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Trips Directorate: 15 Women, 4 Men?

A column in The D today, Spector: You’re Not Tripping: The First-Year Trips directors have gone nuts for diversity, by Ryan Spector ‘19, wonders why the Freshman Trips Directorate is made up of almost 80% women. His own application was refused.

If applications were about 50/50 between men and women — though Director Lucia Pierson ‘18 and Assistant Director Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ‘18 aren’t saying — out in the real world you’d be looking at a prima facie case of gender discrimination.

Good for Ryan Spector for speaking truth to power.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

When I served on the trips directorate 5 years ago, the directorate I served on was almost 70% men. There was not a single vindictive op-ed from any of the many qualified women who were overlooked.

Make no mistake, this is more personal than it is principled. Spector asserts that “credentials matter not” in the minds of the directors, which is clearly impossible to substantiate. His piece makes half-baked attempts to suggest the process is biased against him using data he doesn’t have, and objections to muddy language. The reality is that the directors this year had to choose one candidate over two or three others for each role (as they have in most years past). If past Trips are any indication, then there are a variety of factors at play: interpersonal qualities, leadership abilities, relevant certifications, prior experience, etc. And, in addition to these candidate against candidate comparisons, the directors must also choose a team of people that will be able to work well together. Their rhetoric is equivocal, probably not because (as Spector conjectures) there is something foul afoot, but because it has to serve as a catch-all for how every decision was made.

Any reader is capable of speculation equal to Spector’s. Perhaps he would prefer the directors say to him outright that he was less qualified than the women who have the outdoor logistics roles, or the two women (and one man) who will serve as trip leader trainers. Perhaps he would rather them say that his entitled attitude lack of nuanced thinking, and penchant for jumping to conclusions would hamper the directorate’s outreach, sustainability, or risk-mitigation efforts. Perhaps he simply wanted to reprise his role on H-Croo (now as a captain), but was unfortunately less likable than his peers who were selected. For what it’s worth, only one of the H-croo captains is a woman. The other is, like Spector, a (white) man.

To allege he has been discriminated against, or has been the victim of a brutally imposed ideology is laughable. Spector is not speaking truth to power. He is whining.

I disagree. A ratio of 15-4 should smell bad to anyone. Lucia Pierson ‘18 and Dalia Rodriguez-Caspeta ‘18 need to let us know the mix of applicants to the Directorate.

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