Avada kedavra. Top management at CBS is shutting down Thursday parties at NEXUS and thereby also killing the last bit of dancing and ‘bodiliness’ left in the cold and grey halls of Solbjerg Plads.
I have to admit that if it weren’t for NEXUS, I wouldn’t have met what I today call ‘a friend for life’ at the beginning of my time at CBS. But I must also admit that I am not a big fan of the mainstream party-like scene at NEXUS. I made my last dance move at NEXUS years ago. For a retired NEXUS dancer, then the problem with shutting the party down clearly lies elsewhere. Let me tell you how, but also give one constructive and very easy solution that can fix and reopen parties and student togetherness at CBS.
Yet again, the shutdown of NEXUS is an example that top management, like a runaway locomotive without any brakes has run students over and made a decision directly influencing students’ well-being, without even considering having a conversation with the students first. In the case of shutting down NEXUS, this was the case once again, with CBS Students (the acting owner of NEXUS) announcing: “Students at CBS are once again finding their voices marginalized, diminished, and disempowered”. Ironically, this undemocratic decision-making happened just two weeks after Acting President Inger Askehave herself praised the democratic value of CBS Students at a recent reception. In practice, it is top management who is presently drawing a non-democratic line distancing themselves further and further away from the students.
As we’ve seen with other disciplinary actions from top management, it is problematic that management constantly presumes to view students from the demeaning perspective that as non-grownups, who are not suitable candidates for solving some of the issues this university is facing. No students, nor NEXUS itself were involved in any of the decision processes. Rather they were informed just hours prior to management’s official announcement. In the eyes of management, students are simply not presumed to be proper grown-ups who want to engage in the process and possess parts of the answers.
Secondly, the constantly oversimplified, visionless, and disciplinary decisions from management (in this case the solution of simply shutting everything down) is a direct contradiction to CBS’ entrepreneurial self-narrative. A picture is being drawn of management out of balance, trying to regain control by mechanizing and turning off the living students around them. It reminds me of Harry Potter, and the “interim” dean of Hogwarts, Dolores Umbridge, who law-by-law limits the ideals, unity, community, and bodily life of the wizardry students. In other words, she does everything in her power to limit the qualities that, in the end, win the battle over Voldemort and darkness.
Don’t confuse me with Harry Potter, though I would like to present some entrepreneurial “magic”: a constructive solution to how Thursday parties and life can coexist at CBS. If the problem with parties at NEXUS is, as Inger Askehave states: “Thursday parties do not live up to the safe and inclusive campus environment” that CBS has committed itself to create, then I want to propose a simple solution: Have an entrepreneurial sit-down with management, NEXUS, and students of CBS and develop a safe-space concept for parties at CBS.
Together with a great many Danish youths who also do not feel the Danish mainstream parties live up to standards for safety and inclusion, I can tell you that some of the places where you feel safest in Copenhagen have been at parties with a well-told, pervasive and clear concept of the behavior expected to constitute the party. This could be safe-space personnel walking around at the party openly receiving any inquiries concerning excessive behavior. It could be banners, flyers, and signs everywhere on display describing what is expected of the partygoers. Or it could be bouncers or ‘well-being ambassadors’ at the door, explaining and ensuring that everyone entering is in sync with the new safe-space concept at NEXUS. Like this, one could actually imagine a concept whereby everyone involved felt a need to actively embody and maintain the community of inclusion and safety. Not because they were told to, but because it is the clear premise of what it’s like to have fun and be together at CBS.