by Brandon Denton and Izzy Sanchez-Foster
Isn’t it funny that once a day, a $600 million app tells us, “It’s time to Be Real?” Like the other social media apps, BeReal markets to us something we’re desperately craving: realness. Created in 2020 and popularized in 2022, the app’s messaging seems to be in response to our desire for change. This desire is a natural response to experiencing Covid, which has infected us, alienated us and heightened the inequalities of capitalism. More than ever, now is the time to be real… for real.
Our campus’s Covid policies and Student Health services are terrible. After hearing personal stories, we have created a form to document student experiences with health issues on campus (available at oberlinslac.org). In the first week, we’ve already received many extremely disturbing responses. Seventy-two percent of respondents say they are not comfortable with current Covid policies. Multiple students have reported sleeping in common rooms or hotels off campus to distance from roommates with COVID. In one instance, a student said that S&S kicked them out of the common room they’d been sleeping in, and they weren’t able to receive safe, stable housing until their parents got involved.
Another student wrote,“I find it deeply disturbing that Crisis Counseling is the most reliable service at Student Health right now….This service is only reliable because it literally MUST be for life-and-death reasons -- and forcing that responsibility on workers where there is no reliability elsewhere is alarmingly careless.”
This behavior is incredibly violent and unacceptable. By documenting the issue, we hope to hold the school accountable and spread the word about what's happening here. Not only are these conversations important for making change in the world, but also within ourselves. Realness is a way of living, something that can’t be sold to us by multi-million dollar corporations. To be real, we must engage in serious discussions with one another about the issues affecting our community. Realness is honesty, care, and action; realness is survival.
Please fill out and share our survey at oberlinslac.org.