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Semester Kicks Off With CMC-Exclusive Events

September 8, 2010

Kevin Burke
Semester Kicks Off With CMC-Exclusive Events

The Claremont McKenna administration ended Dry Week earlier than ever this year, and students took full advantage, demonstrating a responsibility that the Dean of Students office praised. The end of Dry Week moved forward to Tuesday morning before classes, which meant that while faculty and administrative officials were in their robes at convocation, seniors enjoyed champagne and orange juice on Green Beach. Students threw two additional parties before the school week ended, which were well attended. The administration is testing the new Dry Week policy at the recommendation of the Alcohol Task Force, set up last year to evaluate CMC's alcohol policy. The student-dominated body recommended the change, expressing concern that a ban on drinking was inconsistent with the administration's attitude that students should be responsible for themselves. The Dry Week prohibition led students to focus on subverting the rules, leading them to "behave irresponsibly," said Dean of Students Mary Spellman.

DOS is also expanding the scope of its off-campus and dry events, increasing their budgets substantially. Last weekend the five colleges sent 850 students to the Dodgers game, and tickets were sold out for a trip to the Raging Waters waterpark.

The administration will conduct a thorough evaluation of the no-Dry Week experiment within a few weeks. But most people seem happy with an early end to the ban. And so far, there have been no hospitalizations due to alcohol poisoning. It will be more difficult to evaluate the effects on the other stated reason for the Dry Week policy: to allow students to settle into their classes.

6:01, the student body's traditional party to kick off the drinking year, was largely a success. One of the biggest downsides of the party, however, was that host-campus CMC allowed only its own students to attend. With students from the other four colleges prohibited from participating, and many CMC students attending the Giants vs. Dodgers game, some students commented that the party felt emptier than past 6:01's.

That didn't stop people from having a good time, of course. "It was a healthy, responsible party, where the event was the focus and alcohol was an add-on," commented Spellman.

And 6:01 did have its minor mishaps. The DJ originally booked for the event was asked to leave. Claremont Police arrested one particularly enthusiastic student. And one of ASCMC's expensive new speakers was stolen, as SAC Chair Seth Winterroth '12 noted in an e-mail sent to students Sunday night. But Spellman called these "isolated incidents" and said that, overall, ASCMC did a "phenomenal job" planning fun events during orientation and the first week of school.

With only six days of classes, and one official party, gone, both ASCMC and the administration seem to be working out the kinks.

Alexander Reichert '11, Dorm Activities Chair, confirmed that tomorrow night's TNC would be a CMC-only event. Pitzer and Scripps students will be allowed to join starting with next week's TNC. ASCMC does not have the budget to afford security for a 5C party every Thursday night, Reichert noted. The other schools' student activity groups have not contributed money for their share of the security costs, which is why they are not allowed to attend. Students will be allowed, however, to register guests at almost any CMC Thursday party, and Saturday night parties will still be open to the 5C's.

The administration is taking these measure more because of worry about the security of CMC students than worries about the amount of alcohol they are drinking. Last semester, TNC was limited to CMC students after Spring Break, prompting fears that the school was "cracking down" on student parties. But budget constraints are the primary problem, not a hardline position from the administration.

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