AISU—On Thursday, September 15, the American International School of Utah’s Symphonic Chorale sent out an email to members containing the first rotating seating chart of the 2016-17 school year. This seating chart has since been leaked to the public and “torn apart” by critics, who say the seating chart is “extremely discriminatory” and “undeniably segregatory.” Perhaps most shocking is the critics’ assertion that the seating chart reveals a “gaping hole in AISU’s Nondiscrimination Reputation,” primarily because most students were unaware the school had such a reputation.
Critics of the seating chart are calling it “the most segregatory spreadsheet since the United States were separated in the Civil War through an Excel document” citing how the seating chart separates students by gender, what part they sing, first letter in their first name, and household income. “This is despicable,” one critic said. “It is by far the most discriminatory image to be on a screen since D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation in 1915 or Woody Harrelson’s White Men Can’t Jump in 1992.”
“I feel like I’m literally being told where to sit based on things I have no control over, like my age, gender, or vocal range,” said an anonymous student. “I feel like I have no choice in the matter and I really can’t handle that. I have to get exactly what I want whenever I want it, all the time. It’s just not fair when I don’t.”
To further the discrimination, the spreadsheet displays some students’ names in bold and some in italics, indicating those students are “more musically gifted” and therefore placed in advanced classes. “I feel extremely discriminated against when I see the names of these other students getting special treatment when all they do is work harder than I do,” another anonymous student said. “And I can’t figure out any logical reason to bold Chamber Choir members in a Symphonic Chorale spreadsheet, not to mention why some of them are bolded and some are italicized, and I refuse to ask anyone who might know the answer.”
“I have to get exactly what I want whenever I want it, all the time. It’s just not fair when I don’t.”
Symphonic Chorale representatives defend the seating chart, explaining that arranging choir members by gender and voice is a common practice, but once the word “discrimination” has been used and comparisons have been made to a D.W. Griffith movie, there’s really nothing anyone can do. Offended students are now threatening to boycott Chorale performances and kneel whenever they hear the Chorale sing. School officials have not responded to invitations to comment, and we are beginning to think they have blocked emails from us after we decided to send them free grammar and spelling tips after each of their mass emails. The school has, however begun to use the term “Nondiscrimination Reputation” in marketing and public relations campaigns, mainly because it’s “fun to say.”