are wonderful, faith-driven individuals that feel they are being called to impact people beyond the Drake football family. I am happy they can make that journey together.” “Hundreds of football student-athletes competed for the Bulldogs during Rick’s time on our sideline. We enjoyed great team success and celebrated many individual accolades while Rick was our coach. However, his legacy will be the many Impact Men he coached that are now – or will soon become – Drake alumni. We thank Rick for the incredible impact he had on our program.”Hardin appointed current defensive coordinator Todd Stepsis as acting head coach and announced that a national search for Fox’s replacement will begin immediately. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more