[April 2017] Classes will always struggle for equality


By: Jackie Sussman ’17

Nicola Alexander ’17 came from a long line of social conquerors; her sister, mother and aunt had climbed Staples’ social ladder. Nicola’s name had to carry the weight of a junior’s backpack and be as ubiquitous as Neenan’s gaze.
There was an air of disgruntlement looming that day, a restlessness in the laboring masses, who were becoming increasingly jaded towards a social hierarchy that was reminiscent of the past.
As Nicola pulled into her parking spot five minutes fashionably late, the group chat — named “Bourgeoisie” — buzzed. It was strange for someone other than herself to be sending the first messages of the day. Typically this would only happen if someone had missed a friend’s college acceptance party or an inner circle member had their Jeep Wrangler taken away.
“Two people want to leave Nicola Alexander’s Inner-Circle clique,” Amy Edwards, an Outer-Circle Member, had written. “Valerie Lyons and Julia Martin. #teengirlsrebellion”
The names sunk into Nicola’s skin; these people were social climbers of a different sort, preaching rights for all laborers and economic equality. Nicola knew the situation ran deeper than newbies wanting to join; her monarchy was under attack.
“Inner-Circle meeting at my house,” Nicola retorted. Comforted by this impending meeting, Nicola went to class, her nose turned her usual 30 degrees upward.
Flanked by two Inner-Circle members, Nicola headed to second lunch. But as soon as she and her posse strode through the cafeteria doors, they abruptly stopped; Valerie and Julia were at Nicola’s table, and Valerie was in Nicola’s seat.
Valerie and Nicola’s eyes connected and the entire room fell silent.
“Leave,” Nicola said, but the girls didn’t move.
With that show of defiance, Nicola knew damage had been done to her authority. She was furious.
Then Nicola noticed all of her Inner-Circle followers sitting next to Valerie and Julia, chatting, laughing, and smiling. They were looking at Valerie and Julia as their new leaders.
“How could this have happened?” Nicola cried.
It turned out that Valerie and Julia had secretly created a group chat named “Proletariat,” where they gave promises of equality and liberation from Nicola’s authoritarian rule and lured Nicola’s Inner-Circle members together. They were done with Nicola, and had moved on to Valerie and Julia’s Outer-Circle clique.

***Two months later***

Valerie walked into the cafeteria, flanked by two members of the Outer-Circle. Sitting at her table in her usual seat was Amy Edwards. Valerie charged ahead, annoyed that her authority was being undermined. But when she arrived at the table, Amy didn’t budge. “You promised us equality,” Hannah said, “but gave us Nicola 2.0. I’m in charge now.” Before Valerie could protest, the two members who had accompanied Valerie to the cafeteria sat with Amy. And so the cycle continued.