From letting an infant tumble into a toilet to throwing away a new roommate’s toiletries, students and faculty embraced their failures this past Thursday at iZone’s sixth Screw Up Night: Female Powerhouse edition.
“Women feel this pressure not only to compete with men but to be perfect, ” iZone Director Julia Maddox said.
“We want to encourage all women to give it a try, and it’s okay if something goes wrong,” said junior Anusha Mehrabyan on why her organization, Forté Campus, ran the event. “Just hearing that a lot of successful women fail and [that] we are students and fail everyday — just understanding that fact gives you motivation to move forward.”
The event took place in the Barbara J. Burger iZone with an audience of around 30 to 40 students laughing and ringing their gifted cowbells in support for each speaker’s screw up moment. Screw Up Nights featured three speakers and later opened up the floor to the audience to share their own blunders.
Rochester City Councilmember Mary Lupien started the night with a story of when she overestimated her ability to watch six children under eight while moderating a panel speaking about transportation issues in their town. After lying about the sitter she hired that had flaked out, she finally asked someone to take over as moderator so she could take the kids to the bathroom, resulting in the 1-year-old tumbling into a toilet. Her daughter later reprimanded her for a “shitty job” as babysitter.
She was followed by Maddox, who recounted the time she led a creativity workshop for a group of 14-year-old girl scouts, one of them being Hajim School Dean Wendi Heinzelman’s daughter, who collectively tried to create a fake bong using office supplies in the place of marijuana.
The open-mic portion included student stories ranging from attempts to commit identity fraud just to avoid paying a fine, filing a theft report for a laptop, phone, and passport and consequently finding it all in her desk later, to throwing away a new roommate’s toiletries after thinking she was the only person to have moved in to the suite.
Former Orientation Director Eleanor Oi took the stage to share how confusing the words “at” and “by” 9:00 p.m. can mess up your whole day and result in you rallying 45 random people in 10 minutes to breakdown and stack 3,500 chairs in less than an hour before the freshman candle lighting ceremony.
“I really believe that we need to be vulnerable in order to have the courage to do things that are scary,” said Mary Lupien on why events like this are important.
“For me, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. If you’re playing it safe, you’re never gonna fail, but you’re also never gonna get success in life and real happiness.”