Claremont McKenna College’s celebrated Thursday Night Club (TNC) was temporarily suspended, beginning on Sept. 9, by the college’s Office of the Dean of Students and Campus Security, due to the presence of two unregistered kegs.
However, Associated Students of CMC (ASCMC) Dorm Affairs Chair Alexander Reichert said the reappearance of the event in October appears to be “a green light right now.”
TNC, which normally takes place in North Quad at CMC every Thursday, was also canceled last semester in March. ASCMC, lead by Reichert, presented a proposal to reinstate the event.
“We wanted to move [TNC] back to the dorm lounges after proving we could throw a successful party under more stringent guidelines,” Reichert said.
Although TNC was reinstated at the end of last year, Campus Security disbanded it again on Sept. 9 because of the keg violation.
“[TNC] operated on guidelines that I personally witnessed since my freshman year,” Reichert said. “There were always multiple kegs, always more than what was registered.”
The deans were contacted when the unregistered kegs were confiscated, and another meeting was arranged to determine what would take place in October.
On Tuesday, Reichert and other ASCMC members met with the Dean of Students office to discuss the matter more thoroughly. The administration openly stated their desire to revert to a tamer social scene, similar to that which existed at CMC approximately six or seven years ago.
“The administration said that four years ago, you wouldn’t detect a difference [from today’s social scene],” Reichert said. “Six to seven years ago, you would see a difference in how parties were thrown and how students conducted themselves.”
The Dean of Students Office voiced a concern that there had been a move away from a respectful campus and alcohol policy and that the student body had developed a sense of “entitlement and arrogance,” Reichert said.
Reichert said that he and the rest of ASCMC plan to be as honest and open as possible, and to aim for constructive dialogue. His goals are to foster intercollegiate socializing and to keep the campus welcoming and open to students from the other four colleges. Thus, his main goal is to keep TNC uncontained and centered in North Quad. He feels that administrators may not fully understand the point of TNC if they want to contain and relocate it.
Overall, Reichert is optimistic about the future of TNC and the preservation of CMC’s culture. He believes TNC will continue once more in October, and does not sense the administration wants to prevent the party from happening altogether. But “changing culture will tie our hands in some regards,” he admitted. “Students are hearing things and doing what they want because they don’t like it.”
An example of this is the petition and letter to the administration created completely independently from ASCMC. Evan Zwisler CM ‘12, a supporter of this student movement, says the petition and letter voice concerns that resonate with him.
“CMC is beginning to enforce rules and policies that are contradictory to it being the happiest campus in the nation,” he said. “The petition is to get the voices of CMC heard; students do not support these changes.”
He fears the administration is attacking CMC’s traditions and inclusiveness.
Zwisler agreed that alcohol poisoning at CMC could be a motive for the administration to enact such changes.
“But, all schools have it,” he said. “CMC has the fourth most beer on campus in America, and the administration is embarrassed by that.”
Princeton Review currently ranks CMC fifth in the nation on their list entitled “Lots of Beer.”
Zwisler believes that if CMC tries to reverse this reputation by minimizing large-scale parties, students may drink in their rooms, and will be afraid to call RAs for help when necessary, thus unintentionally making the campus drinking environment less safe.
While Reichert and Zwisler are addressing this issue from different angles, they both say they regard CMC highly, want to uphold its traditions, and seek to promote 5-C inclusivity.
“We should celebrate the consortium,” said Reichert, who mentioned it was a part of the reason he chose to attend CMC.
They also both believe CMC attracts a specific kind of student, and neither wants that to change.
Reichert hopes for a solution that works for both students and administration. He noted that Pitzer and Scripps have expressed a willingness to donate funds to TNC, but that the administration has not shown support for this.
“Why not address the fact that students from all colleges want to attend TNC, and provide extra security and other measures?” he said. “I hope these changes don’t change my or anyone else’s opinion of the school.”
Members of the CMC administration did not respond to inquires from The Student Life before this issue went to print.