Opinions

CMC’s Focus on the Party Scene Distracts From Real Issues

Two weekends ago, the police raided a North Quad party at Claremont_x000D_
McKenna College. The administration decided to call_x000D_
it a night
_x000D_
when the “gathering of well over 100 people,” armed with “glass bottles of hard_x000D_
alcohol and the projection of loud music,” refused to listen to the residence assistants and_x000D_
Campus Security. Drunken suburban malevolence from raucous_x000D_
alumni didn’t help either.

In the weeks following the_x000D_
Invasion of North Quad, the Rebel Bro Alliance has reignited a longstanding war_x000D_
against Darth Spellman and her Galactic Empire.

After all, what’s more CMC than_x000D_
pushing an RA through a door—amiright?!

In the name of the Founding Fathers—that_x000D_
is, the Class of 2010—brave CMC revolutionaries are standing up to their oppressors, demanding that_x000D_
their God-given right of intoxication without reprobation be respected. 

But all jokes aside:_x000D_
Would any of these outspoken CMCers who have bravely given the finger to the_x000D_
administration and their buddies in blue stand up against anything remotely_x000D_
important—say, real institutional_x000D_
marginalization?

To paraphrase CMC’s guardian angel: My heart and my best_x000D_
intentions tell me it’s entirely possible, but the facts and the evidence tell_x000D_
me it is not.

For more than half a_x000D_
decade, the campus has raised a fuss over the administration’s party-pooper_x000D_
ways. Nostalgia for the “golden years” has been the topic of innumerable Forum op-eds and Internet comments. Email after email has been sent_x000D_
out by the administration in an attempt to convince us that TNC fences are in our best_x000D_
interest. In 2013, the student body president wrote a five-page_x000D_
memo
detailing how “[the] Fall 2012 semester marked a significant_x000D_
decline in the quality of our social scene” and how we just had to create another task force to_x000D_
revive a previous task force to create “a community-wide dialogue between_x000D_
students, faculty, and administrators … about the balances and tensions inherent_x000D_
in CMC’s social policy.” And most recently, Dean Huang and Empress Spellman answered over an hour’s worth of questions regarding their decision to_x000D_
call the cops on an obviously unsafe situation.

It’s pretty easy to_x000D_
conclude from all of this that the social scene is CMC’s most pressing issue.

This is embarrassing.

For a student body in_x000D_
which only 11_x000D_
percent
 come from low-income households; for a school that only_x000D_
has one
full-time Black professor; for a campus that witnessed a student die at the hands of a dangerous drug culture just a year and a half ago, a_x000D_
discussion on how free you are to get wasted is the last thing we should be worried_x000D_
about.

I get it. You’re_x000D_
pissed off. But come on, do we really want to be a school where partying takes_x000D_
precedent over everything else? That in and of itself confirms the ugly stereotype that we tell ourselves is wrong. 

And it’s not like_x000D_
we’re even being reprimanded for our drunken stupidity. Judging from the_x000D_
student reaction, it would seem as if Dean Spellman were going into our fridges_x000D_
and throwing our beers down the sink. We have at least three parties per week, all of which are swamped in alcohol. I’m sorry, but the Interim Guidelines are_x000D_
pretty damn reasonable, especially since they’re rarely enforced. In this_x000D_
respect, we’re probably the envy of every single college in the country. 

Of course they’re not as ‘free’ as the rules were pre-2009. But CMC has changed for the_x000D_
better in so many ways since then. Specifically, survivors of sexual assault have a much greater support system than ever before. While this reflects a broader community approach to this issue, it’s not a coincidence that this type of change is happening as the party scene is being tamed; there is a wider recognition of how potentially dangerous big party culture, aka ‘the golden days,’ can be. 

And for all the old_x000D_
school alumni out there: We’re not going back to the days where someone’s dad can hire_x000D_
a stripper to perform in Collins
. Deal with it.

But even though we’ve_x000D_
come so far, we’ve still got a ways to go. We are at a historical juncture in which there is so much potential to make long-lasting change. Our president is committed to increasing our financial aid_x000D_
capabilities by $100 million. The 5Cs just received a $1 million grant to increase faculty diversity across the_x000D_
board. Those are the types of issues we should bring attention to, rather than attempting to convince the administration that we are responsible little adults. 

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Carlos Ballesteros CM_x000D_
’16 is a history and sociology double major from Chicago. He plans on radicalizing all of our children once he gets his teacher’s certification.

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