News

Bexlians modify illustrations in new community space

Following CAC concerns of ‘offensive’ illustrations in Bexlians’ Pritchett space, drawings modified

6389 bexley 1
Illustrations in Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial were edited by Bexlians after CAC expressed concerns about the “offensive” drawings. In August, former Bexley residents were given the lounge to use as a community space following the closure of Bexley Hall last spring.
Nicole M. Power
6390 bexley 2
Illustrations in Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial were edited by Bexlians after CAC expressed concerns about the “offensive” drawings. In August, former Bexley residents were given the lounge to use as a community space following the closure of Bexley Hall last spring.
Nicole M. Power
6391 bexley 3
Illustrations in Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial were edited by Bexlians after CAC expressed concerns about the “offensive” drawings. In August, former Bexley residents were given the lounge to use as a community space following the closure of Bexley Hall last spring.
Nicole M. Power
6392 bexley 4
Illustrations in Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial were edited by Bexlians after CAC expressed concerns about the “offensive” drawings. In August, former Bexley residents were given the lounge to use as a community space following the closure of Bexley Hall last spring.
Nicole M. Power

Former residents of Bexley Hall had to modify illustrations in the Pritchett Lounge in Walker Memorial last week that were deemed offensive by the Campus Activities Complex (CAC). In August, the former Bexley residents were given use of the room in Walker Memorial, meant to serve as a community space, following the closure of Bexley in May.

According to an email from Campus Activities Complex (CAC) Director Phil J. Walsh, CAC staff entered the room last week in response to a request by a former Bexley Graduate Resident Tutor (GRT) that a recycling bin to be added to the lounge. A number of illustrations, painted on large sheets of paper and taped to the walls, were deemed offensive by the staff and “in violation of the terms for the space.”

The regulations for the use of the space were sent out by CAC when the former Bexley residents officially gained access to the space on Aug. 26. One aspect of these regulations state, “Any alteration or change in the space provided must be done with advanced approval by Residential Life and CAC. Creative expression though artwork and music playing is expected and will require communication and coordination during the early weeks of the program as procedures are established.” It also indicates that “CAC and Residential Life staff will conduct periodic tours of the space to insure its proper and safe utilization.”

Since the Pritchett Lounge is a part of an activity center and not a residence hall, Walsh said that the illustrations had to be removed immediately. The email included photos of the four offending posters but did not provide an indication of what part of the illustrations were in violation.

Two of the illustrations consisted of painted words describing generally sexual content. Another used vulgarity to describe the wall color of the Pritchett Lounge. The final one, a drawing of an octopus or perhaps a squid, was presumably deemed inappropriate due to its resemblance to male genitalia.

Former Bexley residents with access to the room modified rather than removed the posters. The modifications included the changing of certain words and, in the case of the octopus poster, drawings of additional sea wildlife to obscure the offending parts of the picture.

On Monday, Walsh emailed those with access to the lounge to report that the modifications solved the problem. In the message, addressed to one of the representatives of the former Bexley community, Walsh wrote, “You and others have done an impressive job of altering or modifying most of the posters into a non-offensive presentation. That is very much appreciated,” adding, “It is a very impressive gallery of expression throughout Pritchett, and I’m pleased the space is becoming more active for your community.”

8 Comments
1
Anonymous over 4 years ago

I'm really starting to hate how anal MIT is becoming.

2
Anonymous over 4 years ago

I'm really starting to hate how anal ducks are becoming.

3
Anonymous over 4 years ago

Good. If the bexley community lounge were a working office, do you think the company would allow these drawings to be hung on the walls? Absolutely not. Those are institute walls, and every word and image that is placed on them constitutes an official statement by MIT. Why not paint a sign that encourages visitors to the lounge to make financial gifts to MIT or register for edX classes?

4
Anonymous over 4 years ago

And thus concludes another Bexley cycle of stupidity. Next up, Bexlians shit in the hall and then act all indignant when MIT makes them clean it up.

5
Anonymous over 4 years ago

3: What?

The images you see are the images after they have been modified to be non-offensive. I had never seen the posters before, but here's what I think they used say: "I jerk off," "fuck buttholes," and "who the fuck chose this shit-colored paint?"

I think I'd be able to figure that out without knowing they had been modified.

If you're taking the stance that the old posters were bad, you can't honestly think the modified ones are "Good." You have to see that this is a way around the rules, and the artists are somewhat making a commentary on their opinion that the rules are contrived. The fact that modifications like these are all that's needed to appease the system is completely ludicrous. It's a sign of a broken system.

That being said, I'm undecided on whether the posters should have needed to be modified. I think that's better answered with a broad community discussion on the topic, and it's a much more nuanced question than whether or not it's appropriate for a working office. For starters - it's not a working office, it's common space for our displaced community members. We shouldn't be dismissing these members of our community without hearing their side, especially when the old posted do not appear to be illegal.

To me, the big takeaway here is that Walsh followed a sane process to address his concerns. He, as well as the Bexley community, acted as MIT's Freedom of Expression policy recommends. The walls here appear to have had many parallels to the walls in BC, and this is a great illustration of how BC's situation probably should have been handled.

6
Anonymous over 4 years ago

Where's the recycling bin?

7
Anonymous over 4 years ago

Have the BC housemasters seen how sanely this was executed

8
drewmaklon about 4 years ago

Tutor Pace is one of the best online homework help website. You need to Connect with TutorPace.com today to get online assignment help