Instead of attending Pub, the Wednesday night party regularly held at Pomona College, mid-week partiers attended TAP, which was hosted Sept. 11 by a new group called the Title IX Coalition (TIXC). Co-founder and president of TIXC Emma Wolfarth PO ’14 emphasized the importance of consent at the party, an aspect of the 5C party culture that has received a lot of attention since last year’s sexual assault audit at Pomona College and conversations throughout the consortium on sexual misconduct policies.
“Our main objective was to give other students agency and to have a say in providing their own programming for on-campus parties, even if they don’t want to have a full-time commitment on a fraternity or with ASPC,” Wolfarth said. “Anybody can join TIXC.”
“We are also very determined to ferment a serious attitude towards consent during parties,” she continued. “From the second you walk through the door at our events, we want to emphasize that consent is always on your mind whether you’re drinking or not.”
In previous semesters, Kappa Delta’s (KD) party, Pub, was the first party of the semester to occur at Doms Lounge in Pomona’s Smith Campus Center.
“Our intention was never to replace Pub,” said Clara Shelton PO’14, co-founder of TIXC. “TIXC reserved the room before KD did. It just ended up happening that way.”
KD vice president and treasurer Nicholas Sbardellati PO ’14 said that while it was “unfortunate” that Pub did not occur on the first Wednesday of the semester, KD did not hold any grievances against TIXC or its members.
“We didn’t mind not having the first party, especially since athletes were able to go out and have fun on campus during the week,” Sbardellati said. Pub was held this Wednesday, and Sbardellati said that it will be held every Wednesday for the rest of the academic year.
Last semester, Pub was temporarily suspended after the release of the sexual assault audit conducted at Pomona, which raised concerns that sexual violence was occurring at the party. In response, KD brothers began working with administrators to create a safer environment at Pub.
Sbardellati said that based on his experience at this Wednesday’s Pub, he and others saw “a difference not only in the dance culture, but also in that people felt a lot safer but still had the same amount of fun.”
“I expect it to get even better as the year goes on,” he said.
Associate Director for the Smith Campus Center Ellie Ash-Balá is the staff adviser for TIXC and commends the group on its effort to “raise awareness on issues like consent, especially somewhere where alcohol is involved.”
Ash-Balá also said that it was not an administrative decision to have TAP be the first Wednesday party of the semester rather than KD’s Pub.
“The students who are running TIXC were here over the summer and got in their reservation in first for the space,” Ash-Balá said. “KD did not even know whether or not Pub was going to happen in September since it was still working with the administration to handle in an effective manner the sexual harassment claims.”
TIXC announced in a meeting held on Wednesday that it has decided to hold its parties every other Thursday night beginning on Oct 3. Wolfarth announced the decision during the meeting, which had an attendance of 25 students from Pomona, Pitzer College, and Scripps College.
“We fear that TAP will always be framed in terms of KD and Pub, and so the decision to move TAP to Thursdays was based off of the idea of having an actual alternative that people know of separate [from] Pub, and also to create and establish an identity for TAP,” she said.
In the meeting before the party, the TIXC founders also laid out some of the ground rules they wish to enact during future TAP parties, which contrast with those of Pub. The most notable difference is the limitation of the number of guests, which the group wishes to accomplish by allowing only Pomona and Pitzer students into the party. The founders also mentioned the possibility of including Scripps students in the near future.
Another key difference between the two parties is the type of alcohol available: TAP decided to serve wine, while Pub has stuck with kegs of beer. The music at both parties is also very different.
“KD has a certain music motif, so we’re trying to switch it up a bit with songs that were played during middle school that people still appreciate, and also with other types of fun and dancy tunes,” Wolfarth said.