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Saucy Santana Oversteps Boundaries with Disrespectful Behavior

When College Hill: Celebrity Edition Season 3, Episode 3 started, I genuinely felt it might become one of my favorite episodes of “College Hill” ever. From a TV production and storytelling perspective, the episode was excellently crafted, seamlessly blending the narrative of celebrities visiting the plantation with the value of an HBCU education.

However, the issues that bothered me from the start of this season have seemingly grown into a larger problem, overshadowing the goodwill this season offers. This makes me genuinely worried about what next week’s episode will be like for the cast as they strive to improve their standings in their courses.

The historical context of African Americans being castigated for learning to read and educating themselves during slavery when they visited the Whitney Plantation Slavery Museum was beautifully paralleled with Saucy Santana’s behavior throughout the episode. It was compelling to watch especially as the theme of black people overcoming despite the odds was consistently broached throughout the first half of the episode.

The episode did a fantastic job of integrating black history, which stood out as one of the highlights. “College Hill Celebrity Edition” reaches audiences who may not be familiar with HBCU life. Many viewers don’t have direct connections to HBCUs; they might only see snippets on social media. This episode underscored the importance of understanding that the “H” in HBCU stands for “Historically.” The history of these institutions is deeply ingrained in the fight for civil rights, resilience, and defiance of the status quo.

Dr. Sheron Roberts, Chair of Mass Communications at XULA, delivered impactful remarks on the importance of properly educating HBCU students. She is correct about how HBCU students are often underestimated by those outside the community. People that aren’t familiar with HBCU life often look down on the value of an HBCU education.

Her comments about HBCU students having to be several steps ahead of the competition were both inspiring and telling of Saucy Santana’s missed opportunities. She pushed them to understand the platform that they were giving both Xavier Univeristy of Louisiana and HBCUs being on the show and to take the responsibility seriously. And, of course, Saucy Santana has consistently decided not to.

The point I always come back to is the fact that these celebrities don’t have to be a part of this experience. They can live their lives the way they always did, balancing their work in the industry with whatever fun they want to have. But, they came here for a reason. They wanted this college experience. Why not embrace it fully for what it is?

Here’s my takeaway from almost every episode of this series, across all three seasons. Whether it’s Ray J or Stacey Dash, who appeared for a few episodes of Season 1 before leaving, the common thread is clear: you don’t have to be here. What is your why? Your why can’t be that you want to turn up and get lit like you’re a traditional college student. That’s preposterous within itself.

I think people often forget that college is more than a social experience. It’s where you grow academically, physically, and emotionally, and prepare yourself for financial success. College Hill Celebrity Edition is addressing this issue in a meaningful way, as they always have.

I can agree that the social experience is what sets undergrad apart from other educational stages in a student’s life. When you compare college to grade school (kindergarten through 12th grade) or even to postgraduate school, the differences are significant. These distinctions often pertain to the academic rigor and the deeper dive into your chosen career field, along with the challenges that accompany it.

However, the social experience in college is unique. As an 18 to 22-year-old traditional college student, you are on a campus surrounded by peers who are typically similar in age and background, though the various cultural differences based on region, city, and location make each encounter unique. This social environment is what truly differentiates the college experience.

I believe that the media and social media often trick prospective students into forgetting that undergraduate studies are as academically challenging as any other part of their education. Significant investment goes into your success, whether you’re funding your education yourself, your parents are saving up, you have a scholarship, or you’re receiving federal or private financial aid and loans.

Where are your priorities? You’re not here just to hook up or party on campus. Your primary goal is to earn a degree, and then enjoy the college experience. Attend the step shows, probates, and football games. Celebrate at HBCU rivalry games, classics, tailgates, homecoming concerts, and celebrity lectures. That’s fine. Those are great social experiences that aid in your development. However, it’s all pointless if you’re not attending classes and learning.

And that’s the part that really gets to me about College Hill: Celebrity Edition. I consistently notice a disconnect from reality when it comes to these celebrities and their indifference toward the academic experience. What did you really expect? Did you watch the first two seasons of College Hill: Celebrity Edition? Once you move past the Amber Rose and Joseline fight, did you actually watch the Alabama State season?

Once you look beyond Ray J’s often hilarious ineptitude or Slim Thug’s persistent flirting with Dream Doll, despite her clear disinterest, did you grasp the essence of the Texas Southern season? Did these celebrities even bother to explore the archives and watch the original College Hill from Virginia State and the Virgin Islands?

I found it funny how they suggested going out to drink, having a hookah, and meeting Tamar’s fiancé, but then you didn’t complete your Political Science homework. Why are you going out? If you’ve completed the assignment and put in the effort, then great, we can celebrate. However, the whole cast of celebrities left the house just to have fun and ended up with a failing grade in the Political Science class.

I get the rigor of college life takes some getting used to but, at some point, there has to be a group of celebrities that are brought on that understand what all of this is about and aren’t shocked that this is an accelerated program for adult learners. It shouldn’t shock you that for a class that you’re completing in what appears to be a week or so you’re going to have homework and important assignments.

For the past couple of recaps, I’ve taken Karlous Miller to task for how he’s acted and his defiant, uninformed stances on homelessness. But, per this episode, he’s cleaned things up a bit and stopped being as disruptive and dramatic. But, even when he was being combative and difficult, he was still going to class and participating in the experience. Saucy Santana has found every reason to slack off and it’s getting embarrassing.

The entire incident involving the toy doll, which he seems uninterested in now, and his attempted manipulation of Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart, XULA Academic Advisor and Associate Provost, trying to shift blame onto her for trying to talk to him, claiming he was attending class when there’s video evidence proving otherwise, proves that he should not be on this show. This isn’t the reality TV show for him, and that’s ok. But, don’t disrespect well-meaning people who are only trying to help you with this experience and protect the image of Xavier University of Louisiana, one of the top HBCUs in the nation.

I don’t know what happens next with this season but Saucy Santana has to go. Maybe he gets his act together and drills down on his work as the season goes on. But, we’re four episodes in and he’s not getting it. Something has to give.

It seems as if the cast is about to really go after each other in a class debate that pits the women against the men and Claudia gets emotional. The preview supports my theory that this cast is contentious and not that close with one another. The BET Awards last Sunday, in which they presented the BET Her award and didn’t seem that close either, supports my case even more. I’m interested to see how this season ends and if there even is a graduation. How things are looking, there might not be.

College Hill: Celebrity Edition Season 3 is available now on BET+.

Source: BET+