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  • N

    NomyFeb 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I agree with the author. I don’t think race is what heshe is focusing on. They are saying that there are the same type of people who are always in GFC, and who all share commonalities. This “over-ruling” makes those of us feel unwelcomed.

  • L

    Laura GraceFeb 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I don’t enjoy being stereotyped by my choice of hang out. I think you are guilty of the same kind of thinking in this article which you are accusing GFC of promoting: exclusivity, prejudice. GFC is a diverse array of people. ARGO members, political science majors who grumble in the corner, art students comparing notes, the guy doing math problems in the corner… we are not a homogenous bunch just like you say we are. And also, it’s NICE to have a place in campus where people are socially different fit in! I refuse to let you judge me for where I drink my coffee and homework. And do you think that I, an alternative, androgynous woman would be openly invited to a sorority or football event?

    • B

      BrittanyFeb 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Stereotypes are a cruel fact of life, but you just stereotyped the kind of people who join Greek Life by insinuating that as a self-proclaimed “alternative woman”, you wouldn’t fit in. The Greek Life at Allegheny, as you may or may never have noticed, is quite different than Greek Life at larger, public schools. Many girls who go Greek aren’t what the world would see as girls who belong in a sorority. I am Greek, I did theatre, I loved to study in GFC, I am not the A-typical sorority girl, and neither are 90% of the people I hang out with (who also happen to be involved in Greek Life). When we were in school, I had sisters who were proud members of ARGO,refrained from drinking because it just wasn’t their thing, were both Liberals and Conservatives, members of Young Fems, board members of OVERKILL, had shows on WARC, played sports, worked out at the gym regularly…..nobody fits into a mold. Especially not at Allegheny, after all, we all know the tagline….

  • P

    Prateek PoddarFeb 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    To those who do not feel welcome in GFC, I am sorry you feel that way. Anyone who wants to study, have a club meeting, relax, or just get a dang cup of coffee should be able to do so without fear of being judged or made uncomfortable. Yet the author calls the main demographic of people who frequent GFC “socially offbeat hipsters” and is quick to cite the number of groups who fit that label. Interesting how keen he or she is to label, considering that he or she was also quick to make a comment about how we apparently have the cliques of a “middle school in New Jersey”. The author furthers this highly judgemental tone with the employment of descriptions of the clubs. None of these descriptions show inherently alienating actions- ARGO, Young Fems, Overkill and WARC are all just doing what they are allowed to do within the bounds of GFC. It would seem that the author has more of an issue with gamers, creative writing, feminist politics, and the indie music scene than with inclusion with GFC. On WARC, I can say they might have a point. While Indie musicians tend to be the sort of musical acts that would actually play in a coffee shop, it would be cool to broaden the spread of genres as we do get a relatively narrow spread of them. But then, what’s so off-putting about indie-rock? Perhaps there should be a little less judging on both sides. Perhaps we should just use the space and enjoy it rather than labeling the other people that use it as well. So to anyone who does not consider themselves a “socially offbeat hipster”, I would like to extend a welcoming hand. No matter what you look like, think, or believe, no matter where you come from or where you are going, Allegheny College is your College, and GFC is your coffee shop. Please come in. I promise to accept you, respect you, and hopefully have a nice conversation with you over a cup of any beverage (preferably coffee- I REALLY like coffee). I hope you will extend the same courtesy.

  • M

    Mike RFeb 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    So, you’re telling me that the skinny hipsters/dungeons and dragons players that frequent the GFC scare away your football friends?

    Get real. Write about something that matters.

  • C

    ConversationFeb 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Since this is an article about the non-Whites on campus being uncomfortable with a GFC used primarily by organizations composed up mostly of White liberals, it must be a problem with the GFC or the culture of the university. If it had been White students being uncomfortable using a primarily non-White GFC then this all of a sudden would have become a case of racism and oppression.

    Also, who cares if Allegheny is only 18% “diverse,” that is the ratio of the area it’s located isn’t it? I don’t see people crying racism about Howard University’s whopping 91% ethnic homogeneity. The double standard on campuses today is absolutely thick. What’s worse is that it’s aimed at one particular ethnicity.

