Commerce Society de-ratifies All Year Social 

ComSoc cites lack of alignment in values with party club

All Year Social (AYS) made national headlines in 2016 for hosting a party where guests dressed up as racial stereotypes.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

This article was updated with a statement from the Commerce Society on Sept. 30.

Amidst a reckoning of racial justice on campus, the Smith Commerce Society de-ratified a committee club embroiled in long-standing controversy. 

2016 marked the year of the ‘Beerfest’ party that made national headlines for students costuming in themed and overtly insensitive racial stereotypes and the similar Oktoberfest party which was hosted independently by members of the Smith Commerce Society’s All Year Social (AYS) club.

Then ComSoc President Bhavik Vyas distanced the committee and other affiliated groups from the event, claiming they weren’t involved in hosting or facilitating the event.

He told The Journal in 2016 that the event was unsanctioned by the Society and therefore had no “affiliation with [ComSoc] or the Alma Mater Society” and was run by private individuals who assumed all “personal liability for their events and actions.”

READ MORE: ComSoc releases Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Course of Action

ComSoc officially de-ratified AYS on Aug. 30, claiming the club “failed to accomplish their mandate of delivering social events that unite the Smith Commerce student body.”

"In collaborative discussion with the ComSoc Executive and AYS Co-Chairs, all parties unanimously agreed to AYS’s friendly deratification,” ComSoc’s executive wrote in a statement to The Journal. “Following the various posts on ‘Stolen by Smith’ regarding AYS’s impact on the Smith Commerce culture and community, the AYS Co-Chairs and executive approached ComSoc for support on how to move towards a more inclusive mandate.”

ComSoc said AYS was responsible for delivering social events that unite the entire Smith Commerce student body. 

“As indicated through students’ and administration’s feedback, AYS has only served in uniting select students in the Smith Commerce program,” the executive wrote. “AYS and ComSoc both felt that addressing these executional shortfalls in AYS’s mandate required much more than the executive’s revitalization, but completely dismantling and retiring the executive.”

“We are confident this decision will empower other executives to critically analyze their mandate and work towards more inclusive culture creation.” 

As part of its EDII Action Plan, ComSoc intends to formalize a culture creation round table with senior leaders in the program to discuss how an equity lens can be applied to external and internal events sanctioned by the Society.

The move accompanies the implementation of the Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan, developed to address racial inequalities detailed by students through whistleblower Instagram account ‘Stolen by Smith’. 

Corrections

The Journal had previously reported that All Year Social had hosted the ‘Beerfest’ party, which was not affiliated with AYS.

The Journal regrets the error.

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