The mystery of ViCE:
our name is simply Vassar College Entertainment, the I …well it is an imaginary stand in for a word that is not there. Like an imaginary number of sorts, the square root of -1 should not exist but mathematically it somehow works out to be around. So does the I in ViCE.
The vowel that gives ViCE its sound is a myth–but, in some ways, that is very much the character of ViCE anyway.
I say this not to say that what we do is not real but rather that ViCE is created and re-created every year by the narrative of our campus. ViCE is a myth that retells itself through the students who decide to take a role organizing, going to, remembering, and critiquing campus programming.
I got involved in ViCE on accident. By no means do I know as much about film or music or comedy as many of our members do. I got involved in ViCE my freshman year by going to Music meetings and writing down the names of artists people recommended for listening to afterwards. I stayed involved when the then 2012-13 Music Chair saw the backstage room, or greenroom, I had set up for Ra Ra Riot. He freaked out in happiness; it was silly, but after the show, aside from being really tired and running to UpC to complete my shift as barista, I was overwhelmed with happiness. It was instant gratification that my acts could benefit others and that my efforts meant something to this campus, even if just for a few hours. ViCE was not about knowledge of any particular variety but rather how you could apply your knowledge into a community space, be that weekly meetings or events or attendance.
Perhaps that is not something I should be admitting, that I do not know very much as ViCE Director, but I think that it is again the myth of ViCE. I fear many have a perception of ViCE as an elite crew of experts curating their ideal for what and who Vassar is entertained by but it isn’t really. I am way to awkward and out of touch with pop-culture to be “an expert.”
It is not just knowledge that makes up our campus, it is our ability to learn. Vassar College Entertainment is an organization that offers students a chance to enjoy campus: to actually engage with and see the physical spaces and emotional spaces of this college. Vassar is a bubble but one worth confronting, changing and exploring while here. ViCE offered me the chance to live not solely in the frustrations of the world I deconstructed in class and the self I deconstructed on the weekends but also to live here, on this campus, with fellow students and build experiences based on a community of conversation.
This year ViCE is/has been working to enhance this ideal through a variety of new projects:
More frequent and consistent programming:
an act to get more General Body members involved and have their ideas put into action through experimental programming
The ViCE Safer Spaces Policy:
a project started by ViCE Exec members, Tati Esposito von Mueffling and Zack Wilks, to identify ViCE’s values and build a narrative that supports students supporting other students.
publicity’s big project, as led by A.J. Cincotta-Eichenfield, to give ViCE a new logo and quality advertising to show the importance of and acknowledgement for the professional hard work put into student programming.
The ViCE annual magazine:
another publicity project to built a narrative of reference for future work with ViCE and help contribute to a better understanding of Vassar history as it has been experienced by students
the newest sub-committee of ViCE, experimenting with how to bring satire and laughter to campus as it helps confront and ease student’s engagement with social issues
Those are just a few of the projects that have been developing this year and I am sure there are many more on peoples minds whom I haven’t even met yet. In conversation with the VSA’s restructuring, ViCE has been working to leave more support for its future student leaders in organizing campus events in terms of learning from past and current student stories.
Thanks for reading this ViCE Director’s final rambles before graduation. I love you all very much. I know ViCE has not been the same experience for others as it has been for me, but that is what makes this organization so powerful in my mind: its subjectivity is its greatest strength. ViCE is a resource worth engaging with as it is there for the student as the student needs it and can change as the student does. The I is imaginary after all; ViCE can stand for what ever you want it to mean.
ViCE Director 2015-16