  • D

    disqus_4b0BgVbEddFeb 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    So just some questions and comments. When did GFC start purchasing foreign coffee? I believe that the coffee currently comes from Happy Mugs. Which is based in PA. I also don’t understand where you are getting the idea that only the most liberal members of the campus feel comfortable in GFC. I am political conservative, as are a few of my friends. Though GFC has a decidedly liberal leaning, which is to be expected at a coffee shop promoting fair trade and honestly most places on a liberal arts college campus, I always feel comfortable in there. Also you discuss the fact that the board is socially diverse, though I am unsure how “Resident Advisors, a sorority girl, fraternity bros, and ASG members” constitutes as socially diverse even “for Allegheny standards”, but I’ll maintain your assertion. Now if you had spent much time in GFC you would realize that the board members and their friends are some of GFCs most frequent costumers. So there is a major flaw in claiming that GFC has a diverse board yet an undiverse atmosphere. Also your list of clubs that you assert as an example of the lack of social diversity is flawed. First of all this is a very limited list of the clubs that frequent GFC. There are groups such as QnA and the center for political participation that hold events in GFC. I have also come across knitting clubs and bible studies meeting in GFC and a host of other groups that I couldn’t even identify using GFC for events and meetings. You have purposefully selected clubs that you feel show GFC in the most liberal light possible. You also act as if these clubs can be clumped together into one cohesive unit with no differentiation between the members of any of these groups. I am curious where you get the impression that Young Feminists, ARGO, Overkill, and WARC are one homogenous crowd. Now I am a member of ARGO, but of these other three groups I only know one member of one of these clubs. So I do not fully understand how I have apparently formed a homogenous crowd with people I do not know at all and who have little to nothing in common with me. In fact when I go to GFC I frequently end up talking to people that I know from work or class and as far as I am aware have no connection to any of these organizations. Even with all of the misguided, ill informed statements you have made here I am most curious about the demographic you claim to represent. At the end of your article you claim that this sense of discomfort is an issue of social class and race, yet for the rest of your argument the only “groups” of students you are supporting, and the only individuals who are claiming to feel discomfort are college athletes. This seems like an odd and rather limited demographic for you to support and one that has very little to do with race or social class. This is the same demographic that I see drunk roaming campus yelling rude comments at anyone who doesn’t fit their social norms. These are the people that make other members of our campus community feel uncomfortable all across campus. If your friends feel uncomfortable in GFC then maybe they should come in, talk to someone, get some coffee. I know I have made plenty of friends that way. If you are willing to go through the door, GFC is a very welcoming place. If you are unwilling to go into a place because you might have to talk to someone who is outside of your social norm then you are the one lacking social diversity and you have no one but yourself to blame.

  • A

    Amy ZhanFeb 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Well answer this question, what exactly does “welcome” mean to you? Does everyone have to feel like they must enjoy GFC? What are you actually saying? Lets ask what bothers us. Why do some people like certain things than others? I can speak from personal experience as a former board member that yes, sometimes we draw only certain crowds. Its not that we don’t try to include everyone. We do. But just like how some people just aren’t into some hobbies, some people just are not into GFC. Some people are not comfortable at all with football culture. Or sorority. Or gaming. You are allowed to enjoy and not enjoy things. It is our job as board members to ensure that we make sure everyone knows we are all welcome, students, staff. But heres the thing, “fair trade coffee house.” Stereotypes aside, it is very appealing to some people. Maybe the ones you lovingly labeled “offbeat hipsters.” (It used to be just alt in my day FYI)

    Why are you lumping all the groups you mentioned together in an amorphous blob? What about they using GFC? Are everyone in those groups… the same kind of people? What is your point using those groups specifically.

    Also, why are you lumping all African Americans of Allegheny into your group. Are all African American Allegheny students unhappy with GFC? Are your African American friends the rep of all African Americans on campus? I have black friends who have no problems with GFC. But, as you pointed out with your friends, not all blacks enjoy GFC. So why just shove that in there? Also, are blacks the only other non-white group out there? Hmm.

    Also, if you want to talk racial diversity, don’t just use that extremely stereotypical analogy of the rich white person and the AA Harlem guy. How good of a convo can a Chinese girl from Jamaica, Queens have with a black girl from Ithaca? A hell of a good one. Don’t be an unintentional racist.

    I agree, we struggled with trying to get more people into GFC. I felt uncomfortable with our narrow clients. But I don’t think its wrong for them to love us and for others to not. When we table, we invite ANYONE. ANYONE to come. My god, we beg people to take the Sat night shifts! We send out free drinks to ALL incoming freshman and tell them all to come! But maybe we are just not that popular with everyone.

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GFC: ‘Unwelcoming’ for some members of the campus community